Seekerpalooza prides itself on giving a venue for skilled GMs to go all-out with 3d terrain, handouts, props and perfect their art. We’ve pre-scheduled them into the high tier games, giving them months to plan and prep for the big event. Running tables for Seekerpalooza is difficult, time consuming and draining, yet our team of GMs have stepped forward to give you the best experience playing your seekers. They all know that, with high level play, you don’t have many more times to play your beloved character, and have therefore put the most effort possible to making sure it’s a good experience.
Our 2018 lineup of GMs are:
Bryan has been back-handing dragons and delivering their hoards to the villagers ever since he woke up one morning to discover he was a cockroach. Having boldly overcome that inconvenience, he now focuses on providing a knowledgable and exciting alternative reality experience for others. He specializes in staying calm under pressure, providing unprecedented geekery to the deserving, and translating the epic speeches of large vermin.
I have been playing RPGs since I was 10 and GMing since I was 11, though I got more into it in high school. I got involved with Organized Play during Living Greyhawk but had been inactive for years before my move to Charlotte. I see GMing as a thing that is way more about getting players to engage with the material and get into the lore than it is about rules mastery. My favorite scenarios are ones where I have the freedom to really bring the material to life like the early PFS scenarios Jesters Fraud or Tide of Morning. I like props and 3d terrain and colored maps but I don’t usually use them because I enjoy handdrawing the maps.
James A Becker
James is the Venture Captain for Western North Carolina, and has led the Appalachian Lodge to great success. Under his leadership, the lodge has consistently run 30+ games a month for the past 4 years. Having run 200+ games, James is an acclaimed GM. He is highly requested at area conventions, and always provides an excellent game to his players.
Grew up with AD&D in the 1980s, also played Gamma World, Twilight 2000 and the Victory Games James Bond RPG as a teenager. I started playing PFS in 2014 and I’m currently the Venture Agent for The Wyvern’s Tale, with over 170 GM credits in PFS, including GM experience at GenCon, MACE West, Scarefest, GeekOut and other conventions. My GM style would probably be described as “action-oriented”, with tense, quick-paced combat scenarios that keep the players focused on the survival of their fellow teammates. I wouldn’t be described as a “deadly” GM, player deaths are fairly uncommon in my games, but I’m a big fan of taking players up to the edge of failure, with one or two players unconscious at the end of the big end-fight. I have quite a bit of experience with high-level Pathfinder play, in both organized scenarios, modules and Adventure Paths and pride myself on finishing scenarios and modules within their scheduled slots.
Julian J. Caedmon Tracey
I’m a 5 star GM from Asheville North Carolina. I’ve been gaming since I was knee high to a grasshopper, and it wasn’t long before I started wanting to run games as well. I believe that storytelling of any sort is an art form, and regardless of the medium I think of it as my real passion. When I realized I could tell stories and people actually enjoyed them, I was hooked. When it comes to Pathfinder, I tend to run fast and loose — whatever adds to a better story — but I also believe that high tier should be epic, a thing that can only be achieved with a solid grounding in rules. If there isn’t a baseline and limits, then it’s not awesome when the PCs find a way to break them. A good story is one where the protagonists slide through by the skin of their teeth. I hope to deliver that razor’s edge experience at every table while not missing out on a healthy dose of RP.
I’m a second generation gamer, raised with custom HeroQuest scenarios and 2nd edition manuals and novels. I’m also a story-oriented GM, with the mechanical expertise to keep combats challenging.
Michael A Hill
I started RPGs with 2nd Ed D&D 25 years ago. I spent many years as the only person willing to run anything, so I didn’t get my first opportunity to actually play for six years. In those years, I spent a great amount of time developing stories, as my access to material was very limited. In ’99, I began working in a hobby shop and I played various systems, ran in a few different systems, as well. I have written and run multiple multi-year campaigns that went from starting characters until retirement and did so in a couple of different systems. I find that the two most important aspects of GMing, to me, are your ability to create immersion for your players and your ability to ensure that each player has a chance to shine and that everyone has a good time. The first allows for the story of the game to feel more real, but it requires the ability to think on your feet, ad lib, create real characters, and in some cases, real emotions. The latter, is important to me because if players aren’t having a good time, then why are they going to want to continue to play. In a OP situation, that does require some nuance, to ensure that players have a chance to shine, even if a scenario doesn’t give them that opportunity, tweaking things to not change the narrative, but create them a chance to be great is often difficult, but not impossible. In an ongoing campaign, it is much easier to have stories focus on each player…or at the very least individual combats that do so (If the character lacks depth save for wanting to smash face).
