[Moldvay] B62 List (Moldvay's Appendix N)

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[Moldvay] B62 List (Moldvay's Appendix N)

Post by Big Mac » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:14 am

I just listened to Save or Die Podcast Episode 126: Welcome to Pelinore, and they had a letter section, at the start, where someone asked about Tom Moldvay's B62 list of inspirational reading.

The author said that a lot of people spoke about Gary Gygax's Appendix N, but not many people talk about Tom Modvay's B62.

To be honest, I had never heard about B62 before this podcast (and didn't have the 1e DMG, so had not looked into Appendix N until last year). I've looked for webpages talking about B62 and found two blog articles: Neither of the articles give a full list of the recommended reading in B62, but they give you a general idea of it.

Does anyone have the Moldvay D&D book? What do you think of the B62 recommendations?

Has anyone based a D&D campaign on a B62 source? Which source did you use and how did you use it in your game?
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Re: [Moldvay] B62 List (Moldvay's Appendix N)

Post by AxesnOrcs » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:52 pm

I used to carry around a copy of the B/X "appendix N" and the 1e appendix N, so I would have fall books to look for whenever I ended up in a book store. I think that both list science-fiction among the planetary romances of Burroughs, and fantasy titles, several of which contain elements of lost, fallen, or post-apocalyptic highly technological civilizations, makes for a strong argument to not focus solely on Tolkienien high fantasy novels as well as to mix both science fiction and fantasy elements.

Personally, I never much cared for the separation of SF from F; I make liberal usage of ancient high technology and sword and sorcery elements every time I do setting working/reworking. Libraries don't make a distinction between the two genrea, so why should we? YMMV.
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Re: [Moldvay] B62 List (Moldvay's Appendix N)

Post by JamesMishler » Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:54 pm

Here is the entire B62 list...

FICTION: YOUNG ADULT FANTASY
Alexander, Lloyd — The Book of Three; Black Cauldron; Castle of Llyr, et al.
Baum, L. Frank - The Wizard of Oz; The Emerald City of Oz; The Land of Oz, et al.
Bellairs, John - The Face in the Frost; The House Without a Clock on Its Walls; The Figure in the Shadows, et al.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice — A Princess of Mars; At the Earth's Core; Tarzan of the Apes, et al.
Carroll, Lewis — Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; Through the Looking Glass
Garner, Alan — Elidor, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen; The Moon of Gomrath, et al.
Le Guin, Ursula K. – A Wizard of Earthsea; The Tombs of Atuan; The Farthest Shore, et al.
Lewis, C. S. – The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader", et al.

NON-FICTION: YOUNG ADULT
Barber, Richard — A Companion to World Mythology
Buehr, Walter – Chivalry and the Mailed Knight
Coolidge, Olivia — Greek Myths; The Trojan War; Legends of the North
d'Aulaire, Ingri and Edgar Parin — Norse Gods and Giants; Trolls
Hazeltine, Alice — Hero Tales from Many Lands
Hillyer, Virgil – Young People's Story of the Ancient World: Prehistory - 500 B.C.
Jacobs, Joseph – English Folk and Fairy Tales
Macauley, David – Castles
McHargue, Georgess — The Beasts of Never: A History Natural and Unnatural of Monsters, Mythical and
Magical; The Impossible People
Renault, Mary — The Lion in the Gateway
Sellow, Catherine F. — Adventures with the Giants
Sutcliff, Rosemary — Tristram and Iseult
Williams, Jay – Life in the Middle Ages
Winer, Bart – Life in the Ancient World

