Friday, July 12, 2013

People You Ought to Meet and the Games and Art They Create

KantCon 2013 is a week behind us, but I want to take one last look back at what I believe really made the convention special.  For me, it was the vendors, local artists and visionaries with passion for the games they produce and the art they create.

Last weekend I had the great pleasure of meeting some truly talented people, and if you didn't make it to KantCon this year, here's your chance to meet them too!

Sentinels of the Multiverse, all rights reserved Greater Than Games 2013

Many of you may have already played the game Sentinels of the Multiverse, a co-operative card game that pits you and up to four friends as a diverse array of original super heroes against a single arch-villain, if you haven't you've been living under one of these.  In the two years since its release the game has found a rock-solid (no pun inended) following amongst board gamers, card players, and hobbyists of all stripes.  Started up by three local boys: Christopher Badell, Adam Rebottaro, and Paul Bender, Greater than Games flagship release Sentinels has crossed the country and is now available in game stores all over the world.  

Sentinels is a fantastic game for those easing themselves into hobby-gaming, while still providing the complexity that experienced players are looking for.  A new player can easily sit down and follow the simple turn structure of "play a card, use a power, draw a card," while avid hobbyists will enjoy the incredible diversity of game play afforded by mixing and matching 18 heroes, 18 villians, and 12 environments.  To top it all off, Sentinels is a LCG (living card game) that requires no booster pack purchases, each set has exactly what you need to play included.

After playing the game for the first time at KantCon, my fiancée Harley, caught the Sentinels bug and has been having a blast thwarting evil villains with her favorite characters Absolute Zero and Tempest ever since! 

(L to R) Chris Batell, game designer, and Adam Robattero,
art director, two great guys with a fantastic game.

Chris B. and Adam B. were on hand to help guide newbies like Harley and me through a game of Sentinels at the convention, with their help we took down the evil computer A.I. Omnitron!

Black Blade Publishing sets itself apart from the RPG crowd with an array of rule sets that cater to a very niche crowd.  For those role-players wanting to recapture the magic of their games played during Advanced Dungeon & Dragon's golden years in the 70's and 80's, Black Blade Publishing has an array of rules compendiums, monster sheets, and character profiles at the ready!  As frontman Jon Hershberger put it, "Black Blade helps gamers go back to a time when role-playing was about rulings, not rules.  When dungeon masters had more freedom to build their adventures."

Black Blade not only takes a look back, but also explores what could have been with unique rule sets that represent classic AD&D had it taken another path in its evolution.  So check out Black Blade's site and take a step back in time with your next dungeon adventure to how D&D ought to be!

Jon Hershberger, co-founder and President of Black Blade Publishing.

Jon H. is a super nice guy and was a great neighbor during the convention, he even became a new customer of the Monster Lab with a commission for three painted owlbears.  Welcome to the MML family Jon!

"Air Goddess," all rights reserved Project Shiro 2013

Sara Rude deserves credit, I'm going to say that up-front, she has serious talent.  Propreitor of Project Shiro, Sara is a physicist by education who is a self-taught illustrator, doing an array of inkings, coloring, and sketches for her clients.  At the KantCon she brought convention goers' role-playing characters to life with pencil sketches and inked drawings, inspiring at least one shout of, "this is awesome!" from a pleased client.  Sara also works as the resident color wizard for the Zero's Heroes comic, a series about heroes tasked with taking down some of the... oddest villains known to mankind.

If you're looking for an original piece of fantasy/sci-fi/super hero artwork, Sara's your girl, she's both got the talent and skill to bring it to life.

Sara Rude surrounded by her fantastic work.

"Captain America" corset, a creation by Elinor Parker.

To say that the Costume Wrangler's Closet wrangles costumes is an understatement, they wrangle style.  At one point in the convention I could have been quoted as saying, "if I were a woman I think I'd be into cameos, as a guy I just think they're cool, but if I were a girl I think I would be into that sort of thing."  I settled for a handmade Star Wars coozie instead.

The woman behind the wranglin', Elinor Parker, is combining traditional concepts with nerd-inspired style in her creations.  Like the Captain America corset above (there's an Iron Man one too), and her line of steampunk necklaces and earrings made out of old gears and doo-dads.  Whatever it is, it's cool, and well crafted too.  Next time you need a piece for your costume, drop the Costume Wrangler a line, she does custom orders that are sure to please.

Elinor P. and all her gamer chic accessories.

The coozie I bought was made out of an old children's blanket.  In the 70's it was keeping a child snug at night as visions of lightsabers danced in their head, now its keeping my beer cool.  I'd say George Lucas would be proud.

That's it for this week, thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out all the great folks I featured here at their web sites!


  1. Sounds like everyone had a great time! Again, sorry I didn't make it up. Next year for sure! I didn't realize the creators of SotM were local! That's awesome and really is a fun game.

    1. Yeah, Chris grew up going to Table Top Games. It is really cool and great to see local guys making a splash. The coasts are usually the ones hogging all the glory!


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