Peter Adkison has worked as a serial entrepreneur in the tabletop games industry since 1990. His first business was Wizards of the Coast, which he founded in 1990. During his 11-year tenure as CEO, Wizards published Magic: The Gathering, acquired and relaunched Dungeons & Dragons, and brought the Pokémon trading cards out of Japan to the rest of the world.
After leaving Wizards he acquired the Gen Con tabletop games convention which he still owns (www.gencon.com). Under his ownership, Gen Con has grown from 18,000 attendees to over 61,000.
At age 50, Peter Adkison decided to change careers and follow his dream of becoming a filmmaker. After a couple of experimental projects, Adkison has decided to focus his efforts on Chaldea, a fantasy webseries that combines live action film with comic art (www.worldofchaldea.com).
Chris Arneson graduated from UW Whitewater with a BFA in 1996. As a freelance illustrator he has had the pleasure of working on such CCGs as World of Warcraft, Legend of the Five Rings, Legend of the Burning Sands, Doomtown, Rifts, Wheel of Time and Warlord. Being a local to the Lake the Geneva area he considered himself lucky to get to work with Jim Ward, Lester Smith and Tim Brown on their Dragon Elves game. Lately he has been having a ton of fun freelancing for Joseph Goodman, of Goodman Games, on his MCC and DCC lines, including multiple modules from their Lankhmar Kickstarter.
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.
Adam Bradford (aka BadEye) is the Product Director for D&D Beyond at Curse. His passion for gaming started with The Legend of Zelda, but his first love has been Dungeons & Dragons for over two decades. He started DDB in 2017 and oversees the continued growth of the platform. Adam lives in Huntsville, Alabama with his wife, two sons, and his husky and bassador animal companions named Samson and Delilah. You can find Adam on Twitter (@BadEyeAdam).
Jason Braun is a freelance illustrator who lives in an unpronounceable Wisconsin town. He graduated from UW-Milwaukee in 1998 and worked as a graphic designer for years before leaving the corporate world to focus on his art. In addition to his OSR credits, which include Gamehole Publishing, Goblinoid Games, Chaotic Henchmen Productions, Black Blade Publishing, and Pied Piper Publishing, Jason loves to create creepy horror art – just for funsies. He also writes and illustrates a semiweekly webcomic at TrollAndFriends.com.
He's been a gamer since 1985, having cut his teeth on Mentzer's Red Box but only after assurances that playing D&D wouldn't make him worship the devil; because it was the 80s. Jason is a cat whisperer, an ordained Dudeist minister and enjoys camping, horror movies, and Irish whiskey.
Jason Bulmahn is the Director of Game Design at Paizo Inc. and creator of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. After joining Paizo as the Managing Editor of Dragon Magazine in 2004, Jason went on to take over as the Lead Designer in 2007. His RPG design credits include the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, Bestiary, Advanced Player's Guide, Beginner Box, and the Advanced Class Guide. Jason has written for Paizo Inc., Wizards of the Coast, and his personal imprint, Minotaur Games. His work has earned one Origins Award and more than twenty-five ENnie Awards, including Best Game and Product of the Year.
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!"
Cook, David “Zeb”
David "Zeb" Cook joined the TSR design staff in 1979, as employee #24 and through the dint of persistence rose employee #2 or 3 (in senority only) the time he left in 1994.In those years he designed such things as X1: The Isle of Dread (with the late Tom Moldvay), the D&D Expert Set, Oriental Adventures, the AD&D 2nd Edition Rules, the Conan RPG, the Indiana Jones RPG, the Escape From New York boardgame (really!), the Planescape Campaign Setting, and what must have been the personal pinnacle of his career the Bullwinkle and Rocky Party Game. After leaving TSR, Zeb entered the world of videogames where he worked on a lot of things that never saw the light of day and a few that did such as Lords of the Realm III and the City of Villains MMO. He currently works as a Content Zone Lead on the successful and entertaining Elder Scrolls Online MMO.
In addition to RPGs and MMOs, he's a big fan of historical and not-so-historical miniatures, welding and laser cutters, bicycling, and good beer.
Jeremy Crawford is the lead rules designer of Dungeons & Dragons and the game’s managing editor. He led the design of the 5th edition Player’s Handbook and co-led the design of a variety of other D&D books, including the Dungeon Master’s Guide, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes. Before coming to Wizards of the Coast eleven years ago, he wrote for the games Blue Rose, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and Mutants & Masterminds.
Michael Curtis is the fevered mind behind many of Goodman Games’ more popular adventures for the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. He’s also the one responsible for the award-winning The Dungeon Alphabet. When not furiously rushing to meet deadlines, Michael’s mind can be found wandering the Appalachian fantasy setting of the Shudder Mountains, stalking the corridors of the Warden, prowling the foggy streets of Lankhmar, or fleeing for his life in Tegel Manor—all settings he’s lent his talent to. Michael lives in Suffolk County, NY, with the requisite number of books and cats to maintain his writer status.
