I'm an award-winning, ENnie-nominated writer and musician from the UK. My solo journaling game The Wretched was one of Tabletop Gaming Magazine's 'Best Games of 2020', spawning hundreds of new games based on its Wretched & Alone engine.
I love narrative and storytelling and thrive when given the opportunity to present players with new and surprising ways to create memorable emergent play, whether that’s through adventure writing, monster stat blocks, or creating new systems for wholly unique experiences.
Email me today and let's talk about what I can bring to your project!
Unannounced Dungeon Crawl Classics Project (Goodman Games, 2024).
Forthcoming.Unannounced Parthfinder 2 Project (Paizo, 2024).
Forthcoming.Hunter the Reckong: Alma Maters (Paradox, 2024).
Forthcoming.Howl Of The Wild. Pathfinder 2 (Paizo, 2024).
Monster design, spells and items, in-world fiction. Forthcoming.Dungeon Invasions. Arcadia (MCDM, 2023).
Monster design for Fifth Edition D&D. This article provides three 'drop anywhere' enemies at a range of Challenge Ratings designed to challenge players and provide an engaging combat to cap off short sessions. Forthcoming.
Winter of Atom, Fallout The Roleplaying Game (Modiphius, 2023).
Narrative design. I wrote the introductory chapter of the adventure (Chapter 2: Welcome To The Commonwealth) and the systems for in-game travel and exploration ("Traversing The Commonwealth").
Asset Pack: Cold Storage, CY_BORG (Free League/Stockholm Kartell, 2022).
Wrote an adventure location as a stretch goal for the CY_BORG Kickstarter Asset Pack.
Bed, Breakfast, and Beyond. (The Gauntlet, 2022).
Narrative and systems design. Wrote a three player version of Jason Cordova's Brindlewood Bay alongside Alicia Furness, distilling the system down to its core elements to provide a single-session experience telling a focused story about a pair of elderly men investigating supernatural events in their B&B. Publised in Codex Starlight 2.
Gods of Metal: Ragnarock. (Hunter's Entertainment, 2022).
Systems and game design. Alongside Gabe Hicks I was brought on to consult on and create the core mechanisms of the game, designing player advancement systrems, writing classes, and creating player abilities. Forthcoming.
Filthy Peasants. Arcadia #9 (MCDM, 2021).
Adventure writing and system design. I wrote rules for creating Level 0 characters in Fifth Edition D&D, and a short dungeon crawl "funnel" adventure to use with that system. Published in Arcadia #9.
Fudge, Jury, and Executioner. (The Gauntlet, 2021).
Wrote a new mystery for Jason Cordova's Brindlewood Bay, taking the "Dark Conspiracy" system and integrating it into the clues provided in the mystery. Published in Nephews In Peril by The Gauntlet.
Filthy Peasants (MCDM's Arcadia)
"The road into Steyside crosses a bridge over a slow-moving river that’s more like a thick, muddy ditch than an actual waterway. A narrow crack in the riverbank opens
into caves that local children explore from time to time. Recently, travelers have complained of a foul smell wafting up from the opening and strange tracks in the mud. Now a merchant caravan has vanished, and one word sits heavy on the lips of the townsfolk - trolls.
The villagers drew lots, and your motley crew has been selected to head into the caves and save anybody they can. It’s time to do what all good villagers do in a crisis - grab pitchforks, form a mob, and put the monsters to the blade."
"Whenever the adventure calls for a random encounter, or when the party stops to rest inside the caves or lingers in one spot for an extended period of time, roll a d10 or choose one of the encounters below:
1. A crude painting covers the walls - a tentacled creature tearing the sun from the sky. Characters who inspect it must succeed on a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw or take 1d6 psychic damage as they are gripped with visions of a dying world.
2. The air is filled with a low buzzing that echoes around the characters, with no discernible source.
3. The ground is coated in thick, hot feces.
4. A low rumble shakes the caves and chunks of rock fall on the characters. Each character must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 bludgeoning
5. The sticky, stinking substance in the entrance passage (area 2) that touched the characters’ skin begins glowing softly. All characters still coated in it must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for the next 10 minutes.
"Trolls are weird and gross. Their strange regenerative powers mean that their bodies are constantly rejuvenating, creating mucus and muck that oozes out of every pore and orifice. Anywhere trolls stay for too long becomes coated in the stuff—and it smells bad.
As the characters move through the dungeon, they encounter plenty of troll stink. It has no mechanical effect
aside from one random encounter, but you should lean into your descriptions and enjoy making your players cringe as they imagine their characters coated in the disgusting slime. A character who makes a successful DC 12 Intelligence (Nature) check knows that animals often react violently to the stench of trolls.
Here are some descriptors you might use to convey the disgusting essence of troll stink:
• Old milk left out under a hot sun
• The sharp tang of rotting flesh, sensed more on the tongue than in the nose
• The warm, cloying scent of overripe fruit beginning to soften and decay
• A latrine pit, unemptied for many days"
Cold Storage Unit (CY_BORG Location Pad, Stockholm Kartell/Free League)
It is used to store1. vats of bacteria, alien cultures fed and nourished with the flesh of the poor and forgotten. Someone is breeding a new bioweapon.
