I’ve been an active gamer for over 45 years. I started with wargames from Avalon Hill and discovered D&D in 1975. Since that time, I’ve been hooked on role playing games. I am highly active in the hobby. I run events at conventions, online events/campaigns for my friends, and two mini conventions each year. I served as an ENNIE Judge this past year and enjoyed the experience. Gaming is my passion. That passion, combined with my experience in the hobby and as a prior ENNIE judge, makes me a great fit as an ENNIE Judge again.

Why do you play/run RPGs?

When I played in my first D&D game, I enjoyed the cooperative nature and diversity of the game. Dwarf, elf, or human did not matter. All were members of the party working towards a common goal. Through the years the number and depth of RPGs have expanded. This expansion has allowed me as a player to develop more diverse characters with in-depth backgrounds. While some characters died quickly, other characters survived for multiple years, making for a sense of accomplishment and comradery with the other players. As a GM, I create campaigns and adventures with a deep storyline and objectives. The storyline/objectives are presented to the players, allowing them to develop plans to move forward as a party to resolve challenges and complete the storyline/objectives. The players are free to develop a strategy to meet and solve/defeat the challenges in their own choosing. Flexibility is key to keeping the players happy while meeting the challenges of the adventure/campaign – win/win for the players and GM.

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 am retired. I have total and complete control of my time. I have multiple resources both within and outside the gaming industry that can provide knowledge (where allowed) to allow me to perform my duties as an ENNIE judge. I know that gaming friends and family members will continue to support me if I am again selected as an ENNIE judge.

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 have a computer technology background. I was employed in both the private and public sectors at executive management levels. This experience allowed me to develop excellent communication skills, critical thinking skills, and project management/time management skills. These skill sets were critical in my ENNIE Judge role last year in reviewing all entries in a timely fashion and collaborating with my fellow judges in a cooperative and effective manner.

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?

I enjoy fantasy, science fiction, horror and cyberpunk genres. I am willing to try any genre at least once. I like Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder for fantasy, Traveller for science fiction, Call of Cthulhu and Delta Green for horror, and Shadowrun for cyberpunk.

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?

During the past two years I have played Dungeons and Dragons 4e, Pathfinder 2e, Call of Cthulhu 7e, Delta Green, and Shadowrun 6e. My draw to these games/systems includes my love for D&D/fantasy games, the horror and insanity of Call of Cthulhu, the horror and military/para-military setting of Delta Green, and the world of Shadowrun and all the cool features/skills a character can do to improve on themselves. My favorite is Call of Cthulhu. When done right, the path from sanity to insanity moves faster and faster and can be very exhilarating.

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?

In the past two years I have game mastered the following games/systems – Dungeon and Dragons 4e, Call of Cthulhu 7e, Traveller New Era, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The Call of Cthulhu and Traveller games were run at conventions (one and done). The D&D 4e games is part of my on-going D&D group that has been playing for over 25 years. We switched to D&D 4e when it came out and decided to keep it when 5e was released. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an old favorite. The idea of running happened during COVID. I got a group of players onboard and ran the game online via Fantasy Grounds Unity. We ended up playing two seasons. It’s a fun gaming system.

Summarize the criteria you would use to determine if a game deserves to be nominated for Best Game.

Being nominated for Best Game would include excellent/outstanding grades in the following categories – interior artwork, cover artwork, writing, layout and design, packaging, maps/cartography, and value. The game must deliver on all of these areas in order to get my nomination 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?

Supplements and adventures must stand on their own regardless of the rules they use. For example, an adventure is a story. This story must flow and have the supporting content to make it successful. In addition to excellent writing, they must have excellent artwork, cartography, monsters, heroes, NPCs and overall value. The mechanics of the game which would use a set of rules becomes secondary to the value the adventure. Same is true for a supplement – it would stand on its own. The supplement must conform to the rule sets they are written for. If I were not familiar with a given set of rules, I would reach out to one of my contacts in the hobby to get an understanding of that rule set as well as obtaining a rules set.

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

The ENNIES judges should continue to be limited to two consecutive term limits. This allows for new judges with different viewpoints/backgrounds to participate. I would like to see a separate category for Virtual Tabletop (VTT) modules. VTTs expanded greatly since 2020. The creative thought and functionality of VTTs allow for more gaming experiences. I see this market continuing to grow moving forward.