Welcome to this quick analysis of the best selling pulp RPGs and supporting material published this year at DriveThruRPG.
Games in this list are here because the publisher described them as pulp and because they sold more than other games. Pulp, though, is a broad genre. The dictionary definition defines pulp fiction as that of dealing with lurid or sensational subjects and often printed on low-quality paper produced from wood pulp.
In reality, though, pulp RPGs tend to suggest a particular style of adventure, whether those are Conan barbarian-esq, detective stories with certain tropes or sci-fi.
Best selling pulp RPGs of 2019
The top ten selling pulp RPGs, supplements or accessories published this year at DriveThruRPG.
- Dragon-Blooded: What Fire Has Wrought by Onyx Path Publishing.
- Carbon 2185 | A Cyberpunk RPG Core Rulebook by Dragon Turtle Games.
- Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells by Gallant Knight Games.
- HighFell: The Drifting Dungeon by Greg Gillespie.
- City of Mist Core Bundle: Player’s Guide and MC Toolkit by Son of Oak Game Studio.
- Uncanny Echo Anthology: Supernatural Urban Fiction Roleplaying by Samjoko Publishing.
- The Solo Investigator’s Handbook by Chaosium.
- Worlds United by Design Mechanism.
- Gangbusters B/X version by Mark Hunt.
- Strange Adventures: Volume One by Hunters Entertainment.
It’s a diverse list, and that puts it in stark contrast to the 2019 best selling modern genres. As is the trend for 2019, though, there are overlaps. Dragon Turtle Games’ Carbon 2185 appears on this genre list as does many others.
How much should you pay for a best selling pulp RPG?
The average price for a top ten best selling pulp RPG is only $17.75. That’s nudged down due to Strange Adventures: Volume 1 and Gangbusters B/X version as both are below $5.
Just a note on how these prices are worked out. We take the lowest price from DriveThruRPG, which is usually the PDF-only option, and we use the marked down (in red) price unless it’s part of a sale. Red does mean a discount, but publishers often use it to show the discount offered on the digital copy of the game compared to the physical one.
Movers and shakers
There’s only one publisher that appears in the 2018 list and 2019. That’s Onyx Path Publishing.
It looks like pulp is an exciting choice if you want to cut your teeth as an RPG publisher. It’s a genre with some flexibility but apparently no power block of studios that have it locked up.
Creative Commons credit: Detective Pikachu – Rayquaza Museum by RJ Palmer.
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