Monday, December 13, 2010

Den Neverwhere: Foul Intentions

"The beast's intentions became obvious as we entered the building complex.

I rushed to hide among the sculptures along the staircase between them. The predator hissed an expectant chuckle.

Frantically I searched for a weapon. The girl turned and saw the lizard but didn't seem frightened."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Den Neverwhere: Stalking Horse

"I followed the lizardman ... Who followed the girl ... Whose destination was apparently the architectural anomaly, but her purpose there was still a complete mystery."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Den Neverwhere: Hunter

"Surprised at my own reaction, I sat motionless, wondering about what has caused it and what to do next, when a shadow crossed me.

It was the lizardman I had seen earlier. Was it a coincidence that he travelled in the same direction? ... I rejected this thought. He seemed intent upon something ... the girl ... I was suddenly afraid, not for myself, but for her even though I didn't know her.

Despite my lack of a strategy, I resolved to prevent this beast from harming the Indianess."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Den Neverwhere: Awakening

"I studied the artifact as I passed. I conjectured that it housed machinery that drew water rocks or the depths of the earth (if this really was Earth). And was powered by solar rays or nuclear energy.

This was the only human I'd seen since I had awakened here. Perhaps I should've confronted her and tried communication. An ominous aura around her discouraged that plan. It was the SOUND! Why would a sane person travel in this hostile land wearing nothing but noisy ornaments which could attract carnivorous beasts. I circled ahead to watch her pass.

The images stirred phantasmic forces in my head and erotic ones in my body."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Den Neverwhere: More Visitors

"Another figure approached. The ornamental headdress and anklets exuded the sound that alerted me.

I concluded that it was an Indian girl, which gave me new thoughts about my location. She drank and left.

The girl travelled toward the edifice. It was my quest also, though I had no predetermined purpose there.

I ate ... Drank ... And followed her ... "

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Den Neverwhere: Fear

"A creature, the likes of which I'd never seen before, was drinking from the pool. I was frozen with fear. Could it hear my pounding heart? Could it find me from my scent? Could it sense my presence by some unknown faculty?

Apparently quenched, the lizardman left and disappeared among the rocks. I was about to descend for a drink when...

... cha ching ... cha ching ... cha ching ... cha ching ... "

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Den Neverwhere: Dreams

"After further refreshing myself, I thought to find a place to sleep. Apprehensive of predacious creatures that might habit the fountain, I left its immediate vicinity and found a protected spot nearby.

Near morning dreams came to me. There was a person, and the book of my former vision. The surroundings were strangely familiar.

The man's attention was wholly upon reading and was surprised by the discovery of the loose paper. Then the scene changed. The man manipulated miniature structures into an incomprehensible assembly. I woke with an overwhelming anxiety."

Monday, December 6, 2010

Den Neverwhere: Nourishment

"I walked. My bare footfalls in the sand created the only sound. A slight breeze was a small relief in the heat.

After several hours existence in this desolate land ... I was overtaken by a vacuous feeling ... HUNGER.

-- FOOD!!

There were instincts, reflexes and a good amount of muscular dexterity contained in this body in which I found myself. I was thankful but still confused.

As evening approached I came upon an enigmatic oasis with a fountain. I ponder the artisans identity. I was happy to drink the sweet water without pause. The abundant fruits were also delicious."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Den Neverwhere: Desolation

"Who was I? Where was I? ... The landscape was totally unknown to me, even my body was unfamiliar.

What forces brought me here? I searched my mind for memories ... There was something there, but it was too clouded ... A name ... D ... E ... N ... My name is DEN.

I scanned the horizon. A distant structure rose out of the mists. I decided to go there. Perhaps it held a clue to the mystery."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Den Neverwhere: Arrival

"It seems like I was floating in darkness for an extremely long time. Slowly jumbled clouds of electroneural impulses coalesced to form my mind and I became aware of myself as an entity. I drifted across nebulous unfocussed colors.

As I wandered through the maze I saw something. It was an image ... a memory, but it was so fuzzy and indistinct. It seemed as though I was looking at a book. What is a book?