2. a vast megacomputer, as much flesh as machine, one of the many brains of the Net.
3. daemons, wet and pulsing and hot with rage. The cold keeps them in a state of tenuous catatonia.
4. gene-spliced beasts in climate controlled cells. Tentacles, fangs, and claws skitter and writhe behind thick frosted glass.
5. row upon row of bodies strapped to tables, unconscious and wired in to something. The air is thick with latent psychic energy.
6. corrupted AIs, hostile intelligences desperate to be free of their silicon prisons.
Hacking the terminal in the security booth reveals1. the unit belongs to Odratek, a shady arm of Fideistic Transformation tasked with expanding the singularity into physical space.
2. video footage of you, carrying out this same job a month ago.
3. access codes and plans to a warehouse in Mosscroft, complete live feeds from the RCDs of key security personnel.
4. detailed notes about your planning meetings for this heist, time stamps of your entry to the building, and a live map showing approaching SecOp drones.
5. a window spewing endless lines of ancient script, a glimpse into a deep part of the Old Internet that the New hasn't managed to swallow yet.
6. details of a known breach in the Wall, an influx point for daemons and... other things.
Fudge, Jury, and Executioner (Nephews In Peril, The Gauntlet)
Eva Stamps, a bus driver and contestant.
Shaved head. Purple lipstick. Multiple piercings in each ear and one eyebrow. A solid black bar tattooed on her upper bicep - presumably covering an older, unwanted tattoo. When Eva isn’t driving the number 53 Faversham Circular, she’s knitting, visiting the old folks at the nursing home, and cooking up sweet treats in her kitchen. She knows nearly everyone, because nearly everyone gets on her bus at some point during the day, and she has nary a bad word to say about anyone.
Quote: “Some people look at me and get a bit intimidated I think, but I’m just a big friendly bear when you get to know me. Seeing people laugh and smile is what gets me through the day, and I try to bring a bit of that to everyone I meet.”
Joan Flory, a local hotelier and contestant.
Ebullient. Exacting. Expertly put together. Joan is never seen with a hair out of place. She likes everything spic and span and is fastidiuous when it comes to the cleanliness and presentation of the Quiet Crow, the bed and breakfast she runs with her daughters. She is happy to offer a room to the Mavens once the police order them to stay in Faversham.
Quote: “Quite awful, isn’t it? Quite horrible, and I hope whoever did it is found immediately. Now, breakfast is served in the lounge at nine - continental style, you know the thing, just help yourself - and we leave fresh towels outside your door every day. And please don’t tell anybody you’re staying here. I wouldn’t want people crying favoritism if I do well in the contest!”
Treasures Of The Troll King (Self-Published)
Galgenbeck is palimpsest. Tumour. A city built on the ruins of itself. Beneath the sewers the bones of the old city fester.
The troll-king Niduk was exiled, driven into the depths to rot and die. Now twisted by hatred and rage he oversees the small domain he has carved for himself, in a forgotten chapel to a murdered god.
Why are you here? A lost bet? A doomed quest for silver? Boredom? Does it even matter?
Scent of fresh blood. Crumbling masonry.
• Collapsed roof - the floor of a buried building above has fallen into thesewers. It slopes at a steep angle.
• Rotten, broken furniture in a pile at the base of the slope.
• Scattered corpses, some fresh, some less so. All have been torn apart and chewed on.
• Niduk is here, feasting on something that was once a goblin.
Search the broken furniture, D4:
1. A black marble. It soaks up blood from fresh corpses. If smashed
it reanimates those who it has ingested.
2. A brass key nearly a foot long. One of the teeth has broken and is
nowhere to be seen.
3. A long piece of wood banded with metal and spiked with rusted
nails. (D8, 25% chance wounds from the nails become infected)
4. A goblin’s arm, animate and violent.
HP 2 Morale - Ropy skin -d2 Claws d2
Special: Small and fast, attacks and defense are DR14. If it hurts you it
will pass on the goblin curse.
Niduk the Ravenous: If you have hurt him already, he remembers. Does not like fighting in the sewers - will make every attempt to return to his chapel and his treasures.
Selected Self Published Work
Treasures Of The Troll King
An adventure for Mörk Borg, successfully Kickstarted in 2021 with 1,126 backers. I handled the writing, layout, and majority of the art (two pieces were provided by Johan Nohr), and created the Kickstarter trailer video.
"Someone told me that this one didn’t suck. They were right. [...] It delivers hit after hit, creative elements and interesting situations of diverse scope." - Bryce Lynch, Ten Foot Pole.
A solo journaling game of space horror played with a microphone and a tumbling block tower. Hugely influential, this game spawned hundreds of new games based on its Wretched & Alone engine and made multiple year-end lists including Shut Up & Sit Down and Tabletop Gaming Magazine.
