[ENnies 2010] Coordinated forgehead voting

edited July 2010 in Story Games
So, we have the opportunity to vote for the Ennies, and it is a popularity contest. How much does our little community weigh?

Being the kind of hardcore forge-head who, more often than not, makes his shopping at the Un-store, it occurs me as not so much of a surprise that I have no real "favorites" amongst the nominees and that, actually, I have experience in a very small number of those games.

I know well enough to pick How we came to live here for best writing (what a pleasant surprise! at least one game text from my "to read" list made it into the nominees) and Diaspora for best rules (note that I'm not actually in love with FATE, but it sure beats the shit out of everything else in the category). But apart from that? Is there anything else which deserves a vote?

The reason I'm writing this is, of course, that as vigilant as I style myself some interesting titles may still have "escaped my radar" as they say. Your opinions, S.G. people?
For clarity, what I'm looking for is games which push the RPG medium into new decent directions and out of that same old shit. Picking small press/indie products is (while virtually a prerequisite these days AFAIK) not my first and foremost concern here. (So, to be extra clear, I don't care that StoryYeller or Rollmaster have been dropped by former copyright holders and are now released by a one-man company: I still wish such "rulesets" the most miserable death.)

Comments

  • I haven't played most of the nominated games. WFRP is pretty good.
  • Escape from Tentacle City has charming interior art and showcases how a small press game can have brilliantly communicative art without breaking the budget. I know it's not rules or anything, but if you appreciate How We Came to Live Here for its writing then I suspect you'd feel the same about how TC is communicating its theme. Tentacle City also has an excellent pacing mechanic, but unfortunately that's outside of what it has been nominated for.
  • Posted By: Rafu
    For clarity, what I'm looking for is games which push the RPG medium into new decent directions and out of that same old shit. Picking small press/indie products is (while virtually a prerequisite these days AFAIK) not my first and foremost concern here. (So, to be extra clear, I don't care that StoryYeller or Rollmaster have been dropped by former copyright holders and are now released by a one-man company: I still wish such "rulesets" the most miserable death.)
    Those are your examples of non-innovative small press products? Where does BASH fit into your worldview for instance?
  • edited July 2010
    Posted By: MatthijsI haven't played most of the nominated games. WFRP is pretty good.
    That's what I've been told as well, but you know your opinion means a lot to me.
    Posted By: C.W.RichesonEscape from Tentacle City
    I totally forgot about that game. Good catch.
    Posted By: walkerpWhere does BASH fit into your worldview for instance?
    The reason this thread exists at all is that I'm lazy and I want you to tell me where BASH fits. ^_^


    EDITED for very significant typo.
  • From the commercial standpoint, it is strictly an indie game, being designed and published by one person, though it is now in distribution via cubicle 7, I think. Mechanics-wise, it walks this open path between the really light supers games (Capes, With Great Power, Supers! and now Icons) and the classic crunchers (Hero, M&M, etc.). It has some really neat rules that allow for a less-statistically powerful character interact story-wise with superman types. You can also scale it right up to a cosmic level. It doesn't address narrative so directly that I would call it a story-game and it has a traditional gm-players structure. It does have some interesting values, though, such as all rolls must be done out in the open with everybody understanding the potential outcomes. It is truly a small press game, but I wonder if it fits into some of the more stringent criteria that are set out here in this thread.
  • Posted By: walkerpIt doesn't address narrative so directly that I would call it a story-game
    What do you mean by this?
    Posted By: walkerpit has a traditional gm-players structure
    Does it have a rule somewhere which says that the GM can/should bend or ignore other rules? Such would be grounds for instant disqualification in my eyes. Apart from that, many a great game goes for a "you each play your own character except for one of you [often called a GM] who does other things" approach.
    Posted By: walkerpall rolls must be done out in the open with everybody understanding the potential outcomes.
    Interesting and good. But... what do you roll dice for? Dead and bloated task resolution? Conflict resolution? Some weird new thing?
  • I can't remember now if it has a rule zero or not. I don't know Chris's philosophy on that issue. Definitely is task resolution at its base, but these lines get blurry. But I am pretty sure it doesn't meet your strict ideological standards. Good luck with being stuck in the '90s!
  • Rafu, you will be first up against the wall when the revolution comes. There's a ton of good stuff on those lists. I have judiciously pored over the Pelgrane stuff, which is really solid, and although I have not played it, Atomic Highway looks really fun. The art in Tentacle City is, objectively, the best art ever to grace not just an RPG book, but any book, ever.
  • edited July 2010
    Posted By: Jason MorningstarRafu, you will be first up against the wall when the revolution comes.
    Pfffff! SELLOUT!
    (You even submitted a game to the ENnies, didn't you? Sellout!)
    Posted By: Jason MorningstarThere's a ton of good stuff on those lists.
    That's what I was hoping to hear, man.

