Tom is a true industry original, having contributed illustrations to TSRís AD&D Monster Manual, including the gameís iconic Beholder; and writing games (as well as doing the artwork) for Dragon magazine. A few of Tomís games that were published in Dragon magazine are Snit Smashing; Snitís Revenge; The Awful Green Things from Outer Space; King of the Tabletop (later published as Kings and Things); and Elefant Hunt. Tom has most recently collaborated on Dragon Lairds with James M. Ward.
Tomís other loves include trips to Colorado, which he first visited in 1950; railroads; choral music; and airships. Tom also attends many conventions, including Gen Con (youíll find him in the auction room,) Rock Con, and since its inception, the Gaming Hoopla.
Come meet Tom at the Gaming Hoopla, and join him for the "Wham-A-Thon!" Tom will be running several of his games during the Hoopla, and would be happy to teach them to you.
Check out Tomís web site: http://www.tomwham.com
JAMES M. WARD
James M. Ward, is old. Not quite as old as dirt, but certainly older than 92.5% of the readers of this text. James started his gaming career by meeting Gary Gygax in 1974 and learning to play Dungeons and Dragons.
James wrote the first science fiction role playing game - Metamorphosis Alpha. After writing several successful products like Deities & Demigods and Gamma World, he was hired by TSR in 1980 and worked for them until 1984. In 1986, James went back to work at TSR and rose through the ranks until he became the Vice President of Product and helped TSR get it's best sales year. When Wizards of the Coast bought TSR in 1997, James decided not to join them.
James has several other game credits to his fame, including the design of Dragon Ball Z Collectible Card Game, and Hasbro's Dragon Ball Z Dice Game. James has also authored He-Man kids books, TOR fantasy novels, and recently Of Gods & Monsters and the Tainted Lands horror box set, both from Troll Lords.
James has a wonderful family which includes his wife of 38 years, three grown sons, and five amazing grandchildren. His favorite board game is the one he invented with Tom Wham, Dragon Lairds. His favorite role-playing game is Metamorphosis Alpha because no one can change the rules on him. James is a student of Texas Hold 'Em, but wouldn't consider himself a master.
Come meet James at the Hoopla and play a few games with him!
Matt Forbeck is a game designer and writer who has worked in this field since 1989 when he graduated from the Residental College at the University of Michigan with a degree in creative writing. He was president of Pinnacle Entertainment Group for for years and the director of the adventure games division at Human Head Studios for two years.
Forbeck has also worked for companies such as Wizards of the Coast, Games Workshop, Mattel, Random House, Penguin, TSR, Decipher, White Wolf, Green Ronin, and many others.
He has been living in Beloit, WI, with his wife and five children.
Awards - He has been nominated for 24 Origins Awards and won 13. He has also won five ENnies and been nominated for three Scribe Awards and won the Special Gaming Scribe -- Adapted for his novelization of The Mutant Chronicles film.
Ryan Metzler started out gaming as many of us did, playing the classics as a kid - Monopoly, Clue, Risk and Yahtzee. He took his next step in gaming in 1993 when he started playing Magic: the Gathering at Chadwickís in Kenosha. He stayed with Magic through the Mirage set in 1996 and along the way dabbled in D&D, Star Wars CCG and other now long-gone CCGs.
Video/computer games caught his interest in 1996 and he drifted away from tabletop gaming. Fast forward to 2009 where he began gaming at Rockheadís Comics & Games. Around that time he was brought full circle back into the hobby with a demo of Cosmic Encounter played at Boardgame Barrister in Milwaukee. That "encounter" opened the door to the acquisition of a large collection of games. One of the early purchases was Thunderstone and that helped lead him deeper into the gaming community when he assisted AEG with a rules rewrite for the base game. To this day he continues to work on Thunderstone editing and design, as well as on the Nightfall line by AEG. He also edits projects for Indie Boards & Cards, various Kickstarter titles and many future releases from game companies.
In 2011, Ryan attended the Fire & Ice gaming convention and had a fateful introduction to Crokinole. After playing, he decided to acquire and review boards from various manufacturers. And in a way, this led to his association with The Dice Tower. His original review, a comparison of several of the different Crokinole boards available in the market was viewed by Tom Vasel, Based solely on the review, Tom invited Ryan to participate as Dice Tower contributor.
Since May of 2011, Ryan has released over 120 video reviews, garnering nearly a half million views. He remains active in several gaming conventions including the Gaming Hooplas, Fire & Ice, GenCon and others. In his non-gaming time (if there really is such a thing) heís a PhD candidate in a Physiology and Biophysics program.
THE SPIEL HOSTS STEPHEN CONWAY AND DAVID COLESON
Stephen is a writer, filmmaker, animator, audio/video producer and all around dork. Check out his web site . In addition, he runs a small non-profit organization, the Indiana Film Society and publishes The Horseshoe , an all haiku newsletter covering the Indianapolis Colts.
Dave is a professional musician (trumpet) for a Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis. He enjoys designing games, disc golf, a good glass of wine, a shot of smooth Tequila, and kicking Stephen's a** at any game they play.