Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Submissions Open for 2019 Gamer Choice Poll

Every year the BAMFSIES recognize the top in superhero RPGs. As a part of this, every year we have a "Gamer's Choice Poll" - which is basically an open ballot for everyone to vote on their favorite release of the last year. We're accepting nominations for the Gamer's Choice ballot now. Please feel free to enter your suggestions in the comments below.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

2017 BAMFSIES Awards Announced

First off, thanks to everyone who voted. We have over 1500 votes this year - the most over. We are sincerely grateful to everyone who took the time to look over this years candidates and vote.

ALSO - OneBookShelf is doing a BAMFSIES Sale where many superhero genre titles (including most of our award winners) are 25% off.

Here're the link to the BAMFsies sale on DTRPG and RPGnow  

Gamer's Choice Award

(All 3 of these games also appear in our judges spotlight awards below)

Judge Spotlight Awards
This is the section where we invite RPG Industry luminaries to spotlight particular products they felt were deserving of attention in 2017. 

You can find out more about our judges for this year on this page. 

Steve's Kenson's Pick: V&V 3.0 Mighty Protectors
Created by Jeff Dee & Jack Herman
 Published by Monkey House Games

2017 was once again a great year to be a superhero gamer, and it was hard to choose just one product, but ultimately, The Mighty Protectors won out for me. You see, the classic Villains & Vigilantes was the first superhero RPG I ever bought and played back in the 1980s, and The Mighty Protectors is the latest incarnation of that system, by its creators, Jeff Dee and Jack Herman, featuring Dee’s art, both classic and modern. 

The book is a slim (by modern standards) 152-page hardcover, combining the look and feel of the original editions of V&V with some updated ideas and mechanics. It’s still loaded with random generation tables and the notion of playing yourself with super-powers, but my personal favorite part of the book is the “The Mighty Protectors Multiverse” chapter, an encyclopedic breakdown of setting elements from the authors’ own long-running campaign, things like the government super-agency CHESS to the Frankenstein Galaxy and the multiversal Heralds of Fate or historic events like the Core War or the Endgame Initiative. It’s worth the price of admission to the book all by itself. 

So if you’re a fan of “Old School” style superheroing or just looking for inspiration or a wealth of ideas to mine for your own setting, the Mighty Protectors RPG is worth checking out.

Chris Rutkowsky's Pick: Save the Day: Advanced Rules
By David Okum
Published by Okumarts Games

I originally picked Save the Day because I liked the way the system did a "Race and Class" style approach to character creation, but did so in a way that fit the genre conventions of superheroes, instead calling them Origin and Class.  A character is built by combining two halves of a sheet, making many combos possible and generating a hero very quickly. Powers and abilities can come from your origin as well as your class. So two characters with the same power set might be very different from one another. The cartoony art design was also a nice touch. 

In the Advanced Rules, David has taken the tools provided by the Basic Rules, and deconstructed them, allowing players to randomly roll characters and customize their Origins and Classes. The Advanced Rules also introduce some new powers, like Time Travel, new Tweaks to adjust powers, and new "disadvantages" which the system calls "Dark Secrets". 

That's another thing to like about this system; it adheres to genre conventions even in naming various rule mechanics. It also tells more about vehicles, equipment, and new optional rules such as "Mind's Eye" style roleplaying that eschews maps and minis (though the printable maps and minis were one of the things that first attracted me to Save the Day). 

By Joe Pearce
Published by Wyrmkeep Entertainment

It's a classic, silver-age-minded adventure built around the classic "evil circus" trope that was everywhere in comics back in the age when they had an official cap on the number of gorillas you could use every month." Also, you get to fight an elephant! That's classic superhero action.

Sean Patrick Fannon's Picks:

Written by Darren Watts. 
Published by High Rock Press

No one brings the combination of loving enthusiasm and faithful research and rendition to an idea like Darren Watts, making his Golden Age Champions sourcebook an invaluable resource for anyone who has an interest in the early days of superhero comics. Gamers and comics fans alike will find tons to love, whether they're Hero System fans or not.

By Berin Kinsman
 Published by Dancing Lights press

The Premise line of products are designed to help GMs (and anyone telling stories) come up with good ideas to run with, providing lots of excellent guidelines and details to set the imagination running. With all that goes into telling involved and compelling stories in a fully-fleshed superhero campaign, this is a must-have for supers GMs.

By Amit Moshe
Published by Son of Oak Game Studio

It's hard to find a compelling new idea in the world of gaming (or entertainment, really), but City of Mist pulls it off. Superheroic folks trying to figure out their lives in a strange city where myths and legends overlay a noir-flavored, gritty urban realm.

By Philippe-Antoine Ménard, Clark Valentine, Dave Chalker, Christopher Badell, Cam Banks
Published by Greater than Games LLC

Based on the insanely popular cooperative card game, Sentinels of the Multiverse, this is one that's been long-awaited by fans dying to know more about the world and stories promised in the flavor text of those cards. It's a very interesting game design, and this "starter kit" is a good idea all the way around. Traditional superhero RPG fans may or may not take to the rather different approach the designers took here, so having a way to get the sense of it without going "all-in" is the right move. Fans of SotM will recognize not only all of the characters, but how the RPG mechanics directly reflect the way those characters play in the card game.

