Tim Kask on Appendix N
June 7, 2016
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The recent discussion on Appendix N has been brisk and heated, but I think you’ll find Tim Kask’s comments of particular interest if you’ve been following the story:
While I agree with you that Maz is often a douchebag, and his reverence of Appendix N as though it were graven on tablets a bit absurd, many of you are missing the point, but some have hit the nail on the head.
I helped compile that list. They were not just Gary’s favorites. We both had nominations that did not make the list in the end.
We made that list for two reasons. The first was an encouragement to read; both Gary and I were sort of annoying in that regard.
The second was in response to a slew of questions that sort of boiled down to “Where are you (D&D) coming from?” We thought that if more people read Vance’s Dying Earth, for example, they would know where the memorizing your spells thing came from.
At that point in gaming history (sort of pretentious-sounding, I know) we were encouraging players to lift and modify things from books and movies; Appendix N was meant to serve as a starting point for good sources.
It is so damned easy to sit and pontificate about something we did 40 years ago, and quite frankly I am tired of people second-guessing and speculating on what we did without once asking anyone who was there.