Signup
Welcome to... Canonfire! World of GreyhawK
Features
Postcards from the Flanaess
Adventures
in Greyhawk
Cities of
Oerth
Deadly
Denizens
Jason Zavoda Presents
The Gord Novels
Greyhawk Wiki
#greytalk
JOIN THE CHAT
ON DISCORD
    Canonfire :: View topic - Is Castle Greyhawk obscene?
    Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion
    Is Castle Greyhawk obscene?

    Is Castle Greyhawk obscene considering criteria 1-3?
    yes
    46%
     46%  [ 7 ]
    no
    46%
     46%  [ 7 ]
    other
    6%
     6%  [ 1 ]
    Total Votes : 15

    Author Message
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Wed Jul 26, 2006 7:17 am  
    Is Castle Greyhawk obscene?

    Is Castle Greyhawk obscene?

    Here are factors to evaluate for the obscenity determination modified for Greyhawk gaming from those provided by the U.S. Supreme Court:

    (1) whether the average Greyhawk gamer, applying contemporary Greyhawk community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest,

    (2) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, Greyhawk material, and

    (3) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious Greyhawk gaming value.

    A definition for “prurient” is “marked by or arousing an immoderate or unwholesome interest or desire.” In this context, that would be something other than sexual.

    It may be taken as facts:

    A. That Castle Greyhawk, before the module, was the major component of Gary Gygax’s home campaign.

    B. That the module has been superseded by TSR/WotC and designated as a joke. (Did you laugh?)

    C. The back cover of the module provides: “The common theme of this dungeon is that no joke is so old, no pun is so bad, and no schtick is so obvious that it can’t be used to confuse and trip up PCs!”

    D. Others?

    I voted yes. I don’t think (1) and (2) are an issue, but I can see how it could have some Greyhawk gaming value. It can be and has been played, but not in a serious way. It can be made serious by Monatically designating it as a nightmare of Zagyg temporarily manifested on Oerth, but even with that, taken as a whole, there is little worth mining from for gaming purposes. (Not that I would exclude that use).

    Why do I ask? To test the notion of rationalization of subjective evaluation of canon. It is generally not accepted as canon on the basis of subjective evaluation, rather than labeled for example canon noir. I do not ask for a canon debate here, but rather ask for an evaluation of the module under a specific evaluation system. Suggestions for modification of that system are welcome.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 05, 2003
    Posts: 138
    From: Midwood in Geoff

    Send private message
    Wed Jul 26, 2006 7:37 am  

    obsene? I don't know about that (but I voted yes...) and here's why. Irreverent? yes. Implausable (even for fantasy)? yes. A joke here and there I can handle. But it's hard enough to keep my players serious without throwing a 'nyuk-nyuk' every other room or so.
    _________________
    Michael Erin Sandar Bard of Midwood
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 26, 2002
    Posts: 501
    From: Canada

    Send private message
    Wed Jul 26, 2006 1:44 pm  

    No contest, yes. Even more than Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, this is an insult to Greyhawk and D&D in general.

    Condition 1: This module is so grossly out of context with the regular style Greyhawk fans have come to expect that only those who play their games as parodies, in the vein of HackMaster, can really enjoy this module. Only a DM who wants to pollute the integrity of the setting (hence the "prurient" interest) could use this in a serious, ongoing campaign.

    Condition 2: This module is meant to insult Gary Gygax, who built Greyhawk from the ground up, until Lorraine Williams nearly ran the company he created into the ground.

    Condition 3: There is little to no serious Greyhawk gaming value in this module. How in the bloody hell can you fit it into the context of a serious campaign, as Michael Sandar pointed out?!? There's plenty of room for humor in Greyhawk, but IMO it's better off as the kind of humor you get from Shakespeare and his word games or slightly off-kilter situations, as opposed to goofy parodies, knock-knock jokes, and other humor that's delivered with a sledgehammer. That kind of "sledgehammer" humor has no place in fantasy gaming, IMO.

