Solitaire Storytelling: Sacred Forge

Everyone who is part of the story touches Destiny in some way. Even if they are not the heroes. Even if they are not even named in the pages. I am a master bladesmith, the keeper of the Sacred Forge. My blades are renowned for their strength, sharpness, and harmony.

A holy sword does not come from nowhere. It does not materialize from starlight and a wish. It is built through effort, honed through attention, and consecrated by a powerful heart. They will not name me in the story. But my blade will never be forgotten.

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Hillfolk Review

The early 2010s produced the indie darlings of today. While game design moves fast, systems like Fate and Powered by the Apocalypse still form the bedrock of what most gamers consider ‘indie’, even though they are relatively conservative extensions of traditional games like Dungeons and Dragons. There were other games that pushed further, though. In 2012, Robin D. Laws and Pelgrane Press campaigned a game called Hillfolk on Kickstarter. The Hillfolk campaign emphasized its Iron Age setting, even including a neat bit of interactivity in the campaign where backers could choose to back either the ‘Lion Clan’ or the ‘Wolf Clan’. The mechanics, though, were significantly more important and more interesting than the setting, as well as the most divisive feature of the game.

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On Being An RPG Reader

There was something in the air last week. We talk all the time about playing roleplaying games, and last week Aaron focused on Collecting them. When we went to gather up content for the Weekend Update, it turned out the hive mind was in agreement with us: playing,  collecting, and reading are all different iterations of the roleplaying game hobby. So what, then, of reading? Collectable items grant satisfaction simply by possessing them, but play is the main event, right? Surely, if you only ever read a roleplaying game book but never get to play its game, it gets relegated to the Shelf of Shame? Well, if the hobby is a Playing/Collecting/Reading Venn Diagram, I’m going to zoom in on that Reading section and explore what I think is another Venn Diagram for the motives behind that reading: Learning, Research, and Enjoyment.

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Adventure Log: Cyberpunk Red: CabbageCorp Part 10

An apocalyptic threat to Kansas? I’m sure someone in the local office can check it out. It’s affecting our share prices? That’s different, the CEO wants to meet with you! After delivering a cryptic speech at the Future of the Midwest conference, Dr. William Squires has disappeared. His former head of security, Simon France, thinks he’s going to destroy the world, but only the CabbageCorp team is really listening to him. However, when it’s clear Squires’ behavior is spooking investors and threatening Biotechnica’s bottom line, suddenly the company cares a lot. Mason’s still on thin ice with his boss after the whole ‘insider trading’ thing, but when he points out that his team also has inside information about Squires, suddenly the whole team is being flown first class to Spokane, Washington.

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On Being an RPG Collector

Like many commentators in the tabletop RPG world, we at Cannibal Halfling Gaming focus on the act of playing games. Making characters, running games, campaigns, one-shots, trad games, indie games, solo games, you name it. To the degree that the TTRPG hobby has a body of critique, it’s one that focuses on how games are played and we’re happy to be part of that. Playing games isn’t the only thing that drives the hobby, though, and in certain segments of the hobby it doesn’t have the largest financial impact. When it comes to the consumption of gaming materials, there are players, there are readers, and there are collectors.

Playing, reading, and collecting games are different activities which demand different things out of the games which are consumed. These activities aren’t mutually exclusive; in fact, I’d say the vast majority of gamers participate in all three to some degree. That said, the one which defines how many gamers buy RPGs is collecting, and as a result collecting RPGs is an activity that has an enormous impact on how the hobby evolves, how games are sold, and what games end up looking like.

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Solitaire Storytelling: Princess With A Cursed Sword

A figure stands in an ancient ruin, bare feet on crumbling stone to make it easier to leap and climb. Her gown is far too fine, representing her dual heritage as the daughter of two kingdoms, bitter rivals only joined through her. Her sword, much too dark, hungers for legacy, fame, immortality via story and myth. 

At the princess’ coming of age ceremony, an uninvited guest gifted her with a sword, then vanished, laughing, into smoke. She cannot put it down until she finds the place it came from.

So she has come.

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Crowdfunding Carnival: April, 2022

Welcome to the Crowdfunding Carnival for April! Or, as the data puts it, ‘Kickstarter Wonk plus Possum Creek Games’. Because unless you’re backing Yazeba’s Bed and Breakfast, Kickstarter is the only game in town. Despite Possum Creek doing fairly well with their campaign, Kickstarter is still pulling 85% of all funding this month. And, given that YBB alone is literally all of the rest of it, we’re playing with outliers a bit here in the analysis.

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