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  #1  
Old Mar 15th, 2021, 01:21 PM
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Hall of Fame Nominations 2021

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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 March 15, 2020); 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.

  • 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. (Please stick to only two links, as it's unfair to others if your game gets more points of contact from reviewers. Thanks.)

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 April 15th (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; Apr 16th, 2021 at 12:31 PM.
  #2  
Old Mar 16th, 2021, 11:41 PM
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DraconigenaArma DraconigenaArma is offline
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Name: The Knick Knacks of Doom: Trinket Hunters
DM(s): DraconigenaArma
Current Players: dbaque, goplayer7
Previous Players: Cancer, Jocularity, DoubleL1987, The Iron Dragon, Numen Wraith, dragune185, brann miekka, MagicallyMusing, Valistar, Bio

Reasons for nomination: The Knick Knacks of Doom began in 2012 and has been running for nine years. Not only does it have an impressive longevity, but it is actually in the final stages of the final chapter. Though I have revised and re-written the story over the years, and the end of the campaign is not what I originally envisioned when I got started, the Treasure Hunters campaign of the Knick Knacks of Doom world is actively doing what no other game I’ve ever been in has done: it is finishing. Not dying, fizzling out, or petering off into nothingness: the story we started almost ten years ago is going to come to a resolution and the campaign won’t have just stopped, but it will be over.

This game has endured. I have changed careers, multiple times, joined the Army, left the army, suffered tragedies, and experienced elation. The game began on a website named DnDO and now it’s on a site named RPGx. It started as 3.5 and now it is Pathfinder 1e. Not only has it been played through for so long, it has maintained the attention, interest, and activity of players for years, including a member of the original party seeing the game all the way through to the end. It is the fourth most posted in Pathfinder game on the site, has had threads in the year-end top lists multiple times over the years. The players in the game have been active members of the game, and the site to include Easter Egg Hunt Champions and Post of the Month winners.

What I enjoy most about the Knick Knacks of Doom is how it has explored and championed the unique, literary aspect of roleplaying games which play by post can do in a way no other medium can. In this campaign I have been able to experiment with and perfect many cultural norms which enterprise on the aspects which can only be done through play by post gaming. Knick Knacks of Doom has shown collaborative storytelling can be done with game systems as a framework, and not a goal in and of themselves. In the game style I laid out with Knick Knacks of Doom I have found players are more inclined to spend time on side stories, puzzles, interpersonal conflicts, and the like without using these side quests as mindless experience grinding. The Trinket Tavern is a thread dedicated to side plots and conversations which may stall the game.

Non-combat adventures have as much bearing on their character as combat ones. It has had a positive impact on exploration of the campaign, since playing two or three combats can happen in a day at the table but one combat can take weeks on site. Knick Knacks of Doom has become more than a long story, it is a dense and complex tale with personal stories, parallel plotlines, recurring characters, love interests, and a wealth of established and ever-expanding lore. I have experimented with many ways to balance story and action in a play by post environment to make the game flow while remaining engaging and challenging.

KKoD has a unique world, with exclusive cosmos, calendar, and topography. The effects of the campaign have influenced the backstory and lore of the campaign world, and influenced the events of other campaigns set in the future of the same universe. This custom world has provided room to build and explore off-shoots and side games over the years. The disc has hosted off and on again projects such as the Rabid Halfling Swarm and the Ultimate Dungeon. The custom world has been further explored and expanded on by players who have taken on projects for themselves, creating art and stories of their own to flesh out the world. I take it as an honor, and a rare treat, to see players taking ownership over seeds I have planted.

Despite any changes or theory I impose upon the game, much of it has flourished because of the enthusiasm of the players embracing the concepts. Their influence is much of what makes this game one of my favorites despite its slow nature now. My experiences on this site has shown "build it and they will come" is insufficient to make a game great and enjoyable. It takes players who run with these ideas and make them their own to go from playable to incredible. I love how my players care about the ramifications of their actions, and not because I demand they do so. More than any other game I have participated in Knick Knacks of Doom is the epitome of collective storytelling over mindless gaming and all I did was open the door for my fantastic players to take my ideas and improve on them.

Meeting Old "Friends"Chapter 10 is bringing many long-standing stories back into play. One of their persistent nemesis has been the agents of the Marquis d'Pretelsworth, to include the Marauder Shar and Agent Thomas. Now all three are in a room, trying to parlay with the group to team up for everyone's best interests. Are they trying to pull a fast one over on the PCs, or have the heroes misunderstood the whole time? Can the big bad evil be so easily eradicated, or are the PCs going to make terrible mistakes with far-reaching impacts on the world? This is the beginning of answering those questions, and since they are still playing this chapter, no one knows yet.

Post 234 and on


Fun in the SandWhen I decided to take the party across the desert, I tried to avoid tropes and clichés. When they sailed across the sea they were attacked by a Kraken, which was fun, but if they came across a bunch of Efreet, or an oasis, it would have started to feel droll. So instead, I gave them something new and fun, and they responded well. It’s past the 10 post point, but if you read on, you’ll get to see them in a social encounter too, with an inquisitive cactus…

Post #15 and on.
__________________
Current Games:
By Your Own Grace, The Knick Knacks of Doom: Fated Children & Trinket Hunters, The Tomb of Xhancar Ckancil
Open to invitations.

Last edited by DraconigenaArma; Mar 16th, 2021 at 11:41 PM.
  #3  
Old Mar 17th, 2021, 02:24 AM
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Name: Reluctant Heroes
https://www.rpgcrossing.com/forumdisplay.php?f=17130
Game Setting: An alternate timeline 13th century Earth where the current age was preceeded by Robert E Howards Hyborea and JRR Tolkeins Middle Earth
Longevity – The game has been on RPG Crossing since 2018, but the gameworld has been in play continuously since the 1980's, and the game has been online since 2002.
DM(s): the game has 3 DMs Rasgorn(Sr DM), Horseman(game designer), Gibbon(the rudder),
Current Players:
Players in Reluctant Heroes:
 



Reasons for nomination:
Reluctant Heroes integrates the old-school spirit of gaming and fantasy adventure while using a homebrew system to mechanically integrate different versions of D&D; focusing on the story, using historical and fantasy sources as a backdrop, to build a shared world and community.

1) Unique Setting - The game blends historical facts with fantasy; Feudal nations and structures resemble the real 13th century Europe, but are tweaked just so in order to allow for creativity and fantasy adventure—yes, there are Magyar tribes, but they are hobgoblins; yes, fierce Welsh warriors exist, but they share their heritage with burrow-dwelling halfling farmers, Edward Longshanks has just signed a treaty with the Elves for joint rule of Albion, The Blue Wizard has returned from the east and is searching out artifacts in Flanders, Hobgoblin Magyars rule over much of Germania after their successful invasion, these are a few of the subplots the players navigate in the game.

2) Game Community – This is a game of interlocking scenarios that weave in out and out of each other as times passes. Every year in December, all the characters join in a common thread for a Yule celebration, there is drinking, storytelling, poem, song and contests, this year thre was a wedding of a player character and NPC. The event builds a lot of commaraderie and shared memories. Often players discuss what they have learned in the last year, perhaps build new a new adventuring parties, and sometimes devise strategies to defeat a particular enemy.


