I began as an artist inspired by the classic Dungeons and Dragons books. I grew up staring at the art and escaping into the worlds they made possible.
Gary Con V
My career in the RPG industry really began at Gary Con V when I contributed art to the first Lands of Okkorim module. After that first trip to Lake Geneva, I found myself on staff with Lesser Gnome. Soon more and more of the people I admired began requesting work for their products. To date, I have worked with many tabletop RPG producers in the industry and helped illustrate many fine products.
In short order, Fail Squad Games was created and it has grown by leaps and bounds with the support of the gaming community and advice from the old and new guard with whom I have worked along the way. It has been an honor and a privilege to contribute to the hobby we all love. Under the banner of Fail Squad Games with my daughter, we continue to contribute, create art, adventures and supplements for the hobby we love.
Jeff Dee has worked in the gaming industry for over 35 years. His artwork has appeared in numerous games and magazines, including TSR’s Deities and Demigods as well as many AD&D modules and other early TSR products, Villains & Vigilantes, and adventures for the Star Wars RPG from West End Games. He co-designed Villains & Vigilantes, TWERPS (The World’s Easiest Role-Playing System) from Gamescience, and the Cavemaster RPG from UNIgames. Cavemaster won the 2013 Three Castles Design Award at NTRPG Con.
Jeff has also worked in the computer games industry on games such as Ultima VI, Master of Orion, Master of Magic, and Wing Commander. He was the art director on Ultima VII, and the lead game designer on The Sims: Castaway Stories.
Jeff currently works as a game design consultant, and operates two paper game publishing companies: Monkey House Games with V&V cocreator Jack Herman, and UNIgames with partner Talzhemir Mrr. UNIgames’ latest product is Bethorm: the Plane of Tekumel, which reintroduces the first tabletop RPG setting ever published, TSR’s Empire of the Petal Throne (1975). The latest from Monkey House is Mighty Protectors, the 3rd edition of V&V.
Jack Herman has written for comics and games for over 35 years. His comics writing has appeared in Elementals, Robotech: The Macross Saga, Robotech: The New Generation, Eagle, Death’s Head, The Terminator, Battleforce, Operative Scorpio, Ratman, Oblivion, Blood Feast, 2000 Maniacs, Psycho Killers, ZombieBomb, and Bela Lugosi’s Tales from the Grave. He has worked on computer games such as Ultima VII, Wing Commander II Special Operations 2, Serpent Isle, Bioforge, and Super Hind-Explosive Helicopter Action.
Jack is the co-designer of Villains & Vigilantes, and author of the V&V books Most Wanted Volume One and the DNAgents Sourcebook. He works occasionally as a freelance writer and game design consultant, and operates a paper game publishing company, Monkey House Games, with V&V co-creator Jeff Dee. The latest from Monkey House is Mighty Protectors, the 3rd edition of V&V.
Allen Hammack has contributed to some 70 products as author, designer, editor, or developer. Hired by Gary Gygax in 1978, Allen was Manager of Designers during the “Golden Era” of TSR. He writes often on using myths and legends of the world in gaming: three books on the subject, the Viking Gods boardgame, and was co-editor of Dungeon Masters Guide and Deities & Demigods during the five years he served at TSR.
Allen's most popular module is C2 Ghost Tower of Inverness, which was actually referenced in the second D&D movie. Allen also wrote I9 Day of Al-Akbar, and contributed to A1-A4 The Slave Lords and the games Top Secret and Boot Hill. Recently Diecast Games published his module Night of the Black Swords. Allen is currently teaming again with Merle Rasmussen on a new espionage RPG project; come to GaryCon for more details!
Allen has degrees in chemistry and computer science and enjoys acting in local theater. He is the emcee for Beer Croquet at an Alabama con...buy him a beer and ask for details!
Mike Noe stumbled into the miniatures industry in the summer of 1982, when a RPG buddy asked him if he’d be interested in a two week temporary job at Ral Partha hand stamping serial numbers into a limited edition dragon mini, and he never left. He went from temp to caster, then ran the packing department, then became factory manager. He stayed on at Partha through two transfers of ownership and, when Partha was absorbed by WizKids, got the chance to break away with some partners and resurrect the pewter lines as the principal owner and president of Iron Wind Metals, producing minis for BattleTech, Shadowrun, Ral Partha Classic Fantasy, and Chaos Wars, as well as doing contract work for a number of other miniatures lines. In his limited spare time he does informal medieval re-enactment and boffer combat, holds office in a motorcycle rights organization, writes a bit for Chaos Wars, does the occasional wedding as a minister of the Universal Life Church, and wrangles a menagerie of dogs, cats, a tarantula, gecko, snapping turtle, and a wife, one of which is more challenging than the rest, although he’s not saying which.
Jobe Bittman started playing Dungeons & Dragons in the early 80s when his older step brother returned from college with a Holmes Basic Set. After moving to a new town, he lost his gamer friends, but continued to play alone for years, rolling up characters and running them through dungeons of his own design. As it turns out, this activity turned out to be very similar to writing for role playing games.
