Throughout the long history of Greyhawk, different sources have given conflicting information, information that does not fit chronologically, and things just out of place. I have come across quite a few debates on some of these while searching the forums, but without knowing the instances they are difficult to find. I am trying to avoid using various canon sources and being confused myself or confusing my players. I think being aware of these conundrums will help me better prepare or offer reasonable explanations.
I know debates over the destructive lack of research done by many writers have created these situations, but I would like to ask that posts not be used to rip said authors. I am just trying to get a comprehensive list for myself and others.
You could go through all the canon sources and try to reconcile them...or you can throw canon out the window and decide for yourself what's real and what isn't, cherry-picking what you like from canon and ignoring the rest. You, as DM, have final auhtority and say over what happens in your version of Greyhawk, and this is as it was supposed to be-Gary Gygax specifically noted in the 1st Edition DMG that his original version of Greyhawk was deliberately left sketchy so DMs could elaborate as they wished.
Ignoring canon is not at all contrary to the spirit of Greyhawk. What IS contrary to that spirit is thinking you have to rewrite your plans and desires because some new canon product comes along that contradicts what you want to do. In this case, as GVDammerung has pointed out, canon becomes more of a straitjacket than a guide.
So if you see something you like in canon, by all means use it. But don't feel compelled to rewrite your campaings with every new sourcebook that comes out, or feel you have to "do your research" to create a proper Greyhawk campaign. Only you can decide whether Eclavdra serves Lolth, Grazz't, or the Elder Elemental God. Only you can decide whether the Dark Lord, Dread Tharizdun, and the EEG are one and the same, or two separate entities. Only you can decide whether a spaceship really crashed in the Barrier Peaks, or if it's only a fanciful tale created as the result of an overzealous bard eating the wrong kind of mushrooms.
Only you can decide, and when you do, any and all canon that contradicts you becomes null and void.
That, more than any of my personal views or chatdemon's personal views or Sean K. Reynolds' personal views or Erik Mona's personal views, is the true spirit of Greyhawk. If you want to have steam-powered airships, or spelljamming be a regular and accepted fact of life, have gods battle it out on the streets of Greyhawk, present the campaign in a campy Xena-type atmosphere, or slapstick comedy being a regular fact of life, you have the power to do so.
I view all of the above things as abominations that destroy the believability of the setting. I vastly prefer deep, complex, Shakespearean-like characters who would be at home in Les Miserables, A Tale of Two Cities, or War and Peace, in a world where shades of grey are prominent, 6th level marks you out as exceptional, and even the humblest magical items are cherished treasures, and no one can stop me. It is the way I choose to view Oerth, as something to be protected from industrialization and excessive power levels, and my vision is no more or less valid than one I consider abhorrent.
That, quite simply, is the truest expression of what Greyhawk, and almost any role-playing world for that matter, can be. _________________ <div align="left">Going to war without Keoland is like going to war without a pipe organ. They both make a lot of noise and they're both a lot of dead weight, so what's the point in taking them along? </div>
I think that is what you are asking for, and I think it would be almost impossible to generate. I cannot think of any off the top of my head, but I am pretty sure that I have seen conflicts even within given works. There are likely some conflicts, large or small, between most works.
I am not saying that I am the one with sufficient knowledge to respond, but for more detail, I would suggest you ask about something, or some things, in particular.
Your desired approach, knowing ahead of time where the conflicts are, is a good idea, but I think you need a rough idea of where you are going first.
Like CSL said, canon is there for you to use or ignore in your campaign as you see fit.
Like Wolfsire said, there are so many canon conflicts that attempting to identify them all is likely impossible, as would be reconciling them all.
IMO, part of the fun of GH is its conflicting canon. I think of canon conflicts as adventure hooks or as idea generators from which you can choose what you like best to develop. All of what you find in the Canonfire topics tab is substantially non-canon fan creations, developed by individual fans, but at the same time derivative of canon. You can get a pretty good idea from those topical submissions that there are any number of ways to play with canon. The choice is yours.
I guess it should be noted as well that there is not even agreement over what is, in fact, canon. Just EGG? Pre-FtA? LGG and before? 3X GH references? Some combination thereof or something more or less? Again, the choice is ultimately yours.
Where you will find people disagreeing about canon concerns their opinions. Some will claim canon status for X and others will claim not-X or Y etc.. If you place value on canon as a lingua franca among GH fans, such arguments may make sense. Otherwise, in your own campaign, you can just do whatever you want and call it canon - your canon, unique to your campaign. Such "campaign canon" is fine, even as it is distinct from the published canon. Don't get too hung up on published canon; your campaign is ultimately yours. _________________ GVD
Canon is what you make of it. Consider these points:
1. Gygax's original Greyhawk campaign was set on a fantasy Earth. Greyhawk actually set where Chicago does in the real world. The maps and all were redone for the published setting.
2. In the 'canon' of the boxed set the Glossography was written hundreds of years after the gazetteer. This could make the glossography unrealiable in areas.
3. It is also mentioned in the glossography that several universities played D&D type games set in Oerths history which means all supposed canon could be nothing more than notes from a long forgotten DM's game.
That put it all in perspective for me. _________________ Agape,
>1. Gygax's original Greyhawk campaign was set on a fantasy Earth. Greyhawk actually set where Chicago does in the real world. The maps and all were redone for the published setting.<[snipped]
Has Gygax ever confirmed this was true? I thought this was one of D&D's oldest myths...
First of all let me apologize for not responding to my own thread. I was having computer problems. When I wrote my post I expected responses to be based on personal experiences.
CSL while I appreciate your response and the way you run your campaign. I feel your comments side tracked my subject. I will therefore try to better explain the way I run my campaign.
I play 3.5. I use most of the GH books IMC and LGG is one of the best. I believe this is because of the thought and insight by the various authors. I want my players to be able to play the upcoming SpineCastle adventure in Dungeon as well other Greyhawk related adventures put out by Dungeon. Now continuity and versimilitude are very important for me and my players. I would argue 99% of LGG is useful. WG7 Castle Greyhawk might have only 1% of useful material. My campaign allows the PCs to uses game information to solve problems in the same way as Sherlock Holmes. This forces me as a DM to provide the hints and clues to propel their adventures. With so many writers throughout the 20+ years this can become confusing.
Maldin on his website has listed a more accurate location for the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. In OJ Erik Mona proposes a way of Fixing Hardby. The recent AOW campaign arc explained the reason Sons of Kyuss were placed all over the Flanaess.
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