Category Archives: Articles

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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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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Weekend Update: 4/3/2021

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 4/3/2021

  1. Worlds Without Number
  2. Warhammer Age of Sigmar Soulbound: Bestiary
  3. Cyberpunk Red
  4. Sentinel Comics Core Rulebook
  5. The Company of the Dragon

Top News Stories

UFOPress and Rowan, Rook, and Decard merge

Mina McJanda, sole proprietor of UFOPress and designer best known for Legacy: Life Among the Ruins, is joining the Rowan, Rook, and Decard team currently consisting of Grant Howitt, Chris Taylor, and Mary Hamilton. 

PAX East cancelled for 2021

In what is likely the highest profile example of COVID-19 continuing to impact the con and event schedules of gaming industries, PAX East, already delayed to June, has been officially called off. The organizers are ‘cautiously optimistic’ for the remainder of the year’s in-person slate, and are planning an online event for the summer.

TroikaFest is here

TroikaFest is next week, celebrating the delightfully quirky OSR riff and leading up to the Kickstarter campaign for the new supplement Academies of the Arcane. In addition to everything the Melsonian Arts Council is doing there is a game jam on itch which goes the whole month of April.

Discussion of the Week

Cyberpunk, but it sucks

Redditors turned out this week to talk about how the modern scourges of trial subscriptions, DRM, and always-on connections (among others) could and should roll into cyberpunk gaming.

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

Star Trek Adventures In-Depth Review

Gamemaster’s Log, Stardate 57252.7. It has been several months since the launch of the New Orleans-class starship U.S.S. Verrazzano, NCC-07302, from the Foggy Peak system. Since that time, I have seen her crew serve with distinction in accordance with the finest traditions of Starfleet. I have also seen them called before a board of Admirals to review their actions and directive violations, and while impressive the fact that no fewer than three starbases have had to be commissioned to deal with the discoveries from their missions is beginning to put a notable dent in the power requirements for the local sector’s industrial replicators. As the Verrazzano is currently away, responding to a distress call from a Vulcan Expeditionary Group, I have decided that this is a fine opportunity to review their so-called ‘Star Trek Adventures’ in-depth, to better understand how they have and will continue to boldly go where no one, not even the rest of Starfleet, has gone before.

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System Split: Worlds Without Number and D&D Fifth Edition

It’s never been a better time to be a dungeon crawler. Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition and Pathfinder, two versions of the same underlying D&D ruleset, are bestsellers 1 and 2 in the RPG world, and have been for some time. Pathfinder is built for detail and breadth of options, while D&D’s Fifth Edition is built for accessibility and continuity with earlier versions and settings. They offer two versions of a fairly modern D&D experience, where GMs run story arc-based campaigns built around fighting monsters and exploring dungeons. Characters are treated like protagonists, and death is relatively rare. At the same time, we’ve seen a resurgence in “old-school” playstyles, usually represented within the D&D ecosystem by the OSR. Old-school games tend to have fewer rules, presenting challenges and decisions to the players rather than the characters. They tend to have weaker characters who aren’t treated like protagonists, and they need not be organized around a story.

There is a middle ground, though, and a new entrant in the middle ground has stormed into the DriveThruRPG sales charts. Worlds Without Number presents a dangerous old-school world, but uses rules innovations from later versions of D&D (and other role-playing games) to make the game more accessible and make the characters feel a bit more heroic. On top of all that, it provides tons of tools to help GMs run interesting game worlds with or without a driving story. Although many people will simply call Worlds Without Number an OSR game (and there are fair reasons for that), I think that it deserves to be examined against the current state of the art. That’s why this System Split pits Worlds Without Number against Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition.

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RPGs Have Two Sets Of Rules

Role-playing games are different from any other type of analog game because of their relationship with rules and procedures. When you sit down to play a board game, or a card game, or even a game of darts, you follow a set procedure to determine an outcome. Wargames took half the steps away from board games by introducing rulesets which could be adapted to a wide range of scenarios, the only limits being how many minis you had and how big your sand table was. The early ‘Braunstein’ campaigns started the other half, walking away from simple win/lose conditions in scenarios. For the role-playing game to turn from a weirdo version of wargaming a couple nerds were running to a repeatable, salable product, existing wargaming rules had to be supplemented with rules for writing and executing free-form scenarios which very much didn’t resemble battles any more. Every traditional role-playing game, from the first edition of Dungeons and Dragons onward, has rules for players and rules for the person running the game.

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Meet the Campaign: Star Wars: Inquisitorius

Listen, I don’t care if you don’t want to sign up with the Alliance. We’re not exactly the conscription types, you should know that. But you’ve got to admit, if you can touch the Force? The Empire is going to be hunting you. If you signed up we’d protect you, yes, but if you’re going to keep ‘listening to the Force and following your Destiny’, we still don’t want you caught. Moral considerations aside, we don’t need more redblades getting added to the roster. Alliance Special Operations has put together some dossiers on Inquisitorius agents. If you have nothing else to do with us I still want you to read these and be careful – we lost people getting this information, make it worth it.

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