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    Canonfire :: View topic - The Grognard Rules
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    The Grognard Rules
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:56 am  
    The Grognard Rules

    I’m a Greyhawker. And I’m a Grognard. These are the Grognard Rules for any future development of Greyhawk as a published setting.

    When Greyhawkers old or young talk about future support for the setting, I experience an ever increasing melancholy with arguments I have seen, and made, time and time again to no end, good or bad, over a span of years and years.

    The “problem” with future support for Greyhawk is that there is no guarantee that a) it would be written in a manner I would approve of, b)with illustrations and art I would approve of, and c) accompanied by cartography of which I would approve.

    It is far more likely that future support for Greyhawk would be written by someone of mediocre talent and no real interest in the setting, illustrated by some artist inspired by poor woodcuts who reached the highest expression of their talent while finger painting, with cartography that looks like it was executed on the back of a paper bag by a seven-year old having been given too much Nyquil and who is missing 3 of their 8 basic Crayolas.

    That they would provide accessories or supplements or sourcebooks packed with reams of “detail,” filling every nook and cranny of the setting and expounding at length upon its history, past and future, fills me with horror and loathing.

    See. I’m middle aged and getting older. This gives me less time and patience for poorly executed crap. By dint of experience, my age also gives me an enhanced familiarity with what is and what is not crap, certainly to my taste if no other, and the odds of crap versus non-crap being actually produced.

    Crap is the odds on favorite, going away, with a bullet, in a New York Minute, a virtual/mortal lock.

    This bleak outlook, however, does not equate with being a “dead-ender,” one who seeks no more Greyhawk development ever, forever. Rather, it equates with being demanding and of a very particular sort of demanding.

    As “crap” is the likeliest outcome from a Wotc desirous only of extending the life of its IP, which it values differently from a fan of Greyhawk, the future development of the setting can, therefore, not be left solely to Wotc. Thankfully, there are two models that together show how what needs to be done can be done.

    First: The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, was written substantially by Greyhawk fans who, saying what you want about their creations (and acknowledging the constraints under which they operated) by and large knew their stuff. Of the four primary authors, only one, was an established professional at the time.

    Second: The Pathfinder RPG, debuting with much acclaim, was constructed by professionals but with the advice of fans interacting together and with the professionals on multiple message boards over an 18 month period.

    This is what I “demand” to get behind future Greyhawk development. This “demand” must be accounted reasonable in the sense that it not only can be done but has been done and to good effect – the LGG supported the most popular RPGA setting to the time and Pathfinder has not only survived but thrived in the face of 4e D&D. Nothing here is untried, improbable or impossible.

    So, these are the Grognard Rules:

    1st – Crap will out, more often than not if a product lacks significant fan input

    2nd – Accordingly, fans of Greyhawk must form the majority of any design team

    3rd – The larger fan community opinion must be solicited throughout the design process via public, internet message boards,

    4th – The design team must be genuinely open to fan input and the design itself must be substantially “open” to modification, recognizing that the design team must ultimately make choices from among competing views (including their own), and

    5th – Anna must do the maps. Period. Not subject to debate or discussion. Only if Anna is unavailable is any other cartographer acceptable.

    These are the Rules that must govern any future Greyhawk development. Failure to adhere to the Rules will result in a lack of support, to include active opposition to any new design that fails to adhere to the Rules, or abject apathy to any new design.

    Note – The Rules are all about process, not content. Content should be determined by the fan base, via the process, led necessarily and inherently by the design team, the majority of which are fans.

    Canonfire, the premier Greyhawk website, fan or professional, should be the primary recruiting ground for the design team. Until such time, Canonfire should continue to showcase the creativity of Greyhawk fans and the continuing viability of Greyhawk as a setting with unlimited potential, despite a lack of “official” support. In other words, Canonfire is the unofficial future of Greyhawk until such time as it is the official future.

