Tag Archives: ennies

ENnie Winners Announced

Here’s the list of ENnie winners from ENWorld announced at Gen Con.  Let’s see how I did on my predictions

ennies

My Best Adventure pick, Razor Coast, got Silver. For Cover Art I had Mythic Adventures but then Razor Coast again, which got snubbed for Achtung Cthulhu. I had Numenera and Inner Sea Gods tied for Interior Art, they got Gold and Silver. I nailed the Best E-Book, Emerald City followed by Broken Earth. I got the order reversed on Best Free Product, We Be Goblins and CoC 7th. Best minis, Wrath of the Righteous (twice?), same on Best Monster/Adversary, Bestiary 4 and Ninth World Bestiary. 

I picked Numenera for Best Production Values and Numenera as second for Setting (along with Razor Coast, which should have gotten more than one ENnie). Best Supplement – Ultimate Campaign, and I tagged Realm Works and roll20 for Best Software and FATE/Numenera for Product Of The Year. Of course Paizo gets fan favorite, that goes without saying.

So except for the categories where I deliberately didn’t pick, I was pretty darn accurate! I do think RC should have gotten a little more and Numenera a little less – I mean, there was a big buzz around it and yay, Monte Cook, but it’s one of those where I know a batch of people who own it, but no one who’s played it… But in any event, congrats to all the winners! 

2014 ENnie Nominees Are Here

The “Gamer Oscars,” the ENnie awards, are given out each year at Gen Con. And the nominees for this year are… Well, go read the link for all of them, I’m just going to chime in with the parts I have an opinion on. My picks are…

Best Adventure

  • Razor Coast: Heart of the Razor - Frog God Games. Because I helped proof it, because it’s good, because I’m running it in my pirate campaign, because it had an epic journey to finally come to life.  Though I really like that there’s a Dreamlands campaign (The Sense of the Sleight-of-Hand Man) in the running.

Best Aid/Accessory

  • I’m not big into trinkets. I’m also not sure how to reasonably judge some dice against cards against an advice book. Pass.

Best Art, Interior

Best Art, Cover

  • Razor Coast - Frog God Games immediately over Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Mythic Adventures - Paizo Publishing. For my money Wayne Reynolds is the Larry Elmore of the 2010′s. He’s basically competing against himself here and the Mythic cover is a little too busy; the Razor Coast cover is classic.

Best Blog

  • Haven’t read any of them except for Gnome Stew which I don’t get a lot out of.  After a quick read I like the feel of The Other Side the best.

Best Cartography

  • Hmm, no opinion.  The fact that there is a Map of the Flanaess is bad ass but it’s not the quality of some of these others. And I love Razor Coast but its maps are not its high point (they tend to be pretty but have some problems in play).

Best Electronic Book

Best Family Game

  • I have no context on any of these.

Best Free Product

Best Game

  • I don’t know.  I mean, it was originally the battle of titans - 13th Age vs Fate Core System vs Numenera. Huge sales, huge buzz. But I have to say, after getting 13th Age and Numenera – I read them, and that was it.  If someone was running a Numenera game I might play.  Not sure about 13th Age. And I have very much not enjoyed the FATE games I’ve played in.  So none?  Sad I know, and it’s not because they are small or bad games. Just none of them interest me. I’ll give Numenera the edge just because I’d play it if asked and might not play the other two if asked.

Best Miniatures Product

  • Pathfinder Battles: Wrath of the Righteous - WizKids Games/NECA. The Pathfinder minis are just beautiful.  I really don’t need any more but I can’t resist buying a brick every time they have a new set because they push the bar forward on sculpts, paints, and weird materials each time.

Best Monster/Adversary

Best Podcast

  • Hmm, I listen to a lot of podcasts but haven’t heard of these.  No RPPR or Fear the Boot?  Come on now! I’ll try out All Games Considered and Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff.

Best Production Values

  • Numenera Corebook - Monte Cook Games, LLC. Can’t say anything against the production here, it’s first-rate.

Best RPG Related Product

  • As opposed to “Aids and Accessories?” Trinket category 2, pass.

Best Rules

  • I’m not in love with any of these. 13th Age and Fate Core System leave me mostly cold. Hillfolk is supposed to be all groundbreaking but I found Hamlet’s Hit Points to be pedantic and plodding as hell so I haven’t ventured it.  Shaintar: Legends Arise - “more stuff for Savage Worlds” is fine but I have a hard time pegging a “Best Rules” on it.  Makes me wish I’ve read tremulus because maybe I could vote for it here.

