J. “Cal” Baldari

J. "Cal" BaldariProf. Cal Baldari is a retired U.S. Army Sapper and military instructor turned professor of philosophy with a focus in applied and normative ethics. His research credits include alternative military ethics, Aristotelian excellence, moral conflict in literature, implicit bias, modern heroics, RPG morality, and many others. He has published both academically and creatively, with author credits in short military science fiction and fantasy as well as his academic specialty. As an avid tabletop role-player and game designer, Cal has run games for over a dozen systems professionally. He specializes in the design of moral systems in role-playing and moral conflict in storylines, modules, and canonical backstory. He also provides expert services for authors, game designers, and comics writers; advising on ethics and continuity concerns. Finally, Cal is firmly entrenched in the battle to bring diversity and inclusivity to fandom. His work on implicit bias often references the broadening of “geek culture” and the awesome efforts many geeks have put forth to make this hobby one in which everyone, absolutely everyone, can enjoy it with impunity.

Cal regularly speaks at science fiction, fantasy, anime, comic, and similar conventions on his wide array of expertise. These can include subjects as diverse as “writing the best battle scenes” to “D&D alignments, are they all just Chaotic Stupid?” to “The strength of diversity in modern cinematic superhero culture.”

 

T. Eric Bakutis

T. Eric BakutisT. Eric Bakutis is a professional videogame designer and author based in Maryland. His first book, Glyphbinder, was a finalist for the 2014 Compton Crook Award, and his short story “Splitting Arrows” recently won 1st place in the 2018 Farpoint Convention Writing Contest. His latest “grimsnark” sci-fi thriller, Supremacy’s Shadow, is now available. You can find links to sample chapters from his books and also read his cyberpunk police procedural, Loose Circuit, for free at tebakutis.com. He has played over 200 hours of Skyrim VR.

 

Harry “Jack” Heckel

Harry HeckelHarry Heckel grew up in Mechanicsville, VA, and after leaving home, strangely found his way back there, where he lives with his wife, daughter, and two cats. He loves roleplaying games, tabletop games, painting miniatures, and superheroes.

Harry started his career writing roleplaying games. He has authored, co-authored, or contributed to over thirty products for games such as Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Mage: The Ascension, Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game and Star Trek. He still freelances today, and his most recent roleplaying work was for Mummy: The Curse. He also writes for tabletop and miniatures games with work done for Arcadia Quest: Inferno and Arcadia Quest: Pets along with the miniatures game Dark Age.

His first novel was set in the grim darkness of Warhammer 40K, when he was selected to co-author two Space Wolf books under the name Lee Lightner. He wrote a few books that came from completing Nanowrimo over the years and published through indy presses under his own name.

Currently, Harry is a co-author of comedic fantasy, being half of Jack Heckel. The Charming Tales, which are collected in A Fairy-tale Ending and Pitchfork of Destiny, are novels that blend a bit of The Princess Bride and Shrek, while his current series, The Mysterium, has fun with epic fantasy, roleplaying games and university life. The first book, The Dark Lord, begins the story of Avery Stewart, a wizard grad student experimenting in a sub-world as a Dark Lord. The second book, The Darker Lord, was released in paperback on September 4th, and the final volume, The Darkest Lord, comes out this winter.

 

Mark Geary

Mark GearyMark is an RPG campaign coordinator, writer, and unconfirmed werewolf who has been involved with gaming in the mid-Atlantic region forever. Mark served as the RPG convention coordinator for various conventions up and down the east coast and as campaign coordinator and senior judge for Defenders International, a mid-Atlantic superhero RPG campaign which ran from 1986–2016.

Mark is the contributing writer and developer of the Jack O’ Lantern MSH blog, which deals with out-of-print superhero games, has written for various RPG and fan-related magazines, hosts the Friday Night Live podcast, and is occasionally mistaken for another Mark Geary out in Ohio and various other Mark Gearys here and there.

 

E.L. Fortner

E.L. Fortner is a voice over artist, actor, author, scriptwriter, producer, director, lyricist, composer, and photographer with years of experience. He has also recently produced several songs and is currently working on an EP release.

He began what is now over 25 years of experience by programming video games in the early to mid-eighties, while he was in high school, and developing and distributing titles for Apple Computers. He developed one of the first gaming BBSs in Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic region from the knowledge he gained while working in this industry. He also set out to refine his photography skills with classes in high school and then later in college.

During the ’80s and early ’90s, he honed his skills as a semi-professional gamer on a number of titles, managing to set a variety of records. On Saturday, August 10th, 2013, he received an award for his work in the video gaming industry and his visage was adorned on one of Twin Galaxies’ familiar video game trading cards. A card you can all now happily collect from the Twin Galaxies website.

Fortner has worked on a number of projects across multiple industries, ranging from indie games and voice overs to music to independent productions of film and television. His projects have even allowed him to work for industry giants like Blizzard Entertainment and Disney among many others. Edward’s favorite and most memorable project to date has been voicing characters on the amazingly popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft. He has also voiced several characters in the audio horror series Tales from Beyond, Volume 2, coming soon to iTunes and Amazon.

He has also worked in theater and on both film and television projects in a number of different genres. He recently appeared on AMC’s American Revolution period drama, Turn, and wrote for a TV pilot in Miami titled Experiment Kelly. He also directed a Christmas-related project, called Wishes, for television and is working on a number of different projects. He has also competed in two different 48-hour film festivals, with one of the films he worked on advancing to the finals.

He is currently releasing his second book, titled Dreams of Reality, through Caffeine & Ink Publishing this year.