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D&D General If D&D were created today, what would it look like?

I think this might relate to what I see a a major difference between our timeline and this hypothetical one: would dungeon crawling as a game structure exist without DnD? Every alternate path to DnD I've seen in this thread doesn't suggest dungeons as a major component of the game.

CYOA would focus on story. LARP would focus on talking over fighting. Wargames would focus on set-piece battles. Video games would (and still do) tend toward fairly linear encounter paths. You might get the trappings of a Cavern of Wonders, but the old-school rpg feel of meticulously working through a hazard-filled space while making sure you have enough torches seems to be a very DnD-based trope.
Agree dungeon-crawling would definitely not exist. In this world it would probably never, ever exist.

As such it probably wouldn't be called Dungeons and Dragons. Tombs and Terrors or Castles and Chaos something maybe. Trap-filled tombs and the like would certainly exist, but they'd probably be very small in general, a few rooms. The whole idea of this gigantic, ever-expanding, multi-level dungeon seems to be pretty much straight out of the heads of Gygax and Arneson - and the technologies of the time, particularly graph paper. Note that even in RPGs not directly inspired by D&D they're extremely rare.
 

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Agree dungeon-crawling would definitely not exist. In this world it would probably never, ever exist.

As such it probably wouldn't be called Dungeons and Dragons. Tombs and Terrors or Castles and Chaos something maybe. Trap-filled tombs and the like would certainly exist, but they'd probably be very small in general, a few rooms. The whole idea of this gigantic, ever-expanding, multi-level dungeon seems to be pretty much straight out of the heads of Gygax and Arneson - and the technologies of the time, particularly graph paper. Note that even in RPGs not directly inspired by D&D they're extremely rare.
I read the premise of the thread as the first ttrpg coming out ion 2021, and it being called Dungeons & Dragons, but there's a couple assumptions in there. Not the least is that it's a fantasy game (no particular reason for the first ttrpg to be fantasy-based, especially if it comes out in 2021 - sci-fi and superheroes are at least as likely if not more likely.)

'Dungeons' as a place where adventures/combat might take place? Sure. And the alliteration in the name makes it catchy. But dungeon crawling, megadungeons, careful resource and inventory management, stuff like that? I don't want to say never, but... pretty close to that.
 

I read the premise of the thread as the first ttrpg coming out ion 2021, and it being called Dungeons & Dragons, but there's a couple assumptions in there. Not the least is that it's a fantasy game (no particular reason for the first ttrpg to be fantasy-based, especially if it comes out in 2021 - sci-fi and superheroes are at least as likely if not more likely.)

'Dungeons' as a place where adventures/combat might take place? Sure. And the alliteration in the name makes it catchy. But dungeon crawling, megadungeons, careful resource and inventory management, stuff like that? I don't want to say never, but... pretty close to that.
I think careful resource/inventory management is possible but I think it'd be a lot more function-oriented than that 1980s-1990s inventory management we had, like, we'd have better rules for using up rope, torches, rations etc. rather than the vague and rarely-referred to stuff in most RPGs not called Torchbearer.

And yes I strongly suspect if it wasn't fantasy, and it probably wouldn't be, I think superheroes would be mostly likely. Probably with licensed characters, then going on to original ones not even as rules in the main book, but then boom popularity explosion and the idea is out there.

And yeah fair enough on the name, I think it can work just because of alliteration and rescuing people from the dungeon of the evil emperor (which will be even bigger in this) and so on. So objection retracted. But yes big-ass "dungeons" won't be a thing. I think eventually someone will make an adventure set in massive underground ruins, but they'll be much more specific and purposeful, like an actual structure, very much unlike that "LOL RANDOM" factor of a lot of early dungeons IRL.
 

We might still be in agreement. I am envisioning a Warhammer 40k without any D&D influence and without any Warhammer Fantasy Battle influence. I think it is possible for Warhammer 40k to come about without either. Of course there would be some changes to it, but I don't think they are so extreme we can no longer recognise it in comparison to Warhammer 40k.

