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

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Scott Bennie, writer, producer, and designer of multiple videogames and tabletop roleplaying games, has died at the age 61 due to pneumonia complications, as confirmed on his Facebook page.

While you may not recognize Scott Bennie by name, you likely know some of his work. At Interplay in the 1990s he served as producer and designer on both volumes of its adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, as well as the strategy sims 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 original Fallout.

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

Bennie’s other videogame 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 tabletop RPG designer, having written supplements and adventures for Dungeons & Dragons, Champions, Marvel Superheroes, Mutants & Masterminds, and adaptations of both The Lord the Rings and World of Warcraft.

In addition to working on the Champions tabletop game—for which he created the Gestalt-Earth setting—Bennie was well-known in the community of its MMO version, Champions Online, where he played a superhero named Thundrax. In a eulogy posted to Facebook, fellow ex-Interplay staffer Jesse Heinig wrote that, “For many people, role-playing is a chance to try to play, for a little while, as someone different, but for Scott, Thundrax seemed like ‘What if Scott had superpowers?’ He was kind, thoughtful, and ready to help, all qualities that Scott carried in spades.”

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

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