Joined: Apr 18, 2005 Posts: 69 Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 8:25 pm Post subject: 4th Edition Living Greyhawk Gazetteer
It seems clear that there are some fundamental changes in 4e. Elves/Eladrin, no core gnomes, new classes etc.
So what happens to Greyhawk?
Is there a chance someone at Wizards will say, hey, lets appease the Greyhawk crowd by releasing a revised version of the LGG. Easy to do, since it is mostly text and little in the way of game mechanics (one of my criticisms of it when it came out).
To do this, they would probably bring the time line forward. To when? Just a little? CY600? or CY650?
It would give them a chance to update some story lines, change some of the personalities to fit the new classes and races etc.
What do you think? And what would you do put in a revised LGG?
Can Greyhawk resist some of the core changes by including the required changes in a revised LGG? For example adding gnomes as a race, and adding gray elves back as elves etc.
Joined: Jun 28, 2007 Posts: 725 Location: Montevideo, Minnesota, US
Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 8:59 pm Post subject:
I had decided not to move along with 4th edition so I won't have to make any changes (I'm still working on making changes for 3.5 anyway). However, for interest of discussion, this is what I would do if I had chosen to take a step towards 4th edtion...
First off, in regards to their being a 4th edition LGG, at this moment in time, I hope there isn't a 4th edition upgrade (and believe WOTC won't do one either). But lets say they did....
Like all campaign worlds, each should be unique. Greyhawk has always been the core races from previous editions and I would be more than disapointed to see that change. I wouldn't care to see dragonborn suddenly spring out of no where or start migrating towards the Flanaess from some other previously undiscovered or unexplored area. Tieflings......not going to happen in my Greyhawk. I'm not interested in monster-like races for my World of Greyhawk. I would want WOTC to retain the previous race feel without upsetting the boat (so to speak).
Classes are pretty much the same as races for me. In 3rd edition I added the Sorcerer. It was just one class, I liked the idea, and it did seem like it fit in. With the addition of all of these other classes published in 3.5 books, I quickly put the halt on it. Not because they may or may not have been good but because adding to much of everything else no longer made my Greyhawk feel like the Greyhawk of yesterday, which is exactly what I want to begin with.
As time goes on, I may add something here or there, but in doing so it would be regional and not overall within the Flanaess.
So with 4th edition classes.....whether they were good or bad really doesn't matter to me....it's how it feels. If I saw one that I really liked that fit my impression of Greyhawk, I would filter it in but not add it to the overall landscape like the wizard or the ranger (you find them anywhere in my world (more or less). Any class additions would be very small bite size pieces of candy for me.
The absence of certain previous classes and races....for example, the barbarian and gnome.....well they were always in Greyhawk so rather than ignore or elimiate them, I would rewrite them to have them in the world, at least until the official 4th edition version came along. If they printed a 4th edition Gazetteer I would hope (but not expect) to see them printed in the book so as to retain the flavor of the world, in fact I would expect them to be more focused and tied to certain areas of the Flanaess rather than generic classes. As far as updating Greyhawk NPCs with new races and classes.....Absolutely NOT.
Elves.....Eladrin never came up yet in my world....I'd hope/expect to see the old elf races in a new Gazetteer.
As far as other changes are concerned, say magical item focuses.....I'd probably adapt it because I have a feeling it would be a bigger headache not to with future 4th edition purchases. Class changes (take the Paladin for example), I'd probably adopt because it is (again) to much of a headache not to.
This is the general direction I would take if I had chosen to go with 4th edition. Essentially, I'd add the crunch and try and keep the fluff the same (at least as much as possible). To me the game world is more about the people, places, events taking place, geography, history, etc. rather than the actual rules. If the rules change the above concepts to much, then it isn't the same game anymore and thus, not the same world anymore.
As far as adding to the timeline....this was an interesting discussion several months ago here on Canonfire. Folks had a lot of good ideas but little agreement on things. I'd be ok with a short hop in time....10-20 years perhaps. With that hop, I would continue my current timeline and characters and read up on the time changes, then work them into play as I reached the year. This idea I like because it makes me feel like I'm playing the history rather than just reading it.
Ideally, I guess at this point, I'd like WOTC to distance themselves from Greyhawk completely (selling it would be the best but it isn't going to happen). So I'd like it to be remembered the way I think of it rather than seeing it getting an overhaul (an occasional facelift is ok, an overhaul, no thanks.) _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
Joined: Apr 13, 2006 Posts: 654 Location: Frinton on Sea England
Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:09 am Post subject:
I've always found integrating new classes really easy; it's generally accepted IMC that no-one talks about classes, just characters. If a character turns up and displays powers and abilities never seen before they become very interesting individuals, sometimes drawing unwanted attention to themselves. They would never say, for example, "oh, I'm a Warlock", and everyone else says "okay", and gets on with the game. In a lot of cases where a player has chosen a Prc they have often been the one and only member of that class; a very special and unique individual indeed. So, anything that I rip from 4e relating to classes should integrate well if, as Eileen states, it fits the all important feel of Greyhawk.
As for the Elves/Eladrin thing and the desire from Wotc to change the whole cosmology as it currently stands, I'm really not interested. In fact, I would endorse and support the vast majority, if not all, of the opinions expressed by Eileen.
What will become of Greyhawk? It will survive and become stronger whichever way you intend to go with it. It's already survived 3 1/2 editions and it will make it through this one (regardless of the fact that this change seems the most insidious and poorly motivated one yet).
