2018 Judge Applicant – Chris Gath

Online Nicknames


Introduction and Platform

I’ve been an ENnies judge before but it has been several years since I was last involved with the awards. I have done hundred of RPG book reviews and bring a lot of experience in gaming with me. I enjoy a wide variety of games and being an Accountant I am used to reading through rules and keeping detailed notes. I love the ENnie awards and would like to get back involved with them and help them stay great and find ways to improve them.

Why do you play/run RPGs?

I do it for the creativity and social aspect. My current home group has been together for almost a dozen years. Our weekly game is one of the highlights for everyone. It is great to see friends sitting around a table and having fun together.

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 am very familiar with the time requirements of being a Judge. My friends and family are in full support of me doing this again. I have control over my work hours to make sure that I will have enough time to read and analyze everything. I have a large extended group of friends that play RPGs so there is plenty of opportunity to play test some of the new games.

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 meet deadlines every week and have to best organize my time to get everything done. I am routinely working on documents that are several hundred pages long; it is important for my job to be organized and communicate with the people in the office. As a judge I have always been one to want to talk about the books and games as they come in and encourage the others to have lengthy discussions on everything. I am an veracious reader in my free time so I am used to sitting down for many hours on a weekend and doing nothing but reading. I have a house so am not worried about storage space of item. If needed I can easily devote a spare bedroom to the ENnies.

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 been running and playing games for over thirty five years. In the last few years I have been a big fan of Green Ronin’s writing, of Paizo’s ability to keep Pathfinder interesting and fresh, and the prolific writing of Shadows of a Demon Lord. The game that I like best is Changeling the Dreaming. While the rules can have issues I find the creativity and possibilities in that game to really speak to me.

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?

Within the past year I have played or run Pathfinder, Dungeons and Dragons 5e and 4e, Nights Black Agents, Paranoia, Monsterhearts, Monster of the Week, Mutants Year Zero, Savage Worlds, and Blades in the Dark. I am about to start a Trail of Cthulhu game. My gaming has been a lot of Fantasy and Science fiction though lately I have been more interested in modern horror. I really enjoy the Gumshoe and Apocalypse World systems.

Briefly summarize the criteria you will use for judging products in the different categories.

I look for good and easy to follow explanations of rules. I want to be able to read a book just a few times and then be able to easily run it. I think games should have a clear idea of what type of characters the players will be playing and have a simple direction for what types of games the RPG works best at. I like a detailed setting and being able to find little details to use and enhance the game.

How will you judge supplements or adventures for game systems whose core rules you are unfamiliar with or you believe are badly designed?

I will seek out game systems that I don’t have to read and learn for supplements and adventures submitted for them. I do have an extensive gaming collection of a couple of thousand book and getting more to add to that collection is never a problem. I also will talk with fans of a system I am less familiar with to get some views and explanations from people that are experts in a particular game. Games that I feel are badly designed I will read again give a second chance to. Also, a game can be badly designed but still have great supplements or adventures written for it.

How would you like to see the ENnies change? What should remain inviolate?

I would like to see the ENnies focus more on RPGs and the books, the writers, artists, and publishers. There are a lot of talented professionals that deserve to be recognized for their ability.

If you were an RPG, what would it be and would you play it?: I would be a low fantasy game that deals with the economics of feudal estates. I’d enjoy the game immensely but I don’t expect many others would.

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