Jobe has worked as a freelance RPG writer and game designer for nearly a decade. His writing has appeared in publications by Wizards of the Coast, Goodman Games, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and Kobold Press. Jobe has been privileged with the opportunity to work on professional projects with such gaming legends as James Ward (Metamorphosis Alpha) and Steve Crompton (Grimtooth’s Traps). Goodman Games recently announced Jobe’s latest project, a new RPG adaption of Jack Vance’s Dying Earth. The first playtest happened at Gary Con last year.
Alex Kammer has written D&D adventures for a number of publishers. His most recent, The Brain Gorger's Appetite, was released in the fall of 2016 from Gamehole Publishing. His other works include pieces for Goodman Games and Frog God Games. Alex is also the Director of Gamehole Con, the largest tabletop gaming convention in the upper Midwest. Alex seems to be an all around okay guy and as far as we know, he has not stolen anything.
Bill Webb is the founder of Frog God Games, one of the largest 3rd party publishers in the gaming industry. Frog God Games produces books for Pathfinder, 5th Edition, and of course, their own home brew rules, Swords and Wizardry.
Some of their well-known titles include The Slumbering Tsar Saga, The Sword of Air, Rappan Athuk Complete, Tome of Horrors Complete and Razor Coast, as well as several dozen other titles. Known worldwide for his difficult adventures, high mortality rate in games and his penchant for literally making it all up as it goes along, Bill still plays the game a few times a month with his "blob" - consisting of his wife, Krista, his Sales Manager, Zach Glazar, his partner in crime Skeeter Green, and 8 kids (4 teenage girls and 4 younger boys).
Bill is a huge proponent of children and women in gaming. Perhaps his best moments have been "when the kids outsmarted me again." Frog God Games, with Bill in the lead, has recently begun significant charity work making donations close to $50,000 to both Extra-Life and the Navy Marine Corps Relief Fund.
Peter is a successful game developer, and the founder of Wizards of the Coast; which he ran successfully as the CEO from 1993 through 2001. During Adkison's tenure, Wizards of the Coast rose to the status of a major publisher in the hobby game industry. Wizards achieved runaway success with its creation of Magic: the Gathering, which started the collectible card game genre. It also distributed the Pokémon trading cards, and later acquired the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, releasing a successful new 3/3.5 edition of the popular game.
In 2001 he sold Wizards of the Coast to Hasbro. Peter later purchased Gen Con from Hasbro, in 2002, and continues to run & manage one of the largest role-playing game conventions in the known universe.
In 2005, he was the CEO of Hidden City Games and working to promote their new game Clout Fantasy. Adkison is a longtime fan of role-playing games in general and Dungeons & Dragons specifically. As of 2013, he has started a production company known as Hostile Work Environment LLC. So his time is spent with all of his creative projects.
Knights of the Dinner Table was accidentally created by Jolly R. Blackburn way back in 1990 as ‘filler’ for his small press magazine, Shadis. It was something of a ‘creative burp’ and Jolly really didn’t give it much thought. Perhaps that’s why he was just as surprised as anyone that soon KODT was overshadowing everything else he’d ever done and that the created was now controlling the creator. Fortunately, writing and drawing KODT strips isn’t the lonely job it was in the past. Hundreds of fans have contributed to the beast over the years and, since joining the ranks of Kenzer and Company and the formation of the KODT Development-Team (Jolly, Steve Johansson, David S. Kenzer and Brian Jelke), the Knights have gone far beyond anything Jolly or Kenzer and Company ever imagined. In 2006, Jolly was inducted into the Origins Awards Hall of Fame.
Jolly Blackburn is a Gulf War Veteran. He proudly served in the US Army, alongside his lovely bride Barbara, from 1984-1991. His tour of duty took him to exciting destinations such as Ft Bliss, TX; the Federal Republic of Germany, Kuwait and Ft Jackson, SC.
Jeff Butler was born in Madison Wisconsin. He is an American illustrator and comic book artist. Butler worked for TSR, in the art department for 5 years, illustrating products for D&D, and Marvel Super Heroes, Dragonlance novels, and other projects.
Notable works after leaving TSR in 1989 include the Green Hornet, Godzilla, Hercules, Xena, Jurassic Park, and his Hercules drawings appeared in 1996 issue of TV guide. Butler joined Raven software art staff in 1997- as the 2d art lead on Heretic 2. He also worked on games such Soldier of Fortune, and Star Trek Elite Force.
Butler, has been part of the Art Team for Star Wars Jedi Knight 2 Jedi outcast, X-men legends, X-men legends 2: Rise of apocalypse, Marvel Ultimate Alliance and has been part of the core team for X-men Origins Wolverine & Wolfenstein.
