Reading Appendix N

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Reading Appendix N

Post by goodmangames » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:07 pm

Has anyone else made a concerted effort to read the entirety of Appendix N?

I just finished this...
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Interspersed with short stories from these...

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*(Of course, CAS isn't specifically in Appendix N but he fits right in.)

And am about to start on this...

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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by DCCfan » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:48 pm

I,m still working on the 12 volume Conan series by Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague De Camp. I,m almost through The People of The Black Circle in book 5. This is a great classic series.
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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by goodmangames » Mon May 10, 2010 7:23 pm

Yeah, REH's Conan is inspiring. I read the first of the new compilations a while back, and just finished this one:

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Also just finished the first Hawkmoon book:

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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by goodmangames » Tue May 18, 2010 7:21 pm

Finished the Hawkmoon books. Great series. Excellent swordfighting and classic Moorcock high fantasy.

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Started Blue Star and got about halfway through it, but set it aside. I just couldn't get into it, even though Gygax recommended it by name.

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Now on to PJ Farmer's World of Tiers series. Fun so far.

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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by DCCfan » Sun May 23, 2010 5:56 am

goodmangames wrote:Has anyone else made a concerted effort to read the entirety of Appendix N?
I can't remember where Appendix N is. :oops: Is it in the original DM's guide?
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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by Harley Stroh » Sun May 23, 2010 10:23 am

Yep. Gygax's "Inspiration and Educational Reading" list in the AD&D DMG. Set between Appendix M: Summoned Monsters, and Appendix O: Encumbrance of Standard Items, for reasons only Gygax could fathom. :)

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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by finarvyn » Mon May 24, 2010 10:02 am

I read many of those books back in "the day" but have discovered that most of my current gaming group hasn't read any of the real classic swords & sorcery tales.

I suspect that's why newer games aren't "old school", because many of the designers and players are basing their game on a very different background of stories.
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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by DCCfan » Mon May 24, 2010 2:34 pm

Harley Stroh wrote:Yep. Gygax's "Inspiration and Educational Reading" list in the AD&D DMG. Set between Appendix M: Summoned Monsters, and Appendix O: Encumbrance of Standard Items, for reasons only Gygax could fathom. :)

//H

Maybe he used percentile dice to randomly place the appendices. :mrgreen:
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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by ThreeDieSix » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:07 pm

I haven't made a concerted effort to read appendix N, but I have read quite a few of the books listed:

Anderson, Poul - Three Hearts and Three Lions; The Broken Sword
Carter, Lin - "World's End" Series
de Camp, L. Sprague - Fallible Fiend
de Camp & Pratt - "Harold Shea" Series
Howard, R. E. - "Conan" Series
Leiber, Fritz - "Fafrd & Gray Mouser" Series
Lovecraft, H. P. - most of his stories
Moorcock, Michael - "Elric" Series; "Hawkmoon" Series (+ Corum, Erekose, and many of his other stories. I met him in person once. Really nice guy.)
Offutt, Andrew J. - didn't read what was listed in the DMG, but read his "Iron Lords" Series; "Thieves' World" Stories
Pratt, Fletcher - didn't read what was listed in the DMG, but read The Well of the Unicorn (excellent story, but a bit of a heavy read)
Tolkien, J. R. R. - The Hobbit; Lord of the Rings
Vance, Jack - "Dying Earth" Series

I'm planning to read Edgar Rice Burroughs "Mars" Series next. So far, everything I've read from appendix N has been quite good.

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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by goodmangames » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:54 pm

You've covered a lot of the list! Almost everything I've read from the list has been good so far, with a couple small exceptions. However, both those exceptions were authors with many books in print, so I'm going to assume I happened to grab one of their few duds, and give them each another chance.

I went on a bit of a book-buying binge this weekend while traveling. Here are three stores that I highly recommend for the Appendix N collector.

