Active Staff Members
He grew up in Milwaukee, and has loved games and books for as long as he could remember. He was the one who was forbidden to take a book to recess with him in elementary school, as he would curl up in a corner and read the whole time. If pressed, he would answer honestly that the stories and letters of Robert Heinlein have had the biggest impression on him, but he appreciates many other writers, as well.
His earliest concrete memories of being identified as a gamer (apart from always having loved games of all sorts) are playing Magic: the Gathering in the hallways of his high school and trying to get a Middle Earth Role Playing game going among his peers. Since then, he's matured not one bit, although he's definitely more able to interact with the horribly mundane world around him.
Look forward to Adam Miller's authorized biography to be showing up in few remaining bookstores after the worldwide chaos he inadvertently spawned subsides. That is, if you dare come out of whatever reinforced concrete bunker you're hiding in.
Until my second year of college, I played only board games. My first RPG was Call of Cthulhu run by a Rhode Island native and Lovecraft addict -- what a blast! Since then, I've played all kinds of games, from World of Darkness to Deadlands to Champions (always my favorite), mostly with the two Chicago groups I hang out with (one is run by Nancy). I've been attending GenCon since 1991 and running games there since I'm not sure when (1996 probably), first with LiveWire, then with Fantasy Aspirations, and next year with III. I'll still play the boards when I can (word games are my favorite but I've played a lot of great German games, too, like Settlers and Puerto Rico). And if you're playing Eon's Cosmic Encounter, I'm so there!
My story is pretty typical. Cheating at Candyland when I was five, playing Monopoly in the basement after Thanksgiving dinner and beating my boyfriend and his buddies at Risk is how I got started with games. I began playing RPGs back when I was a freshman in high school, first with AD&D and then quickly moving along to the World of Darkness, Shadowrun and Traveler. When I got to college, I was introduced to the joys of LARP, and then the joys of non-Vampire LARPing and Legend of the Five Rings. These days, when Iím not pretending to be a mad scientist, a demon trapped in mortal flesh, or a pregnant hillbillyís daughter with a knack for magic, Iím running Call of Cthulhu and 7th Sea. When I get the chance, I love a good session of Legend of the Five Rings or Deadlands.
I got started with role-playing in high school. The son and daughter of the assistant pastor at my church got my sister and me hooked on Dungeons & Dragons. Since then, I have played Champions, Tales from the Floating Vagabond, GURPS, Toon, and In Nomine. Although I enjoy role-playing, I play a lot more tabletop games. Card, board, dice, abstract -- it doesn't matter. I'll play everything from Carcassone to Boggle to Aquarius to Scrabble to Munchkin to Cloud 9 to....
I grew up playing board games with my family, but didn't begin role-playing until I got to college. At that point, I went overboard - I started with an AD&D and a Paranoia campaign, and quickly added in the Friday/Saturday night Marvel game (starting around 11 PM) and the Rifts campaign before that. My first GMing experience was Paranoia, which should tell you something about my gaming style. In following years, my gaming varied, partially dependent on who moved out of town... oops, me, in the last case, when I moved to Illinois in 1998. It took a bit of time to find a stable gaming group, which I still play with, and assorted local conventions to entertain me. In 2002, I succumbed to my addiction to John Kovalic-drawn games and became a MiB for Steve Jackson games. In the time since they allowed me into their ranks, I have developed the Cartoon Frag variant, run the online Munchkin Poetry contest (spring 2004), and have helped plot ‹berGURPS for Origins 2005. I look forward to sharing my passion for gaming with my daughter, who will some day own dice that aren't plush.
I'm surrounded by Lady Gamers, what could be more cool? I got my start in gaming way back in the 7th grade when my friends and I would play AD&D from Fridays afternoon until late Sunday. We were obsessive about it and if we could not play in person we would play over the telephone. A couple of years in, I discovered Champions (Hero System) and although over the years I have probably played every RPG out there, I had found my true gaming love. When I am not paper gaming, I am computer gaming (Star Wars Galaxies and City of Heroes) and teaching myself to program in Python. I am excited for the opportunity to work on this online publication, the future looks bright!
An actress, writer and historian, how could gaming not work its way into my life? LARP is essentially practice in improv skills, online games are perfect for practicing writing, and how many worlds are based in pseudo-historical settings? I've been playing table-top since sophomore year of high school, LARP since senior year, and online since shortly after graduation in 1996. It's a creative outlet as well as a way of spending some fun time with great people, because as weird as gamers can be most of them are genuinely good people.My focus tends to be Lovecraftian Horror or Piracy, but I'm versatile!
Rumor has it I started gaming with Pokemon... and played Ultima Online with some Diablo II. But my true gaming began when my aunt introduced me to Fluxx and many other games. Nowadays I play Munchkin and Chez Geek with my friends, and I play World of Warcraft with my Dad. I'll play a part of my first live role-playing event next February, as the main non-player character in a Munchkin d20 game. Iíve been to both DorkStock and Furfest twice.