I'm imagining a continuing Asgard miniatures here, with Bryan Ansell and Rick Priestly continuing to make sci-fi rulesets for the miniatures. The name of the game would be different, it would likely be "Rogue Trader 40,000" instead of Warhammer 40,000, and it would lack Orks (Space Orcs), Eldar (Space Elves), and Squats (Space Dwarves). But while those are loved aspects of the setting (well, maybe not Squats), they are not intrinsic to Warhammer 40k.

Some of the big influences on 40k are from Dune and 2000AD. Find any panel from Nemesis the Warlock and you'll see it dripping in what would become 40k terminology:

Possibly more interesting than Orks and Eldar, is that it might have been a 40k without Chaos, since this does trace its origins to Moorcock via DnD. Without DnD, the inquisitors would just be hunting alien threats. They do that in real world 40k, of course, but this always feels secondary to the primary threat of the Chaos gods.
 

Scribe

Hero
Possibly more interesting than Orks and Eldar, is that it might have been a 40k without Chaos, since this does trace its origins to Moorcock via DnD. Without DnD, the inquisitors would just be hunting alien threats. They do that in real world 40k, of course, but this always feels secondary to the primary threat of the Chaos gods.
Moorcocks Law/Chaos was pre-DnD no?
 


JEB

Adventurer
We might still be in agreement. I am envisioning a Warhammer 40k without any D&D influence and without any Warhammer Fantasy Battle influence. I think it is possible for Warhammer 40k to come about without either. Of course there would be some changes to it, but I don't think they are so extreme we can no longer recognise it in comparison to Warhammer 40k.

I'm imagining a continuing Asgard miniatures here, with Bryan Ansell and Rick Priestly continuing to make sci-fi rulesets for the miniatures. The name of the game would be different, it would likely be "Rogue Trader 40,000" instead of Warhammer 40,000, and it would lack Orks (Space Orcs), Eldar (Space Elves), and Squats (Space Dwarves). But while those are loved aspects of the setting (well, maybe not Squats), they are not intrinsic to Warhammer 40k.

Some of the big influences on 40k are from Dune and 2000AD. Find any panel from Nemesis the Warlock and you'll see it dripping in what would become 40k terminology:

I argue the look and feel of the Imperium still comes about without D&D. Because that has it's roots in 2000 AD instead. With this in mind, at Asgard miniatures, you have another miniatures sculptor Jes Goodwin. If you are unfamiliar with Jes Goodwin, he is the designer of the Space Marine amongst too many others to name.

So I think you get a miniatures sci-fi game with both the dark tone of the Imperium and the Space Marines at it's front and centre. The nature of the alien threats they fight becomes different with no D&D or Fantasy Battle, but everything else remains very recognisable.

The people who created 40k were making sci-fi miniatures and games before Warhammer Fantasy Battle was created, and their influences would still be there even without D&D. So I think this game comes about regardless if there is a Warhammer Fantasy Battle or not.

And then, presuming Space Marines are as popular in the alternate timeline as they are in ours, the company grows and seeks to expand into other ranges of miniatures.
It's certainly possible there would be a game with some very broad resemblance to Warhammer 40K in this timeline, you make a compelling argument there. But I still doubt we'd see a fantasy analogue, considering how much 40K has overtaken Warhammer Fantasy in popularity within our history. Plus, this is likely a world where SF is more dominant in the tabletop gaming space to start with.

That doesn't mean, however, that this Warhammer 40K equivalent wouldn't exert some influence on the early, SF-inspired RPG industry. But its influence would not include anything that Warhammer itself drew from D&D.

Now, I am much less invested in the history of Blizzard than I am Games Workshop. I think it is known that those at Blizzard at the time were big fans of Games Workshop, so I think Starcraft comes about if 40k comes about. It doesn't seem to be an incredible stretch that fantasy versions of the games might arise from them, (simply the other way round to how it was in real life), ableit fantasy without D&D and Tolkien tropes.
I'm still doubting this. Blizzard went through two Warcraft games before they did Starcraft, so if you delete Warcraft they probably never get around to Starcraft. (Heck, they may never even become that prominent of a company, since their third pillar, Diablo, is extremely D&D-inspied.) Even if they did create Starcraft, if the Warhammer 40K analog in this timeline has no fantasy equivalent to inspire them, they wouldn't be likely to come up with Warcraft on their own.
 

