Knights of the Dinner Table cast biographies
The Knights of the Dinner Table

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B.A. Felton

B.A. (Boris Alphonzo not Bad Attitude or Bozo as his schoolmates called him) Felton is a devoted GameMaster, loyal to his group and the game known as HackMaster™. In his 30s, he still lives with his mom, but this has given him the time to perfect his craft. To make money, he drags himself away from his game designs to work the graveyard shift at the local Pizza-Go-Go.

In his early years, B.A. played a Gnome thief named Tar Markvar, a character fate frowned on, whose wit outshone his wisdom to the day of his death.

B.A.'s college career of anthropology and history study didn't last long; he dropped out to pursue his dream of being a game designer. He spent his life savings of $6000 into developing and producing his first independent game, DAWG: the Role-Playing Game™. Unfortunately, the game failed and bombed; B.A. believes to this day that the game didn't sell due to a negative review in WatchDog Gamer magazine (run by Nitro Fergueson). This was too much for B.A., who suffered a nervous breakdown and gave up gaming. A few years later, the sound of rolling dice called to him once more - he began gaming again and founded the Knights of the Dinner Table. At their peak, the KODT boasted a membership of 26; in the following years, membership has fluctuated and now stands at a steady five.

B.A. has always tried to push the envelope in both features, description and imagination. The first adventure he ran as a GM was "The Hordes of Dark Devastation." Swiftly moving from pre-generated shelf adventures to his own adaptations and creations, he inflicted, er… ran his first home-brewed adventure "It's A Rocky Road To Frankenstein's Castle" - the HackMaster™ adaptation of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", while Bob and Brian were the only Knights. His innovations didn't stop there - successfully mixing incompatible systems, employing the most intense game aids or taking his group into the 21st Century with GM aids and player systems are samples of B.A.'s dedication. Granted, not every one of his experiments is a complete success; sometimes the role of a GM must fly in the face of available facts. But his hard work, his innovations, his time at the HackMaster™ Academy and his willingness to spread the joy of HackMaster™ to new players or new GameMasters give proof of B.A.'s caring, love and dedication to the phenomena that are Gary Jackson's HackMaster™ and the KODT.

It hasn't always been easy for B.A.; his great work isn't always appreciated - or without dangerous incident either. Although B.A. has had some glorious moments, one of the darkest moments - for himself and for the Knights - was the day he chose to quit when fellow/competing GM Earl Slackmozer moved into the county and cheated to win the respect that was rightfully B.A.'s; and yet in the end, B.A. and the Knights won through. With a slice of pizza in one hand and the notes for his adventure with a home-brewed system, B.A. keeps the thoroughly well deserved title... of GameMaster of the Knights of the Dinner Table.

The preferred system for B.A. and the Knights is Gary™ Jackson™'s® HackMaster®, with its derivative supplements, SpaceHack!® and CattlePunk®.

Bob Herzog

Bob Herzog is one of the world's last true gamers, a living embodiment of Gary Jackson's rallying cry, "The game must go on!" Still living with his parents and watching soaps, Bob's devotion to the game is unflagging and unquestionable; even when his temper and sharp tongue lose him several jobs, regardless of societal, peer or parental pressure, no sacrifice or hardship is too great for Bob and the game.

Bob's role-playing adventures away from the table are further testament. Rope burns, a $500 dentist bill, and a temporary makeover are just entrees. Bob's crowning glory was the nationally publicized Fergueson's Folly - a boy scout troop's eight day foray into the steam tunnels of Muncie led by none other than the Lord of Steam, Nitro Fergueson. In that week, Bob looked death in the face and lived to tell the tale, leaving a big piece of himself in those sewer tunnels.

Great Hack'n'Slasher that Bob is, his strengths do not lie in GameMastering or adventure writing, as evidenced by his earlier attempts after watching The Wizard of Oz and once mapping a dungeon after the design of his own house.

Bob's most touching quirk is his devotion to those blessed tools of the role-player, his dice. Bob's dice collection is one of the largest known in Muncie, especially his pride and joy, the lucky ten-sider. His attachment to his favorite polyhedron was most evident when it was lost at a local convention; Bob's "Have you seen this die" poster campaign became an unavoidable feature of nearly every vertical surface at the Ball State Campus. But Bob's dice fetish goes beyond mere love; when Nitro dared touch Bob's dice, Bob lost it and quote "went medieval on Nitro's ass" unquote.

Bob's devotion to the game was most evident in what may have been the second darkest age of the KODT - the day Bob's dad (an adjuster for Hoe And Harness Farmer's Insurance) saw a 60 Minutes Special on HackMaster™, searched Bob's room and found Bob's HackMaster™ manuals. On that day, Bob's dad forced him to get a real job and banned Bob from gaming.

