This is a look at the influences of the late fantastical writer Jack Vance on the game of Nethack. It has been asserted that Vance's writing was "highly influential on Dungeons & Dragons (but not NetHack itself so much)." Although the assertion seems valid, there is scope for further exploration of links between Vance and The Game.
- The Roguelike mechanic of permadeath would surely have appealed to Vance
- Likewise, the many modes of YASD are also in keeping with the writer's mordant style
- The encyclopedia concept parallels Vance's frequent use of world-building footnotes
- Pages identifying Vance origins as at this time are The Eyes of the Overworld, Sandestin, Vecna, and Writings of Jack Vance.
- I suspect that such links as there are, are more in the domains of style and tone, less obviously in the content.
- One obvious departure is that Nethack does not use the 'fire and forget' Vancian magic.
- Vance lays claim to the grue