Began gaming with the international federation of war gamers (IFW) in 1960’s as a teenager. He created the game “Fight In The Skies” (aka Dawn Patrol) and self-published it at the recommendation of Gary Gygax as part of the IFW’s Wargame Inventors Guild (WGIG) in 1968. FITS was later published by Guidon Games in 1974 (4th Edition) and TSR in 1976 (5th Edition), 1979 (6th Edition) and 1982 as “Dawn Patrol” (7th Edition). He also co-authored “Don’t Give Up The Ship” with Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax in 1971. He joined the ranks of TSR, Inc. in 1976 at the invitation of Gary Gygax. While at TSR, Mike authored the D&D module, In Search of the Unknown, served as editor for the Monster Manual, Player’s Handbook and Dungeon Master’s Guide and wrote three children’s novels.
Mike Carr is the only person who has attended every Gen Con, from 1968 to the present. His flight in the skies game is also the only game that has been played at every Gen Con. Mike is still active in the gaming community today through his Aerodrome magazine which he started in 1969.
Born into a world with a bewildering array of worthless “life choices” and meaningless “life options.” As a youth, it was with great insight and eagerness he took to examine those options and pathways, promptly ridiculed them and dumped them into the waste bin that would become other’s lives. Stephen chose the path of the brutal verbal assaults which, on occasion, lead to brutal physical rebuttals. Brittle teeth in hand, Stephen chose an academic path to lengthen what was about to become a shorter than average life span. He wasted years of his life pursuing higher education in history before realizing that we all are, no matter what, doomed to repeat it.
Forsaking those noble causes rife in academia (such as bra burning, speech filtration, self-aggrandizement and longer summer breaks), Stephen foundered for mere moments before, in a dollar bill induced stupor, and he decided to strike it rich by creating a company that sold games. He is presently the CEO and chief partner in Chenault & Gray publishing, doing business as Troll Lord Games. He has written a bundle of adventures, articles and books: chief among them the codex of Aihrde, Monsters & treasures of Aihrde, Lion in the ropes, Shades of Mist, and much more. He is well known for his curt phone conversations and one word emails.
Chris Clark began his “professional” gaming career by running events at Gen Con in 1977. He formed Inner City Games Designs in 1981 to publish the game Inner City RPG while attending the University of Illinois. Since then, Chris has written more than 70 published role-playing, miniature, card and board games, including Fuzzy heroes and War PIG’s and he is still writing them for Inner City Games Designs today. He wrote two generic multi-system adventures with the assistance of Gary Gygax in the late 90s; A Challenge of Arms and The Ritual of Golden Eyes.
These endeavors transformed what was a long term friendship into an ongoing business relationship, when Chris formed Hekaforge Productions with Gary Gygax in 1998, they launched Gary’s newest role playing creations at the time, the Legendary Adventure and the Legendary Earth. Several of the adventures written by Chris for the system were later reproduced by Troll Lord Games for the Legendary Adventures. Chris also worked for Eldritch Enterprises and authored much of the "Dark" series of modules as well as the entire "Forest of Deceit" arc of adventures.
Chris is currently writing the Lands of Igpay adventure series, The Lance RPG, and has plans to finally finish the Castle Wolfmoon series of adventure modules. "It just seems there are never enough hours in the day," he said when asked, "...but that's one rule I have found I can't change!"
Despite rumors to the contrary, Michael Curtis is not A) a manifestation of the collective human unconscious; B) a thamaturgy-powered mechanical man created by Albertus Magnus; or C) a heap of ferrets. Michael Curtis has been playing role-playing games for over thirty years and a freelance writer and game designer since 2008. He has written or contributed to nearly forty roleplaying games, supplements, and articles.
Best known for Goodman Games’ The Dungeon Alphabet (for which he was awarded the 2011 Three Castles Award for Game Design) and Stonehell Dungeon, he’s also worked on the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, METAMORPHOSIS ALPHA, Goblinoid Games’ Realms of Crawling Chaos and MAJUS, and Chapter 13 Press’ Tales from the Fallen Empire. The author of many DCC RPG adventures including The Chained Coffin, The Making of the Ghost Ring and The Four Phantasmagorias. Michael’s upcoming projects for Goodman Games include the METAMORPHOSIS ALPHA adventure The Level of the Lost, and The Adventurer’s Almanac.
Born in Nicholasville, Kentucky in 1954. He majored in art at Murray state university, and graduated with a BFA in 1976. After a brief freelance career, he came to TSR in 1982 as a staff artist. He served in that capacity throughout the WOTC merger, before parting ways in 2003. Today he continues to freelance from his home in Wisconsin.
Some of Jeff’s notable works include the cover art of the 1st edition incarnations of the Monster Manual, Monster Manual II, Legends & Lore, Unearthed Arcana, Oriental Adventures, and the Dungeoneer’s survival guide. His artwork is also well represented on the 2nd edition core books: the Player’s handbook, Dungeon Master’s guide, and Monstrous Manual. Jeff is also the unofficial Gary Con staff artist.