Within the book was an unconnected page. It had something on it ... an incomprehensible labyrinth of lines. The images faded, swept away by a searing light. Other sensations accompanied the radiance, bombarding my emerging consciousness."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Den Neverwhere: Cover Art

Den, appearing as it did in Heavy Metal Magazine in 1977 and 1978, was an important influence on my early Dungeons and Dragons sensibilities. One of my middle-school friends had parents who allowed him to collect Heavy Metal. It seemed odd at the time, and still seems odd to me now, but I and the rest of his adolescent friends benefited from his rather permissive parents. D&D and Traveller sessions at his house would be regularly interspersed with surreptitious gawking at the images in Heavy Metal. Even then, Den was our favorite, along with Barbarella. This is the cover art from the second printing of Den. It added to our D&D sensibilities, as it was a fantasy tale from which to draw adventure inspiration, in addition to feeding our teenaged appetites for images of nekkid women. The cover has a very Barsoomian, Burroughs-esque vibe to it. That's probably because of the green monster and damsel.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tackling Appendix N

I created this blog as a vehicle for posting regularly on my exploration of the suggested reading lists found in various role-playing game appendices. The title of this blog, Appendix N, refers to the Appendix, in the back of the original 1979 Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Masters Guide, bearing the same title. On a weekly basis, I intend to post a review of a book, movie or graphic novel that I find inspirational for designing and running a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Since my tastes are varied and my concentration notoriously unreliable, i'm not going to commit to a particular schedule, other than trying to blog once per week, but at present i'm going to first try to tackle at least one book from each of the following authors, before I branch out to other writers and mediums.

• Anderson, Poul

• Anthony, Piers

• de Camp, L. Sprague & Pratt, Fletcher

• Haggard, H. Rider

• Howard, Robert E.

• Lanier, Sterling

• Leiber, Fritz

• Merritt, A.

• Moorcock, Michael

• Saberhagen, Fred

• Vance, Jack

• Zelazny, Roger

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Appendix N From Mythus Magick

Chevski over at Grognardia published this appendix n list, which appears on the last page of the Mythus Magic rpg book, and is part of the Gary Gygax's Dangerous Journeys game.

This is a very good list of Appendix N entries, and so I am reproducing Chevski's summary on my blog, for easy reference. As Chevski mentions, the stars behind certain authors names indicates Gygax's estimation of each author's relative importance as sources of inspiration for role-playing games.

• Abbey, Lynn
• Anderson, Poul ****
• Anthony, Piers ****
• Asprin, Robert
• Barker, M.A.R.
• Bellairs, John
• Brackett, Leigh
• Brooks, Terry
• Burroughs, Edgar Rice
• Carter, Lin
• Chalker, Jack L.
• Cherryh, C.J.
• de Camp, L. Sprague
• de Camp, L. Sprague & Pratt, Fletcher ****
• Eddings, David
• Farmer, Phillip J.
• Fox, Gardner
• Gardner, Craig Shaw
• Gygax, Gary
• Haggard, H. Rider ***
• Hambly, Barbara
• Hickman, Tracy & Weiss, Margaret
• Howard, Robert E. *****
• Lanier, Sterling ***
• Leiber, Fritz ***
• McCaffrey, Anne
• Merritt, A. *****
• Moore, C.L.
• Moorcock, Michael ****
• Offutt, Andrew J.
• Pratchett, Terry
• Saberhagen, Fred ****
• St. Clair, Margaret
• Sims, John
• Springer, Nancy
• Stasheff, Christopher
• Stewart, Mary
• Tolkien, J.R.R.
• Vance, Jack ****
• Wagner, Karl
• Weinbaum, Stanley
• Williamson, Jack
• Weiss, Margaret
• Zelazny, Roger ****

Friday, November 12, 2010

Reading For Fun And Ideas

"The Following list of books contains suggestions for reading that is relevant to the Star Frontiers game. The more a player or referee reads for fun, the more ideas he will have to use during play or in creating an adventure.

The books listed below are only a few of the many good science and science fiction books available. Most of the authors listed have written many more books than can be shown here, so this list should be used as a starting point.


