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    Canonfire :: View topic - Differences Between Gary's Greyhawk and Published Greyhawk
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    Differences Between Gary's Greyhawk and Published Greyhawk
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:24 pm  
    Differences Between Gary's Greyhawk and Published Greyhawk

    Whew, that's a long title.
    From what I've read, Gary Gygax's version of Greyhawk was well... often a bit more out there, and it seems that the map of the world was an outline of North America?
    What other sorts of interesting differences were there?
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:05 pm  

    It could be argued that EGG's Greyhawk and the published version with which we're all familiar were virtually separate worlds altogether.

    The differences are numerous. Gary used various deities from the real world and very few of those from the WoG. His version included not only North America (in a vastly changed form, of course), but the rest of Earth as well. One rather famous story, for example, involves Lord Robilar travelling down a chute all the way to China. His world also incorporated ancient Greece, the Melnibonean world, John Carter's Mars, and numerous other elements not present in our Greyhawk. Some might be interested to know that he didn't even use the AD&D rules in his campaign world (at least, not in any form we'd recognize today).

    In other ways, his campaign world was significantly smaller than the current version. By that I mean the vast majority of it centered on Greyhawk Castle (including various worlds to which it connected) and the nearby city only. Later Gary added the Temple of Elemental Evil. Rob Kuntz, when he became co-DM of the original Greyhawk, added Maure Castle and various other sites, some of which were 'ported in from Rob's Kalibruhn campaign world. Some version of the Wild Coast was included during this time as well.

    But other sites we now consider an integral part of the World of Greyhawk were never really that closely connected with Gary's original world at all. The Tomb of Horrors, for one, was written as a tournament module and only later included as part of the WoG. The Giants/Drow series came about in a similar way. Several other modules and areas were created just to have something to sell, and were written into the setting "officially" but never used as part of Gary's or Rob's campaign. And, of course, numerous Greyhawk products were released in the years after Gary left TSR and had nothing to do with him or the original world.

    Why were the two versions kept separate? Only Gary or Rob could answer that satisfactorily. From various posts and articles I've read, I get the impression that for the most part they simply didn't want to share their world with the rest of us - it was sort of personal for them, and they believed the rest of us would be happiest creating our own worlds instead of trying to recreate theirs. Also, I doubt the volumes of notes Gary and Rob assembled really contained everything that would have been necessary for a marketable product. Sure, it was probably good stuff, but it wasn't written with publication in mind; it was written specifically for their own use. If you've DMed for any length of time at all and written your own adventures, you'll likely understand that the notes DMs write for themselves are usually a far cry from what a publisher wants to see or what a customer wants to buy. As a DM of over 30 years and a sometime editor of game-related materials, I can certainly attest that my own game notes wouldn't pass any publisher's muster. Heck, sometimes they're not even good enough for me.
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    Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:26 am  

    Quote:
    Gary used various deities from the real world and very few of those from the WoG. His version included not only North America (in a vastly changed form, of course), but the rest of Earth as well. One rather famous story, for example, involves Lord Robilar travelling down a chute all the way to China. His world also incorporated ancient Greece, the Melnibonean world, John Carter's Mars, and numerous other elements not present in our Greyhawk.


    You can't get more pulpy than that! That's the joy of homebrew worlds, I bet half that stuff was added on a needed basis. They were the free to do anything and not bound by the setting like many of us GH fans would force ourselves to be. Very cool stuff.

    p.s. Welcome to the forums Silvereel.


    Last edited by mortellan on Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:53 am  

    That Gygax was a kooky guy Cool!
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:50 pm  

    In a way I kinda miss that old hodge-podge method of campaign construction. When I began playing there were no published campaign worlds, and so I followed a similar method. And I fondly remember the fun I had trying to mix elements of Gamma World, Star Frontiers, and other TSR games in with my D&D. I also, like Gary and others, borrowed heavily from various novels and legends. It was a blast.

    Nowadays I prefer a more internally consistent campaign world, and have even gone so far as to revise a number of my old notes to root out influences from other settings. Nonetheless, those old memories hold a golden place in my heart and might be worth revisiting someday.

    And as far as Gary's original campaign was concerned, what can I say? I wish I'd been there.
    GreySage

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    Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:17 pm  

    bubbagump wrote:
    When I began playing there were no published campaign worlds, and so I followed a similar method. And I fondly remember the fun . . . I also, like Gary and others, borrowed heavily from various novels and legends. It was a blast . . . Nonetheless, those old memories hold a golden place in my heart and might be worth revisiting someday.

    And as far as Gary's original campaign was concerned, what can I say? I wish I'd been there!


    The golden days of yester-year. You and me both, my friend. Thirty years of our beloved Greyhawk. Happy

    Damn the profiteers. Its a shame. Sad
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    Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:57 pm  

    bubbagump wrote:
    Some might be interested to know that he didn't even use the AD&D rules in his campaign world (at least, not in any form we'd recognize today).


