My Appendix N – Part I: Fantasy Essentials

For those who do not know, Appendix N was a list of inspirations and sources compiled by Gary Gygax in the Dungeon Masters Guide of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1979). If you were curious to read Gygax’s list without purchasing the DMG, you can find a copy here.

When it comes to role-playing, we all have in mind tropes, styles and archetypes that are not always common to our own table. I guess if this is the reason why D&D over time has diverged from its gonzo and sword & sorcery origins to become a dull soup of disparate inspirations, which has now become a full fledged genre in its own right.

As a referee, I often found that I took these inspirations for granted, only to find a table that did not have the references to understand what setting I was proposing to them.

This post will be divided into at least two parts, fantasy and science fiction. But I may expand it into other genres. Here in the meantime is the first part.
FictionAnderson, Poul. The Broken Sword.
Bradley, Marion Zimmer. Darkover Series. (I read this before abuse allegations were public. I don’t endorse Bradley’s works anymore)
Burroughs, Edgar Rice. John Carter of Mars.
China, Miéville. Bas Lag Trilogy.
Ende, Michael. The Endless Story.
Hobb, Robin. Liveship Traders Trilogy.
Howard, Robert E. Conan The Barbarian.
Howard, Robert E. Kull of Valusia.
Kerr, Katharine. Deverry Cycle.
Le Guin, Ursula K. Annals of the Western Shore.
Le Guin, Ursula K. The Earthsea Cycle.
Lovecraft, Howard Phillips. The Dream Cycle.
Moorcock, Michael. Elric di Melniboné.
Moore, C.L. Jirel of Joiry.
Pullman, Philip. His Dark Materials.
Smith, Clark Ashton. Zotique.
Vance, Jack. The Dying Earth.
Zelazny, Roger. The Chronicles of Amber.
MythologyAnonymous. The Mabinogion.
Anonymous. The Nibelungenlied.
Anonymous. The Poetic Edda.
Apollodorus. The Library.
Hesiod. Theogony.
Homer. Iliad and Odyssey.
Snorri, Sturluson. The Prose Edda
Anonymous. Beowulf.
Legendary SagasSaga of Ragnar Lodbrok.
Saga of Oddr the Archer.
Saga of Egill One-Hand.
Arthurian CycleMallory, Thomas. La Morthe d’Arthur.
Monmouth, Geoffrey of. Historia Regum Brittaniae.

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