Part 7

Resources 2: Non-Internet


I1: What magazine resources are there for *D&D?

TSR publishes two (aptly named) in-house magazines, Dungeon and Dragon, both commonly available at most stores where role-playing games are sold. Dragon concentrates more the role-playing industry, with news, reviews, and new rules and additions to various games, but especially *D&D. Dungeon includes new adventures and modules, usually for use with *D&D, but adventures for other games are often included as well. A third magazine, Polyhedron, is published exclusively for members of the RPGA, and contains articles written by members for members. Most issues of Polyhedron contain several articles similar to those found in Dragon, as well as information on various RPGA events and activities, and membership information.

Here is a short list of subscription addresses for a few fantasy role-playing magazines (prices are subject to change):

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I2: What are some good books to read to get good ideas?

An attempt to list every fantasy book would be suicide, plain and simple. However, what follows is a list of some of the books which D&D was based upon*, as well as some others which are regarded as classics or particularly indicative of the genre. In general, if you find that a certain book or series listed here strikes your fancy, chances are that the author has written many, many more fantasy novels, as many of these authors are prolific in the extreme, and listing even the highlights of each would be a task in and of itself.

Basis for D&D:*,**

Other reading:

There is an excellent reference book available at (or accessible by) most libraries, with the self explanatory title What Fantastic Fiction Do I Read Next?: A Reader's Guide To Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction. It is quite sizable and, though not exhaustive nor error-free, it can be a great help by providing lists of novels similar to those you may be already familiar with, as well as brief summaries of many books with "fantastic" features.

You may also want to look into the Recommended Fantasy Authors List as well as the Speculative Fiction Authors Bibliography and Authors List.

To find out more about current and forthcoming books in the fantasy genre, here are a couple of publishers' web pages to look into:
The official page for TOR Books, the SF/Fantasy imprint of Tom Doherty Associates.
The official page for Baen Books, a SF/Fantasy publisher.
The official page for Del Rey Books, a SF/Fantasy imprint of Ballantine/Random House.
Bantam Spectra, the SF/Fantasy imprint of Bantam Books.
The official page for Eos, the SF/Fantasy imprint of Avon Books

There are many other, non-fiction books out there which tell the history of daily life in the Middle Ages; ask your local librarian for more information. However, the following series pretty much sums up everything you ever wanted to know about medieval weapons, armor, and life.

Oakeshott, R. Ewart. The Archaeology of Weapons: Arms and Armor From Prehistory to the Age of Chivalry. Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK; Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 1994.

________. A Knight and His Castle. Chester Springs, PA: Dufour Editions, 1993; London, Beaver Books, 1976.

________. The Sword in the Age of Chivalry. Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK; Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 1994.

________. A Knight and His Armor. Philadelphia: Dufour Editions, 1961; London, Lutterworth Press, 1961.

________. A Knight and His Horse. London: Lutterworth Press, 1962; Philadelphia, PA: Dufour Editions, 1964.

________. A Knight in Battle. London: Lutterworth Press, 1971.

________. A Knight and His Weapons. Philadelphia, PA: Dufour Editions, 1964; London: Lutterworth Press, 1966.

If you are looking for information on mythological beasts, a decent series called Monsters of Mythology was put out by Chelsea House Publishers in the mid-80's; each book detailed one monster.

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I3: Where should I start looking in a library for more information?
The sections of your average library to look in to find reference material for a medieval setting:
Dewey    Library of
Decimal  Congress            Subject
398.2    GR72-79         Folk tales, legends, fairy tales, tall tales
         PN683-687       "
         PN1341-1347     "
398.204* PJ*, PL*,       "
         PQ*, PT*        "
398.208* PN905-1008      Folk tales of a specific ethnic group
398.209* PA3285          Folk tales of a geographic area
         PN905-1008      "
         PT6200-6230     "
         PT9509-9542     "
398.4*   GR81, GR500-615 Literature of folk tales, horror stories
         GR700-860       "
133.*    BF1001-1999     Occult
016.2*   Z7721-7865      Religion
         Z6876-6880      "
291.13   BL300-325       Mythology
940.1    CB351-355       Medieval history
623.441  U800-897        History of arms & armor (pre-firearms)
623.1    UG400-442       Fortifications
725.18   NA490-497       Military use of walls, gates, etc.
728.81-2 NA 7710-7786    Castles, palaces
355.009  U29-42          History of military science
723      NA 350-489      Medieval architecture
709.02   N5940-6311      Medieval art
321.14   JC101-126       Medieval government
909.07*  D111-203        Medieval history
         CB351-355       "
340.55   K140-165        (Medieval) History of law
780.0902 ML170-190       Medieval music
759.02   ND140-146       Medieval painting
181      B121-163        Ancient (Medieval) Eastern philosophy
189      B720-765        Medieval Western philosophy
615.0902 RM44            Medieval medicine
615.50902                "
734      NB170-180       Medieval sculpture

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I4: What are some good fantasy movies to watch to get good ideas?

As above, it would be suicidal to attempt to list every single fantasy movie ever made. However, what follows is a fairly good listing of the movies most indicative of the genre, as well as a number of turkeys which are fun to watch and get ideas from.

Warning: Some of these movies are intended for children, some are definitely not intended for children, and a couple are almost guaranteed to rot your brain. I take no responsibility for any damage done to your sanity by the watching of some of these films.

All of these are available on video.

You can use the Internet Movie Database or the AllMovie Guide if you wish to search for information on movies not listed here or which don't already have a pointer to one of these two sites.

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I5: What is some good background or inspirational music for *D&D games?

As with books and music, the total list of possible musical selections is vastly larger than will fit in this document. What follows is a selection of the most commonly-suggested answers to this question, as well as some other possibilities, included to round out the list.

Note that, while fantasy movies or classical music would seem to be the "most appropriate" areas to look in, music can often cross "genre" boundaries in ways books or movies cannot; thus, while the following selections do include a significant number of suggestions culled from fantasy movies and classical composers, there are also a number of rock musicians, science fiction movies, and so forth represented.

For the music purists among us, please note that I use "classical" here not as a technical musical term, but rather in the music-store sense of a catch-all term for medieval, renaissance, baroque, rococco, classical, romantic, modern classical, etc. music.

For those albums which have not generally been recorded so frequently that endorsing one version over another would be difficult at best, and are not single-movie soundtracks, the publisher has been given (where known), to hopefully make it easier to find the album and know when one has found the right album.

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Continue on to Part 8

Copyright © 2001 by Joel A. Hahn