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5E Greyhawk Sub-Classes

Remathilis

Legend
two thoughts

1. World-specific subclasses are a fairly rare thing. The obvious early attempt at ones from Sword Coast Guide have been kinda forgotten about, and most of the latter ones (Wildemount's and Ravnica's) still feel genetic enough to see play outside those worlds.

2. Greyhawk is kinda known for being mechanically genetic, isn't it? It doesn't stand out as having a lot of odd concepts not supported by the core rules of the given edition it is being played in. The only example I can think of where an edition had to install its own Greyhawk-specific rules was 2e, and that was mostly just to get assassin, monk, and half-orc back.

So with that, in not sure any of those are iconic enough to need a separate sub. A radiant servant of Pelor is not much different than a light domain cleric. A fang of Lolth doesn't sound too different than an assassin rogue. And I don't know if there is a knighthood that can't be replicated by the paladin or cavalier fighter.
 

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Helldritch

Adventurer
two thoughts

1. World-specific subclasses are a fairly rare thing. The obvious early attempt at ones from Sword Coast Guide have been kinda forgotten about, and most of the latter ones (Wildemount's and Ravnica's) still feel genetic enough to see play outside those worlds.

2. Greyhawk is kinda known for being mechanically genetic, isn't it? It doesn't stand out as having a lot of odd concepts not supported by the core rules of the given edition it is being played in. The only example I can think of where an edition had to install its own Greyhawk-specific rules was 2e, and that was mostly just to get assassin, monk, and half-orc back.

So with that, in not sure any of those are iconic enough to need a separate sub. A radiant servant of Pelor is not much different than a light domain cleric. A fang of Lolth doesn't sound too different than an assassin rogue. And I don't know if there is a knighthood that can't be replicated by the paladin or cavalier fighter.
Fully agree on that. I would even add that we have more than enough player options. The faction road is more appropriate than new classes or new subclasses. The only subclasses I would (not really) like to see are psionic ones. I don't like psionics but they have been in D&D from almost the beginning so I guess that despite my aversion to psionics, we should have something of these in the future. But for Greyhawk, I think that the faction option is the way to go.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Bargle's brother, Argle.
But for Greyhawk, I think that the faction option is the way to go.
Well, except that:

1. Factions are kind of stupid (IMO), don't seem to be that popular overall, and quite frankly are very much an FR-thing.

2. Subclasses in 5e aren't that different mechanically, for the most part. So it's not like the creation of entire new classes.

3. Someone has already done an amazing job of showing how easy it would be to create GH-specific subclasses and feats with 100s of pages.


There is even a link to it in this thread.
 

Helldritch

Adventurer
Well, except that:
1. Factions are kind of stupid (IMO), don't seem to be that popular overall, and quite frankly are very much an FR-thing.
Exactly. That is your opinion. I do not consider my opinion as being stupid. And no, factions are not an FR thing. Ravnica did a really good shot at it. Have you read it? In my area, factions are really appreciated. Some, like me, have adapted what Ravnica did with the factions and applied it to factions in their world (as I have done in my Greyhawk.)

2. Subclasses in 5e aren't that different mechanically, for the most part. So it's not like the creation of entire new classes.
Too much of a good thing spoils the broth just as surely as not enough. The plague of prestige classes in 3.xed was a turn off for many. It was good for some, bad for others. There are no concept that can't be done with those in the PHB already. As I have said in an other post, we had a samurai in one of my games long before the published samurai of 5ed.

3. Someone has already done an amazing job of showing how easy it would be to create GH-specific subclasses and feats with 100s of pages.

There is even a link to it in this thread.
Again this is your appreciation. I would not have done so. I read it and was not impressed. The amount of work is amazing that I concede. But it is far from what I would have done. Greyhawk is supposed to be non specific. Yes some cleric had special abilities back in the 1ed and in fact, it is the cleric side of the work mentioned in this document that is the best (IMO). The rest is a matter of taste and personal orientation of how you see Greyhawk...

I've been playing a long time and Greyhawk is my favorite setting by far. Only 11 gods originally had their clerics imbued with some additional powers. Celestian, Ehlonna, Erythnul, Heironeous, Hextor, Incabulos, Obad-hai, Olidammara, Pholtus, Triteron and Wastri. Most of these would not require special treatment but a simple domain or a unique spell or an additional access to a spell.