JEB

Adventurer
I read the premise of the thread as the first ttrpg coming out ion 2021, and it being called Dungeons & Dragons, but there's a couple assumptions in there. Not the least is that it's a fantasy game (no particular reason for the first ttrpg to be fantasy-based, especially if it comes out in 2021 - sci-fi and superheroes are at least as likely if not more likely.)
I was under the impression, as far as the premise of the thread, that we were talking about a D&D equivalent (i.e. a fantasy RPG) in 2021, but not necessarily a world where RPGs as a whole aren't invented until 2021. I think it's pretty likely RPGs would have been invented at some point before now, likely owing to CYOA and PC adventure games as previously discussed. If we're going with the idea that D&D AND RPGs aren't invented until 2021, that's a much different line of speculation, because we have to systematically remove anything else that could have inspired the RPG concept...

Anyway, I'd like to agree that this alternate timeline would have superhero RPGs, due to the MCU etc., but we have a surprising lack of prominent superhero RPGs in our own timeline.
 

I was under the impression, as far as the premise of the thread, that we were talking about a D&D equivalent (i.e. a fantasy RPG) in 2021, but not necessarily a world where RPGs as a whole aren't invented until 2021. I think it's pretty likely RPGs would have been invented at some point before now, likely owing to CYOA and PC adventure games as previously discussed. If we're going with the idea that D&D AND RPGs aren't invented until 2021, that's a much different line of speculation, because we have to systematically remove anything else that could have inspired the RPG concept...

Anyway, I'd like to agree that this alternate timeline would have superhero RPGs, due to the MCU etc., but we have a surprising lack of prominent superhero RPGs in our own timeline.
I'm just going with the question as laid out in the first post.
 

JEB

Adventurer
I'm just going with the question as laid out in the first post.
Huh, wow, the first post does propose that RPGs were never invented either. I missed that all this time. That is a much, much tougher question.

Well, for starters, that knocks CYOA and adventure PC games out of the equation as a direct inspiration. Those peaked in the 1980s and 1990s. And I guess for some reason, then, no equivalent to RPGs ever pops up in the video game space either. They stay either focused on action games, or looser adventure/interactive fiction games, never coalescing into the RPG concept. Miniatures wargames and board games somehow never spawn RPG equivalents before 2021 either.

Honestly, if RPGs haven't happened by 2021, I'm not sure they're going to in any form we remotely recognize. More likely it'd just be some form of online LARPing with a heavy action video game influence, maybe translated into a home board game version (that's really just a party game with prompts).

(To be honest, I think the timeline where just D&D is deleted has more to chew on...)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
we would have no roguelikes in this world as a consequence?
Actually we probably would in one sense; in that Colossal Caverns (a.k.a. Advent), the first text-based adventure, was originally designed without much if any reference to D&D. It was the writer's attempts to mimic and fantasize exploration of some real-world caverns near his home. (Wikipedia can tell you more on this)

Subsequent expansions and refinements very much did adapt from D&D even according to those who wrote said expansions, but the original may well have happened without D&D ever existing; and as Advent is seen as the progenitor of all roguelikes, in a non-D&D (or non-RPG) world roguelikes might very well still exist.
 

Actually we probably would in one sense; in that Colossal Caverns (a.k.a. Advent), the first text-based adventure, was originally designed without much if any reference to D&D. It was the writer's attempts to mimic and fantasize exploration of some real-world caverns near his home. (Wikipedia can tell you more on this)

Subsequent expansions and refinements very much did adapt from D&D even according to those who wrote said expansions, but the original may well have happened without D&D ever existing; and as Advent is seen as the progenitor of all roguelikes, in a non-D&D (or non-RPG) world roguelikes might very well still exist.
they would likely end up every different.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Huh, wow, the first post does propose that RPGs were never invented either. I missed that all this time. That is a much, much tougher question.