Darlene the Artist
Darlene is an American artist and calligrapher whose artwork appeared in early Dungeons & Dragons works published by TSR. Her best-known piece, the full-colour map of the Flanaess that accompanied the 1980 folio edition of the World of Greyhawk by Gary Gygax, was used as the basis of all subsequent Greyhawk publications and maps until Greyhawk publications were discontinued by Wizards of the Coast in 2008.
In 1982 DARLENE created Jasmine: The Battle for the Mid-Realm card game, the first roleplaying card game in history. She left Lake Geneva (and the RPG world) in 1984 to pursue studies in the graphic arts at Indiana University, where she earned her MFA three years later. She soon settled into a freelance career as a graphic designer and illustrator.
Fast forward to 2005, when Gary Gygax contacted her. Their reunion pulled DARLENE back into RPGs, beginning with the creation of two full-color foldout maps for Gary’s Castle Zagyg series. She resides in the witch-haunted Uwharrie Mountains of North Carolina with sibling cats Mila and Milo in an Addams family style house, complete with ghosts, gargoyles, and portals into other dimensions. But you can visit her at darlenetheartist.com or at StarCatBookDesign.com.
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.
I have been creating fantasy and science fiction art for over 40 years.
I was best known for the work I did at TSR Inc., the company that produced the role playing game Dungeons & Dragons,
Since 1987, I’ve been working as a freelance illustrator, creating covers for comics, computer games, magazines, fantasy and science fiction books and many other projects. I have worked for other publishers such as BAEN books, Bantam, Warner Books, ACE/Berkley, Doubleday, and Del Rey. I am also the co-author of Runes of Autumn and creator of the Sovereign Stone series. In the gaming and comic industries, I have freelanced for TSR, Inc, FASA, Mayfair Games, Game Designer’s Workshop, White Wolf, Iron Crown Enterprises, Dragon Magazine, Amazing Magazine, Wizard Press, D. C. Comics, First Comics, Eclipse Comics and Frank Frazetta’s Fantasy Illustrated. Miscellaneous credits include LJN Toys, Mattel, Lucas Films, Tonka, Monogram Models, Western Publishing, Sony Entertainment’s EverQuest, and various computer game covers.
Joseph Goodman founded Goodman Games in 2001 and has had a lot of fun publishing games ever since. Joseph created the Dungeon Crawl Classics line of adventure modules, and is the lead author on DCC RPG. He reads way too much and tries to get out to the woods at least once a month. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area, caught halfway between civilization and the wilderness, halfway between gamers and the muggles, halfway between a life of the mind and the real world. He has a wonderful non-gamer wife April, who is enthusiastically helping to raise his two sons Haven and Pearce to become just as interested in games as their dad.
Gary’s eldest daughter attended the early Gen Con conventions as a young child, selling “gourmet” hot dogs and sodas to hungry game enthusiasts.
One of the original D&D play testers, and helped collate the original boxed sets in the basement of their 330 Center Street house.
Worked for TSR from 1976 to 1981 starting as a girl Friday, worked various positions; Reception, Sales and Advertising departments and attended Trade Shows and Gaming Conventions. She hesitantly, admits to modeling for various 1970’s gaming advertisements, and the last position she held at TSR was Executive Secretary to the President and CEO, (i.e. Gary Gygax), and was his personal chauffer. She also worked on the first Lanier word processor inputting original Dungeons & Dragons manuscripts, and answering fan mail.
Elise moved to Hawaii in 1985 and would send her father Hawaiian shirts for his birthday’s and Holidays. The brighter the shirt the better as far as Gary was concerned, which he would wear to game conventions and enjoy seeing people’s reaction to his attire.
After her father’s passing, she proposed the original Monument plan to the city of Lake Geneva working with Hollywood concept artist, Keith Christensen, (Keith’s works include; X-men, Star Trek, Star Wars, Thor and Dunkirk to name a few, www.artofkc.com), who graciously donated his time and talents for the monument and other design work. The monument project was passed to Gygax Memorial Fund, so Keith worked with Elise on a design for a Memorial Brick which was placed by the Gygax siblings at The Riviera Fountain in their father’s honor.
Inspired by Gary’s love for Hawaiian shirts, Keith and Elise have collaborated on a special edition Aloha shirt design in honor of her father which will be available at Gary Con X.
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!
