Tag Archives: GenCon

2015 ENnie Award Results

Last week, I made my annual ENnie award predictions. Not my personal preferences – just who I thought would probably win based solely on fan demographics and my best guesses. I was actually less successful than last year, which pleases me – since it means that more votes were cast based on quality than just on name recognition, which is how these categories often go.ROLCoverdisplay-350x350

Spoiler: I’m frankly stunned that A Red & Pleasant Land did so well, especially against D&D. It was a great looking product, but compared to D&D it had a much smaller press run, and its creator Zak S. is quite a controversial figure – so I didn’t expect it to place at all, much less four times! Congrats to Zak S. for blowing me away!

Best Adventure (let’s call this one 25% right)

SILVER WINNER A Red & Pleasant Land (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)
SILVER PREDICTION/GOLD WINNER Horror on the Orient Express (Chaosium)
GOLD PREDICTION Hoard of the Dragon Queen (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Aid/Accessory (50% right)

GOLD PREDICTION/GOLD WINNER D&D Dungeon Master’s Screen (Wizards of the Coast)
SILVER WINNER Black-green Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition RPG Dice Set (Q-Workshop)
SILVER PREDICTION Pathfinder Cards: Deluxe Harrow Deck (Paizo Inc.)

Best Art, Interior (Hey, 100% correct!)

GOLD PREDICTION/GOLD WINNER D&D Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast)
SILVER PREDICTION/SILVER WINNER The Strange (Monte Cook Games, LLC)

Best Art, Cover (50% right on this one)

SILVER PREDICTION Freeport: The City of Adventure for the Pathfinder RPG (Green Ronin Publishing)
SILVER WINNER Achtung! Cthulhu: Terrors of the Secret War (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)
GOLD PREDICTION/GOLD WINNER Rise of Tiamat (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Blog  (I had no idea on these, but I did say that ConTessa was probably my alternate silver, so I wasn’t tooooo far off. I’ll call this one 25% right.)

ALT SILVER PREDICTION/GOLD WINNER ConTessa – Tabletop gaming by women for everyone!
GOLD PREDICTION/SILVER WINNER Gnome Stew
SILVER PREDICTION NERD TREK

Best Cartography (well, I did say I had no idea who would get the silver. 50% right.)

SILVER WINNER The Guide to Glorantha (Moon Design Publications)
SILVER PREDICTION Horror on the Orient Express (Chaosium)
GOLD PREDICTION/GOLD WINNER Ninth World Guidebook (Monte Cook Games, LLC)

Best Electronic Book (another 25% result; I shouldn’t have broken my rule of “D&D = GOLD”)

GOLD PREDICTION Dragon Age Core RuleBook (Green Ronin Publishing)
SILVER PREDICTION/GOLD WINNER Basic Rules for D&D (Wizards of the Coast)
SILVER WINNER Ken Writes About Stuff Volume 2 (Pelgrane Press)

Best Family Game (100% right on this one)

SILVER PREDICTION/SILVER WINNER Atomic Robo: The Roleplaying Game (Evil Hat Productions)
GOLD PREDICTION/GOLD WINNER D&D Starter Set (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Free Product (Only 50% again)

GOLD PREDICTION/GOLD WINNER Basic Rules for D&D (Wizards of the Coast)
SILVER PREDICTION Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space – Arrowdown (Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.)
SILVER WINNER 13th Age: The Archmage’s Orrery (Pelgrane Press)

Best Game (100% right again)

GOLD PREDICTION/GOLD WINNER D&D Player’s Handbook (Wizards of the Coast)
SILVER PREDICTION/SILVER WINNER The Strange (Monte Cook Games, LLC)

Best Miniatures Product (I should have known to pick D&D, even though Wizards didn’t produce it; I’ll call this one 25%)

GOLD WINNER D&D Icons of the Realms: Elemental Evil Boosters (WizKids)
GOLD PREDICTION/SILVER WINNER Pathfinder Pawns: Inner Sea Pawn Box (Paizo Inc.)
SILVER PREDICTION Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Roleplaying Game Adventure Kit (Privateer Press)

Best Monster/Adversary (50%)

