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.
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.
The soundtrack angle is a winner.
Ribbon Drive looks at the world from an angle no one saw before. Highly innovative.
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.
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
Breathtaking. A lesson in innovation and also in simplifying things to what really matters. A level above everything else this year.
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
Taking gaming in a different direction and taking the community with it too.
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.