We're back with a few final thoughts on some of the best & worst of gaming from 2009.
Gold: Do-It-Yourself. There has been an explosion of the "DIY" mindset online, which means we are seeing more cool dungeons, games, ideas, and supplements than ever before.
Basically, more people are producing more awesome things. And that's great. It's also nice when those things are Creative Commons or Open Source, to allow someone to riff off of them further.
Gold: Losing more people who were friends and a part of the legacy of this hobby. RIP Dave Arneson, Jerry Mapes, and all the other folks we're missing from this past year.
Silver: $99 RPGs with 30 specialty dice, cards, and special pieces I need to play. OK, Warhammer 3e, it isn't totally your fault, but that's not what I want in the hobby. Give me inexpensive books, OGL pdfs, and accessible games.
Best Free Product
Gold: Castle of the Mad Archmage. Joseph Bloch has given us multiple installments of a worthy successor to the never-finished Castle Zagyg/Greyhawk. While they aren't canon, they are evocative, and and a great boon to those of us who were left wanting more.
Silver: Swords & Wizardry Quick Start. If you regularly read this blog, you've probably heard of this product. If not, I can tell you this self-contained beauty is one of the best ways to jump back in to classic-style gaming.
Trend I Hope To See In 2010
Gold: More Boxed Sets! I know there are several on the horizon. To a greater extent, start giving me everything I need to play in one product, two at most.
Product Of The Year
Gold: Pathfinder. Even as my tastes slide towards less complex games, Pathfinder looks to have successfully become the continuation of the 3e/3.5 legacy. It has a claim as a continuing lingua franca for the hobby. From their open beta to their massive Gen Con debut, it's hard to think of a product that had a better year.