About Skotos

About Shannon Appelcline

Shannon Appelcline is the Vice President of Skotos Tech. He manages the day-to-day operations of the company, and also directs marketing and business development. He's also a writer and game designer with credits in multiple industries.


Shannon writes on a variety of topics related to gaming of all types and computers. He is the author of two current gaming blogs, as well as several historical ones:

Advaned Designers & Dragons. 8/20/14-Present.
Shannon's third RPG history column, written after the publication of Designers & Dragons 2e.

Mechanics & Meeples. 8/13/05-Present.
A biweekly blog that discusses all sorts of board games, with adventure games and deckbuilders having received particular attention in the past.

RPGnet Reviews. 12/22/01-Present.
Besides his regular game design columns, Shannon also investigates the design of games through regular reviews.

Designers & Dragons. 8/4/11-1/1/14.
Shannon's second RPG history column, which led to 2e Designers & Dragons..

Fifth Imperium. 7/13/09-9/26/11.
A support column for Mongoose's Traveller RPG, written over the course of a Traveller campaign.

A Brief History of Game. 8/3/06-1/3/11.
Shannon's first RPG history column, which led to 1e Designers & Dragons.

Thinking Virtually. 2/26/01-6/6/03.
A weekly column covering tabletop RPGs (and board games) and their relations to online games. Featured some new articles and some reprints.

Trials, Triumphs & Trivialities. 9/21/00-10/13/09.
A column discussing online games & a multitude of issues related to them.

He is also the author of two comic books here at Skotos:

Castle Marrach: Awakenings.
A fantasy comic set in Skotos' fantasy gameworld, telling the story of the awakening of Victor Savary.

Lovecraft Country: The Comic.
A period horror comic, telling the story of one man searching for his brother, in Arkham, 1933.

Shannon has additionally written many offline works:

History: Designers & Dragons.
Shannon's 4-book series on the history of the roleplaying industry is the product of almost 10 years work.

Strategic Design: The Knucklebones Articles.
Shannon contributed almost a-dozen articles to Knucklebones board game magazine over the course of its existence. They've now all been reprinted in his Mechanics & Meeples blog.

Tabletop RPG Work.
Shannon has done authorial and editorial work for tabletop roleplaying companies since 1992. His clients include Avalon Hill, Atlas Games, Chaosium, Green Knight, Issaries, Mongoose, White Wolf, and Wizards of the Coast.

Game Design Articles.
Shannon's article, "Telling Stories in Online Games", was published by Charles River Media in Massively Multiplayer Game Development 2.

Fiction Writing.
Shannon's short story, "Keystones", was published as the lead story of the collection Legends of the Pendragon.

Game Design & Development

Shannon has developed several tabletop card games for iOS, including: Reiner Knizia's Money (early 2010), Reiner Knizia's High Society (mid 2010), Reiner Knizia's Kingdoms (late 2010), Michael Schacht's Gold! (early 2011), Reiner Knizia's Modern Art: The Card Game (late 2011), and Michael Schacht's Web of Power Card Game: The Duel (early 2012).

Shannon has also done design & development work on a number of tabletop games over the years. This includes roleplaying development (Hero Wars), board game development (Arkham Horror), and card game development (Mythos). He also has designs for a few unpublished board and cards games that have not yet found a publisher.

Because of his interest in design, much of Shannon's writing, linked to above, centers on the intricacies of design as well.

Recent Designers & Dragons:
2015: The Year in Review
The RuneQuest Mafia: 1989-Present
Hero Auxiliary Corps: 1983-1997
Women in the Hobbyist Gaming Industry: 1975-Present
Women in the Roleplaying Industry: 1974-Present

Recent Mechanics & Meeples:
Asmodee: The Other Creature that Ate the (Gaming) World
A Mini-Deckbuilding Look at Lord of the Rings Deck-Building Game
New to Me: Fall 2015 ? A Really Great Season
2015 Article Index
Anatomy of a Genre: Role Civilization, Part Three: The Galaxy
A Deckbuilding Look at Flip City
Anatomy of a Genre: Role Civilization, Part Two: The Empires
Anatomy of a Genre: Role Civilization, Part One: An Introduction
A Deckbuilding Look at Cthulhu Realms

Recent RPGnet Reviews:
Board/Tactical Game Review: Hengist (2015)
Board/Tactical Game Review: Thunderbirds (2015)
Card Game Review: No Thanks (2015)
Board/Tactical Game Review: Isle of Skye (2015)
Board/Tactical Game Review: Catan: Seafarers (2015)
Board/Tactical Game Review: Star Trek: Five-Year Mission (2015)
Card Game Review: 6 Nimmt! (2015)
Card Game Review: Renaissance Wars (2015)
Board/Tactical Game Review: Extra! Extra! (2015)

Personal Journal:
What I Learned About Hawaiian Airlines
Out of Sorts, Out of Patience
The Traveller Project
Doctor, Doctor (II), Mrs. PA
Overly Busy Weekend
Enough with the Journaling
Telegraph-ing Schedules
Setting Up the Exercise Room
Saving the Good Stuff & Playing the Good Stuff

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