The Origins Awards are American awards for outstanding work in the game industry. They are presented by the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design at the Origins Game Fair on an annual basis for the previous year, so (for example) the 1979 awards were given at the 1980 Origins.
Originally, the Charles S. Roberts Awards and the Origins Awards were one and the same. Starting with the 1987 awards, the Charles S. Roberts were given separately, and they moved away from Origins entirely in 2000, leaving the Origins Awards as a completely separate system. In 1978, the awards also hosted the 1977 H. G. Wells awards for role-playing games and miniature wargaming.
The Origins Awards were originally presented at the Origins Game Fair in five categories: Best Professional Game, Best Amateur Game, Best Professional Magazine, Best Amateur Magazine and Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame.
Since the first ceremony, the game categories have widened to include Board games (Traditional, Historical and Abstract), Card games (Traditional and Trading), Miniature wargaming (Historical, Science Fiction and Fantasy), Role-playing games and play-by-mail games. There are additional categories for Graphic Design, for game expansions and accessories, and for game-related fiction. During the 1980s and 1990s, awards were also given to Computer games. Starting in 2003, the Origins Awards began a new category called the Vanguard Award, which honored highly innovative games.
Age of Renaissance is a board game designed by Don Greenwood and Jared Scarborough and published by Avalon Hill in 1996. The game is for 3-6 players and the box claims that the game should take 2-6 hours to play, though as with any serious multiplayer strategy game, this can entirely depend on the players. Age of Renaissance is set in the European Renaissance historical era and is somewhat of a sequel to Civilization. In 1997, Age of Renaissance won the Origins Award for Best Pre-20th Century Board Game of 1996.Apples to Apples
Apples to Apples is a party game originally published by Hasbro, and now published by Mattel. The object of the game is to win the most rounds by playing a "red apple" card (which generally features a noun) from one's hand to best "match" that round's communal "green apple" card (which contains an adjective) as chosen by that round's judging player. The game is designed for four to ten players and played for 30–75 minutes.
Apples to Apples was chosen by Mensa International in 1999 as a "Mensa Select" prizewinner, an award given to five games each year. It was also named "Party Game of the Year" in the December 1999 issue of Games magazine and received the National Parenting Center's seal of approval in May 1999. The popularity of the game led to an increased interest in similar card-matching/answer-judging party games. On September 8, 2007, Out of the Box Publishing sold the rights for Apples to Apples to Mattel.Babylon 5 Wars
Babylon 5 Wars (B5W) is a science fiction tabletop miniature wargame, produced by the gaming company Agents of Gaming. Play centers on miniature figurines based the TV show Babylon 5. In 1999, it was nominated for the Origins Award for Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures Rules. The miniature produced of the Babylon 5 station won the award for "Best Vehicle Miniature of 1999" of the same year.Birthright (campaign setting)
Birthright is a Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting that was first released by TSR in 1995. It is based on the world of Aebrynis on the continent of Cerilia, in which the players take on the role of the divinely-empowered rulers, with emphasis on the political rulership level of gameplay. The setting revolves around the concept of bloodlines: divine power gained by heroes and passed to their descendants. Characters with a bloodline create an aura of command known as Regency, which is measured in the game using regency points or RP. Using regency, characters acquire a domain composed of provinces and holdings. The development of these domains is as much a part of the game as development of the characters. The game uses three-month domain turns to model actions of rulers over nations in much the same way as Dungeons & Dragons uses combat rounds to simulate time to model the characters' actions in battle. In 1996, Birthright won the Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Supplement of 1995.Catan
The Settlers of Catan, sometimes shortened to Catan or to Settlers, is a multiplayer board game designed by Klaus Teuber and first published in 1995 in Germany by Franckh-Kosmos Verlag (Kosmos) as Die Siedler von Catan. Players assume the roles of settlers, each attempting to build and develop holdings while trading and acquiring resources. Players gain points as their settlements grow; the first to reach a set number of points, typically 10, wins. The game and its many expansions are also published by Mayfair Games, Filosofia, Capcom, 999 Games, Κάισσα, and Devir.
The Settlers of Catan became one of the first German-style board games to achieve popularity outside Europe. As of 2015, more than 22 million copies in 30 languages had been sold.
The game involves large amounts of strategy, while still being fairly simple to learn.Computer Gaming World
Computer Gaming World (CGW) was an American computer game magazine published between 1981 and 2006.Dragon (magazine)
Dragon is one of the two official magazines for source material for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game and associated products; Dungeon is the other.
TSR, Inc. originally launched the monthly printed magazine in 1976 to succeed the company's earlier publication, The Strategic Review. The final printed issue was #359 in September 2007. Shortly after the last print issue shipped in mid-August 2007, Wizards of the Coast (part of Hasbro, Inc.), the publication's current copyright holder, relaunched Dragon as an online magazine, continuing on the numbering of the print edition. The last published issue was No. 430 in December 2013. A digital publication called Dragon+, which replaces the Dragon magazine, launched in 2015. It is created by Dialect in collaboration with Wizards of the Coast, and restarted the numbering system for issues at No. 1.Dungeon (magazine)
Dungeon (originally published as Dungeon: Adventures for TSR Role-Playing Games) was one of the two official magazines targeting consumers of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game and associated products; Dragon was the other.
