One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
Soon is a relative term. Most of us have been conditioned over the years to wait several years for new GH books, so yes it could be soon. The best thing you and I can do in the meantime is USE that forum and show them that the community is alive.
I was glad it arrived as well. I did check out a fair amount of the posts and realized it had a very different feel than Canonfire. This is not a critisizm of WOTC but rather a difference in the type of people that frequent the two sites.
I thought the majority of conversation really didn't say much on the other site. Someone would start a thread but others would often post very short comments (often rude, or very rude ones). I didn't feel that there was much for actual responses to posts. Judging from the comments and language used, I'm guessing it younger folks who are frequenting it the most. The topics here actually go somewhere, much of which spurns ideas in which to incorporate into my home campaign.
My guess is that WOTC included it for one of two reasons.....
1. As a courtesy to Greyhawk players, nothing more. No intent on doing anything with it. Basically just being nice to Greyhawkers.
2. They included a listing for Dragonlance in addition to another for "Other campaigns". Could be they are trying to find out which generates greater interest in order to make decisions about what campaigns they want to dedicate their effort towards in the next few years.
If I had to decide between the two, I would say option #2 is the most likely. If WOTC really wasn't interested in finding out what people wanted in regards of game worlds then I don't think Greyhawk and Dragonlance would have been singled out like they are.
Even though I'm not real big on the 4th edition (mainly because of the investment of 3.5), I hope for the best. I would love to see Greyhawk get some official attention in regards of actual hardcover book(s) and modules. I realize that they may make changes to the world but am willing to deal with that should the time ever arrive. I don't necessarily feel like things have to be one way and one way only in order to be Greyhawk.
For me, Greyhawk is a combination of two things.....makes me feel like I'm returning to my younger days of D&D which allows me to enjoy the game more and it is a basic structure for a game world I chose to follow. As long as it retains the basics of what makes Greyhawk what it is, the kingdoms, the races, the NPCs, the classic dungeons, that sort of thing.
If WOTC decided to shake up the world a little bit like what TSR did with From the Ashes I would be OK with that. I'm more interested in seeing the development of the world as a whole in regards of the kingdoms then I am adding new classes and races. If they decided to shake up the politics of the nations in order to generate more of a "Here's what is happening" feel to it, I'm OK with that. If a couple of kingdoms fell into ruin or were disolved into other nations (again) not a big deal to me.
If they rewrote it to include all of the new classes, prestige classes, and races that would bother me more. To me, this would make it feel less 1st edition like and less Greyhawkish. In my campaign I take all of the 3.5 new character classes, prestige classes, and races and trickle in only the few that I think really fit in. I decided a long time ago not to try and "change" my Greyhawk campaign in order to fit the type of new things included in the game. If it doesn't seem like something from the old days, I generally dismiss it. If it seems like this is new and I wish it had existed in my high school days...I'll include it, maybe rework it a bit so it fits in better with the world.
By including a separate post for Greyhawk I finally agree with something that WOTC has done....It's been a long time since I can say that....other than our recent expidition module. _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
If it is a sounding board for future releases, then heading over there and making ourselves heard and known can only help. Although when I did post on the Wizard's boards I did notice that, as Eileen stated, that conversations tended to become rather circular, rude or both.
That's why I like places like here. Everyone knows everyone and are generally polite to everyone.
Yeah, surely Canonfire feels more like "home" to me. In spite of this, and considering that WotC is utilizing the board to find out how interested in a new Greyhawk product line fans really are, I think that we MUST go there and post our opinions, express our concerns and let the WotC staff know that Greyhawk is still a healthy and profitable setting. _________________ Tudo aquilo que fazes para aliviar o sofrimento do próximo garante a autenticidade do teu amor para com Deus.
.....makes me feel like I'm returning to my younger days of D&D which allows me to enjoy the game more and it is a basic structure for a game world I chose to follow
Eileen... you and I (admist others here I'm sure) share a kindred love of the game and I feel the same way towards Greyhawk... It was my 13th Birthday, my dad gave me $20. for my B-day and I raced off to the mall and picked up the old WoG portfolio style and a few AD&D monster rub/transfer sheets and some more dice Best gift I ever got for myself. I wish I could get in your game... its sounds grand!
Too bad I'm in London UK now
Im hoping WotC approach WoG carefully and take into serious consideration all of the previous published works for it. I beleive if they did maintain true to this and developed it further from this, then they would not only maintain original GH fans, but give a richer history/background for new comers.
Further, I really believe they should approach GLH, freelance wise if need be..., iquander, maldin, samwise, and other CF members who had a strong involvement of GH and LG materials previously published... yes...even SKR.
This whole 4th Ed approach and casual play towards WoG/GH material being considered for "official" publication is a "lets wait and see" approach...most likely to calm the waters over the closure of LG and failures to give GH, 3x's core world, any support/worthy product.
