Let’s face it, some of the most popular RPGs out there are part of popular franchises. It’s hardly something to complain about. Roleplaying comes out of investment in a story, and a lot of things that hook people is a universe in which they are already immersed. I don’t believe that it is an accident that we’ve written a number of articles that include the Star Wars, Mistborn, and Witcher RPGs, nor that there are numerous iterations of RPGs based off of pop culture phenomena (I am personally aware of Buffy, Firefly and Doctor Who RPGs) as well as my personal experience with GMs use Genesys as a universal system to build games in the Harry Potter and the Stormlight Archive universes. Even for systems that were always games first there is an impressive amount of lore that has been generated over the years in novels, such as the adventures of Drizzt Do’Urden in the Forgotten Realms or Theo Bell in Vampire the Masquerade, and for any players these stories are distinctive part of what they love.
This leads to what I refer to as the “fanfic quandary”. The reason why you pick a work of fiction to base your own story on is that you want to immerse yourself in it, but how do you make your mark on that universe? Players generally want to have agency, want to be the heroes (or villains) of the day, but how do they do so when that work’s main character is the Chosen One.Well, the problem is not unique to RPGs. The aforementioned “fanfic” can get a bad rap, but quite a few have turned out interesting over the years, and as previously mentioned some have been officially licensed novels, so why not take a look at some of the techniques these writers use and see the potential benefits and pitfalls.
Continue reading Using Fanfiction Tropes to Maneuver Canon in Roleplaying Games
Tired of traveling the same old hyperlanes? Had your fill of fighting off stormtroopers? Sick of owing credits to the Hutts? Outer Rim not far enough out for you? Well, it’s not without risks of its own, but have you ever considered Wild Space? Find a planet of your very own, start from scratch, no Empire, no Rebels, no syndicates? It’ll be an entirely new way of life for you out there, so before you start making the astrogation calculations, let me tell you a little about what you might be getting yourself into…
Continue reading Meet the Campaign: Star Wars: Wild Space Colony
This article is a log updated periodically throughout the day, and then published when complete.
Arrival: 8 AM
First of all, an update and correction from my last scouting report. While we had been warned off the changes in entrances previously, for some reason it hadn’t sunk in. For those of you taking a train in, stops around 14th -16th streets will be superior than hiking over from elsewhere. In addition, Will Call has moved from the location originally sent out by email, and is now by the entrance hall. This means that everyone is all going to the same location, which, well…
Continue reading PAX Unplugged: Day 1 – Live Update Log
An entrepreneur managing armies of battle droids instead of finances and job orders, trying to find some way to turn a profit in all this. A member of the Separatist Senate who truly believes in the cause, working to sway both allies and enemies. A warrior of an ancient tradition, fighting for glory in a galaxy that condemns him. A swordswoman skilled in magicks, out in the galaxy to prove herself and perhaps even learn a thing or two. The Grand Army of the Republic and the Jedi Order aren’t the only ones with stories to tell during the Clone Wars . . . so deploy the droids and get ready to fight for freedom from the Republic with this ready-to-play party of Separatists for Star Wars Roleplaying from Fantasy Flight Games!
Continue reading Meet the Party: Star Wars: Separatists
“The Clone Wars rage on. Both the GALACTIC REPUBLIC and the SEPARATIST ALLIANCE have had great gains and losses in territorial battles and planetary allegiances. Years of conflict have exposed doubts in the JEDI ORDER, as veteran clone troopers question their own role. Other organizations take advantage of the chaos of war to pursue their own agendas. Bounty hunters and criminals ply their trades. The NIGHTSISTERS of Dathomir conduct esoteric rituals to further their plots while the DEATH WATCH of Mandalore escalate their terrorist activities in the name of tradition. The Force brings these agents together in the most unexpected ways…” This is the end of the age of heroes, but has it saved the best for last? Let’s find out together and bring the Clone Wars to a close as we go chapter by chapter through Collapse of the Republic for Star Wars Roleplaying from Fantasy Flight Games!