When you create a new subclass or an entire class; it should be something that can't be done without using the classes and subclasses already in place. We had a very convincing samurai based on the battlemaster template. We had a very convincing (perhaps even too convincing) cavalier on the champion template and an other one out of the paladin of the protection oath template. Both were good, fun and did not required us to buy a new book (even if I have all of them so far, new books should be about new adventures and rules. But that is my opinion). If it can be done with the existing classes, why do them? The artificer was a great addition, so was the Hexblade and the master mind and a few others. The sun soul monk was really good. In other words they were not necessarily achievable without a new subclass (or it would've been quite hard to do).
 

the Jester

Legend
Factions are kind of stupid (IMO), don't seem to be that popular overall, and quite frankly are very much an FR-thing.
Yeah, gonna have to disagree here on both counts. They aren't stupid (although that's just my opinion), and they are absolutely not "very much an FR-thing"- they exist in every setting, even if informally. In Greyhawk, the Scarlet Brotherhood, the Circle of Eight, the Valley of the Mage, the various knightly orders, the forces of Elemental Evil, Suel racial supremacists, the Horned Society, spies for Iuz- that's just a start. My own setting leans heavily into factions for any number of things, and pcs who choose to engage with factions often get benefits, adventures, and responsibilities out of it. Factions are like cliques in high school- not everyone belongs to one, and they aren't always explicit, but they're there.
 

the Jester

Legend
I've been playing a long time and Greyhawk is my favorite setting by far. Only 11 gods originally had their clerics imbued with some additional powers. Celestian, Ehlonna, Erythnul, Heironeous, Hextor, Incabulos, Obad-hai, Olidammara, Pholtus, Triteron and Wastri.
Well, there's a reason for that- when the GH set with those details was published, only those gods had special cleric abilities because only those gods, at that point, had had write ups in Dragon Magazine. That's where those special abilities first showed up. Later articles (I think by Leonard Lakofka) detailed the Suel gods, like Lendor, and gave them additional powers as well. So don't take the fact that only the listed gods had special cleric abilities detailed as an indicator that the other gods' servants wouldn't have had them, too.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Bargle's brother, Argle.
Factions are like cliques in high school
If you are trying to say that factions aren't stupid, and convince people of that, then that is not the best analogy to use!

I have read and enjoyed Ravnica, but I will continue to state that factions are a silly game addition (if you can call something that is barely there an addition) that I have no use for.

Factions are of so little importance that they are not part of the PHB. They are an option in the DMG. (Harpers, Zhentarim). If you look for a source on WOTC, you find the AL "five factions" of Zhentarim, Harpers, Lord's Alliance, and Emerald Enclave- FR Factions.

If you like factions, I am glad that this particular 5e mechanic works for you. I don't need a supplement for Greyhawk to say, "Hey, there's groups, but instead of calling them "nations" like the Scarlet Brotherhood or even referring to them as the Circle of Eight, we will introduce a kinda sorta mechanic that will remind you of that really stupid thing you left behind in high school."
 
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Snarf Zagyg

Bargle's brother, Argle.
When you create a new subclass or an entire class; it should be something that can't be done without using the classes and subclasses already in place.
And maybe instead of having "factions" we can just say, "Look, it's the Scarlet Brotherhood."

Your point can be made however people want; why do we need a Samurai subclass if you can just do it with a Champion fighter? If you enjoy a small bit of mechanical differentiation to help give additional flavor to the world (something Gary Gygax did in his home campaign) then this would be fun.

If not, you can have fun in your own way!
 

Helldritch

Adventurer
If you are trying to say that factions aren't stupid, and convince people of that, then that is not the best analogy to use!
Agree. But factions are not stupid. It is a sound mechanic that does not rely on creating more classes and subclasses.

I have read and enjoyed Ravnica, but I will continue to state that factions are a truly inane game addition (if you can call something that is barely there an addition) that I have no use for, and think that they only work if they are setting-specific.
Great! So how many factions in Greyhawk should they bring?

