Introduction and Platform
I am excited to again be considered for ENnies judge. I have a Law degree from Valparaiso and an English BA from Lake Superior State. I live in Dayton, Ohio with my husband, Matthew, and our two dogs, Eris and Loki. I have been involved with some form of gaming since, as a small child, my grandparents taught me Canasta. I discovered RPGs at 10, when my parents got me the Moldvay Red Box for Christmas. They had no idea what it was, but based on the cover, they knew I’d love it –and I did! This lead to discovering Ral Partha minis, which lead to a lifelong love of painting. I spent hours creating D&D characters and pillaging Barbie’s town house with my adventurers. I have since engrossed myself in the hobby, constantly trying new systems and games. My platform is ‘looking to the new while respecting the past.’
Why do you play/run RPGs?
I play and run RPGs because it gives me the ability to be 100% creative and ignore the bonds of reality to tell the story. Running and playing RPGs is a great way to spend time with friends, express creativity, and engage in the shared experience of character development and world building. Whether it’s the spooky nuances of horror or the flare of high adventure, I find gaming to be one of the most liberating and exciting pass times that I love to do.
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 resources are quite extensive. I have a ready and willing extended group of local friends that are all willing to play test pretty much anything. I also have access to two local gaming stores that have open role-playing sessions, in case I want to test something to a random group of strangers. In addition, I attend 4-6 Cons a year which affords many opportunities to try new things. My family is highly supportive and encouraging that I pursue this nomination.
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?
My adventures in law school taught me not only how to be a strong critical thinker, but also the value of organization and time management. My skills in this area are exceptionally strong. I spent 10 years managing other legal professionals and spent a good deal of time coaching them on effective communication, including dispute resolution, and organization. I’m considered the wordsmith on our team and am generally tasked with creating a great deal of the complicated communications that are needed.
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”?
I have a special fondness for horror, fantasy, and superhero genres. The games that best exemplify what I like would be Call of Cthulhu, D&D, and Mutants and Masterminds. There is really no style/genre that I don’t like. I love to try out new systems and play in new landscapes. I don’t consider myself a fangirl of any particular publisher/genre/system.
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?
I’ve played a lot of games, both RPGs and board games, in the past year. The RPGs include HIllfolk, Urban Shadows, Fiasco, D&D 5th, Pathfinder, Trail of Cthulhu, Numenera, Night’s Black Agents, Shadowrun, Blades in the Dark, Monsterhearts, Mutants & Masterminds, Call of Cthulhu, Dread, A Song of Ice and Fire, and Monster of the Week.
The games I have played the most are:
I have really loved all of them and appreciate the unique qualities that each system brings to the gaming table.
Briefly summarize the criteria you will use for judging products in the different categories.
I will judge the products on their merits by balancing the creative narrative, mechanics and overall game play, as well as the elegance of what is presented. I would pay particular attention to what the product does to enhance or further the world of gaming.
How will you judge supplements or adventures for game systems whose core rules you are unfamiliar with or you believe are badly designed?
I have a large gaming collection, two game stores with libraries of games for patrons to use and an incredibly large circle of friends with game collections and experience.
How would you like to see the ENnies change? What should remain inviolate?
The ENnies works very well and has been improving itself and evolving year after year. Whereas there may be room for minor improvements, there is nothing that seems to need a major overhaul.
BONUS: (optional) If you were an RPG, what would it be and would you play it?
It would be called Jack of All Trades, the Fearless Diva edition – I’d run it, paint minis of the characters, and bake cookies for the players at the same time.