Recently, at the end of Empire of Cyclops Con’s celebratory wind-down, Goodman Games hosted the “Goodie” awards. There were a number of worthy folks there and there were many people congratulating the winners…but I’d lean more towards calling them “recipients” rather than winners…and here is why.

Now first, I’ll point out that I was one of those recipients this year – for being on track to run over 100 games this year. Despite this award, and the rarefied company I found myself in this year, such an award differs from many of the others given out last night. While I do include my award as part of my “recipient” commentary, it isn’t really illustrative of my point. I ran a whole bunch of games and, while I’m sure we can agree that it is a nice thing to do, it is NOT on the level of the people I want to talk about today. I’m not trolling for compliments, I’m happy to have my goodie and thrilled that I was nominated. It is just that I think there are some awards that had FAR greater meaning and while there are so many possibilities, it is two of those recipients in specific that I will be addressing to illustrate my point.

Mica Fetz – What an amazing human being. I had the opportunity to see one of the nomination letters for him and I wholly understand why Jen was moved to near tears last night while giving out that award. Mica represents the best in all of us, working diligently to break down the real, physical barriers that prevent some people from being able to play. Their efforts enrich our community by bringing people to the table who otherwise couldn’t do so. Just ponder that for a moment. Mica is ACTIVELY bringing people, not just to our community, but to the table in general. People for whom this is a very important thing. Mica is literally, no exaggeration, changing people’s lives by helping them find friends, community, and gaming.

Raven Shadowz – Those of you on the DCC RPG Rocks page have likely encountered Raven. If you haven’t, you have missed out. This exuberant member of the Order of Shanna, is much more than simply a “part” of our community. Raven Shadowz really came to my attention during the Crypt of the Devil Lich kickstarter when they mentioned their plan to purchase extra copies as prize support for an event they are planning to run after the project ships. Now, lots of people do prize support for events, I wholly understand that. But, the Crypt of the Devil Lich as a prize is only the beginning…

In OSR circles, much is made of the term “the Old Guard”, referring to those individuals who brought us the gift of gaming in the first place. In a more local form, DCC has its own “Old Guard” from the days before its release. Not only the people who worked on the game, but those who were there at the beginning, play testing. I, certainly, do not fall into that group – I came along later, in what could be termed the second wave. Each subsequent wave has gotten larger, and each wave has brought us new faces with boundless enthusiasm. Both of these people are at the forefront of these waves. Hell, enthusiasm just doesn’t seem to describe it. They represent exactly what our community wants, good people, open, welcoming, kind, and giving.

The DCC community is rare in gaming, in that newcomers can come in and ask questions, without getting flamed for asking something simple. Indeed, it is the sort of people that attack newcomers who are generally shown the door from the social side of DCC. Anyone can play, but if you aren’t at least nice? Well, unkind people don’t find themselves welcomed with hugs and hearty greetings when we gather. The DCC community is something truly special.

That is why I think that the people awarded Goodies are “recipients”, not winners. People like Mica and Raven Shadowz show us that the REAL winners at the Goodies are the members of the DCC community. We all win when we have folks like these, as well as so many others, as part of our circle.

  • Steve Barnett
  • Eric Daum
  • Mica Fetz
  • Ray Franklin
  • Hugh Kaserman
  • William Keller
  • Erica King
  • Alex Kurowski
  • Christian Ovensik
  • Yorkus Rex
  • Matt Robertson
  • Jim Searcy
  • Raven Shadowz
  • Haley Skach
  • Jonathan Snodgrass
  • Ed Stanek
  • Mica Stanton
  • Harley Stroh
  • Rev. Dak Ultimak
  • Jon Wilson
  • Dieter Zimmerman

Those are the people who are going to be taking our community to the next level.
Those are the people who are making our community greater.
Those are the people who I am thrilled to call my peers in receiving a Goodie this year.

Not a single one of those awards last night was a throw-away presentation. All of those folks really help form the foundation of where we are. They, and so many others who weren’t named this year, are integral to who we are as a community.

Like I said at the beginning, I received an award for running lots of games. I’m pleased with that accomplishment, and I’ve had a great time this year meeting and playing with so many people. So, while I’m not holding myself to the same level as the other recipients, I recognize that a whole lot of people had fun. It is just weird writing about the recipients of an award that I too received – especially while trying not to sound like a pompous ass.

What I did, anyone with the time I had could do. I managed to do it because I had the freedom to do so. While that has earned me praise, I think most of you out there would do the same if you had the opportunity. I mean, last year James Spahn ran through all of the Road Crew swag levels in what… one week? I didn’t do anything that everyone in our community doesn’t WANT to do. I mean, who doesn’t want to game more? Who doesn’t want to play at least 2-3 games a week? What I’m getting at is that, in my long-winded way, is that I received an award, but it is different. I won an award for something that any number of you would’ve done had you the opportunity.

Most of you reading this know me. I’m loud and larger than life, I’ve had the amazingly good fortune to create things that folks enjoy, I’m a pretty familiar face. While I singled out Mica Fetz and Raven Shadowz, there are so many people I could point to as examples of what make our community so amazing. Names that many are familiar with already, Jonathan Perkel, Yorkus Rex, Eric Young…even members of the creative team itself like Harley Stroh and Brendan LaSalle. There is no shortage of fine examples… Having people of their caliber among us? That is the prize. It is why *WE* of the DCC community are the true winners of the Goodies.

Recently, I’ve given thought to what sparked the Sanctum Secorum in the first place. In part, it was because the DCC community was large enough to support a second podcast, but it was also to support the community that we have come to love so much. While people may give me credit for my support of the community, I’d say that my support of the community stems from the community itself. I can’t see myself going to the lengths I have for a different RPG community. It is all of you, that is what makes the community what it is.

Congratulations to all of this year’s recipients!