A comrade had fallen and the Knights had to play for Bob who could not. For weeks, the Knights played with a succession of substitutes, including the Gamer Temp Corps's Ty Ferfel, the young and unsociable Newt Forager and a succession of other... erm... players. In the end, it was only quick thinking on Bob's part that allowed him to return to the Table. Unfortunately, the tightly stretched web of far-fetched lies and damning deceit was torn when Dave was spotted alive and well by Bob's dad. In the end, all the precautions came to naught and Bob's dad discovered Bob's game again. A deal was made - if Bob could maintain a steady job following in his father's footsteps as an adjuster for H&H Farmer's Insurance, Bob could continue the game. Although this has damaged his dream of becoming a professional role-player, it has also strengthened Bob's intense need to hack and slash.

Bob's most famous and favorite character is the one and only Knuckles the Sixth, King of the Wall Climbers. Knuckles is a dwarven thief/fighter with a braided beard, brandishing a crossbow or axe, wearing studded leather armor, a hooded cape and a ring on the middle finger of his left hand. Knuckles' back is tattooed with arcane symbols, imprinted on his flesh by the hand of (Brian's mage) Teflon Billy, making Knuckles one of Teflon Billy's two walking, talking emergency spellbooks. Although the opportunity doesn't come up often, Knuckles is also a gourmet chef (with a 75% proficiency in gourmet food preparation).

It takes a moment to notice his left leg - instead of a leg of flesh and blood, it appears to be a wooden leg, made of fine blood-wood, adorned with ivory inlays and gilded with pure gold. Knuckles was unjustly sentenced to losing his left leg (hacked off at the knee) as punishment for the murder of a beggar in Lord Gilead's city of Fangaerie. Before they left the city, the party's torchbearer Knobby Foot found the legendary Wooden Leg of Dwarven Pirate Sturm Pyre at the Fangaerie Bazaar and gave it as a gift to Knuckles.

Knuckles' favorite steed is Mike the Dwarven Warhorse, successor to Door Stop. Bob/Knuckles values Mike very highly - not only as a companion or beast of burden, but also as an effective lethal weapon. Bob's/Knuckles' second favorite weapon is his Axe of Doom. The Axe is second only to his favorite weapon - found by Shadow Pete in the Halls of the Mountain Mage, the Crossbow of Doom has been handed down to Knuckles and is his constant companion of chaos which he uses with various bolts, including the Bolt of Torment, +6 Bolt of Despair, +8 Bolt of Devastation, Bolt of Reaving, Bolt of Thrashing and the Bolt of Skewering.

When the Knights made the switch to being sponsored by Kenzer and Company, Bob and Dave nearly didn't make it - the brass were considering losing the Dangerous Duo and replacing them with a pair of power-gamers. In the end, an impassioned plea by B.A. and Sara saved them from grisly fates as temps in the Gamer Temp Corps or as miniature painters.

Dave Bozwell

From humble beginnings, Dave Bozwell has embraced role-playing with a passion, empathy, and loyalty worthy of awards, rarely matched in the many worlds of HackMaster™.

As a welcome break from his Ball State University courses of cultural anthropology and dance theory, Dave was introduced to role-playing by Bob Herzog in the days when B.A., Bob, Johnny Kizinski and Brian were the only Knights of the Dinner Table. In his rebel years, Dave was the sort of guy who'd paint the words "IN THE NADS" on the side of a water tower and risk his "life" saving a Paintball-War Buddy, paving the way for the on-the-edge, bored-with-tiny-details, true-blooded, hungry-for-victory Hack'n'Slasher that he was destined to become.

His introduction to the subtleties and intricacies of HackMaster™ was an historic, solemn moment. A few early RPG life experiences prepared Dave for the rigors of RPG life ahead; most notably, playing in Nitro Fergueson's "Trial By Ordeal" LARP and the accidental target-end testing of Weird Pete's experimental gasoline-powered Fireball Generator.

For a long time, HackMaster was "just a game" to Dave, much like Paintball, Risque, or Nintendo. He'd play one session with the Knights and miss another two... until that fateful hour when Dave and his adventuring human fighter El Ravager discovered one of the powerful relics of the HackMaster™ TeraVerse... the HackMaster +12. HackMaster +12 A major relic of the HackMaster™ TeraVerse, the HackMaster +12 wielded by El Ravager (a.k.a. Dave Bozwell) is one of the only four known to exist on Garweeze Wurld. Made of pure Dwarven steel, a HackMaster +12 is forged in the belly of Blind Luvia, tempered in a vat of the blood of a fearsome Swack-Iron Dragon. The mystic runes of warning and power on the blade are etched by the fifty most skilled and blessed blind Dwarven craftsmen of Garweeze Wurld; the blade is then polished with the chest hair of Thor himself. The eldritch Death Rune imprinted on the hilt is the earthly manifestation of a powerful spell; cast upon a victim, it steals their soul and banishes them from the world of the living forever. Twinned with the necromantic power of Vlad'neer of Robinloft in the form of the Pommel Stone of Vlad'neer, this fantastic weapon becomes the most fearsome, unstoppable force for swift and deadly justice in the HackMaster™ TeraVerse, a mighty HackMaster +15 (Batteries not included). Dave's attachment to his HackMaster +12 is almost like no other - when faced with the possibility of finding the Pommel Stone of Vlad'neer (see above), Dave's response was a simple and profound expression of joy. The only other time Dave has ever expressed such astonishment was when the Knights played an April Fool's joke on Dave, making him think that his HackMaster +12 had been destroyed by a curse.