Jayson Elliot is the editor-in-chief of Gygax Magazine, as well as president and co-founder of the new TSR, along with Luke & Ernie Gygax. Now into its second volume, Gygax Magazine is the spiritual descendant of Dragon Magazine, a legacy that is kept on track by Contributing Editor Tim Kask, the original editor of The Strategic Review and The Dragon.
As the president of TSR, Jayson is shaping the direction of the new company, including a number of D&D-compatible adventure modules from Luke Gygax, James Carpio, and Frank Mentzer; two new shows for the TSR Podcast Network, Game School and Cube of Death; and some soon-to-be-announced digital products.
Jayson’s first publication was a punk / goth music magazine, Permission, from 1992-2001. In 2006, he began podcasting with Permission Radio, and in 2010, co-founded Roll for Initiative, the First Edition AD&D podcast. A gamer since 1982, Jayson’s favorite RPGs are AD&D, Top Secret, and Godlike.
Matt is an award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author and game designer. He has twenty-eight novels and countless games published to date. His latest work includes the novel Halo: New Blood, the Magic: The Gathering comics, the 2014 edition of The Marvel Encyclopedia, the Monster Academy YA fantasy novels, and the upcoming Shotguns & Sorcery roleplaying game based on his novels. He lives in Beloit, WI, with his wife and five children, including a set of quadruplets.
Gaming professional since 1994, when he self-published The Dark Library, a fanzine for his interest in miniatures games such as Warhammer 40k. Heartbreaker Hobbies & Games later hired him as editor-in-chief of their own magazine, Forge: The Magazine of Miniature Gaming. Goodman then started his own game publishing company, Goodman Games, with his first RPG being Broncosaurus Rex. Despite success with Broncosaurus Rex and then moving to fantasy dungeon crawls. With Dungeon Crawl Classics, Goodman was trying to publish the sort of intelligent dungeon crawl adventures that he was interested in playing, and he wanted to serve the large part of the demographic market made up of older gamers.
The eldest son of Gary Gygax, co-creator of D&D, Ernie served as one of the very few original play-testers for Chainmail and Dungeons and Dragons. Ernie helped to shape both games by his ambitious and relentless play. His characters would become legendary to the D&D universe.
He was the manager of TSR’s Dungeon Hobby Shop, and later with Margaret Weis and Don Perrin’s store the Game Guild. Ernie reckons that he has had the pleasure of teaching well over a thousand people of all ages how to enjoy games of all types, but primarily Old School Dungeons and Dragons. Ernie served up his own dungeon for the regular players as well as the many customers of the Dungeon Hobby Shop. Which he is currently publishing with the "GP Adventures" project. New adventures abound. Join him and delve the famed dungeon!
Bruce Heard was born and raised in Nice, France. While attending the Lycée he first developed interest in war games, primarily Avalon Hill games such as Kriegspiel, Luftwaffe, Third Reich, & Panzer Leader – the Classics.
While living in San Francisco he discovered Dungeon’s & Dragon’s Basic Set. Upon his return to France, he joined his first D&D group. Shortly after he began writing articles on D&D and AD&D for French gaming magazine, "Casus Belli." A fortuitous turn of events led him to meet Gary Gygax, and he was hired in 1983 to translate TSR games into French. In 1985, Bruce transferred to the Games Division as an acquisitions coordinator. A few years later, he headed the creative team for the world of Mystara in the D&D basic/expert line.
Game designs include “CM7 Tree of Life,” “M1 Into the Maelstrom,” GAZ3 "Principalities of Glantri," and GAZ10 "Orcs of Thar." Bruce co-authored Dragons of Faith. Bruce also authored the popular “Voyage of the Princess Ark” series for Dragon magazine.
Today, as an indie publisher, his new projects are based on a new fantasy setting of his creation, the World of Calidar, available at DTRPG.com
Tim met Gary Gygax at a Gen Con in 1974 a few weeks after calling him at home to inquire about some chainmail rules. Tim was introduced to a brand new game called Dungeons & Dragons while at Gen Con. He was instantly enamored and began running it for his gaming group in Carbondale, IL. Gary & Tim stayed in contact and Tim’s group unknowingly served as playtesters for the new game. This relationship eventually lead to Tim being hired by Gary as the first full time employee at fledgling Tactical Studies Rules (later TSR, INC) in 1976.
Tim worked as an editor and game developer for TSR during the formative years of Dungeons & dragons. Tim’s first assignment was editing and developing Dave Arneson’s Blackmoor (OD&D Supplement). Later he worked on Eldritch Wizardry Gods, Demi Gods & heroes and Swords & spells (OD&D supplement 3.4. & 5 respectively). Tim took over the Strategic Review and transitioned it into The Dragon Magazine. He was the editor for the first 33 issues of Dragon.
It should be no surprise that Tim is “old school” as they come. He is a proponent of the axiom that “less is more” when it comes to roleplaying games he continues to run his D&D campaign with a free-wheeling, fun first attitude. He is currently working for Eldritch enterprises developing great new adventures for us to enjoy.
