Appendix N: Inspiration Resources

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The original Appendix N was a section of the first edition AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide. It was written by Gary Gygax, and contained a list of literary works which had influenced and inspired him. It was not comprehensive or especially prescriptive of the D&D game- it was just a nice thought. In the spirit of that thought, we have included our own Appendix N. It contains the original appendix, and also many additions of works that have inspired most of us. For a look at one of our earliest discussions of this topic, see Discussion:Required reading. When adding to the works here, avoid just adding works that you happen to like. Instead, consider how those works influenced your games, specifically, and only include those which had a significant, defining impact on the stories, worlds, and games you create.

The following is the original text, as written by Gary Gygax.

Inspiration for all the fantasy work I have done stems directly from the love my father showed when I was a tad, for he spent many hours telling me stories he made up as he went along, tales of cloaked old men who could grant wishes, of magic rings and enchanted swords, or wicked sorcerors, and dauntless swordsmen.

Then too, countless hundreds of comic books went down, and the long-gone EC ones certainly had their effect. Science fiction, fantasy, and horror movies were a big influence. In fact, all of us tend to get ample helpings of fantasy when we are very young from fairy tales such as those written by the Brothers Grimm and Andrew Lang. This often leads to reading books of mythology, paging through bestiaries, and consultation of compilations of the myths of various lands and peoples.

Upon such a base I built my interest in fantasy, being an avid reader of all science fiction and fantasy literature since 1950.

The following authors were of particular inspiration to me. In some cases I cite specific works, in others, I simply recommend all of their fantasy writing to you. From such sources, as well as any other imaginative writing or screenplay, you will be able to pluck kernels from which will grow the fruits of exciting campaigns. Good reading!

—Gary Gygax
Books

This is the original list, revised to the format of this page.

  • Three Hearts and Three Lions
  • The High Crusade
  • The Broken Sword
  • The Face in the Frost
  • Anything by Leigh Brackett
  • Antyhing by Frederic Brown
  • Pellucidar Series
  • Barsoom Series
  • Amtor Series
  • World's End Series
  • Lest Darkness Fall
  • The Fallible Fiend
  • Harols Shea Series
  • The Carnelian Cube
  • Anything by August Derleth
  • Anything by Lord Dunsany
  • The World of the Tiers Series
  • Kothar Series
  • Kyrik Series
  • The Complete Chronicles of Conan the Barbarian
  • Hiero's Journey
  • Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
  • Necronomicon the Best Weird Tales by H.P.Lovecraft
  • Creep, Shadow, Creep
  • Moon Pool
  • Dwellers in the Mirage
  • Stormbringer
  • Stealer of Souls
  • The Hawkmoon Series (Especially the first three books)
  • Anything by Andre Norton
  • Swords Against Darkness III
  • Blue Star
  • Changeling Earth
  • The Shadow People
  • Sign of the Labrys
  • The Hobbit
  • The Lord of the Rings Series
  • Eyes of the Overworld
  • The Dying Earth
  • Anything by Stanley Weinbaum
  • Anything by Manley Wade Wellman
  • Anything by Jack Williamson
  • Jack of Shadows
  • The Amber Series
  • Anything by Algernon Blackwood

These books are modern additions.

  • Anything by Clark Ashton Smith
  • A Song of Ice and Fire
  • The Worm Ouroboros
  • The Silmarillion
  • The Mater of Rome/France/Brittain (They're all good)
  • The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Iliad
  • The Odyssey
  • The Neverending Story
  • The Harry Potter Series
  • Any of the Narnia books, but especially the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • The Earthsea Cycle
  • The Discworld books
  • The Xanth novels
  • Eragon
  • The Golden Compass
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula
  • The Princess & the Goblin
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • The Princess Bride
  • Rapunzel
  • The Last Unicorn
  • Dinotopia
  • Journey to the center of the earth
  • The lost world
  • Jack and the Bean Stock
  • Peter Pan
  • Epic of Gilgamesh
  • Greek and Roman religious mythology
  • The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights)
  • Beowulf
  • Norse religious mythology (The Elder and Younger Edda)
  • Grimm's Fairy Tales
  • The Three Musketeers
  • Scaramouche
  • The Well at World's End
  • The Malloreon
  • The Wheel of Time
  • Malazan Book of the Fallen
  • The Inheritance Cycle
  • the Elric sequence
  • Don Quixote
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Cinderella
  • The First Law Trilogy
  • Robin Hood
  • Tarzan
  • Pinocchio
  • Frankenstein's Monster
  • El Cid
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • The Black Cauldron
  • Sleepy Hollow
Movies & TV
  • The Hobbit & LotR adaptations
  • The Conan adaptations
  • Labyrinth
  • The Dark Crystal
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Game of Thrones serial
  • 13 Ghosts
  • 13th Warrior
  • 300
  • Cube 2 and 3 (for the traps)
  • The SAW series (for the evil traps)
  • Spartacus
  • Reign of Fire
  • Fantasia
  • Pan's Labyrinth
  • How to Train Your Dragon 1 & 2
  • Indiana Jones
  • Dragonheart
  • Princess Bride
  • Braveheart
  • Willow
  • Army of Darkness
  • Hellboy
  • Wizards
  • Legend
  • King Kong
  • Godzilla
  • The Sword and the Sorcerer
  • The Slayers anime serial
  • The Musketeers
  • The Man in the Iron Mask
  • A Knight's Tale (I don't get it either, but it shows up all over topics and lists of this sort.)
  • The Goonies
  • Journey to the West
  • Hawk the Slayer
  • The Record of Lodoss War
  • Kingdom of Heaven
  • Toy Story Movies
  • Alien
  • Spirited Away anime
  • 7 Samurai
  • He-Man animated serial
  • Nausocaa of the Valley of the Wind anime
  • The Zorro Movies
  • The D&D animated serial
  • Jason and the Argonauts
  • The Sinbad Movies
  • Clash of Titans
  • Heavy Metal animated film
  • Beastmaster
  • Krull
  • Highlander
  • Escaflowne anime serial
  • Scooby-Doo animated serial
Video Games
  • The Witcher Series
  • Out of This World (a.k.a. Outer World, a.k.a. Another World)
  • Darklands
  • King's Field
  • Dark Souls and Demons Souls
  • Blodborne
  • Die by the Sword
  • Heretic I & II
  • Hexen I & II
  • Rune
  • Severance: Blade of Darkness
  • Might and Magic Series
  • Wizardry Series
  • Ultima 1, 2, and 3
  • The Elder Scrolls Games (Especially Arena, Daggerfall, and Morrowind)
  • Abe's Oddyssey and Abe's Exoddus
  • Medievil
  • Any Castlevania
  • Rogue
  • Nethack
  • Bard's Tale
  • Legacy of Kain (And Soul Reaver)
  • Legend of Zelda (not the spinoffs)
  • Diablo 1 & 2
  • Dwarf Fortress
  • Minecraft
  • Tomb Raider
  • Every. Single. Dragon Quest/Warrior.
  • Final Fantasy (mostly the earlier 2d ones)
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Pirates! (The WII version is the most detailed and stable)
Webcomics



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