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Old Mar 15th, 2022, 12:19 PM
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Hall of Fame Nominations 2022

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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.
  • Group 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, 2021); or, the game must have at least 750 in-game posts and have 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 + Seconding 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. You can always have someone second the nomination to get two more! 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; Mar 29th, 2022 at 11:54 AM.
  #2  
Old Mar 15th, 2022, 11:09 PM
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Nomination for Academy of Heroes to Hall of Fame
Name: Academy of Heroes
DM: dalarangreen
Current Players: Imveros, rhaiber, Elvenmaiden, prometheous100, SpatulaOdoom, Solid Snek, cottontailwind

Reasons for nomination: I wasn't going to nominate our game, not this year. I was going to wait until next year or the next year after that until our game has progressed further in its story from its previous nomination to the Hall of Fame for 2020. You see, we are a slow moving game averaging about 1 post per week. So, despite all the machinations in my head, the plot of Academy of Heroes is only beginning to brew like a rich cup of coffee...

But I could not resist the temptation to recognize the writing and creativity of my players this year when I saw that the Hall of Fame nominations had re-opened. The fact that I was considering to the option to delay my nomination for a future year maybe two or three years from now speaks volumes about the dedication of the players in my group and my own belief that this game will live the length of its story arc--a true feat in my experience gaming on the site. I joined the site in 2013, almost 10 years ago, and in that time I have seen countless inspiring characters whose stories were left untold. Countless worlds whose depth and complexity sparked the imagination, only to see them languish for eternity, collecting cyber-dust in the dark corners of the internet.

Hall of Fame games are different. To me, they are games that live on in the collective memories of players on this site, games that continue to inspire new players like me when I first started. When I started my game Academy of Heroes, I aspired to create a game that would make that kind of impact. But being a new GM, I kept my goals humble. However, I am proud to say that, thanks to the amazing contributions from my players, I now think that this game deserves a spot on the walls of the Hall of Fame.

Specifically, here a few aspects of the Academy of Heroes which make it such a rich game:
  • Heroes have humble beginnings... In Academy of Heroes, players play students at an Academy who are young and thus are extremely low level. One of the things I love about this game is how well my players capture what it means to be young and inexperienced. Sure, one day, they may grow to be more powerful (like, maybe level 3 would be great), but for now, I love how they portray their humble beginnings.
    -
  • Even a student can make an impact... In spite of the fact that all the players' characters are low-level, my players consistently find ways to accomplish things through their creativity and inspired writing. As a GM, I partly manage this by playing the game "pathfinder-loose", where we use the mechanics to help drive and inspire the narrative.
    -
  • Rich cast of characters: The Academy has a truly expansive list of old PCs and NPCs which make the Academy grow and feel alive. I have given my players liberty to create a number of the NPCs, including their mentors and some of their important peers. The players may not know this yet, but many of their creations have led to rich story threads which will revisit them someday in the future!
    -
  • Wondrous world: As a GM, I take pride in creating a setting which provides players with a context that is unique and wondrous. The Academy of Heroes takes place in an alternate dimension in which the Academy is situated and players have only started to peak into some of the details and history which provide plenty for them to interact with.

Thanks for reading this nomination and I hope that you'll lurk our game threads sometimes to see how the heroes are doing!

Game Link Samples:

 


 

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Phase 1: routine established until I have to go back to work
Academy of Heroes [DM]
Catrin Gantzlan in The Founding
  #3  
Old Mar 16th, 2022, 11:33 AM
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Name: The Founding
DM(s): Wodine

Current Players:
Jurgen Bauer - Crocodile
Corrivander - Squeak
Theo - Imveros
Catrin Gantzlan - dalarangreen
Hawke Amill - Seekr34

Gulvor - Black Jim
Uncle Istvan - ManicMonky
Girhart the Sage - Elanir
Betar - Admin Dirk
Rufus - Raylorne

Previous Players:
 


Reasons for nomination:

Third time's the charm! *crosses fingers*

"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 three and a half years than that. Each action has led to the next, forming a complex world with our characters at the center. This approach to gaming has been so engrossing that all of the original players are still present almost four years later! How many games even go four years, let alone keep five people's attention glued to the screen. Some might call that luck, but I firmly believe that Wodine has made their own luck in this case.

And it's easy to see how once you read a bit of the adventure. Not only are all the GM posts highly organized, but they paint an engrossing picture of the landscape and the people in them. That fact is made all the more enjoyable by how multidimensional all the NPCs are in this world. They all feel alive when you talk to them. They have things going on in their lives that are more than just dispensing the next quest or dumping the next blob of exposition.

