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 Appendix N - what have you read?
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 27 Dec 2020 :  22:57:01  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Not really a good shelf for this, but this is close, so...

For those not familiar with the legendary Appendix N, it was an appendix in the 1E DMG that listed the numerous influences upon the shaping of Dungeons & Dragons. Here is that Appendix, from page 224 of the referenced book:

quote:


APPENDIX N: INSPIRATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL READING

Inspiration for all the fantasy work I have done stems directly from the love my father showed when I was a tad, for he spent many hours telling me stories he made up as he went along, tales of cloaked old men who could grant wishes, of magic rings and enchanted swords, or wicked sorcerors and dauntless swordsmen. Then too, countless hundreds of comic books went down, and the long-gone EC ones certainly had their effect. Science fiction, fantasy, and horror movies were a big influence. In fact, all of us tend to get ample helpings of fantasy when we are very young from fairy tales such as those written by the Brothers Grimm and Andrew Lang. This often leads to reading books of mythology, paging through bestiaries, and consultation of compilations of the myths of various lands and peoples. Upon such a base I built my interest in fantasy, being an avid reader of all science fiction and fantasy literature since 1950. The following authors were of particular inspiration to me. In some cases I cite specific works, in others, I simply recommend all of their fantasy writing to you. From such sources, as well as any other imaginative writing or screenplay, you will be able to pluck kernels from which will grow the fruits of exciting campaigns. Good reading!

Inspirational Reading:

Anderson, Poul: THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS; THE HIGH CRUSADE; THE BROKEN SWORD
Bellairs, John: THE FACE IN THE FROST
Brackett, Leigh
Brown, Frederic
Burroughs, Edgar Rice: "Pellucidar" series; Mars series; Venus series
Carter, Lin: "World's End" series
de Camp, L. Sprague: LEST DARKNESS FALL; THE FALLIBLE FIEND; et al.
de Camp & Pratt: "Harold Shea" series; THE CARNELIAN CUBE
Derleth, August
Dunsany, Lord
Farmer, P. J.: "The World of the Tiers" series; et al.
Fox, Gardner: "Kothar" series; "Kyrik" series; et al.
Howard, R. E.: "Conan" series
Lanier, Sterling: HIERO'S JOURNEY
Leiber, Fritz: "Fafhrd & Gray Mouser" series; et al.
Lovecraft, H. P.
Merritt, A.: CREEP, SHADOW, CREEP; MOON POOL; DWELLERS IN THE MIRAGE; et al.
Moorcock, Michael: STORMBRINGER; STEALER OF SOULS; "Hawkmoon" series (esp. the first three books)
Norton, Andre
Offutt, Andrew J.: editor of SWORDS AGAINST DARKNESS III
Pratt, Fletcher: BLUE STAR; et al.
Saberhagen, Fred: CHANGELING EARTH; et al.
St. Clair, Margaret: THE SHADOW PEOPLE; SIGN OF THE LABRYS
Tolkien, J. R. R.: THE HOBBIT; "Ring trilogy"
Vance, Jack: THE EYES OF THE OVERWORLD; THE DYING EARTH; et al.
Weinbaum, Stanley
Wellman, Manley Wade
Williamson, Jack
Zelazny, Roger: JACK OF SHADOWS; "Amber" series; et al.

The most immediate influences upon AD&D were probably de Camp & Pratt, REH, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, HPL, and A. Merritt; but all of the above authors, as well as many not listed, certainly helped to shape the form of the game. For this reason, and for the hours of reading enjoyment, I heartily recommend the works of these fine authors to you.




Right now, I'm reading the Amber books, and it occurred to me that it might be interesting to discuss what all we had read from Appendix N.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 27 Dec 2020 :  23:02:31  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So, from the list...

I've not read Burroughs, but I've a compilation of the John Carter of Mars books that I'll eventually get to.

I've read all of the Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser books.

I've read a fair amount of HP Lovecraft, though horror is very much not my thing.

I've got a compilation of the Elric books, but I've not yet read them.

I've been wanting to try Fred Saberhagen for a while. I had several of his books before the fire, but hadn't gotten around to reading them, and haven't replaced them.

