Saturday, April 23, 2016

Roll20 Industry Report - Q1 2015 - Nearly 1 in 10 Roll20 Players Express an Interest in AD&D

Roll20 has just released their most recent usage report and the numbers are interesting, at least as far as Old School Gaming goes.

But before we get to that, note that there are over 18k D&D 5e games listed and a hair under 22k players expressing interest in 5e - which should indicate an abundance of 5e games with room for players, which isn't the results I've heard.

Now lets look at AD&D. While only 1.59% (730 games) of the games listed on Roll20 are AD&D, 9.62% or 4,556 players express an interest in AD&D. That's nearly 1 in 10 players on Roll20.

Stars Without Number has 598 games and over 1,300 players. Basic Fantasy RPG has 432 games and over 1,110 players. OD&D has 193 games and over 1,600 players. DCC RPG has 75 games and nearly 400 players. Labyrinth Lord and Swords & Wizardry have 41 games each and 144 / 182 players respectively. Castles Crusades has 25 games and 124 players. This isn't even touching upon games like the Palladium System, Traveller, Warhammer, Hackmaster, CoC, RuneQuest, Rolemaster and the like.

Just looking at the number of games (as players can and do identify with more than one system, so those numbers will add up to over 100%) shows how strong Old School Gaming is on the Roll20 VTT platform.

About The Orr Group Industry Report 
We pull our data from two locations within Roll20 member profiles. Player numbers are drawn from the “Enjoys Playing” and “Seeks Group For” sections, while Game numbers come from the “My Campaigns” section. Our percentages can total more than 100%, particularly Player numbers, since each player will list their interest in multiple games. The report is meant to be a representative sample, and the game listings are curated by Roll20 staff. 


  1. Very cool to see so many of those games make the list. Interesting that they're willing to break up every variant and offshoot of D&D, but the Star Wars games all get lumped together.

    1. Well, they don't exactly break down into every variant of D&D. Under their "OD&D" heading, they're actually lumping together the LBBs, Holmes Basic, Moldvay Basic, Mentzer's BECMI and the Rules Compendium.

      I personally run Moldvay on Roll20, it would be interesting to see how many others do as well, not to mention the other flavors of OD&D.

    2. Ah, gotcha. I think I actually assumed that the numbers meant no one was playing traditional Basic or RC, but this makes more sense.

  2. Would love to see this sorted by number of players in each system.

  3. Am I the only one to wonder how Chroniques Oubliées (a very well done Pathfinder-lite) may have 44 games but only 20 players? I am all for French exceptionalism, but this is going too far.

  4. I'd prefer to see a hours played threshold to be required for these numbers from Roll20. As a Roll20 enthusiast, I know for a fact that games are often made to play around with mechanics or for those "possible" games. This is probably what you're seeing from Chroniques Oubliées.

    Just because there are games created for a system and players looking for a system, doesn't necessarily mean there are games being played with the said system.

    1. Yeah, the only way the Roll20 devs can "see" that a game is for a particular rules set is if the DM creates a "Looking for Players" listing for it. There's no other way in the game management settings where the DM can specify which exact game and rules version he's running.

      For example, one of my Moldvay B/X campaigns can never turn up in their sampling and thus will never count towards an active OD&D game. The reason is because I never created a "Looking for Players" listing for that game, and that's because I already had players lined up for it.

      They could probably get a more accurate sampling if the DM had a way to designate what rules and edition he's running, apart from the advertising for players listing. And I agree that there should probably be an "hours played" threshold, as well as a way to check for idleness. If a particular game has not racked up any new hours in, say, a month then it's probably a dead campaign and shouldn't be counted.

    2. Very true.

      I currently run three ACKS campaigns (playing each week) with another three on hiatus via Roll20. I also play in someone else's ACKS campaign each week but since none of us have posted in the LFG area I guess we don't count.

      It also doesn't help when you can't actually list your game system if it isn't already on 'their' list. Hence the Adventurer Conqueror King System tends to (at best) get tagged in under D&D - they don't even have a generic OSR tag.

    3. They used to have a generic OSR tag, but dumped it maybe a year or so ago.

  5. So most of these 5th edition games have fewer than 2 players? Is is a solitaire game for the most part then?

  6. Actually there is a way for them to measure the campaigns that don't look for players. Look at the character sheets they pick for their campaign.


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