    The Grognard Rules.
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    GVD
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    Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:26 am  

    Shocked Shocked Shocked

    Dude, you're my hero. If we ever meet, I'm buying. That was...beautiful.
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    Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:58 am  

    [Standing on desk] Oh Captain, My Captain!
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    Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:52 pm  
    Re: The Grognard Rules

    GVDammerung wrote:
    I’m a Greyhawker. And I’m a Grognard. These are the Grognard Rules for any future development of Greyhawk as a published setting.

    Right with you on about 90% of this.

    GVDammerung wrote:
    See. I’m middle aged and getting older. This gives me less time and patience for poorly executed crap.

    "You young developers! Get off my campaign setting!"

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Crap is the odds on favorite, going away, with a bullet, in a New York Minute, a virtual/mortal lock.

    Compare Sturgeon's Law: http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/S/Sturgeons-Law.html

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Accordingly, fans of Greyhawk must form the majority of any design team

    Let's be specific - not just fans, but knowledgeable fans.

    GVDammerung wrote:
    The design team must be genuinely open to fan input and the design itself must be substantially “open” to modification, recognizing that the design team must ultimately make choices from among competing views (including their own)

    This one I'm not so sure about. Can you open-source develop a world like Greyhawk? It's not like Pathfinder, where you can playtest looking for where it breaks down. You can use the many-eyeballs effect to look for errors in an existing draft product, but I don't know if you can create a world like that.

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Anna must do the maps.

    I agree her maps are beautiful. For me, the maps must be available electronically, have layers, and be modifiable so I can make them match my campaign and cut out player's maps from the main map.

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Content should be determined by the fan base, via the process, led necessarily and inherently by the design team, the majority of which are fans.

    I understand what you are trying to say, but I get twitchy & worry about an LCD setting - lowest common denominator. Because the setting is so old, there are so many different visions of Greyhawk that consensus is hard to find - I think you need a strong design team with ideas rooted in Greyhawk's past to develop a plausible 'future'.

    -Phil

    You can have my 1st Edition DMG when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
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    Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:08 pm  
    Re: The Grognard Rules

    GVDammerung wrote:

    5th – Anna must do the maps. Period. Not subject to debate or discussion. Only if Anna is unavailable is any other cartographer acceptable.

    This is the only grognard rule I agree with, and I agree with it 100%.
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    Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:33 pm  

    Ah GVD, we can always count on you to make elaborate posts that say what many here are thinking. Razz

    Let me counter with some verbosity of my own. I am with Oerthman but I'm 80% on board.

    The first thing I'll pick on sadly is fan communities. Paizo got fan input from their own forums and their 'own' chatroom. So similarly no one high up at Wizards presently is probably even a member of Canonfire much less comes to Thursday Greytalk and now that Paizo has gone their own way they aren't attached at the hip with WotC for anything GH related. In other words besides a few published folk here, we are beneath their notice now. So if we at Canonfire want to influence the future of hawk we need to cross-promote the site and our own competent knowledgability and further, make our numerical presence felt on their turf. I dare say we even need to make ourselves personally familiar to Wizards authors and pronto. Put simply we need to make sure they know -we- are their target audience too or they'll blithely go on and develop it without input.

    Art is always a tricky thing probably connected to production values. I am quite fond of the B&W calligraphic and woodcut border art. Less is more generally but these days that will not fly on any 4E product. Not even on their website. With them it's been all full color established painters or high end digital art studios. The worst we can expect from Wizards is for them to use recycled art from old 3.5 books.

    Maps are always a gamble too. Anna-Maps(tm) would be a coup for the fan community on a future GH deal. See above for cross promoting. If you love her work, make sure Wizards knows about it. Otherwise I'm not sure what the state of WotC mappers is. I can only assume their FR and Eberron maps were full color and highly detailed. To date the only GH map I have openly disdained was the LGG map(Wizards). In lieu of a homerun atlas of maps by Anna, the 4-part Lazaretti(?) maps from Dragon/Dungeon would be just as useful in the future as they are today in that they contain a wealth of information and they keep with the traditional functionality of a Darlene hex map that is distinctively Greyhawk.