3) Depth of the Game World - Players actions, successes and failures affect the course of the game over the long haul. Characters actions from 2004 in real time, continues to affect the game in 2021. In game time 1275 (2004 real time) Percy Trapspringer planted a magical seed, Illian only recently found the tree that grew from that seed in the game today 1297 (2021).


Links: Reluctant Heroes has players spanning a wide range of levels, the links are good examples of the game play, writing and shows both low level and high level campaigns.

Far and WideThe thread shows the split-screen action that frequently happens in this epic story. We start with a Welshman, Owain, who is riding with the soldier Tambovsky and the Lady Danicea. They have just escaped from a horde of goblins and are covered in blood and feces that the goblins had tossed at them; when they find their escape is blocked by an ogre, they devise a plan that relies on the ogre's sharp sense of smell and weak eyesight to kite the creature back toward the goblins.
https://www.rpgcrossing.com/showthre...es#post8865742


Storm Rider it is a thread with one-GM and one-player whose character has been active for 10 years and has now reached legendary status. This is one of the defining aspects of Reluctant Heroes--each generation of players begins at level 1, but if they rise over the years they become lords, kings, or legends whose actions affect the landscape and the history of the world. In this one, the warrior Rota has accepted a duel with the gods as her witness.
https://www.rpgcrossing.com/showthre...194491&page=11

Last edited by Horseman; Mar 17th, 2021 at 10:57 AM.
  #4  
Old Mar 17th, 2021, 06:10 AM
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Nomination HoF


The Minkai's Overlord
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Once, there were five Imperial families: five families that, by right of the gods, could sit upon the Sakura Throne. And in the twelve hundred years since the destruction of the Teikoku Shogunate, those five families have ruled in relative peace and harmony with nature and the other nations of Tian Xia, fighting just wars against goblins, oni, and warlords promising insurrection.

But this is no longer true. Shizuru, the Empress of Heaven, no longer smiles down upon us.

One by one, the emissaries and masters of the five clans began to disappear, until only two remained: the current Emperor and his Clan, the Higashiyama; and the Amatatsu, ever-faithful to the Sakura Throne. Perceiving the threat, the two clans reacted differently.

The Amatatsu fled, running as far from those who threatened them as possible. They headed north, through the Forest of Spirits, and over the Crown of the World. They were lost in the snows, and never heard from again.

The Higashiyama ruled openly, until four years ago, when the clan placed the Emperor within the boundaries of his imperial home. In his stead, he placed his friend and bodyguard, Soto Takahiro, as the Regent, watching over the Sakura Throne until the time it was safe to sit upon it once again.

And in those four years, taxes have risen, priests and families have forgotten their ancestral gods and begin to preach heresy across Minkai. Loyal lords are banished, good samurai are demeaned and exiled, and those who resist or speak ill of the Regent, such as myself, are mutilated or killed.

What became of the Higashiyama and the Amatatsu? I cannot say. Nor can I say what will become of me. This is my last entry in my life-long attempt to map the history of Minkai from the ancient past to its unclear future. I am old, my family in hiding, my line secure.

What can they do to me? They have dishonored my Emperor, destroyed divine and familial piety, ruined tradition, and spoiled the lands of Minkai. If not me, then who?

Who can stand against the Minkai's overlord?


-From the Hidden History of Minkai, by Court Historian and Daimyo Hirameki Ubiro (recently deceased)
12 Pharast, 7211 Imperial Calendar, Age of Succession






Nomination Format
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Name: Minkai's Overlord
Started: December 2019
Scale: 2300+ posts
DM(s): MoonZar
Current Players: Admin Dirk, Henrylockwood, Imveros, Amarga, Silent Rain, Ysolde (retired), Gotha, Dalarangreen

Reasons for nomination:

It's my pleasure and honor to submit Minkai's Overlord for Hall of Fame 2021. Thank you to all the players, Hound and Sass who helped make this happen.

Some of the best roleplayers of rpgcrossing joined forces to tell the story of a rebellion against an all-mighty overlord that lives on the other side of the world. A journey of cultural exploration for young heroes who grew up in a small town, who travel across nations and wilderness to pursue their legacy and free a nation from tyranny. Consistent quality posting and a highly active campaign made this one of the greatest games currently active.

The scale of the battles is amazing with sometimes 25+ tokens on the battle board using roll 20. This takes skills for a DM to manage this almost flawlessly with the collaboration with the players who have a very quick post rate that allows keeping people on the edge as the action unfolds with breathtaking description.

Character development is a big theme of that campaign. The heroes are growing from townfolks to nobles. It may have been done many times in other games, but every player in that campaign manage to describe this growth with their own flavor and approach.

The discipline of the players is outstanding. We only lost one player early in the adventure, since then everybody is posting regularly every week. For me this kind of tell me how good this game is as no one want to miss a moment of that story.


Chapter 1 - A Storm is comingA storm is coming, and the beginning of our story that will become a legend in the ages that will follow.
[Link]


Chapter 2 - The Legacy's LureDeparture is imminent, the heroes have a long journey ahead to find the fortress of their ancestors.
[Link]
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Last edited by MoonZar; Mar 24th, 2021 at 07:32 AM. Reason: illegal third link
  #5  
Old Mar 17th, 2021, 11:38 AM
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Name: The Founding
DM(s): Wodine

Current Players: Gulvor - Black Jim
Jurgen Bauer - Crocodile
Kyarek Ironheart Ziether
Corrivander - Squeak
Kayal - Thaco
Uncle Istvan - ManicMonky
Theo's - Imveros
Adeena Flokart - Jarl11
Catrin Gantzlan - dalarangreen
Hawke Amill - Seekr34

Previous Players: Raelia Auldiven - PopCultureBard
Cina O'Shami - AximusLokar
Ranor Durant - DraconigenaArma
Avaline "Whisper" Leafsong - Firecat
Reginald 'Reggie' Miller - taleteller50
Senieth Ros’linor - Sarsprilla
Zenevieva Sileny - Cristal08Darkmoon

Reasons for nomination:

"The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones."
- Confucius


Wodine opened their ad with that quote, and I couldn't think of a better mission statement for what we've done over the last two and a half years than that.

They built a living, breathing world littered with shiny stones pulled right from our backstories. Not only that, but the moment we move one stone, we uncover three more begging for our attention. NPC's introduced as villains so full of life that, through RP, become trusted misunderstood friends (The Colonial Governor). Vibrant custom Pantheon's begging for unique methods of worship (My name for them, not Wodines XDThe Many and The Few). Complex combats with multiple layers and nail-biting difficulty (Just read that fight below!).

Then we move those stones to make the world our own!

On the practical side, Wodine has kept us focused and motivated for several years. Every member of our current team is an original selection. That shows you the kind of dedication this game fosters and Wodine's character selection prowess to make the most tightly knit game I have the pleasure of being a part of. We have phenomenal group chemistry in and out of character, with similar writing and posting styles.

Hopefully, you all enjoy reading Wodine's world as I've had living in it!