Best Setting

  • Razor Coast - Frog God Games, because I love pirates, followed by Numenera Corebook - Monte Cook Games, LLC, because it’s artsy and unusual if a little less accessible.

Best Supplement

Best Software

  • Realm Works - Lone Wolf Development and Roll20 - The Orr Group LLC. Gaming software’s come a long way since back in the day! I’m more likely to use Realm Works than Roll20 just because I’m a in-real-life guy.

Best Writing

  • Hmm, Numenera is the only one of these I’ve read so I can’t really judge.

Best Website

  • Why the hell is The Escapist nominated every year? It’s infrequently updated, a mass of 404s and “this is shut down now” – I go look at it every year when it’s nominated and try to figure out what I’m missing. Blog? No post in 3 months.  Forum? Shut down. Podcast? Dead 5 years. Escapist Interviews? 404.  What am I missing, because a casual survey indicates this is an old ass abandoned site?
  • Tabletop Audio is pretty and a cool idea. RPG Geek is a good reference site.  See Page XX is engaging, I read it once every 6 months or so, but it’s pretty tightly scoped so one every 6 months is enough.

Product of the Year

  • I assume Fate Core System is going to win just because squee, FATE. Or maybe Numenera on the basis of being the only game that’s not retreading well-trod ground.  Another Cthulhu game? We have enough, seriously. Razor Coast is the one out of all of them I plan to play…

All in all, not a year I’m super excited about. I got a couple fun things, which are mostly not on this list… I do like looking at the lists to see what I may have overlooked that could be good. I need to read tremulus sometime and see if it overcomes the “storygame effect” (entertaining to play – once). How about you, were any of these super winners in your mind?

ENnies Results – Paizo Wins Again!

Courtesy the sharp eyed folks on the Paizo forums…  The ENnies awards results!  Let’s count the Pathfinder wins…

  • Fans’ Favorite Publisher
    Gold: Paizo Publishing
    Silver: Wizards of the Coast
  • Product of the Year
    Gold: Advanced Players Guide, Paizo Publishing
    Silver: The Dresden Files RPG, Evil Hat
  • Best Game
    Gold: The Dresden Files RPG, Evil Hat
    Silver: Mutants & Masterminds Hero’s Handbook, Green Ronin Publishing
  • Best New Game
    Gold: The Dresden Files RPG, Evil Hat Productions
    Silver: The Laundry, Cubicle 7
  • Best Supplement
    Gold: Pathfinder: Advanced Player’s Guide, Paizo Publishing
    Silver: Space 1889: Red Sands, Pinnacle Entertainment Group
  • Best Adventure
    Gold: Pathfinder Adventure Path #43: The Haunting of Harrowstone, Paizo Publishing
    Silver: Delta Green: Targets of Opportunity, Arc Dream Publishing/Pagan Publishing
  • Best Setting
    Gold: Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea World Guide, Paizo Publishing
    Silver: Dark Sun Campaign Setting, Wizards of the Coast
  • Best Monster/Adversary
    Gold: Pathfinder: Bestiary 2, Paizo Publishing
    Silver: Monster Vault, Wizards of the Coast
  • Best Miniatures Product
    Gold: Mousling Heroes, Reaper Miniatures
    Silver: BattleTech 25th Anniversary Introductory Boxed Set, Catalyst Game Labs
  • Best RPG Related Product
    Gold: Castle Ravenloft Boardgame, Wizards of the Coast
    Silver: BattleTech 25th Anniversary Introductory Boxed Set, Catalyst Game Labs
  • Best Aid/Accessory
    Gold: Hero Lab, Lone Wolf Development
    Silver: D&D Essentials: Dungeon Tiles Master Set – The Dungeon, Wizards of the Coast
  • Best Electronic Book
    Gold: Continuity, Posthuman Studios
    Silver: Shanghai Vampocalypse, Savage Mojo
  • Best Free Product
    Gold: Old School Hack – Basic Game, Kirin Robinson
    Silver: A Time of War: The BattleTech RPG Quick-Start Rules, Catalyst Game Labs
  • Best Rules
    Gold: The Dresden Files RPG, Evil Hat Productions
    Silver: D&D Rules Compendium, Wizards of the Coast
  • Best Writing
    Gold: The Dresden Files RPG, Evil Hat Productions
    Silver: Delta Green: Targets of Opportunity, Arc Dream Publishing/Pagan Publishing
  • Best Production Values
    Gold: Pathfinder: Bestiary 2, Paizo Publishing
    Silver: The Dresden Files RPG, Evil Hat Productions
  • Best Cartography
    Gold: Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Poster Map Folio, Paizo, Cartography Rob Lazzaretti
    Silver: Bookhounds of London, Pelgrane Press, Cartography by Beth Lewis
  • Best Interior Art
    Gold: Pathfinder: The Inner Sea World Guide, Paizo Publishing, Art Direction by Sarah E. Robinson
    Silver: Dark Sun Campaign Setting, Wizards of the Coast
  • Best Cover Art
    Gold: A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide, Green Ronin Publishing, Cover by Michael Komarck
    Silver: Shadowrun: Attitude, Catalyst Game Labs, Cover by Echo Chernick
  • Best Blog
    Gold: Best Blog goes to Critical Hits
    Silver: Best Blog goes to Gnome Stew
  • Best Podcast
    Gold: Yog Radio: The Cephalopodcast from Yog-Sothoth.com
    Silver: Chronicles: The Pathfinder Podcast, d20 radio
  • Best Website
    Gold: Obsidian Portal
    Silver: d20pfsrd.com
  • Judges Spotlight Award from Mark Green: Wayfinder #4: The Mwangi
  • Judges Spotlight Award from CW Richeson: Smallville, Margaret Weis
  • Judges Spotlight Award from Wil Upchurch: Outbreak, Hunters Books
  • Judges Spotlight Award from James Surano: Fortune’s Fool, Pantheon Press
  • Judges Spotlight Award from Tracey Michienzi: Eat & Run, Brainpan Games

