Sean Frackowiak

Online Nicknames
Vermicious Knid

Introduction and Platform
I’m the gamiest gamer that ever gamed games. Well…perhaps not the gamiest (some stiff competition there), but I have been playing RPGs since 1980 when I was introduced to the good old Blue Box Basic D&D. In the years that followed I’ve played or run countless RPGs both good and terrible.

I still have a taste for reading and puzzling out new RPGs, despite the backlog of unplayed games lurking like gargoyles on my shelves. I believe I have the right mix of experience and enthusiasm to wrestle an unruly horde of submissions.

Why do you play/run RPGs?
The hook of an RPG has always been stepping into a story like the ones I grew up reading and getting to participate. While the mechanical details of this process evolve and change, the crux of the matter is always getting together with friends and creating stories. The stories may be funny, harrowing, or exciting…but it is always about stories.

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?
Well, I am disabled…so I have a nearly unlimited supply of the most important resource for an undertaking like this: TIME. Having a huge pile of RPG rulebooks to parse will actually be a welcome distraction. I also have a longtime local group that can help with playtesting as needed.

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?
Apart from the 4 decades of RPG experience? I worked at comic and game shops back in the 90’s. Spent several years working on testing and playbalancing strategy video games back in the late 90’s. Spent about a decade doing tier 2 technical support (which is all about communication and critical thinking) and most of another decade as an insurance adjuster (again, communication skills and analysis).

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 fairly broad tastes. My first love was D&D, and I still have great affection for D&D and the various D&D analogs. I also enjoy horror games, pure story games like Dread and Fiasco, “universal” games like Savage Worlds or Fate, etc…

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?
Hell 4 Leather – played, loved
Star Frontiers via Old School Hack – played, loved
Shadow of The Demon Lord – played, interesting
Gumshoe presently untitled fantasy RPG – played, loved
Dread – played, loved
Ten Candles – played, loved
D&D 5E – ran campaign, enjoyed
Whats Old is New (OLD) – just started running campaign, interesting
The Happiest Apocalypse on Earth – played, loved
Urban Shadows – played, loved

Briefly summarize the criteria you will use for judging products in the different categories.
RPGs should be cool, interesting, and fun. I think most of that can be valuated with a careful reading of a RPG. In the event that I feel like I’m missing something I have a local group available to do some playtesting.

In broader terms, I don’t think a product needs to be a smashing success in every metric to be valuable. Interesting ideas can be enough to carry a product with rudimentary production values, and really cool pictures of monsters can be enough for me to keep a product on my shelf.

How will you judge supplements or adventures for game systems whose core rules you are unfamiliar with or you believe are badly designed?
Well…I’ll familiarize myself. If I can’t parse out how a system works with a careful read and a little effort that suggests a bit of a problem, but I’ll do my best.

“Bad design” is pretty subjective, so I’ll try to evaluate games and supplements on their own terms.

How would you like to see the ENnies change? What should remain inviolate?
The ENnies are fine, really. At this point seeing something got an ENnie makes me go “hmm, maybe I’ll take a look”. That seems about right.

BONUS: (optional) If you were an RPG, what would it be and would you play it?
Rick and Morty’s “Anatomy Park”. I don’t think I have a choice.

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