Vance and Gygax

I assume all geeks of the Innate Elite level know this, but in case any novices do not, here is an article on the topic:

I decided — for the first time — to completely read through the 1st Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide, cover to cover.


Not surprisingly, I didn’t make it very far — not past the credits and acknowledgements — before finding my first curiosity. Along with presumable designers, developers, artists, and playtesters (among them, Dave Arneson, James M. Ward, Ernie and Luke Gygax, Skip Williams, and more), Gary Gygax singled out one author for special mention: Jack Vance.

Later in the book in Appendix N: Inspirational and Educational Reading, you can find a list of books that influenced the game, including Tolkien, Fritz Leiber, Robert Howard — and Jack Vance. But why, of all these luminaries, did the Dungeon Master’s Guide single Vance out in the acknowledgements?

I knew the basic answer: the spellcasting system is stolen straight from Vance, as are many of the names (Excellent Prismatic Spray, and so on), and of course the IOUN stones are from Vance.

What I did not know was that Vecna was an anagram of Vance.