D&D General Why TSR-era D&D Will Always Be D&D


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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I mean, if someone just hates Greyhawk and wants to mine it for it's good ideas and carry on, ok I guess. I'm not expecting to get every campaign setting back- even if Council of Worms or Blackmoor would be a blast.

I just don't know what the problem with Greyhawk is, specifically. Is it just that many NPC's are the early player characters? Are there too many in-jokes?

Do people think a Goddess named for a Ouija board is in bad taste?
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I don't hate Greyhawk, I'm just... aggressively meh?

It's not FR or Plansecape or DL where I have things I really and truly hate about them, it's more like Dark Sun that just has absolutely nothing to offer me and I'd just rather not.
 

I think TSR didn't really know what they wanted to do with Greyhawk once Gary was out. WotC- I think there was one or two devs that liked it and that's why it was the 'default' setting (of which all those many many FR books could supersede). However, I had some players at that time who didn't play late 1e when the GH boxed set had come out, and for them Greyhawk was effectively a black box -- they didn't know much about it, didn't have access to much about it, and didn't really have anyone making a pitch for why they should go to the effort of seeking out information about it.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I just don't know what the problem with Greyhawk is, specifically.

I've had a number of threads on Greyhawk. I think that the pushback can be roughly divided as follows:

1. People who love Forgotten Realms, and want more FR material, and think that Greyhawk will divert from that.

2. People who hate anything "the olds" like on principle. (There's a fair number of those, but they usually argue that Something something grognards will hate anything anyway so why bother?).

3. People who don't understand why Greyhawk, to this day, has a devoted following.

4. People who mistakenly assume that Greyhawk is just the same as every other "kitchen sink" setting.

5. Purists who only spell gray with an "a."


Personally, I would love to see a new Greyhawk released. My own personal opinion is that there are only three requirements:

1. The Darlene Map. I mean .... c'mon.

2. Try to keep the sense of mystery. I may have a preference, but I don't care what timeline they eventually settle on. But what I would like is that the follow the Folio/Campaign Setting example and have it full of mystery and hooks that DMs can choose to expand on in their home campaigns.

3. Make it interesting. Nothing about the old setting is sacred. I just want something good that is appealing to new players as well. There are so many different "takes" they could use- a GoT-style politics setting, or a S&S + gonzo setting, or a "barely holding on to civilization" setting, or some other take. Just take a point of view and stick with it.
 


James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
It wouldn't be so bad if the Forgotten Realms wasn't also a setting that goes back to 1e, so the "olds like it" argument is kind of weird...

For me, the reason I latched onto the Realms had a lot to do with the novels. I knew it existed, of course, Ed would mention it from time to time in his Dragon articles, and I'd seen ads for the grey box as well. But I didn't really clue in what made it super exciting at first.

But The Crystal Shard was a damn fine book, so I started reading more. And soon I was hooked by the level of detail and the depth of Toril's lore. I'm a huge lore junkie, and wish I could create a setting with a fraction of that sort of detail.

For example, Ed doesn't just have his own calendar, a diviner predicted the major events of every year for decades!

The Magister shows how magic items (and even spellbooks) can be cool without being overpowered, and includes lore about even the simplest of magic weapons!

But after awhile, the Realms became a bloated mess, and it felt that the developers kept forgetting important parts of it's lore. I remember during the 4e era, one of the D&D Encounters seasons was a tie in to the Elemental Chaos book, and I decided to run it. I did some research, and realized it was set in the same location as the Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance video game!

Which confused me greatly when nothing in that game was even mentioned. I mentioned this on the D&D forums (remember when we had those?) and the adventure writer admitted he'd never played Dark Alliance, and had no idea that area had been used- he just picked it at random!

So at this point, maybe a back to basics setting like Greyhawk would be better. It has it's own lore, some of which is very cool, plus things like the classic artifacts and villains.
 

I've had a number of threads on Greyhawk. I think that the pushback can be roughly divided as follows:

1. People who love Forgotten Realms, and want more FR material, and think that Greyhawk will divert from that.
2. People who hate anything "the olds" like on principle. (There's a fair number of those, but they usually argue that Something something grognards will hate anything anyway so why bother?).
3. People who don't understand why Greyhawk, to this day, has a devoted following.
4. People who mistakenly assume that Greyhawk is just the same as every other "kitchen sink" setting.
5. Purists who only spell gray with an "a."
I always love when people leave out "in good faith people don't like it"
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I always love when people leave out "in good faith people don't like it"

Well, there are a number of settings that (in good faith) I don't like.

But I don't spend my time arguing that WoTC shouldn't publish those settings, and deprive people that do like them of the pleasure of seeing something they enjoy.

....which makes me think that maybe the people who are doing the arguing probably have other things in mind.
 