Well, for starters, that knocks CYOA and adventure PC games out of the equation as a direct inspiration. Those peaked in the 1980s and 1990s.
While they may have peaked in the 80s and 90s, both existed independent of D&D (or any RPG) in the 70s. Someone upthread told us that the idea of CYOA started around 1970 - well pre-dating D&D - and Wikipedia tells me the first text-based adventure game also came about independent of D&D though at around the same time (mid 70s).

Either one could have been the seed from which RPGs eventually grew in some way or other, with the only question being at what point and in what form does the leap from paper (CYOA) and-or screen (roguelike) to tabletop occur.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
they would likely end up every different.
Maybe. Original Advent already has the following roguelike ideas:

--- you play till you die, then you start over - no save-and-respawns
--- exploration-based
--- site-based
--- turn-based (i.e. not real-time)

These are about all the tech of the day would accommodate. Advances in technology would have soon allowed for more random generation of sites, more options for the player's "character", and a move beyond straight text into first ASCII display, then full-colour graphics. And as the first Advent had already set something of a fantasy tone, it's not unreasonable to think roguelikes might not have evolved all that very differently to what they actually did.
 

Yes, but it was because of it's inclusion in DnD that it became an inherent part of the Warhammer cosmology. If they were making a sci-fi game in Nottingham in the 80s without any DnD influence, I don't think they would be drawing from the Elric books for the setting.
See, I don't agree, @turnip_farmer and I think to make this claim you need a bit more evidence.

Why?

Because Warhammer is far MORE Moorcock-influenced than D&D, and the influence shows a far deeper familiarity with Moorcock's work than D&D, and further, Michael Moorcock was really big in UK fantasy AND prog rock/metal (he used to play with Hawkwind sometimes, helped write their lyrics, and also wrote three tracks for Blue Oyster Cult) at the time Warhammer was being created. Also if you're not both British and in at least your 40s, you obviously can't be expected to know this kind of thing, but also probably shouldn't be making sweeping statements about Moorcock's influence on GW that way.

I would say the influence is extremely heavy.

It's not just Elric.

It's everything Moorcock had written at that time. Hawkmoon. Erekose. Corum. Nomad on the Timestreams. von Bek. Dancers at the end of Time. Other random short stories. Even some of the Jerry Cornelius stuff.

I've read most of this stuff in my teens and the influence on Warhammer, both Fantasy and 40K, was absolutely truly vast. Incalculable. It's much bigger than Moorcock's influence on D&D, and it also covers a ton of stuff that wasn't influenced at all by Moorcock in D&D. I can give you examples if you really need them, but unless you've read Moorcock beyond Elric, I don't think they'll make much sense.

Warhammer won't exist as we know it without D&D because the money from D&D was fundamental to the success early GW had. Not only would they not quite have had the same ideas, but they couldn't have expanded as fast. I mean, I'm so old, my first D&D books were indeed from a GW shop. But they were hugely influenced by Moorcock, gigantically. Moorcock knows it by the way, and isn't very impressed with them. He's made an analogy to the "stew thieves" Pratchett has spoken about. -i.e. there's a big pot of stew eternally going, and if you put something in, like a dead pigeon, you can get a bowl of stew or two. Pratchett talked about how some people only take from the stew, they don't add to it, and Moorcock feels GW fall into that category.

It's also worth noting that, early on, if anything, the influence of Moorcock and Tolkien (and renaissance history) was much, much heavier than D&D on GW in creative terms re: Fantasy. And 40K has a ton of Moorcock influence that I would still be there without D&D. I don't think Law and Chaos in Warhammer comes from D&D, it's no much like how it is in D&D, whereas it's almost exactly like it is in Moorcock - Chaos even has exactly the same symbol, for example!

So whilst I think Fantasy Battle and 40K would be different, I think in a lot of ways they'd be pretty similar, and I think real "no D&D" impact would be that GW would have a lot more difficulty getting "up to speed" financially in the 1980s.