Tim Kask served honorably in the United States Navy from 1967-1971 and is a Vietnam Veteran. He resides in the Midwest with his bride of over 40 years, Cheryl. Outside of gaming he enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, bass fishing and flying kites.
David formed Kenzer & Company with six other stalwart RPG enthusiasts in 1993. Since then he has teamed up with Jolly Blackburn and is responsible for the publication of “Knights of the Dinner Table” as well as HackMaster RPG, Aces and Eights RPG, the Monty Python CCG, the Kingdoms of Kalamar fantasy campaign setting to name a few.
David is the proud father of three daughters, a loyal Chicago Bears fan (Bear Down!) and an all-around great American. He is best known at Gary Con for running numerous pick up sessions of Hackmaster and finding new inventive ways to achieve TPK’S.
Terry Kuntz was born on December 25th 1953. This Christmas miracle became involved in miniatures wargaming by the age of 15. He learned much from his brother Rob, who played miniatures and board games with his friend Gary Gygax. All three were members of the Lake Geneva Tactical Studies Association.
In 1970 Terry, Rob and Don Kaye joined the Gary Gygax and his children Ernie and Elise for the second session of Gygax’s new game (at that time) Dungeons and Dragons. Inspired, Terry went on to create and conceive the monster known as the Beholder and the infamous Energy-draining Sword. In 1975 Terry began working at TSR designing rule sets, games, and even managed Dungeon Hobby Shop.
Dave ‘Diesel’ LaForce
David S. LaForce is one of the first generation artist for Dungeons & Dragons. LaForce started his career in 1979 with TSR where he was initially hired in the shipping department. Catching the eye of David Sutherland, (head of TSR’s art department) who had him submit some sample drawings. Two of the three samples were bought and used for the Dungeon Master’s Guide. LaForce was hired by the art department where he remained until 1998. One of his first assignments was “C1: The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachin.” Many of his illustrations can be seen in the first Dungeons & Dragons manuals. LaForce’s love of historical map cartography can be depicted in the designs he has created in Dragonlance, Birthright and Dark Sun.
Fun Fact: Laforce earned the nickname “Diesel” at TSR. This came about because there was several individuals named David that worked there at that time and Mike Carr happened to notice that LaForce was signing his artwork with his initials “DSL”. Slurring the letters together made the word “Diesel.”
Chris Lindsay is a Product Marketing Specialist for Dungeons & Dragons at Wizards of the Coast where he works with the larger team to produce and market the tabletop RPG, and has been integral to the success of the fifth edition of the game. Additionally, Chris has been a published RPG designer since the 3rd edition of the game. Though he has played many RPGs, his first love is, and has always been D&D, for which he has been a Dungeon Master and player since 1980. Chris is also an avid fan of 1st and 3rd person shooters with strong sci-fi elements, such as Gears of War, Destiny, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and the Borderlands series of consoles games. He also dearly loves both Guitar Hero and Rock Band, two games that have inflicted a serious case of tennis elbow upon him in the past.
Greg Marks is an evil mastermind directing his criminal army of precocious felines from the birthplace of gaming: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. He and his cat minions have worked on products for every edition of Dungeons and Dragons and written too many adventures for organized play campaigns to count. He has administered several OP campaigns and is currently the Associate Resource Manager for D&D Adventurers League. Greg and his cats have written for Dragon and Dungeon Magazines, Fantasy Flight Games' Midnight setting, Raging Swan Press, and Kobold Press. When DMing, Greg says he loves to weave a memorable story, whether the players prefer challenging combats or lots of social interaction.
Mike Mearls works as the Senior Manager on the D&D team. He led the development of the fifth edition rules and oversees the development of new campaigns, worlds, and rules for the game. Other RPGs he has worked on include Feng Shui, Unknown Armies, Vampire, and Warhammer FRP. He’s been a D&D player since the early 1980s. His other interests include the fiction of Clark Ashton Smith and Fritz Leiber, the films of Quentin Tarantino, and video games such as Destiny and Halo.
He took part in playing fantasy adventures in Dave Arneson’s original Blackmoor, a game that incorporated much of the Fantasy Supplement of Gary Gygax and Jeff Perren’s Chainmail game. These experiences and codified them in to a much more regular, but still dynamic, board game Dungeon! in 1973. Gary Gygax was the biggest proponent of the game, playtesting, making modifications, creating variants, and shopping is around to various game publishers. At one point, Gary and David made an offering of the game, titled Dungeons of Pasha Cada, to Don Lowry of Guidon Games but it was ultimately decided that it would be too expensive to print the maps. Finally, the game was picked up by TSR who put it into production in 1975.
Since then, Dungeon! has been the most successful board game ever produced by TSR and is still being published to this day! In fact, in August 2012, the game’s current owner, Hasbro, put out a brand new edition of the game and in 2014 revised the game’s presentation to appeal to younger players in yet another release!
