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The 10 Most Anticipated Tabletop RPGs of 2021

After thousands of votes, we now have our annual list of most anticipated tabletop RPGs for the coming year. As I do every year, I recently took nominations for the most anticipated tabletop RPGs for the coming year, and then opened the floor to voting. Here are this year's winners - the most anticipated tabletop RPGs of 2021!

Previous winners include 13th Age (2013), Star Wars Force & Destiny (2015), Rifts for Savage Worlds (2016), Trudvang Chronicles (2017), Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition (2018), Savage Worlds Adventure Edition (2019), and Dune: Adventures in the Imperium (2020). Who will join their ranks this year? Read on to find out!

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10. SLA Industries, 2nd Edition (Nightfall Games)
SLA Industries is a role-playing game of urban horror, set in The World of Progress; a vast world of ruin and decay. At the very heart of this world lies Mort City, a false beacon of hope upon an otherwise dystopian planet. Under the skin of this sprawling city are the Operatives of SLA Industries. These agents, investigators and trained soldiers do the company’s dirty work, cleaning the streets of serial killers, cultists and Carrien vermin, whilst being sure to make the right impression for the cameras. The original was published over 25 years ago.


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9. Werewolf: The Apocalypse 5th Edition (Renegade Studios/Paradox)
Werewolf: The Apocalypse takes place in a fictional version of our Earth: the World of Darkness. In the World of Darkness, werewolves, vampires, magicians, and monsters are all living among us. An entire supernatural world hidden in plain sight. You are one of these monsters, pretending to be human but fighting for survival and supremacy among mysteries and conspiracies that threaten the existence of humanity.


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8. Brancalonia - The Spaghetti Fantasy RPG (Acheron Books)
An all-Italian medieval, roguish and picaresque setting for the 5th Edition of the most famous role-playing game of all time. This game will be releases in Italian and English. “Spaghetti Fantasy” is a new fantasy genre: imagine a Spaghetti Western – with swords instead of guns – based on Italian folklore, history and pop culture.


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7. Pathfinder for Savage Worlds (Pinnacle Entertainment Group)
A bombshell announcement in November 2020, the Pathfinder for Savage Worlds core rulebook will include an adaptation of the Savage Worlds game mechanics for players to make and evolve characters, and for game masters to create games of their own design, for play in Pathfinder’s world of Golarion. The Pathfinder for Savage Worlds boxed set—as typical for Pinnacle Entertainment Group—will include the core rulebook as well as other elements of game play for Savage Worlds like Bennies, Action Deck, Templates, Game Master Screen with adventure, Powers Cards, and more. Kickstarter coming this month, with a release in late 2021.


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6. Rivers of London (Chaosium)
At #7 on this list last year, Rivers of London has claimed one place for 2021! Based on the novels by Ben Aaronovitch, and powered by a customized version of the Basic Roleplaying System, the Rivers of London series follows an ordinary constable turned magician’s apprentice, as he solves crimes across London in a sensational blend of inventive urban fantasy, gripping mystery thriller, and hilarious fantasy caper.


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5. Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition (A5E) (EN Publishing)
Ready to level up your 5th Edition game? Welcome to Level Up, the standalone 'advanced 5E' backwards compatible tabletop RPG coming in 2021! A crunchier, more flexible version of the 5E ruleset which you know and love. If you love 5E but would like a little more depth to the ruleset, Level Up is the game for you!


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4. King Arthur Pendragon 6th Edition (Chaosium)
Pendragon was Greg Stafford's masterpiece, and this 6th edition has been a decade in the making. "Pendragon veterans will find that the fundamentals of the game remain the same, with subtle modifications reflecting the culmination of nearly three decades’ refinement of Greg’s vision of Arthurian fantasy." You can can download a free adventure and preview at the link. This is Chaosium's second entry in this year's list.


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3. The One Ring 2nd Edition (Free League)
Taking over the franchise from Cubicle 7, Free League will be updating both The One Ring and Adventures in Middle Earth, as well as producing Moria: The Long Dark. This is second edition and continuation of the game published by Cubicle 7, combined with the open-world elements found in their Forbidden Lands roleplaying game.

And now, for the first time ever, we have a joint winner! The following two games got exactly the same number of votes - which, with thousands of votes being cast, is as improbable as it is true! Congratulations to them both on being 2021's most anticipated tabletop RPG. Even if one of them is on the list for the third year in a row!

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1 (joint). Dune Adventures in The Imperium (Modiphius Entertainment)
Last year's winner, and the third year running it has appeared in the Top 10, Dune: Adventures in the Imperium is 2021's joint most anticipated tabletop RPG!

The Dune: Adventures in the Imperium roleplaying game takes you into a far future where fear is the mind killer so be sure to keep your wits about you. The Imperium is a place of deadly duels, feudal politics and mysterious abilities in a universe where a blade can change the fortunes of millions. Build your House, carve your place in the universe or rebuild an ancient lineage and fight for the Imperial throne.


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1 (joint). Twilight 2000 (Free League)
The top two entries in this list were neck and neck. Free League's second entry on the list the year gets the joint top spot as the coming year's most anticipated tabletop roleplaying game! Another few minutes of voting, and who knows what would have happened? But as it is, both got the same number of votes.

Just like the original game, the new edition of Twilight: 2000 is set in a Poland devastated by war, but the game also offers an alternative Swedish setting, as well as tools for placing the game anywhere in the world.




Congratulations to everybody! Especially to Chaosium and Free League, who both managed to get two games into the top 10 this year.

