2009 ENnies Winners – Questionable At Best

The winners for the 2009 ENnies, the yearly RPG awards, have been announced at Gen Con.  Let’s review and see how that stacks up to my picks.

Best Cover Art:

  • Gold: CthulhuTech, Catalyst Game Labs
  • Silver: Pathfinder #19: Howl of the Carrion King, Paizo Publishing

I had picked 3:16 for the win, though the CT art is nice enough.  There were a lot of good covers this year.

Best Interior Art

  • Gold: Dark Heresy, Fantasy Flight Games
  • Silver: Mouse Guard, Kinoichi / Archaia Studio Press

I had actually picked CthulhuTech for this category instead.  I feel like the winners for interior art, cover art, and production values are just assigned at random from the “pretty games,” not sure people really distinguish correctly.  In this case I like Dark Heresy’s production values, but the interior art is sparse enough I don’t think it deserves a win for this subcategory specifically.  What art there is splits between good and “black blob style.”  The good ones are really really good but… Gold is a stretch.

Best Cartography

  • Gold: Pathfinder Chronicles Second Darkness Map Folio, Paizo Publishing
  • Silver: Star Wars: Scum and Villainy, Wizards of the Coast

Exactly my picks in that order.

Best Writing

  • Gold: Kobold Quarterly, Open Design
  • Silver: Don’t Lose Your Mind, Evil Hat Productions

I had picked Don’t Lose Your Mind for the gold.  Nothing against KQ, it’s serviceable writing equivalent to Dragon Magazine of times of yore, but this is an instance where the “D&D popularity” factor overwhelms actually artistically superior work.

Best Production Values

  • Gold: Dark Heresy, Fantasy Flight Games
  • Silver: Mouse Guard, Kinoichi / Archaia Studios Press

Though all pretty, I thought the game Anima was actually higher in this all around area.  But it was a very tight field this year with many very deserving contestants.  Yay to everyone.

Best Rules

  • Gold: Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Players Handbook, Wizards of the Coast
  • Silver: A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, Green Ronin Publishing

I had picked Dark Heresy for best rules.  Though it’s pretty, I don’t think its art should have won over other contenders, but its rules really are better than 4e’s.  “Of course I hate 4e so I’d say that.”  I like Green Ronin but don’t find the SIFRPG rules really that awe-inspiring; they seem more servicable as the line is more about the setting.

Best Adventure

  • Gold: Pathfinder #19: Howl of the Carrion King, Paizo Publishing
  • Silver: P1 King of the Trollhaunts Warrens, Wizards of the Coast

Of course Pathfinder for the gold, they make the best adventures hands down.  Not familiar with “Trollhaunts Warrens” but I never hear anyone talking about it online (while they do talk about Shadowfell Keep, etc.) so I’m suspicious on that count.

Best Monster Supplement

  • Gold: Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Monster Manual, Wizards of the Coast
  • Silver: Dark Heresy Creatures Anathema, Fantasy Flight Games

Oh, major boner here in leaving out Freedom’s Most Wanted for Mutants & Masterminds.  And the MM has been one of the least well received 4e books, definitely no brilliant new monsters that will be part of everyday RPG conversation.  Well, the ENnies got their start coattailing on the 3e release so I reckon you can’t criticize them for sticking close to their roots.

Best Setting

  • Gold: Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting, Paizo Publishing
  • Silver: Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies, Atomic Sock Monkey / Evil Hat Productions

Golarion, the setting of the Pathfinder Chronicles, is the new Greyhawk.  It’s the clear winner, which is a little bit of a shame since the rest of the field is very innovative too – Hot War and Candlewick Manor I wouldn’t have minded seeing in a three way tie for second…  Setting and production values had a lot of very qualified nominees this year.

Best Supplement

  • Gold: CthulhuTech Vade Mecum, Catalyst Game Labs
  • Silver: Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Wizards of the Coast

I had picked Clone Wars, definitely.  Good for Cthulhutech for grabbing the gold.  I just can’t get into the game, and this is from someone who has a huge shelf of Call of Cthulhu stuff. And I’m an Evangelion fan to boot.  You think those two would combine to make me love it but it just doesn’t grab me.  But I don’t begrudge it a win.

