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Only after disaster can we be resurrected. (Tyler Durden)

Grog d'Or 2022

This year again, a roleplaying game was awarded the most covetted prize from outer space : the Grog d'Or. Every month, the Grog offered a game of the month, elected amongst other topical roleplaying games. To celebrate its 22nd birthday, the whole crew voted to award one of these games the Grog d'Or for the best rpg in 2022.

Nominees were:

and here are the results:


received the Grog d'Or 2022

Stalker and Château Falkenstein both got 2nd place and received the Grog d'Argent.

(Art by David Lihard)

A word from the Komrade President on this list

For once (or twice for that matter), there is not one but two GRoG d'Argent this year. Stalker from La Loutre Rôiste, and Castle Falkenstein from Lapin Marteau. Two games that despite their radically different themes and mechanics, manage to share many common points. First of all, and most importantly, the rabbit as well as the otter are two adorable mammals... But also, they are two translations of games that have remained modern despite their ages.

Chateau Falkenstein was released in 1996, the GRoG did not exist yet. But if it had existed, it would been rewarded. The release of a new translation offered the opportunity to many of us to finally get a taste of this mythical game and see if it lived up to its legend. And, by golly, it does. Of course, the steampunk genre is now popularized and one would have thought that our current gaze, perhaps jaded, could not perceive the wonder of this game anymore. But contrary to our fears, it keeps its romantic, marvelous and luminous touch. Because when steampunk is often synonymous with a cold and dirty universe, like an allegory of the working class condition in a period of industrial revolution, Chateau Falkenstein is, for its part, resolutely oriented towards heroism, romance, where adorable pixies of a few centimeters can travel in flying ships of the Kingdom of Bavaria built by dwarfs, and where dragons can defend Europe against Bismark's expansionist ambitions. And when this pixie, this dwarf, this dragon, this Bavarian nobleman can be you, what are you waiting for to go on an adventure?

Stalker was much less known. Some knew the movie, or even the novel by the Strougatski brothers. But who could boast of having tried the original Finnish game of 2008? It was still the V1 of the GRoG at the time! It took many years before it crossed the language barrier with a stopover in English and finally reached us. After so many years it could have lost its originality. But it had already set the bar high enough by entering the club of games with no dice or randomness at all. The FLOW system proposes to objectively evaluate the quality of a player's idea and roleplay to define the success of an action, even if it means spending the resources inherent to his abilities to make up for the lack... or to accept the failure. And then there is this universe which mixes our universe and Zones with the improbable physics. Fans of Fringe, and X-Files will appreciate.

With two GRoG d'Argent with these qualities, you can get an idea of which ones the GRoG d'Or gathers. In Knight, it's about protecting a Humanity confined in protective domes from the darkness of the Anathema. And when we say protect, we mean become a knight of a futuristic round table led by a new Arthur, to put on a powerful knight's armor and to go and confront the Enemy on his turf, no less. Need another incentive to go on an adventure? In case you need more inspiration, the graphic universe of this game is already an invitation that's hard to turn down.

Those who are afraid of futuristic universes, might still doubt. Generally by fear of rules too complex by their precision. But let them reassure themselves. Here the rules are simple and at the service of the story.

And then there's the End Times Gesture campaign... It has won over everyone who has dabbled in it. Its very open structure announced from the start as such since its first volume is an Atlas, not a synopsis. It gives free rein to the players' initiatives according to their priorities. However, the authors accompany the leader to help him understand the repercussions of the PCs actions on the other chapters, regardless of their order. And above all, if Knight is a game with secrets, they are not meant to be kept secret, nor are they the prerogative of the game master. They are there, in the campaign, ready to be revealed to the players so that they can take the full measure of their game world. It is above all the quality of the campaign that struck the GRoG sailors who have played it.

Knight, has everything to please : huge stakes to be met and the weapons to do it, a graphic universe which slaps, a system based on the dialogue between the GM and the player, and a high level campaign. If there was a bingo of successful role-playing games, Knight would check all the boxes. So I'm quite happy to be able to check off a well-deserved GRoG d'Or for them.