I have, of course, read the Lord of the Rings books. I have, but have not yet attempted, The Silmarillion

I've read Jack Vance's Dying Earth books.

And I just finished the first of the Amber books.

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Thauramarth
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Posted - 28 Dec 2020 :  08:09:38  Show Profile Send Thauramarth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
More than I thought I would have:

R.E. Howard: Conan, as well some other Conan stories by randoms.

The Fafhrd and Grey Mouser series, all of them.

H.P. Lovecraft (I do play a lot of Call of Cthulhu these days)

Michael Moorcock - Iíve read pretty much everything, including the Elric and Hawkmoon cycles. One cycle thatís missing on the list is Corum (my go-to regerence for depicting high elf life), but nit dure those were already published when the appendix was written.

Tolkien. Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, the Silmarillion.

Jack Vance: a couple of stories.

Roger Zelazny: the first ďAmberĒ cycle. I could never get into the second one.

Now that I look at the list again, Iím surprised that Clark Ashton Smith is not on there.

Club Secretary of the Dragons on the Hill RPG Club of London, UK: http://dragonsonthehill.co.uk/.
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Returnip
Learned Scribe

204 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2020 :  10:51:27  Show Profile Send Returnip a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've only read Robert Ervin Howard's stories about Conan the Cimmerian (every single one, in their original edit, several times), and Tolkien's ring trilogy and the hobbit.

Robert E Howard is one of my favourite authors, but I'm rather picky with what I spend time on so that's why I haven't read a lot of other fantasy/sword and sorcery.

On the other hand you have different fingers.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 28 Dec 2020 :  13:46:28  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some Conan, Some Fafhrd & Gray Mouser, some H.P. Lovecraft, some Michael Moorcock's Elric, some Andre Norton but I'm not sure what anymore, Tolkien's Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, and Zelazny's Amber series.

That being said, there's a LOT of newer authors I'd add to that list (and by newer, I mean from the 60's to 90's, who have come to really establish themselves and now themselves are old).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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ElfBane
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Posted - 28 Dec 2020 :  14:53:21  Show Profile Send ElfBane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You need to read 'The Silmarillion'. I'm certainly hoping they bring it to the Big Screen. They could easily make 3 or 4 movies out of it. Plus the book is fun to read just see what jerks Elves can be. You also get to read a little about Galadriel, and her part in the rebellion.

Edited by - ElfBane on 28 Dec 2020 15:10:08
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Ayrik
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Posted - 28 Dec 2020 :  15:07:13  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think I've read books by most of those authors, some on that DMG list, some not. They're from a formative pre-RPGs era which is a little dated now, lol, some have aged into memorable fine vintages and some have soured into thoroughly obsolete tropes.

I'm not convinced the entire Silmarillion would translate well as screenplays. Some sections could make good standalone movies. But as a whole, the collected (and "unfinished") saga contains too many passages which are too disjointed and too contradictory in too many ways. And if it were made as written, start to finish, it would end up resembling more of a (fantastic) historical documentary than a character-driven plot-driven objective-driven entertainment narrative. It would be fascinating for those who like the lore but it would be unappealing to general audiences - meaning that it likely wouldn't get the people and the budget it deserves and thus would turn out badly.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 28 Dec 2020 15:18:16
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Dalor Darden
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Posted - 28 Dec 2020 :  16:40:37  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote

de Camp, L. Sprague: LEST DARKNESS FALL; THE FALLIBLE FIEND; et al.
Howard, R. E.: "Conan" series
Leiber, Fritz: "Fafhrd & Gray Mouser" series; et al.
Lovecraft, H. P.
Moorcock, Michael: STORMBRINGER; STEALER OF SOULS; "Hawkmoon" series (esp. the first three books)
Norton, Andre
Tolkien, J. R. R.: THE HOBBIT; "Ring trilogy"
Vance, Jack: THE EYES OF THE OVERWORLD; THE DYING EARTH; et al.
Zelazny, Roger: JACK OF SHADOWS; "Amber" series; et al.

I know for sure I've read all this; and several more by these various authors.

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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sleyvas
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Posted - 28 Dec 2020 :  18:15:21  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just curious though, without going into anyone that's appeared say in the last twenty years, who would YOU add to this list nowadays since that list was created over 40 years ago and the authors were old then? I would add don't list D&D authors unless it is to mention some series they wrote outside of D&D.