The way I count it, that’s 9 gold for Paizo directly and then 1 gold, 2 silver, one Judges Spotlight for other Pathfinder related products (Hero Lab is mainly for Pathfinder, really, then d20pfsrd, Wayfinder, and Pathfinder Podcast). Also good to see Green Ronin representing, and Dresden Files getting love (6!). Congrats to all the winners!

2011 ENNie Award Nominees Announced

The 2011 ENNie Award nominee list is up! Winners will be announced at Gen Con.

There’s some really good competition this year.  Sometimes it’s an obvious blowout in the offing. But you have interesting compares, like ICONS, Dresden Files, M&M 3e, and  The Laundry for Best Game.  Wizards and Paizo are represented but not overwhelmingly so – there’s a lot of indie stuff and solid showing by the midrange guys like Pelgrane, Evil Hat, Pinnacle, etc. Even better, I don’t read the list and think “WTF are all these I’ve never heard of them” like in some past years. All worthy nominees, and it’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top.  Good luck all!

 

Submissions Open For the ENnies

The yearly RPG awards are coming around again. Check out the list of nominees. If a good product you know isn’t in there, send this link to the publisher and get them to submit themselves – there’s only a bit to go, May 8 is the deadline. Last year Paizo humiliated all the competition but this year all they have submitted is paizo.com and the Ultimate Combat playtest for some reason so it’s an open field!

Pathfinder Sweeps the ENnies!

Well, it’s gratifying to see most of you voted like you were told.    Paizo is liveblogging the awards and they are winning and winning and winning.

  • d20pfsrd – silver for Best Website.
  • Kobold Quarterly – gold for Best Blog.  (They’re half Pathfinder!)
  • Pathfinder Bestiary – gold for Best Cover Art.
  • Pathfinder Core Rulebook – gold for Best Interior Art.
  • Pathfinder Chronicles City Map Folio – gold for Best Cartography.
  • Pathfinder Core Rulebook – gold for Best Production Values.
  • Pathfinder APG Playtest – gold for Best Free Product.
  • Great City Players Guide – gold for Best Electronic Book, it’s for Pathfinder by 0one Games.
  • PFS #29, The Devil We Know – silver for Best Electronic Book.
  • Pathfinder GM Screen – gold for Best Aid or Accessory.
  • Pathfinder 31 – gold for Best Adventure.
  • Pathfinder Bestiary – gold for Best Monster/Adversary.
  • Classic Monsters Revisited – silver for Best Monster/Adversary!
  • Pathfinder RPG – gold for Best Game!
  • Pathfinder RPG – gold for Product of the Year!
  • Paizo – gold for Best Publisher!

For those keeping track, they won gold or silver (or both) every category they were nominated in.

And it’s well deserved.  I do kinda hate to see anyone win it all, but if there’s a single game company that deserves it, both in a cosmic sense and because of the unflagging high quality and volume of product, and customer support – it’s Paizo and Pathfinder.  It really is great, among the very top handful of RPGs ever.  D&D 3.0 itself was the only previous game that hit my gaming groups with anything near this amount of excitement.  It’s a game meant to be played, supported by the best adventures since 1e AD&D.

