We continue with Part II of a look at this year’s ENnie category nominees:
Best Monster/Adversary: Paizo makes some tremendous monster books, but the awesome Hellfrost Bestiary from Triple Ace Games, which I just recently picked up, keeps them from sweeping this category.
Gold: Pathfinder: Classic Horrors Revisited
Silver: Hellfrost Bestiary
Shoulda Been Nominated: I was really impressed with the nominees in this category. I think they scored it pretty darn well.
Best Podcast: The podcast I participate in, RPG Circus, wasn’t nominated, but I do want to take the opportunity to say thanks to Jeff, who produces RPG Circus and has worked very hard to make sure we improve all the time. I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts outside of our own, but I’ve at least tried every one on this list. Two stand out above the others in terms of overall enjoyment.
Gold: All Games Considered
Silver: NewbieDM Minicast
Shoulda Had Super-Double-Triple Platinum Mithril: RPG Circus, clearly!
Best Production Values: No Wizards of the Coast here, huh? That’s strange. In any case, Fantasy Flight and Pathfinder are kicking some major butt in this area, and probably will for some time to come.
Gold: Warhammer Fantasy RPG
Silver: Pathfinder RPG
Best Regalia: Since no one exactly knows what the hell belongs in Regalia, I’m going to say we should have seen both Kobold Quarterly and Fight On! here. That, or in Best Supplement. Aside from that, I’m going to stay out of this one, since I have no experience with any of the nominees.
Best Rules: I am thrilled to see small-press dynamo BASH representing here. Nice work! Rules is a tough category, because depending on the type of campaign, group, and feel you’re going for, different rulesets might be golden to some, and trash to others. VSCA’s Diaspora is also pretty great and well-considered, even though it was in danger of becoming an RPGnet darling (not its fault).
Gold: BASH Ultimate Edition
Shoulda Been Nominated: In Harm’s Way: StarCluster (yes, I know it wasn’t submitted),
Best Setting: Out of all the settings presented, I could name one I actually enjoyed (but to be fair, I haven’t seen the Rome setting yet).
Gold: Judge Dredd
Shoulda Been Nominated: The guys at Dark Matter Studios released Audhum, an early Iron Age fantasy setting earlier this year which is unique and fantastic. Also, Rob Conley’s Majestic Wilderlands gave one an idea of how to present the culmination of years of a home campaign. Last, but not least, Hellfrost Gazetteer blew my socks off.
Best Supplement: As I mentioned in Regalia, if we’re doing periodicals in here, then Kobold Quarterly and Fight On! are kicking the crap out of just about anything going. Dungeon Alphabet was awesome, too. None of the supplements nominated are for games I’m currently playing.
Best Website: I actually use or have used all of the sites listed here at one time or another. Obsidian Portal leads the way with prompt customer responses, a considerate ownership, and a consciousness about the RPG community. Hexographer should be runner-up instead of an Honorable Mention, but the Pathfinder Wiki has been a great reference, too.
Gold: Obsidian Portal
Silver: Pathfinder Wiki
Shoulda Been Nominated: Hexographer
Best Writing: There was a metric ton of good writing in this category, as well as some I just plain didn’t care for. The best trick belongs to Eclipse Phase, which managed to get a gamer not generally into transhuman or horror RPG interested in a RPG about transhumant cosmic horror. FantasyCraft had to explain an intricate system well, and they did so. Congrats to Rogue Games and Colonial Gothic, for grabbing a well-deserved HM in a tough category.
Gold: Eclipse Phase
Shoulda Been Nominated: Any one of Jim Raggi’s adventures
Product of the Year: This is the category where I may have gone the furthest away from the current choices, but I’ll work with what we have. A lot of great products on the sidelines, though:
Silver: Eclipse Phase
Shoulda Been Nominated: Diaspora, Death Frost Doom, Stonehell Dungeon, Dungeon Alphabet, Advanced Edition Companion, Hellfrost Gazetteer
...and that's pretty much that. Congrats to all the nominees, honorable mentions, and those that didn't get nominated but still are out there, kicking ass their own way.