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Old 07-27-2020, 10:59 AM
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Hall of Fame Nominations 2020

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It's that time of year again, time for one of the most anticipated events in the RPG Crossing calendar. It's time for the Hall of Fame!

The Hall of Fame is already home to some of the greatest games this site has seen, but we know there are more out there that deserve to join the esteemed ranks of the HoF. It's time to let us know about them.

All of our Hall of Fame games are nominated (and often seconded) by our members from games that have either been running for at least a year at the time of nomination or are already completed. These rules get laid out at the beginning of our nominations phase, after which everyone on site is invited to vote for two of the nominated games. The top results of the popular vote then are offered to our Community Supporters, who get final say in which games get inducted into the Hall of Fame. (Details at the bottom of this post.)

Good luck!
~Aethera
Game Criteria
  • Solo Games must have at least 300 in-game posts. 'Regular' Games are eligible if they meet one of the following requirements: the game must have been active for at least a full year on this site (this means the game's first in-game post must be dated on or before July 27, 2019); or, the game must have at least 750 posts and reached its intended conclusion (please demonstrate how it's reached that conclusion).
  • Games which have already been inducted into the Hall of Fame are ineligible for repeat nomination. However, previously nominated games that didn't get in are eligible.
  • Staff-run games are eligible for nominations.
  • Inactive games are eligible for nomination! Just because a game is finished or has died off, it doesn't mean that it's not a prime example of what we like to see.
  • You can nominate any game that meets the criteria, even if you were/are a GM/player! It's not arrogant. It's nominating a game that you loved and thought was great – and that's what we want to see.
  • You must have at least 100 posts to nominate a game.

  • NEW Any unsportsmanlike behavior will invalidate a nomination, whether that nomination was posted by the bad sport or not, to be judged by Aethera. This includes, but is not limited to, PMing everyone you know to vote for your game, leaning on people to vote a certain way, as well as pretty much anything that wasn't said publicly. Posting a message in OOC threads in which you're involved saying one of your other games has been nominated is fine. That's spreading the word, especially if you ask everyone to come read all the nominations. Spending time in private trying to determine which game you think should be nominated (instead of other equally good games) just to try and ensure a game gets into the Hall of Fame is gaming the system. (PS - engaging in bad behavior on the part of someone else's game just to trigger this rule is also verboten.)

    Instead of any of the aforementioned bad behavior, perhaps your time would be better spent finding the best sections of the game to demonstrate its quality? Please don't make me be the bad guy.

What we are looking for in a game
  • Quality posts – good role-playing is always a plus.
  • Longevity – dedication to a game on this site is one of the highest aspirations of a GM and players.
  • Good Implementation – whether it's a very unique game idea or it's a classical game idea done very well, a masterful GM and players make any game fun.

Nomination FormatName: (include a link)
DM(s): Self-explanatory.
Current Players: include past players if you wish

Reasons for nomination: Describe your reasons for nominating the game and why you think it deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame.

Links: You must provide at least one link to a section of ten posts which you would like reviewers to read. This link is allowed a paragraph of up to 300 words to set the scene. You may only provide two of these linked sections.

All of this makes it easier for the Community Supporters to review.

Seconding nominations should contain their own nomination and description so that the thread isn't cluttered with people just posting "I second this!" Nominations that are a simple 'I second this nomination' will be deleted. Please do not "third" or "fourth" or "fifth" a nomination. It's annoying. Two is plenty.

On August 26th (a month from now), there will be a public poll to narrow the list down. Approximately a week after that, these games will be brought over to the CS Forum where the Community Supporters will decide which games make it in!

Want a hand in the final voting process? Go ahead and become a Community Supporter!

You can peruse all the previous Hall of Fame inductees here.

Q & A
 

Last edited by Aethera; 08-12-2020 at 04:17 PM.
  #2  
Old 07-27-2020, 01:49 PM
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The Thousand Hidden Paths

From the very first weeks, I knew this was hall-of-fame material. This is maybe the best game I've played in here. It has over 750 posts in it and chapter 1 was very much resolved. It was like we played a game to completion, and then we were all having so much fun that we continued. It ran for a little longer but then the DM couldn't keep it up. I'm not sure how to judge that. Had it just ended with act 1, it would have been perfect. That's why I'm nominating it even though it only ran for about 6 months.

Name:
The Thousand Hidden Paths
DM(s): MemoryBeast
Players:Reasons for nomination:
Where do I begin? The DM stood out right out of the gate. Expertly plotted and paced. Every choice felt important. On top of amazing structure, MemoryBeast can write! The custom setting is so well crafted it sucks the player in and doesn't let go. The idea of a centralized religion that may or may not even be real is an interesting take on traditional pantheon games. The idea of an empire that is perfect begs the question, 'who decides what perfect is and what if they had absolute power?' This game has enough layers of depth to feel really meaningful, but enough pulp to be incredibly fun. I'm running out of adjectives.

Then the players. Every. Single. Player. Every single player in this game deserves an award for outstanding playing. Every character is memorable and interesting and every post is well written and engaging. I frequently can't give RPXP because I gave it for their previous post.

This game represents, in my opinion, the best a play-by-post game has to offer. I have no criticisms. Every aspect is an example one can look at to see the how it is done. There is no doubt in my mind that this game belongs in the hall-of-fame.

two sections worth reading. I recently had a new player ask me, "how should I begin my game?" I pointed them to the beginning of this game and said, "like this". Now, it is easy to start reading at the beginning, so I won't link to it below. But you should start there. I am supposed to identify two areas that stand out, and this is difficult for me when the whole game stands out. Do I point to the excellent combat sections, the amazing character development moments, the world-class scene settings, the political chess-games that are going on as their own separate layer?

