D&D 5E Greyhawk: Why We Need Mo' Oerth by 2024

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Oof. I think I stuffed that one (it "explained" the transition from 1e to 2e ...) down the memory hole.

Pretty sure that WG7 and WG8 were just a big "FU" to the Greyhawk fans. Because any other explanation wouldn't make much sense.

WG7 certainly was. Can you just imagine, the excitement of seeing a Castle Greyhawk supplement only to be filled with epic levels of disappointment/rage when the actual adventure is seen?!?

But WG8 is a bit sadder, looks like a transition attempt that was, well hamfisted, but not necessarily with bad intent - just not done well at all.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I agree, except ..... it depends on the table.

Everyone has had the experience of playing with someone who is really into a setting. If you've played with someone who is really, really, really into FR lore, one of two things can happen-

(A) That person sets it aside, because they realize that the DM controls what is really true within that world; or

(B) That person can't set it aside, because their headcanon is too strong, and the experience is miserable for everyone.

A is great. B? Not so much. I think most players, thankfully, fall within A.
I have yet to meet a B. It also helps, I think, that right off the bat I let the players know that I do change some things. For examples I tell them that King Azoun never died, and those sundering/spellplague things were just a bad dream(probably caused by expired shellfish) some sage had and wrote about. They never happened, either.

If you manage the expectations from the outset, you have fewer difficulties when the campaign doesn't match the lore exactly.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Castle Greyhawk is an anomaly, to be sure. I mean, as a farce adventure, it's actually kind of fun, and you'll get groans from your players should you do so. But any Greyhawk fan should be insulted by it, and rightly so. I wonder how people would have felt if it was called "Castle Waterdeep"?
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
WG7 certainly was. Can you just imagine, the excitement of seeing a Castle Greyhawk supplement only to be filled with epic levels of disappointment/rage when the actual adventure is seen?!?

Can I imagine that?

I didn't imagine it. I lived it.

I know that there are other life events that have been worse. I don't want to oversell it. But the amount of white-hot rage I can still feel when I remember bringing that module home, and gradually realizing what it was ... yeah.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
I have yet to meet a B. It also helps, I think, that right off the bat I let the players know that I do change some things. For examples I tell them that King Azoun never died, and those sundering/spellplague things were just a bad dream(probably caused by expired shellfish) some sage had and wrote about. They never happened, either.

If you manage the expectations from the outset, you have fewer difficulties when the campaign doesn't match the lore exactly.

That's always good! Managing expectations is key- but you never know when you're going to run into ... that guy. (For the record, it's always a guy too. At least, it has been in my lived experience.)

PS- We are waiting on you in the other thread. ;)
 

Synthil

Explorer
This. Viewed as a whole FR lore is a mess, but players don't get to see it as a whole. They only see a tiny part of it. Only the bit the players see needs to make sense.
I mean, that does mean it is a mess as a setting. And if you have several campaigns in them that go to different places, it will become apparent. (maybe that's why WotC remains largely in one region with their adventures;)).

FR is great to steal ideas from. Pluck a country, dungeon or NPC you like, give them better names (or not, you do you), and plug them into your own setting. You'll even look good to your players, because your setting will most likely be more coherent than the one you stole it from!

The great thing with less defined settings, like Greyhawk, Nentir Vale and to a degree Eberron, is that you can take your favorite parts of other settings or media and fit them relatively easily into it.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
I have yet to meet a B. It also helps, I think, that right off the bat I let the players know that I do change some things. For examples I tell them that King Azoun never died, and those sundering/spellplague things were just a bad dream(probably caused by expired shellfish) some sage had and wrote about. They never happened, either.

If you manage the expectations from the outset, you have fewer difficulties when the campaign doesn't match the lore exactly.
I once (for a very short time) joined a group that ran a Forgotten Realms game where the DM insisted the game's story followed the novels. Imagine my surprise when I brought up the events of Crown of Fire while on an adventure to Zhentil Keep and got yelled at by the other players!
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
WG7 certainly was. Can you just imagine, the excitement of seeing a Castle Greyhawk supplement only to be filled with epic levels of disappointment/rage when the actual adventure is seen?!?

So, let me put this into appropriate context.

Castle Greyhawk ... those dungeons ... that was the white whale of early D&D. It was the holy grail.

I mean ... people knew about it from Dragon Magazine, and conventions. So for over a decade, it was the single most desired thing in all of D&D. Period.

And after Gygax was forced out (which wasn't really explained very well), there was this release. Suddenly, the consummation of years of hope and desire, on the shelf, ready to be bought and devoured. And instead, not only was it a (bad) parody module, but it also contained some not-so-subtle shots at Gygax, et al. In other words, not only was it not the product people had been waiting for, it was a joke product- and a mean-spirited one at that.

I think the best way to think of it is this (imagine there is no internet to warn you):
Imagine you're a GoT fan. And one day, you see The Winds of Winter at the bookstore!

And you bring it home, and you start reading it, and you realize that (1) it's not written by GRRM; (2) it's a bad joke book that has nothing to do with GoT, and instead is a bad parody of reality TV (or something else); and (3) it's making fun of GRRM in a mean-spirited and not funny way (say, by making jokes about his weight).

That's the rough equivalence of WG7 at that time.
 

It is strange that Forgotten Realms always insists on some cataclysmic event (or un-event, in the case of reversing the Spellplague) to explain edition changes. I don't recall any other setting doing this...well Dragonlance SAGA maybe, but that's a completely different system.
2e to 3e didn't. All that really changed is Bane came back (which, while a fairly major change, was not a world-wide catastrophe) and some wizards were now sorcerers...

As some others have suggested, a setting book that was basically an updated Living Greyhawk Gazateer with more detail, better art (dear lord, please better art!), and maybe some quick overviews/rumors of the areas beyond the Flanaess, would actually be nice to see.
 

I have just never seen what of Greyhawk makes it worth bringing back for new players such as myself. The primary thing that I think matters with a Fantasy world is its aesthetic, which enabels and flavors the stories in that setting. However, the aesthetics of Greyhawk are really just generic Fantasy Aesthetics with a likewise generic Dark Fantasy twist. While in the 70s and 80s, the idea of Greyhawk was still fertile, and S&S + Dark Fantasy was a relatively young genre. But in 2022, what does Greyhawk offer that other settings don't?

I'm not a fan of the Forgotten Realms, but I don't see how I couldn't do literally anything and everything in Greyhawk in the Forgotten Realms, or even better, as a homebrew product. And when I look at 3rd Party, this aesthetic is covered by Kobold Press, Midnight, Symbaroum, and so on. So why would I, as someone who has no nostalgic connection to Greyhawk, want to play it when literally before I was born the idea was already stale, and has only gotten more stale with all the innovations in the genre sense.

Now, if Greyhawk returned back with a grunge punk vibe, and really played up the dungeonpunk aesthetics or really just did anything, literally anything other than white people in armor and elves drawn the same way they have been for 40 years, I'd be excited for it. But as it stands, Greyhawk is very much a generic Fantasy setting that offers new players absolutely nothing interesting at all that other settings don't offer (alongside their own stylish variety).

This isn't to take a crap on Greyhawk btw. I'd quite like to see a beautiful Castle Greyhawk adventure that really blows my socks off, or a modern take on the Caves of Chaos. But if all that is being proposed is just more of the same Greyhawk, well, I don't think there is enough market interest for that to be done.
 

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