You know, this whole journey into the literary antecedents of D&D was motivated more than anything else by a desire to get more enjoyment out of the game. So I can’t tell you how pleased I was to get this feedback the other day:
As someone who read LOTR before encountering DnD, I can’t say I found them to have anything much in common, with the exception of the word “elf” and the concept of “halflings”.
It was only later, approaching DnD as a very different thing and finally, reading Jeffro’s Appendix N, that DnD became something fun rather than frustrating, and then began to make actual sense.
The notion of Clerics or even paladins is completely foreign to Middle Earth, as is the spell caster per-se, and the range of DnD spells in particular. Summoning, planar cosmology, etc, are all at 180 degrees to Middle Earth.
That’s just plain awesome.
And I’m not joking when I say this, but I’ve heard accounts of what people’s D&D sessions were like before they read my book. It’s not pretty, y’all. But the thing is… there are things that people took for granted back in the seventies that are nearly unimaginable today. Fortunately, getting into the head-space of that first wave of designers Dungeon Masters, and referees is not just mind blowing. It’s a lot of fun– not just for you, but for your players, too!
Now… one thing I didn’t see coming as I delved into all of this was that… not everyone would be open to the Good News of Great Gaming. I know, that sounds crazy, but it’s true! One crowd I’ve had a particularly hard time getting along with are the sort of people that are really heavy into old school “hard” style of science fiction. And this is freaky, but… the books on Appendix N represent an oeuvre that this tribe has been at war with for so long and at such a degree of efficiency that most people don’t even know that something happened to rewrite the history of fantasy and science fiction.
Usually I get a lot of guff from this crowd. But very recently, something different happened. Someone that had read not just mass quantities of science fiction by also scads of books from the Appendix N list got confronted by a thesis from my book. This was all recorded, so you can actually hear this guy as he starts to connect the dots on a very big story.
It’s epic. Check it out: