It's been quite some time since I read them, but I'm reasonably sure that by the time period of the Swords books, they are very much regular fantasy works with almost no traces of "technology".It is worth noting that it is set in the same world as his later Books of Swords and Books of Lost Swords series, but long before those.
In fact, there was a Riverworld campaign setting in GURPS.I have not read Philip Jose Farmer’s World of Tiers (and I am not totally sure why Gygax abbreviated his name as P.J., something I’d never seen), but River World and some of his other series would make excellent campaign settings.
I wouldn't say almost no traces. There are a lot of references, but they're mostly minor, like lights. That remains true for almost the entire series, with the exception of the very last book in the Lost Swords series, which dives a lot deeper into the technological connection, and links it all back to Empire of the East.It's been quite some time since I read them, but I'm reasonably sure that by the time period of the Swords books, they are very much regular fantasy works with almost no traces of "technology".
D&D alignment comes almost entirely from Three Hears and Three Lions; the Moorcock influence was mostly limited to the planar alignments, which came later. The AD&D good versus evil dichotomy comes from D&D fans and Gygax adding more complexity to the existing alignments.Michael Moorcock’s law vs. chaos alignment system was interesting in the Eternal Champion series because neither side actually cared for humanity, and treated it as a disposable pawn in the war with their enemy. I think the 1e alignment system, which is much more humanocentric, fixes that, but later editions strayed.
I read an essay by Moorcock once where he said there was a time that if you went to a bookstore which separated fantasy and science fiction, you'd only see his Eternal Champion series and Tolkien in the fantasy section. A lot of obvious fantasy was sold as sci-fi. I think the best example might be Anne McCaffrey's Dragonrider series, where they are not magical dragons but telepathic flying saurian aliens (but they're really dragons. )Definitely a blending of what we would today call science fiction and fantasy, but used to be lumped together as speculative fiction. It is worth noting that it is set in the same world as his later Books of Swords and Books of Lost Swords series, but long before those.
They're not that sharply delinted now, to be perfectly frank. Take a look at something like the Broken Earth series. Any hard and sharp walls between speculative fiction genres exist entirely in the heads of the people reading the stories.The genres of fantasy and science-fiction haven't always been so sharply delineated. It was really a process spanning the whole of the 20th century. By the time of the DMG it was becoming clearer, but a lot of non-fans still didn't see much difference between unicorns and fairies, which are unreal, and warp drives and teleportation, which are also unreal. It doesn't help that a lot of what gets called science-fiction these days is really more like fantasy in space or horror in space or western in space.
So it's not like Gygax was lacking in "pure" fantasy. It's just that the edges of what counted as fantasy were fuzzier.
Since the object of the game is to collect gold and gain XP, then you need to ask yourself it the scroll of protection from elementals you’re lugging around is giving up thousands of XP you could get for four very large gems. And a crystal ball might be a light and delicate piece of glass, but you’ll need to wrap it up so well it effectively takes up as much space as 150 GP would.DMG p225 said:Many people looking at the table will say, “But a scroll doesn’t weigh two pounds!” The encumbrance figure should not be taken as the weight of the object — it is the combined weight and relative bulkiness of the item. These factors together will determine how much a figure can carry.
They find 800 GP in an adventure. Dimwall takes most of it, but gets rid of a lot of stuff to do so. As for the fighter, “Drudge eats part of his iron rations and throws the rest away, along with his spikes and oil. He places the remaining bags in the bottom of his pack and then pours the loose coins on top of them. Encumbrance … is now ... 1222 gold pieces for Drudge.”DMG P225 said:Meanwhile, his companion, Drudge, has strapped on his splint armor. He wears 2 belts around his waist; his longsword hangs from one. On the other belt he places his quiver with 40 bolts, a cocking hook, and a dagger. He slips on his backpack, already loaded with 10 spikes, one week’s iron rations, and a flask of oil. To the bottom of the pack he has strapped 50’ of rope. Hanging on the rear of the pack is his heavy crossbow. Around his neck he wears a holy symbol. Finally, he straps his large shield on his left arm, fits his helmet, and takes his lantern, ready to go with a total encumbrance of 1117 g.p.