And it’s great that other companies publishing for Pathfinder won too; yay third party ecosystem!

If you haven’t tried Pathfinder yet, you owe it to yourself to give it a try.  It really is great.

Here’s the full list of winners, now that it’s available!  Congrats to all of them.

The Correct Choices for ENnies 2010 Voting

Like my fellow bloggers, I encourage everyone to vote for the 2010 ENnie awardsMad Brew and others only told you how they voted, but I will go one step further and tell you how to vote!  You are all commanded to adhere to this right thinking agenda without deviation.

I’ll start by just noting that I’ve disqualified Catalyst and Shadowrun this year due to their adoption of “criminal conspiracy” as their new business plan.  Once the men responsible are rotting in unmarked graves, Shadowrun can win an award again.  Till then, I’m not going to bother even mentioning them below.

P.S. The nominees page has links to more info on all the products, I’m not gonna bother to link the products here.

1.  Best Cover Art

Ah, an interesting field.  I am not in love with any of them even though they’re all technically decent – Pathfinder art is usually excellent but I don’t think the Bestiary cover is the best example of it, going over the line into a bit cartoony/goofy.  Rogue Trader’s is a decent example of that style but strikes me as a bit too “staged.”  I really don’t like the style they use on Gathering Storm; I’ve seen that style (or even the artist, who knows) on novels and some other game products and it seems too busy for me.  “I got a deal on wisps!”

That brings it down to Rough Magicks and Eclipse Phase.  I really like them both, especially the audacity of the Rough Magicks cover.  In the end it seems a little too Photoshopped to me though, so I give lead honors to Eclipse Phase – even though their cover art doesn’t cover all that much of their cover, which seems like a bit of a waste.  Anyway, Magicks is at #2, then the rest.

2.  Best Interior Art

Here, it’s no shame to anyone else, but the Pathfinder Core Rulebook internal art is just super.  Copious and excellent.  Why, I can tell that Seoni the sorceress wants me just by her depiction in the book.  They clearly get my #1.  (And yours!  No exceptions!)

Rogue Trader and Warhammer have good if varying internal art – Rogue Trader goes from really good to “blobule-derived” in places.

And a surprise nominee from “so indie I haven’t heard of it” land, Escape from Tentacle City, with a striking stylized black and white approach.  I give it #2 for not making me say “meh!”

3.  Best Cartography

The Paizo maps are all awesome.  In fact, I figured this was a total sweep until I saw the Maps of Mastery – those are shockingly bad ass.    Apparently that guy used to do the good maps in Dungeon and now has his own thing.  I will allow you to choose freely between the two for top honors, as I am magnanimous.  I chose the Paizo Pathfinder City Map Folio maps though as that extra “it’s directly relevant and useful to me” factor overcame the sheer technical niceness (though see the Minis category below).

4.  Best Writing

I really like the Eclipse Phase writing.  Top billing.  I haven’t read Kerberos or Victoriana, but “oh another pulp or steampunk game” doesn’t thrill me at this point – about a hundred of them have come out over the last couple years.  I’ve leafed through FantasyCraft and its writing isn’t what comes to mind, seems like a strange nomination, would be better in Best Rules.  And I’ve leafed through the Native American game too and it’s pretty good but not as good as Eclipse Phase.

5.  Best Production Values

This one’s hard.  This year saw a lot of great produced games, and they’re all on here.  Give it to Warhammer because of all the gewgaws they shipped with the game?  Hmm.  In the end I interpret “best” not as “most expensive” but “makes the game reading/using experience really nice” so I’ll have to go with Pathfinder, but that may be my “prefer less board game in my RPG” aesthetic talking.  If you vote for Warhammer I won’t excommunicate you (but don’t think I’m getting soft).

6.  Best Rules

Hmm, another hard one.  Many of these rulesets aren’t new per se but are variants on previous ones.  Hero – I had a brief fling with it but it’s just too much rules for me.  BASH is very nice, but sometimes I think maybe that’s too little rules for me.  Voting for Diaspora is really a vote for FATE and a vote for Wild Talents is really a vote for ORE, both of which are fine systems.  The v6 engine of Atomic Highway didn’t seem that notable to me when I read it; I mean, it’s fine, but I wouldn’t have selected it for a rules nomination over the 100 other games around.  On the balance, I guess BASH#1 and ORE #2 but I feel conflicted about that.  And do I really like BASH more than FATE, or is that “FATE burnout” talking?

