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Roll20's Latest Usage Report: D&D Steady, Cthulhu Down!

Roll20 has released it's latest quarterly report -- and has a new format which features less numbers but prettier graphics! Everything is percentages now, rather than absolute numbers.

D&D is in the lead as ever at 52.7% (down 1%), followed by Call of Cthulhu at 11.9% (down 4.4%) then Pathfinder at 3.2% (down 0.2%) (Pathfinder users apparently use Foundry these days). That's a big drop for Cthulhu which has been on a steady rise for the last year or two.




orrreport-2021-q3-in2.jpg


Some systems are called out --
  • Tormenta (Brazilian) rose 45%
  • Vampire the Masquerade rose 500%(!)
  • Powerd by the Apocalypse is up 130%
  • World of Darkness overall is up 550%
  • WFRP is up 50%
  • Modiphius' 2d20 is up 160%
Screen Shot 2021-11-12 at 1.25.13 AM.png
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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J.Quondam

CR 1/8
As a customer of various VTT services, I would prefer they just not report on my activity to a third party. I value my privacy over assembling a report on RPG trends.
I strongly doubt there's any personal info attached to the stats. But the "snooping" is off-putting, or at least as off-putting as snooping is on any other online platform. But that's the business model to keep things free-ish, so I can't really complain, I guess.

That said, I do have a (sadly neglected!) Roll20 account, with several campaigns setup & tagged for a number of different systems. So I wonder how exactly my account figures into the report, if at all.
 


Weirdok

Villager
Ah … two things that bring back memories for me …

I was a huge Star Trek fan back then and LOVED the FASA Star Trek game! We played the heck out of it! I even still have my original boxed set :)

I haven’t heard Last Unicorn Games in a while! I worked with them for a number of years … mainly on the Aria: Canticle of the Monomyth RPG and Heresy card game. In fact, I stopped working with them when they got the Star Trek license, but had to move to California as part of the deal, so they were closer to Paramount.

Good times!! :)
The Star Wars game was great back in the 80's. My friends were hooked on TSR stuff, so, I couldn't get anyone to play ☹
 



Even if Roll20 isn't the preferred system for PF2, it is the biggest VTT. PF2 should have a greater proportion of players.
My very personal bias: I don't think significant numbers of people are playing it.
I don't know your experience in either VTT, but I can say that my experience with 2e on foundry was vastly to superior to roll20. Frankly I suspect the only reason that 1.2% exists on roll20 is that they haven't tried foundry, or they're too invested in the roll20 ecosystem to switch.
 

Retreater

Legend
I don't know your experience in either VTT, but I can say that my experience with 2e on foundry was vastly to superior to roll20. Frankly I suspect the only reason that 1.2% exists on roll20 is that they haven't tried foundry, or they're too invested in the roll20 ecosystem to switch.
I've tried Foundry, and I'm firmly staying in the Roll20 ecosystem.
If we're ok with a little thread detour, I can explain myself.
1) Roll20 is browser based. I can access my campaign from any computer. I can update the campaign on my break at work. I don't need to create servers. In short, it just works.
2) Foundry is unstable. You add the wrong module, it collapses. Something gets pulled from the service, it collapses. You create a campaign and Foundry updates to a new version, it collapses.
3) It's not actually intuitive. I learned Roll20 in a week. Can't get Foundry working in months.
4) You can't really buy stuff already done on Foundry. You have to do a lot of it yourself.
5) Importing tokens, maps, art, etc on Foundry is a chore. It's drag and drop and instantly works on Roll20.
6) More people use Roll20, so in the event you don't want to play PF2 (or want to try anything else) you have assets, friends, UI knowledge ready to try any other RPG in existence.
7) You don't have to have a great computer and internet speed to run a game on Roll20.
8) Too much automation can be bad. It can get in the way of the game if you make an error.
 

TheSword

Legend
I've tried Foundry, and I'm firmly staying in the Roll20 ecosystem.
If we're ok with a little thread detour, I can explain myself.
1) Roll20 is browser based. I can access my campaign from any computer. I can update the campaign on my break at work. I don't need to create servers. In short, it just works.
2) Foundry is unstable. You add the wrong module, it collapses. Something gets pulled from the service, it collapses. You create a campaign and Foundry updates to a new version, it collapses.
3) It's not actually intuitive. I learned Roll20 in a week. Can't get Foundry working in months.
4) You can't really buy stuff already done on Foundry. You have to do a lot of it yourself.
5) Importing tokens, maps, art, etc on Foundry is a chore. It's drag and drop and instantly works on Roll20.
6) More people use Roll20, so in the event you don't want to play PF2 (or want to try anything else) you have assets, friends, UI knowledge ready to try any other RPG in existence.
7) You don't have to have a great computer and internet speed to run a game on Roll20.
8) Too much automation can be bad. It can get in the way of the game if you make an error.
Couldn’t agree more. I’ll add that after paying £50 I expect a bit more technical support than is available.

