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    Canonfire :: View topic - Need Help Deciding ...
    Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion
    Need Help Deciding ...
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: May 11, 2007
    Posts: 64
    From: South Georgia

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    Wed May 30, 2012 2:45 pm  
    Need Help Deciding ...

    This may turn into a semi long thread, I will try to not let it get to looooooong. I have been playing AD&D off and on since the original Red Box. I am a 1st edition player that used Unearthed Arcana "with some select 2nd edition stuff such as certain spells and magical items". My group uses the same rules as I use and 1 of my group members has been playing about as long as I have.

    Anyways, we have not played this great game in like 8-9 years ... yea it has been a while. Well, we are reforming our old group ... ages range from 22-57 years of age. We want to throw ourselves back into the game. For a while computer games just made it so much more easier to game that AD&D fell off to the side. We hope to correct that problem.

    Where our problem is at .... we cannot decide which campaign world to play in. Some may think this should not be a problem, but when I DM a campaign, I start everything out fresh and follow a campaign timeline. To me it adds flavor to the adventures knowing everything you do can and will affect the campaign world you game in. This is where we are at now ........

    Dragonlance:(We have never actually gamed in this campaign world) This campaign world is by far our favorite world. The timeline is so rich, it feels comfortable .... I guess this comes from the rich stories printed in there novels. Its got a tight timeline which we really love, we even thought it would be good to start out after The War of the Lance, 5 years before the Dragons of Summer Flame book and work on a new timeline from that point in time. I am not sure how to explain it, but the world just seems comfortable, it seems cozy, like everything you do means something BUT #1 there is not anything published (as in) modules for this type camapaign because pretty much every serious adventure module that was printed was for the War of the Lance which basically is the novels and to do these adventures would just ruin the campaign setting because the heroes are SUPPOSED to do that adventure /sigh I dunno, it is all so complicated. The main thing I love about Dragonlance is the Knights looks like KNIGHTS, with the fancy armor etc etc, Wizards look like Wizards and there is even a more strict line of use for Magic here, Priests really means something here. Dragons .... well they are actually DRAGONS .... they attack cities and are not hunted down by groups like you always read about in adventures.

    Forgotten Realms (We have adventured in this campaign setting a little, not a lot) The Realms has a lot of unique areas and has a lot of history and lore, this much is for sure but the world is just so HUGE, like any one major event that might happen would not really affect anything overall in the world. Plus there are not a LOT of adventure modules printed for this world, I mean there are "some" but not a lot. I just am not sure about this world, it is hard to explain.

    The World of Greyhawk This is the world we did most of our adventuring with in our AD&D past. it just has so many printed modules and has tons of accessories, but .... The past history archives are just so extensive, the Ancient history of the migrations etc etc are just beyond me. I am a little overwhelmed by this world I guess you could say. I understand whats going on pretty much, but the detailed history escapes me. Sure we played in this campaign world several times before, The Slave Lords, The Giants and the Drow series ahhh what fun, but the world just seems clunky ... seems like everywhere you look there is a Kingdom ... The Realms and even Dragonlance both have massive amounts of areas that are wild, open for whatever where as Greyhawk seems packed from one point to the other.

    Currently we are looking at Dragonlance but I am wondering if thats the better choice. I am posting this on the Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms boards with the question: Why would you say this campaign world is better than the other, basically I would request you guys explain to me why this is the world we should start a serious campaign up in. ok I will hush for now and will just see what type of replies I get from this. We are just a little confused and are looking for some focus.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: May 24, 2011
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    Wed May 30, 2012 3:36 pm  

    Hi'

    I think there is no World better than other...The DM's imagination is the Key.

    I prefer Greyhawk but I create my own adventures with some guidelines, I mean real facts on Oerth.... that's all..

    it's up to you but better is the creativity, better is the game, better everyone will love to play

    maybe I don't help you rolleyes

    regards
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
    Posts: 2591
    From: LG Dyvers

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    Wed May 30, 2012 7:28 pm  

    Though I think the World of Greyhawk is the best, mydrianor is correct in pointing out that the decision really is up to each DM and his/her players. What your group is most interested in is what's most important.

