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D&D 5E Greyhawk: Pitching the Reboot

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
There's a big difference between "the pcs rarely interact with magic" and "the peasants rarely interact with magic."

The latter, I would say, is barely relevant to how the game plays out.

I would have a small (very small) quibble with that.

I think that the "default" 5e is, to a certain extent ... um ... nobody cares what the peasants, or good people, or autonomous collective, are up to. It's kind of background noise- you care about the extent of magic in terms of how it affect the PCs (can they buy magic items, can they get healed or resurrected, etc.).

But most (not all) people just ignore the more general questions of whether druids help the farmers with animal husbandry, or clerics are healing the infirm, and so on.

The one major difference is if there is a campaign (such as Eberron) where the idea of "peasants" (commoners) interacting with magic is presented front and center- then it becomes very, very relevant to the game.

To put it more simply- default 5e is "no one cares too much about people other than the PCs and magic," and not-default 5e is "woah, there's a world other than the PCs, wonder how that works, exactly." :)
 

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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
There's a big difference between "the pcs rarely interact with magic" and "the peasants rarely interact with magic."

The latter, I would say, is barely relevant to how the game plays out. The former is a seismic shift from how 5e DnD is presented.

It is a big difference.

The point is they are one the same scale. The scale is for the setting not the campaign.

Greyhawk is a low magic freqenvy setting because only high level nonmagical adventurers and full blown spellscsters have or see any magic.

"The pcs rarely interact with magic" isn't what D&D considers low magic in frequency. D&D's idea of low magic still has PCs encountering a lot of magic.
 

Oh my days that would be awesome.

I think one major problem we have is a , how to put this “kurt cobain/John Lennon” type situation . Like the setting was an early product started in Gary’s vision. Due to circumstance, it never had a chance to develop further with its original creator. The final product frozen in time, perfected in our minds as how we viewed it then. Gary may have developed it in ways that might have caused consternation to the OG fans. It didn’t age. It didn’t sell out. It didn’t cause controversy with choices. but that is speculative.

This is a flawless, unassailable product that will only be “ruined” because someone else has done something different to it that didn’t match what you envisioned at your table.

When this type of thread appeared before, I pitched approaching a campaign setting book as a wilderlands style hex crawl folio. With limited information or setting modification. Just snippets of basic flavour text about the nations and religions, then hexes with a small paragraph in each of different things (including the placement of classic adventures). That way, it remains as it was, a sketch of a world, waiting for you to ink in the details and add colour. To my mind, it would inspire adventure, differentiate it from the other 5e products and avoid controversies around a reboot of lore.

I’d be interested in your opinion on that if you felt if it was viable or not?
Any idea is viable IF someone gets behind it, in this case "if" WotC.... This wheel will always be turned by them, remember that. I repeat myself, but it's not rocket science. WotC is market driven. They seek the median market whereat they will derive the most potential return from. I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but Fantasy, literally, is NOT a median market idea. It is infinite and thus should have infinite expression. However, the market eschews such unpredictability. The market is about the quickest throughput from A to B to C. Thus it gravitates to center, and the further you get away from center the more niche you get, and WotC IS NOT and will never be niche, of course. Therein lies the problem they see with Greyhawk, its unpredictability and as espoused vociferously by its current adherents and how this clashes with their median view. Out of the gate, just in starting, this has already positioned Greyhawk at a -1, not a good place to start if you are judging whether to invest in it and at what cost, present or future. There has to be a compromise between Greyhawk fandom in bowing to WotC's successful market model; and the pain caused must be alleviated by the best products the fandom creates to deal with it. Whether that's your product or some other's, they are all good. It's getting the horse to, and then out of, the gate that worries me the most.
 

Any idea is viable IF someone gets behind it, in this case "if" WotC.... This wheel will always be turned by them, remember that. I repeat myself, but it's not rocket science. WotC is market driven. They seek the median market whereat they will derive the most potential return from. I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but Fantasy, literally, is NOT a median market idea. It is infinite and thus should have infinite expression. However, the market eschews such unpredictability. The market is about the quickest throughput from A to B to C. Thus it gravitates to center, and the further you get away from center the more niche you get, and WotC IS NOT and will never be niche, of course. Therein lies the problem they see with Greyhawk, its unpredictability and as espoused vociferously by its current adherents and how this clashes with their median view. Out of the gate, just in starting, this has already positioned Greyhawk at a -1, not a good place to start if you are judging whether to invest in it and at what cost, present or future. There has to be a compromise between Greyhawk fandom in bowing to WotC's successful market model; and the pain caused must be alleviated by the best products the fandom creates to deal with it. Whether that's your product or some other's, they are all good. It's getting the horse to, and then out of, the gate that worries me the most.

