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D&D, Champions and World of Warcraft RPG writer Scott Bennie has died

Prolific tabletop and video game designer, who christened Fallout’s Dogmeat, passes away at 61.

Scott Bennie, a veteran roleplaying designer with credits across tabletop titles including Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Champions and more, has passed away.

Bennie started his tabletop career in 1981 with the publication of a bounty hunter NPC for Dungeons & Dragons in the game’s official monthly magazine Dragon. He would go on to create a number of monsters and adventures for Dungeons & Dragons and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, freelancing for publisher TSR through the 1980s and early 1990s.

Bennie was also known for his work on Hero Games’ superhero RPG Champions, also first published in 1981. He authored a number of adventures and sourcebooks for the game, including the long-running Gestalt campaign set in the Gestalt-Earth setting. A number of decades later, Bennie’s character Thundrax became a familiar face among the community in Champions’ MMO PC game, Champions Online.

In the nineties, Bennie shifted into the world of video games, working on a number of PC titles as producer and designer at Interplay Productions throughout the decade. Among his many credits are multiple adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and Star Trek, as well as work on the original Fallout - including coming up with the name of the post-apocalyptic RPG’s fan-favourite canine companion Dogmeat.

“The Star Trek series was where I thought I clicked as a designer,” Bennie said of his career highlights in a 2017 interview with Steemit. (Thanks, PC Gamer.) “LOTR was huge as my first work, and Castles was a huge seller, but Star Trek: The 25th Anniversary was the first work I was truly happy with. And beyond that, there was Starfleet Command and Fallout; two classic titles I was proud to be associated with.”

Bennie returned to freelance work on tabletop RPGs in the early 2000s, including contributions to several supplements for the World of Warcraft RPG and 2002’s The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game, for which Bennie co-wrote the Two Towers sourcebook. His last credits as a writer were in 2008, as Bennie returned to a career in education following his attempts to find a teaching job in the late 1980s.

Bennie reportedly passed away from complications from pneumonia. He was 61.

Following the news, a number of tabletop and video game developers paid tribute to Bennie’s work, including former Interplay colleagues, game designers and members of the Champions community:

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Matt Jarvis

Editor-in-chief, Dicebreaker

After starting his career writing about music, films and video games for various places, Matt spent many years as a technology, PC and video game journalist before writing about tabletop games as the editor of Tabletop Gaming magazine. He joined Dicebreaker as editor-in-chief in 2019, and has been trying to convince the rest of the team to play Diplomacy since.

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