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    Canonfire :: View topic - When WotC revisits Greyhawk again
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    When WotC revisits Greyhawk again
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:07 am  
    When WotC revisits Greyhawk again

    With the announcement that Dark Sun is the 2010 campaign setting many fans, myself included, breathed a heart-felt sigh of relief that WotC wouldn't be dabbling their clumsy fingers into our beloved campaign setting. But then Cebrion made a very good point... if we howl and complain enough to prevent WotC from dealing with Greyhawk then there is a chance that that is exactly what will happen and WotC will just cut us off... for good. I remember the howls of protest use to be that WotC wasn't paying Greyhawk enough attention and had abandoned us like some unwanted child. It seems we will never be happy Confused Us Greyhawk Goldielocks always thinks the food is always too hot or too cold.

    So I replied to Cebrion's comment and then thought some more about it and decided to open a new thread regarding some of the questions that it evoked (or conjured, or transmuted... pick your school of magic there). The question I had was:

    Next time WotC revisits Greyhawk how would you hope they did it? What would your thoughts and suggestions be to the Design Team in charge of the project? This thread is to present your ideas and for people to give feedback to each other's ideas. Keep it polite (both towards each other and the WotC bashing) and hopefully someone on some future WotC W.O.G 4e design team will stumble upon it when they are researching ideas for revisiting our beloved realm.


    Last edited by Varthalon on Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:09 am; edited 1 time in total
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:08 am  

    Now I'll give you my answer to that question for myself

    My main complaint with WotC's treatment of the introduction of 4e to the Forgotten Realms was the use of a "Realms Shattering Event" (RSE) to burn most of the previous canon to the ground to make room for the new materials. I definitely would hate to see Greyhawk treated similarly. And I don't think it would need to be. WotC used the RSE to explain the change in game mechanics, to introduce new races, classes, and such, and to remove some materials (like major NPCs, gods, and mechanics) that they no longer wanted in the campaign setting.

    So, if WotC is looking to: 1) add new materials (races, classes, etc), 2) change mechanics (spellcasting, Gods/Exarchs, etc), and 3) remove materials (excess gods, classes that don't work in the new mechanic, NPCs etc), what would I recommend?

    First, it occurred to me that, to most of us, Greyhawk = Flanaess and that the Flanaess is only a small continent on the planet. WotC crashed a whole planet into the forgotten realms as part of their RSE. For Greyhawk lets be a bit more polite... lets use all of the undeveloped regions like the Celestial Kingdom, Hyperboria, Empire of Lynn, etc to explain the introduction of most of the new material like the Dragonborn, Teiflings, and Warforged.

    I'd also recommend that we NOT roleplay the cause of the change of mechanics. Just a simple willing suspension of memory by the players of the game. We don't need anything to say before magic worked like THAT and then this RSE happened so magic now works like THIS. Lets all (or at least everyone using the new edition's rules) just pretend (pretend? remember this is a game of the imagination) that if the rules we are using dictate that magic works like THIS that it has always worked like THIS, that there never even was a THAT.

    Lastly, removing materials: lets not, or at least lets avoid it as much as possible. We don't need to kill off Rary and the Circle of Eight to make room for newcomers. I think if we set the new materials in areas other than the Flanaess it will give us plenty of room to play in and then we would just need to update the materials in the Flanaess to the new rule set rather than extinguishing them completely.

    So in summary, my suggestion for when WotC revisits Greyhawk would be for them to use and develop parts of the unused portions of the world of Oerth to introduce the new material with just an update to the already existing canon/materials to give it 4e mechanics for those that want to use it.

    Do you think that such a thing would be a good thing or is it a bad idea? Why?




      Edit

      Here is a sample of how the Eastern lands could be used to import new races.

      Some material below taken from the "Beyond the Flanaess" project from the Oerth Journal. Many thanks to the Duicarthan, Cebrion, Samwise, and all the others on that project.

      Mostly the nations of the East are like the nations of the West... many races and cultures intermingle in most lands while some races choose to live apart and some nations are peopled almost entirely of a single race. We could use the development of these lands as a mechanic to introduce the 4e core races that aren't already a part of greyhawk lore to the campaign. (they would also include all the pre 4e standard races but I won't go into a lot of detail on that).

      Antaria - A realm where the lines between life and death shift and blur. Undead are more common, intelligent undead can hold citizenship. Creatures that walk the line between life and unlife exist. I'm thinking some Open Grave materials here and some new materials on playing undead or pseudo-undead races/classes

      Draconic Empire of Lynn - An ancient civilization where dragons rule and dragonborn are haughty aristocrats... the god's chosen people. Other races do reside here but are treated as second class citizens, serfs, or slaves... something better than animals perhaps, but just barely.

      Fey Realm of Fallen Leaves - Ancient Eladrin kingdom. Cousins to the Elves of the Flanesse. Few other races are welcome to behold the splendors of this realm. The Eladrin, less attuned to flora and fauna than their elven cousins but more so than non-fey races, they are also very attuned to the 'living oerth' and build magnificent cities of living crystal and stone that mix the living earth with the living forest.

      Rhop - the Exalted Imperium of the Crimson Throne. An ancient empire that researched extensively into the four elemental forces and planar forces. Over the centuries the level of contact with the elemental forces lead to the gradual evolution of the Genesi. Not actually separate races but a frequent genetic mutation. Children of normal folks could be born with elemental powers while the children of Genesi may or may not manifest the powers of their parents. This is also the ancient homeland of the Rhenee and many of the customs of the Rhenee can be traced back to their racial memory of this homeland.

      Celestial Imperium - A vast feudalistic nation with a hard-working peasantry ruled by a complex bureaucracy. Long ago in its dim history internal wars lead to the development of sentient mechanical combatants called 'warforged.' The wars are long past but the warforged survive. Over the generations they have become 'just another race,' an accepted and integral part of society like halflings, elves, and dwarves. One of the most sophisticated and 'evolved' of the nations with the various races living side by side with little prejudice for each other.

      Fireland Islands - The harsh cold and volcanic activity of these islands make them a difficult place to live but hardy member of many races have settled the coastal fjords along with the tiefling natives of the island. The Tieflings were until recently a barbaric people but they have accepted many of the 'civilized' trappings of their new citizens, although it is often jested that Tiefling temperament was breed from the weather, sea, and volcanoes of their homeland.

      There is a lot of exceptions to the rules above... there is nothing to say that a mercenary force of warforged long ago hired out to the Republic of Istus and ended up settling there. A family of Tiefling traders from were shipwrecked and settled in the Tharquish empire. Changelings, with their abilities to look like any race have settled scattered across most of the world. A tribe of Suel might of fled East from the Rain of Colorless fire and displaced the previous inhabents of the Sunela Coast. etc. Depending on your campaign these new races might be unheard of, rare and exotic, or rather common in the Flanaess.


    Last edited by Varthalon on Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:51 pm; edited 2 times in total
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:13 am  

    Okay, I'll bite.

    I really don't have any problem with WotC reworking Greyhawk for 4e. Honestly, I don't. It's just that I don't like the way they've reworked other settings in the past. As you mention, they just can't seem to get past this RSE idea.

    But if they do decide to go through with it, here's what I'd like to see:

    1) Hands off old canon. You don't have to do something "new" and "cool" to make it fun - it's already fun. Just give us the stats and other mechanical details we need to convert to the new system (not that I intend to do so).

    2) Nix on adding new material. Let me explain what I mean by that: I do not mean don't develop new areas of the setting (as you suggest), new adventures, new characters, new monsters, or new plots and intrigues. I simply mean that we don't need dragonborn, warforged, etc., etc., - unless they can be added in a way that doesn't disrupt what's already there.

    3) Stick to the bare bones. Most of us on this site (and several others) argue all the time about what makes GH interesting for us. We almost never agree on the details - but we almost always agree on a few things. For example, very few of us see any need to radically change the map, the organization (of the Flanaess, not of the books themselves), or the central characters and circumstances of the setting. Some of us might like to see everything updated, but for the most part we're happy with what already exists and many of us are quite capable of updating things ourselves. Just give us an overview of the setting, focusing on the mechanical details we need in order to use the new system, with just enough fluff to allow new players to join us.

    4) Show a little respect. I have absolutely no problem with 4e as a rules set - I may not like it much personally, but I really don't care if anyone else does or not. My biggest complaint about WotC's introduction of 4e was the way in which they did it - it was entirely, rudely, and unnecessarily disrespectful of all the gaming history that had gone before and of all of us who have supported WotC (and prior to that, TSR) for so many years. I'm not asking to have my butt kissed, but let's put aside all this "they did it wrong" and "it wasn't fun" and "we're so much better now" and "we're designing for a new generation" crap. D&D and Greyhawk have always been fun, earlier designers did a lot of things right, and gamers are gamers the world over. One doesn't become an ignorant, irascible fool just because one turns 40, regardless of what Saracenus might think.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:57 am  
    Re: When WotC revisits Greyhawk again

    Varthalon wrote:
    Next time WotC revisits Greyhawk how would you hope they did it? What would your thoughts and suggestions be to the Design Team in charge of the project?


