WRITING & GAME DESIGN

As of late 2016, Eric became "Production Designer" for Adamant Entertainment, a transmedia / entertainment company founded by Gareth-Michael Skarka. Trautmann handles various graphic design and book layout tasks—including redesigning the company trade dress—as well as contributing editorial, illustration, and layout skills to various Adamant properties (notably, the 1930s pulp adventure line, Thrilling Tales).  

THRILLING TALES

PULP VILLAINS: THE SUBTERRANEAN MONARCH

Written by: Keith A. Garrett and Eric Trautmann

Cover Design and some Interior Illustration: Eric Trautmann

 

AN UNDERGROUND EMPIRE!

A MERCENARY ARMY!

 

A TERRIFYING DESPOT!

 

"Oh, yes, my children! Like you, I have been hunted. Like you, my birthright was lost to misadventure and folly. While you toiled in darkness, deep beneath the surface, you lost your way. You forgot your illustrious history! And above you, weak-minded simpletons have forged kingdoms that are but pale imitations of your forebears. They have grown fat and decadent, and are unworthy of their purloined place in the sun.

 

“But no more! I will restore your kingdom. I will rule. And I will nally reap the rewards owed to me...and elevate you back to your rightful glory! 

 

 

“Woe betide any who stand against the Subterranean Monarch! Forward, my Mantle Men! Forward to victory, in the name of your god-king!” 

 

Pulp Villains: The Subterranean Monarch, by Keith A. Garrett and Eric Trautmann, introduces a new, pre-generated villain suitable for dropping into ongoing campaigns—a con-artist posting as British nobility, who has conquered a tribe of underground primitives, castoffs from an Atlantean diaspora. Included: Magma worms, drillmobiles, deadly mercenaries, and a primer on the forgotten language of the Mantle Men! 

 

Pulp Villains: The Subterranean Monarch uses the Savage Worlds rules system, as featured in THRILLING TALES 2nd Edition.

 

23 Pages / PDF Only / $3.00US

 

Purchase via DriveThruRPG

Purchase via RPGNow

As a freelancer, then staff writer, and finally line editor, Eric contributed in various capacities to several game sourcebooks, rulebooks, and supplements, predominantly for West End Games' Star Wars RPG line.

THE STAR WARS ROLEPLAYING GAME

What follows is a partial list of Eric's Star Wars RPG writing credits. As the editorial climate at WEG required editors to pass work back and forth, Eric contributed to numerous other books (and his fellow editors contributed bits to everything here), but time and fading memory means an encyclopedic listing is unlikely to be accurate. 

THE POLITICS OF CONTRABAND

Written by: Gary Haynes, Paul Lidberg, Brian Murphy, Bill Olmesdahl, Eric S. Trautmann

 

A smuggler's life has never been easy, and with a new government, old Imperial flunkies, and gangsters all vying for power, it's more dangerous than ever to be an independent. A true smuggler wouldn't have it any other way! Travel the star-lanes of the Known Galaxy, smuggling illegal goods, clashing with infamous pirates, and trying to survive until your next pay-check.

 

 

Notes: Eric contributed the adventure "Easy Money." The project spec called for 5,000 words—the initial draft, featuring several rival crime families, was closer to 45,000. Within 24 hours, he cut 36,000 words from the draft before submitting to his editor.

 

96 pages. Published in September 1992. 

STAR WARS GAMEMASTER HANDBOOK

Written by: Bill Smith, Chuck Truett, Steven H. Lorenz, John Terra, Eric S. Trautmann.

 

Bring all the excitement of the Star Wars universe to your games with the Star Wars Gamemaster Handbook. This book is a collection of inspirational and entertaining essays on all aspects of game design, from encounters, to creating gamemaster characters, to how to really start a fun campaign. A complete guidebook on how to bring the Star Wars universe to life.

 

Notes: Eric wrote the chapter on equipment and artifacts, and the examples of alien artifacts formed the basis for the later DarkStryder campaign boxed set. 

 

128 pages. Published in April 1993. 

GALAXY GUIDE 9: FRAGMENTS FROM THE RIM

Written bySimon Smith & Eric Trautmann

 

A compendium of trivia, news, rumors, and information from the Outer Rim Territories.

