Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

QuQu and JimFear138 on #GamerGate & Sad Puppies

Okay, this is goes a little bit longer than sixty seconds… but man, I gotta tell you, this covers all the gory details of what was happening behind the scenes when GamerGate was the talk of the town. The Sad Puppies bit starts at right at one hour and eighteen minutes in. Even later in, they get into Pulp Revolution, too.

Check it out!

Appendix N Nabs Another Rave Review!

You know, I honestly didn’t expect to get quite this intense of a reaction back when I was writing these, so really… just check it out:

Outstanding trip through the stories that were the impetus for Dungeons and Dragons, and likely other early role playing games from the 1970s. This book helps answer the questions behind the curious choices and rules of early D&D designers, namely why don’t the rules and milieu look more like Tolkien and his world? At the time, Gygax denied Tolkien was a primary influence to D&D, though many didn’t believe him. After reading Jeffro Johnson’s book, which describes what he found in researching Appendix N (in Advanced D&D’s Dungeon Master Guide), you’ll see that Gygax wasn’t kidding around! Appendix N, Jeffro says (and confirms through his research), shows the world of The Pulps drove D&D more than a single track within Fantasy (Tolkien) did. On top of that, Johnson opens the reader to explore some of these historical influences, both the good and the bad, as well as the stellar and the — well, not-so-stellar. Regardless, Jeffro’s book opens the Lost World of the Pulps for a new generation to view via his window of Appendix N! 5 stars! Highly recommended!

Man, do you have any idea how hard it is to disabuse of the idea that Tolkien has been the end all be all of fantasy for freaking forever…?! You can bring up fact after fact, evidence after evidence… and they still won’t see it.

It really is a relief to see someone getting it.

Meanwhile, I keep getting letters from people that drifted away from science fiction and that are back into it again. Reading the old stuff, it’s become clear: they didn’t leave science fiction. Science fiction left them! They have something just mind-numbingly awesome back in their life again and it’s crazy… but they really do blame me for it!

I don’t think I will ever stop being astonished by this kind of reaction. But man… it’s not just a meme:


Oh… and I should mention, I did another podcast last weekend. This one with the uber-cool JimFear138.

Warning: it’s long! It’s unedited. Unfiltered. Unplugged. If you want to hear all the stuff that I haven’t taken the time to convert into actual blog posts, it’s all there!

Appendix N is Causing a Commotion!

I was interviewed last week by Scott Cole over at the Castalia House blog.

Awesome reviews like this one keep rolling in:

I’ve been mulling it over for a week now on how to write a review for this. I’m still not sure I can do it justice but I’ll try.

This author has hit on the exact essence of what made early Dungeons and Dragons great. The things he highlights in each tale is the exact reason I love each story. Gygax and Company had access to a rich and wonderful set of books that we are not lucky enough to have today.

Publishers don’t take risks like they used to. Only now with the renaissance of self publishing are we seeing the odd and eldritch return to print. This tome is vital in understanding the story element design choices that made D&D great. The disregard for convention, the raw wildness of the ideas.

Jeffro has collected the proverbial cherry from the top of each of these sundays and then encourages you to dig your spoon in deep.

The response to the announcement that I’ll be on Geek Gab again along with Razorfist has caused a stir:

Meanwhile, Brian Niemeier reports a new fear percolating in the vast reaches of the internet:


Stick around. We’re just getting warmed up here!

Heroism! Romance! Wonder!

The Pulp Revolution scene is flat out on fire right now…!

First up… those Sad Pooka guys have gone and memed the thing:

And if you happened to miss it, my Geek Gab appearance is the talk of the town:

Finally, JimFear138 is off the chaintop book blogger Rwale Nyanzi has released his take on the pulp ethos with Sword & Flower.

And I really should add… one of the more striking things about the old pulp stories is the prominent role that grappling plays in them. Tarzan, for instance, re-discovers the Full Nelson in one of his more exciting scenes of his debut novel. As awesome as that is, somehow it never quite made the transition into the tabletop games that were inspired by this stuff….

UNTIL NOW! Douglas Cole has finally pushed the state of the art forward on this longstanding problem in tabletop gaming. Check out his designer’s notes over at Castalia House for the full story!

Appendix N is Doing Surprisingly Well

The book is selling.

Better than anyone expected, really.

And the five star reviews from people outside of the gaming and book blogging scenes…? They are really, really positive.

This is one of those books that expands your reading list considerably. I am still in the stage of dipping my toe into the SF/F genres and Jeffro’s list, taken from Gary Gygax’s D&D inspirations, is a great starting point. I used to just assume the old SF/F would be outdated and boring, books written for a tiny subculture of rejects and nerds, but I am very wrong. Almost all of the books mentioned in the appendix not only sound interesting, but well written and articulated stories. It’s also just neat to have a little more depth of understanding about the heritage of SF/F, D&D, and other elements that permeate our culture today. I’d say more, but I have to start reading these books now, and I don’t feel like I’m going to be disappointed.

(This sort of thing has happened so often and so consistently now that people on Twitter have coined a term for it…!)

I own many of these books, and I wish there was a way to get them back into publication in Kindle form so they could once again be read and appreciated. I want to thank Mr. Johnson for this fine retrospective on much of the fantasy genre. A fine job and I unreservedly recommend this book. Do not plan on reading it in a couple of days, it deserves for you to take your time, reflect on what is being said, and then take it up again. You will be richer for the experience.

You know… the whole time I was working on this thing, I thought of myself as being sort of three star writer that could occasionally dip up into into four star territory. And I knew there was an audience for what I was doing– even if I had to go out and build that audience while I wrote the book.

Still… the amount of excitement this book is generating is astonishing to me.