It was first published by TSR, Inc. in 1986 as a bimonthly periodical. It went monthly in May 2003 and ceased print publication altogether in September 2007 with Issue 150. Starting in 2008, Dungeon and its more widely read sister publication, Dragon, went to an online-only format published by Wizards of the Coast. Both magazines went on hiatus at the end of 2013, with Dungeon Issue 221 being the last released.Eberron
Eberron is a campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) role-playing game, set in a period after a vast destructive war on the continent of Khorvaire. Eberron is designed to accommodate traditional D&D elements and races within a differently toned setting; Eberron combines a fantasy tone with pulp and dark adventure elements, and some non-traditional fantasy technologies such as trains, skyships, and mechanical beings which are all powered by magic.
Eberron was created by author and game designer Keith Baker as the winning entry for Wizards of the Coast's Fantasy Setting Search, a competition run in 2002 to establish a new setting for the D&D game. Eberron was chosen from more than 11,000 entries, and was officially released with the publication of the Eberron Campaign Setting hardback book in June 2004. The campaign setting book was written by Baker, Bill Slavicsek, and James Wyatt.
In June 2005, the Eberron Campaign Setting book won the Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Game Supplement of 2004.
A new version of the Campaign Setting was released in June and July 2009 to bring the setting to the new 4th edition of D&D. Released were a Player's Guide, a Campaign Guide, and an Adventure. In February 2015, the online feature "Unearthed Arcana" provided an unofficial update for the 5th edition. The official update for 5th edition, Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron, was released on July 23, 2018.Eberron Campaign Setting
Eberron Campaign Setting is a hardcover accessory for the 3.5 edition of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game.GURPS
The Generic Universal RolePlaying System, or GURPS, is a tabletop role-playing game system designed to allow for play in any game setting. It was created by Steve Jackson Games and first published in 1986 at a time when most such systems were story- or genre-specific.
Players control their in-game characters verbally and the success of their actions are determined by the skill of their character, the difficulty of the action, and the rolling of dice. Characters earn points during play which are used to gain greater abilities. Gaming sessions are story-told and run by "Game Masters" (often referred to as simply "GMs").
GURPS won the Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Rules of 1988, and in 2000 it was inducted into the Origins Hall of Fame. Many of its expansions have also won awards.Kremlin (board game)
Kremlin is a board game parody of Soviet government. The game takes its name from the Moscow Kremlin, the physical location of the main Soviet government offices. It was designed by Urs Hostettler and originally released in 1986 by the Swiss board game company Fata Morgana under the name Kreml. An English translation of the game with slightly modified rules was published by Avalon Hill in 1988. In 1989, Kremlin won the Origins Award for Best Boardgame Covering the Period 1900-1946.Lords of Waterdeep
Lords of Waterdeep is a German-style board game designed by Peter Lee and Rodney Thompson and published by Wizards of the Coast in 2012. The game is set in Waterdeep, a fictional city in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. Players take the role of masked rulers of Waterdeep, deploying agents and hiring adventurers to complete quests and increase their influence over the city.
In 2013, Wizards of the Coast released an expansion to the game called Scoundrels of Skullport and an iOS version of the base game in collaboration with Playdek.Planescape
Planescape is a campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, originally designed by Zeb Cook. The Planescape setting was published in 1994. As its name suggests, the setting crosses and comprises the numerous planes of existence, encompassing an entire cosmology called the Great Wheel, as originally developed in the Manual of the Planes by Jeff Grubb. This includes many of the other Dungeons & Dragons worlds, linking them via inter-dimensional magical portals.Ravenloft
Ravenloft is a campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. It is an alternate time-space existence known as a pocket dimension called the Demiplane of Dread, which consists of a collection of land pieces called domains brought together by a mysterious force known only as "The Dark Powers". Each domain is mystically ruled by a being called a "Darklord".Wooden Ships and Iron Men
Wooden Ships and Iron Men is a naval board wargame in which the players simulate combat by sailing ships of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, during the Age of Sail. The game was originally published by Battleline Publications in 1974 and republished by Avalon Hill in 1975, and is known as the definitive simulation of the period.The game is played on a hex board with rectangular cardboard counters representing ships and long enough to cover two hexes, which represents the ship's orientation. Players write down their planned moves at the beginning of each turn, then move simultaneously (possibly entangling their ships if they are close to each other), fire their broadsides if any ships are within range, and attempt to board ships that are adjacent.
The rules are not especially complicated, but as The Complete Book of Wargames puts it, "two turns of this game speak volumes about the significance of wind direction for sailing ships-of-the-line," and, "Purely for the feel of being there, this game is unsurpassed."
WS&IM was later published as a computer wargame, winning the Origins Award for Best Military or Strategy Computer Game of 1996.Wooden Ships and Iron Men is no longer being produced but Hasbro, which purchased Avalon Hill, has released the game as a free online promotional item.