Luke Elias

Online Nicknames

Introduction and Platform
Hey there! I’m Luke Elias and I’ve been playing tabletop for going on about 15 years now. I began GM’ing for Contessa at Gencon 2017. I am openly bisexual and a mental health advocate and seek to provide a nurturing and stable atmosphere for my gamers so they can learn more about themselves and others.

I have a deep belief that by learning to tell stories together we can help tear down so many barriers that exist in modern day communication and we can truly start building a healthier community.

I consume rules systems like it’s my job and am getting close to putting some of my own designs into the market in the coming year. I bring with me a mind for numbers but a heart focuses on what they can do for the fiction.

Why do you play/run RPGs?
I play and run RPGs because they are a fascinating platform for figuring out new ways to tell stories. They allow us to explore this world and many others in new shoes in ways that both stimulate our brains and often times help deepen our capacity for empathy.

I firmly believe we are in the golden age of RPGs and am excited to see them being used to talk about more serious matters.

From one of my earlier experiences with LARPing I gained the ability to be more comfortable expressing my sexual orientation and not hiding it away. This was gained by getting to ‘try out’ the orientation publicly but from the low commitment place as ‘well this is just a character trait.’

Community and introspection are essential pieces of my foundation at a person and nothing like RPG’s has really helped work toward both of those aspects so strongly.

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 have a close friend that has fully committed all of his Gencon 2018 experience to helping me as I begin further and further work GM’ing events and also connecting further with the industry. He is a reliable source of both assistant and encouragement.

I also bring with me close to 5 years of technical administrative work that has sharpened my skills to communicate professionally and adhere to a tight schedule.

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?
Technical writing abilities developed from my years working in the IT field has helped me become better at sorting through player aids and rulebooks and see how they can help facilitate the best tabletop experience.

With my own aims to go to crowdfunding by the end of next year for my first game design and having worked on a mental health based product for the last three years, I have spent a large amount of time consuming whatever rules systems/games I can get my hands on in order to break them down and see how and why they do what they do.

I also have written and run several LARPs and have a background in performance which has helped hone a love for the aesthetics of different products and how they add to the depth and immersion of their story.

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 find myself moving further away from d20 and heavy rules games although often times have a numbers itch that needs to be scratched by something like 5th edition and 13th age.

Powered by the Apocalypse games have definitely flooded the industry but I feel like they’ve set a good framework and people are starting to move on from automatically trying to design in that system which I’m excited to see, although I personally love running PbtA games at conventions.

Recently, City of Mist and Invisible Sun are two of the more intriguing games that have come out. The steps they have taken to add something new to the player creation process and the way it is communicated amongst the group excites and intrigues me. I’ve run games for both and am loving them.

I think dark fantasy and cyberpunk are two of my favorite genres. (Shadowrun for example but the rules bloat there is not something I’m a huge fan).

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?
Invisible Sun, loved

City of Mist, loved

13th Age, loved but find myself growing tired of running it

D&D 5th Edition, I love what WotC did with 5th edition, it’s everything I would’ve wanted to see from the brand.

Shadowrun, mixed bag

Blades in the Dark, loved

Headspace, loved

Masks, enjoyed but not quite my genre

Legend of the Five Rings, loved as I have a fantastic group for it

Fellowship, loved

Briefly summarize the criteria you will use for judging products in the different categories.
Is their target audience clear and do they reach them?
How does the design/aesthetics of their product assist in immersion?
How clearly designed and written are they in the interest of ease of use and comprehension?

How will you judge supplements or adventures for game systems whose core rules you are unfamiliar with or you believe are badly designed?
How well do they incorporate the core elements of the products they have been designed for?
Are they easy to comprehend?
What is the quality of production?
Do they bring something unique and useful to the core system they’ve been designed for?

In the case of adventures, how easy are they to incorporate adventurers that were not designed for the story and how accessible do they make themselves to the GM’s need to hack what they have put out.

In the case of adventures, what steps do they take to ‘survive first contact with the PCs’?

How would you like to see the ENnies change? What should remain inviolate?
I would love to see more hype driven up by the ENnies themselves rather than each creator trying to draw attention on their own. I do not have an answer to what should remain inviolate.

BONUS: (optional) If you were an RPG, what would it be and would you play it?
I would be a game focused on using a fantasy setting to communicate real matters with mental health. You bet I’d play it.

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