Best & Worst of Gaming 2009 [Part 4]

So, this is the last part of my look back at 2009. I won’t bore you with stories from the past from now on, because we live in the future now! 😉
Thanks again for Zach from RPG Blog II, who had posted his “Best & Worst of Gaming 2009” series in December. Ok, without further ado, let’s look at the last categories:

Worst Trend

The notion that ”RPGs have to become more like boardgames/videogames/MMOs/etc.” is the worst trend of 2009. Of course, this idea has been around quite some time, but it again reared its ugly head in the last year. With its powercards, battlemaps and miniature combat D&D 4th Edition already is pretty boardgamey [1], but FFG really managed to overdo it IMHO with the 3rd edition of Warhammer FRP: custom dice, a lot of cardboard thingies, only 3 players plus one GM can play the core game. I prefer a classic game, where I just need the rules, pen, paper and dice to play. What’s so wrong about that?

Trend I Hope To See In 2010

More boxed sets! I have to fully agree with Zach on this. I am especially excited about the upcoming Dragon Age boxed set, that I preordered quite a while ago. But the recently released Doctor Who boxed set looks pretty cool, too. Perhaps it’s just nostalgia, but I always liked the old AD&D campaign setting boxed sets. And I believe the boxed set format is the best way to get new people into the hobby.

Product Of The Year

Savage Worlds Explorers Edition There are so many great products, it really is hard to pick any one of them. Paizo’s Pathfinder RPG is a strong contender (although I don’t own it myself), but from what I’ve seen, it’ would be worthy of being PotY. My second idea was Dragon Age by Green Ronin. Ok, it’s only out as PDF, yet, with the boxed set to come hopefully soon, but I’ve already fallen in love with it’s old-school charm.
But in the end I went with “Savage Worlds” by Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Shane Hensley’s RPG is not exactly new. Even the latest edition, the “Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition” was released in October 2007, but for me, 2009 was a great year for Savage Worlds. Interest in the game rose all over the blogosphere and a lot of great settings, supplements and adventures for SW have been released last year.
And when you consider that the SWEE which contains all the rules you need to play in almost any campaign sets you back mere $10, then it’s obvious why SW is still product of the year for me.

That concludes the series. I hope you had a great year 2009 and I wish you a much better year 2010! Take care everyone. And now back to our regular program!

1 – I don’t want to bash D&D 4th Edition here, I just used it as a popular example, there are many other games guilty of needing too many gimmicks during combat, like my beloved Savage Worlds (which uses “bennies” (poker chips, glass beads, etc.) and poker cards for initiative). So please don’t start another Edition War in the comments. Thank you.