Best Aid or Accessory

  • Gold: D&D Insider, Wizards of the Coast
  • Silver: Kobold Quarterly, Open Design

Spare me.  The most delayed, incomplete, incompetent item on the list gets the gold?  Let’s give Boston’s Big Dig awards for engineering too!   (Well, people have in that case as well…)  I am willing to say maybe the 4e rules could win best rules but Insider is one of the worst things WotC has failed to deliver on.  They still haven’t delivered the stuff they said would be part of it at 4e launch!  You only have to visit any online forum to see people unhappy with their current functionality as well.

I had picked KQ for the win, as a post-rant aside.

Best Miniatures Product

  • Gold: Game Mastery Flip-mat: Waterfront Tavern, Paizo Publishing
  • Silver: DU1 Halls of the Giant Kings Dungeon Tiles, Wizards of the Coast

I gave silver to the Tavern but the E-Z Terrain cliffs are so much neater than both these 2d tiles!

Best Regalia

  • Gold: Battletech: The Corps, Catalyst Game Labs
  • Silver: Art of Exalted, White Wolf Publishing

I refused to pick a winner here because “Regalia” is a totally stupid category that’s a mishmash of totally unrelated products.  (I’m surprised the Gygax posthumous novel didn’t win out of sheer Gygaxity though.)

Best Electronic Book

  • Gold: Collection of Horrors: Razor Kids, White Wolf Publishing
  • Silver: Tales of Zobek: An Anthology of Urban Adventures, Open Design

I liked the other Open Design entry better since it’s by Nick Logue, but different strokes.

Best Free Product

  • Gold: Song of Ice and Fire Quickstart, Green Ronin Publishing
  • Silver: Swords and Wizardry, Mythmere Games

Sad.  There was actually a movement generated by this category; many of the entries were quickstart rules, which should not be in this category.  A company can spend their loads of money developing a game and them at no cost to them clip part of it out and release a “quickstart”.  This category should be only for “real” free games that are full games released for free, not advertising teasers.  The ENnie judges apparently don’t see the wisdom in that even though a lot of the community does.

I like Green Ronin but they don’t deserve a win in this category for this reason.  I had picked S&W for the win.

Best Website

  • Gold: Obsidian Portal
  • Silver: Kobold Quarterly

I like Mad Brew Labs more but these are great sites too.

Best Podcast

  • Gold:  All Games Considered
  • Silver:  Order 66

I don’t listen to podcasts, so have no opinion.

Best Game

  • Gold: Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, Wizards of the Coast
  • Silver: Dark Heresy, Fantasy Flight Games

Dark Heresy was my pick here!  (I am disregarding 4e because it’s a plant, see below.)

Product of the Year

  • Gold: Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Players Handbook, Wizards of the Coast
  • Silver: Mouse Guard, Kinoichi / Archaia Studios Press

Mouse Guard was my pick here!  (I am disregarding 4e because it’s a plant, see below.)  But this one is even more egregious.  Mouse Guard is a) a complete game, b) uses innovative rules, c) merges with a rich licensed setting…  The D&D PHB, even if you like 4e, is just player rules and is nowhere near a complete game.

Best Publisher

  • Gold:  Wizards of The Coast
  • Silver:  Paizo Publishing

And this boils down the suck-up nature of the ENnies to a clear point.  The company that bungled the 4e launch, failed to deliver on D&D Insider, pulled all their PDF products off  the market permanently, alienated the industry with the GSL and the fans with website shutdowns and failure (till after voting) to deliver a fansite policy – they’re “best publisher?”  It’s OK to like 4e, but to pretend that WotC has done anything but fuck one thing after another up this year – this ENnie is like Pres. Bush giving the Medal of Freedom to George Tenet, or passing up Metallica for Foghat [edit: Jethro Tull] for a Grammy, it simply degrades the award’s worth in the future.

Conclusion – 2 Strikes For The ENnies

ENnies – you are on warning.  Two strikes this year – allowing quickstarts to win in the Free Games category and in blindly allowing WotC/4e to win categories that they are clearly not contenders in (electronic product, best publisher especially).   How is someone else supposed to feel good about their award when it’s clear so many of the decisions reward the *antithesis* of the award category?

