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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.

For the 2007 award, this was a close contest of many games with no clear break.


Grey Ranks by Jason Morningstar / with 38 points

Jason's chapter based story structure and scene framing mechanics are an excellent contribution to the continued evolution of tabletop roleplaying games.

Full of new ideas and a new slant on gaming too. Innovations range from the grid to the missions where sacrifing your hopes and friends are sometimes the only way forward. The game is focused on driving matters to a head in a unique way.

I know Jason doesn't wish we'd focus on it so much, but that grid, man, that grid.

Jason Morningstar has created a blueprint for playing through a very specific historic event in a way that also inspires player authorship and respects the ground truth of said event.


Steal Away Jordan by Julia B. Ellingboe / with 33 points

A fresh eye on gaming, with seemingly simple ideas that produce complicated and deepening play. The skull die is inspired.

Innovative, yes. Brave, even fearless, most certainly.

Chargen alone for this game sets the tone for the whole damned thing.

Dirty Secrets by Seth Ben-Ezra / with 32 points

Hot damn, the plot-grid-thingy on this. Hot buttered damn.

From the way you place the characters around the board, to the strange mechanics of placing suspects on the grid and moving the marker around on it, this game is full of quirky, but well-thought-through rules that are fresh and fun.

Who says you need one GM and many players?

It just is.

Bliss Stage, Ignition Stage by Ben Lehman / with 25 points

A game full of clever ideas and techniques to make the game emotionally hard-hitting and powerful.

Ben Lehman does it again, by not only making a game that pushes the boundaries but that are so very playable.    Aliens are destroying the world. You can save it; this is how. Damn.

Though its still roughed out in some places, the emphasis Bliss Stage places on intimacy, both in the fiction and at the table, and the ways in which it continually reinforces it, is a bold step.

The Princess Game by Colin Fredericks / with 16 points

Beast Hunters by Lisa Griffen and Christian Griffen / with 8 points

Beast Hunters limited player capacity is something that needs to be explored in more games.

One on one games have always gotten short shrift, and Beast Hunters use of the structure of one on one play does things few other games have tried with such deliberation.

One on one roleplaying. Hot!


The Committee for the Exploration of Mysteries by Eric J. Boyd (8 points), UCHRONIA: MECHA EXODUS by (7 points), REIGN by Greg Stolze (6 points), Forward... To Adventure! by The RPG Pundit (6 points)