Apparently the time has come for all the annual RPG awards. I like these because they turn me on to games that may be good that I haven’t heard of before. Especially this year, I’m surprised about all the games I’ve never heard of. The majority don’t have a single rpg.net review.
First, we have the 34th annual Origins Awards, already presented. I already posted on these; my biggest takeaways were that Aces & Eights and Codex Arcanis got the big wins and I had heard of neither one. My copy of Aces & Eights is in the mail, though! This got me interested and when Kenzer & Co. decided to exert their legal rights by putting out a 4e supplement without signing the hideous GSL, I was sold.
Next, we have the ENnies, which have the nominees set. I really liked RPGpundit’s line by line analysis of the nominees, it’s hilarious and I agree with a lot of it especially the categories I don’t care about. “Best Regalia” my ass. Although I think he’s too rough on some of the nominees – Alpha Omega certainly looks beautiful and cool from its PDF preview, and Aces & Eights seems fun too. Voting starts July 21!
My couple thoughts on these: One, it’s weird which Paizo products got nominated for what. They really should treat each Adventure Path as just one product. Burnt Offerings got put in for Best Adventure, even though anyone who knows anything knows that the second and third installments (The Skinsaw Murders, The Hook Mountain Massacre) were way, way better.
Two, the Book of Unremitting Horror needs to win the Monster Product category. Even though I love me some Feng Shui and “Glimpse of the Abyss,” the last Feng Shui product on the horizon, is nominated, and the Paizo “Classic Monsters Revisited” book is awesome, and even though the BoUH isn’t really a new product, it came out for d20 a year or two ago and is just being reissued for GUMSHOE so I’m not sure it’s a fair nomination – but oh my God it’s a piece of work. True horror hasn’t been seen in RPGdom in a while. Derivative vampire, zombie, or Lovecraft crap is it. But the monsters in this book are truly twisted, nightmare-inducing creations that are worth of Poppy Z. Brite. It’s probably the best monster product ever.
Finally, we have the Indie RPG Awards. A mixed bag. Some seem to be retreads of everything that’s come before. But some seem really innovative! I really want to know if The Princess Game would be good for little girls. Oh, I found a review and comments, and it sounds like it might be! (I have a six year old.) And Bliss Stage sounds like Red Dawn meets Independence Day with a shojo twist. I see two themes – children and relationships. Princess, Bliss, and Grey Ranks all have child protagonists (like Monsters And Other Childish Things, which is nominated for an ENnie). And besides those, Idyll: Romantic Fantasy, and even The Dead, a zombie survival horror game that curiously has strong relationship mechanics, and some others are very relationship-driven. That’s cool.