For instance, for me, psionics in a medieval setting was formatively set in play with the Deryni series of books (which also has our Catholic church in it but different countries) by Katherine Kurtz. Admittedly dated, but any realms lore lover will love how intricate the author is with tracking family lineages and numerous other facts across generations. There is no doubt that the Thieve's World series of short stories by multiple authors as a first instance of shared world building that was just well done. Though I haven't personally read them, I would say add Stephen King for his dark tower series, just because enough people have recommended them. Obviously the Song of Fire & Ice Series that Game of Thrones was built upon, as well as the series of books that the Witcher is based upon. Various works by C.J. Cherryh such as Rusalka and Chernevog. Lois McMaster Bujold's Curse of Chalion/Paladin of Souls/Hallowed Hunt are three separate books in the same world that could be read separately or together and were well done. Terry Brooks Shannara series was pretty good as well (possibly getting better in his later books). The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradly was excellent for its time. I'm not sure why it wasn't on the original list, but the works of C.S. Lewis in Narnia shouldn't be discounted, even if the heroes are children. I've only read the early Magician's series, but the works of Raymon E. Feist drew in many. Various works by Neil Gaiman would fit the bill, including things like Stardust.

Then there are several authors I've barely read, or read so long ago I barely remember the stories.... but I know they were formative for me, as well as a few that I've never read but heard so much raving that they should be mentioned. Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, Brandon Sanderson's works, various novels by Piers Anthony, David Eddings, Stephen R. Donaldson. Anne McAffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series are one series I never read, but apparently had a huge following. Even though they were known as game fiction writers, I would also mention Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman for producing several trilogies that were their own worlds.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Ayrik
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Canada
7356 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2020 :  20:36:17  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree, the Thieves' World anthologies were archetypical RPG fare, and their shared setting conceptually resembles Lankhmar in a lot of ways.
Though some of the authors subsequently migrated the setting into their own novels ... and changed many things while shifting onto some very different focus ... which I don't think would make it work very well as a D&D setting constructed around people, places, and events outside these novel narratives.

The Dragon Quintet is a collection of five novellas with a "dragon" theme. The last story (King Dragon by Swanwick) is especially superb.
It's an antifantasy story about a crashed iron dragon (a sort of combat aircraft) terrorizing a half-mortal "pilot" and his magical village. Set within a world suffering some sort of vaguely WWI/WWII fey conflict. It's very creative and I think it could inspire a fine setting for D&D gaming.

Lyndon's novels (Master of the Five Magics, Secret of the Sixth Magic, etc) could also make a fine D&D setting. Though one with a substantially reworked magic system, since these novels are structured around characters mastering "scientific" fundamentals of magic quite unlike anything in D&D rules.

The Legend of Nightfall and The Return of Nightfall by Reichert would also make a fine D&D setting. Again with a different magic system, one in which some people are born with intrinsic spell-like abilities (and in which evil "sorcerers" use magic by "extracting" and enslaving magical souls).

The Dragon and the Unicorn by Attanasio would make a rich (though unusual) sort of semi-historical Arthurian D&D setting.

Pratchett's Discworld might also make an interesting D&D campaign setting. Assuming anyone could impose coherent game rules onto such a bizarre, self-mocking, loosely unorganized mess.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 28 Dec 2020 20:52:36
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Returnip
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204 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2020 :  21:44:09  Show Profile Send Returnip a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

de Camp, L. Sprague



*shudder*

Just a little heads up to anyone who has read the Conan stories that were released in his name. They're not the same as Robert E Howard's stories. I recommend you get a hold of the original versions and read those instead.

On the other hand you have different fingers.
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Delnyn
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Posted - 02 Jan 2021 :  02:48:59  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
IIRC, Dying Earth gave D&D its spellcasting system with the "fire and forget" motif until 4th edition. Wasn't Vecna an intentional anagram of Vance?
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 02 Jan 2021 :  03:57:43  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Delnyn

IIRC, Dying Earth gave D&D its spellcasting system with the "fire and forget" motif until 4th edition.


