D&D General For the Love of Greyhawk: Why People Still Fight to Preserve Greyhawk


Staff member
I’ll be your huckleberry!

Lots of really good fantasy in my collection, ranging from short stories to huge novel series, from sword & sorcery to high fantasy; major to obscure.

What kind of stuff do you think might interest you? Or do you just want recommendations in general?

log in or register to remove this ad

Eh, not really.

The concept line between DBZ and the other three is that the "training to become ever stronger" trope got baked into them. And they were massively successful, but especially in Bleach and Naruto, the "and this enemy is even stronger" part of the formula was really rough and hard to get around.

Most people kind of give DBZ a pass on it, because it was the first to do it.

Then, knowing that, it is easier to see why the fact that Deku and the others do not get stronger per se, or develop new abilities, and simply find new ways to use the power they have. For example, Deku figures out that instead of putting 100% of his super strength into a body part (and shattering every bone in that body part) he can put 5% of it across his whole body. Which changes everything about how he fights and reacts from then on out.

No new power or new mode, like DBZ pioneered, but using your power in a new way.

But yeah, a lot shorter and easier to explain, if you have the majority of the context.

Total honesty here, you have lost me here. Like, I get that DBZ had this ludicrous trope about constantly training and enemies being stronger and over 9000 and so on, but I don't really understand much of the rest. Or who "Deku" is (looks like maybe the main character from My Hero Academica?). I feel like the "huh" reaction that even a nerd who is relatively familiar with some of the sources here is kind of illustrating my point.

The point is DPS is not the only 'stat' to optimize for.

I mean, what else is a Halfling Barbarian going to be better at though? They might initially have one point of AC if they're a DEX-Barbarian, but it won't last with ASIs and so on. They won't have any HP advantage.

An Ancestors Barbarian built around action denial and group damage mitigation might never pick up GWM. A player might want to use the Barbarian class to role play the Scout Role.
A 4th level half-orc Barbarian with the Prodigy feat isn't non optimized, it is just optimized with a different goal then DPR.

Yes, you can optimize for things that don't really need optimizing for, sure. It's a bit silly, but yeah you can do that. But the idea that it's some totally legit and reasonable thing to do from a mechanical perspective is just utterly laughable. The Prodigy feat is horribly overpriced for what it gives unless you have some sort of astonishing trick tied to it. Basically you're paying an entire Feat to get Expertise in one skill (the other benefits are pretty minor). If you were a size M STR Barb and thus had the choice between GWM and Prodigy, and were say, a Berserker, and picked Prodigy, it would be totally fair to say you weren't optimizing in any meaningful or sensible way, because you'd be ditching a huge amount of DPR to the party for a somewhat larger bonus on skill rolls with one skill.

No-one can stop you doing that. But you can't honestly claim it makes mechanical sense unless your entire campaign somehow revolves around Stealth checks or something.
Last edited:


Question: Is there anything Grayhawk did that the Wilderlands didn't do better?
I'm not super familiar with Wilderlands, but Greyhawk has the iconics of D&D, their unique gods are pretty cool, and there is more cohesion on the diversity of countries and their interactions with ethnithicites. Iuz and the Scarlet Brotherhood are probably the most unique features, though both thematically would be consistent with Wilderlands from what I can tell.

Wilderlands' big city setting is the City State of the Invincible Overlord, Greyhawk is different. CSIO is LE run with slavery, Greyhawk is more New York/Chicago D&Dified so the mayor will steal from the public till and make secret deals with the thieves guild, not keep a harem and send out assassin secret police or demand tribute from subsidiary states.
Last edited:


I’ll be your huckleberry!

Lots of really good fantasy in my collection, ranging from short stories to huge novel series, from sword & sorcery to high fantasy; major to obscure.

What kind of stuff do you think might interest you? Or do you just want recommendations in general?
I recall you mentioning some of the better Robert E. Howard Conan stories. Maybe 1-3 of the best ones worth reading? Plus any other essential Sword and Sorcery books?

Doug McCrae

Robert E Howard's The Hyborian Age is the most relevant to Greyhawk. Gygax riffs off of it in the chapter A Brief History of Eastern Oerik in the Greyhawk boxed set.

Second most relevant is probably The Lord of the Rings.
Iuz = Sauron/Mordor
Yolande/Celene = Galadriel/Lothlorien
Battle of Emridy Meadows = Battle of the Pelennor Fields

Third most relevant - any Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser story set in Lankhmar that features the Thieves Guild.


We are 17 pages in an my takeaway is....

People passionate enough about Greyhawk to champion it on ENWorld don't all have the same idea of what 5e Greyhawk would be and attempts to try to get that nailed down have resulted in a shotgun of interesting campaign setting ideas but nothing cohesive that says "This combination of things would make a good setting.

I do think that billing it as "The original D&D setting" isn't a bad start. Some younger players might be interested in that. I doubt most younger player know who Gygax even is, so billing it under his name isn't going to get you the new blood you are seeking.

A second common theme that keeps popping up is name level kingdom building. There is a distinct lack of that in official 5e sources, so making that a focus of a large part of the crunch in the book would probably help to sell a lot more books.

Lesser themes I see here are the "gritty" or "low magic" ideas. I would support the player crunch portion of the book including no magic alternate versions of some of the classes you could pull it off with. I think that would sell a book to many.

So, to sum it all up....

The Greyhawk Campaign Setting should be billed as "The setting D&D started with!", and the actual contents of the book should include a very detailed history of the sections of Greyhawk that are focused on in the main story, as well as updated maps everyone seems to really like from the old box. Crunchwise it should include non-magical versions of some classes, tips for running an old-style game (XP for GP, non-story-based character play, GM versus players style dungeons, class/race restrictions), kingdom building (and other name level pursuits for the different classes, and finally some of the important magic spells, items, and artifacts central to the history and world of Greyhawk.

How's that?

Remove ads


Remove ads

Upcoming Releases