Again, sure, maybe the 4e PHB wins best rules.  But the across the board 4e/WotC wins in clearly laughable categories?  What’s up with that?

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50 responses to “2009 ENnies Winners – Questionable At Best

  1. if you’d ever used Character Builder, you wouldn’t question that win. It is, hands down, the best electronic character building tool i’ve ever used, in going on 15 years of gaming. Nothing comes close. Even if they never deliver on any other part of the D&DI features they promised, between CB and the preview content its still a good deal.
    Don’t let your dislike of the system blind you to the fact that its a brilliant tool and obviously the work of a lot of passionate people who thought long and hard about what gamers want in a character builder.

  2. D&DI is one of the best gaming products I have purchased in maybe the last three years.

    Not only do you get everything from the books and magazines arranged and indexed ready to use, but you get preview material as well for less than the cost of a book and a supplement.

    I don’t think the Ennies ever made claim to being anything other than what they are, a fan based award. And there largest fan base is made up of WotC-era D&D gamers.

  3. Maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and recognise that an awful lot of folks actually do like 4e D&D………….

    Just a thought.

  4. Greywulf is right and you sound like some nutter who refuses to see what’s right in front of you (you off at town halls on the weekends screaming about birth certificates and death panels, too? just curious). I don’t know anyone who plays 4e and has an Insider subscription who doesn’t love it and thinks it is one of the best things out there. DDI is fantastic – Dragon and Dungeon, the Character Builder, the Monster Builder, the Compendium (access to every product whether you bought them or not).

    4e has a lot of players and a lot of fans, so yes, it wins rules and game of the year. It’s not a conspiracy. The conspiracy is the Grognardosphere pretending like everyone hates WotC and 4e has been roundly rejected by the gaming community.

    It’s time to move on, this is just more evidence why.

  5. Okay, my group plays 4e. In fact, we play two different 4e campaigns on and off. There’s a lot to like about the system.

    However…

    The 4e Monster Manual is a shocking waste of paper, and easily the worst version of that venerable tome in the game’s history. And DDI is a joke; the character builder is pretty good (although resource-heavy and crawling with silly bugs), but the resource as a whole is clunky and problematic and, as our host notes, isn’t even complete, a year into its life. Not even incomplete in the sense of requiring expansion, but in the rather significant sense that it still lacks many of the features it was supposed to have, and was advertised as having, at launch.

    Awards are always silly, but giving the DDI any prize other than the rpg equivalent of a Razzie is absurd.

    Again, I’m no 4e hater, but Thasmodius, you can count me as your first “nay” in this regard.

    • I’m not sure about the other products in the category that the 4E Monster Manual won in, but I do like the 4E Monster Manual. I like it a lot more than the 3.X versions. The simple reason is that I started my 4E campaign and just had to look up the entry for “Goblin” and basically had the first 8 encounters worked out with very little repetition for my players. Funny enough, there is more than one type of goblin out there and I didn’t even have to modify them at all (despite the fact that the DMG is full of ways to do that). There was less variety of monster, yes. There was less write-up about the societal make-up of goblin society than in 3E, yes. But I had working monsters that I could throw in my setting in many different ways. Yes, it’s less interesting for players to read. Good, now I don’t have people saying “Oh, a skeleton, I know what to do now” and pulling out a mace that they keep for skeleton smashing. I like that change-up and I think it did a great job of letting DMs jump into the new system with both feet.

      • And, just before someone lumps me in with Scott, etc., I do defend some of WotC stuff, but also criticize other decisions and am NOT on their payroll or any other such stuff. Just wanted to get that out there before someone found my relatively-pro-4E post and made the usual assumption :)

  6. I guess releasing a system a lot people like makes up for repeated bad PR and poor customer relations.

    Vox Populi.

  7. That’s perfectly representative of 4e tho. The guys who make the game are obviously smart and creative people, putting out a great product, who happen to be hampered by a somewhat clueless and undoubtably profit focused parent company.

  8. I might consider 4E a viable RPG if I thought it was an actual RPG.

    DDI got an award? Absurd. The 4E marketing has been the worse I’ve ever seen from *any* company of WotC size. Abysmal. That they seem to actively hate their consumers is just crap icing on the fecal cake.