Heidi Gygax grew up around the gaming industry as the third child of Mary Jo and E. Gary Gygax. From a young age, Heidi and her siblings worked concession stands at Horticultural Hall for Gen Con game conventions, and later worked in the TSR booth. In her teens, Heidi began working summers at TSR, and later full time in the Gen Con department, at the Dungeon Hobby Shop, and Marketing, until the ousting of all named Gygax. For the last 29 years, Heidi manages a dragon’s wealth in gemstones and jewelry as the Director of Customer Relationship Management for Na Hoku, a large national jewelry retailer and manufacturer based in Honolulu, Hawaii. She has been collaborating with Jeff "Duck" Leason on a D&D module (watch for a Kickstarter in 2020) and makes the pilgrimage to Lake Geneva and her gaming roots once a year to celebrate at Gary Con with her family and friends
Allen Hammack has contributed to some 80 products as author, designer, editor, or developer. The “Master of Mythology” most recently was editor of and on the design team for the Top Secret: New World Ordertm espionage RPG by the new TSR. 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 (which some say foretold the Thor: Ragnarok movie…), 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 specifically referenced in the second D&D movie and the TV show The Goldbergs.
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 recently contributed to a Goodman Games book and is working with Game Hole Publishing on a special project.
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!
Steve Jackson has been designing games for 40 years and has no plans to stop. His creations include Munchkin, Illuminati, the GURPS and TFT roleplaying systems, Ogre, Car Wars, and Zombie Dice. He was recently gobsmacked by an invitation to visit Dublin as one of the Guests of Honour at the 2019 World Science Fiction convention. He said yes, of course.
Jennell Jaquays professional life has centered around game making for over 40 years. She pioneered pre-made RPG scenarios in her Dungeons & Dragons fanzine The Dungeoneer in 1976 and is STILL known for her Judges Guild D&D adventures Dark Tower, Caverns of Thracia, and Book of Treasure Maps, while Runequest fans know her for Griffin Mountain and Duck Tower. Traveller players remember her for illustrations of Warships in Fighting Ships (Traveller Supplement 9). One of her small sketches also graces the pages of the first issue of Dragon magazine.
She assembled one of the first in-house video game art and design studios at Coleco to make ColecoVision games, hiring several former TSR designers to be a part of her staff. All the non-educational video and computer games produced by Coleco were designed or developed by her team.
After Coleco, she worked independently as an illustrator and game content designer, and then joined TSR as a cover artist and briefly as director of graphics in the early 90s. As the line artist for Mystara, Dragon Dice (both covers and dice icon), and for a short time, AD&D, she added to the vast wealth of TSR’s art legacy.
She departed TSR and table top gaming in early 1997 just ahead of the Wizards of the Coast acquisition to return to computer games, first as a designer for id Software on the Quake 2 and Quake 3 first person shooter titles, and later as an artist for Age of Empires III and Halo Wars at Microsoft/Ensemble Studios, and then as the level design lead on CCP’s vampire MMO based on White Wolf’s World of Darkness.
She is considered one of the founders of The SMU Guildhall in Dallas, a leading master’s degree level video game development school within Southern Methodist University. She was instrumental in both establishing the structure and focus of the program and designing the first art curriculum for it. Her son was an early graduate of Guildhall and works as a senior level artist in the digital game industry.
Jennell is a 2017 inductee into the Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame and currently divides her creative energy between illustration and game adventure design projects for design studio Dragongirl Studios, her Fifth Wall brand of game adventures and miniatures, and serving as the creative director for Olde Sküül, Inc. a digital game developer and publisher based in California’s Bay Area, which she founded with three other veteran female developers in 2012.
Joe Manganiello is an actor, a producer, a director, a published author, and an Emmy winning narrator. He holds a BFA in acting from The Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama and could most recently be seen battling giant monsters in New Line’s RAMPAGE with Dwayne Johnson and in his debut as super-villain ‘Deathstroke,’ during the end credits scene in Warner Brothers/DCEU’s JUSTICE LEAGUE. Manganiello has just completed work on SHOPLIFTERS OF THE WORLD, which his company 359 also produced. Joe will next be seen in the title role of the redemption drama STANO, about a man who returns to the Bronx after serving 18 years in prison for a mistake he made as a kid that ultimately robbed him of a professional baseball career and the love of his life, which Manganiello also produced.
Over the years Manganiello became a household name for his roles as the werewolf ‘Alcide Herveaux,’ on five seasons of HBO’s smash hit TRUE BLOOD, and as ‘Big Dick Richie’ in Steven Soderbergh’s MAGIC MIKE and MAGIC MIKE XXL (Warner Brothers). Between the two Magic Mike films, Manganiello stepped behind the camera to self-finance, produce, and direct the documentary LA BARE which debuted at the Slamdance Film Festival and sold that same evening to territories around the world including Netflix and Showtime. For his work on the film Manganiello was given the Triple Threat Award at the 2014 Maui International Film Festival.
His first book EVOLUTION has been printed in several languages and is available through Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books and served as the precursor for the 2018 launch of his fitness app, EVOLUTION359.