Sorry for the Moorcock/GW-related TED talk.
 

JEB

Adventurer
While they may have peaked in the 80s and 90s, both existed independent of D&D (or any RPG) in the 70s. Someone upthread told us that the idea of CYOA started around 1970 - well pre-dating D&D - and Wikipedia tells me the first text-based adventure game also came about independent of D&D though at around the same time (mid 70s).

Either one could have been the seed from which RPGs eventually grew in some way or other, with the only question being at what point and in what form does the leap from paper (CYOA) and-or screen (roguelike) to tabletop occur.
CYOA actually started in 1976, the book was simply written in 1970. And yep, text adventures date to the 1970s as well.

But there's the problem. If we're going with the very concept of RPGs not emerging until 2021... what the heck took it so long, with so many potential starting points in the intervening 47 years? And some of those influences came and went during that period. CYOA peaked in the 1980s and largely died out in the 1990s, and somehow didn't spawn RPGs; adventure games had much the same trajectory and also somehow didn't spawn RPGs. SF miniatures wargames, even rough analogues to stuff like Warhammer 40K may have become popular in the 1980s or 1990s... and they didn't spawn RPGs either. Neither did video games. So we're now left with strictly contemporary influences, because all the other contenders had their chance and, for some inexplicable reason, never considered it. It seems reasonable to assume that they wouldn't suddenly consider it now, either, so it seems like the source would have to be some indie-minded upstarts on the fringes of existing hobbies... rather like Arneson and Gygax were in 1974.

It's not an unanswerable question, but it's much tougher than just deleting D&D itself. First, you have to delete not just D&D, but RPGs as a concept from the last 47 years of history. Then, you have to try and figure out the closest thing to RPGs you can get from what's left, excluding any contender who had their chance in the last 47 years and didn't take said chance.
 
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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
But there's the problem. If we're going with the very concept of RPGs not emerging until 2021... what the heck took it so long, with so many potential starting points in the intervening 47 years? And some of those influences came and went during that period. CYOA peaked in the 1980s and largely died out in the 1990s, and somehow didn't spawn RPGs; adventure games had much the same trajectory and also somehow didn't spawn RPGs. SF miniatures wargames, even rough analogues to stuff like Warhammer 40K may have become popular in the 1980s or 1990s... and they didn't spawn RPGs either.
You're right that there's quite a few possible jumping-off points. Here's a short list (which people are welcome to add to, it's not complete by any means):

CYOA books and attempts to make such things live-playable
Fantasy novels e.g. LotR
Text-based computer games (Advent)
===> ASCII-based computer games (Rogue)
===> Graphics-based computer games (roguelikes)
[===> Multi-player roguelikes]*
Wargames (tabletop historical re-creations)
===> Wargames (tabletop but non-historical)
===> Wargames (minis-based a la Warhammer)
===> Wargames (live-action re-creations)
===> Other historical re-creations and the SCA
Braunstein
===> Fantasy-based LARP* and - again - the SCA

The two I've marked with '*' are I think the most likely seeds.

It's just two short-ish jumps from fantasy-based LARP to TTRPGing: the concept of a continuing story involving the same characters, and someone codifying it into a tabletop form so these characters can continue to be played when it's 20 below outside on a stiff nor'easter.

It's an even shorter jump from multi-player roguelikes to TTRPGs. In reality multi-player roguelikes never took off that I know of, but had D&D never come about I think this concept might have received a lot more attention from programmers. Once there, it's a very short jump from a co-operative version of that to a TTRPG: all it needs is someone to codify what the program does into written-out game rules to take the computer out of the equation.
 

Coroc

Hero
Let’s say D&D wasn’t invented yet, and let’s assume RPGs didn’t get created yet either for the sake of argument. If the game were to be created today, what would it look like and how would it be different from the white box?

I think the obvious one would be presentation. With modern computers, publishing software, and access to freelancers, I think the game would be presented fairly professionally.

I also think it would be a full game, rather than have add on references as the white box was in reference to Chainmail.

