Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson started gaming sometime in the 198s when a kid down the street (who had played D&D with someone who’d played D&D with someone who’d actually seen the rulebooks) introduced him to Dungeons and Dragons using only a d6 and a vague idea of the rules. Steve was fascinated, and spent the next few months saving up twelve bucks so he could buy the (Erol Otis cover red box) Basic Set. Not long afterwards, Steve managed to get the Expert Set and even a few adventures, making him the uncontested local expert on all things RPG. This nonsense continued for quite some time.

In college, Steve (thanks to specialty game stores, which simply do not exist in the wilds of Western Kentucky) was introduced to other games: Vampire, GURPS, Over The Edge, Shadowrun, TORG, and Gods only know what else. Eventually, Steve started designing his own game system–a complicated, nearly unplayable mess known as Anyworlds. At the same time, he started toying with the idea of a simple, quick and dirty system for use in pick-up games, mainly because he was tired of spending two hours creating a character that would only be used once.

In the late 199s, Steve, his old college pal Leighton Connor, and mystical being Dale French decided to put together a cheaply-produced game, the profits of which would be used to produce ever bigger-and-better RPGs and comics. The three formed a company called Hex Games and started developing Steve’s simple system (dubbed QAGS), which they guessed would take about a week to produce.

One year later (in 1998), Leighton and Steve (they’d lost Dale somewhere along the way) released the 64-page, digest-sized, black & white QAGS first edition, which was greeted by the gaming public with overwhelming apathy. Seven years, ten products, thousands of dollars, uncounted conventions, and fifty or so “staff” members later, Steve, Leighton, and a handful of true believers still release the occasional game book.

In addition to co-authoring both the 1st and 2nd editions of QAGS, Steve has written Spooky: The Definitive Guide to Horror Gaming, Paradise, and parts of M-Force: Monster Hunting in the 21st Century. He has also had a hand (as contributing author, cartographer, editor, consultant, or cheerleader) in most other Hex projects. The first RPG from Steve’s personal imprint, Fuquit Games, was Reaper Madness, a 24 Hour RPG released earlier this year.

Steve is currently working on a number of projects, including Colin Thomas Presents RASSLIN’, Fort High, QERTH, The Official Groovin’ Zed and the Roller Kings Tour Book, Fratboys Vs., M-Force Deluxe Edition, and Haunted Hollywood. At least a few of these are set for release later this year, and the rest will be completed well before the heat death of the universe.


Reaper Madness: A game about dead people and the (both dead and living) people who have to deal with them.


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