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    Oerthly Equivalents
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    Encyclopedia Greyhawkaniac

    Joined: May 29, 2018
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    Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:56 am  
    Oerthly Equivalents

    Here are the general sources I've used in the past (as far as I remember). For the most part these are based on movies and popular fiction rather than historical texts. Nothing is set in stone and over the past nearly 40 years of DMing the Greyhawk setting Ive used so much material for three full scale multi-year Greyhawk campaigns that Ive lost track of where it all comes from. Ive found that tying down regions to real world locals helps incredibly with developing a consistent collection of names for NPCs. It is also a great deal of aid to be able to shoehorn cultures into the game and be able to say to someone "It's like Last Kingdom, Braveheart, Zulu but with arrows and orcs, etc..."

    Oerthly Equivalents

    Almor, Prelacy of - Cromwellian England
    Bandit Kingdoms - Various
    Bissel, March of - Hungary
    Blackmoor - Finland
    Bone March - Various Fantasy
    Celene - Lothlorien
    Dyvers - Amsterdam
    Ekbir - Damascus
    Frost Barbarians - Vikings
    Furyondy - France
    Geoff - Wales
    Gran March - Templars
    Great Kingdom - Otto I Holy Roman Empire
    Greyhawk, city of - Gygax Gord the Rogue novels & Various Fantasy
    Highfolk - Rivendell
    Horned Society - Various Fantasy
    Ice Barbarians - Vikings
    Idee - Renaissance Italian city-state
    Irongate - Renaissance Italian city-state
    Iuz - Various Fantasy
    Keoland - England
    Ket - Romania/Bulgaria/Transylvania
    Lordship of the Isles - Caribbean British Island ports and strongholds based on pirate movies
    Medegia, See of - Loosely based on Three Musketeers Cardinal Richelieu
    North Province - England of King John and Robin Hood
    Nyrond - England
    Onnwal - Renaissance Italian City-State
    Pale - Rome
    Perrenland - Switzerland
    Plains of the Paynims - Mongol
    Pomarj - Various fantasy
    Ratik - Various fantasy
    Rel Astra - Various fantasy
    Rovers of the Barrens - Pre-Christian Magyars
    Scarlet Barbarians - Nazi/Teutonic Knights
    Sea Barons - Caribbean British Island ports and strongholds based on pirate movies
    Sea Princes - Barbary Pirates
    Shield Lands - Arthurian Fantasy England without Arthur
    Snow Barbarians - Vikings
    South Province (Ahlissa) - Spain – El Cid - kinda
    Spindrift Isle - L Series Various Fantasy
    Sterich - General western europe medieval
    Stonefist - Cossacks
    Sunndi - Renaissance Italian City State
    Tenh - Northern England
    Tiger Nomads - Mongol
    Tusmit - Ottoman
    Ulek’s - Various Fantasy
    Ull - Ukraine after Mongol Invasion
    Urnst, County of - Generic Medieval
    Urnst, Duchy of - Generic Medieval
    Valley of the Mage - Various Fantasy
    Veluna - Generic medieval/ fantasy
    Verbobonc - Various fantasy
    Wild Coast - Various fantasy
    Wolf Nomads - Huns
    Yeomanry - Old Prussian
    Zeif - Persian
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 09, 2003
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    Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:11 pm  
    Re: Oerthly Equivalents

    Been there, done that Laughing Wink
    http://www.canonfire.com/cf//modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=4291&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

    ...my input starts on p. 2.


    JasonZavoda wrote:
    ...Almor, Prelacy of - Cromwellian England...


    -Actually, I thought the Pale would have a tinge of that. I get that vibe from the first Gord book.


    JasonZavoda wrote:
    ...Keoland - England...


    -But Plantagenet England.


    JasonZavoda wrote:
    ...Lordship of the Isles - Caribbean British Island ports and strongholds based on pirate movies...


    -I figured Caribbean too, but Duxchaner = Dutch.


    JasonZavoda wrote:
    ...Yeomanry - Old Prussian...