  9. Since when does Marketing have anything to do with the quality of an rpg? I’ve never heard of half the things nominated or an ennie, does it logically follow that they’re shit?

    • I believe he meant by crap marketing not that they’re not reaching their target demographic (the fact they can win so many awards with subpar products proves the opposite) but that their marketing has been ridiculous, insulting, and occasionally fallacious, either by intent or incompetence. It is quite amazing that after the PDF debacle they can still go on and win Best Publisher.

      • They can go on to win Best Publisher because they are appreciated by the greatest number of players.

        Consider, for a moment, that perhaps some people have reacted to decisions by Wizards in ways that most people would not see as reasonable because they have a tenacious distaste for the company. Everyone else is too busy enjoying themselves to nitpick the PR decisions of a gaming company.

        There is a certain segment of the RPG community that has not accepted the fact that it is a tiny minority, and that its opinions no longer hold much relevance or weight.

        It’s time to move on. Realize that you simply don’t like the game, and that you will probably never be able to treat WotC fairly, and get over it. Whining about it on your personal blogs just makes you seem incredibly bitter.

        I mean, really, calling D&D Insider a terrible product when practically everyone who has actually spent any time with it is calling it great?

        Today was a clear demonstration of how out of touch some of the most hardcore RPG bloggers are with the rest of the gaming community. It’s tough for them to swallow that their opinions aren’t widely accepted as accurate within the community.

        • No reasonable person can look at everything Wizards has done over the last year and conclude anything but they’re a bunch of jagoffs, whether you love or hate 4e. It’s crazed fanboys like yourself that refuse to admit Wizards is anything but perfect that encourages them to continue.

          Every company makes missteps from time to time. But in this case – they yanked all their licenses, pretended they were going to make a GSL (and the 4e rules) available early to third party publishers then didn’t, continually pretended they were ‘about to release’ a GSL for months before releasing their first abortion, which at fan uproar they immediately took back to the drawing board for more interminable months. They took down fansites and refuse to this day to issue a meaningful fansite policy. They took every PDF product of theirs ever off the market because of “pirates.” Their incompetence is comical and it’s only shills like yourself that refuse to admit it, on the grounds that the Great Maker of D&D shouldn’t have ever made a bad decision because it’ll somehow invalidate your feeling of justification in playing the game.

          • See?

            This is EXACTLY what I mean.

            You immediately leap on WotC’s policy decisions as though they are a) meaningful to the majority of gamers, b) malicious rather than simply an unfortunate side effect of their structure, and c) so heinous that they ought to disqualify the company’s games from receiving awards.

            I really don’t give a damn about whether courtesies like the GSL or a fan site policy exist or are of unassailable quality, and neither do most people playing D&D. The people who DO care enough to make them dislike WotC are few and far between.

            Yes, WotC has made some decisions that could have been better. But guess what? If their decisions are comical, I just laugh and continue to enjoy my game, and appreciate the company that made that game possible. YOU, on the other hand, spend post after post on vitriol.

            The gamers voted. The masses clearly have an opinion. And don’t tell me some nonsense like “Oh, WotC only won because no one knows about the others,” and act like that validates your opinion. If it was so incredibly reasonable to dislike WotC, not enough people would have gone out of their way to vote for them in a popularity (and I use that term lightly) contest limited to a small group of people made aware of it through niche internet communities.

            A clear plurality of people voting in a poll taken only by those immersed enough in the community to know of its existence thinks WotC is a great company and that 4th Edition is a great game. Don’t get all offended and up in arms over what people like. Accept the position you have chosen for yourself, and Get. Over. It.

        • I mean, really, calling D&D Insider a terrible product when practically everyone who has actually spent any time with it is calling it great?
          Not me. The character builder is okay, but the rest is shockingly poor, and shouldn’t be winning awards. Sorry.

        • “There is a certain segment of the RPG community that has not accepted the fact that it is a tiny minority, and that its opinions no longer hold much relevance or weight.”

