Introduction and Platform
I’m 45 years old and currently reside Raleigh, North Carolina with my wife and daughter. I have been playing and running different role-playing games for 35 years. My experience with different RPG systems and genres over the years has given me the foundation needed to fairly and objectively review game products across many systems and genres and product categories.
Why do you play/run RPGs?
My number one reason for playing RPGs has always been fellowship. The connections I have made at the gaming table, both physical and virtual, have blossomed into friendships that that have lasted years. I don’t think I could have made these sorts of friendships in any other hobby.
I love the experience of a story unfolding at the table. To see a character start as numbers and words on a page and evolve into something that everyone at the table is emotionally invested in is a magical experience we cannot have anywhere else.
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 gaming groups will assist and I absolutely have the support of my family.
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?
As a software sales professional and now consultant for my day job, I have decades of experience collaborating with others, who often have a very different perspective than I do. Communication, deadline management, and organization have been the keys to my success in my day job and I’m sure I will have no problem translating those skills to the ENNIEs.
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 prefer games that either “start with Earth” or have a robust setting developed. I like to have the common touchstones for the cultures and society of the world where players experienced with the world can dig a little deeper and share their knowledge and new players have easy access to the material.
Call of Cthulhu and the associated games exemplify what I love about this model. Starting with Earth and adding the mythos provides a solid base for understanding the world while leaving lots of room for the exploration of the esoteric elements.
My current favorites are Edge Studios Genesys system and the related Star Wars system. I love the way the dice results can be used to direct the story in unexpected and dramatic ways. I’m also a big fan of the system used in many of the Free League RPGs. I love the simplicity of the system and its ability to adapt to different genres and provide a compelling play experience.
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?
2. 5E D&D
3. Call of Cthulhu
4. Hunter the Reckoning (playtest and now full release)
5. Shadow of the Demonlord
6. Monster of the Week
7. Deitman Files
8. Band of Blades
9. Scum and Villainy
10. Heart – The City Beneath
Briefly summarize the criteria you will use for judging products in the different categories.
The most important thing for me is to ensure that I am judging products against their peers in consideration for the ENNIES, and not products outside of the submissions. It will be incredibly important for me to coordinate with the other judges to ensure we are judging on the same criteria and doing everything we can to not let a bias against a category, genre, system, etc interfere with our ability to make fair and impartial judgement.
Playability and ease of use at the table will likely be important criteria for me for game products.
How will you judge supplements or adventures for game systems whose core rules you are unfamiliar with or you believe are badly designed?
Ideally, I will run the game or supplements for one of my game groups and make a judgement based on my experience as someone new the game system. If that is not possible, I will use my decades of experience to arrive at what i hope would be a fair judgement, while conferring with my fellow judges
For games I believe to be badly designed I think it would be incredibly important to confer with the other judges to ensure some unknown bias isn’t impacting my ability to be a fair judge or the product.
How would you like to see the ENNIES change? What should remain inviolate?
I’m very happy with them as is, ask me next year if i get an inside view 🙂