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    Canonfire :: View topic - What is considered to be “CANON” about Greyspace?
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    What is considered to be “CANON” about Greyspace?
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:24 pm  
    What is considered to be “CANON” about Greyspace?

    What is considered to be “canon” about Greyspace?

    A) Geocentric Model
    B) Heliocentric Model


    I have read a lot of articles and there is a mixed opinion about this. Personally I don’t like the Geocentric Model, but that doesn’t bother me as much as the rest of Greyspace WRT the funny shaped planets. Yes I know we play in a fantasy world, but there needs to be some sort of scientific theory to support the idea. I think the planets should just be “normal globes,” planets like we know it. If Greyspace is deemed to be Geocentric (Canon) then I can work with that, but doughnut, crescent shaped worlds – Goodbye!
    GreySage

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    Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:34 am  

    I don't see any reason to believe that the Spelljammer material (with its geocentric system and funny-shaped planets) isn't canon.

    Quote:
    Yes I know we play in a fantasy world, but there needs to be some sort of scientific theory to support the idea.


    No, there doesn't. How needlessly limiting! What's the scientific theory behind flying dragons, or other planes of existence, or the Sea of Dust, or the Land of Black Ice?

    Of course, the Spelljammer universe does have "scientific" theory behind how it works. It isn't the same science that defines are own universe, but it's consistent for itself. Gravity works by different principles, and gods and magical cataclysms are usually blamed for the way planets look, but that doesn't mean it isn't "scientific."

    To each their own, of course, but if it's a question of "canon," then we're pretty much stuck with the funny, unscientific worlds.

    Your best case otherwise is the scene in Saga of Old City where one of Gord's professors tells him that Oerth's solar system is heliocentric. But then, the in-character narrator of A Guide to the World of Greyhawk (the Savant-Sage, I think) says the system is geocentric.


    Last edited by rasgon on Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:47 am; edited 1 time in total
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:46 am  

    There is FANTASY and then there is SILLY

    I like my fantasy world, Greyhawk to have a bit of realism. We have the wierd, Ethereal, Astral and Outerplanes, why mess with the multiverse.

    Why then do we look for other means to make our fantasy world seem more real in other areas?

    The question really is why did they do this type of thing for Greyspace, but yet Realmspace never?

    It just seems that TSR let the writes, write whatever dribble they wanted to but when it came to the Forgotten Realms setting then it got given more thought.
    GreySage

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    Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:56 am  

    DarkHerald wrote:
    The question really is why did they do this type of thing for Greyspace, but yet Realmspace never?

    It just seems that TSR let the writes, write whatever dribble they wanted to but when it came to the Forgotten Realms setting then it got given more thought.


    Realmspace has plenty of weird features. H'Catha is flat. Coliar is an air world filled with floating islands. Karpi and Chandos are made of water. The planet Garden is a giant tree. This sort of thing is par for the course in virtually every system in the AD&D universe.

    If it's too silly for you, then so be it, but flat worlds, geocentric cosmoses, and worlds supported by giant trees weren't too silly for our own ancestors.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:16 am  

    Quote:
    If it's too silly for you, then so be it, but flat worlds, geocentric cosmoses, and worlds supported by giant trees weren't too silly for our own ancestors.


    I dont have a problem with air, earth or water worlds, they are at least spherical in shape. If I can relate to it, I then have a greater chance of capturing my players imagination.

    I prefer a more realistic fantasy world. But hey if a tree in the center of the multiverse floats your boat, who am I to say thats wrong. As you said before each to his own.

    There is no wrong or right answer here. I am more interested in what is considered canon on this as there are many mixed feelings and I certainly don't want this thread to derail from its purpose.

    I plan on documenting my version of Greyhawk and I was hoping to keep it as CANON as possible. The purpose of the thread was to find out what changes can be made but still keep my version "CANON."
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:31 am  

    I guess that "canon" would include the Greyspace supplement to the Spelljammer campaign at the least. It would also include most, if not all, of the Spelljammer campaign materials as that campaign automatically assumed the existence and interaction of the other campaign worlds including Oerth. The Spelljammer campaign introduced a scenario explaining both the separation as well as the possible connectivity of all of the campaign worlds (except Athas of the Dark Sun Campaign, which had a built-in excuse of some sort). So in some ways you could say that via Spelljammer, almost all first and second edition materials end up being canonical regardless of their particular product line.