GOLD PREDICTION/GOLD WINNER D&D Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast)
SILVER PREDICTION The Strange Bestiary (Monte Cook Games, LLC)
SILVER WINNER Achtung! Cthulhu: Terrors of the Secret War (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)

Best Podcast (50%)

GOLD PREDICTION/GOLD WINNER Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff
SILVER WINNER Miskatonic University Podcast
SILVER PREDICTION Translating the Strange

Best Production Values (100%)

SILVER PREDICTION/SILVER WINNER Horror on the Orient Express (Chaosium)
GOLD PREDICTION/GOLD WINNER D&D Starter Set (Wizards of the Coast)

Best RPG Related Product (oops! close, but no cigar – let’s call it 25%)

GOLD WINNER Designers & Dragons: A History of the Roleplaying Game Industry (Evil Hat Productions)
SILVER PREDICTION Shadowrun: Crossfire (Catalyst Game Labs)
GOLD PREDICTION/SILVER WINNER Temple of Elemental Evil (WizKids)

Best Rules (50% right)

GOLD PREDICTION/GOLD WINNER D&D Player’s Handbook (Wizards of the Coast)
SILVER WINNER MUTANT: Year Zero – The Roleplaying Game (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)
SILVER PREDICTION Monster of the Week (Evil Hat Productions)

Best Setting (way off again! I’ll call this 25%)

GOLD PREDICTION/SILVER WINNER The Strange (Monte Cook Games, LLC)
GOLD WINNER A Red & Pleasant Land (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)
SILVER PREDICTION Trail of Cthulhu: Dreamhounds of Paris (Pelgrane Press)

Best Software (I said Hero Lab was my alternate silver, so at least there’s that… I’ll call it 75%)

GOLD PREDICTION/GOLD WINNER Roll20 (Roll 20)
SILVER PREDICTION D&D Complete Core Monster Pack for Fantasy Grounds (SmiteWorks USA LLC)
SILVER WINNER Hero Lab (Lone Wolf Development)

Best Supplement (100% correct)

GOLD PREDICTION/GOLD WINNER D&D Dungeon Master’s Guide (Wizards of the Coast)
SILVER PREDICTION/SILVER WINNER Pathfinder RPG: Pathfinder Unchained (Paizo Inc.)

Best Website (I based my guesses on last year, and said “I can see these swapping” – so I was only partly right; I’ll call it 25% again)

SILVER WINNER Tabletop Audio
GOLD PREDICTION Adventureaweek
SILVER PREDICTION/GOLD WINNER The Escapist

Best Writing (25%, I suppose)

GOLD PREDICTION/SILVER WINNER D&D Player’s Handbook by Jeremy Crawford, James Wyatt, Robert J. Schwalb, Bruce R. Cordell (Wizards of the Coast)
SILVER PREDICTION The Strange by Monte Cook, Bruce R. Cordell (Monte Cook Games, LLC)
GOLD WINNER A Red & Pleasant Land by Zak S (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)

Product of the Year (50%)

SILVER PREDICTION The Strange (Monte Cook Games, LLC)
SILVER WINNER A Red & Pleasant Land (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)
GOLD PREDICTION/GOLD WINNER D&D Player’s Handbook (Wizards of the Coast)

 

 

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My 2015 ENnie Award Predictions!

The ENnie award winners will be announced at GenCon tomorrow, but before that happens I thought I’d repeat what I did last year and announce my predictions for the winners.

The full nominees list is below. Keep in mine that these are not my personal preferences – I’ve just annotated who I think will probably win, based on fan demographics. I really think the new edition of D&D will sweep it, except on occasions when it’s up against Pathfinder, but I might be surprised! Monte Cook, of course, will pull in some good numbers.awards-image

To my thinking, these awards usually go like this: D&D or Pathfinder contending for #1 and #2, Monte Cook #3, Evil Hat #4, Savage Worlds or Cthulhu-based products contending for #5, and then everyone else. For instance, I don’t think Zak S. has a snowball’s chance, even though A Red & Pleasant Land is a great looking product. Maybe if these were judge awards and not fan voting, but A Red & Pleasant Land is too unknown outside of Zak’s circles, and there are too many people he’s pissed off. I’d be pleasantly surprised, though, if this were not the case.

