• News!

    The Pastime Machine is just $4 from its "Liz Danforth" goal!

    • Friday night D6xD6 has open seats!

  • Current Projects!

    The Pastime Machine: An ongoging novel in sonnets roasting Wells, Dante, & more!
    (Support here.)

    Aquelarre: I'm translating this dark classic Spanish game to English. (Preorder here.)

  • Suggested Reading

    Final Failure: Eyeball to Eyeball
    Zen of the Dead - cover

    Grim Series: poems
    edge of the pond
  • Dice Games…

    Available from SFR, Inc.
    Dragon Dice game


    Daemon Dice game
  • Brief Bio

    A 2-term past president of the WFOP, 4-time Origins-winning game designer, and former HWG JavaScript teacher, retired from educational publishing to produce poetry, fiction, & games via Popcorn Press.

  • Featured Products

    Role-play in your favorite novels with the D6xD6™ RPG!

    Sword fight with a specially illustrated poker deck!

  • Other Card Games …

    Monster Con card game
    Invasion of the Saucer People card game
    Wolf Man's Curse card game
  • Games

    A pair of old six-sided diceIn the fall of 1984, during a layoff from General Electric, I sold a “capsule review” to Steve Jackson’s Space Gamer magazine. A month later they accepted my “Mind Duel” board game. Within a year, I was working full-time as a designer and editor for GDW, then TSR, with a bit of freelance for FASA, West End, Flying Buffalo, and others. Nowadays (after an interlude spent in educational publishing) I’m publishing myself—and other people—via Popcorn Press.
    Photo by sean_hicken

    Gaming for Goodness’ Sake

    Lester : May 6, 2015 11:39 am : Announcements, Game Design, Popcorn Press

    charity gaming t
    On May 23-24 this year, the Off/On The Square bookstore in Jacksonville, IL, is hosting a charity event: Gaming for Goodness’ Sake. As the image here shows, they’ve made up some shirts for the event, and my Monster Con card game is one of the featured images. You can learn more about the shop in the Journal Courier.

    I’ll be there Saturday afternoon, sporting my T-shirt, and running these games:

    1:30 Invasion of the Saucer People card game
    2:30 Clashing Blades card game
    3:30 Monster Con card game
    4:30 D6xD6 L’Académie des Arcanes role-playing

    Hope to see you there!

    Leave a response »

    Next Up, Odyssey Con!

    Lester : April 7, 2015 10:04 am : Announcements, Game Design, Popcorn Press

    Odyssey Con banner

    This weekend is Odyssey Con, in Madison, Wisconsin, with special guests Heather Brewer, my old pal Matt Forbeck, and Jonathan Maberry.

    It’s a con full of panels, workshops, and gaming. If you haven’t yet signed up, visit the Odyssey Con Web site to register.

    I’ll be attending as a panelist on eight different topics, listed below with the other panelists. And you can find me in open gaming in the hours between, demoing Popcorn Press card games, and maybe a spontaneous D6xD6 RPG session or two. I hope to see you there!

    11 p.m.: Zombie Games: Have We Hit Bottom Yet?
    Panelists: Bill Bodden, Lester Smith

    10 a.m.: Games In The Classroom, or “Can I roll Dice To Kill It?”
    Panelists: Aaron Pavao, Doug Niles, Lester Smith

    1 p.m.: Awards (Huh) What Are They Good For?
    Panelists: Matt Forbeck, Matt McElroy, Don Perrin, Lester Smith

    3 p.m.: Self-Publishing Your Game: How To Know If It’s Right For You?
    Panelists: Aaron Pavao, Jason Blair, Lester Smith

    6 p.m.: Is Crowdfunding the Way To Go?
    Panelists: Tiara Lynn Agresta, Jason Blair, Lester Smith, Rob Wieland

    10 p.m.: Breaking Into the Games Industry: How NOT To Do It
    Panelists: Tiara Lynn Agresta, Jason Blair, Aaron Pavao, Don Perrin, Lester Smith, Rob Wieland

    11 a.m.: The Golden Age of Gaming — What The Hell Happened?
    Panelists: Bill Bodden, Doug Niles, Aaron Pavao, Lester Smith

    1 p.m.: GMs: How To Handle Triage When The Party Goes Off-Map
    Panelists: Lester Smith, Rob Wieland

    Leave a response »

    Lost My Medallion

    Lester : March 2, 2015 10:32 am : Announcements, Game Design, Popcorn Press

    I had a great time at Capricon a couple of weekends ago…

    TorstenThat loss was fairly humiliating. Given an odd number of players, I took part in the tournament myself, and ended up in the final round. Torsten’s opponent ended up accepting defeat (instead of mutual destruction) to guarantee someone would have a shot at the medallion. Torsten beat me in the tournament itself, winning the opportunity to fight for the medallion.

    It was a hard-fought battle, with both of us severely wounded near the end. Then he pulled a perfect parry, activating the “Special Events” deck, turned up a Queen of Spades, and punched my fencer with his free hand, knocking my guy out, and taking the medallion from his unconscious body. Sigh.

    So I’ve had to purchase another medallion for future convention challenges.

    Congratulations, Torsten. Well fought.

    Leave a response »

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