D&D General [+] Tell me about Greyhawk

To add to the pile of compliments and info about Greyhawk, I'll add my two coppers:

What I enjoyed - and found to be 'new tech' when I was starting out late-80s, was the bare bones descriptions of lands, and they boiled down to things like:

Who are they warring with? Who are they friends with? What do they produce? What can someone profit by selling there? How rich are their minerals? How Bad are their humanoid threats?

I would never have thought of those things, worldbuilding, until I discovered Greyhawk.

Fun fact: Greyhawk was Chicago. Dyvers was Milwaukee.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
If I were to describe Greyhawk, I'd say it's a block of marble that you can sculpt into what you want. The setting, at its best, is a loose framework that inspires with a few succinct details. It is also arguable the most D&D-ish setting of all the D&D settings - the game's core tropes and Greyhawk's core tropes are mostly one and the same.

By contrast, I see the Forgotten Realms as a painter's palette. The DM can swipe a dab of The Harpers, a blob of Citadel Adbar, some Cult of the Dragon purple, and then get to painting their own scene.
A lot of people think so, but the Realms is nearly as open as Greyhawk is. If Greyhawk gives the DM 1% of the information about the world, the Realms gives 15% or 20%.

Every city map has 95+% of the city maps unfilled in, so the DM can put in any churches, organizations, bars or whatever he wants. The countries don't show most large towns, and very, very few small towns or villages, allowing the DM to plunk whole towns full of people down in the middle of anywhere. The city states don't rule much past their cities, so there are large, pretty much unruled areas of land the DM can use to plunk down a new country, lost civilization, ruin or whatever.

Yes the increased amount of detail allows the swiping of dabs of Harpers, Dragon cults and the like, but the DM can also create completely or nearly completely new art for as long as he runs the setting.

Because of that, I view the Realms and Greyhawk as mostly the same. I really enjoy both, but prefer the Realms because it gives me more to draw on for inspiration.
 

Ringtail

World Traveller (She/Her)
Because of that, I view the Realms and Greyhawk as mostly the same. I really enjoy both, but prefer the Realms because it gives me more to draw on for inspiration.
That is a bonus for me. A light settings is great because there's less work to start running in it.

But I do like details, they give me ideas for plots. Factions, towns, ruins... all of that is good stuff.

I do think there's a perfect middle-ground but it likely varies by the GM's taste.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
[+] 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?
I always liked the Temple of Elemental Evil adventure, in fact it's been one of my favourite adventures ever, and I replayed it several times across editions. It's not a very creative or innovative adventure, in fact for me it's one of the best examples of a very traditional or "standard" adventure, but that's maybe why I still like it every now and then.

And that's probably the extent to which Greyhawk has done it for me.
 


Voadam

Legend
What does the + sign or [+] sign mean? And where does it com from?
From the OP. :)
[+] 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.

A minorly common thing here to ask that the thread responses engage positively with the topic and not be used as a place to suggest how instead something different should be done or the topic is a bad idea.

So a request to talk about positives of Greyhawk and not use it as an opportunity to talk about negatives of Greyhawk or how other things are better and should be used instead.
 


Starfox

Hero
[...] The Flannaess—the main area of focus—is a very large but extremely underpopulated landmass. It’s very bare bones and you can add in whatever amount of detail you want to any specific area.
I like Greyhawk over the Forgotten Realms for the opposite reason. Compared to FR, Greyhawk is much more populated and civilized - which means there are no great undefined voids of just wilderness and monsters. And even the areas that are, like the Bone March, are still defined - as an area of wilderness and monsters. :) This allows for a continuity of culture. On the map you can really see the results of the human migrations on the Flanaess.
 

RedSquirrel

Explorer
Wild. Even back-in-the-day, Greyhawk was sold (to me at least), as the toned-down, grounded, more purely medieval fantasy setting compared to Mystara's utterly mad gonzo fest. Naturally I gravitated to Mystara because of that. I'll definitely have to dive into Greyhawk.
So, here's the secret catch:
Two things can be true, in that regard.
It is a more medieval setting that's knights and castles. But, it also is gonzo, over-the-top, crossovers and such.
Personally, I think that's actually what makes it more interesting, even more than others, because it makes the crossovers, outliers, and unique features even more fascinating by incorporating both of those styles.
 

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