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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

Yes, this is actually a game changer for a lot of reason. First, until this, the only VTTs that I knew published table numbers (Roll20, Fantasy Grounds) had PF2 lagging PF1 use. One could argue that there was evidence that PF1 players were still not moving to PF2. There's now a case to say that's wrong. One instance isn't definitive, but it's not something to ignore. Second, as you said, there could be a stronger showing over at Foundry. With a VTT showing 17% of tables playing PF2, it's not a stretch to think if Foundry is as popular as people are saying, there could be 20 -25% of tables playing it. That is less a generous estimate to a potentially reasonable one.

I'll be honest: I don't think all that many PF1 players are switching to PF2 at this point. Definitely a bunch at the beginning, but we have to remember that Pathfinder was created on a movement to keep old rules. At this point there are people who have been playing 3.X for over 20 years from the original through PF. I suspect a lot of PF people still left playing are the sort of players who have found their system in 3.X and aren't likely to move.

Rather, I'm guessing the majority of PF2 players are like me: 5E players who are looking for a crunchier and better-balanced d20 system.

Yes! It was why I was more pessimistic in my PF2 outlook - it confirmed certain cases from the Roll20 numbers like more people are still playing PF1 than PF2.

If they release 2021 numbers, I'll be watching to see whether PF2 will ever overtake PF1 consistently.

I think it's interesting to see differences across platforms. FG I think has better rules integration than Roll20, which explains why PF2 is more favorably compared to PF1 on that system. Similarly, I'm guessing there are a bunch of PF1 players who started using Roll20 for their games and just have no interest in moving to a new one, which is why PF2 (given the Forge numbers above) does so much better on Foundry than PF1.
 

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I'll be honest: I don't think all that many PF1 players are switching to PF2 at this point. Definitely a bunch at the beginning, but we have to remember that Pathfinder was created on a movement to keep old rules. At this point there are people who have been playing 3.X for over 20 years from the original through PF. I suspect a lot of PF people still left playing are the sort of players who have found their system in 3.X and aren't likely to move.

Rather, I'm guessing the majority of PF2 players are like me: 5E players who are looking for a crunchier and better-balanced d20 system.



I think it's interesting to see differences across platforms. FG I think has better rules integration than Roll20, which explains why PF2 is more favorably compared to PF1 on that system. Similarly, I'm guessing there are a bunch of PF1 players who started using Roll20 for their games and just have no interest in moving to a new one, which is why PF2 (given the Forge numbers above) does so much better on Foundry than PF1.
Roll20 can also be run without cost and functions better at facilitating the end to end process of getting games going simply by virtue of having a functioning LFP area.

You can go there and find PF1 or 2e games without needing to join a Discord or a Reddit/Facebook whatever. So far my only Foundry game found me because a player in a Roll20 game I was in started running it. O honestly don't know where you're supposed to look for a Foundry game if you aren't in one already.
 


Roll20 can also be run without cost and functions better at facilitating the end to end process of getting games going simply by virtue of having a functioning LFP area.

You can go there and find PF1 or 2e games without needing to join a Discord or a Reddit/Facebook whatever. So far my only Foundry game found me because a player in a Roll20 game I was in started running it. O honestly don't know where you're supposed to look for a Foundry game if you aren't in one already.

Oh absolutely. Roll20 is the casual or pick-up game spot right now. Need no investment, integrated video (which means I don't have to have someone's Discord handle) and enough mechanical support to get by with just about any system. It's the easiest place to get involved.

I do wonder if Demiplane's Pathfinder Nexus will help places like Foundry by giving people a place to find games outside of Roll20.

How many languages has pathfinder 2 been translated to? Maybe that's a reason too?

I know I've seen at least the Spanish and German, since those editions are up on DriveThruRPG.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
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?
A bit late to the discussion, you've probably made your decision by now. But if you have good bandwidth and don't have heavy storage requirements, you probably are better off with Roll20. I say this as a Foundry user and fan who has been running a 5e campaign in Foundry for about two years.

Actually, I likely would have went with Fantasy Grounds, but I spend most of my time working in a country where internet access is tightly controlled, and it was simply unable to host games using Fantasy Grounds. I was able to participate as a player in one game using Google Fi and VPN but the performance was terrible. Also, I don't really like players having to have to install software on their machines.

Roll20 has performed very well for me, even with subpar bandwidth, even in countries with tight controls on the Internet. Every VTT has a learning curve, but interface preferences is a matter of taste and I focus more on features and performance. Like Fantasy Grounds, you can get official D&D content on Roll20 saving a lot of prep time, especially if you run WOTC adventures.

