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Congratulations to the 2020 ENnies Winners!

In an online ceremony hosted by Robin D. Laws, Misha Bushyager, Kenneth Hite, Chris Spivey, and Mike Pondsmith, the RPG awards for 2020 were announced last night, with the gold award for Product of the Year going to MÖRK BORG by Free League Publishing (who also took home the gold for Best Game with their Alien RG).

mork.jpg


Best Family Game / Product
Silver – Kids on Bikes: Strange Adventures Volume 2 (Renegade Games)
Gold – Jim Henson’s Labyrinth (River Horse)

Best Aid or Accessory
Silver – The Dungeon Books of Battle Mats (Loke Battlemats)
Gold – Deck of Many Animated Spells (Hit Point Press)

Best Online Content
Silver – RPG Writers Workshop (Scribemind)
Gold – The Monsters Know What They’re Doing (Saga Press)

Best Podcast
Silver – Red Moon Roleplaying
Gold – Asians Represent!

Best Monster/Adversary
Silver – Big Bad Booklet 1-6 (Hit Point Press
Gold – Mordenkainen’s Fiendish Folio, Volume 1: Monsters Malevolent and Benign (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Cover Art
Silver – The Ultraviolet Grasslands (Exalted Funeral Press)
Gold – Call of Cthulhu – Berlin the Wicked City (Chaosium)

Best Interior Art
Silver – Strata (Rowan, Rook and Decard)
Gold – The Ultraviolet Grasslands (Exalted Funeral Press)

Best Organized Play
Silver – Where Can She Be? (Robbie Pleasant)
Gold – Stygia Untamed (Greasy Snitches and Paul Gabat)

Best Free Game/Product
Silver – Tunnel Goons (Highland Paranormal Society)
Gold – TTRPG Safety Toolkit (Smooching Knife)

Best RPG Related Product
Silver – Session Zero (John C. Byram)
Gold – Absinthe in Carcosa (Pelgrane Press)

Best Electronic Book
Silver – Uncaged Volume III (Scribemind)
Gold – New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley 2nd Ed (Stygian Fox)

Best Layout and Design
Silver – A Pound of Flesh (Tuesday Knight Games)
Gold – MÖRK BORG (Free League Publishing)

Best Cartography
Silver – Jim Henson’s Labyrinth (River Horse)
Gold – Trilemma Adventures Compendium Vol 1 (Trilemma Adventures)

Best Rules
Silver – Zombie World (Magpie Games)
Gold – Thousand Year Old Vampire (Petit Guignol)

Best Writing
Silver – The Monsters Know What They Are Doing (Saga Press)
Gold – MÖRK BORG (Free League Publishing)

Best Adventure
Silver – Trilemma Adventures Compendium Vol 1 (Trilemma Adventures)
Gold – A Pound of Flesh (Tuesday Knight Games)

Best Setting
Silver – Arkadia – The Greek Setting for 5e (Arcana Games)
Gold – Call of Cthulhu: Berlin the Wicked City (Chaosium)

Best Supplement
Silver – Ironsworn Delve (Shawn Tomkin)
Gold – Delta Green: The Labyrinth (Arc Dream Publishing)

Best Production Values
Silver – Humblewood Box Set (Hit Point Press)
Gold – Thousand Year Old Vampire (Petit Guignol)

Fans’ Choice for Best Publisher
Gold – Free League Publishing

Best Game
Silver – MÖRK BORG (Free League Publishing)
Gold – ALIEN the Roleplaying Game (Free League Publishing)

Product of the Year
Silver – Thousand Year Old Vampire (Petit Guignol)
Gold – MÖRK BORG (Free League Publishing)

Judges’ Spotlight Awards
Sleepaway (Jay Dragon)
Glitter Hearts (Greg Leatherman)
Refractions in Glasston (Taylor University PWR Press, Sam Guinsatao, Carson Jacobs, T.R. Knight, Joy Lemont, Elijah Oates, Rayce Patterson, Emily Pawlowski, J. Tucker White)
Knarls Candy Compendium (Makenzie De Armas, Levi Phipps)
Hit the Streets, Defend the Block (Rich Rogers)
 
