John D. Rateliff is an author of roleplaying games and an independent scholar, specializing in the Inklings, especially Tolkien studies (study of the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, particularly his Middle-earth fantasy writings).
Early life and educationEdit
Rateliff moved to Wisconsin in 1981 to study Tolkien's manuscripts at Marquette University. Rateliff is an expert in Tolkien studies, and he earned a Ph.D in 20th-century British literature from Marquette.
Rateliff has helped organize several major conferences on Tolkien. He contributed essays to Tolkien's Legendarium (2000) and to a volume marking the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Lord of the Rings, and edited The History of The Hobbit (HarperCollins, 2007), an edition of the drafting of Tolkien's The Hobbit with extensive commentary. Having written his dissertation on Lord Dunsany, Rateliff likes to describe his degree as "a Ph.D in fantasy."
He worked for the game companies TSR, Wizards of the Coast, and Hasbro for a number of years, contributing to a large number of products in the Dungeons and Dragons line. In addition he worked as a freelancer for Decipher Inc., Green Ronin, White Wolf, Guardians of Order, and Chaosium on a number of projects. At his guest-speaking session at Merpcon IV in 2008, he said that he also worked on an internal TSR project to create a role-playing game based on Tolkien's writings, but it was not completed or released.
Rateliff was the co-editor of the third edition D&D Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide (the original d20 System game rules), and worked on such titles as Mark of Amber, Night Below, Return to the Tomb of Horrors, the Eberron core rulebook, and Decipher's Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game. He is the author of the adventures Standing Stone and Return to the Keep on the Borderlands, as well as co-editor of (and contributor to) d20 Cthulhu.
- Egypt (Children of the World) (with Valerie Weber and Julie Brown; Gareth Stevens Publishing) (1992)
- Player's Survival Kit/Book, Adventurer's Log, and Cards (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 2nd Edition) ( - March 1995)
- Return to the Keep on the Borderlands (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons/AD&D)(1999)
- Reverse Dungeon (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons/AD&D) (May 1, 2000)
- Hero Builder's Guidebook - Dungeons & Dragons (co-author) (2000)
- The Standing Stone: An Adventure for 7th-Level Characters (Dungeons & Dragons Adventure) (April 1, 2001)
- Co-author Decipher The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game (2002)
- EverQuest Player's Handbook (2002)
- Fushigi Yûgi: Ultimate Fan Guide #1 (September 30, 2002)
Studies of works by the InklingsEdit
- "Early Versions of Farmer Giles of Ham" in Leaves from the Tree: J. R. R. Tolkien's Shorter Fiction, The Tolkien Society (1991)
- "Rhetorical Strategies in Charles William's Prose Play." in The Rhetoric of Vision: Essays on Charles Williams edited by Charles A. Huttar and Peter J. Schakel (1996)
- "'The Lost Road,' 'The Dark Tower,' and 'The Notion Club Papers': Tolkien and Lewis's Time Travel Triad." in Tolkien's Legendarium: Essays on The History of Middle-earth edited by Verlyn Flieger and Carl F. Hostetter (2000)
- The History of The Hobbit (2007)
- McManus, Kelly (November 24, 2007). "Getting to the Bottom of the Hobbit's Tale". The Globe and Mail. p. D25.
- Gillespie, Mike (July 29, 2007). "Hot Type: The History of The Hobbit by John D. Rateliff". Ottawa Citizen. p. C3.
- Anderson, Douglas A. (2009). "John D. Rateliff: A Checklist". Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review. 6: 22–26. doi:10.1353/tks.0.0061. S2CID 170130503.
- "Rings treasures in US library". The Evening Post. January 26, 2002. p. 9.
- Antlfinger, Carrie (January 27, 2002). "Marquette University Has Tolkien Collection: The University Bought Manuscripts from the British Author". Wisconsin State Journal. p. C6.
- Rateliff, John D. (2007). "Mythos". In Lowder, James (ed.). Hobby Games: The 100 Best. Green Ronin Publishing. pp. 209–212. ISBN 978-1-932442-96-0.
- "Books by John Rateliff". Alibris.
- "John D. Rateliff". Pen & Paper. Archived from the original on 4 October 2007.
- "MerpCon IV (2008) Guest Speakers: John D. Rateliff and Michael Martinez (unedited cam 1 audio) MP3". MerpCon.[permanent dead link]
- Owchar, Nick (December 30, 2007). "Middle-earth evolution". Los Angeles Times. p. R9.
- Sacnoth's Scriptorium - John D. Rateliff's Official Website
- "Interview with John Rateliff". Archived from the original on December 23, 2008.
- "A Talk With John D. Rateliff". Archived from the original on February 10, 2009.
- Tolkien Gateway Interview of John D. Rateliff
- Audio interview with John D. Rateliff. National Review.
- "John D. Rateliff's Bio in Brief". Sacnoth's Scriptorium. John D. Rateliff.