 

Inside this Galaxy Guide, there are countless new characters, ships, aliens, and locations to populate your campaign. Meet some of the most famousRebel heroes, Imperial despots and dangerous pirates and smugglers in this section of the galaxy.

 

This Galaxy Guide provides gamemasters with a wealth of information about life in the Star Wars universe, and includes chapters on the Rebel Alliance and the Empire, swoop gangs, mercenary units, pirates, corporations, media organizations, the Force, and even music, social life and culture! The perfect supplement to add atmosphere and flavor to your Star Wars game.

 

Notes: Commissioned as a large re-write of the Smith draft, GG9 contributed a number of elite military units featured in videogames, and was the first exploration of the Imperial Inquisition (echoes of which have been picked up by the Star Wars: Rebels television show). 

 

96 pages. Published in May 1993. 

THE LAST COMMAND SOURCEBOOK

Written by: Eric Trautmann

 

Finally! The stunning conclusion to Timothy Zahn's three-book cycle is adapted forStar Wars: The Roleplaying Game.

 

The New Republic faces a grave challenge from a reunited Empire, as the infamous Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn takes the battle to Coruscant, the very heart of the New Republic!

 

As Thrawn plans his final stunning campaign, the New Republic's bravest heroes race across Wayland in a desperate attempt to destroy the Emperor's cloning chambers at Mount Tantiss! Learn the story-behind-the-story of this climactic showdown between the Republic and the evil Galactic Empire.

 

Return to the wonder and excitement of a far-off galaxy in this companion volume to Timothy Zahn's best-selling novel The Last Command. This book includes complete information and game statistics on all of the characters, aliens, vehicles, droids, planets and starships from this gripping adventure.

 

Notes: Eric's first major freelance writing job for WEG. 

144 pages. Published in March 1994. 

GALAXY GUIDE 6: TRAMP FREIGHERS (revised edition)

Written by: Mark Rein-Hagen, Stewart Wieck

Revised/Updated by: Eric Trautmann

 

You are a free-trader... answerable to no one... hauling cargo for a tidy profit in your beloved ship, with your trusted comrades at your side... free from all danger, from all "entanglements"—Imperial or otherwise...

 

Sure it's not all fun and games, There are Imperial Customs officials to outwit, space pirates to battle, loan-sharks, corrupt portmasters, mechanical failures and a thousand other things which make your life interesting.

 

And somehow you keep getting mixed with that pesky Rebellion...

 

Galaxy Guide 6: Tramp Freighters gives you information on Imperial regulations, ship modifications, and the Minos Cluster, an area filled with opportunity for freetraders like yourself.

 

Notes: One of Eric's first jobs upon joining WEG was updating this popular supplement to the then-newly revised Second Edition rules. 

 

96 pages. Published in April 1994. 

CRACKEN'S REBEL OPERATIVES

Written by: Paul Balsamo, Craig Robert Carey, Stephen Crane, Sean Fannon, Michael Allen Horne, Ron Hodge, Rick Olshak, Brian Schomburg, Peter Schweighofer, Bill Smith, Ed Stark, Paul Sudlow, Eric Trautmann, Chuck Truett, David R. Tulo, Dan Verssen

 

How does the Alliance get its information? If Rebels are stranded in the field, where do they go for protection? Who works for the Alliance to help overthrow the Empire?

Cracken's Rebel Operatives is a collection of saboteurs, operatives, spies, contacts ad informants who work with or the Rebel Alliance in its valiant struggle against the evil Galactic Empire.

 

This supplement provides detailed information on some of the more famous and important individuals in the ranks of the Rebellion. These characters provide rich background and personalities and are suitable for inclusion in any Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game adventure!

  

96 pages. Published in June 1994. 

THE DARKSTRYDER CAMPAIGN BOXED SET

Written by: Timothy Zahn, Bill Smith, Doug Shuler, Peter Schweighofer, Eric Trautmann

 

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ...

 

Four years after the Battle of Endor, the struggle against the remnants of the Empire continues. A New Republic task force has been dispatched to the distant Kathol sector to topple rogue warlord Moff Sarne. During the battle, the New Republic discovers mysterious artifacts known as "DarkStryder technology."

Join the crew of the Corellian Corvette FarStar as they scour the fringes of the Empire in search of Sarne and the source of the DarkStryder technology!