Best Adventure

A Red & Pleasant Land (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)
SILVER Horror on the Orient Express (Chaosium)
GOLD Hoard of the Dragon Queen (Wizards of the Coast)
Cake Walk (Fabled Environments)
East Texas University: Degrees of Horror (Pinnacle Entertainment Group)

Best Aid/Accessory (I can easily see these two getting swapped)

DungeonMorph Dice: Explorer Set (Inkwell Ideas)
GOLD D&D Dungeon Master’s Screen (Wizards of the Coast)
Syrinscape’s Rise of the Runelords Mega SoundPack (Syrinscape)
Black-green Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition RPG Dice Set (Q-Workshop)
SILVER Pathfinder Cards: Deluxe Harrow Deck (Paizo Inc.)

Best Art, Interior (Trail of Cthulhu is my alternate silver; if it weren’t for D&D and Monte, I’d pick it for gold)

GOLD D&D Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast)
Interface Zero 2.0: Full Metal Cyberpunk (Gun Metal Games)
Trail of Cthulhu: Dreamhounds of Paris (Pelgrane Press)
SILVER The Strange (Monte Cook Games, LLC)
Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Core Rules Hardcover (Privateer Press)

Best Art, Cover

Iron Kingdoms Full Metal Fantasy Monsternomicon (Privateer Press)
MUTANT: Year Zero – The Roleplaying Game (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)
SILVER Freeport: The City of Adventure for the Pathfinder RPG (Green Ronin Publishing)
Achtung! Cthulhu: Terrors of the Secret War (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)
GOLD Rise of Tiamat (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Blog  (no idea for silver, really, but ConTessa is probably my alternate silver)

ConTessa – Tabletop gaming by women for everyone!
DMDavid Blog
GOLD Gnome Stew
House Rule Gaming
SILVER NERD TREK

Best Cartography (no idea for silver, really…)

MUTANT: Year Zero – The Roleplaying Game (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)
The Guide to Glorantha (Moon Design Publications)
Distant Outposts Deluxe Poster Map Set (Christopher West’s Maps of Mastery)
SILVER Horror on the Orient Express (Chaosium)
GOLD Ninth World Guidebook (Monte Cook Games, LLC)

Best Electronic Book (these two could easily swap)

GOLD Dragon Age Core RuleBook (Green Ronin Publishing)
SILVER Basic Rules for D&D (Wizards of the Coast)
Ken Writes About Stuff Volume 2 (Pelgrane Press)
Cake Walk (Fabled Environments)
Valiant Universe RPG Digital Initiative (Catalyst Game Labs)

Best Family Game (Doctor Who is my alternate silver)

SILVER Atomic Robo: The Roleplaying Game (Evil Hat Productions)
GOLD D&D Starter Set (Wizards of the Coast)
Infestation, An RPG of Bugs and Heroes (Third Eye Games)
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space – Limited Edition Anniversary Rulebook (Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.)
Adventure Maximus RPG Starter Set (Eden Studios)

Best Free Product

Valiant RPG Digital Initiative (Catalyst Game Labs)
GOLD Basic Rules for D&D (Wizards of the Coast)
SILVER Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space – Arrowdown (Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.)
13th Age: The Archmage’s Orrery (Pelgrane Press)
East Texas University: Redneckromancer (Pinnacle Entertainment Group)

Best Game (Firefly has a good shot at silver, as does Atomic Robo, but I think the ENWorld readership may pick Monte instead)

GOLD D&D Player’s Handbook (Wizards of the Coast)
SILVER The Strange (Monte Cook Games, LLC)
Firefly Roleplaying Game (Margaret Weis Productions)
MUTANT: Year Zero – The Roleplaying Game (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)
Atomic Robo: The Roleplaying Game (Evil Hat Productions)

Best Miniatures Product

Gen Con Adventurer’s Tavern – Painted (Games and Gears)
D&D Icons of the Realms: Elemental Evil Boosters (WizKids)
Fantasy Pirate Goblin Lieutnant 28mm Miniature (Via Ludibunda)
GOLD Pathfinder Pawns: Inner Sea Pawn Box (Paizo Inc.)
SILVER Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Roleplaying Game Adventure Kit (Privateer Press)