Links:

-Wodine knows how to set a scene and how to introduce fascinating, complex NPCs. The best example of this was our meeting with a delegation of sea folk as follows

A Morning Meeting

-Wodine also knows how to run a flavorful and nail-biting battle. The perfect end to chapter 2

Ruinous Power
__________________
Hall of Fame finals are live!

Community Supporters, it's time to do your civic duty! ;)

Last edited by Aethera; Mar 17th, 2021 at 12:22 PM. Reason: illegal third link
  #6  
Old Mar 17th, 2021, 10:01 PM
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Madquitex Eglantine. In the game Barovia Wants You!, MadEg is possibly a key to the entire plotline as the Lost Soul of Barovia, or she's just another cute sidequest lizard baby—the party is still trying to figure this out.

Name and Link: Barovia Wants You!
DM: Exfilia
Current Players: Another Dragoon (playing the mullet-haired elf who looks killer in the loincloth), Banana Badger (playing an addle-brained lizard obsessed equally with MAGIC! and scatology), Fillyjonk (playing an adventure-seeking pyromaniac teenage cult wife), Lost Cheerio (playing a suspiciously too-perfect cleric in denial of her past), and Oakie (playing a slightly pompous academic befuddled by hard times and, inexplicably, the love of his life).

Reasons for nomination: What does it take to sustain an adventure of 2,972 IN-GAME GAME-THREAD posts in a period of only 365 days? The ongoing game of Barovia Wants You! thrives on richly written daily posts that explore the depths of Curse of Strahd and expand the popular 5e D&D module's lore.
  • High Standards and Daily Discipline: This game defies the cliche of rapid-paced games becoming a series of mechanical, one-line posts. The GM and players post involved, creative updates 7-days-a-week, exploring character backgrounds, developing side stories, and interacting with one another through victories and defeats. A post-a-day game isn't for everyone, and it isn't for every game ... but this is a showcase for how rewarding a long-term daily-post game can be for dedicated and enthusiastic players and GM alike.
  • Horror and Humor: Of course Strahd games pit the players against an evil vampire, but a Strahd game also must overcome the danger of becoming a tad too self-aware and too pretentiously Gothic. Barovia Wants You! hits all the highlights of the module and does not shy from the inherent difficult themes: cannibalism, child trafficking, betrayal, opportunistic collaboration, and the moral choice between submissive life or proud death. But the game confronts these gloomy themes with interludes of humor. The GM has an eye for plot twisting one-liners; on a successful history check, Fillyjonk's player will inevitably recall a bodice-ripper novel or two she has read that corresponds directly to the matter at hand (like a forced marriage with a royal bullywog, for example); and all the fallible characters are played to their fullest.
  • How to Module on RPG Crossing: How do you play a game that depends on surprise, but that everyone knows? How do you avoid the inevitable creep of meta-gaming? These are questions for any module game, particularly one so iconic as Curse of Strahd. Barovia Wants You! travels close to the script of the module, but also introduces key twists and side-stories. For example, one year into the game the players still aren't sure who the big bad is in Barovia. Yes, there is Strahd, but there are strong clues that he is—in effect—just the smooth-talking agent for a greater power. Also, interaction between the GM and the players has led to the creation of entirely new subplots such as finding a soul-swap spell deep in Rak'ta caves, creating ceremonies for a new aspect of God when the God of Light has been banished, and facing down a foul-breathed feline-devil.

Links:

A Ceremonial Healing, A Ceremonial Fortune Telling
This section of posts begins after a battle with a coven of hags. The party has survived, but caused considerable damage to the surrounding forest, straining relations with a flock of helpful ravens as well as an encampment of wandering travelers known as Vistani. To make amends, the party's wood elf (with surreptitious help from the party's sorcerer) leads a tree-healing ceremony that appeases both birds and humans. In fact, Madam Eva, the powerful Vistani matron, is so pleased that she grants the party an audience and gifts them a ceremony in return—the iconic fortune-card reading at the core of the module. This series of posts demonstrates how the game weaves unique twists around a standard plot element and reveals the individual character of each PC as they react to the card-readings.

Sacrifice a Cleric, Escape from Ravenloft
This is another classic Curse of Strahd scene with a twist. Count Strahd has invited the players to his castle for a bizarre dinner that is half-courtesy and half-condescension. Given free rein to explore, the party stumbles upon a teenage village girl who has been seduced away with books suspiciously resembling The Twilight series and the mystique of Barovia's ultimate bad boy. It's an age-old, tawdry tale and her impending corruption is all too apparent. This sequence of posts begins with the girl, Gertrude, defying the party’s concerns and forcing the party to employ logic, pleas, warnings—and finally a chamber pot to the head. Strahd's return, however, precipitates a hasty rescue operation that causes the party to sacrifice their cleric and a celestial familiar, who makes a valiant last-ditch—but ultimately doomed—show of resistance.
__________________

Last edited by bananabadger; Mar 28th, 2021 at 10:53 PM.
  #7  
Old Mar 18th, 2021, 01:35 PM
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Ildrahil Ildrahil is offline
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Posts: 182
Name: Reluctant Heroes Second to Nomination
https://www.rpgcrossing.com/forumdisplay.php?f=17130
Game Setting: An alternate timeline 13th century Earth where the current age was preceeded by Robert E Howard's Hyborea and JRR Tolkein's Middle Earth
Longevity – The game has been on RPG Crossing since 2018, but the gameworld has been in play continuously since the 1980's, and the game has been online since 2002.

Reason for Seconding Nomination
I second this nomination. I am one of the newest members of the Reluctant Heroes family, but I am not new to RPGs. I played D&D when it was an index and supplement in a game called Chainmail. When the first boxed set came out I rushed to buy it and I have been playing D&D and other RPGs ever since.

In those 46 or 47 years I have played a lot of campaigns, from those developed by Gygax and Arneson to ones developed by a local DM. Some were incredible and some not so much. In Reluctant Heroes, I have found a campaign that not only has longevity, but is incredibly well managed and well mastered. By the last I mean the DMs have created a believable world where it is familiar in that it is 1200s Earth, but the history has been merged with JRR Tolkein's Middle Earth and Robert E Howard's Hyborea. I feel like I know the history and the lands but there is just enough I don't know, and that my character doesn't know, to make things tense and exciting, and isn't that what we all crave.

On top of this there is a team of DMs who are incredibly talented. You can have a great campaign but if the DMs are bland the game becomes bland. These DMs are anything but bland. They weave the actions of PCs and NPCs together with care and make all actions believable. You have to role play rather than roll play to be successful. And when they describe scenes it's like reading a great book, you are part of it. I sometimes feel like I'm living in an alternate aspect of the Silmarillion while I play this game. There was even a wedding recently where a PC married an NPC.

Lastly, I said something in my first paragraph that I need to emphasize, this is a family. Some of the players have been playing this game since its inception. They have moved the needle and changed history. But they also have lower level characters and they play them as if they are young and without using the player knowledge that would make them overpowered. These same players are incredibly helpful to new players. The site is set up with a thread where we can all get together and chat. We talk about real life as if we were siblings. There are also one off scenarios where all the PCs get together to interact, like during Yule, which I just missed.

All in all, this is the best thought out and run campaign I have ever had the good luck to be a part of. Again, I heartily second this nomination.