    Good stuff to discuss, people!
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    Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:29 pm  

    mortellan wrote:
    In other words besides a few published folk here, we are beneath their notice now. So if we at Canonfire want to influence the future of hawk we need to cross-promote the site and our own competent knowledgability and further, make our numerical presence felt on their turf.


    I think you are right, but I see a few issues with this.

    First, I think the center of the community here would have to shift to WotC's site. Most of us only have so much free time - splitting it between 2 sites would mean neither of them gets full benefit. Also, maybe things have changed, but I seem to remember them being slightly uncomfortable with material that they don't 'control'. It's possible I'm projecting old TSR attitudes on them, though. How do they deal with 'unofficial' sites? I guess I need to go read their web policy.

    Second, it would, I think, require just about everyone to convert to 4E. Any new material written would have to be for that system, the crunchy stat bits anyway. There are enough grognards around here to make that a real problem.

    Finally, I think the numbers are just too small - always have been. We only have about 5K members, and far fewer than that are active. It would require increasing participation by an order of magnitude to really attract their interest.

    -Phil
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    Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:00 pm  

    Lots of entitlement issues, with little to no room for bargaining.

    Yep, that's the perfect project plan.

    Wish into one hand; crap into the other; which one fills up first, and all that. Wink
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    Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:19 pm  

    Oerthman wrote:
    First, I think the center of the community here would have to shift to WotC's site. Most of us only have so much free time - splitting it between 2 sites would mean neither of them gets full benefit. Also, maybe things have changed, but I seem to remember them being slightly uncomfortable with material that they don't 'control'. It's possible I'm projecting old TSR attitudes on them, though. How do they deal with 'unofficial' sites? I guess I need to go read their web policy.


    I would never post CF material directly onto Wizards. It would be more an new-fan education effort like many of us did diligently do on the WotC-GH boards before it went all Gleemax on us and chased away everyone. The minute they decide to do a 4e Greyhawk, their GH forum will suddenly become very active with or without us.

    Quote:
    Second, it would, I think, require just about everyone to convert to 4E. Any new material written would have to be for that system, the crunchy stat bits anyway. There are enough grognards around here to make that a real problem.
    Mmm I don't think that's necessarily true, otherwise why are we discussing this? Such attention would imply we want to join 4e but many at this site are just completionists and would read it for the fluff alone which is enough for me to have some inkling of interest in how it's written.

    Quote:
    Finally, I think the numbers are just too small - always have been. We only have about 5K members, and far fewer than that are active. It would require increasing participation by an order of magnitude to really attract their interest.

    -Phil

    Yeah that you can't fix, but even a small vocal minority of us can impact the majority of forum users on their turf. I also can't emphasize enough the need to familiarize ourselves to potential WotC GH designers if not on their forum but where-ever they are (ENWorld usually). Because if there is someone on the inside with good GH cred, we should back this person/s now.
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    Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:02 am  

    First let me say I’m deeply honored by your appreciation of my Greyhawk maps Happy

    The Grognard Rules are in my opinion very well thought out and I agree with Rule 1 to 4.

    When it comes to Rule number 5 it is up to others to decide and my only comment is that as long as I’m alive I would do it.
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    Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:47 am  

    mortellan wrote:
    Yeah that you can't fix, but even a small vocal minority of us can impact the majority of forum users on their turf.


    Think of how active Living Greyhawk was though, and then imagine news going around that a new Greyhawk was going to see some formative work on a forum where fans could have some input. I think that would cause people of "various dispositions"(I'm being nice here Happy) to come out of the wood work.

    Paizo had the benefit of carte blanche with regard to developing Golarion, so soliciting fan input worked well for them as there was little to nothing to pre-judge. WotC doesn't have that luxury, and a fan-base containing quite a few feral frothing maniacs(I'm more mellow so long as my shots are current Wink) is not always the most encouraging thing("Are they going to lick our hand, or bite it off?! We don't know!!!"). Happy

    WotC owes us nothing, but if fan input was solicited, weighed, and evaluated, that would be very big of them.
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    Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:51 am  
    Re: The Grognard Rules

    Oerthman wrote:
    GVDammerung wrote:
    The design team must be genuinely open to fan input and the design itself must be substantially “open” to modification, recognizing that the design team must ultimately make choices from among competing views (including their own)

    This one I'm not so sure about. Can you open-source develop a world like Greyhawk? It's not like Pathfinder, where you can playtest looking for where it breaks down. You can use the many-eyeballs effect to look for errors in an existing draft product, but I don't know if you can create a world like that.

