Monday, December 6, 2010

The 2010 RPG Blog 2 RPG Awards!

It's time for my picks for the best in gaming for 2010!  It's been an up-and-down year in gaming, but there's been plenty of great RPG product to choose from.  Below are my choices in each category:

Best Supplement: Eureka: 501 Adventure Plots To Inspire Game Masters, Engine Publishing

Eureka is an absolutely inspired GM's toolbox, with adventure and plot ideas to fit any setting or genre. A lot of thought also went into making it extremely easy to use and reference, which is worthy of a huge thumbs-up.

Best Adventure: Tower of the Stargazer, Lamentations of the Flame Princess

James Raggi absolutely stuffed this adventure full of deadly puzzles, traps, and classic location-based adventuring. In true Raggi style, though, you can bet its properly evocative and creepy as hell. Art by the amazing Peter Mullen tops it all off.

Best Setting: All For One: RĂ©gime Diabolique, Triple Ace Games

Triple Aces Games is simply beating the stuffing out of any other company when it comes to releasing vibrant and interesting settings. All For One crosses swashbuckling with supernatural horror, and does it so that the two blend seamlessly.

Best System: Mini Six, Anti Paladin Games

A bit of a late pick-up for me, but Mini Six managed to keep their d6 system compatible with earlier iterations while streamlining and presenting a great genre-generic ruleset.   Plus, it gave me faith and hope in d6 again after what's been a rough, rough road.  I feel like this may have been my most useful pickup of the entire year.

Best Game: StarCluster 3, Flying Mice Games

I went back and forth on this category multiple, multiple times, because ICONS and (especially!) Shadow, Sword & Spell were truly amazing entries, and each gets a massively respectful Honorable Mention. But StarCluster 3 really feels like a complete magnum opus for Clash Bowley and Flying Mice. With multiple resolution systems, a toolbox feel, and simply massive in scope and scale, it made it past the truly difficult competition.

Best Writing: ICONS, Adamant Entertainment

ICONS is 128 pages, but it feels much shorter. Clear, informative, and easy to pick up--that's part of the charm of ICONS, which manages to feel concise while presenting plenty of superhero tweaks and options. This game manages to cut to the heart about what superheroes and superhero gaming are all about.

Best Gaming Accessory: Disposable Heroes, Precis Intermedia

Perhaps a bit of a cheat since they've been around for a few years now, but Precis Intermedia's line of customizable paper minis continues to become more useful. This year, they added the ability to customize your selection and have them printed and shipped to you! The ease of use for paper minis continues to grow, as does Precis Intermedia's available selection. I can't wait to see what improvements and additions they make for 2011.  A strong honorable mention to both Kobold Quarterly Magazine, who has seen their quality continue to improve as their brand spreads, and Obsidian Portal, who continues to help me stay at least somewhat organized.

Best Gaming Company: Paizo Publishing

Honestly, Kobold Quarterly is right there with them, but since I won one of their contests this year, I didn't feel quite right about picking them. They know they're awesome, though, and don't need me to tell them. Our winner Paizo, of course, has kept excellent customer service, open playtests, and fan outreach a constant.

Best Gaming Blog: Stargazer's World

Michael Wolf and company have managed to take on new contributors without seeing any dip in their already-awesome quality. It also would have been easy to pick the most excellent Gnome Stew, but in a lot of ways Michael's done more with less. Plus, I'm pretty sure we were all surprised that he didn't win an ENnie, so hopefully this will help in ever-so-slightly compensating for it.

Best Trend: Boxed Sets!

One of things I hoped to see more of this year was the return of the functional boxed set.  From LotFP to Gamma World, this has come true with a passion. Let's hope it continues in 2011.


Tommy Brownell said...

I'm doing...something like a few weeks.

Just haven't decided on the format yet for sure.

I've just been exposed to sooooo much material this year that it seems wrong not to go back and pinpoint the brightest gems.

Stargazer said...

Thanks a lot, Zach! I am utterly speechless!

clash bowley said...

I'm blown away again, Zach! I humbly thank you! That was amazing!


Richard Iorio II said...

Thanks for the H.M.

Dr Rotwang! said...

Hell YEAH, MiniSix.

Tobacco Magnate said...

Zach, I have to say we are totally honored that you would pay Mini Six such an amazing compliment. We are just at a loss on how to say how much we appreciate your kind words. Thanks again! - Phil from APG

Shinobicow said...

Minisix is something I really need to learn more about. Time to open up my mind to the non-D&D world.

Martin Ralya said...

Thank you for the Eureka love! That rocks on toast +5. :-)

Zachary Houghton said...

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to check this out! And please, if so inclined, check out the winners here. I think you'll find some amazing stuff.

DNAphil said...

Thank you for the great words about Eureka, it is quite an honor to be called Best Supplement.

Thanks for the nod for Gnome Stew as well. For the record, I am a big fan of Stargazer as well.

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