2019 Judge – Chris Gath

Online Nicknames

Introduction and Platform
I’ve been playing and running RPGs since the early 80’s. I’ve organized a few gameday get togethers over the years, done hundreds of reviews, and seen quite a change come to the community. If I win and become an ENnie judge I’m going to press the other judges to work harder and try to get the awards back on track. There has been too much controversy and growth and the spirit of the awards, to honor the best RPG books each year, needs to be the focus.

Why do you play/run RPGs?
I play and run games for the friendships and connections with other people. I love the cooperative aspect that a good gaming group can become. I like to share ideas and experience in the triumph of others.

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 know the time and energy required and I am prepared to give it. I have an extended group of friends that play games that will be helping me when I try out RPGs that are new to me. I have the support of friends and family to be able to put the ENnies commitment in front of other responsibilities.

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?
As an Accountant I am used to dealing with large volumes of information and organizing it. I work well with other people and enjoy the interaction and feedback from other people in this case the other judges and Ennie staff. Deadlines are important and there might need to be consequences set up for missing deadlines.

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”?
These days I find myself enjoying more narrative games. While I enjoy games like Pathfinder and D&D I haven’t played either of them lately. I see myself reading over indie games more and more. I am looking for a system that fits my group and so far the closest we have found is the Gumshoe 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?
Over the past year I have run or played Dresden Files, Trail of Cthulhu, Microscope, City of Mist, Masks: the New Generation, Night’s Black Agent, Mutant Year Zero, and Paranoia. Dresden Files while I love the books and the setting the game is just too complex for my group. City of Mists is interesting but I don’t think it is a game that shines as well in one shots. Microscope was just fascinating as it is so different from standard games. There was no game I played I hated but some games like I have mentioned just work better for us than others.

Briefly summarize the criteria you will use for judging products in the different categories.
The most important aspect is does the book do what it is supposed to do. Does it define what it needs defined? Can a person use only the book to run a game or does the author assume other resources are needed. It is important to be able to look at a book as single product and judge it on what is inside and not on other influences and products.

How will you judge supplements or adventures for game systems whose core rules you are unfamiliar with or you believe are badly designed?
The book has to be judged on its own merits. If I don’t know a game system then as a Judge it is my responsibility to learn that system. It can be a lot of extra work but this is not a responsibility people should be taking shortcuts on.

How would you like to see the ENnies change? What should remain inviolate?
I want to see the ENnies focus more on the books and less on the peripherals. Podcasts for instance have grown and they need their own set of awards. The ENnies should not be handling them.

BONUS: (optional) If you were an RPG, what would it be and would you play it?
1040: the auditing. And no one wants to play that game.

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