Diana Jones Award, 2018

  • The Diana Jones Award represents the most important in tabletop gaming for the year, from board games to role playing games and occasionally and rarely card games. The nominees have always made a difference to our collective hobbies.

    In the past it has gone to luminaries such as Board Game Geek, a WotC CEO (when they first bought TSR and expanded D&D in ways we didn’t expect or imagine), to the entire Ireland gaming community for their outstanding and at the time unprecedented charitable donations.

    I feel that paying attention to our cousins in the more established areas is critical for us to learn and grow, so knowing what it is pretty firmly affects what we love.

    This year’s winner surprised me. On the list was Charterstone (an amazingly good board game) and Harlem Unbound (a sourcebook for Cthulhu that faces Lovecraft’s outrageous racism head-on).

    This year’s winner, tho, was Actual Plays.

    Yes, watching people play RPGs really has taken off, and they are funny, and the best are well edited. I listen to an actual play podcast based on one of my favorite sci fi stories, run by the creator for many of his actors. Having seen enough of Harmon Quest, yeah, this is amazing.

    What does this mean for us? I don’t know. We’ve known for a long time that sharing our RP logs is pretty damn funny. Maybe it means it’s time to put our voices to these logs, either figuratively or literally? Maybe we’re ahead of our time, just as much as we’re behind it.

    I love the Diana Jones Award. I love how it always gets me thinking about what’s important in tabletop gaming. I love it’s insane history, that it pretty much happened on a lark, and the fact that the committee is anonymous, or as anonymous as possible. We can focus on the event, not the people, and celebrate influential moves.

    So I share. I hope this inspires others.

  • @thenomain said in Diana Jones Award, 2018:

    I listen to an actual play podcast based on one of my favorite sci fi stories, run by the creator for many of his actors.

    Out of curiosity, which one is that?

  • While I'm not sure how we could do that in some instances, I can offer this much: some of the best times I've had RPing on a MU were when I was in a skype call with the person I was playing with, or when they were people who were living here at the time. (Not Spider, but others.)

    I mean, this may sound crazy to most people, but there is nothing so grounding as writing even smut with someone sitting six feet away while gnawing on pizza while you're both cackling your asses off with the, "OMG, that was so mean!" or hearing the devious giggling while a pose is being written, and giving or getting the look of 'oh, damn, I'm in for it now', and just laughing and joking all the while.

    It is really just impossibly hard for it to be a big drama factory then, so while y'all may think that's crazy, it sure did wonders for keeping shit in the proper perspective. (Namely: harmless fun that is not anything resembling a big deal.)

    ETA: For all the people suddenly shocked and horrified at the very notion? Seriously, try it sometime. You may be surprised.

  • Double post: It is also really fucking easy to immediately clarify so many things that way. Seriously miraculous. Being able to say, "Ow, hey, did you mean that?!" -- because, let's face it, 90% of the dumb stuff we get our panties twisted over is not intended that way -- and immediately being able to clarify before even a hint of butthurt can set in? GOLD. And if there is already and ongoing, friendly conversation? Usually it's clear it wasn't, but it also means... there's an ongoing conversation, and you're not stuck in the awkward position of paging from out of the blue to ask, which can be legitimately awkward, and still has the potential issues of text vs. tone to contend with.

    People who have only read my stuff here vs. talking to me in person or voice, or even being on a game with me in most cases, will get a much different impression, usually. Hearing goofy hyperbole in a playful tone is so drastically divorced from reading it that it may as well be night and day.

  • @sparks said in Diana Jones Award, 2018:

    @thenomain said in Diana Jones Award, 2018:

    I listen to an actual play podcast based on one of my favorite sci fi stories, run by the creator for many of his actors.

    Out of curiosity, which one is that?

    Liberty. Each season (or two) is one story, punctuated with a Twilight Zone series set as if produced in their own universe called "Tales from the Tower". And the Actual Play of their D&D 5E setting: Liberty A.F.T.E.R. (Oh look, there's Ashley Burch right on the cover. Mrowr.)


    The other Sci-Fi Podcast I am loving the everloving crap out of is Edict Zero: FIS, a police procedural on another planet cut off from humanity. It starts strange and gets amazing, as all the little bits are tied together as often as new things are introduced. It's entirely possible to work out what's happening before the characters do, but to the writers' credits, they don't insult your intelligence. Sound production needs some work but the story is epic.

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