Friday, 8 May 2015

Expo Awards Day 7 - You are the Hero

 

The last entry for the RPG awards brings with it something new, a coffee table book for game books that almost every person in roleplaying today will recognise (if not own), and that every person who games that I know remembers in one way or another.  


As I write this, to my right sits every one of the books that were published in the time when I was still at school and a fair few from times just after that as well.



This book is called You are the Hero, and it’s a celebration of all things Fighting Fantasy...

But it isn’t an RPG in itself, and that brings the question to the fore, does it have a place in the RPG Awards...?



Before we come to that, there’s the question of the book itself, the production values on it are beyond anything else that we’ve seen since Numenera, the masses of spectacular artwork, maps, concept work and details previously unseen make it a fascinating book to read and certainly something that would be of interest to anyone who’s ever picked up a fighting fantasy book.



It’s the detailed history of how fighting fantasy came to do as well as it did, the directions it went when Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone first got it going, how it progressed over the years, the offshoots that it created, and the adventures of those who wrote and illustrated it as time went by.  There’s not a stone unturned in the detail and as we’ve noted before, the artwork and presentation on the book are absolutely second to none, but that’s due in a large part to the fact that there were more than a decades worth of images, including some of the most iconic in the roleplaying world, to choose from.



It is an excellent book, but the question posed at the beginning of the review was does it have a place in the RPG Awards...?



All four judging teams brought their opinion to the question...

It’s a fantastic walk down memory lane, there’s things in there I’d never suspected and a host of interesting things to read about, but it can’t be played, much though the originals could be, and so it doesn’t have a place in the awards...

Brilliant book, most of us were too young (or not born) when the original fighting fantasy came out, so we don’t have the same fond memories that the old timers do, if it was a sourcebook of material to be used in games and not a history of the people that made those games, it would have a place in the awards, as it is, it doesn’t...

Looking at it from an old timers point of view and taking into account that Fighting Fantasy (particularly in it’s advanced form) is still going strong, the question would be “is there sufficient new material in here to justify calling it a sourcebook for AFF”, and while there’s a lot of material in here, a lot of it is things that have already been put forwards, and the new things don’t constitute enough of a book to enter it as a sourcebook...



If there was an award for shiny, it’d win all day long and twice on Sunday, but it’s not a game by itself and cannot be put forwards for the awards...


With these comments in mind, the judging teams have made a request to the directors of Expo that You are the Hero be given a special mention in the awards for what is obviously a labour of love that many people have shared in over the years, as of this article going to press, there has not been a decision made on the matter, but as soon as we find out, we will let everyone know...

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