Frank is an accomplished folk musician & master baker. He is also a famous fantasy author and game designer. Frank worked from TSR, Inc. from 1980-1986. During that time he established the Role-Playing Games Association (RPGA), revised and expanded the Basic Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) rules in five box sets (Basic, Expert, Companion, Master, & Immortals), and served as creative advisor to chairman of the board- Gary Gygax. Frank recently got the “band back together” and is busing designing the future classic adventure materials with the team at Eldritch Enterprises.
Frank has been the head auctioneer at the Gen Con game auction since 1983, where he puts his expert knowledge of collectible games to good use. It is rumored that he once sold a copy of GW1: Legion of Gold for over $100! Frank has a humungously large & envied collection of board games. He enjoys sharing these classic games with fellow board game aficionados at conventions around the country. Frank has always shared his knowledge and stories of gaming, and is a plethora of information on gaming.
Michael first became involved in wargaming back in early 1972. A friend of his in Boy Scouts invited him to join a tabletop battle game at Don Kaye's house. That Saturday they played Chainmail on Gary Gygax's original sand table that had been moved from 330 Center St. into Don's garage. Sometime in late 1972, while outside of Don Kaye's garage, one of the other players, Rob Kuntz, mentioned that Gary Gygax had a new game called Greyhawk and invited him to a game.
During his college days Michael was a member of the University of Minneapolis Conflict Simulation Association. The faculty advisor for this club was none other than Professor Phil Barker. The good professor had long been developing his Far-East/Far-Future world of Tekumel and its languages. Michael introduced Prof. Barker to D&D and eventually to Gary Gygax in 1974. This would ultimately result in TSR's publication of Tekumel as a D&D world.
Terry was first published at age 14 by TSR. Graduated
from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design with BFA’s
in Illustration, Graphic Design, and Advertising.
Freelances as Haus of Design, undertaking Illustration
and Graphic Design, in comics, RPG, logos, etc.
He has created works for the likes of in RPG/CCG work for Wizards of the Coast, Fantasy Flight Games, White Wolf, Frog God Games, TPK Games, comics for DC, Image, Disney.
Sketch cards for Cypozonic Entertainment (Adventure Time), TOPPS (Star Wars), Cult Stuff Cards (Dracula, War of the Worlds, Sherlock Holmes) book publishers for Ballentine Books, Baen Books, and Silver Warrior Books.
tshirts for LucasFilms, Warner Brothers, Hanna Barbera/MGM and toy manufactures for Mattel and Astonishing Toys.
Currently working on a new series "Strange Detective Mysteries, DeadWorld Source Book, DeadWorld Soda labels and Zelda's Zombie Zoo" from Caliber Comics, "Pathfinder" source books for TPK Games, and "Da'kota" (creator/artist) and covers for REH: Two Gun Raconteur and doing a line of pulp style covers for Pro Se Productions.
Here are a few notable publications as Print Magazine,
The Society of Illustrators Annual, and The Art of H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. Clients include Disney, Image comics, Wizard of the Coast, Miller Brewing, Ballentine Books.
Lives in Wisconsin with his wife and two daughters, a Siamese Black cat, Jack and still loves what he does for a living.
Some nuggets on my work:
* Nominated @ PULP WORLD AWARDS for best cover (2010, 201215), best interiors (201215)
* Nominated @ GHOULIES AWARDS for best horror interiors (201315)
* Cocreated, plotted and cover art for "Strange Detective Mysteries," a steampunk murder mystery series trade paperback for Caliber Comics. Nominated @ AMERICAN MYSTERIES AWARDS for best trade / graphic novel series
Jeff Perren was an early member of the Lake Geneva Tactical Studies Association along with Gary Gygax, Terry and Rob Kuntz, Ernie Gygax, Mike Reese, Leon Tucker, and Don Kaye. Perren developed his own rules for Siege of Bodenburg, and shared them with Gary Gygax. Early in 1970, the LGTSA purchased a considerable number of Elastolin figures, which motivated Perren to develop four pages of his own rules for these miniatures which focused on mass combat. Perren and Gygax put together this set of medieval miniatures rules and called it Chainmail for publication in a Castle & Crusade Society fanzine called The Domesday Book. Perren and Gygax also designed the miniatures game Cavaliers and Roundheads (1973), the first game published by Gygax's company TSR.
Stefan Pokorny is a fine artist and former art teacher who began running 1st edition D&D games around the tender age of 14 years old. In 1996, he founded Dwarven Forge, a Miniatures Terrain company that started slowly but would go on to fund 4 hugely successful Kickstarter campaigns. He has run his “Theatrical” D&D games at various conventions, including GaryCon, GameHole Con, ConnectiCon, and others.