    So yes, Castle Greyhawk is obscene.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 18, 2006
    Posts: 20


    Send private message
    Wed Jul 26, 2006 2:19 pm  

    [quote="CruelSummerLord"]No contest, yes. Even more than Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, this is an insult to Greyhawk and D&D in general.

    i happenend to like the barrier peaks module, but yes WG7 was bad but not as bad asWG9 which is just a tad worse but these two have to rank as the all time worst greyhawk modules heck they even rank as the all time worst modules of at time period oh the pain/ the horrors never mention this drek agian please
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:12 pm  

    hal wrote:
    i happenend to like the barrier peaks module, but yes WG7 was bad but not as bad as WG9 which is just a tad worse but these two have to rank as the all time worst greyhawk modules heck they even rank as the all time worst modules of at time period oh the pain/ the horrors never mention this drek agian please


    "I feel your pain."
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3290
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:27 pm  

    "Prurient" means interest in sex. There's no way you can stretch the word to describe the Castle Greyhawk module, unless you've got a fetish for gnomes dressed up like Harrison Ford.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Wed Jul 26, 2006 4:41 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    "Prurient" means interest in sex.


    Not in the context that I am using it, and have asked you to use, nor according to all definitions. In the law of obscenity it probably will be limited to sex, but I would not rule out otherwise, as some but not all court's have. Lust is usually limited to sex, but not always. Without a doubt, it could not be prurient any any community but this one.

    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=prurient&searchmode=none
    prurient
    1639, "itching," later "having an itching desire" (1653), esp. "lascivious, lewd," (1746), from L. prurientem (nom. pruriens), prp. of prurire "to itch, long for, be wanton," perhaps related to pruna "glowing coals."

    http://www.rhymezone.com/r/d?u=prurient&loc=dmisp
    adjective: characterized by lust

    HTTP://WWW.M-W.COM/CGI-BIN/DICTIONARY?BOOK=DICTIONARY&VA=PRURIENT

    Etymology: Latin prurient-, pruriens, present participle of prurire to itch, crave; akin to Latin pruna glowing coal, Sanskrit plosati he singes, and probably to Latin pruina hoarfrost -- more at FREEZE
    : marked by or arousing an immoderate or unwholesome interest or desire; especially : marked by, arousing, or appealing to sexual desire
    - pru•ri•ent•ly adverb
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jul 28, 2001
    Posts: 547
    From: on the way to Bellport

    Send private message
    Wed Jul 26, 2006 5:18 pm  

    I voted No, primarily because condition one is stretched too far. Even trying to diminish the sexuality central to the term "prurient," the module is well described as "marked by or arousing an immoderate or unwholesome interest or desire." Similarly, it evokes no itching desire, burning lust, etc.

    Indeed, instead of obscene, the module might be well analyzed under the rubric of parody, since it mocks other specific creative expressions.

    However, I suspect that neither of these terms cover the subject adequately. Rather, as the CruelSummerLord reiterated, the module seems to was created with specific historical meanings, including being a mean-spirited parody and a marketing ploy emblematic of T$R's (2e) contempt for its consumers.
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3290
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Wed Jul 26, 2006 5:47 pm  

    Wolfsire wrote:
    Not in the context that I am using it


    I'm sorry, Wolfsire. I don't think the word can be used in the way you're trying to use it without robbing it of all usefulness - its connotation is always sexual, in every definition you've listed.

    Castle Greyhawk doesn't inspire immoderate or unwholesome desire in anything. It's a silly module, nothing more.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 26, 2002
    Posts: 501
    From: Canada

    Send private message
    Wed Jul 26, 2006 6:08 pm  

    mtg wrote:
    I voted No, primarily because condition one is stretched too far. Even trying to diminish the sexuality central to the term "prurient," the module is well described as "marked by or arousing an immoderate or unwholesome interest or desire." Similarly, it evokes no itching desire, burning lust, etc.

    Indeed, instead of obscene, the module might be well analyzed under the rubric of parody, since it mocks other specific creative expressions.