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Russ Morrissey

Comments

MGibster

Legend
If we set the bar at ”most people aware of product” only D&D would win anything. Which is a totally different flaw in an awards process.
Twenty-five years ago we probably would have seen many of these in our local game store. I first became acquainted with Kids on Bikes because it was on the shelf of my FLGS here. But times change, and most games stores I visit today have a very limited selection of RPGs available. From a business perspective it just doesn't make sense to stock a wide variety apparently.
 

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Skywalker

Explorer
Almost no one has, which is what makes this so incredibly bizarre. The number of RPG players who could name anything on this list is probably vanishingly small.
In comparison, I thought this year's winners were actually representative of the wider hobby with a strong focus on quality. Sure, no one is going to know them all, especially as they have to be released in the last 12 month, but most RPGers are going to know a good number given they all have a good amount of buzz surrounding them.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
In comparison, I thought this year's winners were actually representative of the wider hobby with a strong focus on quality. Sure, no one is going to know them all, especially as they have to be released in the last 12 month, but most RPGers are going to know a good number given they all have a good amount of buzz surrounding them.
It's not supposed to be a list of games you've heard of. You can make that list yourself! :)
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
I haven't heard of a lot of stuff and it's not surprising because I am not in the know kind of person. So these awards do help to go check stuff out.

For the people objecting to them, what products do they think should have won instead?
 

I've never heard of or seen almost all of these products. Should I be delving more into these obscure RPGs?
Yes!

I’m not aware of every game that comes out, but I try to pay attention to as much as I can. I was familiar with many of the nominees, and own several. I’ll be picking up a few more now, too.
 

Almost no one has, which is what makes this so incredibly bizarre. The number of RPG players who could name anything on this list is probably vanishingly small.

I have to wonder what the point of Ennies is if their nominees and winners are so disconnected from the market? They can't even make the claim that they're "Introducing titles to the RPG masses" because they're so disconnected from the RPG masses that there's pretty much a 0% chance the average RPGer is going to think the Ennies are anything they should bother watching/reading.

Looking over their page, it's worse than I thought. Not only all of the above, but their judges are a list of people no one knows and no real reason why they should, and their hosts are a list of people who aren't going to generate any excitement.

Just seems like a top to bottom mess.
If you don’t recognize any of the nominees at all....then what games would you even suggest?

And the hosts are all accomplished RPG folks, a couple well established, and some more recent. I believe that Chris Spivey was a big winner last year. But I suppose you wouldn’t remember that.

Honestly, if you don’t recognize any of the nominees and you aren’t impressed by the hosts....then I’m not really sure your view on games should matter all that much.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Hmm. Nothing from Piazo for PF/PF2/Starfinder, and only one product (and PDF at that) for WotC. Interesting times.

I am glad to see Alien got best RPG. That game deserves it. I have a Kids on Bike free RPG day book in front of me, but I have found I like the tone of Tales from the Loop much better and hope we'll see it on next year's list of winners.
 

dave2008

Legend
I have read the Monster's Know What They are doing website / blog a few times. The fact that the book is only $15 on amazon and a get free 1-day shipping made it a easy purchase for me. Thank you for whomever pointed that out up thread.
 
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dave2008

Legend
Almost no one has, which is what makes this so incredibly bizarre. The number of RPG players who could name anything on this list is probably vanishingly small.

I have to wonder what the point of Ennies is if their nominees and winners are so disconnected from the market? They can't even make the claim that they're "Introducing titles to the RPG masses" because they're so disconnected from the RPG masses that there's pretty much a 0% chance the average RPGer is going to think the Ennies are anything they should bother watching/reading.

Looking over their page, it's worse than I thought. Not only all of the above, but their judges are a list of people no one knows and no real reason why they should, and their hosts are a list of people who aren't going to generate any excitement.

