2019 ENnie Winners and Spotlight Awards

The 2019 ENnies were presented during Gen Con on August 3.

Best Adventure

  • GOLD: Masks of Nyarlathotep (Chaosium Inc.)
  • SILVER: Mothership: Dead Planet (Tuesday Knight Games)

Best Aid/Accessory – Digital

  • GOLD: World Anvil Grandmaster Tier Worldbuilding & Campaign Management Platform
  • SILVER: DUNGEONFOG—Online Map Maker & Authoring Tool

Best Aid/Accessory – Non-Digital

  • GOLD: Masks of Nyarlathotep Gamer Prop Set (H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society)
  • SILVER: Dwarven Forge’s Dungeon of Doom Modular Terrain (Dwarven Forge)

Best Art, Cover

  • GOLD: Call of Cthulhu – Terror Australis 2E (Chaosium Inc.)
  • SILVER: KULT: Divinity Lost, 4th Edition (Helmgast AB)

Best Art, Interior

  • GOLD: RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha Slipcase (Chaosium Inc.)
  • SILVER: Symbaroum Monster Codex (Free League Publishing)

Best Cartography

  • GOLD: Forbidden Lands (Free League Publishing)
  • SILVER: A New Map of Hot Springs Island (Swordfish Islands)

Best Electronic Book

  • GOLD: Sly Flourish’s Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master (Last Word Audio)
  • SILVER: Fear’s Sharp Little Needles (Stygian Fox Publishing)

Best Family Game / Product

  • GOLD: Kids on Bikes (Renegade Game Studios/Hunters Entertainment)
  • SILVER: Dinosaur Princesses (Ardens Ludere)

Best Free Game / Product

  • GOLD: Ironsworn (Shawn Tomkin)
  • SILVER: The Ultraviolet Grasslands (Hydra Cooperative)

Best Game

  • GOLD: Mothership: Player’s Survival Guide (Tuesday Knight Games)
  • SILVER: Dialect: A Game about Language and How it Dies (Thorny Games)

Best Layout and Design

  • GOLD: Symbaroum Monster Codex (Free League Publishing)
  • SILVER: The Black Hack 2nd Edition (Squarehex)

Best Monster/Adversary

  • GOLD: Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos for 5E (Petersen Games)
  • SILVER: Creature Codex for 5th Edition (Kobold Press)

Best Online Content

  • GOLD: Seth Skorkowsky
  • SILVER: The Alexandrian

Best Organized Play

  • GOLD: Cypher Play Numenera Season 18-2: Building Amber (Monte Cook Games)
  • SILVER: Minsc and Boo’s Guide to Stuff and Things (Greg Marks)

Best Podcast

  • GOLD: Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff
  • SILVER: Red Moon Roleplaying

Best Production Values

  • GOLD: Forbidden Lands (Free League Publishing)
  • SILVER: Invisible Sun Black Box (Monte Cook Games)

Best RPG Related Product

  • GOLD: Dark Adventure Radio Theatre: Masks of Nyarlathotep (H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society)
  • SILVER: Miskatonic University: Restricted Collection (Chaosium Inc.)

Best Rules

  • GOLD: Call of Cthulhu Starter Set (Chaosium Inc.)
  • SILVER: Forbidden Lands (Free League Publishing)

Best Setting

  • GOLD: The Fall of DELTA GREEN (Pelgrane Press)
  • SILVER: Call of Cthulhu – Terror Australis 2e (Chaosium Inc.)

Best Supplement

  • GOLD: The Glorantha Sourcebook (Chaosium Inc.)
  • SILVER: The 7th Ed. Guide to Cthulhu Invictus (Golden Goblin Press)

Best Writing

  • GOLD: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Core Rulebook (Cubicle Seven)
  • SILVER: KULT: Divinity Lost, 4th Edition (Helmgast AB)

Product of the Year

  • GOLD: Masks of Nyarlathotep Gamer Prop Set (H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society)
  • SILVER: Forbidden Lands (Free League Publishing)

Fan’s Choice, Best Publisher

  • Chaosium Inc.

Judges’ Spotlight Award

  • The Stygian Library (Dying Stylishly Games)
  • Archives of the Sky (Aaron A. Reed)
  • Sigmata: This Signal Kills Fascists (Land of NOP LLC)
  • plot ARMOR (Mostly Harmless Games)
  • The Elephant & Macaw Banner: Player’s Guide (Porcupine Publishing)

Next year’s judges were introduced:

2020 Judges
Rachel Campbell
Chris Gath
Shawna Ratliff
Guy Sclanders
James Sura

Examples of award

2019 ENnie Award Nominations

The 2019 ENnie Award nominations are out.

The ENnie Awards are an annual, fan-based juried award system for all tabletop RPGs. The ENnies were created in 2001 as an annual award ceremony, hosted by the leading D&D/d20 system fan site, EN World in partnership with Eric Noah’s Unofficial D&D 3rd Edition News.

The winners will be announced at Gen Con on August 2.

Judges’ Spotlight Winners

Best Adventure

Best Aid/Accessory – Digital

Best Aid/Accessory – Non-Digital

Best Art, Cover

Best Art, Interior

  • Invisible Sun, Monte Cook Games. Artists: Samuel Araya, Chris Cold, Martin de Diego, Jason Engle, Inkognit, Aldo Katayanagi, Eric Lofgren, Irina Nordsol, Jim Pavelec, Roberto Pitturru, Sam Santala, David Seidman, Joe Slucher, Zoa Smalley, Lee Smith, Matt Stawicki
  • KULT: Divinity Lost, 4th Edition of KULT – Core Rules, Helmgast AB. Artists: Bastien Lecouffe-Deharme, Marcin Tomalak, Ander Plana, Daniel Comerci, Kamil Mickiewicz, Ashen Studios, Krzysiek Poznanski, Anton Semenov, Alfred Khamidullin, Anton Kuzko, Daniel Karlsson, Bastien Lecouffe-Deharme, Sam Denmark, Evgeny Maloshenkov
  • Legacy: Life Among the Ruins 2nd Edition, UFO Press Limited. Artists:  Tithi Luadthong, Oli Jeffery
  • RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha Slipcase Set, Chaosium Inc. Artists:  Rick Becker, Bernard Bittler, Simon Bray, William Church, Miguel Coronado, Gene Day, Andrey Fetisov, Piotr Foksowicz, Lisa Free, Merle Insigna, Tomasz Jedruszek, Kalin Kadiev, Roman Kisyov, Rachel Kahn, Jennifer Lange, Rhonda Libbey, Michelle Lockamy
  • Symbaroum Monster Codex, Järnringen / Free League Publishing. Artists: Martin Grip