Manganiello periodically returns to his theater roots. A few of his most notable performances were playing the role of ‘Stanley Kowalski’ in a 2013 production of Tennessee William’s “A Streetcar Named Desire” for the Yale Repertory Theater. And before that helping to workshop the role of “Leo Belraggio” for legendary writer Terrence McNally at the Ojai Playwright's festival before going on to play the character in the 2010 West Coast premiere of "Unusual Acts of Devotion" for The La Jolla Playhouse.
His other film and television roles include Pee Wee Herman’s best friend in the Netflix comedy, PEE WEE’S BIG HOLIDAY, the voice of the heroic and lovable ‘Hefty Smurf’ in the Sony Picures Animation reboot, SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE, starring alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in David Ayer’s action drama SABOTAGE (Open Road), the ensemble comedy film, WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING (Lionsgate), 'Flash Thompson in Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN, and several seasons of the Emmy Award-nominated CBS show “How I Met Your Mother.”
Aside from his film work, Manganiello also moonlights as a consultant for Dungeons & Dragons and is involved in writing content for their adventure modules as well as working on an upcoming graphic novel series, and the launch of his heavy-metal inspired streetwear line Death Saves.
Manganiello is heavily involved in philanthropy and serves on the board of trustees for Children’s Hospital Pittsburgh.
Lisa Perkins – BWR Public Relations
Alex Kammer is a lifelong gamer and a maniac collector. He started playing D&D in 1982 and for that last 20+ years has been playing in a weekly gaming group – The Gamehole. In fact, Alex has probably played in as many 1st edition D&D sessions than just about anyone alive. He also owns one of the most definitive and complete collections of 1st/2nd edition TSR D&D in existence.
Recently, he has become a big fan of 5th edition D&D and that is now his go to D&D system. In fact some know him as the "Flava Flav of 5E"! Alex has written D&D adventures for a number of publishers. His most recent releases were: Trillium: City of Enchantment, from Gamehole Publishing and Adventures in Zelkor’s Ferry, from Frog God Games Both of these were released in the fall of 2018. Alex is also the Director of Gamehole Con, the largest tabletop gaming convention in the upper Midwest as well as one of the owners of True Dungeon, a live action, immersive, Dungeons & Dragons experience. Alex seems to be an all around okay guy and as far as we know, he has not stolen anything, yet.
Tim met Gary Gygax at a Gen Con in 1974 a few months 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 1975.
Tim worked as an editor and game developer for TSR during the formative years of Dungeons & Dragons. His first assignment was editing and developing Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Supplement (OD&D). He later did the same on Eldritch Wizardry, Gods, Demi-Gods and Heroes and Swords & Spells (OD&D Supplements 3,4 &5, respectively). Tim took over The Strategic Review and transitioned it into Dragon Magazine and was Editor for the first 33 issues.
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.
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 48 years, Cheryl. Outside of gaming he enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, bass fishing and flying kites.
Tim is currently looking into getting some of his adventures translated into Portuguese and finding new, unexpected games to take to cons.
Todd Kenreck is the host and Content Director for D&D Beyond. He has been a massive fan of D&D since the 80s. He was also the director of the documentary series Dungeon Life, Cosplay Boom and host of NBC's video game show InGame. He also has produced videos for MSNBC, Forbes and Buzzfeed and lives with his wife Meagan in Seattle.
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.
Pat Kilbane was bitten by the roleplaying bug in 1979 with the Holmes D&D Basic Set. He is creator of the YouTube channel Dorks of Yore, host of the web series RPG Science, and director of an upcoming documentary about Gary Gygax and the creation of Dungeons & Dragons.
Beginning his career as an actor, Pat spent three years as a series regular on Fox’s Mad TV. He also played the Anti-Kramer in the Seinfeld episode “The Bizarro Jerry” and guest starred in films such as Evolution, Semi-Pro and Day of the Dead. Now a writer/director, Pat penned the zombie book The Brain Eater’s Bible (St. Martin’s Press) and spent two years under contract with Dreamworks developing science-fiction concepts for television.
Born in the United States in 1973. Doug Kovacs grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, playing with Star Wars figures, then GI-Joe, and later graduating to Dungeons and Dragons and other RPGs (which he continues to play to this day). He drew his way through High School, avoiding involvement in most things but art class, where he cultivated a love for all forms of painting and drawing. At 16 he thought he invented cubism, but then realized he was wrong. In 1996 he received a BA from Columbia College Chicago, however over four years of school it was never mentioned that the internet and digital media might completely change the world. Then they did. Since then he has adjusted , and has worked on many projects including 3rd and 4th Edition D&D, collectable trading card illustration and concept art for miniatures games. He has been working on a series of metal plate paintings depicting Green Men since 1999. Doug may be best known for having worked with Goodman Games in developing Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. Since its publication, he has painted numerous covers as well as illustrating even more maps for the game and participated in an uncounted number of DCC games as player and judge. Doug currently lives In the city of Chicago where he still studies Art , works on conjuring up an art/gaming book called the Hobonomicon , and continues to produce images that he believes would never have come into existence without the application of his own personal gumption.