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Content should be determined by the fan base, via the process, led necessarily and inherently by the design team, the majority of which are fans.

    I understand what you are trying to say, but I get twitchy & worry about an LCD setting - lowest common denominator. Because the setting is so old, there are so many different visions of Greyhawk that consensus is hard to find - I think you need a strong design team with ideas rooted in Greyhawk's past to develop a plausible 'future'.

    -Phil


    Both of these concerns are very well taken. I think the resolution of both lies in the the design team and its mandate from Wotc.

    If Wotc's mandate is broard enough - "revive Greyhawk and make sure you include XXX prominently in the revival" - and then flexible enough to allow the design team to determine how exactly to achieve the stated goal, I think avoiding the LCD is possible.

    The key to involving the larger fan community is, I think, the attitude of the designers toward the process. The designers would need to set parameters on the input they are looking for and can use, as Paizo did, and then regard the fan community as important enough to engage in a positive, productive manner.

    Sure, some people who would insist "my way or the highway, would need to be shut down, as would those who take differences of opinion to a personal level (and GH has some of those in spades), but I think these incidents would be few and overwhelmed by fans who, once they know the rules, understand that their input is valued, would be eager to engage.

    It would be by no means a sure thing. Pick the wrong fan designers and BOOM! Pick the right fan designers with the wrong attitude and BOOM! Pick the wrong professional and BOOM! Pick the right professional with the wrong attitude and BOOM! However, if WotC _wanted_ to make it work, those sorts of potential "booms" could be ameliorated with good planning up front - making sure the team was qualified, committed to positive engagement and then supervised in a way leading to goal accomplishment.

    Patience. Good intent. Commitment to a strong outcome. Recognized boundaries. I think the rest would follow.
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    Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:00 am  

    mortellan wrote:
    In other words besides a few published folk here, we are beneath their notice now. So if we at Canonfire want to influence the future of hawk we need to cross-promote the site and our own competent knowledgability and further, make our numerical presence felt on their turf. I dare say we even need to make ourselves personally familiar to Wizards authors and pronto.


    I don't disagree with any of this but I see it as beside the point.

    I do not see the burden being on Greyhawk fans to promote themselves and Greyhawk as part of any solution (although if they want to that's fine).

    Rather, I see it as incumbent on Wotc to survey the landscape of the industry they are in and understand the dynamics and possibilities for doing things in various ways to promote the best outcome. Good business will out.

    Greyhawk is a tricky property, in large meansure because of it nucleus of fans. Wotc will want to return to GH to keep the IP going. The question is how? They could ignore the fanbase and move ahead and, if they have a plan for how that achieves the best business outcome, that would make sense. Alternatively, they could look to engage the fan base to achieve the best business outcome and in such case, I suggest the Grognard Rules are the way to do it.

    I will never say that fans should not be proactive in promoting Greyhawk but, in this case, given the likely motive as simply prepetuting the IP, I think the ball is squarely in Wotc's court to see the possibilities (and I think they are aware of Pathfinder) and act in their enlightened business interest.
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    Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:11 am  

    Oerthman wrote:
    First, I think the center of the community here would have to shift to WotC's site. . . .
    Second, it would, I think, require just about everyone to convert to 4E. . . .
    Finally, I think the numbers are just too small - always have been. really attract their interest.
    -Phil


    I take a different view.

    First, Canonfire is a unique incubator for Greyhawk. No Wotc forum can be that as CF is by fans for fans without a filter. CF is where you find organic GH fans purely connected to just GH and doing their thing. Wotc forums, vis a vis GH are more casual fans or for those desiring a turn on the catwalk in front of Wotc - neither of which would be first choices if Wotc is doing the choosing with care.

