Category Archives: Weekend Update

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

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.

Weekend Update: 5/22/2021

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 5/22/2021

  1. Children of the Blood
  2. Galder’s Gazetteer
  3. Dune: Adventures in the Imperium
  4. Worlds Without Number
  5. Stars Without Number: Revised

Top News Stories

D&D had its best year ever: Wizards of the Coast has reflected on D&D’s 2020 performance, calling it the ‘best year ever’ for the brand. D&D sales grew 33% year-over-year, for the seventh consecutive year of growth. In addition to being impressive performance for any entertainment brand, 2020 in particular illustrates the strength of D&D (and to a lesser extent the hobby) in the face of the complications brought about by COVID-19.

Discussion of the Week

Twitter Main Character the First: Game Designers Age Out: Two designers best known for work they had done in the 1990s made, according to our crack analyst team, “really dumb” statements. Fortunately, they can be safely ignored, along with anything they post.

Twitter Main Character the Second: The Critical Role Brigade: Quote-tweeting someone exposes them to all of your followers. Now for me, with not even 200 followers on my main, that doesn’t matter, but when you have 170,000 followers and your most popular work is known for toxic fans? Don’t do that. Critical Role shouldn’t be considered above reproach anyway, but when those who have gained influence use that influence poorly, it doesn’t reflect well on the brand.

Alcohol and Networking in the Games Industry: Another topic that came up on Twitter this week was the role of alcohol in networking. Having business meetings while drinking is de rigueur across many industries (I have some tales about the energy industry from my day job life) but it has negative consequences, including edging out non-drinkers or those not comfortable in bar-type settings, as well as creating a degree of permission for bad behavior. At least in the energy industry few ‘real’ meetings happen at a bar, game designers and freelancers may not be so lucky when their local con is the only opportunity to get an in-person meeting with companies they want to work for. Cons should work on having more sober networking options, but game industry types should also reflect on the “bar-con” practice and consider stepping away.

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: 5/8/2021

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 5/8/2021

  1. Dune: Adventures in the Imperium
  2. Worlds Without Number
  3. Yogg-Sothoth’s Children, a Korean Call of Cthulhu supplement
  4. Hard Wired Island
  5. Stargrave: Science Fiction Wargames in the Ravaged Galaxy

Top News Stories

Big Bad Con to be Held Online: With the pandemic nowhere near ‘over’, the announcement that Big Bad Con would be held online this year was not surprising, but potentially sad for those eagerly awaiting the return of in-person events. That said, kudos to the con organizers for making the health and safety of their attendees a priority.

Apple Lawyers call Itch games ‘Unspeakable Content’: The Epic Games/Apple Lawsuit, already arguably a farce, has now featured the lawyer for Apple calling some games on Itch, which is accessible through Epic Games, “both offensive and sexualized”. In response, Itch stated (possibly joking) on their Twitter account that the adult content tag would be renamed ‘unspeakable games’, in response to another particularly hyperbolic statement.

Discussions of the Week

The Slow Weird Return to In-Person Play: Speaking of pandemic, the Indie Game Reading Club has posted Paul Beakley’s meditation on all the things that make playing online great…and how odd it’s going to feel when we return to our normal tables. As someone who’s run an online group for over a decade…there’s nothing saying you can’t keep it going even after this is all over!

Fair Pay is Still a Debate Apparently: The discussion of freelancer pay bubbled back to the discourse surface after a Kickstarter campaign advertised a stretch goal for paying their freelancers five cents a word instead of the original three. While this was rightly met with condemnation, the broader discussion melted down in the face of, well, Twitter. None of the longer threads are really worth linking, but the Cannibal Halfling position is straightforward: Freelancers should be paid more, 10 cents per word is, while not necessarily ‘enough’, at least a starting point, and royalty and profit-sharing models, while not a panacea, should become more widely discussed and offered, especially in the small press world.

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: 5/1/2021

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 5/1/21

  1. Dune: Adventures in the Imperium Core Rulebook
  2. Stargrave: Science Fiction Wargames in the Ravaged Galaxy
  3. Worlds Without Number
  4. Hard Wired Island
  5. Cyberpunk Red

Top News Stories

World of Darkness coming to TV: The World of Darkness has been optioned for TV. Again. IP Owners Paradox Interactive have pulled in some impressive names to develop a series which would be based on the World of Darkness setting as a whole, as opposed to any one game like Vampire, Werewolf or Mage. Many details of this sound promising, but with no distribution deal yet inked it’s worth noting that the TV world has produced plenty of vaporware with more. As a historical note, the last attempt to use World of Darkness IP in a TV series, Kindred: The Embraced, aired in 1996. Eight episodes were aired and the most common word used in reviews was ‘confusing’. In a post-Sopranos world one would imagine this next attempt will do better, but only time will tell.

The Adventure Zone and Games That Aren’t D&D: Popular Actual Play podcast The Adventure Zone is using Avery Alder’s The Quiet Year for setting generation in its upcoming campaign. That’s cool! They got the name wrong in the first episode it appeared, and failed to mention the name of the designer on-air. That’s not great! While the story took off on Twitter without confirmation (like such stories often do), the true version where the game was cited in the show notes is still illustrative of the sort of blinders many popular content creators have on. Yes, you’re correctly citing your sources, but not even bothering to get the name right on-air is still emblematic of the attitude too many creators have towards games in the hobby not published by Hasbro. An apology was issued, but this isn’t the first time this has happened and I doubt it’ll be the last.

Bundle of Holding adds permanent sales: Popular RPG sale site Bundle of Holding has expanded their normal time-limited fare with eight starter bundles which will be available on the site indefinitely. This slate will be expanded in the future but for now there are some solid options including Old School Essentials, Night’s Black Agents, Shadow of the Demon Lord, and Classic Traveller, all offering 3-6 books (and sometimes more) for less than the price of a single Hasbro supplement.

Discussion of the Week

Apparently we’re talking about pricing RPGs again: Whiny fans have again taken to criticizing designers for…(checks notes)…pricing their work such that they can pay all the people who made it. The discourse is all over, but restarted with the release of Hard Wired Island, a roughly 400 page book that costs roughly thirty dollars. As a reminder, if the Hard Wired Island crew wanted to adjust their prices to be in line with the industry standard, D&D, they would need to *increase* their prices by at least 25%. Chris Bissette says it better than we can in this thread.

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