Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cimmerian sighting: How Dungeons and Dragons and Appendix N helped inspire a generation of readers

From such sources, as well as just about any other imaginative writing or screenplay, you will be able to pluck kernels from which to grow the fruits of exciting campaigns. Good reading!

--Gary Gygax,
Dungeon Master’s Guide, Appendix N

A little more than a year has passed since we lost Gary Gygax, creator of the Dungeons and Dragons fantasy roleplaying game and an imaginative giant, “one of the seminal influences in fantasy in the twentieth century,” according to Leo Grin, publisher of The Cimmerian.

Gygax’s death was and is still keenly felt for a number of reasons. First and foremost, he created a game of unbridled imagination that is still going strong more than three decades after its inception, surviving the rise of computer “roleplaying” games, misguided attacks by the media, and even misplaced religious fervor. D&D continues to be played by youths as well as adults who never lost their love for the game nor suffered the unfortunate calcification of their imagination.

But Gygax’s other legacy is his role as a champion of fantasy fiction. He helped to introduce a generation of gamers to the pleasures of fantasy fiction (I count myself in this group). Even those who have since moved on from D&D paused to honor and remember Lake Geneva’s most famous resident for fostering in them a lifelong love of reading following his death on March 4, 2008.

To read the rest of this post, visit The Cimmerian Web site.


Anonymous said...

You have motivated me! I dug out my old DMG and did some Amazon searching for the (few) authors left on that list I never got around to reading.

Brian Murphy said...

There's a lot of good stuff on there. I confess that I haven't read it all, but Appendix N did inspire me to pick up stuff like Fritz Lieber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, which are easily among the best swords-and-sorcery stories ever written. Poul Anderson is a must-read also.