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    Canonfire :: View topic - [LG] Doomgrinder
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    [LG] Doomgrinder
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    CF Admin

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    Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:22 am  
    [LG] Doomgrinder

    The Living Greyhawk campaign has posted a short article by Mr. Broadhurst on the Doomgrinder. It is nothing Oerth shattering, and does not tell us anything most do not already know. Still Greyhawk, though.

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=lg/lgmp/20071003a

    I am guessing the Doomgrinder may play a part in the campaigns end. Or, perhaps be linked to the campaign's new Castle Greyhawk Ruins (CGR) series. Maybe both.

    Don (Greyson)
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    Don (Greyson)
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    Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:14 am  

    Ok, maybe I missed something here, but after reading the Doomgrinder post, I found it particularly odd that it didn't mention the module Doomgrinder published in 1998 by TSR. In that adventure the derro take the doomgrinder on a destructive path set for the heart of Greyhawk City and the PCs are out to stop them.

    How strange no mention of this was made. When I read the module I was disapointed that they went with the war machine idea rather than
    the "countdown to disaster" idea presented in previous material. The article seems to go back to this idea, without really saying much more.

    So is it both? Did they disregard the module? Or is this different because it is Living Greyhawk?
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:32 am  

    It looks like Creighton was trying to retcon the module out of existence, going back more to Carl Sargent's original concept. He mentions what it turned out the Doomgrinder was in the module as a theory "widely derided as the fanciful mutterings of old men."
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    Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:12 pm  

    Rasgon:

    That's what I thought, "Lets go back to the basic idea and forget the module ever happened."

    Personally I was disapointed in the module, I liked the idea of countdown to disaster better. But I also don't care for the...."let's pretend the module didn't happen effect.

    Only in very rare cases have I supported the "Forget it happened or that someone wrote it idea".
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:01 pm  
    A Living Greyhawk Thing

    EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
    So is it both? Did they disregard the module? Or is this different because it is Living Greyhawk?

    I am guessing this is very much a Living Greyhawk situational thing. Given the end of the campaign, I suspect that The Doomgrinder as a countdown to disaster type of thing is the idea for the campaign's grand, sweeping end. So, acting as if The Doomgrinder adventure never happened conveniently allows the campaign to use the stone wind mill as it may. The concept of "Lets go back to the basic idea and forget the module ever happened" is an editorial tool of convenience.

    I'm not too worried about Steve Miller's work being overlooked in Living Greyhawk. I think he missed a great opportunity with the original adventure. While The Doomgrinder was not a total bomb, I think a better concept could have been developed. Such is the way of things in the World of Greyhawk.

    Don (Greyson)
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    Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:03 am  

    Well - the article doesn't actually nerf anything the (terrible, terrible) Doomgrinder module says. It just says that most sages consider the warmachine theory to be fanciful.

    The article actually leaves things wide open to interpretation. If you want it to be the FtA doomsday clock, it can be. If you want it to be the giant buried clockwork toy, then it can be; it just turns out that those who widely deride the warmachine idea are wrong.

    P.
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    Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:16 am  

    Woesinger wrote:
    Well - the article doesn't actually nerf anything the (terrible, terrible) Doomgrinder module says.


    Except that it does, quite explicitly. The Mysterious Places articles are Living Greyhawk material, meaning that they take place somewhere between 591 and 597cy. The events of the Doomgrinder module take place before that. By stating that whatever the doomgrinder is going to do has not happened yet, and further that the plotline of that module is incorrect, the article does invalidate the module.

    The events in the module dictate that by the time of Living Greyhawk, the premise of the module will have been proven correct, either by the PCs who stop the thing, or by the destruction of part of Greyhawk city as a result of their failure.

    It is not the place of WotC web articles to invalidate canon material.

    The entire article is lazy and uninspired. There's nothing new and it only summarizes previously existing plothooks regarding the doomgrinder, while invalidating the only one that got developed. I'm not impressed at all.
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    Sun Oct 07, 2007 3:16 pm  

    Woesinger wrote:
    the (terrible, terrible) Doomgrinder module
    P.


    I was hoping to enjoy reading the mod someday. It is a shame to hear it sucks. Let me guess 2e?
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    Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:48 am  

    What Ho All,

    Saw this discussion and thought I would dive in. I'm sorry, Ratlord, that you didn't enjoy the article on Doomgrinder. First off, I'm going to agree with Paul that Doomgrinder is a terrible adventure and that I find the idea of a massive, buried warmachine as too "silly" for Greyhawk. That said, the adventure is canon and my article does not revise it out of the setting's background. Sure, you can read the article like that but I was pretty careful not to put anything in that completely invalidated Doomgrinder. Rather, the way I look at it, the derros' plans were thwarted very early on by a group of adventures who just happened to be in the area! Thus Doomgrinder never started on its rampage.