7.  Best Adventure

You can’t beat the Pathfinder APs in the adventure category.  Just can’t be done.  However, The Grinding Gear has made the old college try at it, coming in with #2.  And a really honorable mention for the Armitage Files, that’s great too.  Ah, I love that adventures are back to their rightful place of primacy in RPG products, having emerged from the decade-plus of “mouth breathers what love their rules supplements” ghetto.  Keep up the good work, all of you.

8.  Best Monster or Adversary

A lot of good stuff here.  I really like the Aces & Eights offering, and it’s extremely helpful for a more “subtle” game (not monsters, just all Wild West people, so it can get stale without great NPC ideas) and the Pathfinder and Hellfrost books are good too.  I’ll have to give a tough #1 to the Classic Horrors Revisited though – it’s more than just “here’s a bunch of monsters,” it takes its time on how to use each of them.

9.  Best Setting

Although Ken Hite has been known to turn me off (I find Suppressed Transmission’s “schiophrenic consipracy theorist gobbledygook” approach grating rather than charming), The Day After Ragnarok is the best setting this year.  Audacious and entertaining.  Kerberos Club suffers from being pulp game #20 over the last 2 years; Judge Dredd is entertaining but I’ve read it before; I don’t believe in awards for a second edition.  The Rome setting looks really interesting; I haven’t read it though, same with Goblin Markets.

10.  Best Supplement

Lucha Libre Hero is great stuff.  Usually Hero is way too rules heavy for me, but I have played it on occasion, and this supplement excited me the first time I heard about it.  I’ve got a soft spot for psychotronic stuff.  I also like Hollow Earth Expedition – though pulp in general has gotten overexposed, something with a specific focus like this still gets me.  I’m not sure why the Rebellion Era product is a “supplement” and not a “setting”…  I don’t know much about the rest of the field here.

11.  Best Aid or Accessory

This is another category where “they’re all good.”  My top billing has to go to Hero Labs though – I did a roundup of char creation software earlier this year and it was way better than its competition (PCGen, RPGXplorer) and was so good I bought it, and it’s come in very useful.  Second is the Pathfinder screen – it’s the highest quality screen ever!  Textbook-cover thick.  I like the idea of the Gaming Paper, and it’s cheap – the problem is, no one here has it, and buying it from the Paizo store doubles its price once shipping & handling is added on.  The Battlegraph dry erase “puzzle pieces” are nice and avoid the “have to erase that because we’re moving off the table” problem.  And I like the idea of the Campaign Coins, I really wanted coins to use in my campaign for Infamy Points and ended up having to go with plastic party favors, but I wish that in execution they had gone more “historical” than “looks like what a WoW gold piece would resemble.”

12.  Best Miniatures Product

I don’t have the patience for elaborate metal mini construction and painting any more, so I’m not interested in the Alkemy, and the D&D minis used to be better but look like a first grade art project nowadays.  I’ll give this one to Maps of Mystery to compensate for their whisker-thin second in Cartography.

13.  Best Regalia

I hate this category.  It means “other geek shit they sell as impulse buys in gaming stores, that isn’t really a game or mini.”  Kinda.  Though Grind is just a board game/minis game isn’t it?  If they want a board game category they should sack up and have one.  Similarly, two of these are fiction books – have a fiction category or forget it, how’s someone supposed to rate “random crap” against each other?  It’s ridiculous.  But for lack of anything better to do, vote for Lost Tales of Pine Box, Texas, as I encourage settings based in Texas, greatest nation on the Earth.

14.  Best Electronic Book

The only product I’m familiar with here is The Devil We Know Part 1: Shipyard Rats, an excellent Pathfinder adventure.  The others are probably lovely, though…  There are literally thousands of electronic products so it’s really hard to do them as a popular vote kind of thing – if they were popular they would be in print :-P  By their nature there’s going to be a small minority of gamers that have been exposed to any one of them.