          Scott, I’ll be honest and say that you’re not helping win these people over by telling them that they’re opinions are irrelevant and hold no weight. To be honest, one of mxyzplk’s best posts was essentially saying “Let’s move on, let ourselves be heard and maybe by the time 5th Edition comes around, we’ll have some of the elements we’re looking for added into the new edition.” That’s not the tone of someone who is just full of hate for everything 4E. It’s the tone of someone who hasn’t recently been attacked for expresssing their opinion. That’s why the tone of these comments have degenerated. People need to clear the vitriol from their language and try to see the other side’s perspective for a little.

          Just my 2 cents.

  10. “Well, the ENnies got their start sucking up to WotC with the 3e release so I reckon you can’t criticize them for sticking close to their roots”

    I stopped reading right here… You are entitled to your opinion in regards to WotC and 4E, but that line is pure flamebait

  11. How are the winners somehow part of the ENnies agenda?

    That’s what you get for allowing the fans to have a say in the process, I guess. Obviously all the votes were rigged and the ENnies actually decided the winners ignoring the results of the thousands of voters involved in the process.

    • Well, OK, fair enough. I shouldn’t blame the judges, the setup is arranged so the most popular games will get the most votes. The fans need to be more discerning though. Loving WotC because you love 4e is like those who justify any of the other companies who make a popular product but are hateful in other ways, whether it’s Apple and their horrible ecological record or Nike and its child labor. Making excuses for them because “they are a big company, they can’t help but be evil” just propagates the problem (yes you Scott).

  12. “No reasonable person can look at everything Wizards has done over the last year and conclude anything but they’re a bunch of jagoffs”

    Yeah, you’re right. A highly successful launch of a new edition, beloved online tools, a slew of much anticipated and successful splatbooks released on a tight schedule over a year, updated monthly content from Dragon and Dungeon, and updates to the CB and Compendium delivered on a consistent schedule… Yeah, how dare those bastards think they could win best publisher.

    They weren’t up for “Best Fansite Policy” or “Best .pdf Provider” They were up for best PUBLISHER. Publishers PUBLISH things. People seem quite happy with what WotC is PUBLISHING.

    • Sure, delude yourself all you want. I like how you and Scott are the self-appointed WotC PR fanboys, arriving in any post on any blog or forum anywhere to sing WotC’s praises when they are threatened by any critique of their actions.

      WotC has just plain lied, acted unethically, and generally done a huge disservice to the RPG industry in general. You know it, I know it, we all know it. You can spew your spin all you want in as many places as you want and it doesn’t change anything.

      • I think there is nothing unethical about being honestly unable to meet a prior deadline, or pulling your own product off the market temporarily for business reasons. They didn’t shoot anyone’s dog. They didn’t burn your old books (and don’t get started with the RPGNow PDF redownload thing; that’s the distributor’s problem, not WotC’s). They did something that YOU DON’T LIKE, but that doesn’t suddenly give you the right to declare that action “unethical”.

        We’re spinning NOTHING. We have said nothing false, and we’ve barely even given our opinion. All we’ve done is explain why things are the way they are, and made some observations on your conduct; observations which a number of people commenting here would agree are accurate.

        You need to get past this, mxyzplk. You have transitioned from the reasonable discussion that should take place in a blog and are now firmly in the territory of radicalized protesting.

      • Oh, and “done a huge disservice to the RPG industry”? The industry would be a shadow of itself if WotC didn’t exist. That company single-handedly does more to ensure the survival and growth of the hobby than all other tabletop RPG companies, combined (though the others sometimes try very hard).

        • And in your mind, and people like yours, that justifies anything they do. “Well, it’s *legal*. And they are *big.* So it must be OK!” I don’t buy into that. If you can’t critique their bad things then you deserve more of them in the future. This year especially, WotC has done more (combo of dumb and evil) things that we’ve seen since the falling days of TSR. No RPG company has done so much wrong in so short a time. So if there were a RPG company “Razzie,” they should be getting it, given their performance this year.

          Your track record of trying to find an excuse no matter how thin to justify everything they do (I’m assuming that “Scott” ends in “Betts” since you’re posting just like the resident WotC Pollyanna on the Paizo boards) disqualifies you from even having an opinion on what’s “reasonable discussion.”

