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    Canonfire :: View topic - WoTC mines Oerth
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    WoTC mines Oerth
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 07, 2004
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    Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:37 pm  
    WoTC mines Oerth

    Maybe just because I like torturing everyone I'll point out a number of GH refs peeking out of the the various products in the November Preview at WoTC - http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4pr/20081105a. From the home office in lovely downtown Rel Astra:

    1) In the "Draconomicon" - The 4e version of Dragotha, complete with a mention of his home "in the shadow of fabled White Plume Mountain."

    2) In "Demon Queen's Enclave" - Brief mention of Tzunk and his never before heard of Analects.

    3) In "Open Grave:Secrets of the Undead" - We learn the true story of how Nerull became guardian of the dead and WAS SUCEEDED by the Raven Queen. That's right folks, apparently Nerull didn't just never exist, he bites the big one.

    Let the gnashing of teeth begin. Wink
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:13 am  

    Well what can I say, not much I guess. WOTC recyles much of the same things over and over (how many times are we expected to buy recycled material and book titles?). Same old same old, just a different spin. I'm sure there are new things, but all in all, recycled and respun to gain your dollar again.

    As for Greyhawk, its a shame. I do believe the day will come when someone will regret having recycled world specific creatures, events, and places, and genericized it for the common campaign. Who will that someone be (other than many a consumer and world specific fans), whoever eventually takes up the mantel of this recylced, respun, and genericized game.

    My best guess.....eventually when WOTC goes (the sooner the better) whoever picks up the game....will (and should) retcon everything WOTC did. Normally I don't like retcons and reboots (DC comics is a good example), in my opinion, WOTC has taken this game to the garbage heap. That's not to say I don't like the game....but the game I knew as D&D, was called AD&D.

    I not only feel for Greyhawk, but the other worlds they will do this to as well. I'm glad someone is more forgiving than I, because as far as I'm concerned the current situation of this game is the worst it's been. I don't speak of the 4th edition rules per say, but rather the overall direction they have taken the game.

    Mechanically 3.5 is superior (in my opinion) to AD&D. Mechanically I can't speak of 4th edition because I don't know it well enough. But if I could, I would trade all my WOTC products in for AD&D. The difference.....the company. TSR showed love to the game in the 1st edition years. For me, that love carries over to the game table.

    I never thought I would give up a game because of the company that produced it, but I have. When will I play again....when someone else owns it. I'm ashamed of what they have done overall. Time to move on. A shame though, I do love Greyhawk. Why do I still come here occasionally? Because I love Greyhawk!
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:31 am  

    Hasbro profits are slightly up, but stock prices are down from $40 to the mid $20s and they are looking forward to a dismal Xmas! Happy
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:55 am  

    *Gah* I can't say I like this. Putting Greyhawk specific locations in the books makes me wonder if the even plan on doing anything with GH again. maybe it's best they don't that way i can remember the setting I have come to love.


    *Hugs '80 folio, '83 boxed set and C&C books closer*
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    Julian<div><br /></div><div><br /></div>
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    Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:36 am  
    Not That Bad

    smillan_31 wrote:
    1) In the "Draconomicon" - The 4e version of Dragotha, complete with a mention of his home "in the shadow of fabled White Plume Mountain."

    3) In "Open Grave:Secrets of the Undead" - We learn the true story of how Nerull became guardian of the dead and WAS SUCEEDED by the Raven Queen. That's right folks, apparently Nerull didn't just never exist, he bites the big one.

    The good news is that Dragotha escaped destruction in "Into the Wormcrawl Fissure." It'll be good to have him back. I think a lot of DMs shall jump at the chance to inflict him upon 4E characters - and I bet a lot of players can't wait to face him, again. Wizards of the Coast can "recycle" bad guys like Dragotha as often as they like. He's just too awesome to discard.

    I think the tale describing the transition from Nerull to the Raven Queen shall be pretty good, too. I appreciate the effort to present a story that details why one goddess makes an ascension and another falls from power. It actually sounds compelling to me.

    Of course, there is nothing to stop people from using the time-honored name, idea and theme of Nerull in their personal gaming.

    Don (Greyson)


    Last edited by Greyson on Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:48 am  

    i can see why they heading to a dismal christmass their books and modules are to expensive
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:48 am  

    My feelings are more in line with Don, plus my own personal feelings that I don't have any problem with GH being mined for the 4e core world. If you want to be a purist about it Gygax never should have put Blackmoor into Greyhawk, and I'll point out that Len Lakofka has never seemed very happy with how the Lendore Isles were included, or at the very least their execution. If they want to put White Plume Mountain and Dragotha into the core world that's fine by me. It's not my version of WPM so why should I care other than to be happy that the names of some of these places and things are going to be carried on to a new generation of gamers who otherwise might never hear of them. Who knows, maybe some of them will find Oerth through those references and start playing there.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:29 pm  

    Well, IDK but I think that all the constant references means that they haven't forgotten about Greyhawk and is a somewhat of an indication that they well probably release Grey material in the future.

    It isn't very nice way of handling things though.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:02 pm  

    I always thought one of the beauties of Greyhawk was that its elements were scattered to the four winds. I didn't learn about Tenser, Bigby, or Mordenkainen from a Greyhawk book - but from the standard Players Handbook. I learned about Vecna, Ehlonna, and Tuerny from the Dungeon Masters Guide. The charm of Greyhawk-specific material is how much it overlaps common D&D lore. Drow, the Rod of Seven Parts, Tharizdun, the list goes on and on. That Greyhawk-specific material continues to be integrated with the standard D&D books is a good thing.
    GreySage

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    Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:33 pm  

    I'm with Eileen on this one. I have never cared for the Wizards of the Coast. They were profit oriented from the beginning. They neither cared for, nor loved the game. Mad

    Throughout our history greed has continuously destroyed the things we come to love and cherish. Example; Christmas (the Mass of Christ) is the biggest holiday in Japan. The Japanese aren't Christian. It's all about the money. Shocked

    Ah, to have a few million. Sad

    I'd buy the rights to Greyhawk in a minute and boot WotC; everyone of them! Wink

    Just my thoughts. Happy
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    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:49 pm  

    I don't really care much about what they do. There is little integrity to the campaign worlds at this point for WotC. They just grab what they want and do with it what they will, and with only a modicum of rhyme or reason.

    It would be nice to see some continuity of some kind, but as I am not so hopeful that this will be the case I'll pretty much be continuing to ignore most of what WotC writes.

    They might as well be adding Vulcans and Klingons to the Star Wars universe. Oh, and Borg(cuz they is super kewl!!!). Wink


    Last edited by Cebrion on Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:23 am; edited 1 time in total
    Adept Greytalker

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    Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:21 am  

    You know, I really do not care much for what anyone does to or takes from Greyhawk. I always figured that was the beauty of the world setting. Imitation is the highest form of flattery.

    If they cannot go so far as to create new content for 4E (unless they maintain some delusion that by using older content in a new way they will pacify the old-school gamer crowd) that speaks tomes regarding the product they are selling.

    But, truth be told, there is no reason to even pay attention to what wotc does unless you either like them or want to be made angry. I stopped caring what they did long ago. The only product of theirs I even buy are the minis, and so far I have not been impressed with any of this new set.

    I look to the fans for my greyhawk stuff, anyway. There is no better place anywhere to find good GH stuff than right freaking here.

    If they want to rewrite the history of greyhawk to take out magic or if they want to replace Heironious by deifying Drizzt, I don't care.

    And now I go off to add Transformers to my greyhawk game.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:13 am  

    I really like 4e and will never be going back to an older edition. That said I don't care for some of WoTC's marketing tactics. Frankly, putting out Companion Items in the Adventurer's Vault BEFORE you put out the rules about Companions in Martial Powers was a **** move on their part, even though I know they're in this to make money. At a certain point I just won't be able to bring myself to buy more splatbooks. I'll probably end up getting a D&D Insider subscription so I have access to the compendium, where I can get pretty much all the crunch that I'll need (Plus Dragon and Dungeon, which I've been pleased with so far).
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:16 am  

    I guess for me, it is not the integrity of GH or any other world that bothers me, it is WOTCs clear and continuing theme that the do not care about their customers. GH is the oldest, and its fans have felt the bite for the longest. But I have friends who are FR fans, and some who are Eberron fans. THey are starting to feel that they are simply ATMs for WOTC/HASBRO, and their is not concern for what they want.

    I suppose sales figures are never to be released, but I imagine that the WOTC unit has medocre sales figures for D&D as a whole. I have opined often that this is a mis managed property.

    They throw out "Drogotha," in hopes that we will all go buy what ever it is in. However, there is only a teaser in each hardcover. The cost of those presented here is over $100 and there are not 10 pages I want.

    Did you notice that the original pitch for 4E was simplification. Now for your reading and gaming pleaser, and have Martial Power, Draconomicon, Manual of the Planes, Demon Queens Enclave, and Open Grave! Guess what! Next Month there will be more! 4e is destined to go the way of 3e, becuase the model is broken. People only fight over rules, and we simplify them ourselves. Every time you release a set you fracture your customer base.

    How about a simple Greyhawk Source book. One that they take a few stalwarts of GH and write with quality and concern. We're cheap people.

    Not enough profit? Start doing a regional sourcebook, or a nation source book. I would rather have 5 Nations sourcebooks I dont like than 4 hardcover rule books I will never use, and that I might tear a single quote out of.

    Guess what: You could slowly advance the calender, releasing a new PDF every few years and I would probably pay for the subscription on whatever wacky website you create!

    I feel better now.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:33 am  

    I don't have 4e and really don't want it. I'm not bashing those that like it or any other system though. If you have found what you like be it 4e, 3e, Rolemaster or any other you've done better than most people.

