We continue today with our rundown of the best and worst of the RPG hobby in 2009.
Best Public Relations
Gold: Any Publisher Who Participated in Free RPG Day. What a great event this is! While there's always room for improvement, publisher who choose or are able to participate in this event really do a lot to get their products seen on a local level. It'd be great to see more small-press publishers do something for Free RPG Day online (hat tip: Mark of Dice Monkey).
Silver: Palladium's X-Mas Grab Bags. Whatever else Palladium may stir up during the year, each holiday season the staff at Palladium goes the extra mile to stuff as much product as they can inside their X-Mas Grab Bags. It's not unusual for people to find products in their grab bag worth 3 or 4 times what they paid for grab bag itself. What cements their place is how hard they try to fill special fan requests; ask for something out-of-print, weird or obscure, and they'll try to find a way to make it happen. And that's how you turn general fans into true fanatics.
Worst Public Relations
Gold: Outlaw Press. A last-minute entry, Outlaw Press blew away the field with their alleged plagiarism, theft, and complete disregard of intellectual property. Here's a summary of the "case" thus far. There aren't words.
Silver: Joe Goodman. I respect Joseph Goodman, but this was a poor PR year for him. First was his self-loving 4e business analysis that came off as his self-proclamation as RPG Jesus, then there was a lesson in How Not To Respond To A Poor Review. Mr. Goodman, get back to the basics and learn how to interact with gaming fans.
Bronze: WotC's PDFGate. Wizards of the Coast should be thanking their lucky stars for Goodman and Outlaw press, which saved them from the Gold in this category. Pulling all of their pdfs without notice? Crappy. A half-assed, insulting spin job afterwards? Even crappier. This is still the event that severed the last reason for utility or esteem many gamers of older editions had for Wizards of the Coast.
Best Gaming Website
Gold: Obsidian Portal. Obsidian Portal continues to add new features for their campaign-hosting website, and between maps, wikis, forums, and more, it's never been easier to stow your campaign online. Obsidian Portal also gets bonus points for really listening to customer feedback, and remaining active in the gaming community.
Stay tuned for Part III tomorrow, where we cover the best in a whole range of categories!