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What is Greyhawk?

Nebulous

Adventurer
Seelie and unseelie court, Oberon Titania ?Pan? It is all stuff faerie sprites brownie satyrs pixies etc- I cannot recall right now it, is detailed in 2e monster mythology which is one of the best d&d products ever made.
Yes! Monster Mythology was such an awesome book. I still have that in storage somewhere.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
From reading the forums here and there and back here again. And my own XP. I also never bought any of the lore campaign materials. And the fictions books were there to entertain and make a buck. Greed is good said the Antipaladin.

Hmm Greyhawk generic aka Mcdonalds.

Realms WE HAVE THE LORE aka Arby’s. (Arby’s tag line is “We have the beef!” in a deep voice.)

DM, I running Greyhawk. I made my own map. Players “sigh”

Dm I running Realms with some… Players “Which map do you need, which age…etc”

Greyhawk, cheap set of 20 socket wrenches, two hammers, and a rusty saw.

Realms. Full blown auto and wood shop and your players judge you if you repaint tool box 2 a different shade of red.
 

Hussar

Legend
Looking at my 1e Grey Box, it says Forgotten Realms Campaign Set. Not Setting. mea culpa. :)
Heh. No problem. I figured that you didn't mean the 3e book, but, too many acronyms. :p

But, again, yeah, the level creep between the settings I think had more to do with the time than anything. I remember seeing the Dragonlance Adventures book come out in 87 and they gave Takhisis something like well over a THOUSAND hp. I think there was a push somewhere along the lines to make the "big bad stuff" actually be able to survive more than a round or two in the face of a name level party. :D So, it makes sense that there would be a creep in the FR line as well.

I mean, heck, like you said, a lot of the named NPC's in the Greyhawk box were mid to high teen levels. In AD&D terms, that's pretty darn epic.
 

Barantor

Explorer
3E FR maps look good, I still use the Paizo ones.
Think I just reset back to 1E or early 2E. Basically ignore current events.
From reading the forums here and there and back here again. And my own XP. I also never bought any of the lore campaign materials. And the fictions books were there to entertain and make a buck. Greed is good said the Antipaladin.

Hmm Greyhawk generic aka Mcdonalds.

Realms WE HAVE THE LORE aka Arby’s. (Arby’s tag line is “We have the beef!” in a deep voice.)

DM, I running Greyhawk. I made my own map. Players “sigh”

Dm I running Realms with some… Players “Which map do you need, which age…etc”

Greyhawk, cheap set of 20 socket wrenches, two hammers, and a rusty saw.

Realms. Full blown auto and wood shop and your players judge you if you repaint tool box 2 a different shade of red.
While the old maps weren't great and some of the content isn't up to today's production standards, or even 3E, there are still a LOT of folks redoing or making Greyhawk just as nice an experience as FR or newer settings, you just have to know where to look.

For example, Anna Meyers has an Amazing map that I've had players wish FR had.
Anna Meyer Online Greyhawk Map

This thing is like Google Flanaess, chock full of all the Living Greyhawk locations as well, an epic tool for Greyhawk lovers.

I also think that the Ghosts of Saltmarsh adventure showed that Greyhawk in modern 5E is just as valid and full of things to do. They took a small corner of it and developed it into a whole book. I hope in the future they allow folks to use all of Greyhawk in the DMs Guild.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I posted a similar question earlier. I really don't understand the FR vs. GH hatred. They both seem like generic fantasy worlds to me, with the same monsters and the gods are reskinned and they both have cool sounding forests and moors and ruins. Is it the huge plethora of FR lore that people take offense to? Or the wildly overwrought magical nature of the Realms? I don't follow the canon at all, I use it as a vanilla base to run games and it work well for me. I could easily swap out Greyhawk for the same setting.
Imagine, if you will, a strong argument between 2 people. The first person claims that camembert and cheddar taste quite different. The second claims that both are cheese.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
Except Leda!

...And players with 1e Unearthed Arcana.
Leda was a clone of an evil drow priestess, not really a typical core PC race. Also, as I mentioned, anyone with an Unearthed Arcana was most likely prohibited from using it at the table ;)
 

Barantor

Explorer
How do Greyhawk fans feel about Ghosts of Saltmarsh?
I am about half way through running it for my wife and kids and really like it, they did Keoland right with just enough fluff to spur imaginations and the inclusion of the Scarlet Brotherhood blurbs really makes it all fit together well. I allowed my son to play a lizardfolk in it because of the adventure featuring those and it has been a lot of fun. The lore is there and they didn't change it much.

I hope this leads to not only more Greyhawk content (including it's entirety in the DMs Guild) but also other settings that haven't been done in a while like Mystara and Dark Sun.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
While the old maps weren't great and some of the content isn't up to today's production standards, or even 3E, there are still a LOT of folks redoing or making Greyhawk just as nice an experience as FR or newer settings, you just have to know where to look.

For example, Anna Meyers has an Amazing map that I've had players wish FR had.
Anna Meyer Online Greyhawk Map

This thing is like Google Flanaess, chock full of all the Living Greyhawk locations as well, an epic tool for Greyhawk lovers.

I also think that the Ghosts of Saltmarsh adventure showed that Greyhawk in modern 5E is just as valid and full of things to do. They took a small corner of it and developed it into a whole book. I hope in the future they allow folks to use all of Greyhawk in the DMs Guild.
Looks like she used the same software ad Midgard. Looks good.
 

