About Us

Below is a tentaive list of 2014 dates.

May 8, 2014 – Last day to submit products; all physical products must be postmarked no later than this date and all e-submissions must be in the entries@ennie-awards.com Inbox no later than this date

The Gen Con EN World RPG Awards (the “ENnies”) are an annual fan-based celebration of excellence in tabletop roleplaying gaming. The ENnies give game designers, writers and artists the recognition they deserve. It is a peoples’ choice award, and the final winners are voted upon online by the gaming public.

The ENnies were created in 2001 as an annual award ceremony, hosted by the leading D&D/d20 system fan site, EN World in partnership with Eric Noah’s Unofficial D&D 3rd Edition News. Since they were originally conceived the ENnies have expanded from an Internet-based awards selection to an annual award ceremony at Gen Con Indy. The ENnies have also branched out from their roots as an award ceremony focused upon d20 system publishers and products to celebrate the achievements of all tabletop RPGs and the publishers and products that support them.

With award categories recognizing the components that make a game great to the types of products fans have come to love, categories for fan-based websites and much more, the ENnies are the best way for fans to acknowledge outstanding effort from and to say “thank you” to the publishers, designers and artists who make this hobby great.

If you need assistance, please contact Gabriel Whitehead, Business Manager, at gabriel@ennie-awards.com.

If you need help regarding submissions, please contact Hans Cummings, Submissions Coordinator, at entries@ennie-awards.com.

Russ Morrissey, Owner - Russ Morrissey is the owner of the ENnies, which he created in 2001 with the help of Eric Noah.  At first it was an online-only event, but the following year, at the invitation of Peter Adkison, he moved the ceremony to Gen Con, where it has thrived ever since.  Russ has been responsible for the overall direction and long term goals of the awards for well over a decade now, which explains why he always looks so tired.  In recent years, Russ has also displayed a disturbing tendency to stand in front of video cameras – something for which he has great enthusiasm, but little actual skill!  Russ is also responsible for appointing the ENnies Business Manager which he does on a scientific basis of ‘shorter than him, taller than him, shorter than him, taller than him’.
Gabriel Whitehead, Business Manager – Gabriel (a.k.a. FickleGM) officially joined the staff in January, 2013, as the Assistant Business Manager, in order to learn from Tony Law as the latter prepared for his final GenCon as Business Manager of The ENnies. At the conclusion of GenCon 2013, Gabriel assumed the role of Business Manager, excited for the opportunity to continue building upon the success that Tony had achieved. While a mild-mannered computer programmer by day, Gabriel has managed various projects, been a Toastmasters officer and is currently the President of his Toastmasters club. He has over 25 years of roleplaying experience and has been assisting with the ENnies, along with his wife, in some capacity since 2005, when his wife’s “Garden Expo Booth Expertise” was helpful in setting up the ENnies booth. What he lacks in height, he makes up for in laughs.
Hans Cummings, Submissions Coordinator – Hans joined the ENnie Awards full-time in 2009 to serve as Submissions Coordinator after several years of helping out here and there. He has been gaming since 1982 and has watched the industry’s growth and changes. When he’s not gaming or keeping the judges in line and on-task, he serves a the Production Coordinator for a local hardware industry trade organization making business-to-business catalogs. He is also an author. His debut novel, Wings of Twilight, was published in 2011 and he has at least two more on track for an early 2012 release. He also runs RPGs for his friends in Indianapolis, the exploits of which can be followed at the Doctor Strangeroll blog.
Tony Law, Public Relations Coordinator – Tony joined the staff in 2009 to help with the Public Relations aspect of the ENnie Awards. In 2010, he moved up to Assistant Manager. Beginning after the 2010 ceremony, he was made the full time Business Manager. After 2013, he decided to step aside and continue his role as PR Coordinator. Personally, Tony has been playing RPGs for almost 20 years. Although he started with Ninjas and Superspies, he’s broadened his horizons and tries to play in every RPG genre at least once. Professionally, he has edited RPG products for a variety of publishers. He has also been nominated for an ENnie for the supplement he co-created; Fire and Brimstone! (The Comprehensive Guide to Lava, Magma and Superheated Rock). He’s excited to lead the ENnies staff to continue the trend of giving the fans a large voice in the RPG industry. He also looks great in both a kilt and a leisure suit.
Carlos Smith, Official ENnie Awards Photographer – Carlos A. Smith first joined the ENnie staff indirectly in August of 2004. It was his first time being at Gen Con and witnessing the ENnie Awards. He has participated regularly in many hobbies throughout the last thirty years, including comic books, video games and RPGs (24 years!). Photography was an off and on thing to do, going back almost 40 years. A self-taught photographer, Carlos has provided many shots of the ENnie Awards since 2004, and each time there has been an improvement on his ‘novice’ skills (gaining XP). Strictly voluntarily, he has provided many quality photos to be viewed by anyone who hasn’t visit Gen Con or the ENnie Awards throughout the years, through his account on Flickr (account name Bajan Man, but look for Gen Con tag dates via that name also). Mr. Smith has maintained a strong commitment to be the ‘historical recorder’ for the ENnie Awards and many other things. He will continue his mission as long as the RPG industry exists or someone opens a Gate spell and shifts him somewhere else.
Luke Withrow, Technical Coordinator – Luke’s older brother introduced him gaming when he was eight, and he’s been an avid gamer ever since. From those early days of 2nd Edition Dungeons and Dragons, through the teen years with the World of Darkness, and now in the days of Pathfinder and Dread, Luke’s enjoyed being a part of the evolution of the gaming industry.When he’s not gaming, Luke teaches people how to build Web sites, and volunteers with the American Cancer Society.

