Gateway RPGs in different countries


I wasnt 100% sure whether to put this here or in rpg chat, but I believe its design related, so I did here.
Some time ago I started to try and get information about gateway games - games which were the first that kickstarted rpg community in a given country (or more then one, if that’s the case). I believe that first popular game is usually the one that becomes the point of reference, and also shapes design trends and community.
I know that in US and many many countries it was D&D, but for example in Poland it was Warhammer.

This is what I got so far:

I would welcome any additional info (doc its editable), and also discussion on how games in different countries inspired design trends and community there.

Games I got at the moment of posting:

Country Gateway games
Poland Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
Germany Die Schwarze Auge
Sweden Drakar och Demoner (CoC/BRP inspired)
France D&D / Die Schwarze Auge
Japan Sword World
Spain D&D (to be confirmed)
Israel D&D (to be confirmed)
Brazil GURPS and Vampire the Masquerade
Russia Russian gateway game was Age of Aquarius (local developed) in early 00-th. And Savage Worlds from 2011 till now.
Norway The red and blue box of BEMCI D&D was translated into Norwegian in the mid '80s. Also the Norwegian edition of Drakar och Demoner.
New Zealand D&D (Red Box and later)
Austria Die Schwarze Auge


For Germany, it’s certainly Das Schwarze Auge (The Dark Eye in English).


Yes, for me it was. DSA was available from regular bookstores which helped to lot. You could send your mom there for your birthday present. For all other stuffs we had to drive to Düsseldorf to go to the Fantasticshop which was a long way without a car and you had to bring looooots of money, too.


Yes definitely Das Schwarze Auge in Germany. I had started with the first version where rules and setting were still fairly simple.

Btw it is Das Schwarze Auge (not die).


Sword World is a big gateway RPG in Japan, but Call of Cthulhu is just as big (probably bigger).


Yes, cool. We registered three different clubs for all our players just to get that welcome package (some sheets and a d20). Esp. the dice were rare back at that time. Aaah, sweet nostalgia :wink: