Jakub Nowosad

Online Nicknames: Arathi / Arathic

Introduction and Platform

How to spend time with friends and have fun? Answer is very simple – roll the dice. RPGs are the most creative way to find yourself in the different situations every day. And ENnies is a great way to learn about it.

I’m master in law & master in political science (PhD student for now) and a geek. From 2009 to 2012 I was an assistant editor-in-chief, head of the role-playing games section of Paradoks, one of the first portals in Poland. Now I’m working with other gamers as a redactor and reviewer in another site Gry-Fabularne.pl.

I love playing in every game. It’s good? Wonderful. It’s bad? Improve it. You can choose me and see how gamers in Poland are enjoying one of the best hobby in the world. And it will be a honor to be a judge.

Why do you play/run RPGs?

I started with playing polish versions of old boardgames – Talisman, Aliens. But it was not enough for me. I saw Middle Earth RPG in the hands of my friend. I was like enchanted. Next years I was playing polish game Wiedźmin (The Witcher RPG). Since then – 18 years later – I’ve been playing in more than 150 different games (boardgames, RPGs, etc). Most of the time as a Game Master.

RPGs gives me a chance to explore other worlds, minds and ideas. It is a great opportunity to learn through entertainment.
I like to review every game – to tell other people “hey, this game is interesting; take it and try”. I was an organizer of 15th conventions – not big as a Gen Con, but with good reviews and a lot of fun.

I like to see smiles in the faces of people that are playing with me. This is the perfection in hobby for me.

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 lot of mana, sanity points and skills to play thousands of games.

With the help of my family, friends (also a gamers) and hundreds of local geeks I can choose wisely and compose different team for different game.

I will try every game with a new players and veterans – then I will have a good overview.

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?

Almost 20 years of gaming, a decade of reviewing and more than 150 of games behind me. I am even making some reviews of historical books, movies and comic books and I am trying to watch and analyze players behavior.

With experience in many spheres (law, political and social science, statistics, gamification etc.) I think I know how to judge every game in many different ways. Using my empathy I can see how my players are enjoying the game – even if they don’t won’t to share their view.

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 like to try every genre, but my favorite are sci-fi and espionage. But if the game gives me a good story and mechanic supports this story well, I think I can give 5 stars.

I enjoy every style. I don’t see any style is better than other – every game, every player need other style. The most enjoyable is to mix styles and genres – first hour of playing cinematic , next hour noir and next hour epic battle 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?

  • Deadlands Reloaded,
  • Grimm (full version, not Horizon D20),
  • Wolsung,
  • Deniable Asset,
  • SWEX Interface Zero 2.0,
  • Pathfinder,
  • Chromestrike RPG,
  • CthulhuTech,
  • Idee Fixe (polish game; cyberpunk with aliens; retrofuturism).

And all of the wonderful games sent in for this recent ENnies year.

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

Game is good when it has an nice story supported by mechanics. Doesn’t matter who wrote game – even newbie can make a memorable game.

The look of the game matters, but it is not most important factor.

It shouldn’t be to complex for a new gamers. Players should have a lot of options to customize characters and have a good rules to drive a story without boredom.

In short: game is good when I want to play it again and again; it doesn’t matter is it original – game must give fun.

How will you judge supplements or adventures for game systems whose core rules you are unfamiliar with or you believe are badly designed?

I like to see something new. I don’t know it? So what. I will take it, read it, learn it, compare it with things I know. Even if It take a lot of time to know supplement I go out with the assumption that it is profitable and I will not regret it.

How would you like to see the ENnies change? What should remain inviolate?

I think categories based on a genres could be a great option. Voters then will have a compiled list of genres and it could help them to choose wisely.

BONUS: (optional) If you were an RPG, what would it be and would you play it?

Mystery, conspiracy and a lot of action – time and place doesn’t matter. Probably I will be a GM.

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