Allen Varney, writer and game designer


Allen Varney's Bibliography

Revised May 2012


PARANOIA 2004 editionPARANOIA XP (Mongoose Publishing, 2004). Fourth edition of the bestselling satirical science-fiction paper-and-pencil roleplaying game of a darkly humorous future; originally designed by Dan Gelber, Greg Costikyan, and Eric Goldberg; originally published by West End Games in 1984. I designed the game, wrote the text (with help from Aaron Allston, Beth Fischi, Paul Baldowski, and many others), and did the layout. I wrote about the development process in a 2005 Escapist article, "Player-Prompted PARANOIA." Mongoose dropped the game's "XP" suffix in 2005 after protests from Microsoft.

PARANOIA supplements (Mongoose Publishing, 2004-06)

I also packaged the first two years of the PARANOIA support line for Mongoose. All of these were written by the Traitor Recycling Studio unless otherwise noted. My contributions included editing, additional writing, and layout.

  • Gamemaster's Screen (with 24-page "mission blender" booklet, August 2004)
  • The Traitor's Manual by Gareth Hanrahan (September 2004)
  • Crash Priority (November 2004)
  • The Mutant Experience by R. Eric Reuss (January 2005)
  • STUFF (April 2005)
  • Flashbacks (compilation of classic West End adventures, May 2005)
  • WMD (July 2005)
  • Extreme PARANOIA (August 2005)
  • Service, Service! (October 2005)
  • Criminal Histories (January 2006)
  • The Underplex (March 2006)
  • Sector Zero (June 2006) - I commissioned the scenarios and wrote the introduction
  • Flashbacks 2 (compilation of classic West End adventures, September 2006)
  • STUFF 2 (June 2007)
  • Brave New Complex (unpublished)

Ultraviolet Books PARANOIA novels and stories

In 2011 the PARANOIA owners -- the game's original designers -- granted me a license to package all-new ebook novels and stories in the Alpha Complex setting. I posted the first three novels on Amazon and other ebook sites, including my own Stay Alert, in December 2012. The introductory anthology The Computer is Your Friend appeared in January 2012. For more information, see the Ultraviolet Books site.

T1 Stay Alert (Book 1 of The Troubleshooter Rules trilogy; Ultraviolet Books, 2011).

T2 Trust No One (Book 2; in progress).

"Rule Zero" in the anthology A1 The Computer is Your Friend (Ultraviolet Books, 2012).

My earlier PARANOIA work

My association with PARANOIA extends back to the game's original publisher, West End Games.

Send In The Clones (West End Games, 1985). Adventure (written with Warren Spector). Reprinted in The Computer Always Shoots Twice (1988). Translated into French (Envoyez les Clones, Paris: Jeux Descartes, 1986).

Death, Lies, and Vidtape [sic] (West End Games, 1990). Adventure.

"An ARD Day's Night," "Reboot Camp," short adventures (co-credited with Warren Spector) in Acute PARANOIA (West End Games, 1986), reprinted in Flashbacks (Mongoose Publishing, 2005).

"Autocar and Vehicle Dispatch," entry in The DOA Sector Travelogue, supplement (West End Games, 1989).

"Roach Motel," "Goop is Good Food" (the latter with Nancy Flowers), short adventures for Crash Course Manual (West End Games, 1989).

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Stay Alert (Ultraviolet Books, 2011). Book 1 of The Troubleshooter Rules trilogy.

Cast of Fate (TSR, 1996). First (and only) novel in the Dragon Dice series.

Piercing a Veil (FASA). Novel in the Earthdawn series. Unpublished in English; published in German translation, 1998.

Galactic Challenge (TSR, 1995). "Endless Quest" book based on the Amazing Engine roleplaying setting The Galactos Barrier.

Knight of the Living Dead (TSR, 1989). Third in the "Catacombs" series of illustrated trade paperback adventure gamebooks.

The Willow Sourcebook (Tor Books, 1988). Licensed tie-in for the George Lucas film Willow (1988).