    However, I suspect that neither of these terms cover the subject adequately. Rather, as the CruelSummerLord reiterated, the module seems to was created with specific historical meanings, including being a mean-spirited parody and a marketing ploy emblematic of T$R's (2e) contempt for its consumers.


    I consider "prurient" to be a somewhat valid choice, because only a DM that has a twisted desire to torture his players and/or corrupt the essence of the setting (which, to me, IS of paramount importance) would play this module in a serious campaign. I consider it appropriate because I believe introducing alien influences, space-age technology, and painfully obvious and unsubtle parodies and in-jokes to be damaging to the integrity and believability of the setting. I always find those sorts of things inappropriate for Greyhawk, and that's what makes them "prurient".

    Of course, a DM who just wants to torture his players can use this module to, and that's obviously a perverse desire.
    _________________
    <div align="left">Going to war without Keoland is like going to war without a pipe organ.&nbsp; They both make a lot of noise and they're both a lot of dead weight, so what's the point in taking them along?&nbsp;</div>
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 51
    From: Wollongong, Australia

    Send private message
    Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:36 pm  

    To paraphrase Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
    "On second thoughts, lets not go to Castle Greyhawk. T'is a silly place."

    Now there would be a scene not out of place in the castle - a bunch of daffy english ker-niggits singing about pushing the pram a lot (and with the brain of a duck y'know!)


    Last edited by manicmidwife on Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1212


    Send private message
    Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:30 am  
    Re: Is Castle Greyhawk obscene?

    Wolfsire wrote:
    I ... ask for an evaluation of the module under a specific evaluation system. Suggestions for modification of that system are welcome.


    I appreciate the all the comments (especially the Python one). Not to discourage the evaluation under this specific system, but as a few of you have suggsted the evaluation process if flawed (mtg, rasgon), perhaps you could suggest some modifications. Far from saying that this should be the only evaluation system, I am just testing one of many.

    Would this be better if the words "obscene" and "prurient" were qualified or replaced? Is there a rationalized system for evaluating parody for GH?

    I selected obscene, not because I really think it is (except in this twisted "prurient?" GH fanboy way- describing myself), although I do think it heads in that direction, but because the the law on obscenity is useful for comparison. Obscenity in the law is a subjective determination that has been rationalized.

    This is a poll. Juries can be polled. Although I cannot say that it is very much better, IMO Justice Steward's statement “I know it when I see it” was improved upon by the establishement of individual elements to evaluate as in 1-3 above because it is not arbitrary. That is to say the reasons can be shown, even if you disagree with them. Nitescreed's the Grey in the Hawk is another such system. One system will never be enough because someone will always disagree, but, and there is no authority (such as baliffs and corrections officers) to compel adherence to a subjective determination. IMO, disagreement should always be supported by other than "because I say so."

    There, I said I did not want to get into a canon discussion, but hopefully it helps, explain where I am going with this in my solicitation of comments. If you disagree with this broad notion, as opposed to this particular system, please hold off comments. Thanks.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 05, 2002
    Posts: 952
    From: Sky Island, So Cal

    Send private message
    Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:02 am  

    manicmidwife wrote:
    To paraphrase Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
    "On second thoughts, lets not go to Castle Greyhawk. T'is a silly place."

    Now there would be a scene not out of place in the castle - a bunch of darry english ker-niggits singing about pushing the pram a lot (and with the brain of a duck y'know!)


    Actually, there is at least one MP&HG parody in the module that I can remember. On the Virtues and Vices level there are a group of Nilbogs with an everful basket of rotting fruit and vegetables. As they pelt the party, they say "We are the Goblins of Ghu..." in an imatation of the "The Knights who say Ni". The way to defeat them is to get them to say "nilbog", in line with how to vanguish the Knights was to say the word "it". Oh no! Now I said it...I said it again!

