Best Tabletop RPG
Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple - Daniel Solis, Evil Hat Productions
Do has something few tabletop games have: charm. The setting evokes the best elements of Hayao Miyazaki and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry with just a splash of Avatar: The Last Airbender while being something completely unique to itself. Orphans raised by an ascetic order are sent into the mundane worlds orbiting the temple to help people and try to understand life outside the monastery, often getting into trouble in the process. The gameís stated intent is to tell stories about assisting people and getting into trouble, and the mechanics maintain a laser focus on this intent with elegant simplicity. The letter format of plot set-up not only provides wonderful adventure hooks but also keeps all players on the same track: perhaps the hardest thing to do in story games. The art and graphic design is perfectly married with the text. There is not a single element of the game that is not superlative.
The fact that the game is specifically targeted at young people makes it even more of an achievement. It tackles themes of coming of age with aplomb. Characters donít just grow, they grow up. At no point does it ever talk down to its audience; it manages to be simple without being too simplistic, and it leaves a great deal of room for creativity while still being structured. Itís a wonderful introduction to gaming in addition to being a wonderful game.
Second Place - Mutants & Masterminds 3rd edition - Steve Kenson, Green Ronin Publishing
Third Place - Savage Worlds Deluxe - Shane Hensley Pinnacle Entertainment Group
by Scott Wachter