About Evil Beagle Games
And Sean Explains How The Company Came to Be…
I had a beagle, you see, for a very long time. Her name was Lady (AKA "The Would-Be Flying Wonder Beagle") and back before the turn of the century (so cool I can actually write that), I was working with a bunch of talented folks at the late-and-lamented Obsidian Studios in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Lady was the studio mascot, and everyone loved her. Quiet, sweet, loved everyone.
I made a joking remark how she must be the "True Face of Evil, because evil would have to be that cute and unassuming." The idea stuck, and soon she became widely known as the Evil Beagle.
Cut to a few laters later, when I was living in Ringgold, Georgia. The crew I was gaming and creating with also fell in love with her, and it was Mark Swafford who originally suggested that the creating side of what we were up to should be called Evil Beagle Studios. We didn't wind up getting into serious publishing, but a lot of good stuff came out of that time. Stu Adams, for Origins a couple of years later, made up some T-shirts and buttons featuring the above image, and many people wore that stuff with amused pride.
Sadly, the old girl's not with us anymore (she had over 20 years, so not a bad run, really), but her legacy lives on.
Okay, so that's where the name came from. Now, what's this really all about?
I've been at this a long time, and my fortunes have turned in such a way that is has finally become time for me to launch some of my own creative efforts directly. People have been after me for years to become my own publisher - just as I've been telling everyone else they can for a while now - and so here I am.
Evil Beagle Games is the vehicle from which I am going to launch my creative ideas, innovative design concepts, and whatever else comes bubbling out of my game-crazy head.
As well, as others decide they'd like to run with the Evil Beagle, you may well see a lot of new faces and old pros joining me as we howl away as only a pack of beagles can. Don't worry, though—we won't be hunting or anything. We're probably just hammered at the nearest bar….
Who are the Nutjobs Behind This?
Sean Patrick Fannon, Founder, President, and Chief PORTALIS Game Master
AKA "Big Irish"
Sean Patrick Fannon (a.k.a. "Big Irish" or SPF) has been professionally involved in tabletop RPGs, computer games, and entertainment for over a quarter-century. His dozens of projects have included Hero Games' Champions product line; both West End's and Fantasy Flight's Star Wars RPGs; various World of Darkness books; and the Savage Worlds Epic High Fantasy setting, Shaintar.
He was the Events Coordinator for GAMA (helping run both Origins and GAMA Trade Show), and chronicled the entire roleplaying game hobby and industry in The Fantasy Roleplaying Gamer's Bible, which sold over 10,000 copies. He worked for DriveThruRPG and RPGNow as the Marketing and Communications Director; during that period, he helped coordinate massive charity and relief efforts for folks like Doctors Without Borders and Feeding America, leveraging the RPG community's generosity.
Sean worked directly with Pinnacle and Palladium Books to create an entire line of books to bring the classic Rifts setting to Savage Worlds fans, which he says is his most challenging design project ever.
Sean now focuses on his own gaming company, Evil Beagle Games ("Bad Dog. Good Games"). Sean was the lead designer of the Freedom Squadron setting material for Savage Worlds, based on the excellent Spyglass Games' VENOM Assault cooperative board game. He co-designed, along with Len Pimentel, the top-selling Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition superhero RPG. He is the chief architect and developer of the OMNIVERSE, the meta-setting that interconnects all of the products EBG publishes, and he's working on multiple settings for it, including Unending War, AfterFall Legacies, Shard Warriors, and the highly-anticipated Modern Gods.
In 2021, Sean launched PORTALIS alongside Evil Beagle CEO Jennifer Shinefeld (see below), at long last turning his gifts for interactive storytelling into his full-time profession and offering truly high end experiences for gamers all over the world.
Sean is also proud to be Chair of Design Practice and Senior Fellow, Liminal Research & Education (LoRE), working with Pigeon (see below).