I could also gush about the tactical combats, the fluid way Wodine rolls with the punches, the mood music, or the moral dilemmas, but I'll let the game speak for itself there.

Enjoy!!!

Links:
A Fantastic combat
This game has featured many combats with mixes of tactical nuance, fantastical locations, and narrative stakes, but this combat right here still stands out as one of the favorites I've had on the site. The banter, the set dressing, the interesting mechanics, the tension, what more could you ask for?

Pestilence spread across the woods, threatening the newly founded colony. Our heroes fought their way to the heart of the evil, finding the guardian of the forest fighting against a demon of pure corruption for the future of the region. Will our players succeed, safeguarding all they've built?! Read and find out!

Ruinious Powers

Detour to dreamland
Wodine is always ready to roll with the punches. We fought a fight we weren't supposed to, barely surviving at a terrible cost. Wodine then rewrote the story to include a tribe of shamans that brought us on individualized vision quests exploring our deepest fears to clean our souls of the taint of blood magic.

Not only were the landscapes fantastic and the foes diabolical, but the content of the visions showed a deep understanding of our characters and their motivations. That's the stuff you can only really find in games that have been going solid for years like this one. It takes a lot more than ten posts to wrap up, but you can certainly see where it's going!

Enjoy! I know I did!!!

Face Your Demons
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Old Mar 23rd, 2022, 02:44 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,
  • Humble Hero as the Cintran Bard, Jannic.

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 which has now had two successful seasons. 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 importance of immersion the game focuses on, 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, Jannic who is yet to enter the screaming fray of chaos and confusion and Marsillia with her... Voices. 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, Jannic is a bard so he probably wants to play music or something. The world isn't all doom and gloom either 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. Albeit a malleable one. A group where mutual respect is never brought into question and everyone is here for the fun of being a part of the team.


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 - just recently after a year or so break the game is starting its third thread - and 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 the 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.
  #5  
Old Mar 24th, 2022, 08:46 PM
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An Urban Shadows by Magpie Games game

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Current Cast:
  • kanly, playing Earl King (he/him), defense lawyer and Fae of the summer court
  • Howling Winds of, playing Isa Li (she/her), antique store owner and Vampire
  • PopCultureBard, playing Evalis "Eva" Jimenez (she/her), former gangbanger and Veteran of the streets
  • Elanir, playing Nicophoros "Nic" Evangelou (he/him), addict (possibly former?), psychiatric patient (possibly former?) and Oracle
  • purplerook, playing Jessie MacHale (ve/ver), small bookstore protector and Wizard

Previous Contributors:
  • BinnFord, playing Harm (they/them), a Spectre
  • MarsComulus, playing Restituto "Don Tuto" Caretero (he/him), a Hunter
  • Bhelogan, playing Kurt Heart (he/him), former game-show host and Demon-tainted servant to Cert

with Roekahs as the a.k.a. DMMaster of Ceremonies

-Reasons for Nomination:
First, a nod to Magpie Games and the RPGX charity drive. I didn't know anything about Urban Shadows, but took a shot during the annual drive a couple years ago and "won" a copy, which Magpie had so generously donated. I fell in love with the setting. Thus Blackbrooke was born.

Ok, on to the game we are playing here. This group of players has been outstanding from the beginning and throughout the whole journey. Urban Shadows uses the Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA) engine, which is a bit of a different fair for most players who cut their teeth on D&D-esque games. Of the players, only one had any experience with the PbtA engine, but everyone who has been involved with this game has worked with me to embrace the system and turn this game into something really special. A very brief aside to frame what the players have needed to embrace: the players drive the fiction; every decision, every dice roll is on them, so they have to stretch out of that comfort zone, do things like split the "party" (), and very frequently tell ME what just happened. I just get to tell them the consequences of their actions...

While I built the framework, the players have poured their heart and soul into the fiction to make the city of Blackbrooke amazing. The struggles facing the city, which the characters are dealing with, are more incredible than I could have ever dreamed for this game. From NPC's to landmarks in the city all the way to earthshattering revelations about so, so many things, everyone has added to the lore. Urban Shadows is about political intrigue, factions, and the diversity inherent in any city. Combat isn't necessarily prevalent, but danger lurks around every corner.