Yes, I get what you’re saying. I have my own view on how I feel wotc has taken care of the wider d&d brand and settings, but in the interest of civility, I shall keep that to myself.
I think at this stage, I’d be willing to accept any Greyhawk product release, regardless of quality (though only purchasing if I deemed it good enough) if it meant opening it up on the guild, so then fans could act as caretakers and fix it. Much like how Keith Baker (to a lesser extent) is doing with his vision of Eberron.
 

Well, those days of versatility are unfortunately gone. They were vanquished long before WotC acquired TSR. Greyhawk was versatile and a DM's sandbox; but with the breadwinners FR and DL, well these defined the path to GOLD: describe everything and leave no stone unturned. Greyhawk got literally crushed while caught between paradoxical and opposed philosophies (create vs. have it created for thee). Contributing to this was TSR's political war with Gary.

Greyhawk has to come into line with what the mode has been for a while: describe everything (and then let those who disagree sort it out on the back end). I generally do not prefer median products made for median use, so I side (as did Gary) with versatility. But the fact of a previously groomed market dictates Greyhawk's future if it ever leaves its iron-banded eyrie.
Those who like versatility for a setting are still there and we are still teaching the game as we learned it. You might be surprised at how many young players are using the old boxed set of Greyhawk in my area. Yes, I have a hand on that fact, but still. They have learned through me and my Friday Night D&D that Greyhawk exists and thanks to Goodman Games, they now have access to old editions revamped for 5ed. And I can't wait to see what they have done with ToEE. Still, the need to update Greyhawk is still there and many that purchased the boxed set on Ebay and DMGuild asked me for my extensive notes. To them I replied:" Make Greyhawk your own. You'll never have has much fun with the work of others compared to your own." To which they often reply
But what about Dragonborns? Which subclasses should we use, which ...
Answers that can be done ideally by individual DMs, yes. But the amount of work to do that is staggering. With an updated setting, these are all answered and from. There, it will be easier to go on.

I know where are all the bard's colleges are in my Greyhawk and which subclasses they teach. The same goes for monk's monasteries and which subclasses are thought at which monasteries and so on. But I have had 37 years to develop my Greyhawk, adjusting it in From the Ashes, to 3rd edition with the adventure begins and even with Gazetter. For a young DM to start fully over is a lot of work. An updated setting would do much for the Greyhawk community. I will soon turn 51, and started to DM in 1983. I have been playing for 40 years now (soon 41) and I still love Greyhawk. I am not the kind that don't want to see my setting change. I want to see it evolve. I have liked what they did with the FtA box. I liked what they did with the Adventure continues and players' guide to Greyhawk and the three part adventure with the Crypt of Lyzandred the mad was great. Even the gazetteer was welcomed.

The setting needs to see print anew to keep it being alive and well. Once we have the same basis for 5ed with a new book. We can make the setting our own and, fortunately, up-to-date. A common from which we all be able to agree upon. That is my wish.

Edit:" Added words that got left out by the autocorretor and damn big fingers and small phone keyboards...."
 
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Yes, I get what you’re saying. I have my own view on how I feel wotc has taken care of the wider d&d brand and settings, but in the interest of civility, I shall keep that to myself.
I think at this stage, I’d be willing to accept any Greyhawk product release, regardless of quality (though only purchasing if I deemed it good enough) if it meant opening it up on the guild, so then fans could act as caretakers and fix it. Much like how Keith Baker (to a lesser extent) is doing with his vision of Eberron.
Well, that's what the fandom is left with. If the nobility deigns come to the castle wall and throw a crust to the beggars down below. If they opened up DMsGuild much could be done and undone. If not, keep an eye on the battlements and the torches lit.
 
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Those who like versatility for a setting are still there and we are still teaching the game as we learned it. You might be surprised at how many young players are using the old boxed set of Greyhawk in my area. Yes, I have a hand on that fact, but still. They have learned through me and my Friday Night D&D that Greyhawk exists and thanks to Goodman Games, they now have access to old editions revamped for 5ed. And I can't wait to see what they have done with ToEE. Still, the need to update Greyhawk is still there and many that purchased the boxed set on Ebay and DMGuild asked me for my extensive notes. To them I replied:" Make Greyhawk your own. You'll never have has much fun with the work of others compared to your own." To which they often reply
But what about Dragonborns? Which subclasses should we use, which ...
Answers that can be de idea by individual DMs, yes. But the amount of work to do that is staggering. With an updated setting, these are all answered and from. There, it will be easier to go on.

