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This Sub-Award is awarded to the game that stretches the RPG experience in new ways. It may be a particular innovative mechanic that has never been used in other games (or never been used as well as previous games), or it changes the dynamics of a regular game group (the standard 3-6 players and one gamemaster). Or, it might even turn the concept of "RPG" on its ear. Innovation and exploration is what this Sub-Award honors.

THE Most Innovative Game FOR 2009 IS...

A Penny for My Thoughts by Paul Tevis / with 32 points

Very original, ceaselessly inventive. A great game on every level, pushing story games in a new direction.

A brilliant and simple game, with levels within levels. Using improv techniques to excellent effect.



Ribbon Drive by Joe McDonald / with 22 points

The soundtrack angle is a winner.

Ribbon Drive looks at the world from an angle no one saw before. Highly innovative.

Kagematsu by Danielle Lewon / with 21 points

The gender role assignment rules alone are a breath of fresh air and a thumb in the eye!

The gender reversal initially seems like a gimmick, but it actually brings great dramatic energy to play. And then the mechanics make great use of that energy. And very often I've seen when non-gamers play it they fall in love with it.

Fiasco by Jason Morningstar / with 21 points

Ganakagok by Bill White / with 21 points

A great, well-honed game. Uses the imagery the great north to create a set of cards that drive play yet effortlessly maintain the mythical feel of the setting. With a freeform version that breaks all the rules, too!

One of a kind, very innovative

S/Lay w/Me by Ron Edwards / with 17 points

Breathtaking. A lesson in innovation and also in simplifying things to what really matters. A level above everything else this year.

Action Castle by Jared A. Sorensen / with 16 points

No other game on this list entertains as many people as Action Castle does. All from twisting a dead medium into a new set of conceits. Of course a live action text-based adventure is fun for 300 people to play!

Seriously old school and seriously good fun.

Takes one to a new place in gaming

Montsegur 1244 by Frederik J. Jensen / with 11 points

Taking gaming in a different direction and taking the community with it too.

Misery Bubblegum by Tony Lower-Basch / with 10 points

Love the types of cards and how they match up and interact in play. The game is a whole artistic creation; I can't imagine how any part of it could be abstracted and used in another game.

Little Fears, Nightmare Edition by Jason L. Blair / with 10 points

Hellcats and Hockeysticks: A Role-Playing Game of chaos, anarchy, and decidedly unladylike behavior by Andrew Peregrine / with 8 points

Lady Blackbird: Adventures in the Wild Blue Yonder by John Harper / with 8 points

On Her Majesty's Arcane Service by clash bowley / with 6 points