D&D 5E Greyhawk: Player Options for a Campaign Setting


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Hussar

Legend
I think that leaning on different human ethnicities is something that could go very well or spectacularly badly. People with any number of axes to grind are going to go over the work with a very fine toothed comb. Whether from the Greyhawk canon side making sure that the material is fitting with their interpretation of Greyhawk to folks who are going to be looking for more … let’s say folks with a more political bent on either side of the fence.

I like the idea but WOW is that a tough row to hoe.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I think that leaning on different human ethnicities is something that could go very well or spectacularly badly. People with any number of axes to grind are going to go over the work with a very fine toothed comb. Whether from the Greyhawk canon side making sure that the material is fitting with their interpretation of Greyhawk to folks who are going to be looking for more … let’s say folks with a more political bent on either side of the fence.

I like the idea but WOW is that a tough row to hoe.
Sticking to political and religious organizations is probably better. Still not exactly a controversy free zone there, but much less problematic.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Sticking to political and religious organizations is probably better. Still not exactly a controversy free zone there, but much less problematic.
One of the benefits of defining a culture as an assemblage of backgrounds is it is easy to add and remove a background, allowing the culture to adapt and evolve. An assemblage is fluid. The book can describe one community while mentioning other communities can have assemblages that differ.

Meanwhile a character from a culture can obtain any background that the player wants. If a Dwarf wants to be a sailor, do that. If a thousand Dwarves want to be sailors, we might be witnessing the emergence of a new Dwarf culture.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Relating to background, I want some gain of a relevant noncombat feature at each tier: something like levels 1, 5, 9, 13, and 17. For example, at level 9, the character heads an institution, like a wizard school, political office, fortress, or so on.
 

Hussar

Legend
Sticking to political and religious organizations is probably better. Still not exactly a controversy free zone there, but much less problematic.
Yeah, agreed. Like I said, it's something that's REALLY easy to screw up - in either direction really. Total minefield. So, I wouldn't blame WotC at all for just saying, "Nope, not going to touch it". Granted, that'll likely annoy everyone at the same time, but, a heck of a lot less than stepping on some political land mine and watching it blow up into a massive Twitter fitshorm that just makes everyone a lot more angry.

Sure, you might call it cowardice, but, hey, they're trying to sell books here. They're not out to make grand political statements.

Relating to background, I want some gain of a relevant noncombat feature at each tier: something like levels 1, 5, 9, 13, and 17. For example, at level 9, the character heads an institution, like a wizard school, political office, fortress, or so on.
Sorry to bang this drum again, but, this is exactly what Primeval Thule did. Character Narratives gave you features at 1st, 6th and 10th. For example, an Atlantean Noble gets:

Skill Training (1st level): You are trained in History and Persuasion. As a noble, you were instructed in the events that shaped your family’s legacy, and learned the arts of diplomacy.

Urgent Command (1st level): On your turn, you can use a bonus action to allow one ally within 30 feet of you to make a single melee or ranged attack as a combat reaction. You can use this ability once, and then you must rest to regain it.

Noble’s Grace (6th level): Your air of nobility and confidence gives you greater influence over other people in positions of power. You have tactical advantage on ability checks or skill checks to interact with nobles and leaders.

Noble Patriarch (10th level): You become the official patriarch of your noble house. You are nominated to a seat of power in your home city, appointed to a ruling body, or awarded some similar great honor. You gain access to the wealth of your house and the authority to command its soldiers; you have a high income, and a company of followers equivalent to legionaries (see the sidebar on Page 79). At 15th level, your followers improve to veterans.

Note, this was all written before 5e had even released, so the verbiage is a bit rough, but, you get the idea. Smidgeon of combat stuff, but, mostly exactly what you're talking about.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Sorry to bang this drum again, but, this is exactly what Primeval Thule did. Character Narratives gave you features at 1st, 6th and 10th. For example, an Atlantean Noble gets:

Note, this was all written before 5e had even released, so the verbiage is a bit rough, but, you get the idea. Smidgeon of combat stuff, but, mostly exactly what you're talking about.
I am fine with a "smidgeon" of combat stuff, within the noncombat "silo", if mostly for flavor, such as a Deer Hunter background gaining proficiency with a longbow, or whatever, as long as the focus is on the vocation itself.

Also, these improvements in background abilities − and status − feel true to the 1e books of Gygax (and Arneson). For example, many features of the "name levels" of the classes translate well into 5e backgrounds, if the backgrounds can continue to advance while leveling.
 
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Luz

Explorer
I do not think the scarlet brotherhood should ever have a playable option as they are honestly completely evil.
I don’t totally disagree, but a player could take the Drizz’t route for a SB character idea. Drow are every bit as evil as the SB, maybe worse. Just sayin.
Like most player option material, not all of GG’s hit the mark for me, but there are still some very good ideas that are thematic with the GH setting.
 

I don’t totally disagree, but a player could take the Drizz’t route for a SB character idea. Drow are every bit as evil as the SB, maybe worse. Just sayin.
Like most player option material, not all of GG’s hit the mark for me, but there are still some very good ideas that are thematic with the GH setting.
the scarlet brotherhood are a group of basically Neo-Nazise they are not a race, as races are massive no matter how many were the hat of evil one will have it fall off because of different life experience, organisation of purity obsessed nutters are well less likely to have that happen, plus giving them cool exclusive power makes them cool, I would just make them enemy monk stat blocks instead.
 




Micah Sweet

Legend
Of course, but Evil PCs is something that both players and the DM need to agree on. It is inherently "variant", and noncore.

Plus, in todays zeitgeist, do you really think WotC would make N*zis a playable anything?
Of course not. I just object to the idea that they shouldn't exist.
 



Voadam

Legend
They are actively discouraged by WotC, and explicitly not supported. There wonbeany sourcebook un the future, literally ever, thst enables an actively evil PC concept.
There seems to be mechanical support in core 5e D&D for evil PC concepts.

The PH has an assassin subclass.
You can have a PC concept of selling your soul to devils for power. Or be a Cthulhu/Old Ones/Mythos cultist.

I found this quote in the DMG, page 92:

"Class Options. In addition to the class options in the Player's Handbook, two additional class options are available for evil player characters and NPCs: the Death domain for clerics and the oathbreaker for paladins. Both options are detailed at the end of this chapter."

Paladins no longer need to be good the way they were in older editions. They can be any alignment.

I have not gone through the Ravenloft book player options in depth yet but I would not be surprised to see something that could support an evil PC concept.

As for the future and what they will or will not put in the books compared to what they have been putting in, we will see.

For a Greyhawk setting book it would not surprise me to see evil cleric or fiend warlock suggestions for Horned Society and Iuz followers or the Great Old One pact for Tharizdun cultists.

I don't particularly think new options are all that needed to do Greyhawk though, the Scarlet Brotherhood monks are core evil monks, not close to monk mystical martial artists that require different rules to capture unique aspects of the SB. Would you give them political adviser things like a focus on intimidation and persuasion? The monster breeder stuff from the 2e sourcebook? More 1e style powers? Make up completely new stuff for them?
 


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