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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Robert E. Howard Deep Cuts
Dec26

Robert E. Howard Deep Cuts

Robert E. Howard Deep Cuts By Howard Andrew Jones Robert E. Howard is justly famous for creating Conan of Cimmeria, probably the best known of all sword-and-sorcery characters. But the best of Robert E. Howard doesn’t begin or end with the world’s most famous barbarian, because there’s an astonishing amount of excellent fiction that the talented Texan created over the course of a few short years. Here’s a quick look at some excellent...

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Adventures in Fiction: Fritz Leiber
Dec24

Adventures in Fiction: Fritz Leiber

Adventures in Fiction: Fritz Leiber By Michael Curtis We’ve talked a lot about Fritz Leiber, whose birthday we’re celebrating today, over the last few years. Leiber, born December 24th, 1910, is most widely known among gamers as the man responsible for the fantastic Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories. In the years running up to DCC Lankhmar, a lot of ink has been spilled discussing Leiber’s most famous creation. Today, however, we’re...

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Adventures in Fiction: Sterling E. Lanier
Dec18

Adventures in Fiction: Sterling E. Lanier

Adventures in Fiction: Sterling E. Lanier By Jim Wampler Today is the 92nd anniversary of the birth of Sterling E. Lanier. He wasn’t just a favorite author of E. Gary Gygax, nor was he merely a cited influence on both the Dungeons & Dragons and Gamma World role playing games. For those things alone he would still be notable and of interest to role playing gamers everywhere. Sterling E. Lanier was the quintessential polymath. His...

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Adventures in Fiction: Michael Moorcock
Dec17

Adventures in Fiction: Michael Moorcock

Happy Birthday to Michael Moorcock, a Big Writer with Big Ideas By Terry Olson “I think of myself as a bad writer with big ideas, but I’d rather be that than a big writer with bad ideas—or ideas that have gone bad.” – Michael Moorcock, 1963 On the 18th of December, we celebrate the birthday of Michael Moorcock—a big writer with big ideas (regardless of what he thought a handful of decades ago). It’s difficult to rank...

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Adventures in Fiction: Leigh Brackett
Dec07

Adventures in Fiction: Leigh Brackett

Adventures in Fiction: Leigh Brackett By Michael Curtis The sad truth is that Appendix N is overwhelmingly a boys’ club. Much of the blame can be assigned to the fact that science-fiction and fantasy writers prior to 1960s were by and large white men. It was a tough club for a woman to break into, resulting in many female authors with an interest in writing science-fiction and fantasy to work under either pen names (such as Andre...

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