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5E Greyhawk Sub-Classes

Helldritch

Adventurer
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.
Yes, you are right. But only the 11 I mentionned had an experience penalty. These are the ones that should (could?) have a little something special treatment?
 
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Voadam

Adventurer
Yes, you are right. But only the 11 I mentionned had an experience penalty. These are the ones that should (could?) have a little something special treatment?
I'd disagree. I'd suggest cool thematic elements that work well with a subclass should be the appropriate criteria. A Xan Yae Ying/Yang martial arts domain where you got a type of monk strike and some shadow stuff could be cool thematically and mechanically even though their bonus stuff did not cost xp in 1e.
 


The fact that some Greyhawk fans insist that nothing can be in Greyhawk that wasn't included in Gary Gygax's original rules is why I predict that we will never have a published Greyhawk setting.
 


Voadam

Adventurer
The fact that some Greyhawk fans insist that nothing can be in Greyhawk that wasn't included in Gary Gygax's original rules is why I predict that we will never have a published Greyhawk setting.
Eh, I doubt that would be a causative factor. Some people have been like that since the beginning, but we still got From the Ashes and a wave of non-Gygaxian 2e Greyhawk material, and the fantastic Living Greyhawk Gazetteer in 3e.
 

Eh, I doubt that would be a causative factor. Some people have been like that since the beginning, but we still got From the Ashes and a wave of non-Gygaxian 2e Greyhawk material, and the fantastic Living Greyhawk Gazetteer in 3e.
Too many Greyhawk fans have vociferously expressed their opinion that any Greyhawk product must have ...
  • no races that weren't in that setting back in 1e/2e edition
  • no classes that weren't in that setting back in 1e/2e
  • codified rules for racial hatred between NPCs
  • an emphasis on humanocentricism
I've even seen posts in this forum arguing for ...
  • racial level limits
  • lower STR maxima for female characters
  • low magic
Nostalgia is one of the most toxic things in gaming (heck in human culture in general). I can feel pretty secure in making the prediction that no version of Greyhawk that follows any of these tropes will ever see print. It's no longer the 1970s and 1980s.

I've run Greyhawk from the folio since 1980 or so. I've always introduced new races and new classes as they came along.

I don't need an update of this setting since ...
  • I disregard the entire published metaplot
  • there are no new mechanics necessary to run a 5e game set in Greyhawk
  • there is no consensus amongst Greyhawk fans as to what they want in a Greyhawk setting book
BTW, I like the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, but I still prefer the version of Greyhawk in the folio. I prefer the Great Kingdom to be whole and Iuz to be still on the rise.

I am currently running from the LGG in Nyrond. The general theme of that chronicle is Iuz (since that's what the players wanted). I have already outlined the tier 4 adventures where the characters try to follow in the steps of Zagyg Yragerne and trap Iuz beneath Castle Greyhawk. [I doubt most of them read these forums.]

The other Greyhawk game I'm running is in southern Keoland and ties into some of the adventures in Ghosts of Saltmarsh. It's set in the folio era.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
Pretty sure that there is 0 chance that a potential Grayhawk won't have all the races and classes in the PHB.

Also is Grayhawk really low magic? I'd have thought that players would have ended up with a plethora of magical items as they adventured. Or when they say low magic do they mean less spellcasters?
 

The issue I see here, and I think it's a significant one, is that most subclasses should not be over-specific to a particular organisation. Only one subclass in all of 5E is, that I'm aware of - the Purple Dragon Knight - and I don't think it's entirely a coincidence that it's staggeringly unpopular.

So starting from PrCs specific to existing organisations, and trying to work out subclasses seems like a poor approach for a Greyhawk setting book, to me. If anything, you want to look at the basic underlying concept behind the PrC, broaden it out, and see if it still fits the Greyhawk concept, and as others have said, if it fits with a specific class theme quite strongly.