(Example 1)
The first chapter is outstanding, start to finish. It runs as a one-shot, and was SO much fun. I'm linking to the end, after we've defeated the boss and have looted the abandoned temple. A powerful magic item has plagued us from the start of the game, an iron-torc. This torc allowed a powerful necromancer to jump the bodies of his undead minions - which was very difficult for us low-level characters to deal with. Combat in this game hits hard and hits fast. We tracked this necromancer to a creepy hidden temple deep in a creepy hidden swamp. There we discovered that the necromancer was a puppet of a forgotten god or god-like being named Naraka. We battled her avatar or something like it, and her zealots and undead. Now, with the torc in our possession, we find a journal that details the necromancer's fall from sanity. This journal we found is a good synopsis of what we've just dealt with, and it springboards well to 'what now'. In subsequent posts, we learn that one of the PCs, Drevan, is possibly a revenant.

(Example 2)
The first chapter felt so amazing that we wanted more. The DM agreed, and we begin chapter 2. My favorite part of chapter 2 is the elves. Elves, and other non-human races have been driven out, deemed unclean by the Heavenly Cult. They are treated as corrupted monsters or impure. As a result, they are extremely rare. The half-elf in the party (whom my character is in a romantic relationship with) has to be very careful to hide her true nature else she be captured and killed.

Having been unable to figure out what disease or curse is afflicting Drevan, we seek out the help of an elusive healer. Our lead is an enigmatic character known as Seven Devils Clever. We learn later that, apparently, elves have these strange names, as we meet his sister, the healer, Nine Songbirds Silent. This is the sort of richness that permeates the world the DM, MemoryBeast, creates. I've linked to the part were we learn of this healer, just prior to meeting Seven Devils Clever.
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Last edited by Still_Pond; 07-29-2020 at 01:06 AM.
  #3  
Old 07-28-2020, 03:15 AM
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Name: The Breaking of Exandria
DM: 4eyedBadger
Players: Vislands, Syne, Odyssey, Lazer, kymrel, hafrogman, Drachenspirit, AmonBlackwood

Reasons for Nomination: I think many of us would agree that the greatest strength of the play-by-post format is its capacity for depth. It’s the characters and their personal stories of growth and redemption, or even their failures, that make a story great. I believe this game exemplified those strengths. While there was a detailed plot, it was never the “star of the show.” The spotlight remained on the characters, both PCs and NPCs, throughout the game. I was constantly amazed as player after player wrote detailed, emotional posts that pulled the reader into their characters and the situation!

Many of these characters had significant flaws, and their players did not shy away from that. They embraced the challenges of writing pain, joy, relief, anger, and a dozen other emotions. Each of them stayed true to their characters throughout the nearly two years it took to complete this game! And through their writing, we all came to care about these characters and the world they were trying to protect.

The dedication of each of the eight players in this game is apparent from the first posts all the way through the ending epilogues. Some of them had no other game on the site. Some of them had several. But they each poured themselves into this one for its entirety. I think we all felt like we had something special going, and none of us wanted to let each other down.

When the story was finished and it came time to end it, we were a little sad and hesitant to let it go. But we were also proud of the story we had told. To be able to look back at the adventure we had shared and the fictional and real friendships we had made was an amazing feeling. I already posted about that in The Completed Games Thread entry, so I won’t duplicate that further here. But it is something we are very proud of.

All that aside, Hall of Fame is about story and writing. So I’d like to point you toward a couple series of posts that stood out to me as I looked back over The Breaking of Exandria.

Gameplay Example 1: A powerful artifact of a goddess of madness allowed a Star Spawn Seer from the Void to possess the party’s warlock, Confire, filling him with mad prophecies and the power to nearly destroy his friends! These posts take place in the immediate aftermath of that emotional battle as the clerics, Bellamy and Ada, try to save both Confire and Giran, a bystander who was broken by the dark visions of the Seer. Meanwhile, the rest of the party deals with guilt, anger, and pain over what just happened. Interspersed in this thread, we also see Verdigris, the party’s Dragonborn druid making his way back to the party alone through the wilderness even as he faces his own internal and external conflicts.

Gameplay Example 2: One of my favorite scenes in the game was during the journey to Westruun when the party came under attack at night from a living mound of corpses. During this battle, it looked like Ron, the party barbarian thug played by kymrel, would likely die, having been engulfed by the corpse mound. As the battle raged beneath rain and dark clouds, an unconscious Ron found himself alone on a field of grass, with a distant storm approaching. Out of the storm came a Valkyrie, the herald of the Storm Lord. She waited with Ron for death to arrive, so she could carry him to Ysgard in the afterlife. The conversation between the simple-minded thug and the Valkyrie, as the battle raged around him but beyond his view, is one of my favorite moments in any game I have played!

Conclusion: Thank you for taking a few minutes to see the hard work (and play) we all put into it. This site boasts a ton of talent, and I appreciate these opportunities to showcase it. I hope you’ll agree that this game was something special.

Last edited by 4eyedBadger; 07-28-2020 at 07:16 PM.
  #4  
Old 07-29-2020, 03:23 PM
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Name: Portage, Rising From the Ashes
Game Master: Kapera
Players: The current players are Sageheart as Jan Babyak, Aethera as Margherita Carrara, Wynamoinen as Leesa Liddy, Yuul as Alec T Thorne, PopCultureBard as Jordan Cross-Ghannam. There have been other players in the past, but that is the current group. We have been on a bit of a break due to COVID-19, that is expected to change soon!