FICTION: ADULT FANTASY
Anderson, Poul — Three Hearts and Three Lions; The Broken Sword; The Merman's Children, et al.
Anthony, Piers — A Spell for Chameleon; The Source of Magic; Castle Roogna
Asprin, Robert — Another Fine Myth
Brackett, Leigh — The Coming of the Terrans; The Secret of Sinharat; People of the Talisman, et al.
Campbell, J. Ramsey — Demons by Daylight
Davidson, Avram — The Island Under the Earth; Ursus of Ultima Thule; The Phoenix in the Mirror, et al.
de Camp, L. Sprague — The Fallible Fiend; The Goblin Tower, et al.
de Camp, L. Sprague and Pratt, Fletcher — The Incomplete Enchanter; Land of Unreason, et al.
Dunsany, Lord — Over the Hills and Far Away; Book of Wonder; The King of Elfland's Daughter, et al.
Eddison, E. R. — The Worm Ouroboros
Eisenstein, Phyllis — Born to Exile; Sorcerer's Son
Farmer, Phillip Jose — The Gates of Creation; The Maker of Universes; A Private Cosmos, et al.
Finney, Charles G. — The Unholy City; The Circus of Dr. Lao
Heinlein, Robert A. — Glory Road
Howard, Robert E. — Conan; “Red Nails”; “Pigeons from Hell”
Lee, Tanith — Night's Master; The Storm Lord; The Birthgrave, et al.
Leiber, Fritz — The Swords of Lankhmar; Swords Against Wizardry; Swords Against Death, et al.
Lovecraft, H. P. — The Doom that Came to Sarnath; The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath; The Dunwich Horror
Merritt, A. E. — The Moon Pool; Dwellers in the Mirage; The Ship of Ishtar, etal.
Moorcock, Michael — The Stealer of Souls; The Knight of the Swords; Gloriana, et al.
Mundy, Talbot — Tros of Samothrace
Niven, Larry — The Flight of the Horse; The Magic Goes Away
Norton, Andre — Witch World; The Year of the Unicorn; The Crystal Gryphon, et al.
Offutt, Andrew — The Iron Lords; Shadows Out of Hell
Pratt, Fletcher — The Blue Star; The Well of the Unicorn
Smith, Clark Ashton — Xiccarph; Lost Worlds; Genius Loci
Stewart, Mary — The Crystal Cave; The Hollow Hills; The Last Enchantment
Stoker, Bram — Dracula
Swann, Thomas Burnett — Cry Silver Bells; The Tournament of the Thorns; Moondust, et al.
Tolkien, J. R. R. — The Hobbit; The Lord of the Rings (trilogy)
Vance, Jack — The Eyes of the Overworld; Dying Earth; The Dragon Masters, et al.
Wagner, Karl Edward — Bloodstone; Death Angel's Shadow; Dark Crusade, et al.
White, Theodore H. — The Once and Future King
Zelazny, Roger — Jack of Shadows; Lord of Light; Nine Princes in Amber, et al.

Some additional authors of fantasy fiction are:
Beagle, Peter S.
Bok, Hannes
Cabell, James Branch
Carter, Lin
Cherryh, C. J.
Delany, Samuel R.
Fox, Gardner
Gaskell, Jane
Green, Roland
Haggard, H. Rider
Jakes, John
Kurtz, Katherine
Lanier, Sterling
McCaffrey, Anne
McKillip, Patricia A.
Moore, C. L.
Myers, John Myers
Peake, Mervyn
Saberhagen, Fred
Walton, Evangeline
Wellman, Manly Wade
Williamson, Jack

SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS:
Carter, Lin (ed.) — The Year's Best Fantasy Stories (in several volumes); Flashing Swords (also in several volumes)
Offutt, Andrew (ed.) — Swords Against Darkness (in several volumes)

NON-FICTION
Borges, Jorge Luis — The Book of Imaginary Beings
Bullfinch, Thomas — Bullfinch's Mythology: The Age of Fable, The Age of Chivalry
Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend

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Re: [Moldvay] B62 List (Moldvay's Appendix N)

Post by Khedrac » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:51 pm

I have the same issue with these lists as I do with any other - tastes differ.

I am not saying they are not good lists of potentially inspirational sources, for one they they are exactly that, but different people will be inspired by different things in different ways. For example, these days i find that I can take inspiration from modern history books/documentaries - the little things most people don't know that our ancestors used to do...

Add to that the sheer amount of fantasy and science fiction that has been written in last 40 years - vastly dwarfing what was available in the 1970s. Yes a lot is what I think most of us would call "not very good", but even that can give one ideas (if just how to do the same thing better). There is so much out there I would advise anyone to read what they enjoy, and try to see what they can draw from that.
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Re: [Moldvay] B62 List (Moldvay's Appendix N)

Post by ghendar » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:10 pm

I try to take inspiration from whatever source I think would be a good inspiration :| :D

I once adapted the star trek episode, Return of the Archons, during my 3.x days. Well, adaption may be too strong a word but I certainly used elements of it. I considered adapting Devil in the Dark as well.
I use whatever source I can find. Movies, books, TV, cartoons, old college history texts, mythology, whatever.