Factions are of so little importance that they are not part of the PHB. They are an option in the DMG. (Harpers, Zhentarim). If you look for a source on WOTC, you find the AL "five factions" of Zhentarim, Harpers, Lord's Alliance, and Emerald Enclave- FR Factions.
Wrong, They are in the DMG. And in the ADL of course. Factions should be a DM thing that they will bring to their players. It gives the faction an air of mystery and that it is on invitation basis.


If you like factions, I am glad that this particular 5e mechanic works for you. I don't need a supplement for Greyhawk to say, "Hey, there's groups, but instead of calling them "nations" like the Scarlet Brotherhood or even referring to them as the Circle of Eight, we will introduce a kinda sorta mechanic that will remind you of that really stupid thing you left behind in high school."
Wrong. Factions would be a good way. There are not that many. Churches are easily handled with domains. A few order of knighthoods, Iuz's agents, Circle of eight agents and a few others would be more than enough. And leave the "stupid" comments out of your vocabulary. It does not suit this forum. I admit that the example was not the best but you should see beyond and think about it further. There have been factions all along our history. From the templars to the Illuminatis and many others. Just do not throw a good idea because the basic example used does not suite your fancy.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Bargle's brother, Argle.
Agree. But factions are not stupid.
Except they are.

Great! So how many factions in Greyhawk should they bring?
They should have exactly as many as Gary Gygax used. Certainly no more.


Wrong, They are in the DMG. And in the ADL of course. Factions should be a DM thing that they will bring to their players. It gives the faction an air of mystery and that it is on invitation basis.
It's interesting that you said wrong, and then repeated what I just said. I just wrote that they are not in the PHB, and then I said that they are in the DMG and gave the five in the ADL.

I know you want to argue, but that's kind of silly!

That's the second time you started that way! It's not silly anymore, is it? I do not wish to engage you in conversation, and I am certainly not going to argue with someone like you.
 

Quartz

Adventurer
Going back to the OP, a Fist of Hextor is simply a Paladin of Conquest that is good with her fists. RSOP is a Life domain cleric. And so on.

As for Greyhawk, I would pay for a compendium of all the lore. A book where someone has gone through every sourcebook, manual, adventure, magazine, scrap of paper, Gygax's notes, and whatnot, compiled absolutely everything, and organised it and made sense of it all. And no, I don't want the timeline advanced and another Flanaess-changing disaster (Forgotten Realms, I'm looking at you).
 

Helldritch

Adventurer
And maybe instead of having "factions" we can just say, "Look, it's the Scarlet Brotherhood."

Your point can be made however people want; why do we need a Samurai subclass if you can just do it with a Champion fighter? If you enjoy a small bit of mechanical differentiation to help give additional flavor to the world (something Gary Gygax did in his home campaign) then this would be fun.

If not, you can have fun in your own way!
No the Scarlet Brotherhood is not just a nation. Read further about it. It is the prominent faction in this country and the country is named after it. Just like all Germans were not Nazi in WWII. And there are factions within the faction...

As for the subclass...
The new mechanics should add something new and fresh. If a subclass can be done without changing another class, then the subclass is just useless, cluttering fluff that only confuse new players (and sometimes old players). I take the artificer as a perfect example of a new class that could not have been achieved by any classes or subclasses. The arcane archer is a meh, subclass. The eldritch knight is a better arcane archer than the arcane archer itself. Without any modifications at that. Adding subclasses (and classes) just for the sake that some are too lazy to imagine their class in a new way is not sound game design. 3.xed was a clutter of useless prestige classes and 4ed was on its way to add more and more classes for nothing more than making books to sell. New subclasses are not needed in Greyhawk.
 

Pauln6

Explorer
Agree. But factions are not stupid. It is a sound mechanic that does not rely on creating more classes and subclasses.


Great! So how many factions in Greyhawk should they bring?


Wrong, They are in the DMG. And in the ADL of course. Factions should be a DM thing that they will bring to their players. It gives the faction an air of mystery and that it is on invitation basis.