PREVIOUS WINNERS OF THE ANNUAL EN WORLD MOST ANTICIPATED TABLETOP RPG OF THE YEAR

#2013201520162017201820192020
113th AgeStar Wars Force & DestinyRifts for Savage WorldsTrudvang ChroniclesVampire: The Masquerade 5th EditionSavage Worlds Adventure EditionDune: Adventures in the Imperium
2NumeneraDeluxe Exalted 3rd EditionMutant Crawl ClassicsTales from the LoopWarhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth EditionPathfinder 2nd EditionVaesen - Nordic Horror Roleplaying
3Star Wars Edge of the EmpireUnified Rolemaster7th Sea 2nd EditionKult: Divinity LostKult: Divinity LostLex ArcanaCyberpunk Red
4Shadowrun 5th EditionConan Adventures In An Age Undreamed OfConan Adventures In An Age Undreamed OfStar Trek AdventuresForbidden Lands: Retro Open-World Survival Fantasy RPGThe ExpanseFallout: Wasteland Warfare
5Call of Cthulhu 7th EditionDeluxe Tunnels & TrollsDCC LankhmarConan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed OfRuneQuest: Role-playing in GloranthaEclipse Phase 2nd EditionWarhammer: Age of Sigmar
6FireflyBarbarians of Lemuria: Mythic EditionRuneQuest 4StarfinderThe Witcher Roleplaying GameDune RPGSwords of the Serpentine
7Fate CoreFeng Shui 2Torg: EternityThe Witcher Roleplaying GameWarhammer 40,000 Wrath & GloryJohn Carter of MarsRivers of London
8HillfolkFantasy AGEBlue Rose AGECoriolisThe ExpanseChangeling the Lost 2nd EditionStargate Roleplaying Game
9TorchbearerParanoiaParanoiaDelta Green Roleplaying GameLegend of the Five Rings 5th EditionThings from the FloodFading Suns 4th Edition
10-Shadows of the Demon LordDelta GreenAstonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea 2ENumenera 2: Discovery & DestinyJudge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000ADCortex Prime
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

imagineGod

Legend
Incredible!

Is this the first year with a joint winner?

Dune by Modiphius Entertainment and Twilight 2000 by Free League (and I only mentioned Dune first because of the alphabet).
 




imagineGod

Legend
I must be out of touch. Nothing I voted for was in the top 10.
But at least nominated, which is more than many games got. For example, I was disappointed with Grimmerspace for Starfinder being delayed so much, I did not nominate that, nor did anybody else.

Which games did you vote for? That could help elevate the profile for others to try out now that voting is over.
 







Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
I'm with @Aldarc, neither Urban Shadows 2, Worlds without Number, nor Troubleshooters placed...

Funny that Dune came in 1st 2 years in a row lol... And Rivers of london made it onto the list 2 years in a row too.

I agree with @Mercador that Dune is a great fun piece of fiction, but as an RPG? meh. Unless you really play up the political angles with the houses...
 

TrippyHippy

Adventurer
Good list. My three picks were in it (Pendragon, The One Ring and Twilight: 2000), although I am also anticipating some other games (Everway 2nd Ed) not on the list, deliberately didn’t pick Dune because I picked it last year, and am still interested in Werewolf: The Apocalypse to see how it develops on from V5.
 

Mortus

Explorer
Congrats to the winners

Would someone explains me how Dune could be an interesting TTRPG? I understand that the Dune universe is quite something but I don't see it in a TTRPG at all.
My advise is to kill off protagonists of the IP or pretend they never existed. You could also run a game in time and/or place in the IP universe that has not yet been fully explored.

In one of my most recent Star Wars FFG games, the heroes of the Rebellion all died and the players were Jedi clones of the padawans Anakin had killed. They were in a Force trance inside Force pods and were stirred awake by Luke’s death in the blast of the Death Star and freed as Yoda’s last act while alive. We all enjoined playing our alternate original trilogy over the course of a year.

For Dune I plan on running a game set before the events of the first novel. The players will be members of an isolated Femen cult lead by a pair of rogue Matron Mothers presumed dead ages ago. One has become their living oracle and the other can fold space in a small cave area of Arrakis - not sure how mutated I’ll make them look. Together they have been viewing events among the political players in the setting and sending especially trained teams of Fremen (the PCs) to ensure the survival of Arrakis and the cult. Kind of mixing Dune and Stargate SG-1. 🙂
 

TrippyHippy

Adventurer
Congrats to the winners

Would someone explains me how Dune could be an interesting TTRPG? I understand that the Dune universe is quite something but I don't see it in a TTRPG at all.
The answer, outside of the background lore which has precisely the same appeal to sci-fi fans as Middle Earth has to fantasy fans, lies in the proposed Troupe style play. That is, you can play the game at different levels - possibly co-currently, with two sets of characters - where you devise political strategies at Architect level, and then then carry out missions at the Agent level.

The idea of troupe style play goes way back in gaming - Ars Magica RPG was a notable pioneer of the idea - but it hasn’t generally been built in as a core idea in many RPGs. It fits the Dune concept like a glove, however.

Finally, aside from anything else, if the book is likely to follow Modiphius’ previous releases, it will be a beautiful and well researched coffee-table book, that will tie in with a big movie release as well as the books.
 

MidnightBlue

Explorer
Wow...2 of my 3 votes made #1! I backed Twilight 2000 and preordered Dune. Sad that a couple others didn't make the top 10, but can't all be there. Looking forward to a lot of goodness from 2021. (It has a lot to make up for 2020's madness!)
 




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