    Second, 4e is today. Yesterday, it was 3x. Before that 2e and 1 e. Tomorrow, it will be 5e. Of course, whenever Wotc might chose to do GH, it will almost ceertainly be defined in terms of the current rule set. But knowledge of the current rules set should not be the main criteria. Knowledge of GH necessarily should be. Rules are far simplier to master than the accumulated context of a setting like GH.

    Third, I don't think numbers factor into this. GH fans are not numerous enough to see GH produced on a numbers basis alone. GH only gets produced on potential for greater numbers or to keep the IP active. Given that, the present number of fans is, IMV, not really significant.
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    Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:21 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Lots of entitlement issues, with little to no room for bargaining.


    Entitlement is not a factor. Simply put, the game has changed.

    Paizo's Pathfinder has successfully pioneered an alternative to the usual design model. The LGG design experience is entirely complimentary.

    Taken together, it is no longer necessary to simply accept a status quo where designs are handed down from on high. There is now a workable, fan-centric, alternative.

    And quite to the contrary there is nothing but "bargining." The Paizo process could be called just that. Paizo opened the discussion to fan comment and the fans commented, which Paizo then considered. It was a discussion, a give-and-take - "bargaining" by any other name, with reason and persuasion the currency of the bargaining process.

    I'm not sure you recognize/accept the import of the Paizo experience (partiularly when considered along side the LLG experience). The design game has changed to the extent that there is now more than a single design model. There is, at the least, a (traditional) corporate model and (new) fancentric (to one degree or another) model. I suggest the later fits Greyhawk best. No entitlement. Lots of "bargaining."
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    Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:15 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Wotc forums, vis a vis GH are more casual fans or for those desiring a turn on the catwalk in front of Wotc - neither of which would be first choices if Wotc is doing the choosing with care.
    ...
    Third, I don't think numbers factor into this. GH fans are not numerous enough to see GH produced on a numbers basis alone.
    ...
    GH only gets produced on potential for greater numbers or to keep the IP active. Given that, the present number of fans is, IMV, not really significant.

    I think numbers absolutely factor into this. The only way GH gets revived is if it will make WotC/Hasbro money (that's not an indictment - they are corporations, that's what they do). They can't make money just on old Greyhawk fans - they have to reach out to the casual fans as well. Will the same things that appeal to us here on CF appeal to the casual fan? If not, well, the old saw "Do not trample on old friends in your rush to make new ones" will get violated once again.

    The real question: can quality products be made that satisfy both the long-term, hard-core fans AND the number of casual gamers needed for profitability?

    They don't really have to publish more to keep the IP active - it's copyright, there's no use it or lose it like trademarks. Unless you mean just keeping the name recognition there in case it ever is possible to bring it back.

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Second, 4e is today....But knowledge of the current rules set should not be the main criteria. Knowledge of GH necessarily should be.

    I wasn't thinking so much of mastering the rules as I was of simply buying them. Again, it's a dollar thing that shows WotC some support.

    -Phil
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    Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:42 am  

    I have to admit to being a novice here, although I've been interested in the Greyhawk setting since I was 14 (many moons ago!). I've only played D&D a little bit, though I've had the books and read about it a lot. Personally, I like the 1st/2nd edition rules and the original '80's modules and don't care for the 3rd edition on. I'm prefacing that, because in a lot of ways I'm kind of like a time capsule from the 1980's as far as this stuff goes. IMO, at that time, EGG and TSR took a craftsman approach to their products, putting quite a bit of effort into what they produced and taking pride in the workmanship. Not perfect, but definitely real effort was put into making a good product, not just one that would sell, regardless of merits. At that time, it had most of the RPG market, and they could do things like that and still succeed. Again, in my not overly informed opinion, I don't think that can be done now. The RPG market is flooded, with the recession raging money is tight, and business expectations are different. While I don't agree with the WOTC grabbing Greyhawk and sticking it in the shed to make sure no one else makes money off of it, I can see from a business angle why they would try it. Why should they invest in it when its fan base is small and aging, as well as vocal in criticism of perceived slights to the world's history? They are allowing competition to their own products, and cutting into their revenue, for what must seem to be diminishing gain. The younger gamers enjoy the uber-power of later edition D&D, and the video game like feel of play in worlds designed for them. I respect the committment of the Canonfire populace, heck, I love the setting too, I just can't see any of the things GVD is asking coming to pass. The real world time and place that birthed Greyhawk is gone, and I don't see the WOTC designers living in this one being able to fit the original Oerth's "feel" into a radically different time. I hope I'm wrong, but that's my opinion.
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    Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:10 am  