    I just feel like others that WOTC is just pulling names and locations out to give them cred with older fans.
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    Julian<div><br /></div><div><br /></div>
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    Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:39 am  

    Anced_Math wrote:
    I guess for me, it is not the integrity of GH or any other world that bothers me, it is WOTCs clear and continuing theme that the do not care about their customers. <snip> Not enough profit? Start doing a regional sourcebook, or a nation source book. I would rather have 5 Nations sourcebooks I dont like than 4 hardcover rule books I will never use, and that I might tear a single quote out of.


    WotC was doing this with Forgotten Realms and was blasted for it. Most of their later products that I actually saw for Forgoten Realms had little to no game info, and a lot of world and adventure info. It'd be nice if they'd do the same with Greyhawk, but we all know it won't happen, and if they did all the folks who actually want system info (and there are a lot more than any of us really want to admit to) will kill WotC on its own message boards. You know why they optimized the system for power builds, and made it so that power builds don't give you AS much of a sick advantage? Because its ALL they saw on their message boards. Their optimization boards were the most visited boards. Is there a fix for this? no, not at all - I've been spending as much time as I can on the WotC boards, simply to give a story centric view on things, but I doubt I've made any real impact on anyone. I've got one thread I am major active on, and its one where we are designing a new martial controller (a tactician).

    as for the OP: If WotC wants to mine its IP, I say let them. Like someone else, I found out a lot about Greyhawk because it was seeded elsewhere. When I found that this was the originator, I was impressed and liked the setting all the more. And them saying they are killing Nerull to make room for the Raven Queen means they are setting the tone for how they intend to do the remake of Greyhawk. I'm okay with the death of a god, personally, as long as its not something stupid like what they did with Mystra.

    Feel free to ingore the orange text. "Lets have the bad girl win, that'll be awesome. Besides more people on our [optimzation] boards like shadow magic anyway. Mystra is so yesterday." HELLO, Midnight was my favorite character in the God War trilogy a-wipes!....sorry

    Anyway, back to work for me!
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:39 am  

    Ok, time for a stewpid question from the guy who doesn't have 4e. Who's The Raven Queen?
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    Julian<div><br /></div><div><br /></div>
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    Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:56 am  

    It doesnt bother me that they use their IP to seed new work. I agree with Julian.

    However, to be a purchaser with money and never get what I want is infuriating. To get it and have to do lots and lots of reworking is acceptable if it is something I might use.

    As to their "Boards," if that is the extent of their market analysis and assesment, then they shouldnt be in charge of a parade, much less a major company. The complaints I heard from the FR stuff was not that they were publsishing them, but that they were doing it poorly.

    THey produced multiple "sourcebooks," for the same region, in a few short years. Not only was the complaint that they didn't add to the setting, but that they were internally inconsistent to the point that it was clear that the authors had only a vague idea of what was previously published.

    Think this is silly, I have quoting the FR Wiki http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Portal:Sourcebooks

    Here is the list of Sourcebooks as they define it:

    Quote:
    1st editionBlood of the Yakuza • Bloodstone Pass • The Bloodstone Wars • The City of Waterdeep Trail Map • City System • Dreams of the Red Wizards • Empires of the Sands • Forgotten Realms Campaign Set • Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms • Lords of Darkness • Mad Monkey vs the Dragon Claw • The Magister • The Mines of Bloodstone • Moonshae • Night of the Seven Swords • Ochimo: The Spirit Warrior • Ruins of Adventure • The Savage Frontier • Swords of the Daimyo • Swords of the Iron Legion • The Throne of Bloodstone • Under Illefarn • Waterdeep and the North

    2nd editionThe Accursed Tower • Anauroch • Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue • Black Courser • Blood Charge • The Bloodstone Lands • Book of Lairs • Calimport • Castle Spulzeer • Cities of Mystery • City of Gold • The City of Ravens Bluff • City of Splendors • Cloak & Dagger • The Code of the Harpers • Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves • Cormyr • Cult of the Dragon • Curse of the Azure Bonds • The Dalelands • Demihuman Deities • Demihumans of the Realms • Desert of Desolation • Doom of Daggerdale • Draconomicon • Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark • The Drow of the Underdark • The Dungeon of Death • Dwarves Deep • Elminster's Ecologies • Elminster's Ecologies Appendix I • Elminster's Ecologies Appendix II • Endless Armies • Elves of Evermeet • Empires of the Shining Sea • Faiths & Avatars • The Fall of Myth Drannor • Fires of Zatal • For Duty & Deity • Forgotten Realms Adventures • The Forgotten Realms Atlas • Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition • Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised) • Forgotten Realms Conspectus • Four from Cormyr • Gateway to Ravens Bluff, the Living City • Giantcraft • Gold & Glory • The Great Glacier • Hall of Heroes • Halls of the High King • Haunted Halls of Eveningstar • Hellgate Keep • Heroes' Lorebook • The Horde • Horde Campaign • Hordes of Dragonspear • How the Mighty Are Fallen • Inside Ravens Bluff, the Living City • Interactive Atlas • Into the Dragon's Lair • The Jungles of Chult • Kara-Tur Trail Map • Kidnapped • Lands of Intrigue • Marco Volo: Arrival • Marco Volo: Departure • Marco Volo: Journey • Matzica • Menzoberranzan • Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix (MC3) • Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix (MC11) • Monstrous Compendium Kara-Tur Appendix • The Moonsea • Netheril: Empire of Magic • Nightmare Keep • Nightwatch in the Living City • Ninja Wars • The North • Old Empires • Pages from the Mages • Pirates of the Fallen Stars • Player's Guide to the Forgotten Realms • Pool of Radiance: Attack on Myth Drannor • Port of Ravens Bluff • Powers & Pantheons • Prayers from the Faithful • The Return of Randal Morn • Ronin Challenge • The Ruins of Myth Drannor • The Ruins of Undermountain • The Ruins of Undermountain II: The Deep Levels • Ruins of Zhentil Keep • Sea of Fallen Stars • The Secret of Spiderhaunt • Secret Password • Secrets of the Magister • The Seven Sisters • Shadowdale • The Shining South • Skullport • Spellbound • Storm Riders • The Sword of the Dales • Tantras • Test of the Samurai • Undermountain: Maddgoth's Castle • Undermountain: Stardock • Undermountain: The Lost Level • The Vilhon Reach • Villains' Lorebook • Volo's Guide to All Things Magical • Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II • Volo's Guide to Cormyr • Volo's Guide to the Dalelands • Volo's Guide to the North • Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast • Volo's Guide to Waterdeep • Warriors and Priests of the Realms • Waterdeep • What is the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting Anyway? • Wizards and Rogues of the Realms • Wyrmskull Throne

    2nd edition Al-QadimA Dozen and One Adventures • Arabian Adventures • Assassin Mountain • Caravans • Cities of Bone • City of Delights • The Complete Sha'ir's Handbook • Corsairs of the Great Sea • Golden Voyages • Land of Fate • Monstrous Compendium Al-Qadim Appendix • Reunion • Ruined Kingdoms • Secrets of the Lamp

    3rd editionCity of the Spider Queen • Faiths and Pantheons • Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition • Into the Dragon's Lair • Lords of Darkness • Magic of Faerϋn • Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerϋn • Races of Faerϋn • Silver Marches • Unapproachable East • Underdark

    3.5 editionAnauroch: The Empire of Shade • Champions of Ruin • Champions of Valor • City of Splendors: Waterdeep • Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave • Dragons of Faerϋn • Expedition to Undermountain • Grand History of the Realms • Lost Empires of Faerϋn • Mysteries of the Moonsea • Player's Guide to Faerϋn • Power of Faerϋn • Serpent Kingdoms • Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land • Shining South • Sons of Gruumsh • The Twilight Tomb

    3.5 edition Legacy of the Green RegentBook Knowledge • Dark Exodus • Denial of Resource • A Difference of Opinion • Dungeon of the Hark • Epidemic • Extermination • Feast of the Moon • Grey Hunt • The Howling of a Mighty Storm • Humility • In Cold Blood • Key to Phantoms' Cloister • Nurture Nature • Rat's Bastard • The Ruins of Karse • As Seconds Slip Away • Secret of Phantom's Cloister • Tour of Duty • Tyranny • Under High Lord's Hall • Undermountain

    4th editionForgotten Realms Campaign Guide • Forgotten Realms Player's Guide • Scepter Tower of Spellgard


    Yeah, a single GH update might break the bank.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:09 am  

    Julian_Grimm wrote:
    Ok, time for a stewpid question from the guy who doesn't have 4e. Who's The Raven Queen?


    She's the goddess of Death. Not an evil goddess of death though, more like Hades or the death part of Wee Jas' portfolio. There's also a theme that Orcus is trying to supplant her as god of the dead so he can turn the realm of the dead into an evil place of undeath. I like it in the 4e core-world campaign I'm playing in, although I wouldn't care to try and translate it into my 4e GH game. Nor would it really work since there isn't really a god of death like the Raven Queen in GH, unless you want to count Wee Jas.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:15 am  

    I've got the core book and Adveturers Vault now. I'll probably end up buying the Martial Powers book, since I tend to run martial characters, and the PHB 2 if it has all the classes and player races missing in the first PHB. If not I'll just use whichever of the homebrewed version on the web I like best when they come up in my GH campaign. After that I don't plan on buying anything, although I will assess stuff coming out and may be swayed on one or two. Like I said above I'll probably also try out D&D Insider as long as I like what they're doing. Whether I renew or not depends on how the online gaming table compares to using RPTools.
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    Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:43 am  

    smillan_31 wrote:
    Julian_Grimm wrote:
    Ok, time for a stewpid question from the guy who doesn't have 4e. Who's The Raven Queen?