    This is an "evergreen" topic and a good one. But I'm going to go off script here. Rather than say "They should kill off Iuz (which we all know they should and hope they will Wink )," etc., I'm going to say:

    Wotc needs to solicit gamer input into what the next GH should look like from gamers.

    TSR did this via seminars at Gencon back in the Mecca days. Paizo just got done doing it as they launch the Pathfinder RPG which dominated this past Gencon.

    Wotc should do both or kiss my Assassins Guild. If Paizo can do this over a one and a half year period with dedicated and fully moderated by the designers message boards, there is no reason Wotc cannot as well - except that they don't want to.

    So. Wotc. Pull up a seat. Lean back. Get comfortable. And Greyhawk fans will do it in your ear hole. Or you can do whatever, call it Greyhawk and those same people you wouldn't give the time of day will do it in your . . . other" hole.

    This ain't rocket science.
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    Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:20 am  

    If WotC does anything with GH, my opinion is that they should make some sort of open license. Piazo did some good stuff, but a lot I did not like. But there was some stuff I did. If WotC does anything substantial, they will probably mess it up to fit some edition compatible vision. So, Iíll likely ignore it. If it is available to anyone, chances are better that I will find something compatible with my GH.
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    Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:45 pm  

    The only thing I'd really like to see is the advancement of the timeline.

    My Greyhawk is sort of wedded to earlier editions because I chose not to have magic-using dwarves, and to have demi-humans capable of multi-classing, but also stuck with level limits, etc. Why? Because all of the NPCs in the original Greyhawk adhered to those limitations. After playing that way for so long, it would just feel weird to me to now have 17th-level dwarven mages walking around. Some of the plot devices in my campaign rely on the fact that dwarves need clerics to create magic items, and when their clerics are cut off from their gods, the dwarves start looking for the ways their ancestors enchanted arms and armor without using clerics (answer = hammer chants).

    I could deal with a few races here and there now having access to new classes or new levels, if there was a good, unique story behind how that came to be FOR EACH ONE. But, for it to all happen at once would just seem bizarre and unnatural.

    Similarly, I could get behind the introduction of some new races, if there was an interesting story behind each one (someone creates the warforged, or the rediscovery of the Orbs of Dragonkind causes dragons to mate with humans for pawns in their draconic chess game, elemental half-breeds are found in genie harems on the elemental planes, etc.), but for a dozen new races all to just appear at once by fiat would also seem too shoe-horny and no longer Greyhawk.

    The first chapter of any revised setting would have to be a conversion guide, updating major NPCs from previous editions to the current edition, and giving backward conversions for any new characters/races introduced in the updated campaign.
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    Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:03 pm  

    My two cents: I really don't care whether or not Ha$bro will reanimate Greyhawk. I will not acknowledge any 4e material as canon, be it for Greyhawk or other campaign worlds. 4e is simply another game.
    If and when the newly publisned material contradicts with established canon, or with unofficial material published on this or another site, or just with my campaign notes, I'll continue to use the old material (and probably I won't notice, since I haven't read and will not read any 4e books).
    This is the same thing that happened back in the 90s, when they discontinued the 2e AD&D Dragonlance world to launch another game I didn't like at all. I even ignored the events told in the subsequent books and stuck with the old DL, at least until it was revived for 3e D&D by Sovereign Press and I could begin to integrate parts of the new material.

    If 4e GH becomes a reality, you can try to work a compromise and integrate the new stuff, but if you have a lot of developed material, either you'll have to do an incredible amount of work to integrate the old with the new (an incredible waste of your time), or dump the old (an incredible waste of available resources): it's a no-win situation.
    i'll leave the new stuff to the new generation of "roleplayers" (I put it between quotes because I feel Ha$bro is pushing away from the roleplaying roots of TSR): after all, if somebody starts playing D&D now, he will start with 4e and the chances he will play with me (or other veteran players) are slim at best.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:12 pm  

    As others have said, I hope Greyhawk gets done, just not under the auspices of a RSE format which is kind of like destroying a statue(some of it down to powder), rebuilding it as best you can, and filling in the blanks with patching compound. One would hope it would come out very similar to the original, but what if you'd never seen the orginal(i.e. weren't really familiar with it) and just had the pieces? You might get something looking like the elephant man.

    As to polipone's sentiments, I can't say that I agree with them. There is no need to pen oneself into an all-or-nothing approach to any new material, and to describe the amount of work required to incorporate any new material in such terms is unrealistic. As always, you can pick and choose from any new material as you will, fitting such material in where you can and wish to do so, and that takes very little actual work other than for reading the material and picking and choosing what you want to use, and what you do not want to use. 4e is another game, but the background material is not the game.
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    Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:34 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    4e is another game, but the background material is not the game.


    Oh don't say that!

    The background material is the game. No one plays for the rules; they play for the story, and the story arises out of the background or is played out against it. Rules are enablers, at best; at worst they just get in the way. The story is the beating heart of the game, the background, the setting (whether packaged or homebrewed).

    Greyhawk can be played with any rule set, and in many cases has been. The difficulty arises when the rules attempt to dictate to the story, the background, the setting. Adding "warlocks" to Greyhawk (for example)for purposes of expanding the Greyhawk setting and story is fine, doing so because we have a new set of rules that includes "warlocks" is base and anything but a triumph of imagination.

    Background material IS the game, its beating heart. Either that or we need to change Canonfire's credo - "Editions change and so does Greyhawk"? YMMV but that just isn't as catchy as "Editions Change. Greyhawk Endures."

    Editions change. Greyhawk endures.
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    Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:22 am  

    Personally, I just want adventures in Dungeon with a bit of background fluff that hasn't already been printed elsewhere. I'm in no hurry to see Greyhawk re-imagined but I would like to see it shown a little respect (and the re-draft of Hommlett is a step in the right direction).

    Greyhawk has always had warlocks (the Warlocks of Rookroost), artificers (the Artificers of Rel Deven) and sorcerers (Tuerny the thrice dead sorcerer of ancient legend).

    The nice thing about the new rules is that monsters are largely free-form. A Warlock of Rookroost has whatever powers and rituals you want to give him based on the needs of the story with a 'warlocky flavour' (technical term).

    For my part, I still don't have dwarf or halfling wizards either. However, I converted Muir Stonecrow of Curget into an artificer to try and retain the flavour of her creators. Dwarves are builders and have long had a reputation for making powerful weapons so an artificer as a base makes sense (bearing in mind that as an npc she wil only have a couple of artificer powers anyway).

    In some ways 4e will allow us to overcome the straight-jacket that 3e became at higher levels. No longer do I need a 20th level seer with 90hp and a hat of the brainiac +8 to beat a player's knowledge score. I was never happy that the Silent Ones of Keoland were converted to sorcerers but making them a mixture of arcane and divine using some of the fluff from the invoker class makes them much more in keeping with how I envisaged them.

    As far as players go, I would just require them to come up with a back story to explain why their halfling was a powerful wizard or whatever.
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    Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:05 am  

    I remember when the FR book came out for 3rd ed and I remember taking my time reading through it and I thought it a class act the whole way, especially at the start taking the time to explain exactly why humans are at the centre of the universe and throwing in all this specialty stuff. To say nothing of the production values. Much as I love the 3rd ed Greyhawk book... nowhere near as good Sad

    But looking at the FR books for 4th ed... ugh.
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    Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:27 pm  

    Hey manicmidwife, long time no see! Smile

    My current mood on 4E GH (which I reserve to chance like the wind) is that Darksun is in an enviable position compared to FR 4e. Maybe a complete reboot to the beginning is the best and least messy way to go. It is definitely the only way to get all ages of GH fans on the same wave-length again. The weight of prior-canon and canonicity of some of the least fan-favorite stuff is something that could be officially streamlined at last. The trick is who gets to make those calls? Who would be the GH-czar out of Wizards? Will they listen to the long-time fans or cater to only the new? It's business as usual for us until then.
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    Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:14 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    4e is another game, but the background material is not the game.


    GVDammerung wrote:

    The background material is the game. No one plays for the rules; they play for the story


    I believe these quotes highlight the Broca Divide within the GH community; indeed within the role-playing community at large.

    The importance of the rules; some believe the rules are merely a means to advance the story within the fantasy world while others perceive the rules as the pupose for the story.

    I myself fall within the GVD camp as most "veteran gamers" seem too. Where excess rules seem to hinder the story while the "new generation" desires more rules to create diversity of game-play choice.

    The veterans seek to reduce rules to encourage the ease of the storytelling and concentrate on setting atmosphere while the newbies clamour for more choice to open more fantasy possibilities. Of course lack of growth isolates the setting and stifles it while the burden of excess rules crushes creativity and enjoyment.

