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    Canonfire :: View topic - Who has done a 3.5 Greyhawk sourcebook or is working on one?
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    Who has done a 3.5 Greyhawk sourcebook or is working on one?
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Jul 31, 2006 12:24 pm  
    Who has done a 3.5 Greyhawk sourcebook or is working on one?

    Given the sheer volume of material that is available via Polyhedron, the LGJ, the LGG, and Dungeon and Dragon magazine, I think it would be possible to compile those sources, add a bit of new information, and come together with a very satisfying amalgamation of 3.5 material for Greyhawk that could be a great boon for players and DMs alike. Of course, most of it would be owned by Paizo and hence distribution would not be legal. But maybe it could be the snowball that starts the avalanche of a Greyhawk sourcebook if someone said, "Here, I've compiled this information for you in an easy to use format. See if WotC will let you release it as a sourcebook."

    My question to you, Canonfire!, is what have you done about your own 3.5 sourcebook? I have heard people mention from time to time that they have 3.5 sourcebooks of their own. Has anyone ever actually finished one? How do you lay out the chapters? Currently, I have been working on putting together such a document by transposing Dragon and LGJ articles and using tidbits from Dungeon adventures. I have the following "sections." Monsters, Nations, Character Creation (regional feats. Greyhawk spells and Greyhawk prestige classes), Religion, Terrain, and Organizations (Circle of the Eight, etc.). That could make for a six chapter book. Any ideas or suggestions?

    This project is in its infancy right now, but academic discussion is still helpful for that mythical time of my life when I will have time to finish this project.
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    Mon Jul 31, 2006 1:36 pm  
    Re: Who has done a 3.5 Greyhawk sourcebook or is working on

    airwalkrr wrote:
    Given the sheer volume of material that is available via Polyhedron, the LGJ, the LGG, and Dungeon and Dragon magazine, I think it would be possible to compile those sources, add a bit of new information, and come together with a very satisfying amalgamation of 3.5 material for Greyhawk that could be a great boon for players and DMs alike. Of course, most of it would be owned by Paizo and hence distribution would not be legal. But maybe it could be the snowball that starts the avalanche of a Greyhawk sourcebook if someone said, "Here, I've compiled this information for you in an easy to use format. See if WotC will let you release it as a sourcebook."

    My question to you, Canonfire!, is what have you done about your own 3.5 sourcebook?


    The LGG is a late 2E/3.0 sourcebook but was so edition neutral that it functions well as a 3.5 sourcebook all by itself. The problem, of course, is that it is out of print and will grow increasingly hard to find. The "L' is largely just a passing nod to the RPGA and really doesn't impact the text. The text of the LGG is Greyhawk, unbeholding to the Living Greyhawk campaign of the RPGA except in name.

    Among the remainder of the sources you note, IMO, there is not enough to create a sourcebook. The coverage is spotty and is not sufficiently broad to produce a complete sorcebook.

    However, if you would add to the list all of the direct GH references in "core" 3X products, I think you could get much closer to being able to fill a sourcebook. However, some don't see these references as sufficiently "grey" to be included in their "hawk." I do.

    Of course, some extrapolation would be necessary in any case - which opens its own large cans of large worms.

    I don't mean to be negative but in any consideration of looking for a fan created "sourcebook" of the scope you mention there is the "why bother" factor to be confronted. To wit -

    1) 4e is soon to debut (2008?). When it does Living Greyhawk will need to "convert" to 4e, a process that did not go well in the transition from 2e to 3e for the Realms. Perhaps 3e will seemlessly convert to 4e but history suggests not and if not, the LG is likely to fade away in a year or two thereafter, just as the Living City faded. Unlike the FR based Living City, however, with no GH setting to be promoted, LG will likely not be replaced with another RPGA campaign set in GH. Wotc does not see GH as part of the future.

    2) With the LG dead, Paizo will have no "core" or "default" GH to use to justify the frequent GH references. Wotc will become less tolerant and less indulgent of GH riffs in Dungeon and Dragon. They don't care for them now but tolerate them as GH is still used as a "default" or "core" in the 3.5 PH.

    3) With RPGA GH dried up and Paizo Magazine GH choked off, GH will once again be "dead."

    4) Of course, GH will be revived after a time (despite Wotc), but in what form?