  • Captain Keleman Ciro—A member of Page's Commandos, handpicked by Lt. Page to lead the FarStar mission.
  • Kaiya Adrimetrum—A New Republic commando, Kaiya is eager for revenge against the Empire.
  • Gorak Khzam—The FarStar's security officer claims to be an independent trader.
  • Darryn Thyte—Thyte is the communications officer no ship in the New Republic wanted. The FarStar got him.
  • Jessa Dajus—Imperial officer Dajus has inside information on Sarne's plans, but her loyalty is held in question.
  • Loh'khar the Finder—The Twi'lek "procurement specialist" who can cut any deal ... any deal at all.
  • Ranna "Wing-Ripper" Gorjaye—The FarStar's fighter commander, Gorjaye knows there are two ways to do things: her way and the wrong way.
  • Kl'aal—The Defel scout who escaped Sarne's regime and has pledged his services to the FarStar.
  • Akanseh—The Mon Calamari medic wrongfully imprisoned by the Empire.
  • Brophar Tofarain—The FarStar's chief mechanic and shuttle pilot.
  • Lofryyhn—A personal friend of Kaiya, this Wookiee has a score to settle with Sarne.

Sent into unexplored space with no support ships or supply stations, the crew of the FarStar must accomplish their mission by any means necessary ...

  

Boxed set. Published in July 1995. 

 

Notes: Eric started as a freelancer on this project; by the time he was on staff, he completed the remaining two volumes of the campaign. 

THE TRUCE AT BAKURA SOURCEBOOK

Written by: Kathy Tyers, Bill Smith and Eric S. Trautmann

 

The Official Guide to Kathy Tyers' Novel, The Truce at Bakura.

 

Cold-blooded invaders from beyond known space; a desperate alliance with tattered Imperial forces; a fight for the survival of the Rebel Alliance itself!

Kathy Tyers' exciting Star Wars novel comes to life in this hardcover sourcebook.

 

The Truce at Bakura Sourcebook is the official reference companion to the best-selling novel!

 

Notes: Following the successful collaboration between WEG and novelist Timothy Zahn, there were attempts at reaching out to other novelists to work on sourcebooks based on their contributions to the Star Wars novel program. Kathy Tyers was the first to play ball. She contributed several short fiction vignettes and was invaluable as a resource to Trautmann as he wrote the game material.  

 

152 Pages. Published in February 1996. 

THE KATHOL RIFT (DARKSTRYDER PT 3)

Written by: Sterling Hershey, Pablo Hidalgo, Joshua A. Miller, Timothy S. O'Brien, Eric S. Trautmann

 

Edited by: Eric S. Trautmann

 

The crew of the FarStar returns in the second supplement for the DarkStryder Campaign!

 

The New Republic vessel FarStar has relentlessly pursued rogue Imperial Moff Sarne through the uncharted reaches of the Kathol Outback and has arrived at the mysterious Kathol Rift, an ancient region of space with a dark, terrible history. The Rift—a monstrous cloud of charged particles, radioactive storms and energy discharges—is a navigator's nightmare. Stories abound about the effect the Rift has on sane beings, stories of madness, despair and terror. Superstitious spaces avoid this segment of space as if it were cursed, telling of terrifying hallucinations, random navigational anomalies and other inexplicable phenomena.

 

But somewhere inside this "seething cauldron of galactic power" lie the clues that will ultimately lead the New Republic crew to its final showdown with Sarne and his mysterious benefactor ... DarkStryder.

 

The Kathol Rift features source material on this fearsome region of space, tips on integrating new sub-plots into the multi-character DarkStryder Campaign, and six new adventures that lead the New Republic crew closer to their final battle with the forces of the Empire.  

 

96 Pages. Published in May 1996. 

THE THRAWN TRILOGY SOURCEBOOK

Written by: Bill Slavicsek, Eric S. Trautmann

Combined Edition Edited by: Eric S. Trautmann

 

Five years after the Battle of Endor, the war against the evil Galactic Empire is finally ending as victorious New Republic forces reduce the once-feared Imperial military to a shadow of its former might. At long last, peace seems possible. But appearances can be deceiving. From the deepest reaches of the Unknown Regions, an heir to the Empire emerges: a brilliant tactician, a ruthless adversary, and a cunning warlord capable of leading the Empire back to its former glory. A warlord named Grand Admiral Thrawn...