    Role-play imagination vs Role-play rules
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    Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:39 pm  

    I'm around, just not much grabs me to comment.

    mortellan wrote:
    My current mood on 4E GH (which I reserve to chance like the wind) is that Darksun is in an enviable position compared to FR 4e. Maybe a complete reboot to the beginning is the best and least messy way to go. It is definitely the only way to get all ages of GH fans on the same wave-length again. The weight of prior-canon and canonicity of some of the least fan-favorite stuff is something that could be officially streamlined at last. The trick is who gets to make those calls? Who would be the GH-czar out of Wizards? Will they listen to the long-time fans or cater to only the new? It's business as usual for us until then.

    The reboot is an interesting comment though the FR moved the timeline forward (unsuccessfully in my opinion) and I am not sure how that would work in GH what with our obsessions on NPCs and generations which would be swept away if the timeline were moved forward of back. Last thing was we were post war but relatively not long post war... not sure a relaunch would want to be associated with the baggage of such an event (ie they want to describe the world in broad strokes. A war would require a lot of detail).

    Also if we follow the commentary of other game worlds (like the Realms) that going back in the timeline would make the world relatively higher in magical power and going forward would make it lower.
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    Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:53 pm  

    The biggest possibility for rewind time for a reboot would be pre invoked devastation/rain of colorless fire. If WotC felt they couldn't do an edition conversion without a RSE then right there is one already in Greyhawk's history.

    Smile

    They could just say that Pre-devastation magic worked in 4e mechanics... then the devastation happened and altered the nature of reality to make magic work in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd edition mechanics.
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    Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:26 pm  

    ^ Only downside to that is that a small portion of the already known world would be the focus of the setting when we all have our favourite areas from the East. How about Iuz? Reckon everyone would miss him Wink
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    Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:26 am  

    Crag wrote:
    Cebrion wrote:
    4e is another game, but the background material is not the game.


    GVDammerung wrote:

    The background material is the game. No one plays for the rules; they play for the story


    I believe these quotes highlight the Broca Divide within the GH community; indeed within the role-playing community at large.

    The importance of the rules; some believe the rules are merely a means to advance the story within the fantasy world while others perceive the rules as the pupose for the story.


    I think there is less incentive to adopt new rules if you are not going to use a large percentage of them. If you don't take advantage of half the new classes, races, skills, etc., why change? Any revision of the campaign would necessarily adopt many of the features of the new rules to give new players the sense of freedom to play whatever race/class they might want as an enticement to play in that setting.

    I disagree with the notion that there have always been warlocks and sorcerors in Greyhawk, unless you are referring to the old level titles for the 1st edition magic-user. Smile But, I don't see a problem with introducing them.
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    Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:23 pm  

    IronGolem wrote:
    If you don't take advantage of half the new classes, races, skills, etc., why change? Any revision of the campaign would necessarily adopt many of the features of the new rules to give new players the sense of freedom to play whatever race/class they might want as an enticement to play in that setting.


    Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

    Any setting that gets 4ed that doesn't make use of 4e's tropes is change just for change sake.

    Any setting that gets 4ed and does use the 4e tropes is less whatever it was and more 4e.

    4e is a lose-lose proposition for a preexisting setting.

    YMMV. Happy But then you would be wrong. Cool

    I'd rather see GH "Cored" than fully 4ed.
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    Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:47 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Any setting that gets 4ed that doesn't make use of 4e's tropes is change just for change sake.


    I apologize GVD, I'm usually pretty sharp but after several readings I don't exactly get this part. And why is this a losing proposition? Would the same be true if you said Any setting that gets 3ed that doesn't make use of 3e's tropes is change just for change's sake?
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    Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:21 pm  

    Some degree of change is to be expected, and the rules ARE the game. We are not playing Greyhawk- we are playing Dungeons & Dragons. Greyhawk, as attractive as it is, is just packaging.

    With every edition things have been added, removed, or altered; even within the same game edition. Adding things from the Core books to the campaign settings is to be expected. It is also expected that not everyone will like them, and with little to no effort those things can simply be ignored. But...

    "I don't like what they are doing with 4e! I don't want 4e Greyhawk!"

    What if 5e is even more of a departure? Will it then be...

    "I don't like what they are doing with 5e! I don't want 5e Greyhawk!"

    And what if 6e goes the same way? And so it goes on a little bit longer? Then you are closer to retirement than away from it, WotC could really care less about you any more, and the younger crowd doesn't even vaguely recall what Greyhawk even is, except as some sort of meaningless off-hand reference a writer makes every now and again.

    Not the brightest of futures there, so I don't mind a little bit of co-mingling of the rules with settings if that is what it takes to keep the stale smell of death away from Greyhawk. At our ages, we have the wherewithal to pretty much buy anything Greyhawk that we want to. We just want a little bit of a nod to us as it regards the setting and its next formative stage. I get that. I don't get the inflexibility of some fans as it regards what the company sees as being in *it's* best interests though.

    So far as the next incarnation of Greyhawk goes, I' like something more than just another campaign setting book. If there was only that, it would would in effect be little to nothing new. We've already had enough incarnations of that, and while a basic campaign setting book is of course a necessity, I would hope that there would be regional supplement books for the world. In my perfect world, each of those regional books would be supported with a series of adventures highlighting some of the features, great and small, of that area("What's great about the regional book we just released? Well, check out these adventures which directly involve you in the region!"). in addition to that, the campaign world as a howl would be supported with cross-regional adventurers as well. Greyhawk is a vast, un-mined resource just waiting to be dug into, and I don't mean just the Flanaess.
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    Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:06 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Any setting that gets 4ed that doesn't make use of 4e's tropes is change just for change sake.

    Any setting that gets 4ed and does use the 4e tropes is less whatever it was and more 4e.


    Wait. First you say "story, not rules" then it's "but if we don't use the new additions, it's just change for change sake, and if we do, we're hurting the story." I seem to be stumbling here: what if it's just that I like the 4E rules better than the prior rulesets and would prefer some mechanical support to it? If the rules don't matter, then why not use the system we prefer best? Certainly it seems what we're doing these days...
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    Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:42 am  

    GVD is making the point: Simply changing the Rules every couple of years is not going to revive Greyhawk.

    Doing so did not revive Faerun. They basically destroyed Faerun -- with their RSE -- and are starting all over again.

    And I do not consider myself to be playing D&D, because D&D isn't really D&D anymore. I don't like Planescape, or Ravenloft -- not my thing. I've read Dark Sun -- the first five novels -- but have no interest in playing it.

    I don't mind Forgotten Realms, but much prefer Greyhawk to it. I don't think that I'm the only one. From what I'm reading here -- in the forums -- I think that my e-friend, Theocrat Issak, might be right about moving to Golarion. After all, Erik Mona (he of LGG fame) did it, and that carries a lot of weight.

    Why all the compromise? Why not develope what's already there? Why the urgent need to "change the rules" -- yet again -- just so WotC, who couldn't care less about us, will at least "mention" Greyhawk somewhere? I had no idea that Canonfire! was about D&D. I thought is was more Greyhawk specific.

    I'm interested in reviving Greyhawk and continually changing the Rules -- until we reach "21e" -- is simply not the way to do it. Razz
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    Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:29 am  

    mortellan wrote:
    GVDammerung wrote:
    Any setting that gets 4ed that doesn't make use of 4e's tropes is change just for change sake.


    I apologize GVD, I'm usually pretty sharp but after several readings I don't exactly get this part. And why is this a losing proposition? Would the same be true if you said Any setting that gets 3ed that doesn't make use of 3e's tropes is change just for change's sake?


    3e didn't have any particular tropes as compared in magnitude with 4e which gives us the Astral Sea, Pelor and Bane glaring at each other as rival gods, Eladrin and those dragon-folk PC races etc. Strip out those tropes from 4e and 4e is just another set of rules. Hence, change for change sake in such case if/when applied as just rules to a setting (ie magic is still there but just works different, healing surges surge, one must account for Warlocks (as admittedly 3e required for sorcerers) etc.).

    4e assumes setting standards, tropes, radically different from any prior edition.

    Use those, get 4ed, and your setting will be quite different from what it was before. If you liked what came before, you lose.

    Don't use those 4e tropes, get 4ed, and your setting background will remain the same but for how you must roll the dice to whatever new effect. Now, you need to learn to play by different rules to no end other than playing the same setting by different rules, change for change sake, so you lose, again.

    You can win if you disliked the way your setting was before (at least as compared to the newer version with 4e tropes) or if rolling the dice to activate different sets of powers in different ways is meaningful to you (not change for change sake in that case).

    Coming from the position, as Crag noted, that the game is the background, not the rules, I see 4eing settings, one way or the other, as lose or lose.

    If rules get you hot, then 4e, feeds your need to roll dice to get different results and you win. But then, if rules rule for you, playing in Greyhawk is by definition secondary to those cool rules, which you have deemed more important. That ain't me.

