This past weekend, Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition picked up the Origins Award for Best Role-Playing Game, as well as Fan Favourite in the same category, at Origins Game Fair. Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes for D&D got Best Supplement. Congratulations to both teams for excellent work and deserved wins!
Though as with any award, I could complain about the shortlist, but I really should’ve done that back when it was released and will desist for now. We’ll see again for next year. However, I do have an issue with how all of this is presented.
For one thing, the award was given to Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition by Modiphius Entertainment. While Modiphius is a fine company and I have a pile of their games that I love – indeed, I just got Mutant Chronicles yesterday – the fact remains that the core book as well as both of the sourcebooks currently out were designed and published by White Wolf before its dissolution. Modiphius didn’t get the license until late December 2018, and have no releases of their own out for the game. They were initially just the distribution partner. While the company played a significant part in getting the game out to the people, White Wolf should be at least acknowledged.
Also, someone’s botched with the press release from the Origins’ end, because multiple outlets, such as ACDnewsource and ICv2 are crediting the game as:
designed by Tomas Arfert, Mary Lee, Mark Kelly, Sarah Horrocks, Tomas Arfert, Anders Muammar, Mike Mignola, and the CCP Atlanta art team directed by Reynir Harðarson, consisting of Erling Ingi Sævarsson, John Van Fleet, Vince Locke, Michael Gaydos, Matthew Mitchell
Who are all in the book and all great at what they do, which at least in this case was not game design. These are the art credits. While it’s a gorgeous book and they do deserve recognition, that’s not what they were doing. The reason Tomas Arfert is there twice is because he’s also credited for the cover. Like, this is literally from the rulebook’s credits page:
Fortunately, the Game Fair’s website at least lists design & development people:
Kenneth Hite, Karim Muammar, Martin Ericsson, Mathew Dawkins, Karl Bergström, Juhana Pettersson
Though I’m pretty sure Mr Dawkins’s name is spelled with two T’s, this is much better. Funny, usually it’s the Nordics who get their names mangled, like “Juhanna Peterson” on the Modiphius webstore, or “Juhana Peterson” as in the Modiphius press release from last April.
In related news, Juhana of the Many Spellings has written up a blog post titled “The Annotated Anarch” where he goes over his inspirations and creative processes in his work on Anarch. It is well worth a read.