Reason for Nomination: This game has been an excellent experience as a player and a story teller. Kapera has built up a beautiful living and breathing world for each of us to explore and interact with. Each NPC is not only extremely well flushed out, but full of nuance and complex emotional layers which only adds to the interactions. It is very clear Kapera has developed a multilayered plot of mystery and politics, very fitting for a World of Darkness game, while still maintaining the normality that each vampire attempts to maintain in this strange new life. I had been wanting to play in a World of Darkness game since this site introduced me to the system, and Kap was able to provide me a space. Since starting, I feel like I have grown as a writer and character developer as I have to really focus and debate the various ways I interact with every individual I come across. There is no boring Innkeeper, or faceless NPC, every character is fleshed out that even a shopping scene is fascinating to read and write. I am constantly on my toes and feel like I am experiencing a real world.

I cannot heap enough praise upon Kapera. In fact I believe this is my first time nominating a game for Hall of Fame, and am happy to be able to provide a nomination that has so much thought and detailed planning within its creation. Even during the moments where posting has been light due to Coronavirus or Real Life, I find myself going back to this game just to reread the posts since they are genuinely fun to read as a story. Many times I catch myself learning new things about the world and characters just from this!


Links:

I have included two links here.

A peaceful moment for the group to figure out their game plan, while Jan meets the local rulership. I really enjoyed this thread for a number of reasons. It was my initial introduction to the game, as well as a peaceful moment for the characters to speak without worrying about any harm going there way. Secrets were shared, and new characters were introduced into the game. It is also a thread where all the players interact at some point, giving a reader the ability to see us all playing!

Jan's Adventures. My character Jan, an aging Draft Beer Line Cleaner and Malk Vampire, is new to the city. Here he meets his Primorgan, as well as a few other important figures within the city of Portage. It is an example of the way Kapera is able to subtle place hints and clues throughout conversation, while being able to react with the various ways my character approaches the conversation. I was also very proud of some of the writing here, and found Kapera's responses stellar! I am running out of complementary words so will have the writing speak for itself.

Last edited by sageheart; 07-31-2020 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 08-02-2020, 02:04 AM
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HoF Nomination
The Founding


Game Master: wodine

Current Player Characters:
  • Squeak’s Corrivander Bookbinder; Historian, Bard, Mastermind, and Skill Monkey Extraordinaire
  • Imveros’ Theomar "Theo" Lassic; The Charismatic Bruiser
  • dalarangreen’s Catrin Gantzlan; Tamer of Barbarians, Arbiter, and Profiteer
  • Crocodile’s Jurgen Bauer; Frontline Artistic Chronicler and Pretty Face
  • Seekr34’s Hawke Amill; The Spell-less Ranger
  • ManicMonky’s William Istvan; The Grizzled Ranger
  • Black Jim’s Gulvor; Of the Sea
  • Jarl11’s Adeena Flokart; The Lovable Voice of Law
  • Ziether’s Kyarek Ironheart; Chaplain of Reyrgor
  • Thaco’s Kayal; The Banished Druid

Previous Player Characters: MoonZar’s Leo Helklinge, PopCultureBard’s Raelia Auldiven, AximusLokar’s Cina O’Shami, Insacrum’s Blainth Horish and Imra Augorit, DraconigenaArma’s Ranor Durant, Firecat’s Avaline ‘Whisper’ Leafsong, taleteller50’s Reggie Miller, Sarsprilla’s Senieth Ros’linor, and Cristal08Darkmoon’s Zenevieva Sileny

Reasons for nomination:

Start Date: 09-29-2018
Current In Character Post Count: 1683
Current Out of Character Post Count: 3085
Average IC posts per day: 2.5

The Founding consists of two groups of adventurers who were conscripted into the Imperial plan to colonize the island of New Märklend. This is the second attempt at colonization; contact was lost with the initial colony a year prior to the start of the game, which is why several experienced heroes were dispatched along with the colonists. So far the heroes have cleared out an infestation of evil Fey, faced a plague-demon in the depths of the New Märklend wood, befriended a nearby group of aquatic elves, fought against a rampaging evil known only as “The Unfortunates,” explored an underground prison, sunk an island, and made contact with a mysterious stranger possessing extraordinary powers.

Throughout all these adventures I have often found myself in awe of my player’s creative abilities. I may set the scene, shape the world, and control the NPCs, but they remind me just how great and collaborative these games can be. I am humbled and honored to play with such a great cast of characters and such friendly and kind players. This game has truly been the pinnacle of gaming, and one that I strive to match with all my other games.

The setting is a homebrew environment that I’ve built from the ground up with a complex Imperial hierarchy, countries in a tentative détente, rising darkness on the island of New Märklend, a fully fleshed out religion with 15 gods, a competitive religion based on the elementals, and the strange religions of the Sundered Isles and the large monotheistic kingdom of Öster. The players have added so much not only to the game’s story and plot but to the world around them; from the little ways in which they worship their patrons, to the in depth details of their family history that some of the characters have developed. Truly this game has grown to have a tremendous plot and detailed characters who have all added to the world around them. This game continues to grow, bloom, and flourish thanks to the devoted works and beautiful prose of my players, and they deserve a place with the Hall of Fame.

It was very difficult to select just two examples of the fabulous role playing in this game, but I think these are two of my favorites:

Example 1: The Morning Meeting

In this scene Alpha team must prepare to meet a never before seen species of elves, who have an empire all their own. With all the risk of sabotage and open war and the pressures of first contact, the PCs must delicately walk the balance between diplomacy and intimidation. If they are seemingly hostile they could easily start a war they have no chance of winning but if they are seen as weak they could be ignored, conquered, or enslaved. The PCs flawlessly navigate the difficulties of courtly intrigue while still trapped in the wilds of an untamed land.