    Happy

    That said, you are right in that the article is more of a compilation of previous material on the location and does not present any new development. It is, instead, an attempt to introduce the thousands of Living Greyhawk players that are not "Oerth Sages" to the location. Remember a lot of our players do not own all the supplements and Doomgrinder is a great location to foreshadow the complete and utter destruction of Oerth*... (whoops)

    Happy

    *joke (maybe)

    Creighton Broadhurst
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    Mon Oct 08, 2007 3:22 am  

    Wolfsire wrote:
    Woesinger wrote:
    the (terrible, terrible) Doomgrinder module
    P.


    I was hoping to enjoy reading the mod someday. It is a shame to hear it sucks. Let me guess 2e?


    Yeah, second edition. It came out with the 98 hawk stuff, and was in the series with The Crypt of Lyzandred the Mad and The Star Cairns.
    I didn't mind the plot of the adventure so much as I minded the maps. IIRC, about 95% of the Doomgrinder map was just a series of geomorphs.

    room 1 uses geomorph 1 facing north
    room 2 uses geomorph 3 facing east
    room 3 uses geomorph 1 facing south
    etc. . .

    There were only a couple of these non-square (and rather boring) rooms.

    ymmv[/i]
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    Michael Erin Sandar Bard of Midwood
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    Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:47 am  

    I photocopied and enlarged those geomorphs way back to make them usable with minis. The DG was obnoxiously huge, my mistake since the adventure really only mattered in a few key locations anyways.

    I don't think it is too 'silly', we all know what the benchmark for silly is in GH. The DG is just a colossal Mighty Servant of Luek-O or Machine of Lum the Mad both of which I've never heard a bad word about. I'd classify this mod as campaign breaking. If it -does- go on a ramapage then GHC is a mess, if it misses GHC (as it did IMC) then you still have altered terrain and possibly a DG somewhere else later.

    In hindsight however, Paul and Creighton...with the Ether business in Tenh, the rising Isles of Woe and who knows what other big core events I missed out on, why would you play it safe with the Doomgrinder? ;) As for the timeline issue Ratlord mentioned, I think the retcon happened well before this article anyways otherwise it's implications would have to be included in the LGG entry for Urnst and Greyhawk City. (Will hound Holian over it later)
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    Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:34 am  

    Quote:
    It is not the place of WotC web articles to invalidate canon material.


    **Looks in contract. Fails to find this clause anywhere. Shrugs.**

    If you want to read that the article invalidates the canon, then far be it from me to tell you what to think.

    From my perspective, the article no more invalidates the module than, say Slavers invalidates the Slavelords series by assuming an outcome. Adventurers may have foiled the Derro - hence no big hole where GH City used to be.

    Equally, the fact that the article doesn't explicitly mention that adventurers found a great big clockwork under the DG is not the same as saying that there is no great big clockwork under the DG.

    It just means the article doesn't mention it. The reader is left to draw their own conclusion. You've drawn yours, but it's not the only possible conclusion you could draw.

    P.
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    Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:48 pm  

    The article does not "fail to mention a clockwork warmachine", it explicitly says that such a notion is ridiculous. It therefore does not assume an outcome for the module, it states that the module's premise is invalid.
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    Tue Oct 09, 2007 6:14 am  

    ratlord wrote:
    The article does not "fail to mention a clockwork warmachine", it explicitly says that such a notion is ridiculous. It therefore does not assume an outcome for the module, it states that the module's premise is invalid.


    Lol - it explicitly states that many people discount the notion as ridiculous. It's a subtle nod to all those GH fans who hated the module. Take it or leave it but the option is clearly (or cryptically) left open to the individual DM's choice. I like this approach.
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    Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:12 am  

    Indeed. Just as we dismiss notions of Castle Greyhawk being the court of Herzog Akitrom the Merely Worried in lieu of the more accepted ruined castle of Zagig Yragerne often explored by adventurers.
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    Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:18 am  

    PaulN6 wrote:
    It's a subtle nod to all those GH fans who hated the module.


    Subtle, eh? Right. It's one fan taking himself too seriously and imposing his view of the setting on the rest of us. I realize that's par for the course these days, with the many precedents set by Paizo's stable of GH writers, but that doesn't make it right.

    Doomgrinder, bad or not, is published canon, and its events are concluded before the LG campaign time that article is written in. If there was anyone at WotC checking facts on those articles, they'd realize that, and have altered it.

    And I fully expect the "well, your just one fan imposing your..." reaction. That's not the case, Doomgrinder is a published adventure that has never been announced as being stricken from canon. That is not my opinion, it's fact.
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    Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:53 am  

    ratlord wrote:
    It is not the place of WotC web articles to invalidate canon material.