Anthony, Piers -- Macroscape
Anderson, Poul -- Ensign Flandry series
Asimov, Isaac -- Foundation trilogy; I, Robot; Gods Themselves
Asprin, Robert -- The Cold-Cash War
Bester, Alfred -- The Stars, My Destination
Blish, James -- Cities In Flight
Bradbury, Ray -- The Martian Chronicles
Brown, Frederick -- What Mad Universe
Brunner, John -- Stand On Zansibar
Budrys, Algis -- Rogue Moon
Chandler, Bertram A -- Commodore Grimes series
Clarke, Arthur C -- Rendezvous With Rama; Fountains Of Paradise
Clement, Hal -- Mission Of Gravity; Close To Critical
de Camp, L. Sprague -- Krishna series
Dick, Philip K. -- Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?
Dickson, Gordon R. -- Dorsai series
Drake, David -- Hammer's Slammers
Farmer, P. J. -- Riverworld series
Garrett, Randall -- Starship Death
Goulard, Ron -- many short novels
Haldeman, Joe -- The Forever War
Hansen, Karl -- War Games
Harrison, Harry -- Bill, The Galactic Hero, Stainless Steel Rat
Heinlein, Robert -- Starship Troopers; Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
Herbert, Frank -- Dune series
Laumer, Keith -- A Plague Of Demons; Retief series
Le Guin, Ursula K. -- The Left Hand Of Darkness
Lem, Slanislaw -- Solaris; The Cyberiad
Longyear, Barry -- Circus World
Niven, Larry -- Ringworld; Takes Of Known Space
Niven and Pournelle -- The Mote In God's Eye
Norton, Andre -- Star Rangers
Pohl, Frederick -- Gateway
Pournelle, Jerry -- The Mercenary
Russell, Eric Frank -- The Great Explosion
Saberagen, Fred -- Berserker series
Silverberg, Robert -- The Man In The Maze
Simak, Clifford -- City
Smith, E.E. -- Triplanetary; Space Patrol; Lensmen series
Stapleton, Olaf -- Last and First Men
Vance, Jack -- Big Planet; Tschai series; Demon Princes series
Van Vogt, A.E. -- Voyage of the Space Beagle
Varley, John -- Persistence Of Vision
Zelazny, Roger -- Lord Of Light"
-- S. Winter, 1982 Star Frontiers, p.61

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Inspirational Source Material

"A good D&D campaign is imaginative and creative. Sometimes a little research is useful to improve a dungeon, flesh out a scenario, and provide inspiration for a campaign. Books on folklore, mythology, fairy tales, bestiaries, and knightly legends can often help the DM fill in important details of a campaign, but fictional tales and fantasy novels usually provide the best sources of inspiration. The following list includes some books which might prove useful. A title list followed by 'et al' means that the author has written more fantasy titles than those which can be listed in the limited space available. Note that some books listed as 'non-fiction' are about myths and legends, but are labeled as non-fiction because they are not on the fiction shelves of the library or bookstore.


Alexander, Lloyd - The Book of Three; Black Cauldron; Castle of Llyr
Baum, L. Frank - The Wizard Of Oz, The Emerald City Of Oz
Bellairs, John - The Face In The Frost; House With A Clock In Its Walls
Burroughs, Edgar Rice - A Princess Of Mars; At The Earth's Core
Carroll, Lewis - Alice's Adventures In Wonderland
Garner, Alan - Elidor; Weirdstone Of Brisingamen
Le Guin, Ursula - A Wizard Of Earthsea; Tombs of Atuan
Lewis, C.S. - The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe


