2018 Judge Applicant – David Geleppe

Online Nicknames

Dave

Introduction and Platform

I’ve been gaming for more than 25 years. Over that time I’ve played a lot of different games and seen more. It was always a delight to come across some obscure game that turned out to be a gem. I want to be a judge so that I can help others find those gems, whether or not they’re obscure.

Here’s what I’ll be looking for in a game: Is it creative? evocative? fun? Does it support interesting gameplay? Is it well-written? well-produced? well-illustrated? Is it respectful of the GM’s and players’ time?

Why do you play/run RPGs?

I love spending time with my gaming group. We’ve been getting together weekly for a long time now. Over the years we’ve all become parents, and the hours of gaming per evening has dwindled. Despite all the challenges, we keep making the effort because we love each other’s company, and we have a lot of fun at the gaming table.

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 and gaming group will support me to the extent the rules allow.

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?

I was an analyst on the trading floor of a financial firm for more than a decade. Since then, I’ve been leading a team of analysts and software engineers at a startup. The business skills you’re looking for aren’t a problem.
More specific to the ENnies, I’ve been playing RPGs since the late 80s, having cut my teeth on homebrew D&D and GURPS. While time for playing is limited now that I’m a dad, I enjoy reading RPG products and have read more than I’ve played.
My motivation for wanting to be a judge is twofold. Selfishly, I want to take a deep look at a year’s worth of the best that our creative hobby has to offer. Unselfishly, I want to help make it easy for others to find the best of the best.

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 usually prefer RPGs where the system doesn’t get in the way of the adventure, with Ars Magica being a notable exception. I have some friends who love early RPGs (early D&D and others from that era) and others who love storygames, so I get to play different types of game. While these are very different styles, rather than having a strong preference I’d say that they scratch different itches.

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?

Ars Magica
D&D (various old-school, retroclone, homebrew, and 5E)
Dungeon World
Call of Cthulhu (various flavors)
Earthdawn
The Quiet Year
FATE / Spirit of the Century
Labyrinth Lord
Gumshoe One-2-One / Cthulhu Confidential
I loved playing all of them, in part because of the people I was playing with. Because I’m a player rather than a DM or GM, I don’t often get to pick what I play. The biggest surprise was that I liked Ars Magica (which initially looked like too much of a rules slog).

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

All categories with writing:
1. Does the text respect the reader’s time?
2. Does the author write engagingly?

Adventures
1. Is the adventure original?
2. Can the GM quickly spot salient features?
3. Is the participation of the PCs well-motivated?
4. Are there multiple paths forward?
5. Are there interesting NPCs, features to interact with, etc…

Art: Is it evocative? Is it original?

Cartography: A good gaming map or atlas should evoke many ideas for adventures and scenarios and interactions between various parts of the map. Secondarily, a map can be a work of art.

Electronic Books: For the electronic component specifically, is it easy to navigate (taking advantage of the flexibility of ebooks)? is it well-formatted?

Games:
1. Why does this game exist? What does it do that’s new?
2. How much time does it take to learn the rules (for a GM? for a player?)
3. Is it fun?

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

I’ll judge supplements based on what they add to the core game. If need be I’ll get an overview of the core rules of a system I’m unfamiliar with, but this won’t be necessary for most supplements.

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

I think it would be nice for there to be separate OSR & Storygame categories so that people who feel strongly about both kinds of game get to award their favorites.

BONUS: (optional) If you were an RPG, what would it be and would you play it?

Parenthood: the next generation. I play it every day.

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