Introduction and Platform
I’ve been gaming for decades and always am on the lookout for the new and creative games and books people are publishing. I’ve been an ENnie Judge before so I understand as well as anyone what it takes to be successful. I run games online, at conventions and gamedays, and volunteer my time running RPGs for teens at the local library. During the Pandemic I’ve taken to engaging people on line by talking about my favorite RPG books and that has been a fun experience.
Why do you play/run RPGs?
I enjoy seeing people experience something new in a safe environment. Gaming is a great creative and social outlet that encourages people engage in fun and fantasy. It has been a new experience playing on line during the pandemic. It helps break up the monotony for the people staying home and not able to get in person groups. The advent of online gaming has really been a great benefit to many people and I like supporting that.
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?
My job allows for much flexibility and we expect to be working at home as well as the office. This helps with the time management. I have a large array of friends who game that I can talk with and bounce ideas off of. My friends and family have watched me do this before and they provide support and help when they can. But mostly it is about holding oneself accountable and having a great work ethic to be able to read through and evaluate everything.
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’m an accountant so evaluating lots of data and hitting deadlines is something I already excel at. I always made myself available for the Judge Monthly meetings and listened to and engaged the other judges. My experience really sets me apart. I can look back at many games from the past I own to see what new games are taking old ideas and reusing them and what are truly original. Both strategies are important in gaming and its important to be able to look at what all is submitted and judge books based on the competition.
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”?
My latest obsession in RPGs have been Vaesen and I’ve been running that game online for most of the year. I like the Urban Fantasy genre but indulge in a wide variety of games from the popular Dungeons and Dragons to the small one page games that have become a strong force in certain corners of the gaming world.
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?
I’ve been running and playing in Dungeons and Dragons 5e.
I run a Vaesen game and play in a Call of Cthulhu game.
For one shots I’ve ran and played in Og, Paranoia, QAGS, Alice is Missing, Kids on Brooms, Night’s Black Agents, Avatar the Last Airbender RPG, and others I’m forgetting. With one shots like this is is always challenging as not all the game are ideal for one line play.
Briefly summarize the criteria you will use for judging products in the different categories.
My biggest focus is comparing and contrasting what we have. Art for instance I will literally lay out side by side on my floor and see what grabs my eyes. New rules get playtested and I seek out some opinions others have on them to see if my own experiences are matching up with what others are learning.
How will you judge supplements or adventures for game systems whose core rules you are unfamiliar with or you believe are badly designed?
One has to look at each book anew and try not to allow for preconceived bias. Games I don’t have are easy to acquire as many are in PDF that can be purchased and downloaded. I do have my own RPG library that I have kept many games for times like this.
How would you like to see the ENNIEs change? What should remain inviolate?
I feel that podcasts, blogs, and websites have expanded beyond the ENnies. The ENnies cannot add the categories needed to do justice to these formats. I believe that they need to be separated and become their own awards.
BONUS: (optional) If you were an RPG, what would it be and would you play it?
These days I am putting the Fun back into Fund Accounting the RPG.