Best Monster/Adversary

GOLD D&D Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast)
13th Age Bestiary (Pelgrane Press)
SILVER The Strange Bestiary (Monte Cook Games, LLC)
Iron Kingdoms Full Metal Fantasy Monsternomicon (Privateer Press)
Achtung! Cthulhu: Terrors of the Secret War (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)

Best Podcast

GOLD Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff
Miskatonic University Podcast
SILVER Translating the Strange
NPC Cast
Grim Dark Podcast

Best Production Values (Iron Kingdoms or Shadowrun are my silver runners-up)

SILVER Horror on the Orient Express (Chaosium)
GOLD D&D Starter Set (Wizards of the Coast)
The Guide to Glorantha (Moon Design Publications)
Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Roleplaying Game Adventure Kit (Privateer Press)
Shadowrun: Runner’s Toolkit: Alphaware (Catalyst Game Labs)

Designers & Dragons: A History of the Roleplaying Game Industry (Evil Hat Productions)
Chicks Dig Gaming: A Celebration of All Things Gaming by the Women Who Love It (Mad Norwegian Press)
SILVER Shadowrun: Crossfire (Catalyst Game Labs)
GOLD Temple of Elemental Evil (WizKids)
Doctor Who: The Card Game 2nd Edition (Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.)

Best Rules

GOLD D&D Player’s Handbook (Wizards of the Coast)
MUTANT: Year Zero – The Roleplaying Game (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)
Mindjammer – The Roleplaying Game (Transhuman Science-Fiction Adventure in the Second Age of Space) (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)
At the Hands of an Angry God (BlackWyrm Games)
SILVER Monster of the Week (Evil Hat Productions)

Best Setting

GOLD The Strange (Monte Cook Games, LLC)
The Guide to Glorantha (Moon Design Publications)
MUTANT: Year Zero – The Roleplaying Game (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)
A Red & Pleasant Land (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)
SILVER Trail of Cthulhu: Dreamhounds of Paris (Pelgrane Press)

Best Software (I can easily see these two getting swapped; Hero Lab is my alternate silver)

GOLD Roll20 (Roll 20)
SILVER D&D Complete Core Monster Pack for Fantasy Grounds (SmiteWorks USA LLC)
Hero Lab (Lone Wolf Development)
Syrinscape’s Rise of the Runelords Mega SoundPack (Syrinscape)
Eclipse Phase: Singularity Character Generator (Posthuman Studios & Snow Dog Labs)

Best Supplement (This is a tough one. All of these have great name recognition. My alternate silver is Savage Worlds.)

GOLD D&D Dungeon Master’s Guide (Wizards of the Coast)
SILVER Pathfinder RPG: Pathfinder Unchained (Paizo Inc.)
Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion (Pinnacle Entertainment Group)
Doctor Who – The Fourth Doctor Sourcebook (Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.)
Shadowrun: Run Faster (Catalyst Game Labs)

Best Website (I can see these swapping)

Tabletop Audio
GOLD Adventureaweek
Age of Ravens
SILVER The Escapist
The Illuminerdy

Best Writing (Designers & Dragons has a decent shot at silver, but I don’t think it can beat Monte)

Ken Writes About Stuff Volume 2 by Kenneth Hite (Pelgrane Press)
GOLD D&D Player’s Handbook by Jeremy Crawford, James Wyatt, Robert J. Schwalb, Bruce R. Cordell (Wizards of the Coast)
SILVER The Strange by Monte Cook, Bruce R. Cordell (Monte Cook Games, LLC)
A Red & Pleasant Land by Zak S (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)
Designers & Dragons: A History of the Roleplaying Game Industry by Shannon Appelcline (Evil Hat Productions)

Product of the Year

MUTANT: Year Zero – The Roleplaying Game (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)
SILVER The Strange (Monte Cook Games, LLC)
Horror on the Orient Express (Chaosium)
A Red & Pleasant Land (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)
The Guide to Glorantha (Moon Design Publications)
GOLD D&D Player’s Handbook (Wizards of the Coast)
Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Core Rules Hardcover (Privateer Press)
Designers & Dragons: A History of the Roleplaying Game Industry (Evil Hat Productions) Firefly Roleplaying Game (Margaret Weis Productions)
Mindjammer – The Roleplaying Game (Transhuman Science-Fiction Adventure in the Second Age of Space) (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)

 —-

Okay, that’s it! I put about 20 minutes into guessing these, and I think they’ll probably turn out to be pretty close.  I’ll post a follow-up to see how I did.