I know where are all the bard's colleges are in my Greyhawk and which subclasses they teach. The same goes for monk's monasteries and which subclasses are thought at which monasteries and so on. But I have had 37 years to develop my Greyhawk, adjusting it in From the Ashes, to 3rd edition with the adventure begins and even with Gazetter. For a young DM to start fully over is a lot of work. An updated setting would do much for the Greyhawk community. I will soon turn 51, and started to DM in 1983. I have been playing for 40 years now (soon 41) and I still love Greyhawk. I am not the kind that don't want to see my setting change. I want to see it evolve. I have liked what they did with the FtA box. I liked what they did with the Adventure continues and players' guide to Greyhawk and the three part adventure with the Crypt of Lyzandred the mad was great. Even the gazetteer was welcomed.

The setting needs to see print anew to keep being alive and well. Once we have the same basis for 5ed with a new book. We can make the setting our own and, fortunately, up-to-date. A common from which we all be able to agree upon. That is my wish.
I know that versatility still exists, but from WotC's view it is an opposing market concept. They may surprise me as they did with the OGL by doing other than what they have continued to do to reinforce market share, but I don't see it in my crystal ball. I mentioned up-thread that WotC/Hasbro are on the move with D&D and FR for the movie and digital products; and this may cause them to loosen their power grip on Greyhawk as they redirect power of control to power of newfound markets. We'll see. I'm still hopeful or else I would not be here squawking about it. I am also a realist. There's some tilting going on and the pinball may yet fall into the bonus point hole!
 

Well, that's what the fandom is left with. If the nobility deigns come to the caste wall and throw a crust to the beggars down below. If they opened up DMsGuild much could be done and undone. If not, keep an eye on the battlements and the torches lit.

Yes, it’s just getting them to it. And it’s the cyclical argument that frustrates.

a) we arent going to publish greyhawk because there’s no demand for it.
b) Because there are no greyhawk products, I have nothing to buy to show demand for it as I already have the old materials.

This continues in a loop until the viable consumers age out. Then.
a) We aren’t going to publish greyhawk because there’s no demand for it. All the old people have the products so what’s the point?
b) Hi, I’m young and new to the hobby, what’s this Greyhawk? These old looking PODs? This doesn’t look as good as the new shiny, plus, I already got me some knights on horseback with forgotten realms.
c) see, there is no demand for it, so there’s no point in publishing it.

Frustrating is an understatement....
 

I know that versatility still exists, but from WotC's view it is an opposing market concept. They may surprise me as they did with the OGL by doing other than what they have continued to do to reinforce market share, but I don't see it in my crystal ball. I mentioned up-thread that WotC/Hasbro are on the move with D&D and FR for the movie and digital products; and this may cause them to loosen their power grip on Greyhawk as they redirect power of control to power of newfound markets. We'll see. I'm still hopeful or else I would not be here squawking about it. I am also a realist. There's some tilting going on and the pinball may yet fall into the bonus point hole!
If the guild opens, I will be one of their biggest buyer, that's for sure. Yet I am also a realist. What I hope for is far from being a sure thing, but hope costs nothing and I still have my own material, and if it comes down to that, I might just copy my notes down for my fellow young GMs out there in my area and give them all of what I have written over the years.

Yes, it’s just getting them to it. And it’s the cyclical argument that frustrates.

a) we arent going to publish greyhawk because there’s no demand for it.
b) Because there are no greyhawk products, I have nothing to buy to show demand for it as I already have the old materials.

This continues in a loop until the viable consumers age out. Then.
a) We aren’t going to publish greyhawk because there’s no demand for it. All the old people have the products so what’s the point?
b) Hi, I’m young and new to the hobby, what’s this Greyhawk? These old looking PODs? This doesn’t look as good as the new shiny, plus, I already got me some knights on horseback with forgotten realms.
c) see, there is no demand for it, so there’s no point in publishing it.

Frustrating is an understatement....
Yep, that is a darn circular logic that we have there. I sure hope that this circular argument gets broken soon.
 
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Yes, it’s just getting them to it. And it’s the cyclical argument that frustrates.

a) we arent going to publish greyhawk because there’s no demand for it.
b) Because there are no greyhawk products, I have nothing to buy to show demand for it as I already have the old materials.