 

The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook reprints and updates material originally presented in sourcebooks covering Timothy Zahn's epic three-book cycle. This volume contains complete information and game statistics on all of the characters, aliens, creatures, vehicles, droids, planets and starships from the novels Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command.

 

248 Pages. Published in June 1996. 

ENDGAME (DARKSTRYDER PT. 4)

Written by: Timothy S. O'Brien

Edited by: Eric Trautmann 

 

The DarkStryder Campaign concludes!

 

The New Republic ship FarStar has arrived at Moff Sarne's hidden lair, a distant planet once ruled by a long-dead species of scientists that were obliterated in a mysterious catastrophe thousands of years ago. The New Republic has finally caught up with Sarne, and is moving to end his reign of terror once and for all. Or are they?

 

As Sarne launches his final offensive, the crew of the FarStar must struggle with the forces of the Empire, a hostile planet filled with bizarre and dangerous species, and the might of a despotic alien monster, a monster called DarkStryder.

 

This 128-page adventure supplement contains a full-length adventure that concludes the epic DarkStryder Campaign, as well as complete source material on DarkStryder's home planet, the history and origin of the Kathol Rift, and the source of Sarne's mysterious "DarkStryder" technology. 

 

Notes: There had been a desire on the part of WEG's editorial and publisher to run DarkStryder for as many as ten supplements. When the reins were handed to Eric (freeing Paul Sudlow, who edited the first supplement in the line, The Kathol Outback, to handle larger projects), he determined to end the line at four books. Endgame marks the first time a DarkStryder product had a single author, Tim O'Brien, who completed the manuscript in record time. 

 

128 Pages. Published in December 1996. 

INSTANT ADVENTURES

Written by: Timothy S. O'Brien, Peter Schweighofer, George Strayton, Paul Sudlow, Eric S. Trautmann, Floyd Wesel

 

Instant Adventures is a collection of scenarios that can easily be integrated into an ongoing Star Wars roleplaying campaign and can be run on a moment's notice!

 

Launch a daring sneak attack on an Imperial sensor complex to bring down a system-wide blockade, smuggle a wounded Hutt crimelord off-planet, rescue a missing Rebel spy, match wits with cunning pirates, or play a deadly game of hide-and-seek with the dreaded Storm Commandos on an unexplored world...

 

Each Instant Adventure features a "Quick-start" outline that allows gamemasters to run the scenario quickly and easily, as well as scores of player handouts and maps designed to enhance game play. In addition, Instant Adventures contains 32 color Adventure Cards that illustrate many of the ships, vehicles, creatures, aliens and characters that appear in the scenarios. 

 

Whether you are battling pirates in the cold reaches of the Outer Rim Territories, or engaging Imperial forces on an occupied world, launching a Star Wars roleplaying campaign has never been easier!

 

64 Pages. Published in December 1996. 

CYNABAR'S FANTASTIC TECHNOLOGY: DROIDS

Written by: Drew Campbell, Eric Trautmann

Edited by: Eric Trautmann

 

"We'll be sent to the spice mines of Kessel, smashed into who knows what!" ―See-Threepio

 

Help your droid avoid this horrific fate! Fantastic Technology: Droids gives players and gamemasters a detailed look at these fascinating machines, from the lowliest astromechs to the fiercest combat units.

 

This 96-page roleplaying supplement features:

 

  • A complete droid construction system that allows player characters to build a droid from scratch.
  • A player's guide to droids, with tips on how to make these mechanical constructs more than the sum of their metal parts.
  • Several scenario hooks geared to droid player characters.
  • The DataLog—downloaded from Cynabar's illegal infonet—which contains game stats, descriptions and illustrations of dozens of the most intriguing and useful droid designs in the galaxy!

From the glossy showroom models to the rusted, twisted hulks on the Black Market, Fantastic Technology: Droids gives you all the information you will ever need to integrate these sophisticated devices into your Star Wars roleplaying campaign!