Q: How is it decided which products are nominated under which category?

  • The judges must come to a consensus when it comes to nominations. They decide which products are nominated under certain categories. A publisher can request to not be nominated under a specific category, but they can’t request to be nominated under a specific category.
  • This will not happen until after the cutoff date for the current submission period.

Q: Is there a place I can go to see what has been submitted?

  • Of course! We have a running list of submissions at the top of the page.

Q: I’m interested in being a sponsor but I am also interested in submitting my product. Would there be a conflict of interest?

  • No. We have had sponsors in the past who were also companies who had entered their products. You just need to be aware that there is absolutely no favoritism when it comes to the ENnie Awards. Being a sponsor in no way, shape, or form guarantees a nomination, much less a win.

Q: How come “Product X” wasn’t submitted?

  • A lot of people ask us why their favorite products were not submitted. The answer is that we have no control over it. If you want a publisher to submit a product, then you need to contact them and convince them to do so.

Q: I’m not a publisher but I don’t think the publisher whose product I like/worked on is going to submit it. Can I submit it for them?

  • Yes but only if
    • The product meets all the submission requirements;
    • You supply the required number of copies; and
    • You include proof the publisher does not object to the entry of the product.

Q: I sell my product in both Physical and PDF format. Can I submit in PDF format only? Updated 1 Jun 12

  • Yes.

Q: How many times can I vote?

  • It is very important that the democratic principle of “one person, one vote” be followed. If you have already voted for products and/or judges, then please do not vote for them again from a different computer. Also, please do not ask people to vote multiple times to pad the votes for a certain product or judge.

Q: Someone has already voted at my location and I’m trying to vote, but it’s telling me that I have already done so. Why is that?

  • If you are voting from home or work where someone else may have already voted, the IP address will be recorded and no further attempts will be permitted from that IP address. If this is the case, you need to find another method of accessing the Internet and vote using that connection.
  • In other cases, those whose computers get dynamic (changing) IP addresses may be told they voted even though no one from their home or workplace did so already. In this case, we recommend waiting a day and trying again as your computer may be given a different IP address. Just remember, even if you do have access to multiple IP addresses, we follow the democratic principle of one person, one vote.

Q: I saw the ceremony and noticed that each publisher had different music play when they accepted their award. Why is that?

  • Each publisher is asked to submit a song to play if they are announced as a winner in a category. They choose the music themselves; we just play what we’re given.

How do you receive products?

There are two ways we receive products; either physically or electronically.

Every year at Gen Con, we approach publishers and remind them that they can submit their products at the ENnies booth for the next year. This will not only give the judges ample time to review their products but it will save the company itself on shipping; it really is in the best interest of the publisher to do it. Some publishers take us up on that offer and some do not. Some want to but don’t have any copies left to submit, which is great for them so we don’t complain.

If a publisher is submitting physical products, they can use the pre-printed labels on the Rules and How to Enter page to put on their boxes. They then ship their products to each judge and Hans Cummings, our Submissions Coordinator. They should also fill out the submission form first before sending any product.

If a publisher is submitting electronic products they should fill out the submission form first before sending anything. They should then e-mail their electronic submissions to Hans Cummings, our Submissions Coordinator.

How do you keep track of products?

When someone, whether it be a judge or the Submissions Coordinator, receives a physical product, they update a spreadsheet we use to keep track of submissions. There are two benefits to doing this; one, it lets other people know to expect a package soon and, two, we can make sure that everyone receives the products the publishers have sent and don’t have to worry about missing products.

When the Submissions Coordinator receives an electronic entry, he will also update the spreadsheet. He will then upload the product to a Dropbox to which each judge has access. They can then download it, updating the spreadsheet when they do, and start to review it.

What then?

At this point, each judge reviews products in their own way. It is left up to them to determine how exactly to do that. We have a private Google group set up for them to discuss products amongst themselves. They are given a date by which all of the nominations must be finalized in order to give us time to prepare them for announcement to the public and for the voting booth. Submissions are usually slow and steady until about February/March, at which point they come in waves. We remind publishers throughout the year to submit their products as early as possible to allow the judges ample time to review them but we still have publishers who wait until close to the submission deadline. The deadline is always posted on the Rules and How to Enter page.

