D&D General What is your personal Appendix N?

Scribe

Legend
Some great lists here. To keep it at or under 10.

Written
1. Dragonlance Chronicles - Legends - Yes I cheat immediately by combining 2 trilogies, but for me this is one story. This is THE formative series for me personally, and has likely coloured how I look at Fantasy forever.
2. LotR - It simply has to be here, there is no D&D as it is today without it.
3. Elric Series

Animation
4. The Last Unicorn - I was happy to see it on some other lists!

Film
5. Star Wars - Original Trilogy
6. Neverending Story
7. Conan the Barbarian

Artists
8. Frank Frazetta

PC/Console Games
9. Legend of Zelda
10. Baldurs Gate 1 and 2.

--

Much harder to keep it at 5 I would probably have to go.

Dragonlance
LotR
Star Wars.
Conan
Baldurs Gate 1/2
 

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Hell yeah to all of this list - hooray for dungeons full of skeletons! Dark Souls is fascinating one because it really does somehow preserve a 1E/2E AD&D aesthetic, right to the modern day - Demon's Soul, the predecessor, also did, though the sequels and Elden Ring whilst relating to that and still extremely cool are more their own aesthetic (but an aesthetic I wish an RPG would capture - so far as I am aware all attempts, very much including the official Dark Souls RPG, have failed to do so - that didn't even capture the original DS aesthetic). Mad Max series great choice too.

That sense of fearful, what's-around-the-corner, exploration of AD&D definitely feels like it influenced Dark Souls. The crumbling, ancient ruins, and yes, tons of skeletons, too.
 

gorice

Hero
Hell yeah to all of this list - hooray for dungeons full of skeletons! Dark Souls is fascinating one because it really does somehow preserve a 1E/2E AD&D aesthetic, right to the modern day - Demon's Soul, the predecessor, also did, though the sequels and Elden Ring whilst relating to that and still extremely cool are more their own aesthetic (but an aesthetic I wish an RPG would capture - so far as I am aware all attempts, very much including the official Dark Souls RPG, have failed to do so - that didn't even capture the original DS aesthetic). Mad Max series great choice too.

Added Birthgrave to my "to read" list.
FYI, Birthgrave should probably come with some content warnings for SA. I don't think it's exploitative, but it's certainly there. There's also some race-related sword & sorcery tropes which... Might be an attempt at subversion, I'm not sure, but I certainly raised an eyebrow.

And, yeah, it's really amazing how well the Fromsoft games capture a certain kind of Western fantasy feel. Not only D&D, but like, the default knight art always screams Sir Bors to me. I always play the knight in those games, because I Iove the idea of this burnt-out knight errant who is so done with this crap.
 

4. The Last Unicorn - I was happy to see it on some other lists!
I feel like if I'd seen it as a kid it would have been a gigantic impact - even as an adult seeing it explained a lot about how some people thought about fantasy (plus it's great!). My wife is American and about my age so she did, and I know it + early Final Fantasies were a huge impact on her vision of fantasy.
FYI, Birthgrave should probably come with some content warnings for SA. I don't think it's exploitative, but it's certainly there. There's also some race-related sword & sorcery tropes which... Might be an attempt at subversion, I'm not sure, but I certainly raised an eyebrow.
Re: exploitative It's from 1975 and it's Tanith Lee - I've read some of her short stories, which have a lot of questionable but quite human psycho-sexual stuff - so I am absolutely braced for that but yeah if anyone isn't, they should brace. Noted re: racial tropes, I wouldn't have seen that coming as much!
 

Scribe

Legend
I feel like if I'd seen it as a kid it would have been a gigantic impact - even as an adult seeing it explained a lot about how some people thought about fantasy (plus it's great!). My wife is American and about my age so she did, and I know it + early Final Fantasies were a huge impact on her vision of fantasy.

Been a long time now since I've watched either The Last Unicorn or NeverEnding Story, but the feel of both of them never really left me.

Same as Chonicles + Legends really. Raistlin figuratively looking at his soul, devouring itself in darkness, and realizing that he couldn't continue was a huge moment for me as a kid.
 


For folks who have seen the animated film but have never read The Last Unicorn: do so, as soon as possible. It is some of the most beautiful prose in modern fantasy.
Heck yeah. It's gorgeous and wistful and true.

In a just world Top Craft followed up The Last Unicorn with an adaptation of the King of Elfland's Daughter.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
This thread is making me want to revisit The Last Unicorn. I don't recall either the film or book making much of an impression on me but it was once each probably 10 years apart and decades ago at this point.
 

bloodtide

Legend
1.All the vast bulk of "pulp" fiction from the early to mid 20th century of the fantasy, adventure, horror, mystery, western and sci-fi types. By the time I was around and old enough to read, this was my go too. At some point in the 1970(?) the big thing to do was to gather all the pulp fiction from year ago and publish it in small books. Both novels and short stories. And there were a lot of "Fantasy Tales" or such with fiction from old magazines. And by the 1980's you could buy such books for 10 cents at most yard sales.

Robert Howards Conan and Edgar Rice Burrows John Carter and Tarzan really stand out here.

2.The vast bulk of comics. You could find lots of old comics at them yard sales for pennies too. But I really focus on the loose continuity of the Marvel Universe of 1970s to 2000. Having 30 some running stories, each their own, but also connected to a larger universe. Lots of world building, details and drama.

Dr. Strange and Thor stand out here as 'fantasy', but also the Cosmic Fantasy of Jim Starland and Mark Greundwald...and others.

3. 80's cartoons. Transformers and G.I Joe were a lot more Science Fantasy, and the writers did an amazing job making huge casts of charters distinct and memorable. Pick like five G1 Autobots to hang out in a room together....and I can tell you how they would act, say and even do their voice inflections. Add also Robotech, He-man, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors and the Real Ghostbusters (those last three also had the same writer...humm).

4.The 80's action adventure show. The A team, Knight Rider, The Fall Guy, and many more. They all had the same "plot": each episode the small group of main cast would go to some new location to fight bad guys.

5. Early D&D of:

*Dragonlance and all the authors here.

*Bruce Heard and his 'take' on fantasy...but most of all: The Voyage of the Princess' Ark.

*Ed Greenwood.
 

Autumnal

Bruce Baugh, Writer of Fortune
Hmm. Not even trying to rank these…

* J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium. I read the Silmarrion the year I discovered D&D, and the two remained intertwined for me.

* The three series of the Chronicled of Thomas Covenant the Umbeliever. Portal fantasy, epic operatic tragedies, the transcendent goodness in nature and magic, the unfolding deep history, the whole deal.

* The Time of the Dark trilogy. More portal fantasy and saving the world via sound research methods.

* The original Black Company trilogy. I love reading sword & sorcery but don’t actually enjoy roleplaying it. This kind of dark fantasy, the stuff that became grimdark, is a favorite for both reading and gaming.

* Metropolitan and City On Fire, by Walter Jon Williams. I love magitech and technomagic.

* World of Warcraft, at least the first decade or so. I do not love the shoulder pads. But I do love the variety of species and cultures, and the look of the lands, the magic(s), and like that.

* Joe Abercrombie’s First Law and Age of Madness trilogies, and in particular the epic plot unfolding behind the events of each until emerging as a surprise. A surprise to me, at least, and who cares about the rest of you? :)

* Elric and a bunch of other incarnations of the Eternal Champion - Corum, Hawkmoon, etc.

* Tekumel and the Great Courses series by Edwin Barnhart. A whole bunch of civilizations are really cool and interesting, and ready for gaming.

* Tim Powers’ fantasies. darned if magic doesn’t get in everywhere if you don’t spray for it.
 

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