    Living Greyhawk is deep but narrow in its development of the setting and with as much poor material as good material - will consistency with Living Greyhawk be the basis for a 4E Greyhawk?

    3.X "core" or "default" GH has, despite the naysayers, produced a body of "GH material" - will consistency with this "expanded" vision of GH or some part there of be the basis for a 4E Greyhawk?

    Mona makes no bones about being interested in Paizo licensing GH from Wotc if that should prove acceptable to all sides - in such case, will Mona choose to be consistent with Paizo Hawk, the LG material or the 3X material or only the LGG or will he advance the timeline and reveal his own vision?

    Speaking of which, designers like to indulge their own visions, which is partly why they are designers - if 4E WoG is designed by other than Mona, will the design be consistent with anything?

    And if we really want to be indulgent, will anyone care what the fans have done on sites like CF?

    5) This is where the "why bother" factor comes in. We will be getting a 4e GH. We have no idea what it will look like. A sourcebook is a lot of work. Such work could be, by degrees, a waste of time as, by the time it is finished - here comes 4e GH!

    All this said, to answer your question, for my own edification, I have been compiling an index much like Jason Zavoda's for all 3X GH references. I haven't completed it but I have considered offering it to Jason for inclusion in his Zavodex or as an appendix thereto or offering it to the OJ or submitting it to CF (or otherwise to avoid arguments with the "Pure Strain Humans"). But the "why bother" question slows me down.

    In the next few years, things are going to get interesting for GH.
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    GVD
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    Mon Jul 31, 2006 2:02 pm  
    Re: Who has done a 3.5 Greyhawk sourcebook or is working on

    GVDammerung wrote:
    1) 4e is soon to debut (2008?). When it does Living Greyhawk will need to "convert" to 4e, a process that did not go well in the transition from 2e to 3e for the Realms. Perhaps 3e will seemlessly convert to 4e but history suggests not and if not, the LG is likely to fade away in a year or two thereafter, just as the Living City faded. Unlike the FR based Living City, however, with no GH setting to be promoted, LG will likely not be replaced with another RPGA campaign set in GH. Wotc does not see GH as part of the future.


    Given that LG seemlessly handled the switch from 3E to 3.5, the switch from item certs to adventure records, and yearly book additions and upgrades, I wouldn't be so quick to count LG out of any conversion process.

    In addition, given that no other RPGA campaign has yet to approach the numbers of LG. The RPGA is not going to dump LG without something else active that is pulling in the same numbers. And even if they manage to get something else with those kind of numbers, they still face the question of whether those numbers will transfer to the next D&D Campaign they produce, since they are all of deliberately short duration, and very high maintenance with the character database. So I wouldn't be so quick to count LG out of any flagship campaign determination process either.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Jul 31, 2006 2:32 pm  

    I'd be interested of course. I've seen a couple of attempts at it both here and on the WotC boards but they usually die in committee.
    I think that they tend to get overwhelmed with the amount of organization required, trying to decide what is or isn't cannon, and the amount of information that isn't accessible to most people (most greyhawk material is either out of print or from LG scenarios which you can't look at unless you live in that geographical area and its current).

    I'd suggest taking an existing project, like the Wiki here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_of_Greyhawk

    and having as many people as you can find add interesting and useful information to it until it becomes the place that everyone goes to.

    I'd also suggest keeping it 'edition free' as possible, so it doesn't suffer from the occasional conversion. Perhaps if the main body was 'edition free' information and then there were seperate sub-sections for the stats each NPC/Monster/etc has or might have had under each edition.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 01, 2006 2:58 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    The LGG is a late 2E/3.0 sourcebook but was so edition neutral that it functions well as a 3.5 sourcebook all by itself.


    I agree it serves well as an edition-neutral source for background information and campaign ideas. But that isn't what I'm talking about doing. A 3.5 sourcebook, by definition, would include 3.5 rules crunch. I want to compile those rules for Greyhawk into one, easy-to-use source so I don't have to go digging through Polyhedron and LGJ articles to find what I'm looking for.

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Among the remainder of the sources you note, IMO, there is not enough to create a sourcebook. The coverage is spotty and is not sufficiently broad to produce a complete sorcebook.