Concept wise, the classes and races would be pretty similar. It’s easy to call them primitive from today’s standards, but if it were a new concept that came out today, I don’t see that changing. After all, the concepts and ideas are based off of imagination, not technology, and thus would be close to the same.

Then I also think it would be presented a bit more inclusive, as our views as a society now are much different than 1974.

Let’s say D&D wasn’t invented yet, and let’s assume RPGs didn’t get created yet either for the sake of argument. If the game were to be created today, what would it look like and how would it be different from the white box?

I think the obvious one would be presentation. With modern computers, publishing software, and access to freelancers, I think the game would be presented fairly professionally.

I also think it would be a full game, rather than have add on references as the white box was in reference to Chainmail.

Concept wise, the classes and races would be pretty similar. It’s easy to call them primitive from today’s standards, but if it were a new concept that came out today, I don’t see that changing. After all, the concepts and ideas are based off of imagination, not technology, and thus would be close to the same.

Then I also think it would be presented a bit more inclusive, as our views as a society now are much different than 1974.
Your question is quite senseless, all of the nowadays "improvements" still use the original as a baseline.
what would you like to hear?
If lord of the rings would be written today, would Frodo be a female tiefling and Gandalf a person of color?
If d&d would been created today it would be only half as exiting and wondrous to me than it was back in my youth.
I personally was also never offended by any stereotype or other -ism in it because i do not intermix it with any of my liberal and tolerant RL views in any way.
The same why i would not promote killing people and taking their stuff IRL just because my fav RPG has these elements.
 

JEB

Adventurer
You're right that there's quite a few possible jumping-off points. Here's a short list (which people are welcome to add to, it's not complete by any means):

CYOA books and attempts to make such things live-playable
Fantasy novels e.g. LotR
Text-based computer games (Advent)
===> ASCII-based computer games (Rogue)
===> Graphics-based computer games (roguelikes)
[===> Multi-player roguelikes]*
Wargames (tabletop historical re-creations)
===> Wargames (tabletop but non-historical)
===> Wargames (minis-based a la Warhammer)
===> Wargames (live-action re-creations)
===> Other historical re-creations and the SCA
Braunstein
===> Fantasy-based LARP* and - again - the SCA

The two I've marked with '*' are I think the most likely seeds.

It's just two short-ish jumps from fantasy-based LARP to TTRPGing: the concept of a continuing story involving the same characters, and someone codifying it into a tabletop form so these characters can continue to be played when it's 20 below outside on a stiff nor'easter.

It's an even shorter jump from multi-player roguelikes to TTRPGs. In reality multi-player roguelikes never took off that I know of, but had D&D never come about I think this concept might have received a lot more attention from programmers. Once there, it's a very short jump from a co-operative version of that to a TTRPG: all it needs is someone to codify what the program does into written-out game rules to take the computer out of the equation.
Right, this thread has gone through a number of these, all excellent candidates. In a timeline where the only change is D&D doesn't happen in 1974, it's quite possible several of these would have spawned a RPG. In the 1980s, perhaps, or the 1990s. Maybe even the late 1970s in the best case. And that RPG could eventually lead to some D&D equivalent in 2021.

But the OP limits it further. It's not just D&D that gets delayed to 2021. It's the concept of the RPG itself. For some reason, all of those seeds don't spawn the RPG concept for many decades after they emerged onto the pop-culture scene, and in many cases, well past when they peaked in popularity and influence. By 2021, they're not fresh, vibrant ideas, they're at best storied veterans of the scene, and at worst largely appealing only to a nostalgic crowd. Neither tends to be the pool from which an innovation like the RPG is likely to emerge; stuff like that generally emerges from the fringes, not the establishment mainstream. (As I noted, this is where Arneson and Gygax were in the early 1970s.)

When D&D first appeared in our history in 1974, Braunsteins were just five years old. Chainmail was just three years old; medieval miniatures wargaming was the oldest reasonably direct influence, at 18 years old - the first such ruleset appearing in 1956. (I don't count "wargaming" itself enough of a seed; it's as much a seed for D&D as "video games" would be for the MMORPG. Technically correct but not nearly enough for the specifics.) The literary influences were decades old, I'll grant, but the setting is only of secondary importance for creating the RPG - it's the concept of marrying role-playing with game mechanics that matters. You could have any reasonably popular setting and still get a RPG, but you don't get a RPG without game + role-playing.