Snippets
The Heart of the City
This one was difficult to trim. There is a lot that happens in the game right around these posts, but let's start with a scene that exemplifies the system and the complete player buy-in. There is a split scene going on with players in several different areas. The opening post in this segment, as you will notice, is not a MC/GM post; there is no MC/GM post to set the scene. Elanir's character Nic has a vision that completely flipped the role of an NPC from curiosity, to main feature. The players really do have power! Meanwhile a trio of characters are meeting to discuss dealing with a monster that has entered one of the character's (Harm) safe haven. And last but not least, one of the characters (Earl) is trying to avoid getting his fiance mixed up in all the supernatural goings-ons; a very vulnerable, human moment. Post 18 - 28

Mysterious Creatures
I mentioned that conflict and danger are around every corner. In this scene, outright conflict has erupted. The characters (except Eva who is acting as the comm hub from her warehouse) have set out to rescue a disgraced Fae warrior. Someone missed a roll, though, so I had to throw a curveball; they are also accidentally rescuing Dr. Greenman (remember him from the first scene?). The scene is in a well-respected mercenary group's legitimate skateboard shop business (and Eva's warehouse). There are also a pair of vampires and a wizardess who are hunting for Greenman ... oh, right and the mysterious appearance of beasts from the Fae Wilds. It's pretty chaotic, but I'll be darned if I didn't enjoy every minute of it. Posts 40 - 50
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Status: Stable... for now
GM: Blackbrooke (PbtA) | Legacy (PbtA)
Playing: Bazziox (13th Age) | Jenny (PbtA) | Moemoe (Fate) | Fancy (BitD)
  #6  
Old Mar 29th, 2022, 01:04 AM
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Enter

Link to Reluctant Heroes
Game Setting An alternate timeline 13th-century Earth where the current age was preceded by Robert E Howard's Hyborea, which was itself preceded by JRR Tolkein's Middle Earth.
Longevity The game has been on RPG Crossing since 2018, but has been in play continuously since the 1980s, and online since 2002.
DMs The game has 3 DMs: Rasgorn (Sr DM), Horseman (game designer), and Gibbon (the rudder).
Game Ruleset: Homebrew 3.5 & 5th Edition D&D


PlayersThe game has nearly 30 PCs who are CURRENTLY ACTIVE IN PLAY, with hundreds of retired or fallen player-characters from the past 40 years of game history.

 


Overview
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1) Unique Setting The game blends historical facts with fantasy; feudal nations and structures resemble the real 13th-century Europe, but are tweaked 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, the descendants of those who lived in the times of Middle Earth, still tilling the lands of the Shire.

In the north, Edward Longshanks has just signed a treaty with the Elves for joint rule of Albion, while his son searches the land for the legendary sword Excalibur. To the south, the rotting carcass of the Empire of Aquitania wallows in the corruption of its Senate, past glories all but forgotten, save for the occasional ruined aqueduct and the remains of paved roads to serve as a reminder that once this Empire stretched across the Western World. In the east, the Mongols have just crushed the Caliphate of Bagdhad and the Eastern Aquitanian Empire in Constantinople is losing ground to desert and mountain tribes.

The city of Aachen in the newly risen Kingdom of Lorraine is a haven of arcane knowledge, attracting loreseekers from across the Western World. But nearby Germania has fallen to hobgoblins and war has also come to the Low Countries, with mercenary companies fighting over the spoils, selling their services to the highest bidder. The Blue Wizard has returned from the east and is hunting artifacts in Flanders. And everywhere is the hand of the Church of the West, risen to challenge the old gods of the North and the East, its friars and priests preaching the word of the Creator wherever they go, bringing the new faith to every corner of the world. A schism in the clergy means that the Church of the West currently has two Holy Fathers, one in the traditional seat of Ravenna and one in Avignon. Both are vying for power and the control of the Church.

These are a few of the subplots that players navigate in the game.

2) Game Community This is a game of interlocking scenarios and multiple threads that weave in out and out of each other as time passes. Every year in December, all the PCs join in a common thread for a Yule celebration, where there is drinking, storytelling, poems, song & dance, riddles and other contests, prizes, and even weddings. The event builds camaraderie and shared memories. Players discuss what they have learned in the last year, build new adventuring parties, devise strategies to defeat a particular enemy, and also let their hair down and have some fun together from the various threads.

3) Depth of the Game World Player successes and failures affect the course of the game over the long haul. Actions affect the game's geopolitics and small details. For example, in 1275 game time (2004 real time) the PC Percy Trapspringer planted a magical seed; in 1297 game time (2021 real time), the PC Illian discovered the tree that grew from that seed. One of the two Holy Fathers of the Church is a one-time PC; some of the Church Saints were also PCs, a long time ago...