Wrong. Factions would be a good way. There are not that many. Churches are easily handled with domains. A few order of knighthoods, Iuz's agents, Circle of eight agents and a few others would be more than enough. And leave the "stupid" comments out of your vocabulary. It does not suit this forum. I admit that the example was not the best but you should see beyond and think about it further. There have been factions all along our history. From the templars to the Illuminatis and many others. Just do not throw a good idea because the basic example used does not suite your fancy.
I don't know enough about the mechanics of factions to comment but I'd be interested to see some examples. I always worry that the fan created Greyhawk subclasses might end up being unbalanced because they haven't been through the same level of playtesting.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Bargle's brother, Argle.
No the Scarlet Brotherhood is not just a nation. Read further about it. It is the prominent faction in this country and the country is named after it. Just like all Germans were not Nazi in WWII. And there are factions within the faction...
1. Please do not lecture people on the internet about things! You do not know if I am an OD&D Greyhawk Player, a Folio Player, a Boxed Set Player, a 2e Player, a 3e Player, some sort of hybridized Canonfire deep diver, or something else.

In other words- on the internet, no one knows you're a dog.

2. When someone says, "I do not wish to engage you in conversation, and I am certainly not going to argue with someone like you" please respect that.
 

Helldritch

Adventurer
Except they are.
No they're not. Do you have something useful and meaningful to say beside your own biased judgment? You claimed you have read the Ravnica book but did not really comment on the factions and the approach therein.

It's interesting that you said wrong, and then repeated what I just said. I just wrote that they are not in the PHB, and then I said that they are in the DMG and gave the five in the ADL.
And I requote what I have said and you ignored: "Factions should be a DM thing that they will bring to their players. It gives the faction an air of mystery and that it is on invitation basis." This is why that you don't find them in the PHB. It is a DM thing. Not a player's thing. I would not like to have player saying:" Ok, my new character is a member of the Emerald enclave and he is respected and has a high status in the organization." Nope, this is a DM thing. A player must earn his membership.

That's the second time you started that way! It's not silly anymore, is it? I do not wish to engage you in conversation, and I am certainly not going to argue with someone like you.
What can I say? You were wrong in your assumption. Beside saying the word stupid you bring nothing new. If you care to elaborate, I would be quite pleased.
 

Helldritch

Adventurer
I don't know enough about the mechanics of factions to comment but I'd be interested to see some examples. I always worry that the fan created Greyhawk subclasses might end up being unbalanced because they haven't been through the same level of playtesting.
The factions/guilds in Ravnica are a bit more than what you see in the DMG and in the ADL. They can reward the players with one use magical trinkets for their adventures. They give the players access to some resources (depending on the level at which they are in the faction). A free living expanse when not adventuring for doing faction/guild work. Some factions even gives casters additional spells to chose from. Some give the players NPC to work with either as retainers or additional muscle to do a mission.

You have, generally, five steps to work upward in a faction/guild. The higher you are, the more you have to do to rise in the faction.

All in all, it is a sound mechanic that is in the control of the DM.
 

the Jester

Legend
When someone says, "I do not wish to engage you in conversation, and I am certainly not going to argue with someone like you" please respect that.
That's not really how it works- if you don't want to engage with someone, you have to take it upon yourself to not engage with them. There's the option of the Ignore list, if you really want to avoid someone's posts entirely. You can stick your fingers in your ears when someone talks to you, but you can't cover their mouth with your hand.

Regardless, if you don't want to use factions in your game, then don't. But just asserting that they're stupid is only an assertion, and one that flies in the face of the experiences of many others. If you prefer a story based game over a sandbox, that's fine, but that doesn't mean sandboxes are stupid. It just means that they aren't to your taste.
 


Voadam

Adventurer
Only 11 gods originally had their clerics imbued with some additional powers. Celestian, Ehlonna, Erythnul, Heironeous, Hextor, Incabulos, Obad-hai, Olidammara, Pholtus, Triteron and Wastri.
And St. Cuthbert, Istus, Iuz, Nerull, Ralishaz, Ulaa, and Xan Yae.

Only Boccob, Fharlanghn, Raxivort, and Zagyg of the ones with a description had none. So 18 out of 22 had special stuff for their specific clerics.
 

2. Greyhawk is kinda known for being mechanically genetic, isn't it? It doesn't stand out as having a lot of odd concepts not supported by the core rules of the given edition it is being played in.
Pretty much. Since it's the great granddad of D&D, most of the basic concepts in 5E have a basis in Greyhawk. In fact, there's a far greater issue of too much stuff that doesn't fit in Greyhawk than needing to add stuff to it (Dragonborn, Tiefling, Samurai, most Monk sub-classes, etc.).
 

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