As far as Moldvay's list (as well as Gygax's list) I would use lots of stuff from Dunsany and Merritt. Dunsany is particularly quirky and in some cases, batshit crazy, and I mean that in only the best possible way. I love Dunsany's work.

There is a four book series from the 80s, referred to as The Gates of Lucifer, that I've always loved. It's fairly obscure but I've recently given serious thought to trying to adapt it for D&D, as a series of four linked demi-planes.
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Re: [Moldvay] B62 List (Moldvay's Appendix N)

Post by Big Mac » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:40 pm

AxesnOrcs wrote:I used to carry around a copy of the B/X "appendix N" and the 1e appendix N, so I would have fall books to look for whenever I ended up in a book store. I think that both list science-fiction among the planetary romances of Burroughs, and fantasy titles, several of which contain elements of lost, fallen, or post-apocalyptic highly technological civilizations, makes for a strong argument to not focus solely on Tolkienien high fantasy novels as well as to mix both science fiction and fantasy elements.
That's a good idea.

I used to have a PDA and loaded a wishlist of books onto it (after a couple of incidents where they swapped out the cover of a book I already owned and I accidentally bought a second copy).

It wouldn't be hard for me to put a B62 list (or an Appendix N list or any other sort of list - I think there is a list in one of the Spelljammer books) so that I can look for things to grab, like you do. :)
AxesnOrcs wrote:Personally, I never much cared for the separation of SF from F; I make liberal usage of ancient high technology and sword and sorcery elements every time I do setting working/reworking. Libraries don't make a distinction between the two genrea, so why should we? YMMV.
I used to dislike fantasy novels or movies...but only like fantasy roleplaying games. Then I did a bit of fantasy LARP and found that I preferred science fiction LARP.

But, I think you are right. I think I've been a bit of a snob not wanting the two mixed, in the past. But, I do think it's something that can be part of the theme of a campaign setting.

Eberron seems to have embraced the idea of industrialise technology and "wide magic" (that's a large amount of industrialised low-level magic).

I should have a look at some of the ancient technology sources, but I think I'll still want to think carefully about them (and talk to experts like you for advice) so I can use them in a non-cheesy way.
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Re: [Moldvay] B62 List (Moldvay's Appendix N)

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:10 pm

My local library does a weird thing where fantasy fiction and literary fiction are shelved together in one section while science fiction gets its own section in a separate part of the library next to the mystery genre. But I've never seen that anywhere else, and bookstores certainly shelve fantasy and science fiction together.

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Re: [Moldvay] B62 List (Moldvay's Appendix N)

Post by Mike » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:09 pm

I have taken the Moldvay list to bookstores and hunted for the books. A lot is the same as the AD&D list, but there are a few unusual gems, and I think it is a broader sample than Gygax. In particular I highly recommend Bellairs "the gave in the frost" for its eerie fantasy tone. Also John Jakes if you like conan pastiches.

While i agree they're had been a lot of fantasy written since the list was compiled, these lists are important to understand why D&D is what is it. If you feel these lists are too limited then you may find other more recent games fit your tastes better than D&D. The bibliography is like a time capsule, like a window into the mind of the author.

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Re: [Moldvay] B62 List (Moldvay's Appendix N)

Post by ghendar » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:15 pm

Mike wrote:While i agree they're had been a lot of fantasy written since the list was compiled, these lists are important to understand why D&D is what is it. If you feel these lists are too limited then you may find other more recent games fit your tastes better than D&D. The bibliography is like a time capsule, like a window into the mind of the author.
Couldn't agree more. Let's remember that these lists were compiled more than 35 years ago. A similar list written for a modern version of D&D would likely look very different, unfortunately.
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Re: [Moldvay] B62 List (Moldvay's Appendix N)

Post by GMWestermeyer » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:23 pm

The Moldvay list had a bigger impact on me then Appenidix N. I got the B/X sets in 1981, same year I got the Players handbook, but I didn't get the DMG for a few more years. By the time I got the DMG my fantasy tastes were well established. There is a lot of crossover between the lists.

