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MWChapel wrote:
quozl wrote:
I've been reading the Appendix N novels from AD&D recently. It's really cool to read fantasy before D&D codified everything and fantasy changed to fit D&D.


Interesting, I didn't even remember that appendix. In it Three Hearts and Three Lions by Paul Anderson has piqued my interest. I may have to put that into my queue.


That's a really fun one. There's so many things in there that clearly inspired Gygax -- regenerating trolls, paladins losing their powers due to impure thoughts or actions, the cosmic war of law v. chaos... good times.
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GURPS Swashbucklers has a great bibliography that introduced me to Sabatini's Captain Blood and Anthony Hope.

I think I only started reading the Dresden Files after I heard about the RPG (although I don't own the RPG).

As a kid I was into Dragonlance, but I think my Mum picked Legend of Huma second hand somewhere as my introduction thinking about it, so that doesn't really count.
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I didn't see the nonfiction part before. I didn't necessarily discover anything because of RPGs, but I read a lot of things that I might not have because of wanting to know something about them in running RPGs.

Such as, about 1/3 of the Encyclopedia Britannica I was looking for tech info, government options, etc. Then I read a bunch of "Foxfire" books, which are about hand crafts from a later era than I usually run, but still interesting for possibilities on what might be occurring in a society.

Finally, I really enjoyed Naval Warfare Under Oars. Most nautical books for the layman are heavy on pictures, short on explanations, or are focused on modern sailing. Rodgers book is an exception to that trend.
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dysjunct wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
quozl wrote:
I've been reading the Appendix N novels from AD&D recently. It's really cool to read fantasy before D&D codified everything and fantasy changed to fit D&D.


Interesting, I didn't even remember that appendix. In it Three Hearts and Three Lions by Paul Anderson has piqued my interest. I may have to put that into my queue.


That's a really fun one. There's so many things in there that clearly inspired Gygax -- regenerating trolls, paladins losing their powers due to impure thoughts or actions, the cosmic war of law v. chaos... good times.


Yeah, that troll is scary!
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Already knew about Tolkien (Hobbit/LOTR) priorate AD&D. I went for the reference section and quickly added these favorites (in order of preference) to my reading list:
Conan series by Robert E. Howard
John Carter of Mars by Edgar Rice Boroughs
Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series by Fritz Leiber.
the books about Elric of Melniboné by Michael Moorcock
H. P. Lovecraft
(the first two led to also collecting comics)
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Ugavine wrote:
The Warhammer Gotrek & Felix series I found very enjoyable.


Oh yeah now that you mention it I've read the first in the Gotrek & Felix series (an anthology I think it was?), as well as the Dan Abnett first of the Horus Heresy books (there's 40+ of them??)
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dysjunct wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
quozl wrote:
I've been reading the Appendix N novels from AD&D recently. It's really cool to read fantasy before D&D codified everything and fantasy changed to fit D&D.


Interesting, I didn't even remember that appendix. In it Three Hearts and Three Lions by Paul Anderson has piqued my interest. I may have to put that into my queue.


That's a really fun one. There's so many things in there that clearly inspired Gygax -- regenerating trolls, paladins losing their powers due to impure thoughts or actions, the cosmic war of law v. chaos... good times.


I tracked it down and read it due to knowing its influence, but I wasn't very impressed with it as a novel. It was a bit neat seeing all the random one-off things that got codified as D&D tropes, but it was kind of plodding, suffers from the common fantasy problem of being a succession of set-pieces which are fine individually but don't add up to an interesting plot, and, like most SF/F pre-1980, has some issues with the characterization of women.
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Poul Anderson was pretty dialed into the ancient Nordic mindset, and was able to portray it from multiple angles. But he wasn't limited to that. The "Kingdom of Ys" is a fantasy early dark ages tale that particularly does a good job of getting into different mindsets. (Fair warning, it's a bit brutal, and there is no sugar coating some of it.)

He also has a set of collected essays and short stories, called, "On Fantasy," which is thought provoking at times and hilarious at others.
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In addition to Larry Niven & Lovecraft, I got to quite a few books from the bibliography of the GURPS Horror sourcebooks (both editions).
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Fiction:

Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion series and other works; I started the Elric stories after reading about them in Deities & Demigods, and just went on from there.

H. P. Lovecraft's entire corpus; he was mentioned in Deities & Demigods as well, but I wasn't inspired to try him until I bought Call of Cthulhu (2nd edition)

I only started reading Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur after acquiring King Arthur Pendragon.

Do tie-ins count? I've read a handful of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay tie-in books (of variable quality) to get a better feel for the Old World... and I bought and read a Dragon Age tie-in, of which the less said the better. And I guess I'd have to include the Dragonlance novels and short-story collections I bought, as I got DL1 Dragons of Despair and DL2 Dragons of Flame long before I knew there would be fiction to go along with the game adventures.

Non-fiction:

Nothing's leaping immediately to mind, though I'm sure there must have been at least one book discovered in this way. RPGs have certainly inspired me to pick up a lot of books on history (Penguin Historical Atlas books, Osprey books, etc.), but I can't think of any cases where these books were mentioned explicitly in a game.
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Benevolentgamemaster wrote:
Lovecraft here as well...