Words...just words....hopefully honest actions will prevail.
Patrick aka AncientGamer _________________ <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTb1Gpa-N7U&feature=related">
Ouch! I decided to check the 4th Ed. site and was Eileen ever right about the rudeness factor.
I am usually a lurker here rather than a participant, but as an "Old School" Greyhawker and someone who just likes polite coversation, I just want to say thanks for what are usually very civilized threads.
When (or if) you get back to this continent stop by and we'll play. You buy the munchies, I'll provide a spot in the gaming room. Love to have ya! _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
I just popped over to the 4E Greyhawk threads and put in my two coppers' worth. I hope that there will be enough activity with good, meaningful conversation to get the WotC folks thinking about at least one Greyhawk sourcebook, but only Istus knows what will occur. Still, I hope for the best and prepare for the worst. _________________ Greyhawk is dead; long live Greyahwk! It is not heresy; I will not recant!
I'm soooo tempted to tell anyone I can to stay away from that site. Given their recent actions I'm scared to death they're gonna screw GH up if they ever try to "support" it again. It would suck to no end if lots of us went over there only to receive a product in return that turns our beloved Greyhawk into the Forgotten Realms.
Then again, I've been doing my best to consider the possibility that I'm overreacting. Still, who knows?
Folks, I have been playing Greyhaw in some form or fashion since the first adventures set around a fabled city called Greyhawk (which TSR assured we would eventually see) came out.
First edition AD&D gave way to 2 edition with the whole world going up in flames a number of the modules being poor re hashes of previous Gygax ones. Still, the gamers adapted.
Lets be honest, the tie ins for pre LG Greyhawk modules and the macro world were still DM dependent. So 3.0 and 3.5 come along, and I have been playing a different system anyway and have already been through 20 years of "it isn't our old D&D" with previous incarnations.
Every now and then, we play D&D for old time sake and "lo and behold" this 3.5 has some good ideas, although too much other stuff for me. Most of my updates and interest in modern WOG gaming has come from Canonfire with some LG material direct.
IOW, WOC has not been the chief driving force for Greyhawk anyway. You people have. Give yourselves some credit and stop looking for heretics or traitors and Greyhawk will continue to survive and fourish.
In order for Greyhawk to flourish we need to rely on ourselves as well as bringing in new players. Right now, if Greyhawk receives support I think that we need to be there as well. Not all of us are going to like changes made (if WOTC does anything at all), but without new people, Greyhawk isn't going to receive a growing audience and at best will remain stagnant, at worst, slowly fade away.
If you want to prevent this, you need to to take an active role in what is happening. Next year 4th edition is coming like it or not, if Greyhawk becomes part of that then we need to support it. You can still play 3.5 or whatever your favorite version is, but please, take part in pushing the Greyhawk product line, whether it be taking part in Internet posts upon the site you are now looking down on as well as participating on the Canonfire forum, providing articles on it, as well as in the Oerth Journal. All of these need to be supported if we are to get what we want in the long run.
In a few years, 4th edition will leave, and something else will replace it. I want Greyhawk to be a continued part of the D&D tradition and I hope you do as well. _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
I'm soooo tempted to tell anyone I can to stay away from that site. Given their recent actions I'm scared to death they're gonna screw GH up if they ever try to "support" it again. It would suck to no end if lots of us went over there only to receive a product in return that turns our beloved Greyhawk into the Forgotten Realms. "
Well, I am no marketing wiz... however, a company cannot reasonabley use hits on it's own web site to determine if a market is or is not viable. To do so would show an extrodinary lack of competence. Also what it would show is that there is a predetermined outcome that is desired.
Greyhawk is the oldest setting. By admission of most here, we are older. Older people visit the internet less. They use it for conversation less. Their participation on an internet forums, as an indicator of the market size for a pen and paper game is absurd. However, as we often say in planning meetings... if you say it fast enough it sounds like it will work.
In a related thread GVD has pointed out that other systems (Call of Cuthulu was his example) have gone through multiple system generations without the back lash. I have always felt that Hasbro, as a game company, misunderstood the D&D market and wanted to sell rules expansions as they would Monopoly boards (Lets do a college version, and then everyone who owns Monopoly will buy a "University of," Monopoly. Though there is some traction there, if they go to that buyers home, I think they would find that the customer has (as an example) Notre Dame Monopoly, Notre Dame glasses, Notre Dame Rugs, toilet seats, etc.
So.. they are doing that with D&D. "If I can make you buy 5 versions of D&D, it is like Monopoly! However, there is a fundamental difference. WOTC has both the mechanics and the IP. They own D&D and GH, and FR, and Eberron. I believe that like the people at this forum, the average D&D player wants stuff for their setting, or that they can use in their setting. They don't want to spend a 3 months relearning rules so that WOTC can make a buck.
