Category Archives: Weekend Update

Start your weekend with a chunk of RPG news from the past week!

Weekend Update: 7/31/2021

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 7/31/2021

  1. Blaster, Volume 3
  2. M20 Technocracy Reloaded
  3. Fading Suns 4 – Character Book
  4. Trails of Ash and Bone
  5. The Starship Warden

Top News Stories

PAX West to require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test: Running a con in September is dicey business with the current uncertain state of the pandemic, but PAX West is trying to walk the balance beam as carefully as they can. Earlier this week, con organizers announced that entry would require either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. The con is also maintaining reduced capacity as well as a face covering requirement. Although evolving news on the pandemic front is making any mass gathering a calculated risk, hats off to the PAX West staff for keeping their event as safe as they can.

Discussion of the Week

Why were RPGs only invented in the 20th century?: Roleplay as an activity is hundreds, possibly thousands of years old. So why is the role-playing game as a product so relatively new? This Reddit thread contains both a lot of fascinating history as well as interesting discussions about the commercialization (and lack thereof) of roleplay over the years.

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

Weekend Update: 7/24/2021

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 7/24/2021

  1. Blaster: Volume 3
  2. M20 Technocracy Reloaded
  3. The Starship Warden
  4. Trails of Ash and Bone
  5. WFRP: The Horned Rat

Top News Stories

ICv2 Sales Figures for Spring: ICv2’s RPG industry sales summary for spring of 2021 was released this week. D&D was first, surprising nobody, but in a fairly significant upset, R. Talsorian’s Cyberpunk unseated Pathfinder for the #2 slot. The remainder of the top 5 went to Pathfinder, Free League’s Alien, and the most eyeroll-inducing category ever, D&D Third Party.

D&D Side Materials De-Canonized: According to this piece quoting Jeremy Crawford, Dungeons and Dragons video games, novels, and comic books are no longer considered ‘canon’. While in some cases this isn’t much of a change – Eberron stories weren’t even canon to each other until explicitly referenced in a text – it’s a significant change for settings like the Forgotten Realms which have often advanced the timeline via such material.

Discussion of the Week

Do mechanics or setting support genre? Twitter got all in a tizzy this week as someone stated that running a horror game is dependent on the setting material, not mechanics. Inevitably, others jumped in to defend the opposite tack. The answer, like in most of these “debates”, is that it depends, and both can be important. Only Sith and Twitter deal in absolutes. Like many of these snippy debates, it’s likely best that I don’t include a link to anyone.

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

Weekend Update: 7/17/2021

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 7/16/2021

  1. Blaster: Volume 3
  2. WFRP: The Horned Rat
  3. Trails of Ash and Bone
  4. Trinity Continuum: Under Alien Skies
  5. SCP the Tabletop RPG

Top News Stories

PAX East Online 2021 Is Ongoing: The digital replacement for the Bostonian PAX is on this weekend, running through Sunday; most of the relevant Discord’s channels are opening at noon EST and staying open until around midnight. Tabletop related content is sparse, despite the amount of activity in the server, perhaps proof that a digital convention needs a lot more focus on and support of tabletop games to succeed on that front. Sparse doesn’t mean barren, however – Paizo is organizing games through the server, and there are a number of related and interesting panels that are going to be streamed.

Diana Jones Award nominees announced: In the leadup to GenCon, six nominees for this year’s Diana Jones Award have been announced. Diana Jones Award nominees come from all corners of gaming, and this year represent the range of game design, marketing, and fandom. The six nominees are:

  • Big Bad Con’s 2019 Babble On Equity Project and PoC Programming, a fundraising effort to bring people of color to Big Bad Con. 
  • The Game Crafter, a print-on-demand manufacturing service for tabletop games. 
  • Nibcard Games, a game publisher/manufacturer. 
  • Mike Pondsmith, a game designer. 
  • Session Zero Online, an online tabletop gaming convention.
  • Wingspan, a board game by Elizabeth Hargrave, published by Stonemaier Games.

Discussion of the Week

The nonsense of the magic trade: Although magic items are written to be rare and mysterious, the volume of them that adventurers seem to find implies the need to trade, sell, and buy them at a much higher rate than written about in the rules of games like D&D. This discussion thread on Reddit talks about interesting in-universe ways to have a magic item trade or magic item shops that align with power curve and setting contradictions, but also aren’t completely ridiculous.

