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Appendix N

Appendix N by Jeffro Johnson

A collection of reviews of the famous Appendix N to Dungeonmaster's Guide. He picked a book for the authors without specified titles.

They range in quality as to the reading, but he chiefly focuses on the RPG-applicability elements. The open-ended adventures, the mixing of fantasy and sf tropes, the magic systems (though his comments about exotic systems and rare ingredients talks about the wonder, not the nuisance), domain-level and god-like play (noting that you need to give the PCs ways to palm off the work of a noble title and go on adventuring), the dangers of railroading PCs with intrigue targeted at them, and more. The last is Lord of the Rings, where he is correct if a bit overenthusiastic

One mistake: he thinks "planetary romance" gets the name from the love interest. In fact, it comes by analogy with chivalric romance, which originally meant "work written in the vernacular" but came to mean tales of action, adventure, and marvels that were popular in the medieval era.  Love interest, however prevalent, is optional. 
Tags: genre: fantasy, genre: science fiction, lit crit, role-playing games
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