Adventure authors sometimes include hidden references to other material that inspired them (so called "Easter Eggs") into their adventure modules. For example:

In Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, the flamboyant Illuskan captain Zardoz Zord is a hidden reference to Sean Connery. The name of the character is a reference to the cult sci-fi-fantasy movie Zardoz starring Connery in red lingerie, and Zardoz's submarine is called the Scarlet Marpenoth, a reference to Connery's submarine Red October in the movie The Hunt for Red October (scarlet is a shade of red, and Marpenoth is the month matching October in the Forgotten Realms' Calendar of Harptos).

There are already a few posts on Easter Eggs citing other D&D material, that is, in-game references, for example for Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft, or references to the ranger Minsc from the D&D computer game Baldur's Gate. I'm looking for references materials outside of D&D, for example real world persons, movies, novels, TV series.

What are other easter eggs in this adventure where the connection can be shown beyond a reasonable level of doubt (as in the example cited)?

To make the question answerable here I am including the following restrictions:

  • Only from the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist adventure (i.e. this is not open ended)
  • No speculative answers about something that may or may not be a reference. This should be so clear and obvious that there is no need for discussing if it actually is a reference.
  • Author confirmation would be a plus, but is not required. It could replace obviousness from the text in the adventure or comparative analysis.
  • No general game background history. This is not about what fantasy novel a monster or item that appears in the game also in other modules may have been inspired by. It is about the specific content of this module.
  • \$\begingroup\$ The difference between the two questions you reference and this one is that those questions start from a known Easter egg and ask to identify it, and this one is entirely open ended. What do you mean by “clearly shown and documented”? Are you saying it must have official confirmation from the authors that it is an Easter egg? If not, what criteria are you using? What is clearly a pop culture reference to me may not be clearly so to someone else. I’ve VTC’d as opinion based for now. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 10, 2022 at 7:12
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ I’m voting to close this question because it's far too broad. I mean, half the monsters in the game are pop culture references of some kind, as are a surprisingly large number of spells, the entire concept of Vancian spellcasting, and the very concept of adventurers going on sword-and-sorcery adventures. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Mar 10, 2022 at 9:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM I think that in this case a community answer would be the perfect way to answer this question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Mar 10, 2022 at 11:04
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @Eddymage Yeah. CW answers work okay when there is clear, objective criteria for what fits. Anyone can add an answer to it because everyone will agree that it meets the requirements of the question. We don't have that here. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 10, 2022 at 13:30
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ We’ve already had a meta discussion about this question where the consensus was quite clear that it should be closed in its current state. We can revisit it, that’s fine, but we ought discuss this further on meta before reopening. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18 at 0:50


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