    No set of rules can make me want to play in a setting I don't like as a setting. But a cool setting can get me to try a new set of rules.

    The game is NOT the rules. D&D is about living out adventures. The rules facilitate this by translating the abstract story into concrete outcomes but any number of rule sets can do this. The adventure, in contrast, is setting or background dependent (if it is anything other than a one-shot).

    Change the background and the game isn't there or it is a different game. Change the rules and the game - living out adventures - remains, albeit modified by the degree of change with the new rules. Sure, the two are inherently interrelated but background is primary. Rules are secondary.

    For example.

    Play Dark Sun. Play Greyhawk. Use either 3e or 4e or Hero System etc. Unless the DM is totally clueless, Dark Sun and Greyhawk are two distinctly different games - they don't feel the same, they don't present the same situations, they don't present the same challenges, they don't present the same rewards.

    Then. Play Greyhawk. Use 3e or 4e or whatever rules set - striped of any tropes - Greyhawk remains Greyhawk. The feel, situations, challenges and rewards are largely the same (save to the extent one set of rules may support some actions more easily than others).

    Dark Sun and Greyhawk = Two different games, using the same or different rules.

    Greyhawk and Greyhawk = Substantially the same game, even if using different rules (provided those rules are striped of any tropes).

    Hence, rules to not make or define the game. Setting or background makes or defines the game. Rules merely facilitate and translate.

    4e, striped of its tropes, is just another set of rules and if implemented as such is change for change sake. Hence, lose, unless you like rolling dice to get new effects.

    4e, fully freighted with its tropes, is another set of rules plus a set of setting assumptions that necessarily modify any setting to which those tropes (Astral Sea, Eladrin etc.) are applied. Hence, lose, unless you like your setting better with 4e tropes.

    Hope that clarifies to some degree.

    Smile
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    Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:42 am  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    I think that my e-friend, Theocrat Issak, might be right about moving to Golarion. After all, Erik Mona (he of LGG fame) did it, and that carries a lot of weight.


    Oh, Golarion. Sigh. Can't let that one slide by. But probably better in another thread.

    Golarion is no Greyhawk. Golarion is overdesigned and underimagined. It is a "cubby-hole" setting to out do all "cubby-hole" settings.

    Never have I seen a setting that more clearly and demandingly says - "Put adventures of Type 1 in Nation X; put adventures of Type 2 in Nation Y; put adventures of Type 3 in Nation Z etc." In so strongly cubby-holing adventures in particular parts of the setting, Golarion feels very railroady or pedantic to me as a DM.

    Sure, it facilitates adventure paths, making each quite distinct and then memorable. And it is great for DMs who need help/guidance deciding on types/placement of adventures. But to anyone other DM . . . railroady
    or overly pedantic.

    Still, taken not as a whole but as parts, there is a lot to like about Golarion.

    Golarion - the parts separately are greater than their sum. That isn't a full on knock but its also not a full on endorsement either.
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    Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:48 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Oh, Golarion. Sigh. Can't let that one slide by. But probably better in another thread . . . Golarion - the parts separately are greater than their sum. That isn't a full on knock but its also not a full on endorsement either.


    Laughing Just venting my frustration with all the nonsense, GVD, my e-friend. Nothing works better than Greyhawk -- for you and me! Cool

    This is Canonfire! and we need to get away from the D&D comparisons. Canonfire! is supposed to be dedicated to all things Greyhawk, with only slight mentions of other worlds. Some here apparently want to turn Canonfire! into a D&D generic website. Not happening.

    The key to revitalizing Greyhawk is not yet another set of rules. That's my point. Those who want it (4e) fine, but its not a compromise I will settle for just so that WotC might, maybe, mention Greyhawk somewhere. Evil
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    Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:16 pm  

    Varthalon wrote:
    ...I remember the howls of protest use to be that WotC wasn't paying Greyhawk enough attention and had abandoned us like some unwanted child. It seems we will never be happy Confused Us Greyhawk Goldielocks always thinks the food is always too hot or too cold...


    -Well, no. We want the "treatment", but we want it done properly; if you you had a cut across your leg, you'd want stitches, not an amputation...

    Varthalon wrote:
    ...Next time WotC revisits Greyhawk how would you hope they did it? What would your thoughts and suggestions be to the Design Team in charge of the project?


    -They could try reading and understanding all the previous WOG material. Or is that too much effort?

    GVDammerung wrote:
    ...Wotc needs to solicit gamer input into what the next GH should look like from gamers...


    -Agreed. See above.

    Varthalon wrote:
    ...My main complaint with WotC's treatment of the introduction of 4e to the Forgotten Realms was the use of a "Realms Shattering Event" (RSE) to burn most of the previous canon to the ground to make room for the new materials...


    -Agreed. No need to "blow up" the Flaneass again...

    Varthalon wrote:
    ...I'd also recommend that we NOT roleplay the cause of the change of mechanics. Just a simple willing suspension of memory by the players of the game...


    -Agreed. That's what everyone does when we change rules, anyway, or at least I did (OD&D to AD&D 1E to AD&D 2E to D&D 3.5).

    RPing "the change" is what they tried to do in "Fate of Istus"; the adventures were fine, the rule change nonsense was lame.

    Varthalon wrote:
    ...Lastly, removing materials: lets not, or at least lets avoid it as much as possible. We don't need to kill off Rary and the Circle of Eight to make room for newcomers.


    -Again, no need to "blow it up".

    IronGolem wrote:
    The only thing I'd really like to see is the advancement of the timeline...


    -I wouldn't have any problem with them going back to 576-591 and filling in some blank spaces, as long as it's compatible with everything else before & since.

    GVDammerung wrote:
    ...The background material is the game. No one plays for the rules; they play for the story, and the story arises out of the background or is played out against it. Rules are enablers...


    -Agreed; when I change rules, or use old material, I simply convert it to D&D 3.5.

    IronGolem wrote:
    ...I think there is less incentive to adopt new rules if you are not going to use a large percentage of them...


    -True; the thing that brought me over to 3.5 was the handling of skills & feats, plus the NPC classes. But not everything has to be used, certainly not all the time...

    PaulN6 wrote:
    ...For my part, I still don't have dwarf or halfling wizards either...


    -Me neither, although a dwarf paladin would fit.
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    Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:45 pm  

    I will be perfectly happy if WotC does any of the following:

    1. Ignores Greyhawk and never publishes any Greyhawk references ever again.

    2. Strip mines all the good Greyhawk references for use in Points of Light or some actual campaign setting.

    3. Publishes a new Greyhawk guide that is a perfectly follows the tenor of the setting as described in the 83 boxed set, From the Ashes, TAB, or LGG.

    4. Publishes a new Greyhawk guide that follows the tenor of prior publications while adding 4e tropes.

    5. Publishes a new Greyhawk guide that uses an Oerth shattering event to introduce 4e tropes.

    6. Publishes a new Greyhawk guide that completely re-envisions the setting.

    7. Whatever the hell else WotC may want to do with their intellectual property.
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    Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:49 pm  

    You're pretty easy to please. ;)
    Cuz ONE of those will definitely happen....
    and I'm not gonna tell you which one. LOL

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    Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:25 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    This is Canonfire! and we need to get away from the D&D comparisons. Canonfire! is supposed to be dedicated to all things Greyhawk, with only slight mentions of other worlds. Some here apparently want to turn Canonfire! into a D&D generic website. Not happening.


    Perhaps we need an "Off-Topic" forum? Laughing
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    Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:28 am  

    Wouldn't that be the "Greyhawk -- Other Game Systems" forum? Confused

    Anything else goes to "The Backalley" forum -- yes? Wink

    Ceb, you're a "smarty pants," aren't you!? Evil Grin Laughing Laughing Laughing
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    Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:47 am  

    I suppose a "gaming industry" forum could work for discussion of such issues. Might be a good idea.
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    Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:26 am  

    This has been a good discussion and I mostly side with GVD. I would be happier with GH left well enough alone at this point. I did not care for the post-1985 offerings, for the most part, and focus my campaign on 576+/- CY. I don't care too much what WotC does at this point as the horse is not only out of the barn at this point, it's at the glue factory. [/tongue in cheek]

    I simply love GH because of its skeletal structure just waiting for the DM to flesh out while the PC's become heroes - not the errand runners FOR the campaign's established heroes.

    In short, I love Oerth.
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    Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:46 pm  

    Zudrak wrote:
    This has been a good discussion and I mostly side with GVD. I would be happier with GH left well enough alone at this point. I did not care for the post-1985 offerings, for the most part, and focus my campaign on 576+/- CY. I don't care too much what WotC does at this point as the horse is not only out of the barn at this point, it's at the glue factory. [/tongue in cheek]

    I simply love GH because of its skeletal structure just waiting for the DM to flesh out while the PC's become heroes - not the errand runners FOR the campaign's established heroes.

    In short, I love Oerth.


