«
»

Origins Award 2011 Nominations

The list of nominees for this year’s Origins Awards are up, and The Dresden Files RPG is among them (for best roleplaying game & best roleplaying supplement). I’m honored to be in such august company, so I want to take a moment and talk about some of that company — at least, those games I’ve had contact with. There is a heartfelt cliche in the awards worlds: “It’s an honor to be nominated.” In the case of the Origins Awards, it’s very much true, because the awards serve as beacons of awesome every year for so many gamers.

[Real quick: Dresden teammate Rob Donoghue has similar thoughts to share & Fred Hicks talks about the awards in overview.]

Of the RPGs nominated, the only one I have yet to play is DC Adventures by Green Ronin, though I did get my copy at GenCon. This game is fucking gorgeous, and looks to be nothing short of a love-letter to DC.[1] I have had the joy of playing the Dragon Age RPG (also by Green Ronin — you’ll notice a theme in the awards this year), both over skype with Daniel Perez and in person with DARPG’s line developer, Jeff Tidball[2]. I find the AGE system to be pretty sweet — other games can learn from that dragon die/stunt mechanic. And Gamma World was a joy to run for my friends. I’ve only gotten to play it once, and only as a GM, so clearly I need more Gamma World time.

Fiasco gets it’s own paragraph, because it’s…it’s fucking Fiasco. There isn’t a game out there quite like it. I’ve been promoting the hell out of Fiasco for a year now because it’s impressed me, because the guys at Bully Pulpit Games are total fucking gentlemen[3], and because the game has honestly changed my own design philosophy. (There’s a Forge and post-Forge sentiment with fictional components where one asks “how is that mechanically reincorporated?” Jason and company ask “Does this need to be mechanically reincorporated?” That is the smarter question.)

I don’t really have any contact with the supplements…yet[4]. So, moving on to the Best Boardgame, I’ve only played one: Castle Ravenloft. I fucking loved it. But since the Origins Awards serve every year as a beacon of awesome, I know I must now hunt down and play Defenders of the Realm, Fresco, Lords of Vegas, and Nuns on the Run. Lords of Vegas was already on my radar from months back, but every time I had my hopes of finally laying it up, they were dashed by the lords of chance. One day! One day! (And in looking for links, I’ve discovered Defenders of the Realm is a 1-4 player co-op game, which is like saying “Ryan, you want to play this hashtag-eye-see-emm-eff.”)

Similarly, I don’t have a lot of contact with most of the other products nominated (though we played a fun drinking game variant of Zombie Dice after hours at RinCon last year). Again, they’re beacons of awesome telling me I should seek them out. I’ll end by talking about one of the Game-Related Publications that greatly impressed me: Hamlet’s Hit Points. There are proper reviews on the interwebs, but if you like making stories, thinking about stories, playing out stories, or any other verbing of stories, this book is for you. It’s a master class on story analysis. If you haven’t read it, I have but one question to ask: why do you hate freedom?

Okay, I lied, I’ll mention one more: the Green Ronin The 100 Best series is really fucking awesome[5]. They have very much earned their nomination for Family Games: The 100 Best.

Go check out these beacons of awesome. And if you’ll be at Origins (which sadly I’m 99% unlikely to be), please vote!

– Ryan

[1] It’s also the origin of my “Batman has only two powers” joke that Sage LaTorra mentioned on his blog a few months ago.

[2] That’s a damned beautiful website, Jeff.

[3] Outed!

[4] Insert joke about including my own in that. Someone who is cleverer than I can make that joke.

[5] Bummed to find I can’t link to them as a category on their site.

Share
«
»

6 Responses to Origins Award 2011 Nominations

  1. It was pretty shocking for me to read your statement, “the awards serve as beacons of awesome every year for so many gamers.” While that’s probably very true for you and most RPG-centric gamers, for those of use who are primarily boardgamers at this point in our lives, it’s almost laughable.

    In general, the Origins Awards are looked at with disdain in hardcore boardgaming circles, mostly because they are voted on by everyone at a convention that is mostly RPG-focused. So the winners tend to be games that an RPG’er would like, or who have a big presence at the convention itself (Looney Labs games, for example).

    I really appreciate your opinion, though, and agree that the RPG nominations look really solid. But I also gave my opinions of the nominations in general on my blog, if you’re interested.

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      In general, the Origins Awards are looked at with disdain in hardcore boardgaming circles,

      Good for y’all? I mean, the Internet’s full of assholes who hate. I have all the reason in the world to not pay attention to that.

      – Ryan

  2. Wow, dude, that was so not the point. It’s not about hate, but rather how boardgamers in general don’t feel like the Origins awards actually do what they’re supposed to be doing when it comes to finding the “best” boardgames of the year. I was just a little fascinated by the stark contrast between your idea of the awards and what I and a lot of other boardgame bloggers and podcasters think, and thought I’d cross-post my observations here as well.

    But if you’re not interested in some respectful dialog about the differences of opinion between these two facets of the hobby gaming community, then I’ll just take myself elsewhere and not bother you any longer.

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Chris,

      Fair enough. You used the same language the Story Games crowd uses to bitch about the ENnies every year — from a place of bitching and for some folks hate. After a few years of that, I’ve decided the Internet isn’t the place to talk about the justice of awards. :)

      The problem is that everyone has an opinion, but few consider all the factors. I think it’s a shame Forbidden Island isn’t up, but maybe it wasn’t submitted? I don’t know. And when it comes to who wins, really, popular voting doesn’t mean much. That’s why you see folks like me focus on the nominations, not the winners — the nominations are educated. (Again, as long as people actually submit their stuff.) The popular vote is chaos and unpredictable, and not really educated. So, hey, here’s to the nominees. They’ve all won.

      – Ryan

  3. Gotcha. We all have out internet scars that tend to be a little over sensitive sometimes. Just try to remember to, you know, “read charitably” and “be magnanimous”.

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Chris,

      Fair enough. And ditto. Maybe look at the awards will less disdain and attempt to better understand. Or be the change you want.

      I don’t have a dog in your race, but you do. So race that dog.

      – Ryan