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D&D (2024) Greyhawk Confirmed. Tell Me Why.


Moderator Emeritus
I have been running games long before these types of issues were a thing

I used to have this argument in 2000 when I first joined these boards, though happily I don't need to have it as much anymore, but. . . "these types of issues" have always been a thing in gaming. It just depended on whose voice was being amplified and whose voice was being heard.

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I am pretty sure that tasha's psionics looks nothing like AD&D psionics. I was asking if AD&D psionics looked like Eldritch Wizardry psionics or if it had evolved since its first introduction.
Eldritch Wizardry is broadly similar to the AD&D PHB Appendix I. But not identical in every detail. One thing is that Eldritch Wizardry imposes an additional XP requirement on psionic PCs. (At least, that's my recollection.)

From another thread:

Emphasis mine

So, I was very, very wrong. I was sure they would have created something new with appeal directed at GenZ players. Not the first time I have been wrong. Oh well.

But, I am curious why. Why Greyhawk? I mean, sure, 50th anniversary, but is that all? What does Greyhawk have about it that makes it a good fit for the vast majority of current and potential future players who have never known GH?

For the record, I am a GenXer who grew up with BECMI and 2E. I never played in Greyhawk, but I was aware of it because of Dragon Magazine mostly. Until Eberron appeared with 3.5, the only setting I used with an depth or regularity was Krynn/Dragonlance. We played in "The Known World" but never got more in depth than what was in the Expert book.

Anyway: why do YOU think they decided on Greyhawk for the example DMG setting?
This is an easy one.

The people in charge of D&D at WotC have an irrational and bizarre love of Greyhawk and will try and "make Greyhawk happen" at absolutely all costs. They've done it a bunch of times. It always fails, because Greyhawk is a very profoundly boring and dated setting, and because they're fans of the truly fannish kind, they can't envision genuinely updating it.


Doing the best imitation of myself
I don't want to derail this thread by continuing the psionics discussion too much, but I find it really amusing to say "it was always there." I was there playing the game at the time, and psionics was a great example of "be careful of what you wish for." Once a player started talking about psionics and getting it for their character, the DM would often ask "Are you sure about that?" The reason for that is that DMs could use psionics in the game to run tons of nasty psionic monsters against the group. I did play one psionic character, and it arguably made the game harder and not easier. Especially when we broke out the psionic combat rules. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

In some ways, I think psionics is like Greyhawk: be careful what you wish to see an update of.

I agree, they could easily just do an all new clean-sheet setting like they did with 4e.

But I can see Wotc's reasoning though:

"Greyhawk" works for them because it has been a while since they have done anything for it; So new players will not have a real clue.

Those that do know will go for the nostalgia berries "because GreyHawk!"

So Wotc will can write neu-Greyhawk into whatever they want it to be, just like every setting reboot they have done for 5e. While playing on people's nostalgia at the same time.

Yes people have preferences, but some things are just classics that stand the test of time.

Works like Shakespeare's, and Tolkien's writings; both of which I can walk into any US books store and find copies of, will be around long after D&D 7th edition is making way for D&D 8th edition...

A lot of the dissatisfaction here has to do with the fact that may of the older "official" D&D settings have been repeatedly altered to fit what the game designers have done with new editions.

To a large degree, I think many fans are just tired with the continual retconning.

For this very reason:

As for this:

It's clearly a crapshoot when you update things for: "Modern Audiences."

The DragonLance setting/Adventure/Wargame reboot didn't really do all that hot. Were there some things in the original setting that could do with a change? Sure. But you can also go too far and fail to stick the landing, which is what happened.

And new products specifically created from the ground up by and for the "modern audience", like 'Journey's Through The Radiant Citadel' have been among the lowest sellers in 5e's product portfolio.

There are very good reasons why Wotc keeps going back to the nostalgia well, rather than creating all new content. Even then it is a balancing act that they clearly have a hard time getting right.

In my opinion; Given Wotc's track record when they try their hand at 'updating' older settings, it should not be controversial that many fans will be skeptical of the dev's ability to execute.
Again, this will be totally bare-bones. There's going to be very little outside of basic information, and very little flavor of any sort will show up.

