Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

New “Appendix N” Post: Derai by E. C. Tubb

Okay, we have a new post in the Appendix N series for you! Although this isn’t from Gygax’s famous book list from AD&D, this is from among the much more obscure literary antecedents for the Traveller role playing game. There’s no real gaming content this time because the mind blowing thing about this installment in the Dumarest series is something that is explicitly beyond the scope of the Traveller rule set:

Nowhere in these rules is a specific requirement established that any character (player or non-player) be of a specific gender or race. Any character is potentially of any race and of either sex.

Yeah, the overall abstraction level there doesn’t leave much room to delve into the dynamics of… uh… romance. “Space Conan” in love may not be of any interest to you; then again, people run some pretty weird stuff, so who can say? At any rate, it’s a travesty that Dumarest of Terra is as obscure as he is. His character is no doubt deserving of the in depth treatment he gets here.

Mail call! Oh boy….

The Three Hearts and Three Lions post is turning out to be the real doozey so far. Now, I owe the idea for that post to Wayne Rossi from over at Semper Initiativus Unam who alerted my to an error in a recent post by John C. Wright on alignment. Of course, a lot of people are unaware of this book and mistakenly credit Michael Moorcock for D&D’s alignment system. But John C. Wright shouldn’t feel too bad as I believe even Lewis Pulsipher will admit to being similarly misinformed about this extremely crucial topic.

At any rate, Lew has graciously dropped by Castalia House to reminisce about his correspondence with Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson back in the bad old days. Meanwhile… over at Dungeon Fantastic, Peter Dell’Orto reviews Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits and points out its obscure link to Poul Anderson’s classic novel. Finally, on Winchell Chung’s Google+ feed, Eric Raymond recommends Poul Anderson’s The Merman’s Children for people that want to know more about things from the Chaos perspective.

Oh, one last thing. Somebody posted a question about Vancian magic over on Google+. Now that I’ve, you know, read one Jack Vance book, you can tell I’m a real expert now. So I butted in with an answer not realizing that the question was actually addressed to Jeff Rients. (To be honest, I would not be writing about Basic D&D or Appendix N if it wasn’t for his influence. The guy’s a true gaming hero.) Anyway, he shows up later and says, “I agree with Jeffro Johnson’s analysis.” Hahaha! Made my day!!!

Okay, that’s all for now. Stay tuned and… keep on gamin’!

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2 responses to “New “Appendix N” Post: Derai by E. C. Tubb

  1. Patrick December 13, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Only a week after reading your review, I had the good fortune to find a stack of Tubb at a bookstore, picked up Derai, and am enjoying it a great deal.

    Can you recommend any similar, pre-PC books, but for my eight year old son?

    P. S. Thanks for the great blog. It reinvigorated my interest in fantasy and board gaming.

    • jeffro December 13, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      My son is 12. He devoured Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories. He also went through Zelazny’s first Amber stories like they were nothing. A collection of Fredric Brown short stories was a tremendous hit with him and his rave reviews even got his 10 year old sister to read it. She hasn’t really liked the Appendix N books as much, but she was thoroughly enchanted by Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. For an eight year old, though… Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan series and his Mars stories are both awesome. Finally… I can’t recommend Leigh Brackett enough. Enjoy!

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