4) Big Tent Because of its long history, Reluctant Heroes has adapted to blend elements of AD&D, 3.5e, 5e and other systems. That accommodating philosophy extends to the players. The game seeks to recruit and retain players representing a range of backgrounds and nations. It strives to be old-school style gaming for modern players.


Wight Hunt
The cleric Almira has arrived at Blaud Hill, a small settlement where a group of priests and soldiers have sought shelter in an abandoned Chancellery surrounded by goblins, orcs and undead. It's a grim siege, but Almira must venture into the cursed city to complete her mission of hunting down a powerful wight. This sequence of the thread picks up with a GM post, setting up the scene for Almira (played by Ysolde) to lead a small group of NPCs as well as PCs Brenna (a young warlock played by Plaid Peregrine) and Lorawynn (a powerful ranger played by ElvenMaiden) into passageways guarded by mysterious runes and dark forces. Link: Blaud Hill thread, post sequence #13-#23.



Soldiers Path
Our heroes start their journey on the fringes of the fading Byzantine Empire. They serve the military of the East Romans in the resort city of Alanya on the Middle Sea. Demetrios is a young officer in his first command, Dionysius is a seasoned veteran and senior enlisted Soldier here to recover from battle wounds, Varhran is a Parthenian Courtier and Slave to a East Roman noble. They are forced together to defend the city against Goblin Hordes, Orc Shock Troops and Kenku Sorcerers. A conventional siege turns into a wider mystery as our heroes attempt to save their city and the Empire in its twilight years.
https://www.rpgcrossing.com/showthre...92#post9314692

Last edited by Aethera; Apr 15th, 2022 at 09:12 PM. Reason: excess links removed
  #7  
Old Mar 29th, 2022, 06:00 PM
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Ildrahil Ildrahil is online now
Gondolindrim
 
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Name: Reluctant Heroes
Game Setting: An alternate timeline 13th century Earth where the current age was preceded by Robert E Howard's Hyborea and before that JRR Tolkein's Middle Earth
Longevity: The game has been on RPG Crossing since 2018, but the gameworld setting 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 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 nearly 50 years I have played a lot of campaigns, from those developed by Gygax and Arneson to ones developed by local DMs. Some were incredible and some not so much. In Reluctant Heroes, I have found a campaign that not only has longevity and a rich history but is also 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 history has been merged with JRR Tolkien'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. Isn't that what we all crave from our games?

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 scene from from a favorite book, except you are part of it. I sometimes feel like I'm living in an alternate aspect of the Silmarillion while I play this game.

Also, 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. More about that later.

Here are a few glimpses into the game my characters have participated in. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as we, the players of our Reluctant Heroes enjoyed "living" them. If you enjoy them don't hesitate to read more, we love visitors to our Halls.

Yule Celebration
Every year there is a Yuletime Celebration at a different location picked by one of the DMs. There, players and their PCs both old and new can come together to share stories, compete in contests for fun and rewards, and just thoroughly enjoy themselves. Oftentimes players who have moved on due to RL come back with their old characters just for Yule. This is truly a role playing experience, although some amount of rolling is also involved. It is an opportunity for new characters and some old characters of great power to interact. In fact, there was was even a wedding in a prior Yule where a PC married an NPC.


Wrack and Runes
In the Wrack and Runes game thread, our three reluctant heroes (Ulric the Balthi Barbarian played by Murdoch, Shaylyn the Elven Demon Hunter played by Tigra, and Darian the Elven grandson of Ecthelion played by myself) have joined with a group of Danes to fight a malevolent group attempting to unleash an ancient Evil. This evil group is searching for an artifact that will aid them in this endeavor. The three find themselves in a ruined fortress after having just cleared the first floor in a hard-fought battle. While they recuperate from battle they meet a group of Normans and Scots also looking for this artifact and a tense interaction occurs, which provides an excellent opportunity for some role playing. Unbeknownst to any of them, this fortress has indications that long lost Elven Houses thought to be destroyed during the sacking of Gondolin in the times of the Silmarils may still exist. Follow this link, brave reader if you would like to learn more about the trials and travails of our three heroes...


