Victor "Nitro" Fergueson became known as the Lord of
Steam when he adapted the HackMaster rules to live-action play
and began taking hand picked groups of players on late night forays
into the labyrinth of steam tunnels beneath Ball State University.
After 'Fergueson's Folly' made national headlines (Victor and
his group were lost for 7 days prompting a massive rescue search),
the steam tunnels were secured and dozens of entrances were sealed
with concrete. There are several contradicting accounts of what
happened weeks later on the evening of January 5th, 1987 but it
involved a satchel of C-4 high explosive, a miscalculation of
the expected blast radius, and a medical evacuation of the Campus
Administration Building which collapsed during an attempt to breach
the steam tunnels. The incident earned Victor the nickname 'Nitro'
and 5 years probation. Nitro has been president of the Black Hand
Gaming Society for 8 years, taking over from Weird Pete.
"Weird" Pete Ashton is the sole proprietor of a local
game store called the Games Pit. He is proud of the fact that he
was one of the co-designers of the cult classic role-playing game,
Lynch Mob. Pete loves to relate the story of how he was burned
by his partners and lost "millions." Pete is always available
for advice but oddly seems to be very bitter about the hobby he
loves so much. He was a major stockholder in Hard 8 Enterprises
but sold his shares mere days before HackMaster was released. Pete
co-founded the Black Hand Gaming Society along with Nitro and served
as president for the first four years of the club's existence. The
backroom of Pete's shop serves as home table for the Society.
Stevil Van Hostle
Stevil has a day job administering customer warranty claims. For
years he satisfied his gaming itch through freelance work for various
gaming industry publications. However, his divorce a couple of years
back freed up time for him to get back into real gaming. He met
Gordon Sheckberry at work [prior to his unfortunate(?) accident]
and 'Gordo' subsequently introduced him to the Black Hands. He now
commutes to Muncie every Friday night from his apartment in suburban
Gordon 'Gordo' Sheckberry graduated from Ball State with a Chemical
Engineering degree in his back pocket. (Although never proven, it
has long been suspected that he cooked up the batch of C-4 Nitro
used to level the Administration Building). Gordo was involved in
a bizarre industrial accident that seriously impaired his vision
and resulted in the loss of ALL his body hair. He is famous for
his bad toupee and coke bottle-lens glasses.
The accident bestowed Gordo with the gift of total lifetime disability
allowing him to game almost daily with various groups around Delaware
County. (Thus he is the envy of gamers everywhere.) Gordo has been
a member of the Black Hands for four years.
Newt was the only child of a career military couple. He spent
his childhood either being dragged around the globe or tossed back
and forth between various uncles and grandparents. Perhaps that's
why Newt has trouble making friends and fitting in. He wet his feet
in gaming by playing every play-by-mail game he could track down
and earned a bit of notoriety by toppling the five year power grip
of the top player in the PBM game, Tribes of Angst and essentially
shutting down the game. Later he was introduced to HackMaster through
a MUDD on the Internet and embraced the game.
After running through every Solo-Adventure published he set out
on a quest to find a group to play with. The Black Hands Gaming
Society have allowed him to play at their table for some time. Unfortunately
he's finding it difficult to find a group who will tolerate his
Flak Jack Monty
Jack "Flak Jack" Monty is well known in Muncie, Indiana
as a consequence of his highly publicized 1994 trial People v. Monty.
Jack was convicted of aggravated assault, endangering the public
and a half dozen other charges as a result of his commando-style
assault on a city bus armed with water balloons and several auto-fire
equipped paintball guns. Jack was playing a live-action game of
Urban Assassin and was attempting to 'take out' several players
who had sought refuge on a passing bus. The judge was not amused
and sentenced Jack to six months confinement. The sentence was waived,
however, on the condition that Jack enlist in the armed forces.
Jack joined the Army for a two-year hitch. DoD cutbacks allowed
him to end his tour early and return to Muncie to attend BSU on
the GI Bill while completing his military obligation in the Indiana
National Guard. He joined the Black Hands soon afterwards and earned
a reputation for being a formidable player.