Thursday, August 29, 2013

Appendix N and Inspiration, Legacy of the Bieth

A short while ago, there was some discussion over on G+ about Appendix Ns (comparing the B/X list with the AD&D DMG, looking at the RuneQuest list which is awesome and includes historical resources as well as annotations), so that got me fired up to write one of my own.

Prominently missing from this list is the Arabian Nights. I have nothing against the work, but the fact is that the Arabian Nights is the primary resource for "create a Middle Eastern fantasy setting" and I wanted to move away from that. It's going to exert some influence clearly (see my inclusion of Howard Andrew Jones's work, for instance, which was most definitely inspired by The Arabian Nights and Harun al-Rashid) but at a remove.

This is currently a bit light on particularly Maghrebi influence, but that's something that I'm trying to fix.

I was going to write annotations for this but got distracted. If you want to know more about my thoughts on one or more sources, please feel free to ask!

"Whispers from the Stone," by Storn Cook
for the Howard Andrew Jones story of the same name

Primary Sources
The Book of Contemplation, Usama ibn Munqidh
The Muqaddimah, Ibn Khaldun
The Rihla, Ibn Battuta

10,000 Ways to Die, Alex Cox
Night and Horses and the Desert, Robert Irwin
Timbuktu: The Sahara's Fabled City of Gold, Marq du Villiers and Sheila Hirtle
When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World, Hugh Kennedy

Chronicles of Sword and Sand, Howard Andrew Jones
Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed
Roadside Picnic, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Steven Erikson (particularly Deadhouse Gates and The Bonehunters).
"Zothique" stories, Clark Ashton Smith (also see generally)
"Outremer" stories, Robert Howard (also see generally)

The Dollars Trilogy, Sergio Leone

"Nice, quiet little town until you showed up."
(Pretty sure that this is A Fistful of Dollars but not 100% sure)

Blue Oyster Cult (see generally)
Powerslave, Iron Maiden
Ennio Morricone

Computer Games
S.T.A.L.K.E.R., GSG Game World
Mount & Blade, Paradox


  1. That's the finale of A Fistful of Dollars.

    1. Awesome, thanks! I was pretty sure, but not completely. (I haven't seen For a Few Dollars More that much, and felt there was a chance it could have been from that also.

  2. Have you read Jones's Desert of Souls? It has a very pulpish, D&D feel, and the author lists his own inspirations, which include the GURPS Arabian Nights sourcebook.

    1. Yup! "Chronicles of Sword and Sand" is the series title. I've read Desert of Souls and the short stories, Waters of Eternity. I haven't found Whispers from the Stone yet, and haven't picked up Bones of the Old Ones either.