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Greyhawk setting material

Parmandur

Legend
Chroniques de la Lune Noire by François Marcela-Froideval is what I am referring to: he was TSR's French translator in the late Gygax days, and contributed to Oriental Adventures. His graphic novels take place in the Far West of Oerik, per his mutual head-cannon with Gygax, and the Dragon Annual #1 map of the whole continent.
 

Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
I don't recall the Tiefling in the original.
No, the village wasn't really fleshed out in the original module, and even if it had been, it was published before Planescape so tieflings weren't a thing.

The sea elf has always been there though - possibly the first appearance of that subrace in D&D?
 

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
Kara-Tur was originally Greyhawk. It moved to Abeir-Toril later (when Gygax left). These continents can be slippery.
My recollection (and I might be wrong about this) is that there was a plan, or at least an inchoate desire, to have Kara Tur be in Greyhawk (after all, there the Flanaess, aka "Greyhawk," is only a tiny portion of Oerth).

But by the time OA was published, there was no linkage to Greyhawk, and it was sort of its own world.

It was subsumed into FR with the publication of the Grey Box.
 

Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
Yes, that is probably correct. When we first acquired OA we simply assumed it was Greyhawk, since it didn't say otherwise and everything else we had seen up until then had defaulted to Greyhawk.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Explorer
The return of Kara-Tur will be after a playtesting with "wuxia" classes, like the martial adepts: crusader, swordsage and warblade. Asian fans will suggest new ideas, for example cute nekonomimi ("animal ears") as PC race because they are very popular in Asian MMOs. Somebody will say samurai and ninja should be complete classes and not only subclasses.

Other option could be to recycle "Dragon Fist", a mini-setting for Greyhawk, or...

...my worst fear is something like the equivalent of the sundering for Greyhawk, when continents from Abeir-Toril were exchanged. Even the island of Jackandor, the mini-settin, could reappear like Oerth.

I wonder about WotC creating an "oriental empire" to be adapted for a future videogame for Chinese market.

---

* Could WotC to buy the rights of the world of "Dangerous Journeys", Gygax's world after TSR?
 

GlassJaw

Explorer
No doubt I'll get chastise for this but I always found the original World of Greyhawk boxed set a bit dry. It read like an encyclopedia. It was chock full of info no doubt but I always found it difficult as a campaign resource. It was too broad of an overview.

For me the City of Greyhawk and From the Ashes boxed sets were much more evocative and had way more information that could be used to run a campaign.

I also fully admit this could be nostalgia plus my age when I came to acquire these things (middle school in the 80s).
 

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
No doubt I'll get chastise for this but I always found the original World of Greyhawk boxed set a bit dry. It read like an encyclopedia. It was chock full of info no doubt but I always found it difficult as a campaign resource. It was too broad of an overview.

For me the City of Greyhawk and From the Ashes boxed sets were much more evocative and had way more information that could be used to run a campaign.

I also fully admit this could be nostalgia plus my age when I came to acquire these things (middle school in the 80s).
I wouldn't chastise you! Different things appeal to different people.

...although, if you said that Castle Greyhawk (WG7) was your favorite, then I would be forced to hunt you down.

Some people prefer having more detail, some not so much. What I liked about the early material (Folio, 1983 Boxed Set) is that it provided a framework for the DM to fill in. Others might prefer a more fleshed-out setting.
 

lkj

Explorer
In all honesty, I think that my original comment stands (at least for me). But I guess it depends on what you want out of a campaign setting?

For my purposes, the 1983 Boxed Set was absolutely perfect, because, well, the Darlene Map (still gorgeous!) and because the information was absolutely perfect in terms on providing information and hooks ... it gave all sorts of ideas for adventurers and plots and ideas, without forcing any on me.

I still do not think I have ever read a better example of that- something that felt like it was calling on you to make the adventures. It was like the world's most wonderful coloring book, waiting for me to fill it in.
From that interview awhile back, Mearls seems to agree with you completely, arguing that this is the best part of Greyhawk. He clearly would prefer to go back to the original box set.

In this context, however, I do think there might be an easy compromise. Given how lean the baseline Greyhawk could be, it would be pretty easy to add optional timelines and optional pieces to such a setting presentation. Something like:

"Adding Tieflings and Dragonborn to your Greyhawk game"

"Greyhawk Alternate Futures"

Or some such. I really like Greyhawk and I prefer the original box. But I'm not a purist and wouldn't mind having suggestions for some of the newer game options, so long as it's done fairly lightly.

AD
 

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
From that interview awhile back, Mearls seems to agree with you completely, arguing that this is the best part of Greyhawk. He clearly would prefer to go back to the original box set.

In this context, however, I do think there might be an easy compromise. Given how lean the baseline Greyhawk could be, it would be pretty easy to add optional timelines and optional pieces to such a setting presentation. Something like:

"Adding Tieflings and Dragonborn to your Greyhawk game"

"Greyhawk Alternate Futures"

Or some such. I really like Greyhawk and I prefer the original box. But I'm not a purist and wouldn't mind having suggestions for some of the newer game options, so long as it's done fairly lightly.

AD
That's the best solution (IMO). No one would argue with the inclusion of little snippets about how to customize the campaign.