You can reach him directly at email@example.com
Jennifer Shinefeld, CEO
Jennifer Shinefeld (well known in our circle as "Maven") has many years of experience as a gamer, both at the table and in LARP communities. She also has extensive experience as a writer and editor, with a degree in English and a deep, abiding love for the written word (especially when found in very old bindings discovered on used bookshelves).
Over the last three years, she's gone from "executive management" of Sean while he runs his Big Epic Games to overseeing the entire team for all of our projects. The move to Chief Executive Officer of the company was a perfect fit. Naturally gifted as a leader and organizer (and mentored by some of the top minds in gaming), Jennifer applies the same charisma and influence she uses as a ballet instructor (Cecchetti, Royal Academy of Dance) to guide EBG's growing pool of talent as we reach for the Next Level. She's intimately aware of every aspect of this company and its people, and there's not a single Beagle who doesn't trust her leadership.
Jennifer is also one of our top editors. Her latest efforts include Freedom Squadron, 5e products, and Prowlers & Paragons.
Jennifer's additional "geek cred" comes from her work as a highly prized jewelry crafter, the proprietor of Winterhaven Jewelry (where she first developed her skills at starting and running a business).
All business inquiries should go to firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Dorf, CFO
Robert Dorf – a well-known figure in the gaming community as both a patron and a fantastic GM – is EBG’s new Chief Financial Officer. Robert has a long history of supporting Evil Beagle Games, and we are grateful he’s agreed to transform his stakeholder role into a more active one. He has a strong sense of financial realities and how to manage them, which we’ve been in desperate need for for years.
Robert is also a keenly creative soul, and we are greatly looking forward to his proposed luchador-oriented project for Prowlers & Paragons. He’s also providing extraordinary insight and support for all of our extant and future product lines.
Len Pimentel, Creator & Senior Developer
AKA "The Genius”
Len Pimentel is the Brand Manager and Lead Writer/Designer for the Prowlers & Paragons game line. He has been involved with roleplaying games since the sixth grade, when he came across that fateful article in Dynamite magazine that sent him tumbling into Mr. Moldvay’s clutches.
Len has been writing and tinkering with role playing games for a long time, since 1984 in fact, when he sent the fine folks at TSR a detailed letter explaining how they could improve Jeff Grubb’s Marvel Super Heroes role playing game. Obviously, Len was way out of his league. Thankfully, Jeff and the fine folks at TSR ignored Len’s ideas and implemented their own when they created the Marvel Super Heroes Advanced Set, an incredibly influential and enduring roleplaying game that people still enjoy to this day. But hey, everyone has to start somewhere.
Len’s design and writing credits include TNT (The Narrative Toolbox), Six-Gun Fury, Magnum Fury, Hughesville High, and Paragons! He is the main creator behind EBG's core system, Prowers & Paragons Ultimate Edition. Having published exclusively through his own company, LakeSide Games, Len has joined the fine folks at Evil Beagle Games in order to accomplish more in this wonderful industry than he could on his own: stronger together.
Len hopes to one day receive a detailed letter from some kid telling him how to improve one of his games, because on that day, he will know he has arrived.
Michael Surbrook, Chief Architect & Archivist, Senior Developer
AKA "The Professor"
Michael Surbrook got his game developer feet wet by creating Kazei 5 for the HERO System back in 1999. Since then he’s written material for BlackWyrm games (Kazei 5 2nd Edition, Larger Than Life), D3 Adventures, Fantasy Flight Games (assorted Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader products), Hero Games (Asian Bestiary I & II, Fantasy Hero Complete, Ninja Hero), and High Rock Press (Aaron Allston’s Strike Force), and contributed some ideas to Savage Worlds Weird War I. Oh, and if you look hard enough, you’ll find some of this drawings in old issues of Autoduel Quarterly and GURPS Humanix.