    I beg to differ. We have regional feats, well over a dozen prestige classes, countless spells and magic items, numerous NPCs (critical threats for example), and plenty more. I think if you were to compile all the information that has been produced for 3e or 3.5 Greyhawk you would find well more than enough to fill a large tome. Just the info from the LGJs alone is substantial. Twenty something issues each about 10 pages long filled with meaty bits.

    GVDammerung wrote:
    However, if you would add to the list all of the direct GH references in "core" 3X products, I think you could get much closer to being able to fill a sourcebook.


    I would certainly give these a look. But these are fewer and further between than the references in the other sources I mentioned.

    GVDammerung wrote:
    I don't mean to be negative but in any consideration of looking for a fan created "sourcebook" of the scope you mention there is the "why bother" factor to be confronted. [snipped]


    I doubt 4e is "soon to debut." But even if it is, I don't think there is much room for improvement. If 4e is what I imagine, then it will follow WotC's philosophy of "more options = better system" and I will probably continue to use 3.5. They've already given me and my players enough options to last a lifetime.

    A new edition notwithstanding, I just want a centralized source of information. There is a plethora of good Greyhawk crunch out there and I just want to organize it in one place.

    Varthalon wrote:
    ...I think that they tend to get overwhelmed with the amount of organization required, trying to decide what is or isn't cannon,


    I'm not so much interested in deciding what is canon. Essentially what I am trying to do is build crunch into the "fluff" of the LGG. The LGG works great for a foundation in the background of the setting and I don't aim to fix any of that.

    Varthalon wrote:
    ... and the amount of information that isn't accessible to most people (most greyhawk material is either out of print or from LG scenarios which you can't look at unless you live in that geographical area and its current).


    Even though I'm an LG Triad, I never follow LG canon for my home campaigns set in GH. I don't necessarily consider LG to be canon for the setting. I see it as an alternate timeline that diverged from the normal timeline at 591 CY. So I wouldn't aim to incorporate LG history. The 3.5 sourcebook I am talking about would be current circa 591 CY.

    Varthalon wrote:
    ...I'd also suggest keeping it 'edition free' as possible, so it doesn't suffer from the occasional conversion.


    Well, since I doubt WotC can make 4e better than 3.5 unless it involves fixing multiclassing and prestige class power levels (the only real problems I see with the 3.5 system) and hardly touching anything else (yea, that will never happen), I don't intend to ever switch editions again. Besides, the LGG already did the "edition free" thing extremely well. If it ain't broke...
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:54 am  
    Re: Who has done a 3.5 Greyhawk sourcebook or is working on

    [quote="GVDammerung"]
    airwalkrr wrote:
    Mona makes no bones about being interested in Paizo licensing GH from Wotc if that should prove acceptable to all sides - in such case, will Mona choose to be consistent with Paizo Hawk, the LG material or the 3X material or only the LGG or will he advance the timeline and reveal his own vision?

    Speaking of which, designers like to indulge their own visions, which is partly why they are designers - if 4E WoG is designed by other than Mona, will the design be consistent with anything?


    I'm trying to do a gazeteer for myself (too much copyrighted and fan-owned material for general consumption) which is coming in at around 200 pages of text per region, including LG stuff!

    It's true, some of the adventures are quite basic, I have reservations at the number of regional leaders who have been deposed or killed in such a short space of time, and wizard guilds seem far too powerful and far too common (presumably because lots of LG players want to play them). Some of the names are really dodgy too, but I guess that does uphold the Gygax tradition!

    However, the gazeteer information on locations is always useful and can easily be expanded upon by Dms in home campaigns.

    Eric Mona has been quite loyal to basic LG history. Dungeon submitted a request for LG locations to Triads for the four-part map and any major LG locations that are missing, are missing because the Triad members didn't respond in time (or at all).

    Most Dungeon mods avoid stepping on LG toes (Age of Wyrms being the exception to date). This may be why Sterich and Blackmoor were picked (non-LG locations) why Cauldron was invented, and why the next adventure path is on the Isle of Dread, leaving mainstream Greyhawk well alone.

    I'd be more than happy to see more mainstream GH in Dungeon, especially the detailed articles like Hardby, Diamond Lake, and Alhaster.
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    Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:52 am  

    airwalkrr wrote:
    A 3.5 sourcebook, by definition, would include 3.5 rules crunch. I want to compile those rules for Greyhawk into one, easy-to-use source so I don't have to go digging through Polyhedron and LGJ articles to find what I'm looking for.


