D&D General How many books/authors of the original AD&D Bibliography have you read? Do you feel you see D&D differently than people who have not read any?

JEB

Legend
No surprise they are not in N, neither are the Oz books, Grimm's Fairy Tales, and a whole host of other "fantasy" type books.
Fair point.

It was not - "I'm a kid and I somehow ended up in a fantasy land" - not ever until Wild Beyond the Witchlight really (imo).
The D&D cartoon - released four years later with oversight from Gygax - is about a group of kids who somehow ended up in a fantasy land. But I suppose that wasn't a game product. (Until 2006, anyway.)

The aforementioned Quag Keep - contemporary with Appendix N - also has more or less this premise, if with adults.
 

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Round about 12 of them. And yes, modern fantasy has changed, at least partially due to being influenced by D&D (ether directly, or indirectly via video games). Any more modern list would tend to become self-referential.

But what strikes me is what was omitted from that list. Some of which has survived better than stuff listed. No Lloyd Alexander, no C. S. Lewis, no Ursula Le Guin.

Of course, these days there is a lot more fantasy in other media: films, TV etc. Back then novels and comics where about the only source material.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
But what strikes me is what was omitted from that list. Some of which has survived better than stuff listed. No Lloyd Alexander, no C. S. Lewis, no Ursula Le Guin.
Which is one reason why that list doesn’t matter to me beyond it being a historical touchstone. A provider of context into the game’s origins.

I mean, it’s not like the original designers and players stopped reading or otherwise enjoying works of fiction- and history- that continued shaping their gaming.

That’s how MY interactions with reading/watching things interacted with gaming, after all. Ditto the other gamers I’ve encountered. Why should they be different?
 

Blue Orange

Gone to Texas
Which is one reason why that list doesn’t matter to me beyond it being a historical touchstone. A provider of context into the game’s origins.

I mean, it’s not like the original designers and players stopped reading or otherwise enjoying works of fiction- and history- that continued shaping their gaming.

That’s how MY interactions with reading/watching things interacted with gaming, after all. Ditto the other gamers I’ve encountered. Why should they be different?
Right, it's historical. That's why the 5e Appendix E is different, and if there's still D&D in 50 years, the 9e Appendix 20 will be different from that.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
D&D bards were created by Doug Schwegman in Strategic Review Vol. II, Issue 1, which came out in 1976 during the OD&D era. Bards were adopted and adapted by Gygax in the 1e PH but they did not originate with him.
Sure. But...

A) That's at least three years of Bards being a thing in D&D prior to Appendix N getting written.
B) Anderson and Wellman are both clearly among authors Gygax loved, and those stories were no-doubt well known. I can't document at the moment for certain that Gygax read them, but I'd be surprised if he hadn't.

Even though Gygax didn't come up with the original concept of bards in D&D, he did adopt and flesh them out, and Cappen Varra, Silver John, and Kardios seem like the three major D&D-style swords & sorcery (well, spooky folklore adventure, for SJ) protagonist bards.

Fflewddur Fflam from Prydain predates D&D, but is a bit more tragicomic sidekick (though he implies the existence of and speaks of more serious and powerful bards in the setting).

Gygax does make a point by the 1e PH Bard of trying to tie the class in somewhat to historical (or quasi-historic, with the Welsh Eisteddfod harking back to 12th century practice, but the 18th century revival being full of dubious scholarship and inspired in part by outright frauds like Edward "Iolo Morganwg" Williams) Celtic bards or poets. It's a little ironic that Gary went to Irish for a lot of the nomenclature of the bardic colleges and instruments, given that in ancient Ireland musicians were actually lower class, compared to the exalted Filídh, who were poets, genealogists, historians, lorekeepers, and magical prophets (practicing Imbas) in service to kings.

My theory may be wrong, but it really seems weird to me that Gygax could be such a fan of Anderson and Wellman but NOT be influenced by their bard characters in writing the AD&D one. Especially since they're roguish, clever warriors, but also know some magical lore, which again corresponds closely.
 
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Voadam

Legend
Offutt- Short stories in Swords Against Darkness and in Thieves' World. I quite liked Hanse "Shadowspawn" in the TW books, but I don't think Offut's that great. Still, his bits in the TW anthology are pretty good and worth some D&D inspiration.

All right, I need to add him to the list of those I have read then if he wrote the Shadowspawn stories in TW. Early on I never really paid much attention to many author names in the anthologies I read, and Thieves World in particular was a huge shared world anthology series.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
All right, I need to add him to the list of those I have read then if he wrote the Shadowspawn stories in TW. Early on I never really paid much attention to many author names in the anthologies I read, and Thieves World in particular was a huge shared world anthology series.
Yeah, lots of big names in TW, and some lesser ones.

As I recall Offutt also wrote at least one spin-off novel about Hanse Shadowspawn, though I haven't read it and I remember the reviews being negative.


He also edited the Swords Against Darkness series of anthologies in the 70s.

He also wrote a lot of erotic fiction under pseudonyms for cash, and his son wrote a pretty strange and touching piece about his father's life and work for the New York Times back in 2015.