2014 ENnie Award Follow-Up!

Last month I predicted the winners for this year’s ENnie awards – so now it’s time to seeAwards Image how I did!

The full list is below if you want to peruse it, but to sum up: if you have a product that isn’t based on fan-favorite brands Numenera/Monte Cook, Fate/Evil Hat, Pathfinder/Paizo, or Savage Worlds/Pinnacle, your chances are slim to none. By my count, there were 44 individual gold and silver awards, of which 40 had a chance to be won by products supporting one of these brands. They won 31 out of 40.

With that in mind, I’d like to see the ENnies introduce a “Best New Publisher Product” category (or something similar) that only includes products by brand new publishers instead of industry leaders, or some category with products that don’t rely on those leaders to support them. I’d also like to see the “Best Electronic Book” category better defined to explain how these books differ from other electronic books in other categories.

Okay, enough of that. On to the results!

Best Adventure (100%! I guessed both of these correctly.)

  • Trail of Cthulhu: Eternal Lies – Pelgrane Press (GOLD)
  • Razor Coast: Heart of the Razor – Frog God Games (SILVER)

Best Aid/Accessory (50%)

  • Numenera Creature Deck – Monte Cook Games, LLC (GOLD)
  • Fate Dice – Eldritch Dice – Evil Hat Productions (SILVER)

I guessed the Silver correctly, but my Gold vote was for Odyssey: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Campaign Management by Engine Publishing. I’d forgotten to take Monte Cook’s huge fan following into account, something you’ll see more of below.

Best Art, Interior (I should have realized that Pathfinder would take at least the Silver, considering Paizo and Pathfinder also have a huge fan following.)

  • Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Gods – Paizo Publishing (GOLD)
  • Numenera Corebook – Monte Cook Games, LLC (SILVER)

My guesses were:
Numenera Corebook – Monte Cook Games, LLC (GOLD)
Shadowrun 5th Edition Core Rulebook – Catalyst Game Labs (SILVER)

Best Art, Cover (I was a bit off on this one, since once again I forgot how the Paizo fanbase would perform.)

  • Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Mythic Adventures – Paizo Publishing (GOLD)
  • Achtung! Cthulhu – Keeper’s Guide to the Secret War – Modiphius (SILVER)

My predictions were:
Shadowrun 5th Edition Core Rulebook – Catalyst Game Labs (GOLD)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Mythic Adventures – Paizo Publishing (SILVER)

Best Blog (I got 50% here.)

  • Gnome Stew (GOLD)
  • AaWBlog (Adventureaweek.com) (SILVER)

I’d predicted:
Gnome Stew (GOLD)
Dorkland! (50% chance of SILVER)
The Illuminerdy (50% chance of SILVER)

Best Cartography (100%; I based this prediction purely on fanbase level, so I got both of these right.)

  • Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Wrath of the Righteous Poster Map Folio -Paizo Publishing (GOLD)
  • Numenera Corebook – Monte Cook Games, LLC (SILVER)

Best Electronic Book (50%; I’d hoped to have a chance of a Silver award for Corporia, but no luck this year. I find it interesting that I picked one Savage Worlds product for the Silver, but the other Savage Words product that actually won the Silver lists “Savage Worlds” in the nomination listing. Maybe Broken Earth just has more fans – I’ve certainly heard good things about it – but I do wonder how much it helped them to have “Savage Worlds” visible to the voters, whereas Shaintar did not.

  • Player’s Guide to Emerald City – Green Ronin Publishing (GOLD)
  • Broken Earth (Savage Worlds) – Sneak Attack Press (SILVER)

My predictions were:
Player’s Guide to Emerald City – Green Ronin Publishing (GOLD)
Shaintar: Legends Unleashed – Evil Beagle Games (SILVER)

Best Family Game (I was right when I said that Fate “fans might easily push it to Silver or Gold”.)