 

96 Pages. Published in April 1997. 

CRACKEN'S THREAT DOSSIER

Written by: Eric Trautmann, Jen Seiden, Drew Campbell, Matt Hong, Timothy S. O'Brien

Edited by: Eric Trautmann

 

Delve into the secret files of New Republic Intelligence and learn the inside story on some of the greatest threats the New Republic has ever faced! Join General Airen Cracken on a guided tour of the Hapan Cluster, tangle with the forces of Nil Spaar and the Yevethan Protectorate, or match wits with the Human League on Corellia.

 

Cracken's Threat Dossier is a companion to seven Star Wars novels, detailing the ships, characters, aliens, locations, and histories featured in these thrilling tales:

  • Discover the danger and intrigue of the Hapan Cluster or relive the battle against Warlord Zsinj's armada from Dave Wolverton's The Courtship of Princess Leia. 
  • Follow the events of the Black Fleet Crisis from Michael P. Kube-McDowell's Before the Storm, Shield of Lies, and Tyrant's Test.
  • Explore the mysteries of the Corellian Sector and the Starbuster Plot from Roger MacBride Allen's Ambush at Corellia, Assault at Selonia, and Showdown at Centerpoint.
  • Each entry contains a "debriefing," describing the events of the novel, as well as scores of game statistics and background information so gamemasters can integrate this material into a Star Wars roleplaying campaign!

In the war against the forces of tyranny, information is your greatest weapon.

 

Notes: Several sourcebooks based on various Star Wars novels were pitched, and some even solicited, but it was determined that many of them quite frankly didn't require the standard 144-page hardcover—a matter complicated by catalogs promising upcoming releases that were exactly that.

 

Instead, Trautmann reworked these projects into a single large collection (framed as a series of New Republic Intelligence after-action reports on the events depicted in the novels), making a de facto New Republic-era sourcebook.

 

96 Pages. Published in July 1997. 

THE INDIANA JONES ROLEPLAYING GAME

INDIANA JONES ADVENTURES

Written by: Peter Schweighofer, Paul Sudlow, George Strayton, Eric S. Trautmann

 

Deep in the heart of the dust-filled pyramid, in a room untouched by human hands for thousands of years, a group of brave adventurers seeks entrance to the main burial chamber. Hieroglyphics sprawl across the walls of the entryway, daring intruders to attempt to penetrate the tomb, promising severe retribution for those foolish enough take the chance...

"How are we going to get in?"

"Maybe if we push this stone—"

"Don't touch that!"

"Why, nothing's going to happen—"

"Aaaah..."

 

Indiana Jones Adventures brings this world of action, archaeology, and mysticism to life. Based on the simple yet flexible D6 System rules, the game thrusts you into the pulse-pounding excitement of the movies in no seconds flat! Herein you'll find all of the skills, equipment, and characters you need to run Indiana Jones scenarios. A solitaire adventure gets you into the game right away, and three multi-player adventures provide enough material to play for hours!

 

Notes: Eric contributed the adventure "On Ice," set in Prohibition-era Chicago and featuring an extended background briefing on the setting, evil gangsters, a missing diamond, and a final showdown set during the broadcast of a radio drama. It remains one of his favorite pieces of writing from this part of his career. 

 

96 pages. Published in 1996.

EDITING

In addition to writing or contributing to the above books, Eric was primary editor on several other Star Wars supplements, notably:

  • Pirates & Privateers: A new campaign construct, where players engage Imperial forces as Rebel Privateers.
  • Rules of Engagement—The Rebel SpecForce Handbook: Sourcebook for running harder-edged military-themed campaigns. 
  • The Far Orbit Project Campaign Setting: A complete campaign setting for use with Pirates & Privateers.
  • Hideouts & Strongholds: A collection of floor plans, schematics, and so on, of a variety of locations for player characters to use as bases, or for GMs to use as locations of PCs to blow up. 
  • Classic Adventures, Volume Two: Update to 2nd Edition rules of two early Star Wars RPG adventures—Graveyard of Alderaan, and Domain of Evil.
  • Classic Adventures, Volume Three: Update to 2nd Edition rules of three early Star Wars RPG adventures—Death in the Undercity, Tatooine Manhunt, and Riders of the Maelstrom.
  • Tales of the Jedi Sourcebook: Adapting material from the Dark Horse Tales of the Jedi comics for RPG use.