Welcome to the third annual Lair Awards. It is again time to pick through the fumbles to uncover some critical hits. This year I will not be changing the format.
Here is how the 2012 Lair Awards will work. There will be four categories: Best Anime, Best Read, Best RPG, and Best Session. To be eligible for an award the product must have been reviewed in the calendar year by me on the blog. There were a TON of great products released in 2012 but if I did not review them they don’t count. Also note that I often review products that are quite old. A product is eligible for an award if I reviewed it in 2012…period…it does not matter when the product was actually released.
The envelopes please!
Best Anime – Samurai Jack Season 2
Picking the winner for this category was difficult. I watched three animated features that I thought were very good. Here is a list of the three that stood out with some comments and links to the detailed reviews. These are presented in alphabetical order.
- Mushi-Shi – A rare series that merits buzz words like serene, exquisite, and enchanting. A true joy to watch.
- Patlabor The Movie – Classic giant robot movie with action, investigation, and drama. Off the charts set of extras in the limited edition DVD set.
- Samurai Jack Season 2 – Season 2 has some of the best episodes in the entire run. The three that really stand out include XVII (The Scotsman), XIX (Lone Wolf And Cub), and XXV (300).
When I was considering these entries I thought about each one then reread my reviews. They all have some amazing content but Samurai Jack Season 2 raises to the top of the pile because of some superior episodes. The Scotsman episode (XVII) is probably my favorite episode of Samurai Jack. Every time I watch it I fight to stay seated on my couch.
Best Read – No Winner!
Houston we have a problem! I realized a bit too late the I did not have any print media reviews this year. Wow…this is something that I must address in 2013. I read some wonderful stuff in 2012 that just did not make it to the blog.
Best RPG – The Widening Gyre
The award for Best RPG was easy this year. Bill Keyes really hit it out of the industrial park with his steampunk genre book for the Hero System called The Widening Gyre. The amount of coverage and the high quality of the writing make this one a real winner. The Widening Gyre should be considered THE steampunk sourcebook for Hero. (I just heard today that Bill is contemplating a version of The Widening Gyre for Savage Worlds. That would be great. )
In this section I also wanted to mention a blog post that I did called One Patron’s Guide To Crowd Sourcing RPGs. I think this is my best blog post on the site for 2012.
Best Session – Spirit Storm Session #34 – Vault Of The Dragon Kings
I had a lot of fun gaming in 2012 and I was able to blog about many of them through the session reports. The sessions that I blogged about in 2012 included Sessions #34-#35 of Spirit Storm and Session #1-#8 of The Armitage Files. After reviewing all of these blog posts I decided the my favorite session was Spirit Storm Session #34 – Vault Of The Dragon Kings. The massive climactic dual between Avatars Of The Great Tree and Sunscratch in Cragspine’s body were just a blast. Every PC really shined in that adventure. Highlights included Cillian taking on his dragon form for the first time, Oren’s crushing blow on Sunscratch’s skull, Bilby’s acrobatic prowess, and Po’s powerful curses.
If I had to pick a second favorite it would be The Armitage Files Session #6 – Travelling Side Show Freaks. The roleplaying and depth of investigation in this session is really wonderful.
Please reply if you have any comments.