Tag Archives: RPG

Weekend Update: 9/24/2022

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 9/24/2022

  1. Mutants and Masterminds PDF Mega-Bundle
  2. Warhammer Age of Sigmar Soulbound: Blackened Earth
  3. Legend of the Five Rings: Writ of the Wilds
  4. Tales of the RED: Street Stories
  5. Adventures in Rokugan

Top News Stories

Brotherwise Games to release a Stormlight Archive RPG in 2024: Building on the massive success of Brandon Sanderson’s book Kickstarter and their existing efforts with games set in the Cosmere, Brotherwise Games has announced that they will be releasing a role-playing game based on the books of Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series. What’s interesting about this is that Brotherwise has no current RPG portfolio, being mostly known for their board games like Call to Adventure and Boss Monster. There has been immediate speculation as to whether the game would be 5E-based or use a custom ruleset like the extant Mistborn Adventure Game, written by Crafty Games. Johnny O’Neal of Brotherwise Games has written for Dragon Magazine in the past, but considering how little we know at this juncture, that isn’t a strong indication of anything. There is also some question as to why the project didn’t go to Crafty Games, but the reception of the Mistborn Game was certainly not glowing enough to guarantee their return.

Discussion of the Week

School D&D Club is Out of Control!: The OP’s middle school D&D club has over 50 students signed up! A great thread for running RPGs for kids and managing large RPG events and organizations.

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 RPG Prices

In the past we have discussed playing RPGs, of course. We’ve also discussed reading RPGs, and collecting RPGs. One thing we haven’t discussed much, though, is buying RPGs. A tabletop roleplaying game is a creative work that can take up to hundreds of man-hours, not to mention the intellectual and emotional investment of almost everyone involved with bringing it to fruition. Despite this, there are plenty of people on the internet who deign to call RPGs overpriced. This is in spite of the fact that most indie RPGs cost $30 or less while D&D Monopoly, a monstrosity of branding that should pay me for having to know it exists, costs about $50.

The trouble with pricing is that people not trained in economics think it’s a science. I, however, am the Level One Wonk, with over five years of real actual economics experience and actual professional industrial economics training. All economics aligns to a popular aphorism by George Box: “All models are wrong, but some are useful”. The notion of an ‘invisible hand of the market’ is wildly incorrect, even something you consume every day, electricity, only can be sold in a carefully constructed market that is watched every day by engineers (and still fails wildly from time to time anyway). Similarly, creative goods, far from the ‘widgets’ of every dismal Econ 101 textbook, don’t follow nearly any of the rules proscribed by the masters of micro. So, in order to speak more clearly about RPG pricing, we’re going to talk about some of the economics that doesn’t really work for role-playing games, and then talk through some of the psychology that does.

Continue reading The Trouble with RPG Prices

Solitaire Storytelling: A Tale Before You Go

A ghost, trapped in the tree planted above her grave, finds herself exploring the world when the tree is transformed into a ship’s mast. A lonely princess explores a crypt, hoping to find a new name and escape her fears. A merchant, far from home, plays a game of riddles with the guardian of a mountain pass.

The ghost turns the ship’s sails into truth-telling tapestries to set herself free. The princess offers herself to the crypt’s elemental guardian and takes its name. The merchant turns back, defeated by the riddles but enriched by the moonstones he found in the mountainside.

How about one more Tale Before You Go?

Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: A Tale Before You Go

Back Again from the Broken Land Review – Small Heroes, Heavy Burdens, and Stories

You are small people who walked into a big war. The Doomslord’s forces were gathered in the Broken Land, and your fellowship unexpectedly played a key role in the Doomslord’s fall. Now, laden with stories to tell and burdens to bear, you set off on the journey home. But the Doomslord’s Hunters are still out there, and it’s a long way to walk. Let’s see if you can make it Back Again from the Broken Land with a storytelling game of small adventurers and a journey home from Cloven Pine Games!

Continue reading Back Again from the Broken Land Review – Small Heroes, Heavy Burdens, and Stories

Power Rangers RPG Review

There is a new generation of companies emerging in the RPG world. Free League and Modiphius were founded in 2011 and 2012, respectively, but an even younger studio is making big waves. Renegade Game Studios was founded in 2014 by hobby game industry veteran Scott Gaeta, and his business acumen shows through in Renegade’s portfolio. In addition to publishing more indie titles like Alice is Missing, Kids on Bikes, and Overlight, Renegade rocketed into the trad scene when they took over publishing White Wolf games Vampire: the Masquerade and Hunter: the Reckoning from interim publisher Modiphius. Now, they’re internally developing licensed RPGs that have already turned them into a sales powerhouse. Two Renegade titles showed up on the ICv2 top 5 RPG list last quarter, and I was unaware either were out, let alone already selling so well.

These two games, GI Joe and Power Rangers, make sense as sales successes. The licenses are for properties that peaked in the early 90s, aiming squarely at a mid-millennial market while Wizards aims younger (the core D&D demographics have been teens and twenty-somethings at least as long as Wizards has owned the game, if not even longer). And if it wasn’t these games it could have been others; Renegade also published a Transformers RPG and will soon release an official My Little Pony RPG as well.

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Cannibal Halfling Radio Episode 18: Master Rules

The game master rules, but what rules them? How do many games leave the one running the game out in the cold, what kind of rules do other games assign to them, and what is gained in the process? Seamus and Aaron try to figure it out!

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Crowdfunding Carnival: September, 2022

It’s September! A slight bite in the air, days shortening, and the kids are off to school. Quick, go look for crowdfunding campaigns now that you have a spare moment! September marks a change in the season but also a change in focus among RPG crowdfunding coverage as ZineQuest 4 wraps up. ZineQuest 4 puts the bow on what was a really messed up year in RPG crowdfunding, so I’m going to talk about that a bit. Beyond that, there are some ZineQuest campaigns which are still trying to finish off strong, and of course there are plenty of full-sized campaigns across Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Gamefound, and Backerkit.

Continue reading Crowdfunding Carnival: September, 2022

Editions and Edition Wars

Last week, the first in what’s assumedly a fairly long series of playtest documents came out for One D&D, the revised version of Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition that is scheduled to be released in 2024. Fifth Edition’s product lifecycle is quite long for modern D&D: 10 years is the second longest any edition of D&D has gone with no major revision, still not quite beating out the first edition of Advanced D&D which went without a revision for 12 years. The main difference between AD&D 1e and D&D 5e, though, is that Fifth Edition is the best selling version of D&D ever and AD&D 1e is one of the worst; Basic D&D sold better at the same time and saw three iterations over those 12 years, clearly getting more of TSR’s attention. This contrast gets us to the broader point that running an RPG business is a complicated game, especially when it comes to figuring out how to maintain your product lines.

New editions of games have been part and parcel of the RPG industry since Gygax attempted to close the Pandora’s Box of D&D hacking by releasing AD&D. Even that first public revision of a game, a wholesale rewrite as opposed to small revisions gained over time, laid bare the various and sundry motivations designers could have for revising their game. It may be an attempt to regain editorial control, or appeal to a new audience. It may, cynically, be a way to sell more books after the product line has flagged. And maybe, in some limited circumstances, it could actually be to improve the game.

Continue reading Editions and Edition Wars