He has been featured in several documentaries: The Dungeons and Dragons Experience by Jesse Spiro and Enter the Dungeon by Richard DiNardo. In 2016 he was the subject of Josh Bishop’s Documentary Film: The Dwarvenaut (now available on Netflix). Due to the success of The Dwarvenaut, he has been mentioned or has been the subject of articles in Forbes, New York Magazine, NY Daily News, The Brooklyn Paper, The Brooklyn Ink, DNA-info New York and has been invited to talk at the Barney School of business, and AOL talks.
He is the original creator of the fantasy world of Mythras and the City of Valoria. With the help of others, he has put forth the module: Tapestry of Deceit and published a book of Cartographic Maps and Dungeons. His latest dream is to release the Mythras Campaign sourcebook to the world!
Merle’s worlds include science fiction, fantasy, old west, and espionage role playing.
In 2017, RG1: Rasmussen’s Guide: A Science Fiction Supplement for Any System by Nomad Gaming will include statistics, short stories, and adventures.
A portion of “New Profession Paths” for Aces and Eights® Shattered Frontiers appeared in Knights of the Dinner Table® Magazine Issue #234 by Kenzer and Company.
The Pantheon Series P3 OPERATION: RENDEZVOUS OASIS for TOP SECRET® Espionage Role Playing Game by TSR, Inc. is now in print.
Merle will be play testing mission modules for CODE NAME: ACRID HERALD 21st Century Espionage and Covert Operations Role-Playing System by TSR, Inc.
He started wargaming in 1962 and was soon subscribing to The General magazine by Avalon Hill. When reading that magazine shortly after graduating high school in 1966 he saw a classified ad for board wargaming with a fellow by the name of Gary Gygax who lived in Lake Geneva. Mike responded to the call for opponents and was soon playing Afrika Korps and other board and miniature wargames with the local crowd. Soon they formed themselves into the Lake Geneva Tactical Studies Association (LGTSA) and in no time Mike found himself helping set up a wargaming sand table in the basement of Gary Gygax’s house at 330 Center St. where they began pooling funds to amass miniatures for their games.
All the while Mike was developing skirmish rules for WWII and moderns. With Gary’s support and encouragement and the aid of Leon Tucker the three began developing a set of WWII and modern rules for armored warfare. This work led to the publication of Fast Rules (by Reese and Tucker) and ultimately Tractics (by Reese, Tucker, and Gygax). During this time Mike also enlisted into the Army’s Armored Cavalry. Just prior to shipping out for Germany he was given seven days leave and was able to make it to Lake Geneva for the Gen Con premier of Tractics!
Robert J. Schwalb
Robert J. Schwalb is a writer, game designer, and game developer best known for his contributions to Dungeons & Dragons, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Robert launched his own imprint in 2014, Schwalb Entertainment. Shadow of the Demon Lord, his first game from his new company, releases Fall 2015.
Stephen D. Sullivan
He was born in Moline Illinois. Stephen is an American author, artist, editor, publisher (Walkabout Publishing), and radio host. Sullivan is well known in the gaming community for his work with TSR (editorial/design team – graphic arts). In 1984, he became the art director for the gaming company Pacesetter.
His work as a freelance writer, artist and editor includes but not limited to Teenage mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, Star Wars, Middle-earth, Fantastic 4, Speed Racer, Thunderbirds, Dragonlance, Legend of the Five Rings, Iron Man, Darkwing Duck, and Mage Knight. Sullivan is the author of Dragonlance: The New Adventures books, The Dying Kindgom, volume two of the series, and Warrior’s Heart, the first book in the Goodlund Trilogy.
Fun Fact: Sullivan taught a course in Dungeons and Dragons at MIT. He and teaching partner, Marty Sirkinwere, were the first to teach Dungeons and Dragons at a university.
Graduated from the American Academy of Art in 1989. From there, I stippled my way into the commercial field working for a few Chicago agencies. I’ve been doing my fantasy art since 1990 and started freelancing for FASA in 1991. My first painting for publication was in 1992 for FASA’s Jake Falcon Sourcebook. I was hired as a full time illustrator for FASA in the fall of 1992. My work can be found in Shadowrun, MechWarrior, and EarthDawn. I was hired as a full-time artist with TSR as well. Later, was hired by the Wizards of the Coast as an artist for Magic and the Potter cards. And, I have done artwork for the D&D Birthright covers as well.
Jeffrey P. Talanian
Jeffrey Talanian, designer for North Wind Adventures, started playing Dungeons & Dragons in 1981, and he’s been running heroic campaigns ever since. From 2005 to 2008, Jeff had the opportunity to develop several Castle Zagyg projects under the guidance of his friend and mentor, E. Gary Gygax (R.I.P.). These days, Jeff’s focus is on the RPG he authored, the ENnie nominated Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea (AS&SH). He’s written several critically acclaimed adventures for AS&SH, including “Charnel Crypt of the Sightless Serpent,” “Taken from Dunwich,” “Rats in the Walls,” and “Ghost Ship of the Desert Dunes.” Jeff has also contributed to several magazines, including AFS, Fight On!, Gygax Magazine, and Knockspell.
