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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Adventures in Fiction: John Bellairs
Jan17

Adventures in Fiction: John Bellairs

Adventures in Fiction: John Bellairs By Ngo Vinh-Hoi John Anthony Bellairs was born on January 17th, 1938 in Marshall, Michigan, which he described as “full of strange and enormous old houses, and the place must have worked on [his] imagination.” A shy and overweight child, he “would walk back and forth between [his] home and Catholic school and have medieval fantasies featuring [himself] as the hero.” He found refuge in books,...

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Films of High Adventure: Hammer Films and the Cleric Class
Jan09

Films of High Adventure: Hammer Films and the Cleric Class

Hammer Horror’s Dracula – And the Creation of the Cleric Class By Bob Brinkman The year 2020 marks the 62nd anniversary of the Hammer Horror film Dracula. Why is this so important? You can thank Dracula for the creation of the cleric class, and the Hammer Horror series in general for influencing several aspects of Dungeons and Dragons (and later the Dungeon Crawl Classics role-playing game). The history of Hammer films is as...

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Read Magic with Michael Curtis: Frodo Lives!
Jan05

Read Magic with Michael Curtis: Frodo Lives!

Read Magic with Michael Curtis: Frodo Lives! by Michael Curtis Read Magic with Michael Curtis is an occasional feature that explores the connections between the works of Appendix N and fantasy gaming, examining how those stories inspired the many facets of Dungeons & Dragons and Dungeon Crawl Classics. For more than forty years, people have gathered together to play games casting themselves as fantastical heroes facing off against...

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Adventures in Fiction: J.R.R. Tolkien
Jan03

Adventures in Fiction: J.R.R. Tolkien

Adventures in Fiction: J.R.R. Tolkien By Chris Doyle John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892, in what is now South Africa. His parents, both English, had re-located so his father could accept a promotion with his current employer, a bank. He returned to England at the age of three, but his father succumbed to fever and never made the journey. Tolkien was a soldier (in the First World War, eventually reaching the rank of...

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What is Appendix N?
Jan02

What is Appendix N?

The story of Appendix N goes with Dungeon Crawl Classics like fish and water. Peanut butter and jelly. Robert E. Howard and Conan. But what exactly IS Appendix N? Appendix N is the list of books that inspired Gary Gygax to create D&D. This bibliography first appeared as an appendix in the AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide—specifically, Appendix N—which is why the list is known by that name. To write DCC RPG, author Joseph Goodman...

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Appendix N Archeology: The Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series
Dec29

Appendix N Archeology: The Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series

Appendix N Archeology: The Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series by Michael Curtis More than a decade before Gary Gygax assembled his list of influential fantasy authors and titles—the famed “Appendix N” which appeared in the Dungeon Masters Guide published in 1979—another author was hard at work compiling a list of fantasy stories to introduce to the reading public. Both catalogs would include some of the same authors on their rolls, and...

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Appendix N Archaeology: Clark Ashton Smith
Dec27

Appendix N Archaeology: Clark Ashton Smith

Appendix N Archaeology: Clark Ashton Smith by Michael Curtis Gamers often point to Appendix N and decry the absence of a particular author (or three, or seven, or…), declaring Gygax’s omission of them to be a literary crime of some sort. Putting aside the unbelievable idea that gamers may complain about things for the moment, we must realize that Appendix N is not a list one can argue with. It is a catalogue of all the literary...

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