D&D General [+] Tell me about Greyhawk


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AdmundfortGeographer

Getting lost in fantasy maps
[+] Thread to stay on topic, not bicker about the setting, and generally stay positive. Sell me on the version of the setting you love. Don't complain about other versions or changes made, etc.

I have some of the books from back-in-the-day, but I was never that big on Greyhawk.

So, ENWorld Greyhawk fans, tell me all about Greyhawk and what makes it so awesome.

Also, what are some of the best books to pick up for Greyhawk lore?
The parts I remember being drawn to back when I bought the 83’ box was the history of two arcane empires clashing in apocalypses that left scars on the continent, which forced mass migrations of multiple tribes, one of which rose to a new empire conquering nearly the entire subcontinent and faded into remnants around today, that at war with each other. An analogy to the fractured remnants might be when Rome was fracturing into pieces.

I liked the layering of historical eras ruins. Such as pre-history when elves and Flan united to drive kuo-toa beneath the surface, the pre-migration Flan nations (Vecna and ur-Flan rulers), Twin Cataclysm era, migrations-era, Aerdy conquests and unifications.

I liked the lost history for why the Rift Canyon was caused. I liked the geography of a continent-spanning river network that was nearly navigable from mountain range to mountain range and out to the ocean, which had a nomadic culture that entirely kept to their river barges. While there were nations which laid claim to large regions of territory, there were also regions which were ripe for staking a claim where no dominant nation could reach (and one such large area was directly next to Greyhawk City itself).

I love the weird deity list. I love that there is a strong notion of mortals rising in power to becoming hero-deities, ascending to demigods, and rising to higher ranks.
 


Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Am I right to infer that Golarion has a lot in common with GH? Because a lot of these descriptions sound like Golarion.
If you think of Greyhawk as the Dark Ages, Mystara as Medievalish, FR as Renaisance and Eberron as Pre-Modern era then the analogy kinda fits
 


Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I mean, cool, but I am not sure how that answers my question.
Okay pretty much they have the same base in Fantasy Europe 'kitchen sink' with focus on a central city (Absalom) and ahistoric anachronism.

Then you get obvious allusions/copies - ie crashed space ship
 

Warpiglet-7

Satan’s Echo Chamber! Muhahahaha
The deities of Greyhawk just resonate for me. I do see the setting as a closer caricature of what I think of as an age of post Roman dominance with barbarians moving into feudalism.

History majors feel free to take all the shots. I am after a feel and aesthetic whether reality based or my fictional ideal.

Iuz is horrible and interesting….and wee Jas
Is my favorite deity. I am playing a cleric of wee Jas this weekend. Think we will hit 7th!
 

Voadam

Legend
Am I right to infer that Golarion has a lot in common with GH? Because a lot of these descriptions sound like Golarion.
Yes.

The Paizo people, Erik Mona and James Jacobs in particular, were big Greyhawk fans.

Golarion has a lot of similarities but more one offs of most concepts and going for everything. Instead of four viking areas there is the one Land of the Linnorm Kings. In addition to fantasy vikings and Arabs they have fantasy East Asians and Africans as well.
 

That strikes me as a really weird take on Mystara, at least as it was introduced in BECMI. Maybe the 2E stuff was more down to earth?
You have to keep in mind that I started gaming at the age of nine, and I only had so many touchstones for fantasy at that point. This would've been before 2e came along.

I absolutely love mixing sci-fi and fantasy. Always have. I love the gonzo. That's why I love Mystara. The weirder the better.
Thankfully, I got better. These days, so do I. DCC RPG is probably my favorite retroclone. But back then I absolutely scoffed at combining the two.

With the Hollow Earth, goblin cowboys with magic missile six shooters, Atlanean super wizard nations, airships. those super racist orcs, three different dinosaur islands and giant robot fights.

People tend to forget that D&D came into being during a time when there wasn't a really solidified 'fantasy' genre. It was all speculative fiction where fantasy and sci-fi and horror were all a roiling mess just waiting for nerds to separate and ruin them. D&D at its roots were more Thundaar than Conan with things grudgingly stolen from Tolkien because they players demanded it.
This was BECMI, but only using the core boxed sets. No Gazetteers or anything else. I can't say I had a lot of disposable income as a nine-year old, so I was pretty much working solely off what was sketched out in the Expert set and Isle of Dread.
 


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