  • Fate Accelerated Edition – Evil Hat Productions (GOLD)
  • Hobbit Tales from the Green Dragon Inn – Cubicle 7 Entertainment (SILVER)

My official guesses were:
Hobbit Tales from the Green Dragon Inn – Cubicle 7 Entertainment (GOLD)
Little Wizards – Crafty Games (SILVER)

Best Free Product (I got these backwards, once again forgetting the Paizo fanbase numbers.)

  • Pathfinder Module: We Be Goblins Too! – Paizo Publishing (GOLD)
  • Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Quickstart – Chaosium Inc. (SILVER)

I’d predicted:
Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Quickstart – Chaosium Inc. (GOLD)
Pathfinder Module: We Be Goblins Too! – Paizo Publishing (SILVER)

Best Game (I got these backwards, too.)

  • Fate Core System – Evil Hat Productions (GOLD)
  • Numenera Corebook – Monte Cook Games, LLC (SILVER)

I’d predicted:
Numenera Corebook – Monte Cook Games, LLC (GOLD)
Fate Core System – Evil Hat Productions (SILVER)

Best Miniatures Product (50% here. Hmmm. Yet another one where the Pathfinder fanbase really prevailed.)

  • Pathfinder Battles: Wrath of the Righteous – WizKids Games/NECA (GOLD)
  • Pathfinder Battles: Wrath of the Righteous Gargantuan Demon Lord Deskari – WizKids Games/NECA (SILVER)

I’d predicted:
Pathfinder Battles: Wrath of the Righteous – WizKids Games/NECA (GOLD)
BattleTech: Alpha Strike – Catalyst Game Labs (SILVER)

Best Monster/Adversary (Two more I got backwards.)

  • Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 4 – Paizo Publishing (GOLD)
  • The Ninth World Bestiary – Monte Cook, LLC (SILVER)

I’d predicted:
The Ninth World Bestiary – Monte Cook, LLC (GOLD)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 4 – Paizo Publishing (SILVER)

Best Podcast (I did say “I can also see my Gold and Silver guesses getting swapped”. I should have put Ken and Robin first, since I suspect their listener numbers are quite a bit higher than AGC (which I recently started listening to). Once again, I should also have just assumed that anything Numenera would win an award.)

  • Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff (GOLD)
  • Numenera: The Signal (SILVER)

I’d predicted the following:
All Games Considered (GOLD)
Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff (SILVER)

Best Production Values (50% here)

  • Numenera Corebook – Monte Cook Games, LLC (GOLD)
  • Trail of Cthulhu: Eternal Lies – Pelgrane Press (SILVER)

I’d predicted the following:
Numenera Corebook – Monte Cook Games, LLC (GOLD)
Iron Kingdoms Full Metal Fantasy RPG: Kings, Nations, and Gods – Privateer Press (SILVER)

Best RPG Related Product (100% – I guessed both of these)

  • Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords Base Set – Paizo Publishing (GOLD)
  • Strange Tales of the Century – Evil Hat Productions (SILVER)

Best Rules (100% of what I guessed. As I said originally, “Fate probably has this one wrapped up, just by being Fate. I didn’t pick a probable Silver since I can see it going anywhere in this category.”)

  • Fate Core System – Evil Hat Productions (GOLD)
  • 13th Age – Pelgrane Press (SILVER)

I’d predicted:
Fate Core System – Evil Hat Productions (GOLD)

Best Setting (I’d said “I wonder if there are enough Noir fans to push it into Silver.” It seems there were!)

  • Numenera Corebook – Monte Cook Games, LLC (GOLD)
  • Deadlands Noir – Pinnacle Entertainment Group SILVER)

I had picked:
Numenera Corebook – Monte Cook Games, LLC (GOLD)
Razor Coast – Frog God Games (SILVER)

Best Supplement (100% correct, even though I said “I haven’t used any of these supplements, so it’s another wild guess using what I know of the fanbases.”)

  • Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Campaign – Paizo Publishing (GOLD)
    Fate System Toolkit – Evil Hat Productions (SILVER)

Best Software (100% correct here too, but it was just wild guessing based on how much I see the product names mentioned around the web.)

