The Diana Jones Award is an annual award created to publicly acknowledge excellence in gaming. The award was first made for the year 2000, and the first award ceremony was on August 4, 2001.
The committee considered a long list of nominations for the fourth annual Diana Jones Award. The following five (shown in alphabetical order) make up this year’s shortlist:
By Greg Stafford and Robin D. Laws
Published by Issaries
Greg Stafford and Robin D. Laws reworked their earlier Hero Wars, itself a new game set in the world of Glorantha from the pages of Chaosium’s RuneQuest. The system scales through multiple levels of power and competence without gaining a shred of complexity, it concentrates on conflict resolution, as opposed to task resolution, and it encourages the players to evoke their own themes from the game’s premises. It does this all with an astounding unity of purpose, presentation, and application in a fashion light-years beyond Hero Wars.
By Paul Czege
Published by Half-Meme Press
Paul Czege’s roleplaying game places players in the roles of weak-minded minions of an evil master, fighting against their own nature to find love and do the right thing. Since conflict is resolved at a dramatic rather than tactical level, the players are freed to concentrate on the story rather than details like their skills or their weaponry. Its simple and narrative-oriented mechanics mean that the rules don’t get in the way of the story, and its deliberately closed-end structure forces a resolution to that story, something most roleplaying games eschew.
By Shane Lacy Hensley
Published by Pinnacle Enertainment Group
Based on The Great Rail Wars miniatures game, Savage Worlds makes some real strides to solving practical problems that have plagued roleplaying gamess forever and fashions a game easy for even the newest players to run. It plays extremely fast, combat is exciting, it’s playable with an absolute minimum of prep time, and it’s easily extensible.
Scandinavia has developed something of a gaming utopia over the years. For instance, the Danish government, as part of a youth initiative, funds gaming clubs, putting up 75% of the cost of renting buildings in which to go and play. Also, after-school activities are structured there, so the educational system even pays for roleplaying teachers. Furthermore, Viking-Con there and RopeCon in Finland redefine the convention experience without concern for the traditional wargamer mindset seen so often elsewhere, and recast it into the sort of social event that anyone would be proud to be a part of.
By Jeff Martin
Published by True Adventures
For almost as long as roleplaying games have existed, various fans, and even some publishers, have explored various ways to make them more interactive. At Gen Con Indy 2003, the people at True Adventures burst through the envelope by converting a convention center ballroom into a stunningly outfitted dungeon that a party of adventurous souls could actually walk through, and hundreds have. Unlike most games, these are true events, and they are currently available only at Gen Cons across the USA.