          They have been unethical this year, yes. They say they deliberately strung along the 3pp’s before the 4e release by pretending they’d be releasing a license and rules to them “any day now” was unethical and specifically designed to paralyze them from generating competing products. Their transparent lies about why they are discontinuing PDF sales are unethical. There’s a long list, but I’m not going to bother with a point by point because there is no gain to be had from the discussion – you will just say that every single thing they’ve done, no matter how inexcusable is “just great! They are the big company in the industry, so each thing is both brilliant and pure as the driven snow!”

          Big companies can get you evicted from your home using eminent domain so they can built a Wal-Mart too, just because it’s legal and a company thinks it’s a good idea doesn’t mean it’s ethical, and people like you that can’t see the difference are dangerous.

          • The fact that you’re even attempting to draw a line of comparison between eminent domain evictions and WotC deciding to stop selling PDFs, or releasing a courtesy license late is all anyone needs to see.

      • The fact of the matter remains that the FANS agreed that they are the best publisher, and that the judges placed them among the top 5 publishers of the year.

        Spewing negativity and hate about it just makes the whole argument feel like a crass case of sour grapes.

  13. And you can spew your unbridled rage all over and it doesn’t change the fact that WotC and 4e swept the Ennies. Rage, rage, against the dying of the light!

    • Oh, who’s got the nerdrage here? I just don’t think they deserve the award. I mention a couple other awards I don’t think were deserved by their winners, but strangely no one’s flood-posting to every comment about those. Pot calling kettle.

  14. By the way, Metallica lost the Grammy to Jethro Tull, not Foghat. 8)

  15. You know, I *do* knock other companies when they deserve it. I called out White Wolf for their fansite guidelines, Paizo for their decency clause, and others right here on this blog. I don’t call out WotC the most because I a priori hate them – I call them out the most because they seem to have made it their business to do about one thing a month that is hostile to their customers or fans or fellow publishers (depending on the month).

  16. OK, I could give a shit what the usual suspect WotC shills say, but since people I actually respect like dyson and greywulf have said the post was over the top, I’ve gone back and dialed it down a little bit. The judges aren’t to blame for the final vote, for sure. (The quickstart thing *is* their fault, though.)

    • Yeah. Damn those judges for nominating free products for the best free product category.

      Note that the category has almost always been about promotional material for existing, never for free RPGs. The last time that WotC had a nomination in this category it lost to a free d20 supplement. The category has been about thanking the publishers for putting out free material. Considering how few free products were nominated, it is ridiculous to blame the judges for actually thinking that in-print free material is not worthy of being noted.

      For instance – if you want a free PRINT copy of the silver winner, you will be paying $9.95, whereas you get a print copy of the gold winner for… free.

      PDF games don’t cut it for me. I can’t bring them to a convention and run them without spending money on printing them out. Quickstart packages on the other hand I CAN take with me at no cost and run a full game using them.

      And this is coming from someone who’s favourite free RPG is available for free in PDF only. I had to pay for my print copy of the game, and in my mind that makes it less value received than the free print copies of all these quickstart rules I have on my bookshelves.

      • Well, the distinction between print and PDF isn’t part of the award title; make it “Best Free Print RPG” then. But there’s a difference between quickstarts and “new” free content put out by a large publisher. I’m not saying only small guys should win this. I’m saying if you take a for pay product and just cut part of it out and make it free, that’s not a free product, it’s a free preview. The Pathfinder “Bonus Bestiary” would be fine; that’s free monsters that won’t be part of a sold product. But quickstarts and previews aren’t the same thing.

        Besides, the actual utility/value of most quickstarts I’ve ever seen is minimal. They’re not for *use*, not for playing – they are pure marketing. Should anyone who puts a “free” chapter out of their product up on the Net enter it as a free product?

        • A free chapter is not a quick-start. Quick-start rules are the mechanics needed to play a game along with a small module, in my experience. I’m thinking of the Exalted 2e quickstart which I’ve run four times.