I had issues opening my computer as a server and the links on the website suggested downloading freeware. I was extremely uncomfortable asking players to download freeware I didn’t trust onto their computers… particularly when it involved bypassing firewalls. I ended up paying extra to use The Forge through a browser which added a whole extra step to uploading after what was already an annoying process.

Even then there was always at least one other player who struggled to connect - leading to 15 mins at the start of every session tinkering.

It felt like I needed to be an expert in programming just to get to a place where Foundry would start.
 



Retreater

Legend
Pathfinder - 3.2%
Pathfinder 2 - 1.4%

Those results are interesting. Will PF2 ever outdo PF1?
I doubt it. PF1 hit at the perfect time. D&D would have to again lose market dominance to see a rival system get that popular. And I don't see that happening during the lifespan of PF2.
If you're asking if it will outdo the 3.2% on Roll20, that's a maybe. More likely PF1 will continue to drop on Roll20 and PF2 will increase a little bit.
But I do expect a later day resurgence for PF2, like how 4e (and even TSR era D&D) is being reconsidered these days.
 


Higgs

Explorer
Supporter
I doubt it. PF1 hit at the perfect time. D&D would have to again lose market dominance to see a rival system get that popular. And I don't see that happening during the lifespan of PF2.
If you're asking if it will outdo the 3.2% on Roll20, that's a maybe. More likely PF1 will continue to drop on Roll20 and PF2 will increase a little bit.
But I do expect a later day resurgence for PF2, like how 4e (and even TSR era D&D) is being reconsidered these days.
Roll20 is not an accurate measure of PF2 vs PF1 overall. I'm not even a little surprised that PF1 is still more popular on roll20
 

Retreater

Legend
Roll20 is not an accurate measure of PF2 vs PF1 overall. I'm not even a little surprised that PF1 is still more popular on roll20
Roll20 has the lion's share of VTT users. Proportionately, PF2 should be higher there if it's being widely adopted - even if a good chunk of the players are on Foundry.
But the PF2 fans will cite any exception to make it look like the system is widely in use.
No one's playing on Roll20? Well, that's because everyone is playing on Foundry.
Books languishing on store shelves? Well, that's because everyone is buying online, using Archives of Nethys, etc.
Numbers are low on Amazon? Well, that's because everyone is buying directly from Paizo.
Can't find local PFS events? Well, that's because of the pandemic, everyone's playing on Foundry, etc.

It's okay to like a system that isn't popular. I'm running a PbtA game and a WFRP game at the moment on Roll20. I'm not under the illusion that either system rivals 5e in popularity.
 


FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Roll20 has the lion's share of VTT users. Proportionately, PF2 should be higher there if it's being widely adopted - even if a good chunk of the players are on Foundry.
But the PF2 fans will cite any exception to make it look like the system is widely in use.
No one's playing on Roll20? Well, that's because everyone is playing on Foundry.
Books languishing on store shelves? Well, that's because everyone is buying online, using Archives of Nethys, etc.
Numbers are low on Amazon? Well, that's because everyone is buying directly from Paizo.
Can't find local PFS events? Well, that's because of the pandemic, everyone's playing on Foundry, etc.

It's okay to like a system that isn't popular. I'm running a PbtA game and a WFRP game at the moment on Roll20. I'm not under the illusion that either system rivals 5e in popularity.
There could be good reasons PF2 players haven't adopted roll20 while PF1 players did.

Say PF2 had poor support on roll20 while another VTT had much better support. Say PF1 was heavily supported on roll20 and not very supported anywhere else.

I don't know enough about the community to say.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
If you play PF2 you MUST use Foundry . I ran AoA on Roll 20 and A.V. and SoT (current) on foundry . IMHO , there is no choice to be made . Use Foundry .
Out of curiosity should a D&D 5e group use roll20 or foundry? Is doing so of the same level of importance as it is for the pathfinder 2 group?
 

Retreater

Legend
Out of curiosity should a D&D 5e group use roll20 or foundry? Is doing so of the same level of importance as it is for the pathfinder 2 group?
Are you using official content on 5e? Running adventures? Using supplements? All that is available to purchase on Roll20. Foundry has the ability (sometimes) to link to what you purchase on D&D Beyond (as does Roll20), but no official marketplace.
I say "sometimes" because the add-ons to link to D&D Beyond are unofficial, get taken down, perhaps illegal. If you don't use that, you're programming everything into Foundry yourself. Every class, spell, monster, etc, that isn't in the SRD.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Are you using official content on 5e? Running adventures? Using supplements? All that is available to purchase on Roll20. Foundry has the ability (sometimes) to link to what you purchase on D&D Beyond (as does Roll20), but no official marketplace.
I say "sometimes" because the add-ons to link to D&D Beyond are unofficial, get taken down, perhaps illegal. If you don't use that, you're programming everything into Foundry yourself. Every class, spell, monster, etc, that isn't in the SRD.
Then I'm not understanding what makes that better for PF2 than roll20?
 

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