    She's the goddess of Death. Not an evil goddess of death though, more like Hades or the death part of Wee Jas' portfolio. There's also a theme that Orcus is trying to supplant her as god of the dead so he can turn the realm of the dead into an evil place of undeath. I like it in the 4e core-world campaign I'm playing in, although I wouldn't care to try and translate it into my 4e GH game. Nor would it really work since there isn't really a god of death like the Raven Queen in GH, unless you want to count Wee Jas.


    Thank you for the info.

    I may borrow the name as another name for Wee Jas. But I agree it doesn't sound like it would fit GH.
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    Julian<div><br /></div><div><br /></div>
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    Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:24 pm  

    [quote="Julian_Grimm"]
    smillan_31 wrote:


    Thank you for the info.

    I may borrow the name as another name for Wee Jas. But I agree it doesn't sound like it would fit GH.


    No problem. That's an interesting idea about taking the name for Wee Jas. That sounds really fitting for something they might call her in the barbarian lands of Thillonria. Good idea.
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    Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:39 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    I'm with Eileen on this one. I have never cared for the Wizards of the Coast. They were profit oriented from the beginning. They neither cared for, nor loved the game. Mad


    Mystic-Scholar,

    I really have a problem with this kind of pronouncement. In its founding Peter Adkison and the other WotC folk were all about the gaming. They also understood it was a business and for awhile they balanced both very well.

    It wasn't until Peter sold his company to Hasbro that ruthless corporate mentality started to take over. I am not in love with WotC's current practices, but on the other hand I understand that without considering the business side, they would dry up like TSR did.

    So, I am sorry that the modern incarnation of WotC has people's panties in a collective twist but I will suggest that you all go spank your inner child or whatever you need to do and get over it. The WotC bashing on this forum is beyond old.
    GreySage

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    Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:53 pm  

    Saracenus wrote:
    Mystic-Scholar,

    I will suggest that you all go spank your inner child or whatever you need to do and get over it.


    Saracenus,

    To each his own. I cordially invite you to concern yourself with your "inner child" and not mine.

    You express your opinion and then criticize me for expressing mine. Now that's a bit hypocritical, don't you think? No, you probably don't.

    By the way, as you may have noticed, I have a problem with hypocrisy, not with a difference of opinion.

    So, let's you and I not talk. Deal?
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:08 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:


    Saracenus,

    To each his own. I cordially invite you to concern yourself with your "inner child" and not mine.

    You express your opinion and then criticize me for expressing mine. Now that's a bit hypocritical, don't you think? No, you probably don't.

    By the way, as you may have noticed, I have a problem with hypocrisy, not with a difference of opinion.

    So, let's you and I not talk. Deal?


    Naw, I am completely in touch with my inner-a**hole.

    I am sorry my facts got in the way of your opinion. As for my opinion that this forum whines too much about WotC and needs to man-up, I stand by it. Carry on people.
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    Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:01 am  

    Saracenus wrote:
    The WotC bashing on this forum is beyond old.


    Funny thing about it is, I thought the scuttlebutt blamed TSR for actively attempting to kill off the Greyhawk line. Mayhaps the business decisions of all gaming companies get in the way of their creative output.
    GreySage

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    Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:44 am  

    OleOneEye! Cool

    Hallelujah brother! Happy

    That gets no argument from me! Laughing
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    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:29 pm  

    Everyone play nice. Opinions on the game and its various makers is fine. Not so nice opinions of others are not.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:06 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Not so nice opinions of others are not.


    Ceb, you're channeling Yoda again.
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    Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:52 am  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    OleOneEye! Cool

    Hallelujah brother! Happy

    That gets no argument from me! Laughing


    It cuts both ways, Mystic. Without gaming companies making hard business decisions, they would not be publishing anything creative in the first place. It is a catch 22. When it comes to capitalism, one can learn from the Facts of Life that "you take the good, you take the bad".
    GreySage

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    Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:07 am  

    OleOneEye wrote:
    It cuts both ways, Mystic. Without gaming companies making hard business decisions, they would not be publishing anything creative in the first place. It is a catch 22. When it comes to capitalism, one can learn from the Facts of Life that "you take the good, you take the bad".


    Too true, One Eye. Again, no argument.

    My compaint is simply that they place money decisions before the interest of the fan base. Sad What does it get them? Confused

    Keeping our conversation on Greyhawk . . . has this move on their part netted them thousands of new fans? Confused A current analogy, the Republican base was not happy with McCain, what happened? Confused

    They've done what they've done to make money without any consideration for the base. Its backfired.

    For me, a "change" which angers the base, without bringing in the needed fans to replace them, simply wasn't a good choice. Shocked

    I simply suggest that they need to return to their "roots," the loyal fan base of Greyhawk. Their tactic hasn't work.

    But they still ignore us, for the most part. Sad

    Just my thoughts. Happy
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    Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:17 am  

    It may also be that they are not ignoring the base at all, but they know that they will not be doing anything with Greyhawk any time soon so they throw in a few Greyhawk tidbits here and there just for the poeple who appreciate Greyhawk. Granted, this is not the best way of doing things from the psycho Greyhawk fan's perspective. Wink At this point the plan looks to be one of inclusion; hoping that carries over to the customer base. It worked for 3.0/3.5, so why deviate at this point? The sales numbers for the forthcoming books will tell the tale.
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    Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:50 am  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    My compaint is simply that they place money decisions before the interest of the fan base. Sad What does it get them?


    In the 70's and 80's, the tabletop roleplaying industry was expanding. TSR could afford to make bad money decisions and still thrive due to the ever increasing demand for more product. In the 90's the industry stabalized or perhaps even contracted. Conventional wisdom credits poor money decisions on TSR's part with spelling the doom of the company.

    Having spent 5 years as a retail banker, I have seen many a business go under as I refused to honor checks made on their overdrawn account. They made a fine product/service (e.g. yummy, yummy hand-rolled tamales in a corn husk shell), but either made bad business decisions (e.g. failing to sell a drink or side order with the tamale) or made bad money handling decisions (e.g. thinking that credit card sales instantly show up in the bank account instead of having a couple days of delay). I would much rather have a company that makes savvy business/money decisions and produce an average product than a company with a poor business/money model that produces an above average product. It is far more likely they will be around next year to sell me more average products.

    On the flip-side though, I must confess to being one of those that really does not care if more Greyhawk material is ever produced. With near 2 decades of using the world, I have a wealth of homemade material and most of the published ones. Going back to the Greyhawk Wars, every time a new Greyhawk line rolls out, there is material that contradicts my personal Greyhawk - e.g. my Vecna is a hobgoblin whose destruction caused the Bright Desert, not some who-ha in the Sheldomar. So, take anything I have to say on the subject with a grain of salt.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:44 pm  

    I can't really blame WoTC for ignoring us die-hard GH fans. We're the nobility of the grognards. Smile Seriously though, we're never going to be happy with anything they do with they setting so why even try to please us? If they do put out anything for GH it's probably going to be geared for people who have never really played in the setting before not the fans.
    GreySage

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    Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:33 pm  

    I think new Greyhawk stuff will likely be geared toward the fans, if only because I don't think there's anyone at WotC believes Greyhawk is so awesome that people who've never heard of it before will leap out to buy it. For noninitiates, there's any number of flashier settings, as well as the "World Axis" world. Their announced plans to release three books (and no more) for most out of print settings in 4th edition sounds mostly a gesture of good will toward longtime fans who they think will give a limited amount of money for the sake of nostalgia toward a beloved setting.

    Greyhawk hasn't been "dead" very long, of course; the last Greyhawk product was released only last year and Living Greyhawk only ended this year. So "Greyhawk fans" include the many fans of Living Greyhawk and of Paizo's adventure paths as well as people who enjoyed the setting in 2000, 1998, 1992, and 1982.

    The last Greyhawk book, Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk, seemed very much marketed toward longtime fans, peppered as it was with obscure references and things only grognards would fully appreciate. Pretty much no one but an established Greyhawk fan is likely to find "Castle Greyhawk" a tantalizing name, or to grab a book because there's a picture of Mordenkainen on the cover instead of an attractive female adventurer. I expect a hypothetical rerelease of the campaign setting to be somewhat more general interest than that, but I do think that already existing fans are going to be the primary intended market for it.

    Mind you, WotC's idea of what a longtime Greyhawk fan will like may not match what the regulars here are really looking for. Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk was underwhelmingly received here, though it apparently sold well enough.

    As for Greyhawk references stuck in generic "World Axis" products, I think they're really just intended as easter eggs for people with an awareness of D&D history. We're supposed to smile and say, "Tzunk! That hearkens back to the original DMG!" That's fine for those who find names like that vaguely familiar and pleasing, though it can be awkward for those of us who know far too much about the obscure uses Tzunk's name has been put. When they mention Nerull, they do it because people aware of 1-3rd edition might smile and say, "Nerull! Aha! I remember those days," and not because any continuity with previous uses of the name Nerull is intended.

    I don't think the use of these easter eggs makes a new version of Greyhawk any more or less likely.
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    Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:11 pm  

    Hey all, a lot being said here... thing is Greyhawk is what anyone of us want to make of it, sure it would be nice to see cool product released in tandem with 1st/2nd Ed GH material principles... unfortunately it’s not there and the "Masters" that own the rights have different plans, and as ugly as it gets, I believe how "we" preserve this "original" aspect, thru sites like this, OJ materials, and fan based materials will feed our "perception", the original idea, of GH. Smile

    I have started/been playing 4e and its a different game, not the D&D we grew up with. The group I play with are "into" the 4e game, I see it for what it is, a dumbed down version of ideas of D&D, warped and integrated with mini/card rules... only in name is it D&D, not in spirit Exclamation

    I am waiting, when I get back to Canada next summer, get settled, I plan to make a game room, put out the feelers/posters, and start yet again another game group for 3.5 "Limited" rules/House Rules, set in the World of Greyhawk... old style, low magic, more gritty/dark medieval-isk. I will look to play 4e at Cons (when it doesn't conflict with real D&D gaming)and take from it what ideas work for "my" game.