While gaming caused be to read HPL, reading HPL caused me to detest his writing.
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aramis wrote:
Benevolentgamemaster wrote:
Lovecraft here as well...


While gaming caused be to read HPL, reading HPL caused me to detest his writing.

thumbsup

I find I prefer other writers who took his ideas and made them their own.
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Read Stephen King's Dark Tower novels after being invited to play in a campaign in the setting.
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adularia25 wrote:
aramis wrote:
Benevolentgamemaster wrote:
Lovecraft here as well...


While gaming caused be to read HPL, reading HPL caused me to detest his writing.

thumbsup

I find I prefer other writers who took his ideas and made them their own.

My favorite of those is Kij Johnson's The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe.
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Mavis101 wrote:
Which fiction books have you discovered and enjoyed only after first learning about them from playing or reading an RPG?


Like a couple of the others, I was a voracious SF/Fantasy reader since I was a child, so when I discovered RPGs as a teen I had already read many of the "usual suspects". One that I had not was the already-mentioned Three Hearts and Three Lions which I did not read until some years later. I have had Jack Vance's The Dying Earth on my shelf for a while now, but have not yet read it. I had already read many of Lovecraft's stories before the CoC game was published, but the game did inspire me to seek out several other authors in the "Cthulhu Mythos" genre, in particular Ramsey Campbell and Brian Lumley.

However, there have been a couple of books that were written because of RPGs that I tracked down: one was Andre Norton's Quag Keep, which sadly I found very dull (unusually for Norton; I've read many other books of hers which I generally found very enjoyable). I had better success with M.A.R. Barker's novels based on his Tekumel RPG setting: The Man of Gold and Flamesong, both of which I enjoyed immensely. (I haven't read the three others he wrote, as they were small-press printings and hard-to-find/expensive.)

I guess I could add that my enjoyment of the Bushido RPG inspired me to seek out some "fantastic Japan" fiction, most notable of which was Jessica Amanda Salmonsen's Tomoe Gozen trilogy. (Salmonsen herself has some background with RPGs; you'll find her name as an occasional writer of articles in old RPG magazines.)

Quote:
Which non-fiction books have you discovered and enjoyed only after first learning about them from playing or reading an RPG?


That's a harder question. Bushido engendered some interest in feudal Japan, so I picked up some books on Samurai history as a result. Similarly I have one or two books on the 1920's and 1930's because of CoC.
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Mixula wrote:
Lovecraft, and following from there, Lord Dunsany. Discovering Dunsany is the greatest thing reading Lovecraft has done to me.

....snip


Fantasy and Science Fiction were never very far from my attention, but Call of Cthulhu introduced me to Lovecraft. Which, in turn, led me to Lord Dunsany, Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen, and M.R. James.

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Like a few others (above), I'm not sure I've ever gone the RPG->Fiction route. I read a lot more fiction than game stuff. I think I've always read the fiction first, the game second. That I can think of, anyway.

I suppose some of R. A. Salvatore's novels could be considered game first, fiction second. If that counts. I've read a couple of his, probably struggled through a Forgotten Realms novel or two. Can't remember titles or details, though...


Wait! I remembered one. Peake's Gormenghast trilogy, which I made it about 1/2 way through - the first one was... uh... I finished. The second one did me in.
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sos1 wrote:
adularia25 wrote:
aramis wrote:
Benevolentgamemaster wrote:
Lovecraft here as well...


While gaming caused be to read HPL, reading HPL caused me to detest his writing.

thumbsup

I find I prefer other writers who took his ideas and made them their own.

My favorite of those is Kij Johnson's The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe.


And mine is I, Cthulhu by Neil Gaiman.
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Nine Princes in Amber
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Shadow & Claw by Gene Wolfe. I wish I would have found out about it long before I started playing Numenera.
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EvilHat put out the ATOMIC ROBO RPG, so I had to go read the Atomic Robo graphic novels for free, all of them newest to oldest:

http://www.atomic-robo.com/atomicrobo/archive

A robot made by Nikola Tesla, Robo has adventures across several eras but is a tragic figure because his colleagues all die eventually. He does a great Jack Benny imitation...but now nobody gets it.

The game even uses ample panels from the comic to illustrate their rules, with added text on them! Its theme is "Action Science" (what Indiana Jones was doing was merely Action Archeology).
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Frizzyhaired Chemist wrote:
The game even uses ample panels from the comic to illustrate their rules, with added text on them! Its theme is "Action Science" (what Indiana Jones was doing was merely Action Archeology).

I'd say he wasn't even doing archaeology. It was just action.
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I once ran a game of RINGWORLD (1984?) for several months. It was a great adaptation of Chaosium Inc's. Basic RolePlaying rules to science fiction, although it listed a lot of science-related Skills (which might have needed real science knowledge to adjudicate.)

Anyway, one player had not read the Larry Niven novels (there were 2 Ringworld novels by that time). Other players encouraged him to read it, and he said "Yeah, yeah..."

A few weeks later he said, "These [novels] are amazing, fantastic! You should have told me to read them!"
"We did."
"But you should have forced me!"

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