Anderson, Poul - Three Hearts Three Lions; The Broken Sword
Anthony, Piers - A Spell For Chameleon
Asprin, Robert - Another Fine Myth
Brackett, Leigh - The Secret Of Sinharat; People of the Talisman
Campbell, J. Ramsey - Demons By Daylight
Carter, Lin - Flashing Swords; Year's Best Fantasy Stories
Davidson, Avram - The Phoenix In The Mirror
de Camp, L. Sprague - The Fallible Fiend; The Goblin Tower
de Camp and Pratt - The Incompleat Enchanter; Land Of Unreason
Dunsany, Lord - King Of Elflands Daughter; Over The Hills And Far Away
Eddison, E.R. - The Worm Ouroboros
Eisenstein, Phyllis - Born To Exile; Sorcerer's Son
Farmer, P.J. - Maker Of Universes, Gates Of Creation, Private Cosmos
Finney, Charles - The Unholy City; The Circus of Dr. Lao
Heinlein, Robert - Glory Road
Howard, Robert E. - Conan; Red Nails; Pigeons From Hell
Lee, Tanith - Night's Master; Storm Lord; The Birthgrave
Leiber, Fritz - The Swords of Lankhmar, Swords Against Wizardry
Lovecraft, H.P. - Doom That Came To Sarnath; The Dunwich Horror
Merritt, A. - The Moon Pool; Dwellers In The Mirage
Moorcock, Michael - The Stealer Of Souls; Knight Of Swords
Mundy, Talbot - Tros Of Samothrace
Niven, Larry - The Magic Goes Away; Flight Of The Horse
Norton, Andre - Witch World; Year Of The Unicorn
Offutt, Andrew - The Iron Lords; Swords Against Darkness
Pratt, Fletcher - The Blue Star; Well Of The Unicorn
Smith, Clark Ashton - Xiccarph; Lost Worlds; Genus Loci
Stewart, Mary - The Crystal Cave; The Hollow Hills
Stoker, Bram - Dracula
Swann, T. Burnett - Cry Silver Bells; Moondust
Tolkien, J.R.R. - The Hobbit, Lord Of The Rings
Vance, Jack - Eyes Of The Overworld; Dying Earth; Dragon Masters
Wagner, Karl Edward - Bloodstone; Dark Crusade
White, Theodore - The Once And Future King
Zelazny, Roger - Jack Of Shadows; Nine Princes In Amber"

-- T. Moldvay, 1981 D&D Basic Rulebook, p. B62

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Inspirational And Educational Reading

"Inspiration for all the fantasy work I have done stems directly from the love my father showed when I was a lad, for he spent many hours telling me stories he made up as he went along, tales of cloaked old men who could grant wishes, of magic rings and enchanted swords, or wicked sorcerors and dauntless swordsmen. Then too, countless hundreds of comic books went down, and the long-gone EC ones certainly had their effect.

Science fiction, fantasy, and horror movies were a big influence. In fact, all of us tend to get ample helpings of fantasy when we are very young, from fairy tales such as those written by the Brothers Grimm and Andrew Lang. This often leads to reading books of mythology, paging through bestiaries, and consultations of compliations of the myths of various lands and peoples.

Upon such a base I built my interest in fantasy, being an avid reader of all science fiction and fantasy literature since 1950. The following authors were of particular inspiration to me. In some cases, I cite specific works, in others, I simply recommend all of their fantasy writing to you. From such sources, as well as just about any other imaginative writing or screenplay you will be able to pluck kernels from which grow the fruits of exciting campaigns. Good reading!

Inspirational Reading:

Anderson, Poul. Three Hearts Three Lions; High Crusade; Broken Sword
Bellairs, John. The Face in the Frost
Brackett, Leigh.
Brown, Fredric.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice. "Pellucidar" Series; Mars Series; Venus Series
Carter, Lin. "World's End" Series
deCamp, L. Sprague. Lest Darkness Fall; Fallible Fiend; et al.
deCamp & Pratt. "Harold Shea" Series; Carnelian Cube
Derleth, August.
Dunsany, Lord.
Farmer, P.J. "The World Of Tiers" Series; et al.
Fox, Gardner. "Kothar" Series; "Kyrik" Series; et al.
Howard, R.E. "Conan" Series
Lanier, Sterling. Hiero's Journey
Leiber, Fritz. "Fafhrd & Gray Mouser" Series; et al.
Lovecraft, H.P.
Merritt, A. Creep, Shadow, Creep; Moon Pool; Dwellers in the Mirage
Moorcock, Michael. Stormbringer; Stealer of Souls; "Hawkmoon" Series
Norton, Andre.
Offutt, Andrew J., editor Swords Against Darkness III
Pratt, Fletcher. Blue Star; et al.
Saberhagen, Fred. Changeling Earth; et al.
St. Clair, Margaret. The Shadow People; Sign of the Labrys
Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit; "Ring Trilogy"
Vance, Jack. The Eyes of the Overworld; The Dying Earth; et al.
Weinbaum, Stanley.
Williamson, Jack.
Zelazny, Roger. Jack of Shadows; "Amber" Series, et al.

The most immediate influences upon AD&D were probably deCamp & Pratt, REH, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, HPL, and A. Merritt; but all of the above authors, as well as many not listed, certainly helped to shape the form of the game. For this reason, and for the hours of reading enjoyment, I heartily recommend the works of these fine authors to you."

-- G. Gygax, Appendix N, 1979 AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide, p. 224