Online Nickname: ‘Tegan J Gaming” @ YouTube & Twitch
My first introduction to the amazing world of RPGs was spending hours of a childhood summer diving into the world of the Super Mario RPG. From then I was hooked playing game after game until 12 years ago I finally discovered the wonders of Tabletop RPGs! I’ve loved being able to gather with a group of friends and make a world in which we can tell our stories. Between GMing, learning new games, creating content to help others learn new systems, and the rare chance I get to play TTRPGs have become my favorite hobby!
One of my core passions with TTRPGs is both learning and teaching others how to play new games. I have even started my own YouTube TTRPG channel Tegan J Gaming that’s dedicated to diving into the world of games beyond D&D 5e, shedding a spotlight on amazing games that may not have a huge following. Each month I pick a new TTRPG, and dive into the system creating content on how to build PCs, core mechanics & ending the month with an actual play where we play it all out & review the system. I believe my experience with quickly learning new games and knowledge of the TTRPG world would make me an excellent choice for being an ENNIES Judge!
Why do you play/run RPGs?
Because there’s nothing that can beat bringing a group of people together around a table from different backgrounds that are all dedicated to one thing. Telling an amazing story! From games that are high crunch to rules light systems, all of them allow you to come together and enjoy yourself while creating a shared world! Though I typically prefer to be on the GM side of the screen, and one of my true joys is throwing a challenge in front of my players. & getting to watch them come together and find a creative and often off the walls crazy solution to solve it!
The ENNIES requires a major commitment of time and energy. What resources do you have that will help you discharge these responsibilities? Will your gaming group or other individuals be assisting you? Does your family support you?
I’ve been very fortunate and have been employed by a company with a great work life balance. That allows me to dedicate a great deal of my free time to my RPG hobby! I also have created my own gaming discord server where we frequently discuss new TTRPGs. & they would be more than happy to assist with any responsibilities that I’m permitted to share with them.
Judging requires a great deal of critical thinking skills, communication with other judges, deadline management, organization, and storage space for the product received. What interests, experience, and skills do you bring that will make you a more effective judge?
Throughout my professional career I’ve adjusted complex auto claims, managed high volume sales territories, & overseen the implementation of intricate projects as Project Manager. My position relies entirely on being able to communicate, organize & motivate people from various backgrounds to accomplish a shared goal. I’ve often been praised for my positivity, problem solving skills, and ability to keep things moving and hit deadlines on time. I believe that these professional skills combined with my love & interest in TTRPGs would be invaluable if I’m selected as an ENNIE judge!
What styles and genres of RPGs do you enjoy most? Are there any styles or genres that you do not enjoy? Which games best exemplify what you like? Do you consider yourself a fan of a particular system, publisher, or genre?
One of my true passions is learning new systems and matching them up to either the mood or genre that best fits the story I’m hoping to build. The genre’s I often gravitate towards are Fantasy and Sci Fi. For styles, I love well designed mechanically crunchy games like Pathfinder 2e, that have intricate rules that have been designed with care. But I also enjoy playing fast paced fiction first style games like Blades in the Dark. While I do enjoy well designed crunch, I’ve found that over the years that I’m not a fan of simulationist style games. I still enjoy learning about them but some I’ve found can bog down the rate of play. My two favorite publishers are Paizo & Free League, both produce authentic games that successfully capture the feel and genre they’re marketed towards.
List (up to 5) games you’ve played in the last 2 years. What drew you to playing them? Which did you like best and why?
The ALIEN RPG: I am a huge Sci Fi/horror fan and this system was the perfect combination of the two. It’s well designed, with interesting mechanics that are easy to learn. ALIEN truly excelled at giving the GM tools to create the feel of being in a futuristic horror story and both my players and I had a blast.
LANCER: I love playing mech style video games and up until LANCER hadn’t found a TTRPG that replicated that same feel. LANCER perfectly captures the feel of building and piloting a mech in a futuristic setting. It definitely has some crunch but I enjoyed how the mechanics supported the fiction & how well laid out the book was.
DIE RPG: I was initially drawn to this system since it was written by one of my favorite comic book writers. But after reading both the comic and the TTRPG I fell in love with the system. The systems base mechanics are light but adding the class mechanics adds a significant lair of complexity that all serve to aid the story. I typically avoid ranking games I’ve played but this is easily one of my favorites. The way that the DIE system/setting is designed made it amazing for me to bring to the table!
Have you been a game master in the past 2 years? If yes, what games have you run? What made you decide to run those games?
While I enjoy being a player I love being a GM & have spent most of my last 2 years on that side of the screen. With my YouTube channel we scour the world of TTRPGs for fun systems that we haven’t tried before. Looking at games new & old, popular & obscure, and from across the genres. The core reason that I started the channel is that for years 5e was my core system & I didn’t really branch out. Creating TJG allowed me to both give myself an excuse to learn and run a lot of new TTRPGs but also use my platform to showcase all of the amazing games that may not get as much attention in the shadow of 5e!
Here’s a list of the games that I’ve ran and reviewed in the last 2 years! ALIEN, Avatar Legends, Blades in the Dark, Cairn, Champions, Coyote & Crow, DIE RPG, Into the ODD, LANCER, Mutants & Masterminds, Pathfinder 2e, Power Rangers RPG, Savage Worlds, Symbaroum, & The One Ring
Summarize the criteria you would use to determine if a game deserves to be nominated for Best Game.
While it would vary on the style of game (whether it’s rules light/crunchy, genre etc) some of my core criteria regardless of style would include. Layout of the book/is it designed in a manner that makes it easy to read/learn the system. Artwork and overall graphic design. Core mechanic design, and if the mechanics support the genre/fiction the game is aiming for. GM tools and resources the game provides.
There are many more criteria I would consider but these are the items that I think any TTRPG would need to master to qualify for Best Game.
How will you judge supplements or adventures for game systems whose core rules you are unfamiliar with or you believe are badly designed?
The key feature of an adventure is the story it is aiming to tell. Even if it’s designed in a system I’m unfamiliar with or not fond of. I would read the story and judge the tale on it’s own merits. For supplements I would review what niche the material is looking to fill within the games experience and judge on how well it accomplished that goal.
How would you like to see the ENNIEs change? What should remain inviolate?
I would love to see more awareness of the ENNIES. I believe that the ENNIEs showrunners and judges should make their presence larger and more visible within the TTRPG community. Collaborating with popular TTRPG podcasts, YouTubers, & Twitch performers to spread awareness and drive attention to the great works the ENNIES team does!