    Having said that, I'll try to address some of the concerns you have expressed about the World of Greyhawk.

    First, though you have played through some of the greatest iconic modules out there, there are many more that you didn't list. Keep on the Borderlands, The Isle of Dread, White Plume Mountain, Temple of Elemental Evil, Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, Isle of the Ape, and The Savage Tide Adventure Path, to name a few.

    Second, you need not worry about unclaimed, unexplored lands in the Flanaess. Though the national borders on a map may show that most of the land is claimed by one nation or another, the reality is far different. For example, none of the major forests are subject to the authority of any human nation that claims their interiors. The same goes for the swamps, mountains, deserts, and jungles. Furthermore, lands such as the Bandit Kingdoms in any time period from 570 CY until the end of the Greyhawk Wars (598 CY) are plenty wild and uncontrolled. In addition, you have the Wild Coast, the Pomarj, the Bone March, and many wilderness areas bordering civilized nations.

    Third, you mentioned how you didn't like the idea of the Dragonlance modules leading the PCs around by the nose. That is exactly why my original group of players got tired of them way back in High School. It is also the reason we gave up on the Forgotten Realms after trying it for a bit. Fortunately, one of the greatest things about those Greyhawk modules I listed above is that they are all written as open sandboxes for your PCs to explore to their heart's content. They aren't required to follow a timeline or a set series of encounters in a predetermined series of locations. They are free to explore and adventure as they like. And that means that you, the DM, are free to expand upon those adventures with as many side treks as you enjoy creating.

    Hope this helps. Happy

    SirXaris
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 08, 2003
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    Wed May 30, 2012 11:17 pm  

    SIr Xaris and mydrianor make good points Damaja. What I didn't pick up from your post is whether you are planning to use your own adventure mods or Published?

    In any event, I feel somewhat differently about the Realms. There are so many powerful movers and shakers there that the PCs can feel sidelined. I like the cultural aspects of Greyhawk, which IMO, helps it feel like a real place.

    I agree that the minutiae of background lore and political intrigue can be overwhelming but you can overwrite anything you want to in your campaign ...

    ... besides, you really just need to be comfortable with one country or area, so start small.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 10, 2003
    Posts: 1234
    From: New Jersey

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    Wed May 30, 2012 11:34 pm  

    Damaja,

    I prefer Greyhawk for my setting for various reasons that I will not state here. In truth I believe you and your group have made a decision already.
    Though I would love another Greyhawk fan to converse with, it seems you have your heart set on Dragonlance. If you decide to go that route look up old issues of DC comics Dragonlance comics many of the stories tie into events before and during the war of the lance.

    If you want more direction on Greyhawk come to the Thursday night chat and bounce some queries off of us there. One of the Greyhawk authors Gary Holian runs the chats and if your talking Great kingdom he's all ears.

    Later

    Argon
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    Joined: Oct 07, 2008
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    Thu May 31, 2012 9:00 am  
    When You Can't Decide Between...

    Sometimes I feel like when I can't decide between a couple of choices, I go with all the choices. I've never played Spelljammer, but it would allow your players access to all those worlds as I understand it.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: May 11, 2007
    Posts: 64
    From: South Georgia

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    Thu May 31, 2012 1:22 pm  
    Re: When You Can't Decide Between...

    Raymond wrote:
    Sometimes I feel like when I can't decide between a couple of choices, I go with all the choices. I've never played Spelljammer, but it would allow your players access to all those worlds as I understand it.


    I have really tried to stay away from that and to keep each world seperate so that unique spells from each world remain UNIQUE. I am also an old school DM and Player that believes level 18 should be the cap for player characters. Anything over 18 and the gods step in. I do not believe in all this 20+ adventures challenging gods etc.

    Argon wrote:
    If you want more direction on Greyhawk come to the Thursday night chat and bounce some queries off of us there. One of the Greyhawk authors Gary Holian runs the chats and if your talking Great kingdom he's all ears.
    Later
    Argon


    #1 I had no idea about this, where exactly is this chat at? I would LOVE to be there and also The Great Kingdom is my 100% favorite part about the World. Especially how I have seen some alternate timelines ran post Greyhawk Wars where the Great Kingdom is a super power of pure evil.

    warlock wrote:
    SIr Xaris and mydrianor make good points Damaja. What I didn't pick up from your post is whether you are planning to use your own adventure mods or Published?