15.  Best Free Product

I have to give it to Wayfinder #1 - call me a Paizo fanboy, but that fact that this is a fan publication is impressive as hell.  It’s fun (Ask a Shoanti is a hoot); my only complaint is it’s a little fiction-heavy for my tastes.  Lady Blackbird is a nice little one-shot game in a box, with great art too, and gets my silver nod.  The Pathfinder APG Playtest – is that really a “free product?”  I guess it was semi polished,and Paizo’s dedication to public betas that are as good as full free product is impressive, but it doesn’t get my vote.  I’m not totally sure what to make of the Warrior Cats game; I appreciate games being aimed at kids but I kinda feel like the practice of just using a normal traditional-but-somewhat-stripped-down RPG for it is lazy and never going to work out well.  And I have to say – I am one of those “4e haters” that doesn’t like it’s “WoWiness,” so  I wasn’t sure what to think of Combat Advantage’s “lets make D&D more video gamey!” approach. Initially I thought it would make me incontinent with rage, but after reading it I kinda like the boldness of them owning it and saying “Well… Let’s pretend we are not trying to be a realistic game at all, and just making an interesting variant.”

16.  Best Website

Interesting.  The two Pathfinder contenders are the d20PFSRD.org and the Pathfinder Wiki.  d20PFSRD has all the rules, but way more than the old d20SRD site – they get everything up there in moments after it’s posted (beta stuff too); they have value added info, “Labs” stuff for house rules, etc.  I use it all the time and it’s awesome.  The Pathfinder Wiki is its counterpart that has all the setting info.  It’s awesome that a company doesn’t mind this – it has more setting info that anything I’ve ever seen online.  I do wish it had a little more comprehensive editing, but it’s good too. I have to give #1 to d20PFSRD.org, though.

Obsidian Portal and Epic Words are different takes on campaign Web sites.  Epic Words is newer and has a slightly better design but it looks like Obsidian Portal still has the functionality edge; I do wonder why they are better than any other blog or Google group or whatever for the purpose, however.  I guess there is the “community” aspect to it, though from going and surfing the sites it seems like if you wanted others to read you’d still have to go post updates in Story Hour forums and whatnot, they don’t really do a great job of surfacing active campaigns to casual readers.  I’ve looked at Obsidian Portal from time to time but always return to just posting my campaign stuff on WordPress.

Pen & Paper Games seems OK, but I’m not sure why it’s not “just another” RPG.net/ENWorld “here’s some forums” RPG site.  I mean, it might be; pretty much one forum site is like another, it’s about getting a critical mass of people there and then not having the moderation be a big self serving cliquey mess of goons, so it wouldn’t be hard to beat out RPG.net or ENWorld if you can just get the critical mass…

17.  Best Podcast

I don’t listen to podcasts, so I have no basis from which to judge.  I’m trying to start, but my limited time (and short commute) means reading is a much more concise way for me to consume content.

18.  Best Blog

They’re all good, but in the end Critical Hits is the one I read the most especially since it joined several big blogs into one.  I like Kobold Quarterly too but it needs some navigation help.  I read the others from time to time too.  Gnome Stew is in my blogroll and I slandered them by saying they had gotten 4e-focused and lost my interest, but upon further review that’s not true. Maybe I was thinking of another one of them.  Anyway, all the RPG bloggers are great, and helping further the community of gamers.

The big thing missing here is any OSR blog.  I’ll be honest, though I don’t play the retro-clones I find a lot of the discussion in the grognard circles to be more interesting and useful than the big mainstream ones, which seem to often have very short articles with about one little takeaway in them – “Did you know you could make your game more interesting by spicing up… <random roll> X in your game?  Well you can!  OK, thanks for reading…”  As an experienced player and GM, I appreciate longer articles with more complexity to them.

19.  Best Game

Pathfinder baby!  It’s brilliant, I love it, my whole extended gaming group loves it.  Best thing to happen to D&D since the launch of 3e and the OGL.  The others are nice, but this one is awesome.

20.  Product of the Year

Hmm, is it Pathfinder again?  There’s some strong stuff here…  Warhammer was a daring but controversial new direction for the franchise.  Dragon Age is a computer game tie-in with a lot of promise.  Eclipse Phase, with the “free but you can buy it if you want” approach, is innovative in business model and the game setting itself.  I have to say, it’s a close run between Eclipse Phase and Pathfinder for me but in the end… Pathfinder is more of a major industry changer (spawning its own third party ecosystem, etc.)

21.  Fan Award for Best Publisher

Paizo‘s the obvious choice for #1, but a lot of these companies are very good – open, innovative, good at communicating with and supporting their customers.  I think Pelgrane Press and their games are underrated.  Posthuman, Green Ronin, Cubicle 7, and many more – all good guys.  There’s a couple high profile dumbasses in the industry – Catalyst, Outlaw, Palladium – but there’s a lot of people out there working hard and advancing the gaming community.

All right, you have your marching orders… Go vote!