I believe you are correct.

quote:
Originally posted by Delnyn

Wasn't Vecna an intentional anagram of Vance?



I had not heard that it was... But given that Gary Gygax did seem to like the anagrams, then I would not be surprised.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 02 Jan 2021 :  15:25:59  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Delnyn

IIRC, Dying Earth gave D&D its spellcasting system with the "fire and forget" motif until 4th edition. Wasn't Vecna an intentional anagram of Vance?



Just wondering, as I've heard of Jack Vance but never read anything about him. Compared to modern day novels, how well does this guy's work hold up? I say this because I've tried to go back and read some earlier works by Moorcock, Lieber, etc... and they were harder to keep me entertained so I'd eventually put them aside (as I would have expected... other authors took their base ideas and improved them over time).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Ayrik
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Posted - 02 Jan 2021 :  15:43:22  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Vance's fantasy is still good, I think. Although many of the fantasy concepts of that era have become very dated.

Equivalent to old sci-fi where people of the future have huge mechanical computers and vast libraries stored on films and tapes, where the once nearly imaginable notion of a machine which can talk or resemble a human is now rather uninteresting old trope.

[/Ayrik]
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 02 Jan 2021 :  15:52:59  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by Delnyn

IIRC, Dying Earth gave D&D its spellcasting system with the "fire and forget" motif until 4th edition. Wasn't Vecna an intentional anagram of Vance?



Just wondering, as I've heard of Jack Vance but never read anything about him. Compared to modern day novels, how well does this guy's work hold up? I say this because I've tried to go back and read some earlier works by Moorcock, Lieber, etc... and they were harder to keep me entertained so I'd eventually put them aside (as I would have expected... other authors took their base ideas and improved them over time).



For me, the Dying Earth books were enjoyable, though not something I've ever felt inclined to read a second time.

I've read the Lankhmar books more than once, though the last one is rather meh for me.

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Lord Karsus
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Posted - 04 Jan 2021 :  23:35:15  Show Profile Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Just curious though, without going into anyone that's appeared say in the last twenty years, who would YOU add to this list nowadays since that list was created over 40 years ago and the authors were old then? I would add don't list D&D authors unless it is to mention some series they wrote outside of D&D.

-I don't really follow the genre or anything but I feel like Ann Rice kind of established the whole "gothic vampire" thing that most D&D-esque vampires draw from.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 04 Jan 2021 :  23:49:01  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Just curious though, without going into anyone that's appeared say in the last twenty years, who would YOU add to this list nowadays since that list was created over 40 years ago and the authors were old then? I would add don't list D&D authors unless it is to mention some series they wrote outside of D&D.

-I don't really follow the genre or anything but I feel like Ann Rice kind of established the whole "gothic vampire" thing that most D&D-esque vampires draw from.



Other than playing up the sensual side of it more, I think Anne Rice was still drawing heavily on Bram Stoker.

...And having 100 page flashbacks within longer flashbacks, that's all her...

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 04 Jan 2021 23:49:49
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Returnip
Learned Scribe

204 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2021 :  11:09:10  Show Profile Send Returnip a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Just curious though, without going into anyone that's appeared say in the last twenty years, who would YOU add to this list nowadays since that list was created over 40 years ago and the authors were old then? I would add don't list D&D authors unless it is to mention some series they wrote outside of D&D.

-I don't really follow the genre or anything but I feel like Ann Rice kind of established the whole "gothic vampire" thing that most D&D-esque vampires draw from.



Other than playing up the sensual side of it more, I think Anne Rice was still drawing heavily on Bram Stoker.

...And having 100 page flashbacks within longer flashbacks, that's all her...



This. Bram Stoker was the creator of the aristocrat vampire, but Dracula was a unique specimen ("normal" vampires where more feral, like ghouls) who because of his upbringing and his discipline managed to maintain his composure and aristocratic style even after becoming infected. For some reason that image of vampires were the one that became popular, although in recent decades that has started to change as people rediscover other works and draw inspiration from them.

On a related note, I warmly recommend the miniseries Dracula on Netflix. It's three episodes, each of movie length.

On the other hand you have different fingers.

Edited by - Returnip on 05 Jan 2021 11:11:01
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