"My father, Andrew Jefferson Offutt V, grew up in a log cabin in Taylorsville, Ky. The house had 12-inch-thick walls with gun ports to defend against attackers: first Indians, then soldiers during the Civil War. At 12, Dad wrote a novel of the Old West. He taught himself to type with the Columbus method — find it and land on it — using one finger on his left hand and two fingers on his right. Dad typed swiftly and with great passion. In this fashion, he eventually wrote and published more than 400 books. Two were science fiction and 24 were fantasy, written under his own name; the rest were pornography, using 17 pseudonyms.
In the mid-1960s, Dad purchased several porn novels through the mail. My mother recalls him reading them with disgust — not because of the content, but because of how poorly they were written. He hurled a book across the room and told her he could do better. Mom suggested he do so. According to her, the tipping point for Dad’s full commitment to porn, five years later, was my orthodontic needs.
When I was a kid, my teeth were a terrible mess: overlapping, crooked and protruding like fangs. Mom wanted to work part time and pay for braces. Dad suggested that if he quit his job as a salesman and she typed all his final drafts, they could finance my dental care. Over cocktails in the woods of eastern Kentucky, they formed a partnership to mass-produce porn.

Many of the early publishers used a “house name,” a pseudonym shared by several writers. It concealed identity, which writers preferred, while allowing the publisher to give the illusion of a single prolific author. This was an early attempt at branding, with proven success in other genres: westerns, romance and mystery. Dad didn’t mind. He had experimented with a literary mask at the University of Louisville, using different names for articles in the school paper, as well as in his own short fiction. A pseudonym for pornography provided literary freedom while also protecting the family’s reputation in our conservative Appalachian community.

My father’s first published novel was “Bondage Babes,” released by Greenleaf under the name Alan Marshall in 1968. His pay was $600. The plot was a clever conceit. Someone had murdered a model for a bondage shoot, and the model’s sister was investigating the crime by posing as a model herself, which allowed for soft-core descriptions of restrained women. Greenleaf published his next novel, “Sex Toy,” a book Dad referred to as “sensitive,” under the name J. X. Williams, followed by three other books under three other names.
His primary pseudonym, John Cleve, first appeared on “Slave of the Sudan,” an imitation of Victorian pornography so precisely executed that the editor suspected my father of plagiarism. Dad found this extremely flattering. He concocted his pen name from John Cleland, author of “Fanny Hill,” considered the first erotic novel published in English. Over time, John Cleve evolved into more than a mere pseudonym. Dad regarded John Cleve as his alter ego, a separate entity, the persona who wrote porn. Dad was adamant that he did not have 17 pen names. Dad had John Cleve, to whom he referred in the third person. It was John Cleve who had 16 pseudonyms, in addition to his own wardrobe, stationery and signature."
 
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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
No surprise they are not in N, neither are the Oz books, Grimm's Fairy Tales, and a whole host of other "fantasy" type books. D&D was not "any and all fantasy you can think of" - it was (and is) a very specific type of fantasy - rough people (mostly men) doing rough things. It was not - "I'm a kid and I somehow ended up in a fantasy land" - not ever until Wild Beyond the Witchlight really (imo).

Also no surprise they are not in E, for the reasons already mentioned.
Well, Dungeonland/The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror, later published for AD&D as EX1 and EX2, were both based on sections of Gygax's Castle Greyhawk dungeons. None of Carroll's Wonderland books or poems are mentioned in the DMG.

He also had a section based on King Kong, which is also not mentioned in the appendix.

I don't think Appendix N is meant to be "here's everything that ever influenced me," so much as a recommended reading list.
 


I really dig the Shudder Mountains setting. It's definitely a unique non-Medieval Europe fantasy.

Goodman Games based a whole setting on these stories -- the Shudder Mountains for Dungeon Crawl Classics.

I agree, it's a deliberate choice that Appendix N doesn't really contain any "children's" books, other than The Hobbit. Moldvay's list does, and I think that speaks to how TSR conceptualized Basic D&D and AD&D back then.

No surprise they are not in N, neither are the Oz books, Grimm's Fairy Tales, and a whole host of other "fantasy" type books. D&D was not "any and all fantasy you can think of" - it was (and is) a very specific type of fantasy - rough people (mostly men) doing rough things. It was not - "I'm a kid and I somehow ended up in a fantasy land" - not ever until Wild Beyond the Witchlight really (imo).

Back then I wouldn't have known a lot of the names of the authors in Thieves World, but reading them today, dang, does that series have some heavy hitters.

All right, I need to add him to the list of those I have read then if he wrote the Shadowspawn stories in TW. Early on I never really paid much attention to many author names in the anthologies I read, and Thieves World in particular was a huge shared world anthology series.

After reading Chris Offutt's book, I'll admit I have a hard time going back and reading Andrew J. Offutt's works. It doesn't paint a particularly kind picture of the man.

He also wrote a lot of erotic fiction under pseudonyms for cash, and his son wrote a pretty strange and touching piece about his father's life and work for the New York Times back in 2015.


[/ISPOILER]
 

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