Stephen Glicker (The GM) first got into tabletop gaming after getting the Dungeons & Dragons “blue box” edition … which was so old it didn’t even come with dice! Instead, there was a piece of laminated paper with numbers ranging from 1 to 20. The player was instructed to carefully cut out the number chits, put them into a cup and whatever number was pulled from the cup was your “roll”. Despite this poor excuse for a d20, Stephen was instantly hooked.
In addition to tabletop gaming, Stephen began his career in computer games when he founded his first company during high school, Creative Simulations. Stephen published his first computer game Mall Maniacs for the Apple II computer system – which he also wrote, designed, and programmed – where players had to fight to survive in an apocalyptic future shopping mall filled with mutant creatures. It was a modest hit due to it’s “unique” premise.
After attending college, Stephen started the Manhattan-based full-service digital media agency SuperNova Productions. This award-winning, multi-million dollar company specialized in creating a large variety of projects for a wide variety of media, including web-based games, CD-ROM games, children’s games, cell phone games, and games for museums and galleries. Stephen has worked with some of the largest licenses in the world including Harry Potter, The Lion King, and Blue’s Clues, as well as many others.
Jason McDonald (Tuttle Blacktail) first got into tabletop gaming in his early teens with friends from his local neighborhood in Pittsburgh, PA – mostly Dungeons and Dragons and Top Secret, but after a few beers, he might admit to having played a session or two of Boot Hill.
As childhood gave way to college and beyond, tabletop RPGs gave way to the computer variety (particularly MMORPGs and the Baldur’s Gate/Neverwinter games), leaving a trail of various characters named “Jerryx” strewn across the digital landscape. Jason’s sweet spot is cloth casters and dual-wield rogues – because if you can’t stab stuff or set it on fire, what’s the point?
By day, he’s an IT guy for a local university; at night … well he was fighting crime dressed as a giant bat, but the cease-and-desist letter from DC’s lawyers kinda put a stop to that, so he went and had some kids and bought a PS4 instead.
John Staats (Maurice “Mo” Dupinski) was born in raised in Akron, Ohio, and has been a roleplay gamer since 1979. Using his art background, he’s authored over dozen home-made adventures. His only break from roleplaying games was, oddly, during college, when he attended Kent State’s (#1 nationally-ranked) graphic design program for four years.
After school, he moved to NYC for a decade to pursue a career in design/advertising and adopted 3D level design as a hobby after discovering level editors for early FPS games. Originally, his only aspiration was to walk around in his own dungeons (which got boring quickly). He built a number of Capture the Flag levels for his Quake mod team, Loki’s Minions CTF and they earned him a job in the gaming industry, building dungeons for World of Warcraft. He built most of the game’s non-instanced dungeons and half of its instanced dungeons. After Vanilla WoW he designed dungeons for three more expansions.
John is the author of the WoW Diary, which you can read more about at https://whenitsready.com/wowdiary/.
Born and raised in Cleveland, OH, Bob Markee (Rusty Carter) was obviously very confused as a young man. Fortunately, when he was 11 or 12 his older brother brought home an original Basic Set of a new game called “Dungeons and Dragons” which seemed to make living in Cleveland a little less of a problem.
Since then he’s managed to escape from the Midwest for most, though not all, of his life. Some foolish people gave him a Masters in History and then he accidentally fell into an IT career because that’s totally what people do with an M.A. in History, right? It’s really very confusing but fortunately, Mr. Markee has found out they keep updating the rules to games like that original 1970s D&D, which has made living with the chaos of his professional life a little less of a problem.
Chris Beemer (Hirogi) hails from Brooklyn, New York. He’s been a lifelong gamer over the years, spanning multiple different flavors of D&D as well as some more obscure RPGs. When he’s not gaming with the Roll For Combat group, he enjoys obsessing over his Warlock in World of Warcraft, and he’s never one to turn down a game of poker. He’s also a Mets fan, though “enjoys” may be the wrong word the last few months/years/decades.
Chris is also a huge fan of anything related to the Star Trek universe – anyone can have the TOS communicator sound as their ringtone, but Chris may even be willing to go to bat for Grand Nagus episodes of DS9. Don’t be surprised if we find some in-game reason to force him to sing the “Enterprise” theme song.
Tuttle Blacktail – that’s DOCTOR Tuttle Blacktail to you – is a junior researcher at the Perihelion Institute of Cybernetics on Verces. Tuttle started out as a ship’s mechanic but quickly discovered he had an aptitude for computer systems, at which point he turned his eye to the world of academia to further his training.
