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AetherCon VII November 9-11, 2018 Online RPG Convention
  • Bears Head Miniatures
    Pyromaniac Press
    Google Hangouts
    Dias Ex Machina
    Dan Harlan
    Samurai Sheepdog
  • Dread Unicorn Games
    Sci-Fi Writers/Old School D&D
    Rambler Plays Games
    Happy Monster Press
    Pear of Geeks
  • Catalyst Game Labs
    Alan Tucker (Writer • Game Designer)
    Atlantis Miniatures
    Roleplayers Chronicle
  • Roll20
    Ulisses North America
    Ranger Games Publishing
    The Shadowcasters Network, LLC
    Coaching for Geeks
    Windmaster Miniatures
  • Columbia Games
    Con Plus Online Charity RPG Convention
    Knight Errant Media
    McNabb Games
    Hexes & Bows
    Drop Dead Studios
  • Mantic Games
    Spilled Ale Studios
    Broken Things
    Total Party Thrill
    Arcanum Syndicate
  • Lumpley Games
    Wayward Rogues Publishing
    JVC Parry
    Krakon Games
    Multiverse Comics & Games
    Jim Ling
  • The Dice Pool Podcast
    Rising Phoenix Games
    Will O'Brien
    Florian Stitz
    The Goblin Gazette
    Pinnacle Entertainment Group
  • Tri Tac Games
    Spidermind Games
    AetherForge Creations
    Fabled Environments
    Anthropos Games
    Shades of Vengeance
  • Utherwald Press
    Intermedia Anymeeting
    Dion Harris
    Alpha Strike Games and Hobbies
    Shiny Games

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 AetherCon Staff Listing

Stephen J. Holodinsky
Senior Staff - Event Coordinator, Chief Hat Juggler, Bullet Catcher, and Technical Crash Test Dummy

Before the beginning of AetherCon Stephen J. Holodinsky was best known for...well...not much of anything really. Despite photos that suggest the plausibility of such, he was not raised in the wilds of Canada by a family of beavers and knows little to nothing at all about building dams, engineering or woodwork in general. Moreover even though he is fond of claiming that 'Bob's your Uncle' this has been proven to be a falsehood as Bob is actually his brother.

Stephen got his start in RPGing by playing a dwarf fighter with a 3d6 Great Hammer in an early D&D game some 35 to 40 years ago. Since then he has witnessed a Cavalier march his entire retinue to their deaths by confidently commanding "Follow me men!" before walking into the Sphere of Annihilation in Tomb of Horrors, been knocked out of a tree some 60 feet up by an angry Momma Troll some 20 feet tall throwing an iron pot, and learned to speak Russian English as well as Orcish Common.

He took the 90's off, leaving Canada in 1989 to go to Europe on a one way ticket with a backpack and $2200 CDN before finally returning in 1999. While there he learned the fine art of hitchhiking, the value of 'nette mensch kleidung' (nice guy clothes) and the understanding of German license plate codes. His best run was going from Bonn, Germany to Reading, U.K. in 18 hours. He also came to understand during this time that 'Has Du mal fuer?' (Do you have a light?) was actually four different words.

When not juggling hats, catching bullets, or being launched at speed into whatever code Justin cooks up, Stephen is a big fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Blue Jays, as well as Game of Thrones, True Detective, and Burn Notice (even though he almost always blows the landing when trying to quote a character from any of them). Additionally, every Saturday afternoon, he and Ed Clower get together with various other knuckleheads to play test board/card/dice games of their own infernal design as part of the Blue Bugbear Collective. He has a 12 year old cat named 'Cleopatra' that has never been called anything but 'Kitty' and has a pathological hatred of Caps Lock keys.

Edward Clower
Senior Staff - Prize Hall Wrangler, RPG Coordinator

Ed Clower has been a player of RPGs since the late 1970s.  He is predominantly an old-school gamer, focused on First Edition AD&D, original Champions, and original Traveler, with occasional forays into the new-fangled editions the young folks seem to like.  He likes to remind his players that back in his day, when Elf was a Character Class, they had to draw numbers out of an empty margarine tub because they didn't have those fancy polyhedral dice, and he had to walk three miles uphill through the snow to borrow a Player's Handbook.  

As Prize Wrangler for AetherCon IV, Ed works with some of the most brilliant minds in RPG publishing to help them get new and exciting products into the hands of players around the world.  When he isn't lining up Prize Support or gaming, Ed works in Computer Network Defense for a well-known Sovereign Nation.

