Professor Hall at Spacecraft points out this rather humorous review of some fantasy novels published to cash in on the popularity of the Middle Earth Role-Playing Game.
It is not only the conventions of the series novel, or of the role-playing game tie-in, which Tolkien ignores: he writes in total ignorance of the kind of thing which readers throughout the world have come to expect from fantasy novels. There are no voluptuous sword-maidens, for example.
To make matters worse, Tolkien pads out the considerable length of the book with extensive appendices. These are not even appendices of the kind you could use to develop a good game scenario, such as weapons statistics or encounter charts. Tolkien supplies us with dull chronologies, and details of the `languages’ spoken by the different races of Middle-Earth. The average Realms of Middle-Earth ready-to-play scenario runs to about one-tenth the length of Tolkien’s appendices, and has far more useful information.
Check it out.