I come from a family of non-gamers. So you can probably imagine my surprise and bewilderment when during senior prom, my date (who unbeknownst to me was a gamer) suggested we skip the rest of prom and go play in a Vampire LARP. Prom was boring, so I quickly agreed. Warhammer 40K and Fantasy were the first non computer games that I played. Dark Elves and Dark Templars were my love back then. Numerous hours were spent painting and detailing, and thousands of points were played at a time. Then in 1999 Everquest came out. Warhammerwas put on hold at that point, and the hours spent painting were instead spent with me sitting at the keyboard interacting with people from across the Earth, while role-playing as a female dark elf wizard named Reksha Stormbringer, or my wood elf druid named Fallewene Rosebriar. From the day Everquest premiered, I have been addicted to online RPGs. Currently I am a MIB for Steve Jackson Games, and have 5 floor-to-ceiling book cases full of RPG books, board games, card games, and software. Star Wars Galaxies, Everquest, and Munchkin are my current favorites to play.
I became interested in gaming at home, as my dad had many of the books (though he didn't play) and I read the Guardians of the Flame series. When I started High school, I was brought into a game by a friend... and I have no clue why I stayed as I had to deal with a killer GM who was constantly and blatantly favoring another friend of mine in hopes that either he or his best friend could get in her pants. It never happened though. Second semester of my freshman year, I decided that I could do a better job, and never looked back. Since then, I've discovered what I like in a system (Point based, Genre-emulation) and what I don't (mechanics that don't make sense and aren't given even a world based explanation). Worlds... well... there are some really good ones out there, but I also like to make my own. I've been inflicting my bizarre and twisted version of beloved realms on people at Gen-Con since '93. I'm something of a System/world Fangirl, in that when I really like something, I tend to buy a lot of it. The 200+ books of White Wolf products are but one example, my fanatical dedication to 7th Sea another. I also like GURPS books, though I don't play it, because they're some of the best researched books out there. Oh, and I wrote a little piece for the Changeling Storyteller's Guide.
I started gaming about 1978 with the initial AD&D players handbook. I think I still have it (and a few other 1st edition books) and I may still have a "bluebox" set somewhere in my garage. Anyway, that and the typical board games (Backgammon, Checkers, Go, etc.) were the mainstay of my repertoire, until RPG's got to be a little more popular. I am still mainly an RPG player but since getting involved with the Steve Jackson crowd through several friends I enjoy all manner of tabletop games. Though, truth be told, I will always be more comfortable and enjoy more a good old fashioned tabletop RPG frenzy! "Where's my dice, I can pick this lock on a 16!"
Retired Staff Members
Carol Townsend has been involved with the gaming industry for almost 15 years in various aspects ranging from starting a game-related business to being a convention booth minion to demonstrating games at cons and game stores to being involved in starting and running a small game convention in the Midwest. She is a teacher by training, a wife by choice and a writer by her muse's amusement. She and her co-writer Judy are officially professional writers, as the game supplement they wrote was accepted and paid for (well, a kill fee was, anyway). The game company folded shortly after receiving their manuscript, but there is no direct connection between the two. Carol lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband Lar, her mounds of sewing projects, and her dandelions.
Judy Stucky is a teacher, writer, and real life renaissance woman. She has twice been on the ground floor of starting major events in her area; once with the founding the MAGE Con North (and the associated MAGE chapter), and more recently with the establishment of the Siouxland Renaissance Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to help people "play in the past" by having and annual renaissance fair and year-long educational activites. She has been gaming since her youth, when it was just her little brother, her mom and grandmother around the kitchen table playing the original AD&D. She sometimes has more games than she knows what to do with, but still finds time for a weekly game session with Carol, continuing the 12 year game that started when they were both teaching in the same classroom. Judy lives with her husband and 4 cats in Omaha.
Lori Ann Curley is a Lady Gamer whose earliest memories include playing various boardgames with friends and family. When an older brother was injured in a baseball game and confined to bed for the rest of the summer, Lori's family all learned to play poker and played it often to keep him entertained. Her first experience with role playing games occurred on a Girl Scout camping trip when one of her friends brought D&D and Fisher Price figures to use as minis. Lori credits her husband with taking her to her first Gen Con in the summer of 1990 where she caught the gaming bug for good. She's played Champions and D&D, but her favorite games are small all-inclusive card games like Blink, Family Business, and Alibi. Lori is a card-carrying member of the Army of Dorkness and Henchmen's Local #246, respectively the John Kovalic and Aaron Williams Fan Clubs. Lori maintains the Dorkstock website for Kovalic, and serves as an editor for his imprint Dork Storm Press. She also is an experienced indexer and owns Delazan Enterprises, an editing and indexing business that specializes in the RPG industry. Her website and e-mail are http://www.delezan.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictures of The Lady Gamer staff members were created using Abi-Station except Lori Ann Curley's, which was made using a program from South Park Studios.