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Thirsty Sword Lesbians, Uncaged: Goddesses and Colostle clinch major noms in the 2022 ENnie Awards

Uncaged: Goddesses, Wanderhome and Jianghsi among other top contenders.

Cover art from solo RPG Colostle
Image credit: Nich Angell

The nominations for the 2022 ENnie Awards have been announced, revealing the list of possible winners for one of the bigger annual awards in the tabletop RPG industry.

The ENnies rotating council of judges identify the best tabletop RPGs for every year and compile the list into categories for public voting. The awards sprung from a tradition on the EN World website that has grown into a staple ceremony at Gen Con and one of the top honours a designer can earn for their work. Categories stretch across full games and supplements, adventures and artwork, podcasts, actual play, guides, props and more.

Last year’s big winners included Alice is Missing, the sombre tale of a small town disappearance that is being adapted into a film and Rowan, Rook and Decard’s Heart: The City Beneath - a trudge into the core of strange darkness where player classes go well beyond normal fantasy fare.

The video crew, plus Meehan, played Thirsty Sword Lesbians during a recent charity stream benefitting Mermaids UK and trans youth support.Watch on YouTube

Identifying the top contenders can be a bit tricky since the awards have multiple categories that seem to bestow fairly high esteem. That’s by design and honestly better than three or four general categories, as the ENnies attempt to recognise that creating a tabletop RPG depends on the combinatory effort of writers, editors, layout designers, mechanical whizzes, illustrators and - more frequently these days - live action performers.

That said, the Product of the Year and Best Game categories provide a solid snapshot of those games who stood out from the crowd. This year’s nominations included both some well-deserved favourites and surprising picks, especially among the indie RPG scene that can too often be ignored in the noise.

Thirsty Sword Lesbians, the Powered by the Apocalypse-style game of high stakes and high drama starring well-armed sapphics, grabbed four nominations for Best Cover Art, best Interior Art, Best Game and Product of the Year. Uncaged: Goddesses nabbed both art noms, as well, along with Product of the Year and Best Adventure. The nearly 300-page book collects a host of high-level Dungeons & Dragons 5E adventures that prominently feature goddesses from throughout the TRPG’s pantheons.

Thirsty Sword Lesbians RPG artwork

Despite the ENnies’ broad net, it’s not uncommon for the awards to focus on games that have the appeal and resources to catch more of the public eye. That’s why it was a pleasant surprise to see Nich Angell’s Colostle amass six nominations this year. The solo RPG about a whole world contained in a massive castle is up for Best Cover Art, Best Game, Best Rules, Best Setting, Best Writing and Product of the Year. Essentially, the judges think it has the whole package.

A few of the standout categories will be listed below, but be sure to check out the ENnie Awards website for the full list, along with an illustration collage of the art nominees. There are too many great tabletop RPGs to mention in one article, including the already highly acclaimed Wanderhome along with Wickedness, a tarot-based title for three also from Possum Creek Games, Banana Chan's Jianshi: Blood in the Banquet Hall and Spencer Campbell's looter shooter-inspired Nova.

Public voting on the nominees opens up later this summer, and the winners will be announced at this year’s Gen Con taking place in August.

Best Game

  • Colostle: A Solo RPG Adventure, Nich Angell
  • Root: The RPG, Magpie Games
  • The Troubleshooters, Helmgast
  • Thirsty Sword Lesbians, Evil Hat Productions
  • Wise Women, Aleksandra Brokman

Product of the Year

  • Call of Cthulhu Classic Prop Set, H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society
  • Colostle: A Solo RPG Adventure, Nich Angell
  • Dune – Adventures in the Imperium: Core Rulebook Atreides Collector’s Edition , Modiphius Entertainment
  • Jiangshi: Blood in the Banquet Hall, Wet Ink Games
  • Odd Jobs, MacGuffin & Co.
  • Putrescence Regnant, Exalted Funeral Press
  • Root: The RPG, Magpie Games
  • The Troubleshooters, Helmgast
  • Thirsty Sword Lesbians, Evil Hat Productions
  • Uncaged: Goddesses, Unseelie Studios

Best Podcast

  • +1 Forward Gauntlet Community
  • Ain’t Slayed Nobody Push the Roll LLC
  • Kill Every Monster
  • Pink Fohawk
  • Role To Cast

Judges’ Spotlight Winners

  • Amelia Antrim– Dwelling, Good Luck Press
  • Di – Stack of Goblins, CobblePath Games
  • Christopher Gath – Shanty Hunters, Molten Sulfur Press
  • Salim Hakima – Kobold Guide to Monsters, Kobold Press
  • Christian (Shiny) O’Brien – Wickedness, Possum Creek Games

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