Diana Jones and Ennies Awards

I had a wonderful time at Gen Con last week, catching up with old friends and making new ones. I’m still recovering from all the fun, but I wanted to give a shout-out to some of the awards given out last week.

Last Wednesday, I hosted the Diana Jones Awards, as I’ve done for the past 11 years, and it was fantastic fun. Because our old venue (Jillian’s) closed, we had to find a new super-secret location, and that gave me a bit of worry, both because I didn’t know the new place at all and because I fretted about people being able to find it.

All that said, it went wonderfully. The place was packed, and everyone seemed to have a great time. I even rode a mechanical bull for the first time in my life and set the time record for the night at 41 long seconds. If you hunt for it on YouTube, you can bear witness to me clinging to it in a way that would have caused a real bull tremendous pain.

My secret? Tip the bull operator well.

The award went to the creators of the book Nordic Larp — by Jaakko Stenros and Markus Montola, published by Fëa Livia — which chronicles the vibrant live-action roleplaying scene in the Nordic countries. It’s an inspiring book, and its win cements the fact that the Diana Jones Award committee is filled with an eclectic bunch of professionals interested in calling out excellence wherever they find it.

Emily Care Boss stood up and read a prepared acceptance speech from the authors, which I loved because it’s always better to actually hand the award to someone, even in proxy. Best of all, she offered to make sure the trophy got into their hands.

I want to thank all the sponsors of the party, but especially Lone Wolf — makers of the excellent Army Builder and Hero Lab, as well as the upcoming Realm Works. I was an idiot and left them off the list of sponsors at the party, and they were truly kind and understanding about it.

Later in the week, I joined Ben McFarland at the cocktail reception for the ENnies Awards. Ben bid on me as his Dream Date, with all proceeds going toward the awards. I often chat and drink with him throughout the show, so his bid is a real show of support for the awards, and I thank him for that.

I had to leave before the awards started so I could make it to the Reactor 88 Studios afterparty, but I found out later that the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, on which I worked as part of the concept team, grabbed three awards. It picked up silvers for Best Game and Best Product, plus a gold for Best Rules. The lion’s share of the kudos for that goes to Cam Banks, who did most of the heavy lifting on the development and especially with wrangling all the creatives on the project.

Congratulations to all the other ENnies winners, and to Nordic Larp. They’re all fantastic representatives of excellence in games.