LaForce, Dave ‘Diesel’
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.”
Jeff "Duck" Leason started playing Dungeons & Dragons (OD&D) in 1975, with a fellow boy scout, Skip Williams. Jeff was hooked and bought his first copy of D&D from 330 Center Street, the Gygax family's basement. Three years later, after graduating high school, Jeff started working in the shipping department at TSR, as its 17th employee. (He was guaranteed a job at TSR by Ernie G Gygax, Jr, a high school friend and fellow orchestra member.)
Back in the early days, everyone pitched in in any way possible; from proofing to shipping. It was because of this open and creative atmosphere that Jeff was able to proof the AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide, his first accredited project. Shortly thereafter, his first solo design was the "Gateway to Adventure" catalog. Jeff worked on most every TSR product (either in editing/proofing/playtesting/layout, etc.) until the mid 1980s. His most noted TSR product was as a co-author, with Harold Johnson, on the adventure, "The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan" (rated the eighth best AD&D adventure/module of all time).
In 1986, Jeff's time with TSR was over; he was "let go" along with 149 other TSR employees.
In late 1986, Jeff started at Mayfair Games, and was soon in the editing department, working in a creative atmosphere, not unlike that of early TSR. He became Productline Coordinator for both the Role-Aids and Chill role-playing game lines. Mayfair bought the Invincible Overlord and Chill trade marks and asked Jeff to make them new, different products. The City-State of the Invincible Overlord was part of his AD&D campaign, active since 1976, and Chill was completely rewritten by Jeff and Lou Prosperi. It was during this time that Jeff designed the Invincible Dragon for Grenadier Miniatures/Mayfair Games tie-in and also suggested many more minis that were later released (ie. cyclops skeleton, skeleton w/skeletal dog on chain, etc.)
In 1991, after attending 100+ conventions and living and breathing gaming for over 13 years, and, due to a family illness, Jeff moved to the Northwoods of Wisconsin and disappeared from the gaming industry.
Jeff is back in the industry and ready to game. His first accreditation will appear in an adventure, The Forgotten Dungeon, from Eddie Jonas and Fireside Games, and is working on a 2019 Kickstarter AD&D adventure, "The Hauntings' End".
Chris began his love affair with Dungeons & Dragons as a wee lad in the early ‘80s. In 2010 Chris joined the D&D brand team and is currently the product manager for Dungeons & Dragons as well as the head of the D&D Adventurers League and the architect for the Dungeon Masters Guild, and Guild Adept program. Chris has been known to hop in front of a camera now and again, originally for ExtraLife charity events, and more currently on Maze Arcana’s Peanut Gallery, and as a Dungeon Master during the Stream of Annihilation. Chris can also be seen handing out DM advice on Geek & Sundry’s Epic Homebrews episode of GM Tips with Satine Phoenix. You can find him on Twitter under the moniker @Onnatryx.
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 Old School gamer best known for writing five D&D rule sets (Basic, Expert, Companion, Masters, and Immortals) and other D&D products with his friend and co-author Gary Gygax.
Frank was at TSR from 1980 to 1986, which published tens of millions of copies of his works. Other notable creations include the legendary Temple of Elemental Evil (with Gygax) and the game version of Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
After spending 1990-2010 in other business, in 2012 Frank started Eldritch Enterprises with some well-known friends. Various life issues put that 'on hold' in 2016, so now Frank has a new "Design House" and is pursuing many cooperative projects, working with several existing Publishers in the industry.
For 34 years Frank has been a game auctioneer at the world's largest game auction (at GenCon, the world's largest game convention, of course). Frank responds to Q&A on Facebook and at The Piazza (links below).
Frank is happily married, was once a professional musician, and has always had a dog.
I began as an artist from the time I could hold a crayon. Around 1983 or so my friends and I discovered the Mentzer Red Box, then AD&D. I was always inspired by the classic Dungeons and Dragons books and art. There was a true sense of adventure in the worlds that unfolded in all of them.
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 most of the tabletop RPG producers in the industry and contributed to many fine products.
In short order, Fail Squad Games was created and has grown by leaps and bounds. It has been an honor and a privilege to contribute to the hobby we all love. Under the banner of Fail Squad Games I strive to contribute, create art, adventures and supplements for the RPG universe. Now it's my greatest honor to be considered the Art Director for Gary Con.
