D&D General What Obscure/Lesser-Known Book Series Got You Into D&D?

Zardnaar

Legend
David Edding's Belgiariad was the first before I started D&D, but I was always into fantasy tropes.

That was an early one for me. Went into fantasy hardcore late 92 but before that read some lone wolf material.

Kept them though.

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That's some of them.
 

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Argyle King

Legend
Well, tbh, I have to credit Dragonlance. I know that goes against the rules of the thread, but it's the truth. I had no idea that D&D existed before reading a Dragonlance novel and seeing an advertisement for the game at the back of the book.

However, if I had to credit something with planting the original seeds of wanting to play something like D&D, I would have to say that Joe Dever's Lone Wolf series was a huge influence on my childhood. I gained an interest in fantasy adventures in general via The Riddlemaster of Head (Patricia A. McKillip); The Black Cauldron (Lloyd Alexander); the old Ghosts & Goblins arcade game; a general interest in mythology; and (as odd as it may sound) a "children's*" version of the Old Testament I had which was written and illustrated somewhat like a graphic novel.

*by today's standards, it would likely be considered too graphic for the age I was at the time

Though, funny enough, D&D was not my first rpg. I attempted to buy the game, but I was not allowed to do so because of a local parenting group pressuring Toys'R'Us to no longer sell the product** (because it was allegedly corrupting the morals of youths and allegedly teaching children how to summon demons and commit suicide). At the time, there was no gaming store in this area. The first ttrp I played was Rifts, while deployed to a UN peacekeeping mission as part of the US military. I was back in the states just long enough to see D&D 3.0 again; I bought it; played for about a week; deployed again; and then had enough time at home to discover that the game had become D&D 3.5 and that there was a gaming store opened near my hometown.

**somehow, I suppose killing evil monsters while masquerading as dwarves and elves was taboo, yet reading a religious book depicting genocide, adultery, and murder was educational, but I digress. (This is not a knock against religion or anyone's faith; it's simply something which amuses me when I think back upon those memories.)
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Well, tbh, I have to credit Dragonlance. I know that goes against the rules of the thread, but it's the truth. I had no idea that D&D existed before reading a Dragonlance novel and seeing an advertisement for the game at the back of the book.

However, if I had to credit something with planting the original seeds of wanting to play something like D&D, I would have to say that Joe Dever's Lone Wolf series was a huge influence on my childhood. I gained an interest in fantasy adventures in general via The Riddlemaster of Head (Patricia A. McKillip); The Black Cauldron (Lloyd Alexander); the old Ghosts & Goblins arcade game; a general interest in mythology; and (as odd as it may sound) a "children's*" version of the Old Testament I had which was written and illustrated somewhat like a graphic novel.

*by today's standards, it would likely be considered too graphic for the age I was at the time

Though, funny enough, D&D was not my first rpg. I attempted to buy the game, but I was not allowed to do so because of a local parenting group pressuring Toys'R'Us to no longer sell the product** (because it was allegedly corrupting the morals of youths and allegedly teaching children how to summon demons and commit suicide). At the time, there was no gaming store in this area. The first ttrp I played was Rifts, while deployed to a UN peacekeeping mission as part of the US military. I was back in the states just long enough to see D&D 3.0 again; I bought it; played for about a week; deployed again; and then had enough time at home to discover that the game had become D&D 3.5 and that there was a gaming store opened near my hometown.

**somehow, I suppose killing evil monsters while masquerading as dwarves and elves was taboo, yet reading a religious book depicting genocide, adultery, and murder was educational, but I digress. (This is not a knock against religion or anyone's faith; it's simply something which amuses me when I think back upon those memories.)

I had an illustrated bible and book of bible stories. I think the Jehovah Witnesses gave it to my mother.

Didn't make me that interested in religion but I ate up the interesting buts and was interested in ancient world. Then mythology then fantasy.

So yeah Sumerians, Babylonians, Egypt etc lead to Greece, Rome then Maya/Inca/Aztecs etc.

Joe Devers Lone Wolf Shadow on the Sand was probably my first outright fantasy book I read aged 10 or 11. First one I remember specifically anyway.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I'm seeing a lot of people talking about the Chronicles of Prydian. That series was one of my favorites when I was younger, a teacher introduced me to it in 3rd grade, along with The Castle in the Attic. The Book of Three was the first fantasy book I was ever chose to read on my own (my mother read the Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter books to me when I was too young to read). This brings back memories.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I'm seeing a lot of people talking about the Chronicles of Prydian. That series was one of my favorites when I was younger, a teacher introduced me to it in 3rd grade, along with The Castle in the Attic. The Book of Three was the first fantasy book I was ever chose to read on my own (my mother read the Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter books to me when I was too young to read). This brings back memories.

That was another early one. I can't remember much of what happened except it was sad and some lich thing had his soul in a finger one iirc.

Fantasy gamebooks to fantasy to Dragonlance then D&D.

Didn't think that much of Dragonlance but by then I had read Eddings, Feist, Tad Williams, Terry Brooks etc.
 

Argyle King

Legend
I had an illustrated bible and book of bible stories. I think the Jehovah Witnesses gave it to my mother.

Didn't make me that interested in religion but I ate up the interesting buts and was interested in ancient world. Then mythology then fantasy.

So yeah Sumerians, Babylonians, Egypt etc lead to Greece, Rome then Maya/Inca/Aztecs etc.

Joe Devers Lone Wolf Shadow on the Sand was probably my first outright fantasy book I read aged 10 or 11. First one I remember specifically anyway.

