Is it harder for OSR products to win ENnies?

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Big Mac
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Is it harder for OSR products to win ENnies?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:24 am

Lloyd Metcalf of Fail Squad Games has posted an interesting blog article called ENnies and the OSR where he explores the idea that OSR publishers have a much smaller voice than the likes of WotC or Paizo and therefore are much less likely to be voted to win 2018 ENnies.

He suggested it was a “David and Goliath” battle and is is trying to get fans of Fail Squad Games to look at OSR products that other publishers put out and to consider voting for them, to try to give the "Davids" more of a chance.

What do you think? Is this an issue with OSR products being less visible? Or is it an issue with independent publishers themselves being less visible?

I've not really a fan of the Old School/New School divide. I see myself as a No School gamer. And I really like the way that The Piazza is a no school community where we can discuss old stuff in one topic and new stuff in another topic (and not have Edition War fights over it). But there are plenty of other communities that are either stacked towards newer D&D stuff or older D&D stuff.

And with the ENnies being a thing started by EN World, I wonder if that makes some old school communities less inclined to have discussions about them than EN World itself (where presumably, they would have forum staff pushing them as "exciting news"). Does anyone see the ENnies being talked about on a regular basis in OSR communities? EN World started off as Eric Noah's 3e website, so has that given the ENnies more of a bias towards D&D and it's clones? Do you think that the nominations and awards have changed over time? Is it becoming less old school or more old school than in year one? Are there trends to stick with OGL-based rules or have they spread away from D&D? Are larger "goliath" publishers dominating the ENnies now?

Is this even a bad thing? Should the ENnies reflect what is most popular (and therefore closely match was is selling well)? Or should there be some sort of specialist awards that put a spotlight on the best products in niche markets?
Last edited by Big Mac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is it harder for OSR products to win ENnies?

Post by shesheyan » Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:03 am

Its fair game that he would make a shout out to OSR fans to go and vote for OSR games. Of course if you are a niche market (OSR) within a niche market (RPG) it will be harder to win.

Here is the list of the 2018 ENNIE nominations : http://www.ennie-awards.com/blog/2018-nominations/

Big Leagues :
- D&D has no nominations this year - except of Adventurers League.
- FFG hit a wall with Genesys - no nominations.
- Paizo has many nominations for Starfinder.

Best Games and Best Rules contains no nominations for the Goliaths.

Judge's Spotlight Winners contain no Goliaths.

The 2018 field is dominated mid-level players like Chaosium, Green Ronin and Modiphius or even smaller companies. I'm very happy Esper Genesys is nominated for Best Free Product. I'll vote for that. So other than Starfinder its a rough year for the Goliaths. If you don't get nominated you can't win even if you have deep pockets... ;)
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Re: Is it harder for OSR products to win ENnies?

Post by Dread Delgath » Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:52 am

I have no dog in any EN race. I am not their target market. I do consider myself 'old-school', but I don't have much in the way of OSR products, either. I suppose that I am very particular about my old school D&D/AD&D, and most modules and nearly all clones (with the exception of a couple favorite favorites) do not excite me. I am most likely selling these guys short, and that is more on me and less on them. I mean to say that they ain't doing anything wrong, I just have a particular set of stuff I go for.

I just downloaded Esper Genesis free stuff, and will give it a look sometime this week. (I hope.)
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Re: Is it harder for OSR products to win ENnies?

Post by Havard » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:24 pm

I don't know much about how the ENnies work. I do see alot of creativity among some of the OSR game designers. Interesting analysis by Shesheyan. If this is a trend and not just this year's distribution, it does seem like the ENnies can work to highlight mid level companies who also surely need all the publicity they can get. :)

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Re: Is it harder for OSR products to win ENnies?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:05 pm

shesheyan wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:03 am
Its fair game that he would make a shout out to OSR fans to go and vote for OSR games. Of course if you are a niche market (OSR) within a niche market (RPG) it will be harder to win.

Here is the list of the 2018 ENNIE nominations : http://www.ennie-awards.com/blog/2018-nominations/

Big Leagues :
- D&D has no nominations this year - except of Adventurers League.
- FFG hit a wall with Genesys - no nominations.
- Paizo has many nominations for Starfinder.

Best Games and Best Rules contains no nominations for the Goliaths.

Judge's Spotlight Winners contain no Goliaths.

The 2018 field is dominated mid-level players like Chaosium, Green Ronin and Modiphius or even smaller companies. I'm very happy Esper Genesys is nominated for Best Free Product. I'll vote for that. So other than Starfinder its a rough year for the Goliaths. If you don't get nominated you can't win even if you have deep pockets... ;)
That's true. You can't win if you don't get nominated.

Do you know who does the nominations for ENnies? I thought that people just had to pay to send in their own products to be nominated. (I remember reading something about sending in 6 copies of products or somesuch.) Is there some sort of independent nominations process?

I suspect that Starfinder might win, as I've heard a lot of people getting excited about it.
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Re: Is it harder for OSR products to win ENnies?

Post by RobJN » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:14 pm

Publishers submit their products to the judges*, who review them and then compile a list of nominees, which are announced, and then voted on by the public.

*The judges are nominated on and voted by the public for the following year's awards.

This page has a rundown of how the process works.
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Re: Is it harder for OSR products to win ENnies?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:37 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:52 am
I have no dog in any EN race. I am not their target market. I do consider myself 'old-school', but I don't have much in the way of OSR products, either. I suppose that I am very particular about my old school D&D/AD&D, and most modules and nearly all clones (with the exception of a couple favorite favorites) do not excite me. I am most likely selling these guys short, and that is more on me and less on them. I mean to say that they ain't doing anything wrong, I just have a particular set of stuff I go for.

I just downloaded Esper Genesis free stuff, and will give it a look sometime this week. (I hope.)
I don't have a dog in the race either.

Eric Noah's website started off as a 3rd Edition D&D website, and I prefer 3e D&D, but it seems that EN World and the ENnies have moved on and left me behind.

There is a lot of talent here, but I'm after old school Dragonlance, Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms products in Print on Demand format and "Fan Enhancements" created for old D&D products.

I'm not sure I want to buy something just because someone slaps the letters "OSR" on it. I would probably be better off finding fans of D&D settings I like and throwing them money on Patreon.
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Re: Is it harder for OSR products to win ENnies?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:41 pm

RobJN wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:14 pm
Publishers submit their products to the judges*, who review them and then compile a list of nominees, which are announced, and then voted on by the public.

*The judges are nominated on and voted by the public for the following year's awards.

This page has a rundown of how the process works.
Thanks Rob.

I wonder if Threshold Magazine would be allowed to enter. :)
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