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D&D 5E Which Greyhawk?

dropbear8mybaby

Banned
Banned
In essence 568 baseworld plus a 25 year timeline with possible events and adventures and how the 568 world changes. Then make suggestions for the adventures so that they fit with the new canon ' let the DMs guild add material based on suggested times and place.

Now this idea I really like. That would also be a very unique way of presenting a core D&D setting, setting it apart from other worlds, while also pleasing most of the fans of the setting. Play in any era with updated material for each era, effect change on the outcomes, rewrite the history, make Greyhawk your own. As I understand it, that was always the intent for the setting, giving you the rich backdrop that acts like a springboard to make the setting your own through your campaign.

I hope Mearls and Co. are reading this thread.
 

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hastur_nz

First Post
Greyhawk Wars, From the Ashes, et. al. - I didn't really get much of interest out of those, to me they changed the tone of the setting (due to different authors etc), then what was done in 3.x was OK but again didn't really do much except give a context for the core books. Which is my point really - "in the old days", Greyhawk WAS AD&D and visa versa. Sure, you could create your own world, but read the AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide, Players Handbook, etc, and they are littered with chunks of Greyhawk. I've got the original Greyhawk Boxed Set, as well as the Gazetteer, and while the Gazetteer is good the original boxed set is more than enough to give me a set of ideas to help fuel campaigns for a lifetime.

For many, the whole appeal of Greyhawk was that the amount of material written about it, especially the amount of specific information, was very scarce. So as a DM, you were forced to fill in the very considerable blanks, using what you might find for inspiration.

Contrasted to the Forgotten Realms, where nowdays if you dig around a bit you can find a very detailed map of nearly any part of the Sword Coast, detailing all sorts of dungeons and villages, trails and roads, adventure modules, you can find novels, game supplements, etc etc etc. Yes, that level of detail can be useful at times, but it's also very dis-empowering too.

So for me, I struggle to see how any modern re-interpretation of Greyhawk could do anything useful... If it's rules focused, it will likely miss the point because the "Greyhawk Rules" were, in fact, the rules of AD&D; trying to put old AD&D rules into 5e would be completely silly, and beyond that I struggle to think of what's missing from the core 5e rules that you'd need to have fun in Greywawk - the only thing most people are missing, is players who have a working knowledge of the campaign setting. If it's "fluff" focused, I think that Forgotten Realms has gotten so big now, that whatever you could come up with for Greyhawk would seem lame to a modern audience - it could easily seem (ironically) derivative, and/or fail to differentiate itself from what is now a very popular and well known setting - despite how us "old timers" love Greyhawk, there's nothing much that makes it a compelling proposition for your campaign, excelt the very simple fact that it is The Original (i.e. despite what Gary, Dave Arneson etc played in their home games, the World Of Greyhawk is what got published, well before any other settings came along; it has elements from all sorts of people's own campaigns and adventure modules in there).
 

MonsterEnvy

Adventurer
I actually did like From the Ashes. Evil being on the rise and much more powerful in the Greyhawk setting I found a rather interesting thing for it. Most of the stuff from the old greyhawk things still aplied.

It also showed a pretty massive difference from the realms. Namely that Evil forces control half the map. Rather then Good pretty much controlling the whole thing with Evil rising out of nowhere with plots before getting knocked down. (Not sure if this was the best way to describe it.)
 

Brandegoris

First Post
I am a Very Big fan of From The ashes. I started with My Very first roleplaying in that setting however so I am sure That I am partial to it.
What I do Appreciate about it is that It was a little darker than other editions as the world was essentially "at war".
 

MackMcMacky

First Post
I am a Very Big fan of From The ashes. I started with My Very first roleplaying in that setting however so I am sure That I am partial to it.
What I do Appreciate about it is that It was a little darker than other editions as the world was essentially "at war".
I would have preferred if the war hadn't been all-encompassing. And the over-use of Iuz and the Scarlet Brotherhood got on my nerves.

I still found plenty of use out of the rules updates in From the Ashes but I ignored the bulk of additions to the timeline.
 

Brandegoris

First Post
I would have preferred if the war hadn't been all-encompassing. And the over-use of Iuz and the Scarlet Brotherhood got on my nerves.

I still found plenty of use out of the rules updates in From the Ashes but I ignored the bulk of additions to the timeline.

So strange, I really enjoyed the Brotherhood and Iuz. Iuz I made way more powerful than he was presented and just started wrecking portions of the world, and the Brotherhood I made Secretly allied with him and used as A boogey man. My players were scared to death of the Brotherhood.
 

MackMcMacky

First Post
So strange, I really enjoyed the Brotherhood and Iuz. Iuz I made way more powerful than he was presented and just started wrecking portions of the world, and the Brotherhood I made Secretly allied with him and used as A boogey man. My players were scared to death of the Brotherhood.
I like both. I just think they were over-used. I want more variety. I want characters to go to a new place and discover new threats. There are plenty of scary things hinted at in Greyhawk. No need to trot out Iuz and Scarbro for everything. Just imagine the cool things you could do with Beltar, a goddess of malice and pits with a special relationship to red dragons, vampires, and beholders! I ran a campaign with Beltar as one of the big pieces driving the conflict. It was a lot of fun.
 