Well, I might argue, but only because that's what I do. Not with any real feeling. ahem


Anyway, the thing I think they should try and pay attention to is making sure that however they decide to handle it, it ends up different than "just another generic fantasy setting." That would be the worst outcome; after all, if you just end up with Forgotten Realms, but with different country names, why bother? Just call Waterdeep the Free City of Greyhawk and be done with it.
 

lkj

Explorer
That's the best solution (IMO). No one would argue with the inclusion of little snippets about how to customize the campaign.

Well, I might argue, but only because that's what I do. Not with any real feeling. ahem


Anyway, the thing I think they should try and pay attention to is making sure that however they decide to handle it, it ends up different than "just another generic fantasy setting." That would be the worst outcome; after all, if you just end up with Forgotten Realms, but with different country names, why bother? Just call Waterdeep the Free City of Greyhawk and be done with it.
Not too worried about that. Besides Mearls going on about how great Greyhawk was at presenting seeds for ideas without overburdening with detail, they've also more than once referred to Greyhawk as a 'sword and sorcery' setting. They want it to be the base for different kinds of stories, so they'll be going for that.

I actually think Saltmarsh was a test to see how using Greyhawk to tell a story played on the market. Therefore I suggest we all buy five more copies.

AD
 

Parmandur

Legend
Not too worried about that. Besides Mearls going on about how great Greyhawk was at presenting seeds for ideas without overburdening with detail, they've also more than once referred to Greyhawk as a 'sword and sorcery' setting. They want it to be the base for different kinds of stories, so they'll be going for that.

I actually think Saltmarsh was a test to see how using Greyhawk to tell a story played on the market. Therefore I suggest we all buy five more copies.

AD
It seems to have sold well, around these parts and on Amazon. And yes, I think Mearls was testing the waters for making Greyhawk the "Sword & Sorcery Weird Fantasy Sandbox" product.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
I might allow new stuff into Greyhawk but restrict it to 1 per party.

So you can play whatever you're just not going to end up with a whole party.

If you have a Dragonborn, Drow, Tiefling, and something from Volos Guide to Races IMHO you would be doing Greyhawk wrong and as a DM the old mob of Pitchfork wielding peasants would be appropriate.

The other thing is just because you can add something to a setting should you?

Tieflings and Drow for example at least make sense for the setting along with say Yuan Ti half-blood.
 

Azzy

Cyclone Ranger
Ban everything after 1983 as player options.
Why would you do that? Gygax was adding stuff to GH past that. Hell, GH is where Gygax playtested anything that he created to be published in GH. Alice in Wonderland-style modules were part of GH. The Starship Warden (from Metamorphasis Alpha) was reachable via portal from GH. GH had froghemoths and not-King Kong. This puritanical approach to GH is not in keeping with what Gygax did or what the setting was designed to do. It's simply after the fact revisionism that has no basis in the setting's original design.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
Why would you do that? Gygax was adding stuff to GH past that. Hell, GH is where Gygax playtested anything that he created to be published in GH. Alice in Wonderland-style modules were part of GH. The Starship Warden (from Metamorphasis Alpha) was reachable via portal from GH. GH had froghemoths and not-King Kong. This puritanical approach to GH is not in keeping with what Gygax did or what the setting was designed to do. It's simply after the fact revisionism that has no basis in the setting's original design.
Adding some stuff is fine, but the more you add the more diluted it becomes.

Why play GH over FR if it's everything goes? I would almost bring back racial and alignment restrictions. No Dwarf Wizard for you!!!
 

Parmandur

Legend
What I would expect from a 5E Greyhawk setting book:

1. Timeline reset to the 1983 box set, just to avoid metaplot shenanigans if nothing else, based on Mearls statements

2. Adventure material for Sword & Sorcery style stuff with a weird edge, specifically what the kids call "Appendix N": location maps, random tables, etc. similar to the Ravnica and Eberron books as genre booster sets for the DMG.

3. Monsters, particularly any 1E monsters that haven't made it into a book by this time, no matter how weird.

I can't think what player options Greyhawk might ask for...
 

Hussar

Legend
Gygax, who was quite open about his campaign being human-centric, with non-human PCs being a rare exception.

The actual campaign setting was quite vaguely defined though, so there is plenty of room to increase non-human representation, which is what GoS has done. The sea elf was in the original module, but that wasn't written by Gygax.
Well, to be fair, Greyhawk came about out of Blackmoor and the 70's. There simply weren't that many options other than human. :D

But, it's 2019 now. We've had thirty plus years of stuff adding to Greyhawk. I'd rather not eject all that development. Paizo, Oerth Journal, a decade or two of Living Greyhawk? Umpteen Dragon magazine articles? Why would I want to junk all that? What's it getting me? If you go right back to the original boxed set, you lose so much. No thanks. Sure, the meta-plot stuff was heavy handed, but, that's all in the past anyway. Going back to the original just leaves out so much fantastic material written by very talented people who LOVE Greyhawk. Either from the Canonfire! site (excellent resource) or all the fanzine stuff.

Nope, no intention of going back to those days. I love the fact that one of my PC's is a Firbolg from the Hool Marsh. That bridge in the center of Saltmarsh makes her throw up every time she tries to cross it. It's great.
 

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