    My players love the module. They took the basket from the goblins and one of the PC's gave it to the halflings on his land as a source of compost to fertilize the fields.
    _________________
    My campaigns are multilayered tapestries upon which I texture themes and subject matter which, quite frankly, would simply be too strong for your hobbyist gamer.&nbsp; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Mp7Ikko8SI
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 05, 2002
    Posts: 952
    From: Sky Island, So Cal

    Send private message
    Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:21 am  

    I use Castle Greyhawk in my campaign. The players have been there twice, and love it, and would like to go back.

    There are many interesting and useful things one can pull from the module. I would never play it as written, of course (but there are few modules that I would). All of the stuff on the surface is rubbish. IMC the dungeon levels are on demi-planes created by Zagig. The actual dungeon complex is much, much larger, and mostly empty rooms, but occasionally you can find your way to the entrance to one of these demi-planes.

    Played this way, you can maintain the suspension of disbelief in the campaign. Played this way, I see no difference between this module and other authentic modules actually set within Zagig's castle.

    For those who enjoy disparriaging the module, what is the difference in the level of parody between this module and Dungeonland or The land beyond the magic mirror? What is the difference in the level of parody between this and Isle of the Ape? (all of these are demi-planes within my CG)

    For those who say it is a campaign killer, perhaps as written. But as DM, you do not have to play it as written. Tomb of horrors, played as written, is a campaign killer as well. Is there another source in your world of 100000 gp gems and tons of adamantite made into a vault?

    A module is a tool for the DM, nothing more or less. Castle Greyhawk needs to be used differently than other, more serious, modules, but it can have a valid application.

    It's a poor craftsman who blames his tools.

    There are also a few interesting canon nuggets in there.

    That said, I can believe it was completely mean-spitited. If the people that produced it still ran the company, and if they received some sort of renumeration from the fact that I own it and play in it, that would bother me. But they don't.
    _________________
    My campaigns are multilayered tapestries upon which I texture themes and subject matter which, quite frankly, would simply be too strong for your hobbyist gamer.&nbsp; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Mp7Ikko8SI
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 05, 2003
    Posts: 138
    From: Midwood in Geoff

    Send private message
    Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:44 am  

    Kirt said:
    Quote:
    For those who enjoy disparriaging the module, what is the difference in the level of parody between this module and Dungeonland or The land beyond the magic mirror? What is the difference in the level of parody between this and Isle of the Ape? (all of these are demi-planes within my CG)


    I don't enjoy disparaging it... I was just disappointed that what should have been a (nothe defining) source for GH was... ridiculed by it's own company and authors.

    Dungeonland, tLBtMM, and IotA all had their references, yes, but they were specifically fantasy related - and not necessarily pop culture being tossed in for Question spiteful Question purposes.
    _________________
    Michael Erin Sandar Bard of Midwood
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 05, 2002
    Posts: 952
    From: Sky Island, So Cal

    Send private message
    Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:39 pm  

    Quote:


    I don't enjoy disparaging it...


    I wasn't pointing any fingers. I'm just vaguely waving my arms. Smile

    It seems like there are lots of people who enjoy threads like this for the chance to trash something. You can be your own judge.

    Quote:

    I was just disappointed that what should have been a (nothe defining) source for GH was... ridiculed by it's own company and authors.


    No argument there. Given the lejendary status of CGH, it should have been much better. But again, you can say that about most modules. We take what we can get.

    Quote:

    Dungeonland, tLBtMM, and IotA all had their references, yes, but they were specifically fantasy related - and not necessarily pop culture being tossed in for Question spiteful Question purposes.


    Again, I do not approve of the spite.

    I'm not sure I would consider the Victoriana in Murlynd's house to be fantasy. And King Kong, I think, is more pop culture than fantasy. But I don't see what the genre matters. It is still parody, and it still can be used, by a willing DM. Gygax' original campaign had lots of genre-bending stuff, and that is how we got published stuff like Murlynd and Barrier Peaks.