    Posted By: walkerpyour strict ideological standards
    If mine where ideological standards (which they aren't), they wouldn't be strict enough to hold, granted.
  • edited July 2010
    Posted By: RafuPosted By: Jason MorningstarRafu, you will be first up against the wall when the revolution comes.
    Pfffff! SELLOUT!
    (You even submitted a game to the ENnies, didn't you? Sellout!)

    Yes, comrade Jason did sold his soul to the Man. If you need other proof of his betrayal, look HERE. What's next, a Vampire Splatbook? Will he design D&D5?

    In his defense, maybe he just swallowed a cthulhu-roach...

    And he has a point: Escape from Tentacle City SHOULD win for best interior art...

    Returning to the thread's topic, I think that the articles of the Law are these:
    1) Thou'll shall not allow a Rule Zero to reside inside the game (the "No Parpuzio Law")
    2) The Rules of the game should work as written, without needing to add, change or drop rules to get a functional set of rules (the "Coherence Law")

    Rafu, would you agree to this paraphrasing of your question? You want to know if these games fail at one or both of these?
  • Diaspora is great. I'm delighted it's been nominated.

    The Armitage Files, for best adventure, is superb. It's an improvised adventure. It's very, very cleverly done. (I'm biased on this, because it's a Pelgrane thing, but I do mean it. It's something really special.)
  • I dislike the notion that people should vote based on anything other than the games that they've appreciated the most, either for the thing they were nominated for or over-all.

    Trying to segregate and divide is bullshit stupid talk.

    If that's not the OP's intent, I missed it altogether.
  • Posted By: McdaldnoIf that's not the OP's intent, I missed it altogether.
    Today and tomorrow Rafu will be at the first Italian Jeepform Convention so I don't think he will be able to answer until monday, but my take on his question, joking aside, is that he was asking exactly this:
    Posted By: McdaldnoI dislike the notion that people should vote based on anything other than the games that they've appreciated the most,
    With time, people learn what the like and what they intensely dislike. Often it's possible to categorize something in one of these two categories simply checking for some details. Some are absolute deal-breakers, for example.

    In a perfect world people would have played every game they vote for an Award, but from the beginning, people are saying that Ennies are a popularity award, not a actual-play one. So it make sense to try to get some more popularity to the category of games one like... and knowing some more detail on some of these games wouldn't hurt anyway, even for people who are not going to vote for the award.
  • Knowing Rafu, I assumed it was a good-hearted joke.
  • Without knowing him, I'd agree with that, as when I read it in a serious tone it just doesn't make sense.
  • edited July 2010
    Posted By: Moreno R.Rafu, would you agree to this paraphrasing of your question?
    Sorta. But not for the purpose of this thread. Your #2 item is really more of a subjective than an objective criterion anyway (unless you make it a matter of designer intent: then we are talking), and not necessarily relevant when judging a gaming product nominated in a category other than "best game" or "best rules".
    Since we are speaking "popularity contests", my point (and agenda) is more of a matter of promoting a weird extreme-left-wing-of-gaming sensibility, with bits of cultural anarchism and some counter-geek-culture-nihilism sprinkled all over it.
    Posted By: Jason MorningstarKnowing Rafu, I assumed it was a good-hearted joke.
    Good-hearted? "A vicious-hearted stab at a topic under the guise of a joke", maybe. But no, Jason: I'm serious. Laughingly serious.
  • I'm the Man? I need a t-shirt!
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