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Greyhawk setting material

Hussar

Legend
Honestly, the big draw for Greyhawk for me is the fact that it isn't very well fleshed out. Even with all the material out there for Greyhawk, it's still very, very largely a blank slate. I mean, folks are talking about how dragonborn wouldn't fit into the setting. Why not? There are so many empty areas that you could plunk them down into that would be so easy. Pomarj works, for one. Amedio Jungle for another. Arrivals from other lands works. Or, heck, arrivals from other dimensions works as well - it's not like that's a new thing for Greyhawk. Good grief, crashed spaceship. :D

Adding in new races/elements to Greyhawk is just so easy. There's so much of it that no one knows anything about.

To me, that's the primary difference between GH and FR. FR is DETAILED. It is, without any hyperbole, probably the most described fantasy setting there is. Good grief, there was an old Greenwood article on the WotC site detailing the SHAPE of WINDOWS in some town in FR. That's how detailed the setting is.

GH is a much blanker slate. Even post GH Wars and whatnot, it's still largely a blank slate. I mean, here's my cut up map for Hold of the Sea Princes from the fantastic Anny M maps:
Hold of the Sea Princes 1.jpg

That's a HUGE area. Each of those hexes is 12 miles across. Look at the area labeled Scarlet Brotherhood. There are only 4 named settlements. In an area about 200 MILES in diameter. I live on an island in Japan that's about this size and has thousands of towns, villages and cities. A population of nearly 13 million people. That's a HUGE amount of empty canvas for an aspiring DM.

To me, it's not the "humanocentric" or "sword and sorcery" or whatever you like to call it. That's dependent on a lot of things, and, frankly can be done in a lot of other settings too. I mean, Dragonlance is Humanocentric. That's hardly unique. What is unique about GH is the fact that anyone who uses GH makes a very unique campaign because there is so little that is filled in for you. It's great.
 
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Zardnaar

Adventurer
Never bought much 2E and 3E GH stuff. Just picked up bits and pieces from adventures, Dragon/Dungeon and other settings products such as Planescape/Spelljammer.
 

Coroc

Explorer
I could not agree more than @grodnog s characterization further up it hits the spot.

dm of a ghk campaign based on the blue box year 579 I did alter the tech level a bit so you would have access to everything available in 17th century except gunpowder.

it works. I did restrict player race to human halforc halfelf gnome and tiefling but only descendants of lawful devils, because the overarching scenario is party vs iuz. The party already has acquired two parts of the ashen stuff and set off a small scale rain of the colorless fire killing some hundred orcs with that.


so what I try to point out greyhawk can be pretty epic even with the official material look up the ashen staff if you do not believe me and tell me that is sword and sorcery still.

otoh some not original races can be pretty well integrated without to much fiddling.

aka Halfords being the cliché results of rape by marauding orcs and tieflings of the lawful side the descendants of devils sent to the prime to hassle iuz
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
Yes, the Greyhawk Wars happened in 2e (with a board game, even). Then Carl Sergeant did his best with what he had to work with to make it palatable.
Ah picked up the 83 boxed set a few years back in local auction site. Missed out on the FR Gray box though.
 

Hussar

Legend
Additionally, it's going to depend on where your campaign focuses. For example, the Greyhawk wars don't matter all that much if you are, like me, focusing more on the south - Sasserine, Saltmarsh, that sort of thing. Other than the addition of the Scarlet Brotherhood, it doesn't actually impact the setting all that much.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
Additionally, it's going to depend on where your campaign focuses. For example, the Greyhawk wars don't matter all that much if you are, like me, focusing more on the south - Sasserine, Saltmarsh, that sort of thing. Other than the addition of the Scarlet Brotherhood, it doesn't actually impact the setting all that much.
I liked the Paizo southern development near the Ameido jungles. Sasserine is great.
 

