D&D 5E What Author or Authors are your biggest influence in the Fanatsy Genre/D&D


For my games, these are the three Masters:

Tolkien: give your setting mythical and historical depth
Vance: human culture is diverse and comical, human venality is constant and comical
Lovecraft: there is no greater fear than the fear of the unknown

There are tons of other authors whose works I love, and whose skill at storytelling and characterization I admire. But as a DM, my job is to create a setting that inspires me, with rich veins of potential story for my players to tap, and these three are constant sources of inspiration because I aspire for my campaigns to contain the mythic, the threatening, and the comic.

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Victoria Rules
Nice to see David Eddings getting some shout-outs here.

Main long-time influences - Tolkein, Kurtz (Deryni series), Eddings, Feist, etc.

Of late I've been trying to slide some Scott Lynch (the Locke Lamora series) into my game.

Lan-"and Tapert/Raimi"-efan

What I say, depending on the setting: "Tolkien, Mieville, Jemisin, or Howard, Leiber, Lovecraft!"

What really happens: "Piers Anthony, Robert Asprin, Terry Pratchett, only dumber, plus Monty Python!"


Expert Long Rester
From my youth: Tolkien, Lloyd Alexander, and Weis & Hickman. I would like to say Herbert, but my games never seem to approach the Intrigue I would want form a Dune like campaign.

More recent influences for me: Robin Hobb, Mark Lawrence, and Joe Abercrombie.


For ideas of military life/what a paladin is and world building Elizabeth Moon The Deeds of Paksenarion.

Couldn't agree more on this one. I have enjoyed Paksenarion immensely; a great example of a D&Dish based world. Rumor has it she wrote the books after seeing an AD&D group playing with a paladin (typical Lawful Stupid) and thought: "That's not how a paladin would act!". Rumor also has it the town of Brewersbridge was based on the village of Hommlet from ToEE; also that St. Gird is based on St. Cuthbert.
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First Post
In the last handful of years I would have to say Brandon Sanderson. Whatever you say about his writing he can sure build an interesting world.


Expert Long Rester
In the last handful of years I would have to say Brandon Sanderson. Whatever you say about his writing he can sure build an interesting world.

While I really enjoy Sanderson books, they rarely influence my D&D worlds. I think It's because his magic systems are so well defined and typically very different than Spellcasting in D&D. Thought there are a few exceptions to this. I could see the Stormlight archive magic as being Oath driven like Paladins, and Patron driven like Warlocks.

With authors that leave their magic systems more vague I can more easily try to define it for myself in D&D terms.


My big three are Howard, Burroughs, and Tolkien, probably in that order. But there are so many great sources of inspiration it seems a shame to limit it to just three. I also have to give a shout out to LeGuin, Stephen R Donaldson, and Bradbury. And of course Lovecraft, and Shelley, and Poe.


I've got to include these old buggers:

Tolkein (and Terry Brooks - Sword of Shannara so derivative of Tolkein's work)
Fritz Leiber (Gray Mouser!!)
Andre Norton (Quag's Keep)
Joel Rosenberg (Guardian of the Flame Series really kept me interested as a teen)

I would even add Patrick Rothfus on the list now as a contemporary influence.

There are so many others...many that are already mentioned by others too.
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First Post
I actually don't read a lot of fantasy. Heck, I didn't even know what Lord of the Rings was before I saw the trailer in theaters, and I had been playing D&D for about a year by then. I didn't even know about Game of Thrones until I heard about the series being adapted by HBO a couple of years before it aired. I've since then read all the Tolkien stuff, A Princess of Mars and some Conan stories, though.

I'm more into mythology, in which case I'd have to point to Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek, and Indian history/religion/myth/folklore as my biggest personal inspirations. I also read lots of stuff related to myths from around the world and myth in general. That and the Old Testament.

I also take a lot of influences from other games. I'd have to say that the biggest influences have been...

Tribe 8
Heavy Gear
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