Wanderhome Review

There are certain things one takes for granted in a role-playing game. I’m not talking about anything as concrete as attributes or skills or levels, I’m talking about exogenous conflict, which is so omnipresent in traditional RPGs (and most non-traditional RPGs as well) that it’s invisible. Well of course there are monsters to fight. Well of course you need to define a ‘need’ in Fiasco. Well of course there’s scarcity in your apocalypse. Like many people I took this for granted until I saw a game that completely stepped away from it. No, the war is over, no one fights. No, people are inherently good, there are no monsters. No, you will have hospitality in every place you visit. When I first read Wanderhome, this twisted my mind a little. How does one play a game with so little conflict? And then I created a character. And then I immediately got it.

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Traveller: Drinaxian Companion Review

I’ve previously written about the The Pirates of Drinax, and I believe that it’s for good reason. It is one of my favorite published campaigns, and I would argue that it is the best I have ever seen in terms of being a true sandbox. It begins with a promise that the players are being brought in to take a miniscule star nation operating between two behemoths, and to make it an Empire in its own right and not only is it possible, it offers a chance to have the players take an active stance in the government that is formed. The campaign is not only flexible enough that it offers the ideas that players might want to spurn their patron and carve out a kingdom of their own, but it actively sets rules for how to go about it. There is a story seed for virtually every planet, for which there are multiple populating each of dozens of subsectors. You could likely make an entire campaign about dealing with the Pirate Lords of Theev, a group of politically insulated pirates that operate out of a planet is a surprisingly open secret. All of this is on top of a ten module progression of the campaign as players take a single ship and try to form a pirate flotilla.

And as much as I love it, I do not think I will ever run another session using the rules as written. So, it was with a bit of hesitation that I picked up the Drinaxian Companion. Yet, as a result, I have found my interest rekindled.

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Weekend Update: 4/17/21

Welcome to the Cannibal Halfling Weekend Update! Start your weekend with a chunk of RPG news from the past week. We have the week’s top sellers, industry news stories, and discussions from elsewhere online.

DriveThruRPG Top Sellers for 4/17/2021

  1. Dune – Adventures in the Imperium Core Rulebook
  2. Worlds Without Number
  3. Warhammer Age of Sigmar Soulbound: Bestiary
  4. Cyberpunk Red
  5. Sentinel Comics Core Rulebook

Top News Stories

The Orr Report is here: Roll20 released the Orr Report, their report of internal play statistics, for Q1 2021. With the uncategorized numbers still north of 13% for both campaigns and players, we have a consistent reminder that this data tells us pretty much nothing other than literally what’s going on on Roll20. D&D 5e is still above 50% in both the campaign and account rates, and interestingly Pathfinder is beating Pathfinder 2e to a measly 1/20th of 5e. The growth numbers are slightly more indicative, though oddly Burning Wheel tops that list with a staggering 300% growth rate quarter-over-quarter. In the full list you can get juicy but completely meaningless tidbits like how Degenesis is tied with Eclipse Phase, and that Electric Bastionland has the same player count as Feast of Legends, better known as the licensed Wendy’s RPG.

Discussions of the Week

Matt Colville of MCDM Productions has some thoughts about the term ‘homebrew’ and where it fits into the range of creations available in the RPG sphere right now. Justin Alexander of Atlas Games has a response. Both threads are worth reading.

We talk a lot about the biggest Kickstarter campaigns in the RPG world, but ENWorld compiled the biggest RPG Kickstarter creators, including 19 creators whose total take between all their campaigns was over $1 million. Lots of 5e content creators here, but Free League, Monte Cook Games, and Onyx Path take the 1, 2, and 3 spots. In an interesting twist, only one creator on this entire list has a single PbtA project, and that’s Evil Hat with Thirsty Sword Lesbians. When you look into Magpie Games, though, and their rather unfortunate decision to unify their Kickstarter marketing so late in the company’s lifecycle, you might note that they could easily be a missing 20th creator (even just adding Bluebeard’s Bride and Masks, technically ‘created’ by Marissa Kelly and Brendan Conway respectively, would be enough to push Magpie onto the list).

Have any RPG news leads or scoops? Get in touch! You can reach us at cannibalhalflinggaming@gmail.com, or through Twitter via @HungryHalfling.

Mechasys Review: Mecha-sized Adventures in Genesys

Sometimes a tank or a fighter jet just won’t do the trick. Sometimes, the best way to deal with a problem is a big, stompy mecha. However, while life is finally returning to Genesys proper with EDGE Studios announcing their upcoming Twilight Imperium supplement,  if you want to be jumping in the cockpit with the Narrative Dice System running the show you’ve been dealing with homegrown material. Now, though, there’s an offering on the Foundry itself which just might turn the tide of your own personal giant robot war. From mecha creation to pilot recruitment, lets head to the hangar to check out Mechasys from Studio 404 Games!

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Adventure Log: Cyberpunk Red: CabbageCorp Prologue

Everyone knows Night City, choom. Underneath the glitz and the danger, whatta ya really got? Rent is out of control, every block is already claimed by one booster or another, and if the cops don’t knock you down on your way home Arasaka will. Why live in a city dominated by a security corp anyway? Nah, the midwest is where it’s at. Can’t afford rent? Grab a shipping container and plop it in a nearby contaminated cornfield. Don’t want the cops breathing down your neck? Get a job at the local agricorp, you’ll unlock every door in town. The beer tastes better, the vegetables are real, and there’s plenty of room for everyone. Just fly suborbital into DFW and take the 35 north until you hit Hydropolis. 

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Over Arms Review

Every so often, I look at a game, and make an impulse purchase sight unseen. Sometimes it’s a follow up to a campaign that I have previously waxed eloquent about, others it is a supplement to a system that opens up rules for something I had envisioned, or has a high concept that is so unique that I can’t help but look. Other times, it is because it promises the ability to play in fictional works I love so much that I can’t help but churn out a cry of “Shut Up and Take My Money!” It’s the last of these that triggered an irresistible pull to Rookie Jet’s Over Arms

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Cannibal Halfling Radio Episode 13 – Now Playing: Electric Bastionland Pt 2

When last we left Dabber, Alistair, Grubs, Thick McRunfast, and Little T.M., they were facing off against an automaton with orders to kill them. See how they strike at the mechanical man’s heart, check their rival’s ambitions, and how they react when the other shoe drops in the thrilling and spooky conclusion to the Cannibal Halflings’ foray into Electric Bastionland!

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Kickstarter Wonk: April, 2021

Welcome back to Kickstarter Wonk! Oh it’s an exciting month, this month. Maybe it’s because of holdouts from ZineQuest, or maybe it’s because there’s a vaccine, but there’s actually a full, healthy crop of Kickstarter campaigns out there! We couldn’t even stop at 10; if you haven’t already, check out Seamus’s review of Tyler Crumrine’s Possible Worlds Kickstarter. And after you’re done with that, scroll through these 10 handpicked campaigns. The world is healing!

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Possible Worlds Kickstarter Review: An RPG Subscription Box

A light-hearted romance emulating dating sim video games/visual novels. Letter writing inspired by Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, and Animal Crossing. A bond between a pilot and their AI-linked mech. A theatre performance covering up a heist. Building super-powered characters and settings. Trying to find unused wishes in a world where everyone gets three, and you’ve already used yours. Sounds like an RPG anthology, right? Not quite. These are the six games, the six Possible Worlds, featured in Tyler Crumrine’s RPG subscription box.

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