This is a unique and very subjective Sub-Award. It goes to the designer who displayed the best support of their 2004 published game or supplement. This could be through the creation of forums or mailing lists about their game, their response times to questions about their games, the designer's use of marketing to get the word out about their game, the organization of the game's website, and of course support materials like free downloads, rules, starter kits, materials, adventures and supplements.
This one was a close race, and certainly a hard one to declare a "winner"! Which means, of course, that any way you look at it small press designers aren't just throwing out a game and moving on: They're helping form a base of support to keep their game fun and accessable!
BURNING WHEEL/MONSTER BURNER
with 43 points
"The Burning Wheel forums and downloards are a god-send."
"No contest. Luke Crane is the Gandhi of roleplaying games, travelling barefoot over burning coals to get you to play his game (you'll be walking right next to him after playing)."
"Luke Crane (Monster Burner) is an animal of support. He supports like the wolf feeds. He hunts down your online discussion and devours it in his maw of support."
"Service for these games -- Monster Burner and Dead Inside -- is above and beyond."
"Vincent's persistent care for his customers lies somewhere on the border between altruism, good corporate policy, and pure insanity. Watching him coach GM after GM through their first steps with the game is a thing to behold, and watching him expound on all the hidden structure at his blog is humbling to me as a designer."
"DitV is a clear winner. The website is crawling with scenarios, examples of game play and support material and Vincent is always happy to answer questions on his forum."
"I picked Dogs because the creator knows without hesitation why every word is in the book, why every rule was decided upon, why every step of play exists, and he can explain it quickly and clearly."
"Vincent is not just there to give support to anyone who needs it, his support is enthusiastic and infectious."
"I haven't had much chance to bang around in the support communities for other games, but Chad is a constant online presence and quick to respond with ideas and suggestions. Quality support."
"Chad has done an amazing job in supporting Dead Inside, being one of the most accessible "professional" RPG creators I know. He has turned the PDQ engine into a game skeleton to watch out for."
"Chad (Dead Inside) is all up in the Internet discussion 24/7."
"PIG Games just keeps cranking out the support for Iron Gauntlets."
"Support? Creative Commons. He lets us support this game, by being able to write our own material for it."
"Well, I place written support material over forum posts or such. These are the games which I thought had best written support material."
"Everytime you look, Conspiracy of Shadows has another free download!"
"CoS has the 101 ideas, plus the ezine, plus good presence online in general. DitV has good presence as well, plus lots of actual play to see."
"Keith's been busting his ass online."
"Jason Libby has several Yahoo group and private forums related to his Basic System."
"JAGS" and "Support" go hand in hand. An endless parade of free stuff is testament to their support model."
"PIGames is a model of support."
CODE OF UNARIS: "Hey, Gary will run a game for anyone who wants. That's support."
CODE OF UNARIS: "Gary has been relentless in running Code of Unaris from his website for basically anyone who wants to play."
THE BOOK OF JALAN: "Clash Bowley has done an amazing job of supporting his games, particularly those in the Startcluster 2 universe, such as the Book of Jalan. I've never seen an RPG author so quick to respond to feedback, positive or negative, with a cheerful face and a willingness to admit his shortcomings. And that's putting aside the sheer number of supplements..."
PULP FU: "Dan Bayn has always followed up for his products."
IN GENERAL: "In fairness, lts of these games have strong support if you already know where to look (for example, the Forge) but a lot of them seem to depend on people mining the forums rather than putting useful material front and center. As such, a number of very good games with very helpful authors didn't get my vote for this only because of how many steps I have to go through to find something out."