Allen Hammack


Allen Hammack, the “Master of Mythology”, writes with authority on using myths and legends of the world in gaming. He wrote three books on the subject (Fantastic Treasures I and II, and Monsters of Myth & Legend III) for Mayfair Games. His newest module is Night of the Black Swords for DieCast Games, with Lawful Evil characters on a mission to the Nine Hells. Currently Allen is editing and managing a new espionage RPG by the author of the original Top Secretfor the “new” TSR game company.

He contributed to the new edition of the WWI boardgame Dawn Patrol. In addition, Allen designed a boardgame based on the mythical Norse battle of Ragnarok, and was a chief editor of Deities & Demigods and Dungeon Masters Guide during the five years he served at TSR. Hired by Gary Gygax, Allen was Manager of Designers during the “Golden Era” of TSR, supervising a talent pool that included Tracy Hickman, Harold Johnson, Lawrence Schick, Zeb Cook, Tom Moldvay, and others.

In his gaming career, Allen has contributed to some 70 products as author, designer, editor, or developer. These include the popular classic C2: Ghost Tower of Inverness; A1-A4: The Slave Lords Series; I9: Day of Al-Akbar; the games Top Secret and Boot Hill, and the tournament AD&D adventure Night of the Black Swords. His Ghost Tower of Inverness module is firmly established as a pop culture standard. It was recently reference by name in the TV series “The Goldbergs” in the episode “Dungeons & Dragons, Anyone?” It also was referenced in the 2005 movie Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God, as Berek says the cleric was with him “at the assault on Castle Inverness”. (At which point a veteran player of Allen's campaign said, “Now we know it's a fantasy—implying anyone went to Inverness and came out alive!”) Allen's current gaming interests are mostly directed towards railroad boardgames and Dawn Patrol (he's a nationally ranked competitor in both), and World of Warcraft.

After leaving TSR, Allen returned to Birmingham and with his wife Susan started the Lion and Unicorn game, book, and comic store, which they sold many years ago but still have fond memories of friends and customers. He helped design computer programs to diagnose leukemias and anemias for cardiovascular research at UAB; worked as Manager of Information Systems for an explosives manufacturer, and worked as a quality control chemist for an alloy and metals processor. For over twenty-two years Allen has been putting his chemistry degree to work as an environmental chemist/programmer analyst for a secret government laboratory in an undisclosed location, where he and his associates reanimate the dead. In this capacity he has lectured and presented some scientific papers, and he squeezes in guest appearances at the occasional convention. Allen was a founder of the Birmingham Doctor Who fan club, now known as the Blue Box Companions (aka the BBC, of course). He also served on the Board of Directors for Continuity, the Birmingham science fiction convention that had several successful years.

Allen has a B.S. in Chemistry, a Master's in computer science and he has done post-graduate work in chemistry, business administration, and environmental science. Allen was an editor for Ærodrome, the magazine of the Fight In The Skies Society (WWI aviation), and wrote a chapter of its melodramatic serial, Adventure! and Glory?, in which…ah, but that would be telling…

Allen has been in over 40 theatrical productions, including a convention version of “The War of the Worlds” radio broadcast, an opera set in the American Old West, four different productions of the comedy Arsenic & Old Lace, as Caiaphas in a local production of Jesus Christ, Superstar, and as an extra in the Tommy Lee Jones baseball movie Cobb. Allen earned a green belt in jujitsu before retiring with no bones broken, which he considered an even trade. Players of NTN Trivia Showdown on Tuesday nights may occasionally see him on the leader board under the logon "DR WHO".

Favorite Introduction: By Dragonlance co-author Tracy Hickman to Margaret Weis— "Allen is the man who taught me how to write.”