Scott Bennie, Original Fallout Writer Who Named Dogmeat, Has Died

Scott Bennie, producer, writer, and designer for multiple video games, tabletop sourcebooks, and more, has died. He was 61. A post on Bennie's Facebook page confirmed the cause of death was due to complications from pneumonia.

Bennie's work at Interplay Entertainment during the '90s is what most of us will know him for, with credits on strategy games Castles, Castles: The Northern Campaign, Castles 2: Siege, and Conquest, various Star Trek games including Starfleet Academy, Judgment Rites, Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, Starfleet Command, and Starfleet Command 2, as well as classic action sims Descent and Descent to Undermountain.

But perhaps his most notable contribution to gaming came in the form of a humble dog's name. In an interview with Steemit (via PC Gamer), Bennie talked about his time at Interplay and his work on the original Fallout.

"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," he said. "And I named Dogmeat – if anything endures of my writing career, it will be the name of that dog."

Besides his work in video games, Bennie was also a prolific RPG designer with contributions to Dungeons & Dragons, Champions, Marvel Superheroes, and Mutants & Mastermind. He also helped adapt both Lord of the Rings and World of Warcraft into tabletop RPGs.

Bennie was also a big deal in the Champions community. Besides being well known for his work creating the Champions tabletop game, he also played Champions Online where he portrayed the hero Thundrax, a beloved character.

In a heartfelt eulogy on Facebook, former Interplay co-worker Jesse Heinig spoke of Bennie's great contributions to gaming despite living with a "significant disability."

"Without getting into the dregs of 'Scott was such an inspiration for living with a disability,' Scott was always a kind and inspirational person. He also happened to suffer from a significant disability," wrote Heinig. "These were just two facets of who he was. For the able-bodied, there's a tendency to conflate these sorts of things or set them in contrast ('he was such a good guy IN SPITE of his pain and difficulty'/'his disability meant that he knew what it was like to be powerless'). But Scott wasn't defined like that. Who he was depended on the choices that he made, and he chose to be kind and inspirational. That he did so regardless of his own hurdles was just another testament to his character."

Rest easy, Bennie, and may all your dice rolls be critical hits.

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