Voting for the ENnies awards is coming up. If you don’t know what to vote for in some categories, my picks are below. I’ll admit that I’m completely ignorant of many of the nominees (which should be expected of anyone who isn’t a judge), but I know that there is some good stuff on the lists that should be recognized.
Blood in the Chocolate by Kiel Chenier. It’s Willy Wonka through the lens of Lamentations of the Flame Princess, which really isn’t that much of a stretch when you think of it. A great example of Kiel’s imaginative writing and LotFP’s top-notch production values.
Kobold Guide to Plots & Campaigns. Of all the nominees in this category, this seems like the one that would have the most benefit at the game table. Kobold has done a great job curating these essay collections and this book should help game masters much more than any trinkets or background music.
Best Art, Cover
Torment: Tides of Numenera — The Explorer’s Guide. Just look at that art. That is a city I want to explore. (Blue Rose almost got my pick for this, but there is something wrong with that face…)
Best Art, Interior
S. Petersen’s Field Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors. Absolutely beautiful pictures of terrible things.
Age of Ravens. Lowell’s histories of various RPG genres are detailed and enlightening. I’ve found so many weird old games through his game genealogies. Also, South Bend represent!
The Cursed Chateau. Excellent old school cartography by Jez Gordon. Not only are the maps crisp and clear, but there are detailed maps throughout the book. No flipping back and forth as players go through the adventure and no more struggling to find where they even are on the map. The interior design of this book is great work by Jez.
Best Electronic Book
Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure. This is how a setting book should be written: a collection of tools to use right at the table rather than pages and pages of encyclopedic text. Mike Evans is one of the most enthusiastic game writers out there and it shows on every page of this book.
Best Family Game
Epyllion: A Dragon Epic. It’s like My Little Pony but with dragons. Sign me (and my son and all of my nieces) up.
Best Free Product
Santa is Dead (In Search of Games). Written by the mad priestess of gaming Evey Lockhart, with all proceeds going to the Ehlers-Danlos Society, this is a free product worth paying for.
Tales from the Loop – Roleplaying in the ’80s That Never Was. Honestly I don’t have any strong feelings about any of the nominated games because I haven’t played any of them, but Tales for the Loop certainly looks cool.
Best Miniature Product
Pathfinder Pawns: Villain Codex Box. The value of these Pathfinder Pawns products is excellent and Paizo should be encouraged to make more.
Veins of the Earth. Patrick Stuart and Scrap Princess were put on this planet to create fucked-up monsters to kill our imaginary people. This book is filled with the craziest, creepiest creatures from the bowels of the earth.
Spellburn. Ken and Robin make a great podcast but I think the people at Spellburn deserve to get recognition for their hard work this year.
Best Production Values
Maze of the Blue Medusa. Yeah, it’s not nominated and you can’t write in, but the fact that some slipcases and box sets with trinkets were picked over the physical edition of this book is a god damn crime.
Best RPG Related Product
The ABCs of RPGs. How about the one product that is explicitly related to RPGs?
Veins of the Earth. Want the perfect set of rules to get your player characters slowly going insane while the scramble in the dark? I got you.
Tales from the Loop – Roleplaying in the ’80s That Never Was. This is another category I don’t know well. Tales from the Loop has a strong appeal, but if it’s only as deep as the elevator pitch and the art work, I guess it’s only sort of awesome.
Pulp Cthulhu. This is how most people want to play Call of Cthulhu anyway, right?
Elven Tower, RPG articles and cartography website. Pretty decent maps, especially the isometric ones.
Veins of the Earth. Patrick Stuart is one of the best writers in games today.
Product of the Year
Veins of the Earth. 2017 is the year of Veins. This is one of the most ambitious books in the history of RPGs and should be recognized as such.
And lastly, you should vote for me, Rob Monroe, for 2018 ENnies judge. I promise to pick only the hottest shit for you to vote for next year.