    I look around (YouTube, game sites, etc) and see a lot of 1st ed and 2nd ed styled games out there... see, for me, 1st, 2nd or 3.x are game systems that work... sure one can always improve upon certain aspects, etc... but when I played 1st I enjoyed it, just because 2nd came along didn't mean 1st didn't work anymore or could not be played any longer... If WotC/Hasbro take this new game "D&D" 4e, and make it the now game, it does not invalidate or make any less all of the previous game systems of D&D/AD&D. 4e will run its course and then 5e will come about... wow what about all the 4e stuff I acquired... Shocked

    Sure, its the nature of the beast, got to stay with the "now", what’s new is in. Maybe, the approach that should be taken, is hey, look at the cool 2nd ed D&D game we can play... these are the rules, this is how you play, lets have some fun, there is more than enough material out there... and there is eBay, garage sales, used bookstores, etc... to maybe find that one special book... then there is the "imagination" to set aside a few hours of TV and maybe grab that pad of graph and create that really awesome adventure ... for you “x” edition game. Smile

    I've had to re-evaluate my spending habits and keeping up with this evolution of the D&D game is getting too costly. This doesn’t mean that another set dice along with the other 50+ sets of dice I have won't get bought or that cool mini won't grace my game table, most likely they will with the money I won’t be spending on new core books. Wink

    This is my take on the whole gambit, my opinion, some may agree, some may not... that’s ok. I know that when the time comes to play "my" D&D game, it is going to be a good time, spent with good friends and it won't matter what edition, because they all have their merits... just so happens I'm stick ‘in with 3.pv (personal version... house rules), maybe I'll set up a Halloween game of 1st Ed next year.... and it will all be set in the World of Greyhawk! Happy

    I hope I gave some of you something to consider from this...

    Thanks for reading.

    AncientGamer Cool aka BusterBudd
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    Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:11 pm  

    I, too, appreciate what's being said here. Happy

    But, if I may, allow me an example of my comments.

    When I was 18, my father had another son. He's 30 now. He and his friends play "Grand Theft Auto" and other games on their "X-box," or whatever else they're called. And they play with each other through the cable television, while each sits in his own home. Shocked

    (Yep, I think that's pretty cool too! Cool )

    Unfortuantely, none of them have the least bit of interest in RPG's like Greyhawk. (A couple of his friends play "Warcraft" on the internet. He and the others don't. Confused )

    Soooo, where's the new fan base? Confused

    I know of no gaming groups in my home town, or I'd be playing with them. My kid brother and his friends aren't the least bit interested. Greyhawk began with my generation and may very well end with it.

    I sincerely hope not, but it may. The story may be different where you live, but not here. Sad

    I have hope, but its hope based on faith, not concrete.

    I'm just saying. Wink
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:53 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar, I don't think you have to worry about the hobby dying. D&D has always been a relatively small market. Yeah WoW is the major competitor and no doubt has a much bigger audience than D&D, but I've talked to plenty of teens at the various libraries I work in who play D&D and the minis game. I think there are still plenty of people coming into tabletop rpgs that it'll be around for awhile.

    Busterbudd, I have the opposite view of 4e from you. Yeah, it's stripped down compared to 3e, but to me that brings it closer to old style D&D. 3e was too complex and seemed to get bogged down alot. I enjoyed it but it doesn't compare to my 4e experience so far. Just my opinion though, and we all know what those are worth. Wink
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:13 am  
    My opinion

    Just thought I would add my take. D&D has been and always will be what you put into it. Remember the books are merely guidelines and not rules!!
    I have been playing for many, many years. In my group, my general rule of thumb is that if you find it published, it is fair game subject to DM's approval (me). We use ICE crit tables, 2nd edition character classes (for the most part), monsters from anything I can find, etc.
    If I find something from another "world", I change the name or not, select a location, and away they go...
    The idea is to have fun and enjoy yourself with a group of friends. This has led to a game that has lasted 30 years.
    Hope this helps.

    BTW, Mystic Scholar, if your ever in the Chicagoland area, your welcome to sit in...
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:26 pm  
    Hey!

    Where in Chicagoland (private message if you wish to protect your secrecy)?

    ~Scott "-enkainen" Casper (far west suburbs)
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    Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:57 pm  
    Re: My opinion

    Lord_Percard wrote:
    BTW, Mystic Scholar, if your ever in the Chicagoland area, your welcome to sit in...


    Lord Percard! Hail and well met! Happy

    I'm returning to Over-the-Road trucking. I will be in Chicago often. I just may PM you and take you up on your offer. Wink

    It would probably be best if I rolled up a new character for your game. Cool Do you have need of a particular charcter type/class? Confused

    And Thanks! Happy
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    Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:35 pm  

    Greetings, and your welcome, we are always open to meeting new gamers.

    Another gamer lost to the road. Mad

    One of my players just went back to OTR driving. Sad

    But, so it goes, as far as characters go we have all the major bases covered and will entertain anything your imagination can come up with.

    As I said, they are guidelines not rules!!

    For all of my generosity and open-mindedness, my players consist of a human fighter/mage, a human fighter/cleric, a human cleric, a human barbarian fighter, and a human fighter turned paladin. And as I was saying, we have recently lost our only demi-human dwarf.

    They are entrenched in the Ruins of Castle Greyhawk (an excellent dungeon crawl) but have recently stepped out to entertain the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth.

    You can play a re-occuring guide/helper or nemesis. There is always room for them. Wink

    As I said, gaming is for gathering a group of players together and having fun, or at least getting away from the wife. Happy
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    Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:39 pm  

    No privacy required, Scottenkainen. I reside in Lansing, which is on the south side of Chicago on the Indiana border. Just follow I294 south and where it enters Indiana you'll find me.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Fri Nov 14, 2008 2:13 pm  

    Sorry about the hi-jack.

    But, I guess what I am trying to say is that you should not look at things as limitations to your Greyhawk but as things to enhance YOUR Greyhawk. In my game, the Dark Sun realm resides in the Sea of Dust if my players and I wish it or there is a Dark Sun adventure that I want to run. Forgotten realms is the southern continent, another continent or an alternate plane. If I choose it to be so, it is my world for me and my players to enjoy.

    Look at what is being published and make it your world or not, that is the true spirit of RPG. Take one name or encounter from a 4e publication and make it an adventure in your Greyhawk. (Try to put a value on that.)

    That is why no video game can hold a candle to table top gaming. Video gaming is linear, table top gaming is limitless.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Fri Nov 14, 2008 2:55 pm  
    Varies by Region

    Hi again (continuing the thread hijack),

    Smillan wrote:
    >Yeah WoW is the major competitor and no doubt has a much bigger audience than D&D, but I've talked to plenty of teens at the various libraries I work in who play D&D and the minis game. I think there are still plenty of people coming into tabletop rpgs that it'll be around for awhile. <

    I remember old Greytalk posts from Australia bragging about how the tables were overflowing with players about 10 years ago, but that has never been the case in Chicagoland, where the player base has always been fractured and non-communicative, even when Living Greyhawk was connecting many of them. Part of it is the difficulty of travel anywhere near Chicago. Even though Percard is only on the south side of Chicago and I'm on the west side, Lansing seems an impossible commute time away from me.

    So, while some people have no problem attracting Greyhawk gamers to their table, here in Chicago, where we have a plethora of Greyhawkers, we have serious trouble getting any of them together.

    ~Scott "-enkainen" Casper
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    Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:27 pm  

    Scottenkainen! Hail and well met! Happy

    They're are two beautiful things about Over-the-road trucking. But only two: 1. I've done it long enough now that I'm at the top of the food chain! Happy (Good money) And 2. I can take my three days off where ever I want, i.e. I can take three days off in Lansing just for gaming! Cool Happy

    As I can't find gaming at "home," its not all that bad an idea! Happy

    Lord Percard, I've always been fond of the Sorcerer. Perhaps I could be a Sorcerer who serves as a Sage and Artificer for your players? Confused That could explain the fact that I only occassionally appear in the game. Shocked

    They could visit my "tower" when they have need. Perhaps a special amulet would allow them to "summon" me upon occassion. What do you think? Confused
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    Sun Nov 16, 2008 2:22 am  

    I don't know about whining and bashing WotC. I could care less about that. I do know they haven't managed to produce a single thing I've wanted to buy since the 3.0 core rules came out (I did buy the PHB1 and DMG1 for 3.5, but grudgingly). Most of the stuff they put out doesn't even sound interesting enough to get me to look at it.

    The only D&D I've actually spent money on in the last 5 years is computerized. That's hardly going to make me fond of the current rights holder.

    On the other hand, I visit enough gaming forums (computer or D&D) to realize that a lot of people do what the stuff they are making. Stuff like Elite Opponents and Fight Club seem quite popular, but I just can't bring myself to care about the stats of a two headed half green dragon stirge...

    WotC may be making good business decisions, but they aren't ones that serve my interests or garner any of my money. And that means they don't really have any claim on my good will, though common courtesy ought to be common nevertheless.

    Hmm, slight correction.... I've spent a few bucks on D&D products in the last five years. I've bought maybe half a dozen issues of Dragon or Dungeon in that time period. Not WotC products (at the time) but still D&D.
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    Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:13 am  

    Mystic Scholar, no amulet required, there exists cards (sort of like playing cards ie Chronicles of Amber Trump Cards) in my world with the image of an individual that allows communication/ transportation.