    Wise words, Gman.

    While I support GVD's OP in principle, I have to admit to myself that it's probably little more than a wish list. I know there are plenty here and elsewhere who wish to see Greyhawk revived, and I can respect that, but I just don't see it happening. Rather, I don't see it happening in any form that most of us would really appreciate.

    My personal hope is that grognards like myself will cause enough trouble that WotC will just leave Greyhawk alone. If at some point in the future they decide to revive it in some responsible way - or at least turn it over to someone who will do so - then I'm fine with that.
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    Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:23 pm  
    Re: The Grognard Rules

    GVDammerung wrote:
    illustrated by some artist inspired by poor woodcuts who reached the highest expression of their talent while finger painting


    It's more likely that they'd choose a number of different artists who have worked for WotC recently, resulting in illustrations of varying quality, with no consistent feel. None of their current artists seem particularly inspired by woodcuts, poor or otherwise. How talented they are at finger painting as compared to their paintings in other media is something I wouldn't be able to guess at.

    Quote:
    That they would provide accessories or supplements or sourcebooks packed with reams of “detail,” filling every nook and cranny of the setting and expounding at length upon its history, past and future, fills me with horror and loathing.


    They would release two books, a campaign guide and a player's guide. There'd be more room for detail than the Living Greyhawk Gazetter had, but not room for "every nook and cranny" to be filled, or for a lengthy timeline. New elements would probably be mostly related to ways to connect existing canon to 4th edition races and planes of existence. I'd probably expect to see more detail on the Court of Rings and other fading lands (and demiplanes like the Isle of the Ape) and how they relate to the Feywild, for example, and on Astral Dominions tailored to Oerth's pantheons (hopefully, but not necessarily, reflecting the older Great Wheel/Square cosmology). There'd probably be a little more information on things like why elves traveled from the Feywild to the mortal world, and on the other continents of Oerth. This is assuming the translation was similar to Eberron's 3rd to 4th edition translation.

    I think they probably wouldn't use anything like the 100-year time jump or massive magical catastrophe that Toril was subjected to. The main reason given for those events - that they were for the sake of those writing novels in the Forgotten Realms, who had begun to feel they had run out of new places to write about - doesn't really apply to Greyhawk. Eberron translated pretty well (actually, I like the 4th edition Eberron campaign guide substantially better than I like the 3rd edition Eberron campaign setting book).
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    Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:12 pm  

    Let it burn!

    GH had it plush with Piazo and LG, if not to my exact taste, but what is after 1e egg? But good stuff, with some bad, and I dont think that is likely to happen again real soon.

    You want quality content, DIY here. Between my new hobby of primative tech- kind of larping- and being a player pbp in GH (druid, flip side of the former), I don't have a lot of time for new articles, but I wish I did.

    There is a format for a one page module- stat-less, but maps- key and shortish context text, as much as you can jam onto one page, that I would like to work on, maybe in concert with the Iron DM idea. Imagine a postfest like that- jpg, pdf, etc. to ensure one page. &*^% IP!

    Burn baby! There are embers glowing.
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    Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:41 pm  

    Remember definitely not to post anything to wotc forums. It says in the GSL that anything you post there is legally copyrighted by wotc. Read it.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:39 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Entitlement is not a factor. Simply put, the game has changed.