So in this alternate timeline, any of the 1970s influences - CYOA, Advent or some hypothetical non-D&D-like roguelike, early text adventure games, or LARPs - should have produced a tabletop RPG equivalent by the 1980s or 1990s - their peak of popularity and beyond, and still within a few decades of their first appearance. But for the purposes of this premise, we're required to assume that they didn't. And if they didn't strike when the iron was hot, so to speak, why would they now? What sparked this sudden inspiration so very late in their pop-cultural lifespan?

It's much more likely that this alternate timeline's version of the RPG, as a brand new concept invented in 2021, emerges from some fresh design influences that appeared at most within the last two decades (2000-2020), and more likely in the last several years (let's say 2015-2020, akin to Braunstein). And those influences can't depend on the existence of D&D or RPGs in previous decades, because those never existed in this timeline. These 21st-century influences could themselves descend from the 1970s-1990s sources, but they'd have to be a step beyond those earlier influences, something distinct - as again, those earlier influences had their window and missed it.
 
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Coroc

Hero
See, I don't agree, @turnip_farmer and I think to make this claim you need a bit more evidence.

Why?

Because Warhammer is far MORE Moorcock-influenced than D&D, and the influence shows a far deeper familiarity with Moorcock's work than D&D, and further, Michael Moorcock was really big in UK fantasy AND prog rock/metal (he used to play with Hawkwind sometimes, helped write their lyrics, and also wrote three tracks for Blue Oyster Cult) at the time Warhammer was being created. Also if you're not both British and in at least your 40s, you obviously can't be expected to know this kind of thing, but also probably shouldn't be making sweeping statements about Moorcock's influence on GW that way.

I would say the influence is extremely heavy.

It's not just Elric.

It's everything Moorcock had written at that time. Hawkmoon. Erekose. Corum. Nomad on the Timestreams. von Bek. Dancers at the end of Time. Other random short stories. Even some of the Jerry Cornelius stuff.

I've read most of this stuff in my teens and the influence on Warhammer, both Fantasy and 40K, was absolutely truly vast. Incalculable. It's much bigger than Moorcock's influence on D&D, and it also covers a ton of stuff that wasn't influenced at all by Moorcock in D&D. I can give you examples if you really need them, but unless you've read Moorcock beyond Elric, I don't think they'll make much sense.

Warhammer won't exist as we know it without D&D because the money from D&D was fundamental to the success early GW had. Not only would they not quite have had the same ideas, but they couldn't have expanded as fast. I mean, I'm so old, my first D&D books were indeed from a GW shop. But they were hugely influenced by Moorcock, gigantically. Moorcock knows it by the way, and isn't very impressed with them. He's made an analogy to the "stew thieves" Pratchett has spoken about. -i.e. there's a big pot of stew eternally going, and if you put something in, like a dead pigeon, you can get a bowl of stew or two. Pratchett talked about how some people only take from the stew, they don't add to it, and Moorcock feels GW fall into that category.

It's also worth noting that, early on, if anything, the influence of Moorcock and Tolkien (and renaissance history) was much, much heavier than D&D on GW in creative terms re: Fantasy. And 40K has a ton of Moorcock influence that I would still be there without D&D. I don't think Law and Chaos in Warhammer comes from D&D, it's no much like how it is in D&D, whereas it's almost exactly like it is in Moorcock - Chaos even has exactly the same symbol, for example!

So whilst I think Fantasy Battle and 40K would be different, I think in a lot of ways they'd be pretty similar, and I think real "no D&D" impact would be that GW would have a lot more difficulty getting "up to speed" financially in the 1980s.

Sorry for the Moorcock/GW-related TED talk.
wow is that true? I honestly did not know Moorcock being a pro musician also. I have to read this up at once, this stunned me.
 

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