The college fan knows that his college is selling the use of their logo/theme, etc. They buy what they want, they don't others. There is less interconnectivity, no Canon as it were. They will buy what ever, and when it wears out, buy another.
WOTC is not in that situation. They have examined the market and thought "if we can force this model on the market, it maximizes profits," and they are right. IF.
If not, they will over time, offend and alienate the purchasers of all the various WOTC game worlds.
I think the history of D&D would have been dramatically different if a publisher had purchased TSR.
Getting back to the original topic, I note that there is a pretty solid exchange going on between Cebrion (championing no advance of the timeline) and Samwise (championing advancing the timeline). If 4e ever sees a new GH, I think this is the first and single most important decision that the designers would have to make. EVERYTHING would flow from whether the timeline was advanced. I personally favor advancing the timeline by 100 years for the next GH setting treatment. Either that or completely rebooting the setting, as if all canon to this point was not canon - starting over from scratch. Too bad Samwise is boycotting Canonfire at present, or so I am told, or this great exchange could be right here, right now. _________________ GVD
I have been reading these posts and I favor Cebrion's position. I do think each person has valid reasons but by not advancing the timeline Greyhawk campaigns worldwide do not need to end and begin anew as what most DMs would choose to do in an advancing the timeline scenario.
A new edition should not call for new characters. Advancing the timeline would create more problems than it fixes in home campaigns.
If a new book was written, whether it advanced the timeline or not, any changes made by the publisher which were not considered errors would become the "new" canon material by most DMs with the exception of those who are stubborn and resist change or decide that it conflicts with their home campaign too much. The publisher would consider their work canon and as a result various other products printed afterwards which reference these official changes or clarifications become canon. _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
1) It didn't significantly change the flavor of Greyhawk
2) It didn't significantly contradict established canon (note, I said, "significantly")
3) It didn't turn GH into something completely different
4) It incorporated better ideas than I've seen proposed by WotC thus far
5) It was done with GH fans in mind and not WotC's much-sought-after "new gamers"
6) It was done such that previous publications could be accommodated without more than mechanical changes
7) It allowed for the possibility of expansion, leaving room for DM's to customize the setting for their own campaigns
I'm sorry, I'm still not getting/understanding what you mean by reboot. Do you mean that you want to see a new Gazetteer where they try to keep it the same and attempt to mesh messy details better? Book wise, what sort of Greyhawk information are you looking for, how would the reboot differ from what we currently have? _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
I have a growing feeling that a third option might be best -
Not "freezing" the setting at a given point,
Not "advancing" the timeline,
REBOOTING THE ENTIRE SETTING FROM SCRATCH!
Not fully settled on that but . . .
I think that a re-imagining al la Battlestar Galactica (this was Samwises idea on the oerthjournal chat) is more in order. Figure out what is the essence of Greyhawk and distill it into something familiar and different.
I also agree with Sam that we need new "classic" adventures to bring the world to life. We and WotC have been rehashing the same old stuff for years. How many times can we run ToEE?
I am not going to get into the rules issues between the various editions of D&D but I think the wonder of the World of Greyhawk has been lost because so much has been charted out.
I have fond memories of the Giant Series as a player and a judge in turn and learning about the game world as I went.
I think that the break that 4e is making with the sacred cows of D&D that I remember from my 1e days might be the shot in the arm my campaign needs.
My campaign received its shot in the arm about 6 months ago when the players and myself agreed on a set of "house rules" and "campaign conventions", some of which took the game off in slightly different directions from the one we previously played.
The game has been running really well since then, most of the problems we had with the 3x mechanics were smoothed out, and we all agree that it's becoming as good as it was many years ago when we were all a little fresher.
I'm also a little unclear on what a reboot would entail.
I'm sorry, I'm still not getting/understanding what you mean by reboot. Do you mean that you want to see a new Gazetteer where they try to keep it the same and attempt to mesh messy details better? Book wise, what sort of Greyhawk information are you looking for, how would the reboot differ from what we currently have?
I have to admit to a certain amount of mental muddiness myself when it comes to this topic. My initial reaction was, "No way! Leave GH alone!" But then I got to thinking about it and I realized I've been advancing the setting IMC all along, making little tweaks here and there. And those who ask, "How often can we be expected to play ToEE?" have a point.