The Vanishing City (TSR, 1987). Fifteenth in the "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" adventure gamebook series. Translated into Danish (Den Forsvunde By, Copenhagen: Borgen, 1989) and Portuguese (A Cidade Desaparecida, Publicacoes Europa-America, Lda., 1992).

Through Six Dimensions (TSR, Inc., 1987). Fourth in the "Marvel Super Heroes" licensed series of adventure gamebooks, featuring the Marvel Comics hero Doctor Strange. Reprinted in Great Britain (London: Puffin Books, 1988).

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"Rule Zero" in the PARANOIA anthology A1 The Computer is Your Friend (Ultraviolet Books, 2012; see "PARANOIA" section above).

"Djinn Coffee" (written with Aaron Allston), Dragon #189, January 1993. Historical fantasy.

"Boneyard Lights" (written with Aaron Allston), in DSQ3 Asticlian Gambit (TSR, 1992), adventure (number DSQ3) for the AD&D Dark Sun setting.

"Water and Ashes," Dragon #185, September 1992. Story in the Dark Sun setting.

"Shackles," in Freedom (TSR, 1991), adventure (number DS1) for the AD&D Dark Sun campaign setting.

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"Goblin Tax," half-hour radio comedy (1982); produced 1987 by SHOCKWAVE, weekly radio comedy program in Minneapolis, MN. Cast: David E. Romm, Jerry Stearns, Beth Eastman, Ed Eastman, Kara Dalkey, Steven Brust, Suzanne Ristau, Jeffrey McNair. First broadcast November 1987 on KFAI-FM Minneapolis, 90.3 FM; repeated there and elsewhere around the country to date. Live performance staged for MarsCon 2001 (Minneapolis, MN).

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Epic Mickey (Junction Point, 2011). For the Nintendo Wii. Co-wrote original 300-page design document (with producer Warren Spector and programmer Alex Duran); scripted the cinematic cutscenes (except for the opening scene).

Executive Challenge (University of Texas McCombs Business School Plus Program, 2004; Enspire Learning 2005-date). Multiplayer business ethics/leadership simulation for 350 second-year MBA students. Sponsored by Dell Corporation and H-E-B Grocery Company. Staged October 2003 in paper-and-token version. Multiplayer computer version by Enspire Learning developed October 2004-05. Original design and content creation.

Star Wars: Galaxies (Sony Online Entertainment, launched June 2003, closed 2011). Massively multiplayer online game. Mission design and character dialogue.

ATMA: The Light of Mythic India, first-person roleplaying/puzzle game set in ancient India using the Unreal Warfare engine (4D Games, cancelled 2002). Complete storyline, major design contributions, character descriptions, dialogue, promotional copy.

Lobby: A Game of Congressional Power Politics, satirical online browser-based multiplayer game (GameWorld Technologies, cancelled 2000). Design, programming, and graphics in GameWire, proprietary Java-based visual toolset.

Guardians: Agents of Justice, turn-based superhero strategy game (Microprose, cancelled 1998). Text contributions.

Junction Point, massively multiplayer fantasy roleplaying game, changed in midstream (arrgh) to single-player science-fiction roleplaying game (Looking Glass Technologies, cancelled 1997). Principal design.

The Two Towers (Interplay, 1992) and Return of the King (Interplay,cancelled 1994), computer roleplaying games. Design and pseudocode scripting of "Ithilien" and "Paths of the Dead" sections.

Castles Campaign Disk #1, expansion for Castles simulation/strategy game (Interplay, 1992). Text contributions.

Tangled Tales, 2400 AD, Space Rogue, and Windwalker, computer roleplaying games (Origin Systems, Inc., 1989). Documentation and text contributions.

MadMaze II, online text adventure game for Prodigy (cancelled 1992). Plot and script.

Magic: The Gathering Battlemage (Acclaim, 1997). Minor text contributions.

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Donruss Baseball (Donruss/Leaf, Inc.). Trading card game using Donruss baseball cards. Unpublished.