During the years I wrote the "Off the Shelf" book review column for Knights of the Dinner Table magazine, I tried very hard to choose authors from Appendix N or B62.

I think it is actually a better, more comprehensive list than the one in Appendix N of the 1e DMG. I've pasted it below. and indicated which authors I've reviewed and which KODT issues those reviews are in.
FICTION: YOUNG ADULT FANTASY
Alexander, Lloyd - The Book of Three; Black Cauldron; Castle of Llyr, etal.
KODT #129 July 2007 The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander
Baum, L. Frank — The Wizard of Oz; The Emerald City of Oz; The Land of Oz, etal.
KoDT #170 December 2010 Off the Shelf: The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum
Bellairs, John — The Face in the Frost; The House Without a Clock on Its Walls; The Figure in the Shadows, et al.
KoDT #133 November 2007 Off the Shelf: The Face in the Frost by John Bellairs
Burroughs, Edgar Rice — A Princess of Mars; At the Earth's Core; Tarzan of the Apes, et al.
KODT #121 November 2006 The Barsoom Series by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Carroll, Lewis — Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; Through the Looking Glass
Guin, Alan — Elidor, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen; The Moon of Gomrath, et al.
Le Guin, Ursula K. - A Wizard of Earthsea; The Tombs of Atuan; The Farthest Shore, et al.
Lewis, C. S. - The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader", et al.
KoDT #141 July 2008 Off the Shelf: That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis
NON-FICTION: YOUNG ADULT
Barber, Richard — A Companion to World Mythology
Buehr. Walter - Chivalry and the Mailed Knight
Coolidge, Olivia — Greek Myths; The Trojan War; Legends of the North
d'Aulaire, Ingri and Edgar Parin — Norse Gods and Giants; Trolls
Hazeltine, Alice — Hero Tales from Many Lands
Hillyer. Virgil - Young People's Story of the Ancient World: Prehistory - 500 B.C.
Jacobs, Joseph — English Folk and Fairy Tales
Macauley, David — Castles
McHargue, Georgess — The Beasts of Never: A History Natural and Unnatural of Monsters, Mythical and Magical; The Impossible People
Renault, Mary — The Lion in the Gateway
KODT #123 January 2007
The King Must Die and The Bull from the Sea by Mary Renault
Sellow, Catherine F. — Adventures with the Giants
Sutcliff, Rosemary — Tristram and Iseult
Williams, Jay - Life in the Middle Ages
Winer, Bart - Life in the Ancient World

FICTION: ADULT FANTASY
Anderson, Poul — Three Hearts and Three Lions; The Broken Sword; The Merman's Children, et al.
KODT #127 May 2007 Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson

