Ringworld: Revenge of the Patriarch and Return to Ringworld are two adventure games set in Known Space, published by Tsunami Media in 1993 and 1994 respectively. Broadly, they concern events some 20 years after the novel Ringworld, so contemporary with The Ringworld Engineers; Louis Wu and Chmeee have disappeared, and the protagonist Quinn travels to Ringworld in a ship built by a UN-Kzinti project to implement a quantum II hyperdrive.

To what extent was Larry Niven involved with determining the plots of these games, and should they be considered canon? I am particularly curious because the ending of "Return to Ringworld" seems to reveal

the existence of a second Ringworld. Big if true!

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    Completely off-topic, but I just thought "how the hell did they actually seed the ringworld with a biosphere (biodachtylid?) in under several million years?" I mean, you could have a magic machine to generate a thin strip of scrith with a width equal to the diameter of the sun, but having a magic machine that generates grass and tree seeds and rabbits and foxes and mice and amoeba and birds over the whole area seems a step too far. Dec 8, 2020 at 13:52

1 Answer 1


Niven explicitly does not consider himself "bound" by anything that happens in the "Man-Kzin Wars" playground (allowing for "fog of war" loss of records, etc). Stories in this part of the history of Known Space were being actively solicited around the time you suggest (I think I was already finding the books in the bookshop at that time), with that canonicity warning in the invite (as well as a different commercial "Ringworld RPG" being part of the recommended "character bible" for contributors).

Given that, I very much doubt that Niven would consider the RPGs you describe to be at all canon. It is, after all, his universe.

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    You could improve this answer with some direct quotes from the background material you refer to.
    – DavidW
    Nov 16, 2023 at 0:14
  • If I hadn't returned the books to the library ... maybe.
    – Rockdoctor
    Nov 28, 2023 at 21:44

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