Live by the Lance, Die by the Lance

The entire magic system of D&D is named after a writer named Jack Vance. Arguably Gygax made the system the way it is because it made mechanical sense: tracking a finite number of set spells rather than a much larger number of spellpoints or unlimited ritualistic casting. Vancian casting moves the upkeep of spells to the start of the day when magic users memorize their spells for the day, rather than in the middle of combat when tracking expended mana. This was all wrapped in the familiar flavour of the Dying Earth series.

But one wonders what the game would have been like had Gygax based the spells on another respected author. Could we have handled Andersonian, or Tolkienian magic? Maybe  Zelaznyesque spells. Perhaps Howardi wizardry. Or, Odin forbid, Moorcockish sorcery. It just doesn’t have the same je ne sais quoi as “Vancian”.