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I wonder if Shakespeare and Tolkien have withstood the test of time in part because they are finite things. Tolkien didn't continually try to turn out new stories - instead he constantly revised the ones he had that make up the Silmarillion whose only true form is sitting in Dream's library (and providing his son with lots of things to publish about the various versions). Shakespeare's plays, for the most part, are separate unconnected things. They weren't trying to stretch one thing out and keep it selling.
I would bet on Terry Pratchett's Discworld holding up and he put out more than 40 books. Granted, they were clearly books he wanted to write, rather than books he needed to for financial purposes.


Do you think they will be using the design philosophy of starting ina limited region and expanding out, which means we will only be getting a small portion of GH (like the Saltmarsh region, as an example) or do you think they will be advocating top down design and we will be getting Oerth?
The centre of the GH map has the following:

*Two cities (Dyvers, Greyhawk) plus various towns for Conan-esque or Lankhmar-esque stuff (Hardby, Stoink, etc);
*An ancient desert with mysterious nomads (the Bright Desert);
*An Elven queendom (Celene) that blends into Elven forests that are also full of ranger and woodfolk types (Gnarley forest etc);
*Dwarves in the Lortmils, and Gnomes in the Kron Hills;
*Pirates sailing on the Wooly bay and docking at the Wild Coast ports;
*Orcs fighting against Dwarves and human knights in the Pomarj;
*A knightly realm and associated order (the Shield Lands);
*A great lake full of Loch Ness monsters and sunken islands (the Nyr Dyv).

If I was going to use GH as a model for FRPG setting design, this is what I would be focusing on. All the classic fantasy and S&S tropes are there.

I don't know that it speaks to younger or more contemporary conceptions of fantasy, but as has already been said in some of these GH threads that's a general feature of GH as a setting.


I think the sample setting chapter is going to be a bit of a misnomer. They are going to use Greyhawk references throughout the book like they used Realms references before. They will give us a short Gazetteer, but they will also give us sample Oerth deities, sample adventures set in or around The Free City, villains and important characters in the index/encyclopedia of important characters, artifacts and magic items tied to the setting, and other nuggets of lore hidden in. It's going to be on par with 3e's D&D Gazetteer, which was a surface level overview to allow DMs to get started or get inspired.
I'm pretty sure you've the right of it with this one. I've also bad news for folks wanting them to go "Dragonborn and Goliaths don't exist!" because I basically am betting, right now, both will just show up with no explanation outside of "Goliaths are from the mountains" and maybe a vague "There's a Dragonborn empire out there somewhere"

It'll be a curosary "Yup, this is Greyhawk at a glance" thing, not a big in-depth one

(if I were being more joyless, I'd say the actual answer to the original question as to "Why Greyhawk" is "Because thanks to BG3 and the movie, they can sell a FR campaign seperately but don't think they can with Greyhawk")


That someone better
None of the old things you mention would be around if they were not continuously reinterpreted for the "modern audience.

That is not why.

It is the classic and enduring nature of the work that makes people want to do all the alternate 'interpretations' that merely come and go.

It's the original Shakespeare that you can find in bookstores, and that is still is widely performed in plays that keeps captivating people's imagination.

The same with Tolkien. Yes, we will get animated this, movie that, and bad tv series whatever.

But it is his original works that are still widely read and captivates people's minds that makes them want to adapt it to other media.

if these things are changing in a way that upsets you or makes you feel left out, that is the system working as intended. If it is going to survive, it can't be solely for you and your cohort anymore.

The reason why the original works of Tolkien and Shakespeare will continue to survive beyond any given adaptation is because they touch on universal themes that are cross generational.

Shakespeare has been around for centuries, and Tolkien is pushing 70 years (2-3 generations), and it is their original works that are readily available in bookstores worldwide.

I wonder if Shakespeare and Tolkien have withstood the test of time in part because they are finite things.

Continuity does help...

Is D&D kind of like these? How much would it sell if it was Gary putting monthly updates of Greyhawk into Dragon Magazine?

It would sell well at first, but then it would bloat and wither away.

We have seen this effect in games that did a lot of metaplot for their settings. They can start out well, but eventually have to end. And the people invested in the setting have nothing to follow up on once it is all over.

Which is why in my opinion; after the set up is given in a guide or folio, RPG settings should be static.

Each group should be encouraged to make the games campaign their own during play.

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