Cardcasting (working title; Wizards of the Coast). Expansion set for Magic: The Gathering. Unpublished; concept adapted as three "Vanguard" series of Magic specialty cards for Wizards' Arena in-store tournament league.

Gammarauders (TSR, 1987). Multi-player science fantasy boardgame.

Illuminati Expansion Set 3 (Steve Jackson Games, 1985). Boardgame supplement (designed with Steve Jackson) to card game Illuminati. Republished 2001 as Brainwash.

GLOBBO (Steve Jackson Games, 1984). Two-player science fantasy boardgame.

Necromancer (Steve Jackson Games, 1983). Two-player fantasy boardgame.

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The Dying Earth (Pelgrane Press, 2001). 192-page hardcover based on the fantasy novels of Jack Vance. Editing, layout, minor text contributions.

Order of Hermes (White Wolf, 1997). Tradition Book #9 for Mage: The Ascension first edition (written with Beth Fischi, Nicky Rea, Jackie Cassada, Steve Long, and Mary Denning).

Hidden Lore (White Wolf Game Studio, 1996). Companion volume to Mage 2nd Edition Storyteller's Screen (written with Brian Campbell, Phil Brucato, and John R. Robey).

Horizon: Stronghold of Hope (White Wolf Game Studio, 1996). Supplement for Mage: The Ascension (written with Beth Fischi).

Talinie and Ariya (TSR, 1995), Binsada (TSR, 1996). Three "domain packs" for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Birthright campaign setting.

The "Blood Brethren" Trilogy (TSR): Nightwail (1990); Nightrage (1991); Nightstorm (1991). Adventures for the Dungeons & Dragons Hollow World campaign setting (numbers HWA1-3).

Wildspace (TSR, 1990). Adventure (number SJA1) for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons "Spelljammer" campaign setting.

Mystic Masters (Iron Crown Enterprises/Hero Games, 1989). Campaign supplement for Champions.

Deluxe City Campaign Set (TSR, 1989). Boxed campaign supplement for Marvel Super Heroes.

Five Coins for a Kingdom (TSR, 1987). Adventure (number M4) for Dungeons & Dragons.

TOON Silly Stuff (Steve Jackson Games, 1985); supplement for TOON, The Cartoon Roleplaying Game; additional material by Kyle Miller, Caroline Chase, and Warren Spector) and Son of TOON (Steve Jackson Games, 1986; supplement; erroneously listed on contents page as a collaboration with Warren Spector and Kyle Miller). Both of these were later collected in the TOON Deluxe Edition (1992). Fully one-third of that edition is my sole work, but my authorship was buried at the end of a long list of "Additional contributors."

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"Westcape," contributions to geographical entry in Archipelago, supplement to Blue Planet science-fiction roleplaying game (Biohazard Games, 1998).

"Shaolin Heartbreak," adventure in Marked for Death, supplement to Feng Shui roleplaying game (Daedalus Entertainment, 1996).

Appendix to Mage: The Ascension 2nd Edition roleplaying game (White Wolf Game Studio, 1995).

"Nebis" and two legends for Horrors, supplement to Earthdawn (FASA Corporation, 1995).

Six legends (written with Don Webb) for Legends of Earthdawn (FASA Corporation, 1995).

"Desire Box," adventure for Earthdawn, in Parlainth Adventures (FASA Corporation, 1994).

"Parameters" and "Street Action," rules and campaign frameworks for Underground Companion, supplement to Underground (Mayfair Games, 1994).

"Rituals of Advancement," rules article in Earthdawn Companion, supplement to Earthdawn (FASA Corporation, 1994).

Allegiance rules for Elric! roleplaying game, with Mark Morrison and Lynn Willis (Chaosium, 1993).

"The Care and Maintenance of SimEarth Robots," appendix to The SimEarth Bible by Johnny L. Wilson (Berkeley: Osborne McGraw-Hill, 1991), manual about the Maxis computer game SimEarth. Reprinted from Computer Gaming World magazine #84, July 1991.

