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Canonfire! FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)



Category: Main -> The World of Greyhawk

Question
·  What do all these acronyms mean?
·  What products do I need to run a Greyhawk campaign?
·  What is Greyhawk?
·  Where can I get out-of-print (OOP) Greyhawk materials?
·  Canon? What's that? I thought guns didn't work in Greyhawk?!?
·  What happened to WG1, WG2, and WG3? (i.e., Why does the WG-Series start with WG4?)
·  What happened to Castle Hart?
·  Who did Eclavdra worship?
·  How can Prince Thrommel use his sword, Fragarach?
·  Who were the nine demigods imprisoned by Iuz?
·  What were the destinations of the eight-pointed star in WG5?
·  What role did Iuz play in the Temple of Elemental Evil, and how?
·  What is the 'sharp check' dealt to Lolth that mentioned in ToEE?
·  Will the real Prince of Furyondy please stand up?

Answer
·  What do all these acronyms mean?

AoE Artifact of Evil
AtG Against the Giants
CED Come Endless Darkness
Co5 Circle of Five
Co8 Circle/Citadel of Eight
CoG City of Greyhawk
CoH City of Hawks
CS Carl Sargent
CY or C.Y. Common Year
DMD DM Download
DoD Dance of Demons
EEG Elder Elemental God
EGG E. Gary Gygax
FFF Feuds, Folks, and Factions book,
CoG boxed set
FoI WG8 Fate of Istus
FtA From the Ashes
GHA Greyhawk Adventures hardback
GH Greyhawk
Glossography One of the booklets in the 1983 WoG set
GoF Gem of the Flanaess book, CoG boxed set
GR WGR1 Greyhawk Ruins
GtR Gord the Rogue
Ivid or ItU Ivid the Undying
LCoT S4 Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
LG Living Greyhawk
LGG Living Greyhawk Gazetter
LGJ Living Greyhawj Journal
NA Night Arrant
NGC No Greyhawk Content
OJ The Oerth Journal
Rot8 Return of the Eight
SoD Sea of Death
SoOC Saga of Old City
ToEE Temple of Elemental Evil
VotM WG12 Vale of the Mage
WoG World of Greyhawk
WoG box World of Greyhawk boxed set (1983)
WoG folio World of Greyhawk Folio (1980)

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·  What products do I need to run a Greyhawk campaign?

At a minimum you need the 1983 World of Greyhawk boxed set, the From the Ashes (FtA) boxed set, or the new Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. These lay out the geography and history of the Flanaess, that area of Oerth where most campaigns take place. The first boxed set is set in CY576, FtA is set in CY586, and the LGG is set in the CY590s.

Everything else is pretty much optional, and most of it is good. WG8 Fate of Istus gives details on many cities across the Flanaess. T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil (hard to find) is a good example of Greyhawk adventure at its best. If you want to run a campaign in the City of Greyhawk itself, the City of Greyhawk boxed set and the Falcon series of modules (WGA1-3) are invaluable. Castle Greyhawk is detailed in WGR1 Greyhawk Ruins (*NOT* WG7 Castle Greyhawk - this is a joke!).

The 'Classics' campaign consists of the following modules: T1-4, A1-4, and GDQ1-7 with S1 and S3 thrown in when appropriate, and possibly WG6 thrown in to cap off the campaign. This will take the characters from 1st level up to 15th or so, and from a small village in the central Flanaess to the depths of the Abyss.

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·  What is Greyhawk?

Greyhawk is the second oldest campaign world for *D&D, predated only by Dave Arneson's Blackmoor campaign. Created by E. Gary Gygax in the early 1970's, some of the greatest characters of AD&D legend have walked its magical ground: Bigby, Tenser, Mordenkainen, Serten, Robilar, and Rary - names known to every player of AD&D. From the desolate wastes of the Sea of Dust in the west to the decadent remnants of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy in the east, from the mysterious Land of Black Ice in the north to the steaming jungles of Hepmonaland in the south, Greyhawk is, above all, one thing: adventure!

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·  Where can I get out-of-print (OOP) Greyhawk materials?