David Howery

Adventurer
Additionally, it's going to depend on where your campaign focuses. For example, the Greyhawk wars don't matter all that much if you are, like me, focusing more on the south - Sasserine, Saltmarsh, that sort of thing. Other than the addition of the Scarlet Brotherhood, it doesn't actually impact the setting all that much.
the last time I ran a GH campaign, it was set in the south, and I really didn't like what the Wars did to it... I didn't want the SB taking over damn near everything, I didn't want Hepmonaland to be their backwater conquest (I had it as a counterpart to Africa), I had the Amedio as an Amazon-ish place set with a lot of adventure hooks, and I didn't want the Great Kingdom all busted up, since it was the Big Bad Evil Focus for the campaign. Luckily, as has been noted previously, due to the bare bones sandbox nature of GH, it's easily possible to ignore the Wars (or, in your case, make use of it). GH has never been really dependent on tying in future releases to the extent that FR did...
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Additionally, it's going to depend on where your campaign focuses. For example, the Greyhawk wars don't matter all that much if you are, like me, focusing more on the south - Sasserine, Saltmarsh, that sort of thing. Other than the addition of the Scarlet Brotherhood, it doesn't actually impact the setting all that much.
Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?
 

Mort

Community Supporter
Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?
right?

My current campaign is focused on the Scarlet Brotherhood and their renewed bid for world domination.

It's pretty fun chewing the scenery as an avowed group of human supremacists (Suel first, other humans can be converted, non humans are fit for , at best, slavery). Particularly because of my 6 regular players, only one is playing a human.
 
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lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
right?

My current campaign is focused on the Scarlet Brotherhood and their renewed bid for world domination.

It's pretty fun chewing the scenery as an avowed group of human supremacists (Seul first, other humans can be converted, non humans are fit for , at best, slavery). Particularly because of my 6 regular players, only one is playing a human.
Oh, I know! The Scarlet Brotherhood is one of those ur-Greyhawkian elements, in that it perfectly encapsulates a lot of what (some) people love about the setting. Here-

1. Humano-centric? Check! I mean, Human (Suel) Nazi Monks preaching racial supremacy?

2. A little gonzo? What part of Nazi Monks was unclear?

3. Provides the hook for a DM to fill in? You betcha! Do you know what the 1983 sourcebook had to say about the Scarlet Brotherhood, in its entirety? They were first reported 3 years before the sourcebook cameout, that there was a Monk, probably 14th level, with an unknown name, that led them; and maybe they have spies and an army to take over the world in the name of racial supremacy. That's it!

I mean, it's just one of so many examples of a sourcebook that was screaming, "Make me an adventure. MAKE ME A CAMPAIGN!"
 

LuisCarlos17f

Explorer
Scarlet Brotherhood was the last 2nd sourcebook I bought, and I don't regret. It has a lot of background enoughly useful for last editions.

GH is like a comic of Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers from 30's, awesome in its time but no so popular now. Today you can sell the same numbers of DC or Marvel comics from 80s because the public is changing. Now is the generation of world of warcraft, manganime and lots os asian MMO. The style of GH now is too "easy to be cloned".

My opinion is GH needs the right videogame. I dare to say FR is popular thank Baldruc Gate and Newerwinter Nights. There were some videogames set in GH but far to be true best-sellers.

* I have readen about special artifacts in GH, if they are together and with a special ritual by the PCs these would cause something like a reboot of the settin.

* Other option is a retcon of the crystal sphere to add more things, like new races from last editions.

Or maybe Vecna did something in the demiplane of dread when become god and after a second grand conjuction now some "dark domains" are in Oerth, or at least in the crystal sphere.

* Any canon information about the other continents from Oerth?
 

MockingBird

Explorer
The Scarlet Botherhood is intriguing. Would the supplement book be worth getting? The box set only has a paragraph about them unless I've missed more. I've only had the pdf for a couple days so its possible.
 

Mort

Community Supporter
The Scarlet Botherhood is intriguing. Would the supplement book be worth getting? The box set only has a paragraph about them unless I've missed more. I've only had the pdf for a couple days so its possible.
Expansionist human supremacist Nazis is really all you need to know and expand from there.

The supplement is decent and has a good origin and history of the Brotherhood, it has good connective tissue to other parts of Greyhawk - good if you need some starter ideas and motivations. But it's also, for lack of a better word, very 2e. I was never a big fan of the layout and formatting.

