Alice in Wonderland

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One of the foundational works of modern fantasy, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There were written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (pen name: Lewis Caroll) in 1865 and 1871, and have been a source of stock shoutouts in RPGs (and other media) for a very long time.

One of the first full cases of Isekai and the "All Just A Dream" ending, but because both were rare at the time, it gets a pass for both.

A favorite mining spot for RPGs in a hurry for new content, Wonderland's monsters and creatures are very much a stock reference.

Here are a few common items to get the nod in /tg/-related stuff:

  • The Jabberwocky: A dragon of some kind.
  • The Jubjub bird: From the same poem as the above.
  • A Vorpal Blade: From the poem about the Jabberwocky. If you see one of these, it's descended from a nod to Caroll (who invented the word "Vorpal"), but after so many washings through the "designer in a hurry" machine, it's probable that that reference is forgotten.
  • Snarks: Again, word made up by Caroll, in a semi-related work that gets a lot of shout-outs on its own, The Hunting of the Snark[1]. If the referrer is clever, they'll make the Snark in question a "Boojum", which is much more dangerous.

The following are more rare except in direct Lewis pastiches, although all have been very influential.

  • The Cheshire Cat: A talking cat whose ability to vanish except for its smile has influenced a lot of horror works. Intelligent, and somewhat friendly, but quite insane.
  • The Mad Hatter: The other major figure to get a lot of shoutouts. Friendly, but quite quite insane, and he knows it.
  • The Queen of Hearts: Crazy, and much less friendly.
  • The Walrus and the Carpenter: A pair of very Evil villains (Lawful vs Chaotic pending, but both are hardcore liars); note that there is no religious allegory here, despite what a lying Angel from that one movie will tell you, as the Carpenter was chosen by the illustrator (the other options were a butterfly and a baronet).
  • The Mock Turtle: An animal who insists his species is used to make Mock Turtle Soup. [2]

As a side note:

  • Tweedledee and Tweedledum and Humpty Dumpty predate Lewis (they were both figures from children's rhymes), but if they appear in a modern work, it's usually because of their appearances in Through the Looking Glass.
    • Both tend to show up in non-Lewis pastiches for their poetic natures. (Humpty Dumpty for something that once broken cannot be fixed, the Tweedles for petty feuds).

Among notable /tg/-related shoutouts:

  • Monster Girl Encyclopedia has just about all of 'em, in a special "Wonderland" made by an "Alice". Like we said, stock reference plus public domain = of course it's a thing he'd rip-off.
  • "Dungeonland" and "The Land Beyond The Magic Mirror", a pair of notorious early Dungeons and Dragons adventure module written by Gary Gygax based more or less directly on the Duology.
  • Just about all the creatures mentioned in the Jabberwocky poem have had a Dungeons & Dragons monster made for them at some point. Some have had it happen to them several times.
  • JAGS Wonderland, a psychedelic horror RPG very loosely based on the Wonderland setting. Has a reputation for being an interesting setting stuck to a mediocre system.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. Lewis directly implied that the island of the Snark is the same place as the Jabberwock was slain
  2. In real life, Mock Turtle Soup uses organ meat from cows, done to resemble the taste of actual Turtle Soup (which really was a common soup at the time that involved eating real turtle meat).