    Such an expansive notion of Greyhawk canon could be profoundly misapplied, burying what most would call Greyhawk under a mountain of cliches and references to everything but Greyhawk. Cross-genre events and locations have always existed in Greyhawk but should not be the point. One, and only one, deity uses technological items (I'm thinking Murlynd, but Delleb also has that rifle). There is one, and only one, strange metal tower in the Barrier Peaks filled with robots, blaster rifles and powered armor. Once a year perhaps, a vessel might visit the River Quarter docks in Greyhawk crewed by members of a strange species, and there is only one shipbuilder in Greyhawk who knows how to service such a vessel. (I think there is a reference to such a location in one of the Spelljammer sources). Links to other campaigns or genres exist and are canonical, just don't over-do it, in my opinion. I use such connections to provide a surprise to the players, not as the whole point of play. Just something to impress upon the players that there is a whole lot more out there beyond the Flannaess, and provide the players the option of having a bigger sandbox to explore.

    As far as "canon" goes I think there was an article by Roger Moore once upon a time about the use of the moons in stead of relying on separate planes of existence whenever the party went through some portal. Anyone remember seeing that?
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:00 am  

    Quote:
    As far as "canon" goes I think there was an article by Roger Moore once upon a time about the use of the moons in stead of relying on separate planes of existence whenever the party went through some portal. Anyone remember seeing that?


    I do remember reading that article in question. I am not really concern about the other crystal spheres other than greyspace and the generic ones. The crystal spheres which I dont want players to have access too will be blocked off, as required I will open up different spheres to my players when needed.

    BUT ...

    That wont be for a very long time, unless different scenery is required. There is a wealth of adventure in, on and around oerth.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:29 am  

    Way back when, when I was posting more regularly, I mentioned that I was putting together a 3rd Edition index of GH references, which I have mostly completed. In the process, however, I discovered something about "canon" which had eluded me. Canon does not really exist.

    Of course, there is _a_ "canon." It can, in my view, be broken up into degrees based on how close a particular reference is to the logoed Greyhawk. So, IMO, there is Logo Canon or Primary Canon - references in products specifically and explicitly intended for use specifically and explicitly in a Greyhawk campaign and identified as such by a Greyhawk campaign logo owned by the IP holder. After that, its all about how specific and explicit the reference is to material published in Logo Canon or Primary Canon. So, there would be Secondary, Tertiary, Quartary etc. canon, with each sort being more and more oblique or removed from Logo or Primary Canon.

    Anywho. What I discovered is that with this approach, Secondary Canon, and other further removed types of canon, open the door to what would otherwise be non-canon materials becoming a further removed sort of canon. For (in a famous) example, because the Fate of Istus is Greyhawk canon then the Forgotten Realms is a sort of further removed Greyhawk canon too. And if FR is a sort of removed GH canon then that opens the door to almost all things FR being GH canon of a sort. This is particularly so when the Fate of Istus is not the sole link to FR - we also have the whole Grazzt connection. To say nothing of Elminster and Mordy yuking it up in the Wizards Three etc.

    As I cataloged more and more 3rd Edition GH references, a whole web of these lesser sorts of canon connections began to emerge (and as noted in the example above one need not even touch 3D to obtain this result). The result, as I saw it emerge, was that practically everything could be connected to GH canon and in that process become some sort of oblique GH canon in its own right. As a result, as almost everything became a sort of canon, canon lost its meaning. If everything (or nearly so) is canon then nothing is canon! Canon doesn't really exist.

    Greyspace is a Spelljammer logoed product so it cannot be Logo or Primary GH canon. However, because its references to the campaign are so thoroughgoing, it is clearly Secondary or Tertiary Canon. And in so being, Greyspace brings the entire Spelljammer universe into GH canon at some level. So, just via Spelljammer as a sort of GH canon - Dragonlance becomes GH canon of a sort as does FR once again etc.

    Repeat this process and you will see almost everything as some level of GH canon.

    The only way to stop this process is to impose some sort of bright line test that excludes some level of oblique GH references or implicit inferences. But what is the justification for drawing such line HERE rather than THERE? Personal preference and nothing more as far as I can see.

    Turns out Cruel Summer Lord (the man who does not like guns in his Greyhawk etc. was right Wink ) - canon is whatever you are comfortable with and say it is for you. Anything else is like arguing over religion, politics or the weather (climate change/global warming anyone?) - its much sound and fury signifying nothing.