So here's my definition of a reboot, assuming it is effected by simply advancing the calendar: First, the basic geography should stay the same, except that the kingdoms and governments should be altered in a logical and reasonable way to reflect the advancement of time. The flavor, IMO, should stay where or it is, or better yet, go back to where it was back in the late 70's/early 80's. The philosophy of how D&D should be played as implied by those old products should by all means be maintained - this is paramount. That is to say, no influence from video games, other RPGs, etc., that doesn't fit the feel of Greyhawk. At all. None. Period. Practically all the current iconic characters should be either discarded or changed to the point that they no longer significantly resemble their current incarnation. Yes, I love Mordy and Iuz, too, but their time has come. However, this alteration/elimination should be done in such a way that these iconic characters can easily be left in or reintroduced by individual DM's without screwing everything up. The map should be expanded, but only a little. Oerth outside the Flanaess should more-or-less be left to individual DMs. New Iconic character should be introduced, but only if they're as interesting as the old ones - no Drizzt clones, please. All changes should derive logically from the current setting - in other words, no world-shaking cataclysms. Just let the setting move a couple centuries along, change what should reasonably be changed, and keep the flavor.
In regard to what kind of books I have in mind, I think a reasonably complete gazetteer - perhaps two or three hardback books or so - should be enough to supply enough detail without taking out all the room for DM creativity. And that's including setting-specific classes, skills, feats, etc.
Interesting idea Bubba, thanks for the explanation. I too would like to see Greyhawk go back to closer to the old days. Cerbrion offered the idea of actually backing up the timeline to approx. 550 CY, what do you think about that idea? Better? Worse? I found the idea posted on the WOTC site. _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
In terms of the feel of the setting and such, I like the idea of moving things back half-a-century or two. Unfortunately, I don't think it'll work.
In order for this to be workable, everything written would have to be designed to accommodate what every Greyhawker knows is going to happen. Yes, there are lots of events in Greyhawk's history that would be fun to play out, but since they'll all have to reach a predetermined conclusion it would be like a severe case of railroading on a worldwide scale. At least in the current era players have the illusion that their actions could change the world.
Of course, moving the setting forward in time has its own set of problems. Doing so would mean the end of many well-beloved iconic characters and concepts. There would be considerable difficulty in getting many old-school Greyhawkers to accept the changes. It's also amazingly difficult to capture the feel of an old publication in the pages of a new one. Furthermore, a revamp of the setting would tend to attract a fair number of new players who would expect to have the same input that Greyhawkers currently have - and Greyhawkers are notoriously opposed to the new attitudes and philosophy that come with adding younger gamers (just check any 4e forum if you don't believe me).
I hate to admit it, but perhaps 4e, with its decreased rate of progression and simplified definitions, might just be what Greyhawk needs. Assuming any future revamp doesn't use a lot of overly-contrived and illogical designs to explain the changes (worldwide magical cataclysms, wars among the gods, etc., that bring about lots of unwanted paradigms), a new GH moved a few centuries into the future could be a real shot in the arm. It would be a fiendishly hard sell, but if done with enough respect and consideration for the setting and its history, it could work.
What do you think of the idea of setting up a poll or similar concept in order to help decide what people would or wouldn't change. Store the data for the future, ya never know what's going to happen.
Of coarse if you asked most people on Canonfire if they would like to be on the design team I am sure they would say yes. But one would need an overall "final decision team". _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
Indeed, I think it would be interesting to have a poll about who should be on the team. I also think it would be interesting to see a poll about whether the reboot should be to 576, earlier, later, or entirely "other".
Of course you realize that any such poll's results would be merely academic. Odds are WotC wouldn't pay any attention. I also doubt there are any on these boards or elsewhere who'd be willing to put in the requisite hours to do a complete reboot without pay. Who's got the time?
In todays world achieving a project such as this (even if the writers kept the re-boot book to themselves, essentially homemade book) it would have to be done by a series of writers, like WOTC does. I'm not normally all for this idea, but the reality is that each person is assigned a section and eventually it is passed on to the committee for review. Of coarse copyright laws become an issue.
For my home Top Secret/S.I. camapign I have turned a 96 page players guide into a smaller print sized (approx.) 180 page book. Basically doubled it. I did similar works with the Administrators Guide and G4: File. I still work full time and game as well. Sleeping and eating are my other commitments. My point is that committed people can do it and if working together in a well organized manner, it can succeed.
Even without WOTC, it's home brew so it might be legal (note sure). No selling, no contributions, etc. are involved. Where there is a will, there is a way. _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
I'm no lawyer, and coming from England have absolutely no idea as to how things work legally over your side of the great pond, but is there absolutely no chance of anybody wrenching the rights to Greyhawk from Wotc's grasp?
Has anybody ever tried?
I think I can guess the answer but its nice to have your suspicions confirmed.
I understand that Eric Mona has tried several times. At least that's what I read. Clearly a no go if he did make such a request. _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
Yes, Erik tried a number of times. Also, Gygax did his best back in the day. There's no way to wrest control of GH away from WotC without buying the company.
But that doesn't mean it's out of our hands. Remember that no one can tell you how to run your game. Even if WotC does someday come out with a load of crap and decide to call it "Greyhawk" none of us on these boards have to use it.
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