ENnie Awards Roundup 2 – Sean’s Pick, 080515

Let’s continue reviewing some of the winners of ENnie Awards this year –

Best Game

The Strange took the Silver ENnie.

Monte Cook and Bruce R. Cordell, in their first major collaboration, bring you The Strange. It’s an RPG set on Earth, in the modern day. But a few people—a very few people—have discovered how to travel to other places. They call them recursions, and they’re like limited pocket dimensions with their own laws of reality, connected to Earth via a dark energy network beneath the normal matter of the universe. A dangerous, chaotic network they call the Strange.

Recursions spawn from the myths, legends, and fiction of humanity, so the setting of virtually any story, film, or novel could form a recursion, as could any mythical realm or place of legend. They aren’t entire parallel universes—they’re limited in scope, rarely larger than a continent and sometimes not much bigger than a city block. Often the denizens aren’t even self-aware, but are little more than automatons going through the motions of their fictional world.

But sometimes, in the larger or more mature recursions, they have the spark: Self awareness. Sentience. The ability to form their own motivations and agendas.

And some of those beings understand that they aren’t alone in the Strange. Some of them know about Earth, and the limitless universe beyond it. And some of them are very, very dangerous.

 

In our own world, there are individuals who secretly travel to these recursions—perhaps for adventure, perhaps for profit. But there are others with more nefarious motives, and conspiratorial organizations operating in the shadows, looking to exploit the Strange and its recursions for their own ends. And some of them are also very, very dangerous.

Your character is quickened; you’re one of the ones who can travel into Earth’s shoals to discover and explore the seemingly limitless recursions around our world. Oz. Barsoom. Asgard. The Dreamlands. The Victorian London of Sherlock Holmes. The setting of your favorite novel or movie. Worlds even more exotic or bizarre, driven by laws of magic, psionics, or weird science. When you visit these worlds, you adapt to them, taking on some of the physical aspects and knowledge of the natives. You become, in part at least, a different version of yourself.

What will you find when you venture into Earth’s shoals?

 

Best Monster/Adversary

The Silver went to Achtung! Cthulhu: Terrors of the Secret War.

Achtung! Cthulhu is a terrifying World War Two setting, fully compatible with the Call of Cthulhu, Sixth Edition and Savage Worlds roleplaying games. 

Discover the mightiest terrors of the Mythos: the Great Old Ones, the Outer Gods, and their foul servitors and cultists; the spells and artefacts that can be brought to bear against them in mankind’s struggle for survival; and the strange and unusual weapons that might just be the saviours of us all – or prove to be our downfall.

Terrors of the Secret War extends the horror on to the battlefield, and includes:

  • A new and simplified mass combat system for taking on the Mythos’ biggest threats
  • Descriptions of more than 25 gods and their lackeys, their tactics, and their weaknesses – including Great Cthulhu himself
  • Hints and tips on how to include Terrors in your own campaign, and how to square up to them
  • New artefacts, spells, and weapons – such as the Allies’ so-called “lightning guns” – to help take the fight to the enemy
  • In fact, a whole dossier’s worth of useful information to help you expand your campaign out into the wider world (and murkiest depths) of the Secret War.

Best RPG Related Product

Designers & Dragons got the gold for their awesomeness.

PART ONE OF A FOUR-VOLUME SET!

EVERYTHING YOU’VE WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF ROLEPLAYING GAMES…

Designers & Dragons: The ’70s is a comprehensive picture of the beginnings of the RPG industry. This second edition expands the original single book into a series of four, and we’ve added over 50,000 new words to this volume alone. Learn about the colorful history of TSR and the wave of D&D inspired games (and gaming companies) to follow, and dip your toes into wargaming trivia. Regardless of your gaming background, Shannon Appelcline’s meticulously researched history won’t disappoint.

In this volume, you’ll find:

  • A foreword by Greg Stafford, creator of Glorantha and author of King Arthur Pendragon
  • Profiles for thirteen 1970s gaming companies including TSR, GDW, and Chaosium
  • The inside scoop behind games like D&D, Traveller, and The Fantasy Trip
  • Ten things you might not know about roleplaying in the ’70s
  • An extensive bibliography and index

 

Best Rules

Mutant: Year Zero took the silver here.

Mutant: Year Zero takes you to the world after the great Apocalypse. Humanity’s proud civilization has fallen. The cities are dead wastelands, winds sweeping along empty streets turned into graveyards. But life remains. Among the ruins, the People live. You are the heirs of humanity – but not quite human anymore. Your bodies and minds are capable of superhuman feats. You are mutants.

The Mutant RPG franchise has three decades of rich history in Sweden, with the first edition released in 1984. This is the game that later developed into Mutant Chronicles to widespread acclaim. Now, for the first time, a version of the original, post-apocalyptic shade of Mutant is released to an international audience. This brand new version of the classic game contains material for hundreds of hours of game time:

  • 269 page full colour core RPG rulebook – everything you need!
  • Create a unique mutant player character – including skills, talents, mutations, gear and relationships – in mere minutes.
  • Push your character’s skills to their limits, releasing amazing mutant powers in the process.
  • Fight fast and furious battles, making every bullet count and using a detailed list of gruesome critical injuries.
  • Set your game in one of the Zones provided – The Big Smoke and The Dead Apple – or create your own Zone, based on your home town.
  • Develop the Ark – your settlement in the Zone – by undertaking Projects, building a new society.
  • Explore the Zone using the grid map and the unique sector generation system that populates the Zone with mutants, monsters and phenomena.
  • Experience the five Special Zone Sectors – scenario locations that can be placed in any sector of the Zone.
  • Search for the mysterious Eden bunker in the Path to Eden campaign frame provided, which includes an epic finale.

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