    I see. I misunderstood what you were thinking about.

    airwalkrr wrote:
    We have regional feats, well over a dozen prestige classes, countless spells and magic items, numerous NPCs (critical threats for example), and plenty more. I think if you were to compile all the information that has been produced for 3e or 3.5 Greyhawk you would find well more than enough to fill a large tome. Just the info from the LGJs alone is substantial. Twenty something issues each about 10 pages long filled with meaty bits.


    Okay. I think you could fill up a book but it would be more akin to the Greyhawk Adventures hardback than the LGG or FTA. In other words, not a comprehensive update of the entire setting but more a collection of various materials.

    airwalkrr wrote:
    I doubt 4e is "soon to debut." But even if it is, I don't think there is much room for improvement. If 4e is what I imagine, then it will follow WotC's philosophy of "more options = better system" and I will probably continue to use 3.5. They've already given me and my players enough options to last a lifetime.


    4E in 2008 - soon or distant - YMMV. To me, its just around the corner.

    As for room for improvement, there is plenty. This isn't that thread or site, however, so I won't laundry list.

    2E had options enough to last a lifetime and when 3E hit, the switch was on. Lots of people say they won't switch but in a few years most will have done so. This is Wotc's secret weapon - follow the leader.

    airwalkrr wrote:
    A new edition notwithstanding, I just want a centralized source of information. There is a plethora of good Greyhawk crunch out there and I just want to organize it in one place. . . . Essentially what I am trying to do is build crunch into the "fluff" of the LGG. The LGG works great for a foundation in the background of the setting and I don't aim to fix any of that.


    I play 3X, so I would be pleased to see what you are suggesting bear fruit. However, I am personally far more interested in the fluff than the crunch. Crunch comes and goes with editions - fluff is forever. Wink

    airwalkrr wrote:
    Well, since I doubt WotC can make 4e better than 3.5 . . . I don't intend to ever switch editions again.


    I don't mean to doubt your sincerity. There remain lots of people devoted to 1E, and while they may be less vocal, a lot of people remain devoted to 2E, as well. OD&D has its notable adherants, too. All those pale beside those who will switch editions when editions change.

    I resisted 3X for the longest time. I was eventually won over only by virtue of the OGL that let me sample the creativity of people who were not all employed by Wotc. While I switched and with reason and profitably, it was yet a mixed bag. I lost as much as I gained by giving up 2E. So, lesson learned for me.

    When 4E comes out, I am not switching. I did not get enough out of the 3X switch, in 20/20 hindsight, to justify that switch, even with the OGL. However, the real reason I will not switch has nothing to do with the merits or demerits of any rules system. I will not switch because I am getting older and I want to spend my middle age and "declining" years playing GH, not trying to keep up with evolving rulesets and new editions.

    As I always have, I will buy material that is not 123E (A)D&D that speaks to me (as I would buy a GH 4E, and as I have purchased CoC, Dying Earth, Elric etc. previously) but in such cases I buy for fluff, not crunch, and adapt the fluff to my (A)D&D game. However, this kind of "off brand" purchasing is a far cry from purchasing to keep up with the evolving ruleset and editions as I have done with 123E (A)D&D to this point.

    I wish you well with your sourcebook project and I would be interested in the outcome. But my interest lies not with the crunch.
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    Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:20 am  
    Re: Who has done a 3.5 Greyhawk sourcebook or is working on

    PaulN6 wrote:
    Eric Mona has been quite loyal to basic LG history.


    He should be. He wrote a goodly portion of it in the LGG and the LG (along with the core/default) are the only reason he can continue to sneek GH into the Dungeon and Dragon (even then he can't say City of Greyhawk or Tenser etc.), outside of "dead setting retrospective" issues

    Once the LG sunsets, Mona will be harder and harder pressed to continue to slip GH material into Dungeon and Dragon.

    Moreover, IMO, Mona got a raw deal with the RPGA and his departure therefrom. IMO, if he feels less than love for the LG as it has developed since his absence from the RPGA, I can't blame him in the least. Long story short, unless Mona was pressed, I doubt he would adopt LG material for any future GH project that he might be involved in.