This continues in a loop until the viable consumers age out. Then.
a) We aren’t going to publish greyhawk because there’s no demand for it. All the old people have the products so what’s the point?
b) Hi, I’m young and new to the hobby, what’s this Greyhawk? These old looking PODs? This doesn’t look as good as the new shiny, plus, I already got me some knights on horseback with forgotten realms.
c) see, there is no demand for it, so there’s no point in publishing it.

Frustrating is an understatement....
Well, if it's a "worthless" product then why hold onto it? You see, their bluff is easily called: Do a KS to raise a couple million or so and offer to buy WOG from them. They'd say no to that and the jig would be up, their act exposed. It's a prisoner in the Tower of London; and we all know, from history, what happened to all prisoners in that tower...
 

There's a big difference between "the pcs rarely interact with magic" and "the peasants rarely interact with magic."

The latter, I would say, is barely relevant to how the game plays out. The former is a seismic shift from how 5e DnD is presented.

I both agree and disagree.

Yes, there is a big difference between the two. However, you really would notice it if the PCs are one of the only groups of people without magic. A world full of peasants with access to magic is going to play very very differently than one where the players are the only ones able to break the laws of physics over their knees.

But I think the larger point is about how the world works and reacts, and in that vein, it matters if you are telling the story from a perspective of a team without magic in a magical world, or all the other combinations.
 

Well, if it's a "worthless" product then why hold onto it? You see, their bluff is easily called: Do a KS to raise a couple million or so and offer to buy WOG from them. They'd say no to that and the jig would be up, their act exposed. It's a prisoner in the Tower of London; and we all know, from history, what happened to all prisoners in that tower...

I don’t think they’d have the guts to execute it. I think they are just going to quietly smother it like the princes in the tower and pretend it never existed :(. I’d be happy if I was wrong.

Gah, if only someone else had their name attached to the setting as solidly as Gygax did (and not to diminish your contributions, I just mean in terms of the wider public consciousness). Someone else made a great point earlier, wotc can’t make a move against Dragonlance, they may hold the license, but it belongs to Hickman and Weis, nobody else is willing to touch it without their approval or oversight.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Gah, if only someone else had their name attached to the setting as solidly as Gygax did (and not to diminish your contributions, I just mean in terms of the wider public consciousness). Someone else made a great point earlier, wotc can’t make a move against Dragonlance, they may hold the license, but it belongs to Hickman and Weis, nobody else is willing to touch it without their approval or oversight.

I find this point very strange... not because I don't think it is true, just that there is another famous setting, (Forgotten Realms), that is extremely tied to its creator Ed Greenwood. But it is the most frequently published setting for 5E, compared to Dragonlance and Greyhawk which have nearly no 5E products.

I think there must be a bigger distinction than just the creator still being around... I'm not sure what though.
 

I find this point very strange... not because I don't think it is true, just that there is another famous setting, (Forgotten Realms), that is extremely tied to its creator Ed Greenwood. But it is the most frequently published setting for 5E, compared to Dragonlance and Greyhawk which have nearly no 5E products.

I think there must be a bigger distinction than just the creator still being around... I'm not sure what though.
You know, this is very true. But I somewhat suspect its more down to the fact that Greenwood gives tacit approval as he negotiated a very favourable contract that still stands.

Feel free to correct me, but I believe he gets to publish a book every now and then and it has to be considered canon. I don’t think any other setting creators have that level of influence.

Plus, wotc are making bank on his setting. They aren’t trying to shut it down or some such. So it’s all good for him.

Of course, all of this is just (un)healthy speculation, but then, what else are forums for? :p.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Feel free to correct me, but I believe he gets to publish a book every now and then and it has to be considered canon. I don’t think any other setting creators have that level of influence.

I think this is just a rumor, but it could well be true. I've tried to find something that confirms it and haven't found anything. Another version I've heard of the rumor is that the owner of the license needs to an FR book every year or so or the rights return to Ed. No idea if any of this is true, although Ed apparently only got $5,000 for handing the license to TSR.

Anyway, I'm a little confused by the arguments people make by each creator's link to each setting;

  • WotC doesn't touch Greyhawk as the creator (Gygax) has passed and there is no longer a person pushing for it.
  • WotC doesn't touch Dragonlance as they are afraid of the creators (W&H) and their power of the brand in public conciousness.
  • WotC does publish Eberron, as the creator (Keith Baker) pushed for it to be released in 5E and helped make the playtest document for a 5E version
  • WotC's favorite setting Forgotten Realms has a creator (Ed Greenwood) who doesn't do much work for 5E, but he may have a great contract that ensures it keeps getting published, so he's happy with its status.