As a large portion of the Greyhawk products are OOP, this is a good question. Currently, eBay is a great source, but you may pay a premium for popular items (like the T1-4 or WGR4). Another source is online games dealers like Titan Games (www.titan-games.com), The Dragon's Trove (www.dragontrove.com), or Noble Knight Games (www.nobleknight.com). For those of you dinosaurs (like the FAQ author) who remember Usenet, the newsgroup rec.games.frp.marketplace is a good place to look. Finally, Wizards of the Coast has been scanning older products and selling them online as PDf files for $4-6 each. They are finally (at the time of this writing) getting to the Greyhawk material (store.wizards.com).

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·  Canon? What's that? I thought guns didn't work in Greyhawk?!?

The debate over what is 'canon' in Greyhawk can be long and tedious, and ultimately boils down to personal preference. Basically, it is the argument over what consitutes an 'official' Greyhawk product or reference.

Some opt for only those products and materials produced by the creator, EGG, leaving out all other work. The problem with this is that one of the last pieces of Greyhawk material written by EGG ends with the destruction of the Oerth, which contradicts the introduction to the 1983 boxed set which has Oerth around in CY 998.

Others opt for all material published by TSR, not including the novels. This approach also has some problems, like the inclusion of the cartoonish WG7 Castle Greyhawk. The new Living Greyhawk Campaign, directed by Erik "CanonSaver" Mona, has somewhat taken this approach, although certain products have been declared officially non-canon (like WG7 and the Rose Estes (spit!) novels).

Personally, the editor opts to use whatever information he can find out of *any* published product, no matter what the source, as long as it 'feels' right. Thus, the novels of EGG, most of the modules and sourcebooks, and the Dragon articles are fair game for material.

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·  What happened to WG1, WG2, and WG3? (i.e., Why does the WG-Series start with WG4?)

WG1 and WG2 were the two booklets in the 1983 WoG campaign setting, although they were not labeled as such. The designation WG3 originally referred to The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, eventually published as S4. This makes sense in that WG4 Lost Temple of Tharizdun is the 'sequel' to S4.

For more information on this and other topics relating to TSR products, see David Papay's web page at: http://home1.gte.net/papay/dnd/tsr_item_notes.html He has a page devoted to 'TSR Product Trivia' like this.

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·  What happened to Castle Hart?

Castle Hart was detailed the the Castles boxed set (TSR #1056, 1990). Its fate is not mentioned in FtA, WGR4 The Marklands, or WGM1 Border Watch, even though WGM1 takes place in the same area as Castle Hart. According to Carl Sargent, he did not know about the reference in Castles when he was writing. Thus, Castle Hart was eliminated by that great destroyer of canon, editorial indifference (or incompetence, if you prefer). Erik Boyd has written a document attempting to reconcile the fate of Catle Hart. You can find it at many Greyhawk sites on the 'net.

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·  Who did Eclavdra worship?

The answer is "it depends". It just depends on who (and when) you ask! There are actually at least three different versions of Eclavdra: a Fighter/Cleric worshipper of the Elder Elemental God from the Giants/Drow modules, the Cleric/???? worshipper of Graz'zt from EGG's New Infinities Gord the Rogue novels, and the Cleric-only worshipper of Lloth from Iuz the Evil. So, it depends on who you ask: EGG in 1978 (G3), EGG in 1987 (Sea of Death), or Carl Sargent in 1993 (Iuz the Evil).

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·  How can Prince Thrommel use his sword, Fragarach?

He can't. Or rather, he can't as things are written now. From T1-4 we know that Thrommel is a 'Paladin Lord', and thus presumably LG in alignment. He can also call the broadsword Fragarach to his hand. However, Fragarach is an intelligent CG sword, and "any Lawful creature trying to grasp it takes 1-6 points of damage and falls senseless for 1-10 rounds." The easiest solution in the editor's opinion is to change Fragarach's AL to LG, and change 'Lawful' to 'Chaotic' in the quote above. According to communications with EGG (per Paul Stromberg), the sword should have been LG in the first place.

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·  Who were the nine demigods imprisoned by Iuz?

This, along with the canon question, has caused more debate on Greytalk and other forums than any other question. The gods imprisoned in the original Greyhawk campaign were revealed by EGG and Rob Kuntz to be Obad-Hai, Trithereon, Heironeous, Hextor, Iuz, Olidammara, Celestian, Ralishaz, and Erythnul. Note that these are *not* officially demigods; as the original campaign grew and the world was published, most ended up as lesser or intermediate gods.

