Below are some of CelestiCon's Special Guests for 2015,
It's not too late to hear some of the fantastic seminars and War College talks from previous years. To listen to them, check out our seminars page.
Sandy Petersen is a game designer and video game designer who wrote Chaosium's game Call of Cthulhu in 1981. From 1983-1988 he edited or developed nearly all of Chaosium's products. From 1988 to 2009, he designed video games, and was on the team of such successful games as Civilization, Doom, Quake, and the Age of Empires series.
In 2013 he returned to the tabletop realm with the successful kickstarter project Cthulhu Wars.
Talzhemir (Manda) is the artist and co-creator of POCKET UNIVERSE (the mechanics used in the games Bethorm and Quicksilver Lite) and FURCADIA (listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the world's oldest multiplayer online social game). She is also the co-designer of Cavemaster (the tabletop RPG played with stones instead of dice; UNIgames).
Her career began as an artist and writer on Ultima VI. She has also worked for Apogee (now known as 3D Realms) and Optigon (now known as TEN, Total Entertainment Network). She is known to Ultima fans as ''Penumbra''. She has a permanent Patreon project going now, with patrons receiving up to three Peculiar .PDFs a month, at $1 each. http://patreon.com/manda
Personal interests include papercrafts, archery, swords, cooking, and backyard chickens.
Jeff Dee has worked in the gaming industry for over 35 years. His artwork appeared in numerous games and magazines, including TSR's Deities and Demigods (as well as many AD&D modules and early TSR products), adventures for the Star Wars RPG from West End Games, and others. He co-designed Villains & Vigilantes, TWERPS (The World's Easiest Role-Playing System), and Cavemaster the Stonepunk RPG from UNIgames. Cavemaster won the 2013 Three Castles Design Award at NTRPGCon.
Jeff has also worked in the computer games industry on games such as Ultima VI, Master of Orion, Master of Magic, and Wing Commander. He was art director on Ultima VII, and lead game designer on The Sims: Castaway Stories.
Jeff currently works as a game design consultant, and operates two paper game publishing companies: Monkey House Games with V&V co-creator Jack Herman, and UNIgames with partner Talzhemir Mrr.
UNIgames' latest product is Bethorm: the Plane of Tekumel, which reintroduces the first tabletop RPG setting ever published, from TSR's Empire of the Petal Throne (1975).
Luke Laurie is a blogger and editor for the League of Gamemakers website, and a relative newcomer on the game design scene. His first game, Stones of Fate, won the Polyprize for Game Design Excellence in 2012, and was successfully funded on Kickstarter by Cosmic Wombat Games early this year. Luke has been a junior high science teacher in Santa Maria, California since 1997, and runs pre-engineering classes and programs using LEGO robotics. He has been awarded the Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence, Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year, and the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Award. He served a one-year fellowship working on science and education issues in the U.S. House of Representatives in the office of Congressman Mike Honda.
Dana Lombardy was an Associate Online Editor for ArmchairGeneral.com and now does research, writing and design through Lombardy Studios. Dana is best known for his multiple award-winning Streets of Stalingrad board wargame (three separate editions since first released in 1979), and for his nearly twenty television appearances, including multiple episodes of The History Channel's 'Tales of the Gun' series. He has contributed as an editor, cartographer, graphic artist and designer on many books, games and magazines, and was publisher of Napoleon Journal from 1996-2000.
Leland R. Erickson is an academic, a military historian, author, and researcher. He is a senior faculty member of Henley-Putnam University, a private institution that specializes in degree programs for the Strategic Security profession. Professor Erickson's instructional responsibilities at HPU include a history course for undergraduate students in the evolution of strategy and tactics. He is currently working on his master's thesis in Intelligence Management, and is developing an undergraduate level course at HPU on the radicalization process of extremist groups and individuals. Professor Erickson has studied military history, war and the art of war since childhood. He has spent over 35 years delving into various conflicts in depth, particularly the less well known battles, campaigns, and wars of the Far East and the 20th century. He has also acted as a researcher for numerous model and figure manufacturers including Crusader Miniatures, Reviresco, Army Group North Miniatures, and Old Glory Shipyards.
Frank Chadwick, a founder of Game Designers' Workshop (1972) and Origins Hall of Fame inductee (1984), will be a speaker in the War College as well as a Game Master running 'celebrity' games at CelestiCon. Chadwick has more than sixty published games to his credit, including Space 1889, A House Divided and Command Decision. Chadwick's Desert Shield Factbook (1991) reached number one on the New York Times bestseller list.
George ''Loki'' Williams
George ''Loki'' Williams is the lead Pathfinder designer for Savage Mojo, where he helms the company's new product line, including the critically acclaimed Dungeonlands: Palace of the Lich Queen. Co-manager of Planewalker.com since 2004 and first published in 2012, he has been freelancing for Jon Brazer Enterprises and other publishers ever since. Loki's work in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina has been covered in MetroPolitics EU and other publications.
He has been part of teams that have earned the following awards: Silver ENnies in 2005 and 2007 for Planewalker, Bulldog Reporter Award in 2008 for the ''Blog Buddy'' campaign for AMACOM Books, Webby Award in 2008 for OSI's Katrina: an UnNatural Disaster, and an ENnie nomination in 2013 for Dark Roads and Golden Hells from Open Design/Kobold Press.
Sophie Lagacé has been gaming for so long that she thinks of THAC0 as 'that new-fangled acronym.' She likes, playing, game-mastering, organizing, reviewing, tinkering with, and writing about tabletop games, especially role-playing games. She has been writing material for Evil Hat Productions, Atlas Games, Vigilance Press, and is currently working for adventures for Magpie Games and Evil Hat Productions. War of Ashes: Fate of Agaptus is her first full-length RPG.