    I am the type DM that must have a module sitting in front of him, I just don't have the time to work on my own stuff BUT I do branch off published modules a LOT. I also am a serious timeline DM .... meaning I love running timelines in campaigns so players have the chance to help shape the world they are in.

    PS: Thank you for all the replies, it actually means a lot. I have always been a Greyhawk player primarily, ever since Gary Gygax DMed me in an adventure at a long ago DragonCon (which was such a huge honor I cannot even begin to explain it) its always been a special world to me. I am gonna do some serious pondering and would love to hear replies from anyone and everyone. thanks all
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
    Posts: 2591
    From: LG Dyvers

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    Thu May 31, 2012 3:49 pm  
    Re: When You Can't Decide Between...

    Damaja wrote:
    Argon wrote:
    If you want more direction on Greyhawk come to the Thursday night chat and bounce some queries off of us there. One of the Greyhawk authors Gary Holian runs the chats and if your talking Great kingdom he's all ears.
    Later
    Argon


    #1 I had no idea about this, where exactly is this chat at? I would LOVE to be there and also The Great Kingdom is my 100% favorite part about the World. Especially how I have seen some alternate timelines ran post Greyhawk Wars where the Great Kingdom is a super power of pure evil.


    Look in the upper left of this webpage. In the Features box, under the Greyahwk Wiki link is the Greytalk Chat Now! link. Click on that, type in an avatar name, and you're in! Someone is always on, but most people log in to chat on Thursday nights after 10:00pm Central Standar Time.

    Hope to see you there tonight. Wink

    SirXaris
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: May 11, 2007
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    Thu May 31, 2012 3:53 pm  

    I'll try, Not sure if Im awake that late. Got up early this morning hehe and that is 11pm EST here.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: May 11, 2007
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    Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:32 pm  

    I been thinking. I wonder how a "Post Greyhawk Wars" campaign setting would go. I mean last night I was in bed thinking ......

    Humor Me Folks

    Furyondy and Nyrond are the primary powers of good left in the world although both are on the verge of collapse with Furyondy being pressed by Iuz and Nyrond by the Great Kingdom (It remained in power and grew stronger over time).

    As said above Great Kingdom being in full power to the East and to the North Iuz being in power. Most of the West being over ran by the hordes that was pulled together by the Drow.

    Maybe the Barbarians united in the North? Not sure there.

    The Free City of Greyhawk forced to take in well over its limits in refugees from outside nations seeking protection thus forcing the City of Greyhawk to expand and strengthen its military to actually be able to protect the refugees.

    Elves and Dwarves close there borders or something similar to that.

    basically turn Greyhawk into a war torn world, battered by evil on all sides. The last bastions of good doing all they can do to remain intact. This style world could really allow heroes to step up and make huge differences.

    thoughts?
    Did I go over board? lol
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: May 25, 2012
    Posts: 106
    From: Virginia

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    Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:40 pm  

    I have to agree with Argon that you seem predisposed to play Dragonlance - at least it seems you would like to play that world. Take the world you like and dissolve the issues you don't. Maybe I'm just crazy, but with the attention to detail you seem to have, why don't you take a module that you want to play - from any world - and cast it in the Dragonlance setting? That way you can use whichever timeline works best for you.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: May 11, 2007
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    Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:20 pm  

    Well, I am "trying" to throw myself in to Greyhawk hehe but if I did I would have to do something different such as what I posted above.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 07, 2004
    Posts: 1843
    From: Mt. Smolderac

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    Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:48 pm  

    Damaja wrote:
    thoughts?
    Did I go over board? lol


    Nah. Whatever excites you and you can make a good storyline with, that get's you and the players excited, go for it. Although something like that sounds like it could be a real time-sink. The one comment I would make with your scenario -- don't write off Keoland so easily. I think it would take more than some drow and giants to take it down. Smile
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: May 11, 2007
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    Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:10 pm  

    ok actually I would love to see more replies like the fella above me concerning specific kingdoms. So see? I need to read up on Keoland to see what you mean by that. Also would love to see other thoughts on what I posted on things that would really help that timeline.