Wrack and Runes
This is the scenario that includes my character, a Noldorian Elf named Vardariannanur. The DM, Rasgorn, expertly weaves Vardariannanur into gameplay during the height of an assault on a ruined fortress. It is a seamless introduction with a engrossing background which allows Vardariannanur to make a natural appearance and the game to continue uninterrupted with its exciting storyline. Wrack and Runes link.

If you have the time, read on and you'll see where Rasgorn introduces new forces that join the fray. Our PCs are able to eavesdrop on two of these new NPCs and overhear their discussion which the GM uses to adroitly introduce some of the backstory and political events of the Reluctant Heroes world. It is a narrative approach that focuses on the players while bringing the game world landscape to life.
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ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς

Last edited by Ildrahil; Mar 18th, 2021 at 03:59 PM.
  #8  
Old Mar 20th, 2021, 03:33 PM
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Last edited by Aethera; Apr 16th, 2021 at 12:36 PM. Reason: inaccurate statement removed, forum link fixed, DQ spoilerbutton
  #9  
Old Mar 22nd, 2021, 08:32 AM
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Nomination
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Cover art from vol.2 of the Uncaged Anthology
Name: Uncaged
DM: Wynamoinen

Players:
Current / Season 2 (Found Family):
  • cottontailwind, playing Altrix Dunyazad
  • Elanir, playing Haemon, son of Kephalos
  • Menzo, playing Raemka of Khem
  • MoldyNolds, playing Kyai Applecore
  • Nightcheese, playing Heliae Eshe
Past / Season 1 (Our Fair Maidens):
  • Charlotte, playing Sylvia
  • Goatmeal, playing Carew Albedo
  • Inuvash255, playing Alexandr "Sasha" Freyrvich Novak
  • rhaiber, playing Dagrún Vanadisdotr
Reasons for nomination Firstly, Uncaged is an anthology of one-shot adventures, inspired by our world's mythology, and focusing on the way that women and non-gender-conforming folk are treated in culture and fiction. The adventures are written by a bunch of independent writers and gamers. I implement it on RPGX by recruiting a group, playing the one-shot for about a year, and then the adventure ends. One season ends, and another begins. A new setting is chosen, new problems are presented, and new players play. It's an ongoing set of stories organized around common themes.

Now then. Everybody here is telling you all the things their game is. Uncaged flies in the face of convention! Let me tell you what this game is NOT.

This game is NOT a sweeping epic adventure. Uncaged is about small human problems. Small is important! Small is our lives. Each adventure (which I've categorized into "seasons") has a central conflict that highlights the struggles, trials, unfairness, and joys some NPCs face. They have a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and identities. Role-play helps us learn about ourselves and the people around us. Uncaged is about that - seeing through the eyes of others, and growing. Growing as people, growing as a society.

This game is NOT full of people who have played for years. Uncaged is a series of one-shots. I select some players, they produce amazing stuff for a few months, and then we part ways so that a new group can play. New characters and new perspectives bring new stories. We meet new people, we laugh new laughs, we learn new lessons. It's great!

This game is NOT a huge open world Each Uncaged story needs its own setting. Uncaged pulls from a global perspective. Season 1 was set in an Eastern European milieu. Season 2 is set in an environment akin to the lower Nile. Season 3 will be somewhere else. I am woefully ignorant of these places. My players teach me new things every day, and we build a setting from what they know, and what inspires them from these cultures. Their backstories are full of historical research. I learn about reality by playing with these wonderful people. Because they've done their homework, I can give them a broad hand to control NPCs, create guilds, establish religions, and so on. The worldbuilding in this game is a good as I've seen in any of my other games.

This game is NOT like other Hall of Fame games. That's why I think it's worthy of entry into the Hall! It's helping to give a broader sense of what the site can do. It's a small game that's "about" our world and its problems. But it's not self-serious. My players are funny! They're playing your standard D&D cat-people and halflings and goliaths. There is melodrama, and there is action. It's everything you want in a rollicking fantasy game. But I think it's also about stuff that matters to you and me. Gaming can be all those things. That's why I think it's something the site should recognize, and I hope you'll give it a shot.

And hey, what better convention can I fly in the face of, than the convention that I just created?

So what IS this game then?
  • It's a game focused on inclusion, both in small bore (new players each season, players with a range of experience) and large sweep (probing at social inequity)
  • It's a game that produces Post of the Month quality posts on a regular basis (so far, we've got two, one for each season)
  • It's a game that finishes stories and adventures. It bears repeating: players can regularly finish what they started here! I'm really proud of this aspect of the game design. The cavalcade of incomplete games is a real issue in PbP, and I feel like I've found a way to "solve" a small portion of that problem.
Evidence for the nomination I'll share one link for each of my seasons:

Season 2, scene 1, posts 34-43. After meeting up the previous night, the group has now met their patron and accepted the job: they've been hired by a major noble to guard his daughter and investigate the disappearances of young people that have plagued the Five Cities. There is already tension among the party members and their employer, but it's time to get down to business. The group spreads out on the patrician's estate to do some preliminary investigations over the course of two days. I gave them free reign to control NPCs, define their tasks, and choose the skills they'll roll to accomplish it. Here you see the players running with that freedom. They then get the results of their investigations and report back to each other.

Season 1, scene 1, posts 6-15. Another investigations scene. But where the Season 2 link shows the players with a chance to create big long posts full of detail, this Season 1 set of interactions are "small". The party is investigating a suspicious death in an isolated village. They've come on the day of Harvest Festival (and, they find later, Rusalka Week). Partly the PCs are probing the townsfolk for suspects. But partly they're ingratiating themselves, as strangers, into the small frightened place. This sequence of posts has a bunch of strands going on, but each strand gives an interesting set of interactions, and they provide us insight into who the PCs are. It's full of vingettes of personality, skills, interests, mannerisms, and uncertainties.
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Last edited by Aethera; Apr 16th, 2021 at 11:18 AM. Reason: additional links removed
  #10  
Old Mar 23rd, 2021, 08:02 PM
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The Tomb of Annihilation
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A terrible curse ravages Faerûn that subverts the nature of death itself. An intrepid band of Harpers sacrificed their lives to buy a small commando unit enough time to infiltrate the lair of an elven lich and steal her phylactery and thus force the lich to share her knowledge of this Death Curse.


Nomination FormatName: Tomb of Annihilation
Started: April 2nd, 2018
Game In Game Post Count: 12000+
DM(s): jbear
Current Players:
Berith - Sskath, Yuan-Ti Cleric/Sorceror (Original Commando)
Vislands - Morril, Half Elf Hexblade (Harper Survivor)
Insacrum - Taurri, Gnome Necromancer (Harper Survivor)
Bhelogan - Svaly, Ghostwise Halfling Monk (Harper Survivor)
Begon Ugo - Kyro, Tabaxi Fighter (Port Recruit)
Silk - Tiffa, Tiefling Sorceror (soon to be /Rogue) (Port Recruit)

Former Players:
Ytterbium (Doc, Human Bard - Deceased; swarmed by living claws and immolated)
Anthrueser (Rhett Logan, Human Monk - Abandoned mission furious at negotiations with Lich; returned to pirate crew)
Maskain (Ser Bernhardt Logan - Last Known Whereabouts: Port Nyanzaru: disappeared after a night of gambling)
Avner (Korr, Half Orc Barbarian - Last Known Whereabouts: Port Nyanzaru attending Lady Sylvane),
Dakkon (Kayle-Morgan - Last Known Whereabouts: Port Nyanzaru attending Lady Sylvane),
Tad (Oliver, Human Rogue - Last Known Whereabouts: Port Nyanzaru; severed arm nailed to wall holding 'Doc's Rapier'; the rest of him held hostage by pirates?)