"The Professor" has produced a significant body of work for EBG, to include Beasts from the East (Japan), Feywild Discoveries, Here Be Dragons, Atomic Monsters, and much, much more! He's one of our top D&D 5e designers, as well as a key creator for Prowlers & Paragons.
In addition to all of the creating, Michael is the person in charge of overseeing all of our product lines and ensuring everything fits into the Grand Scheme (Architect), as well as ensuring all we do (creatively and procedurally) is recorded and maintained (Archivist). He also demands you know his other title - Beloved of Emperor Rocco.
Bill Keyes, Director of Production & Senior Developer
AKA "teh ebil bunneh"
Bill has been gaming for well over 30 years, starting with the hardback Advanced Dungeons & Dragons books (which he still has, proudly showing them off to anyone foolish enough to ask) in 1980. He discovered the original Champions superhero RPG at the tender age of 11, and has been running heroic adventures ever since. People keep coming back to play, so he must be doing something right. A long-time resident of Colorado, he currently lives in Johnstown.
Bill has worked as the layout designer and art director for Hero Games (Lucha Libre Hero, The Hero System Bestiary, Hero System Martial Arts Handbook, Hero System Equipment Guide, and others), Silverback Games (Champions: The LARP), and Blackwyrm Publishing (Kazei 5, Terracide, The Fires of Heaven, 3rd World, and others). His first book, The Widening Gyre, is a world of steampunk and sorcery for Savage Worlds and the HERO System. He's written for a number of projects as well, including Torg: Eternity, Savage Rifts, and Apocalypse Prevention Inc.
Bill's current EBG projects include: The Remote is Screaming, Modrons of the Nether Plane, Jack Straw, Sea Wall, and Giupeppi's Barber Shop, plus many more. He is also the layout and graphic design master of the vast majority of Evil Beagle products. We cannot wait to announce our huge new D&D 5e setting project, for which Bill is the lead creative.
Known as "teh ebil bunneh" (for reasons we are unable to explain - as in, our lawyer advises us to say nothing further on the matter), Bill claims to have been elected President in a rigged election, conquered the Midwest, been shot and killed at least once, sworn (and achieved!) vengeance on the gods themselves, crowned himself King of the World, become the arch-enemy of a llama, deposed the Pope, and had torrid love affairs with several well-known movie starlets. It is unlikely that any of these things are actually true, but it's best to just humor him when he gets like this.
Cory Williamsen, Project Manager & Design Consultant
Cory has been gaming since he was 9, starting with the old Choose Your Own Adventures. His first foray into table top RPGs came just a few years later with Palladium’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, quickly followed by Heroes Unlimited. Of course D&D was not too far behind.
Cory’s love and fascination with Live Action Role Playing started just as early. His 6th grade Art teacher, one of the first Magic: the Gathering artists Dan Frazier, would create latex and paper mâché medieval fantasy projects like helmets and dragon head puppets. Though his real start was with Vampire the Masquerade parlor LARPs in the 90’s.
For the last 20 years Cory has led various initiatives to organize and participate in Organized Play, in both the Table Top and LARP parts of the hobby. From club standards such as WOTC’s Living Greyhawk, and international clubs such as what is now the Mind’s Eye Society, Cory has organized events to bring players together to enjoy a larger shared experience.
His latest endeavors include taking on the overall project management - working directly with CEO Jennifer and Architect Michael - for all the various products and product lines we are launching in our "2.0 Journey." He's also consulting extensively for our upcoming 5e mega-project.
Sean Tait Bircher & Robin English-Bircher, Developers of Freedom Squadron
AKA “Wine & Savages”
Sean and Robin are the amazing duo who've stepped up to carrying the Freedom Squadron banner across the battlefield to face the forces of VENOM. They are also exceptionally talented writers, editors, and creators who Sean first got to work directly with as they got involved with the Savage Rifts line for Pinnacle Entertainment.