Example 2: The Mysterious Stranger

Here we see Beta team meeting the mysterious stranger for the first time. Trapped in an underground jail complex with death by drowning fast on their heels, they find only one option left for escape - a magical portal none of them know how to operate. Luckily (or perhaps unluckily) for them a mysterious stranger capable of operating the portal appears, and offered them escape, for a price. This concluded the second chapter for the beta team, and lead to their return to the primary island colony on New Märklend.
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Old 08-03-2020, 03:22 AM
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I've been told that this game should be in the HoF, so I might as well do my part and nominate it

Nomination FormatName: Vault of the Dracolich
DM(s): some guy called hvg3akaek.
Current Players: none, but there were a few players involved in its run...
Former Players: I had the pleasure of having Olorian, jrice408, Spizzow, Graknar, Chansuu, EngrInAZ, Firedog, epelj1, Velez, RadarD, bigAl, zarzak, Anouris, Malikane, Thriftshop, DRutledge, ChrisNorcras, Aden Cook, hippo, Jarl11, Coeur de Lion, Finch, MagsDidIt, JimRazor, LupusRegalis, anamiac, GinJapan, Trinity, Mastlymad, WildJessi, Aethera, coachjmcvay, Troy, Kelkas, Skunknik, Neqq, jbear, Still_Pond, and Isand Akri play in the game. All of them, at once, together.

Reasons for nomination: This was a one-shot game with a change - and, hopefully, if you made it through the "former players" list, you may be able to guess what that change was. Yes, lots of players. 39 players, across six different threads, with each team taking their own unique path through to the final battle. Teams were able to meet or interact with each other along the path, then meeting for the final show-down with the BBEG at the end. 22 players made it to that battle! And if that's not enough, here's what two of the players had to say for it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarl11
It was an introduction to 5e for most and a chance to play in such a HUGE game. This was ground breaking, record breaking even based on the number of players in one thread (at the end) and the quick pace that it moved...Seriously, anyone else ever been in a chaotic PbP room IC with 21 other PCs and had it successfully go from start to finish within a year? This HAS to be a benchmark on the site. Mic drop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neqq
The game redefined what is possible in PbP...The game was played at a cracking pace maintain two to three posts a week. Most members would realise what an achievement this is with most games involving a normal size party struggle to maintain regular posting.

The roleplaying was of a high quality and for many players this was their first 5e game. At the core of this game laid Hugga's amazing organisational and time-management skills. The game ran to COMPLETION in 8 months and 6,676 post were made. I don't know if the site will ever see a game of its scale again.

All in all this game is an outstanding example of PbP, well done Hugga and all the players.
Link 1Link 1 (chosen by Jarl11)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarl11
It gives a sense of how chaotic things are when were are being divided into groups and getting the information for our mission. There were several groups each having their own conversation in the same thread. it was hard to follow with so many people posting. However, here was the GM playing the NPC that sent us on the mission and he just strolls through the crowd, commenting on each conversation as he goes. It gives you an idea of how chaotic it could be and how much time he put into / how well he handled it.


Link 2Link 2 (chosen by Neqq)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neqq
The Chamber of the Diamond Staff is the ultimate battle of the adventure and probably the ultimate battle ever staged on the site. 22 PCs and 2 Familiars versus the Dracolich protected by four warding shield, a copy of the Dracolich, 4 Dark Priests, 4 Cultists, 8 Mercenaries, 2 Mummies and 4 skeletons. In all that's 44 combatants. Only Hugga would be crazy and organised enough to take on this monumental scene. The battle raged for 13 rounds and the tide of battle was constantly shifting, it was riveting to be a part of it.


I hope you enjoy looking through the game as much as my players enjoyed being part of it, and I enjoyed running it!
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2020, 11:51 AM
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HoF NominationName: Broken Isles
DM(s): Silent Rain
Current Players: HughtheHand, Draidden, Oakie, Anea, SalmonMax, Hundur
Former Players: MontageManiac, Simandl, Stadiumite, delpinator , RadarD, TiesKnots, Houtoku, Impaleddearan, Mrjoegangles, Reisespieces, Trapper, tom0eh, Jrod

Reasons for nomination: This game started out as a bit of an experiment on my part to see how well a massive battle (21 PC's and about 40 NPC's) could be handled in Pbp, all the while using a rather unique method of battle mapping (it involves youtube...see link 1 below). This then turned into so many great players surviving that experience that I settled on two unique groups that each set down their own paths.

With one group taking refuge aboard an airship and becoming involved in the larger organizations and machinations of the world at large, and the other group chasing down the very forces behind the original attack of their home, each took on a life and voice of their own and told very different stories.

A little over a year after all that began, the survivors of both those groups have become reunited, with one group attempting to save the lives of the other. All in all, it has (and still is) a lot of fun and an experience I wanted to share with others.

Link 1
This link brings you right to the beginning of the campaign during the siege of Willow Grove, the town where the PC's all were located. This amounted to a sweeping push to escape an unrelenting wave of enemies. Add to that the fact that the PC's were all level 0 commoners, only added to the tension, and not everyone made it out alive.


Link 2
This link shows one of the parties freeing a goddess that had been trapped for centuries. In a world where all signs of the gods had vanished without a trace, this was a big deal, with two of the PC's even taking on the mantle of paladin then and there. The information gained from this meeting also set the players on their next major arc, one they are still pursuing today.
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  #8  
Old 08-05-2020, 11:16 AM
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Name: Academy of Heroes

DM: dalarangreen

Current Players:
Imveros as Marcus
rhaiber as Spindletop
Atalla Wanderer as Sam
ElvenMaiden as Mira
xenavire as Gorwin
prometheous100 as Kin'ta

Reasons for nomination:

Dala has crafted a massive and lived-in world for their players to explore. There are pages and pages of maps and continually updated casts of characters, even a detailed student handbook for the players to enjoy. Despite the obvious love and care put into the world, Dala isn't afraid to let us explore and interact at our own pace. leaving our mark wherever we go.