Best Cartography

Best Electronic Book

  • Dinosaur Princesses, Ardens Ludere. Authors: Hamish Cameron, Dana Cameron, Mary Rosalind Valentine
  • Fear’s Sharp Little Needles, Stygian Fox Publishing. Authors: Christopher Smith Adair, Joe Trier, Glynn Owen Barrass, Simon Brake, Stuart Boon, Chad Bowser, Brian Courtemanche, Scott Dorward, Adam Gauntlett, Allan Goodall, Helen Gould, Tyler Hudak, Jo Kreil, Jeff Moeller, Andi Newton, Oscar Rios, Brian M. Sammons, Matthew Sanderson, Jennifer Thrasher, Joe Trier, Jason Williams, Matt Wiseman, Simon Yee
  • Ironsworn, Shawn Tomkin. Author: Shawn Tomkin
  • Sly Flourish’s Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master, Last Word Audio. Author: Michael E. Shea
  • Uncaged Volume 1, Ashley Warren Writes. Authors: Alicia Furness, Alison Huang, Annabeth Lennon, Asa Wheatley, Awkward Bard, Bianca Bickford, Catherine Evans, Dierdre Donlon, Elise Cretel, Emily Smith, lourescentWolf, Gwen Bassett, Hla Rosa, Jen Vaughn, Jessica L. Washburn, Jessica Marcrum, Jessica Ross, Johanna Taylor, Judy Black, Johanna Taylor, Kat Kruger, Kayla Cline, Kelly Dayton, Kristina Sisto Kindel, Liz Gist, Luciella Elisabeth Scarlett, Lynne M. Meyer, Lysa Chen, Ma’at Crook, Maryska Connolly, Masha Lepire, Mellanie Black, Natalie Wallace, Sammy Ward, Samantha Darcy, Wouter Florusse

Best Family Game / Product

  • Dinosaur Princesses, Ardens Ludere. Authors: Hamish Cameron, Dana Cameron, Mary Rosalind Valentine
  • The Hidden Halls of Hazakor, Insane Angel Studios. Author: Scott Fitzgerald Gray
  • Kids on Bikes, Renegade Game Studios/Hunters Entertainment. Authors: Doug Levandowski and Jonathan Gilmour
  • Power Outage: Core Guide Book, Go Nerdy LLC. Author: Bebarce El-Tayib
  • The Tragedies of Middle School, 9th Level Games. Authors: Jacqueline Bryk, Banana Chan, Patrick Clapp, MIichael Faulk, Glenn Given, Doug Levandowski, Kira Magrann, Alex McConnaughey, Brian Neff, Tim Notcon, Ty Oden, Chris O’Neill, Heather O’Neill, Hannah Shaffer, Moira Slater, Scott Slater, Barret Stowe, James Stowe, Tim Notcon, Jay E Treat III, Heather Wilson

Best Free Game / Product

  • Die Laughing, Sliced Up, NerdBurger Games. Author: Craig Campbell
  • Ironsworn, Shawn Tomkin. Author: Shawn Tomkin
  • The Executioner’s Daughter, Ashley Warren Writes. Author: Ashley Warren
  • The Ultraviolet Grasslands – Free Introduction, Hydra Cooperative. Author: Luka Rejec
  • Wayfinder #18: Fey and the First World, Paizo Fans United. Author: Charlie Brooks, Calder CaDavid, Robert Cameron, Benjamin Chason-Sokol, Jeremy Corff, Jason Daugherty, Matthew Duval, Robert Feather, Kim Frandsen, Wojciech Grucha?a, Amy C. Goodenough, Taylor Hubler, Luke Hudek, Chris L. Kimball, John Laffan, Crystal Malarsky, Randal Meyer, Jacob W. Michaels, Daniel Angelo Monaco, Stewart Moyer, Dennis Muldoon, Andrew Mullen, Dave Nelson, Nicholas S. Orvis, Emily Parks, Lyn Perrine, Amanda Plageman, Matt Roth, André Roy, Stephen J. Smith, Kendra Leigh Speedling, Jeff Taft, Brendan Ward, Christopher Wasko, Nicholas Wasko, Kerney Williams

Best Game

Best Layout and Design

Best Monster/Adversary

Best Online Content

Best Organized Play

Best Podcast

Best Production Values

Best RPG Related Product

Best Rules

 Best Setting

Best Supplement

Best Writing

Product of the Year

Pixel Scroll 2/12/19 Fans Scroll In, Where Pixels Fear To Tread

(1) RIDLEY SCOTT’S COGNAC AD. The noted director of Blade Runner, various Aliens movies, and the Apple Mac: 1984 commercial, Ridley Scott, has returned to commercial work this year. First to air was his Turkish Airlines ad for the Super Bowl, and now comes a short video tailored for airing online and on TV during the Oscars:

The liquor brand is promoting its Hennessy X.O cognac in “7 Worlds,” a mix of epic drama and sci-fi odyssey. The video highlights the seven notes of X.O and pays homage to the Oscars with a scene that includes colossal golden figures similar to the Oscars award statue.

Scott, who directed films including “Alien,” “Blade Runner” and “Gladiator,” created a four-minute film for the brand that will air on Hennessey’s site during the Oscars on Feb. 24. A 60-second version airs during the show on ABC.