Erik Mona (Iquander@aol.com) has proposed the following list of demigods, one from each alignment (check out The Last Word on Iuz and Company for his reasoning ):

  • LG: Merikka Agriculture Any Good F
  • LN: Stern Alia Law, Truth LN F
  • LE: Wastri Amphibians, Bigotry LN, LE M
  • NG: Xilonen Corn Any F
  • TN: Zuoken Phys. and Mental Mastery N, LN M
  • NE: Chitza-Atlan Underworld (Mictlan) Any M
  • CG: Tlazoteotl Mother of the Earth Any F
  • CN: Rudd Chance, Skill CN, CG, N F
  • CE: Iuz Deceit, Pain Any Evil, CN M

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·  What were the destinations of the eight-pointed star in WG5?

Originally the triangles (the acquisition of which would have been an adventure by itself) were to be used to open gates to 8 demiplanes. According to Rob Kuntz, the exact planes were never detailed, although EX1 Dungeonland, EX2 The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror, and the Demiplane of Shadow would have been likely candidates.

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·  What role did Iuz play in the Temple of Elemental Evil, and how?

This is another question that has been debated at length on Greytalk. It boils down to a question of when Iuz was imprisoned by Zagig Yragerne in Castle Greyhawk. Here are the relevant dates, with references:

CY505 Iuz imprisoned by Zagig (FtA Atlas, p.5)

CY507 Iuz imprisoned by Zagig (FtA Timeline)

CY569 Temple of Elemental Evil sacked (1983 Guide, p.9;ToEE p.5)

CY570 Iuz released from Castle Greyhawk (1983 Guide, p.27)

In ToEE, p.29, it is stated that Iuz "requested an audience with Zuggtmoy" sometime after the Temple was built but before its sack by the forces of Good. Also, ToEE p.5 states that the Temple was built in a little more than 3 years. Thus it seems that Iuz must have been free sometime between CY565-569, as the Temple was sacked in CY569. However, Carl Sargent has Iuz imprisoned in CY505 or CY507! Even EGG is not clear on this, as the 1983 Guide states that 'For a time the land was leaderless, for Iuz himself was missing. For many decades the evil of the place was in relative quietude for lack of leadership.' This would imply that Iuz was imprisoned no later than CY530 ('many decades' - at least 40 years?)!

All in all, this is probably the thorniest canon and timeline problem in Greyhawk lore. Check the archives for a look at what others have come up with to get around this.

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·  What is the 'sharp check' dealt to Lolth that mentioned in ToEE?

From T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil, p.29:

"Having just learned of the sharp check dealt to Lolth in
her plans to wreak Evil..."

and later (speaking of Lolth)

"Had she not been routed, her dark followers so crippled..."

What are these statements referring to? Well, T1-4 was published in 1985, several years after the publication of the original G, D, and Q series. At the time of publication, there were no plans to tie the T, A, and G-D-Q series into one long campaign via the supermodules. Thus, the events of the G-D-Q series were assumed to have happened already, ruining Lolth's plans and leaving her severely weakened.

Note that if you wish to play the standard 'Classics' campaign, you can just leave this reference out, or make up some other event, without causing too much rouble.

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·  Will the real Prince of Furyondy please stand up?

There is a bit of confusion concerning the heir to the throne of Furyondy. In the 1983 boxed set, Thrommel is noted to be the Marshall of Furyondy as well as serving as the Provost of Veluna. In FtA, Carl Sargent seems to think that the Marshall/Prince is a separate person from the Provost. This seems to be due to carelessness on Sargent's part. He probably read the timeline on p.9 of the Guide to the WoG which reads 'Prince of Furyondy/Provost of Veluna kidnapped' and missed the text on p.11 which reveals these to be the same person.

There is also confusion over exactly what the Prince of Furyondy's name is, and what number of that line he is (III or IX). In the earlier material, the Prince is Thrommel (no number given), while Carl Sargent refers to him as Avras IV. In the ToEE, p.66 is the following line: 'On three, in six, lies nine', referring to the trapped Prince. Some have taken this as a reference to Thrommel as the ninth of his line. This is unlikely, as Thrommel II freed Dyvers in CY526. More likely it is a reference to his level - game terms creeping into the alternate reality of Greyhawk.

Gary Holian posted a nice piece of work on this topic to Greytalk a while ago. You can find it in the searchable archives by searching for "Kings of Furyondy Thrommel of ToEE".

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