There's... almost no consistent thread here at all. These are all popular theories on this forum, but it makes WotC look like a very inconsistent organization. I'm not really sure any of these above are actually true, and that there is some completely different ethos for why settings are published (and why others aren't).

I'm curious, when the other two "classic settings" are released whether people will need to change their priors. It would be quite interesting if it was Greyhawk and Dragonlance that are released, that would burst folks' bubbles.
 

I think this is just a rumor, but it could well be true. I've tried to find something that confirms it and haven't found anything. Another version I've heard of the rumor is that the owner of the license needs to an FR book every year or so or the rights return to Ed. No idea if any of this is true, although Ed apparently only got $5,000 for handing the license to TSR.

Anyway, I'm a little confused by the arguments people make by each creator's link to each setting;

  • WotC doesn't touch Greyhawk as the creator (Gygax) has passed and there is no longer a person pushing for it.
  • WotC doesn't touch Dragonlance as they are afraid of the creators (W&H) and their power of the brand in public conciousness.
  • WotC does publish Eberron, as the creator (Keith Baker) pushed for it to be released in 5E and helped make the playtest document for a 5E version
  • WotC's favorite setting Forgotten Realms has a creator (Ed Greenwood) who doesn't do much work for 5E, but he may have a great contract that ensures it keeps getting published, so he's happy with its status.

There's... almost no consistent thread here at all. These are all popular theories on this forum, but it makes WotC look like a very inconsistent organization. I'm not really sure any of these above are actually true, and that there is some completely different ethos for why settings are published (and why others aren't).

I'm curious, when the other two "classic settings" are released whether people will need to change their priors. It would be quite interesting if it was Greyhawk and Dragonlance that are released, that would burst folks' bubbles.

I mean, I’d very happily be proven wrong. As I stated up thread, as long it grants access to DMsguild, I’ll take a wotc Greyhawk in any form.
 

lkj

Adventurer
Well, if it's a "worthless" product then why hold onto it? You see, their bluff is easily called: Do a KS to raise a couple million or so and offer to buy WOG from them. They'd say no to that and the jig would be up, their act exposed. It's a prisoner in the Tower of London; and we all know, from history, what happened to all prisoners in that tower...

It is worth noting (and maybe it already was in this long thread; my apologies if so), that WotC has dipped a toe in Greyhawk waters with their Ghosts of Saltmarsh product. I've suspected they have some future plans for it (explaining the lack of movement on DM's Guild), but they tend to work about five or more years out with their product planning. Now, even if they do have plans for it, there's no guarantee they would ever see the light of day. But they've clearly been playing with the idea.

I suppose we'll see, because, as many have noted, there are other settings that differentiate themselves more easily from their Forgotten Realms flagship. I say that even as a Greyhawk fan who would love to see more 5e treatment.

AD
 

It is worth noting (and maybe it already was in this long thread; my apologies if so), that WotC has dipped a toe in Greyhawk waters with their Ghosts of Saltmarsh product. I've suspected they have some future plans for it (explaining the lack of movement on DM's Guild), but they tend to work about five or more years out with their product planning. Now, even if they do have plans for it, there's no guarantee they would ever see the light of day. But they've clearly been playing with the idea.

I suppose we'll see, because, as many have noted, there are other settings that differentiate themselves more easily from their Forgotten Realms flagship. I say that even as a Greyhawk fan who would love to see more 5e treatment.

AD
Maybe so, maybe not. Greyhawk fandom is forever stranded in the middle of the road and run over from both directions. I have no skin in this anymore. I have been GH's biggest champion and battlefield general for years. I am quite left with the feeling that Napoleon must have had when asked by his Marshall Ney at the Battle of Waterloo to provide the latter with more troops: "More Troops? What do you want me to do? Make them?"
 

It is a big difference.

The point is they are one the same scale. The scale is for the setting not the campaign.

Greyhawk is a low magic freqenvy setting because only high level nonmagical adventurers and full blown spellscsters have or see any magic.

"The pcs rarely interact with magic" isn't what D&D considers low magic in frequency. D&D's idea of low magic still has PCs encountering a lot of magic.
Does the nature of the setting matter, outside of how it affect a campaign? If it doesn't come up in play, how does it affect the game? And if it doesn't affect the game, why would anyone care?
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Does the nature of the setting matter, outside of how it affect a campaign? If it doesn't come up in play, how does it affect the game? And if it doesn't affect the game, why would anyone care?

Do your PCs do anything outside of the direct adventure and dungeon crawl?

If most of the setting has no Xs, Ys, and Zs in it, then if your party decide to go there or deviate off the path they won't see nor encounter any Xs, Ys, nor Zs..
 

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