The YouTube blurb explains:

Hennessy X.O – The Seven Worlds – Directed by Ridley Scott. Each time you taste Hennessy X.O, you go on an odyssey. Seven tasting notes, like seven unique worlds to explore. Seven oneiric stories to convey the incredible richness and complexity of this cognac. …The Seven Worlds are creative interpretations of each tasting note, described by Hennessy’s Comité de Dégustation as illustrations of Hennessy X.O’s taste and feel: Sweet Notes, Rising Heat, Spicy Edge, Flowing Flame, Chocolate Lull, Wood Crunches. Culminating in Infinite Echo. These seven notes are envisioned by Ridley Scott as individual worlds each brought to life through wonderous and extreme physiography.

(2) ZAK SMITH CALLED OUT. Game author Zak Smith, a four-time Ennie Award nominee in 2018, has been accused by several women of sexual assault. One company will no longer do business with him.

The Morrus’ Unofficial En World Tabletop RPG News site summarized the story: “RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour”.

RPG writer Zak S (aka Zak Smith, Zak Sabbath) has been accused by multiple women of abusive behaviour in a public Facebook post by his ex-partner, and two other women.

Zak Smith appeared in the video series I Hit It With My Axe, and is known for the Playing D&D With Porn Stars blog. He has also written several RPG books, most recently for Lamentations of the Flame Princess, consulted on the D&D 5th Edition Player’s Handbook, has won multiple ENnies, and recently worked for White Wolf. As yet, he hasn’t made any public response to the accusations.

The Facebook post referred to is public, and can be accessed here. Consider ALL the content warnings given. Many reactions and links will be found using this search on Twitter.

OneBookShelf / DriveThruRPG President Steve Wieck says they basically won’t be doing business with Zak Smith going forward — “DriveThruRPG Responds to Current Industry News” at OneBlogShelf.

Thanks to everyone for your patience as we deliberated on the situation that has unfolded regarding Zak Smith (aka Zak Sabbath). At DriveThruRPG, we want to do our part to keep bad actors out of the roleplaying community, and we don’t want business relationships with such people. As such, you’d think there wouldn’t be much deliberation needed on our part. However, the situation posed a number of challenges for us to consider in terms of precedent and collateral impact on other parties.

I have decided that we will not accept future titles for sale on DriveThruRPG (or our other marketplaces) if Zak is a contributor on the title. If any publisher has a title-in-process to which Zak is a contributor and this policy would impact you financially, then we’d ask that you please reach out to us via the publisher services link to have a dialogue about that title…

So DriveThruRPG is now banning certain creators? Will whoever the “outrage brigade” complains about next be banned as well?
We all share a responsibility for the health of our hobby. Any demographic measure we’ve ever seen on the roleplaying hobby shows women are under-represented. Things won’t improve if people shirk the responsibility to make our hobby inclusive.

Zak Smith has a long and well-documented history of behaviors antithetical to a healthy community. In light of recent allegations, which we find credible, we think our business and our hobby is better off without him, so we’re doing our part.

Eric Franklin explained the significance of this decision in a comment: “DTRPG/OBS is the largest RPG PDF retailer on the planet, and are the ONLY legal source for many publishers’ games. This is equivalent to Amazon cutting a publisher off – without OBS, it’s super-hard to make money selling RPG PDFs.”

(3) LEGO CAMEOS. Kevin Polowy, in the Yahoo! Entertainment story “How LEGO MOVIE 2 Scored Those Surprising Celebrity Cameos (Spoilers!)” discusses how Bruce WIllis and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg have cameos in the film, with Justice Ginsburg saying she would only be in the movie if her action figure had a small gavel.

But there are a few cameos in the new hit animated sequel that will catch you for a loop. While folks like Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill return as superheroes Superman and Green Lantern, respectively, and DC stars Jason Momoa and Gal Gadot are onboard to voice Lego versions of Aquaman and Wonder Woman, fans who saw the film over the weekend got an unexpected surprise in the bricky form of Bruce Willis playing… well, Bruce Willis (though he bears a striking resemblance to Bruce Willis as Die Hard‘s John McClane).

(4) ERRM, NO. The BBC’s Nicholas Barber asks: “Does The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part match the original?”

Set five years after the original, a new film continues the story of Lego figure Emmet – and it fails to measure up.

Perhaps no sequel could ever have reached the giddy heights attained by The Lego Movie. Written and directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the best cartoon of 2014 was such a magnificently animated and dazzlingly inventive delight that there was probably only one way its follow-up could go. But it is still depressing to see The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part falling so far short of its glorious predecessor.

One obvious reason for the shortfall is that the first film caught everyone unawares. Those of us who walked into the cinema fearing a cynical advert for a Danish construction toy brand found ourselves gawping instead at a daring Orwellian satire, the exhilarating and hilarious adventure of a cheerfully conformist construction worker, Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt), who learns that the tyrannical Lord Business (Will Ferrell) plans to glue every one of Bricksburg’s Lego citizens into place….

(5) NOT PRIME ENOUGH? The Counterpart TV series has been cancelled. (At least in this universe.)

Creator Justin Marks announced Monday on his verified Twitter account that the premium cable network has opted to cancel the drama starring J.K. Simmons after two seasons. The news comes ahead of Sunday’s season two finale, which will now serve as a series finale should another outlet not pick up the Media Rights Capital-produced drama.

(6) MARVEL MIGRATION. Hulu looks like the new home for Marvel TV programs: “Marvel, Hulu Set Four-Show Animated Slate”. The Hollywood Reporter has details:

As Marvel’s Netflix relationship sours, the comic book powerhouse is entering a new pact for a slate of four animated series with Hulu.

The streamer — soon to be majority controlled by Marvel parent Disney as part of the Fox asset sale — has greenlit four animated series (and a special) as part of a new partnership with the comic giant.

M.O.D.O.K. centers around an egomaniacal supervillain with a really big head and a really little body, who struggles to maintain control of his evil organization and his demanding family. Writers Jordan Blum and Patton Oswalt will also executive produce.

