My Appendix N

Zachary the First over at RPG Blog II asked the  blogosphere about our personal Appendix N’s.

Appendix N, of course, is the appendix of the original AD&D 1E Dungeon Master’s Guide that lists literature that directly influenced the game.

Since, as I described in my previous post, I am mostly a D&D guy, my personal list has quite a bit of overlap with the original Appendix N. However, there’s a lot of stuff that wasn’t published until afterwards – remember, this came out in the mid-1970’s – and television played a significant part in my formative years (where do you think I learned English?), so I have a separate section for films and TV series. It is interesting to observe that a number of works on the list have been directly influenced by and would probably not even exist without D&D.

All of the following have been direct influences on my games or gaming material I’ve written. There’s a lot more, since I tend to be allusion-happy, but here are the significant ones that I’ve ripped off most mercilessly, or tried to emulate in style or atmosphere, that shaped the way I look at certain genres, or that just keep popping up in my games no matter what the genre, system or style of play.


  • Butcher, Jim: The Dresden Files series.
  • Burroughs, Edgar Rice: The Tarzan series.
  • Chambers, Robert W.: The Yellow Sign.
  • Christie, Agatha: The ABC Murders, And Then There Were None, The Mousetrap.
  • Clavell, James: Shogun.
  • Flint, Eric: The 1632 series.
  • Gaiman, Neil: American Gods, Neverwhere.
  • Gibson, William: The Difference Engine, the Sprawl trilogy, the Bridge trilogy.
  • Heinlein, Robert A.: Podkayne of Mars, Starship Troopers.
  • Howard, Robert E.: Conan and Solomon Kane stories, “The Shadow of the Vulture”.
  • Hugo, Victor: Les Misérables.
  • Kipling, Rudyard: The Jungle Book.
  • Leiber, Fritz: Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories.
  • Leroux, Gaston: The Phantom of the Opera.
  • Lewis, C.S.: The Narnia series.
  • Lovecraft, H.P.: The Cthulhu Mythos, the Dream Cycle.
  • Miéville, China: The Bas-Lag series.
  • Moorcock, Michael: “Elric” and “Von Bek” stories.
  • Pratchett, Terry: The Discworld series.
  • Salvatore, R.A.: The Dark Elf Trilogy.
  • Shakespeare, William: Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello.
  • Stephenson, Neal: The Baroque Cycle.
  • Takami, Koushun: Battle Royale.
  • Tolkien, J.R.R.: The Lord of the Rings; The Hobbit; Silmarillion.
  • Vance, Jack: Tales of the Dying Earth.
  • Zelazny, Roger: The Chronicles of Amber.


  • The 13th Warrior (John McTiernan, 1999).
  • Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku, 2000).
  • Conan the Barbarian (John Milius, 1982).
  • The Core (John Amiel, 2003).
  • The Indiana Jones series (Steven Spielberg, 1981-1989).
  • Kingdom of Heaven, Director’s Cut (Ridley Scott, 2005).
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy (Peter Jackson, 2001-2003).
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, 1975).
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy (Gore Verbinski, 2003-2007).
  • Porco Rosso (Hayao Miyazaki, 1992).
  • Raja 1918 (Lauri Törhönen, 2007).
  • Ronin (John Frankenheimer, 1998).
  • The Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954).
  • Star Wars (George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Richard Marquand, 1977-1983).
  • Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning (Timo Vuorensola, 2006).
  • Straw Dogs (Sam Peckinpah, 1971).
  • Smokin’ Aces (Joe Carnahan, 2007).
  • This Is Spinal Tap (Rob Reiner, 1984).


  • 24
  • Babylon 5
  • Band of Brothers
  • Battlestar Galactica (the new one)
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Deadwood
  • Firefly
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
  • Hobitit
  • Rome
  • The West Wing


  • 1602
  • Donald Duck
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  • Praedor
  • Preacher
  • Sandman
  • Teräslilja
  • Transmetropolitan

Having written that, portions of it strike me as insufferably pretentious. Then, I’ve run some games that must have felt that way, too. Especially that one Planescape campaign on IRC, with the NPCs from Hamlet…

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