The 2007 Award

The WinnerThe NomineesThe Award Ceremony

The 2007 Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming has been given to The Great Pendragon Campaign, a role-playing game campaign book by Greg Stafford, published by White Wolf.

In terms of sheer scope, Greg Stafford’s Great Pendragon Campaign breaks new ground, presenting almost a century’s worth of continuous story with gemlike clarity; in almost fractal fashion, any given year can become its own campaign. Its greatest structural successes are those of Stafford’s Pendragon: a superbly compact yet never sketchy adventure format, seamless hard-wiring of characters into setting and continuity, and unprecedented emphasis on epic, generational storytelling. Thematically, it is a triumph of Arthurian art , the roleplaying form’s equivalent of Tennyson’s The Idylls of the Kingor Wagner’s Parsifal—a brilliant personal engagement with one of the foundation myths of Western fantasy.

Greg Stafford has worked in the hobby-games industry since 1975, when he founded the publishing company Chaosium. His seminal game RuneQuest was released in 1978, and he is widely regarded as one of the most influential and inspirational designers in the history of the RPG field.

Also shortlisted for the Diana Jones Award this year were the pirate-based coin game Pieces of Eight designed by Jeff Tidball and published by Atlas Games; and Stefan Pokorny, the creator, sculptor and painter of the Master Maze line of miniature terrain from Dwarven Forge.

27th June 2007, London: After much debate the shortlist for the seventh annual Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming, covering the year 2006, has been announced.

The Diana Jones Award is given to whatever the Diana Jones Committee believes has best demonstrated ‘excellence in gaming’ in the previous year. This year the committee has shortlisted three potential winners. In alphabetical order, they are:

THE GREAT PENDRAGON CAMPAIGN

by Greg Stafford
Published by White Wolf

In terms of sheer scope alone, Greg Stafford’s Great Pendragon Campaign breaks new ground, presenting almost a century’s worth of continuous story with gemlike clarity; in almost fractal fashion, any given year can become its own campaign. Its greatest structural successes are those of Stafford’s Pendragon: a superbly compact yet never sketchy adventure format, seamless hard-wiring of characters into setting and continuity, and unprecedented emphasis on epic, generational storytelling. Thematically, it is a triumph of Arthurian art in its own right, the roleplaying form’s equivalent of Tennyson’s The Idylls of the King or Wagner’s Parsifal—a brilliant personal engagement with one of the foundation myths of Western fantasy.

PIECES OF EIGHT

by Jeff Tidball
Published by Atlas Games

In Jeff Tidball’s Pieces of Eight, each player in the game holds a customizable stack of coins in one hand. This represents a pirate ship, complete with captain, and the players do battle with each other by moving and using the coins in their hands to harm other ships and help their own. It’s a perfect example of a game that is simple to learn but fun to play for beginners and long-time gamers alike, it can be played just about anywhere, and it offers layers of customization and strategy found in few games of any kind, as well as an elegance for which all great game designers strive.

STEFAN POKORNY

Creator, sculptor and painter of the Master Maze line of miniature terrain from Dwarven Forge.

Stefan Pokorny is a fine artist by trade who has studied extensively in the US and abroad. He holds a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Hartford and he has taught at some recognized fine art schools. For the past 11 years he has been pouring his artistic energies into the creation of the finest miniature terrain in the world—the Master Maze line from his company Dwarven Forge. While his efforts have always garnered much praise, the year 2006 was an especially rewarding year for Stefan and his work. He released three new incredible sets: the Cavernous River and Walls Set, the Cavernous Lake Set and the Medieval Building Set. Each of these is not only an incredible work of art and craftsmanship, but also represents the absolute pinnacle of game accessory quality. They serve to remind everyone of the unmatched artistic work that Stefan has accomplished over the last 11 years.

The winner was announced at a private ceremony packed with games industry professionals, from designers to publishers and distributors, held in Indianapolis at 9 PM Wednesday, August 16, the day before the opening of the Gen Con game convention.

Sadly, Greg Stafford—the author of The Great Pendragon Campaign—was unable to accept the trophy in person. However, his good friend Janice Sellers was on hand to read a short acceptance speech on Greg’s behalf. Representatives of White Wolf, the sourcebook’s publisher, were also present to cheer when the award was announced. They proudly displayed the trophy in their Gen Con booth throughout the weekend and then turned it over to Janice for delivery to Greg.

Later in the evening, a fire alarm in an adjacent area caused the building to be cleared. As the bulk of the ceremony’s attendees meandered toward the street in an orderly fashion, a number of stalwart members of crowd remained behind to keep the bar from tipping over until local firefighters gave the all-clear.

Many thanks to the sponsors of this year’s ceremony: Adept Press, Atlas Games, Fantasy Flight Games, FlamesRising.com, Matt Forbeck, GAMA, Gen Con, Hidden City Games, Pelgrane Press, ProFantasy Software, Janice Sellers, Stonehouse Miniatures, Paul Tevis, and Upper Deck Entertainment.