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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

teitan

Legend
It’s simply not true that Roll20 doesn’t actively develop PF2 content. One month ago they released AP 3 and 4 of Strength of Thousand Suns as well as Guns & Gear and Lost Bazar.
They are actually trying to stay current on the Paizo releases and also just released a Starfinder adventure.
Yes sure, but historically that isn't true. When I was looking at Roll20 last winter it was very spotty and last I looked two months ago it was still spotty.
 

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In particular, I've always been surprised that Star Trek hasn't had a bigger splash in the RPG market than it has. I remember the first Trek RPG published by FASA in the 80s, because I'm old, Last Unicorn Games, Decipher, and now Modiphius. (I think FASA lost the license in the late 80s or very early 90s.)
Fasa lost it about 1992 or so... over Next Gen being a separate IP from TOS. They were licensed for Star Trek, and they did books covering TNG without realizing that their license didn't cover it. It did, however, cover the movies...

The offending products were First Year Sourcebook and the TNG Officers' Manual. Given where I was living, I think that was 1992-ish.

It also was cotemporous with Paramount vs Task Force Games and Amarillo Design Bureau... Note that TFG/ADB won, and FASA lost... Article on it in TFG's house organ, Nexus, issue 18...
Pretty sure they're not allowed to make digital versions of the game (thus no PDFs). That would include Roll20 implementation.
Yeah, Disney considers PDF to be Software; software has a different license than tabletop games. This was actually explicitly stated on the FFG forums, but the Asmmodee move recently resulted in no forums.

Anyway, that also means no VTT support. They had to get special permission for the offline dice roller... from disney and the computer games license holder...
 


ibenny

Explorer
It really depends on your internet connection. If the group helps a GM buy Foundry, the cost for the program itself isn't bad: $10-$12 per person.

Now if you don't have a great connection to host... well, that's where it gets expensive. As someone who has surprisingly good rural internet, this hasn't been a problem for me. But if you don't have the speed to host, you'll have to probably pay a monthly fee for a server. And if you want to use the integrated video, you'll also likely have to do that. Really hoping someone finds a way to integrate Discord's video feature into it, as it'd allow me to remove one side window from my games.



I mean, it's unverifiable through numbers, but if you spend time with the PF2 community it's pretty obvious that it is at least something. Foundry is the first, second, and third recommendation from the Paizo Boards to Reddit and just about anywhere else PF2 gets talked about. I've not seen this sort of push from any other game, though I'll admit there are plenty of game communities that I'm not a part of.
We're all using the free account of Roll20, we don't buy anything from Roll20 (not even the GM) so compared to that, Foundry is really expensive for us (we live in a poor country).
 

We're all using the free account of Roll20, we don't buy anything from Roll20 (not even the GM) so compared to that, Foundry is really expensive for us (we live in a poor country).
That is certainly fair. Bur if you are comparing something completely free, to something with a cost, and money is your primary limitation, then the free version wins it every time.

I can't testify to the difficulty of gming or administrating foundry (we play using the forge browser). I can say, from a player side, having set up and played characters on both VTTs, that Foundry was much better set up to handle the complexities of PF2e, as I wasn't having to manually build and maintain the dice rolling formulae for every unique circumstance that arises. For me the biggest savings was Time, the ability to drag and drop feats, equipment etc. and then turn things on and off with easy to use buttons is huge with the level of complexity of 2e.

It takes some of the more arduous elements of 2e and makes them easy. You can tell very quickly that the VTT is designed for maximum usability with minimal energy expenditure, and it continues to receive improvements. When you compare it to the Roll20 environment, where it's clear that support has been cobbled together with the bare minimum of developer time required and where improvements might take years (seriously, has the 5e environment, their bread and butter, received meaningful improvements in the last 5 years?), the difference is night and day.
 
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We're all using the free account of Roll20, we don't buy anything from Roll20 (not even the GM) so compared to that, Foundry is really expensive for us (we live in a poor country).

We all have our own financial situations, so I understand that. For me, when I started doing stuff on Roll20 I eventually had to get a subscription for all the stuff I was putting on there.

That is certainly fair. Bur if you are comparing something completely free, to something with a cost, and money is your primary limitation, then the free version wins it every time.

I can't testify to the difficulty of gming or administrating foundry (we play using the forge browser). I can say, from a player side, having set up and played characters on both VTTs, that Foundry was much better set up to handle the complexities of PF2e, as I wasn't having to manually build and maintain the dice rolling formulae for every unique circumstance that arises. For me the biggest savings was Time, the ability to drag and drop feats, equipment etc. and then turn things on and off with easy to use buttons is huge with the level of complexity of 2e.

It takes some of the more arduous elements of 2e and makes them easy. You can tell very quickly that the VTT is designed for maximum usability with minimal energy expenditure, and it continues to receive improvements. When you compare it to the Roll20 environment, where it's clear that support has been cobbled together with the bare minimum of developer time required and where improvements might take years (seriously, has the 5e environment, their bread and butter, received meaningful improvements in the last 5 years?), the difference is night and day.

Yeah, Foundry's interface is just so much better for just about everything. Roll20's tools are just... not great, and the whole interface feels very out of date.
 