Speaking of pacing, the game flows wonderfully while building towards a climax with steadily increasing stakes. I tell people about the game I'm a part of where we were level zero for two real life years, and people are shocked. It's easy to hold your players' attention when the world is on the line. It takes a pro to keep players hungrily coming back for more as they assemble a curse-breaking omelet to feed to a cursed adorable woodland creature.

Add to it a group of players more than willing to make the world their own, and you have a truly engaging storytelling experience on par with anything else the Hall of Fame has to offer!

There's a lot of content in that folder above, but it's well worth your time looking through


Example #1 A plan is hatched

As mentioned, this game is ripe with a massive cast of interesting and diverse characters. This is the start of an encounter that contains more than a dozen characters but is handled cleanly and smoothly and set the stage for future encounters with this nefarious cast.

Example #2 Academy placement testing

Dal offers his players an enormous amount of creative freedom, and it pays dividends with their players. Here, and the posts following it, the students are tested, and the players are free to narrate their successes and failures in a way that makes the world truly theirs.
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  #9  
Old 08-13-2020, 01:19 PM
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Name: Pokemon: Forgotten Stories - Pokemon Tabletop Adventures (PTA 1.3)
DM(s): Inem
Current Players: FoggyKnight, goplayer7
Previous Players: Captain Devonin, Banemorth Surnok, BrokenPlayer, godofallbears



Reasons for nomination:

How often do you see a Hall of Fame nomination from someone who's never played in the game?

When I saw this game nominated for HoF last year, I looked a bit through it, like I do with all of the HoF games, to see what it was about, how interesting it was, how long it had been running, what kind of neat features it has, and so on. I was blown away by it. The attention to detail that Inem and the players bring to their posts. The well-developed Serakai region and additional technologies found in the Trainer's Notes thread. The character sheet design (found in the "Characters" folder). The fact that it's been going strong for eight years. And, most of all, how well the DM and players balance the tone of the game across a wide gamut of scenes and emotions. Like most things Inem does, he does it well.

In both the video games and the TV show, the world of Pokemon is one where determination, hope, love, and friendship reign. Whatever challenges come, the protagonists remain true to those values. Part of the journey is learning those ideals and aspiring to them over time. This game nails that aesthetic. The characters each have their flaws. There are interpersonal conflicts, and struggles to earn the trust of their pokemon. More than once, these situations require the characters to recognize something inside themselves that they need to change. They have too much anger, or they're not recognizing how hard someone else is trying. Each chapter is a tale of growth for the better. It's wonderful.

The major flaw in most pokemon games and shows is that they tend to be a bit... juvenile. Villains are cartoonish. Consequences are minimal or nonexistent. It's a show made for children. And as we've aged, we've wanted something that ages and matures with us. This is something that most PTA games try to capture-- a "more mature" pokemon. I think that Forgotten Stores does a great job of it. The villains are truly insidious. People die-- including player characters. This is not the sneering "challenge you to a pokemon battle" Team Rocket or "We need more land in the world" Team Magma. The primary antagonists of the players are ruthless cultists wielding strange powers that will stop at nothing to accomplish their goal. You might expect that that's jarring, compared to the optimism of the game-- but really, it makes the emphasis on hope and love all the more important.

LinksThe turning point. Up until about this post, the entire game had taken place in a literal stamp-collecting competition. The party had been solving puzzles, catching wild pokemon, participating in trainer battles, and generally having a good time. When they won the competition, they received a very pokemon-esque prize: they each received an egg, as well as a tour of the local archeological dig. When I read this post-- with its vivid descriptions, eerie art, and well-selected musical theme, I knew that something was about to change in a drastic way. Inem did not disappoint. I don't want to spoil it, but reading ahead a couple pages will show that this really is a turning point.

A dark puzzle. I think this general area of the game has been linked for each hall of fame nomination. It really is cool. After helping a little girl find her lost pokemon, the characters are offered a chance to do some deep-sea-diving exploration of a shipwreck! They soon find out that the "shipwreck" isn't an old ship, as they thought, but a recently-wrecked sub. The party is soon split, largely due to a puzzle that is very reminiscent of pokemon puzzles-- requiring players to press buttons in the correct sequence, possibly redirect power to systems, and even consider setting off controlled explosions. It involves a lot of uncertainty, mystery, and general terror. I like this post, in particular, because of the mood music, the formatting, and the wonderful use of color.
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  #10  
Old 08-14-2020, 09:41 AM
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The Curse of Strahd

BackgroundCurse of Strahd was dead in the water. The original DM had left… and the second DM left soon after, leaving two groups stranded in the opening horrors of Barovia. I was playing an obnoxious goblin monk who had a penchant for whacking friends with nunchucks… but I enjoyed the folks I was playing with so much that I decided to offer to continue the game as DM. We combined the two groups and started again from the beginning. That was over two years ago.

Since the reboot, this Curse of Strahd has continued without pause for 1535 posts and in those posts has lived a lifetime of emotion and triumph. This game has made me cheer out loud; Renata diving head first into the maw of the flesh golem to sacrifice herself to save a child. It has made me cry; Tartan retrieving the bones of the Durst children to lay them to rest in the Death House. It has surprised me repeatedly; most recently Maja standing toe to toe with the Devil himself, Strahd.

