On Being an RPG Collector

Like many commentators in the tabletop RPG world, we at Cannibal Halfling Gaming focus on the act of playing games. Making characters, running games, campaigns, one-shots, trad games, indie games, solo games, you name it. To the degree that the TTRPG hobby has a body of critique, it’s one that focuses on how games are played and we’re happy to be part of that. Playing games isn’t the only thing that drives the hobby, though, and in certain segments of the hobby it doesn’t have the largest financial impact. When it comes to the consumption of gaming materials, there are players, there are readers, and there are collectors.

Playing, reading, and collecting games are different activities which demand different things out of the games which are consumed. These activities aren’t mutually exclusive; in fact, I’d say the vast majority of gamers participate in all three to some degree. That said, the one which defines how many gamers buy RPGs is collecting, and as a result collecting RPGs is an activity that has an enormous impact on how the hobby evolves, how games are sold, and what games end up looking like.

Continue reading On Being an RPG Collector

Solitaire Storytelling: Princess With A Cursed Sword

A figure stands in an ancient ruin, bare feet on crumbling stone to make it easier to leap and climb. Her gown is far too fine, representing her dual heritage as the daughter of two kingdoms, bitter rivals only joined through her. Her sword, much too dark, hungers for legacy, fame, immortality via story and myth. 

At the princess’ coming of age ceremony, an uninvited guest gifted her with a sword, then vanished, laughing, into smoke. She cannot put it down until she finds the place it came from.

So she has come.

Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: Princess With A Cursed Sword

Crowdfunding Carnival: April, 2022

Welcome to the Crowdfunding Carnival for April! Or, as the data puts it, ‘Kickstarter Wonk plus Possum Creek Games’. Because unless you’re backing Yazeba’s Bed and Breakfast, Kickstarter is the only game in town. Despite Possum Creek doing fairly well with their campaign, Kickstarter is still pulling 85% of all funding this month. And, given that YBB alone is literally all of the rest of it, we’re playing with outliers a bit here in the analysis.

Continue reading Crowdfunding Carnival: April, 2022

Solitaire Storytelling: A Requiem for Horizon Prophecy Online: The Final Four

I’ve spent years adventuring through the mysterious, whimsical, dangerous lands of HORIZON PROPHECY ONLINE, a science fantasy MMORPG that peaked at about 161,000 concurrent players. The game always had a scope and reach too ambitious for its budget, but now, with daily player counts in the hundreds, the studio has announced that they’re shutting down HPO for good. With four hours to go before the servers are switched off, I decided to create a new toon and go through the starting area one last time, as a final farewell to the world I’ve given so much of my time.

Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: A Requiem for Horizon Prophecy Online: The Final Four

Root: The Roleplaying Game Review

Ten years ago, Dungeon World kicked Powered by the Apocalypse into the mainstream by tying the system back to Dungeons and Dragons, the hobby’s most popular game. Now, Powered by the Apocalypse (or PbtA) is the newest rules system entrant into the world of licensed RPGs, thanks to Magpie Games,. While Root: The Roleplaying Game might not be the very first licensed PbtA game it is certainly the biggest one to date, using the look, feel, and logo of Leder Games’ critically acclaimed board game to catapult it to a $600,000 Kickstarter success. It also quite likely opened the gate for Magpie’s upcoming Avatar game, which leapfrogged the Kickstarter success of Root more than tenfold.

So now that Root is available not only to backers but to the world at large, what does a game by the largest PbtA publisher look like these days? Magpie Games has built their business on PbtA, scoring hits with the innovative Urban Shadows, Masks, and Bluebeard’s Bride, among others. Given their long track record it’s no surprise that the company has sought out opportunities for licensing like they found with Root. From the outside, though, there are questions about Magpie’s product strategy. Root’s final PDF was delivered to backers over a year late, and Urban Shadows second edition, currently in process, will likely be almost as late as that (original ETA for delivery was September of 2021 for PDFs). While the pandemic and other exogenous factors are clearly part of this, having multiple high-profile Kickstarters in fulfillment at once (Urban Shadows, Root, and Avatar: The Last Airbender were all concurrent prior to Root’s fulfillment) seems to be stretching the team thin.

Continue reading Root: The Roleplaying Game Review

Yazeba’s Bed & Breakfast Review

“Once upon a time, the world was cruel, and there was a witch who knew it well. And so, she sold her heart away and built a house in the woods where the world could never find her.

At first she would let no one into her fortress. But in the long march of days, a strange thing happened: in her own cold and spiteful way, the witch made a friend… and then another… and then several more, until her house was teeming with colorful faces and complicated lives.

The house would come to be known as Yazeba’s Bed & Breakfast, and it would last for a very long time.”

Of course, it’s not just a bed and breakfast – it’s a book, and a game, from Possum Creek Games, currently funding on indiegogo! Let’s see if there’s any free rooms (the sign says yes, but there’s a girl sleeping in the laundry room…) and talk to the creators!

Continue reading Yazeba’s Bed & Breakfast Review

Adventure Log: Cyberpunk Red Interlude: The CabbageCorp Warehouse

The CabbageCorp crew has gotten themselves into some trouble in 2045. But they’ve also gotten some nice payoffs. After William Squires made a troubling, cryptic speech at the Future of the Midwest conference in Hydropolis, the team knew they needed to get in gear and figure out what was going on. They also had some real estate transactions to resolve. So when Mason, Philly, Relay, Jacob, TK, Doctor Kong, and Bubbles had to renovate a warehouse, what were they going to do?

More importantly, what was I, their GM, going to do? While Cyberpunk Red has a few options for stationary equipment, the Night City lifestyle isn’t really about property ownership. Giving the party options for their newly acquired warehouse that they actually cared about would require a combination of creativity, player input, and yes, a bit of a System Hack.

Continue reading Adventure Log: Cyberpunk Red Interlude: The CabbageCorp Warehouse

Bringing Games and Gamers Together!