Appendix N: Inspirational and Educational Reading - Page 2




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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Foster
    I've read a lot of these books, and have sitting on my shelf waiting to be read most of the rest.
    T. Foster, thanks for the thorough run-down!
    Quote Originally Posted by T. Foster
    This list is remarkable for its pulpiness -- most of the titles (with a couple key exceptions) a re short, action-packed, and distinctly "non-literary" in tone and subject matter. The list is as notable for what's missing (virtually the entire "adult fantasy" tradition, including such authors as Mervyn Peake, James Branch Cabell, E.R. Eddison, Clark Ashton Smith (which may be unintentional -- Rob Kuntz at very least was a huge CAS fan), etc.).
    I've said before how shocked I am that Clark Ashton Smith didn't get mentioned.
    Quote Originally Posted by T. Foster
    Poul Anderson, THE BROKEN SWORD - D&D's elves seemingly owe as much or more to this book as to Tolkein
    That didn't immediately strike me, but the elves of the story are incredibly nimble (high Dex).
    Quote Originally Posted by T. Foster
    John Bellairs, THE FACE IN THE FROST - the 1E DMG cites this book specifically for its D&D-ish magic (wizards study spell books to prepare specific spells, which then must be re-studied after use)
    You mean, "Vancian" magic might come from Bellairs, not Vance?

 

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmadsen
    Originally Posted by T. Foster
    John Bellairs, THE FACE IN THE FROST - the 1E DMG cites this book specifically for its D&D-ish magic (wizards study spell books to prepare specific spells, which then must be re-studied after use)
    You mean, "Vancian" magic might come from Bellairs, not Vance?
    No, it definitely comes from Vance. But Bellairs is cited (alongside Vance) in the 1E DMG as a "see also" source, because the magic in both books is similar. What's missing from either source is the idea of "memorizing" a large number of spells (the characters in both books seem to only memorize at most 2 or 3 spells at a time) and that "easier" spells may be memorized in greater quantity than "harder" spells (it's just less likely the caster will screw up when casting it).
    "AD&D is designed to be an amusing and diverting pastime, something which can fill a few hours or consume endless days, as the participants desire, but in no case something to be taken too seriously." - Gary Gygax (DMG, 1979)

    "There are people who regard the RPG as something more than an amusing game, more than a most entertaining hobby. They really do need to get a life" - Gary Gygax (EN World, 2004)

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  • #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Foster
    de Camp & Pratt, "Harold Shea" series - this series was the inspiration for AD&D's material spell components (sympathetic magic); the plot of the G series modules ("Against the Giants") was directly inspired by the first Harold Shea book (The Incomplete Enchanter); plus the irreverent and deliberately anachronistic tone of these books (the Giants speak like New York gangsters, etc.) seems influential on Gygax's occasional similarly irreverent tone
    No dark evles behind the scenes though, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Foster
    The list is as notable for what's missing (virtually the entire "adult fantasy" tradition, including such authors as Mervyn Peake, James Branch Cabell, E.R. Eddison, Clark Ashton Smith (which may be unintentional -- Rob Kuntz at very least was a huge CAS fan), etc.).
    What do you mean by the adult fantasy tradition?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voadam
    What do you mean by the adult fantasy tradition?
    I'll take a stab and guess that it's aimed at a more literary side of fantasy, that's a bit more "out there?" I dunno.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bagpuss
    You know Prince of Happiness got it right first time the rest of this thread is just filler.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince of Happiness
    I'll take a stab and guess that it's aimed at a more literary side of fantasy, that's a bit more "out there?" I dunno.
    Yeah, I mean the tradition of "highbrow literary fantasy" aimed at an adult readership mostly separate from (but occasionally overlapping with) the pulp "swords & sorcery" tradition. Back in the late 60s - early 70s there was a series from Ballantine Books edited by Lin Carter called "Adult Fantasy" that included works by the authors I mentioned, plus a handful of titles from Gygax's list -- Anderson's The Broken Sword, several volumes of Lord Dunsany, Fletcher Pratt's Blue Star (Tolkein wasn't included in the series proper but per Lin Carter would've been if he could've). See here for a complete list of titles in the series. Not to be confused with pornographic fantasy, an entirely separate sub-genre.

    In the "Swords and Sorcery ... in Wargaming!" article from Wargaming World magazine in 1974 (reprinted in Dungeon #112) where Gygax introduces/explains D&D he mentions that D&D draws more from pulp swords & sorcery than from adult fantasy, and that he found most of the books in Carter's series dry and boring (or words to that effect).
    "AD&D is designed to be an amusing and diverting pastime, something which can fill a few hours or consume endless days, as the participants desire, but in no case something to be taken too seriously." - Gary Gygax (DMG, 1979)

    "There are people who regard the RPG as something more than an amusing game, more than a most entertaining hobby. They really do need to get a life" - Gary Gygax (EN World, 2004)

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    Ah, I see it was a lot of what I had in the back of my mind: Fantasy stories in either a fantastic setting or time that is not necessarily adventure oriented, that covers a much broader scope of what is possible in the fantasy genre. I dig, I dig.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bagpuss
    You know Prince of Happiness got it right first time the rest of this thread is just filler.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Foster
    Lord Dunsany - another non-Tolkein source for elves; OD&D cites Dunsany for gnolls (spelled gnoles by Dunsany) but EGG has later claimed that Margaret St. Clair, not Dunsany, was the proximate source
    Neither of those gnolls was a hyena-man, though, right? One was a gnome-troll, right?

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    I haven't read the St. Clair story (though I believe you're correct that they aren't depicted as hyena-men there -- EGG has mentioned that as his own addition). Lord Dunsany's "How Nuth Would Have Practised His Art Upon the Gnoles" (which you can read here if you're interested) doesn't give any description at all of the gnoles' appearance or origin. The gnome-troll origin is mentioned in OD&D vol. II and cites Lord Dunsany (or, in later printings, "Lord Sunsany" ) -- I don't see any such thing in "How Nuth..." that suggests that, but perhaps they're mentioned and described thus in another story which I haven't yet read...
    "AD&D is designed to be an amusing and diverting pastime, something which can fill a few hours or consume endless days, as the participants desire, but in no case something to be taken too seriously." - Gary Gygax (DMG, 1979)

    "There are people who regard the RPG as something more than an amusing game, more than a most entertaining hobby. They really do need to get a life" - Gary Gygax (EN World, 2004)

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  • #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Foster
    Lord Dunsany's "How Nuth Would Have Practised His Art Upon the Gnoles" (which you can read here if you're interested) doesn't give any description at all of the gnoles' appearance or origin. The gnome-troll origin is mentioned in OD&D vol. II and cites Lord Dunsany (or, in later printings, "Lord Sunsany" ) -- I don't see any such thing in "How Nuth..." that suggests that, but perhaps they're mentioned and described thus in another story which I haven't yet read...
    Thanks for the link. From the story, it seems that the gnoles are certainly stealthy and seemingly strong and fast enough to catch and kill a man. I guess a gnole could be a small (by D&D standards) troll...
    Last edited by mmadsen; Thursday, 1st February, 2007 at 03:15 PM.

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