    No it hasn't. Companies are still quite free to do exactly what they want to, and guess what? People are still buying WotC products despite fans decrying some of them very strongly. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. That there is no alternative to a fan-input process is simply a delusion. Makings demand is a bit much, but being a squeaky wheel couldn't hurt, especially as the WotC forums are now back up and running. At this point I have more of an “I’ll believe it when I see it.” attitude I guess.

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Paizo's Pathfinder has successfully pioneered an alternative to the usual design model. The LGG design experience is entirely complimentary. Taken together, it is no longer necessary to simply accept a status quo where designs are handed down from on high. There is now a workable, fan-centric, alternative.


    Computer game companies(and some gaming companies) have been doing this for years. They want fans to be involved, and even occasionally open source their game engines to encourage fans to do something creative with them. Contracts have even been awarded for such creativity, which is quite similar to Paizo’s game design contests. Giving fans(i.e. customers) some potential input power can do nothing but create good will in even those who might not like some aspects of the final product. So long as such folks come out of the experience with a positive feeling they will likely buy the product anyways. And yes, that is probably the most important thing about what Paizo has done. It’s their bottom line after all. They aren’t in it to have fun writing games but making little money and having to live on mac-n’-cheese, with the occasional hot dog slices added in when they make “a whole bunch o’ extra money”. Wink

    Computer game companies continue to involve the fans. Just check out the development of Command & Conquer 4 for another example of it. The game industry is only now delving into what the computer game industry has known of, and made use of, for years. Small-fry game companies have done a bit of it, but Paizo was the first to really do it properly.

    GVDammerung wrote:
    I'm not sure you recognize/accept the import of the Paizo experience (particularly when considered along side the LLG experience). The design game has changed to the extent that there is now more than a single design model. There is, at the least, a (traditional) corporate model and (new) fan-centric (to one degree or another) model. I suggest the later fits Greyhawk best. No entitlement. Lots of "bargaining."


    Sure I understand the relevance of the Paizo experience, and it speaks volumes that even though they offered multiple Beta versions as free downloads, they still have sold loads of the finished print version.

    However, the Paizo experience is barely comparable to the LGG experience. First, Pathfinder was strongly guided, while LG was not guided nearly enough, and it certainly wasn’t open to full fan involvement across the board like Pathfinder was. Consequently, much of the LGG content is all over the place. Second, one dealt mostly with rules, the other with a campaign setting. Rules and campaign settings are two completely different animals, and each draws forth different sorts of feelings on the part of fans. Chatting about a game setting will certainly draw forth more emotion than chatting about game mechanics.

    Now, I’m really just playing a little bit of devil’s advocate here, and yes, I’d like to see fan involvement in the next Greyhawk as it did work so well for Paizo’s rulebook with regards to feedback(I occasionally comment on their forums, but lurk more). I’m just saying that the fans don’t have much of a hold on what WotC will and will not do because the sheep continue to be lead well enough as it is, and that further developing a campaign setting rather than a rules set(or a campaign setting from nothing) will channel an altogether different energy from the fans, and an altogether different set of stronger opinions based on the varied preconceptions of the fans. It remains to be seen how the broad range of fans will take anything. Bless the designers if they do decide to open up a channel for fans to give their input on the next Greyhawk, and, some may say more importantly, may the gods(other than Boccob, who could care less about anyone or anything) help those given the task of wrangling the rabid, feral, mongrel horde of Greyhawk fans. Laughing
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:03 am; edited 2 times in total
    GreySage

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    Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:35 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    . . . may the gods(other than Boccob, who could care less about anyone or anything) help those given the task of wrangling the mongrel horde of Greyhawk fans. Laughing


    Servant of Boccob though I am, why do you think I risk His righteous wrath so much by calling on Holy Pelor so often? Shocked Laughing

    Rabid . . . you forgot rabid. 'Rabid mongrel horde!' Evil Grin
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    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:48 am  

    Fine! I'll edit, and one up you to boot! Laughing
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    GreySage

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    Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:06 am  

    Feral!? Shocked

    Doooh! Surprised Embarassed Evil Grin

    (*Beat me to it . . . again!*) (grumble) Laughing
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