The main reason I didn't go with Roll20 is that I'm running a campaign with a massive number of maps and many of the maps are large. Even the top subscriber tiers at the time would make it hard to store everything. Also, I found that large maps, with walls and lighting applies, etc. would cause the system to hang and glitch. It just didn't work for me as DM. But I am atypical in my storage needs.

I host Foundry on The Forge and the The Forges hosting service is exceptional. Its designed so that assets load from servers that are closest located to the user geographically so users in different countries have the most optimal performance in terms of load times. This won't matter if you don't have players spread accross multiple countries. And it doesn't apply if you are self hosting or trying to host a game from your personal computer.

In terms of map prep, applying walls is far easier, in my experience, in Foundry compared to Roll20, Fantasy Ground, and d20pro.

The modules are both game changing and frustrating. Best to start with the base system and slowly add community modules after you are familiar with the base functionality. But it is crazy how cool many of the community mods are. If you like to tinker and push the limits of your VTT, Foundry is the way to go. But it can quickly get out of hand with mods that are no longer actively developed, conflict with other mods, or just too many mods that start affecting performance leading to hours of troubleshooting.

Out of the box, the support for 5e isn't great, compared to Fantasy Grounds or Roll20. Even after two years of tinkering and testing, we generally use DnD Beyond for managing character sheets instead of the Foundry 5e character sheets. Only the SRD is supported in Foundry. There are modules that will import from DnD Beyond, but that means you need to buy content on D&D Beyond. You can't just buy non-SRD 5e content natively in Foundry. Moreover, even with D&D Beyond Importing, we fairly frequently run into glitches that require us to go back to the character sheets in D&D Beyond. I've gotten very close to being able to run most 5e from Foundry, but not to where I can fully trust it. And I don't think simply D&D Beyond importing will ever really get Foundry there. Until Foundry or a third-party mod developer can get licensed 5e content, and develop a proper native game system for 5e, it'll always be a kludge.

If you want your 5e stuff to "just work" in a VTT you are better off with a VTT that licenses 5e content and actively develops and supports functionality to work with 5e.

If, however, you don't care much about automating things and having official content available, and are more interested in really slick and useful map and token tools, I've found Foundry to be the best VTT available. Especially if you like to tinker.
 

Retreater

Legend
I host Foundry on The Forge and the The Forges hosting service is exceptional. Its designed so that assets load from servers that are closest located to the user geographically so users in different countries have the most optimal performance in terms of load times. This won't matter if you don't have players spread accross multiple countries. And it doesn't apply if you are self hosting or trying to host a game from your personal computer.
I'm curious about your experiences with the Forge. I've spent the past 5 hours tonight trying to get WFRP to work on Foundry (after last session on Roll20 had a technical glitch that will probably end the system on there for my group). But on Foundry, WFRP crashes every time in a matter of minutes on my computer, even after going to the Discord for advice and talking to the programmer of the official Foundry module.
It could be that my computer can't handle running Foundry. Will having the campaign hosted on the Forge use the computing power of the Forge? Might it be more stable than running the app on my computer? I haven't even gotten to the point of more than testing myself on the system, so I haven't even tried hosting it.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I'm curious about your experiences with the Forge. I've spent the past 5 hours tonight trying to get WFRP to work on Foundry (after last session on Roll20 had a technical glitch that will probably end the system on there for my group). But on Foundry, WFRP crashes every time in a matter of minutes on my computer, even after going to the Discord for advice and talking to the programmer of the official Foundry module.
It could be that my computer can't handle running Foundry. Will having the campaign hosted on the Forge use the computing power of the Forge? Might it be more stable than running the app on my computer? I haven't even gotten to the point of more than testing myself on the system, so I haven't even tried hosting it.
Yeah, with a hosting company like The Forge, you don't have to run Foundry on your computer. Everything is done online. You just enter your Foundry license and it is set up for you. If you install modules from The Forge's Bazaar or purchase assets (tokens, map packs, etc.) from the Bazaar the storage is not counted towards your storage limit. They have servers around the world and the data is loaded from the server nearest the user so that a players in different countries should have similar performance, assuming comparable bandwidth.

You will still want a reasonably modern computer, but it is a lot easier for your computer to run through a browser when hosted by a good provider, than trying to run it from your computer. I've been very happy with The Forge. They have a free trial period. It is worth checking it out and comparing the performance.
 

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