If both are achieved, then it makes sense as a subclass. Most of these seem more like backgrounds or factions. You don't need a subclass for every class in a book, either.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
Purple dragon knight has the generic 'banneret' name so it isn't really all that specific to an organisation. I think people just wanted it to do more and do it better or earlier than it does.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Bargle's brother, Argle.
Too many Greyhawk fans have vociferously expressed their opinion ...
Two things-

First, I really don't think it's fair to say that "too many Greyhawk fans" have advocated for a 5e gender-limit on ability scores. To be charitable, I think you're probably confusing different issues. I think it would be hard to find very many of any subgroup arguing for that, and by lumping some things which might be controversial, yet are seen with some regularity when discussing Greyhawk or OD&D (humanocentrism) with other things that are very much incendiary and not really seen (gendered maximums), you are doing something not very pleasant. In my opinion.

Second, I don't think WOTC should be designing any new Greyhawk for Greyhawk fans. They should be designing it to entice new fans. Which means accentuating the things that make Greyhawk different (whatever that might be). Releasing a kitchen sink setting or a generic setting makes no sense at all.

Personally, I would go for a 70s aesthetic that really pushes the weird, Vancian, sci-fi crossover, civilizations dying, porous borders between planes, glories and artifacts from the past, and adventurers being true mercenaries (not swept up in continual meta-plots or factions); that would be something different.

But anything sufficiently different than the campaign setting that they already have is fine. The one thing they shouldn't be doing is catering to people that are already running it. Those people will most likely just keep on running what they already have.
 
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Pauln6

Explorer
Purple dragon knight has the generic 'banneret' name so it isn't really all that specific to an organisation. I think people just wanted it to do more and do it better or earlier than it does.
Yeah I'd probably bung in the fighting style that gives you superiority dice at level 3 for free but with a limited choice of warlordy manoeuvres and then instead of proficiency in diplomacy at 7? give them an extra superiority die and a Manoeuvre that let's them spend it on diplomacy checks.

If they want to buy more manoeuvres with a feat, they can still do that.
 

Two things-

First, I really don't think it's fair to say that "too many Greyhawk fans" have advocated for a 5e gender-limit on ability scores. To be charitable, I think you're probably confusing different issues. I think it would be hard to find very many of any subgroup arguing for that, and by lumping some things which might be controversial, yet are seen with some regularity when discussing Greyhawk or OD&D (humanocentrism) with other things that are very much incendiary and not really seen (gendered maximums), you are doing something not very pleasant. In my opinion.
I didn't say that. The gender maximum argument is in a second section that begins, "I've even seen ...." Twice I've walked away from threads because I couldn't keep reading without getting myself a warning from the moderators.

Second, I don't think WOTC should be designing any new Greyhawk for Greyhawk fans. They should be designing it to entice new fans. Which means accentuating the things that make Greyhawk different (whatever that might be). Releasing a kitchen sink setting or a generic setting makes no sense at all.
Neither do I, so we're in agreement. But Greyhawk has always been a kitchen sink setting. When new material came out (Fiend Folio, for example], it was incorporated into adventure modules (not everything, but a lot of it). I will say that they never incorporated setting specific material like wild magic and dead magic zones. Forgotten Realms is the setting that does that, probably because it is the default setting for 5e.

Personally, I would go for a 70s aesthetic that really pushes the weird, Vancian, sci-fi crossover, civilizations dying, porous borders between planes, glories and artifacts from the past, and adventurers being true mercenaries (not swept up in continual meta-plots or factions); that would be something different.
I would be in favor of most of that, so long as we're talking about Vancian flavor not going back to an earlier iteration of Vancian wizards.

I always prefer less epic storylines. So-called Realms Shaking Events leave me cold.

The sci-fi crossover is another Greyhawk element that is distinct from other settings published by TSR.

