ENNIE Award Dream Dates: 2023 Guide

Along with the awards comes another annual tradition, the ENNIE Award Dream Dates.

The ENNIE Awards, the most prestigious celebration in tabletop roleplaying, returns to Gen Con. Hosted by Kenneth Hite and Robin D Laws, the ceremony commences August 4th at 8pm in Indianapolis, Indiana. During the event, the winners in a variety of creative categories will be recognized. Along with the awards comes another annual tradition, the ENNIE Award Dream Dates. If you’re interested in attending the event, there rows of seats and then there are tables at the front populated with different publishers and designers. These “dream dates” let you sit at a table in front of the awards stage with Kobold Press, Pelgrane Press, Liminal Artifact, Penny for a Tale, Wet Ink Games, TTRPGKids, Weird Works, or the Ennie Awards judges. In addition, get some great swag and know that your contribution supports the ceremony and the awards. In 2017 (which I attended with my dream date, Cubicle 7), 2018, 2019, and 2022 (the pandemic prevented the in-person 2020 and 2021 shows), I put together guides for the Ennie Award Dream Dates, highlighting the attendees and what swag you get if you win one of these eBay auctions. This guide will help you pick out your publisher dream date for 2023.

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Last year, I wrote this summary of the Ennie Award Dream Date and it stands:

Any attendee of the ENNIE Awards ceremony is able to see some of the best games of the year recognized, get a drink, and/or bid in their silent auction. For those that win an Ennie Award Dream Date, they’re able to sit and talk with the publishers, have a front row view of the stage, pick up some great swag, monetarily support of the awards through their winning bid, and, maybe, be part of the experience of a table winning a Gold or Silver Ennie Award.

These auctions fund the annual ENNIE Awards. The awards and ceremony aren’t free to organize; these auctions help to cover their costs of production for the metals as well as the actual event. For those that get to sit with the publishers, it’s an amazing time to talk with some of your favorite creators.

To be clear, winners of the Ennie Award Dream Dates are responsible for travel to Gen Con as well as their badge to get into the convention as well as, costs over and above this auction.

Pelgrane Press Logo.jpg


Ennie Award Dream Date with Pelgrane Press Team
  • EBAY AUCTION END DATE: Saturday, July 29 at 10:00 AM ET
    • Swords of the Serpentine – Nominated for:
      • Best Art, Cover
      • Best Setting
      • Best Writing
      • Product of the Year
    • The Book of The New Jerusalem – Nominated for:
      • Best Aid/Accessory – Non-Digital
      • Best Writing
    • Drakkenhall: City of Monsters Nominated for Best Setting
  • ADDITIONAL REPORTING: Read Rob Wieland’s review of Swords of the Serpentine. Charles Dunwoody talks about The Book of The New Jerusalem and Drakkenhall: City of Monsters in his weekly column.
  • REWARD(S): You’ll sit with the Pelgrane Press crew, the publishers behind The Yellow King, 13th Age, Night’s Black Agents, the GUMSHOE RPGs, and more. Pelgrane Press have done a great deal to promote Kevin Kulp’s Swords of Serpentine including an offering on Free RPG Day. These Ennie nominations reward their faith in Kevin’s RPG. During the ceremony, you’ll get a chance to talk with Kevin Kulp about Swords of Serpentine as well as their other nominated books. If Pelgrane is on a winning streak, you can be at the table as they take home as many as seven awards. Most tangible, you’ll get a signed copy of The Yellow King books.
Liminal Artifact - Nolan Locke's Exquisite Corpse.jpg