KoDT #166 August 2010 The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson
Anthony, Piers — A Spell for Chameleon; The Source of Magic; Castle Roogna
Asprin, Robert — Another Fine Myth
KODT #115 May 2006 Thieves’ World edited by Asprin and Abbey
Brackett, Leigh — The Coming of the Terrans; The Secret of Sinharat; People of the Talisman, et al.
Black Amazon of Mars by Leigh Brackett Knights of the Dinner Table #188 June 2012
Campbell, J. Ramsey — Demons by Daylight
Davidson, Avram — The Island Under the Earth; Ursus of Ultima Thule; The Phoenix in the Mirror, et al.
de Camp, L. Sprague - The Fallible Fiend; The Goblin Tower, et al.
de Camp, L. Sprague and Pratt, Fletcher — The Incomplete Enchanter; Land of Unreason, et al.
KoDT #146 December 2008 The Compleat Enchanter by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt
Dunsany, Lord — Over the Hills and Far Away; Book of Wonder; The King of Elfland's Daughter, et al.
KODT #124 February 2007 The King of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany
Eddison, E. R. - The Worm Ouroboros
Eisenstein, Phyllis — Born to Exile; Sorcerer's Son
Farmer, Phillip Jose - The Gates of Creation; The Maker of Universes; A Private Cosmos, et al.
Finney, Charles G. - The Unholy City; The Circus of Dr. Lao
Heinlein, Robert A. — Glory Road
Howard, Robert E. — Conan; Red Nails; Pigeons from Hell
KODT #120 October 2006 Conan of Cimmeria by Robert E. Howard
Lee, Tanith - Night's Master; The Storm Lord; The Birthgrave, et al.
Leiber, Fritz — The Swords of Lankhmar; Swords Against Wizardry; Swords Against Death, et al.
KODT #117 July 2006 The Lankhmar series by Fritz Leiber
Lovecraft, H. P. - The Doom that Came to Sarnath; The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath; The Dunwich Horror
KODT #122 December 2006 Black Seas of Infinity: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft
Merritt, A. E. — The Moon Pool; Dwellers in the Mirage; The Ship of Ishtar, etal.
KODT #164: The Moon Pool by Abraham Merritt
Moorcock, Michael - The Stealer of Souls; The Knight of the Swords; Gloriana, et al.
KODT #118 August 2006 The Corum Saga by Michael Moorcock
Mundy, Talbot — Tros of Samothrace
Niven, Larry - The Flight of the Horse; The Magic Goes Away
Norton, Andre - Witch World; The Year of the Unicom; The Crystal Gryphon, et al.
KODT #125 March 2007 Quag Keep by Andre Norton
KoDT #163 May 2010 Off the Shelf: Shadow Hawk by Andre Norton
Offutt, Andrew — The Iron Lords; Shadows Out of Hell
Swords Against the Darkness III edited by Andrew Offut Knights of the Dinner Table #185 March 2012

Pratt, Fletcher - The Blue Star; The Well of the Unicorn
Smith, Clark Ashton - Xiccarph; Lost Worlds; Genius Loci
KODT #130 August 2007 A Rendezvous in Averoigne by Clark Ashton Smith
Stewart, Mary - The Crystal Cave; The Hollow Hills; The Last Enchantment
KoDT #148 February 2009 Off the Shelf: The Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart
Stoker, Bram — Dracula
KoDT #144 October 2008 Off the Shelf: Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Jewel of the Seven Stars by Bram Stoker Knights of the Dinner Table #193 November 2012
Swann, Thomas Burnett - Cry Silver Bells; The Tournament
of the Thorns; Moondust, et al.
Tolkien, J. R. R. - The Hobbit; The Lord of the Rings (trilogy)
KODT #119 September 2006 The History of Middle Earth and Unfinished Tales by J.R.R. Tolkien

KODT #128 June 2007 The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien

KoDT #161 March 2010 The Legend of Sigrid and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien
Vance, Jack — The Eyes of the Overwork!; Dying Earth; The Dragon Masters, et al.
KoDT #135 January 2008 Off the Shelf: Tales of the Dying Earth (aka the Compleat Dying Earth) by Jack Vance
Wagner, Karl Edward — Bloodstone; Death Angel's Shadow; Dark Crusade, et al.
White, Theodore H. - The Once and Future King
Zelazny, Roger — Jack of Shadows; Lord of Light; Nine Princes in Amber, et al.


Some additional authors of fantasy fiction are:
Beagle, Peter S.
Bok, Hannes
Cabell, James Branch
Carter, Lin
Cherryh, C. J.
Delany, Samuel R.
Fox, Gardner
Gaskell, Jane
Green, Roland
Haggard, H. Rider
KoDT #155 September 2009 Off the Shelf: She by H. Rider Haggard
Jakes, John
Kurtz, Katherine
Lanier, Sterling
McCaffrey, Anne
McKillip, Patricia A.
Moore, C. L.
Myers, John Myers
Peake, Mervyn
Saberhagen, Fred
Walton, Evangeline
Wellman, Manly Wade
Williamson, Jack


SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS:
Carter, Lin (ed.) - The Year's Best Fantasy Stories (in several volumes); Flashing Swords (also in several volumes)
Offutt, Andrew (ed.) — Swords Against Darkness (in several volumes)
Swords Against the Darkness III edited by Andrew Offut Knights of the Dinner Table #185 March 2012


NON-FICTION
Borges, Jorge Luis — The Book of Imaginary Beings
Bullfinch, Thomas - Bullfinch's Mythology: The Age of Fable, The Age of Chivalry
Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend
[/quote]

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Re: [Moldvay] B62 List (Moldvay's Appendix N)

Post by Big Mac » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:45 pm

JamesMishler wrote:Here is the entire B62 list...
Thanks James. That's outstanding.