  • Roll20 – The Orr Group LLC (GOLD)
  • Realm Works – Lone Wolf Development (SILVER)

Best Writing (I was right when I said “Here’s another where I can see my guesses for Silver and Gold being swapped in the final results.”)

  • Numenera Corebook – Monte Cook Games, LLC (GOLD)
  • Achtung! Cthulhu – Keeper’s Guide to the Secret War – Modiphius (SILVER)

My predictions were:
Achtung! Cthulhu – Keeper’s Guide to the Secret War – Modiphius (GOLD)
Numenera Corebook – Monte Cook Games, LLC (SILVER)

Best Website (These were wild guesses. Based on previous years I assumed the Escapist would win again, but I hadn’t reckoned with the Fate fanbase. Based on the other categories, I’m kind of surprised Fate didn’t get the Gold here.)

  • RPG Geek (GOLD)
  • Fate SRD (SILVER)

I’d predicted:
RPG Geek (GOLD)
The Escapist (SILVER)

Product of the Year (100%; I predicted both of these correctly.)

  • Numenera Corebook – Monte Cook Games, LLC (GOLD)
  • Fate Core System – Evil Hat Productions (SILVER)

A good day – with Gamerstable!

It’s been a good day so far. I realized I could get a custom stain made for the baseboards that need it in the yellow room, remembered to grab my coffee (instead of forgetting it like I did yesterday), and my appearance on the Gamerstable podcast went live!
 
It was a lot of fun meeting these guys for the recording at GenCon 2012, and I think the episode turned out well. I managed to hit the highlights of my Corporia RPG project and only forgot a few minor things. Fortunately, Eric (or whoever does the actual editing) is a master at removing the tangents, confidential information, and even the maid’s vacuum cleaner out in the hall.
 
You can go to the Gamerstable website here, and the Corporia episode page here, where you can listen to the show online or download it as an mp3 file.

My Saturday at GenCon 2012 (with lots o’ links)

As some of you may know, I’ve been attending GenCon regularly for the last 12 years – but this was my first year as an ‘attendee’ rather than an exhibitor. It was a little strange (but incredibly relaxing) to not spend weeks and months planning all the little minor details of the Kenzer and Company booth, packing, and travel arrangements. It was even stranger walking around the exhibit hall as free as – well, as free as what passes for air, when you pack a few thousand gamers in the same building.
 
I only attended on Saturday, which was fun, but did mean I woke up at 3:30 (CST) for the 4-hour drive from north Chicagoland on down to Indianapolis. With the time zone change, that put me there a little before 9 am (EST from now on), where I met my friend Bret (who’d already picked up a Saturday entry badge for me) and had a leisurely breakfast at Steak n Shake.
 
Shortly after 10 am, we walked across the street to the convention center and entered the exhibit hall, having avoiding the milling throng that always lines up at the doors for the mad dash to whatever exhibitor has limited copies of the latest hot product. Now, I don’t normally spend a lot of money buying products at any convention, and rarely spend more than $10 or $20. (Of course, in the past I also had fewer opportunities to leave the booth.) This time, I hadn’t even made it more than halfway down the first of (22+) rows before I’d outlayed $30! Considering the outcome, though, I got off cheap.
 
The WHO North America booth was selling a lot of the Doctor Who books at only $5, so I picked up three Torchwood hardcovers (The Undertaker’s Gift, the House that Jack Built, and Consequences) – though sadly they didn’t have the other three I’m missing. I also grabbed the Torchwood Encyclopedia, despite its being out of date, and the revised edition of Russell T. Davies’ The Writer’s Tale. But wait, I hear those of you math-inclined persons saying, that’s only $25! Well, I happily threw down the last $5 to get this last book signed by Nicholas Briggs, the voice of the Daleks and many more Whovian monsters. He was a very nice guy, and told me about a few Sherlock Holmes audio dramas he’s done that I wasn’t aware of. I also met a very sweet TARDIS.
 

Bigger on the inside?

Eventually we ended up back at the Kenzer and Company booth, where I said my hellos and hung out for a few minutes, then continued on our rounds.
 

the KenzerCo booth

My next significant stop was in the Artist’s Alley, where I said hello to a few illustrators I knew, and spent another $10 at Sarah Wilkinson‘s booth (who I didn’t know) to get Eat the Bunny (Before the Bunny Eats You). Hey, Liz and I are expecting a new arrival in February, and what kid’s not going to be charmed by a book about zombie chocolate bunnies, after all…?
 