Arguably the most successful kid-friendly, family-oriented RPG in the world gets a superpowered upgrade with this one, and it doesn't disappoint. All those superhero movies are gonna have the youngsters wanting to power up, so here you go.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Poll is Closed! Awards to be Announced on 2/8/2018

The BAMFSIES Gamer's Choice Poll for 2017 is Closed! The judges have submitted their Spotlight Awards. We're getting everything written up and - all awards to be Announced on 2/8/2018

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

It's Time! Open Call for 2017 BAMFSIES Gamer's Choice Nominees

Open Call for Nominees
In an effort to cast as wide a net as possible, we're asking for self-nominations of superhero RPG products this year for the BAMFSIES Gamer's Choice poll.

SO - if you have a favorite superhero RPG product that was released in the last year - or if you're the publisher of one, please reply to this post with the name of your product and the name of its publisher and we will make sure it is included in this year's poll.

Any superhero RPG product released in the last 12 months or so is eligible. Note - if your product was submitted for the 2016 Bamfises, it's not eligible for the 2017.

About the BAMFSIES

Sponsored by the BAMF podcast  - the BAMFSIES are a cheeky and fun RPG awards focused solely on superhero RPGs.

We’re not nearly as serious as the Ennies. We’re probably more serious than the Grammys.

There's a renaissance going on with supers RPGs right now - and it's not really reflected in mainstream RPG awards as those tend to be focused elsewhere.
So – the BAMFSIES aim to highlight the best in Supers RPGs. We're about celebrating and drawing attention to all the great Supers RPGs that have been released recently

We've assembling a crack team of judges from the tabletop rpg scene and we’ll be announcing the awards in a show on the BAMF Podcast in early 2018

Thursday, March 2, 2017

2016 BAMFSIES Awards are Announced!

The BAMFSIES Gamer's Choice awards were selected by the gaming public via an open poll. 
This year we are announcing the runner-up as the vote totals were pretty close

The overall winner was Aaron Allston’s StrikeForce, while the close runner-up (just 10 votes difference) was Masks: A New Generation. 


Jacob Blackmon

Written by Crystal Frasier, this product presents 18 new simple templates to build new creatures and heroes for Mutants & Masterminds 3rd edition. Simply add one of these templates to one of the NPCs, Animals, or Monsters found in the Hero's Handbook or Gamemaster's Guide -- or the Super Powered Bestiary (shameless plug) -- and you can have a new challenge ready for your heroes to battle. Each of the 18 templates comes with a couple of variant powers, making for more variations of creatures and challenges.
In addition, the Template Tome features several NPC statistics featuring the templates in use. From the Hadean Wolves, the Overbear, and the Seven Points Angels, a GM is sure to find the Template Tome useful for their Mutants & Masterminds campaign.

As much fun as it is to imagine adventures and action in our heads during a game session, there is nothing quite like having figures on the battlemat. HeroClix has produced superhero miniatures for several years, and the Uncanny X-men Heroclix has some of the finest figures I have seen in years. This set of miniatures includes characters from the X-Men comics and features these characters in both their classic and modern costumes. One of the most fun features is the new Juggernaut miniature, which features a removable helmet!
Whether you love running games in established comic book universes or if you enjoy modifying existing miniatures, I am sure mini lovers will enjoy these Heroclix.

I almost didn’t nominate what is probably the most important superhero RPG product of the year because, in the interest of full disclosure, I wrote an essay for it. Nevertheless, I would be remiss if I didn’t point you towards this treasure. The original edition of Aaron Allston’s Strike Force sourcebook for Champions was like a master-class in game-mastering and campaign-building, and this new edition published in Aaron’s honor gives you all that, plus even more history, campaign material, and game-mastering advice. It’s a book that deserves a place of honor on every superhero gamer’s shelf.

This superhero RPG from Brendan Conway takes the Apocalypse World Engine and applies it to the lives and adventures of teen superheroes in the fictional Halcyon City. It has great production values and a lot of energy and enthusiasm for its subject matter, as well as embracing all of the system’s knacks for flavorful playbooks and special moves. If you like teen heroes or the Apocalypse World Engine games, you want to check it out. (Side note: It is apparently a staple of the teen hero genre to feature said heroes standing over and on a defeated giant robot, given both MASKS and the new edition of HERO HIGH for Mutants & Masterminds simultaneously did that cover concept.) 

Jacob Blackmon has a knack for producing superhero RPG products I wish I had done first. These include the honorable-mention Super-Powered Bestiary for Mutants & Masterminds, which combines the best qualities of villain book and monster manual. Topping even that, in my estimation, is Jacob’s ongoing “Legends” series, which comes in two flavors: Iconic (for Icons Superpowered Roleplaying) and Super-Powered (for Mutants & Masterminds). The series offers pastiches of classic comic book characters, creating something that is at once familiar and different, such as Myrmidon and Vespa, a male-female heroic duo with ant- and wasp-themed powers (get it?). They’re a great resource for GMs who wonder “How would I build this classic character?” and a lot of fun to read to boot.

Steven Trustrum

Instead of voting for a single product, I'm tossing my vote in for a product line. The "Awesome Powers" series for BASH, by Basic Action Games, keeps delivering. I'm a fan of the system overall because it strikes the right balance between crunch and lite for me. It is adaptable yet recognizable in its mechanics, and "Awesome Powers" continues to expand on the core system by delivering valuable, useful powers time and again. The artwork is also a happy mix between the hyper-realism you'd expect of a top-notch comic book and the simplicity of the Warner Brothers DC cartoon series, such as "Batman" and "Justice League Unlimited." Overall, I've yet to be disappointed with this series.