D&D General A shorter Appendix N

Lord Shark

Adventurer
Although, reflecting on it, the Earth person sent to fantasy world premise HAS also dropped off in popularity a lot since Tolkien reshaped the fantasy genre, which mostly happens to overlap with the time period since tabletop RPGs started being published.

In literature, maybe, but isekai manga and anime are still massively popular.
 

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Although, reflecting on it, the Earth person sent to fantasy world premise HAS also dropped off in popularity a lot since Tolkien reshaped the fantasy genre, which mostly happens to overlap with the time period since tabletop RPGs started being published.
The reason for that is that it's a literary device that's no longer needed most of the time.

Part of it is that fantasy is established enough that readers generally know what the rules are, and for what does have to be explained there are existing conventions for explaining it from within the world that have developed (the whole apprentice learning magic thing is basically a way of explaining the rules of magic, and through it usually a whole lot of the rules of the world as well, for example.)
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Finished reading:
Burroughs, Edgar Rice: A Princess of Mars; The Gods of Mars; The Warlord of Mars

And was pleasantly surprised how fun of a read they were (although I probably shouldn't have binged them quite so much - I think they would have benefited from being space out more).

They seem really different than to me than the ones on @Ralif Redhammer 's even shorter list in terms of their influence on the game. Is there an obvious direct mechanic / character option choice I'm missing? Or is it just the general S&S and other worldly vibe that was inspirational?

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It also seems really strange to me that Warlord of Mars, for example, was written only five years before Merritt's "Moon Pool" that I'm reading now.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Finished reading:


And was pleasantly surprised how fun of a read they were (although I probably shouldn't have binged them quite so much - I think they would have benefited from being space out more).

They seem really different than to me than the ones on @Ralif Redhammer 's even shorter list in terms of their influence on the game. Is there an obvious direct mechanic / character option choice I'm missing? Or is it just the general S&S and other worldly vibe that was inspirational?

---

It also seems really strange to me that Warlord of Mars, for example, was written only five years before Merritt's "Moon Pool" that I'm reading now.
I love that original trilogy. The books that follow continue to be quite fun for several more volumes, but eventually collapse in quality (sometime after 8 or 9, I think).

In terms of elements they contributed to D&D, I don't think there are a lot of direct steals, other than multi-armed White Apes (or Girallons, as they are later called in D&D). The idea of exploring ancient abandoned cities and the lightness labyrinths and tunnels beneath them definitely is common to both. The idea of a Hero being able to take on several Normal Men at a time is as much derived from John Carter as from Conan, I think.
 

Though it's unconfirmed, I strongly suspect that the cruel and spider-haunted city of Ghasta in A Fighting Man of Mars was an inspiration for the Drow.

And didn't original D&D have references to Tharks and other Martian creatures that would later be scrubbed?

Finished reading:


And was pleasantly surprised how fun of a read they were (although I probably shouldn't have binged them quite so much - I think they would have benefited from being space out more).

They seem really different than to me than the ones on @Ralif Redhammer 's even shorter list in terms of their influence on the game. Is there an obvious direct mechanic / character option choice I'm missing? Or is it just the general S&S and other worldly vibe that was inspirational?

---

It also seems really strange to me that Warlord of Mars, for example, was written only five years before Merritt's "Moon Pool" that I'm reading now.
 
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Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Though it's unconfirmed, I strongly suspect that the cruel and spider-haunted city of Ghasta in A Fighting Man of Mars was an inspiration for the Drow.

And didn't original D&D have references to Tharks and other Martian creatures that would later be scrubbed?
Yes, the original OD&D encounter tables for Desert (IIRC) do include at least a couple of Barsoomian creatures. At least until they almost immediately got a legal challenge from the Burroughs estate on their (now very rare) 1974 game Warriors of Mars, which also prompted them to scrub OD&D of Mars stuff.

There's also an early Strategic Review article (vol 1, #3, Autumn 1975) by Jim Ward titled "Deserted Cities of Mars" which is all about Barsoomian cities and buildings, with percentile tables for what kind of structures and areas they'll have. It got reprinted in Best of Dragon #1, which is where I first saw it, as a teenager.

Also, the D&D osquip is pretty much a Barsoomian ulsio with the serial numbers filed off.
Good spot!
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Yes, the original OD&D encounter tables for Desert (IIRC) do include at least a couple of Barsoomian creatures. At least until they almost immediately got a legal challenge from the Burroughs estate on their (now very rare) 1974 game Warriors of Mars, which also prompted them to scrub OD&D of Mars stuff.

Thanks for the lead! Here are the parts from OD&D's Underworld and Wilderness Adventures. I didn't see stats for them anywhere.

1649443041706.png
1649443147640.png
1649443101217.png
 
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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
There's also an early Strategic Review article (vol 1, #3, Autumn 1975) by Jim Ward titled "Deserted Cities of Mars" which is all about Barsoomian cities and buildings, with percentile tables for what kind of structures and areas they'll have. It got reprinted in Best of Dragon #1, which is where I first saw it, as a teenager.
And thanks for this lead too. It didn't have much (being a Strategic Review) ... but apparently put a good part of a page into artwork, at least if Best of Dragon was just reproducing the original.

1649444242133.png
 

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