    -A see it as an idealized Merry Old England or 13 Colonies in the subtropics.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:10 pm  

    I suppose I regard Geoff, Bissel, and Gran March as rough equivalents of the Crusader States in that they are buffers of a pseudo-European civilization against the vaguely 'Saracen' hordes of the West. The Knights of the Watch seem a bit like Templars or Hospitallers.


    The Knights of Holy Shielding/Shield Lands also carry a crusading vibe and might be viewed as somewhat similar to the Teutonic Knights, Livonian Sword Brothers, Courland, etc.


    The Scarlet Brotherhood puts me in mind of the Assassins and the Old Man of the Mountain, Tibet under the lamas, and the Evil Commie menace. While I agree that later canon sources developed the SB in a somewhat 'NS' direction, I've never liked that take on them.
    Wastri does the 'fantasy racist' theme better--and with more laughs.
    Adept Greytalker

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    From: Aspedri

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    Thu Nov 28, 2019 5:10 pm  

    I've be recently revamping my ideas of life and culture in the Flanaess. Roughly based on Carl Sergeant's works, I have largely broken the Flanaess into two sections:

    The Oeridian East. East of the Sheldomar is your standard western-European fantasy world. Obviously there are local variations, but the major characteristics are feudalism, serfdom, etc. This is the point of departure in this region. While the Urnst states and Tenh are not Oeridian-ruled, they have been assimilated sufficiently that they use the same forms, while only on the margins, such as the Suel Barbarians, the Rovers, and Stonefist, do differences exist.

    The Sheldomar Valley, dominated by the Suel Kingdom of Keoland has a distinct culture from the rest of the Flanaess... I just have not clearly defined it yet, but my rough basis is Gondor at the time of Return of the King; a powerful kingdom and force of good that sees itself as in decline and is beset with self-doubt. Geoff and Sterich are also based on the Dunlanders (Flan). The Uleks are also based strongly on Middle Earth ideas, while the Hold of the Sea Princes is a slightly better version of Umbar, especially the inland regions. Gran March, however, is basically the Teutonic Knights with a hint of Voltaire's description of Prussia, "an army with a state". My big challenge is to differentiate this from the Oeridian-dominated portion. I do plan to make their monetary system distinct, probably a trinary vs. decimal system as hinted at in the Living Greyhawk Gazeteer.

    How else would you differentiate from standard?
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:26 pm  

    I sometimes think a vaguely Byzantine/East Roman vibe might be a good take on Keoland.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:16 am  

    Quote:
    I sometimes think a vaguely Byzantine/East Roman vibe might be a good take on Keoland.


    Something along those lines... more the idea that Keoland is the continuation of the Suel Imperium than a new realm. This would also put them in unspoken competition with the Scarlett Brotherhood.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:10 am  

    tarelton wrote:
    Quote:
    I sometimes think a vaguely Byzantine/East Roman vibe might be a good take on Keoland.


    Something along those lines... more the idea that Keoland is the continuation of the Suel Imperium than a new realm. This would also put them in unspoken competition with the Scarlett Brotherhood.


    Keoland represents what was best about the ancient Suel. The Scarlet Brotherhood, what was worst.


    Glory to the Lion Throne!
    Encyclopedia Greyhawkaniac

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    Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:25 pm  

    NorkerMedic wrote:
    tarelton wrote:
    Quote:
    I sometimes think a vaguely Byzantine/East Roman vibe might be a good take on Keoland.


    Something along those lines... more the idea that Keoland is the continuation of the Suel Imperium than a new realm. This would also put them in unspoken competition with the Scarlett Brotherhood.


    Keoland represents what was best about the ancient Suel. The Scarlet Brotherhood, what was worst.


    Glory to the Lion Throne!


    As you can see I lean heavily on England for inspiration.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:45 pm  

    I could see England, too.

    The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh does liken Saltmarsh to a 14th Century English coastal town, doesn't it?
    Encyclopedia Greyhawkaniac

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    Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:51 pm  

    NorkerMedic wrote:
    I could see England, too.

    The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh does liken Saltmarsh to a 14th Century English coastal town, doesn't it?