All in all, this is the best thought-out and run campaign I have ever had the good fortune to be a part of. What sets this apart and makes it worthy of induction into the Hall of Fame is the breadth of action going on throughout the various threads, which all intertwine to influence world events, and the depth of the history of this world, built up over its four decade lifespan. Again, I heartily second this nomination.
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  #8  
Old Apr 3rd, 2022, 01:11 PM
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Under Auril’s Dark Mantle
The CastDM: Jon
Players:
Begon Ugo: as Trixton, the gnome necromancer
Berith: as Halpas, the half-elf hexblade
Bluejack: as Barnaby, the human battlemaster
Coldbones: as Perris, the elf rogue
Jennifer: as Drusilla, the fallen half-elf paladin, and Leah, the human fighter/cleric


Reasons for nominationUnder Auril’s Dark Mantle began on Dec 5, 2018. It has been 1202 days since the game began. In that three year, three month span of time there have been 1496 in game posts… and here is the kicker… it has been the five original players since day one. How rare is that?

Jon is a masterful DM. He tells a story as good as anyone and what is particularly refreshing is that he does not hold back his punches. His world is full of danger and foolish decisions are quickly repaid in full. The constant danger has a real effect on the players where we believe that our actions have true consequences. I can still feel the visceral pain of having to leave the injured Drusilla behind in the dark tower… abandoning her to her bloody fate in the party’s desperate rush to escape. Or more recently the anger at having to leave behind a small pile of frozen treasure due to some kobolds warning that it might be a dragon hoard.

Luckily we took heed of that warning and only saw the dragon as it passed by in the sky… from a safe distance away. I have no doubt that Jon would have TPK’d the entire party if we had pushed our luck.

The story is now entering its fourth phase. The first and second phase was a fairly simple dungeon delve, on the trail of evil necromancers last seen heading for the sunken citadel. This turned nasty with one of the party dying and the rest of us literally running for our lives through the maze of the citadel and back to the village of Oakhurst. The renewed party gets their revenge and gets to the bottom (literally) of the citadel. This ended with the vanquishing of one of the group of necromancers and the destruction of the evil heart of this citadel. However, it also led to the discovery that the rest of the necromancer party were heading north, first to Neverwinter and Luskan and ultimately to the very north of Icewind Dale.

The third phase started with what should have been comfortable down time in Neverwinter. Now, those who have played with Begon may know his characters frequently do silly and dangerous things. This game was no exception – and his character found himself arrested and being deported on a prison ship to the notorious Revels End prison on the icy shores of Icewind Dale along with one of the very necromancers they had been pursuing from the citadel.

However, halfway through the journey, the prison ship was assailed by zombie sea gulls and whales as part of a successful attempt to spring the fleeing necromancer. The party fought valiantly for the ship and the captain looked the other way while they took a lifeboat and rowed for safety on the icy wilderness.

And right now, the group are arriving in the Ten Towns. Who knows what fate awaits them?!

Game Link Samples:

All aboard!The heroes have found themselves boarding the Shatter for a long sail up north towards Ten Towns. Trixton the gnome is in shackles and the rest of the party has no idea why. The following series of posts does a great job of setting the scene and showcasing the personalities of the characters: Leah’s disapproval, Barnaby’s attempt to make the best of everything, Perris’ worry… and Halpa’s refusal to care. Great stuff!

Sail away

Dead NecromancerThe long battle through the Sunken Tower has reached its end as the party battles a group of necromancers and a towering corrupted tree. The battle has been a barn burner and Leah lays dying even as the necromancer is slain. Each member of the party has their own priorities and again the well crafted personalities of the group are showcased. This was our first real taste of success and it was bittersweet.

Semi-skilled blades
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Last edited by Begon Ugo; Apr 3rd, 2022 at 01:12 PM.
  #9  
Old Apr 6th, 2022, 02:51 PM
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Under Auril’s Dark Mantle – Seconding nomination

The Basic Data
Name: Under Auril’s Dark Mantle (https://www.rpgcrossing.com/forumdisplay.php?f=19885)
DM(s): Jon
Current Players: Begon, Berith, Bluejack, Coldbones, Berith
(No past players - everyone has stuck the course!)


Reason for nomination
I really enjoy running the game. Begon has kindly summed up a lot of what is good about the game in his nomination – I thought I’d add a couple of things further as the DM.

The players! The thing about this group is that they love to play, they love to write and they keep on bringing quality year after year. That first fizz you get in the first dozen posts of the game? Well we saw it again: when the gang returned battered and bruised from their first foray into the citadel … we saw it again in the interlude in Neverwinter. We saw it again as they boarded the ship bound for Icewind Dale. We never stop seeing it to be honest. Which means as DM, it’s a joy to see what they bring every time they post and an inspiration to bounce off where they are taking the game.