Hit-Monkey tells the tale of a wronged Japanese snow monkey, mentored by the ghost of an American assassin, as he cuts a wide swath through the Tokyo underworld in this darkly cinematic and brutally funny revenge saga. Writers Josh Gordon and Will Speck will executive produce.

Tigra & Dazzler Show is a story about two woke superheroes and best friends, Tigra and Dazzler, as they fight for recognition among powered people who make up the eight million stories in Los Angeles. Writers Erica Rivinoja and Chelsea Handler serve as executive producers.

Howard the Duck is trapped in a world he never made, but America’s favorite fighting fowl hopes to return home with the help of his unstoppable gal pal Beverly before the evil Dr. Bong can turn him the crispiest dish on the menu. Writers Kevin Smith and Dave Willis will also executive produce.

The Offenders follows MODOK, Dazzler, Tigra, Hit Monkey and Howard the Duck as they are all forced to team up in order to save the world and certain parts of the universe.

(7) HOLLOMAN OBIT. Master costumer D. Jeannette Holloman (1955-2019) died February 11.

Jeannette was a founding member of the Greater Columbia Fantasy Costumers Guild. Her costumes have been featured in Threads magazine and The Costume Makers Art. She has participated several WorldCon, CostumeCon and Malice Domestic award-winning costumes. She was a noted voice-over artist. She is survived by her husband Ron Robinson, author, costumer, and technocrat. She also leaves a vast number of good friends.

(8) SMITH OBIT. British fan Tony “Blindpew” Smith died of cancer on February 9 according to the Novacon 49 Facebook page. He is survived by his wife Wendy and his family. Smith was an early member of the Peterborough SF Club.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born February 12, 1920 Russ Chauvenet. He co-founded the National Fantasy Fan Federation, with Damon Knight and Art Widner, and was a member of First Fandom. He coined the word “fanzine” in the October 1940 issue of his fanzine Detours and was for many years a member of the Fantasy Amateur Press Association. He later coined prozine, a phrase for professionally published magazines containing SF stories. It looks like he wrote one piece of fanfic called “If I Werewolf”.  He shares credit for it with Harry Jenkins, Jr., Elmer Perdue, Jack Speer, Wilson Tucker and Arthur L. Widner, Jr. and it was published in Spaceways, January 1942. (Died 2003.)
  • Born February 12, 1922 Sam Youd. Best known for writing under the name of John Christopher, which he used when he penned The Tripods series. A BBC and Seven Network (Australia) series would be made from the books. He also wrote two other genre novels, The Death of Grass and The Guardians. (Died 2012.)
  • Born February 12, 1933 Juanita Ruth Coulson, 86. She apparently is well-known for her Children of the Stars books though I’ve not heard of them. She co-edited the fanzine Yandro for many years. The magazine won the Hugo in 1965, thus making Coulson one of the very first women editors to be so honored. She’s also known for being an excellent filker. She was inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame in 1996.  She was nominated for several Pegasus Awards for filk music, winning the award for Best Writer/Composer in 2012.
  • Born February 12, 1942 Terry  Bisson, 77. He’s best known for his short stories including “Bears Discover Fire,” which won the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award and “They’re Made Out of Meat.” His genre novels includes Talking ManWyrldmaker and a rather superb adaptation of Johnny Mnemonic
  • Born February 12, 1950 Michael Ironside, 69. Ahhhh, he of Starship Troopers fame. His first SF role was actually as Darryl Revok in Scanners. Later roles included Overdog in Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, Ricther In Total Recall, General Katana in Highlander II: The Quickening and of course Lt. Jean Rasczak In Starship Troopers. Now he also did some series work as well including being Ham Tyler on V The Final Battle and V The SeriesseaQuest 2032 as Captain Oliver Hudson, General Sam Lane on Smallville and on the Young Blades series as Cardinal Mazarin. 
  • Born February 12, 1952 Steve Szilagyi, 67. This is going to get very meta. Photographing Fairies, his first novel, was short-listed for the 1993 World Fantasy Award. But the novel itself is based on the Cottingley Fairies hoax so is the novel a metanarrative? Ok I’ve been up too long again. At any rate the film made the novel starring Ben Kingsley is first rate.

(10) COMICS SECTION.

  • In its own way, Non Sequitur asks whatever happened to that sense of wonder?

(11) TOLKIEN TRAILER. Oxford, WWI, true love – it’s all in Tolkien, the biopic, arriving in theaters on May 10.  

TOLKIEN explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the “fellowship” apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-Earth novels.

(12) STAR STRUCK. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] One of pop star Ariana Grande’s tracks on her new album is called “NASA,” though it’s more about self-empowerment than space exploration. That didn’t keep there from being some cross-talk (Bustle: “Ariana Grande’s Twitter Exchange With NASA & Buzz Aldrin Perfectly Shows Why She’s Such A Superstar”) featuring Twitter exchanges between NASA and Grande plus between Buzz Aldrin and Grande. For the latter, she seemed a bit, shall we say, star struck.

Another article (The Atlantic: “A Space Nerd’s Reading of Ariana Grande’s ‘NASA’ Song”) notes that the song begins “with a reimagining of Neil Armstrong’s famous line: ‘This is one small step for woman / One giant leap for womankind.’” Self-empowerment indeed.

(13) THE RIGHT-ER STUFF. TV will take another look at America’s space pioneers.Variety: “Nat Geo Orders Adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s ‘The Right Stuff’ to Series”.

National Geographic, in partnership with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way and Warner Horizon Scripted Television, has greenlit to series an adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s 1979 book “The Right Stuff,” which recounts the early days of the U.S. space program and its astronauts.

Using Wolfe’s book as a jumping-off point, the first season begins in 1958, the height of the Cold War, with the Soviets leading the space race and the U.S. launching NASA’s Project Mercury. The best-selling book was previously adapted into a feature film in 1983.