"Anopheles" (published as "Horror World"), adventure for Champions, in Champions in 3-D (Iron Crown/Hero, 1990).

"Freehold Municipal Caravanserai," entry in CityBook IV: On the Road (Flying Buffalo, Inc., 1990).

"Conventions of Genre Fantasy," article for Fantasy Hero (second edition; Iron Crown Enterprises/Hero Games, 1990).

"Belvera," "Dante," "Obelix," entries in Space Atlas 2, supplement for GURPS (Steve Jackson Games, 1988).

"Nightside Inferior Court," entry in CityBook III: Deadly Nightside (Blade/Task Force Games, 1987).

"The Fiendish Exercise Machine of Bardolpho the Mad," "Melrond's Foolproof Dishwasher," entries in The Book of Wondrous Inventions, supplement for Dungeons & Dragons (TSR, 1987).

"Steaks," short adventure for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, in Adventure Pack I (TSR, 1987; number I13).

"Berserkers," "Halfling," "Merchant," "Dervish," "Dwarf," entries in The Book of Lairs II, supplement for Dungeons & Dragons (TSR, 1987; number REF4).

Over 300 adventures, articles, and reviews in the magazines Adventures Unlimited (Bootstrap Press), Adventurers Club (Iron Crown/Hero Games), Amazing Stories (Wizards of the Coast), Autoduel Quarterly (Steve Jackson Games), Challenge (Game Designers' Workshop), Collect! (Cadmus Publications), The Comics Journal (Fantagraphics), Computer Gaming World (Golden Empire Publications), Dragon and Dungeon (TSR), The Duelist (Wizards of the Coast), Encounter (Eon Products), The Gamer (independent), InQuest (Wizard Press), Inter*Action (later Interactive Fantasy, Hogshead Publishing), Juggle! (International Jugglers Association), Pyramid and Space Gamer (Steve Jackson Games), Star Wars Insider (Wizards of the Coast/Paizo Publishing), Tuff Stuff Gamer (Cadmus Publications), Video (Hachette-Filipacchi), etc., 1983-date.

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Layout of the 2005-08 and 2011-12 annual programs for the Jugglefest juggling festival staged each February by the Texas Juggling Society in Austin, Texas.

Magazine columns: "Role-Playing Reviews" game review column for Dragon magazine (TSR), 1989-1995, 1998. "Current Clack" gaming industry news column and "TSR ProFiles" biographical column for Dragon, December 1995-December 1998. "Reports on Trading Card Games" news column for The Duelist, March 1995-June 1998. "Name of the Game," "Myths & Legends," "Blast From the Past," and "Treasure Chest" gaming columns for InQuest, 1996-98. "Blast From the Past" trading-card column for Collect! magazine (different from the InQuest column), December 1996-May 1999.

Guest editor of The Duelist issue #4, March 1995 (Wizards of the Coast). Regular reviewer of trading card games for The Duelist and InQuest magazines, 1995-98.

RoboFest 5 program booklet, City Coliseum, Austin, Texas, March 26-27, 1994. Fifth annual high-technology exhibition by The Robot Group.

Edited gaming supplements and adventures for TSR, 1988-96: Revenge of the Factoids, FRE3 Waterdeep, Spelljammer Monstrous Compendium #2, FA2 Nightmare Keep, Dragon Kings, DSR4 Valley of Dust and Fire, The Complete Paladin's Handbook, Planescape Monstrous Compendium, The Crusades, The Complete Barbarian's Handbook, When Black Roses Bloom, Chilling Tales, Something Wild, Lankhmar: The New Adventures of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser.

"Joe's Neuroses," comic book story, Giant-Size Mini Comics (Eclipse, 1986).

Frequent articles for The Austin Chronicle, local culture/political newspaper, 1985-1994, 1997-98.

Edited Space Gamer magazine (Steve Jackson Games), 1984-5.