“Appendix N” is a reference to list of books that were influential on the development of D&D, and included in a section in the 1st edition Dungeon Master’s Guide for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. A literal section in the book.
Since then, it’s become shorthand for the “influential works” in gaming, and other works, like Goodman Games’ Dungeon Crawl Classics, has also included there list.
But not all games have this. One notable game – Warhammer 40,000 – lacks an explicit ‘Appendix N’, but there is an implicit one, one that exists in the cultural sand that of the time. Warhammer 40K wears it’s influences on it’s ceramite shoulderpads, and it only takes a little work to dig them out of the cultural strata of the time.
So this work, this “Appendix W”, is the documentation of the influences on the development of Warhammer 40K. A work of cultural anthropology that traces backs the prehistory of 40K through the cultural artifacts and media sources that influenced it’s backstory.
I’ll start with some posts made on TikTok about this back in January & February of 2021, and then finish off the list. If possible, we’ll see about a podcast and/or youtube channel about this too. But to start off with, given the impending film release, there’s one title that absolutely needs to be included: Dune.