Chris Malidore
Senior Staff - Artist's Enclave Coordinator, Graphics Coordinator

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest in a town named Auburn, Chris began gaming as a teen - a journey that would eventually culminate in him becoming an industry illustrator. Through products such as Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer 40,000, Magic: The Gathering, Savage Worlds, and so on, he developed a taste for the fantastic, storytelling, and of course the joy of spending time with friends, laughing at the ridiculous ventures that would be shared together through said games. 

Currently, with over a decade of experience as an illustrator on many of the games that he grew to enjoy, Chris now works with AetherCon to spread a love of the arts that have inspired so many through the decades of such wonderful games. He is thrilled to be overseeing the Artist Enclave, which lines up the annual AetherCon Wallpaper line and Speed Painting Duelists for the convention. 

When not painting for massive hours on end and attempting to talk artists into partaking in the various AetherCon events, Chris works on his plans to overthrow humanity so that penguins can take a shot at being the prevalent species. He may also have a caffeine addiction.

Pete Bryant
Senior Staff - Technical Advisor, Summer Roundtable Series Coordinator, Convention Magazine Contributor, AetherCon Panel/Q&A Moderator

Peter is a producer, podcaster, artist, game designer, and writer.

As a game designer, artist, and writer he has developed professional material for R. Talsorian Games, Tri Tac Games, Dilly Green Bean Games, and Chapter 13 Press. Outside of RPGs he has released Rogue Chess and is in heavy development on the new version of Cube of Death.

As a podcaster he is the host of a live broadcast video series called the MythWits (mythwits.com) where his team interviews industry guests every week, provide on-location con coverage, and talk all things geek related.

Peter is the Director of New Media for TSR Games and produces the Game School PodCast and the Cube of Death PodCast for TSR.

Jesse R. Davis
Senior Staff - RPG Organized Play Coordinator, Roll20 Tutor, Webmaster

Jon Frater
Senior Staff - Moderator Wrangler, Video Editing Coordinator, AetherCon Panel/Q&A Moderator

A gaming industry stalwart dating back to the 1980s, Jonathan Frater is the co-author of roleplaying game books Robotech: Return of the Masters, and Robotech Adventures: Lancer's Rockers, both for Palladium Books. Jonathan also wrote a column on writing and game design called The Tome in Gateways magazine. He's currently a librarian at Metropolitan College of New York, and has contributed chapters on library security and time management to Scarecrow Press and Macmillan, as well as writing science fiction under his imprint, Desperate Measures Press.

Katrina Wolffe
Support Staff - Prize Support Assistant, RPG Assistant, PR Assistant

Katrina Wolffe graduated Western Business College, with a degree in computer operations in 1992 and has been a member of the S.C.A., local convention committees, and a gamer since 1978. She cut her gaming teeth on Dungeons & Dragons, the Basic Set (Blue Box), AD&D, Steve Jackson Games (old black box Car Wars and Sunday Drivers), Traveler, and a smattering of others. Currently though she spends her time playing Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition where she plays a Gypsy Dancer/Fighter, Breelithe Lightfoot. She and the party she's with have been being dragged around the world fulfilling errands for the gods.

As a self-taught disabled artisan she has been making chainmail since the late 90s. Her dice bags are available in multiple retail outlets and she also does custom work for costuming/cosplay, makes armor for SCA members, and repairs on vintage and modern chainmail pieces. She is the owner/proprietor of Kittensoft Chainmail and you can also find her fine work here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/KittensoftChainmail.

Tyler Omichinski
Support Staff - Convention Magazine Assistant Editor, AetherCon Panel/Q&A Moderator, Convention Magazine Contributor

Tyler Omichinski is a teller of stories, a designer of games, and a wrangler of words. He has written for a number of game companies including FASA, Red Turban Press, Mystical Throne Entertainment, and others. 
He edited the Ennie Award Nominated Little Heroes. Other publications include comics, short stories and more. He lives in the wilds of Canada with his partner and a gargantuan black dog.

M. J. Holmes
Support Staff - Convention Magazine Assistant Editor, Convention Magazine Contributor

M.J. Holmes is a keyboard-flogger currently living in Merrimack, NH.  When not busy wearing out the English language on lavish mental scenery for his Epic Fantasy novel series, he makes sure fiberglass web products can't kill the populace in any way.

He is known to Aethercon as a successful agent of interviewee-bewildering six years running.

"No, I don't know how they became amorphous puddles of goo; I just asked them a few questions..."