    I'm embarrassed it took me so long to come to this realization. Sorry for any number of pointless posts.

    So Greyspace is as canon or not canon as you want it to be or are comfortable with. For me, Spelljammer is too silly for me to be comfortable with so Greyspace is not canon in my game but I am happy to take bits that I do like and use them. Figuring out that "canon" doesn't really exist makes like a whole lot simpler. Happy

    YMMV
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    GVD
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    Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:22 pm  

    Yikes, nice topic guys. This canon talk is starting to remind me of "Seven degrees of Kevin Bacon." Yeah Greyspace definitely has a secondary canon feel to it. It references primary sources but fewer sources reference BACK to Greyspace. Return of the Eight using the forested moon comes to mind, but beyond that?

    Oh and welcome back GVD.
    GreySage

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    Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:48 pm  

    I actually agree with everything GVD said! Of course, spelljammer references appear in "primary" canon as well - the hammership in WGR1, the neogi ship in Treasures of Greyhawk, optional references in The adventure Begins - but as he wisely noted, canon is ultimately what you're comfortable with. I'm sure there are those who might find maps of Greyspace as roundworlds useful. You'd only have to change Ginsel and the Spectre, anyway.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:44 pm  

    Nigel Findley wrote Greyspace. He also wrote "Ecology of the Greenhag" upon which ALL of my hag musing were inspired. Thus, as his Greenhag article is more Canon to me than the DMG, Greyspace also holds a great deal of weight in my games. And some of that info may soon come into play...
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:57 pm  

    Quote:
    I'm embarrassed it took me so long to come to this realization. Sorry for any number of pointless posts.


    GVD, I was driving home tonight from a gaming session and happend to be thinking exactly what you said in your post. (more or less)

    Really what is the point?

    What I do enjoy more than anything is reading everyones posts and comments. It is the essense of what the game is, it is what keeps the spark alive in the game. This type of discussions can not be gotten with another games IMO.

    So Gentleman, I raise my glass, Tip my hat and say thank you for all the content that has become available on CanonFire. It has allowed me to grow my vision of Greyhawk to what it is today.

    Wink

    Let the discussion continue!
    Adept Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:55 pm  

    I think most 'hawkers consider the geocentric model to be canon chiefly for the fact that TSR/WotC holder has:

    1) Never disavowed it (as they have Castle Greyhawk & Child's Play); &

    2) Never published a heliocentric model (only mentioned in one of the Gord novels & a Living GH mod, asaik, but never with anything approaching the detail in Greyspace).
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:27 pm  

    I too have never been a fan of the geocentric option and have always approached it much like anything else - it was 'real' at the time, but eventually 'science' won out.

    An exercise I performed a few years back, and you might enjoy doing the same, is to take the Greyspace descriptions and 'apply' them scientifically. In other words think of it this way:

    All the planets are spherical and in a heliocentric solar system - YET - the natives of that same solar system 'see' their planets in such a fashion as to result in these bizarre descriptions. Why is that?

    My results (in brief) were something along the lines of Oerth relative. Basically for my money, I came at it as if the entire product had been described by an Oerth bound astronomer that had never actually been to space. Obviously, from his point of view he saw things that made him think the planets were as described.

    Do you see where I am going with this?

    If you are interested I will try and find my notes on this and post them for you.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:58 pm  

    As Rasgon points out, the only official publications TSR/WotC has ever put out pretty clearly put Greyspace as a geocentric system. Don't like it? Don't use it... but that is your variant of Greyhawk. Not canonical Greyhawk.

    Not science? I disagree. As I write in my Grand Unified Theory ("Life, the Multiverse, and Everything"), there is no reason why the rules of physics we have in our own universe had to be the way they are. Just happened to be the set of forces that sorted themselves out after the Big Bang. In our universe, gravity is a force that varies with mass. No reason why it should be that way. It just is. None of the other forces in our universe do. And it is wierd because of it. Causes physicists all sorts of problems as they try to arrive at the Holy Grail of a "Grand Unified Theory" for our universe. That pursuit stumped Einstein all the way to his grave.