Dramatis Personae
Name:
The Curse of Strahd
DM: Begon Ugo
Players:


Reasons for nominationI believe that this game represents everything that Play by Post can bring to the RPG community. The players are dedicated to the story as shown by its longevity and continual posting rate. I believe the longest this game has gone between posts might be at max 5 days. Each of the players delves deep into the psychology of their characters and there is no desire to 'win' the game. We are collaboratively creating a story together.

After two years of effort, the party has just reached level 5. We are no way near an ending... the road ahead is murky and filled with unknowable dark terrors. My players walk together into this night, fingers poised over keyboards, ready to battle for the side of light and right. I know that two years from now... that battle will still be ongoing.


Two sections worth reading
This selection picks up as the party has barricaded themselves within the Burgomaster of Barovia’s home. They are expecting an all-out assault and Strahd plays on this knowledge, tricking them into killing an innocent woman who comes crying in the darkness. Aubron, the elf ranger, takes to the forest in his outrage, intent on hunting some of the devil’s wolves, but quickly finds out that he, is in fact, the prey.

(Example 1)

This series of posts picks up after a short but fierce battle between the party and the hags of Old Bonegrinder. The group is victorious in that they drive the witches off, but the price turns out to be exceedingly high. Gauth, the recent transplant into Barovia, finds that his young charge, Aran-Tho, had been captured by the hags. Suffice to say, he did not meet a good ending.

(Example 2)

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Last edited by Begon Ugo; 08-14-2020 at 10:01 AM.
  #11  
Old 08-14-2020, 10:54 AM
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The Curse of Strahd

Background & NominationThis is the third incarnation of a Curse of Strahd game. Originally, we were two groups run by a single DM. We had barely made it to the gates of Barovia before the DM disappeared. Interest was high to continue on, and Begon Ugo elected to take of the auspicious mantle and DM his first ever PbP game. We were to be his guinea pigs, and well, so many times in this game, I have felt like we are going around and around on a wheel - Just as Strahd intends to do with the PCs.

I second this game's nomination for two main reasons.

1. The Story - RPGCrossing at its root is Role Play, not necessarily Roll Play. The game itself is a painting being created by seven different brushes. Everyone who is participating in its creation is dedicated to developing their own piece to the best of their ability. We all take our time to carefully craft the thoughts, feelings and emotions that our characters are feeling and how they interact with the environment or NPCs they are surrounded by. Curse of Strahd is inherently a horror genre game, and our awesome DM does his absolute best in spinning the tale and creating the image of what true horror is. It is not the hack and slash of hordes of orcs running after you, though, I would say that's pretty horrifying. No, this game is mostly mental horror. Begon Ugo spends the time and effort playing head games with players making them feel completely at the mercy of the whims of a madman. The questions is - is that Strahd or Begon Ugo?

2. The Longevity - How many games have we had players just up and disappear? Or worse, DMs up and disappear? This group is dedicated to the long haul. It has been going on for over two years so far, and I can imagine that we would go another two. And the overall length is not just the surprising aspect. We post frequently. I can say that a weekend may have slowed us down, or maybe a Christmas holiday, but generally, we post often, and usually high quality prose.



Dramatis Personae
Name:
The Curse of Strahd
DM: Begon Ugo
Players:


Two sections worth reading
These ten posts are early on in the adventure. The shipwreck survivors had managed to make it to civilization to be stopped by two small children in the street asking for help with something awful inside their house. Being the good people they were, they obliged and searched the house thoroughly. Here, we begin to find out the truth behind the children.

(Example 1)

In this section, the party was assisting with the burial of a townsperson who had met and untimely end. They had finally had the opportunity to escape the house they were holed up in, and were about to head out of town. However, one good deed does not always turn another. As they were assaulted by wolves during their burial service, another, more ominous figure made his presence known. Count Strahd von Zarovich made his first appearance to the group.


(Example 2)

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  #12  
Old 08-20-2020, 06:39 PM
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Back in Business

Name: Back in Business
DM(s): Imveros
Current Players(current and past):
Phettberg as Grimm
Ysolde as Cylla
Blackfyre as Jackalope
RainyDayNinja as Le Singe
BiBo as Ganjamon(has not been on in a month)
Dvorak as Upgrade(dropped, possablly)
Old Player Characters:
Tyeal as Red/DeadMan
PopCultureBard as pic won't show2-Tap
Jeffkevlar as Smilez
JasonWFD as Helios

Reasons for Nomination:
I feel Shadowrun needs a nomination here, and Imveros did suggest it, but I acted on it I decided to take some time to look at the three Shadowrun games on the site. As I'm DMing one, and I have a character in Phettburgs, all I needed to do was go over Imveros game. Frankly, Imveros story is pretty good, but what I liked most was how everything was so orderly and easy to find in his game thread, and the DM posting was consistent and easy to read. I felt I could sit down and read the game like a book, which was what I was trying to go for in my game. If you looked into my game folders, you could quickly tell that it's anything but orderly. I'm a bit of a sloppy DM. So that is why I'm nominating Imveros game "Back in Business." Also, I tend not to nominate my own stuff so it was really only between Imveros and Phett's games.



Links:
Link 1: Post's 192 to 202

Hired to find an archeologist named Fiona Craig, the group quickly gets another offer for the fist-sized shard of obsidian she had in her possession before she disappeared. The offer was given by a dwarf named Laurent Nazaire of the Atlantean Foundation. Following a clue, the group headed into the underground, where they found further information that a person named Captain Turner might be the kidnapper. After meeting an ork boy named Pip and hiring him as a guide, they set off to Smuggler's Cove, an honest to god modern-day pirate cove situated under the streets of Seattle! Making their way to where they suspected Captain Turner held Fiona Craig captive, Jackalope, with the aid of some digital wizardry on Smilez part, faked their way inside as Laurent Nazaire by using the contact information the dwarf had given them. Once inside, they came face to face with the modern-day pirate himself. Turner quickly saw past the group's deception by simply it's nice when the bad guys aren't stupid. Imveros depicts this quite well here I thinkcalling the commlink number that was part of the digital calling card the players had received from Nazaire. With their deception failing, the party resorts to the truth and surprisingly doesn't get shot in the process.