Well, there are a number of settings that (in good faith) I don't like.

But I don't spend my time arguing that WoTC shouldn't publish those settings, and deprive people that do like them of the pleasure of seeing something they enjoy.

....which makes me think that maybe the people who are doing the arguing probably have other things in mind.
I mean the only setting I dislike enough to argue they should stop publishing is FR so I know it is a lost point... but all I am saying is that some of those people MUST have good reasons not the ones you listed.
 

payn

Legend
Well, there are a number of settings that (in good faith) I don't like.

But I don't spend my time arguing that WoTC shouldn't publish those settings, and deprive people that do like them of the pleasure of seeing something they enjoy.

....which makes me think that maybe the people who are doing the arguing probably have other things in mind.
There is a thought that any amount of time and resources spent on stuff for other people, is a lost opportunity of spending time on stuff that's specifically for me. For the record, I do not think this way.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I mean the only setting I dislike enough to argue they should stop publishing is FR so I know it is a lost point... but all I am saying is that some of those people MUST have good reasons not the ones you listed.

I am sure that they think that it's a good reason.

But as a general rule, "I don't like something, so people that do like it should never have it," is usually .... not a good reason. No matter what type of mental gymnastics you go through to justify it.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
For a good example of that exact line of logic, go dig up the Psionics thread from a few months back. There were quite a few posts that came down to "we don't want WotC working on psionics because it will waste developer time that could be used on projects people actually want".
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
For a good example of that exact line of logic, go dig up the Psionics thread from a few months back. There were quite a few posts that came down to "we don't want WotC working on psionics because it will waste developer time that could be used on projects people actually want".

Uh ... nope.

Look, resources are, in fact, finite. And choices do have to be made. But ... that's just not the case.

Since 2014 (SEVEN FULL YEARS AGO), WoTC has released the following major hardcovers or revisions:

Rulebooks
1. PHB
2. MM
3. DMG
4. VGTM
5. XGTE
6. MToF
7. TCoE
8. FTOD
9. MP: Monsters of the Multiverse

That's more than a rulebook a year.

Campaigns
10. SCAG (FR)
11. Ravnica
12. Acquisitions Incorporated (FR, kinda)
13. Eberron
14. Wildemount
15. Theros
16. Ravenloft
17. Strixhaven
18 Spelljammer (CONFIRMED!)

That's more than a campaign setting each year. Not to mention the numerous APs, including one that they already set in Greyhawk.

If it was the case that they were barely putting forth new rules now (psionics) or barely putting forth new campaign settings (Greyhawk), that's one thing, But it seems pretty obvious now that they can handle pumping out rules for either psionics or Greyhawk if they are able to put out this content.

I do appreciate people sticking up for the time constraints and hiring practices of large corporations (ahem), but ... yeah, color me unimpressed with the whole, "It's not that I'm against the thing you like, I'm just really concerned that if they do the thing you like, we might not get enough rules or other campaign settings in the future! Allow me to express .... my concern."
 

There is a thought that any amount of time and resources spent on stuff for other people, is a lost opportunity of spending time on stuff that's specifically for me. For the record, I do not think this way.

Yeah, the battle for mindspace is absolutely a thing with some people just by itself, and when it comes to published materials its even more true.
 

But I don't spend my time arguing that WoTC shouldn't publish those settings, and deprive people that do like them of the pleasure of seeing something they enjoy.
I'm guessing that comes up in the context of those "What should Wizards publish next?" or "Guess the mystery book" threads. In which case, if one is going to participate in those threads at all, opinion statements such as this don't seem out of place. I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that it's about depriving people of pleasure. I don't have the sense that people are dropping "Greyhawk sucks" threads all willy-nilly.
 

Azzy

KMF DM
For a good example of that exact line of logic, go dig up the Psionics thread from a few months back. There were quite a few posts that came down to "we don't want WotC working on psionics because it will waste developer time that could be used on projects people actually want".
Yup. As I am both a Greyhawk fan as well as a psionics fan, I'm pretty hyper-aware of that BS.
 


Eric V

Hero
Yup. As I am both a Greyhawk fan as well as a psionics fan, I'm pretty hyper-aware of that BS.
Same. As well, after years of making stuff for 5e, is it still so imperative that certain products not be made for fear of missing out on other stuff the designers could be doing?
 

I started playing in 1981 and bought and read the Greyhawk stuff and it was just okay. Then along came the Realms in 1987 and it like a bunch of color after the drab gray of Greyhawk. Funny thing is that all the games I played in or ran during the 80's were mainly homebrew settings, so I actually played very little in either published setting, but I can say that the Realms had more stuff taken from it and used in the homebrews. It is more of a kitchen sink setting and easier to use in pieces. This is part of why I think the Greyhawk setting, as a whole, will never get published again.
 

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