2018 Judge Applicant – Edward Haggerty

Introduction and Platform

As the owner of a political direct mail who evaluates writing and design everyday of the week; the founder and organizer of Over the Hill Gamers, a meetup group of over 250 senior gamers; and as a gamer since the 1970s who has played hundreds of RPGs ranging from D&D 1e to Predation, the new Cypher System setting; I believe my background and experience give me a valuable perspective.

Why do you play/run RPGs?

Why is the sky blue?  Why do birds fly?  I don’t really know but RPGs appeal to my imagination.  This lifelong addiction probably has its genesis in Saturday afternoon scary movies with my Dad and the many Nancy Drew books I read as a child.

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?

First off, as a business owner, my employer (me) is very supportive of my private endeavors.  As the main organizer of a meetup group of over 250 gamers (Over the Hill Gamers), I have dozens of gamer friends who would love to volunteer their opinions and support.  My kids are grown up and could care less what I do to amuse myself.

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 the owner of a political direct mail firm, I am constantly evaluating design and writing.  A smartly-written and well-designed direct mail piece is the coin of the realm.  I have developed a good eye for effective communication and will utilize these skills to help evaluate RPGs.  In addition, as a business owner experienced in managing many projects, I have the organizational skills to make this happen.
As a gamer since the mid 70s, I have literally read and played hundreds of RPGs.

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 admire well-written RPGs — no matter the genre.  No amount of art or graphic design can hide poor writing.  At the same time, however, even well-written material will not shine unless it’s backed up by inspired graphic design and art.  I admire the works of Pelgrane Press and WoTC.  I consider RPGs to be a form of literature in every sense of the word.

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?

D&D 5e
Night’s Black Agents  (Love)
Call of Cthulhu
Dungeon Crawl Classics
Trail of Cthulhu

Briefly summarize the criteria you will use for judging products in the different categories.
Whatever the category or product — with the obvious exception of art-only categories– it begins with imaginative, articulate, and cogent writing enhanced by inspired graphic design and lovely art. Even art-only categories should be judged, to some extent, in the context of the written product they are illustrating.

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

In precisely the same manner that I would judge products from systems I love — based on the merits of their writing, graphic design, and art.

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

For most of us who don’t actually produce games, the ENnies serve as an important buying guide.  I think greater coordination with winners and nominees should take place to ensure these products are available for purchase so game producers can enjoy the fruits of their victory.  I think the ENnies does a nice job of recognizing big and small RPG producers. This should continue.

BONUS: (optional) If you were an RPG, what would it be and would you play it?
A gritty game concerning broken-down, aging super heroes whose powers and heart have waned but must rise each day to confront a new menace.  I don’t have a choice but to play, it’s real life for me.

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