Nystul got his start in the RPG industry writing Fantasy Hero books for Hero Games, and then worked for FASA and Mayfair Games in the early 1990s. Nystul self-published a limited edition of a new horror role-playing game called The Whispering Vault (1993), which he debuted at GenCon 26. The following year, he released an expanded and more professional version of the game through his new company, Pariah Press, and also published the supplements Dangerous Prey (1995) and a three-panel GM screen (1995). He then worked at TSR for a short time, which ended in 1996. In early 1996, Chris Pramas acquired the rights to The Whispering Vault from Nystul, and Pramas formed Ronin Publishing to publish the game. Nystul wrote several products for FASA's Shadowrun line, and the Role Aids series published by Mayfair Games, among other material.
In 2012 he started several projects on kickstarter.com that received massive backing well beyond the goals. Although he failed to deliver on any of these projects originally due to difficulties in taking on multiple projects simultaneously the end result was a delivery of these products in various means with other parties assisting. 
In 2015 he has set up a Patreon account and has been doing side work for multiple other companies and venues.
- Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 369. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
- Nystul, Mike (July 1995). "First Quest: The Evocative Blob". Dragon #219 (Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR Ltd.) xx (2): 8, 66.
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