I had similar experiences, but the order was a little different for me.

I found Greek mythology first (because an English teacher I had in elementary school spoke about it). Likewise, I remember learning about Egypt in a history class. My memory is fuzzy as to how exactly I came to own the illustrated Bible, but I believe it came from a youth camp I had attended. My parents were not particularly religious, but I started to attend church because I thought the neighbor girls were cute and their family did, so I went for a summer.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I had similar experiences, but the order was a little different for me.

I found Greek mythology first (because an English teacher I had in elementary school spoke about it). Likewise, I remember learning about Egypt in a history class. My memory is fuzzy as to how exactly I came to own the illustrated Bible, but I believe it came from a youth camp I had attended. My parents were not particularly religious, but I started to attend church because I thought the neighbor girls were cute and their family did, so I went for a summer.

I had Asterix and Obelix books and was reading archeology books very young (aged 6 or so).

Skipped a year and intermediate had a more mature library so was reading about nuclear bombs and WW2 aged 10 give or take.

And the Incas/Maya etc. Primary school didn't have that type of material.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Ah, graphic novels - short of audio novels, the best way to consume a book. I don't care what anyone wants to say negatively about them, they are as valid as any other book as a source of good (or sometimes enjoyably bad) entertainment.

Elfquest was quite good, and of course there was always Savage Sword of Conan.
 


GreyLord

Legend
I think this will date me a little. I didn't have any books that got me into D&D, it was more some of the guys who were playing the game intrigued me...so I joined. I didn't have any rulebooks or any of the required stuff for sometime after I started, I was entirely dependent on them to tell me what I needed to know.

Inspirations of the game though would be Lord of the Rings and the Fairy Books (Green, Blue, Orange, etc by Andrew Lang). Those were great books. (edit: Ah, thought of another influence that I had back in the day. Bullfinch's Mythology. No idea where that book is today, but back when I was younger it was a staple on my shelf).

I think others had inspiration from Elric, Conan, and things like that.
 



Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I was only into SF when I was a kid, the first book that got me into fantasy was A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin. It opened my eyes to fantasy, and then when I saw people playing D&D I had been primed.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen
I didn't get into it through anything obscure. The Hobbit & LotR were bedtime stories for my brother and I when we were very little indeed. I think I got into Prydain around the same time as getting my Mentzer red box Basic set.

A less-famous series that I was reading around the same age as getting into D&D would be Katherine Kurtz' first three Deryni books. Kurtz was a medieval historian (and D&D player; she had a couple of articles published in Dragon as I recall) and her setting for those books was a bit of a fantasy version of Wales, with the church being as culturally important as it was in the real medieval world. It definitely helped ground me in some more historical and realistic ideas about how a fantasy world could look.

A nice overview here, without a ton of spoilers:
 

Loved those books as well. Even little stuff, like the different gems in the corner, takes me back to being a kid, just discovering D&D.

I don't think Rose Estes gets anywhere near enough credit for the Endless Quest series. They were the gateway to D&D for countless players.

As a kid, I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books. My mother used to get them for me at garage sales and flea markets.

One time, she found a similar type of book series, called Endless Quest.

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I think this particular one was the first that I read in that series, although at one point I had most of them. I didn't actually start reading any real fantasy literature until I started playing D&D.
 


Zardnaar

Legend
Yes, those are the ones that I noticed in your last post up there. #10, 11, and 12 go for a fair pretty penny these days...if one can even find them.

I sold some spare copies of gamebooks in 20's years ago in eBay and was surprised how much I got for them.

That was 2005 or so.

Since then just keep an eye out and have picked up extra copies of various books often for a buck or two.

These are my originals bought aged 13-15. I coated them in plastic. Wasn't thinking of collections in 91-94.

Sacrifice at Ruanon was the first thing I bought with my first paycheck ever.
 

Argyle King

Legend
Side note regarding Lone Wolf: I stumbled across a Lone Wolf adventure in the Playstation store. I have not played it yet, but I'll likely pick it up at some point. The description makes it sound as though it's essentially like reading a book, but with some interactive animation sequences for combat and such.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Side note regarding Lone Wolf: I stumbled across a Lone Wolf adventure in the Playstation store. I have not played it yet, but I'll likely pick it up at some point. The description makes it sound as though it's essentially like reading a book, but with some interactive animation sequences for combat and such.

I think I had that on my phone.

Seemed alright.

Ironically the Legends of Lone Wolf books fit the modern zeitgeist better than the D&D novels lol.

Baddies are spawn, two strong female characters (one a PoC) etc.
 

I think I had that on my phone.

Seemed alright.

Ironically the Legends of Lone Wolf books fit the modern zeitgeist better than the D&D novels lol.

Baddies are spawn, two strong female characters (one a PoC) etc.
Lone Wolf was before its time in a lot of ways. That series and Fighting Fantasy are what lead me to D&D. I think technically the very first was The Riddling Reaver, which I was given when I was 7 or 8 and my mum decided was unsuitable for me, but I got Lone Wolf stuff after that and loved it way more than the other Fighting Fantasy books I came across - it had way more style and made way more sense - it definitely lead to me being very excited about D&D when I heard about it from a friend when I was ten or so.

It's interesting though, looking back, The Riddling Reaver was given to me by my aunt, but I know it was actually her then-bf (later husband) who picked it (I didn't learn this until I was in my 30s). Without that and my second-cousin who actually taught me D&D, who knows whether I'd have got into it, instead of video games or Games Workshop stuff (which were in the mix, but took a back seat to RPGs).
 
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