    Well of course not, Dave, since AD&D didn't exist until several years later: GH was developed as a test-bed for OD&D, and the rules for the setting and the game evolved over time, in response to player feedback and well-nigh-continuous playtesting.

    bubbagump wrote:
    But other sites we now consider an integral part of the World of Greyhawk were never really that closely connected with Gary's original world at all. The Tomb of Horrors, for one, was written as a tournament module and only later included as part of the WoG. The Giants/Drow series came about in a similar way. Several other modules and areas were created just to have something to sell, and were written into the setting "officially" but never used as part of Gary's or Rob's campaign.


    That's not quite true: while S1 and S3 and S4 were originally written as tourney modules, they were used in the campaign, and the players did play them "for real/keeps" so to speak. The G and D modules were also playtested by campaign regulars (along with T1 and T2) prior to publication (and the G/D modules were used in the 1978 tourneys _after_ publication!---how's that for a sales pitch?: "You liked that adventure son, well go buy it to see what you did wrong!" :D ).

    bubbagump wrote:
    Why were the two versions kept separate? Only Gary or Rob could answer that satisfactorily. From various posts and articles I've read, I get the impression that for the most part they simply didn't want to share their world with the rest of us - it was sort of personal for them, and they believed the rest of us would be happiest creating our own worlds instead of trying to recreate theirs.


    TSR was, in general, flabbergasted that folks would want to buy pre-packaged modules: it just didn't make sense to them. It's only after JG really proved that the market was real that TSR jumped in.

    bubbagump wrote:
    Also, I doubt the volumes of notes Gary and Rob assembled really contained everything that would have been necessary for a marketable product. Sure, it was probably good stuff, but it wasn't written with publication in mind; it was written specifically for their own use.


    Having read samples of both, that's quite accurate!
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    Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:31 pm  

    Would be interesting if whoever has control of those notes (presumably Arneson's family and Gygax Games) put together a book of them. Not so much for playing, but just for those of us interested in such things.
    In fact, I think a book (or books) focusing less on playing and more on the history of D&D would be quite welcomed (by me, at least).
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:15 am  

    grodog wrote:
    bubbagump wrote:
    Some might be interested to know that he didn't even use the AD&D rules in his campaign world (at least, not in any form we'd recognize today).


    Well of course not, Dave, since AD&D didn't exist until several years later: GH was developed as a test-bed for OD&D, and the rules for the setting and the game evolved over time, in response to player feedback and well-nigh-continuous playtesting.


    Quite so. I was merely clarifying for those (and there are still quite a few) who assumed that Gary and Rob always used the latest edition of D&D/AD&D in their campaigns.

    grodog wrote:
    other stuff...


    I stand corrected. And thanks for increasing all of our Greyhawk I.Q.s.

    (*bubbagump humbly bows to the Crown Historian of Greyhawk*)
    CF Admin

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    Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:28 pm  

    bubbagump wrote:
    Quite so. I was merely clarifying for those (and there are still quite a few) who assumed that Gary and Rob always used the latest edition of D&D/AD&D in their campaigns.


    Ah, I missed that. Sorry Embarassed

    bubbagump wrote:
    grodog wrote:
    other stuff...


    I stand corrected. And thanks for increasing all of our Greyhawk I.Q.s.
    (*bubbagump humbly bows to the Crown Historian of Greyhawk*)


    I also didn't mean to come off as gruff or condescending either but on re-reading my response, it sure sounded that way to me. Sorry about that! Embarassed
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    Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:56 pm  

    mortellan wrote:
    You can't get more pulpy than that! That's the joy of homebrew worlds, I bet half that stuff was added on a needed basis. They were the free to do anything and not bound by the setting like many of us GH fans would force ourselves to be. Very cool stuff.


    Indeed, Mort. I remember very soon after buying the 1st edition of the GH campaign, that my players encountered a village raided by a mysterious race on the shores of the Nyr Dyv, and being taken back to their island through a dimensional portal. The island turned out to be Melnibone, which in reality was... dunh duhn duh ...the sunken Isle of Woe. My current self shudders at having done stuff like that - just not my style anymore - but it was fun at the time. Smile
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:32 pm  

    grodog wrote:
    I also didn't mean to come off as gruff or condescending either but on re-reading my response, it sure sounded that way to me. Sorry about that! Embarassed


    No harm done. I don't mind being corrected when I'm wrong, and I certainly didn't detect any gruffness, intended or otherwise.
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    Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:46 pm  

    Silvereel wrote:
    Would be interesting if whoever has control of those notes (presumably Arneson's family and Gygax Games) put together a book of them. Not so much for playing, but just for those of us interested in such things.
    In fact, I think a book (or books) focusing less on playing and more on the history of D&D would be quite welcomed (by me, at least).


    i couldnt agree more!

    Robert Kuntz have said that he is writing some stuff about hes gaming years and experiences.
    cant wait !
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