As a Brit, I find it hard to praise my own craft – but here goes. I am proud of what I do too. I build from published sources – in this case the Sunless Citadel and the Rime of the Frostmaiden. But I don’t run the scenario – I use their location to build my game. I react to the players and let them take it off the rails entirely if that is where they are going. For instance, for Sunless Citadel I asked, what if a group of necromancers got their first? What would they do – and how would that change the denizens? I ran that story in my mind, reskinned sections of the game and welcomed a group of young innocent adventurers a nightmare that got worse the further they delved. If I say so myself, it seemed to work.

Now? Well the trail seems to be leading north where the sun does not shine … and I’m taking the same approach to Icewind Dale, including one of the characters being transported on a prison ship, only for chaos to break out when a zombie-whale crashes amidships.

So why does this make it a hall of fame game? I think it’s the combination of well-paced and well-told content that inspires and entertains the players – and players acting and reacting in the game and developing their characters in a way that inspires and entertains the DM. And all this? That is why it’s a hobby we love.




Examples of play
example one: Have I killed the party?!
There’s a moment as DM when you think ‘Have I gone too far? Is this a TPK?’ This is one of those moments. The party had stumbled into the community of goblins living in the heart of the sunken citadel. What's more, in a series of blunders they had managed to separate themselves into three separate groups. What followed was dozens of posts as the group literally ran for their lives, pursued by murderous locals. It was seat of the pants stuff, where your heart was beating as you were writing the post. I could have picked many parts of it, but I picked this section because it had a pivotal moment – the death of Drusilla. This was the moment when one of the PCs fell beneath the goblin’s blades. A shocking moment, particularly in 5e where death is so readily cheated!

https://www.rpgcrossing.com/showthre...26#post8617526

example two: Horror and squabbling
I loved this scene. Its down in the basement of the citadel where I introduced some Jeff Vandermeer inspired horror – which appropriately freaked the party out. What followed however surprised me and was fantastic - it illustrates what a great group of players they are. Each of the characters responded in a different way to the horrific creature they had been exposed to – and those reactions exposed different underlying motivations for each character. The players were being true to their characters and properly interacting with each other in those reactions. This really set a tone and their debate had been a rolling feature of the last eighteen months of play.

https://www.rpgcrossing.com/showthre...63#post8923363


  #10  
Old Apr 7th, 2022, 10:08 AM
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Link to Game: ruffdove's Dead Suns, a Starfinder Campaign.

DM: ruffdove as the ever-patient and always-prepared master of ceremonies.

Players:
  • Silk as Aja Miram, the cyborg Human Mechanic
  • Blackfyre as Grix, the indefatigable Ysoki Operative
  • Nevynxxx as Matsu, the estranged Lashunta Soldier
  • Khalil as Mendev Malone, the social chameleon and Human Envoy
  • Unko Talok as T'aro, the would-be pacifist Shirren Mystic
  • Runetide as Vette, the space-pirate Half-Orc Soldier
  • Lord99 as Kurskedeva, the indomitable Vesk Soldier (Retired)












Reasons for nomination:

Boy, howdy, do I have a lot of reason to nominate this game. Without exaggeration, this game has been among my all-time top gaming experiences. It's been running for about 2.5 years, and in that time has accrued some 4,500 posts, for an average of nearly 5 posts per day. In that time, we've only had one player lost and replaced. The dedication of the players really is a testament to how rich and fun this game has been.

With all respect for all the players, ruffdove makes this game. Any GM worth their salt on RPGX is a skilled writer. ruffdove's posts are a pleasure to read. They are detailed but not florid, and breathe life into the world rather than setting a static scene. He is a master of showing rather than telling, using various kinds of in-world signals and media to relay important information. This goes not just for his in-game posts, but also for the threads compiling world information. He paints a picture through news outlets and travel guides. His organization as a GM is remarkable. The forum organization and world information is also top-notch. He hardly ever misses an important bit of player information, and there have been hardly any miscommunications in a relatively complicated and crunchy system. This is all the more impressive because there were multiple players (including yours truly) who weren't familiar with the system when the game began. ruffdove has helped players learn and adapt to the system without the game slowing down a bit.

