2020 Judge – Rachel Campbell


Online Nicknames

Introduction and Platform
I’ve always told people that gaming is in my blood. My parents met at a game store where my mother worked and my father was a regular. I grew up sitting on my father’s lap, watching him run Original Champions for the neighborhood teenagers. I’ve been playing RPGs for nearly 20 years now, and watching them be played for nearly my entire life. I’ve played old systems like HarnMaster and Traveler, mainstream favorites like 5e, diceless systems like The King Is Dead and unique systems like Weave. Tabletop RPGs have been a powerful way for me to give and receive love, sharing stories and memories with family and friends old and new. I believe games should be for everyone and help people tell all kinds of stories, so that they can make new memories together.


Why do you play/run RPGs?

I play and run RPGs to tell fun stories, explore complex characters, and make memories with the people I care about. They are a fantastic opportunity to make friends, strengthen relationships, try new things, and explore fiction in a way that other media simply does not allow. They fuel my imagination unlike anything else.


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 job with flexible schedule and hours, and two gaming groups that are open to trying new things with me. My husband supports my love of gaming and is willing to let me try new things. My brother, also, is an experienced gamer/GM with whom I can discuss mechanics and system details frequently.


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 have a Master’s Degree and at my job I routinely work under deadlines. I have a strong internet connection and access to a variety of communication media, and am flexible in my ability to coordinate meetings. I am a skilled writer and critical thinker, I am creative in problem-solving, and I have run homebrewed and prepublished adventures across a variety of RPGs. I also am open to changing and critiquing products in the middle of using them, honestly assessing what is working for the group and what is not.


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/fanperson”?
My favorite RPGs are narrative-driven with mechanics that are light-to-medium in difficulty. I prefer cinematic games to more tactical, gritty games. I love fantasy, sci-fi, and humor in all sorts of genres. I tend to avoid horror genres. I also have a special interest in systems that are geared toward children, as I am beginning to pass my love of gaming on to my two kids. I enjoy systems that have card prompts, but my absolute favorite games let me roll a variety of different dice.

A good example of a humorous game that has lots of fun fantasy elements and plenty of randomness injected through die rolls is Goblin Quest by Grant Howitt. One of his free games, Skyfarer, also exemplifies the inclusion of light mechanics and many narrative/character-driven elements. I also love the peaceful, domestic mood created by the game Ryuutama.


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?
Goblin Quest (love)
Dungeons & Dragons 5E
No Thank You, Evil!
Amazing Tales
For The Queen
The King Is Dead
In Dreaming Avalon
Skyfarer (love)


Briefly summarize the criteria you will use for judging products in the different categories.
I would judge products based on ease of use for target consumer (new gamers/GMs/families/etc), visual appeal, clarity of mechanics, readability, and the way that the product assists in telling the story at the table–whether it is a help or a hindrance to the overall RPG experience. I would also pay attention to how reading/viewing the product inspires me to play within the setting/system provided.


How will you judge supplements or adventures for game systems whose core rules you are unfamiliar with or you believe are badly designed?
I would spend time learning the basics of the rules or asking friends who are experienced with these systems to help me. In the case of systems I believe are badly designed or do not enjoy, I would test the products within the parameters of the system itself, attempting to put aside my own biases and see how the product might be useful for fans of that particular system.


How would you like to see the ENnies change? What should remain inviolate?
ENnies should always focus on bringing the best of tabletop to hobbyists and newcomers to the hobby. I believe that the games considered should continue to diversify as far as mechanics, representation across cultures/identities/physical abilities, and recognize that gamers are as unique and diverse as fans of any other hobby in the world.


BONUS: (optional) If you were an RPG, what would it be and would you play it?
I would be a game with a lot of tables for randomly-generated elements, in a modern fantasy setting, with low combat but high problem-solving encounters. I’d definitely play it!

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