Joey “Gnome” Barranco
Support Staff - Graphics Assistant, AetherCon Panel/Q&A Moderator

Joey is a smol, high-spirited gnome with big dreams! He currently works as a Director of Communications, freelance editor, game journalist, podcaster, content creator, game developer, a social media specialist, and a full-time student finishing a degree in Technical Communications.

As a podcaster, Gnome founded the Hexes & Bows Podcast, a talk show focusing on upcoming Kickstarter games, roleplaying games, and tabletop immersion. Gnome is also the voice of Otto de Sant Valeri in Tales from the Five Nations, an actual play podcast taking place in D&D’s world of Eberron using Savage Worlds rules!

When it comes to content creation and live broadcasting, Gnome streams on Twitch (twitch.tv/gnomedic) with Hexes & Bows for a monthly D&D 5e tabletop game and plays in several other streamed games with new projects in the works. He plays Hie on The League (twitch.tv/anarisis), Tivhlarouxx Stoneclank on Queen of the Spiders (twitch.tv/thegreyhawkchannel), and Scrap on Path of the Shadow Demon (twitch.tv/lauralania).

Putting on a new hat, Gnome recently left the EMS field and now works for Cold War Inc (coldwar.us) as the brand and community manager and as a tabletop game developer on Squarriors: The Card Game, which funded successfully on Kickstarter in 2017!

Joshua Parry
Support Staff - PR Assistant

Joshua (JVC) Parry is a bestselling DMsGuild publisher and freelance author responsible for numerous Top 10 adventures and supplements for D&D 5th Edition, including Shore of Dreams and Monsters of the Guild. He has worked closely with a number of 3rd party publishers such as GoblinStone and LoreSmyth, and will make his Adventurer’s League debut this year.

As well as his products on DMsGuild, you can find Josh playing D&D online with Mr Tarrasque, or on twitter and Facebook as JVC Parry.

Christopher Bishop
Support Staff - Convention Magazine Contributor

Born in the backwoods of Indiana, he crawled out of the primordial ooze seeking only one thing! ADVENTURE! Tabletop Gaming has been a passion since 1982, specifically from the Referee side of the screen. Disabled and retired Veteran, with plenty of time on his hands, he now devotes his time to writing reviews and helpful articles centering around RPG's, Board Games, and Comic Books. Despite his hobbies, he found a wonderful woman willing to tolerate his oddness and is the proud father of two aspiring roleplayers himself.

Kaitlin Davies
Support Staff - Convention Magazine Contributor

Kaitlin is one of the hosts for the Dice Pool Podcast which covers everything about how to run and play in the Genesys Role Playing Game from Fantasy Flight Games.  Kaitlin has had a passion for role playing games since childhood and took her first steps in to table top gaming in 2016. Falling quickly into obsession for the narrative dice system she has developed a passion for supporting and helping others pick up the dice and have a game. Kaitlin is a fanatic for story, characters, roleplay, and the amazing journeys players undertake as characters and friends alike when around the table.

Andrew Girdwood
Support Staff - Convention Magazine Contributor

Geek Native, an RPG culture blog, is run by Andrew Girdwood a Scottish gamer who works in digital marketing. He invented roleplaying games all by himself, with a handful of 6-sided dice and Star Wars models as a young kid, only to discover a few months later the hobby was already solidly established, his ideas second rate and impaired by his terrible inability to write. His first regular tabletop group played Dragon Warriors, and he was a Mystic. 

Christopher Hunt
Support Staff - Convention Magazine Contributor, AetherCon Panel/Q&A Moderator

Chris is a researcher, teacher, writer, and apologetic Canadian. 

A staff writer for d20radio’s Gamer Nation Blog, Chris has helmed The HoloNet Uplink series for two years and counting, churning out weekly Star Wars gaming goodness. He also found a path or two, writing for Rusted Iron Games’ Deadly Gardens.

When not writing, Chris never passes up a chance to proselytize the merits of Star Wars roleplaying.

James Introcaso
Support Staff - Convention Magazine Contributor

James Introcaso is the creator and writer for the ENnie-winning blog, World Builder Blog. Before co-creating the Don't Split the Podcast Network with Rudy Basso, James created and hosted The Round Table on The Tome Show Podcast Network. He has freelanced as a game designer for Wizards of the Coast, Roll20, Baldman Games, EN World, and Roleplaying Tips. James has multiple platinum best-sellers on the DMs Guild and is one of the DMs Guild Adepts.

