Online Nickname(s):daredevilalyx

Introduction and Platform

Hi, I’m Alyx and I’m a queer, non-binary, Chinese-Vietnamese Canadian and a tabletop RPG game designer, writer, artist and GM, in addition to being an activist and filmmaker. I am devoted to bringing more authentic queer Asian representation to the media and play. I focus on stories that expand narratives divergent from the mainstream. I’ve published a D&D 5E adventure module, « The Great Zodiac Race », where players can re-enact the origins myth of the lunar calendar and Chinese Zodiac. In addition, I’ve created early access TTRPG games « Chinese Ghost Stories We Tell Ourselves » , where players play as part of a Chinese family navigating the supernatural. Additionally, there is also my write-your-own-adventure, « Escape From Neo-Millenia », which focused Asian cyberpunk. I’m a professional GM for Magpie Games and a current board member for the Tabletop Mentorship Program.

I would make an excellent ENNIES because of the lived experiences I bring, my love of storytelling and my involvement with the indie TTRPG scene. I am also an artistic grant adjudicator in my city, so I have a lot experience judging application and works across different mediums, with a critical anti-oppression eye.

Why do you play/run RPGs?

I love collaborative storytelling and experiencing different stories I wouldn’t have otherwise. I love see players triumph as they win and problem solve when they experience setbacks and challenges. There is a shared sense of belonging and camaraderie when people come together and RPGs aren’t just about fantasy elements anymore, a lot of them being in real world experiences and are a comment on the human condition.

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 luckily have a great support system and gaming group that would be fully on board with assisting me. I have a beautiful partner and lucky to have her support as well. I have good self care skills and have had experience with judging a multitude of applications in my career.

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?

I am an experienced adjudicator in the arts and had experience critically exploring application with others, at a designated deadline. I am also a filmmaker, so I have been able to develop a lot of skills as a producer, project manager, operator of cameras, editing, script writing and directing, to produce a film together. I feel that my community organizing has also led to feeling experienced in group dynamics.

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 particular system’s, publisher’s, or genre’s “fanboy/fangirl/fanperson”?

I am big fan of games that encourage collaborative storytelling and asks those big questions. Of course, being familiar with D&D and Pathfinder, I’ve now branched into PbTA, Forged in the Dark, Belonging Outside the Belonging, and simple indie game systems that are accessible, less prep and/ or GM-less. My favourite would have to be Bluebeard’s Bride, Dream Askew, Balibakan, Thirsty Sword Lebsians, to name a few outstanding ones.

What games have you played in the past year? List up to 10 RPGs you have played the most. Which ones, if any, have you loved or hated?
1. Bluebeard’s Bride

2. Good Society

3. Never Tell Me the Odds

4. Ma Nishtana – love this one a lot!

5. Thirsty Sword Lesbians

6. Avatar Legends

8. Follow Me Down

9. Love and Barbed Wire

10. Balibakan

11. Dream Askew

12. One Child’s Heart

13. Necrobiotic

14. Crossroads

Briefly summarize the criteria you will use for judging products in the different categories.

I want to see RPGs that are doing something different and are creating the future of RPGs. I want to see new mechanics and new stories. I want to see thèmes touch upon important conversations in society vs. ones that continue to colonize and uplift standard narratives. I want to see who they are created by and if they are acknowledging other identities as well. I want to see the heart and truth behind the games. What and whose stories are these voices telling?

How will you judge supplements or adventures for game systems whose core rules you are unfamiliar with or you believe are badly designed?

I believe that most importantly, so they align with the story they are trying to tell. Many of these standards are based on how much money, position and privilege some creators have, so I would take into account that just because I’m not sure of the rules or they are not the most clear, I want to know if there intentions shine through and if there voice is contributing something different to the community. Not everyone has the privilege or position to make large pieces of work, dedicate time to make a very polished game, or hire many people to work on their game.

How would you like to see the ENnies change? What should remain inviolate?

Thé Ennies is largely a popularity contest that doesn’t capture the entire spectrum of RPGs produced, so I was really hoping to include more catégories to include smaller, indie authors and publishers. It’s the only awards we have, so I wish we could acknowledge more BIMPOC AND QTBIMPOC creators as well.

BONUS: (optional) If you were an RPG, what would it be and would you play it?

It’s the game I’m currently creating right now, « Chinese Ghost Stories We Tell Ourselves », I love me horror, but gosh, supernatural stuff still scares me. I love Chinese myths and legends, so naturally a lot of my work surrounds my culture and how I navigate the world. I’m loud, driven and energetic.