Reasons for nomination: I have been a part of many promising campaigns on the site that began with fiery gusto only to see good intentions dwindle and the campaign die. When I began this campaign three years ago, it was my firm intention to host a steady campaign that would stand the test of time. Despite even my best intentions, the campaign has suffered player attrition nonetheless, only one of my original band remaining standing with me. Conscious this might happen, I played through a prelude chapter after which I could re-recruit and continue the campaign, threading in new players seamlessly and using the characters of those who fell by the wayside as my playthings to enrich the drama.

Nevertheless, the quality of roleplaying and magnificent storytelling by all those who were involved at the beginning and those who have taken up the torch and walk alongside me now has been genuinely fantastic. I believe the campaign is a stand out example of what most of us are looking for in an PBP fantasy campaign: a story you can sink your teeth into, make your own, take where you will, do as best you see fit in a living breathing world that swirls around the action, pulling you every which way as you move towards your goals.

This is a game for those who deal with 'real life' full-time but still manage to find time once a week to submerge our minds into the fantasy worlds we all love and wish we could spend far more time exploring. It's the turtle in Aesop's fable that slow and steadily wins the race. Three years in and yet it seems like the prelude to the true action which, just recently, we are dipping our toes into. There is much more story to be told, much more wild, deadly, complicated, testing adventures to be had. But the time and love spent weaving the web thus far woven, makes the game feel like the adventure is taking place in a real world, layered with schemes upon schemes, and the decisions will affect people they know and have grown to care for, making the heroes' burden just that much heavier to bear.

As both a lover of storytelling and complex strategic combat alike, the style of the game has a rather unique flow. Taking the simple streamlined mechanics of 5e D&D, I create custom-made skill challenges that provide a mechanical framework to give structure and pacing to the roleplaying of the wonderfully talented role-players that drive the action forward and take it in unexpected directions with their amazing creativity and imagination.

Combat, while not a major focus of the game, offers the players a chance to flex their characters mechanical muscle, which needs to be as equally as on point to survive in one of my games, as anyone who has played in any of my arenas in the CoEA campaign will testify. I tend to make the combat far harder than it should be, provide interesting options to interact within the environment surrounding the battle, add some tricky complications to make it less straight-forward than just killing stuff dead, and then trust that my players will figure it out! And it seems to be a good policy (and I know my players are just that good, they always do figure something out!) as the battles seem as rich in storytelling as every other part of the game.

Honestly, I have a truly talented crew on board. I feel very honoured to be associated with the folks who give the game life. And I think if you take the time to check it out, you'll agree with me that the game deserves its spot alongside the other many epic adventures that grace the Halls of Fame.


Chapter 0 (Prelude) - Which Way is Death? - Bargaining with a Lich A team of kindred souls, each desperate and crazy enough to do anything they can to save their loved one's soul from the terrible Death Curse, comes together to infiltrate the lair of an evil elven lich and steal her phylactery while her fortress's gates are openly assaulted by Harpers.

After braving the horrors of the lich's basement, the group successfully retrieves her phylactery. Here follows the finale of the prelude which saw a moment of great conflict within the group as to how to proceed which brought the chapter to an unexpected and quite incredible climax that tested the players' mettle both in and out of character. While the game was also battling the effects of 'real life' at the time, I think it highlights the spirit of the game and hopefully piques the reader's interest enough to go back and read through the entire chapter to see how we arrived where we did.
[Link]


Chapter 1 - Welcome to Chult - Dino Racing UnchainedFollowing the lich's lead, the group is transported to Chult's main city, Port Nyanzaru, and asked to discreetly find leads regarding the Death Curse. Their discreet investigation leads them into becoming city renowned 'Pirate Hunters'. They take on a job as dino racers to enlist the help of a tabaxi warrior who seeks to help a young jockey tangled up in the affairs of the rich and merciless. A three-part skill challenge to gain the job, train with the dinosaur, and prepare for the race built up to the race itself linked below. The group finally comes to stand at the starting line with a replacement player who spent a year working with me in a secreted sideline thread in order to weave themselves into the storyline, having crossed the players' paths on several occasions during that time (even stealing their dinosaur's illegal super grain!).

Again, I hope what you read of the race is enough to pique your interest enough to go back and read everything that built up to that point, including Tiffa's solo side thread that ran alongside the main thread during a good part of that time.
[Link]
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  #11  
Old Mar 27th, 2021, 02:21 PM
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Nomination: Family MattersName: Family Matters
System: By R.TalsorianThe Witcher RPG
DM(s): Marshmallow
Current Players:
  • DaysUntold as Doctor Marsilla of Verden,
  • DoubleL1987 as the Witcher Tymek Cralgard,
  • Mairien as the Sorceress, Angharad var Elwyn,
  • SalmonMax as Lady Annika Segert, the Noble.

Reasons for nomination: Family Matters is based on the dark fantasy novels authored by Andrzej Sapkowski, later expanded into a videogame trilogy with a hugely successful finale by CD Projekt Red and then recently adapted into a Netflix series. This world of interactive entertainment, visual media, graphic novels, and the written word is the world of The Witcher.

Family Matters doesn't need to have an overabundance of imagery, art, or even music due to the sheer immersion the game creates and maintains for the reader; Every character has a personal history behind them, Tymek with his time spent growing up in Gothwyr Gwaed and the long list of friends he knew and lost, Angharad with her time spent evading Nilfgaard as a runaway mage, Annika trying to hold together the spirits of her siblings after a familial tragedy and Marsillia with her uniqueness. Everybody has a story that precedes the events of Family Matters, each character has a goal for the future tied to their own past: Angharad wishes to contact an old friend, Tymek is seeking answers regarding a certain person from his past, Annika is doing her best to survive and Marsillia's trying to find out what she's gotten herself into. The world isn't all doom and gloom either as just like the books and their adaptations, there are moments where everybody has laughed, moments where nobody was sure what the right course of action was, characters have argued, characters have come together. The cast of players and characters has grown to become a family in and of itself.


