Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Postmortem: The Predictions for 2019 - RPG Edition

Okay then! Here's what I predicted for 2019. First off, for tabletop RPGs:

1. A new D&D sourcebook based on a known property. (TRUE)

I may have been hoping for Spelljammer, but I mentioned it might be Eberron, and sure enough I was right. And a pretty good sourcebook, too!

2. No Far West this year (TRUE)

I was probably reading Erik Tenkar's blog this year, which I notice has far few entries these days (I guess he's on other media such as Facebook which I don't frequent?) and his Far West updates have been endlessly interesting. This was a very safe bet, though...and sure enough, so far as I can determine there was no motion forward on this ancient Kickstarter at all. I could make this prediction into perpetuity I suspect with little chance of inaccuracy. I didn't even back this one; it's just interesting to watch a metaphorical publishing train wreck in action for so long.

3. Modiphius Goes Critical This Year (FALSE)

I think my prediction here was that Modiphius will finally grow too large and have some trouble, experience some financial stress, or otherwise show signs of slowing down at some point; so far this appears to be entirely false....Modiphius has so much stuff going on I can't even keep track anymore.

4. Four Releases for D&D This Year (TRUE AND...)

Did this happen? Per Wizards' site, they actually had 8 key products out this year if you include the Tacical Maps pack, Acquisitions Incorporated, Rise of Tiamat reprint and all the other books. So yep, definitely. If we get another 8 books in 2020 I'll be quite happy, to be honest.

5. Pathfinder 2.0 will please the hardcore 1E fans, capture curious new interest, but fail to expand beyond the base (MIXED)

I'm going to suggest we don't yet have enough info to figure this one out, but it does seem that we have the following camps on Pathfinder 2nd edition so far:
1. The entirely new fan base who love this game, perhaps coming over from D&D 5E or coming back to Pathfinder after a long absence (like me);
2.  Fans of 1E seem not to be converting to the new game if their whole group doesn't (but I am really not seeing angry 1E fans complaining, either);

But Pathfinder 2E's key problem it turns out isn't with converting existing 1E fans; it's getting the attention of the vast swarm that plays D&D 5E almost exclusively to anything else. All I can hope for this coming year is that it continues to do well, as my entire group loves it and plays it exclusively now, and I love it's ease of access for GMs.

6. Palladium may go belly up (FALSE)

So I don't think this actually happened, but it also seems like Palladium is still in a downward spiral. I'll suggest that Palladium, in its current state, may inevitably perish within the next few years unless it can course correct.

7. The Fantasy Trip Gets a Serious Revival (TRUE)

I have a vast stack of Fantasy Trip books, sets, modules and fanzines that prove this true! The question is, will it continue for 2020? And will I ever find time to play it?

8. BRP Revised finally appears (FALSE)

Not only did BRP not appear in any form (not even a 32 page book or Mythic Iceland), but based on what seems to be going on at Chaosium I predict nothing of the sort will likely appear in 2020 either, with them now focused more on keeping Call of Cthulhu in the limelight, followed by a single new Runequest book released in PDF at the end of this year, and some obscure project based on an obscure IP I have never heard of (Rivers of London) planned for the future; this is either a brilliant efffort to market to a younger crowd that recognizes this IP, or a telling sign that it will be a niche prestige product which does not grow the BRP field beyond the highly focused interest of specific fans.

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