Last week, on Twitter, I was asked if I was ever going to talk about Shadow of the Demon Lord’s “Appendix N.” For those of you not in the know, Appendix N comes from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons’ 1st edition Dungeon Master’s Guide, which listed all the works that influenced the game’s design. The books Gary Gygax included ranged from the familiar to the obscure, making it difficult to track many of them down. Reading them, I found, gave me insight into not only the mood and tone Gygax was chasing with D&D, but also provided explanations for why things worked they way they did in the game. I know I wasn’t alone in digging into the books during my stint as a designer on the 5th edition’s design team and we sought to recapture much of atmosphere those books imparted on game.

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