Link 2: Post's ? to ?
I'm still reading. If I find another good spot before the deadline, I'll post it here


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Last edited by Silk; 08-20-2020 at 06:49 PM.
  #13  
Old 08-23-2020, 10:41 AM
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Pokemon: Forgotten Stories
Name: Pokemon: Forgotten Stories
DM: Inem
Players:
Present: FoggyKnight, goplayer7
Past: godofallbears, BrokenPlayer, Banemorth Surnok, Captain Devonin

Reason:

Well, if someone who isn't even in my game and has never been in my game is going to nominate it, how could I not at least second it? And this game in particular is something I'm very proud of for a variety of reasons, and this is definitely one of my favorite RPG projects ever, both on RPGX and in real life. To start off, this game is, at the time of me writing this post, about 5 weeks away from hitting the 8 year mark. Let that sink in. 8 years. A LOT has changed in my life in the last 8 years. That's about 2.5 years longer than the portion of my real life I've spent in my last two jobs combined. To my knowledge, it is by far the pokémon game with the longest lifetime ever on the site, and it is also the one with the most posts (by a significant margin). During those 8 years, there was a time of about 3 years in real life time (for chapters IV a, b and c which all happen in parallel) where the group split up in an attempt to lose some dangerous people on their trail. During this time, I was essentially running three solo/duo adventures for my players in entirely different parts of this homebrew world (many parts of which, by the way, they still haven't even come close to exploring). Play by post certainly has some issues compared to regular tabletop games in real life (the main one of course being how much slower it progresses), I'm sure we are all aware of that. However, it is sometimes easy to forget that as a medium, it also has unique strengths compared to sitting at a table, and I was able to explore one of them here. Splitting the group for such an extended period of time is something I wouldn't have ever considered in a real life game, due to two thirds of the players having to just sit around at the table without anything to do, whereas here I could just run it in parallel. It was an experiment here, but I learned that it can work in PbP, and I will likely use it again in future games. Seeing how the characters grew and developed on their own, away from the others, and watching the payoff when they finally reunited was definitely worth the effort.

Achieving longevity in a game on RPGX is hard. One typical way to do it is by regularly bringing in fresh blood. I've done so myself multiple times in the past, so this next part should certainly not be taken as judgment of doing so. However, another big reason this game sticks out to me is that I never had to get replacements, because even after 8 years, I'm only just somewhat recently down to two of the original cast of six players still being in the game. Up until then, we were holding strong at half of the original cast, and I still have hope for a return to three after a hiatus. I've had players come back for this game before. I think this feat in itself is amazing. And while the post rate has certainly slowed down since the game's beginnings (because over that long a period of time, life definitely takes its toll on people), it is still going and never came to a stop. The fact that even in rough times when the game really slowed, everyone still around stuck with it, just goes to show what we know we have here. And while the frequency might be lower than in the early days, the quality of posts, if anything, has increased. The players in this game (current and past) mesh well together, which includes enough conflict between them to keep things interesting, and make up a quite interesting and highly talented group that still enjoys this adventure with me after all these years. This game has been nominated in the past, but I know a lot of people have a hard time looking past the fact that this is a pokémon game. But make no mistake, this is not the same pokémon you might know from television or from video games. Though we like to have fun and there is the occasional cheerful interlude, at its core this is a dark and gritty story that has had the characters on the run from an evil cult for most of the game, unable to trust anyone after finding hints that the cult might control the police and might have infiltrated the military. Yes, this is pokémon. But this is also a story about things like Julia (Captain Devonin's character) developing what is Disclaimer: I'm certainly no medical doctor, so not qualified to make an official diagnosis even on a fictional characterprobably a form of PTSD. Or Vanessa (BrokenPlayer's former character, now an NPC) being kidnapped by said mentioned cult. And not kidnapped in the pokémon anime style ("oh no, Team Rocket has kidnapped Pikachu once again!"). The rescue mission (currently under way in the game) has seen several PCs seriously bleeding and wounded, and one natural one on my part is the only reason a pokémon didn't die to a massive area attack that hit literally everyone else in range. There's a lot here. Give it a chance and take a look. It's more than worth it!


Link 1Link 1: One beginning and one end
This is one of my favorite sequences from any game ever, taking place during chapter IV, during the party split. FoggyKnight's character (Robin), and BanemorthSurnok's character (Jason), have been traveling together, separately from the rest of the group. They are an unlikely pair, with almost all of Robin's pokémon having joined her voluntarily after a talk, rather than a battle, and are chosen because she likes them, whereas Jason has captured all of his by force and prefers strength. His first pokémon was his Scyther, originally named "Rage" (after Jason captured her in a physical fight in which she slashed open his chest) and later renamed "Prayer" (after the two have gone through some growth and come to understand each other much better). He also has a Totodile that won't listen to him, and a Machop ("Lee") that is working through the fact that Jason forcefully removed it from its home and family. There has been quite some character development for Jason, especially with Robin's help, but he still has a long way to go. Unfortunately, by this point, Banemorth had been gone a while, and it was time to write his character out of the story. Robin and Jason have their first ever gym battles against gym leader Joey, with the first post in this sequence capturing the tail end of Robin's victory, followed by Jason's loss. The real highlight are the posts after the first, however, where Jason goes through some more growth and decides it is time for him and Robin to part ways. I'm very pleased with this entire sequence, and FoggyKnight's reactions are incredibly believable and well done, as she realizes she can't help Jason with this. A great ending (for now?) for a crucial character in the story.