    Vormarrin

    I believe you have selected the "problem" that most people have with WotC and one that I agree with, specifically concerning the core books. The product is not "new" or "interesting". I am sorry but why should I buy the same stuff regurgitated in a "new" cover that does not enhance what I have but simplifies it and all for more money. One of my players purchased a 4e book (I believe) and his statement was "It is a table top version of the computer game, simplified for the video gamers." No one in my group will buy the books.

    A previous poster stated that if someone made an excellent tamale but did not have a good business model then they would not be long in business. But, show me one large successful business that has been around awhile that does not work on providing a better, more efficient, innovative product. If they do not, they will be out of business as well. Just look at the auto industry...

    If WotC wish for a successful product they need to be innovative, better and more efficient. People here have stated the they need to provide what is going to appeal to the largest group of people. I disagree, if you provide an excellent product for small groups for a slightly higher cost it can be very lucrative, ie the Chevy Corvette, Porsche, etc. But, that does not mean that you have to stop trying to appeal to the masses as well. Just look at the video gaming industry and their business model.
    GreySage

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    Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:35 am  

    Lord Percard, Happy

    Excellent points, all. I also give you the many specialty clothing stores that are thriving, but, where is Woolco? Most recently, Mervyn's? And what about stores like Walgreens? Can't forget your base, the people who put you in business to begin with! Shocked

    WotC has done that. Sad I have nothing against them expanding, or making money, but the base happens to be the people who stick around, who buy your product for years. WotC seems to be interested in large "one time" sales, rather than repeat customers.

    I have to question that. Confused

    Ole One Eye, Happy

    And no disrespect to you, but I give you the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. No loan that they have ever made has been one based upon "good credit," or "sound financial policy," unless its America's. Confused Everything those two entities do is based upon the fact that the USA will pay the debt, not the nation that actually owes the money. Mad There have been many nations that have "defaulted" on their debts, but America keeps putting money into these entities (which I consider to be unsound financial policy) and so, they continue to exist. Both of them should have gone defunct long ago.

    And despite all the people who eat at "fast food" joints, there are many more of us who do not. And I'm not talking about those of you who pass through once, or twice, a week for a "rushed" lunch hour. I know a couple of people who eat at those places constantly. If everyone did that, as "they" claim, they'd own the world, but they don't.

    I'll spend my money to support the "excellent tamale" everday of the week. Keep the fast food.

    Hey! Lord Percard, fax me my "card." Laughing Laughing Cool

    Just my thoughts. Happy
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    Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:59 pm  

    Hmm, international policy isn't appropriate for this forum. Sadly, I can't resist correcting blatantly false information. Your understanding of the IMF and the World Bank is seriously flawed. Something like 180 nations have equity in the World Bank and the vast majority of the money it lends is actually from bond issuances. It gets its money from individual and institutional investors. The fact that it is "owned" by governments like the USA, France, Britain, etc means it gets good credit ratings.

    The IMF draws its money from its member governments directly, with membership dues proportionate to income. So, yes, the USA pays more than Switzerland. But the institiution is not funded by the US in particular. And it is not any more tolerant of defaults on its loans than any other investor. In fact, it has frequently been criticized for being so harsh that those who should be borrowing from it look for other sources of funding instead.
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    Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:28 am  

    The collapse of the world banking system aside, I rather like 4e so far. I love the way it encourages the group to work tactically together, I'm impressed at the way the classes have thus far been generally balanced against each other, and I've been impressed at the number of ways they have been able to recylcle the character roles flavoured to each class.

    Maybe I'm biased because my 4e shadow mage (originally 2e shadow mage dual-classed from scout and now infernal warlock multiclassed in swordmage with silent hunter background) seems like she might be quite cool. The horrendous multiclassing rules in 3e and entirely new shadowcaster rules meant that I struggled to make her effective at all in 3e.

    It is totally worth subscribing while it's cheap as you will have access to the Compendium to give you a glimpse of the stats for pcs, powers, monsters, Dragon, Dungeon and the Beta character generator all for only about £40.00 or $60.00.

    I can't wait for some dedicated Canonofire brainiac to start producing 4e stats for our favourite Greyhawk npcs.
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    Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:27 am  

    Maybe it just boils down to the idea that the gaming industry can either make money OR produce quality; but not both.

    My favourite supplements/products are always the ones that come across as "amatuerish". In a good way. 1e products nearly all came across that way, as did a lot of other game products from that era; Judges Guild etc. Yes, some of it sucked, but not much of it.

    Nothing Wotc has produced in the last 10 years or so has made me go "wow". Sure, some of it was fair to middling in terms of VFM but most was not. It was more a case of fill 96/128/256 pages. Then pick up your pay.

    I'm not sucking up to anyone and the cheques definitely NOT in the post, but the best gaming stuff I've read over the last few years is right here on CF. Again, it's the enthusiastic amateur thing. Material written with a love of the thing and not for money. And there are a few small companies out there producing good stuff on a budget.

    I think it's just the way our hobby works and I can't see it changing. The only thing that has changed for me is that I still used to buy what Wotc produced. Now I don't.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:47 am  

    PaulN6 wrote:
    I can't wait for some dedicated Canonofire brainiac to start producing 4e stats for our favourite Greyhawk npcs.



    And so you have been tagged. Now, get to work! Laughing
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    Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:30 am  

    Hello all, I have been lurking for a while, and thought I would throw in my 2 cents.

    Quote:
    Maybe it just boils down to the idea that the gaming industry can either make money OR produce quality; but not both.


    B*!!S^!T!!!!!

    Ragr, I know you are not positing this as fact, so much as wondering why it seems to be this way.

    However, I have worked in several successful start up companies in widely divergent industries. This argument "We cannot make money if we do it right!!!" is a pervasive thought. And the answer is, no you cannot become a millionaire in the next 6 weeks if you do it right. It takes time.

    In EVERY case, we have made money, in EVERY case we have demanded quality. And in every case we win over our competitors in the long run.

    I find this type of thinking is rampant in many industries, or maybe in all industries. It is product of management over leadership, and weak managment at that.

    Its not easy, and you could make a faster buck by doing it their way. However, it becomes a problem of sustainability and long term profitability. Ask Bear Sterns. So, that is my little business sermon, I will avoid such things in the future.

    That said, I have been looking through a number of 3.5 books recently for a game I am in, and I was suprised how much GH content there is there. There is Saltmarsh (I liked it, though it is a little clunky on the transiion from the original mods), the GH gods in complete divine and of couse the new Castle Greyhawk. There is more, even though it is not the focus of any book.

    I cannot say I am elated by WOTC limited attention to the setting, but maybe this is all of their help I want. They do seem to have a quality/consistency problem.

    I have to say, in my eyes the OJ and some of the work you can get on this site is far superior, and generally more entertaining. I know you cannot sell it (IP and all that) but if I had my druthers, I would spend my money on the works here.
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    Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:31 am  

    Yeah, there's a fair bit of GH name dropping and such. The Saltmarsh write up I actually thought was awful, though. And the "GH" gods in 3rd are only similar to the real GH gods. Quite a lot of them got altered to various degrees to suit their new, non GH, purposes.

    Obviously, Castle Greyhawk and ToEE revisits are both GH material. Just didn't really float my boat for various reasons. I'm not actually saying "OMG, no GH means it all sucks". I'd buy non GH stuff if the game was actually moving in a direction that suited my playstyle. But its not. Its been that way for a long time, so I'm pretty used to it.
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    Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:49 am  

    Vor,

    I have to agree, the whole style has/is changing. I am playing 3.5 but we are adpoting rules to try and create a simpler feel. I also find that I am more interested in the story and Greyhawk, than in the system. The system fades in my mind and in most of our gaming sessions.

    As a matter of fact, this weekend, MikelAmroni, couldnt remember how many hit dice/points wights had Shocked, so I guess it is affecting us all. He has always been able to remember not only the rules but the page numbers. I guess this means I am getting older.

    However, I like the bits of GH that have been included, as it does not attempt to shake up my game. I would love occasional regional sourcebooks, but I can live without them.
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    Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:46 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    PaulN6 wrote:
    I can't wait for some dedicated Canonofire brainiac to start producing 4e stats for our favourite Greyhawk npcs.



    And so you have been tagged. Now, get to work! Laughing


    Lol - I wish I had time - but I'm busy working on my homebrew Greyhawk Gazeteer. It's running at about 200 pages per nation once the LG stuff is added in and then I'll have to go back through, edit the stuff that is too LG powergamey (like the scary number of wizard universities).

    I think the generic nature of the Greyhawk material and the way LG was set up did do some damage to the Greyhawk brand. I've already taken steps to reduce population levels and demi-human levels back to their 1e levels, which helps fit in with a 'poits of light' theme. I just couldn't bear the thought of having 10% halflings in every town or xenophobic sylvan elves suddenly setting up shops in major cities. I'm too old fashioned.

    The Saltmarsh write up was ok but it was too generic for my tastes (with inappropriate deities) and contradicted a lot of the LG stuff which was far more faithful to the original. I simply changed all references from Saltmarsh to Seaton and hey presto, the capital of Viscounty of Salinmoor is full statted out and you still have quite a bit of info on the original version of Saltmarsh to knock up a reasonable town there too.

    The only npcs I've converted so far are ones I've used in my home campaign: Lareth and Slippery Ketta - but Ketta has become an ally of our group so she isn't even really built as a combatant. My problem is that I suck at character optimisation so any npcs I build are likely to be rubbish.
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    Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:21 am  

    Paul N6 said;My problem is that I suck at character optimisation so any npcs I build are likely to be rubbish.

    And therein lies the latterday RPG problem. It's the concept of character optimisation that sucks, not your attempts to wrestle with it. What is all that about?

    I'll wager that you can do a brilliant job of character "characterisation", Paul. And that is what tends to last in players' memories.