That said, it's $10 on overdrive, so worth a read.
 

Parmandur

Legend
The Scarlet Botherhood is intriguing. Would the supplement book be worth getting? The box set only has a paragraph about them unless I've missed more. I've only had the pdf for a couple days so its possible.
Sure, if the topic interests you: they play a role in the sandbox in Saltmarsh, though that book is set after the events that are being plotted behind the scenes in GoS.
 

Azzy

Cyclone Ranger
The Scarlet Botherhood is intriguing. Would the supplement book be worth getting? The box set only has a paragraph about them unless I've missed more. I've only had the pdf for a couple days so its possible.
Aside what others have said, the product is both good and bad. If you pick it up cheap, there's plenty to mine for ideas.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
Expansionist human supremacist Nazis is really all you need to know and expand from there.

The supplement is decent and has a good origin and history of the Brotherhood, it has good connective tissue to other parts of Greyhawk - good if you need some starter ideas and motivations. But it's also, for lack of a better word, very 2e. I was never a big fan of the layout and formatting.

That said, it's $10 on overdrive, so worth a read.
Specifically Suel humans.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Expansionist human supremacist Nazis is really all you need to know
You could just say "Nazis" you know.

(All historic Nazis I know of were expansionist, supremacist and human. It's not like there's an option for magical rainbow unicorn Nazis)
 

grodog

Adventurer
* Any canon information about the other continents from Oerth?
It depends on your definition of and acceptance of canon, truthfully, but there is some very nice content about Western Oerik and other continents in these sources:

Western Oerik:

  • Gygax set some of his Gord the Rogue short stories in lands west of the the Flanaess in "Night Arrant" and much of "Sea of Death" is set in the Sea of Dust; see Chris Siren's Gord's Greyhawk site for summaries of these: Gord’s Greyhawk – Greyhawk Online
  • Dragon Magazine Annual #1 featured a map of the rest of western Oerik and a very high-level description of each nation
  • François Marcela-Froideval's "Black Moon Chronicles" graphic novels are set in the western lands of Oerik, but in a different form than what TSR published in the Dragon Annual map; see Black Moon Chronicles - Wikipedia
  • The WotC Chainmail game was set in Western Oerik's "The Sundered Empire" and they published several sourcebooks on the lands/armies of its peoples; these were written by Chris Pramas and did leverage existing Greyhawk lore competently (unlike many of the 2e-era RGPA and Greyhawk modules)
  • Erik Mona wrote several pieces about the western lands of Oerik that were cut from the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer due to space constraints; these were published on Canonfire! @ Canonfire!
  • Several fans have similarly written "Beyond the Flanaess" articles on Canonfire! @ Canonfire! including (among my favorites) Tal Meta's Sunelan Coast articles on Canonfire! @ Canonfire! (and map also @ Tal's Maps too) and Joe "Greyhawk Grognard" Bloch's series @ Search Results for “"beyond the flanaess"” – Greyhawk Grognard
  • There's some work in the Oerth Journal on these areas too, IIRC: Oerth Journal – Greyhawk Online

Other Continents:

  • The map in the Greyhawk folio on page 7 clearly shows two other continental landmasses; see Allan T. Grohe Jr. for the picture
  • Rob Kuntz also mentions the "legendary land of Lynn, somewhere across the eastern ocean and many thousands of miles away" in his entry about the Dragonmasters of Lynn, found in his Maure Castle "Chambers of Antiquities" adventure in Dragon #124
  • Frank Mentzer's Aquaria continent is mentioned as set across the Solnor Ocean, and has some light-weight ties to the Great Kingdom

The Scarlet Botherhood is intriguing. Would the supplement book be worth getting? The box set only has a paragraph about them unless I've missed more. I've only had the pdf for a couple days so its possible.
Sure, if the topic interests you: they play a role in the sandbox in Saltmarsh, though that book is set after the events that are being plotted behind the scenes in GoS.
Gygax's second Greyhawk novel, Artifact of Evil, focuses quite a bit on the machinations of the Scarlet Brotherhood and is worth digging into, either directly or indirectly via Chris Siren's site I mentioned above.

Allan.
 

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