Tag Archives: RPG

Adventure Log: Cyberpunk Red: CabbageCorp Part 2

Sure, there’s some sweet benefits in being a W2. Steady paycheck, funeral insurance, and a steady helping of plausible deniability. That said, when you only go into the office once a week to have a meeting with your boss in a room with a Faraday cage and get your actual marching orders from a man biosculpted like the main character of a 40 year old TV show…well, maybe corporate life wasn’t as boring as they told you.

When we last left our motley crew of inbetweeners, they had started working for Lynx, a Biotechnica-connected fixer with a taste for prestige TV and cheap beer. They had also had their first run-in of many with a party member’s past when Jacob’s ex Olga became the main subject of an intrusion op gone wrong. After delivering Lynx the good news about their smuggling tunnel, though, it was right back to work again. Biotechnica was part owner of Jayhawk Agritech through the financing deal that helped create Astropolis, and Jayhawk was trying to wriggle out from under the terms of that deal. Who was available to tighten the leash? CabbageCorp, of course.

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Solitaire Storytelling: Cryptid Apothecary

The pomegranate seeds have been weighed, the ectoplasm has been deep-fried, and the bezoar has been taken out to sit at room temperature. The dream sand has been powdered, the tannis root is in the ice box, and last night’s gambling winnings are set aside. Yesterday I took care of a mothman whose own shadow had become solid and started causing trouble, and a buru who had an odd fixation on pursuing a literature degree. I wonder who I’ll see this time?

It’s another day behind the counter for a Cryptid Apothecary.

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The Trouble With Finding New Systems

Your campaign is ending. It’s been a good time but the story is coming to an end, and your players are looking to the next big adventure. You want to switch it up, and they’re on board. What do you do?

There’s a whole lot of game systems out there, and you probably could run a fun game with any of them. That said, you’re not picking a system because it meets the low bar of “could be fun”. You want a system that will make your game better because it’s there, either because it makes it easier to have fun or it helps you do a fun thing you wouldn’t otherwise be able to or would have thought to do.

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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.

Hard Wired Island Review – Hard Luck Cyberpunks at Lagrange 5

“In the distant future of 2020, humanity has spread to space. A meteorite struck Earth’s northern hemisphere in 1996. The Impact caused widespread environmental damage that humanity has yet to fully recover from, but it supercharged public interest in space exploration. Around the world, new political unions began pouring money into space programs. The result is Grand Cross, an O’Neill cylinder in the Earth–Moon L5 point. It’s Earth’s gateway to the stars, a launching point for missions to Mars and beyond, and a beacon of hope for its people — but it’s in crisis.

An alliance of space-based corporations known as the Offworld Cartel has moved in. While they sell space exploration as a shared dream they strive for along with everyone else, their true aim is control of Grand Cross and, through it, the future of space settlement. As their influence spreads, so does inequality and crime. The Cartel has convinced the current government to privatize many of the systems that keep Grand Cross running, and the station is slowly falling apart. Behind the scenes, they have even more underhanded schemes running in secret. If the next election favors the Cartel, they’ll be on their way to becoming the landlords of human space.”

This is the retrofuture cyberpunk game of people fighting the unchecked greed of corporations, technocrats, and worse to save their orbital communities, Hard Wired Island by Paul “Ettin” Matijevic and Freyja Katra Erlingsdóttir!

Continue reading Hard Wired Island Review – Hard Luck Cyberpunks at Lagrange 5

Kickstarter Wonk: June, 2021

Welcome to June! 2021 is heating up, at least if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, but in the RPG space it’s heating up all over! I had way more than 10 games to read this month, and several I had to check out less than 24 hours before this went live! Designers are wild out here! These ten games represent a potent intersection of design, marketing, and yes, hype, on Kickstarter, and there’s no better way to start your hot nerd summer than by checking them out.

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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.

Everywhen Review

Generic RPGs are written for GMs. A game with a setting or a conceit can speak to anyone who sees it on the shelf or reads through its Kickstarter campaign, but a game with no setting has a tougher time marketing itself. Those of us who run games, though, see them for what they are: toolkits. A good generic RPG is the toolbox that lets you build a game, and every generic RPG is a different set of tools. GURPS is the five hundred pound box of every wrench and screwdriver imaginable. Cortex Prime is a massive array of dials and knobs, ready to be toggled for your campaign. Fate is a smart everyday carry pack, providing the fewest tools to cover the most situations. What about others? Where do other approaches fit in between these?

Everywhen is a genericized version of the popular swords and sorcery RPG Barbarians of Lemuria, and it would have escaped my notice had I not seen a well-known GURPShead on Reddit give it an unequivocal recommendation. Intrigued but skeptical, I checked it out. What I found was a game that hit the right medium crunch sweet spot but also had some design choices that made it easy for any GM, novice or experienced, to write exactly what they want with it.

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