Ennie Award Dream Date with Liminal Artifact Team
  • EBAY AUCTION END DATE: Saturday, July 29 at 10:15 AM ET
    • Nolan Locke’s Exquisite Corpse Nominated for Best Layout and Design
  • REWARD(S): With this reward, you’ll be able to sit with the team behind the Ennie-nominated book, Nolan Locke's Exquisite Corpse. You’ll get a signed copy of their book and, if excellent story and adventure design is your bag, this is a great table to discuss the pros and cons of rising action in an RPG.
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Ennie Award Dream Date with Penny for a Tale Team
  • EBAY AUCTION END DATE: Saturday, July 29 at 10:30 AM ET
    • Necrobiotic Core Rule Book Nominated for Best Writing
  • REWARD(S): If you win this auction, you get a signed copy of the Necrobiotic Core Rulebook Special Edition. I believe the signatures will come from Andrea Marmugi, Holly Ziegelemeier, and Mitchell Wallace, but it could be Mitch Bustillos and/or others. Regardless, you’ll get a copy of the award nominated book and sit with Penny for a Tale. At Origins Game Fair 2021, I played the CHEW RPG with Mitchell Wallace of Penny for a Tale. I interviewed Mitchell about CHEW. This gets a high recommendation just to hang out with Mitchell, who is a super fun and funny individual.
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Ennie Award Dream Date with Wet Ink Games Team
  • EBAY AUCTION END DATE: Saturday, July 29 at 10:45 AM ET
    • Into the Cess and Citadel Nominated for Supplement
  • ADDITIONAL REPORTING: I talked to Brandon K. Aten and Matthew Orr (here and here with artist Charles Ferguson-Avery) about their RPG, Never Going Home.
  • REWARD(S): With Wet Ink Games, you’re getting something special, a signed copy of Into the Cess and Citadel, the book that they’re nominated for. The book includes a piece of personalized, custom artwork by Charles Ferguson-Avery. Charles is the artist for Never Going Home, Into the Wyrd and Wild, and many more; his artwork inspired gamers and publishers alike. Getting a piece of original art on the night that the book is up for a nomination is a great keepsake and piece of history. As for the company at the table, Wet Ink Games gave away a quickstart copy of Heckin’ Good Doggos during Free RPG Day. That’s to say they are generous and more than willing to talk to you about gaming. If you’re 2023 publishing goal is to talk with a publisher about your tabletop game, a publisher that can offer everything from advice to a home (if your project is the right one), this is a good table to take a seat at.
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Ennie Award Dream Date with TTRPGKids Team
  • EBAY AUCTION END DATE: Saturday, July 29 at 11:00 AM ET
    • TTRPGKids Nominated for Best Online Content
  • REWARD(S): This auction provides the winner with digital copies of all of the games authored by Steph C (TTRPGkids), a kid-friendly games package valued at over $100. This table will suit gamers looking for advice on how to get their kids into gaming. Alternately, if you’re interest in supporting TTRPGKids’ work, they’re hosting a Crowdfundr through August 7th.
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Ennie Award Dream Date with Weird Works
  • EBAY AUCTION END DATE: Saturday, July 29 at 11:15 AM ET
    • Eldritch Overload: Tarot & Codex Nominated for:
      • Best Layout and Design
      • Product of the Year
  • REWARD(S): This reward offers some beautiful products including a signed copy of the Eldritch Overload: Codex book, a signed copy of the Eldritch Overload: Tarot deck, and three foil prints. These are eye catching works of art that will speak to fans of Tarot and cyberpunk. This table will be for fans that love inspiring artwork and talking with those that appreciate it. As well, this is for creators/publishers that want to learn how to get more out of their printer, like the products that Weird Works conceives.
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Ennie Award Dream Date with Kobold Press Team
  • EBAY AUCTION END DATE: Saturday, July 29 at 11:30 AM ET
    • Campaign Builder: Cities & Towns Map Folio Nominated for Best Cartography
  • REWARD(S): In terms of tangible rewards, you’ll get signed copies of the Campaign Builder: Cities & Towns and the Campaign Builder: Cities & Towns Map Folio, the books they’re nominated for in 2023. You’ll be seated with the Kobold Press team fresh off the success of their first million-dollar Kickstarter. Kobold Press is a great publisher to connect with at any time, but especially right now as they’re developing a run of amazing products. With Tales of the Valiant, their Fifth Edition-compatible but not OGL RPG (5EC), in development, and an expanding footprint in bookstores and game stores, this is the table to hear about the steps that carry you along the journey from RPG creator to Kobold-in-Chief.
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Ennie Award Dream Date with the Ennie Award Judges
  • EBAY AUCTION END DATE: Saturday, July 29 at 11:45 AM ET
  • REWARD(S): You’ll get a $150+ prize pack specially curated to the winner’s tastes. At this table you’ll be with two of the Ennie Award judges. This provides a unique perspective as you get all of the behind the scenes details of how the nomination process worked.
  • JUDGES TABLE THOUGHT: This event is the TTRPG equivalent of the Oscars. This is the table that, in all honesty, all of the RPG newsites should sit at annually. If you’re watching the hobby as a whole, the day that it becomes a viable industry and not a niche hobby is the day that Dicebreakers, Polygon, Gizmodo, BoL, Geek Native, RPGnet, and, of course, EN World each have a reporter at the judges’ table to give perspective to that year’s awards. This is no cut on any of those sites for not doing this today, the economics do not work out at this time. But I’m looking forward to when this hobby becomes a big enough industry and I’ll know it’s happened when its marquee award show warrants live coverage.
I want to thank Stacy, Don, Matthew, and Jody as well as every publisher and creator that submitted to the Ennie Awards and Gen Con for providing a home for this awards show. Special thanks to the publishers that host these tables that help to fund the awards and show:
The Ennie Awards were a part of EN World and EN Publishing. In 2019, EN Publishing divested themselves to make the awards an unaffiliated organization recognizing excellence in tabletop roleplaying games. Egg Embry participates in the OneBookShelf Affiliate Program, Noble Knight Games’ Affiliate Program, and is an Amazon Associate. These programs provide advertising fees by linking to DriveThruRPG, Noble Knight Games, and Amazon.

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