    Except, of course, for the little fact that WotC OWNS the Greyhawk intellectual property (our proprietary feelings toward the setting notwithstanding), and as the owners of said intellectual property are well within their rights to do anything they want with it, Gygax, Kuntz, Sargent, Mona, et al, and "canon" be damned.

    It most assuredly IS "the place" of a WotC web article to invalidate "canon" (a nebulous concept at best, in Greyhawk's case) material.

    If they wish, they can blow up the City of Greyhawk with a 20 megaton stink-bomb hidden in a giant tuna, say Vecna killed Pelor with a well-placed spitwad, populate Ratik with anthropomorphic glasses of tomato juice, or say that "10 years from now, Oerth has been re-named...to EBERRON!!!" They can decide, on a whim, to invalidate ANY form of 'canon' that has gone before. You may not use those invalidations in your campaign, but any subsequently-released Greyhawk material will probably use it, rather than your likes or dislikes. The base-line Greyhawk is exactly what WotC says it is, because they own it (one of the reasons why Greyhawk will probably never be released to a third-party publisher...that way they keep control over it--there are waaay too many people who would like to get a hand on it and "impose their will," so to speak).

    Regardless of what we might like, the fact is that WotC--and ONLY WotC--decides what is "official" canon for Greyhawk, because it's their property.

    Regards,
    Darrell King


    Last edited by Darrell on Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:08 am; edited 3 times in total
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    Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:01 am  

    ratlord wrote:
    And I fully expect the "well, your just one fan imposing your..." reaction. That's not the case, Doomgrinder is a published adventure that has never been announced as being stricken from canon. That is not my opinion, it's fact.


    That's just the thing, though, dude. It ISN'T fact. "Facts" don't exist when your dealing with this type of thing, because Greyhawk doesn't actually exist. Since Greyhawk is a fictional world owned lock, stock, and barrel by WotC, they get to decide what is or is not 'canon;' and they owe neither you, nor I, nor anyone else any explanation as to why they changed it, nor any announcement that the previous material it contradicts is now invalid. They can just do it, and we have to live with it (or ignore it, as the case may be).

    Regards,
    Darrell King
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    Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:08 am  

    If you'll kindly provide us with the name of the greyhawk continuity editor at wotc who checks the current articles for their accuracy within gh material, I'll accept that argument.
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    Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:12 pm  

    ratlord wrote:
    If you'll kindly provide us with the name of the greyhawk continuity editor at wotc who checks the current articles for their accuracy within gh material, I'll accept that argument.


    That's just the thing, though, Rich. They don't have to stick to much continuity. They can say that only the few WotC-published products (i.e., 3e D&D Gazetteer, Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk) are "real" Greyhawk canon, and that anything else (including Living Greyhawk stuff and Dungeon's Greyhawk material) is just fan-created material published by WotC, and that older-edition Greyhawk is just that...older and for other editions, and therefore not part of the setting they are using.

    Sure, they'd get old 'Hawkers all POed (as if they haven't done that fairly frequently already), but they've already told the various and sundry Forgotten Realms fans (whom they apparently value much more than Greyhawkophiles like us), "we're changing the way the Realms work in 4e, and you're just gonna have to live with it;" so I don't think they're too concerned with how many of us might get upset.

    In fact, I think GVDammerung might be on to something, in that I almost expect any Greyhawk-setting product that might ever be announced for 4e to be completely Battlestar Galactica-ed, jettisoning the previous permutations of GH continuity altogether.

    The sad fact is, WotC could publish a web article tomorrow saying 'all of the traditional Greyhawk gods who do not appear in the Player's Handbook (or maybe the PHB and Complete Divine) do not exist, and never have existed in any form at any time,' and that would then be "official canon" for Greyhawk; because WotC owns Greyhawk and consequently gets to decide what is or is not Greyhawk canon.

    We can argue about it, and complain about it because we like EGG's original GH, or Sargent's take on GH (it could happen), or Erik's "Paizo-hawk" material to our heart's content, but WotC has the final say, official publication-wise.

    Regards,
    Darrell
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    Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:57 am  

    ratlord wrote:
    PaulN6 wrote:
    It's a subtle nod to all those GH fans who hated the module.


    Doomgrinder, bad or not, is published canon, and its events are concluded before the LG campaign time that article is written in. If there was anyone at WotC checking facts on those articles, they'd realize that, and have altered it.

    And I fully expect the "well, your just one fan imposing your..." reaction. That's not the case, Doomgrinder is a published adventure that has never been announced as being stricken from canon. That is not my opinion, it's fact.


    Canon can only be a guideline. In ToEE it is possible to rescue Prince Thrommel but 'canon' assumes (incorrectly) that nobody did. I had to make quite a few changes to my home campaign as a result and eventually god rid of him again during the Great Northern Crusade in an effort to bring my campaign back in line.