Just seems like a top to bottom mess.
IDK, I'm not very well informed and I only play D&D (so that is generally my RPG focus) and I have heard of several of these. This seems more like a you issue than an Ennies issue.
 

JediSoth

Semi-Professional Author
Epic
Hmm. Nothing from Piazo for PF/PF2/Starfinder, and only one product (and PDF at that) for WotC. Interesting times.

I am glad to see Alien got best RPG. That game deserves it. I have a Kids on Bike free RPG day book in front of me, but I have found I like the tone of Tales from the Loop much better and hope we'll see it on next year's list of winners.
IIRC, neither Paizo nor Wizards of the Coast submitted products. One of the criteria for a nomination (to say nothing of a win) is that a publisher must submit their products.
 

IIRC, neither Paizo nor Wizards of the Coast submitted products. One of the criteria for a nomination (to say nothing of a win) is that a publisher must submit their products.
Yeah, that’s my understanding, as well. I believe WotC has done that for some time now. I didn’t know Paizo also did it, but it makes sense if that’s indeed the case.

Neither of them need the exposure that winning an Ennie may bring, but smaller publishers may benefit from an award win. I know that I’ve picked up several products after becoming aware of them because of Ennie nominations.
 

dave2008

Legend
IIRC, neither Paizo nor Wizards of the Coast submitted products. One of the criteria for a nomination (to say nothing of a win) is that a publisher must submit their products.
I thought that was the case - thank you for clarifying.
 

dave2008

Legend
Almost no one has, which is what makes this so incredibly bizarre. The number of RPG players who could name anything on this list is probably vanishingly small.

I have to wonder what the point of Ennies is if their nominees and winners are so disconnected from the market? They can't even make the claim that they're "Introducing titles to the RPG masses" because they're so disconnected from the RPG masses that there's pretty much a 0% chance the average RPGer is going to think the Ennies are anything they should bother watching/reading.

Looking over their page, it's worse than I thought. Not only all of the above, but their judges are a list of people no one knows and no real reason why they should, and their hosts are a list of people who aren't going to generate any excitement.

Just seems like a top to bottom mess.
PS as noted here, a publisher must submit a product to be nominated. Paizo and WotC didn't submit.
 



Stormonu

Legend
Hmm. Nothing from Piazo for PF/PF2/Starfinder, and only one product (and PDF at that) for WotC. Interesting times.

I am glad to see Alien got best RPG. That game deserves it. I have a Kids on Bike free RPG day book in front of me, but I have found I like the tone of Tales from the Loop much better and hope we'll see it on next year's list of winners.
Wow, I feel foolish. My Tales from the Loop rulebook just came in with a big 'ol sticker on it saying it won an Ennie in 2017. Didn't realize it had been around that long.

Also interesting to know the publisher has to submit their product for consideration. Thought others could submit it for nomination.
 


Watch the language, please.
I would take the awards more seriously if these other publishers products were in it. I'm not going to shit on these winners and I am going to check out the Alien RPG but the fact this is more like an "Indie" award does take away something whatever that may be.
 

Maggan

Writer of The Bitter Reach
Is there a reason they do not submit their products?
I think it is because it is a lose/lose situation for them.
  • If they win they get flack for crowding out the smaller publishers, and the awards get flack for awarding market reach over quality.
  • If they lose, they get flack for publishing bad products that can be beaten by small indie publishers.
The above applies regardless of the quality of the products submitted.

So it is a lot easier to just sit the awards out. But that could be conjecture on my part, after reading between the lines previous years.
 

Corrosive

Adventurer
I think it is because it is a lose/lose situation for them.
  • If they win they get flack for crowding out the smaller publishers, and the awards get flack for awarding market reach over quality.
  • If they lose, they get flack for publishing bad products that can be beaten by small indie publishers.
The above applies regardless of the quality of the products submitted.

So it is a lot easier to just sit the awards out. But that could be conjecture on my part, after reading between the lines previous years.
Wizards are in the UK Games Expo awards and Pathfinder 2E was in the Origins awards.
 

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