The show is described as taking “a clear-eyed, non-nostalgic look at the lives of these ambitious astronauts and their families, who became instant celebrities in a competition that would either kill them or make them immortal.” Following seasons will follow the Apollo Space Program, the moon landing, and other missions.

(14) THE FUTURE IS UNEVENLY DISTRIBUTED. BBC asks, “Sweden’s Cashless Experiment: Is It Too Much Too Fast?”

Cash is still king around the world, but there are pockets of places, especially in Europe, moving away from cash. And no one is dropping cash as fast as Sweden.

In 2018, only 13 percent of Swedes reported using cash for a recent purchase, according to a nationwide survey, down from around 40 percent in 2010. In the capital, Stockholm, most people can’t even remember the last time they had coins jingling in their pockets.

By contrast, around 70 percent of Americans still use cash on a weekly basis, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center.

In Sweden, however, especially in bigger cities, going cashless is becoming the norm. Purchases usually happen as digital transactions — by card, online or with Sweden’s most popular mobile payment app, Swish.

…But all this change has also spurred a debate in the Nordic nation over the consequences of how quickly Sweden is going cashless, especially for the most vulnerable groups in society. Many retirees, people with disabilities and newly arrived refugees struggle with digital transactions.

“If you go to a bar or if you go to some shops, they say to you that the only way to pay is to pay with cards or this Swish system,” explains 75-year-old Christina Tallberg, who is president of the Swedish National Pensioners’ Organisation.

She says that even going to public toilets can pose a problem. These often cost 10 kronor (around a dollar) in Sweden, but the toilets rarely accept cash these days.

(15) OF THIS EARTH. Dylan Narqvist has translated his research into graphic form —  

He’d love to sell you a copy of the “World Map of Alien First Contacts in Popular Motion Pictures – Poster”. Here’s an excerpt of the detail —

(16) THE ONE ELLISON TOOK HIS NAME OFF. Cancelled SciFi tells you how to watch Cordwainer Bird’s 1973 TV show: “Streaming Finds: The Starlost Has Its Own Roku Channel”.

The Skinny: This oddity from the 70’s is not well known, but some sci fi fans may be interested in checking it out. It was a Canadian production that was syndicated in the U.S. and that ran for only one season of sixteen episodes. It was created by Harlan Ellison and his script for the pilot even received the Best Original Screenplay award from the Writer’s Guild of America. But Ellison distanced himself from the show after growing disillusioned with the production direction (the studio made many changes and recorded the show on video tape like classic Doctor Who), and had his name removed from the credits (replaced with his usual protest moniker Cordwainer Bird). The resulting series was not great, but still of interest to fans of 70’s sci fi. 2001: A Space Odyssey‘s Keir Dullea was one of the leads in the series and Star Trek‘s Walker Koenig showed up in a couple of episodes as an alien.

Apparently this series has slipped into the public domain and a Roku channel titled–what else?–The Starlost has been set up with the entire sixteen episodes available for streaming.

(17) LIVING ON MARS. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] The Verge: “The company that promised a one-way ticket to Mars is bankrupt”.

As the subheading says, “What a shocker.” (Not.) 

Mars One Ventures — the company that claimed it was going to send hundreds of people to live (and ultimately die) on the Red Planet — is now bankrupt, according to Swiss financial notices. It’s an unsurprising development, as many experts suspected that Mars One has been a scam for years, preying on people’s desires to travel to space without having a real plan to get them there. 

—On the other hand—

CNBC:   “Elon Musk: Moving to Mars will cost less than $500,000, ‘maybe even below $100,000’”.

Elon Musk says he is “confident” moving to Mars will “one day” cost less than $500,000 and “maybe even” cost below $100,000.

While the final cost is “very dependent on [the] volume” of travelers, Musk said the cost of moving to Mars will be “low enough that most people in advanced economies could sell their home on Earth [and] move to Mars if they want.” (The median home price in the U.S. is $223,900, according to Zillow.)

Mike Kennedy says, “Hmmm, I move to Mars and weigh about 60% less? I would say ‘sign me up NOW,’ but I suppose that people who move there will be expected to work and I don’t want to un-retire.”

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, ULTRAGOTHA, Errolwi, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jack Lint.]

2018 ENnie Winners and Spotlight Awards

The 2018 ENnie Awards were presented during Gen Con on August 3.

Best Adventure

  • GOLD: The Dark of Hot Springs Island (Swordfish Islands)
  • SILVER: Delta Green: A Night at the Opera (Arc Dream Publishing)

Best Aid/Accessory

  • GOLD: Hex Kit (Cone of Negative Energy)
  • SILVER: Conan GM Screen (Modiphius Entertainment)

Best Art, Cover

  • GOLD: Harlem Unbound (Darker Hue Studios)
  • SILVER: Critical Role: Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting (Green Ronin)

Best Art, Interior

  • GOLD: City of Mist (Son of Oak Game Studio)
  • SILVER: Frostbitten & Mutilated (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)

Best Blog

  • GOLD: Gnome Stew (www.gnomestew.com)
  • SILVER: Sly Flourish (http://slyflourish.com/)

Best Cartography

  • GOLD: The Midderlands – An OSR Setting & Bestiary (MonkeyBlood Design & Publishing)
  • SILVER: Starfinder Pact Worlds (Paizo Inc.)

Best Electronic Book

  • GOLD: Delta Green: A Night at the Opera (Arc Dream Publishing)
  • SILVER: Scenario from Ontario (Kiel Chenier & Zzarchov Kowolski)

Best Family Product

  • GOLD: Khan of Khans(Chaosium Inc.)
  • SILVER: Heavy Metal Thunder Mouse (Shoreless Skies Publishing)

Best Free Product

  • GOLD: Runequest: Quickstart Rules and Adventure (Chaosium Inc.)
  • SILVER: Tabletop Audio (https://tabletopaudio.com/)

Best Free Game

  • GOLD: High Plains Samurai: Legends (Broken Ruler Games)
  • SILVER: Saga of the Goblin Horde (Zadmar Games)

Best Game

  • GOLD: Zweihänder Grim & Perilous RPG (Grim & Perilous Studios)
  • SILVER: Delta Green: The RPG (Arc Dream Publishing)

Best Miniatures Product

  • GOLD: Star Trek Adventures Miniatures: The Next Generation (Modiphius Entertainment)
  • SILVER: Double-Sided Dry-Erase Tiles (Gaming Paper)

Best Monster/Adversary

  • GOLD: Frostbitten and Mutilated (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)
  • SILVER: Down Darker Trails (Chaosium Inc.)

