London, 27th Juneâ€”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 â€˜excellence in gamingâ€™ 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 (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 â€˜The Idylls of the Kingâ€™ or Wagner’s â€˜Parsifalâ€™â€”a brilliant personal engagement with one of the foundation myths of Western fantasy.
Pieces of Eight by Jeff Tidball (Atlas Games)
In Jeff Tidballâ€™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 worldâ€”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 award willÂ be announced and the trophy presentedÂ on Wednesday 15th August, at a ceremony the day before the opening of Gen Con Indianapolis.
A fuller description of the history of the Diana Jones Award and its extraordinary trophy, plus details of all the previous winners and shortlists can be found at the awardâ€™s website, www.dianajonesaward.org