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The first Appendix N - Out of the Suitcase #16 with Chaosium President Rick Meints


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Chaosium President Rick Meints shares stories from a life-time as a collector of all things Chaosium.

RQ1 Appendix M

Recently the Grognardia blog wrote about the strange serendipity between the bibliography in RuneQuest, which came out in 1978, and the bibliography in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Masters Guide, which came out in 1979:

"Both bibliographies are the fourteenth appendix in their respective volumes, which is quite a coincidence – and a coincidence I am sure it is (for logistical reasons, if nothing else). Even if it weren't, the writers of RQ make it quite clear that, despite superficial similarities, their Appendix N is actually very different in both its content and intention than Gygax's own list. This becomes even clearer as you take a closer look at it.

"RuneQuest's Appendix N offers a fascinating contrast to Gygax's own... Reading them side by side, one is immediately struck by the different cultures that produced each game – as anyone who has played them can attest. It's precisely those differences that enabled them to exist side by side, appealing as they did to different tastes, sensibilities, and interests."  Grognardia."

RuneQuest’s bibliography humbly preceded D&D's Appendix N, and its genius is in its simple motivating force for others to do likewise. It inspired, sometimes subtly. But it was technically Appendix M! Here’s why...

The first edition of RuneQuest (published June 1978) was divided into 10 sections, the last of which was X. Referee Notes. The thirteenth topic in that section (p.116) was a Bibliography of inspirational books, followed by a short list of Gloranthan games, other fantasy roleplaying games you might like to try (including Dungeons & Dragons), and the contact details for the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA) and the dice manufacturer Lou Zocchi. The parts of RQ1's Section X were not assigned letters, but if they were, the bibliography would have been assigned the letter M.

The second edition of RuneQuest (now available as RuneQuest Classic) was in layout by the summer of 1979, and was published in September of that same year. RQ2 updated the overall organization of the book and Section X was renamed Appendices. The Bibliography was now the 14th topic, so it was assigned the letter N. (The list of Gloranthan games had grown substantially and was moved into its own listing as Appendix O.)

RQ2 Appendix N

Just as Grognardia thinks it's a coincidence, I am 99% certain that Greg and company did not deliberately make the RQ2 Bibliography "Appendix N" because Gary Gygax had done so in the first edition of the DMG, which was published one month earlier in August 1979. But both bibliographies offer fascinating insights about the literary inspirations for each game. In our obsession with original creation, we too often forget simple coincidence. Tell us your inspirations, your call to arms, and the shadows of the past that inspired you to shine a light upon the future.

Edited by MOB
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I'm trying to remember the books that influenced me in the late 70s and early 80s ..

Historical/ Mythological

Robert Fox's Alexander the Great; A book called Carthago delenda est that I got from the local library and have never found again, More books on the history of Carthage; Roman history; Greek History (particularly Mycenaean/ Crete period) The Aeneid, The Trojan War, The Mabinogion, The Táin bo Cuilaghe, Book of Invasions, Icelandic Sagas (particularly Egil's saga); Mongols (of any shape and hue); Dark Ages History; Vikings; any Norse Mythology and other world mythologies from Larousse. I loved historical maps and still have a large collection of hardback books with maps.

Novels/ Fantasy 

LOTR etc (except hobbits); Lankmar series; I, Claudius; Golden Fleece; Count Belisarius; Many Coloured-Land series; Flashman; Thomas Covenant (except the chapters on introspection); Poul Anderson's books (particularly the Broken Sword and Merman's Children); Amber series.. I definitely preferred gritty 'real life' stuff to the heroic fantasy of LOTR

and probably anything from section 310 (Ancient History) in the local library...

those are the books that I remember that fed my imagination and wanted me to play out battles/ scenarios both in Tabletop war-gaming and D&D... though as soon as I discovered RuneQuest and Stormbringer ... D&D got dropped

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