But anything sufficiently different than the campaign setting that they already have is fine. The one thing they shouldn't be doing is catering to people that are already running it. Those people will most likely just keep on running what they already have.
This is where we agree 100%. I would buy a new Greyhawk setting even though I'm not jumping up and down asking for one.

Unhealthy nostalgia for a 1970s aesthetic and play style is likely to prevent WOTC from moving forward with a new Greyhawk setting book.

I have seen arguments in these forums for every element I've bulleted in my original post. The first section contains common arguments. The second section contains really egregious arguments that I've seen here (on the forums, not this thread) that are thankfully uncommon. They are however connected to the first section because they also rely on nostalgia, although an extreme version that most posters have the decency to avoid.

Sorry if someone thought I was claiming that the second section was common, or that I had seen it in this thread.
 
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Helldritch

Adventurer
Two things-

First, I really don't think it's fair to say that "too many Greyhawk fans" have advocated for a 5e gender-limit on ability scores. To be charitable, I think you're probably confusing different issues. I think it would be hard to find very many of any subgroup arguing for that, and by lumping some things which might be controversial, yet are seen with some regularity when discussing Greyhawk or OD&D (humanocentrism) with other things that are very much incendiary and not really seen (gendered maximums), you are doing something not very pleasant. In my opinion.
I could not agree more. I would not return to these misogynistic bias. I have 3 women playing with me. They're really good fun players and going this route would be something I would not tolerate myself. I got rid of these as early as 1983 and for good reasons. You are absolutely right on that.

Second, I don't think WOTC should be designing any new Greyhawk for Greyhawk fans. They should be designing it to entice new fans. Which means accentuating the things that make Greyhawk different (whatever that might be). Releasing a kitchen sink setting or a generic setting makes no sense at all.
I would tend to disagree. They should make Greyhawk for its fans. They are the ones that wants an updated Greyhawk after all. But... see the next point.

Personally, I would go for a 70s aesthetic that really pushes the weird, Vancian, sci-fi crossover, civilizations dying, porous borders between planes, glories and artifacts from the past, and adventurers being true mercenaries (not swept up in continual meta-plots or factions); that would be something different.
And this is where you litterally nailed it. THIS is exactly what I want my Greyhawk to be. Except for the faction thing. But I give you that factions should not be as prominent as in Ravnica. Again, this should be something that stay in the DM's hands.


But anything sufficiently different than the campaign setting that they already have is fine. The one thing they shouldn't be doing is catering to people that are already running it. Those people will most likely just keep on running what they already have.
Greyhawk, if they do it, should be made both for the old timers like me and for the new fans. Without going into the world shaking event that they did with the Forgotten Realm and with the From the Ashes box set, there must be a way to bring all of the PHB and the other newer stuff into the setting. There must be some middle ground that will be satisfactory for everyone. I know I have incorporated dragonborns and tieflings into the setting without changing much and shared it with other DM in my area and they liked it. If I could do it to the satisfaction of other old DM like me, so can the people at WoTC.

The real problem is that I don't necessarily want new subclasses in Greyhawk. We can manage without these. Up to a certain point, even factions could be dropped (even if it would be my prefered way of doing things.) All this to say, that I want a new, updated Greyhawk badly enough to almost accept anything. The days where I could pass zounds of hours to prepare a setting or an adventure are long gone with work, family and friends.
 

Pauln6

Explorer
I didn't say that. The gender maximum argument is in a second section that begins, "I've even seen ...." Twice I've walked away from threads because I couldn't keep reading without getting myself a warning from the moderators.



Neither do I, so we're in agreement. But Greyhawk has always been a kitchen sink setting. When new material came out (Fiend Folio, for example], it was incorporated into adventure modules (not everything, but a lot of it). I will say that they never incorporated setting specific material like wild magic and dead magic zones. Forgotten Realms is the setting that does that, probably because it is the default setting for 5e.



I would be in favor of most of that, so long as we're talking about Vancian flavor not going back to an earlier iteration of Vancian wizards.

