Scott Bennie, writer on Interplay’s Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Fallout and others, has died

Scott Bennie, writer, producer and designer of several video games and tabletop role-playing games, has died aged 61 from pneumonia, his Facebook page confirmed.

Although you may not recognize Scott Bennie by name, you probably know some of his work. At Interplay in the 1990s, he was producer and designer of the two-volume adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, as well as strategy simulations Castles and Castles: The Northern Campaign. His other Interplay credits, primarily as a writer, include the Star Trek games Starfleet Academy, Judgment Rites, Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, Starfleet Command, and Starfleet Command 2, as well as Castles 2: Siege and Conquest and the first Fallout.

In an interview posted on Steemit in 2017, Bennie was humbled about his contribution to the classic RPG, saying, “I didn’t have much to do with Fallout. A few maps, a few Hub bits, and a few system messages. And the Mysterious Stranger Perk. And I named Dogmeat — if anything lives on in my writing career, it will be that dog’s name.

Bennie’s other video game credits include Descent, Descent to Undermountain, Stonekeep, Champions of Norrath, and the enhanced CD-ROM edition of the original SimCity. He was also a prolific designer of tabletop RPGs, having written supplements and adventures for Dungeons & Dragons, Champions, Marvel Superheroes, Mutants & Masterminds, and adaptations of The Lord the Rings and World of Warcraft.

As well as working on the tabletop game Champions – for which he created the Gestalt-Earth setting – Bennie was well known in the community from his MMO version, Champions Online, where he played a superhero named Thundrax. In a eulogy posted on Facebook, former Interplay staffer Jesse Heinig wrote that “For many people, role-playing is a chance to try to play, for a little while, like someone else. ‘one different, but to Scott, Thundrax seemed to be ‘What if Scott had superpowers? He was kind, caring and willing to help, all qualities that Scott had in spades.’

On Twitter, game developers who worked with Bennie wrote tributes praising his writing as well as his kindness and intelligence.

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