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

Azzy

ᚳᚣᚾᛖᚹᚢᛚᚠ
I guess that this is my issue. The only Greyhawk fans that I personally know are purists who want not to "sully" their Greyhawk with "millennial stuff".

I recommend the site Canonfire!, it has a much wider breadth of GH fans that run the spectrum of Gygax essentialists to those that embrace all the Living Greyhawk and Paizohawk material, and everything in between. As it is a site dedicated entirely to Greyhawk, you'll get a far better representative sample of the Greyhawk fan base than you would here. The people are also pretty friendly and inviting.
 

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Azzy

ᚳᚣᚾᛖᚹᚢᛚᚠ
Well, I'm a Greyhawk fan and I'm anything but purist. Considering the wahoo nature of the setting (from it's inception onward) the whole concept of being a purist as to what goes in is kind of laughable!
Word. (As they used to say in the 80s.) I'm absolutely with you on this, Mort.
 

GSHamster

Adventurer
After reading this thread, and trying to get a feel for Greyhawk from the Greyhawk partisans, I have the following related thoughts:

I feel like there are two types of D&D settings:
  1. The adventuring party reflects the setting
  2. The adventuring party is significantly different than the setting
Forgotten Realms and Eberron are Type 1. Ravenloft and Dragonlance (in the War of the Lance, at least, due to clerics) are examples of Type 2.

It feels to me that Greyhawk is a Type 2 setting, and that's the main difference between it and the Forgotten Realms.

Specifically, as everyone says, Greyhawk is a Swords & Sorcery setting. To me, the difference between S&S and other Fantasy is that S&S does not have "magic". It has "sorcery".

Sorcery has very different connotations than magic. Sorcery is tainted, unclean, malevolent, corrupted. It's the difference between saidin and saidar in Jordan's Wheel of Time. At best, major NPC sorcerers like the Circle of Eight are neutral, rather than good. Most end up evil, though.

Magic, on the other hand, is a neutral force. It can be used for good, or it can be used for evil.

The thing is, though, D&D PC adventurers have "magic", not sorcery. That's perhaps a subtle difference, but I think it's hugely important, and is ultimately the source of the disconnect. The way the PCs interact with magic is very different from the way the rest of the setting interacts with magic, and there is no explicit explanation as to why. It's all a matter of tone, and what looks like arbitrary writer's fiat.
 

Azzy

ᚳᚣᚾᛖᚹᚢᛚᚠ
After reading this thread, and trying to get a feel for Greyhawk from the Greyhawk partisans, I have the following related thoughts:

I feel like there are two types of D&D settings:
  1. The adventuring party reflects the setting
  2. The adventuring party is significantly different than the setting
Forgotten Realms and Eberron are Type 1. Ravenloft and Dragonlance (in the War of the Lance, at least, due to clerics) are examples of Type 2.

It feels to me that Greyhawk is a Type 2 setting, and that's the main difference between it and the Forgotten Realms.

That's an intersting way to break things down. The adventuring party really isn't different than the setting, though. There are adventurers other than the PCs and they can have all the same bits and bobs that the PCs have. There's nothing inherent about PCs that make them different or special (in contrast with Ravenloft where the PCs are either not native or are otherwise in strong contrast to the everyday person, or in Dragonlance's WotL time period where PCs could be clerics where they were entirely absent from the regular populace).

Specifically, as everyone says, Greyhawk is a Swords & Sorcery setting. To me, the difference between S&S and other Fantasy is that S&S does not have "magic". It has "sorcery".

No, Greyhawk is definitely (and strongly) influenced by S&S, but it takes inspiration from many other sources as well. So, painting it as a S&S setting is misleading at best (though it's possible to lean into that aspect for a 5e product).

Sorcery has very different connotations than magic. Sorcery is tainted, unclean, malevolent, corrupted. It's the difference between saidin and saidar in Jordan's Wheel of Time. At best, major NPC sorcerers like the Circle of Eight are neutral, rather than good. Most end up evil, though.

Magic, on the other hand, is a neutral force. It can be used for good, or it can be used for evil.

The thing is, though, D&D PC adventurers have "magic", not sorcery. That's perhaps a subtle difference, but I think it's hugely important, and is ultimately the source of the disconnect. The way the PCs interact with magic is very different from the way the rest of the setting interacts with magic, and there is no explicit explanation as to why. It's all a matter of tone, and what looks like arbitrary writer's fiat.
[/QUOTE]

Again, no. Greyhawk definitely has "Magic", not "Sorcery" (in the context you're using it). In Greyhawk, magic/mystical power is entirely neutal and can be a tool for either good or evil (or militant neutrality, as is sometimes the case in GH). There are universeries for magic study, and magic isn't something that is inherently frightening to the average commoner. Greyhawk really is just a (well, THE) stereotypical D&D setting at its most essential, and that's what it was intended as.
 

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