James is the host of Don't Split the Podcast Network's Table Top Babble, a writer/producer/actor for Have Spellbook, Will Travel, and the co-host of DSPN Presents.

Scott Sanazaro
Support Staff - Convention Magazine Contributor, PR Assistant

Scott is an applications developer by day, gamer by night. He started playing video games when he was a kid. As he got older, he ventured into the rabbit hole that is RPGs and eventually the black hole that is MMORPGs. Soon he took a break from video games and discovered his love for Dungeons & Dragons. Currently he runs and manages The Goblin Gazette, a gaming site that he started along with some friends to turn their gaming passion into something others could enjoy. Since then, he has reviewed video games, board games, D&D supplements and other D&D products for The Goblin Gazette. Additionally he has interviewed D&D podcasters and has made some great friends along the way.

When he isn’t reviewing a board game or planning his next D&D session, he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter as they prepare for baby number two. He hopes that when his kids are old enough, he can introduce them to the world of Dungeons & Dragons.

Robin Bates
Support Staff - AetherCon Panel/Q&A Moderator

Robin hadn’t really played a tabletop roleplaying game until approximately 7 years ago. The monster.

His life changed in a singular roll of a D20 and now he owns more systems than he could ever play and enjoys unlikely mashups (ever played Tales of Equestria meets 10 Candles?) and storytelling over combat and crunch. Despite this, his now 6 year long Pathfinder campaign keeps on trucking.

Robin founded Coaching for Geeks to help the modern geek become more awesome in every way – earn more to play more, get fit, get good at dating, and yes! Roleplaying tips and advice too. He can regularly be found speaking at comic cons in the UK, or running stupid games for fun people.

Richard Coates
Support Staff - AetherCon Panel/Q&A Moderator

Richard started roleplaying in 1986 with Dragon Warriors, then moved on to Warhammer and from there to most other available RPGs. He studied Vampire: The Masquerade at University and when it comes to roleplaying he's mostly been living in the nineties ever since.

Three years ago he moved to Nottingham, UK, where everyone is in the games industry. There he started Shiny Games, a boutique online store that specialises in difficult to find games - which includes almost all RPGs. In his spare time Richard has a full-time position at Warlord Games, tending their websites with loving care.

Ed Healy
Support Staff - AetherCon Panel/Q&A Moderator

Ed co-founded Eden Studios, which started with the production of the Conspiracy X RPG, and The Forge, a website for creator-owned game publishers. He also established the advertising department at Kobold Quarterly and the social media program for EVE Online. Since founding Gamerati, he manages the largest online advertising network of independent hobby game websites. Ed was also honored with the 2010 Gold ENnie Award for best podcast for his role as co-host of Atomic Array.

Mike Kafes
Support Staff - AetherCon Panel/Q&A Moderator, Summer Roundtable Series Moderator

Mike is the Co-Host and associate producer of the MythWits, a one hour weekly video web series broadcast live on Facebook. Mike has over 5 years experience interviewing Authors, Artists, Celebrities, and Scientists both on screen as well as live at conventions.

Keith Ryan Kappel
Support Staff - AetherCon Panel/Q&A Moderator

Keith Ryan Kappel is a regular freelancer for Fantasy Flight Games, largely on their Star Wars Tabletop Roleplaying Game. He also has a BA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago, which inspired him to found the Adventure Writing Academy, an online creative writing school that teaches RPG writing. 

Stafford Matthews-Klingebiel
Support Staff - AetherCon Panel/Q&A Moderator

Stafford is one of the members of the Tome of Tales Podcast which has recently entered the field of Actual Play D&D 5e podcasts. Stafford has been dabbling in all things geek/nerd throughout his life but took the plunge in college where he began to run games of D&D as well as other systems. Stafford's favorite elemenet of tabletop roleplay is by far the opportunity it provides to examine complex questions of philosiphy, theology, and psychology in a supportive environment with the unique twists that fictional elements add.

Shawn Merwin
Support Staff - Summer Roundtable Series Moderator

Shawn's professional design, development, and editing work in the roleplaying game industry has spanned almost 20 years and over 4 million words of content. His Dungeons & Dragons work has ranged from 3rd to 5th edition, appearing in sourcebooks, adventures, articles, and Organized Play campaigns. For Wizards of the Coast he has written on the hardcovers Dungeon DelveAssault on Nightwyrm Fortress, and Halls of Undermountain. He worked on the D&D Encounters seasons War of Everlasting Darkness and Against the Cult of Chaos

He has been a driving force in several Organized Play programs, and has written material for Kobold Press, Pelgrane Press, Modiphius Entertainment, and Kenzer & Co., among others. He currently serves as a Guild Adept with Wizards of the Coast’s DM’s Guild, a Living Campaign coordinator for Star Trek Adventures, the Content Manager for Baldman Games, and the Lead Editor for Encoded Designs, a western New York game design and publishing company. He also hosts a weekly D&D podcast called Down with D&D. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. You can follow Shawn on Twitter @shawnmerwin.

