Friday, July 08, 2011

one dude's opinion

Ennies nominations are out again, so it's time for every armchair dillrod to second guess the process.  Here's my take.  I like Gaming Paper.  I own a couple rolls, have almost filled one with Boot Hill gunfight locations.  By next week it will be full when I add the OK Corral to it.  I'll need at least one more roll, probably two, before the campaign ends. 

But Gaming Paper Adventures getting an Ennie nomination for Best Aid and Vornheim only an honorable mention?  That's just crazy talk.  If you do D&D with minis I can see the appeal of the Adventures version of Gaming Paper.  They're dungeon geomorphs at 1 inch equals 5 feet.  That's totally groovy.  But its not mind-blowingly awesome and original in the way Vornheim is.

I don't know anything else about the other nominees, so in all fairness I can't really say they're not as cool as Vornheim.  I'll assume that WotC's nominee D&D Essentials: Dungeon Tiles Master Set – The Dungeon is cooler than it's hamhanded corporate-speak brandified title suggests, but that's just guesswork.


  1. Honorable Mention? What does that even mean? Sixth place in nomination votes - but not eligible for being voted on for the finale? That seems kind of goofy.

    But congratz to Zak and the crew anyway!

    - Ark

  2. If ever anyone needed proof of how disconnected I am from the wider hobby, it's my ignorance of 90%+ of the products nominated for awards like the ENnies and the Origins Awards. Most of them are barely even names to me.

  3. Nothing is cooler than Vornheim. It is literally the most innovative rpg product (matched maybe by the upcoming Inkwell geomorph dice) that I've seen in a long time. It should've been no contest.

  4. I dunno, James, I'm certainly more plugged in to current goings-on than you are, and yet I'm probably familiar with only a quarter of the nominees.

  5. Industry mutual backslapping exercise misses what's really innovative, cool and useful? Say it ain't so!

    I know which Best Gaming Accessory entrant got my vote (in the form of ££s spent).

  6. I smell politics.

    Perhaps Zak's not supposed to win, despite having the by-a-country-mile best product in that category, either because it's a small press release -- as if that matters in the industry as it is -- or because of his choice of day job.

  7. Referee screen? Meh.
    Software tool to make characters? Meh.
    Cthulhu supplement? okay.
    Game paper? useful.
    Short term memory on the fifth one.

    Vornheim? a new mousetrap. like the Acme blueprint ones seen in Wile E. Coyote cartoons!

    Que sera sera. I only can speak with my own wallet.

  8. Vornheim is too good to win. Vornheim makes people feel uncomfortable. It makes them feel like they have been playing wrong and wasting time and not having a fraction of the fun they could have been for nigh on 30 years. It's a terrifying (and wonderful) product. Of course it won't win an award. The Sex Pistols didn't. Green Day was the first "punk" band to win a Grammy. Exactly.

    Word Verification: "Yeallati" - that's a great description for a lot of OSR (and other niche interest) blogs as opposed to say "literati" lol.

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  10. I dunno printed cardboard dungeon tiles seem like a masterful ground-breaking work of sublime genius. Clearly WOTC should be rewarded for it's risk-tasking especially as compared to such derivative, seen-it-before works like Vornheim.

    Seriously though screw them, if the Wire, arguably one of the best TV shows ever made, never once won an award in its whole run it just goes to show you how gamed (no pun intended) these kinds of awards inevitably are

  11. Oh the reason is simple--Vornheim doesn't fit the traditional mold of what an rpg supplement should be. The artwork is weird, the city is weird, and the book itself is completely revolutionary.

    Awards don't like that kind of thing. The hobby is still mired in the throes of the WOTC attitude of "all things to all people", which means watered down and boring, and that's something that Zak definitely isn't.

    The fact that his blog isn't nominated for an Ennie is also ridiculous. The other blogs there are great (I read them all), but almost all of them focus on the broad aspects of the industry. Zak gets into the nitty gritty details of how to run a better campaign and almost every single one of his posts ends up being something completely astounding.

    Basically the industry doesn't like truly revolutionary things because it shakes up the pecking order.

  12. Hey guys,

    Just a little bit on how the ENnies work. These are fan awards, not industry awards, and they were started specifically for that reason.

    The products involved are submitted for consideration by the publishers and the list of nominees are chosen by consensus from the panel of judges. The nominated products are then voted on by fans - as are the judges for next year.

    I guess what I am saying is, if you do not like how the awards are being given out, you have the same opportunity everyone else has to become a judge and change that. Today is the last day to apply. Here's the link:

  13. One more thing: D&D with Porn Stars is not listed among the blogs that were submitted for the Ennies ENnie. The awards rely on the publishers to present their work for consideration, so if Zak is not on the final ballot it is not due to some massive porn-hating conspiracy.

    The complete list is available at the ENnies site.

  14. WoTC tiles stand in the running while Vornheim gets an honorable mention?


    Both products are only usuable under certain situations, and I'm pretty sure Vornheim has more to say than tiles or graph paper.