In Melbourne in 2003, the creators of the game Dragon Realms, which was the main example for my thesis, told me that the "Black Company" books by Glen Cook was an important inspiration. When I read the books I saw what they meant: dystopic, gritty books filled with fantasy, heorics and despair, as well as personalities and hope.
Now more than my heroes, the DR immortals, have seen that the Black Company could be a good source for inspiration for gaming, and there is a Black Company Campaign setting. You can be your own Dungeon Master, and immerse yourself in the wicked world of The Lady. Enjoy!