    In the D&D multiverse... gravity is a force that is fixed, and doesn't vary with mass. That's why we have Oerth-normal gravity on just about everything... ship decks, asteroids, the bodies of floating giants... and the reason why we can have a geocentric system without the planets and moons flying out. You don't need a body the size of a sun to hold it all together. Its all perfectly scientific... once you realize that it is NOT the universe that you are currently living in. The other differences between our universe/multiverse enable things like magic, non-biological sentience, extradimensional space, and so many other things that D&D players seem to have no problem with, despite the fact that they are completely impossible in our own universe.

    As well, when you have such powerful divination and travel magic as is available to the sages on Oerth, you'd think people would have discovered long ago if it had actually been heliocentric, and the "error" wouldn't still be espoused by sages today.

    Like I said already... don't like it? Change it. Its your campaign world. But don't build up your own personal preferences to change canon with claims of "unscientific" or "silly". It is neither.

    Of course, GVD also has a point... the entire game is about what we want to make it. Still, there will always be spirited discussion about some topics. ;)

    Denis, aka "Maldin" (who is a scientist in real life)
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    Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:26 pm  

    I agree with Maldin.

    It's often speculated that the passages in the Folio and Box Set that deal with geocentricty are 'in character' and thus fallible, but that theory is never applied to any of the surrounding text regarding Oerth or the 'heavens'.

    It's one of those things that is easily ignored. Hell, it has NEVER come up in my game, but canon is pretty clear. Oerth is the center of greyspace, the sun, anti-sun, moons, other planets and stars all orbit it.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:24 pm  

    Quote:
    Like I said already... don't like it? Change it. Its your campaign world. But don't build up your own personal preferences to change canon with claims of "unscientific" or "silly". It is neither.


    I was enjoying this thread until I got to this paragraph. I never once claimed that I wanted to change canon.

    Why you have to have to make it personal is beyond me.

    Quote:
    If Greyspace is deemed to be Geocentric (Canon) then I can work with that, but doughnut, crescent shaped worlds – Goodbye!


    So I think some ideas are "silly," thats my opinion, because that is what they are to me.

    Quote:
    There is no wrong or right answer here. I am more interested in what is considered canon on this as there are many mixed feelings and I certainly don't want this thread to derail from its purpose.

    The purpose of the thread was to find out what changes can be made but still keep my version "CANON."


    Each to his own.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:46 pm  

    DarkHerald wrote:
    Quote:
    There is no wrong or right answer here. I am more interested in what is considered canon on this as there are many mixed feelings and I certainly don't want this thread to derail from its purpose.

    The purpose of the thread was to find out what changes can be made but still keep my version "CANON."


    Each to his own.

    I am not sure why you are quoting yourself here.

    Anyways, I don't think Maldin is making a personal attack here, as that is not his modus operandi, just that you are reading too much into it. It is just a difference of views.
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:58 pm  

    To muse a bit on Maldin's statements about lack of a unifying theory and whether we need to explain why physics works or doesnt work as it does on Earth.

    The concept of a divine being managing and manipulating, much less creating, the universe is one of eternal debate here. It doesn't factor into science because it can't be scientifically proven or quantified.

    On Oerth, there IS a god who manages the cosmos, Celestian. So anything that doesn't work scientifically can be attributed to him. Logic and science aside, he's canon, and can be used to prop up the canon remarks on how greyspace is laid out.
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    Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:06 am  

    DarkHerald wrote:

    The question really is why did they do this type of thing for Greyspace, but yet Realmspace never?


    Well, Gygax referenced the age old idea of geocentricity, for whatever reason. Likewise, for whatever reason, Greenwood did not.

    As for oddities though, FR has the shards of an exploded moon in static, suspended orbit around the planet. In a static group that follows the moon, instead of fanning out into a ring (like on saturn).

    All the spheres have their oddities, Greyhawks are just a little funkier than some of the others.

    The whole argument comes down to whether any of this matters. If you don't use Spelljammer much, none of it really matters. You can assign the geo/helio centricity debate to in character arguments among sages that really don't impact the PCs. No harm done.

    If you do use spelljammer, and want to stick to canon, then funky shaped planets and geocentricity seem to be part of the package, for better or worse.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:22 am  

    Believe it or not, I was using the general "you" in the sense of anyone who wants to modify any aspect of the campaign for similar reasons. Didn't mean to sound "personal". This particular topic comes up at least once a year, and dislike for the geocentric model is often... lets say "spirited". I did note your own statement about how you could handle it if Greyspace was indeed geocentric. The lack of mass-dependent gravity would also allow for non-standard planetary shapes. There isn't a massive gravity well collapsing everything into a sphere.