    And, 200 pages PER NATION. Shocked Are you insane, man. Happy

    Darvish; you're bang on the money. It's not that I don't believe quality is achievable, it's that I don't believe the major game companies (one in particular) can really be bothered as long as "the product" sells; I note with interest the latest offering from Wotc. Martial Powers Handbook? Stock number of pages? Check. Sounds like a 3e's Complete Fighter/Ranger/Paladin, or 2e's Combat and Tactics. So, rehashed format? Check. Well, it sold last time.

    I agree it is certainly possible to offer quality and make a decent profit; in my line of work I offer a quality service at a premium price and if someone wants corners cut they get told to bugger off somewhere else. If you don't value yourself, no-one else will.

    Damn, it sounds like my dark side is surfacing again. Hail the return of "El Negativo". Sorry.
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    Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:34 am  

    PaulN6 wrote:
    I'll have to go back through, edit the stuff that is too LG powergamey (like the scary number of wizard universities). . . I've already taken steps to reduce population levels and demi-human levels back to their 1e levels, which helps fit in with a 'poits of light' theme. I just couldn't bear the thought of having 10% halflings in every town or xenophobic sylvan elves suddenly setting up shops in major cities.


    Couldn't agree more! Wink

    If there were a "Great Library" in every city, Alexandria, Egypt would lose its uniqueness in our history. Its the reason that everyone wanted to travel there! Shocked

    Also, in ancient times, everyone was fascinated by a "Black" man, or a "White" man -- depending on where you lived. Why? Never saw one before! Shocked

    Sure, most people have heard of Sylvan Elves, but most people have never seen one. Quite a few people have seen a halfling, but not everyone. Has everyone forgotten the shock that the appearance of Frodo and friends caused? Or the wonder of Frodo and pals at seeing Elves for the first time in their lives? Confused

    Current Greyhawk is taking on a "modern" tone, rather than an ancient one. I prefer to think of Greyhawk as more in line with our own "ancient" times and ideas, not modern ones. Cool

    And Ragr, don't apologize! You're right on too. Wink

    Just my thoughts. Happy
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    Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:31 am  

    Mystic Scholar wrote:
    Quote:
    If there were a "Great Library" in every city, Alexandria, Egypt would lose its uniqueness in our history. Its the reason that everyone wanted to travel there! Shocked


    I whole heartedly agree. The "WONDER" of such places needs to be minimized in order to make it special. As the Incredibles taught us, "If everyone is special, then no one is special". This is true for Grehawk as well. I would settle on a number of schools (or what ever feature your considering adding to your Greyhawk) and decide "How Many" of these you would want, and space them out accordingly. Limitations in the number allow greater creative freedom in developing intreseting hot spots, schools, or what have you.

    Mystic Scholar also wrote
    Quote:

    And Ragr, don't apologize! You're right on too. Wink


    According to my calculations thus far, Ragr is correct 68.59% of the time; wrong 8.47%, indecisive 14.03% and actually nags and passes blame 8.91%. With a track record like that it's why he's are party leader in the Back Alley forum.

    Ragr wrote:
    Quote:
    And therein lies the latterday RPG problem. It's the concept of character optimisation that sucks, not your attempts to wrestle with it. What is all that about?


    This is absolutely true and in my opinion one of the pit falls that far to many players of roleplaying games (and game designers) stumble into. A character or NPC should not be about making the most powerful one possible. It should not be about "maxing this out and maxing that out". What DM's and players fail to understand is how to "humanize" such individauls. It's good to create the "best" character or NPC you can, but the word "best" means a well thought out and realistic portrayal of the individual in mind, someone with pros and cons, someone with strengths and weakness, and someone with an actual personality and history than is intertwined to create the flawed yet necessary purpose they are suppose to serve in the game. Optimization and character or NPC creation shouldn't even be part of the same sentance.
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    Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:42 am  

    I'm wrong 8.47% of the time and incorrect 8.91% of the time.

    Eh???

    Is this Prophet logic? Wink Confused
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    Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:15 am  

    Ragr wrote:
    I'm wrong 8.47% of the time and incorrect 8.91% of the time.

    Eh???

    Is this Prophet logic? Wink Confused


    Arrrghhh........my bad, correction was made. There are you happy Embarassed ?
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    Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:44 am  

    Smile Smile Smile
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    Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:22 am  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    Sure, most people have heard of Sylvan Elves, but most people have never seen one. Quite a few people have seen a halfling, but not everyone. Has everyone forgotten the shock that the appearance of Frodo and friends caused? Or the wonder of Frodo and pals at seeing Elves for the first time in their lives? Confused

    Current Greyhawk is taking on a "modern" tone, rather than an ancient one. I prefer to think of Greyhawk as more in line with our own "ancient" times and ideas, not modern ones. Cool


    I play things this way also. For me there's a problem with elves deigning to live under the rule of a human (or any other race). I always chalk it up to "Well, the humans say we're part of their realm but we pretty much jut slive in our woods and do what we want." Dwarves are similar although I don't have a problem with the humans who are subjects of the Prince of Ulek. Humans will do anything for money. I also don't really have the same problem with halflings and gnomes living under humans. I can probably chalk this all up to Tolkien.

    Also related, this makes me think of a conversation I had with a younger player from my last GH campaign. We were talking about the drow and how overused/stupid they've become. I was reminiscing about how they were just a couple of blurb lines in the 1e MM about that "mythical" subrace of elves, and how when I first played in D-1 and we ran into drow I went kind of "Whoa! Drow! I didn't even think they existed." Those days are gone forever though.
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    Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:23 pm  

    smillan_31 wrote:
    Also related, this makes me think of a conversation I had with a younger player from my last GH campaign. We were talking about the drow and how overused/stupid they've become. I was reminiscing about how they were just a couple of blurb lines in the 1e MM about that "mythical" subrace of elves, and how when I first played in D-1 and we ran into drow I went kind of "Whoa! Drow! I didn't even think they existed."


    Exactly my point! Bare with me please, I'm not trying to "side track" the conversation.

    The Bible speaks of "the ships of Tarshish," an almost mythical, legendary place. We now know Tarshish as Spain. Once Spain "joined" the Roman Empire, however (or, "modern" world), it lost much of its mystique.

    Greyhawk is supposed to "take place" so long ago, in "our" past, that the mystique of places and peoples (races) should still be "fresh."

    To borrow from Smillian's example: "Drow? What the heck is a 'Drow'?" That should be the common response.

    WotC's direction is taking it to the point where everyone, and their mother, knows all about the Drow! Confused No more mystique. Confused

    And I, personally, don't find that to be "good." Sad
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    Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:35 am  

    Ragr wrote:
    I'll wager that you can do a brilliant job of character "characterisation", Paul. And that is what tends to last in players' memories.

    And, 200 pages PER NATION. Shocked Are you insane, man. Happy


    Yes. Yes, I am insane.

    4e seems to be bult in such a way that unless the villains are 4 levels above or below the pcs the power gap is too large to be reconcileable. That means you can build virtually unkillable recurring npcs, which might be fun.

    I will say though that the free reign you have on power selection for npcs does allow you to build them how you like. It is actually easier to build in an npc's 'personality' into their stats in 4e. Unfortunately, at the back of your mind you are wondering if that AC is high enough to survive a few rounds of combat, which I find much harder to predict in 4e. Obviously the rules allow you to adjust defences arbitrarily, so I suppose it isn't a problem as long as you can overcome 3e cookie-cutter npc mentality.

    I'll post Lareth and Ketta when I get back home from work.
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    Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:28 am  

    Ragr wrote:
    Paul N6 said;My problem is that I suck at character optimisation so any npcs I build are likely to be rubbish.

    And therein lies the latterday RPG problem. It's the concept of character optimisation that sucks, not your attempts to wrestle with it. What is all that about?


    Truer words were never uttered by a halfling since the Gaffer said, "I don't hold with wearin' ironmongery, whether it wear well or no."
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    Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:20 pm  

    Anced's Version of Optimization (i.e. = a PC he doesnt want to be killed):

    Quote:
    John the Invincible - Fighter Priest of Hextor

    Levels - Alot

    Alignment - Bad

    Weapon - an oddly shaped sword looking thingy- unusually curved

    Armor - Black plate

    Feats- Whatever is needed to stymie PCs and escape out the back.


    The point of this little blurb is that the longer I play D&D, and 3.5 in particular, the less I worry about the marks on the paper. "What type of creature is this ?," asks a player. "One with big teeth," I like to reply, as they start looking up page numbers in the Monster Manual. "He sinks them into you thigh while you are looking his Genus."

    It is more about story, atmosphere and development. Not stats and dice rolling (though random is important). At one point I quit rolling D20s and just created a list of random numbers between 1 and 20. Every time I need one, cross it off and go to the next.

    Speeding up the interaction, and eliminating rules interpretation has given us much more time to play without me "optimizing," anything. People are not optimized. Villains rarely wait until you are their level to kick your butt. So, in my game the rules are fading. Our resident rules lawyer is even less concerned than he was. A good time is far more important. It is for this reason that I like story over mechanics.

    On a different note: I actually like the turn this thread is taking, because we seem to be laying out much more of what we as a group would like, that griping about what WOTC isnt providing.

    I like the idea of a much more localized experiance for the PCs. THe world still seems huge and fantastic.

    Example: I am a player in low level game set in the Wild Coast, 60 miles north of the border of Pomarj. The other players have limited backgrounds in GH (excepting Mikel Amroni). After 4 levels of playing (about 4 months) we have never gone more than 30 miles from home. Our next big outing is to.... wait for it.... Safeton! and guess what, even I am excited. THis is the same town I supposedly began gaming in (many DMs ago) nearly 30 years ago! Shrinking the world IMO, makes it all better. Imagine, we might one day go to Greyhawk, or Rauxes.

