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Subject: GLAIR 2018 Nominations Now Open Through 2 November! rss

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M. B. Downey
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Somehow Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is actually just barely eligible under a ten year minimum!
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skalchemist wrote:
To get more specific, I would say any RPG entry or RPG Family entry (per the RPGGeek data structure, I think your poll accidentally mislabels RPGs) where the earliest core rulebook RPG item in the database was published more than ten years before the start of the contest nominations. In this case that would mean before October 23, 2008.


Rather than get into day specific, I would just say anything published in 2008 or earlier.
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downeymb wrote:
The Burning Wheel Gold (2021) but eligible now if nominated as Burning Wheel


May I officially change my nomination to the family level then?

Quote:
Robert E. Howard's Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of (2026) but eligible now if nominated as Conan

The former makes sense to me to be nominated at the higher level, but I don't know enough about the latter to know if that family is similar enough or if that would be like saying "all Star Wars games are the same" or "all Lovecraft games are the same".


Pretty much the latter. The Conan family has three distinct games that are not mechanically related: the 1985 TSR one which IIRC used the then-popular action table for resolution (cross-reference your ability, modified by difficulty, with a percentile roll on a chart to determine success), the 2003 Mongoose one (an OGL d20 variant), and the 2017 Mongoose one which runs on 2d20-roll-under.
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dysjunct wrote:
May I officially change my nomination to the family level then?


Yes, done and done!

Quote:
Pretty much the latter. The Conan family has three distinct games that are not mechanically related: the 1985 TSR one which IIRC used the then-popular action table for resolution (cross-reference your ability, modified by difficulty, with a percentile roll on a chart to determine success), the 2003 Mongoose one (an OGL d20 variant), and the 2017 Mongoose one which runs on 2d20-roll-under.


That's what it seemed like in my thirty seconds of research. So I won't push it up to that level.
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Questions for those who know:

Should Rolemaster (1st, 2nd & Classic Editions) be instead listed as Rolemaster Fantasy?

Should Stormbringer (1st, 2nd and 3rd Editions) be instead listed as Stormbringer (but probably not Eternal Champion?

Should Chill (Pacesetter Edition) be instead listed as Chill?
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I went ahead and rolled up things like Top Secret 1/2e and Villains & Vigilantes 1e into their respective more general families of Top Secret and Villains & Vigilantes.

Please review the first post and let me know if that is incorrect.
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downeymb wrote:
This is a weird family, because they are three totally different RPGs with only the setting tying them together. The earliest was a d10 based thing from TSR, the 2nd oldest is a OGL D20 thing, and the latest uses Modiphius's 2d20 System. It includes two AD&D1E module series and also GURPS Conan.

I wonder what this family adds beyond the Hyborian Age setting? I guess it links in the four series as series, not by the individual items? Its a bit redundant, but might be usefully redundant?

Either way, this seems like a case where nomination at the RPG level would be more appropriate than at family level. Or maybe the nomination is for "Conan gaming", in which case I guess it would be appropriate.

One other case that seems clearly similar to me is the Star Trek family, which includes an even bigger grab bag of games and also seems redundant with the Star Trek Universe setting. Bulldogs! is an even clearer example; that one seems like it should really be a setting, not a family, because there is nothing linked to it besides the RPGs and its not well known enough to warrant separate treatment (as arguably Star Trek might be).
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brumcg wrote:
Champions (or HERO - whatever makes the most sense for the awards)


Champions made it to the final eight so was already nominated. Does anyone know whether we should replace it with HERO or leave as is?
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downeymb wrote:
Questions for those who know:

Should Rolemaster (1st, 2nd & Classic Editions) be instead listed as Rolemaster Fantasy?

Should Stormbringer (1st, 2nd and 3rd Editions) be instead listed as Stormbringer (but probably not Eternal Champion?

Should Chill (Pacesetter Edition) be instead listed as Chill?
In my opinion yes to all of the above, but I feel like absolutely confident in the first two. As the person who submitted Stormbringer, I official change my nomination.

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downeymb wrote:

Yes, and yes. Both of those families are umbrellas for varying editions of a single game and thus are better representations of that game for lifetime-award purposes.
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downeymb wrote:
brumcg wrote:
Champions (or HERO - whatever makes the most sense for the awards)


Champions made it to the final eight so was already nominated. Does anyone know whether we should replace it with HERO or leave as is?
This is a very interesting question. I'm nearly certain that HERO as an independent thing from Champions did not exist until the 3rd Edition of Champions (1984). HERO System as a thing was coined by Hero Games to cover all the compatible games they were putting out beginning in 1984 and 1985 (Fantasy Hero, Star Hero, Justice Inc, Danger International, etc.). The first actual HERO System separate rulebook is HERO System Rulesbook Fourth Edition from 1990 as far as I can tell.

