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:

Designers & Dragons. 8/4/11-Present.
A RPG history column supplementing Shannon's mammoth book on the tabletop industry.

Mechanics & Meeples. 8/13/05-Present.
An occasional 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.

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 original RPG history column, which lead to 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:

Strategic Game Discussions.
Shannon contributed about a half-dozen articles to Knucklebones board game magazine over the course of its existence.

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. His most notable work is Designers & Dragons, a 400+ page heavily researched history of the tabletop RPG indystry.

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

In the last few years, 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). Eric Vogel's Armorica (mid 2012) and Reiner Knizia's King Arthur Card Game (late 2012) are planned for the near future.

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:
2013: The Year in Review
My History of Dungeons & Dragons, Part Two
The Top RPGs of 2012
My History of Dungeons & Dragons, Part One
2012: The Year in Review

Recent Mechanics & Meeples:
Return to Pathfinder Adventure Card Game ? The Campaign
Deckbuilding Interviews: Eric B. Vogel & Don?t Turn Your Back
The Alea Analysis, Part Six: Palazzo (M#2), Augsburg 1520 (M#3), Rum & Pirates (#10)
Support Mechanics & Meeples in 2015
Dissecting Dominion, Part Two: What a Difference a Box Makes
New to Me: Fall 2014 ? The Season of the Mediocre
2014 Article Index
A Deckbuilding Look at Trains
The Tao of Board Gaming V

Recent RPGnet Reviews:
Board/Tactical Game Review: Gold Ahoy! (2014)
Board/Tactical Game Review: Murano (2014)
Board/Tactical Game Review: Villainy (2014)
Board/Tactical Game Review: Johari (2014)
Card Game Review: Good Cop Bad Cop (2014)
Board/Tactical Game Review: Five Tribes: The Djinns of Nagala (2014)
Board/Tactical Game Review: Up! (2014)
Card Game Review: apocalypZe Card Game (2014)
Board/Tactical Game Review: Damage Report (2014)

Personal Journal:
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, by Clark Gesner
Letter to State Senator Hancock
Kauai IV: "Is it the Scam Cart?"
Kauai III: "Who's the first person in the water?" "A tourist"
Kauai II: "It Always Rains in Artsy Hanapepe."
Kauai I: "A more organic relationship between Nature and Civilization"
Oahu III: "Airports are for eating."
Oahu II: "Waikiki is Where Chain Stores Go to Die"
Oahu I: "The inflight movie is dead"

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