D&D 4E Greyhawk 4e: Back to the Beginning...

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World of Kulan DM
For the link wary...

GVDammerung @ Canonfire! said:
4e Greyhawk (coming earliest 2010, latest 2012) will restart the setting in circa 576CY.

There will be no timeline advance. Rather, there will be a timeline retrograde.

In the restart, the Flanaess will be reimagined. Everything that has “happened” in published products will “never have happened” unless it is specifically reincorporated in the restarted setting.

The Greyhawk Wars will never have occurred. There will never have been demon armies rampaging all over. However, Iuz will be on the march and the “bad guy of the North.”

The Scarlet Brotherhood will never have been “outed” by going for an empire. It will be a “general” bad guy found everywhere - sneaky, silent, unseen.

The Great Kingdom will be caught in a quasi-civil war with lots of politics, magic and religion. No undead animus rulers. No United Kingdom of Ahlissa. No Great Kingdom of the North. Medegia is not a wasteland. The Iron League and Nyrond stand opposed. Its “old school” 83Greyhawk in this area with the volume turned up to 11.

The Sheldomar Valley (Keoland and smaller states) will be “monster central” as monsters (giants, dragons, drow etc.) attack civilization relentlessly. Think Points of Light dialed all the way up.

The City of Greyhawk will be the “center of it all” where things start or come together. Everything in D&D will fit somewhere in the central region of the Flanaess around Greyhawk to include the Wild Coast (Turrosh-Mak and the Empire of the Pomarj will never have happened). The Circle of Eight will function as a premade “mission control.”

Celene will be moved into the Feywild with the addition of Eladrins. Celene will be sort of like a “fortress” from which fey forces sally forth to fight evil.

The Bandit Kingdoms and the Rift Canyon will be “dungeon-land” where all things dungeony can be readily found. Lots of dragons too. Speaking of which.

Dragonborn will be incorporated. They will be from “off the map” to the south in the Amedio/Hepmonaland.

The Tieflings will be incorporated. They will not be monolithic, as in a nation. Rather, they will have origins in the Horned Society, the Sea of Dust, the Lands of Iuz, the Land of Black Ice etc. Essentially, where there are evil planar influences, there will be Tieflings. More on this below.

The idea is to compartmentalize Greyhawk into the ultimate “classic play” menu of a setting with “zones”:

What to kill monsters? Play in the Sheldomar.

Want heroics and politics with evil wizards and evil high priests oppressing people who must be stopped? Play in the Great Kingdom, Nyrond or the Iron League.

Want to oppose the One Big Evil Guy? Play in the north against Iuz.

Want to go exploring ancient ruins and dugeons, see the BK and the Rift Canyon.

Want everything in one spot? One organizing principle? Play in the City of Greyhawk/Central Flanaess - adventure-in-can-land.

This split will essentially “define” Greyhawk as the Flanaess. Other areas will be marginalized (the Baklunish West as “genie-land” the exception). There will also be some geographical changes to Oerth (but I have no sense of the extent or details at this moment).

The cosmology of Greyhawk will not be the Great Wheel. Given the premise of the restart, Greyhawk’s cosmology will be 4e standard and will have “always been that way.”

The new cosmology will also be the restarted Greyhawk’s “McGuffin” or new animating force. The restart described above is intended to “keep Greyhawk as Greyhawk.” On top of that will be “the hook” that can neatly summarize the setting - why do you play here?

Tharizdun will be name to conjure with - The Fight Against the Dark God! But in the process, Tharizdun will function almost as a convenient means to introduce numerous other planar elements, in the sense that PCs must traverse the planes and deal with planar incursions into Greyhawk as a necessary part of - The Fight Against the Dark God! Its almost Greyhawk meets Planescape. Sort of. Maybe better to say Planescape (but not 2e Planescape in any pure sense, rather The PLANES) within a Greyhawk context or frame. The idea is that the planar aspect will not be so pronounced (more subtle) as to overpower the Greyhawk elements; the Greyhawk elements are to remain the focus but with a very strong planar theme. However, individual designs are unpredictable, naturally.

So saying, the above is only what I have been able to suss out post-Con Season (and I’m not infallable by any means) and is waaaaay in advance of the range of release dates. Stuff could change. However, I feel comfortable posting the foregoing and saying at this time “Remember, you heard it here first.”

I’m not altogether sanguine about this 4eHawk, largely because it trashes the idea of established “canon,” intentionally just as the 100 year timeline advance did in the Realms. I get the “logic” but as a long time fan I can only think of this as “OtherHawk.” Still, I will admit I see some cool possibilities here. I just wish I knew about potential geographical changes to make the map of the Flanaess appear “cooler” and immediately “new.”

And if you want to say I’m off my rocker. That I’m speculating or delusional. That I don’t know jack. Or worse. (Well, maybe not worse) Go ahead. Please just remember all that when we are discussing “OtherHawk” in a few years and recall, “You heard it here first.” Who knows? It could be cool. Possibly. :shock:


World of Kulan DM
And I would be so sad they did not do the same thing to Faerun as well.
Yep. If they do take Greyhawk back to the beginning and just start over, it will be great, IMO.

And, they should have done that for the Forgotten Realms. I don't like the 4e version of the Realms. It's just not the same anymore.


First Post
I have serious obsessive compulsive completionist issues and after the previews I was so dissapointed I did not buy the FRCG. That is like a first for me.

If they do publish such a Greyhawk, I might actually play there again after over a decade.

The Grumpy Celt

They keep making a series of “unexpected” decisions about the settings. I wonder what is in store for Eberron, Ravenloft and any of the other classics to be revised.

I don't know how I feel about this...

M.L. Martin

Yep. If they do take Greyhawk back to the beginning and just start over, it will be great, IMO.

And, they should have done that for the Forgotten Realms. I don't like the 4e version of the Realms. It's just not the same anymore.

This writeup reads like wishful thinking to me, so I'm skeptical, but there is one reason that Greyhawk could be rebooted while Dragonlance and the Realms never will be, as I alluded to on the 4E DL thread.


The novels are big money-makers for WotC--I'd be willing to bet as big or bigger than the game lines--and there are enough novels that are kept perennially in print or regularly reprinted, and that hinge off of the setting's history, that reboots for those two lines would be seen as splitting or killing the cash cow.

With no novel lines for Greyhawk, and only reprints for Dark Sun and Ravenloft (they've stripped out all the Ravenloft references from the marketing for the stillborn Dominion line novels like Heaven's Bones and Mithras' Court, but the former at least retains all the references in the text), reboots of those settings would seem more probable. An Athas just before the Prism Pentad, or concurrent with it but without any of the other strangeness I heard about, might actually attract more fans than picking up where they left off.


First Post
I dearly love this idea. I hope they take this track with Dragonlance as well. In fact, I hope they make a time machine, go back in time a year or two, and then make Forgotten Realms this way to boot.

These are RPG settings, not classic literature. They should be relaunched for each generation, reinventing themselves while preserving their essential character.

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