All the HERO stuff would not exist without Champions. But Champions is still the major component of the HERO stuff, with far more popularity and play time than any other variation (if GenCon event lists are an indicator). So I think this could go either way, with a slight edge to HERO system rather than Champions.

A minor bit of historical evidence, the game Espionage! in 1983 doesn't make any mention of "HERO System" on its cover, but Justice, Inc. from 1984 and Danger International from 1985 do.
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skalchemist wrote:
I'm nearly certain that HERO as an independent thing from Champions did not exist until the 3rd Edition of Champions (1984). HERO System as a thing was coined to cover all the things compatible games they were putting out beginning in 1984 and 1985 (Fantasy Hero, Star Hero, Justice Inc, Danger International, etc.). The first actual HERO System separate rulebook is HERO System Rulesbook Fourth Edition from 1990 as far as I can tell.

This is a little bit like the way that Basic Role-Playing (BRP) grew out of RuneQuest; there wasn't the same confusion of edition names, but both BRP and HERO were genericisations of specific systems.
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downeymb wrote:
I know I said I was absolutely confident about this, earlier, but now...not so sure.

I think it hinges on the question as to whether Middle-earth Role Playing (1st & 2nd Editions) warrant separate nomination or not. In my opinion, if Rolemaster were to be awarded a GLAIR, then MERP should not be eligible, but Im not sure I would go the other way around. Which makes no sense, but that's the way my mind is working. '

EDIT: this feels like one example where the system entry, Rolemaster Game System, might actually be the best choice, because that would bring along Spacemaster and MERP for the ride.


EDIT2: going back to an earlier nomination, given the discussion I think it would be very reasonable for the nomination to be Hero Wars/HeroQuest instead of just a particular version of Heroquest. All the games in that family have at least as much relationship to each other as existing families that have been nominated, and more than some (e.g. Traveller). Heroquest is functionally a 2nd edition of Hero Wars, so much so that many of the sourcebooks were completely compatible.
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OK I've changed Stormbringer but would like to hear a few more thoughts on Rolemaster, Chill, and Champions/HERO.
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Given 1) the explosion of independent publishing since 2000, 2) the subsequent explosion of electronic and PoD publishing since ~2005, 3) the bias toward older games implicit in a "lifetime achievement" award, 4) the bias toward highly ranked (widely played and highly rated) games, 6) the bias toward early exemplars within game families, and when considered in light of 6) the trend toward increased diversity among TTRPG designers and publishers, introducing a publication date requirement will strongly bias the award toward recognizing individual designers from a very narrow demographic and toward larger traditional publishing companies whose corporate identity will overshadow those on their game development teams, regardless of the team's level of diversity. In short, a publication date requirement would be a commitment to limiting the diversity of awardees for years to come.

Furthermore, the 1) increasing diversity among TTRPG designers and publishers, 2) increasing number of publishers, and 3) increased pace of game publishing have sped up the evolution of RPGs, meaning that recent games can achieve an impact equal to that of older games, despite their shorter lifespan.
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Mease19 wrote:
Given 1) the explosion of independent publishing since 2000, 2) the subsequent explosion of electronic and PoD publishing since ~2005, 3) the bias toward older games implicit in a "lifetime achievement" award, 4) the bias toward highly ranked (widely played and highly rated) games, 6) the bias toward early exemplars within game families, and when considered in light of 6) the trend toward increased diversity among TTRPG designers and publishers, introducing a publication date requirement will strongly bias the award toward recognizing individual designers from a very narrow demographic and toward larger traditional publishing companies whose corporate identity will overshadow those on their game development teams, regardless of the team's level of diversity. In short, a publication date requirement would be a commitment to limiting the diversity of awardees for years to come.

Furthermore, the 1) increasing diversity among TTRPG designers and publishers, 2) increasing number of publishers, and 3) increased pace of game publishing have sped up the evolution of RPGs, meaning that recent games can achieve an impact equal to that of older games, despite their shorter lifespan.


These are very good points you raise. I think it all hinges on "impact". For the GLAIR, I guess I have thought that "impact" means "historically important". Given that definition, I feel like some kind of time frame is necessary, even though I accept this means I am accepting a lack of diversity in the award for years to come, as you wisely framed it.