Best Organized Play

  • GOLD: Lost Tales of Myth Drannor (D&D Adventurers League)
  • SILVER: End of the Line (Michael Maenza)

Best Podcast

  • GOLD: Miskatonic University Podcast
  • SILVER: Fear of a Black Dragon

Best Production Values

  • GOLD: Delta Green: The RPG (Arc Dream Publishing)
  • SILVER: Star Trek Adventures: Collectors Edition Core Rulebook (Modiphius Entertainment)

Best RPG Related Product

  • GOLD: Khan of Khans (Chaosium Inc.)
  • SILVER: Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game (Evil Hat Productions)

Best Rules

  • GOLD: Delta Green: The RPG (Arc Dream Publishing)
  • SILVER: Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook (Modiphius Entertainment)

Best Setting

  • GOLD: Harlem Unbound (Darker Hue Studios)
  • SILVER: Frostbitten and Mutilated (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)

Best Supplement

  • GOLD: Reign of Terror (Chaosium)
  • SILVER: Shadowrun Dark Terrors (Catalyst Game Labs)

Best Website

Best Writing

  • GOLD: Harlem Unbound (Darker Hue Studios)
  • SILVER: Frostbitten and Mutilated (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)

Product of the Year

  • GOLD: Zweihänder Grim & Perilous RPG (Grim & Perilous Studios)
  • SILVER: Delta Green: The RPG (Arc Dream Publishing)

Fan’s Choice, Best Publisher

  • GOLD: Wizards of the Coast
  • SILVER: Chaosium Inc.

Judges’ Spotlight Award

  • Fever Swamp (Melsonian Arts Council)
  • Operation Unfathomable (Hydra Cooperative)
  • FAITH – The Sci-Fi RPG 2.0 (Burning Games)
  • Winterhorn (Bully Pulpit Games)
  • Pip System Corebook (Third Eye Games)

Examples of award

2018 ENnie Award Nominations

The 2018 ENnie Award Nominations are out. The annual awards are given for RPG products, RPG games, RPG accessories, and RPG related items.

This year the judges considered a record 514 submissions from 251 publishers and creators. Among the finalists are 72 unique publishers/creators in the 23 award categories and Judge’s picks.

Fans still have until July 7 to nominate their 2018 Fan Favorite Publisher.

ENnie Award winners will be announced on August 3 during GenCon in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Best Adventure

Best Aid/Accessory

Best Art, Cover

Best Art, Interior

  • The Happiest Apocalypse on Earth, Christopher Grey Artist: Robert Hebert
  • Frostbitten and Mutilated, Lamentations of the Flame Princess Artist: Zak Smith
  • Atlas Animalia, Metal Weave Games Artist: Sarah Dahlinger
  • City of Mist, Son of Oak Game Studio Artist: Marcin Sobo?
  • Starfinder Core Rulebook, Paizo Inc. Artists: Alexandur Alexandrov, David Alvarez, Rogier van de Beek, Leonardo Borazio, Tomasz Chistowski, Taylor Fischer, David Franco Campos, Sebastien Hue, Guido Kuip, Robert Lazzaretti, Mikaël Léger, Víctor Manuel Leza Moreno, Setiawan Lie, Damien Mammoliti, David Melvin, Mark Molnar, Mirco Paganessi, Jose Parodi, Miroslav Petrov, Hugh Pindur, Roberto Pitturru, Pixoloid Studios (Aleksandr Dochkin, Nothof Ferenc, Gaspar Gombos, David Metzger, and Mark Molnar), Maichol Quinto, Pavel Rtishev, Connor Sheehan, Firat Solhan, Remko Troost, Leon Tukker, Ben Wootten, Joshua Wright

Best Blog

Best Cartography

Best Electronic Book

Best Family Product

Best Free Game

Best Free Product

Best Game

Best Miniature Product

Best Monster/Adversary

  • Down Darker Trails, Chaosium Inc. Authors: Kevin Ross, Mike Mason, Scott David Aniolowski, David Cole, Todd Woods
  • Freedom City 3rd Edition, Green Ronin Publishing Authors: Steve Kenson, Scott Bennie, DT Butchino, Shawn Carman, Crystal Frasier, Chris Huff, Sean Johnson, Seth Johnson, John Maniha, Professor Christopher
  • Frostbitten and Mutilated, Lamentations of the Flame Princess Author: Zak Smith
  • Uh-Oh Monsters, Monte Cook Games Author: Shanna Germain
  • Starfinder Alien Archive, Paizo Inc. Authors: John Compton, Adam Daigle, Crystal Frasier, Amanda Hamon Kunz, Jason Keeley, Jonathan H. Keith, Steve Kenson, Isabelle Lee, Lyz Liddell, Robert G. McCreary, Mark Moreland, Joe Pasini, F. Wesley Schneider, Owen K.C. Stephens, James L. Sutter, Josh Vogt

Best Organized Play

Best Podcast

Best Production Values

Best RPG Related Product

Best Rules

  • Delta Green: The RPG, Arc Dream Publishing Authors: Dennis Detwiller, Adam Scott Glancy, Christopher Gunning, Kenneth Hite, Shane Ivey, Greg Stolze
  • Harlem Unbound, Darker Hue Studios Authors: Chris Spivey, Ruth Tillman, Bob Geis, Sarah Hood, Neall Raemonn Price
  • Cthulhu Confidential, Pelgrane Press Authors: Robin D. Laws, Chris Spivey, Ruth Tillman
  • Torg Eternity: Core Rules, Ulisses Spiele Authors: Shane Lacy Hensley, Darrell Hayhurst, Markus Plötz, Dean Gilbert, Ross Watson
  • Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook, Modiphius Entertainment Authors: Dave Chapman, Jim Johnson, Patrick Goodman, Ross Isaacs, Bill Maxwell, Jonathan Breese, Nathan Dowdell, John Snead, Oz Mills, Aaron Pollyea, Rob Wieland, Ade Smith, Anthony Jennings, Dan Taylor, Dayton Ward, Michael Brophy, Giles Pritchard, Maggie Carroll, Steven Creech, Shawn Merwin, Sam Webb, Jacob Ross