          Have you seen the Song of Ice and Fire quickstart? It’s a gorgeous 36-page PRINTED product that is exactly what you aren’t describing. It’s in print, it has a simplified version of the rules of play, a nicely abreviated overview of the setting, sample characters, and of course an adventure using this material. It’s not a chapter from the much larger book, but a fully playable game that I’ve run without having a copy of the full RPG.

          It’s products like these, in my experience, that really help grow the scene. I’ve seen people interested in RPGs who have never played before settle down for a quickstart game. How is this not for use?

          What “quickstart” packages have you encountered that were not playable and were just a one-chapter excerpt from the core book?

          • I’m not denying the quickstarts have utility to an end user, I’m just saying that in terms of winning an award they do not have additional creative/artistic merit beyond what was needed to create the base product, and therefore should not be considered for an award. It’s why the Academy Awards distinguish between “Best Original Screenplay” and “Best Adapted Screenplay” (adapted like from a book or whatnot) where the latter is frankly not considered as prestigious. It’s unfair to authors of truly free games to compete with what is essentially a done for pay game that they’re releasing “a little of” for free.

            Other folks in the community agree that the quickstarts should not have been considered.

          • In other words, it’s really the ENnies fault for letting the free RPGs into the category at all this time – since in the past the category was specifically aimed at promotional material and web enhancements – not full products.

  17. Alas, at the limits of threading. @dysonlogos – Basically, yes. Though I disagree that the category has been “aimed” at promotional material; reviewing the nominees over the last three years there are some quickstarts and web enhancements but also very many full and separate products. I’m even OK with web enhancements if it’s actual original content and not something right out of a for-pay product.

    It’s not a very complicated distinction. “New free stuff” vs “Reprinted for free” stuff.

  18. I was absolutely thinking the same things. It is not by chance that I found this article, because I was really disappointed with the results this year. Wotc and the horrilbe 4e are here advertised not awarded. It seems ENnies are used to give some reward to a game that has not satisfacted any RPGer out there. Only kids used to electronic RPGs are happy with 4e. That is not a true rpg to start with in my opinion.

    • Again, how is a public vote somehow the ENnies doing something wrong? Thousands of gamers (After the first few days they had 6,000 votes, I believe – don’t know what the final count was) from around the internet voted, and the gamers voted for 4e.

      If the game satisfied no RPGer, how come so many of them voted for it?

  19. Because the modern RPGer is too assimilated at the internet rpg mechanics… I for me… cannot think that an rpg that has no advice to make “rpging” (and tells you in the PHB that you have to buy miniatures and tiles) can be considered rpg. I am not for storytelling, I just say an rpg could use maps and miniatures to simplify things but Wotc is selling a tabletop skirmish game with some rpg background.

    Godlike, Palladium Games (like NightBane), the new Mechwarrior RPG (“A time for War”), Pathfinder Rpg and C&C… those are rpgs… their values stetd by personal tastes but anyway they are rpgs. Can an rpg be the tabletop version of something else? No.

    In these days I am playing and enjoying the PSP videogame D&D tacticts. But that’s a hack & slash videogame with any deepness but Wotc seems to thinks that an rpg should be exactly like D&D Tactics. That is not and rpg.

  20. I wish people would stop propagating the idea that WotC really must be an excellent company just because they got the majority votes for several ENnies.

    Winning a popular vote doesn’t mean that something is a good idea; it just means that people make stupid decisions collectively, as well as individually.

  21. You’re comments are hilarious…love it. Glad I found your blog.

  22. All I can do is laugh while you schmooze your way out of debates with people. Instead of debating about the topic, you focus on the opposing parties tactics or go off on a tangent. Bad form.

    Anyway, you do realize the first games Gygax made were tile based combat games, with VERY similar rules to 4E… le gasp, he made strategy mini games, not just RPGs, imagine that!

    I imagine the fact that minis of all sorts are more readily available attribute to the fact that 4e is miniature based. Of course, you could print monster tiles, but that would require resourcefulness and creativity!

    My favorite quote from any gamer was “If I wanted to roll dice, I’d go to Vegas” … seriously, the combat is a small aspect of the game, you can alter the rules of 4e to allow for some interesting non-combat campaigns… with, guess what? ROLE PLAYING HOLY CRAP. (if you can’t roleplay in 4e you’re terrible at this hobby)

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