Marc Miller is an award-winning game designer with experience reaching back some forty years. He playtested John Hill’s original Squad Leader; he once slept overnight in Jim Dunnigan’s office; he (well, his company) published a game by Gary Gygax. He designed one of the Europa Series games. He once won a Hunt For Red October naval miniatures game refereed by Tom Clancy himself. He designed the best-selling science-fiction role-playing game of all time. Marc was the second role-playing game designer inducted into the Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame (Gary Gygax was the first), and his role-playing game Traveller is in the Hall of Fame in its own name. Did we mention he was a founding member of the legendary Game Designers’ Workshop? Marc lives in Illinois with his wife Darlene.
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.
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.
Erol Otus is an artist and game designer best known for his work on the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role playing game. He was a member of TSR's art department from 1979 to 1981. After TSR, Otus worked on computer games at several studios including Microprose, Spectrum Holobyte, Hasbro, and Toys For Bob/Activision; notable titles include Star Control 2 and the Skylanders franchise. He lives in Berkeley CA and continues to create artwork for RPGs.
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
Satine Phoenix is the Community Manager of Dungeons and Dragons, co creator of Maze Arcana, Host of GM Tips on Geek & Sundry, Dungeons and Dragons Guild Adept, Founder of CelebrityChariD20.com & Meetup.com/LATabletopGamers, Co-Author of The Action Heroine's Journey & Co-creator & artist on New Praetorians, Jewelry Designer & freelance Illustrator on Burningquill.com, OG Crew of I Hit It with My Axe webseries 2010. You can read about her Gaming Escapades over the years on i09.com, Wired magazine, Maxim & Time Magazine. Artist-Entrepreneur-Entertainer: Satine spends her time surrounded by decadence, doing the things she loves most: Working/Playing D&D with her friends, Illustrating, drinking coffee, working out & traveling to various gaming events around the world with her Maze Arcana Co-Creator, Ruty Rutenberg in order to bring the global gaming community together.
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 diverse genre credits include STAGECOACH KINGTM: Western Stagecoach Commerce Mini-Game by Kenzer and Company plus PLANETARIUM: Rasmussen’s GuideTM series of short, generic science-fiction books describing planets and containing adventure hooks by Frog God Games. “The Administrator” is also the author of TOP SECRET: NEW WORLD ORDERTM The Espionage Role-Playing Game by TSR, Inc. Recently, he wrote two game accessories: “Isle Beebak in Lake Nessumsar,” an entry in Legends of Adventure (NTX3) by Pacesetter, and “Encounter: Shipwrecked on Lay-Goh Island,” an entry in How to Write Adventure Modules That Don’t Suck, by Goodman Games. His published works include two articles: “Merle Rasmussen’s 7 of the Best,” an entry filed under movies in Multiverse: A blog from TSR®, Inc., and “LEGO® Building Toy Maps,” an entry in How to Write Adventure Modules That Don’t Suck, by Goodman Games.
Mike Reese started miniature wargaming in 1962 using HO scale armor models, 20mm plastic troops, and S scale model train buildings. He first met Gary Gygax through a postal player section in The General, heading 20 miles out to play with Gary and introduce him to WWII skirmish gaming.
During this time Reese developed his own skirmish rules for World War II and modern armor. Reese met Leon Tucker in Chicago in 1968 at an International Federation of Wargamers (IFW) convention and they began working together on a rule set. With Gary Gygax’s support and encouragement, Reese and Tucker collaborated on rules for miniature combined arms warfare. This work ultimately led to the publication of Tractics, written by Reese, Tucker, and Gygax.
Reese joined the Army in early 1971. Just before shipping out for Germany, where he would serve with the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, he was given seven days’ leave and was able to make it to Lake Geneva in August 1971 for the GenCon premier of Tractics.
Mike Reese has continued to support the gaming community over the following 50 years, running games at conventions, becoming a supporting editor for various magazines and books and helping other game creators with developing new WWII and sci-fi rule sets.
Ross Maker has been gaming for some sixty years and designing games for nearly all that time. He was the original dwarf in Dave Arneson’s Blackmoor campaign. In 1978 he was co-designer with David Wesely of Source of the Nile, which won two Charles S. Roberts Awards, two Strategist Club Awards, a Game Designers’ Guild Select Award and was named to the Games Magazine 100. More recently he was the editor for the still-born 4th Edition of Don’t Give Up the Ship, and designed the Of Czars and Sultans module for Sergeants Three’s Bring Up the Guns.
US Army OIF/OEF Veteran, Actor, Writer, Voice Over, and Award Winning Dungeon Master & Creator. Ruty's expertise spans multiple platforms, with work alongside all the major studios on titles such as *Argo, Fury, Finest Hours, Magnificent Seven*, the recently released *Growhouse* by Snoop Dogg & DJ Pooh, and *The Wall* directed by Doug Liman. When not acting, voice acting, or writing for film & television, Ruty is writing content for Dungeons & Dragons, and a host of other RPG publishers and game designers. Somehow, he finds the time to stop for panels on the convention circuit—recently PAX, Gary Con, Emerald City & Los Angeles Comic Cons, Winter Fantasy; you can also catch him next at Gen Con, alongside his Maze Arcana co-creator Satine Phoenix (@SatinePhoenix). When he can, he loves gaming with attendees and is currently planning the future content as Dungeon Master of the amazing Maze Arcana titles, *Fury's Fate, *Fury's Reach *Orphan Echo, Peanut Gallery*… and even an upcoming Stream of Annihilation. Shhhhh….
