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:
RIP: Larry DiTillio, James Mathe, Lee Garvin
2018: The Year in Review
Designers & Dragons Next Fantasy Flight Games: 2004-Present
A Look at Art & Arcana
Giants of the Industry: Greg Stafford

Recent Mechanics & Meeples:
Co-op Case Study: Onirim
Deckbuilding Expansion: Ascension, Part Four: From Elements to Ancients
Co-op Case Study: The Captain is Dead ? Lockdown
The Betrayal Legacy Chronicles, Part Two
Co-op Case Study: The Captain is Dead
The Alea Analysis, Part Ten: Saint Malo (M#9), Bora Bora (#15), La Isla (M#10)
Co-op Case Study: Oar Else!
A Bagbuilding Look at The Quacks of Quedlinburg
Co-op Case Study: Pathfinder ACG Core Set

Recent RPGnet Reviews:
Review: The Ninth World
Review: Thornwatch
Review: Cursed Court
Review: Too Many Cinderellas
Review: Caverna: Cave vs Cave
Review: Witches of the Revolution
Review: Scythe
Review: Barenpark
Review: Saga of the Northmen

Personal Journal:
In Which I Fail to Get a Sandwich
In Which We Plan to Move to Hawaii
In Which I Celebrate My Birthday with Plumbers, Roofers, and Monet
In Which I Dream of Mount Diablo, Weep about Plumbing, and Cross My Fingers for Friday
Billy Elliot: The Musical, by Lee Hall & Elton John
Hawaii: We Return Home
Hawaii Day Seven: We Lose Mary
Hawaii Day Six: We Hunt for Balls

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