    I think my own unifying theory is functionally adequate to explain most of what we see in the D&D multiverse. Of course there are gods mucking things up at the local scale, but I try to keep away from those sorts of exceptions as much as possible. IMC, gods have much less power (i.e. virtually none!) over the structure of the Prime as they like to let on to their followers. Mostly they've just got a whole lot of propaganda going, with nobody else (the previous generations of gods) around to say otherwise. There are too many gods with their fingers in the pot to allow any one to do anything significant - and they'd never get together and agree on anything. And its a more parsimonious interpretation. Now, their own outer planar domains is a completely different kettle of fish. They DO have some control over that.

    Denis, aka "Maldin"
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    Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:32 am  

    Quote:
    Believe it or not, I was using the general "you" in the sense of anyone who wants to modify any aspect of the campaign for similar reasons. Didn't mean to sound "personal".


    No worries.
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    Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:33 am  

    I'll add myself as being in agreement with GVD (welcome back!) on this, and say further that IMC the matter is still up in the air, though most people in the Flanaess accept a heliocentric model as being the truth. The gods know, but they ain't talkin'. As far as the players are concerned the matter will probably never be resolved since for my GH there is also no Spelljammer or Planescape (Sorry, Maldin and rasgon Wink ).
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    Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:27 am  

    Regarding Kule (Celene):
    "Some sages believe that there is a huge pocket of "fossil air" trapped at the very center of the planet, but this has yet to be demonstrated... The thick, cold crust is riddled with tunnels, caves, caverns, and even subterranean lakes." (pg.11)

    So, my harebrained idea of turning Celene into a Dyson Sphere/Shell might not be so outlandish after all.
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    Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:35 am  

    I have air filling Kule's underdark up to approximately a kilometer depth from the surface (thus its inhabitants cannot reach the surface). The underdark contains drow, chak, and a few other minor races. The ruins on Kule's surface date far back into the past, and are currently occupied by undead. Periodically curious jammers land in the ruins and are usually overrun by the undead, who then use their ships to attack other ships passing by the planet.

    As some of you know already, IMC the Suel originated on Kule (Kule Suel!), and the survivors were forced to abandon their planet when its atmosphere was stripped away. Their arrival on Oerth marks Year 1 in the Suel Calendar (so, a little over 6000 years ago). One of the gates they used lies in a spectacular hall on Kule, and is still open to this day. Its destination lies in the lost Suel capital in the Sea of Dust, in another great hall that survived the Rain of Colorless Fire through great magics, and is buried within the ruined city.

    Denis, aka "Maldin"
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    Last edited by Maldin on Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:12 pm  

    I'm stealing your idea for my campaign Maldin. That rocks.
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    Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:16 pm  

    Maldin wrote:
    As some of you know already, IMC the Suel originated on Kule (Kule Suel!), and the survivors were forced to abandon their planet when its atmosphere was stripped away.


    That might fit well with what I speculated over in This Thread

    Aeolius wrote:
    Regarding the lesser moon Celene: “Ruins of its civilization can still be found by those who use magic to explore the surface: awe-inspiring castles, delicate towers, and enigmatic temples. The builders must have been of roughly human shape and size...”

    Regarding the ruins on the Sinking Isle: “...spiky and highly decorated ruins... The ruins are reminiscent of Gothic architecture, with much decoration and many high pointed arches.”

    Hrmmm....
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    Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:12 pm  
    Canon Greyspace and the Phogiston

    It has been hinted at throughout this thread, but I wanted to add a concrete example.

    The geocentric idea that WoG is the center of the universe, solar system, multiverse, what have you, can easily *be* scientific. There are other forces at work than in our reality. Take he Pholigiston for example. Or the Ether. Perhaps there is some other force that is stronger than gravity. It may be that the "magical" forces of he multiverse are the reason that WoG is geocentric. The substance of the Ether, for example might create a stronger influence on the movements of planetary bodies than is the case in our world. It's not "science", but it can be "scientific" if the sages of WoG know and understand more than we do about things like Phogiston than we do.

    As far as canon goes, I personally believe the "There Is No Canon" theory is akin to saying that there is no reality, that reality is a subjective perception, and that perception is reality. It's a nice theory, but, in all actuality, there is a very "real" reality. And a very real canon. We usually use it in a subjective way, but no matter how much we say the sky is red, that doesn't make it not blue. And being color-blind doesn't change the reality ... the sky is blue whether one can see it or not.