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

Weekend Update: 7/10/2021

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 7/10/2021

  1. WFRP – The Horned Rat
  2. Trinity Continuum: Under Alien Skies
  3. Trails of Ash and Bone
  4. Soulbound: Steam and Steel
  5. SCP the Tabletop RPG

Top News Stories

A Tale of Two Cons: Essen Spiel, one of if not the largest board game trade show in the world, has officially announced they are mandating either proof of immunization or wearing a mask to attend the con. At nearly the same time, Gen Con, one of if not the largest role-playing game trade show in the world, has lifted their mask mandate. Although we in the US are celebrating easy access to vaccines and a drop in case numbers, the pandemic is not over, and the risk of Gen Con becoming a superspreader event is not overstated. Good on the Essen Spiel staff for putting the health and safety of their attendees first.

Discussion of the Week

Why Dungeons?: We know the RPG form has bloomed fractally into a million different genres, moods, and ways to play, but modern TTRPGs started with some dungeons, and some dragons. And out of the two of those, only one is guaranteed to show up. This Reddit thread has some interesting discussions on early RPG history, roots of the dungeon in Tolkien, and some later attempts to ‘explain’ dungeon ecology, like Earthdawn.

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

Weekend Update: 7/3/2021

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 7/3/2021

  1. Trails of Ash and Bone
  2. Soulbound: Stars and Scales
  3. Soulbound: Steam and Steel
  4. SCP the Tabletop RPG
  5. Mythic Babylon

Discussion of the Week

Are You Sure You Want to Do That?: RPGs are a game of information asymmetry, and generally the GM knows when things might go bad. This comes through in a common refrain: Are you sure you want to do that? Over on Reddit there was a lively discussion about the worst (best?) occurrences that came from a player being faced with the dreaded question and still answering ‘yes’.

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

Weekend Update: 6/26/2021

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 6/26/2021

  1. Trails of Ash and Bone
  2. Mythic Babylon
  3. SCP the Tabletop RPG
  4. Pathfinder for Savage Worlds Core Rules
  5. Galder’s Gazetteer

Top News Stories

Queer Games Bundle 2021 on Itch.io Nearing Its End: The QGB “is a direct action that you can take right now to support queer people in a life changing way”, a games bundle specifically for supporting actual queer creators. There are 195 creators behind the bundle’s 236 items, each of whom will get a share of the profits. While the majority of the items in question are video games and are thus usually beyond our purview here at CHG, there are still 40+ tabletop offerings between the physical games, books, and misc. categories. At the $60 price tag, that’s at most $1.50 a game – and then you get a bunch of free video games! There is also a Pay What You Can version of the Bundle for $10-20 for those who want to support creators but can’t afford the full price themselves. The Bundle runs for about another week.

Premium Color Books Sale at DriveThruRPG: As we previously reported, the costs to print premium color books from DriveThruRPG are going to be going up starting on July 1st, in some cases significantly. In an effort to drive sales before the price increases have a chance to discourage buyers, DTRPG is having a sale through June 30th wherein participating products are marked down 25% from their current price. Included offerings that we have taken a look at include Aberrant 2e, Comrades, and Five Torches Deep.

Dark Alliance lands with a thud: The new Dungeons and Dragons digital title, Dark Alliance, has premiered to mixed reviews and disappointment. One Youtube review called it “truly, truly awful”, while the linked article calls it an “Icewind Fail”. While there’s a smattering of at least somewhat positive reviews out there (PCGamer liked it), the overall consensus is that it failed to live up to expectations; those who were able to get past the underlying gameplay issues were still disappointed to discover that it doesn’t particularly resemble Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, which many fans of the earlier game were looking forward to.

PAX West Returns To In-Person: East didn’t make it, being converted to an online event on July 15th-18th, but this week ReedPop announced that PAX West 2021 will officially be a convention in realspace, September 3rd – 6th. Tickets go on sale within the next two weeks. How successful the con will be will depend on a lot of factors, as the pandemic and vaccination efforts are still ongoing and comfort levels vary, but of particular interest to our readers is that this probably means PAX Unplugged (scheduled for December 10th-12th) is a go. Fingers crossed. Get vaccinated.

Discussion of the Week

Ernie Gygax interviewed about the New TSR: If you wanted to know if the venture is worthwhile, the answer is no (and as the link may imply, it’s getting no more oxygen than that). Spencer, though, the author of the link, has a Kickstarter live, called Nova. Instead of wasting any energy on Ernie Gygax, check it out (and check out our review for his systems reference document LUMEN, which Nova uses for rules).

