2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

2003 Indie Roleplaying Game of the Year

The Finalists and Selected Peer Feedback


This year's really hard to decide, but in the end it's FATE that gets my vote. A universal system that isn't "ho hum", that makes things like "profession", "background" and "ideology" all have the same weight in game mechanics. If I had to choose but one RPG to run all my future RPGs with, it'd be FATE.

New spin on an old indie classic. A fan favourite and a critical darling. FATE is definitely the game of the year.

While I really really like My Life With Master, and would be voting for it as well if there were two choices, Fate is exactly the game I want to play, while My Life With Master leaves me wondering a) would I have any friends afterwards, and b) is this cooler on paper than it is in practice? Really tough category all-around, though. Man!

My Life With Master

My Life With Master was the stand-out game of 2003. Overall, with ground-breaking design, high production values and extremely high fun-factor, this game lead the pack.

My Life with Master would likely get my vote even if these awards covered the whole industry. It's rare to find such a gem in a wasteland of ordinary rocks.

A beautiful, simple game that casts a gigantic shadow over the industry. My Life With Master is a game more people should own.


Unbidden has the most appeal to me - it is based in a genre that I enjoy, remaining fresh enough to seem different yet similar enough that its not too far from my comfort zone.

This game really gives you something to think about. It can be deep or action-packed or both.

Unbidden is a smooth, tightly-written, well-edited game. It works on many levels, and provides a fantastic gaming experience. Oh, and its loads of fun.

vs Monsters

This system is lite and fun. Its a little dark but its easy to learn and even easier to play. Phil Reed brings the story and rules across in a consistent and uniquely personal manner.


Hands down one of the best Cinematic systems

Wushu is just a heck of a lot of fun to play, not to mention that it is very rules-lite and quick.

The Runners Up

3rd Place, with 24 Points
2nd Place, with 26 Points

And the Winner, with 92 Points, is...

My Life With Master

It's just so unique and it's a game that more people should play. Czege goes right off the RPG beaten path with this one, but he never loses sight of what role-play games are about --having fun.

Further Feedback:


Read the review of FATE on rpgnews.com -- that says it all.

Well written, well envisioned, and very slick.

FATE has taken a good free game and made it amazing.

Fate puts the character back where it belongs - into the story. Add a clean, professional layout and clearly written and organized rules and you get a very promising game.

The production for a free game is good, and it's a wonderful adaptation of Fudge.

FATE is the game that really opened up Fudge to me, building on that simple open scaffold to make an entirely useful and enjoyable complete game.


MLWM would be a stand-out in any year.

Best game, hands down, on that list.

It's one of the finest role-playing games in history, for physical, creative, social, intellectual, and procedural design.

I can't imagine a game more deserving of this honor than My Life With Master. It's just that good.

Paul Czege has created a monster with this slimline book. It looks gorgeous, it plays like a dream, and you get to be a MINION. Nuff said.

My Life With Master is a masterpiece of design that "masters" actual play the author intended. We are but minions to Paul Czege's terrible, wonderful creation.

My Life With Master is the perfect indie game: innovative system, nice artwork & design, very well written. And you can play Igor.

I've consistently chosen MLWM for all the other categories in which it was nominated. How could I not go for it here?

Best. Game. of. 2003. It's a lot of fun, easy to learn, and challenging to play.

Not just the best indie game out there last year, the best game period overall.

More than enough quality to pass professional muster, but expressing a vision in ways that the mainstream gaming market just wouldn't.

It is an excellent game, combining feel, rules, originality, and design into a nearly seamless package.

Paul Czege's My Life With Master was the best RPG released in 2003. No further explanation is required.


Unbidden is an innovative game that screams for supplements and a live action version.

See comment from Best Production. One of the most professional, intriguing, original and entertaining titles in quite awhile.

It has a cool cover. What can I say?


All of the elements exceed expectations.

love the genre