After the submission deadline, the judges have roughly two to three months to come up with a list of nominees. Discussions throughout the year help but these last few months will see a large increase in communication as judges come to a consensus on products. Once the deadline for said consensus is reached, we take that info and prepare for the announcement to the public.

So how come some categories are non-existent during the final nominations?

We get this question a lot. For example, if you look at the list of categories, you’ll see Best Software. But if there are not at least five quality candidates that the judges deem worthy of a nomination, then the software that is nominated will get rolled up in to the parent category of Best Aid/Accessory. This is why we want so many people to submit. We would rather have a category of all miniatures for Best Miniature. But if we don’t get enough, we have to make it a Best Miniatures Product category instead. So if you see a product you like, contact the publisher and ask them to submit! If they don’t submit it, the judge’s can’t review it and possibly nominate it.

What happens after the nominees are announced?

At this point, the judge’s job is effectively done but the staff’s gets tougher. At this point, we start the process of getting the voting booth ready with Luke Withrow, our Technical Coordinator. He goes to great lengths to make sure everything is up and running and works properly both on the voter’s end and on the back end.

We also encourage as many people as possible to run for the next year’s ENnies judge and update the website as the applications come in. We also make sure people know they can nominate any publisher for Fan Favorite Publisher and post the form online for it.

After voting, we take all of the winners and compile them. We create all of the material; the nominee’s certificates, the winner’s certificates, the booth flyers, and the ceremony program. Throughout the year, we also work with Gen Con on the logistics of the booth, ceremony room, etc. and we finalize the process. We get all the paper printed up at my local Office Max and Sandie Law, the Volunteer Coordinator, and Tony Law, the Business Manager, go through and frame all of the winner’s certificates. We also put labels on the medals for the winners as well as separate the nominee’s certificates out to make it easier to pass them out at Gen Con.

All of this, electricity for the booth, setting up the cocktail reception, printing, frames, medals, and other miscellaneous expenses are why we have a Silent Auction as well as the Dream Dates; it’s not cheap.

What do you do at Gen Con?

After picking up the badges for the ENnies staff and judges, the staff sets up the booth. The first morning of Gen Con we then walk around and hand out nomination certificates, congratulating the publishers, getting to know them if we don’t already know them, and generally saying “hi.” Once the hall opens, we usually walk around and look for products to create packages for the ENnies Silent Auction. We ask for items from publishers and usually they are really nice and more than willing to donate to the cause.

Before the ceremony, Sandie and Tony put the packages together and then take everything to the location of the ceremony/silent auction and get things set up. Hans and his wife, Maria, are also there to help. Eric Stearns is also there to set up the audio for the ceremony.

The next day and the day after, we roam the hall talking to publishers, congratulating the winners, and asking people to submit product because it makes it easier on them. After the hall closes, we wait for a while for submissions and then pack up and head out.

So there you have it. That, in a large nutshell, is how the process works. It’s a lot of work but completely worth it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them.

Organizing and presenting an annual award ceremony incurs thousands of dollars of expenses in booth dressing, shipping, awards, advertising, and other expenses. Fortunately our sponsors defray much of them. But they can’t cover every penny spent, and those copper pieces really add up, especially when we’re trying to increase the visibility of the Awards at Gen Con Indy, in trade magazines, and with retailers. Our corporate sponsors help a great deal, and to them we owe a great debt of gratitude.

Spread the Word!

Every year, we create flyers with nominees and winners for you to bring to your Friendly Local Gaming Store and ask the good folks there to put a copy up on the community board and/or by the cash register.  Let us know the name of the store(s) along with a web page address and/or storefront address and we’ll post a link to their website. Keep an eye out for announcements of flyers ready to download closer to Gen Con.

Sponsorship

If you would like to sponsor the ENnies, please contact the Business Manager via e-mail at gabriel@ennie-awards.com or via phone at 608-293-2064.

Dream Date Auctions

The annual Gen Con EN World RPG Awards are a celebration of excellence in table-top RPGs. So what better way to celebrate than sharing the table at the awards ceremony with your favorite game designers and publishers? Or if a designer can’t make it that night, how about representing them at the ceremony? All winners of the Dream Date Auctions enjoy reserved seating at the tables close to the stage with the publishers.

Sixth Pile Auctions

Every year, publishers submit six copies of their finest product to the ENnies for consideration. But there are only five judges, so you may ask what happens to the extra product? Nominated and winning products are used for display purposes at the booth at Gen Con Indy, and then are used to help defray costs of running the ENnie Awards; they could be auctioned off on eBay, auctioned at the silent auction at Gen Con, or donated to our hard-working volunteers and staffers.

Silent Auction

Thanks to the support of many publishers and individuals, the 2013 ENnies were able to raise over one thousand five hundred dollars through our silent auction. If you or your company would like to contribute to next year’s silent auction, please contact the Business Manager at tony@ennie-awards.com.

Volunteering

The ENnie Awards are always on the lookout for people to help staff our information booth at GenCon. If you would like to volunteer your time to the ENnies, please contact the Business Manager via e-mail at gabriel@ennie-awards.com

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