Kayo Books, http://www.kayobooks.com (San Francisco). Two entire floors of vintage paperbacks and pulp novels! This place is EXTRAORDINARY if you're a pulp collector. There's a second floor devoted almost entirely to sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, with entire runs of many Appendix N authors.

Borderlands Books, http://www.borderlands-books.com (also San Francisco). A sci-fi, fantasy, and horror specialty book store. New and used. I was most impressed by the fact that they stock full assortments of a variety of books for many of the more obscure authors I was looking for - several titles by Lord Dunsany and A. Merritt, for example. I'm also working through some Clark Ashton Smith (should have been in Appendix N) and was recently turned on to William Hope Hodgson (one of Lovecraft's inspirations - how can you go wrong with that?) and this store has multiple titles by each of them, including stuff I've never even seen on Amazon before.

And then there is Barry R. Levin Science Fiction & Fantasy Literature, a store dedicated to rare and first editions of sci-fi and fantasy books. Wow. First printings of Derleth, Lovecraft, Merritt, from 60, 70, 80, 90 years ago...incredible to browse. And inspiring cover art. Of course the cheapest book I touched was $75 and most were $400+ but just seeing this treasure trove is worth the visit. http://www.raresf.com/bhome.html (in Santa Monica)

Anyway, on to this week's reads...

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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by ThreeDieSix » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:59 pm

Thanks for the recommendations! I'm in San Jose, so I'll have to make the short trip up to San Francisco to check out Kayo and Borderlands. There are a some pretty good used book stores on the southern end of the bay area, but they're not nearly as impressive as Kayo and Borderlands seem to be.

As far as the duds go, I know you mentioned Blue Star by Fletcher Pratt. I haven't read that one, but I did read Well of the Unicorn. Unlike a lot of the books in appendix N, it's not at all pulpy. It's actually a pretty serious piece of fantasy literature. Although it's a heavy read, it's take on morality and philosophy is quite complex for a fantasy story. It seems at first like a simple good-vs-evil scenario like Lord of the Rings, but then things start to get pretty messy and complicated - just like in real life.

There's also the Harold Shea series that Pratt co-wrote with L. Sprague De Camp. It's a fun, pulpy series that's more in line with the rest of appendix N. I think at the end of appendix N Gary specifically mentions it as one of the key influences on D&D.

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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by goodmangames » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:24 pm

ThreeDieSix wrote:As far as the duds go, I know you mentioned Blue Star by Fletcher Pratt. I haven't read that one, but I did read Well of the Unicorn. Unlike a lot of the books in appendix N, it's not at all pulpy. It's actually a pretty serious piece of fantasy literature. Although it's a heavy read, it's take on morality and philosophy is quite complex for a fantasy story. It seems at first like a simple good-vs-evil scenario like Lord of the Rings, but then things start to get pretty messy and complicated - just like in real life.

There's also the Harold Shea series that Pratt co-wrote with L. Sprague De Camp. It's a fun, pulpy series that's more in line with the rest of appendix N. I think at the end of appendix N Gary specifically mentions it as one of the key influences on D&D.
Yes, I really enjoyed the Harold Shea books, as well as Fallible Fiend by De Camp. You can directly see the roots of D&D's magic system in the Harold Shea books -- it's interesting to read that and Vance at the same time.

I'll check out Well of the Unicorn...
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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by grodog » Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:33 am

Good to see Farmer getting some love, Joseph: he's one of my favorite writers in Appendix N :D
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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by goodmangames » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:43 pm

And now for the latest batch of Appendix N goodness. The World's End series from Lin Carter is surprisingly good - I've got the next two books in my queue and looking forward to reading them...

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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by goodmangames » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:25 pm

And a belated update with a few more. I am partway through a stack of short-story books at the moment so the next update will be when they're all finally finished. In the meantime, crossed another few off the list...

