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The Shadow People

This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, we journey deep under the earth to read the novel The Shadow People, by Margaret St. Clair. The bonkers 1969 sci-fi/fantasy novel was included in Appendix N of the Dungeon Masters Guide, a list of literature Gary Gygax cited as being particularly inspirational to the creation of Dungeons & Dragons. It is a clear source for the drow, the duergar and the game’s preoccupation with vast underground labyrinths, but that’s just scratching the surface…

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3 thoughts on “The Shadow People

  1. That was a wild ride of book report. As a huge fan of all things Underdark (grew up near Mammoth Cave) I’ll be for sure picking this up. 10/10 convinced me to read.

  2. That cover is by Jeff Jones, later Jeffrey Catherine Jones, one of a few contemporaries of Frazetta that Frazetta openly admired.

    Sign of the Labrys is formative, too, in a number of other ways. More of a Gamma World vibe, but also has to be why so many different types of fungus appeared in early D&D, as well as wandering monsters and random traps. The book has an equally weird and eerie vibe as The Shadow People, though different.

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