The players and characters are also amazing. One of the players is a professional author (check out the Spellscribed series and The Otherworld Saga!). Another is regularly nominated for (and has won) post of the month. More important than that, though, there is so much wonderful, meaningful character interaction and roleplay. The players build off of each other and help to flesh out the world. The party began as strangers, linked only by their common (and deceased) friend, Duravor Kreel. Over their adventures, they've become fast friends with complex relationships. They've been each others' romantic wing-manperson or drug-dealers. They've helped each other grow, overcoming the trauma of combat, struggles with social anxiety, familial estrangement, and uncertainty in one's abilities. They've collaborated on scientific publications, and played pranks on one another. They've told stories about their past that have made each other laugh and cry. It's been such a wonderful journey.

I know for a fact that multiple people have lurked and read along in this game. If you're looking for some TTRPG lit to fill a few evenings, you could do a lot worse than reading this game. Here's a brief handy-dandy guide to the forum:
  • The Opening Crawl thread contains a summary of the party's adventures so far. If you just want the broad strokes, go here.
  • The Big Damned Heroes thread contains character applications from the start of the game, and an overview of each character's backstory.
  • The Infosphere threads contain information about the locales in each chapter-- delivered with wonderful and varied voice.
  • The Documents, Datafiles, and Devices thread contains important information that the party has learned as they've progressed through the adventure. Best read as you discover it in the chapter itself.
  • The Player Archives folder holds former chapters and infospheres.
  • The Starfinder Chronicles thread contains bits of lore that the players have written up post-adventure for submission to the Starfinder Society. Purely some fun and silly RP.

LinksPicking only two scenes from this game is a crime against play-by-post gaming... but I'll do my best.

The Reluctant Captain. Linked post, plus the post from Blackfyre that follows. The party has just come into ownership of their very own ship, the Sunrise Maiden, and they are making decisions to stay and continue adventuring together. Following the trope of the reluctant leader, Mendev, the mercenary with a complicated past, suggests that ship life isn't for him. He says that, instead, he would see where his life takes him. Grix, the Ysoki with boundless energy and wonder, immediately snaps him out of that silliness with a rousing speech. It's possibly my favorite interaction in a game with many great interactions.

Gifts and Downtime. In this scene, the party is on their way to their next adventure. Before departure, Vette gives each party member a little gift. It was a wonderful bit of roleplaying and legitimately touching. The nine posts that follow it were all wonderful, including rleplay of both downtime and arrival at their destination. I personally loved tying in the fact that T'aro failed their skill checks with Vette's gift to them, playing their failures as them being addicted to choices (a canonical feature of Shirren physiology). But it's a worthwhile read for all of the interactions and character development. Mendev and T'aro discuss the nature of mystical visions. Matsu grows more apprehensive as he approaches his home planet and estranged parents. T'aro wonders why they can't be more like the ship's precise and capable engineer, Aja. Aja keeps up the ruse of the engine "Necell" (a non-existent device) and covers a room in popcorn from sheer terror. And, of course, ruffdove paints a marvelous picture of Castrovel. Enjoy!


"It never gets easier... and that's good." ~Mendev Malone, to T'aro after a particularly bloody battle.
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  #11  
Old Apr 8th, 2022, 09:23 AM
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HOF Nomination

Name: The Wandering and the Lost - A 5e adventure

DM(s): Insacrum

Current and Former Players:
- hafrogman as Baruuk Talonface - Bugbear Ranger
- Pseudonymous as Gristle - Kobold Bard
- Strangemund as Harp Strum - Kenku Rogue
- jbear as An'Mal - Bugbear Barbarian/Bard
- Reliq0770 as Daggonae "Dagg" Bloodbane - Bugbear Monk
- Grozug formerly as Ayaga tor-Zhan - Orc Barbarian

Reasons for nomination

I like to come up with games that are different from the normal derivative of Tolkien, Hickman, or Jordan. I like to explore things from different perspectives. I've tried bad guys. I've tried Dark Sun. I've tried normal people/low fantasy. This time I decided to try something different even for myself. I tried to flip things, and look at things from a different perspective. Look at things from the "Monster's" perspective. I wanted to see things where the Goblins, Orcs, and Lizardfolk weren't evil, but just different from Humans, Dwarves, and Elves. They were just wanting what everyone wants: their own place to live; a place to prosper; a place to survive, and thrive. From that perspective, started the idea of this game, which blossomed into what we (The players and myself) currently have.

When I decided to start this game, I wasn't sure what to expect from the people applying, and more so from those selected to play. I had a rough idea for an adventure and world overall. But I wanted this to be a group game, where the players had input into what happened. I wanted it to be mostly a blank slate where the players could provide input to the world. I wanted to give them the ability to craft a world and setting along with me, not to just play in something that I alone was creating. I didn't want them to experience something I created, but something that we were all creating.