    The 'canon' Doomgrinder still exists but the writer has decided that, as the module was unpopular, he will assume that the derro's plans were foiled at an early stage so the mystery of the Doomgrinder can be maintained for new players who don't have access to the old module.

    Personally I think it would have been better if the mystery had been deepened by adding a rumour that some foolish people claim that the Doomgrinder had moved from its original position. This would be a clearer nod to the module and spells such as Move Earth, illusions, or simply weather conditions could easily have disguised the path of the war machine.

    Overall it's no big deal. RttToEE added new material to the original legend and any future Doomgrinder adventures could easily do the same if a more sinister origin is required.
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    Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:46 am  

    What you said:

    ratlord wrote:
    The article does not "fail to mention a clockwork warmachine", it explicitly says that such a notion is ridiculous. It therefore does not assume an outcome for the module, it states that the module's premise is invalid.


    What the article says:

    Quote:
    Few sites in the all the Flanaess conjure up in the minds of the populace such images of dread, foreboding, and fear as does Doomgrinder. Widely believed to be some kind of mystical or cosmic clock counting down the years to the Oerth’s destruction, the structure’s origins – and purpose – remain completely unknown. Some sages disagree, whispering that it is some kind of terrible war engine created by a long-dead civilization to annihilate their foes; these theories are widely derided as the fanciful mutterings of old and senile men.


    The article does not explicitly say anything except that theories of the war engine are widely derided in the Flanaess.

    That's entirely different from explicitly saying that the notion of the war machine is actually, behind-the-GM's-screen ridiculous and even more different from saying that there is no war machine at all.

    In the real world, heliocentricism and plate tectonics were widely derided as being the fanciful mutterings of old and senile men, but, as those examples demonstrate, lots of people thinking something doesn't make it so.

    P.
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    Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:01 pm  
    Good Point

    Creighton wrote:
    ... the article is more of a compilation of previous material on the location and does not present any new development. It is, instead, an attempt to introduce the thousands of Living Greyhawk players that are not "Oerth Sages" to the location. Remember a lot of our players do not own all the supplements and Doomgrinder is a great location to foreshadow the complete and utter destruction of Oerth*... (whoops)

    *joke (maybe)

    And this is why I pointed out the article. It is a promotion of Greyhawk. I often forget that not everybody has heard of The Doomgrinder. Several players in my region (Nyrond/Utah) have asked about it and we've started some fun Greyhawk discussions. We may even see a spike in The Doomgrinder PDF racket.

    I think the article is very neutral and accomplishes its goal - telling the world that The Doomgrinder is still up in the Cairn Hills.

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    Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:22 pm  

    On the "canon" question:

    If, to be considered canon, an adventure module has, as the most important constitutive element, only to be published, then what about The Temple of Elemental Evil events? The "published" (and thus CANON) adventure takes place in a St.Cuthbert's Veluna with Thrommel to be released from the Temple (and coming back to his father, Belvor) and has many other things that were just ignored by the later modules and "canon" material. Why can't we assume that the Doomgrinder module is just an optional adventure for the players, and not part of the official timeline of the Setting?

    I loved the article about the Doomgrinder. I think it is a great idea to have a doom's day clock on Oerth. I'm going farther, i would love to see the events concerning the doomgrinder as a part of the 4th edition Greyhawk material (assuming that greyhawk is going to have a new edition).
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    Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:27 am  

    There is some more up on the Doomgrinder over at at WotC. A few little blurbs about it in a new article called The End of Days. It very much assumes that the old Doomgrinder mod did not take place.
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    Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:48 am  
    Diplomacy Check

    MichaelSandar wrote:
    There is some more up on the Doomgrinder over at at WotC. A few little blurbs about it in a new article called The End of Days...

    Here is a direct link to the latest Diplomacy Check article noted by MichaelSandar above:

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=lg/lgdc/20071016a

    This new Diplomacy Check also says, "The rumblings from the locals [in Ekbir] I heard was that a god had come and blessed them with the holiest of artifacts." Makes me wonder if the cup and talisman of Al'Akbar are gonna make an appearance in the Living Greyhawk campaign.

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    Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:04 am  

    Whether it is a war machine or not, the idea that theDoomgrinder is a clock ticking down to disaster is a metaphore for the end of LG. That, IMO, is why it is getting press.
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    Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:24 pm  
    What's "Canon"?

    I am of the opinion that FANS, not the publisher, get to decide what's canonical or not! Every fan can decide for him/herself if the Doomgrinder module is true or not, and nobody has the right to say, "You MUST/MUST NOT use this in your game!" I personally LIKE the "War Machine" take on Doomgrinder, but to each his own. In my campaign, it's just as described in the module, but in yours, it may be just a big stone windmill...
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