Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.

D&D Dungeon Masters Guide, Appendix N: Inspirational and Educational Reading

(This was originally on my site as a static page, but those don't get added the tags page, so I moved it here as a post.)

From the AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide (1979), by Gary Gygax.

APPENDIX N: INSPIRATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL READING

Inspiration for all of 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 me 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 recommand all their fantasy writing to you. From such sources, as well as just about any other imaginative writing or screenplay you will be able to pluck kernels from which 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, Fredric.

  • Burroughs, Edgar Rice. “Pellucidar” Series; Mars Series; Venus Series

  • Carter, Lin: “World's End” Series

  • de Camp, L. Sprague. LEST DARKNESS FALL; FALLIBLE FIEND; et al.

  • de Camp & Prat. “Harold Shea” Series; 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.

  • Merrit, 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 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, Manly 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. Merrit; 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.


RuneQuest 2E also had an Appendix N, apparently earlier.

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