However, maybe that isn't the right definition of "impact" for the GLAIR? Looking over the wiki page https://www.rpggeek.com/wiki/page/GLAIR# there does not seem to be any definition of exactly what GLAIR is rewarding. Maybe I am being distracted by the word "lifetime". "Historical impact" is only one possible criteria, maybe not even the most important. Maybe "achievement" should be the focus, in which case more recent games would definitely be relevant.

I do think that if increasing diversity is the goal, just getting rid of the time frame wouldn't be enough. By my reckoning, at most a handful of the games that were nominated in the past and/or this time around before a time frame was considered had substantial contributions by people other than white men (and American white men at that!) (As an aside, its very difficult to search for awards on the site, there is no browse feature.)
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By not imposing a date limit, it allows us to individually do that as we vote. I know that when voting, I'll tend to favor older games over newer ones, but a more recent game that has truly shaken things up (cough, Apocalypse World, cough) might overcome that bias.
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downeymb wrote:
Questions for those who know:
Should Chill (Pacesetter Edition) be instead listed as Chill?


I nominated Chill, but I don't know enough about the Mayfair game to judge the answer to this question. If someone pops in who does, I'm totally cool with accepting their opinion.
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skalchemist wrote:
I think it hinges on the question as to whether Middle-earth Role Playing (1st & 2nd Editions) warrant separate nomination or not. In my opinion, if Rolemaster were to be awarded a GLAIR, then MERP should not be eligible, but Im not sure I would go the other way around. Which makes no sense, but that's the way my mind is working. '
MERP is its own thing, and while all of the modules were compatible with the two rules systems, the two are really separate RPGs. Space Master used a similar system, but is, again, a completely separate RPG.
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I am learning a lot about RPGs!
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clweeks wrote:
By not imposing a date limit, it allows us to individually do that as we vote. I know that when voting, I'll tend to favor older games over newer ones, but a more recent game that has truly shaken things up (cough, Apocalypse World, cough) might overcome that bias.


That is the great thing about voting -- ultimately only the truly qualified, best nominee will win; then we can all celebrate!
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skalchemist wrote:
I'm nearly certain that HERO as an independent thing from Champions...


It's confusing as heck. I tried to figure it out once, and didn't get called any names while doing it.

Putting it all together visually

I don't believe they really were actually "unified" until version 4.
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Mease19 wrote:
Given 1) the explosion...

I agree with many of your assertions.

But it's pretty obvious that an award like GLAIR with a community vote process is always going to favor games that are more-widely-played. Something that tens of thousands of people have played, that's been in convention play rotation, and that's been around in commercial distribution for several years is just going to have more "fans" and have influenced more gamers than the greatest-thing-ever-game with niche distribution. It's just reality.

An award like GLAIR is as much based on "name recognition" as it is on "actual merit" (however you might define that). There may well be a nomination that's truly groundbreaking and has had a big impact on game designers, etc., etc., but if almost nobody voting has heard of it, they're not going to vote for it.
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Perverse Consequences

Let's take a look at what "would have happened" in 2013 if we had an e.g. 10 year old clause then - games published after 2003 would not be valid.

The winner was GURPS

In 2013, surely the common person at the game table would assume that "GURPS" would include GURPS (4th Edition). After all, it was the latest-and-greatest GURPS, it had been out for years and years, and it had endless industry support. Arguably, in 2013 "GURPS" meant 4th Edition.

Yet, published in 2004, it would have been ineligible for the GLAIR. Navigate to GURPS (4th Edition) and you'll see it did win 2013 GLAIR. If we'd had the 10 year old clause... it wouldn't. But versions 1 - 3 would. To me... that doesn't make very much sense.

Soapbox -

While I get the concept of putting in an age limit - you have to have had a "life" to win a "lifetime" achievement award - I don't think it's needed. No "new" game has come close to winning GLAIR (so far, the "youngest" game won when it was 20 years old).

There's a lot of "herd" wisdom in the collective process of nomination/voting. It's quite unlikely to get things badly wrong. And I'm not sure adding more restrictions really helps or clarifies?

This year, there are only 4 nominations that would be disqualified by a ten year rule (I made one of 'em). It's obvious that three of them will never win. Only Apocalypse World has had anything like the impact on the industry that could be reflected by a GLAIR. And it seems... sort of backwards... to exclude a game system like that just because it's not "old enough"... in favor of another title because it happens to be two years older?

And I don't even like Apocalypse World
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