Adventures in Fiction: Zenith the Albino
Mar09

Adventures in Fiction: Zenith the Albino

Appendix N Archaeology: Zenith the Albino by Terry Olson “To this day I advise people who want to write fantastic fiction for a living to stop reading generic fantasy and to go back to the roots of the genre as deeply as possible, the way anyone might who takes his craft seriously. One avoids becoming a Tolkien clone precisely by returning to the same roots that inspired The Lord of the Rings.”           –...

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Appendix N Archaeology: Arthur Machen
Mar03

Appendix N Archaeology: Arthur Machen

Appendix N. Archaeology: Arthur Machen By Bradley K. McDevitt This article is part of a series where I shine the spotlight on some authors that inspired the writers we acknowledge today as influencing the creation of Dungeons and Dragons. For those unfamiliar with his fiction, the late Victorian era Welsh author Arthur Machen was admired by contemporaries like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and William Butler Yeats. Further relevant for this...

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Ghosts, Ghouls and Little Green Men: E.C. Comic and Appendix N
Mar01

Ghosts, Ghouls and Little Green Men: E.C. Comic and Appendix N

Ghosts, Ghouls and Little Green Men: E.C. Comic and Appendix N By Mark Bishop “Drag over a casket kiddies and place your palpitating body upon it… being careful not to jar it, otherwise its unfortunate occupant might GO TO PIECES! If you have time to KILL, let’s have a chat…” Thus begins the Crypt-Keeper’s Corner, the letters page in the June-July 1950 edition of E.C. Comics Crypt of Terror. You could be forgiven if you mistook that...

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Adventures in Fiction: August Derleth
Feb23

Adventures in Fiction: August Derleth

Adventures in Fiction: Arkham House, Ithaqua, and In-Jokes: The Influence of August Derleth By Bradley K. McDevitt Our Adventures in Fiction series is meant to take a look at the writers and creators behind the genre(s) that helped to forge not only our favorite hobby, but our lives. Most of you probably know the name H.P. Lovecraft, but do you know August Derleth? Bradley K. McDevitt reminds you that you have a good reason...

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Adventures in Fiction: Andre Norton
Feb17

Adventures in Fiction: Andre Norton

Adventures in Fiction: Andre Norton by Jim Wampler Famed fantasy and science fiction author Andre Norton was born on February 17, 1912. Join us, as we celebrate her birthday by taking a look at her works and their influences on both adventure gaming and genre fiction. Born as Alice Mary Norton in 1912, Norton started writing while she was still in high school in Cleveland, Ohio. In fact, she completed her first novel while still...

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Adventures in Fiction: Margaret St. Clair
Feb16

Adventures in Fiction: Margaret St. Clair

Adventures in Fiction: Margaret St. Clair by Michael Curtis Margaret St. Clair was born on February 17, 1911. Her work appears in Gary Gygax’s Appendix N, and is important for lending a crucial concept to the D&D game: the idea of dungeon levels. Here is Michael Curtis with more information on this important writer… The titles and authors appearing on the Appendix N list are varied. Some are fantasy, others science fiction, and...

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Adventures in Fiction: Barsoom
Feb03

Adventures in Fiction: Barsoom

Adventures in Fiction: Barsoom February 2020 is the 108th anniversary of the first publication of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ first Mars story. His “Mars” or “Barsoom” series is arguably one of the most influential stories in the history of fantasy and science fiction. Certainly, for fans of D&D history, it should be required reading, as its protagonist not only serves as the model for the iconic Fighter character, but it also is an...

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Adventures in Fiction: Philip Jose Farmer
Jan26

Adventures in Fiction: Philip Jose Farmer

Adventures in Fiction: Philip José Farmer By Jeff Goad Today we are celebrating the birthday of Philip José Farmer. While he isn’t around to celebrate this day with us, his books are still here inspiring writers and game designers as they have for decades past. Farmer found early acclaim in the pulps, winning the Hugo in 1953 for Best New SF Author only a year after the publication of his first tale in Startling Stories. He continued...

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Check Out Our New Adventures in Fiction Page!
Jan25

Check Out Our New Adventures in Fiction Page!

Visitors to our site are likely familiar with our Adventures in Fiction posts. Each of these articles explores the past era of sci-fi, pulp, fantasy, and sword-and-sorcery fiction that helped to inspire the creation of the role-playing genre. They are an exploration of the core of our industry, and something that we hold dear to our hearts. And now we’ve made them easier for you to explore. Introducing the Adventures in Fiction...

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Adventures in Fiction: Robert E. Howard
Jan23

Adventures in Fiction: Robert E. Howard

There may not be a more iconic character in fantasy—and particularly sword and sorcery—fiction than Conan the Barbarian. From his first appearance in Weird Tales back in 1932, the character has influenced how we see any iconic sword-wielding hero. And for that, we can thank Robert E. Howard. Over the years a number of posts on our site have been focused on Mr. Howard and his impact not just on literature, but also on the world of...

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Adventures in Fiction: Abraham Merritt
Jan20

Adventures in Fiction: Abraham Merritt

Adventures in Fiction: Abraham Merritt By James Maliszewski Of all the literary influences on D&D and DCC RPG, Abraham Merritt is perhaps the “most-influential of the least-known.” His work is rarely read in this modern time, yet he is named by Gary Gygax as one of “the most immediate influences on AD&D. Today, on January 20, 2020, the 136th anniversary of his birth, we provide a little more insight into this little-read...

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Appendix N Archaeology: The Famous Works of Edgar Allan Poe
Jan19

Appendix N Archaeology: The Famous Works of Edgar Allan Poe

Appendix N Archaeology: The Famous Works of Edgar Allen Poe by Bradley K. McDevitt In my previous articles on Poe, which can be found here and here, I discussed first why Poe was worth a second look.  I then did an overview of some of his lesser-known stories and how they could be used as inspiration in a gaming setting before it was pointed out to me that not everyone in the audience has read Poe since they fulfilled their English...

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