December 16 This story has been updated to include quotes from Pathfinder publisher Paizo.
Gayming Magazine has released its nominees for the 2023 Gayming Awards, with Magic: The Gathering and Pathfinder both up for the “Best LGBTQ+ Tabletop Game of the Year Award”. According to a Gayming Magazine blog post from December 14, this accolade “recognises the best tabletop game or supplemental released in 2022 with LGBTQ themes”.
The first Gayming Awards was held in 2021. Gayming Magazine’s blog post doesn’t make it explicitly clear when the winners will be announced, but it seems the awards show will take place sometime in April 2023. Twitch and IGN will stream the awards worldwide, and a live event will reportedly be happening in New York, as the Gayming Awards says it will make its “Broadway debut”.
MTG has been nominated for its ‘Pride Across the Multiverse’ Secret Lair. Announced in May, Pride Across the Multiverse features art with LQBTQ+ themes designed by a variety of diverse artists. Its product page says it “is a celebration of the LGBTQIA2+ community’s relentless creativity”, and 50% of each sale was donated to suicide prevention hotline the Trevor Project.
Paizo’s Pathfinder Lost Omens series, which explores the TTRPG’s various campaign settings, seems to have been nominated in general rather than a single book. Pathfinder fans online have pointed out the game’s long list of LGBTQ+ characters, and the Lost Omen books appear to add to this roster.
Paizo director of marketing Aaron Shanks tells Wargamer the pathfinder team are “thrilled” with the nomination. “We found it to be great news. [Paizo publisher] Erik Mona extended a huge congrats for the Lost Omens team, Eleanor Ferron and Luis Loza in particular.”
“Many internal jokes ensued about how were would make the game even gayer now”, Shanks adds. “But, in fact, we take inclusivity in Lost Omens very seriously. We are trying to lead by example, but clearly we are watching and learning from what others are doing in the LGBTQ+ tabletop gaming space too.” “It is a dialogue are happy to be a part of”, he says.
Both games’ publishers have been involved in inclusion controversies in the past. Publisher Wizards of the Coast recently drew criticism as announcements and promotions for the pride Secret Lair were blocked in multiple regions. Wizards eventually released a response addressing its “missteps” with the Secret Lair. Pathfinder publisher Paizo had to release an official statement of its own in 2021 after former employees alleged poor treatment of workers from various marginalised groups.
Other nominations for the tabletop category include Jack Dixon’s ‘Adventuring with Pride: A Queero’s Journey’ and Awfully Queer Heroes’ ‘Tower of the Soul’. Dixon won the LGBTQ Tabletop Game Award in the 2022 Gayming Awards with the 5e supplement ‘Adventuring With Pride: Queer We Go Again’.