- Instagram: RutyWoot
A gaming professional since 1990, Ed's experience includes tabletop game design, fiction writing, and computer game design. His tabletop experience includes work on the West End Games' Star Wars, TORG, and Paranoia systems and he designed both the ShatterZone and MasterBook games while at WEG. At TSR and Wizards of the Coast, Ed spent time as the Lead Designer on the Birthright team and worked on Planescape, Ravenloft, and other campaign settings.
Ed was the Creative Director for Dungeons & Dragons Third Edition and 3.5 and headed up the Special Projects division during Wizards/Hasbro's work with Atari to develop D&D's computer game licenses.
From Wizards, Ed moved into the computer game industry. He was the Lead Writer for the FireFall game developed by Red 5 Studios and, later held the same position at THQ/Vigil for Warhammer 40k. For the past seven years, however, Ed has worked at ZeniMax Online Studios as a senior designer and now zone lead on Elder Scrolls Online. Ed most recently led the team developing the Murkmire DLC expansion for ESO.
Sullivan, Stephen D.
Stephen D. Sullivan is one of the original Dungeons & Dragons crew (joining TSR in 1980) and helped found Pacesetter, Ltd. (CHILL). He is also the award-winning author of dozens of novels and stories, including trilogies for Legend of the Five Rings, Spider Riders, and Dragonlance. Other cool stuff he’s worked on includes Star Wars (game), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Simpsons (comics), and Iron Man (the junior novel). His latest projects include Dr. Cushing’s Chamber of Horrors (a classic monster novel), Tournament of Death 4, and his award-winning novelization of the “Worst Film Ever Made”—Manos: The Hands of Fate. www.cushinghorrors.com - www.stephendsullivan.com
Fun Fact: In the late 1970s, Steve taught a course in Dungeons & Dragons at MIT. He and teaching partner Marty Sirkin were the first to teach D&D 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.
Talanian, Jeffrey P.
Jeffrey Talanian, designer for North Wind Adventures, started playing Dungeons & Dragons in 1981. 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™, now in Second Edition hardback format.
Elisa Teague is a game and event designer, focusing on board games, RPG, and huge puzzle events. Previously working for Playroom Entertainment and Lone Shark Games and now consulting for both game companies and inventors, she has had a hand in the design, art direction, development and production of over 100 games, including Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow’s Walk, Apocrypha, and Geek Out!. She was the graphic designer on The Maze of Games and is one of the authors and editor for Girls on Games: A Look at the Fairer Side of the Tabletop Industry. Known as “The Lizard King,” Elisa prides herself on juggling work and family, while taking part in all things games and geeky, from decade-long D&D campaigns to cosplay and more. She can be reached at @geekypinup.
Greg Tito has had weird and long career as an Off Broadway stage manager, a playwright, a theater carpenter, a secretary, an RPG designer, a games journalist, and now a PR/Marketing person. He has loved Dungeons & Dragons ever since 1985 when he found an old copy of the AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide on his brother’s bookshelf and he honed that love of fantasy storytelling in the dark streets of Sasserine by way of the Upper West Side gaming group he joined in 2004. He moved his family (wife + two young kids) to Seattle in 2015 to work on D&D and he’s never looked back.
Jim Wampler has been playing role-playing games since everything was just plain “D&D” and campaigns were refereed with a mismatched stack of books and pamphlets. Jim’s earliest published art and articles appeared in Tim Kask’s Adventure Gaming magazine and Judges Guild Pegasus magazine. In 2005, Jim founded Mudpuppy Games and published James M. Ward’s Metamorphosis Alpha 4th edition.
Jim Wampler is currently a partner at Frog God Games in charge of special projects, and author of the forthcoming MegaHeroes RPG. Jim has also written Mutant Crawl Classics RPG and several DCC RPG and Metamorphosis Alpha adventures for Goodman Games. Jim Wampler is the creator of the Marvin the Mage gaming comic, and has contributed cover art and comics to the Knights of the Dinner Table magazine.
Jim lives in Cincinnati, Ohio where he stays up on cutting-edge AI research so that he can the first in line to have his consciousness uploaded to the singularity.
Ward, James M.
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.
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.
Margaret Weis worked for TSR for many years, where she helped create and co-authored with Tracy Hickman the best-selling series, Dragonlance Chronicles and Dragonlance Legends. She is the author/co-author of many other best-selling series, including the Deathgate novels. Weis lives in Wisconsin with four dogs, Dixie, Tika, Joey the Thug, Clancy the Hooligan. Weis and her dogs enjoy competing in flyball tournaments with their team, the Barkbarians.