    I and I think my players, want memorable games, not ones in which they have the best feats. If the game focus is on a smaller, more knowable universe, with the overturing of nations being off the table, the characters get to very high levels without wanting to be king.

    The other thing I am trying to do is get away from any simple +1 items. These are the most boring things on the planet, IMO. "Sir Jadens Sword, with an Ivory Hilt and a blade of near black metal" is something that will be rememberd by the player for years, even if it is only a + 1 sword.

    Wizard Universities? I dont care, because IMG, any time two wizards get togeather and take an apprentice, they call it a University or College. After all how many "Technical Schools," are now "Technical Colleges," though they did a fine job teaching drafting and auto mechanics before?

    So, I suppose what I am saying is that I like what GH has become, now, after FTA, and LGG. There is so much room, I can make it what I want. I like the flexibility of 3.5, but if I had to change to 4.0, or back to 1st ed, fine, so long as I can game in GH.
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    Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:30 pm  

    Anced_Math wrote:
    It is more about story, atmosphere and development. Not stats and dice rolling . . . So, in my game the rules are fading. . . . A good time is far more important. It is for this reason that I like story over mechanics.

    I actually like the turn this thread is taking, because we seem to be laying out much more of what we as a group would like, that griping about what WOTC isnt providing.

    I like the idea of a much more localized experiance for the PCs. THe world still seems huge and fantastic.

    Example: I am a player in low level game set in the Wild Coast, 60 miles north of the border of Pomarj. . . . After 4 levels of playing (about 4 months) we have never gone more than 30 miles from home. Our next big outing is to.... wait for it.... Safeton! and guess what, even I am excited. . . . Shrinking the world IMO, makes it all better. Imagine, we might one day go to Greyhawk, or Rauxes.

    I and I think my players, want memorable games, not ones in which they have the best feats. If the game focus is on a smaller, more knowable universe, with the overturing of nations being off the table, the characters get to very high levels without wanting to be king.

    "Sir Jadens Sword, with an Ivory Hilt and a blade of near black metal" is something that will be rememberd by the player for years, even if it is only a + 1 sword.


    Excellent post! Happy

    No more WotC bashing from me. But, no more waiting around for them either. I'm "moving on." The folks posting here on Canonfire! do a much better job anyway.

    And I think localized (smaller) works much better too. The "Greyhawk Wars" were Oerth's version of World War I (WWII anyone?). I think WotC just wanted to "shake things up," as it were, change the world of Oerth. Confused

    It was too big, too all incompassing. Local politics are fine -- town/barony -- they make for some interesting play. Maybe even national, a Duchy and Barony in conflict. Wink

    But, IMHO, international politics is just too much for game play. When I play, I have no interest in "ruling the world." Nor do I want players who want to "rule the world." Sad

    I just want a good "Conan" style adventure (before he became king, that is). Just running around the world having fun . . . and GREAT adventures. Cool

    And I find some very good material right here on Canonfire! everyday. Happy

    Just my thoughts. Happy
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    Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:02 pm  

    Like the direction the thread is taking Smile

    It is a poorly kept secret that I find story based play much more entertaing then the mechanics. I frankly don't care about how to optimize my character or memorizing the rule books.

    For me it comes down to the atmosphere; I would rather become invested in a game that was memorable about a first level whoever trying to earn enough for a dagger rather then a rule stifled game with 2000 level characters that have artifacts and are lords or the multiverse; destoyers of deities.
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    Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:58 am  

    Yeah I'm actually quite worried about what they might do 'officially' to Greyhawk. I didn't like a lot of the 3e changes (I thought the Silent Ones were terrible candidates for 3e sorcerers).

    Npc background is far more important than mechanics but having said that, the 4e mechanics do make it easier to reflect that backgound even if that is just by reflavouring the name of a power.

    There are relatively few 'status' powers in 4e. If you say Lareth's staff of striking pulsates with power as he swings it, connects with a brutal crack, and blasts Kurt Livingrock across the chamber, it might evoke more of an emotional response than a bland description of the mechanics such as Lareth hits you with his staff and slides you 3 squares.
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    Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:43 am  

    PaulN6 wrote:
    If you say Lareth's staff of striking pulsates with power as he swings it, connects with a brutal crack, and blasts Kurt Livingrock across the chamber, it might evoke more of an emotional response than a bland description of the mechanics such as Lareth hits you with his staff and slides you 3 squares.


    Another excellent point. Cool

    The "stats" take away too much of the story telling aspect, which is why I got into the game in the first place (circa '79).

    I would much rather hear about the discription of what Lareth's staff did to Kurt than to learn the stats of it. Cool

    Just my thoughts. Happy
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    Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:59 am  

    Here's my take on Ketta although as a Slave Lord I'd probably make her elite and give her a proper daily attack power. She went under cover and spent several years posing as the wife of one of the characters, hiding out at Grey Manor in Greyhawk after the original Nine were sundered. When he finally got back from his travels, she slipped him a philter of love, and they've been happily 'married' ever since. She gained a level helping defeat Tuerny the Merciless in the Return of the Eight. Disappointingly, some of the other characters felt she ought to be less evil, and Boris wasted a wish to change her alignment! That's true love. Anyways, for her powers I just tried to make her, well, slippery...

    Slippery Ketta (Level 11 Skirmisher)
    Medium natural humanoid
    Initiative +9 Senses Perception +6
    HP 100; Bloodied 50
    AC 24; Fortitude 22, Reflex 27, Will 24
    Speed 6

    Dagger (standard; at-will ✦ Weapon)
    +14 vs. AC; 1d4 damage.
    Thrown Dagger (standard; at-will; basic ranged ✦ Weapon)
    Ranged 15/30; +18 vs. AC; 1d4 damage.

    Sneak Attack 3d6

    Sly Flourish
    At-Will

    Cat Burglar’s Gambit
    Encounter

    Ignoble Escape
    Encounter

    Certain Freedom
    Daily

    Alignment Good Languages Common
    Skills Acrobatics +14, Bluff +13, Thievery +14
    Str 10 (+5) Dex 18 (+9) Wis 12 (+6)
    Con 12 (+6) Int 16 (+8) Cha 16 (+8)
    Equipment Leather Armour +2, Dagger
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    Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:47 pm  

    Anced_Math wrote:
    I like the idea of a much more localized experiance for the PCs. THe world still seems huge and fantastic.

    Example: I am a player in low level game set in the Wild Coast, 60 miles north of the border of Pomarj. The other players have limited backgrounds in GH (excepting Mikel Amroni). After 4 levels of playing (about 4 months) we have never gone more than 30 miles from home. Our next big outing is to.... wait for it.... Safeton! and guess what, even I am excited. THis is the same town I supposedly began gaming in (many DMs ago) nearly 30 years ago! Shrinking the world IMO, makes it all better. Imagine, we might one day go to Greyhawk, or Rauxes.

    I and I think my players, want memorable games, not ones in which they have the best feats. If the game focus is on a smaller, more knowable universe, with the overturing of nations being off the table, the characters get to very high levels without wanting to be king.

    The other thing I am trying to do is get away from any simple +1 items. These are the most boring things on the planet, IMO. "Sir Jadens Sword, with an Ivory Hilt and a blade of near black metal" is something that will be rememberd by the player for years, even if it is only a + 1 sword.

    Wizard Universities? I dont care, because IMG, any time two wizards get togeather and take an apprentice, they call it a University or College. After all how many "Technical Schools," are now "Technical Colleges," though they did a fine job teaching drafting and auto mechanics before?

    So, I suppose what I am saying is that I like what GH has become, now, after FTA, and LGG. There is so much room, I can make it what I want. I like the flexibility of 3.5, but if I had to change to 4.0, or back to 1st ed, fine, so long as I can game in GH.


    As an aside, as the most knowledgeable player at the table when it comes to mechanics, I actually make it a point NOT to bring them up unless there is an open question or a player is trying to figure out the math (I'm usually faster). When a DM (be it our Pomarj DM or Anced) gets a ruling wrong, I try to let it go (I'm not ALWAYS good on this but I do try Confused Happy ) and chalk it up to the needs of the story. In fact I've had to bring that up once or twice to another player who is almost as good a rules lawyer as I am. As a DM I often take the rules as suggestions and do what I want for the story, so I make it a point of NOT getting too much in the way of a DM's story by bringing up rules. Its just rude Happy

    As an aside, I am currently running a 4E game in Greyhawk. I wanted to run the Scales of War Adventure path in GH, but once I figured out exactly how difficult that would be (matching geography to the adventures) I decided to just run a Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil game, and so far the players have enjoyed it. The Dragonborn in the Party is from near the Celestial Empire, the Dwarf is from Ulek, the Eladrin is From Celene, and the humans, gnomes, and halflings are from Verbobonc. Aside from getting together, the group hasn't really traveled more than a few days from the starting village, and are just now about ready to begin their dangerous trek to Verbobonc. I say dangerous because I have a level's worth of enemies and encounters to throw at them while they are travelling, and they don't know it yet - well between the travelling and the social encounters in Verbobonc I do.

    I am actually fond of not giving important NPCs stats. They have no AC you can hit. They have enough of a bonus to hit to affect your will, or not as my desires go, storywise.

    and for the record, a Wizard's school is when a Wizard takes on a number of apprentices and makes them do tasks for him, so he doesn't have to. So anywhere you have a sufficiently powerful and economically active wizard (with leadership in 3.x) you have a wizard's college. If two or more wizard's take on a number of apprentices, you have a Wizard College.
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:25 pm  

    Yeah - I always preferred the wizard/apprentice theme. Curse Harry Potter for making wizard schools so damn trendy.

