Creature Feature: Tiffany Salter

Creature Feature: Tiffany Salter

Meet Tiffany Salter, Scryptid co-founder and creator of the new game Pecking Order.

Tiffany (she/her) is a freelance editor and consultant, and though she has left a former career as a literature and media professor, she is still invested in teaching and researching historical and ongoing resistance to systemic oppression. Tiffany believes the games we play together can be a restorative space. Games allow us to tell stories exploring our positions within systems, help us to uncover and question our complacency, and work toward healing hurt we have experienced and caused. Sometimes that happens while playing a tiny fruit bat with battered wings and sometimes that happens while playing a sexy blue dragonborn who is the front man of a metal band and who powers their own electric guitar. Thrash!

You can find Tiffany’s games on and you can find Tiffany herself in her living room learning K-pop choreography.

What cryptid do you most relate to?

I’ve always been a person of intense special interests and there was a period in fifth grade where I went all in on the Loch Ness Monster. I was obsessed with Nessie, and I read everything in our library that had even a whisper of this water beast. If the internet had been a thing at the time, I am sure I would have scoured every corner of the web. Because I grew up in the flat dirt of West Texas, I think some of the appeal was just the idea that people could have a casually intimate relationship with bodies of water and that what lurked beneath the water’s surface could provide so much intrigue. Nessie was really my first encounter with the elusive and mystical outside organized religion. She was my first cryptid, though I didn’t learn that term until much later, but she certainly was not my last.

What will people love about playing Pecking Order?

Pecking Order is a bananas bird-eat-squirrel battle royale for food. I love that you can play more than one bird, like your own mini-flock with its own set of motivations and strategies. The character-building is pretty open—you can either bring in actual bird facts to help you make your character(s), or you can fight bioessentialism and create a bird who goes against type. You want the pretty purple wings of a martin who has weaponized their birdsong into a distracting screech? Embrace your inner bird banshee! Want to be a brohort of three blue jays who surf the airwaves and maneuver their way through obstacles to get them peanuts? Do it up, dude! When I have played it, things have always gotten pretty unhinged pretty quickly. Ultimately, you can decide to work with the other player birds to keep the food away from the Game Mammal (GM/facilitator) and their furry friends or you can go solo and fight it out over every last morsel.

What will people love about playing Psychic Trash Detectives, the first release from Scryptid Games?

I love the mini-games mechanics for building the psychic visions! Brigitte did such a wonderful job with the variety of prompts. Each mini-game is its own creative endeavor that leaves you with a piece of art to remember your game by: a short poem, drawing, map, playlist, or aesthetically arranged assemblage of trash! I love keeping little things from the RPGs I have played—I have a pinboard with coloring sheets from the times I’ve played Dinosaur Princesses (in one of my play-throughs, I was a woolly mammoth named Stargazer Fancy McSchmooples), a name plate with pronouns and a self-portrait from playing Dream Askew (I played a Hawker named Tai whose gender was raven and whose pronouns were caw/caw), and hand-drawn maps of encounters from all sorts of games, including one from a play-through of Psychic Trash Detectives. Brigitte’s game is all about treasuring those things others would throw away, and I love that your trash is made more meaningful through the acts of game-play and community-building.

What’s your earliest TTRPG memory?

I grew up with card games and board games, and I have been making up those kinds of games pretty much my whole life. But as a kid I also used to create elaborate role-playing scenarios with friends and my younger brother. I remember making math and reading worksheets and playing “Teacher” with my brother—I would teach him the lesson, make him fill out the sheets, and then grade him. (He was very patient.) Obviously, there wasn’t a rule book or anything, but we were literally engaged in a tabletop role-playing game. We role-played fashion shows and dance competitions as well!

I didn’t actually play my first rulebook-based RPG until some grad school friends and I started an online D&D 5e campaign as a way to keep in touch once we moved to new places for jobs. Role-playing felt pretty natural and I very quickly moved on to indie RPGs. I have always been that person to dissect a game afterward to figure out why things happened the way that they happened; this morphed into an obsession with studying game mechanics. And I think indie TTRPGs are just more willing to play around with unusual mechanics—another reason I fell in love with Psychic Trash Detectives.

Which new games by indie creators have caught your eye this year?

The games that grabbed my attention during Zine Quest 5 really covered a lot of ground. Some of them, like Penetrating the Veil, were already mentioned by the other Scryptids, but I’m also excited about Hungry Gnoles Eat the Rich by Z.W. Garth, about community-minded hyena-folk versus forces of oppressive control. And on a much, much lighter note, I am super stoked about Hedgehogs and Hot Air Balloons by UK-based Sophie Atkinson, “a cosy, cute, solo journaling and map drawing game.” Who doesn’t want to be a wee floating hedgehog cartographer?

You can check out Tiffany’s game Pecking Order, along with four other excellent games by the rest of the Scryptid team by purchasing the Scryptid Games Creature Feature Bundle on

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