Retreater

Legend
Yeah, Foundry's interface is just so much better for just about everything. Roll20's tools are just... not great, and the whole interface feels very out of date.
As someone who doesn't know a lot about computers, I find Roll20's fewer options to be much more streamlined than Foundry.
All I have to do is download a map, token, or art and drag it onto the screen of Roll20. Foundry means you're making subfolders for your campaign, saving it in the correct path, etc.
Even navigating from one map to the next is more complex for me in Foundry.
 

It’s really nice that Foundry is so much better than Roll20 for PF2 and many more systems (I tried it once as a player, it was really good, I’m not denying that), just don't forget the fact it's also much more expensive (really expensive for us, for example) so it's basically out of the question, no matter how good it is, actually.
Plainly false. Have a search...
 


As someone who doesn't know a lot about computers, I find Roll20's fewer options to be much more streamlined than Foundry.
All I have to do is download a map, token, or art and drag it onto the screen of Roll20. Foundry means you're making subfolders for your campaign, saving it in the correct path, etc.
Even navigating from one map to the next is more complex for me in Foundry.
Then it may be a matter of not having to experience the gm side of the interface (in my case anyway. From a 2e player side, I can say that it probably took me half the time to get a level one character set up in foundry, maybe less, and at that point the foundry character sheet had fewer errors and was able to do more stuff through button clicks rather than dice roll coding.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
I wonder if the majority of gaming groups now use a VTT (either remotely or for in-person, and how many of each); or if most are still mainly pen & paper games?
It would be interesting to know, but I suppose there's no way to answer that.
 


I wonder if the majority of gaming groups now use a VTT (either remotely or for in-person, and how many of each); or if most are still mainly pen & paper games?
It would be interesting to know, but I suppose there's no way to answer that.
For me the best option is to run an in person game with maps on a player's screen controlled by DM. I switch to Foundry and never come back to miniatures and pencils
 


One thing to note is that the headline seems to be assuming Roll20 is the measurably which games should be evaluated as to popularity. But it makes just as much sense to reverse that outlook and rewrite it as:

-------------

Roll20's Latest Usage Report: Cthulhu players leaving, D&D remains steady​

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.

Only D&D players continue to frequent Roll20 steadily. Call of Cthulhu player now only comprise 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 Roll20 which seen a steady rise in Cthulhu players for the last year or two.
 

As someone who doesn't know a lot about computers, I find Roll20's fewer options to be much more streamlined than Foundry.
All I have to do is download a map, token, or art and drag it onto the screen of Roll20. Foundry means you're making subfolders for your campaign, saving it in the correct path, etc.
Even navigating from one map to the next is more complex for me in Foundry.

Roll20 is anything but streamlined. Organizing characters, maps, and anything else is just an absolute nightmare, not to mention trying to manage storage space. With Foundry, it's nice to have your own folders to search from, but within the actual interface itself it's just that much easier to organize; you could drop everything into a single file folder and it wouldn't matter because it's so damn easy to organize things when you put them into the VTT itself.

Plus the actual act of putting these things together is just so much easier in Foundry. I can wall up a map lightning quick compared to Roll20, and stuff like lighting is just way, way simpler. Every interface and feature is just so much more intuitive compared to Roll20, largely because Roll20 looks like a product over a decade old while Foundry looks like one that is constantly updating.
 

Retreater

Legend
Roll20 is anything but streamlined. Organizing characters, maps, and anything else is just an absolute nightmare, not to mention trying to manage storage space.
The only thing you have to do on Roll20 is to drag the entry and put it on the folder or subfolder - dragging and dropping with a mouse.
Putting in dynamic lighting is not difficult to do on Roll20, though it can be a little time-consuming (but no more so than Foundry).
 

Compared to using the free accounts of Roll20 and not buying assets or anything from there (essentially, not paying for it any way) Foundry is much more expensive. Fooundry is way above our options here.
Yes, but you are dividing by zero here. Any cost will be "much more expensive" by that standard.

In this case, it's saying less about the cost of Foundry than it is about your tolerance for additional cost.

There's nothing wrong with choosing a lower cost/free option if that's what you can afford. It is misleading, though to those who don't have such inflexible budgets. It'd be less misleading to say "and there is no option to use it for free" since that is the real barrier to entry you care about.
 

darjr

I crit!
You say it is much more expensive...
If this isn’t some privileged talk!
Just FYI the D&D game day from WotC adjusted pricing for certain regions because the tickets for players there were outrageous. Just because a price is affordable to you doesn’t mean it isn’t out of the question for someone else.

These software platforms play in a world market.
 

The only thing you have to do on Roll20 is to drag the entry and put it on the folder or subfolder - dragging and dropping with a mouse.

When I was doing it, I was mass-loading and I just found the organizational system of Roll20 to be a mess. Never organized things as I wanted it. I can way more cleanly organizes things in Foundry.

Putting in dynamic lighting is not difficult to do on Roll20, though it can be a little time-consuming (but no more so than Foundry).

Having made absolutely massive maps on both, I have to disagree. I go to the lighting layer, I instantly see all the light sources and can modify them as I need or even turn them off with a single click. With Roll20, when I was using it, I was placing down objects with a lighting trait and shrinking them down to hide. Walls are similar, with the different options being incredibly useful (the terrain wall option is so damn useful for small alleys to give a sense of place, since you can show off the buildings around you rather than it just looking like a skinny hallway).

For me, the biggest benefit of Roll20 is the integrated video chat. Everything else is feels like it is dated.
 

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