    A bit too much for me. I'm more comfortable with pre-gun societies
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    Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:12 pm  

    I figure mages are the cannon of the setting.
    Very mobile cannon! But also squishy at lower levels.
    Encyclopedia Greyhawkaniac

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    Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:19 pm  

    NorkerMedic wrote:
    I figure mages are the cannon of the setting.
    Very mobile cannon! But also squishy at lower levels.


    In a sense. But magic is so much more powerful than guns. And in Greyhawk where magic is powerful but not commonplace mages and spellcasters can have an extreme effect on mundane things (such as what a mage could do to a sailing ship or the wall of a castle).
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:12 am  

    JasonZavoda wrote:
    NorkerMedic wrote:
    I figure mages are the cannon of the setting.
    Very mobile cannon! But also squishy at lower levels.


    In a sense. But magic is so much more powerful than guns. And in Greyhawk where magic is powerful but not commonplace mages and spellcasters can have an extreme effect on mundane things (such as what a mage could do to a sailing ship or the wall of a castle).


    Yep.

    Cannon can be manufactured from iron or bronze and operated by a trained 0 level crew, while a magic user takes years to train and is (presumably) harder to replace than a gun or a gunner.

    I really just meant that spells like fireball take the place of cannonfire.


    ;)

    [/i]
    GreySage

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    Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:06 am  

    NorkerMedic wrote:

    I really just meant that spells like fireball take the place of cannonfire.


    Nothing can replace Canonfire! Shocked Razz

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    Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:50 am  

    SirXaris wrote:
    NorkerMedic wrote:

    I really just meant that spells like fireball take the place of cannonfire.


    Nothing can replace Canonfire! Shocked Razz

    SirXaris



    LOL

    I was expecting that but it still made me laugh.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:58 pm  
    RL

    I'm surprised you picked Finland for Blackmoor instead of the Netherlands since that appears to be the basis for the Blackmoor maps. I also like to think that Constantinople might be a good analogue for the City of Greyhawk.
    Encyclopedia Greyhawkaniac

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    Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:24 pm  
    Re: RL

    Raymond wrote:
    I'm surprised you picked Finland for Blackmoor instead of the Netherlands since that appears to be the basis for the Blackmoor maps. I also like to think that Constantinople might be a good analogue for the City of Greyhawk.


    Climate should be more Finland than Netherlands, but that is just secondary consideration. I have a good deal of interest in pre-christian Finland as well as inspiration from Robert Holdstock's Celtika. I don't follow Arnenson's Blackmoor but other than dropping some of the City of the Gods into the Land of Black Ice I just make up Greyhawk's Blackmoor from bits and pieces.

    Byzantine and Constantinople I will probably use for a time travelling campaign to before the Rain of Colorless and the Suel Imperium but I prefer the City of Greyhawk much more modern fantasy such as Sanctuary and Lankhmar.
    GreySage

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    Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:43 pm  
    Re: RL

    Raymond wrote:
    I'm surprised you picked Finland for Blackmoor instead of the Netherlands since that appears to be the basis for the Blackmoor maps.


    The Netherlands were the basis for Dave Arneson's Blackmoor maps, but not the basis for the Darlene Map version of Blackmoor.

    It's pretty clear that Gygax thought of his Blackmoor as Finland-like, for example his reference in Dance of Demons to the Rhymers of the Blackfens producing the kanteel:

    Dance of Demons page 26 wrote:

    "The fabled Rhymers of the Blackfens, those northern mages who with kanteel and verse wrought world-shaking dweomers, might exceed the troubador's own ability in magic. On the other hand, it was in that land of snow and ice that Gellor had won his own kanteel and brought back great spells for his own repertoire. Gord doubted that any of the great druidic bards would care to challenge the one-eyed troubador to a challenge of skill in that vein. Perhaps Gellor was as great as any man or elf, then, when it came to the weaving of spells by music and verse."


    Greyhawk's Blackmoor is much more northern in climate than Dave Arneson's Blackmoor, equivalent to the Thillonrian barbarian lands in latitude, while Dave Arneson's Blackmoor is south of the northern barbarian lands, roughly in the same location Ratik is.
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