Abigail H.

abigail

Online Nickname(s): Di

Introduction and Platform
Hi, I’m Di! I write for Gnomestew, a GM-advice blog, and rabble-rouse on Twitter @DiceQGM. I got introduced into tabletops by a group of random friends I met over League of Legends. I had initially thought they were part of some cult that did secret magicy-works every Saturday; they were playing Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 so I suppose I wasn’t far off the mark. Not even a week after I dove headfirst into GMing and have been running games ever since.

I know the ENnies are looking for some diversity and, honestly, I’m a diversity smorgasbord in that I’m a queer Filipino/Chinese immigrant. I’m also extremely sex positive and spent about 6-7 years working at an LGBT book/sex store. By the gods, do I have stories.

Why do you play/run RPGs?
I’ve been running RPGs every week for the last 11 years. Honestly, for the most part, it’s been so ingrained with my lifestyle that it seems insane to consider going a week out. I run these games to explore emotions and situations that my players might never actually experience in real life. I like high-energy, deeply emotional games when I run. To facilitate this, I tend to run systems with fast resolution mechanics.
When I play RPGs, I do so to feel epic. I tend to enjoy mid-to-high level games because I love the challenge. I love to feel pressured and in the corner, to hopefully come out of it clawing and scraping for victory or defeat. I am by-and-large a huge fan of the more war-gamey tabletops when I play.

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?
As I’m currently a student, and as the job market looks to be difficult to break into because of COVID-19, I’m living with my family at this time. Even if I am to move into work, the first few years of librarian work tends to be on-call/part-time. This means I’ll likely be situated with my family for quite some time. This gives me a large amount of free time to work on entries for the ENnies.

Aside from that, I have several gaming groups that I can call on to run games with.

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 a librarian-student, I feel there is a great deal of overlap when it comes to deadline management and organizational skills. I have several bookshelves specifically for books and board-games and would have the room for new games quite easily. I’m used to handling deadlines due to my work as an editor(proofreading, copy-editing, and developmental) for private stories/novella, as well as for manga.

I would like to put forward I have at least some degree of critical thinking skills due to writing for Gnomestew, but I would imagine that many applicants also have blogs of their own. I suppose that’s simply saying I meet that minimum criteria.

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”?
I really like simple and clean games with lightning-fast resolution mechanics. I enjoy having complex tactical combat with countless options, yet in a manner that doesn’t bog the game with heavy rulings. As for games I do not like, I tend to really dislike narrative heavy games where the games cover more flavor than they do interesting mechanics. For example, while I do understand its capability as a game and experience, I’m not the biggest fan of Apocalypse Worlds.

The games that best exemplify my interests are Savage Worlds, Risus, Blades in the Dark, as well as Index Card RPG (or ICRPG). I do not particularly consider myself a fangirl of any system or publisher, but perhaps a fangirl of what I call “swingy” games like Savage Worlds and Dread. What I mean by this is that I love games where you can be fine and dandy one moment, then at the precipice of death the next. This is done simply through the mechanics rather than some hyperinflation of numbers/damage.

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?

In no particular order:
Savage Worlds
ICRPG
Fantasy AGE
10 Candles
Blades in the Dark
D&D 5e
Pathfinder
Pathfinder 2
Risus
Star Wars Edge of the Empire

Of these I would consider my biggest loves to be Savage Worlds and ICRPG, but I did have a surprising amount of fun with Fantasy AGE despite its tendency to drag. I’m not the largest fan of D&D 5e as it tends to be an incredibly slow game for me with fairly simple systems working its wheels, but I appreciate it for what it does.

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

– Are the mechanics interesting?
– Is the resolution fun?
– How well does it support going ‘off-book’?
– Is the setting engaging?
– Does the game do something different?
– Does it do something that exists /better/?

How will you judge supplements or adventures for game systems whose core rules you are unfamiliar with or you believe are badly designed?
For supplements, I’d likely speak to players of the various systems and see what they like and dislike about it, but mostly as to ‘what they would change/want improved’. I feel a good supplement addresses a need the players have. As to where I’d get them. almost every system out there has a podcast and most podcasts have some sort of Discord attached to them. I’d start there. If not, there’s a pretty strong community on rpgtwitter in which to draw knowledge from.

I want to imagine that an adventure has to at least have the ability to stand on its own in a system-agnostic manner, so I don’t particularly feel that’s going to be an issue.

How would you like to see the ENnies change? What should remain inviolate?
Nothing in particular. I’d like to see more indie developers being lifted up, but that’s really about it.

BONUS: (optional) If you were an RPG, what would it be and would you play it?
Panic at the Dojo by Liberi Gothica Games. Complex, dynamic, and kinda Scott Pilgrimy. And absolutely!