Well, it’s April. Let’s see what the start of 2016 has done for us, eh?

Welcome to all the new readers who may have sat in on one of my RPG Evolution seminars at the GAMA Trade show last month. I hope you took something useful away from it. Don’t forget this blog was born out of direct requests from that very seminar, so if there’s something you’d like to see discussed, don’t hesitate to ask.

So, what did the new year bring us? Let’s look at the numbers.
As my usual reminder, this list is game lines by dollar volume at Games and Stuff from the period of 1/1/16 to 3/31/16. It does not include general purpose RPG accessories, miniatures of any sort, or used RPG books.

  1. Dungeons & Dragons (Q4 Rank #1)
  2. Pathfinder (Q4 Rank #2)
  3. Star Wars (Q4 Rank #3)
  4. Shadowrun (Q4 Rank #4)
  5. Warhammer 40,000 (Q4 Rank #6)
  6. Iron Kingdoms 
  7. Dresden Files (Q4 Rank #17)
  8. The One Ring
  9. Mutants & Masterminds 
  10. Dungeon Crawl Classics (Q4 Rank #15)
  11. 13th Age
  12. White Wolf
  13. Shadow of the Demon Lord
  14. Ryuutama
  15. Legend of the Five Rings (Q4 Rank #9)
  16. Firefly
  17. Numenera (Q4 Rank #7)
  18. End of the World (Q4 Rank #18)
  19. Fate
  20. The Strange
  21. Fall of Magic

So, there’s no real surprises in the top five, with STAR WARS and SHADOWRUN continually fighting over the number 3 spot, and my continued incredulity of the WARHAMMER 40K games continuing to sell like mad for me.

One thing that’s not apparent by the rankings is the sheer volume of D&D sales that occurred this quarter. They outpaced PATHFINDER by almost 100%. Yes, Curse of Strahd was a huge part of that, but holy hell hounds do we keep selling Player’s Handbooks and Monster Manuals.

A couple usual suspects who took the end of the year off have returned to the list including THE ONE RING, 13th AGE, and MUTANTS & MASTERMINDS. 13th Age and One Ring have pretty aggressive release schedules this year, so they should both continue to do well in the coming months.

Meanwhile, Mutants & Masterminds and IRON KINGDOMS are both games that bubble under pretty regularly. They make the list about as often as not. M&M was bolstered by the release of their Cosmic Handbook in February, and with most of the Iron Kingdoms line costing $59.99 it only takes a single campaign to take off for us to see the game pop up in the Top 10.
Finally, WHITE WOLF rose from the dead yet again, mostly because we sold a handful of the $120 Mind’s Eye Theatre hardbacks from By Night Studios.


Truly new things to report start popping up around Rank #13. SHADOW OF THE DEMON LORD is the perfect thing to sell to fans of either classic WARHAMMER FANTASY ROLEPLAY or LAMENTATIONS OF THE FLAME PRINCESS. A dark and gritty fantasy setting on the brink of apocalypse, with incredibly fun and very old school character creation, Shadow of the Demon Lord provides lots of handles for a creative GM to really craft the setting and make it his own. For what it’s worth, I’m a big fan.

RyuutamaThe other notable new entry is a curiosity. RYUUTAMA: Natural Fantasy Role Play has been selling pretty steadily since we brought it in late December. Available exclusively from Indie Press Revolution, Ryuutama is in the same genre as GOLDEN SKY STORIES if you’re familiar with that. Called either Natural Roleplaying or Heartwarming Roleplaying it’s a Japanese style of play that focuses on “regular people”, exploration and relationships over combat and experience point gain. It certainly hits a target niche that is under served. Available in a regular and deluxe leatherette hardback, both versions have been moving for us.

Finally you may have noticed that I cheated a bit and added Rank #21 this time around. FALL OF MAGIC would have definitely made the Top 20 list if there had been more stock available.
You have got to see this thing to properly appreciate it.


This game is similar to other GM-less style story games like FIASCO or MICROSCOPE but with the added benefit of an absolutely gorgeous canvas map scroll and metal player coins. Magic is dying and the Magus is dying with it, and the players must travel to the birthplace of magic. It really taps into the familiar tropes of a fantastic journey across a wondrous landscape while experiencing the ending of an age.

At 75 bucks, it’s pretty pricey, but it’s worth every penny. If you have even the smallest community that appreciates these sorts of games, bring this thing in.

The only availability through distribution at this point is from Alliance (Item #HDC HOTD 003). Though it should be noted that it’s currently out of stock. Designer Ross Cowman recently upgraded the manufacturing process so that the scrolls are not all screen printed by hand, so it should be available again by the end of the month. You can also contact them directly at Ross@heartofthedeernicorn.com

As a person who really digs these kind of games, I LOVE THIS THING. If you want a splash of “OMG What is that?!?” in your RPG department, you can’t do better than this. If you can get one out on a demo table somewhere, all the better.

Finally… what I am looking forward to in the coming months?
I’m keeping an eye on the following titles:
Horse-Lords of Rohan (The One Ring)
Assault on the Mountains of Madness (Achtung! Cthulhu)
Seven Wonders (a storytelling game anthology from Pelgrane Press)

and I’m gonna keep praying to the Elder Gods that we see that new edition of Call of Cthulhu sometime this aeon.

Until next time…

2 thoughts on “Well, it’s April. Let’s see what the start of 2016 has done for us, eh?”

  1. Started branching out our RPG department from the core lines, Pathfinder, D&D, Shadowrun, and Star Wars. Great call as we already sold Saga of the Icelanders, Night Witches, Shab Al-Hiri, Dread, and Ryuutama.

    And thanks for the tip on Noteboard, already sold out of my first order.

  2. Glad to help!
    And yeah, Noteboard is crazy. I’m at the point where I’m sometimes ordering 20 at a time.

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