Family Matters has just like any other Play By Post game, had moments where activity has slowed down or come to a lull in frequency, but each time like a phoenix from the ashes it soars up again; if it weren't for my passionate players who have constantly strived with interest to continue playing, this game wouldn't be alive today and that really highlights how important players are to a GM not just in PbP, but in any tabletop roleplaying game. I decided that in order to further highlight the importance of collaboration in PbP and tabletop gaming as a whole, I'd ask the players of Family Matters why they feel this game deserves a space in the Hall of Fame:


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaysUntold
This game is one of the few I've played in that manages to keep me on my toes, never quite sure of what to expect next. There is a genuine excitement and anticipation after each post as we await the ramifications of the actions that our delightfully flawed characters have engaged in. Marsh has created a living world full of mystery, danger, and awe. The consistency of the world and its "stop staring, Johnny. Leave the crazy people alone," vibe grounds the characters in its reality in an utterly believable way. Through it all, a genuine and growing friendship, built on acceptance between four characters that have absolutely no business being friends, creates a bond that even carries outside of the game itself. I wasn't sure what I was getting into when I was invited to this game, but joining was one of the best decisions I've made so far on RPGX.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleL1987
Family Matters is in my opinion, better than The Witcher 3. Yes, I said it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mairien
This game consistently captures the unique atmosphere of the Witcher universe, in all its awfulness and whimsicalness, in a way that I would never have thought possible in PbP. One would be amiss not to mention the dice in their capacity as a co-DM as contributors to this. Who else would simply kill off an NPC right in front of your eyes for no reason and leave you and your character equally speechless?

When you really get down to it, Family Matters is what play-by-post has at its very core: Roleplaying, Good Writing, and Fun.

Link: Hutting It OutScene Name: Hutting it Out #69 - 79
Scene Description:
To set the scene: the characters have just escaped a battle that broke out in the Segert homestead, forcing them to flee the manor and begin traveling with Aefa, an elven merchant. Aefa took the party into the woods on her cart and had to seek shelter with a hermit she knew was in the area when a storm began to stir, making travel via the cart a risky endeavor.

This scene is split into two groups: Angharad, Beatrix Segert & the Hermit in group one with Marsillia, Annika, and Tymek in group two. This section of the game highlights not only how a character's backstory is weaved into the game organically, but also the attention to the world of The Witcher, where interweaving fates are a constant theme.

It is worth noting that everything in these ten posts was secreted to their individual groups and a majority of these have been unsecreted, save for those with spoilers regarding certain characters.


Link: One-Eyed OlsenScene Name: One Eyed Olsen #215 - #225
Scene Description:
The party has just arrived in a city an hour away from the Kaedweni border and the merchant Aefa (who they are traveling with) needs to make a stop to see that the papers required to enter Kaedwen are thoroughly prepared. The group enters a tavern and Tymek (as the party Witcher) is approached by a guard who asks him to look into the town's developing drowner issue. Tymek and co need the coin, so he agrees to take on the job and asks to see the bodies. Marsillia sets off ahead of Tymek, determined to prove that the men were in fact, not killed by drowners following an interaction with the barkeep. Tymek, Annika and Marsillia inspect the bodies and find potential evidence that points to the monster actually being a Katakan (a vampiric creature), so Tymek returns to the tavern to ask Angharad for help in dealing with the monster. Everybody agrees to come along and help, so Tymek pretends to be a fisherman to try and lure out the beast so the group could ambush and slay it.

With Tymek out in the open, Annika, Angharad, and Marsillia laying in wait by the treeline, they spot a peculiar figure with an even more peculiar agenda.

Last edited by Marshmallow; Mar 30th, 2021 at 11:36 PM.
  #12  
Old Apr 6th, 2021, 07:43 AM
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To the CallhillName: To the Callhill: The war of the book
DM(s): Bluejack.
Current Players: Halcyon, creed, unforgiven, maladict, jon
Past Players: Avner, Begon Ugo, Berith, buzzlitebeer, Coldbones, Dakkon, creed, Eourl Thorson, Jon, fuerdrake, Warson, OldSchool, tomplum, Disaster Master, Norgewalk, Toketsu, Silent Rain, Geldar, LdyZamara, Lemonhead, TheGreyWulf, BB 3, Maladict, Shaolindelt, Ghostly Daemon



NominationReasons for nomination:

I nominate Bluejack’s To the Callhill.

It deserves a place in the Hall of Fame as one of the beautiful multi-faceted jewels in RPGX’s crown. From humble beginnings as a simple beginners’ adventure it has become a complex multi-threaded campaign that crosses the length and breadth of the Sword Coast and jumps beyond into the Planescape!


The campaign started five years ago in the most familiar Phandalin with a merry band of level 0 apprentices, trying out their skills at the annual fare. Since then, it has developed, seemingly organically, into a complex, multiple adventure campaign set against a consistent backdrop – the epic War of the Book.

This war set the region alight with Orcus’s curse raising the dead across the continent as our heroes seek to save towns and find the book. After successfully banishing the book from the material plane, the story is now on its 10th chapter - an episodic multi-planar montage to keep the Book from the hands of Orcus, which most recently involved serving a magnificent trifle to the Valkyrie Brunhilde herself.


There are three things that tie this story together to make it such a success.
First there is the storytelling itself. Bluejack has plotted an intriguing, multi-arced story that simply pulls you through chapter after chapter. And he populates that story with real people - his NPCs have lives and backstories – they are truly the heroes of their own story.

Second: exemplary writing – everybody brings their A game, year after year. This is not a place for the first flush excitement that gradually dies down to shorter, action posts. All the players bring something to make you laugh, cry and sometimes even think!

Third is the DM. Bluejack really cares. He cares about the story, the players and the community. The OOC (and discord) for Callhill is a place of friends. We’ve celebrated life’s ups and downs, and ‘seen’ many births over the years we have played – but mostly we have that kind of nonsense-fun that is the backdrop of a long-running game.
And that’s not all. The other gift of Callhill is that it has inspired so many of us to start our own games in RPGX. Every so often, Bluejack will issue that siren call in the OOC thread “Anyone fancy DMing?”. The players and DMs alike are incredibly encouraging in taking that first step and responding with brilliant play that gives you confidence as a DM that you are getting it more-or-less right. Sometimes these games build on the Callhill universe – maybe foregrounding a minor character in an adventure of their own.


But back to the War of the Book. At the heart of this game is a very well-run adventure by top drawer DM who invests creative effort and time to create a world and mood for his players. And then the players - the quality rubs off such that everyone brings their A game and then seeks to improve from there. It is definitely a writers’ campaign. Complex characters abound and their interactions are the engine room that the DM responds to in shaping the adventures. Rail-roading it ain’t.



Links
Enter the Jester

David Lynch talks about Eye of the Duck scenes. The idea is that you can draw a silhouette of a duck – but it is only when you draw the eye that the whole picture makes sense. This sequence is the eye of the duck of a continuing five year story. It introduces two key things – the Book of Orcus and the imperative to destroy it – and a magnificent Big Bad that continues to dog the fortunes of the fine adventurers in Callhill to this day – The Jester.

We are now a year and a half into the game and the characters are still fizzing with depth and emotion. Bluejack, the DM, invests in creating tone and depth in which the characters act and each play grabs the opportunity to develop their own characters. I like brooding sense of doom as the players try to fathom the challenge this new phase of the game is going to present them – then the shock as from nowhere the Jester appears, snatching the book and placing the party in immediate peril …

Enjoy!

https://www.rpgcrossing.com/showthre...52#post7689852

Fun and games

We’re now in recent history. The game is five years old … the book has been banished from the material plane – and the original party have recently been released from the planar prison where they had been for who knows how long. How we got here is a very long story, but just trust me when I say that the whole party is now trapped in a home for retired demons and must negotiate with a powerful bone demon, Ingerou, to be allowed out.