    ph and thank you smillan_31
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 07, 2004
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    Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:22 pm  

    You're welcome! A good place to start on Keoland (besides it's profile in the Living GH Gazetteer) is the Kingdom of Keoland article from Living Greyhawk Journal #1. Here's a link to it a page featuring it - http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=lg/lgmp/20030515. Keoland is a strong kingdom. That's what I meant above. But there is a good deal of potential for political turmoil that could erupt into civil war. The King doesn't have an heir and if he was to die the Dukes of Dorlin and Gradsul would be in competition for the throne. That would be where you could get a civil war. Who knows who else might jump in. If that happened it would leave an opening for the giants and their drow allies, as well as just be a nice playground by itself for a campaign.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: May 11, 2007
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    Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:48 pm  

    interesting and thanks for the link. Will read up on that tomorrow and as far as what I do with Kingdoms remaining or being destroyed ... as of right now, this is all me thinking hehe but I like the sound of a Post War omg we are all gonna die type campaign setting in Greyhawk. Might be fun.

    I am wondering if the thread is moving in a direction not suited for THIS forum, should I make up a thread in the Heresy forum for this type campaign?
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 13, 2006
    Posts: 654
    From: Frinton on Sea England

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    Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:33 pm  

    Don't fret right now.

    If this is in the wrong place the purple lightning will descend and smite mercilessly and without warning.

    If you don't know what I mean then carry on.......

    You haven't been scarred yet. Wink

    Time to get out of here, clouds are gathering.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 13, 2006
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    Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:36 pm  

    Damaja wrote:
    I been thinking. I wonder how a "Post Greyhawk Wars" campaign setting would go. I mean last night I was in bed thinking ......

    Humor Me Folks

    Furyondy and Nyrond are the primary powers of good left in the world although both are on the verge of collapse with Furyondy being pressed by Iuz and Nyrond by the Great Kingdom (It remained in power and grew stronger over time).

    As said above Great Kingdom being in full power to the East and to the North Iuz being in power. Most of the West being over ran by the hordes that was pulled together by the Drow.

    Maybe the Barbarians united in the North? Not sure there.

    The Free City of Greyhawk forced to take in well over its limits in refugees from outside nations seeking protection thus forcing the City of Greyhawk to expand and strengthen its military to actually be able to protect the refugees.

    Elves and Dwarves close there borders or something similar to that.

    basically turn Greyhawk into a war torn world, battered by evil on all sides. The last bastions of good doing all they can do to remain intact. This style world could really allow heroes to step up and make huge differences.



    TBH, and without being flippant, that is the biggest strength of GH. It is so malleable to what YOU as DM want it to be. It's always been its biggest advantage over other published game worlds. I'm a notorious destroyer and manipulator of canon and have just started a campaign set in 569 that is going to completely ignore the GH wars as written and develop into something different. My previous campaign followed the wars to the letter and ran until I got fed up with using other people's ideas of how things went. Not that it wasn't good at the time, I just wanted to explore a different GH to amuse myself and, more importantly, my players. All the same game world but with totally different directions. In some cases I'm re-running adventures that I originally ran 30 years ago with some of the same players. It's hilarious to see players going "where have I heard that name before?" Because the context has changed it really messes with folk.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: May 11, 2007
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    Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:07 am  

    Well, after reading this thread, thinking, shuffling through my books, I think I have decided to jump into the Greyhawk pond and swim with all you other fishy's. I think I just needed that push. I do however want you guys to keep the comments coming, I am really enjoying this thread. Thank you all.