Best Setting

  • Harlem Unbound, Darker Hue Studios Authors: Chris Spivey, Ruth Tillman, Bob Geis, Sarah Hood, Neall Raemonn Price
  • Freedom City 3rd Edition, Green Ronin Publishing Authors: Steve Kenson, Scott Bennie, DT Butchino, Shawn Carman, Crystal Frasier, Chris Huff, Sean Johnson, Seth Johnson, John Maniha, Professor Christopher McGlothlin, Steven E. Schend, Lucien Soulban, Aaron Sullivan
  • Frostbitten and Mutilated, Lamentations of the Flame Princess Author: Zak Smith
  • Predation, Monte Cook Games Author: Shanna Germain
  • Starfinder Pact Worlds, Paizo Inc. Authors: Alexander Augunas, Judy Bauer, Robert Brookes, Jason Bulmahn, John Compton, Amanda Hamon Kunz, Thurston Hillman, Mikko Kallio, Jason Keeley, Jonathan Keith, Steve Kenson, Lyz Liddell, Ron Lundeen, Robert G. McCreary, David N. Ross, Owen K.C. Stephens, James L. Sutter, Russ Taylor

Best Supplement

  • Shadowrun Dark Terrors, Catalyst Game Labs Authors: Brooke Chang, Kevin Czarnecki, Jason M. Hardy, Alexander Kadar, Adam Large, O.C. Presley, Scott Schletz, Dylan Stengel, R.J. Thomas, Amy Veeres
  • Reign of Terror, Chaosium Inc. Authors: Mark Morrison, Penelope Love, James Coquillat, Darren Watson
  • Doctor Who RPG – The Black Archive, Cubicle Seven Entertainment Ltd. Authors: Walt Ciechanowski, Andrew Peregrine
  • Holy Crap: the Great Sects Change Operation, Mutha Oith Productions Author: Andy Hopp
  • Starfinder Pact Worlds, Paizo Inc. Authors: Alexander Augunas, Judy Bauer, Robert Brookes, Jason Bulmahn, John Compton, Amanda Hamon Kunz, Thurston Hillman, Mikko Kallio, Jason Keeley, Jonathan Keith, Steve Kenson, Lyz Liddell, Ron Lundeen, Robert G. McCreary, David N. Ross, Owen K.C. Stephens, James L. Sutter, Russ Taylor

Best Website

Best Writing

Product of the Year

Judges’ Spotlight Winners

2017 ENnie Award and Spotlight Winners

The 2017 ENnies, the Gen Con EN World RPG Awards, and Judges Spotlight Winners were presented on August 18. The ENnies celebrate excellence in tabletop roleplaying gaming.

And congratulations to the Age of Ravens blog, run by Cat Rambo’s brother, for winning silver in its category.

Best Adventure

Gold: Blood in the Chocolate (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)

Silver: Doors to Darkness (Chaosium)

Best Aid/Accessory

Gold: Call of Cthulhu – Keeper’s Screen Pack (Chaosium)

Silver: Kobold Guide to Plots & Campaigns (Kobold Press)

Best Art, Cover

Gold: Call of Cthulhu – Investigator Handbook (Chaosium)

Silver: Torment: Tides of Numenera — The Explorer’s Guide (Monte Cook Games)

Best Art, Interior

Gold: Tales from the Loop – Roleplaying in the ’80s That Never Was (Free League Publishing)

Silver: S. Petersen’s Field Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors (Chaosium)

Best Blog

Gold: Gnome Stew: The Gaming Blog

Silver: Age of Ravens

Best Cartography

Gold: 7th Sea: Map of Théah (John Wick Presents)

Silver: Call of Cthulhu – Keeper’s Screen Pack (Chaosium)

Best Electronic Book

Gold: The Things We Leave Behind (Stygian Fox Publishing)

Silver: Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure (DIY RPG Productions)

Best Family Game

Gold: Bubblegumshoe (Evil Hat)

Silver: Masks: A New Generation (Magpie Games)

Best Free Product

Gold: 7th Sea: Basic Rules (John Wick Presents)

Silver: City of Mist – Free PDF Starter Set (Son of Oak Game Studio)

Best Game

Gold: Tales from the Loop – Roleplaying in the ’80s That Never Was (Free League Publishing)

Silver: 7th Sea: Core Rulebook (John Wick Presents)

Best Miniature Product

Gold: Achtung! Cthulhu Skirmish: Servitors of Nyarlathotep (Modiphius Entertainment)

Silver: Dungeons & Dragons: Molzur’s Marvelous Miniatures (WizKids)

Best Monster/Adversary

Gold: S. Petersen’s Field Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors (Chaosium)

Silver: Veins of the Earth (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)

Best Podcast

Gold: Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff

Silver: Spellburn

Best Production Values

Gold: Call of Cthulhu – 7th Edition Slipcase Set (Chaosium)

Silver: Unknown Armies Deluxe Set (Atlas Games)

Best RPG Related Product

Gold: Call of Cthulhu: The Coloring Book (Chaosium)

Silver: The ABCs of RPGs (Hunter Books)

Best Rules

Gold: 7th Sea: Core Rulebook (John Wick Presents)

Silver: Adventures in Middle-Earth Player’s Guide (Cubicle 7 Entertainment)

Best Setting

Gold: Tales from the Loop – Roleplaying in the ’80s That Never Was (Free League Publishing)

Silver: The Dark Eye: Aventuria Almanac (Ulisses North America)

Best Supplement

Gold: Pulp Cthulhu (Chaosium)

Silver: 7th Sea: Pirate Nations (John Wick Presents)

Best Website

Gold: Tabletop Audio

Silver: Elven Tower, RPG articles and cartography website

Best Writing

Gold: Tales from the Loop – Roleplaying in the ’80s That Never Was (Free League Publishing)

Silver: Veins of the Earth (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)

Product of the Year

Gold: Tales from the Loop – Roleplaying in the ’80s That Never Was (Free League Publishing)

Silver: 7th Sea: Core Rulebook (John Wick Presents)

Fans’ Choice for Best Publisher

Gold: Wizards of the Coast

Silver: Chaosium

Judges’ Spotlight Winners

The livestream video of the awards ceremony can be viewed at YouTube.