Luz

Explorer
I really enjoyed FTA, almost precisely for putting Iuz in the spotlight. I'd always thought he makes a great GH villain and thought his empire was really well developed after the GH Wars. As much as I love the original box set, I was happy to see GH get shaken up. The accessory books that followed (Iuz the Evil, The Marklands, Ivid the Undying) were also excellent, jam-packed with great campaign ideas. The Scarlet Brotherhood I can take or leave, they never played a prominent role in my games.

What came after (The Adventure Begins, Return of the Eight, Expedition to Castle Greyhawk) was pure dreck, IMO. They pretty much undid everything FTA had established in one fell swoop, then proceeded to make Iuz look like a buffoon instead of the terrifying fiendish demigod he is. Falling for the same godtrap a second time was just nonsense. Ugh.
I would have preferred if the war hadn't been all-encompassing. And the over-use of Iuz and the Scarlet Brotherhood got on my nerves.

That's how I felt about Tharizdun in GH 3e. He was everywhere. Another cool villain that got overexposed.
 

My campaigns, both as a DM and player, going back many years have primarily been in the FTA era. The Marklands has always been a pretty key resource. I've wondered many times though, for my needs, would I really need something new published? It's pretty easy to pull out an old book, grab a few key ideas and build a campaign around it. I'm not sure what more a new WOTC produced book could provide other than an "awesome, the old setting I play in is getting some love once again," (though I'd love to be proved wrong.) Culling ideas from the SCAG, Oota, SKT, etc. is not a big problem either. I think opening up the setting to the DMS guild would be a great idea, but there should be no need for everyone to focus on one era. Though for producing content, it obviously makes sense to know what the most popular era would be in order to hit the largest audience possible.
 


Mercule

Adventurer
I don't think any one "version" of Greyhawk could unite and recapture all the fans and create sufficient new ones. As far as which Greyhawk I prefer, it's the red-and-gold box. There's some OK material in the others, but they do way, way more harm than good. In the case of the LGG, it's actually too sparse.

What really draws people to Greyhawk, IME/IMO, is a combination of tone and openness. The Realms turn me off, in part, because it's hard to even shrug your shoulders without knocking over a canon. Gygax had a talent for having just enough story to inspire people, but not so much that it constrained people. I actually really like [MENTION=6799753]lowkey13[/MENTION]'s idea about having the Realms be high canon and Greyhawk low canon and would love to see it tried.

I just realized that the closest I've seen to Gygax's "just enough" story and the obvious assumption/push to make the world your own is in how Eberron was done. That was, by my understanding, largely a product of Keith Baker's philosophy and is still evidenced in the way he talks about Eberron, today. I have no idea whether Keith has any desire, but I'd love to see if he could help drive a "right-sized" Greyhawk source book. He seems to like to do interesting/non-traditional settings, but restoring such a sacred setting might be enough of a challenge.
 

Er, other than virtually the entirety of the Sword Coast and the north, i.e. the bits they've focused on this edition?

Do you mean "untamed" or "undescribed"? Faerun has plenty of untamed wilderness, as a good amount of it (including most of the area described in SCAG) being city-states whose writs don't extend more than a few miles beyond their walls, with substantial wilderness areas between. The Flanaess, on the other hand, is mostly made up of large monarchies or other states with well-defined borders that more or less fill up the map. Granted, there are large areas of wilderness inside those borders, but in most cases you're still within the legal domain of the king/duke/demonic overlord that rules the state, as opposed to those wilderness areas between the city-states of the Forgotten Realms that are legally terra nullius...

The issue is that the population of FR is far too high, including the Sword Coast. Waterdeep has a population of 380,000. That would put it in the top 50 largest cities in the US today. It's about the size of Cleveland, Minneapolis, Tulsa, or New Orleans. Now, it takes about 1 acre of land to support 1 person for food for 1 year. That's 600 square miles of farmland that you need just to supply food for the people inside Waterdeep. By that measure, about 150-200 miles around Waterdeep should be nothing but farmland. Even if you halve it and say much of the food is from fisheries, you're pushing the bounds of reality. Those outlying cities are all 30,000+ people or so, and there's about a dozen of them. Pretty much the entirety of the Sword Coast should be farmland.

The cities in Greyhawk are, on the whole, much smaller. Greyhawk is one of the largest cities in the Flanaess, and it's 60,000 to 70,000, and it is surrounded by a miles and miles of farmland, with most communities being under 10,000.
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
1 acre of land to support 1 person for food for a year. BWAHAHAHAHA!!! Someone has not lived on a farm or not raised food. That's not even close.
 

pming

Legend
Hiya!