By 1:30 pm, we’d wrapped up our first pass of the exhibit hall. Those of you who’ve seen the dozens of older conventions’ costume photos on my Facebook page may be surprised that I only took a handful of other pics – mostly of products that caught my eye and I wanted to remember for later.
 

Don’t rotate the control knob…

In the past, I could just stand in the booth all day and the costumes would eventually walk by – and could step into the booth in order to avoid blocking the aisles. Being an attendee and only having Saturday to enjoy the show, I was content with having the images in my head instead of fighting the crowd just to get an interesting photo.
 

There was even a line for taking pics of statues!

Next came lunch at the Ram (burger, coleslaw, and beer), which was acceptable, but didn’t seem as tasty as in recent years. Still, it was worth it to see Bret’s face when I asked our cute, blond, and busty waitress to bring my hefeweizen back naked – that is, without a slice of lemon. (Normally I assume it won’t come with one, but the menu implied otherwise.)
 
We split up for a bit after that, since I’d been generously invited to sit in on a Gamerstable podcast recording. It’s definitely one of my favorite RPG-related podcasts, and I was quite pleased to have been asked. The scheduled topic was dystopias, with some side talk on my current Corporia RPG project (currently waiting on a new update from the potential publisher). As the hour flew by, though, we didn’t get far beyond Corporia, so it seems that will be the episode title instead. The guys (Dan, Eric, Shawn, and Jason) were a lot of fun, and I think the recording went much better than my Jennisodes podcast appearance simply because I had more people to interact with, and so there were more questions and less time to ramble on my own. (Of course, I’ll blog about it here when it’s released.) I’d love to run an actual playtest with those guys, even with the 6-hour drive it would take me to get to them, but the logistics of that would be tough.
 
After the recording, I got back to the exhibit hall to meet up with Bret around 5 pm, with less than an hour to go before the hall was to close. We hit a couple of specific booths and hung out at the Kenzer and Company booth for a few minutes, then made our way over to Buca di Beppo to catch five of Bret’s friends and settle in for a long wait until dinner. Despite the overwhelming amount of pasta, I managed to stick to salad, in order to balance out my nearly veggie-free breakfast and lunch. Our last stop was at Loughmiller’s, which has become my friend and former co-worker Jolly Blackburn’s (dude, you have your own wiki page…) new spot to relax and meet up with the ‘crowd’. After a final celebratory drink, it was about 10 pm, and time to go – but there was still one more small adventure to come.
 
I’d planned to grab a cheap hotel room an hour or so outside Indy and then drive home on Sunday morning, so Bret thought he’d join me rather than drive his 140 miles back that night. Rather than have him follow me so far out of his way, I tried to find something much closer. Unfortunately, thanks to GenCon clashing with the Moto Grand Prix, there were no rooms to be had anywhere around. After the third hotel we stopped at, Bret decided to just make his way home, and I did the same. Being wide awake after our hotel misadventure, I even managed to make the drive that night and stumbled into bed around 2 am (back to CST again).
 
If I manage to make it next year, I’ll plan on taking some vacation time to make it a two (maybe even three) day trip so I can spend one day in the exhibit hall and another day playing games. I also missed seeing several people I knew were there somewhere, so my apologies to them. Next year, though… watch out!

Games galore

It’s time for the four-day spring auction at Games Plus in Mount Prospect! To be accurate, this is actually Day 3: fantasy and sci-fi.

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Despite the years I’ve been gaming, this is the first auction I’ve been able to attend as a buyer. I’ve put books up for sale at the huge Origins and GenCon auctions, but of course that was when I was working for Kenzer and Company and couldn’t get away from our exhibitor booth (or whatever event I was running).

Like most of the 50+ people here already, I showed up an hour early to get an advance look at the items. There are only a couple of books I’m tangentially interested in, and I don’t think I have the mental stamina (or the butt padding) to hang out here all day, so I may not end up with anything. We’ll see how it goes…