    CG has the same blend of fantasy parody and other-genre parody as Gygax modules. Yes, it is over the top, but it is a difference of degree, not of kind. Which is perhaps the intent, to reflect on the nature of the oevre, but in an obviously derogatory way.
    _________________
    My campaigns are multilayered tapestries upon which I texture themes and subject matter which, quite frankly, would simply be too strong for your hobbyist gamer.&nbsp; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Mp7Ikko8SI
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 1448
    From: Wichita, KS, USA

    Send private message
    Thu Jul 27, 2006 6:04 pm  

    Hiya manic, long time no see :D

    I voted NO but only because of the short story that manic published on Greytalk awhile ago, in which the PCs ventured into Castle Greyhawk, and then found themselves in an alternate reality/demiplane of insanity (WG7) at the whims of Zagyg. It showed me that even WG7 can have its uses.

    That said, in general, my sentiments lie with YES for your day-to-day Castle Greyhawk adventuring needs!
    _________________
    Allan Grohe (grodog@gmail.com)
    http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/greyhawk.html
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 05, 2003
    Posts: 138
    From: Midwood in Geoff

    Send private message
    Fri Jul 28, 2006 7:31 am  

    Quote:
    CG has the same blend of fantasy parody and other-genre parody as Gygax modules. Yes, it is over the top, but it is a difference of degree, not of kind. Which is perhaps the intent, to reflect on the nature of the oevre, but in an obviously derogatory way.


    Wink I concede! Yes, and with more thought agree. A diffence of degree is the main point I think in this mod. And what it is really going to come down to is personal preference. Would I ever use it? Doubtful. But as others have pointed out - it does have it's uses.
    Happy
    _________________
    Michael Erin Sandar Bard of Midwood
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 05, 2002
    Posts: 952
    From: Sky Island, So Cal

    Send private message
    Fri Jul 28, 2006 8:25 am  

    grodog wrote:


    I voted NO but only because of the short story that manic published on Greytalk awhile ago, in which the PCs ventured into Castle Greyhawk, and then found themselves in an alternate reality/demiplane of insanity (WG7) at the whims of Zagyg.


    Howsa about a link for the lazy?
    _________________
    My campaigns are multilayered tapestries upon which I texture themes and subject matter which, quite frankly, would simply be too strong for your hobbyist gamer.&nbsp; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Mp7Ikko8SI
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 1448
    From: Wichita, KS, USA

    Send private message
    Sat Jul 29, 2006 7:17 pm  

    Well, back in the day, I have pointed you to the GT Archive, but that's hosed. Thankfully Russ' fiction is preserved at http://hp3000.empireclassic.com/fiction/manic/summer_fiction_teaser.html also.
    _________________
    Allan Grohe (grodog@gmail.com)
    http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/greyhawk.html
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 51
    From: Wollongong, Australia

    Send private message
    Sat Jul 29, 2006 9:52 pm  

    I have the whole thing put together as a .doc if anyone wants to read it in full. Just PM me with addy if interested.

    Elf haters need not pursue.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 05, 2002
    Posts: 952
    From: Sky Island, So Cal

    Send private message
    Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:25 am  

    I read Russ' story last night. At a key point in the plot, a party exploring the "real" (canon) Castle Greyhawk is splintered, with a few members each being stranded in the real Greyhawk, the "joke" world of the CG module, and the post-devastation Greyhawk of the Gord Novels. Then they have to find each other again.

    It reminded me a bit of something I am working on about parallel universes and divine ascension, and a bit of the final episode of ST:NG in which Picard is experiencing three different timestreams.

    All in all, a cool effort. I say we ask Russ to post it on Canonfire!

    Thanks, Russ!
    _________________
    My campaigns are multilayered tapestries upon which I texture themes and subject matter which, quite frankly, would simply be too strong for your hobbyist gamer.&nbsp; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Mp7Ikko8SI
    Display posts from previous:   
       Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion All times are GMT - 8 Hours
    Page 1 of 1

    Jump to:  

    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum
    You cannot vote in polls in this forum




    Canonfire! is a production of the Thursday Group in assocation with GREYtalk and Canonfire! Enterprises

    Contact the Webmaster.  Long Live Spidasa!


    Greyhawk Gothic Font by Darlene Pekul is used under the Creative Commons License.

    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 0.41 Seconds