John H Reiher
Support Staff - AetherCon Panel/Q&A Moderator, Summer Roundtable Series Moderator

John H. Reiher has long been involved with the gaming industry almost since it's inception. Introduced to the gaming community by late Richard Tucholka, John has contributed to many RPGs as a contributing writer and as a game designer. Recently he's started his own game company, John H. Reiher Jr. Games. He specializes in quirky one-page RPGs, which he calls his One Page Wonders line. He's also been the cohost for a long running podcast and a actual play podcast.

Joshua Reistad
Support Staff - AetherCon Panel/Q&A Moderator

Joshua is a Science Nerd and Teacher, DnD Addict, Star Trek Geek, DM, Painter of Mini-figures, Husband to Very Patient Wife, and Co-host of the Detentions & Dragons podcast.

I-Hsien Sherwood
Support Staff - AetherCon Panel/Q&A Moderator

I-Hsien Sherwood is co-host of the Total Party Thrill gaming podcast and GM of the Mourning Glory Eberron campaign. He is a savvy journalist and writer, unsparing editor, and great judge of character.

Dustin Smith
Support Staff - AetherCon Panel/Q&A Moderator

Dustin "The Zealot" Smith is a regular host on Savage Worlds GM Podcast. He is a co-owner in Atomic Ninja Games, which is set to release products in 2018. Dustin founded Star City Savages and maintains a reasonable community there.

Clifton Wright
Support Staff - AetherCon Panel/Q&A Moderator

Clifton Wright is Mr. Johnson from the Arcology Podcast: a Shadowrun podcast that includes discussions and interviews about the game as well as a long-running actual play campaign. Along with his compatriots in the Shadowcasters Network, he creates content for fans of Tabletop RPG's, cyberpunk, fantasy and science fiction.

Greg Farrell
Support Staff - E-mail Tech

Greg is a long-time gamer. A sponsored competitive FPS gamer for many years he won Irish and European Quake and Counterstrike competitions then got sucked into World of Warcraft. Finally realising his body couldn't take that many hours behind a keyboard he became a table-top war-gamer, a board-gamer and eventually returned to RPGs - a long abandoned love of his child-hood.

Now Greg works as a software developer, creates online tools for his various gaming hobbies, GMs two Swords & Wizardry RPG campaigns every week, cycles, plays the guitar and the ukulele and parents his three young children.

Justin Andrew Mason
Support Staff - Alumni, Graphics Specialist

Hailing from a small town on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee, Justin has been an avid tabletop role-playing game fan for 25 years. At the game table he almost always fills the role of game master, judge, or referee, and has had decades of experience with designing and running adventures for groups of gamers on various platforms.

Over the past two decades, Justin has worn many hats. His employment has included being: an award-winning graphic designer for multiple area newspapers, magazines and the local television station, a senior systems administrator for an international webhosting company, a database administrator and data/market analyst supporting corporate buyers for multiple national retail chains, the senior web developer for the region’s largest IT firm, and finally as a freelance software and web application programmer.

Justin is also involved in professional RPG game development. He is an ENnie Award winning staff writer for prominent RPG gaming blog, has contributed to multiple published game products, and has received multiple industry awards recognizing his commitment to tabletop game design. He has generated content professionally for over a dozen different game publishers and even had a highly successful crowdfunded campaign for his upcoming series of RPG books.

During AetherCon III, Justin was invited to be on the Cartography Panel, and though he is a longtime supporter of the convention as an attending fan, once meeting with senior staff, he realized that his skillset might be able to make elements of convention more efficient and streamlined. This began with the development of the web-based interface for the speed painting trials during ACIII, and has now evolved to this new website development for ACIV and ACV.

Antonio Marchena-Roldan
Support Staff - Apprenctice

Teacher by day, superhero by night, this Spaniard has been involved with RPGs since Middle School. Antonio has played, game mastered and translated games for more than 25 years and currently he is writing and play testing his own material with the support of his lovely wife Katie.

AetherCon VI • Online RPG Convention • November 10-12, 2017
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