2017 ENnie Award Nominees and Spotlight Winners

Nominees for the 2017 ENnies, the Gen Con EN World RPG Awards, and Judges Spotlight Winners have been announced. The ENnies celebrate excellence in tabletop roleplaying gaming. Voting runs from July 11 to July 21. The winners will be presented August 18. Judges’ Spotlight Winners

Best Adventure

Best Aid/Accessory

Best Art, Cover

Best Art, Interior

Best Blog

Best Cartography

Best Electronic Book

Best Family Game

Best Free Product

Best Game

Best Miniature Product

Best Monster/Adversary

Best Podcast

Best Production Values

Best RPG Related Product

Best Rules

Best Setting

Best Supplement

Best Website

Best Writing

Product of the Year

2016 ENnie Award Nominees and Spotlight Winners

Sample of award medal

Sample of award medal

Nominees for the ENnies, the Gen Con EN World RPG Awards, and Judges Spotlight Winners have been announced. The ENnies celebrate excellence in tabletop roleplaying gaming. Voting runs from July 11 to July 21. The winners will be presented August 5.

Judges’ Spotlight Winners

Best Adventure

Best Aid/Accessory

Best Art, Cover

Best Art, Interior

Best Blog

Best Cartography

Best Electronic Book

Best Family Game

Best Free Game

Best Free Product

Best Game

Best Miniature Product

Best Monster/Adversary

Best Podcast

Best Production Values

Best RPG Related Product

Best Rules

Best Setting

Best Software

Best Supplement

Best Website

Best Writing

Product of the Year

2015 ENnies Presented at Gen Con

The 2015 Gen Con EN World RPG Awards were announced July 31 in Indianapolis.

Best Adventure
Silver: A Red & Pleasant Land (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)
Gold: Horror on the Orient Express (Chaosium)

Best Aid/Accessory
Silver: Black Green Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition RPG Dice Set (Q-Workshop)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Masters Screen (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Cover Art
Silver: Achtung! Cthulhu: Terrors of the Secret War (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)
Gold: Rise of Tiamat (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Interior Art
Silver: The Strange (Monte Cook Games, LLC)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Blog
Silver: Gnome Stew
Gold: ConTessa Tabletop Gaming by Women for Everyone

Best Cartography
Silver: The Guide to Glorantha (Moon Design Publications)
Gold: Ninth World Guidebook (Monte Cook Games, LLC)

Best Electronic Book
Silver: Ken Writes About Stuff Volume 2 (Pelgrane Press)
Gold: Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Family Game
Silver: Atomic Robo The Roleplaying Game (Evil Hat Productions)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Free Product
Silver: 13th Age The Archmages Orrery (Pelgrane Press)
Gold: Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Game
Silver: The Strange (Monte Cook Games, LLC)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Miniatures Product
Silver: Pathfinder Pawns Inner Sea Pawn Box (Paizo Inc.)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Icons of the Realms Elemental Evil Boosters (WizKids)

Best Monster/Adversary
Silver: Achtung! Cthulhu: Terrors of the Secret War (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Podcast
Silver: Miskatonic University Podcast
Gold: Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff

Best Production Values
Silver: Horror on the Orient Express (Chaosium)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set (Wizards of the Coast)

Best RPG Related Product
Silver: Temple of Elemental Evil (WizKids)
Gold: Designers & Dragons: A History of the Roleplaying Game Industry (Evil Hat Productions)

Best Rules
Silver: MUTANT Year Zero The Roleplaying Game (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Setting

Silver: The Strange (Monte Cook Games, LLC)
Gold: A Red & Pleasant Land (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)

Best Software
Silver: HeroLab (Lone Wolf Development)
Gold: Roll20 (Roll 20)

Best Supplement
Silver: Pathfinder RPG: Pathfinder Unchained (Paizo Inc.)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Masters Guide (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Website
Silver: Tabletop Audio
Gold: The Escapist

Best Writing
Silver: D&D Player’s Handbook by Jeremy Crawford, James Wyatt, Robert J. Schwalb, Bruce R. Cordell (Wizards of the Coast)
Gold: A Red & Pleasant Land by Zak S (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)

Fan’s Choice for Best Publisher
Silver: Paizo Inc
Gold: Wizards of the Coast.

Product Of The Year
Silver: A Red & Pleasant Land (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook (Wizards of the Coast)

2016 ENnies Judges
Jakub Nowosad, Kayra KeriKupcu, Kiel Cheiner, Kurt Wiegel, Stacy Muth

Also announced during GenCon:

The Diana Jones Award for excellence in gaming

  • Guide to Glorantha, a role-playing sourcebook by Greg Stafford, Jeff Richard, and Sandy Petersen, published by Moon Design Publications.

ENnies Fill Vacancies Left By Disqualifications

ENnies Award judges have named three nominees to replace the Mass Effect RPG in the three categories where it has been disqualified:

Best Free Product

Valiant RPG Digital Initiative (Catalyst Game Labs)

Best Electronic Book

Dragon Age Core RuleBook (Green Ronin Publishing)

Product of the Year

Designers & Dragons: A History of the Roleplaying Game Industry (Evil Hat Productions)