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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

corwyn77

Explorer
This just has a nicer, more Savage ring to it. :)
Just like Savage Rifts.

My most anticipated game, if it comes out this year, would be GURPS Girl Genius, but I am very excited about Savage Pathfinder (interesting setting but hate the ruleset), and Enworld D&D (Is there really enough new stuff to be a new game?).
 

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TrippyHippy

Adventurer
Only one of my votes made the list, which is Werewolf. I am surprised Worlds Without Number didn't make it considering how huge the Kickstarter was and it's looking to be his biggest selling game to date (and it's fully compatible with Stars Without Number).
Sounds like he has found his market - but it’s not necessarily the market that votes on this site.
 


TrippyHippy

Adventurer
I don't have enough plaid left in my wardrobe to be excited about Werewolf. YMMV. :p
Thing about Werewolf 5 is that it could be interesting to see if they use a Hunger Dice type of mechanic for Rage.

Like previous editions of Vampire, one of my criticisms was the way in which Blood points worked. They were basically just power points that you had to replenish from time to time - so you were never compelled to play a monster trying to come to terms their vampiric nature (as per the descriptions in the supporting text and fiction). With Hunger dice, you gain them when you Rouse (50/50 chance) or when you use Disciplines (also 50/50 chance) and the dice gets substituted to every dicepool you roll - you can’t get away from them, it affects every thing your character does! While I know some fans of previous Vampire editions have complained about this, for me, it truly transforms the game into something like ‘personal horror’ as the Hunger comes to the fore.

I could see it doing something similarly transformative in the Werewolf game where, again, previous rules didn’t really push the idea of the primal rage at the heart of the Werewolf condition. If Rage dice become a thing, it will be worth a new edition for me and a nice complimentary game to the V5 chronicle I am due to be running this year. If its just a rehash of the environmentally themed urban fantasy - well, I already have that in other editions, so it's of less interest to me.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Well, my only playing exposure to WW was 1st edition, and at the time the whole eco-warrior thing seemed super gimpy (and still does), the rest was pretty cool. If the focus was going to be more on elemental rage and trying to contain the beast within without the green peace ads I'd be way more interested.

Also, I lied, most of my shirts are plaid. So there's that.
 

TrippyHippy

Adventurer
Well, my only playing exposure to WW was 1st edition, and at the time the whole eco-warrior thing seemed super gimpy (and still does), the rest was pretty cool. If the focus was going to be more on elemental rage and trying to contain the beast within without the green peace ads I'd be way more interested.

Also, I lied, most of my shirts are plaid. So there's that.
Precisely, my thoughts. Although my shirts need ironing.
 

embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
As down as I am for Werewolf, I'm a bit confused with the state of the publishing rights.

Modiphius released Vampire 5e a couple of years back. But if Renegade has the WoD rights, then does that mean that there is going to be either a 5e Renegade version, a 6e that tosses out Modiphius, or other such nonsense?

The main worry I have is that the 5e's won't play well together.
 

TrippyHippy

Adventurer
As down as I am for Werewolf, I'm a bit confused with the state of the publishing rights.

Modiphius released Vampire 5e a couple of years back. But if Renegade has the WoD rights, then does that mean that there is going to be either a 5e Renegade version, a 6e that tosses out Modiphius, or other such nonsense?

The main worry I have is that the 5e's won't play well together.
It is confusing. This is my best explanation:

White Wolf, owned by Paradox entertainment, released Vampire: the Masquerade 5th edition in 2018 to some fanfare - it was the most anticipated game of 2018 here on ENWorld.

Modiphius was White Wolf’s distributer, while there was Third Party support from companies like Onyx Path - a company formed from ex White Wolf staffers when White Wolf was sold off to CCP just over a decade ago. Onyx Path had released some 20th Anniversary books under license during the previous decade. However, when CCP sold White Wolf to Paradox Entertainment in the interim, this is what sparked the drive for a new edition - V5.

Unfortunately, V5 accumulated some controversy through its development and release and, ultimately, Paradox decided that they had to dissolve the original White Wolf team, leaving V5 up in the air. This is when Modiphius stepped in to take over the license. There is strong evidence that, despite the controversy, V5 was Modiphius' best selling release, and they didn’t just want to let it go. As such, after obtaining the license from Paradox directly, they put together a program of scheduled releases and revised/edited some of the controversial supplements for re-release.

From a raft of scheduled releases, they only managed to produce one sourcebook, however - The Fall of London - and a PDF starter set. At the same time, Onyx Path who were also licensed to produce V5 supplements produced Chicago By Night, and several other supplements which seem to have been popular too. So they were a bit more productive.

During this time, Paradox advertised for, then appointed a new White Wolf development team - now led by Justin Achilli, noted as the experienced developer of Vampire: The Masquerade Revised, Vampire: The Requiem and V20. The new White Wolf team decided to take the development of WoD properties back in house. There are some more V5 supplements planned for release - via Onyx Path and White Wolf. A free Vampire Companion was released to fans in December, last month. It appears that Modiphius are either no longer licensed or are just letting the old license fade out.

Werewolf: The Apocalypse 5 was licensed out to Hunters Entertainment for development, and a new publishing partnership was established by Paradox/White Wolf with Renegade Game Studios, which is also who will be publishing all the V5 stuff.
We know that Werewolf 5 will retain most of the signature V5 rules (and be compatible), as it has been stated in press releases, but will also develop their own themed mechanics to do with playing Werewolves accordingly.

There is no scheduled 6th edition or any such things being suggested. There are no advertised plans, as of yet, for any of the other classic WoD lines (Mage, Wraith, Changeling) - although they may come.
 

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