    That's what I've been trying to say all along, albeit poorly. I love Greyhawk. I don't care what rules somebody uses to play there; I only care that someone doesn't come along and screw it up. My issues with WotC are an entirely different subject.
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    Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:56 pm  

    bubbagump wrote:
    I don't care what rules somebody uses to play there; I only care that someone doesn't come along and screw it up.


    I agree; If someone wants to use 4e -- knock yourself out. I'm just saying that "another" set of Rules -- 4e, 5e, 10e -- isn't going to revive the setting. Only "story" can do that.

    The discussion in the "Paladin King" thread is a prime example, a novel would have done much to clarify all of that "history" and establish canon at the same time. And it would have been a great story -- hope Robbastard does an article. Happy
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    Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:00 pm  

    I like that Greyhawk is still a campaign with mysteries to explore, and I'm glad that characters like the Paladin-King haven't been "nailed down."

    That's not to discourage fan writing on the subject, though.
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    Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:05 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    I'm glad that characters like the Paladin-King haven't been "nailed down."


    I enjoy the mystery as well, but I also think that you're one of the very people that could write some great novels for Greyhawk. Wink
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    Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:03 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    I like that Greyhawk is still a campaign with mysteries to explore, and I'm glad that characters like the Paladin-King haven't been "nailed down."

    That's not to discourage fan writing on the subject, though.


    I concur. But sometimes it's difficult to differentiate between what one wants in published works and what one wants in one's own campaign. In the published version(s) of Greyhawk, I'm glad there are lots of undiscovered mysteries - it's part of what makes the setting fun. But in my own campaign I want NO mysteries. If a butterfly flaps its wings in the Tharquish Empire, I want to be able to follow the chain of cause and effect all the way until a typhoon hits Hepmonaland - but I want to be the one who fills in all the gaps not covered by published works. That's not to say I don't want anyone else to write or publish anything, it's just that if anyone else does I want it to fit with whatever else has been written. It makes filling in those gaps much less troublesome on my end.
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    Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:24 am  

    I agree with that. I'm somewhat of a purist, though I've taken license or outright slipped up on a few things due to ignorance. I've only done that a few times though. I am very much in favor of maintaining the feel of the campaign world by reconciling the material that has been written for it. In the early material there is a definite method to the writing, but it is very noticeable that later authors either did not seek to define their work by keeping it similar, or simply weren't observant enough to figure out that there was a style to adhere to and just happened to be in the right place at the right time and got handed a project to work on. The trend to include more and more real world references is, to me, a bad thing, as would be adding things that are not there to begin with like Cthulhu, Ravenloft, etc. People can add that stuff to their own campaigns if they want to anyways, and they do, as I have. That being said, those things are not Greyhawk, and so should be left by the wayside. Inspiration is one thing, while cut-n-pasting material is quite another.

    And by an Off-topic forum I mean a forum for the discussion of non-Greyhawk gaming topics, such as posting news of things like the Dark Sun campaign setting book, etc.
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    Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:48 am  

    I believe that the detail in which a campaign setting is covered is a matter of style and there isn't a right way or a wrong way. Greyhawk has always had that minimalist approach that many fans love and others don't. Forgotten Realms was the other extreme... They covered just about every butterfly wing beat.

    I'm not sure which I would prefer... I really liked the 2nd and 3rd edition Forgotten realms source books, and being able to read so much detail about the setting. But I also like developing my own bits of the world, which is easier the less developed the world already is.
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    Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:02 am  

    Of course, there's a simple solution to the whole discussion: WotC could just ask me what I want them to do, and I could tell them. Then everyone here could tell me how wonderful my decisions were. Cool

    And that will probably happen sometime around my second date with the tooth fairy, when the Easter bunny starts a fight because I stole his girl.
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    Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:13 am  

    Forgotten Realms indeed went way too far in "nailing things down" and I believe that has "put off" some here. But that's not what I'm suggesting. Neutral

    Novels can be used to good effect in promoting the game itself, by telling the stories of Greyhawk -- and there are many to be told. Heck, there are many stories that were begun and never finished! Shocked

    I haven't played D&D (I played in Greyhawk) since 1983, I "returned" to Greyhawk in 2008 -- when I found Canonfire! -- stories that were only "half-told" when I was a kid are still only "half-told." Story developement of Greyhawk ceased, nothing has been done, that I can see. Oh, wait a minute, we are on our 6th (8th?) set of Rules. I forgot. Embarassed

    And this is not good for Greyhawk. As has been said here by others, the young players of today only know Greyhawk as a "name." A new Rule book is only going to perpetuate that -- Greyhawk will still just be a name. Sad

    Second, there are somethings that can and should be "nailed down." For instance; Just where the heck IS the "Keep on the Borderlands?" If the "Keep" originated in the Greyhawk campaign setting, then let's permanently "fix" its location -- The Keep is located "here." (And the "Keep" is only an example, I don't know what Campaign World it originated in, though I'm sure most of you do) Wink

    None of this would "remove" the mystery that we all love about Greyhawk. Much Greyhawk legend should remain just that -- legend. No one knows the truth -- including Mordekainen -- after all, only Greater Gods should be omniscient. Evil Grin

    I love the mystery of Greyhawk as much as anyone -- more even, because Greyhawk is the only campaign world that I'm really interested in -- many of you are interested in others. Me? Not at all. Evil

    I want Greyhawk revived! I want Greyhawk to be the most popular campaign setting -- not some other one. Evil Grin Razz

    Long live Greyhawk! Long live EGG! Cool
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    Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:40 pm  

    Writing has a style; content does not. Content can be quantified and is easily defined. It is also very easy to control, while writing style actually takes more effort on the part of an author to consciously deviate from. People have natural tendency to write a certain way(in their own style), but the inclusion, or exclusion, of content is always a purposeful decision.

    There is a right an wrong way of doing things. Would you mix Conan content with Lords of the Rings type content? How about you throw some classical Egyptian content too? Heck, why don't we put in Three Musketeers type stuff, complete with a Cardinal Richilieu(that's right, we're not even going to change the name), plus a city named Innsmouth(once again, not even going to change the name) full of fishy-eyed looking folks and where visitors tend to disappeared(at night time, of course)?

    Yes, there is definitely a right and wrong way of doing things. Wink

    As to the level of content, the more the better I say, but it has to be done in the "right way". Novelization is fine, but you don't novelize adventures! That's in the running for "The Worst Idea Ever" award to be sure. Why would a DM buy an adventure that they know that most of their players have read the book for? As for anything else, very little should be super-detailed other than for in an adventure that requires it.

    Now, on to something that bugs me. It is more than obvious that many people operate under the fallacy that if something has been defined that they cannot change it, or that changing it somehow requires more effort than creating it whole cloth would to begin with. I see this sort of sentiment all of the time. "But I want to be able to create something myself!" people have said, and still say. Well, guess what? Not everyone wants to be required to do that. And even still, just because something has been written one way doesn't mean you can't rewrite it to be another way. To think that just because something has been defined that it cannot be redefined is simply foolish, and to hope that something won't be defined because you have already done so is just selfish.

    Other than for a lack of support for Greyhawk, there is a very good reason that the Forgotten Realms is so popular, and part of that reason is that it is so well-defined. It is easy to step into, as it doesn't require untold hours of development on the part of a new DM. Having so much information readily available really is a great tool for the DM. Most of the work is already done, and if a DM wants to, they can make things a little bit more their own by altering the extant material. Yes, so simple a caveman could do it. Add in successful novelization made all the more easy by the wealth of information that has already been written for the setting, plus a highly successful PC game franchise, and you've got the most popular campaign setting ever.

    So, I'd be quite happy if Greyhawk received supplemental material for every single area, with a level of detail as can be seen in Iuz the Evil(which is my favorite supplement). The major power players are covered, as are the main cities(though not in exacting detail), plus some sites of interest are also mentioned in both cities and in the lands. Now, imagine that level of coverage for the entirety of Greyhawk. There would still be plenty of room to fill in gaps, it's easy for somebody new to Greyhawk to step right into the campaign setting and not have to create a whole bunch of background material on their own to get stuck into things, and finally, if you do want to create something of your own, you can, because nobody is holding a gun to your head telling you that you have to use everything as it is written.

    Where's the :rollseyes: gif when you need one. Laughing
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    Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:21 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Where's the :rollseyes: gif when you need one. Laughing


    I want one for drooling, myself. Laughing Laughing Laughing

    I don't disagree with what you're saying, Ceb. But I consider that sort of stuff to fall under the classification of "Source Book" material, which can serve almost the same purpose as novels. In some respects, it could be better. Shocked

    I'm simply against getting another book that is nothing more than just another set of rules. The type of information that you're suggesting will easily consume more than a single hardcover. And I would welcome it. But I don't need, or want a "different" set of rules. Evil

    Let's use Conan: The man wears a loin cloth and sandles, what do the present rules say is going to happen when he comes face to face with a dragon? (It happened once)

    Well, guess what? Conan killed the dragon -- because Howard said so. Shocked

    Well, guess what? I'm the DM -- whatever I say is going to happen, that's what happens. Each and everyone of you "breaks the rules" every time you want to. They're nothing more than a guideline. We don't need more guidelines. Let's get some content; Source books, novels, magazines, short-stories . . .