So which competitions are worthy of such a band, fighting against such odds as a home full of demons? Why a drinking contest of course. And a game of hide and seek. And … err … gardening?

I love this sequence because its typical Bluejack. Again the context is rich, detailed and hugely imaginative. He throws the challenge to the players ‘What challenges would you like?’ – then builds game play in response to their request that works. Its beautiful nonsense.

Enjoy!

https://www.rpgcrossing.com/showthre...86#post8945286


  #13  
Old Apr 8th, 2021, 07:07 PM
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NominationName: At the Edge of Chaos

DM(s): Phettberg

Current Players, Group One:
  • Anael as Galun, an A rabbit-like raceOcybun builder of things
  • Bagginses as K'Leysha, a A subterranean race of small people with one horn and one eye.Keita dancer wielding magic
  • Ericg1s as Jo, a A race of desert dwelling reptiliansTo'Ari fencer
  • Murdoch as Ba'at, an A race of snakelike reptiles, a subspecies of To'AriAri'Mut hunter and priest
  • Yoshimi as Atale, an A type of free-willed golem made of doughUfan huntress

Current Players, Group Two:
  • Doctor Feelgood as Mephis, a A goat-like raceGracan A magic user outside the confines of Gracan religious doctrineInitiate
  • Leviticus as Cassius, a a strange and exotic people in this worldhuman scholar with a secret
  • MoldyNolds as Brucian, a A race of deep sea whale-peopleGrauhn Prince and Emissary
  • Yesterdays Wizard as Tihomir, an A race of songbird-peopleInaripat Singer and Rune-Mage

Previous Players, curated list: Aegis, cottontailwind, Crocartes, TheDragonQueen, Fwalin McFundin, Gaekub, harlandski, kanly, LtTibbles, SalmonMax, Sivartius, Vulco1

Reasons for nomination: This is a fantasy game that we've been running for three years now using GURPS 4e. My second oldest game actually, but while I like all the games I'm still running equally Edge of Chaos is one that is a different kind of special for me for various reasons. It's a homebrew setting that players past and present and I made collaboratively. It's a funny thing, while it's always sad to see a player leave for any reason, everybody that got as far as to make a unique race for their character has left something behind in this game that's more tangible than old posts or story ramifications of said past actions - it's in the very fabric of the setting itself, which in and of itself makes it really memorable to me. It's fantasy as I said, but it tries to play with the paradigms a bit by avoiding some common trappings of the genre or flipping others. To get into some of the big things, humans are exotic outsiders from far away, feared and mistrusted (a trope in and of itself, but that's neither here nor there). There are no orks, elves, dwarves, goblins, at least not in their common forms. Large beasts that on our earth one would consider "prehistoric" walk among some fantastic creatures. The technology level is closer to classical antiquity than the early renaissance. There is magic, but due to the system it is inherently more understated.

What we ended up creating still works with recognisable forms, just because one has to have a frame of reference to relate. The consequence of this is that in the broadest sense what populates this world (that has no universal name) are "beastmen" or various kinds: The Ux, flabby competitive molluscs. The Getta, four-armed quarrelsome Echidnas. The Keita, one-eyed and one-horned sociable cave-dwellers. The Gracan, goat-like theocrats. The Ilder, agile furred climbers. To'Ari, aloof snakes of the deserts. There's many more that have their niches and place in the world, most analogue or inspired by various real-world cultures that me and the players have given our personal spin. There's no real competing with D&D when it comes to "has it been done before?", but we did a good job trying I think.

And of course, in addition to all of these fun inventions by the players they've been giving me a lot of commitment and great posts along the way, so it's always a joy when I come back to write my updates for it. That is a thing that's not easy to sustain, as there can definitely be a "honeymoon phase" for games as well. That my excitement is still going strong is down to everybody involved for sure.

There is a large metaplot that we circle around with our character-level stories: Magic and the gods have fallen dormant after a cataclysmic "war to end all wars" some half a dozen centuries ago. So long that even the species with the longest lifespan had only their grandparents to ask "was magic real?", that is until it finally started to return. The gods talked again, and not all of them were happy. Magic is in the air once more, but people had forgotten that it could burn just as well as heal. A blood moon has joined the white circle in the sky to bring ill tidings. As always, with more power floating about the world does not become a nicer place. This brings us to the title - we're at a tipping point.

The players are peeling away at the layers of the story at large thread after thread, some having been in the game from the start while others joined us a little later. Two groups are experiencing things on the "local" level, which gave us a chance to dive into multiple places at once. That's coupled with the fact that I've done many solo threads as well, diverging and recombining threads to make the most of the world we've created.

A fair amount of things have happened to both groups, so I will only give the briefest summary. Human invaders have been fought off, ones that appeared through magic from a place half the world away and brought with them icy beasts and stones of magical power. Demons have been fought, the existence of cults uncovered. The heroes entered the service of a powerful noble to try and reclaim an island purged from all maps for being "cursed" after a great historic betrayal. Elsewhere, other characters encountered a sadistic circus director and helped with a ritual that while intended to "shrink" the blood moon summoned deformed monsters that devoured a palace. They helped exiles and other travellers. They found a magical tree that grew from beneath a city so fast and so tall it lifted an entire temple up in the air.

Because it's not an easy game to summarise and keep track of we have many threads in the game folder that detail what has happened so far, who the races are and what they are like and what countries and places exist in the world. Those might well be worth a little gander, but I believe the scenes stand on their own.


Scene #1: Group One, Book Two, Chapter 1: To scout a ruinScene Name: To scout a ruin
Post 168+

Scene Description:
I picked this scene because it coincidentally includes a lot of "standard" creatures, for example an Ettin, and of course because there were some really nice interactions in it. You can see different approaches of different characters and how they meshed in game and get a peek into some of what's been going on that's palatable without too much that needs endless explanation.

The group has been tasked to go to the ruin of a castle close to a legendary and near-forgotten island, which lies atop a tall spire of blue obsidian sticking out of the ocean no less. There were talks of possible habitation of said ruins from the first round of scouts that were sent, and the character's job is to deal with the natives in the best way possible - ideally either making them leave or bring them into the fealty of their employer through diplomatic means, a Prince of a nearby Kingdom that wants to get away from his own murderous family. But what they encountered were near savages skulking about the rocks in a place where nothing but moss grows, led by a brutish giant with two heads, which made it seem like friendly relations might be quite difficult to achieve. In fact, they were only not attacked because they found a hall that the natives think is haunted and won't enter, so which was a safe space. They've brought some gifts meant to appease in the vein of baubles and shinies, but found that what is really wanted is steel and food. They are about to find out that nourishment is really desperately lacking. The ten posts do not get into the more choice bits about that last fact, but read on if you are interested.


Scene #2: Group Two, Book One, Chapter 3: The tree of wisdomScene Name: The tree of wisdom
Post 78+

Scene Description:
The second group is working a different part of the world where naturally strange things are also happening, things which unbeknownst to them are connected to the first group and the setting at large.