TL;DR - Just in case others haven't already linked to them...

https://www.reddit.com/r/worldbuild...ow_much_farmland_is_needed_to_support_a_city/

http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/blueroom/demog.htm

Those two sites are a godsend for DM's who want to inject more realistic civilizations and such. Another good resource is pretty much anything for Harn ( http://www.columbiagames.com/cgi-bin/query/harn/cfg/harnmaster.cfg ).

One more book I just picked up (well, PDF) just moments ago was HARP Folkways. I haven't really looked at it yet (as I said...moments, as in minutes), but the general reviews I saw on it seems to be at least highly positive. As my players just decided they wanted to play a more "meaty" game system for a change, they chose HARP last Sunday.

I'm off to read up on Folkways now! :)

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

The issue is that the population of FR is far too high, including the Sword Coast. Waterdeep has a population of 380,000. That would put it in the top 50 largest cities in the US today. It's about the size of Cleveland, Minneapolis, Tulsa, or New Orleans. Now, it takes about 1 acre of land to support 1 person for food for 1 year. That's 600 square miles of farmland that you need just to supply food for the people inside Waterdeep. By that measure, about 150-200 miles around Waterdeep should be nothing but farmland. Even if you halve it and say much of the food is from fisheries, you're pushing the bounds of reality. Those outlying cities are all 30,000+ people or so, and there's about a dozen of them. Pretty much the entirety of the Sword Coast should be farmland.

The cities in Greyhawk are, on the whole, much smaller. Greyhawk is one of the largest cities in the Flanaess, and it's 60,000 to 70,000, and it is surrounded by a miles and miles of farmland, with most communities being under 10,000.
In addition to what others have stated, you're also forgetting about magic increasing crop yields (and decreasing subsequent loss through spoilage) far above the medieval norm. It's stated that Goldenfields feeds a substantial percentage of Waterdeep's population just on its own. Beyond that, if other sources are still inadequate, Waterdeep could very well take a page from Rome's book and simply import grain from areas specifically described as agricultural regions, such as Amn or Tethyr.

And finally, the Sword Coast region is mostly wilderness simply because the setting itself tells us it is.

Sent from my VS987 using EN World mobile app
 

Brandegoris

First Post
Le Sigh....
This thread has made me wistful...
So many great memories as a kid in Greyhawk. I will always think its the best world ( Golarion is close for me, But not quite as cool).

The time I met Prince Melf Brightflame on the Borders of Celene. So awesome :)
 

In addition to what others have stated, you're also forgetting about magic increasing crop yields (and decreasing subsequent loss through spoilage) far above the medieval norm. It's stated that Goldenfields feeds a substantial percentage of Waterdeep's population just on its own. Beyond that, if other sources are still inadequate, Waterdeep could very well take a page from Rome's book and simply import grain from areas specifically described as agricultural regions, such as Amn or Tethyr.

And finally, the Sword Coast region is mostly wilderness simply because the setting itself tells us it is.

Sent from my VS987 using EN World mobile app

So it's a giant city with a massive -- and possibly magical -- infrastructure designed to support an absurdly large population... is in the middle of the wilderness because it says it is.

Rome was also the center of civilization in the west for hundreds of years. It was the seat of the Emperor and the Senate before that. Waterdeep is like 1850s San Francisco or Chicago, except randomly 10 times the size.

Sorry, no, it completely and totally breaks my suspension of disbelief.
 

Brandegoris

First Post
So it's a giant city with a massive -- and possibly magical -- infrastructure designed to support an absurdly large population... is in the middle of the wilderness because it says it is.

Rome was also the center of civilization in the west for hundreds of years. It was the seat of the Emperor and the Senate before that. Waterdeep is like 1850s San Francisco or Chicago, except randomly 10 times the size.

Sorry, no, it completely and totally breaks my suspension of disbelief.

Why? Of all the things that deserve disbelief that is what Breaks it for you? LOL
Not Dragon men, or UNDERMOUNTAIN ( The 850 Level dungeon that a dude made just for kicks), or Or The Enormous sandy desert that continuously grows , etc...

I Don't love Forgotten realms. I don't think it holds a candle to Greyhawk, But I don't find waterdeep that troubling :)

Also; When you are the biggest Maritime power in the region for Hundreds of Miles you would be surprised how much food you can fish up out of the ocean ;)
 
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MonsterEnvy

Adventurer
So it's a giant city with a massive -- and possibly magical -- infrastructure designed to support an absurdly large population... is in the middle of the wilderness because it says it is.

Rome was also the center of civilization in the west for hundreds of years. It was the seat of the Emperor and the Senate before that. Waterdeep is like 1850s San Francisco or Chicago, except randomly 10 times the size.

Sorry, no, it completely and totally breaks my suspension of disbelief.

You are also forgetting that Waterdeep is a coast city and trading hub.

It's not in the middle of the wilderness.
 

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