They really kicked off their RPG writing careers with the launch of the Wine & Savages Blog, then the SW-fan-favorite "The King is Dead." The Savage Worlds community knows and loves them for all the great content they keep putting out. Their latest major achievement there is "Dawn of the Daikaiju," where you actually play giant monsters saving - or crushing - the world.
Freedom Squadron is one of the most important product lines we have at EBG, so we are thrilled and grateful to have these two - fans as well as fantastic creators - at the helm of the FSS Freedom.
Donny Arnold, Art Director
AKA “The Foreman”
Donny has been playing tabletop and video games since 1983. He is decidedly old (though not as old as our decrepit President, who rolled dice made of teeth and granite). He is part owner of Gamer Girl Games LLC and Genghis Con Colorado with his better half (Andre'a Arnold, also a major supporter of the Beagles), making up the dynamic duo that is known as the “First Couple of Gaming.”
Though Donny has no formal training in art direction (he's a top-level tradesman and technician in the HVAC industry by day), his keen eye, sense of design, and love of the visuals of the hobby led him to become quite the connoisseur of adventure illustrations. He's long been known as a go-to person in the Mountain West for advice on art, graphics, and presentation. (He's also a fantastic miniatures painter and highly skilled GM!)
A longtime supporter of Evil Beagle Games, Donny's name came up naturally when the company found itself in need of an Art Director. The role requires a critical eye, a good sense of business, and excellent communication skills that lean into the creative heart space of the adventure game illustrator. Donny has all of these in great quantity, and he's already turned the entire art direction process for EBG around in huge ways.
Dr. James Fielder (Lt Col, USAF, Retired), Senior Designer & World Building Consultant
Another major friend and stakeholder in the new Evil Beagle Games "2.0 Era," Pigeon is one of the world's leading experts on ludology (the study of games and gameplay), and the only political scientist in the world who researches emergent political processes in game worlds and settings.
Pigeon brings an incredible wealth of expertise in the application of real-world geopolitics, sociology, economics, and military research to every one of our projects at Evil Beagle Games. He's currently playing a major role in the development of our new, soon-to-be announced 5e project. He's also a fantastic Game Master, player, and has a rather extraordinary Prowlers & Paragons setting in development as well - Her Majesty's Rakes & Scoundrels.
Founder of Liminal Operations and LoRE (Liminal Research & Education), Pigeon is also an Adjunct Professor and Research Associate at Colorado State University and a Marine Corps University Non-Resident Krulak Fellow for the 2020/2021 academic year.
Marian Waldman, Director of Sales
AKA “Destroyer of Plot”
Marian Waldman is another dear friend and longtime supporter of EBG who has very kindly stepped up to join the excitement of our "2.0 Era." She is a stakeholder who also has over a decade experience as a Sales Engineer in other fields. She brings that, plus many decades as a gamer and friend to those who run game companies, to the role of overseeing our sales and promotions efforts.
Scott Crosson, Executive Goon AKA "Comic Relief"
Scott Crosson has been a play tester for several projects in the RPG industry since the late 1990's. He has been a proficient programmer for Hero Labs working on Pathfinder, Mutants & Master Minds, and Savage Worlds files. He is co-author of the upcoming Age of Pulp setting, is assisting with Freedom Squadron, has a Bachelor’s degree in History and is a prolific Kickstarter backer. He also has a wicked sense of humor and an unhealthy obsession with dinosaurs (and apes). He will be assisting with Evil Beagle’s Kickstarter projects from here on out.
Tammy Sue Keyes, Convention Coordinator, AKA Keeper of the Schedule™
Tammy has been role-playing since the late 1980’s. Every once in a while, she is even seen behind the GM’s Screen running Doctor Who, Agents of the Agency (a Golden Age/Pulp Superhero setting), League of Extraordinary Gentlewomen (a Pulp Setting), or The Widening Gyre. She has supported Bill in his writing as a sounding board for ideas. She is bringing her interest in organization, and keeping the Ebil Bunneh in line, to keep the Beagles on track and having fun.