After having witnessed much weirdness the group was very keen on finding out about the reasons behind it all - the characters all having slightly different motivations for this, of course. To that effect they were following up a tip that one character was given to seek out a certain wise person called Mayouni, who supposedly has concrete answers for them. They traced him to a certain island only to find that its capital has been torn up by a gargantuan tree that sprung up seemingly overnight, lifting most of the temple district in the air. Of course, their wise man climbed the tree to inspect this curious phenomenon, so they had to do the same. After fighting through the jungle held up by the massive branches they arrived at a lone temple that has survived being lifted into the air unscathed. There they found an empty camp, but no Mayouni. Beckoned forward by strange animated seeds they enter the temple, assuming this is where he has to be.

There were quite a few great moments in this group, but because for a large part they were split from each other I landed on this segment. It's the most recent event in their story and was a blast to write, so I thought it is well worth showing off.
  #14  
Old Apr 14th, 2021, 12:32 AM
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Sassafrass Sassafrass is offline
Man・Earth・Sky
 
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Posts: 17,827


Dramatis Personae
Path of DevilsPath of Demons
  • Retry as Ravinia Mudbelle
  • kymel as Edmund Trellian
  • hafrogman as Caleb Shaw
  • UngainlyFool as Malconus Galt
  • Vislands as Cosmas Hazechild
  • with
  • Odyssey as Sonya Blackwood
  • The Rat Queen as Bethrynna Liadon
  • Anea as Unferth Thanagor
  • phinar as Erna Luckschild
  • Silent Rain as Sarillar
  • In the Mix as Bethani Johansdottir
  • Sassafrass as Relena Goodknight
  • with
  • DanshiiWithWulfs as Solas Harann
and
DaysUntold as the Dungeon Mistress

A city goes missing off the face of Faerun. Will Baldur's Gate be the next target? Xenophobia erupts during a refugee crisis, and a city already on the edge threatens to topple into the Nine Hells themselves.

Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus is an adventure of dark temptation and unlikely redemptions, with the immutable DaysUntold at the helm. She is our steadfast leader, maintaining our interest and keeping us going. She gives us fantastic NPCs as foils, a fully-realized setting, and more impressively, she is running two groups. If that's not impressive, given that we're basically at the same point in the adventure and she has to maintain two separate continuities, I don't know what counts as impressive.

Days has fully fleshed out the city of Baldur's Gate, making it reactive to us as players. Dark forces are at work and we are all of us deeply curious and ready to dive into Hell to find out more.

Maybe you can dive into Hell with us, too.
Exemplar of Excellence IPosts #59-69
The Path of the Devil is the first group, the fancy ones who don't want to play with me. These losers had fun, and this is proof. A classy bunch, as one of the NPC says, showing an incredible dynamic in a seedy bar in an already seedy town. There's a lot to love here, with this group still hacking away at it, there's a lot to love.
Exemplar of Excellence IIPosts #39-49
Now this one I can personally attest to, though I'm not actually involved in the scene. This is the exact same scene... but a different group doing it. We split in two, with one group playing cards and fitting in, and another.... not doing that and bantering. The scene ends wildly different, too, so if you want to see just how diverse and different things are between these two groups and how Days manages us both wonderfully, these two scenes are beautiful mirrors of each other.

Last edited by Aethera; Apr 16th, 2021 at 11:54 AM. Reason: forum link fix
  #15  
Old Apr 14th, 2021, 03:50 PM
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Nomination: All Things Large and Small

Strange rumors have been swirling the countryside lately, brought back and forth between towns on the tongues of merchants and bards alike. Each whispered tale seems more curious and horrifying than the last. The hill giants are stealing all the grain and livestock they can, while stone giants have been scouring settlements that have been around forever. Fire giants are press-ganging the smallfolk into the desert, while frost giant longships have been pillaging along the Sword Coast. Even the elusive cloud giants have been witnessed with their wondrous floating cities appearing above Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate.

When called to action, how will they answer?
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Name: Storm King's Thunder

DM: DaysUntold

Current Players:
  • hafrogman as Delwyn "Del" Corgan,
  • Smokefire12 as Gell Thundersnout,
  • Nasrith as Vadania Amakiir,
  • Vislands as Estorio Cassalanter,
Retired Players:
  • Odyssey as Koehilas von Okitin.




Reasons for Nomination:

This game has managed to make a living, breathing world out of one of the older and more well-known adventures published for D&D. What could have felt tired and worn, instead feels fresh and immersive, due no small part to the incredible character writers that star in the campaign. From comedic moments with trickster goblins to nail-biting confrontations, each and every post is a crafted piece of art. Each character is expertly devised, with several backstories that interlink while others establish them as relative aliens to the world they currently find themselves in. Regardless of where they started, the relationships between the characters have evolved in such a natural way that it would be easy to believe that the game had been progressing for a decade rather than the year and a half that it currently boasts. Even the fights feel unique, ranging from a confrontation with a single black pudding to getting caught in an epic battle with Zhentarim, orcs, and elves all at once. Despite covid and all of its craziness, the game has been able to remain engaging thanks to incredibly devoted players and a lot of patience. They absolutely deserve this recognition and I can only hope the game keeps going on for a long time to come.

How to Make an Entrance...Scene Name: Swirling Rumors and Hushed Tales #1-10
Scene Description: Four of the characters sit around a campfire after a failed expedition to make contact with local elves on behalf of the nearby town of Nightstone. As they do, individual quirks and interpersonal relationships are put on brilliant display. Meanwhile, Vadania of Evermeet finds herself tumbling through a once-inactive portal, landing her alarmingly close to one of the giants rumored to be stalking the area. A short, panicked run later, she happens upon Del, who merrily proclaims perhaps the best line in the game thus far - "Boss, BOSS! I found one!"

DM Note: This scene was part of the prologue that was concocted in order to take advantage of pre-game excitement while players got their character sheets finished. I don't think I could have ever wished for a group or characters that fell together so quickly. The fact that the chemistry and personalities felt so natural truly attests to the talent of each writer.


Instant RegretScene Name: The Goblin Purge #179-188
Scene Description: Sometimes, after a pretty tame fight or two, it can be easy to become complacent or be goaded into a fight that seems far less dangerous than it turns out to be. A single goblin, while protecting a younger companion, does some serious damage to a couple of the group before running and retreating into a nearby barn. Having been goaded further into the fight and fueled on by injured pride, the characters run straight into a trap, instantly dropping one of the players. The scene drew incredibly human behavior out of those who watched their friend (or family member) fall, with each of them struggling with caring for the wounded and protecting those left. They were eventually able to revive the fallen member and survive the attack, however, the scene has come up repeatedly both in-game and OOC as a formative moment for the adventuring party.

DM Note: It isn't uncommon to see characters fall in fights, but often it feels more like a game of whack-a-mole with a character going down, jumping up, and everyone moving on as if nothing happened. In this scene, the players made the emotional toll and reaction come across so genuinely that it truly felt as if they'd just seen one of their friends take a fatal blow. Each of them had a unique reaction to the event, all lining up so perfectly with their character's personality. They had already done an amazing job developing with character development, but this moment solidified their place in the world and the relationships between them.



Last edited by DaysUntold; Apr 14th, 2021 at 11:01 PM.
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