So, I've really just started to get into Greyhawk (hence the newbie post). I've been gaming regularly since 1990, but was in the Realms, Dark Sun, Eberron, etc. more at the time.
However, I've been deep-diving on Greyhawk as I consider my next campaign...it's openness and possible politicking options are compelling.
I know, in a sense, that Greyhawk is very human-centric. And, while far from mundane, it's magic is diffuse in the sense that at least as I've read through the various official materials, there are not a lot of overt manifestations of magics' effects on the world.
While I fully acknowledge some of the fantastical adventure settings - Barrier Peaks, Tomb of Horrors, etc.- am I overlooking some of the more "fantastical" geographic or cultural centers of this setting?
I'm not saying that I need these elements (in truth a part of me wants to focus away from them), but I am interested.
Thanks for the help in advance, and for this community--as someone 'researching' Greyhawk it has been a wonderful resource.
First...welcome to Oerth! You're in for a helluva ride!
Second...Greyhawk is definitely humanocentric. There are a few areas where demi-humans or non-humans have sizable communities, but they are dwarfed (no pun intended) by the human civilizations. Humans are definitely the movers and shakers of the world.
Third...hand in hand with the above second point, those humans that are the kings, lords, ladies, mayors, chieftains, etc...are often "normal"; meaning they are not uber-powerful high-level classed humans. There is a list in the original Greyhawk Gazetteer/Folio of the "rulers" of the countries. Most are around 10th level give or take three or four. I think one guy is 19th? Maybe it was 17th? This is in stark contrast to, say Forgotten Realms, where Waterdeep, a city, is ruled/governed by multiple 20+ level characters and a lot more in the high-teens (at least last I remember...admittedly a decade or two ago). In short, many MANY officials in towns and cities are just normal 0-level folk. That's why they need to hire 3rd level adventurers to take care of some orcs who have taken to raiding a trade route.
Fourth...Greyhawk is "scaffolding" as opposed to fully formed, at least in terms of areas, descriptions and ideas. Greyhawk was meant to be taken the same way the 1e AD&D rules were: "Take this skeleton, rearrange stuff, create stuff, ignore stuff, whatever suits YOUR game and YOUR idea of what will be fun". To me, that is the essence of Greyhawk. "Here's some ideas. Fill in the blanks". _________________ ^_^<br /><br />Paul L. Ming<br /><br />("L" for "el Grognardian")<br />
A short list of magical locations in the Flanaess off the top of my head includes:
Tovag Baragu - A magical Stonehenge-type ring of stones in the Dry Steppes;
The Valley of the Mage - Where some powerful Oerth magic is focused;
The Fading Lands - Various demi-planes associated with the fey;
The Rift Canyon - In the Bandit Kingdoms;
The Land of Black Ice - North by Blackmoor;
Oerthblood - Deep in the Oerth, accessed from Tenser's castle and other locations;
The Cauldron of Night - On an island off of the Great Kingdom's east coast;
The Barren Wastes - Land of fire north of the land of Iuz;
Slerotin's Tunnel - Connects the Sea of Dust with the Yeomanry beneath the Hellfurnaces;
Hydrothermal vents and cold seeps - Only recorded location is near Fort Blackwell in Jeklea Bay (see Canonfire! Chronicles, Agnosco Adventum).
Just wanted to pop in and say thanks. I'm leaning towards setting mc ampaign in Blackmoor (its isolation appeals to me for the type of mercenary...let the player's roam as they will..style I am aiming for next campaign).
I'll post here as things unfold. I've got a bit of time still...my latest Realms game probably won't end til July.
The population figures, even in the 3e materials, reflect a pretty low population density for humanity.
Look at the encounter tables and monster lists for the answer.
Humans share the world with not just demihumans and goblonoids, but gnolls, sprites, ogres, trolls, giants, dragons, worgs, lizardmen, talking dragons and a bunch of other intelligent creature races/types. (All of these creatures need resources and habit to survive.)
Humanity is the main civilized race.
But humans do not control most of the hexes on the maps. They can't. Numbers are not even close to sufficient to do so.
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