David Wesely is a war gamer, game designer and video game developer. He has been credited with the idea of the roleplaying game by Dave Arneson.
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.
Derek "The Geekpreacher" White is an Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church and has been an active part of the convention scene for over 15 years where he worked as a volunteer for gaming companies such as KenzerCo and Troll Lord Games. His "watershed moment" arrived in 2007 when he had the privilege of being a part of a panel on Faith & Gaming with Gary Gygax and Michael Stackpole at GenCon. Shortly thereafter, he was asked to moderate similar panels and lead ecumenical worship services at GenCon, Gary Con, and other conventions around the country. In 2016, Luke Gygax asked Derek to become an official part of the Gary Con family and appointed him as chaplain. As chaplain, Derek helps maintain the Gary Gygax Memorial Wall, has helped bring back the boardgame library in conjunction with Innroads Ministries, assist with hospitality, and run games. He has also been known, when asked nicely, to perform dice blessings, weddings, and many other activities for his fellow geeks and gamers. When asked, "Why do you do this?" Derek has said, "The church, sadly, has often been unkind to my fellow geeks and I want to help build bridges between both of these communities which I love and consider a part of my family."
Derek has been interviewed for Wired Magazine and various other publications and recently took part in the documentary "The Fantasy Makers" which examines the lives of George MacDonald, CS Lewis, and JRR Tolkien. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Management, has a Masters of Divinity from Memphis Theological Seminary, and never quite completed his doctoral work in Semiotics and Future Studies through Portland Seminary. He has also been known to have written few articles for Knights of the Dinner Table.
Derek is currently pastoring full time in Middle Tennessee where he lives with his wife of almost 25 years, their two children, three cats, and his gaming collection.
Penny Williams is happy to revisit her old haunts in Lake Geneva for Gary Con.
During her tenure with TSR, Inc. Penny served as Game Questions Expert and head of the RPGA Network. Later with Wizards of the Coast, she worked in the Managing Editor’s office, lending her expertise to a number of role-playing games, including 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons, Marvel, and Star Wars. Her writing credits include several game adventures plus a few short stories, most of them co-authored with her husband Skip.
Penny still runs two D&D campaigns online, plus occasional face-to-face games—most often at the annual cookie bake held at the ancient crumbling farmhouse she shares with Skip in western Wisconsin. When she is not dispensing her players enough rope to hang themselves, Penny teaches a variety of high school science courses at North Cedar Academy, an international private boarding school in Ladysmith, Wisconsin. She also manages the school’s Game Club, plants/tends/harvests the organic garden, and coordinates the annual Rube Goldberg Machine contest entry.
Skip Williams is happy to return once again to his hometown of Lake Geneva for Gary Con.
Skip has numerous role-playing game credits, most notably as co-author of the D&D 3rd Edition game. He’s recently published work through Goodman Games, Schwalb Entertainment, and Hammerdog Games. 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 he shares with Penny, his wife, from the obstinate weeds that blanket them. He also paints miniature figures.
These days, the Williams house is located in western Wisconsin, where it remains the site of an annual Christmas cookie bake that draws friends from both sides of the Atlantic; it’s also the permanent home to an ever-growing pride of unruly house cats.
Louis Zocchi, Adventure gaming hall of fame 1987
Colonel Zocchi served in the Air Force from 1954 until 1975. He retired as a E-6 Technical Sergeant and served as
an Air Traffic Controller and Instructor. While working a ground controlled approach radar, Zocchi was credited with saving a
B-47 by controlling him to a safe landing through very heavy fog. Zocchi started selling Adventure·games in 1965, by mail and after he retired, Zocchi Distributors became a full time business. In 1990 Zocchi joined the Mississippi State Defence force, and later transferred to the Alabama State defence force, where he worked his way up to full Bird Colonel and retired.
The State defence force is made up of retired Military, Retired law enforcement people and Retired Fire Department volunteers. Everyone in the Defence force works without pay, and is usually needed after hurricanes, to provide first aid, Meals ready to eat, Ice, drinking water, and large plastic sheets which can temporarily keep water off of damaged roofs. They also work
as hurricane shelter managers and crowd control directors during large public meetings.
Zocchi is also a professional Magician, Ventriloquist,
Clown, Musician, Comedian, Lecturer, Author, Singer and Inventor.
More than 200,000 gamers have cleared the URL search bar
at the top of their screens and then entered, "google.com."
When the google search bar comes up, they type in "2008 dice talks by Zocchi" and then they click on the first paragraph
or photo to see Zocchi explain that except for the Gamescience precision edged high impact plastic Gamescience dice, all other dice are egg shaped.