2018 Judge Applicant – Daniel Gunther

Online Nicknames


Introduction and Platform

Daniel Gunther here, 44 year old father, husband, and gamer at your service. Like a lot of people, I have to don a lot of different hats to get through the day – father, husband, gaming enthusiast, trainer, technician, supervisor, goofball, and cook, just to name a few. Being a process technician affords me the ability to take care of my family. Being a gamer lets me take care of my imagination. With over 30 years of gaming, from my start with D&D and WEG d6 Star Wars to any number of d20 systems and everything in between, gaming has kept my interested because of the fantastic variety of settings and systems. I love seeing how the mechanics add different elements to the collective play experience, my platform. I would appreciate your trust in selecting me as an ENnies Judge.

Why do you play/run RPGs?

RPGs have given me the perfect gateway to enjoy the same sorts of experiences watched and read about. Sharing those experiences with others as we create our own is absolutely priceless. That gateway that has allowed me to enjoy shared storytelling, has also allowed me to learn about myself, and given me the perfect venue for some personal therapy over the years.

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 wife, though she doesn’t game, has always been supportive, even helping to add to my gaming library. I have two groups of gamers – my longtime group and my kids, which will allow me to look at the various sources from a variety of perspectives. I also have access to a network of Gamestores due to my association with the Boddhanna Group, advocates for therapeutic gaming.

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 a family man, youth organization volunteer, and technician, meeting and managing deadlines, communicating effectively, and being organized is part of everyday life. As for storage, I am lucky to have a room in my home, my own sanctuary, that my friends have playfully dubbed The Vortex.

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 enjoy all genres, though I tend to play more in fantasy, urban fantasy, and sci-fi games. The games that best exemplify what I enjoy are D&D, Dresden Files, Eclipse Phase, and Star Trek. All in all, I am open to anything and everything RPGs have to offer, regardless of style, system, genre, or publisher.

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?

Between my kids and my regular gaming group, I’ve been able to play more in the past year than I have in the last five. With my kids I’ve played Beginner Box Pathfinder. 5E D&D, and Ghostbusters. With my regular group, we’ve played FASA Star Trek, Eclipse Phase, Pathfinder, FFG Star Wars, Call of Cthulu, Dresden Files, and Fate Accelerated. Probably the one thing that has stuck out to me the most, are the Intrigue mechanics of A Song and Fire and Ice. I absolutely love that they were able to create what is essentially a social combat system.

Briefly summarize the criteria you will use for judging products in the different categories.
Flexibility – Does the game allow for easy modification?
Innovation – What does it add to the gaming experience?
Complexity – Are the mechanics easily understood? Or more in depth?
Art – Does the art match the setting and tone the designer presented? Is it evocative?
The Hook – What will make a gamer WANT to play the game? What will make me want to play the game?
Experience – What is the game setting out for players and GM to explore?
Detail – Is it a quick read, giving just enough to get the point across? Or is it richly explained?

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

With an open mind to the best of my ability. I woulds also seek out the core rules and become familiar with them to be better able to give supplements and adventures proper consideration.

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

I wouldn’t change a thing. The ENnies have always been organized and run solidly.

BONUS: (optional) If you were an RPG, what would it be and would you play it?
Now What?! A game based on Murphy’s Law. You’ve lived it on more than one occasion, now play the game. Yes, i would run and play it.

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