Category Archives: Articles

Solitaire Storytelling: Last Tea House

I run a tea shop on the border of the living and the dead. The recently deceased visit for one last hot drink before their long journey to the Great Beyond. Time is strange here. Days and memories blur. Nobody visited yesterday – I am sure of that. Someone passed last week, but I am unable to picture their face.

The fog thins. A figure approaches. I stoke the fire. “Welcome to the last tea shop,” I say. “You are welcome here, To The Dregs.”

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A Glimpse Into The Vault: Wildermyth

Role-playing games and video games came of age around the same time. While D&D was published in 1974, the very first attempts to emulate D&D with a computer came in 1975; Dungeon and DND were written for mainframe systems like the PDP-10 and PLATO, though they were unlicensed and never saw commercial sales. The first licensed D&D video game came in 1982, and it paved the way not only for later licensed games like the SSI ‘Gold Box’ titles and Baldur’s Gate but also virtually the entire video game RPG genre, from Final Fantasy to The Elder Scrolls to Diablo

Role-playing video games were fairly direct emulations of rulesets like D&D early on, but as the software became more sophisticated they played more to their strengths. Current titles have gorgeous graphics and complex storylines, but narratively are mostly static affairs. Meanwhile, tabletop roleplaying games have always had the flexibility of a human GM to give them more breadth and a personal touch that video games couldn’t match. So what happens when a digital game designer tries to make their video game feel more like a tabletop RPG? You get Wildermyth.

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Weekend Update: 1/8/2022

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 4/8/2022

  1. Ascendant
  2. The One Ring
  3. Commercial Fantasy Art Subscription 2022
  4. Root: The Roleplaying Game [Bundle]
  5. Twilight:2000 Core Set

Top News Stories

Zinequest 4 moved to August: After a confusing tweet from a third party, Kickstarter Game Director Anya Combs made the (mostly) official announcement that Zinequest 2022 would be moving to August to coincide with GenCon. As a note, if you ever wonder why companies and their representatives refuse to make official comments on things like this prior to an announcement, this shows exactly why.

Discussion of the Week

So, What To Do About ZineQuest?: Following on the heels of Kickstarter’s blockchain announcement last month, the news that ZineQuest would be moved – barely weeks before it traditionally begins, throwing off plans, and now coinciding with GenCon which many fear will cut down on the number of eyeballs small creators will be able to draw – has creators redoubling their conversations on what their future with Kickstarter will be. It’s a complicated issue, but in the immediate future there are efforts to rally the community to take ZineQuest’s February slot. ZINE MONTH helmed by Feral Indie Studio seems promising; we’re already lurking in its Discord (with more than 400 members as of this writing) to see how things progress. 

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

The Trouble With Kickstarter

In December of 2021, Kickstarter made an announcement that it was going to develop a new platform for crowdfunding, using blockchain technology. The announcement received a significant negative response, given the negative environmental impacts of current blockchain applications and the widespread use of blockchain tech, through both cryptocurrencies and non-fungible token (NFT) schemes, to commit fraud. It’s a fair response, though given how little the Kickstarter announcement said, perhaps not entirely warranted.

That all said, the end state of Kickstarter’s blockchain plans don’t particularly matter. Whether or not the new platform comes to fruition, whether or not it uses less energy-intensive proof-of-stake software, whether or not people leave the platform, these are in the long run irrelevant. What the announcement should have revealed to anyone who felt strongly enough to leave the platform over it is that the TTRPG hobby has let Kickstarter become infrastructure. Leaving Kickstarter sounds great in a tweet, but ultimately doing so is going to be tough for many of the creators who, without the company, would have never gotten off the ground.

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Solitaire Storytelling: Paranoid Android

The war with the androids has made everyone paranoid. Including me, and including my interrogators. See, Asimov Landing Station is on the far edge of the galaxy, manned by only a skeleton crew, most of them scientists doing research. Nothing ever happens here. But after the government discovered that androids have the capacity of perfectly mimicking human beings the atmosphere in the Station has started changing. Several things had gone wrong or malfunctioned in non-critical but totally avoidable ways before, but now things are getting more severe: research has been delayed, the station’s systems have broken down at critical moments, and people have disappeared. Station security has singled me out as a suspicious person and they’ve taken me in for questioning. I’m starting to wonder… am I really human, or a sleeper agent with programming? Could I be one of them?

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Level One Wonk Holiday Special: 2021

Welcome to the Level One Wonk Holiday Special for 2021! My traditional retrospective for the year in gaming, this Holiday Special has some extra meaning for me because of the time. Cannibal Halfling Gaming kicked off in December of 2016, making this my fifth year here out in the internet. Five years of ups and downs have seen this site go from me and Seamus writing about whatever RPG topics came off the tops of our heads to…well, me and Seamus writing about whatever RPG topics come off the tops of our heads. Though now there’s a podcast. And people send us review copies. And some even pay us!

Though we’ve been having a wild ride behind the scenes of the site, most everyone has been having a wild ride with world events as well. While we had a bit of the ‘hot pandemic summer’ I alluded to in one of our podcast episodes, much of the hope did not last, and we’re now back again in our houses and apartments, hoping more of our fellow humans get the message. But while we can’t control human nature and we certainly can’t control COVID, we can at least get some writing and gaming done.

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Adventure Log: Cyberpunk Red: CabbageCorp Part 7

Coming from Kansas, Hydropolis feels like a real big city, and going out into the small towns in its periphery can really drive that point home. On the other hand, when the rest of the country has you in the crosshairs, everywhere in Kansas is going to feel real small. For the CabbageCorp operatives, both perspectives were about to be on the table.

When we last left our fascinating fraudsters, they had won over Russian mob fixer Igor with the promise of insider trading. Of course, the trade they ended up giving Igor was a bit too good, and Mason’s career was put in the crossfire. While his boss Sarah is none too happy with him, Mason and the others had a few other things to distract themselves with.

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