I’ve been playing various versions of D&D ever since I read my father’s AD&D Player’s Handbook at the tender age of nine (1985) and played through T1 The Village of Hommlet with both my father and my brother at a Pennsylvania game store. Over the years I have branched out to other game systems (World of Darkness, Amber DRPG, Shadowrun, TMNT, and others) but I always come back to D&D (and now, Pathfinder). As a GM I like to think that I have fairly extensive rules knowledge and roleplay NPCs well.
Ringleader of this year’s madness at Seekerpalooza, I’ll be running two tables of Witchwar Legacy. After running many sessions of Reign of Winter, I’m very comfortable with anything in Irrisen, and look forward to pummeling my player’s with bad Russian accents while we brave the trip to the far north of the inner sea region to delve into Babba Yaga’s past.
I started playing RPGs at a very young age and started playing with a dnd like system when I was 10. I’ve played dnd 3.5e, 4e, and 5e along with other systems similar to those. My name’s Remy. I currently attending UNCA as a German major and French minor. I like to think of myself as a pretty chill Gm who focuses on telling a story. I think every gm has a different style and the most important thing as a GM is to give a good game.
I first played D&D when I was going on 11 years old in the mid-1980s. I was the only player, and the GM had a very beat-up copy of the D&D Basic Set from his school library. Nonetheless I was hooked from that point on, and GMed small groups of AD&D 1e, 2e and a little Shadowrun until later in my teenage years when school, work and other extracurricular activities took precedence. I maintained an interest in the tabletop RPG world though, but expressed it mainly through computer games like Planescape: Torment, Baldur’s Gate II and the early-2000s Neverwinter Nights. In 2005, I returned to the tabletop world by becoming a Warhammer 40,000 miniatures game player. In 2009, I joined a group as a player of the Warhammer 40K RPG Dark Heresy. A few years later I became GM of a small group playing Warhammer 40K: Deathwatch. I was also interested in role-playing in the high fantasy genre, so I played four games of PFS at MACE in 2012. I played about 5 sessions at SCARAB in 2013, and GMed my first game, #3-21 Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment at MACE West 2013. I have since played and/or GMed PFS at every regional convention I’ve attended, plus three Gen Cons, for the past 5 years or so. While I enjoy playing, particularly with groups of about four, I believe GMing is my main calling. For PFS, one could somewhat simplistically put GM styles on a scale between voluminous storytelling and thin storytelling with a focus on dice rolls and tactical management (i.e. combat). I lean towards the storytelling side with a descriptive approach that goes beyond mere dice rolls. If a player says “I’ll make a Diplomacy check,” I’ll often say, “wait, do a little role-playing first.” Nonetheless I understand the importance of combat (and other situations resolved by more complex mechanics), and make sure I have stat blocks in my notes with information on spells and special abilities to keep things moving. Additionally I enjoy the improvisational aspect of role-playing, and allow alternate solutions to problems presented in the scenario. About myself: I am a Colorado native who moved to South Carolina to attend college. I completed my studies with an M.S. in Computer Science from Clemson University, which offered me a programming job that I continue working in to this day. Other gaming interests include a broad range of board games and Star Wars games like X-Wing. Other geeky interests include sci-fi, fantasy and horror video, novels and graphic novels. My non-geeky (per se) interests are crime/thriller video and novels, as well as English Premier League soccer and Clemson football. I’m currently an unattached single, though my parents now live in Clemson and I enjoy spending time with them.
Swanson has been going by his last name since High School, and that is how long he has been playing role playing games in general. Starting in High School, he has played many various home games in the wonderful worlds of Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, and Marvel Super Heroes. In the year 2000 when 3rd edition dungeons and dragons being announced and the living campaign would be Living Greyhawk started his love of worldwide / living campaigns. Since then Swanson has game mastered hundreds of scenarios and modules for almost every worldwide /living campaign. Campaigns he has run for are Living Greyhawk, Blackmoor, Living City, Living Forgotten Realms, Living Arcanis, and Pathfinder Society. While running games Swanson is known for two things, speed at which he runs scenarios and taking ten on skill checks. LOL.
Howdy! I cut my teeth on roleplaying at an early age, starting with Basic D&D in 1984, followed by staying up far too late playing AD&D 1st & 2nd Edition, Star Wars RPG, Shadowrun, Top Secret SI, and a smattering of others. That phase lasted until I graduated from college, when I put away childish things. I rediscovered roleplaying a couple of years ago after my daughter asked me to GM Pathfinder for her and her friends, and it’s all been downhill from there. Now I stay up far too late thinking of ways for my players to have a good time. My GM’ing style matches the philosophy of Moe Szyslak: “Ah, geez, I wasn’t gonna kill ya, I was just gonna cut ya.”