Barantor

Explorer
Looks like she used the same software ad Midgard. Looks good.
No idea, her maps have been up for years now and I think it's one of the biggest things out there for Greyhawk that often flies under the radar.

She has downloads of it as well broken up by Kingdom/Country as well.

I think with a lot of the original D&D creators and players getting older or us losing them that it'd be a great time to bring back Greyhawk. I know Gygax's sons have a kickstarter for their own setting called Gaxmoor that is almost over too, but it'd be nice to see the old stuff redone.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Mild quibble. When survival is tenuous, societies tend to have very strong rules of hospitality. So, suspicion, sure. Mistreatment without direct cause, less so.
That hospitality rules are so significant in such circumstances is missed by a lot of modern people it actually undermines civilization if they do not exist (they are emphasized in ancient celt and ancient hebrew and others too) . Places ruled by suspicion instead of assumptions of commonality (even nobles being cross culturally recognized etc) tend to be larger as they can afford to block the outsiders and others out. Having people is a resource ones strong enough to travel even more so.
 

5atbu

Villager
For me, a key difference is In order for the DM to run a really effective campaign in FR, they need to be up to speed in FR lore, history, regions, cities, etc, while those aren't needed in Greyhawk, as the DM can easily just insert their own creations into the world and no one would miss a beat.
Not true.
I really know very little about FR but I am quite happily muddling through and we are having fun.
But I sympathize.
For a long time I felt I either had to fully understand a setting and all it's lore or play a home brew.
After about thirty years I realised that every published setting is an invitation to home brew.
It really is your table and your game.

I am not sure why Greyhawk is different and needs to be played EXCEPT that a lot of people love it, it was the second D&D setting, and the one most early gamers came across first.

So why the heck not?
I'd happily home brew in it.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
So I thought I'd write a separate thread about the essence of Greyhawk, and what it means to me. A thread where people can discuss the essence of Greyhawk (whatever that might be) instead of complain about Dragonborn.

I would start by saying that Forgotten Realms is a great default setting for 5e. It has a long history and abundant products and novels that can be used to fill it out. We have people, many of them active on this board, who love all of this history, lore, and canon of the FR and can recite it chapter and verse; in addition, FR has an excellent wiki. I often make fun of FR for its various spellplaguesunderings and what not, but for what it is (the uber-setting, the generic D&D setting) it is great. So my a priori assumption is that Greyhawk shouldn't be that. We do not need TWO generic settings. So, with that caveat in mind, what is Greyhawk to me?

1. It's humano-centric. This doesn't mean that all PCs are humans, just that humans are the overwhelming default, and that great care has to be taken when deciding on non-standard options given the likely choices for adventuring.

2. It's small in scale. You aren't saving the Realms; you're making a buck. I say that partially in jest, but this is partly the aspect of Swords and Sorcery that needs to be played up in a Greyhawk setting. Small scale DOESN'T mean small stakes, however. You can save (or destroy) the village; but there should be a lot less of the "saving the world."

3. There's always something bigger, badder, and more mysterious. This is related to (2). You will never have the power of the Mages who destroyed the Sueloise civilization. There will always be the past glories or dangers, the stories of Vecna and of giant ships crashing from the sky, of beings that strode across the landscape, that are told around the fires at night.

4. Civilization is tenuous, at best. The great powers and empires are in decline and their best days are in the past, and it is always questionable if the forces of civilization will hold off the entropy and darkness. Progress is not assured. The forces of destruction are constantly howling and looking for a way in, and, more often than not, they are about to succeed.

5. People just don't like each other. What do I mean, "people?" Well, everyone. There are long-standing divisions; Suel, Baklun, Oerd, Flan- and that's just the humans. Different elves can be distrustful based on geography or type (what is a Valley Elf doing outside of the Valley?), and demi-humans and humanoids will be met with more (or less) suspicion depending on the location. But see ...

6. People should be suspicious. So civilization is tenuous, but also spread out. The Flanaess is huge, and poorly controlled. That means that outside of a few of the larger and cosmopolitan cities (such as Greyhawk) people will tend to be suspicious of outsiders; after all, if survival is perilous, you, too, would be careful about extending hospitality to people you don't know.

7. Greyhawk is a a DIY sandbox. This is kind of the key to what I think is a good Greyhawk; it should provide adventure hooks, but not prescribe what adventures there are. It should be the canvas on which to paint your own campaign.


So, what does Greyhawk look like? Like the first Conan movie- vast areas of emptiness, mysteries that abound, small in scale. It's not Tolkien, it's Lieber or Howard. But most importantly, it is the space to create your own Greyhawk.
Sorry haven't been following this thread so the conversation may have moved on, but I loved this post. And those are all (more or less) reasons I like Greyhawk more than FR.

A lot of people cite all the books about FR as an advantage, that there's all this "lore". I actually think it's a downside. I've only read a few of the books (and detest them) so I'm actually mostly ignorant of FR lore. But all the official supplements seem to assume some base level of lore. I don't think it's intentional, but names and place and such get sprinkled about here and there, and although I'm sure the authors are thinking that you don't HAVE to know what they refer to, the reality is that it's hard to get the gestalt of the whole thing without knowing. I'm sure for people who are fans of all the books these constant references improve the experience, but for those of us who are in the dark it lessens in. (Or for me, anyway.)

So, yeah, Greyhawk: I don't recall ever having that same (negative) experience.

And maybe that's your point #7.
 

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