    There's plenty of talent right here. And you're one of those talents, Ceb. Wink Cool Happy
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    Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:04 pm  

    Yeah, we need more gifs.

    Looking at any of the current campaign setting books, they are not just a bunch of rules, so I don't see what the worry is in that regard. Slashing and burning the world in order to rebuild it is what I think most people are afraid of. If things are continued from where they last left off, and supplemental books with the odd rules here and there are written, then I think things will be fine. The direction is their own, they can develop what they want to, and people can either ignore it, use some of it, or use all of it as they wish, and of course people can change whatever they want to so as to make it their own.

    There have been many threads on what could be done next, but at this point there are a good amount of people who just don't or won't accept material after included after a certain date anyways(post-Gygax is crap, post FtA is crap, etc.), and the setting cannot be allowed to held hostage by them. They are either latched on to the nostalgia of the past or the idea that nobody beyond a certain point could possibly do the subject justice anyways, and so would rather have nothing than something at all. Such people won't accept anything built off of later material, and if anything new is built off of later material then those people are not the target audience anyways. And, more importantly, why should newer writers write for them anyways? It would be like writing a book called "Pets Are Good Eatin'!" and then expect vegetarians and PETA members to be your biggest customers. Laughing Yes, I don't blame the folks at WotC for turning a blind eye to such folks for the most part.

    And then there is the reset to 576 CY too. This allows the writers to foreshadow later material in obscure ways so that the later material can be useful too, but not necessarily be included. There is freedom here to develop portions of the world which have seen little attention as the writers fit, as well as revisit classic adventure locales. That should not be the sole emphasis of adventures mind you, but it would give WotC a reason to sell old adventures as usable once more, and with only a little work to update and format them; as PDFs if not hard copies.

    I'm fine with either choice so long as the horrible slash & burn technique is not used as the basis for anything.
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    GreySage

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    Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:53 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Slashing and burning the world in order to rebuild it is what I think most people are afraid of.


    I've read elsewhere that the Twin Cataclysms were Greyhawk's RSE. But I would beg to differ. Before Gygax, Arneson and Kuntz rolled their first diece, the Twin Cataclysms were already Oerth "history." The true RSE for Greyhawk was the Greyhawk Wars. Wink

    When I played, there wasn't even a hint of this catastrophe happening, the "83 Boxed set confirms this. In the LGG (year 2000) they're already over. How and why the Greyhawk Wars took place -- and so changed my favorite world -- was never fully explained for me. Nothing I've read -- so far -- satisfies my comprehension of it. Confused

    Its like the confusion of Faerun: The Overgod Ao steps in because one of the Gods stole some tablets that, in the end, meant nothing. Now, in the first two, of three, brand new books (currently packed away from moving) Tyr has killed Helm, while Cyric and Shar have murdered Mystara -- and Ao apparently no longer cares and does nothing about it. Razz

    The Greyhawk Wars put me in mind of that -- no rhyme, no reason, no cohesion. Neutral

    Cebrion wrote:
    . . . at this point there are a good amount of people who just don't or won't accept material after included after a certain date anyways(post-Gygax is crap, post FtA is crap, etc.) . . . They are either latched on to the nostalgia of the past or the idea that nobody beyond a certain point could possibly do the subject justice anyways . . . Such people won't accept anything built off of later material. . .


    This is unreasonable. I loved EGG as much as anyone here, but there was always going to be a time when someone else would have to carry on. (Sadly, that time is now truly upon us Cry ) Greyhawk must grow, it is the direction of the growth that concerns me, not whether or not it should happen. It must happen. Surprised

    And if we here on Canonfire! are going to play a part in that process -- helping to determine the direction in which Greyhawk grows -- then we simply cannot appear to be the "cook fringe" element. Because we're not, we are the people who love Greyhawk. We do not want our children to grow up either, but they do. Parents who love their children assist in that process. We who love Greyhawk need to assist in the direction its growth takes, but we cannot hinder it. Idea

    Cebrion wrote:
    And, more importantly, why should newer writers write for them anyways? It would be like writing a book called "Pets Are Good Eatin'!" and then expect vegetarians and PETA members to be your biggest customers. Laughing


    New authors can be found among the "faithful;" Gary, Allan, Erik and Denis all spring to mind. Also, new talent does exist "out there" (some here, for example) and can be "tapped." I believe that any such would be willing to "have a go" at it. But will WotC even consider that path? Confused

    That's my problem with WotC, I see no willingness to "open up" in that regard. I feel that they, themselves, turned a "blind eye" to Greyhawk long ago, long before they could have reasonably "blamed" such an attitude on the "cook fringe" here at Canonfire! Evil Grin

    Cebrion wrote:
    And then there is the reset to 576 CY too. This allows the writers to foreshadow later material in obscure ways so that the later material can be useful too, but not necessarily be included. There is freedom here to develop portions of the world which have seen little attention as the writers fit, as well as revisit classic adventure locales . . . it would give WotC a reason to sell old adventures as usable once more, and with only a little work to update and format them; as PDFs if not hard copies.


    There is Great potential for story telling. But stories are told in novels, complilations of short stories, magazine articles, et al. Will WotC do this? I see no signs of it. Sad

    I, myself, would like to see the Greyhawk Wars done away with. There was neither rhyme nor reason for that catastrophe to ever have happened. Confused

    Several "minor" wars could easily explain the current changes so as to allow use for current materials and would be much more managable, suitable and appropriate for our world. Happy

    We can do it. We can revive Greyhawk and introduce our favorite world to a younger generation, so that Greyhawk does not die with us. But first we have to pull together and we cannot do that until we agree on the direction in which we need to pull. Happy

    The great amount of disagreement here is distracting us from what we need to do. We all agree that "something" needs to be done. The arguing needs to stop and "give and take" needs to take place, so that we can begin the movement forward. Cool

    We will each lose something, true, but that happens in every business deal. But we each gain someting too, that also happens in business deals. Wink
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    Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:44 am  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    The great amount of disagreement here is distracting us from what we need to do. We all agree that "something" needs to be done...


    Actually, we can't even agree on that much. Some here and elsewhere would be more than happy if nothing is ever done with GH other that what fans are already doing. Frankly, I can't see that their position bears any less merit than any other.
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    Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:08 am  

    bubbagump wrote:
    Some here and elsewhere would be more than happy if nothing is ever done with GH other that what fans are already doing.


    The answer to that is simple enough . . . don't participate. And I mean . . . don't participate. Neutral

    When that "new" novel comes out "next year," don't buy it. When they finally make that "new" Iuz the Evil miniature, don't buy it. If people who feel this way -- as you describe them -- do "buy it," then they're "sell outs." Razz

    See how easy that was? Evil Grin

    Sorry, but uncompromising people should be "left out in the cold." In this life, no one gets everything their way. Sad

    And, incidentally, anyone who feels that way had best have all of their Greyhawk material . . . because the PDF's are gone. Shocked

    (Insert evil laugh here) Evil Grin Laughing Evil Grin Laughing
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    Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:18 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    When I played, there wasn't even a hint of this catastrophe happening, the "83 Boxed set confirms this. In the LGG (year 2000) they're already over. How and why the Greyhawk Wars took place -- and so changed my favorite world -- was never fully explained for me. Nothing I've read -- so far -- satisfies my comprehension of it. Confused


    Ah, but you see, the 83' Boxed set confirms nothing in this regard; only that Pluffet Smedger's work is incomplete. The stage is set for everything to hit the fan in the Flanaess, but the esteemed sage only covers up to 576 CY, when he of course knows what happens thereafter too. We just never got the succeeding volumes of his histories. Wink

    As to why the wars happened, there was trouble brewing all over the place, though mostly in the north. After reading what is going on in the 83' set, read the Dragon magazine articles by EGG(I can't recall the issue numbers, but they are are before #100) that are a continuation of events as explained in the 83' boxes set. Taking these articles into account, it is easier to see how the pot could boil over and the Greyhawk Wars begin.
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    GreySage

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    Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:43 pm  

    I've never read a Dungeon, or a Dragon magazine, are they still available? Confused Happy

    And even if the Wars are explained -- somewhere -- they still qualify as an RSE for Greyhawk. Why else do them? Why crash another planet into Toril? Confused

    It was designed to change the fundamental nature of Oerth. An RSE is a poor attempt to rekindle interest in a gaming product. And I mean "poor" as in inefficient. There were better ways to do it.

    Obviously some here do not want to revive Greyhawk. Others here like the Greyhawk Wars and the changes that they effected on Oerth. So why all the hubbub over 4e? Confused

    WotC cannot force anyone here to use this edition, so, just ignore it. Why get upset in the first place? Just ignore whatever it is that WotC is doing, just as they ignore you. Why even start this debate?

