Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.

John D. Rateliff's Brief History of Tolkien RPGs

The Internet provides: John D. Rateliff's “Brief History of Tolkien RPGS” (Video, Commentary on the video, and the essay in four parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4), linked here for reference.

Part 1 ends with:

Given the uncertain state of the Tolkien copyrights in the 1970s (which is another story I can come back to later it you like), it's almost certain that it was NOT the Tolkien Estate, but rather Zaentz's Tolkien Enterprises, that sent TSR their cease & desist back sometime in late 1977. Whereupon Gygax and Company at once filed the serial numbers off, except in a few odd cases such as "orc" (which they ludicrously began to claim came not from Tolkien but from an Irish word for pig, leading to the silly-looking pig-snouted orcs of the Monster Manual [page 76]) and 'mithral' (which they simply decided to misspell) and otherwise went on their merry way.

I'd never heard of this origin for pig-faced orcs!

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