Well.... I'm not sure exactly what the Dragonborn of the PHB 4.0 are going to be. If they are the 'other humanoid transformed into a draconic humanoid' that are the 3rd ed dragonborn, then I might allow that one or two exist. If they are a newly reimagined Lizardman race, then I could probably work them into the campaign easily enough. There are plenty of lizardmen in Greyhawk. Tieflings are the same way. If we have cambions around, I'm sure there are tieflings.
I don't think I'd use any of them as player character races unless the player really wants to play the despised outsider hero role that usually is taken by half orcs currently.
That's the important thing to consider in all this: the races aren't changing per se. Just what is a player character race is. Even if you went with the PHB races, gnomes would still be in GH. They would just be an NPC race. The only one I consider semi problematic is the Eladrin and I suspect I could just call them Grey elves and that would be that.
Classes are even easier. I already assume that the "classes" only describe player characters and those NPCs who live like PCs. After all, normal people...even heroic normal people... don't really need the combination of skills that are typical of player characters. Wizards and Clerics especially. So "class" discussions are pretty minimal, as with Ragr's campaign.
The cosmology changes I'd just ignore. I don't use the standard one anyway, so ignoring the new one won't be a problem. I also don't think that the Great Wheel is especially integral to Greyhawk's flavor (Despite the Gord the Rogue books) so if the new LGG or GHCS used it, I wouldn't really care.
Joined: Mar 05, 2008 Posts: 75 Location: Long Beach, California USA
Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:25 pm Post subject:
Eileen put it the way I would have if I could even shudder the thought of a 4th edition GH. EEK!
I too am not going further. The newer classes and races from the splat books are welcome in my GH but they are not running rampant such as having Goliath Knights or Raptoran Beguilers or Illumian Dragon Shamans being commonplace for example, but I am developing my own western portion of Oerth anyhow so I am planning on possibly giving them homelands, even then not empire size ones.
I like some of the changes from 4e. Grey elves as eladrin works perfectly. High elves in Greyhawk seem a bit borderline so I'm not so sure about them - opinions welcome.
Tieflings are not going to be the remnants of a failed empire but more likely descendants of Suel or Great Kingdom factions. I'm going to revamp Cauldron and shoehorn dragonborn in there instead of all the other demihuman races (except maybe dwarves) since my pcs have never been there.
I'm returning to pre- 3e population distributions and tweaking wandering monster tables to make things a bit more PoL in the civilised lands.
I'm going to re-examine my npcs once I know what the options are. I'm in no rush since we don't have all the classes or all the paragon paths yet.
However, when the options come out it will be fun if people convert some of the npcs based on concept rather than class. I suspect more high level clerics will not be the cleric class but will have a level together with rituals and a few deity related abilities. Lots of fighter lords may become warlords and aristocrats and commoners will just become minions or low level something or other with just a few trained skills and abilities.
Joined: Feb 16, 2003 Posts: 3730 Location: So. Cal
Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:10 pm Post subject:
There is a really simple fix for the 4e changes insofar as they affect how you may use the core materials play in Greyhawk.
Just ignore them. Ignore the eladrin-elf thing, ignore the tiefling thing, ingore the change in the cosomolgy, etc.
If everything is working for you already, there is no need to change it unless you want to.
The point is, don't let new rules dictate the fluff to you. Use, or not use what you want to. The rules are there to facillitate the story, but it is you that makes up the story, not the rules. Use what facillitates the story you want to tell. It that means using new stuff like the elf/eladrin thing then do so, and if not then don't. Nobody should feel painted into a corner by the new rules edition. It is merely a tool. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Well, sure. That's pretty obvious. Its kind of like the "well, if you don't like the rule, just change it in your home game" argument. That's always true and there's nothing to discuss about it. So, unless it has become clear that someone has forgotten that point, its kind of necessary to set it aside in order to have anything to discuss at all...
Anyway, the Campaign Sourcebooks have always superceded the core rulesbooks. The Forgotten Realms has moon elves, sun elves, etc with substantially different phenotypes than core PHB elves. The only real difference here is that for the first time, Greyhawk's set of player races doesn't match the Core.
If you do want to use the new PHB stuff in GH, I think its pretty easy as I said before. Obviously, now you as the DM will have to write up the racial abilities and feats for the "non standard" GH races if you want to go that way. If you don't like the thought of that much work and want to adopt the new PHB stuff, that's pretty easy.
Tieflings are a race descended from one of the many collapsed empires in the Flanaess. The Suel are a viable choice. Perhaps that's a really deep secret behind the Scarlet Brotherhood Their racist beliefs are even weirder than thought.. Or there's the Isles of Woe, destroyed so long ago that no one even knows about them except that supposedly the tieflings are the descendants of the few survivors...
Eladrin are grey elves and Celene is even more mystical/faerie than ever. Everyone else are regular elves.
The dragonborn just slide in place of the innumerable reptilian races in the Flanaess. Or have them be new arrivals from the Firelands or wherever else floats your boat...
Yeah, I'm erring on the side of keeping high elves as less rural 'elves' and grey elves as the 'faerie' elves that they've been since 1e MM1. This is one aspect of 4e that fits quite well. I'm not quite sure how easy it will be to shoe-horn high elves into the 4e elf race though, since they aren't slouches in the magic department, just not as mystical as the greys. Meh, I guess they have different cloured hair to the wood elves; that should be enough.
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