    If no one wants anything changed, why even bring the subject up? Do you really use a fictional world, such as Greyhawk, for a meaningless philisophical debate?

    What exactly are we talking about here?
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    Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:05 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    I've never read a Dungeon, or a Dragon magazine, are they still available? Confused Happy


    Back issues are available on various websites, and many can be purchased in the "used" section of games stores. Probably the best place to find them is on Ebay. Of course, if you have a pegleg and an eyepatch there are other ways to find them...

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    It was designed to change the fundamental nature of Oerth. An RSE is a poor attempt to rekindle interest in a gaming product. And I mean "poor" as in inefficient. There were better ways to do it.


    I certainly can't argue with that. An RSE is clumsy, inelegant, and (to my mind) causes a whole bushel of new problems.

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    ...Others here like the Greyhawk Wars and the changes that they effected on Oerth. So why all the hubbub over 4e?
    WotC cannot force anyone here to use this edition, so, just ignore it. Why get upset in the first place? Just ignore whatever it is that WotC is doing, just as they ignore you. Why even start this debate?


    You definitely have a point here. I think many (perhaps even myself on occasion) have become confused over various elements of the issue. As far as anyone's personal campaign, you're right - the release of a new edition or product has no bearing. But there are other items of concern:

    Some wanted to continue as part of the greater RPG community when WotC came out with the new edition, but they didn't want to change certain elements. These were upset when they found themselves effectively left out. Many in this camp feel as if their beloved hobby has been stolen from them, and in a way it has.

    Others were insulted by the behavior of certain WotC representatives when 4e was released. I happen to fall into this category.

    Still others are completists. They collect Greyhawk lore the same way some people collect stamps or coins, and do their best to organize it in a cohesive, coherent way. New material that doesn't gibe with what's already been written - or worse, an RSE - is an unnecessary frustration to such people.

    And still others are loyalists. These usually pick a specific point in time - say, the Greyhawk Wars - and feel that anything published afterward was "not in keeping with the feel or intent of the original author." These, too, have a point.

    And, of course, there are a myriad of other arguments with a myriad of counterpoints to match them.

    But you have a point. In the end Greyhawk is a fictional world and not worthy of the near-religious fervor it inspires in some people - there are more important things in life. This is why I question the reasons behind wanting to elevate GH to supremacy in the gaming world and wanting to proselytize new players. I simply don't see what would be gained. It's also why I don't understand why some get to incensed when others offer different viewpoints. Opinions are just that - opinions. You express yours, I'll express mine, and in the end we'll both be right so why get upset about it?
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    Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:30 pm  

    bubbagump wrote:
    Opinions are just that - opinions. You express yours, I'll express mine, and in the end we'll both be right so why get upset about it?


    Opinions . . . and the infamous orifice! Oft-times, they both smell! Evil Grin Laughing Laughing Laughing
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    Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:37 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    I've read elsewhere that the Twin Cataclysms were Greyhawk's RSE. But I would beg to differ. Before Gygax, Arneson and Kuntz rolled their first diece, the Twin Cataclysms were already Oerth "history." The true RSE for Greyhawk was the Greyhawk Wars. Wink


    Actually, the two "RSE"'s for GH, in the sense that I believe the OP was using the term (in-game explanation for changed game mechanics), was not the Greyhawk Wars, but the Red Death from Fate of Istus (1e to 2e) & Vecna's machinations in Die Vecna Die! (2e to 3e).

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:

    When I played, there wasn't even a hint of this catastrophe happening, the "83 Boxed set confirms this. In the LGG (year 2000) they're already over. How and why the Greyhawk Wars took place -- and so changed my favorite world -- was never fully explained for me. Nothing I've read -- so far -- satisfies my comprehension of it. Confused


    As Cebrion said, the Savant-Sage's guide was incomplete, and much of the tension which led to was can be seen in Gygax's Dragon articles (I think in the 30 to 75 range). You might find some copies of these articles by Googling "Greyhawk's World," the title under which many of these articles appeared.
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    Sun Aug 23, 2009 5:20 pm  

    Robbastard wrote:
    You might find some copies of these articles by Googling "Greyhawk's World," the title under which many of these articles appeared.


    Thanks for that information. I'll be looking for those articles. Happy

    At least I gained something from all the Rhetoric bouncing around in this particular thread. Evil Grin
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    Sun Aug 23, 2009 5:41 pm  

    Reading Artifact of Evil by Gary Gygax might help too, as some of the events that happened in that book happened, in somewhat different form, in the Greyhawk Wars. The biggest difference is that the "Theorparts" aren't mentioned in the Wars material.
    GreySage

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    Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:13 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    Reading Artifact of Evil by Gary Gygax might help too . . .


    Thanks Rasgon. I'll try to get a copy of that publication as well. Happy
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    Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:52 am  

    You may also want to get a copy of Saga of Old City too, as that is the book that leads into Artifact of evil. Both are fun reads for a fan of Greyhawk.
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    GreySage

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    Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:23 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    You may also want to get a copy of Saga of Old City too . . .


    Thanks, I already own that one! Happy

    I own a few of the "Greyhawk" novels, all packed away right now. (None by Rose Estes, thanks be to Boccob!) Evil Grin

    Otherwise, all I have -- at present -- are the '83 Boxed Set and the LGG. And, of course, the Great Library of Greyhawk Wiki! Happy Cool

    I'm busily locating "older" items on the internet and, when my situation improves, I fully intend on purchasing them all. But I thank everyone for their input, its very much appreciated! Wink
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    Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:02 am  

    I would love more supplimental materials for Greyhawk. Things along the line of the 83 box set and the LGG that talk about the nations, their leaders and populations, the characteristics of the various groups of people, the knighthoods and organizations that are around. More maps and details on the major cities and some generic maps that could be about any small village or town the adventures might blow into.

    I wouldn't want them to deal with game mechanics. For example, I would love to know that there is a tavern called the Barking Blink Dog in Rel Mord with Mr Binky running the place along with details on the atmosphere of the establishment and the personality of Mr. Binky and that as a young man he use to be a Basher for the local thieves guild and a Fighter/Rogue, but I don't care to know that Mr. Binky is a Fighter 3 /Rogue 3 with 16/14/16/10/9/8 stats and the rest of his stat block, equipment list, skill modifiers, etc... I can fake all that on the fly if it's needed.
    GreySage

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    Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:12 am  

    Varthalon wrote:
    I would love more supplimental materials for Greyhawk. Things along the line of the 83 box set and the LGG that talk about the nations . . . I wouldn't want them to deal with game mechanics. For example, I would love to know that there is a tavern called the Barking Blink Dog in Rel Mord with Mr Binky running the place . . . but I don't care to know that Mr. Binky is a Fighter 3 /Rogue 3 with 16/14/16/10/9/8 stats and the rest of his stat block, equipment list, skill modifiers, etc... I can fake all that on the fly if it's needed.


    That's what I'm talking about too. But the "tone" of this thread leads me to believe that its all just rhetoric. Nothing serious will come out of it so, I'm moving on. Its all your's now, Varth. Evil Grin
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    Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:43 pm  

    It doesn't even qualify as rhetoric. Since none of us owns WotC, and since WotC couldn't care less about our opinions, all it amounts to is wishful thinking. Wink

    But who knows? Maybe someday somebody will start listening.

    Then again, maybe someday Mordenkainen will show up in my living room and offer me a position as caretaker of his spellbooks.
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    Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:55 pm  

    bubbagump wrote:
    Of course, there's a simple solution to the whole discussion: WotC could just ask me what I want them to do, and I could tell them. Then everyone here could tell me how wonderful my decisions were.


    A man after my own heart - "if I ran the world, everything would be perfect!"

    Now where did I put that scroll of wish?

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    Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:22 pm  
    Re: When WotC revisits Greyhawk again

    Varthalon wrote:
    Next time WotC revisits Greyhawk how would you hope they did it? What would your thoughts and suggestions be to the Design Team in charge of the project?


    All right, I'll bite. (This all seems so familiar somehow...)

    Above all, I want good writing, whether sourcebooks, stories, novels, or adventures. I also want value for money - I value information more than presentation. I don't need glossy paper, huge borders, and too much art.

    Two types of products I would buy:
    - sourcebooks detailing areas that haven't been detailed before
    - adventures tied to the setting that give additional background to the adventure area

    I almost added novels as well, but the quality of RPG novels is so uneven that it's not worth it.

    Some other thoughts:

    Completely agree with other commenters about avoiding the RSE. These tend to invalidate too much previous material & work I've already done.

    A moderately-paced advance of the timeline would be OK. I think 1 real year = 1 Oerth year is probably too fast. I've changed my mind on this lately.

    Finally, it really doesn't matter to me one way or the other. I have enough material for years of play and development without WotC publishing anything else. The quality of some fan-generated materials is as good as, if not better than, much of the published material. I can always mine that if I run out of ideas.