Continue reading Star Wars: Collapse of the Republic Review
A Jedi Knight forced to become a leader and a teacher, learning as much as she goes along from those under her wing as they’re learning from her. A Padawan on his second Master, fighting in a war when he’d rather be studying, because such is apparently the will of the Force. An officer, first among brothers, determined to get as many of them alive to the end of the war . . . whatever that might mean for them. A pilot who wouldn’t be out of place at a Corellian spacer’s cantina, never mind that he’s technically only eleven standard years old. A trooper who believes a quantity of firepower has a quality all its own, but it’s not the only quality worth bringing to the battlefield. These Heroes of the Republic are ready to fight the good fight on whatever planet it comes to, so let’s see what they can do and fight back against the Rise of the Separatists!
Continue reading Meet the Party: Star Wars: Jedi Knights and Clone Soldiers
“The galaxy is in conflict. After years of growing tension, the worlds of the SEPARATIST ALLIANCE have seceded from the GALACTIC REPUBLIC. Under the leadership of the Jedi Knights, clone troopers fight bravely against the remorseless droid army. Away from the battlefields, Separatist diplomats and agents work to turn additional planes against the Republic, and both sides seeks alliances with neutral systems. Meanwhile, smugglers, scavengers, and pirates find opportunities to profit from the war, which continues with no peace in sight . . .” Such is the opening crawl for Rise of the Separatists, the latest Era Sourcebook from Fantasy Flight Games. The light of the Jedi Order still shines, the Republic still stands, and clones fight the good fight, so let’s go section by section to see what this book has to offer for Star Wars Roleplaying!
Continue reading Star Wars: Rise of the Separatists Review
From the bowels of amusement we stab at thee! Last week we covered an overview of Allies and Adversaries, but now it’s time for some fun, to breathe some life into the words and number on the page. These might not be the most serious or mechanically maximized characters we’ve ever built, but they are a nice way to show off the new character choices that Allies and Adversaries offers: The Ewok, Jawa and Tusken Raider. So, take a gander at the Oddball Defense Force!
Continue reading Meet the Party: Star Wars: Allies and Adversaries
In general, among the writers here at Cannibal Halfling Games, we are attracted to the things that we write about for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it’s because it is something at the cutting edge of mechanical development. Sometimes, it’s excitement at projects to come. Other times, it’s remembering a forgotten project that could use a bit more love. And, once in a while, we see something that makes us snort with laughter and say “Oh, I have to see that!” It was the final of these that had me take a look at the recent supplement for the Star Wars RPG from Fantasy Flight Games, Allies and Adversaries.
Continue reading Star Wars RPG: Allies and Adversaries Review
Maybe it’s because I’m in dire need of a fix before Episode IX is released, but I find myself drifting back to the end of The Last Jedi. I know that it’s a polarizing topic for a lot of fans, but I keep thinking of the possibilities and implications left by the ending. The interesting part is, going at the question of “How Do I Build a Campaign?”, previous Star Wars Meet the Campaigns have created a location and then built up hooks around it. This method doesn’t work as well for something as broad as the entire galaxy. It might be simpler to have a GM pick a planet and say “this is what is happening here”, but unless we are talking about a popular setting like Nar Shaddaa, a write up for places of interest is less useful because there is little to keep players there without railroading them.
So, after some thought, I’ve decided to try coming at this from the other direction: rather than picking a location and populating it with plot hooks, this Meet the Campaign is setting up themes and using bits and pieces from throughout the system in order to build a framework that spurs a wide background of characters into the action. Unlike the previous entries, this installment is system specific for Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars RPG, but the themes are universal (or galactic) enough to be transferred over. And just to be sure, as this takes place after the events of The Last Jedi, spoilers will abound, so consider yourself warned.
Continue reading Meet the Campaign: Post-The Last Jedi