Inspired by the Salties and the 2021 GLOGIES, I reviewed and read most of the GLoG posts of 2021 and tried to pick out my favorites. These are my personal opinions, which means they are absolutely right. All images are from the mentioned blogposts.
BEST ADVENTURE: Brewing Bears in my Stomach by Phlox
This is the OSR adventure/scenario that I had the most fun running in 2021. I played it on Halloween, so I switched out the bears with werewolves, but kept the basic essence of the scenario. My players had a blast! They climbed to the top of the fort and rescued Bela, killed one of Pheloc's beastly guards, and promptly fled town when Pheloc was splashed with lots of potions and turned into mega-ultra-super-werewolf.
I also incorporated Phlox's Pumpkin Knight, who was arrogant and dangerous. The players skirted out of his way, avoiding a long speech about the terrors of the town.
BEST MECHANIC: GLOGtober Day 4: Domain-Level Locks and Keys by TheFirstGokun
This article is an interesting way of incorporating metroidvanias, which I like, into a RPG game. The system is very easy to implement, with a simple Lock → Key → Reward structure. The examples given are very cool and suggest a world I would play in or run. Thus I award it the 'Best Mechanic' status of 2021.
BEST SETTING: FIRMAMENT by Locheil
This one was a close one. It was either going to be Black Star of the Cannibal Kings or FIRMAMENT, but Locheil's evocative setting ultimately won due to the unique ideas he presented for nations and classes. A tyrant Sun King? Cool. Demigod knights? Totally. Astrologer-as-class? Definitely on board. I am excited to see what comes next in the FIRMAMENT series.
BEST SYSTEM: Wizards with Guns by FifthDragon
Wild West + Wizards! The combination seems obvious. FifthDragon manages to not only make a flavorful world that is fun to explore, but also an elegant word-based freeform spell system. I feel like Wizards with Guns catches some of the essence of fantasy and can't wait to shoot people and die in the Untamed Lands.
BEST SIMPLE CLASS(ES): Very Leetle Mountain Classes by Vayra
I agree with Vayra when she says that sometimes Mountain classes are too big. That is why I really appreciate her leetle Mountain classes, which strip down the archetypes to their core essence and powers. In fact, they inspired me to start making my own simple classes, which I might share sometime soon.
BEST NON-CASTER CLASS: Champion by Locheil
The best Greek mythology RPG setting is Eikonokosmos, created by Locheil. The first post in the series is the Champion, the fighter-type for the world. It has a cool FATE mechanic, a few excellent archetypes, and a Violence Dice system (which I stole). The class was based on the question: What if masked cleric but fighter? I think this is an exemplary answer.
BEST CASTER CLASS: True Witch by Vayra
Vayra's Mountain setting has always intrigued me. This is the best caster class, although close seconds are deus ex parabola's Alienist and Locheil's Magos. With a list of twenty spells, four doom lists, four subclasses, and a list of 20 witch-friends, this is packed with content to use and steal, although I personally think the below entry is Vayra's best.
BEST FLAVORFUL CLASS: Sacred Alchemist by Vayra
Well, I love alchemy, in both its fantastical and real-life aspects. So, when someone came out with an alchemist class focused on the
seven six sacred metals, I was excited to read it. The class is packed full of flavor and spells. I like the different alchemy mechanic because of its simplicity, but especially appreciate the varied alchemist orders.