Link 2Link 2: Overcoming Fear
This happens slightly later, and in a completely different part of the world as we're still during the party split. One of the biggest things Julia (CaptainDevonin's character) struggles with is anxiety. Anxiety that she isn't strong enough, but at the same time anxiety that she will hurt others (if you read the first sample Unko linked to, you might understand), which makes her hold back in battles. At this point in the story, traveling alone except for Tamara, the NPC she has a crush on, all Julia really wants to do is go home, see her sister again (who she is out adventuring for because her sister can't) and maybe even call it quits with the pokémon trainer journey. Following a battle with Tamara, Julia lets herself get talked into her first gym battle in this section (incidentally I should point out that my two linked sections are actually the only two gym battles that happened in 8 years), overcoming her fear. Ten posts will take you right through the start of combat, where Julia manages to overcome her fear of seriously injuring others in a battle and stops holding back, finally using her pokémon's strongest attack again after not having used it in forever. Wonderfully executed on the character development in these posts by CaptainDevonin. You won't get through all of the battle with the ten posts, but I can only recommend reading to the end of the chapter, which isn't much farther. Because just when it seems Julia can finally make it home, with a badge under her belt, and maybe just concentrate on her feelings for Tammy, the next twist in the story hits her unexpectedly, and it is going to take the young girl very far from where she wants to be...
  #14  
Old 08-24-2020, 10:02 AM
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and with Aethera

as the Game Mistress
Why This Game?A good game is hard to find, let's face it. It is built with love and narrative flourish from a captain at the helm who has a unique vision combined with discipline and finesse, but a good game the GM alone does not make. It requires dedicated players who, making unique characters, also create unique relationships. Genius and Sanity has that. Focused on relationship and the powers of narrative to not just shape stories but lives, Genius and Sanity is a different kind of game, though you may not guess it at first.

Using the criminally underused 13th Age system, the game is instantly recognizable in its conceits, placed in a world of fantasy and transition. The story progresses, and as the party shifts, growing over time, the narrative does as well, before the true plot is revealed. This being an organic process, I fear ruining it, but at the beginning of Chapter 3, the true nature of Genius and Sanity is revealed, and how that will affect the characters is still up for grabs even now.

Characters bleed with one another, support one another, and grow; the GM supports them and offers a world that grows and reacts with them, responding to their progression through the story... for good reason, too.
Examples of GreatnessExample 1: Skills, Challenged-Posts 10 to 20 of Chapter 2

In this example we see not just the proclivity of the group in writing out skill challenges, but this highlights the 13th Age skill challenge system, particularly how obstacles work. The group encounters something as mundane as poison ivy and makes something fun of it, building up their bones and building some real camaraderie here. The whole thread is worth it, but this is good fun.
Example 2: Meta-Narratives as Narratives Posts 1 to 10+ of Chapter 3

I'm not taking the twist away from you, but suffice it to say, it is a bit of a meta-narrative shocker. Check it out, read it, enjoy it, chuckle, and make a few reaction faces. You know the one, like the guy from Parks and Rec looking super excited? Chris Pratt? You know the one; listen, it fully applies here. Hell of a twist.
  #15  
Old 08-24-2020, 10:09 PM
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The Nomination


Written by She Who Writes
GM'd by Aethera


Current Players:
LittleBlueNA as Levi, the Hero
Roekahs as Bazziox, the Mentor
GrandCommander13 as Scabbard of Iron, the Bodyguard
AwesomeEli as Emak, the Out of Place
Grenedier as Telephus, the Press-Ganged
Grimbreath as Kerr, the Reluctant Guide

The ReasonAethera has not only managed to wrestle a table full of mostly 13th Age newbies through the ropes of learning a new system, but has also been able to do that while weaving together an amazing narrative that has respected its D&D roots while not being tied down by them. The hero and his band of plucky friends are warned of an End of Ages that is swiftly approaching, promising to bring upheaval and chaos to the world. However, instead of trying to prevent the inevitable advance of violent change, they are tasked with instead escorting and protecting the great Emperor's daughter, the cold but loving act of a distant father resigned to his end. Unfortunately, along their journey they discover that it is not the growing hordes of orcs, hungry swarms of demons, or frenzying tides of sahuagin that post the greatest threat. Instead, they face off against something even greater than the absent gods themselves, a meddlesome force for which fate dances at a whim, and for whom the protagonists cannot afford to miss a beat.

Aethera communicated the kind of story she was looking to tell with the players beforehand, including the big twists, and it has allowed the players to create PCs that interact with these revelations wonderfully, with splendid character development already happening over the course of the story. On top of that, she has done a fantastic job of leveraging 13th Age's strong points to improve the story and encouraging her players to do the same, such as with the use of the Relationship Dice and magic items whose properties exert influence over their user's personality.


The Examples
Example 1: Shadow Boxing (Chapter 2, Posts 26 - 33)
13th Age offers a GM many opportunities to mess with their PCs' plans, and Aethera brings this to bear against the protagonists through the party's Chaos Mage, having his shadow leap out to try and instigate a tavern brawl. The PCs' attempts to defuse the situation, and their reactions to each other's attempts, make for a wonderful way of introducing two new PCs to the story and helping the players, new and old alike, to get acquainted with each others' characters.

Example 2: A Grand Reveal, Soon Upstaged (Chapter 2, Posts 98 - 108)
After recruiting more forces in order to protect the hidden Imperial Princess, and even going so far as to kidnap someone who had the misfortune to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, the party is forced to face questioning why their mission is as important as it seems to be. Each PC handles this as best they can, although their best varies.


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