Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Why Appendix N Entertainment?

Some out there might be wondering about the name of our company, even if you are aware of the origin of Appendix N. First I'll give a little insight into what "Appendix N" is for those reading that may not know. "Appendix N" was a literal (Ha!) appendix in the AD&D 1st Edition Dungeon Master's Guide, in which E. Gary Gygax posted most of the things that influenced him in the creation and early stages of his contribution to D&D.  It was placed in the DMG to help to educate players as to what it was the D&D was meant to emulate and represent, as well as give inspiration. This is the original Appendix N: 

"Appendix N:

Inspirational and Educational Reading

Inspiration for all of the fantasy work I have done stems directly from the love my father showed when I was a tad, 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 sorcerers 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 consultation of compilations 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 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 and Three Lions; The High Crusade; The 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
  • de Camp, L. Sprague. Lest Darkness Fall; Fallible Fiend; et al.
  • de Camp & Pratt. "Harold Shea" series; Carnelian Cube
  • Derleth, August.
  • Dunsany, Lord.
  • Farmer, P. J. "The World of the 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; et al.
  • Moorcock, Michael. Stormbringer; Stealer of Souls; "Hawkmoon" series (esp. the first three books)
  • Norton, Andre.
  • Offutt, Andrew J., editor. Swords Against Darkness III.
  • Pratt, Fletcher. Blue Star; 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.
  • Wellman, Manly Wade.
  • Williamson, Jack.
  • Zelazny, Roger. Jack of Shadows; "Amber" series; et al.
The most immediate influences upon AD&D were probably de Camp & 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." - Gary Gygax

Since learning about Appendix N and reading it's offerings, I have loved the idea of presenting an inspirational appendix in every work that I publish. I believe that it may help referees and players to better understand the work they are reading/playing and what the intent was. Additionally, fiction and works of art tend to be welcome where most gamers are concerned. I had often wondered at what films influenced the game as I am certain that choice science fiction, horror and fantasy pieces influenced the creation of D&D. In fact there are a few choice films that we KNOW influenced the creation of the rules. So it was that I decided to include a full "Appendix N" in every offering that my publishing house would produce. Not only would I include literature but films and television as well. I decided not to stop there, but to also include albums that were listened to during the period of the creation of any given work. In this way, the reader/player can better get into the head of the creator and create an ambiance in the game that fits the mood of the work. With an Appendix N, full of inspiration, in every work I was to produce/publish the name of the company came fairly readily.

- Ryan J. Thompson