Tag Archives: rpg discourse

Plumbing the RPG Blog Depths

The tabletop role-playing game has been around for nearly fifty years, and role-playing discourse arguably longer than that. While in recent years we’ve been blessed to see books recording RPG history from the likes of Jon Peterson, Shannon Appelcline, and Ben Riggs, histories of how the RPG player base has evolved are thinner on the ground and indeed more difficult to capture than those chronicling the evolution of game designers.

To give credit where credit is due, Jon Peterson’s books do focus on the player evolution that happened early in the hobby’s history; Playing at the World spends a lot of time discussing how the wargaming hobby birthed RPGs through Braunsteins and Chainmail, while The Elusive Shift examines the first decade or so of RPG evolution through APAs and other fan correspondence. Where things start to get really tricky is in the 1990s, thanks in large part to the stratification caused by this little technology called the internet.

Continue reading Plumbing the RPG Blog Depths

Weekend Update: 8/28/2021

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 8/28/2021

  1. Legend of the Five Rings: Fields of Victory
  2. 2300AD
  3. Alien RPG Colonial Marines Operations Manual
  4. Fallout the RPG Core Rulebook
  5. Esper Genesis 5E Master Technician’s Guide

Top News Stories

Not much going on on the RPG front! Stay healthy everyone, mask up in crowds, and play some games.

Discussion of the Week

GM Experience should not be quantified simply by length of time: An interesting discussion about how to compare and assess GMing ability. No conclusion is reached, but a lot of intriguing questions are asked. Does it matter how many games you run? Should you consider the trends in the hobby when you started? Does depth or breadth make for a better GM? Worth a read.

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: 8/21/2021

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 8/21/2021

  1. Aliens RPG Colonial Marines Operations
  2. Fallout the RPG Core Rules
  3. Wrath and Glory – Redacted Records
  4. A Book of Tales
  5. Battletech: ilClan

Top News Stories

ENnies voting is live: Nominations are out and it’s time to vote for your favorites in the 2021 ENnies. The process has been rife with technical issues (votes have reset at least once) so it may be good to return to the site and check that your votes have in fact been counted.

Discussion of the Week

Beautiful Books, Great Settings, Terrible Games: On Reddit this week there was a discussion of games which hold tremendous value as pieces of media, or as static worldbuilding exercises…and then crumble to dust the minute you try to *play* them. As continued discussion around what makes a game and what makes a game good is centered within the discourse, we need to keep in mind that some things we just love to hate.

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: 8/14/2021

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 8/14/2021

  1. Fallout: The Roleplaying Game Core Rules
  2. A Book of Tales
  3. Battletech: ilClan
  4. Wrath & Glory – Redacted Records
  5. BLASTER: Volume 3

Top News Stories

2021 ENNIE Awards Nominees and Judges’ Spotlight Winners Announced: The header says it all, the list of this year’s batch of Nominees and Spotlight Winners has been released. There are a number of creations we’ve looked at in the mix: Cortex Prime, Vaesen – Nordic Horror Roleplaying, and Alice is Missing are all nominated for more than one category, and SLA Industries 2nd Edition got a Judge’s Spotlight!

Discussion of the Week

An Apology: A needed piece of meta-discourse. A Redditor concedes that he snarked about the game Ten Candles because designer Stephen Dewey was “a dick” to him…over a decade ago. The resulting post makes you feel good for knowing it happened, and reminds us all to take a step back from all the heated discussions we can so easily be sucked into, online and elsewhere. Also, you should probably check out Ten Candles.

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: 8/7/2021

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 8/7/2021

  1. Fallout: The Roleplaying Game Core Rules
  2. Battletech: ilClan
  3. BLASTER: Volume 3
  4. M20: Technocracy Reloaded
  5. Trails of Ash and Bone

Top News Stories

DM’s Guild Releases Print-On-Demand Guidelines: Announced in the DriveThruRPG Discord on Wednesday, the DM’s Guild has established guidelines for community content getting to Print-On-Demand. First, it has to be said that this does make PoD on the Guild more accessible than it was – we checked with DM’s Guild staff, and prior to this the only way to have a printed product on the Guild was on a very limited case-by-case basis – Exploring Eberron is the only one to have crossed our desk. That doesn’t mean it’s now actually easy

In addition to all of the usual guidelines familiar to DTRPG’s PoD market, all print files need to be completed by a Guild-approved layout designer, of which there are currently only four. Only products that are already Platinum Best Sellers or higher, or new products from a creator who has another product that is Platinum or higher, can be submitted. In terms of actual numbers that means more than a thousand copies sold – only 889 products (3.47% of everything on the guild) meet that specification as of this writing, and it’s likely that that does not translate to 889 individual creators. Finally, a product has to have 100 or more pages, meaning even many of those Platinum or higher products still don’t qualify – a quick count seems to show that only 20 of the 72 Adamantine products, the bestsellers, would make the cut.

Some of these restrictions make internal sense, particularly the layout requirement – you’re playing in the Guild’s sandbox, it tracks that you’d be held to a certain standard of quality. Still, while undeniably more attainable than it was, actually calling the Guild’s Print-on-Demand program ‘accessible’ doesn’t quite fit either. It’s early days yet, though; hopefully this is the first step towards a greater number of creators getting to see their work on the printed page.

Discussion of the Week

The Avatar Kickstarter and TTRPG Cross-Pollination: The Kickstarter for Avatar Legends from Magpie Games has shattered records for TTRPG projects by raising $2,502,090 as this is written, a number that will be hilariously outdated by the time we add a period to the end of this sentence. It has also, predictably, kicked off discussions ranging from the right of licensed games to use kickstarter at all to how much, if at all, Magpie’s success will either help or harm everything from other individual projects to the entire TTRPG industry/crowdfunding mechanism. In all the fervor, though, we’ve found one thread by @JazzElves to be particularly worth a look, talking about entry points for the hobby and the best ways, Avatar or otherwise, to actually get people playing new games.

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: 7/31/2021

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: 7/10/2021

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.