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

Weekend Update: 6/19/2021

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 6/19/2021

  1. Mythic Babylon
  2. Trinity Continuum: Aberrant
  3. Star of Alladore
  4. Pathfinder for Savage Worlds Core Rules
  5. Galder’s Gazetteer

Top News Stories

Exandria Unlimited: The Critical  Role fanbase is abuzz about the new mini-campaign kicking off next week, Exandria Unlimited. It’s also hard not to notice that new faces Aimee Carrero, Robbie Daymond, and of course Game Master Aabria Iyengar all provide a needed shot in the arm to the diversity of the CritRole crew (not to mention that they’re all incredibly talented). Excitement aside, an eight episode mini-campaign might be the entry many people (including some Cannibal Halflings) need to CritRole’s intimidating back catalog. Exandria Unlimited kicks off next Thursday, June 24th. 

Discussion of the Week

Intentionality in Game Design: There was a fair amount of back-and-forth (or was it subtweeting? Might have been subtweeting) about the notion of ‘intention’ in design. Intention ends up being whether or not game mechanics and other game elements drive the game’s specific experience and are included in the game for a specific reason. This sounds like a good thing, but the majority of games are intended for broad experiences, and in most art forms, “knowing what you’re doing” doesn’t necessarily produce good art. Jared Sinclair has a good mini-thread on this; “allow the art to create itself” is good advice for writer’s block or blank-page syndrome across media. Both sides of the conversation have interesting points, though neither directly engaged the other (which might be for the best).

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

Weekend Update: 6/5/2021

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 6/5/2021

  1. Five Parsecs from Home
  2. Galder’s Gazetteer
  3. Dune – Adventures in the Imperium
  4. Children of the Blood
  5. WFRP: The Horned Rat

Top News Stories

Marvel to release new TTRPG: Marvel is planning to release a new TTRPG in 2022, built on the cheekily-named D616 system. Attached to the project is known quantity Matt Forbeck, though it’s likely a whole slate of artists and designers will end up working on the game between now and release. What’s most interesting about this, and somewhat understated in the press release, is that Marvel has not licensed their IP to an existing studio, rather the game is being developed in-house. This makes sense when you consider that the previous Marvel game, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, was killed in part due to licensing concerns, which bringing development inhouse sidesteps. There’s another interesting consequence, though. Marvel Entertainment, albeit not the part of the Big Mouse where all the movie money goes, will become the only true RPG competitor, size and revenue-wise, to Wizards of the Coast. Corporate war brewing? You know I love to see it.

TTRPG Charity Bundle for Trans Support on itch.io: Running the length of the U.S.A.’s Pride Month, this bundle of tabletop roleplaying games is raising money for two different organizations that work to support and uplift transgender people. UK-based Mermaids provides support to children and young people, while the US-based Transgender Law Center “advocates for trans rights in law, policy, and individual attitudes”. As of this writing the Bundle has 75 items by 46 creators ranging from Pathfinder supplements to solo journaling games, from Troika! on the moon to a Witcher hack of Honey Heist, all for $20.00 (compared to the $352.00 it would cost to get all this usually). Also as of this writing, the Bundle has blown past its original goal of $5,000 and is barreling towards the new one for $10,000.

Discussion of the Week

What overused trope in RPGs do you still enjoy no matter what? Ultimately, GMs are players too and GMs need to have fun. Over on Reddit’s r/RPG, there was a lively and highly upvoted discussion on tropes and cliches that might elicit some eye-rolls, but can still be tons of fun.

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

Weekend Update: 5/29/2021

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 5/29/2021

  1. Five Parsecs from Home
  2. WFRP: The Horned Rat
  3. Galder’s Gazetteer
  4. Children of the Blood
  5. Dune: Adventures in the Imperium

Top News Stories

Risus is for Sale: S. John Ross is seeking offers for the entirety of Risus, the “Anything RPG” which has served as a delightful entry in the annals of rules-light gaming for many people, including myself. Ross includes a number of buyer-friendly stipulations in the sale, including permission to use the references to works he’s not selling that are made in Risus materials in perpetuity, and up to a year of forwarding service on the Risus website to give the buyer time to establish their own webspace. There is a small catch, in that the purchase will include accepting existing liabilities from a successfully funded Kickstarter that has only been partially delivered. Even so, if you’re looking for a rules-light platform to launch your gaming company dreams, it might be time to crack your piggy bank open.

Discussion of the Week

Unloved Games: A discussion on r/RPG centers around two pages worth of Unloved Games that are actually off the radar. As the Reddit discussion illuminates, people are too used to “unloved” suggestions that are altogether too popular for the title.

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