I always prefer less epic storylines. So-called Realms Shaking Events leave me cold.

The sci-fi crossover is another Greyhawk element that is distinct from other settings published by TSR.



This is where we agree 100%. I would buy a new Greyhawk setting even though I'm not jumping up and down asking for one.

Unhealthy nostalgia for a 1970s aesthetic and play style is likely to prevent WOTC from moving forward with a new Greyhawk setting book.

I have seen arguments in these forums for every element I've bulleted in my original post. The first section contains common arguments. The second section contains really egregious arguments that I've seen here (on the forums, not this thread) that are thankfully uncommon. They are however connected to the first section because they also rely on nostalgia, although an extreme version that most posters have the decency to avoid.

Sorry if someone thought I was claiming that the second section was common, or that I had seen it in this thread.
I have no problem with racial and gender maximums in principle because to me, the numbers on the page represent something more than numbers with bonuses and a halfling with Str 20 feels a bit silly, even if the size rules discourage players from such a build as being sub-optimal. That said the 1e maximums were ludicrously low and a range of 18-20 based on the 1e rules would only affect niche builds which are more subtly discouraged by existing stat bonuses in any event. The flip side is that if it only affects niche builds, you can come up with some fluff to explain the niche build.

Generally, 'classic' Greyhawk doesn't need subclasses with the possible exception of clerical subclasses or alternate class features for specific deities (and even in 1e those features were optional to players) because most subclasses/prestige classes were a late addition, many not until 3e and even there some of them seemed counter-intuitive such as making the Silent Ones sorcerers when they seem to me to fit loremasters who learn from the ancient items they hoard rather than innate magicians.

I think that fluff write ups with alternate (or additional) background benefits could work and other classics that are crying out for subclasses. Could darkharad be built as swashbuckler / samurai multiclass with an alternate feature of treating their weapon as a finesse weapon?
 

dave2008

Legend
I would tend to disagree. They should make Greyhawk for its fans. They are the ones that wants an updated Greyhawk after all. But... see the next point.
But which set of Greyhawk fans do you make it for then? They are not a monolithic group.
 

dave2008

Legend
The issue I see here, and I think it's a significant one, is that most subclasses should not be over-specific to a particular organisation. Only one subclass in all of 5E is, that I'm aware of - the Purple Dragon Knight - and I don't think it's entirely a coincidence that it's staggeringly unpopular.

So starting from PrCs specific to existing organisations, and trying to work out subclasses seems like a poor approach for a Greyhawk setting book, to me. If anything, you want to look at the basic underlying concept behind the PrC, broaden it out, and see if it still fits the Greyhawk concept, and as others have said, if it fits with a specific class theme quite strongly.

If both are achieved, then it makes sense as a subclass. Most of these seem more like backgrounds or factions. You don't need a subclass for every class in a book, either.
I tend to agree, I think rather then subclasses you could update most of these things with backgrounds and feats. You want a barbarian or cleric that worships Kord, there is a background and/or feat for that.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Greyhawk for the fans of Greyhawk isn't going to get released by WotC, IMO. If it won't sell to a wider audience then they just aren't going to do it, and I don't think the Greyhawk fanbase is big enough by itself. The 70's Vancian aesthetic could be a winning idea though. It would help separate GH from other settings, and it's a single cool core idea to market. Greyhawk was also a common port for Spelljammers, so there could be some synergy there too if that actually is in the pipline. I think you could manage that slightly gonzo 70's sci-fantasy feel and still maintain a lot of touchstones for old school fans.
 

Pauln6

Explorer
Perhaps one way would be to suggest different methods of achieving the same concept: standard class plus background and feats, class and faction, class and custom subclasses. In the same way that Tika Waylan's original dual-classed skillet-wielding thief//fighter could be built as a Rogue with multiclass fighter or a fighter with cutpurse background and possibly the Tavern Brawler feat to give her proficiency with the frying pan.
 

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