Friday, May 8, 2009

My Appendix N - gaming influences

You might have seen that Zack on his blog RPG Blog II is asking people to list the books, TV and other influences that have been important to your campaign, like the list Gygax made in the AD&D DMG.

I love lists of all kind, so here we go!

  • Robert E Howard: Conan
  • Fritz Leiber: the "swords" series about Lankhmar
  • Michael Moorcock: all his fantasy, but especially Elric and ErekosĂ«
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Glen Cook: the books about The Black Company
  • H.P. Lovecraft
  • Pat Mills & Simon Bisley: Sláine
  • Clive Barker: The Books of the Art
  • Jack Vance
  • John Ford: all his western movies

Without a doubt is Moorcock the biggest influence on my gaming. Not only have I played a lot of the marvellous 4th ed Stormbringer from Chaosium but the idea of the multiverse have influenced all my gaming immensely. I did start my career as an adventurer in Middle Earth, but after that I've called the whole Multiverse my home.

Some of the titles above are quite specific in how they have influenced me. I'd like to highlight the raw verve of the visuals of Simon Bisley as something I always come back to when I want to see the fantastic for my inner eye. Jack Vance on the other hand does the same with words. I'm not sure there is a theme, but compared to e.g. Gygax list it is a lot less centred on classic science fiction and science fantasy. While I do enjoy reading those yarns, they are not influencing my gaming much. Space opera is a special case, since I love to read it and would love to try to play something like it. But, for some reason science fiction gaming have never really worked out for me.


  1. Which Lovecraft story is your favorite? I have a recent collection edited by Joyce Carol Oates, and it is a great set. So far Cthulhu has to be towards the top.

  2. As a wondrous story I still think The color out of space is one of my favourites. As gaming influence I think the well crafted sense of weirdness in The Case of Charles Dexer Ward is probably the most important for me. My horror favourite is The music of Eric Zahn.

    My CoC rulebook is in storage right now, but when I dig it out I will revisit the tale(s?) reprinted therein.

  3. Hmmmm, The color out of space is definitely quite good. Cthulhu provided a great deal of roleplaying inspiration, but I think that The Rats in the Walls might provide even more.

  4. Funny that you should mention Rats since after our latest CoC game that was mentioned by one player as a very creepy, yet non-mythos, story. Maybe the technique used by HPL in that story could be mined for GM advice?


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