Years later, after achieving his doctorate (a fact he is sometimes obnoxiously proud of), Tuttle took a junior position at Perihelion, but his projects tended to be on the low end of the priority list due to his unconventional ideas and general lack of people skills. As a result, Tuttle has recently returned to his early spacefaring ways to help secure his own funding for his research.
Tuttle’s most recent creation is the Cybernetic Hybrid Dynamic Response Rover (C.H.D.R.R.) to assist him in his travels, both to serve as his bodyguard and to field-test some of his more advanced AI designs (two birds, one stone!), a design which he is constantly fine-tuning.
Even Dr. Blacktail himself would admit that C.H.D.R.R. Version 1.0 is a fairly rudimentary implementation of his overall plan, built almost entirely for combat operations.
Jump jets for limited vertical mobility, an advanced sensor array that allows limited threat detection outside the visible spectrum – unfortunately, his weaponry is rudimentary, as Dr. Blacktail’s requests for military-grade weaponry were met with pushback from the local authorities on Verces.
As C.H.D.R.R. grows and evolves, the hope is to create an independent entity capable of a more diverse array of tasks, not just beating things with a glorified stick. But for now … BEATING PROTOCOL ENGAGED!
Growing up on Castroval is not easy, even if you have a family. Hirogi had to use his wits and stealth to survive the many predators that populated the areas he called home. As an outcast orphan, Hirogi struggled to stay 10 steps ahead of the fauna that sought to make dinner of him daily.
Eventually, through wits, stealth and, in no small measure luck, Hirogi managed to find himself in one of the larger city-states. There he thrived and was able to devote his time honing his skills as a petty sneak thief and all-around rogue.
It was no surprise that at the ascension to manhood he became Damaya and not the crude Korasha. Charismatic and quick, Hirogi caught the attention of a trained operative named Darvin (only after a horribly managed pickpocket attempt). Instead of calling the authorities – or worse – Darvin took him into the fold and trained him in the stealthy arts. After 3 years apprenticeship and becoming one of his best earners, Darvin set him up with some basic equipment and bid him good luck, to seek his fortune among the stars.
However, Hirogi, had some unfinished business to take care of. Thus, began the Great Hunt! Hirogi was relentless in his pursuit of the predators of his homeworld, meticulously tacking down and killing each one while taking a trophy commemorating each victory.
With his lust for revenge on his childhood tormentors sated, Hirogi ventured back to the city-state and decided it was time to study the other life forms in the vast reaches of the galaxy. He needed to understand every aspect of life and what to expect, as only through understand could he prove his superiority. Hirogi now seeks to explore the galaxy as Hunter, ever searching for challenging new prey!
If one were to ask him, Rusty Carter might tell you that he was the son of an important member of the Pact Council or a decorated Steward, or maybe he might hint at some sinister connections from the lower decks of his native Absolom Station. It depends on who asks him though. Rusty has a long history of making sure to impress the person he’s speaking with while never quite saying anything that one might, objectively and boringly, call “the truth.”
In reality, Rusty’s family was, if anything, dull. He was raised middle-middle class in a section of the Station that most people wouldn’t recall five minutes after walking through it. It drove young Rusty crazy. He imagined such a universe of excitement while only seeing banality around him. He ran from that life quite early, and if his parents hadn’t quite planned on giving him his full inheritance then he was confident it rightfully belonged to him. So, no need to waste time on remorse. Life was just beginning then, looking back was a waste of time.
Rusty can, and will, talk his way out of every problem he can (which is ironic since he often talks his way into said problems). In a pinch, he knows how to use a gun, and he got his pilot’s license early in case he ever had to jump stations, but he’s always happiest with a pocket full of someone else’s money that they freely gave him because they liked him so very much.
Or at any rate, they liked the man he claimed to be.
In this world, a fella couldn’t catch a break if fell onto a carton of eggs. Maurice’s old man had saddled him with a name that was downright rotten, and his luck wasn’t any different. Maury’s glory days, if you could all them that, reached their zenith when he served as an ordinance officer in the Vesk army. He didn’t see a lot of action, but at least the fellas in his squad renamed him Mo. He won their friendship during his losing streak (still unbroken) at poker. The fellas were always eager to welcome him into a red-hot game.
Mo left the armed services early, giving him the freedom to really screw up his life. He soon earned the street-rep of undependable low-life, whose bad judgment and bad luck seemed to compete with one another for dominance. His heady schemes always failed, usually before they had enough momentum to even land him in jail. Soon even the Vesk criminals shunned him as an “untouchable.”
Being rejected by anyone capable of landing a big score has made Mo sore at himself forever leaving the army. These days, a world-weary Mo picks up weapons again, perhaps to relive a past he never had. If capers were going to blow up in his face, at least he’d have heavy weapons and explosives nearby. They would complement both his short temper and knack for desperation.