Since becoming such a devoted player Dave has, of course, tried his hand at being a GameMaster. His success can be summed up very simply.

The only element of the HackMaster™ TeraVerse that Dave could love as much as his HackMaster +12 was his faithful mount. Not his good steed the horse Clover-Flax, his equine companion - but Clover-Flax's predecessor, Chelsie. Chelsie began life as a cow peacefully munching grass in a field near a palace/castle of an evil lord. It was Dave/El Ravager's finely honed instincts that led to the discovery of this seemingly innocuous cow's incredible properties. Even though Dave/El Ravager took the best care he could of the bovine she ran away, taking the to-hit bonus Dave was sure she gave El Ravager with her.

Dave's most famous character is, of course, El Ravager the HackMaster +12-wielding human Fighter. It bears mentioning that El Ravager's back is tattooed with arcane symbols, imprinted on his flesh by the hand of (Brian's mage) Teflon Billy, making El Ravager one of Teflon Billy's two walking, talking emergency spellbooks.

Sara Felton

Sara Felton is the exception that proves the rule. Where the rest of the Knights Of the Dinner Table are the fire, heart and soul, Sara is the cooler, wiser head of the group, the perfect foil to their impetuousness - a consummate professional in the business of HackMaster™.

Moving from Wisconsin to Muncie, the hometown of her cousin B.A. Felton, Sara was invited to join the Knights. The wealth of experience she brought to the Table was more than anyone expected - role-playing for ten years, regional champion of the Wisconsin Gary Jackson Role-Playing Tourney for four years running and attending the HackMaster™ camp in 1992 (spending ten days in grueling study of demi-human cultures).

Sara even stretches her skills into the role of GameMaster with ease, her latest triumph being to convince a bunch of sexist Hack'N'Slash maniacs to put aside their usual characters for a night and play female characters, warming her up for an upcoming GaryCon tournament.

Sara is quite the perfectionist; for her, the art of HackMaster™ and role-playing is more of a science to be carefully and properly executed, whether in the playing, GameMastering, or even tasks such as mere mapping. Her role-playing is technically near perfect, with her ability to either suppress or use her personal feelings to enhance her role-playing. She has earned her respect - not only from the people who live in the many worlds of HackMaster™, but even from the most impossible taskmasters of the game - the Knights Of the Dinner Table.

Sara has reflexes that would scare a striking cobra. Those instant reflexes, however, are generally used for only one thing around the table. The second someone makes a sexist comment, Sara's hand is tightly gripped on his or her shirt, pulling him or her into range of the fist she has cocked and ready to launch into the face of the offender.
Unless a sexist comment has been made, Sara maintains her cool at all times. Sure, she regrets the loss of her favorite character Zayre the Barbarian, but she keeps the perspective that Zayre was just a fictional construct defined by numbers on paper. A cool, calm professional, Sara is ready to move on to bigger and better game sessions with her expertise in the game that is HackMaster™.

Brian van Hoose

The almost perfect phrase to describe Brian van Hoose is "idiot savant" - minus the idiot bit. A young lifetime of devotion to his computer hobby has instilled in Brian the precision required to make him what he is today - a walking, talking, nearly perfect, unstoppable, organic HackMaster™ machine, living and breathing The Game.

Brian's early computer hobby developed into running his own Internet connected BBS, a hobby that helps support him. His other means of financial support comes from the - again, very precise - hobby/business of miniatures, painting and selling. Mindful of the economics of the situation, a van Hoose painted miniature comes in three styles of increasing quality and price: Slop-N-Go, Table-Top and Museum Qualities. Other hobbies include his beloved Fantasy and Science Fiction TV shows and novels (note the Babylon 5 mural painted on his van or his Green Lantern T-shirt). Then again, he also claims to have been abducted by aliens. Which way the therefores go on that one, nobody is sure.