Jim Wampler is the creator of the Marvin the Mage comic and is a game writer, designer, and artist. Jim’s art and articles first appeared in Tim Kask’s Adventure Gaming magazine and Judges Guild’s Pegasus magazine in the 1980s. In 2006 he formed Mudpuppy Games and published Metamorphosis Alpha 4th edition, and he wrote and illustrated the GALACTA•3 science fiction miniatures game. More recently, he has contributed cover art and comics to the Knights of the Dinner Table magazine, a Metamorphosis Alpha adventure for Goodman Games, and is writing an old school-themed post-apocalyptic RPG for publication in 2015.
James M. Ward
Obviously, he was born, and not quite as obviously, he has lived a pleasantly long time. He married his high school sweetheart and she’s put up with him for 45 years. He has three unusually charming sons, Breck, James, and Theon. They in turn have given him six startlingly charming grandchildren, Keely, Miriam, Sophie, James Preston, Teagan, Noah.
In that same stretch of time he managed to write the first science fiction roleplaying game, Metamorphosis Alpha; he worked for TSR and did lots of D&D and AD&D things; and designed the bestselling Spell Fire and Dragon Ball Z CCGs.
He has written all manner of things that he is unusually proud of - the DRAGON LAIRDS board game, the novel Halcyon Blithe: Midshipwizard, the My Precious Present card game; and the RPG supplement Of Gods & Monsters.
Currently he is the lead architect of Irradiated Death and Destruction at Eldritch Enterprises and the go-to-guy when his sons need a babysitter.
Margaret Weis moved to Lake Geneva in 1983 to take a job as book editor at TSR, Inc., and thereafter became part of the Dragonlance design team. Created by Tracy Hickman, the world of Dragonlance has continued to intrigue fans of both the novels and the game for decades.
Margaret and Tracy wrote the first of many fantasy novels, the Dragonlance Chronicles, which are still in print after more than 30 years. The books have sold over twenty million copies worldwide.
Margaret is the author or coauthor of several other New York Times best-selling series, including Darksword, Rose of the Prophet, Star of the Guardians, The Death Gate Cycle, Dragonships of Vindras, and Dragon Brigade. The movie rights to Star of the Guardians have been optioned by Filmscope Entertainment of Australia.
Her new series, The Dragon Corsairs, with Robert Krammes, is being published by Tor Books, beginning with Spymaster in March 2017.
Margaret and her daughter, Lizz, have written two paranormal romance novels, Warrior Angel and Rebel Angel, published by DAW Books.
Margaret lives in Wisconsin with four dogs, Dixie, Tika, Joey the Thug, and Clancy the Hooligan. They enjoy competing in flyball tournaments with their team, the Barkbarians.
Wesely earned a BS in Physics at Hamline University in 1967and a MS in High energy Physics at the University of Kansas in 1969.
Wesely joined the Army reserves in 1968, he served on active duty in the army from 1970-1977. Wesely continued to serve in the reserves until 1990 rising to the rank of major. In 1976 TSR Published Valley Forge a set of miniature war gaming rules. Wesely’s board game “source of the Nile” was published by Discovery Games & later By Avalon hill. Wesely worked for Coleco porting games from arcade to home console, such as Spy Hunter & Zaxxon. Wesely has been a regular at Gen Con and Origins since 1995 speaking at seminars.
Tom Wham is best known for creating whimsical board games that feature his unique artwork. However his first design credit is actually a miniatures wargame titled “Ironclad” with Don Lowry in 1973. Tom worked for Guidon Games when Gary Gygax asked him to run the auction at Gen Con IV. A few years later, in 1977 Tom came to work at TSR, Inc. Tom held many positions with TSR over the years from general office support to manager of the Dungeon Hobby Shop. He contributed to many projects, including artwork for the AD&D Monsters manual and published several games in The Dragon magazine.
His game design credits include; Snit Smashing, Snit’s Revenge, Awful green things from outer space, King’s & thing’s , Dragon Lairds with James M. Ward (a game much enjoyed by Gary, Ernie, and Luke Gygax) and most recently Feudality.
Tom Wham served honorably in the United States navy for four years. He is a Vietnam veteran that served aboard a communications vessel in the gulf of Tonkin. After many years as informational technology specialist at the Lake Geneva library, he retired in 2003. Tom continues to design games today.
Skip Williams: professes a love of old things, such as classic Hollywood movies, musty old books, vintage airplanes, his wife, penny, and the century old farmhouse he shares with her-though not necessarily in that order. He is a native of Lake Geneva, WI.
Skip has numerous role-playing game credits, and has dabbled in many other things. When not contriving dire plots to bedevil role-players, Skip putters in his vegetable garden and orchard (which keep many deer and rabbits fed), and works to reclaim the fields around the farmhouse from the obstinate weeds that blanket them. He also paints toy miniature figures.
The Williams house is the site of an annual Christmas cookie bake that draws friends from both sides of the Atlantic; it’s also the permanent home to a growing pride of unruly house cats.