    Just my personal theories. You know, 2¢.
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    Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:02 pm  

    Posting to both threads...
    Aeolius wrote:
    Hrmmm....

    Hmmmm.... indeed. There were multiple gates through which the Kule survivors escaped. Perhaps there is one such gate somewhere on/in/under the Sinking Isle.

    BTW, I absolutely love the line on the Florida tussock info page that says "A floating island attacks parking lot". That is one huge hit-diced shambling mound!!!!

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    Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:10 pm  

    Maldin wrote:
    Their arrival on Oerth marks Year 1 in the Suel Calendar (so, a little over 6000 years ago).


    Mal, not sure if you're aware of Dragon #241, which indicates that the Suel Imperium had been extant for over one thousand years by 1100 SD (p. 47). The inference, I think (by Roger Moore), is that 1 SD was when the Imperium was founded.

    That said, I would argue that their advanced technology allowed them to found their empire quickly, which would ensure no conflicts with Moore's article.
    :)
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    Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:47 am  

    Maldin wrote:
    In the D&D multiverse... gravity is a force that is fixed, and doesn't vary with mass.

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    IMO the "black hole" referenced in S3, Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, is evidence that gravity is mass dependent in Oerth's universe as a black hole is nothing if not mass dependent gravity gone wild.

    Non-mass dependent gravity, IMO, would not be "gravity," in much the same way that "tomato sauce" that contained no tomatos would not be "tomato sauce."

    YMMV
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    Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:48 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    IMO the "black hole" referenced in S3, Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, is evidence that gravity is mass dependent in Oerth's universe as a black hole is nothing if not mass dependent gravity gone wild


    We've discussed this before, but I might as well boldly enter into the fray again.

    The black hole in S3 explicitly is not part of Oerth's universe. It's part of another universe more "scientific" than the fantasy universe that Oerth is a part of.

    Which is of course why that universe has technological spaceships native to it, and Oerth doesn't.

    Regardless of how gravity works in your World of Greyhawk, the black hole is not part of Oerth's universe, or anywhere in Oerth's vicinity. Whatever the spaceship flew out of, in Oerth's universe, wasn't a black hole.

    As we all know, the gravity of a black hole doesn't permit anything to leave it, to my knowledge, except Hawking radiation. So a spaceship could not have flown out of one.

    There is something near Oerth that a spaceship could have flown out of, however! The Sisters, described in Greyspace, are a mysterious constellation of celestial bodies that act as a gateway to other realms.

    Because Oerth's universe is a magical one, it makes sense to me that the Oerth side of the black hole is something magical, not the "real-world" gravitational construct the ship flew into in the technological universe.

    Of course, I get what you're saying - you're assuming that S3 implies the existence of a "white hole," the other end of a wormhole that the Barrier Peaks ship fell through, just as defined by the curvature of space-time as the black hole on the other side was. Which is possible (well, probably not possible in the real world, but we're talking about mass-based gravity, not real-world physics), but since S3 doesn't mention such a thing, the evidence for mass-based gravity in Oerth's universe is much thinner.
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    Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:02 pm  

    Couldn't have said it better myself, rasgon.

    And before others bring it up, Spheres of Annihilation are most definitely not mass-dependent black holes either. They are magical constructs as well. If there were a single black hole on Oerth with an event horizon of even microscopic size, it would very quickly suck all of Oerth into its event horizon (distorting and ripping the planet to shreds along the way), and the entire planet would be gone in minutes. Spheres of Annihilation, which appear to have an event horizon a whopping 2 feet in diameter, certainly don't have the matching gravitational pull it should have (many solar masses!), and doesn't really suck anything into itself that doesn't touch its "surface" first. Besides, by definition, an external force could not push around a black hole around as it does.

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    Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:23 pm  

    Maldin wrote:
    Spheres of Annihilation, which appear to have an event horizon a whopping 2 feet in diameter, certainly don't have the matching gravitational pull it should have (many solar masses!), and doesn't really suck anything into itself that doesn't touch its "surface" first. Besides, by definition, an external force could not push around a black hole around as it does.