    EM was the "GH fan made good." While I'm sure he will likely always have a strong attachment to GH, I think that narrow description of EM now does him some injustice. He has grown as a gaming professional and as a professional his horizons, unless I miss my guess, have broadened well beyond GH fandom.

    So to speak, EM was "Rookie of the Year" and will always have that but he is not a rookie any more. He is an established pro.
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    Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:28 am  

    I too have been considering such a "BlackHawk" project. The problem (as PaulN6 alludes to), is that you're dealing with other people's IP. That means that any product that got produced could never been known to the world. This is a shame really, since our beloved 'Hawk always seems to get the short end of the stick.

    The only real prayer that such a project could ever have is 4e. Let me explain that. In another thread (regarding "what would you do if you owned GreyHawk"), it was suggested that 3.xe forever more be the GreyHawk rules engine. I took this off-hand comment to heart. I thought "Yeah, why not? We've got an incredibly rich set of rules with 3.xe, and when 4e comes out it will likely be a relatively easy switch (like 1e to 2e was). that means it would probably be pretty easy to port any new material back to 3.xe." Now, assuming that you, like me, wouldn't mind getting off of the edition update treadmill, we could focus our efforts on 3.xe. When 4e comes out, it's likely that WotC would effectively abandon 3.xe and be less resistant to having material derived from an earlier edition quietly traded around.

    Now, to be completely clear... I do not condone violating anyone's copyright. I also do not condone depriving a copyright holder of the right to profit from their work.

    That said, I'd be wiling to work with a small cabal devoted to the preservation of our beloved setting. If there's anything I can do to help... please let me know.
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    Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:42 pm  

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I still have yet to receive response on one of my main querries: how would you organize it (into chapters)?
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    Wed Aug 02, 2006 1:51 am  

    If I ever finish my gazeteer, I intend to go back and try to re-word everything so that it is a re-imaging rather than a wholesale rip off. Still have problems with place and people names, LG events etc, but I might take that chance.

    Trouble is, it's going to take me 30 years to finish...

    I've organised my gazeteer alphabetically, with each entry in a mish mash of the old Oerth Journal format and the LGG.

    1. Regional Stat Block from LG

    2. Geography Overview

    3. Ancient History

    4. Recent History

    5. Culture

    6. Politics

    7. Law

    8. Religion

    9. Military

    10. Other Groups (i.e. Meta-Orgs)

    11. Places of Interest

    a) Starting with the region in which the nation's capital is located and then each subsequent region, usually numbered and ordered in accordance with LG maps (or alphabetically if no map exists) and using settlement stat blocks similar to Dungeon & DM's Guide

    b) Geographical Features (usually a double entry if some features also fall within the bounds of a particualr realm - I took the decision that it was better to double post to save thumbing back and forth through pages all the time)

    12. Personages (Starting with key rulers then listed alphabetically)

    13. Artifacts & Monsters
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    Wed Aug 02, 2006 9:31 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:

    4E in 2008 - soon or distant - YMMV. To me, its just around the corner.

    Am I completely out of the loop? Where is everyone getting this 4th edition in 2008? Is this just an educated guess, or is this coming from WotC? I'm not sure if I'm ready for a new edition that soon Mad
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    Wed Aug 02, 2006 9:35 am  

    Victor beat me to it... are we really looking towards 4th edition this soon? By Paulkon's feathered backside, it's only been what? Two years? Shocked
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    Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:45 am  

    Keoki wrote:
    VictorVonDave wrote:
    GVDammerung wrote:

    4E in 2008 - soon or distant - YMMV. To me, its just around the corner.

    Am I completely out of the loop? Where is everyone getting this 4th edition in 2008? Is this just an educated guess, or is this coming from WotC? I'm not sure if I'm ready for a new edition that soon Mad


    Most likely it's this unsubstantiated rumor from En World: http://www.enworld.org/showpost.php?p=2988951&postcount=461


    Actually, I've been saying this for some time. No inside information, just a reading of the tea leaves. Look at what various folks are saying and what a number are doing and you can draw your own conclusions. Monte Cook's words and deeds are perhaps the most consistent and telling, IMO.
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    GVD
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    Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:53 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    4E in 2008 - soon or distant - YMMV. To me, its just around the corner.

    As for room for improvement, there is plenty. This isn't that thread or site, however, so I won't laundry list.


    Then don't and let's move on please.
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