These are last years guests. Stay tuned for this years guests!
Joel Coletta is a native of Elmira, NY and a fan of the Steampunk aesthetic for about 12 years. He earned his degree in Visual Communications from Cazenovia College and was married the same year. Today he earns a living as a lab assistant at an optometric practice, but in his spare time he has become a steampunk prop maker, specializing in the iconic steampunk goggles.
Patrick Freivald is a two-time Bram Stoker Award®-nominated author, teacher (physics, robotics, American Sign Language), and beekeeper. He lives in Upstate New York with his beautiful wife, two birds, two dogs, too many cats, six chickens, and several million stinging insects.
Author of four novels, including the Bram Stoker Award®-nominated SPECIAL DEAD and the gory action-thriller JADE SKY, his short fiction has appeared in Flash Fiction Online, The Uninvited Magazine, Dark Discoveries Magazine, and the anthologies BLOOD AND ROSES by Scarlett River Press, QUALIA NOUS by Written Backwards Press (alongside, among others, William F. Nolan and Stephen King), and the DEMONIC VISIONS series.
Jeff Hannes is a long-time contributor to Running GAGG, having started the Dramatic Roleplaying Tournament back in 2005. A web developer and programmer by trade, Jeff is a writer at heart, and has written and run over 80 dramatic roleplaying scenarios. He's also written two full-length novels -- "The Hand of Ishala" and "Mad World". Both were inspired by roleplaying modules. In fact, the Mad World module was run at Running GAGG just last year. Way back when, Jeff was the Games Editor for InQuest Gamer magazine, a national monthly publication that specialized in Magic: The Gathering but covered all things gaming.
Brian is the Vice President of Business for Windmill Game Co. He got his start in the gaming industry because of Running Gagg. Brian came to GAGG and ran games leading to being invited to other conventions run by Dan Brace. He eventually ended up at Origins and met his current game company companions at Windmill. He became part of their Demo team and then was made VP of Business with a concentration on the sales and marketing side of the industry. He also is a writer and editor for the company, having just put work into their recent release ADGNEPSEF555 (if you like candy ask about this0. Without GAGG, Brian would be relegated to just an 8-5 job in Sales.
Meghen began working at Chaosium over seven years ago, when she was studying Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. The schedule was flexible, and allowed her to work while maintaining a full course load. She started with proofreading, and then worked up to layout, art direction, editorial, and promotion. If you’ve picked up a promotional bookmark or postcard from Chaosium, there’s a good chance Meghens designed it.
When Shes not working (and sometimes when she is), Meghen can often be found traveling. She enjoys seeing sights, meeting interesting people, and trying new food. While She found the cuy (guinea pig) in Peru to be quite tasty, She was less thrilled with rotten shark and putrid whale in Iceland. Meghen lives by the “two-bite rule”: give everything two bites, and never decline an offer of food or drink from a kind host. Meghan is lucky enough to know amazing gamers across the world, and has had the opportunity to connect with the gaming community in Germany at The Kraken and Tentacles, in Indianapolis at GenCon, and have even held a mini-convention in Iceland.
In the summer of 2014 Meghen received her Masters in Publishing from George Washington University. She was the only student in her program who works in roleplaying, and enjoyed teaching classmates and professors about the world of roleplaying publishing. She is excited about the possibilities digital technologies offer to the roleplaying community, and has found her Masters program not only informative, but also inspiring.
Meghen is excited about her current role at Chaosium, and about what the future of Call of Cthulhu, Basic Roleplaying, and our fiction line.
When EA cancelled the PlayStation fighting game “Thrill Kill”, published cartoonist Gil Merritt defiantly wrote and created AMPUTHEATRE: an underground board game of survival horror combat. Gil now operates under the brand name Chenille Macabre and builds intricate miniatures and figures from pipe cleaners. His various dragons, zombies and werewolves have been on exhibit at the Strong National Museum of Play. Gil’s pipe cleaner skills are self-taught and he prefers the job title “Evil Toy Maker.”
Shawn Merwin is a freelance game designer whose professional design and editing work in the roleplaying game industry has spanned over 15 years and over 2 million words of content. He is currently the Lead Editor and Developer of the game design company Encoded Designs. His Dungeons & Dragons work has included work for 3rd Edition’s The City of Stormreach; 4th Edition’s Dungeon Delve, Assault on Nightwyrm Fortress, Halls of Undermountain, and many others; and 5th Edition’s Confrontation at Candlekeep, Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle, and Defiance in Phlan. He has been a driving force in several Organized Play programs, including Living Greyhawk (Writing Director), Xen’drik Expedition (Factionmaster for the Crimson Codex), and Living Forgotten Realms (Global Administrator). He contributed as a designer of two consecutive seasons of the D&D Encounters program: War of Everlasting Darkness and Against the Cult of Chaos. He has also designed or edited material for Goodman Games, Mongoose Publishing, and Kenzer & Co. Shawn has an MA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing, and he has taught both subjects at every educational level.
Brandon has been writing game products and source books since college at Binghamton University, where he met the epic artist Justin Fishman and the brilliant historian Don Winters. Together they conspired to spread the word about an exciting new style of gaming exemplified by Dark Refuge: the Adventure Game, and the Time Shredders roleplaying game. Since then he has authored eight novels including the philosophical science-fantasy epics God Swords: Saga of the Bladed Sun and Day Earth Died, and five Dark Refuge sourcebooks. He is currently putting the finishing touches on the upcoming Draco Liberatti Campaign Guide, based on the player-driven, multi year, Dark Refuge online Space Campaign.
His proudest moments have been running the national Border Wars Campaign, bringing together hundreds of players from across the USA, and being a guest speaker at Stony Brook university on the subjects of Independent Game Design and Creating Compelling Villains. Though of all the conventions that Brandon attends throughout the year, Running GAGG always feel like coming home.
He is looking forward to 2013 and beyond, and the upcoming online “Goblin Lands” game, which will bring players further into the role of Olgogs, the natives of Refuge, and their struggle against prejudice and oppression in a world ruled by humans. Come to www.darkrefuge.net to learn more.
Don was an original play tester of Dark Refuge and has been a long time contributor. Co author of the EEF Guide, the Religions Guide, Border Wars: Aftermath as well as the upcoming Draco Liberatti. In addition he has run games at various conventions including Running GAGG, Connecticon and Icon where Dark Refuge was a featured event. When not doing Dark Refuge work Don has a day job that he is desperately trying to replace with work in a library.