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…
- 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.
- 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
- Tie between Numenera Corebook – Monte Cook Games, LLC and Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Gods – Paizo Publishing. Numenera is pretty and unusual; ISG has like a piece of art every other page for 338 pages. Both very good.
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.
- 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.
- 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
- Player’s Guide to Emerald City – Green Ronin Publishing followed by Broken Earth (Savage Worlds) – Sneak Attack Press
Best Family Game
- I have no context on any of these.
Best Free Product
- Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Quickstart – Chaosium Inc. – as much CoC as I really want or need, unless I’m a Keeper! Followed by Pathfinder Module: We Be Goblins Too! – Paizo Publishing – as hilarious as the original, which I ran for a bunch of 10 year old boys.
- 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.
- The Ninth World Bestiary – Monte Cook Games, LLC and then Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 4 – Paizo Publishing. Though I would find Numenera hard to run, perhaps, the Bestiary is one of its real strong points, with very evocative and weird creatures. And the art is great.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Campaign – Paizo Publishing. Breaks D&D (well, Pathfinder, but who are we kidding) way out of the dungeon. Good stuff.
- 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.
- Hmm, Numenera is the only one of these I’ve read so I can’t really judge.
- 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?