Thieves World: I’m a fan of the City of Sanctuary and “the Maze” within. I’ve read a number of TW stories and I enjoy the premise. I’ve tried not to borrow too much as I’m a firm believer that the best ideas are original ones.
Dragonlance: One of the main reasons I started following Shroud of the Avatar was because of Tracy Hickman’s involvement. I’m a huge Dragonlance fan, and find myself unable to avoid having a large tower of mysterious intent in the center of Rats Nest. Although it’s not a tower of “high sorcery” it is certainly influenced by Raistlin, Nuitari, and Fistandantilus.
Artemis Entreri: The best assassin, the best human fighter, the flawed villain in a continuous series made for an unflawed hero, Drizzt O’Duren. It gives me great joy to read about Artemis, and no joy to read about Drizzt. I find the flawed characters far more interesting than the heroes that always succeed. It’s the same reason I can’t enjoy novels about Elminster of Shadowdale – too predictable, too unrelatable. I imagine Artemis Entreri would excel in the flawed streets of Rats’ Nest, where Drizzt and Elminster would destroy it with their never ending perfection. No thanks.
The Black Company: The life of a mercenary, the other side of good, and the ease with which Glen Cook’s characters live each day for themselves has been an inspiring force in my character’s development. I imagine it may also influence the evolution of Rats Nest.