    Which is something that annoyed me about Return to the Tomb of Horrors. One of the NPCs in there lost his arm to the devil face in the Tomb--though I guess an ally could've cut it off before he was completely sucked in, there's no indication of that happening. The NPC even states that the face "ate" his arm. IMC, SoA have always had suction, per the 1e DMG.
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    Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:36 pm  

    Perhaps, Greyspace itself suggests an, if not the, best analytic approach to the question:

    “In the Greyspace system, every planetoid body orbits around Oerth – and so by strict reading of the definition – are all moons. This position leads to the patently ridiculous result that several of Oerth’s moons are actually several times larger than the planet they orbit.”

    Greyspace goes on to note that, “It does _seem_ that supposedly universal physical laws break down within Oerth’s crystal sphere.” Emphasis on “seem” added.

    While opinion can and will vary without definitive explanation either way in the plain text, and while I would not call Greyspace’s depiction of the Oerthly universe “patently ridiculous,” I would call it silly (surely a reasonable enough characterization given that Greyhspace itself admits to a “patently ridiculous” result) .

    To each their own. For my part, gravity has a very, mass dependent, definition; anything else is tomato sauce with no tomatoes and should not be called gravity. “Groovity” perhaps, if you like the idea? Wink But not gravity.
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    Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:59 am  

    I really do not think science has much to do with GH. The physics of that world are already beyond the science established by our own due to magic. Using the scientific method, and our own reality as a control, there is clearly an undefinable difference between the two.

    The spell Dimension Door blows string theory right out of the water.

    To me, GH is about three little words, "Theme Is King."

    Derive from that what you will.
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    Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:15 am  

    Each to his own.
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    Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:37 am  
    What's *really* canon!

    chaoticprime wrote:
    To me, GH is about three little words, "Theme Is King."

    DarkHerald wrote:
    Each to his own.


    Hail the prophets! Now that is canon!

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Greyspace goes on to note that, “It does seem that supposedly universal physical laws break down within Oerth’s crystal sphere.”


    This goes toward the point that I was making earlier ... in a magical world, there could easily be forces stronger and stranger than gravity. Whatever it is ... call it Phlogiston, the Substance of the Ether, "groovity" (nice one BTW, GVD), or we call it Tomatoe Sauce ... whatever it is, black holes, shperes of annihilation, and planetary gravity all are in a magical setting. ... so if the theme says that black holes are blue, well, then they are.

    Now ... toward the OP, if we are talking about what's canon ... let's turn the conversation around a little, and talk about that "space". Now, we know that in Spelljammer, travel outside of a Crystal Sphere is done through the Phlogiston. I percieve this as similar to what scifi often calls "Warp Space" or some such. Like when travelling at Warp Speed, or Light Speed, or whatever multi-coloured stretched out line special effect you like. Stars zipping by, or a spaceship jumping out with bright blue lines from it's engines. We travel a little differently through the Phlogiston, but, it's the intermediary substance between star systems (and it's multi-coloured, too!) SO, ... what happens to the fact that we can see the stars?!!

    They're right there, and yet, they're on the other side of a Crystal Sphere. So, how does one explain the fact tha twe can see from one to the next? In my campaign, I haven't ever discounted the possibility that other Prime Material planes are, by canon, suposedly alternate dimensions as well as seperate Crystal Spheres. In this model, then, other solar systems - which are seperate Crystal Spheres - are seperate dimensions, as well. Taking this one step further, a "star" is the primary of another solar system ... solar systems are Crystal Shperes ... Crystal Spheres are alternate dimensions.

    So, the stars then - that we can't physically get to any other way than through the Phogiston - are possibly the physical appearance of the other planes/spheres. And when a Spelljammer is "astronavigating", rather than plotting a course of physical travel, what it is really doing is aiming at the Crystal Spheres ... or a series of Crystal Spheres if their destination is really far away. I tend to think of this as being similar to the way a "Stargate" works, the "between" of the Dragonriders of Pern, "wormholes" in Star Trek, the "window" in Sliders, or even the connections between the virtual world and reality in "The Matrix" or "Lawnmower Man". (All of which are visually represented in similar ways in those shows.)