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    Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:15 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    Otherwise, all I have -- at present -- are the '83 Boxed Set and the LGG. And, of course, the Great Library of Greyhawk Wiki! Happy Cool

    If you have only purchased 2 Greyhawk products ever, and did not slog through the disappointment of things like The Scarlet Brotherhood or the Greyhawk Wars board game, might I inquire on why you appear so concerned with the future development of the setting?
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    Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:12 pm  

    OleOneEye wrote:
    If you have only purchased 2 Greyhawk products ever . . .


    In truth, I'm finished with this debate.

    However, I never said that all I had ever purchased were two Greyhawk products. That's all I have managed to replace after years of Over-the-Road Truck Driving. I will repeat, one time only, some of the things I have said before, and will mention something new.

    On average, over the last 22 years, I have been "home" two days per month. My "kid" brother, who was born when I was 18 years old, has gone through and lost, or destroyed, literally hundreds of publications of mine (including PHB's, DMG's, MM's, WSC's, the works -- Greyhawk products {we won't discuss the innumerable paperbacks and VHS's}). And, of course, I was always reminded that he was "just a baby" and I should "grow-up and not worry about such childish things." (My father had access to my home and would let him "play" with whatever he wanted).

    The products in question are the only two I have at present, because I've purchased them within the last couple of years through Amazon.com -- and paid well for them too. Fate of Istus, ToEE, all can be had -- in brand new condition -- for a couple of hundred dollars, and I will pay it. I've already done so. Regrettably, I have been unemployed, since January 1st of this year and, so, have not been in a position to replace any other materials yet.

    I would conclude by saying that this is all the personal information you get concerning my private life and problems. Mind your own damn business.
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    Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:37 pm  

    OleOneEye wrote:
    If you have only purchased 2 Greyhawk products ever, and did not slog through the disappointment of things like The Scarlet Brotherhood or the Greyhawk Wars board game, might I inquire on why you appear so concerned with the future development of the setting?


    Huh? What difference does it make how many he has purchased? I didn't realize there was a 3-product minimum to care! Happy

    Besides, he said 'at present' - implying there have been others in the past. I know I've pared my collection down quite a bit in the last 5 years.

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    Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:41 pm  

    Oerthman wrote:
    Huh? What difference does it make how many he has purchased? I didn't realize there was a 3-product minimum to care! Happy

    Besides, he said 'at present' - implying there have been others in the past. I know I've pared my collection down quite a bit in the last 5 years.

    -Phil


    I am confident that I chose my words wrong, and standardized testing has often proven my inability to notice implications.

    I just find it an interesting phenomenon that the general tenor here on Canonfire is that it appears folks want WotC to resurrect the Greyhawk line and inspire a new generation to explore the setting, but appear to have no desire to move the setting beyond what has come before.
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    Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:33 am  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    I would conclude by saying that this is all the personal information you get concerning my private life and problems. Mind your own damn business.


    No offense, but, I don't give a rat's **** about your personal life. And for the record, you're the one who brought it up. Neutral

    Quote:
    I just find it an interesting phenomenon that the general tenor here on Canonfire is that it appears folks want WotC to resurrect the Greyhawk line and inspire a new generation to explore the setting, but appear to have no desire to move the setting beyond what has come before.


    I'm torn on this decision - a part of me doesn't want Greyhawk tampered with at all and yet at the same time, I want it resurrected into the limelight with new stories, modules, etc. And the problem with bringing it back, as I see it, is to what edition will we be in. If WoTC is involved, it's 4E - that's not an option for me.
    So, would it be 1st ed, or 2nd ed, or 3.5 or Pathfinder or Basic? You know, there will be many divergent wishes and you can't please everyone. Seems to me like an endless debate. Wink
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    Sun Aug 30, 2009 6:41 am  

    hedgeknight wrote:
    ...I'm torn on this decision - a part of me doesn't want Greyhawk tampered with at all and yet at the same time, I want it resurrected into the limelight with new stories, modules, etc.


    -Again. I don't see why THEY couldn't go back and fill in a few of the blank spots in the 576-590 timeframe; if they do it lightly it shouldn't seriously infringe on anyone's campaign.

    Varthalon wrote:
    I would love more supplimental materials for Greyhawk. Things along the line of the 83 box set and the LGG that talk about the nations, their leaders and populations, the characteristics of the various groups of people, the knighthoods and organizations that are around. More maps and details on the major cities and some generic maps that could be about any small village or town the adventures might blow into.

    I wouldn't want them to deal with game mechanics. For example, I would love to know that there is a tavern called the Barking Blink Dog in Rel Mord with Mr Binky running the place along with details on the atmosphere of the establishment and the personality of Mr. Binky and that as a young man he use to be a Basher for the local thieves guild and a Fighter/Rogue, but I don't care to know that Mr. Binky is a Fighter 3 /Rogue 3 with 16/14/16/10/9/8 stats and the rest of his stat block, equipment list, skill modifiers, etc... I can fake all that on the fly if it's needed.


    -Excellent.

    hedgeknight wrote:
    ...And the problem with bringing it back, as I see it, is to what edition will we be in. If WoTC is involved, it's 4E - that's not an option for me...


    -I wouldn't care which edition it's in; I'm used to converting old material to 3.5. I even kind of like it, although it does take time.

    bubbagump wrote:
    ...But you have a point. In the end Greyhawk is a fictional world and not worthy of the near-religious fervor it inspires in some people - there are more important things in life...


    -INFIDEL! Laughing
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    Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:52 am  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    bubbagump wrote:
    ...But you have a point. In the end Greyhawk is a fictional world and not worthy of the near-religious fervor it inspires in some people - there are more important things in life...


    -INFIDEL! Laughing


    I just knew somebody would react to that. Laughing
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    Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:53 am  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    -Again. I don't see why THEY couldn't go back and fill in a few of the blank spots in the 576-590 timeframe; if they do it lightly it shouldn't seriously infringe on anyone's campaign.


    There could be options, I guess, that would omit the Greyhawk Wars and such "cataclysmic" events that changed the world and let folks do as they wish. Maybe offer a few different paths that the timeline could pursue - might make for some interesting combinations. Wink
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    Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:27 pm  

    OleOneEye wrote:
    I just find it an interesting phenomenon that the general tenor here on Canonfire is that it appears folks want WotC to resurrect the Greyhawk line and inspire a new generation to explore the setting, but appear to have no desire to move the setting beyond what has come before.


    Question Question Question

    Resurrecting the setting need not only mean advancing the time line, which is what I assume you are implying. I feel quite strongly about this as I feel it is the job of DMs to advance time lines according to *their* own designs, rather than have to worry about what a game company will do that may throw a wrench into what they have most likely spent uncountable hours creating themselves for games that have gone on for months or even years. Keeping things more uniform will mean that any forthcoming products will appeal to more customers anyways, and I doubt WotC would want anything else.

    The setting can be perfectly well resurrected simply by bringing it back and fleshing it out a bit more. The only books that ever made an effort to flesh out the Flanaess to any degree(let alone anywhere outside of that minute area) were Iuz the Evil, The Marklands, The Scarlet Brotherhood, and Ivid the Undying. Other than that we have a bit of material in Slavers and Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff. Quite a few areas remain to have at least a modicum of detailing in such a way as these book all gave an overview of the areas they concentrated on, and some of those books didn't do such a good job of things at all to begin with and could be improved upon.

    Such books can be fairly rules light, though I'd expect some rules for special things here and there. Advancing the time line in another LGG will do little with regards to enriching the setting. It would be just another rehash, as TAB was of the Folio/83' boxed set, and as the LGG was of TAB. Granted they did add a little bit of additional information in each of those, but not anything that brought any of the nations to life in some sort of meaningful way. Living Greyhawk did a better job of enriching Greyhawk than anything has before, even if not all of the material was of stellar quality or even followed a general plan for the whole. What id did do was illustrates how effective fleshing out the various areas can be, as Living Greyhawk certainly flourished. Actually having material on the previously uncovered areas, or more detail on those that had been somewhat covered, was a main factor in people's interest, not an advancing time line.

    The setting certainly can move beyond what it has been; it just not need necessarily do so by advancing the time line. Leave that to all the DMs to do on their own, which, in my opinion, is as it should be:

    Game companies develop campaign settings and their past.
    DMs develop campaign setting time lines and their future.

    But, just releasing yet another LGG and a Players Guide wouldn't be enough because, as you said, this wouldn't "move the setting beyond what has come before", and there is plenty of desire for that on the part of fans both at Canonfire! and elsewhere.
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    Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:46 am  

    Well said, and it was what I was trying to say, albeit not as thoroughly. Wink As a DM, all I want are some suggestions, some clues, some updated history - I don't need specific details; I can work all of that out.

    On the other hand, some module options would be good too in case there is an adventure or adventure idea that I want to use in MY Greyhawk campaign.[/b]
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