Yesterday, we looked at the best selling horror RPGs of 2021 and took the chance to say that in this context “RPG” is shorthand for “RPG product line”. It might be core rules, an extension, a supplement or something else, but these tables reveal which RPG titles people buy the most from DriveThruRPG.
Today, with modern, we’re back into murky genre territory. We have a whole Genre Police series that goes into genres for RPGs and GM tips for them, by the way.
Modern RPGs are murky because urban fantasy is both contemporary and fantasy, horrors are very often modern, and where would you put cyberpunk? Modern or sci-fi? Both. This league table is defined as “Modern because that’s what the publisher tagged it as”, and that’s the right publishers have at DriveThruRPG.
These games (or supplements, etc.) hit DTRPG’s retail catalogue this year.
Best selling modern RPGs of 2021
- Cults of the Blood Gods (Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition) by Renegade Game Studios.
- Delta Green: Impossible Landscapes by Arc Dream Publishing.
- Deviant: The Renegades by Onyx Path Publishing.
- Sentinel Comics: The Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook by Greater Than Games, LLC.
- Children of the Blood (Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition) by Renegade Game Studios.
- Trails of Ash and Bone (Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition) by Renegade Game Studios.
- M20 Technocracy Reloaded by Onyx Path Publishing.
- Trinity Continuum: Aberrant by Onyx Path Publishing.
- Shadowrun: Street Wyrd (Core Magic Rulebook) by Catalyst Game Labs.
- M20 The Rich Bastard’s Guide to Magick by Onyx Path Publishing.
- Tiny Cthulhu by Gallant Knight Games.
- Shadowrun: Power Plays (Runner Resource Book) by Catalyst Game Labs.
- [Korean] 필수교양 by Chaosium.
- Shadowrun: Collapsing Now (Runner Resource Book) by Catalyst Game Labs.
- Occam’s Razor – An Anthology of Modern Day Call of Cthulhu Scenarios by Stygian Fox.
- Trinity Continuum: Assassins (Pre-Order) by Onyx Path Publishing.
- Delta Green: STATIC Protocol by Arc Dream Publishing.
- Shadowrun: Double Clutch (Core Rigger Rulebook) by Catalyst Game Labs.
- Big Apple Sewer Samurai by Pinnacle Entertainment.
- Shadows of Korea by CRISPR Monkey Studios.
As the introduction foreshadows, the top 20 modern RPGs overlap significantly with the top 20 horrors. The top three are the same until the first superhero RPG of the charts so far, Sentinel Comics: The Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook by Greater Than Games makes an appearance.
Given the actual world situation, it’s perhaps not surprising to discover that horror is front of mind for many people. Even some superhero movies have been delayed.
Onyx Path wins the tightly fought battle for the most dominant RPG publisher with an impressive 5 listings. That’s 20% of the top 20. They even make this chart with a pre-order in Trinity Continuum: Assassins.
Catalyst Game Labs edges in at second place with 4 and then Renegade Game Studios with 3. That’s more than 50% of the chart between the top three.
Delta Green publisher Arc Dream Publishing lists twice, with Chaosium community content getting a Korean listing and Pinnacle and Gallant Knight Games getting one apiece.
Stygian Fox, who hasn’t always had it straight-forward, have found success with Occam’s Razor – An Anthology of Modern Day Call of Cthulhu Scenarios and genepunk sneaks in amongst all the cyberpunk with CRISPR Monkey Studios landing Shadows of Korea.
Thank you to OneBookShelf for making these league tables possible. I don’t have visibility on the sales data, but I do have some visibility on the communications from the team there to publishers, and it’s often exceptional. The feedback they’re open to, the time taken for questions, and the steer towards a better and more inclusive hobby is impressive.
I need to acknowledge, though, that there’s not the only retail voice in the hobby. These league tables certainly should help you discover RPG product lines to investigate, but virtual tabletops sell directly, there are other marketplaces, Patreon, and many publishers make most of their trade now or via Kickstarter.
Share your views in the comment thread below.
Cults of the Blood Gods, Children of the Blood, and Trails of Ash and Bone were all published by Onyx Path before being moved under the stewardship of Renegade earlier this year, which puts us at 8/20. Not too shabby. 🙂