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MToF explains Rary the Traitor?

Eric V

Hero
Hi all,

Is the sidebar on page 27 of Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes meant to explain Rary's treachery in the history of Oerth, do you think?
 

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gyor

Legend
I'm not familiar with Greyhawk, but it seems so, but in a very sad way, he turned to evil because he saved Mork from his own stupidity.
 









Hi all,

Is the sidebar on page 27 of Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes meant to explain Rary's treachery in the history of Oerth, do you think?
Probably to give an in-universe reason for something that never made any sense. While I don't follow that canon (everything after 1985 is questionable), I do find this attempt to reconcile that story aberration to be done quite well. It shows a level of respect for the characters involved, without directly ret-conning the event.

For those that don't know, Rary's treachery (along with most of the early 2E Greyhawk lore) was mostly done as an insult to Gygax after his ousting, and in an attempt to deviate the setting as much as they could from his earlier works. This incident in particular was problematic for fans, because they never really gave any reason why Rary and Roblar would betray their friends. There was no power play that would have benefited them, nor did Rary have prior known connection to any participants in the Greyhawk War (the plan was to cause the peace negotiations to fail).
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Probably to give an in-universe reason for something that never made any sense. While I don't follow that canon (everything after 1985 is questionable), I do find this attempt to reconcile that story aberration to be done quite well. It shows a level of respect for the characters involved, without directly ret-conning the event.

For those that don't know, Rary's treachery (along with most of the early 2E Greyhawk lore) was mostly done as an insult to Gygax after his ousting, and in an attempt to deviate the setting as much as they could from his earlier works. This incident in particular was problematic for fans, because they never really gave any reason why Rary and Roblar would betray their friends. There was no power play that would have benefited them, nor did Rary have prior known connection to any participants in the Greyhawk War (the plan was to cause the peace negotiations to fail).

That's kind of sad :(
 

Coroc

Hero
The adventure hook is pretty good, and i will definitely use this at some Point in my current campaign. As far as i understood it, it is simply hunger for power and ego by Rary and Robilar. With Rary, he also has some personal Anger on some of the eight. If, as a DM, you arange it, that one of the circle is a frequent Point of contact aka ally / friend of the PCs but gets assasinated during the treason you got an even better adventure Motivation for the PCs.

Minor Spoiler:
The circle of eight is a strong force of true neutrality aka Balance. They believe a constant Balance of power state to be more stable than a Scenario where the good side rules all. Rary was just serving this Goal and became one of the most powerfl wizards on Oerth that way (I think his Level in the blue box was 23 or so, he did have a ioun Stone boosting his Level by 1 also.) He was then tired about this Balance idealism and not to be able to follow his personal ambitions and got torn to the dark side, and struck, while everyone else was weakened from the war. His plan has to have been prepared for a Long time, because he already had contingents of followers in the bright desert, his escape Point after the assault.
 


Mercule

Adventurer
As noted, any and all Greyhawk lore after 1985 is at worst just a deliberate insult to Gygax, is usually just terrible, and at best only aspires to a Forgotten Realms level of insipid blandness and is best avoided.

That which I learned from The Castle Greyhawk module was not soon forgotten, or, put another way, when you clamor for an update for your setting, be careful what you wish for; you are likely to get it good and hard.
This is why I'm good with Greyhawk, as a setting, being done. The red-and-gold box was fantastic, at least for its time. If WotC did a high production value (i.e. modernized) hardcover that was a straight-up conversion with a pull-out map, I'd almost certainly get it. Doubly so, if it was edition-less/evergreen or just had a few stats in an appendix. I seriously doubt that the current staff would be able to stop themselves from doing something cute, though, and adding something that didn't need to be there or otherwise botching it.

They just have too much drive to unify, refine, and detail the D&D meta-setting. I don't want a meta-setting. I want a bunch of interesting settings that stand just fine on their own while sharing a common system and certain tropes. I'm not opposed to implicit compatibility between settings. It just doesn't need to be baked in.
 

As noted, any and all Greyhawk lore after 1985 is at worst just a deliberate insult to Gygax, is usually just terrible, and at best only aspires to a Forgotten Realms level of insipid blandness and is best avoided.

That which I learned from The Castle Greyhawk module was not soon forgotten, or, put another way, when you clamor for an update for your setting, be careful what you wish for; you are likely to get it good and hard.
To be fair, I feel that WoTC (mostly) did a decent job with the setting, as opposed to TSR's vindictive smear campaign (pardon the pun). The last 2E setting update wasn't awful (nor was it particularly good, but they had to work within canon), and the Living Greyhawk Gazeteer was a pretty good product (if not MY Greyhawk).

The only thing WotC really did to hurt Greyhawk, was to make it the default setting for 3E. This took the setting from something very specific, sword & sorcery with specific lore, to become very bland and generic. Most 3E "Greyhawk" campaigns I played in or knew about were only loosely based on the setting (pretty much the map and the gods). It was a brilliant marketing choice for WotC, and all it cost was the uniqueness of the original setting.
 

This is why I'm good with Greyhawk, as a setting, being done. The red-and-gold box was fantastic, at least for its time. If WotC did a high production value (i.e. modernized) hardcover that was a straight-up conversion with a pull-out map, I'd almost certainly get it. Doubly so, if it was edition-less/evergreen or just had a few stats in an appendix. I seriously doubt that the current staff would be able to stop themselves from doing something cute, though, and adding something that didn't need to be there or otherwise botching it.
I imagine that if WotC did an updated Greyhawk book, they'd rewrite history to include the Dragonborn and Tieflings (not to mention popular races from VGtM). Otherwise, an edition-less/evergreen setting book based on the original folio and/or boxed would be amazing. Unfortunately, I'm sure they'd probably try to take the events from the 3E Gazetteer and expand them another 5-10 years.

They just have too much drive to unify, refine, and detail the D&D meta-setting. I don't want a meta-setting. I want a bunch of interesting settings that stand just fine on their own while sharing a common system and certain tropes. I'm not opposed to implicit compatibility between settings. It just doesn't need to be baked in.
Agreed. I've never like the meta-setting. I remember when it was first introduced (or at least, introduced to me) in Spelljammer. I thought: "the hell? You need to own all the settings to really use it!" Given that TSR was just about to begin the Setting Boom, I feel that I was right in thinking that it was a setup for a money-grab. Dragonlance is in a different multi-verse than Greyhawk, which is also different than Realms. Dark Sun doesn't even make much sense if pulled into the meta-setting. Not to mention that in 99.99% of actual play the meta-setting doesn't matter in any way what so ever.

Besides, the idea that all settings are completely alternate means that if my PCs killed Lolth (which they came close to achieving in my last campaign), it doesn't have any impact on anyone else's game. Conversely, if WotC decides that Orcus is dead, that doesn't mean he dies in my campaign.
 

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