I've not even heard of some of those books before. I'll have to do a bit of investigation to see what they all are.
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Re: [Moldvay] B62 List (Moldvay's Appendix N)

Post by Blackleaf » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:28 am

I consider the Moldvay list a lot less uneven than Appendix N. I think Moldvay's adventure writing is more overtly surreal than Gygax's, Castle Amber most obviously, but also The Lost City (CAS, REH, Burroughs) and the underrated Twilight Calling (Zelazny, Moorcock).

I honestly never noticed these lists much when I first read B/X or AD&D as a kid and teen, I was always a pretty extensive reader and by the time I revisited them I was familiar with most of the authors on the lists. It is great that he exposed kids to these authors though. I wish more D&D designers were influenced by the likes of Fletcher Pratt, Tanith Lee, Brackett, Wagner and Bellairs, not to mention Borges!

These days I do see a heavy CAS influence on designers like Zak Sabbath, Patrick Stuart and Chris Kutalik.

People like to name-drop Leiber and Vance a lot but I don't find a lot of older D&D as wild in concept as Vance or as ironic and sly as Leiber.

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Re: [Moldvay] B62 List (Moldvay's Appendix N)

Post by Blackleaf » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:32 am

Mike wrote: Also John Jakes if you like conan pastiches.
Jakes The Last Magicians is a really fine Sword and Sorcery novel. Concise, vivid and mythic. A real gem.

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Re: [Moldvay] B62 List (Moldvay's Appendix N)

Post by Havard » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:40 pm

When they first came out, these lists were useful for letting people know what kind of fiction out there would be best for inspiration for D&D.

Today, I can see two uses of the lists:
  • Inform younger gamers of older fantasy & sci fi novels they might have missed and the rest of us of things we might have forgotten about or never got a chance to pick up back then.
  • It is a window for us back in time to see what fiction would have been read by gamers who played D&D back then.
I do think that fans sometimes get too obsessive about the idea that the novels on these lists (Appendix N in particular) were the main cultural influences on the authors/designers. I think that is a problematic conclusion at best.

On the other hand I find it interesting to read the comments here comparing AD&D's appenix N with Moldvay's appendix. The name B62 is catchy.

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Re: [Moldvay] B62 List (Moldvay's Appendix N)

Post by barrataria » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:15 pm

Mike wrote:I have taken the Moldvay list to bookstores and hunted for the books. A lot is the same as the AD&D list, but there are a few unusual gems, and I think it is a broader sample than Gygax.
I agree completely, and a while back I found 3 or so of the Tanith Lee titles on a .50 rack somewhere. I got through about 50 pp of Night's Master before stupid real life distracted me, but I liked it. Very wild but entertaining once I stopped looking for the poor farmboy destined to find the maguffin and save the world :)

I've also been surprised we made it to nearly 2 decades of internet game nerdery before people started noticing this publicly.

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Re: [Moldvay] B62 List (Moldvay's Appendix N)

Post by Big Mac » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:19 am

Khedrac wrote:I have the same issue with these lists as I do with any other - tastes differ.

I am not saying they are not good lists of potentially inspirational sources, for one they they are exactly that, but different people will be inspired by different things in different ways. For example, these days i find that I can take inspiration from modern history books/documentaries - the little things most people don't know that our ancestors used to do...

Add to that the sheer amount of fantasy and science fiction that has been written in last 40 years - vastly dwarfing what was available in the 1970s. Yes a lot is what I think most of us would call "not very good", but even that can give one ideas (if just how to do the same thing better). There is so much out there I would advise anyone to read what they enjoy, and try to see what they can draw from that.
I hear you there. There are plenty of good books out there and life is too short to be reading books that other people think you should read. :)

I think that, where I find these sorts of lists interesting, is when I am trying to get into the head of a designer and try to learn how to infer the sorts of things they would put into a game. But that's much more relevant when I'm looking at a campaign setting, and trying to pick up the vibe.
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