Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

The First Draft of My Appendix N Book

A long time ago, I saw that Sarah Hoyt was blogging out a book one chapter a week. My first thought was, I can do that!

Well, it wasn’t as easy as it looked, I can tell you. People talk about how changes in publishing mean that practically everyone is writing books these days. Well in my opinion, there’s still way more people toying with the idea than that actually buckle down and do it. Frankly, it takes so much work, I really don’t blame the people that wash out. Seriously, given that most people’s first books are more than likely going kind to be kind of so-so, is it really worth losing two years of free time for something that’s just not going to wow that many people…?

My project had the benefit of being (as far as I know) the only book-length work in existence on the topic. I really wouldn’t have started had I known that one already existed. Certainly, the large number of answers to longstanding gaming problems, the applicability of the material to common issues in game mastering, and the scope of the sorts of things that can only be summarized nowadays as being Things Man Was Not Meant to Know meant that each book I picked up would blow my mind in ways I never expected. That made it hard to stop, really. But I still think it’s odd that I ended up being the first person to do this.

One problem with doing this is that this quantity of reading and writing I was doing in such a short period of time ended up really ended changing me. People tell me, “I really like the subject matter you cover, but you don’t do it the way that I would.” I know what they mean because many of these posts aren’t the way I would do them now, either!

So while I do intend to go over this material and clean it up a little, as far as I can I expect that I’ll leave the overall thrust of these pieces more or less as they are– to be one more bit of evidence about how these books can affect you. (I know Ron Edwards suggested that there was a point where my style and my voice really changed. I don’t know when it happened or what all played into it exactly. Maybe someone else will figure it out and explain it to me sometime…!)

At any rate, this is my book. Draft though it may be, it is still a book-length work. I’ve always wanted to do something like this. And now I have!

(Oh, I expect Chapter 51 to go live sometime in December.)

The Appendix N Survey

Coda [UPDATE: I think this whole section is going to be cut.]

Appendices [UPDATE: Added E and F]

On the Cutting Room Floor (These posts will most likely remain online only. Sigh.)

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17 responses to “The First Draft of My Appendix N Book

  1. H.P. November 23, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Is the plan for this to be e-book only?

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  3. newyorkgwythaint November 23, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    There are only about 5 or six of those I have not read ; I am pleased with the inclusion of Dimmermount related material, and look forward to buying your book!

    • jeffro November 24, 2015 at 9:58 am

      Note that the final section there is on the chopping block. I’m pushing for having some of the Appendix N game reviews dropped into the appendix, but the Dwimmermount session reports won’t make it in…. (I played those games because if I was going to speculate about what Gygax was doing, I wanted to be intimately familiar with the one product that most fully captures the spirit of his actual play. So they are highly relevant if not necessarily integral to the final cut….)

  4. Simon Hogwood November 23, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    I was just thinking to myself that your Appendix N series would make an excellent book, and until it comes out, having this list will make the posts much easier to read. Thanks for the compilation, and congratulations on your accomplishment!

  5. mikemonaco November 24, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Jeff, if you’re interested I’d be happy to create a CIP block for free for your book (actually if there two different editions, I’ll make two). I’d just need to see how your title page will present the title/author/publisher info and know if you are including an index. If you don’t know what a CIP block is, there’s a good explanation here: http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2010/03/cip-what-it-means-how-to-read-it-who-should-get-it/
    FWIW.

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