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

Yaarel

He Mage
There can be new classes and subclasses for the Oerth setting. But everything that is in 1e is either already standard 5e − or perhaps lacked the popularity to eventually become standard 5e. Any new class or subclass options are more likely to be an innovation.

For example. The Udadrow elf culture is likely to have a Paladin of Lolth, who is a Dex-fighting, light armor, Anti-Paladin, perhaps with sleep venom smites rather than radiant. Oppositely, the High elf culture with its Cleric/Fighter is also likely to have a Dex-fighting, light armor, Paladin of Corellon, perhaps with shapechanging features.

Gygax didnt create these subclasses, or Fighting Styles, but they are a remix and a reinvention of what he did create.



1e only has the Wizard and Cleric, including Druid, plus a formative Bard, but lacks Warlock, Sorcerer, Psion, and Artificer. A 5e update will have these other mages, plus subclasses that resonate the themes and tropes of 1e Oerth.



Actually, 1e Oerth is alot like Eberron in the sense that the various cultures have a real diversity in the different kinds of approaches to religion. So a more fluid and adaptable Cleric class, that can be animistic or philosophical, helps.
 
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Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
Since Greyhawk has been on the Obsolete Shelf (and the Lawsuit Magnet Closet) for a generation, new player options will have to draw on things that BASIC and 1e had, which were not subsequently followed up.
  • Racial / cultural paragon feats. The essence of the most elf-y an individual can be or become. "Elf" and "Dwarf" used to be a class not a race.
  • Your Alignment guides your actions, even for PCs. You won't stay NG for long if you keep destroying villages in order to save them.
  • Evil with a capital E does exist and it is no laughing matter. Ravenloft and Greyhawk share this feature.
  • Fantastical landscapes due to ubermagic. The Sea of Dust, a petrified forest that can still grow, that crashed spaceship.
  • Somewhat limited choice of playable character race. The orcs here are always-CE; nobody has ever heard of a dragonborn even in the wildest of dreams. OTOH no caricature / joke races like kender either.

There is a Johnny Cash story from when he joined Lalapalooza: the old man sang some songs from his childhood and the teens / twenties listening reacted with "We've never heard these songs before! They're new!"
Greyhawk offers the opportunity to do the same for people who discovered D&D with 5e and for those who are too young to remember a Living Greyhawk.
 


pemerton

Legend
The centre of the two GH maps have the following within easy adventuring distance of one another:

  • The City of GH, for Lankhmar/Thieves' Guild-type adventuring;
  • The Gnarley Forest for Robin Hood adventuring;
  • JRRT-ish Elves in Celene;
  • JRRT-ish Dwarves in the Lortmils;
  • Pirates on the Wild Coast;
  • A political although not geographical suggestion of northern Middle Earth and Angmar - human lands fallen to Orcs - in the Pomarj;
  • The Bright Desert, with Suel nomads and sand-buried treasures;
  • Hardy hill-folk in the Abor-Alz;
  • At least a hint of knightly knights in and around Dyvers and Verbobonc;
  • Military naval engagements on the Nyr Dyv.

I don't know what this tells us about player-facing options, but to me this is what is distinctive about GH as a FRPG setting. Just about every S&S and Tolkienesque trope is accommodated in that modest geographical area.
 

Saracenus

Always In School Gamer
It really depends on whether they are going to publish Greyhawk as a campaign setting or just an adventure set in Greyhawk. I really don't see them doing the former unless they were going to concentrate on a particular area (e.g. The city of Greyhawk, The Great Kingdom, etc.). The rest of it would be filled in by the rabid fandom in DMs Guild. An adventure, IMO, is more likely. The question becomes what is the theme of that adventure? Either way it opens the floodgates with DMs Guild...
 

GuyBoy

Hero
It really depends on whether they are going to publish Greyhawk as a campaign setting or just an adventure set in Greyhawk. I really don't see them doing the former unless they were going to concentrate on a particular area (e.g. The city of Greyhawk, The Great Kingdom, etc.). The rest of it would be filled in by the rabid fandom in DMs Guild. An adventure, IMO, is more likely. The question becomes what is the theme of that adventure? Either way it opens the floodgates with DMs Guild...
Defeating the plans of Tharizdun?
This could include Tsojcanth, with Drelnza to free to assist the players (for her own motives) and the the Temple of Tharizdun with the expanded cyst as the endgame.
Front load some new lower level intro adventures to link to Tsojcanth, then some further new adventures to link to the Temple.

A bit like Return to the Tomb of Horrors from 25th Anniversary.
Might just be my dream though.......
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
The question becomes what is the theme of that adventure?
Working from my prior post:
If L1-L3 is about shutting down the Temple of Evil-Chaos, the endgame could be foiling a plan of Iuz -or- breaking one of his toys* -or- taking out a chief henchman.

No bonus points if Mordenkainen shows up on the very last page of the adventure to tell the PCs "Thank you for saving me that time and effort."

* or placing an artifact Iuz wants, within the wards of Castle Greyhawk for safekeeping
 

pemerton

Legend
When we talk about a GH-specific adventure, do we mean one that uses GH images and tropes - Tharizdun, Iuz, Mordenkainen, etc - or one that evokes something distinctive about a GH theme/ethos?
 

Yaarel

He Mage
Looking at the 2e Monstrous Compendium 5 − Greyhawk Appendix:

The Greyhawk setting seems to emphasize many different kinds of sprites. These wee folk are "faerie-folk", and in 5e presumably Fey.

• Atomie Sprite
• Booka
• Buckawn Brownie
• Gremlin
• Grig Sprite
• Norker Hobgoblin
• Mite
• Quickling Brownie
• Sea Sprite
• Snyad Mite
• Spriggan Giant-Kin

Plus in the MM, MC 1 and 2

• Boggart
• Boggle
• Brownie
• Goblin
• Killmoulis Brownie
• Korred
• Leprechaun
• Nixie Sprite
• Pixie Sprite
• Sprite
• Xvart

Etcetera.



Compare the wee folk that already exist in 5e now.

• Boggle (MMM)
• Darkling (MMM)
• Derro (Out of the Abyss)
• Gnome
• Goblin
• Halfling
• Jermlaine (Mordenkainens Fiendish Folio 1)
• Korred (MMM)
• Mite (Mordenkainens Fiendish Folio 1)
• Nilbog (MMM)
• Norker (Mordenkainens Fiendish Folio 1)
• Pixie
• Quickling (MMM)
• Redcap (MMM)
• Sprite (Basic Rules)
• Svirfneblin Deep Gnome
• Xvart (Volos)



In D&D, the term "sprite" is a term for a specific creature. But it is more helpful if "sprite" can mean any Fey or Fey-like creature that is Small or Tiny.

The Greyhawk setting makes the various sprites a prominent trope.
 
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pemerton

Legend
Looking at the 2e Monstrous Compendium 5 − Greyhawk Appendix:

The Greyhawk setting seems to emphasize many different kinds of sprites. These wee folk are "faerie-folk", and in 5e presumably Fey.

<snip>

The Greyhawk setting makes the various sprites a prominent trope.
I think that that is a bit misleading. The only prominent fey I can think of in GH material is the Drow - which I know you're well aware of, as a GH element. (I don't think Xvarts are fey in the context of GH. They're goblin variants.)

Bullywugs and other frogfolk are more prominent than sprites, I think.
 

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