    I am still going to do the Post War campaign setting though. I am not sure what Kingdoms and independent cities I will let remain and what will be destroyed. Still pondering over how I will let the Circle of Eight betrayal play out. I want to throw in some other curve as well, In addition to this thread, I think I will also create a heresy thread and get suggestions and ideas for the path I plan to take though. So many fantastic ides are coming from here just from this thread. You guys really are awesome, why I ever left Greyhawk to start with is beyond me lol

    Made a thread over at the Heresy forum, would LOVE any and all suggestions and help with my idea.
    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=5045
    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
    Posts: 2459
    From: SW WA state (Highvale)

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    Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:27 am  

    Well Met Damaja,

    I, too, am an "older" gamer who cut his teeth on 1e, but converted to 2e and have stayed ever since. Likewise, over the many years I have dabbled in many worlds, including Krynn, the Faerun, one trip crossover into Ravenloft, but primarily Oerth. I never played in Athas.

    Though I think my addition may be a bit late in the posting (missed a few days online), I will toss in my thoughts all the same. Disregard if they are a moot point:

    I prefer Greyhawk for a few reasons even though each realm or world has its own flavor, pros, and cons. With a few exceptions (Philidor comes to mind on this), I believe that Oerth is not as 'monty haul' as Forgotten Realms. As a younger player, I didn't mind it at first, but later on, I thought the ridiculously high statistics of some of the characters, as well as the power levels, got absurd in Faerun. Secondly, I liked the depth of information and overall 'favor' of Greyhawk, namely its history and the fact that it was a child of Gygax, the Creator of DnD. Furthermore, I think you have both depth and breadth with Oerth, and though you mentioned you believe that it is too populated or developed, I would say that it still gives you, the DM, a great deal of flexibility and latitude as welll. Not everything is charted, mapped, or written, and I have found, both as player and DM, a nice balance between structure and open-endedness. I am never bored with adventure ideas, and often find myself overwhelmed with campaign plots with not enough time to play them all!

    Again, just my perspective. Hope this helps, and welcome to the posts.

    -Lanthorn
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:23 am  

    An oft levelled criticism of Greyhawk is that it is "too civilised" and, re-reading the first post you allude to that.

    If that is an issue I would suggest downloading some of Anna's maps and then zooming in on an area. I've gamed in GH for 30+ years and when I did just that I was really shocked at how much wilderness there actually is; the Cairn Hills map, for example, revealed isolated valleys and coastal coves and bays. And this within a reasonable distance of the City of Greyhawk and the Urnst states. Given WOG's low population levels, especially pre-war material, no nation could expect to control the vast swathes of land that they "claim".

    Greyhawk may appear civilised and tame but the truth, as always, is something a little different and Anna's fine work really accentuates this.
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
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    Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:18 am  

    If Greyhawk's history is too much, my advice is to ignore it and invent lost civilizations and rulers only as you need them in your game. At its most basic, Greyhawk is only a map, a virtually blank canvas on which you can paint anything you want. The many modules, supplements, and articles are only there to inspire you, not to overwhelm you with minutiae. Start with a single town with a dungeon nearby and work from there.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: May 11, 2007
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    Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:21 am  

    Ragr wrote:

    If that is an issue I would suggest downloading some of Anna's maps and then zooming in on an area.
    Will check them out
    It is a shame those are not finished. Is she still adding to those Maps creating new ones?
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:46 am  

    Damaja wrote:
    Ragr wrote:

    If that is an issue I would suggest downloading some of Anna's maps and then zooming in on an area.
    Will check them out
    It is a shame those are not finished. Is she still adding to those Maps creating new ones?


    It's all a work in progress but one that seems to be advancing quickly. If you check out her website you'll find a large map that outlines the regions she has completed. Don't forget the dedicated thread;

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf//modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=1966
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:50 am  

    oh wow incredible work, thanks
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    From: Fairwind Isle

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    Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:33 pm  

    I would go with Greyhawk too. It's definitely the most flexible. Forgotten Realms is decent, definitely a lot of powerful beings floating around there. A couple of things you can do to alleviate the crushing weigh of minutiae:

    - Pick one area of the map and start there, create a larger thread of broad story events that can go around that

    - start earlier in the timeline, say pre-Greyhawk Wars, maybe 5 - 10 years prior (or maybe more)

    - set adventures that go into relatively unknown parts of Oerik, that way you can develop them as needed.
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