    This offers a few in-game quirks. It explains why men don't teleport to Mars, or why plane-shifting still works, and why Outer Planes don't really have solar systems. The interesting thing this would mean would be that if the stars are physical representations of the other planes, would this mean that there could theoretically be thousands of little tiny stars that are pocket-dimensions or demi-planes? Each and every one would have a star, but sometimes those little tiny stars that aren't noticed or paid attention to very often, would change or disappear. Which would go a long way toward explaining why there aren't a whole lot of astrologers on Oerth. Other, less magical worlds, may not be able to see these temporary stars, and it's only the magical nature of WoG's solar system that bends "the supposedly universal laws" of the Multiverse.

    This is written from gaming notes for my current campaign, so forgive me if the theory isn't entirely cohesive. There's more about the nature of Phlogiston, and how it shares aspects with the Transitive Planes ... it has some qualities of Astral and Ether and Shadow (which also explains/confounds why those can be travelled through). I'm thinking of writing an article to get this all out of my head and on paper, but that's only a general intention right now. There's over 2000 words written in notes already, and that's a big undertaking.

    So, tell me what you guys think of the theory that I've given, and offer a little feedback on why this idea sounds ludicrous, or why you think it's a marvelous Cohesive Theory of Planar Coexistence. That's my 2¢ ... now gimme your 2¢ back.
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    Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:01 pm  

    I always knew Oerth to be Geocentric. Kinda fits the medieval mentality of folks back then. People thought the earth was the center.
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    Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:44 pm  

    For what it's worth, Icarus, according to Greyspace the stars seen in Oerth's sky are on the near side of the crystal sphere, not beyond it; they're enormous glowing gemstones physically set into the shell. Even if they somehow correspond to distant suns, they're not synonymous with them.

    I see the Phlogiston as Outer Chaos, the uncreated universe beyond the ordered realm of the gods. Crystal spheres may well be literally crystallized phlogiston, bubbles catalyzed by the energies of the Outer Planes touching the raw stuff of the Prime.

    Each sphere likely began its existence as a demiplane in the Deep Ethereal. As it grew and matured, it "took root" in the Astral, forming conduits through which souls and supernal energy can travel. This pulls the demiplane fully into the Phlogiston, a crystalline bubble forming to protect it from the unformed substance of creation.

    Time and distance means less outside the crystal shells, so those who navigate the flows can arrive at distances even faster than speed of starlight within the bubbles of night sky.

    Because the systems have their origin as separate planes formed within the raw possibility of the Ethereal, they often do end up resembling alternate versions of one another, variations of the same theme with modest or greater changes.
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    Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:13 am  

    Kule Suel ...
    ... As in Cool Suel?

    LMAO!
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    Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:59 am  
    Not quite right in the stars

    It's amazing what a man can learn when he reads the right parts of the right books.
    rasgon wrote:
    For what it's worth, Icarus, according to Greyspace the stars seen in Oerth's sky are on the near side of the crystal sphere, not beyond it; they're enormous glowing gemstones physically set into the shell. Even if they somehow correspond to distant suns, they're not synonymous with them.
    Rasgon, you are incalculably right. I don't know how I ever missed the description of the star-gems. I'd read the decription of the exterior of the sphere a dozen times. While any excercise in game or setting design is fun and efficacious, clearly *canon* dictates otherwise, and this whole thread is about precisely that; *canon*. This whole thing for me was partially driven by the Concordance of Arcane Space, (which for those that don't have it, is the general guidebook in the boxed set, and Greyspace is the setting-specific info.)
    Concordance of Arcane Space wrote:
    Those fantasy systems with stars in the night sky often have these stars mounted along the inside of the ctrystal sphere. The nature of stars varies from sphere to sphere, however. Within some spheres, the stars are small portholes looking out on the phlogiston, in some they are painted lights along the interior, in some they are great cities inhabited by alien creatures, and in others they are great bowls of fire held aloft by huge statues of forgotten gods.
    Unfortunately, as wonderful as it sounds, and as neat as the ideas are, that's just a general statement, and the star-gems are right there, in Greyspace, on page four. As was said elsewhere on these forums recently: Rasgon, you truly are a GreySage.

    rason wrote:
    I see the Phlogiston as Outer Chaos ... Each sphere likely began its existence as a demiplane in the Deep Ethereal... it "took root" in the Astral
    I really like this bit, Rasgon. This is sort of why, to me, the Pholgiston has properties that are similar to the Astral, Ethereal and Shadow planes. ... another comparison would be the new-school "Primordial Chaos".
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    Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:40 am  

    I think both options can be supported going forward. One would be from the Sages point of view on Oerth and the other can be from Natives of Greyspace.
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