Diana Jones Award shortlist announced

This year’s nominees for the Diana Jones Award are public info, and as usual, they’re interesting picks:

  • The Great Pendragon Campaign by Greg Stafford (White Wolf)
  • Pieces of Eight by Jeff Tidball (Atlas Games)
  • Stefan Pokorny, creator, sculptor and painter of Dwarven Forge’s Master Maze terrain

As always, the committee will announce the winner the evening before Gen Con Indy begins. See the press release below for more details.

Diana Jones Committee press release follows:


Annual award ‘for Excellence in Gaming’ to be presented 15th August

London, 27th June—After much debate the shortlist for the seventh annual Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming, covering the year 2006, has been announced.

The Diana Jones Award is given to whatever the Diana Jones Committee believes has best demonstrated ‘excellence in gaming’ in the previous year. This year the committee has shortlisted three potential winners. In alphabetical order, they are:

The Great Pendragon Campaign by Greg Stafford (White Wolf)
In terms of sheer scope alone, Greg Stafford’s Great Pendragon Campaign breaks new ground, presenting almost a century’s worth of continuous story with gemlike clarity; in almost fractal fashion, any given year can become its own campaign. Its greatest structural successes are those of Stafford’s Pendragon: a superbly compact yet never sketchy adventure format, seamless hard-wiring of characters into setting and continuity, and unprecedented emphasis on epic, generational storytelling. Thematically, it is a triumph of Arthurian art in its own right, the roleplaying form’s equivalent of Tennyson’s ‘The Idylls of the King’ or Wagner’s ‘Parsifal’—a brilliant personal engagement with one of the foundation myths of Western fantasy.

Pieces of Eight by Jeff Tidball (Atlas Games)
In Jeff Tidball’s Pieces of Eight, each player in the game holds a customizable stack of coins in one hand. This represents a pirate ship, complete with captain, and the players do battle with each other by moving and using the coins in their hands to harm other ships and help their own. It’s a perfect example of a game that is simple to learn but fun to play for beginners and long-time gamers alike, it can be played just about anywhere, and it offers layers of customization and strategy found in few games of any kind, as well as an elegance for which all great game designers strive.

Stefan Pokorny, creator, sculptor and painter of the Master Maze line of miniature terrain from Dwarven Forge.
Stefan Pokorny is a fine artist by trade who has studied extensively in the US and abroad. He holds a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Hartford and he has taught at some recognized fine art schools. For the past 11 years he has been pouring his artistic energies into the creation of the finest miniature terrain in the world—the Master Maze line from his company Dwarven Forge. While his efforts have always garnered much praise, the year 2006 was an especially rewarding year for Stefan and his work. He released three new incredible sets: the Cavernous River and Walls Set, the Cavernous Lake Set and the Medieval Building Set. Each of these is not only an incredible work of art and craftsmanship, but also represents the absolute pinnacle of game accessory quality. They serve to remind everyone of the unmatched artistic work that Stefan has accomplished over the last 11 years.

About the Award
The Diana Jones Award was established in 2000 to celebrate the principle of excellence in gaming. Each year the Award is given to the person, company, product, event, trend or item that in the opinion of the committee has best demonstrated ‘excellence’ in the field of gaming in the previous year.

The award is announced and the trophy presented at a ceremony the day before the opening of Gen Con Indianapolis (this year on Wednesday 15th August). Winners receive the Diana Jones Trophy and the admiration of their peers. The award is administered and decided by a mostly anonymous committee of games-industry luminaries in three countries.

Previous winners of the Diana Jones Award include Peter Adkison, former CEO of Wizards of the Coast; Wizkids Inc.; the games Sorcerer, Nobilis, My Life with Master and Ticket to Ride; and the generosity of the charity auctions at Irish games conventions.

A fuller description of the history of the Diana Jones Award and its extraordinary trophy, plus details of all the previous winners and shortlists, can be found at the award’s website: www.dianajonesaward.org

More information
For more information on the award and on how to gain access to the award party on August 15th, please contact the designated public representatives of the Diana Jones Committee:

Matt Forbeck matt@forbeck.com
James Wallis james@erstwhile.demon.co.uk


  1. Pieces of Eight totally has some of the better critical acclaim for something “different” in a long time. Sadly, it just didn’t seem to do too well. (Even the distributors are selling it at a discount). I have a feeling it was entirely packaging (as we have discussed on the show before.)

    It’s too bad. It’s a solid little game.

  2. I had two problems with it. First, it was really expensive to just try the game (like $40.00 for a two player set). Second, I don’t remember if the boxes were prominently marked as “Only enough for one player”. The front may have said something about it, but I don’t remember it being prominently marked.

    I never tried the game. I was super eager to try it, actually bought it, opened and realized I couldn’t play with anyone, and sold off the game immediately.

    During times when I have the dough, I don’t even mind CCGs. But I do have a problem with not even being able to get a starter edition of the game for two players for less than $40.00. That doesn’t make it any less innovative or cool. But it may explain any dragging sales.

  3. It’s very similar mechanics to a card game called ‘Pirate Kings’ that Atlas decided to pass on.
    Funny how that happens.

  4. For the record, I developed Pieces of Eight while I was not an Atlas employee, so any similarity to a game called Pirate Kings (which I have never heard of) is coincidental.

    Are you the designer of Pirate Kings? Would you like to be more specific about the mechanical similarities? Have you contacted Atlas to inform them of the similarity of the mechanics?

    It’s pretty easy to just throw out a snarky “funny how that happens” post. If you’ve got a gripe, handle it like an adult.

  5. Other than the pirate theme, I see very little similarities between Pieces of Eight and Pirate Kings. While I thank you for coming to my defense, it was not necessary. Keep Gaming! Be nice! Can’t we all just get along?!?!? Rob Stone (the guy who designed Pirate Kings)

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