His personal life obviously reflects the flaw points that balance his otherwise precise life-style. Outside the Knights, personal expression is one of Brian's weaker points. Brian himself is a quiet, withdrawn man, apparently barely capable of stringing three words together into a clear sentence. For that matter, Brian also - in spite of a decent tenor singing voice - appears to be so unnerved by the idea of having to sing he breaks out in hives. Brian's Armor of Reticence, however, has its weaknesses. Once shattered, the resultant explosion is terrifying - and usually leads to the table being picked up and flipped over in a mad rush of blind rage. Brian is also quick to defend himself - when B.A.'s 82 year old grandfather had a flashback and attacked Brian "the Japanese sniper", Brian defended himself admirably... or at least it was fairly admirable until Pappy Felton crawled from the room and Battle-Rage Brian dragged him back in by the ankles. And all the gawds in all the heavens help you if you mention something like Alexis to him now (Alexis was his make-believe girlfriend).

His home would be declared a biohazard if ever inspected by the appropriate health authorities - scary, furry green things growing in the refrigerator, dust that scares asthmatics into fits and a bizarrely adhesive substance on the floor of the bathroom. Best not to ask.

Brian's devotion to and mastery of HackMaster™ is unparalleled, possibly superior to any other single person in the history of HackMaster™. Owner of what is probably the most complete collection of HackMaster™ manuals, articles and supplements outside the offices of Hard8™, the purpose of the manuals in Brian's case is simply to provide proof for others - Brian himself is an living, breathing encyclopædia, a repository for virtually every rule, line, table or piece of HackMaster™ information there is, down to the footnotes and page numbers, letter perfect. His calculations of remaining hit points, ratios, percentages, probabilities, experience or saving point values, body weights and statistics put Seymour Cray to shame.

In recent history, Brian has never been seen to act as a GameMaster. In spite of his astonishing HackMaster™ ability, his Third Place Award in the Saginaw RPG Tourney of 1978 and the fact that he himself introduced B.A. to HackMaster™, Brian underwent a terrible trauma at GaryCon'89, some terrible, mysterious event that caused him to actually give up role-playing for almost a year. Fortunately for the institution of role-playing, Brian recovered and went from strength to strength from there - except for the fact that Brian never acts as a GM anymore.

Brian's training is, of course, supplemented by his attendance at the 1987 and 1993 HackMaster™ camp (at which he attended the same ten-day demi-human culture classes and was awarded a badge for his Orc-speak prowess. His other great service to the world of HackMaster™ was his proposal of the Gamer Achievement Awards, a concept he is now developing with the help of Bob and Dave. Brian proposed the GAA to the Gary Jackson Academy of Role-Playing, designed to be worn beneath convention nametags and at other formal gaming events.

But Brian's phenomenal mastery of HackMaster™ isn't the only feature that makes him a terrifyingly good player - the other factors are his ruthlessness, tactical cunning and his ability to exploit any shoddy rule.

Examples of Brian's frightening cunning include the times he:
o Killed the Vampire lord Vardania armed only with a wooden stake, sacrificing himself to save his comrades - whilst being a first-level character
o Saved the entire crew of the HackCruiser Warmonger from untimely death at the hands of space-pirates with his knowledge of mass-transporter systems and explosives
o Saved the party from being slaves of Rot Gut the Swack-Iron Dragon by tricking it into polymorphing into a dung beetle
o Tricked B.A. into running a HackMaster™ game when the party should have been playing SpaceHack™
o Took over the entire town of Muskeegie in CattlePunk™
o Rescued the entire party from imprisonment and execution with his Teleportation ring
o Created the Warmonger Science Officer

Brian's characters have included:
o Crimson Lotus, Black Lotus & Benny the Mage in the ongoing KODT HackMaster™ adventures
o Shotgun Billy and Big Jim Murdock in CattlePunk™
o The Leader of the Green Empire of Asia in Risque™
o The Warmonger's Science Officer in SpaceHack™
o Nigel Molenski in HackNoia™
o A Caped Crusader in Heroes And Zeroes™

Johnny Kizinski

Johnny "Lucky" Kizinski was one of the original founding members of the Knights of the Dinner Table Gaming Club. He was highly respected by the other members for his gaming style and dedication to the game. He is mostly remembered, however, for his incredible luck with the dice and his uncanny habit of coming up with the right results at the right time. Mention his name around just about any gaming table in Muncie, Indiana and you're likely to hear the sad refrain, "the boy could play!"

Johnny's story has an unhappy ending however. One night during a power session of CattlePunk, his luck ran out. He fumbled consecutively FIVE times, failed four saving throws, and missed twelve to-hits over the course of the evening. As a result four high-level player characters met their demise.

Johnny's unlucky streak haunted him in the weeks that followed and he eventually lost interest in the game and hung up his dice bag. He moved out of state and now manages a Big Juices in Wisconsin.

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