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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by goodmangames » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:30 pm

Here's the latest batch of my Appendix N journey. Some of these represent side treks. John Eric Homes' Maze of Peril isn't on Appendix N, but of course the Holmes edition of D&D is a classic and the book certainly fits the concept of classic OD&D fiction. Nor is William Hope Hodgson on Appendix N, but his works of supernatural horror and fantasy were a big influence on Lovecraft and are certainly worth reading.

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This book wins the award for "worst cover art ever."

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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by goodmangames » Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:31 pm

And a few more recent completions. The Amber series is intriguing - along with Moorcock and Farmer, I'm starting to see where Gygax got his ideas around planar travel...

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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by JediOre » Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:29 pm

About two months before I enrolled in my Masters I found a pdf of Appendix N & had my college's print shop laminate a copy of this list.

I'll have to go and find it. I can read for pleasure again!!! :D

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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by goodmangames » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:34 pm

Finished up the Amber series and the first three Mars books by Burroughs. Amber was great, but Burroughs was better. WOW! Talk about action-adventure. And probably the first published use of the word "fighting-man," way back in 1912. Now I understand where the fighter came from!

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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by goodmangames » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:39 pm

Finished a couple more. The Hobbit we've all read, of course. Hiero's Journey was particularly interesting as a follow-up to Sign of the Labrys because both have the same post-apocalyptic subtext, which is present to a certain degree in classical D&D, too. (The ruined castle presupposes some great society that could have constructed and maintained that castle in its prime...) Reign of Wizardry has great swordsmanship, great sorcery, and even a bit of dungeon navigation and gladiatorial combat to boot!

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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by goodmangames » Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:11 pm

Here are my latest reads from Appendix N. Weinbaum is interesting - the stories themselves are not particularly notable except in a historical commentary; echoing what I'd heard from others, his "authenticity" in portraying aliens as something other than mindless foils for the heroes was groundbreaking in its day but mundane now. Fredric Brown appears in Appendix N with no particular title citations so I picked up The Mind Thing as a random sample of his work.

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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by finarvyn » Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:54 pm

Joe, where do you find the time to read so much? :shock:

I guess I spend too much time reading message boards. :lol:
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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by mythfish » Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:01 pm

goodmangames wrote: Image
That's one I've been meaning to pick up again. Read them years ago and really enjoyed them (the Corwin series at least, Merlin didn't do it for me). Had a lot of fun playing in an Amber RPG game a while back, but found I didn't remember the books very well.
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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by finarvyn » Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:59 am

Zelazny's Amber series is one of my all-time favorites. If you liked Amber you might try Jack of Shadows or the two Dilvish books (Dlivish, The Damned and The Changing Land) because they have a similar feel to them.

I've been a huge Amber diceless fan for a long time, but it seems that fewer and fewer gamers have heard of it. Even fewer have played it. Kind of sad. :(

Actually, it's really sad that Zelazny is fading from bookstores. I think you can sometimes finda copy of The Big Book of Amber, and I think there were recent reprints of Lord of Light and Creatures of LIght and Darkness, but overall people just don't seem to have heard of Zelazny any more and book stores just don't stock his books.
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Re: Reading Appendix N

Post by mythfish » Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:28 am

finarvyn wrote:Zelazny's Amber series is one of my all-time favorites. If you liked Amber you might try Jack of Shadows or the two Dilvish books (Dlivish, The Damned and The Changing Land) because they have a similar feel to them.
Cool, I'll look for those.
I've been a huge Amber diceless fan for a long time, but it seems that fewer and fewer gamers have heard of it. Even fewer have played it. Kind of sad. :(
In the end, I decided it wasn't really my cup of tea, but it was definitely an innovative and iconic system. Even more than most games, though, it really depended on the quality of the other people you were playing with.
Actually, it's really sad that Zelazny is fading from bookstores. I think you can sometimes finda copy of The Big Book of Amber, and I think there were recent reprints of Lord of Light and Creatures of LIght and Darkness, but overall people just don't seem to have heard of Zelazny any more and book stores just don't stock his books.
He's still alive and well at the store I work at, but we're pretty much all used books.
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