"The Wretched characterized the hope that we might make it to 2021 and beyond." - Chase Carter, Dicebreaker.
"You remember that scene at the end of Alien where Ripley blasts the xenomorph out into space? The Wretched is what comes after that and it’s atmospheric, frightening, and downright brilliant." - Anna Blackwell, Tabletop Gaming Magazine.
A folk/religious horror adventure written for B/X, Mörk Borg, and 5th edition D&D, released in daily instalments throughout December 2021. The challenge of this project was to split it into chunks that were a satisfying standalone read while also building into a coherent adventure, unveiling the mystery at the heart of Reivdene to customers as the month went on while still giving them enough material to be able to run the adventure without waiting for the entire release cycle to be complete.
"My phone warned me it was out of battery but I couldn’t stop reading. Chris does an amazing job taking some familiar tropes and adding a flavor to make everything feel cohesive. This ability to leverage the familiar is a fantastic way to keep your players engaged. [...] I cannot wait to put this in front of my players!" - Customer Review.
A Dungeon Game
A lightweight OSR dungeon game about decentering violence and solving problems through cunning and creativity.
"a dungeon game essentially takes the dungeon-crawling sword and sorcery gameplay of classic DnD and boils it down to its purest, most intuitive form." - Coleman Gailloreto, ScreenRant
"Somewhere between an OSR parody of D&D as roleplay default and an earnest attempt to show how paper-thin the walls of the hobby monolith can sometimes be." - Chase Carter, Dicebreaker, on the 1st edition.
Find all of my self-published work here.
Articles & Reviews
Open License RPGS That Are Great Alternatives to D&D's OGL - ScreenRant
Dark Future - Wyrd Science, Issue 3: Horror
16 Awesome Tabletop Role-Playing Game Soundtracks - Gizmodo
Treasures Of The Troll King Review - TenFootPole
Solo RPG The Wretched is a fantastic, if unintentional, pandemic anniversary game. - Dicebreaker
No-frills RPG A Dragon Game pokes fun - and holes - in Dungeons & Dragons' design. - Dicebreaker
My Experience With The Wretched. - Tribality
The SU&SD 2020 Holiday Gift Guide - Shut Up & Sit Down
The Best Games of 2020. - Tabletop Gaming Magazine
The Soloist: A Role of One's Own. - Tabletop Gaming Magazine
The Wretched - Review. - Tabletop Gaming Magazine
Take That Chance: Tabletop Games for Your Favorite Horror Book. - Tor.com
Play The Plot: Tabletop Games for Your Favorite Fantasy Book. - Tor.com
Host, all episodes - Adventure Tourism
(Dragonmeet Special) Magic Items - Katellian Clamor ep. 7
Interview with Stockholm Kartell at GenCon 2022 - Kartellian Clamor ep. 4
Interviewing Chris Bissette, Creator of The Wretched - Perfect Organism: The Alien Saga Podcast
The Makings Of An Adventure: Panel with Zedeck Siew and Jason Cordova - Plus One Exp at Exalted Funeral Con
In The Bluelight: Actual Play - Plus One Exp
Coffee Break with Chris Bissette - Gila RPGS
314 Brindlewood Bay with Chris Bissette - Party Of One
Rule of 3 - Bastionland Podcast
Arcadia 5e Issue #9 Creator Q&A - Matt Colville
Experience & Kindness - Draw Your Dice
Chris Bissette Loot The Room - Wobblies & Wizards
S2E17 - Tabletop Gaming Podcast
Gods Of Metal: Ragnarock - Wondercon @ Home
268 Excommunicado with Chris Bissette - Party Of One
180 Wretched and Alone - Tabletop Babble
When Summer Dies.
The first part of a promotional campaign for an adventure release at the end of 2022. I shot the footage, composed the music, performed the voice acting, and edited the trailer.
Lord Of Chains.
JVC Parry comissioned me to create a trailer for his Kickstarter campaign for Lord Of Chains. This involved editing a piece of music from the band Wormwitch to the right time and working with pre-existing assets to convey the tone and themes of the adventure.
A Kickstarter trailer for Unquiet Dark, a game of eldritch horror and mystery in the jazz era. I used art assets provided by Ignacio Santander-Alfonso, writing the music myself.
Treasures Of The Troll King.
A trailer for the Kickstarter campaign for my adventure Treasures Of The Troll King. The only element in this trailer not created/performed by me is the cover art and art of Niduk, the Troll King, which were created by Johan Nohr.
A teaser for the pre-order campaign for my folk horror storytelling game The Hunted. Due to a lack of internal art I made heavy use of stock video footage, replicating the feel of a movie trailer. I recorded a slowed-down cinematic cover of a pop song ('Monster' by The Automatic) and performed the voice acting as well as creating the video itself.
A trailer video for the crowdfunding campaign for the reprint of The Wretched. I used stock art elements and my own soundtrack, plus a voiceover from an Actual Play provided by Alex Clippinger.