This manifested in many ways. Early on, I only provided one or two NPCs to start the adventure and pulled others out of the background and character write-ups that the group provided during the game's advertising and player selection process. The players came up with the 12 major gods, that I was able to form into the pantheon that we currently have (With a few personal surprises thrown in for later in the game). Any off-hand comments are fodder for me to put things into the game. Their jokes have turned into monsters and NPCs (The dreaded Dire Peacock and Thuula Backbreaker to name a few). In their roleplaying of a character's possible death, they inadvertently created a Limbo, where the characters are evaluated before being sent on to whatever afterlife awaits them. One player's imagination stands out as having created two posts of the month, and one post of the year in this game.

While the game itself is slow, requiring (on average) one post a week, it has resulted in more time to write top-notch game entries. It has also allowed the game to survive two of the dreaded holiday drop-offs and continue strong. The slow pace doesn't force players into short posts to keep up, and it keeps away that sense of burnout or speed drop-off that sometimes results from quick-paced games.

Gameplay Links
Scene 1
The Death of Snepa


An invasion of the camp that the group has just started living at has started. They have no details of what is happening, just that things aren't right. In searching for answers they encountered an injured dwarf assassin in the process of killing a Tortle Cleric that was running for help. They defeated the Dwarf, and tried to help the cleric, but couldn't stop death from claiming her. While the actual scene itself is longer than the ten posts listed, I feel like these highlight the players and their characters at their best within it.

You easily feel the character's sense of pain, loss, and sense of helplessness. The characters took the death of a "friend" hard. It also helped to bring the characters together as a team, as opposed to just being a few people put together to do a job underground. They play off the scene presented, but also to each other like a well-oiled improv group.

Posts #27 - #36

Scene 2
Not in Time


The characters by this point have been given a definitive task. The second-in-command of the entire camp has tasked them with a mission that they might not survive: Get to their leader before the invaders, and help her protect the "eggs". By this time they have dealt with an infestation of Stirges, a cavern of acidic gels, and the almost death of one of their own. They have all found their role within the group, including a group leader that doesn't realize they are the group leader. Their goal is at hand. They are at the finish line. They are there to help Yddraixl and the eggs.

But they are too late. The invaders have gotten their first, and are in the process of capturing the eggs and Yddraixl. All that is left is escape. One of the important parts of this scene is that most of the enemies are from the characters' backgrounds. And the characters begin to realize this.

Posts #174 - #183


  #12  
Old Apr 13th, 2022, 09:19 AM
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Name: Wrath of the Righteous
DM: HenryLockwood
Current Players: Admin Dirk, Admin RonarsCorruption, Khalil, Yoshimi
Former Players: Admin TeufelHeunden, Blackfyre, Gath, Hound, Juniper, ogamodyna, Rolzup

Reasons for nomination: The tension, the excitement, the sheer mythic-ness of this adventure path is a good starting point. Everyone knows that the demons ripped a hole in reality, the Worldwound, and started spreading across Golarion. That was over a century ago, and nothing mortals have done has been able to stop them... until now.

I haven't nominated a game before. This is by far my longest-running game on the site: in preparation for this nomination, I checked the dates, and the first game post was in October 2015. That's over 6 years ago, and we're on Chapter 7 (near the end of the second book of the AP). While completing a full AP is a stretch goal (at this rate, I'd be almost 60 by the time we did), I think we still have the potential to do so.

And as for the real reason, the players: we have Dirk's ratfolk witch, Esprix, naive and innocent and really just trying to do the right thing; Ronars' half-elf arcanist, a cautious wizard who tries not to take centre stage but holds great knowledge at his fingertips; Khalil's arrogant knight reincarnated as a goblin, and his Keleshite inquisitor; and Yoshimi's ratfolk investigator, a cynical city-rat who would probably prefer to be a hundred miles from the nearest demon. That's not even glancing at the well-written, complex, and often tormented characters who have come and gone before.

Game Link Samples:
The Siege of Drezen - in which the heroes attempt to sneak across a fortified bridge, and all the Abyss breaks loose when Ambrosia chooses the wrong name to bluff her way in.

Crusader's March - one of the realities of PbP is that you sometimes have to introduce a new PC, wherever the players happen to be. Bokak is a knight, reincarnated as a goblin - a very ugly goblin. When he fell out of a rift to the Abyss, Esprix panicked and used a slumber hex on him.
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