    I'm going to try to stick to the ones from that old article 'Sorcerous Societies of the Flanaess'. I'm happy for Greyhawk and Ekbir to have large schools, I'm happy for the Artificers of Rel Deven to involve a dozen masters and apprentices, I'm happy for the Silent Ones to strike fear into the hearts of those passing the Lonely Tower. However, I'm keen on downsizing the other more generic 'schools' such as Niole Dra's Acadamy of Wizardry, Gran March's Syrloch, and the Cyvrin(?) of Geoff. And do we even need a school in Furyondy - I was always happy with the Chamber of Four, any of whom could have a couple of apprentices.

    I'm also restricting raise dead rituals to priests of Nerull (for a sacrifice) or Wee Jas (for some other suitable price). I just like the idea of the death gods lording it over the other religions - I mean, if they're devout, why WOULDN'T the dead want to be one with their god? Grovelling to a priest of Wee Jas or rounding up a street urchin for sacrifice to Nerull seems appropriate if you really want Boris the Bloodcrazed back - you are essentially begging death to release them.

    I confess, I love statting my npcs - well ok, not in 3e as it was a nightmare. I always felt I was cheating the players if I didn't follow the rules. I'm still a bit nervous that there are only broad guidelines in 4e. We can do whatever the hell we like. It's such a departure from 3e.

    Finally the elderly high priest can have powerful clerical prayers and not be +20 to attack with a mace and I won't need to feel that I have to justify this within the rules. Arkalan of Ket can be highly skilled in arcana and history and still be a decrepit alcoholic and I can stat him out in about 5 minutes. I think it is going to be much easier to rougly sketch out an npc and reflect their personality through a couple of powers, should the need arise.
    GreySage

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    Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:45 pm  

    PaulN6 wrote:
    Finally the elderly high priest can have powerful clerical prayers and not be +20 to attack with a mace and I won't need to feel that I have to justify this within the rules. Arkalan of Ket can be highly skilled in arcana and history and still be a decrepit alcoholic and I can stat him out in about 5 minutes.


    No argument there. Powerful through Prayers and Spells is one thing, a ninety year old man/woman wielding a mace with a +20 to hit/attack really is stretching it a bit too far. Everyone grows old. Sad

    Faith and a lifetime of service would easily give a Priest/Priestess some incredibly powerful spells, but his/her physical strength would be gone. Wink

    True, he/she could receive such power from their God, but that would be a wasted spell. Such an aged person has no legitimate reason to engage in melee. Sit back and toss off spells. Wink

    Realistic change. Good call on that. Happy
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:01 am  

    This is a strawman argument.

    Have you ever worked out the 3E stats for a 90-year old cleric or sage? You can do all that in 3E.

    A 90 year cleric 20 won't have a high str score having -6 ability modifiers to all physical stats, and he has only a +15 BAB, or a +10 BAB if he's a Cloistered Cleric and not a cleric (who is after all a warrior-priest modeled after the crusaders)

    Arkalan of Ket would in 3E be a very high level expert with a lot of flaws and a drug addiction/mental disorder that in addition to old age further lower his stats. He's very far from having a +20 BAB nad he can easily have very high skill ranks in all the appropriate knowledge skills.

    But I agree that in 3E statting NPCs is perhaps a bit too time intensive. OTOH you could always have handwaved it for the 3E NPCs too if you wanted to.

    I personally like the more simulationist approach and NPCs and PCs using the same rules so to speak. In the end I guess it come down to a simulationist vs. gamist approach.


    Last edited by Thanael on Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:34 am; edited 3 times in total
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    Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:27 am  

    5 minute 3E stats for a high-level non-fighting cleric and drunk sage (okay let's say ten minutes):

    An elderly cleric
    venerable human Cloistered Cleric 20
    HD 20d6 (avg. 70 -40con-20frail = 10hp, less than minimum 20 because of the Frail flaw)
    AC 12
    BAB +10 (-3 from Str, -2 from flaws)
    Atk +5

    Str 4, Dex 6, Con 6, Int 18, Wis 22, Cha 20
    (-6 on all physical, +3 on all mental, +5 from levelling)

    Feats: 8 feats, mostly social or spellcasting related
    Flaws: Frail, Noncombatant, Shaky
    Skills: max rank is 23, lots of skill points.
    Special: Lore (as bard 20), Knowledge as bonus domain, spellcasting and turn undead as cleric 20.

    A drunk Sage
    Expert 20
    HD 20d6 (avg. 70 -40con-20frail = 10hp, less than minimum 20 because of the Frail flaw)
    AC 12
    BAB +15 (-3 from Str, -2 from flaws, -4 from mental disorders, additional -2 when in withdrawal)
    Atk +6 or +4 if in withdrawal

    Str 4, Dex 6, Con 6, Int 20, Wis 22, Cha 18
    (-6 on all physical, +3 on all mental, +5 from levelling)

    Skills: lots of skill points, max rank is 23
    Feats: Skill Focuses on several Knowledge Skills, Well Read, Well Travelled, World Weary, Zagyg's Favour (regional Greyhawk feats from Dragon)
    Flaws: Frail, Noncombatant, Shaky
    Special: Has the Manic depression and Substance Abuse mental disorders. See Unearthed arcana for rules. (All attack rolls, saves, and checks take a -4 morale penalty, -6 if on alcohol withdrawal)


    Last edited by Thanael on Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:45 am; edited 3 times in total
    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:37 am  

    PaulN6 wrote:
    I confess, I love statting my npcs - well ok, not in 3e as it was a nightmare. I always felt I was cheating the players if I didn't follow the rules. I'm still a bit nervous that there are only broad guidelines in 4e. We can do whatever the hell we like. It's such a departure from 3e.


    In a sense you did cheat them. But why do you not feel the same way in 4E ? In effect all 4E says is it's okay for the DM to cheat a bit.

    PS: Here's an interesting thread on ENWorld discussing the PC/NPC divide
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:56 am  

    Thanael wrote:
    5 minute 3E stats for a high-level non-fighting cleric and drunk sage (okay let's say ten minutes):

    An elderly cleric
    venerable human Cloistered Cleric 20
    HD 20d6 (avg. 70 -40con-20frail = 10hp, less than minimum 20 because of the Frail flaw)
    AC 12
    BAB +10 (-3 from Str, -2 from flaws)
    Atk +5

    Str 4, Dex 6, Con 6, Int 18, Wis 22, Cha 20
    (-6 on all physical, +3 on all mental, +5 from levelling)

    Feats: 8 feats, mostly social or spellcasting related
    Flaws: Frail, Noncombatant, Shaky
    Skills: max rank is 23, lots of skill points.
    Special: Lore (as bard 20), Knowledge as bonus domain, spellcasting and turn undead as cleric 20.

    A drunk Sage
    Expert 20
    HD 20d6 (avg. 70 -40con-20frail = 10hp, less than minimum 20 because of the Frail flaw)
    AC 12
    BAB +15 (-3 from Str, -2 from flaws, -4 from mental disorders, additional -2 when in withdrawal)
    Atk +6 or +4 if in withdrawal

    Str 4, Dex 6, Con 6, Int 20, Wis 22, Cha 18
    (-6 on all physical, +3 on all mental, +5 from levelling)

    Skills: lots of skill points, max rank is 23
    Feats: Skill Focuses on several Knowledge Skills, Well Read, Well Travelled, World Weary, Zagyg's Favour (regional Greyhawk feats from Dragon)
    Flaws: Frail, Noncombatant, Shaky
    Special: Has the Manic depression and Substance Abuse mental disorders. See Unearthed arcana for rules. (All attack rolls, saves, and checks take a -4 morale penalty, -6 if on alcohol withdrawal)


    Lol! Nice job! But what you are saying is I should have bought Unearthed Arcana...

    My main problem with 3e was that the pcs were getting to levels 12-14 and I was starting to find it very hard to run the high level villain npcs well. My highest level pc was level 10 and I'd had no practical experience playing anything above that. They were taking ages to produce and I was oscillating between making them a fun threat and making them too tough due to save or die effects.
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:18 am  

    Thanael wrote:
    PaulN6 wrote:
    I confess, I love statting my npcs - well ok, not in 3e as it was a nightmare. I always felt I was cheating the players if I didn't follow the rules. I'm still a bit nervous that there are only broad guidelines in 4e. We can do whatever the hell we like. It's such a departure from 3e.


    In a sense you did cheat them. But why do you not feel the same way in 4E ? In effect all 4E says is it's okay for the DM to cheat a bit.

    PS: Here's an interesting thread on ENWorld discussing the PC/NPC divide


    No I never used to cheat and I think my 3e game was weaker because of that. I think that adjusting an npc arbitrarily to achieve my goal in 4e is a better mechanic. So far all I've done is adjust a few defences down on some solo monsters but I feel good about it Happy

    Interesting article; pretty much covers both sides of the argument. For the most part I like the divide. No more spending 40 minutes rolling up a 15th level wizard pc style who then lasts 2 rounds. The only problem I've come across so far in 4e is that henchmen don't really seem to fit into the mechanic very well. Lower level henchmen can never hit anything and higher level henchmen just have too many hit points.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:21 am  

    PaulN6 wrote:

    Lol! Nice job! But what you are saying is I should have bought Unearthed Arcana...

    My main problem with 3e was that the pcs were getting to levels 12-14 and I was starting to find it very hard to run the high level villain npcs well. My highest level pc was level 10 and I'd had no practical experience playing anything above that. They were taking ages to produce and I was oscillating between making them a fun threat and making them too tough due to save or die effects.


    Those parts of UA are available in the SRD online (www.d20srd.org). But I do see your point, prepping and playing or dming high-level NPCs and PCs can be difficult and take a long time in 3E that's for sure.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:53 am  

    The DM cannot cheat, though.

    All the rules in 3E are a suggestion, as far as I'm concerned.
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