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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:59 pm  

    Hommlet?!? Didn't the dieties St. C, Iuz and Zug make an appearance in T1-4?
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    Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:30 am  

    Yes they do, but it's not exactly a public appearance, and it's not like Iuz starts killing the PCs and St. Cuthbert starts killing Iuz's minions. They show up, wave their magic wands so to speak, and then take their disagreement "elsewhere". That's pretty low key. Zuggtmoy isn't a deity either, and neither is she choosing to manifest on the Prime- she's imprisoned. This is a lot different than deites galavanting around Greyhawk proper on a whim.
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    Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:36 am  

    Ceb, what you said is pretty close to my understanding. Demon princess Zug is worshipped, IIRC, and both St. C and Iuz worked their way up and keep a hand in the game. IMO, T1-4 is a great example of the appropriate level of gods in the house.
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    Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:31 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Anything Wotc produces for 4e that involves Greyhawk but that uses the 4e cosmology is not immediately canon unless and until Wotc reconciles/explains how the 1e/2e/3e cosmology/continuity changed to the 4e cosmology/continuity; otherwise what Wotc produces is a faux/doppleganger/alternate multiverse/mirror-mirror Greyhawk - at best.


    GVD, all they have to do is say "that's the way it's always really been, the GH 'sages' just misinterpreted it." That is, if they address the changes at all.

    If WotC, the owners of the IP, publish it, then it is canon, whether we, who have continued GH support for so long, like it or not; or whether we, individually or en masse, use it in our games or not.

    It's their toybox, and they get to arrange the 'official' version as they like. That's not to say we have to use it that way, but every deviation from WotC 'canon' is another thing we'll have to explain away to any new players who join our games.

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    Darrell
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    Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:38 pm  
    Problem Is Continuity

    If the owners of the IP hadn't continued timelines for the World of Greyhawk when the put out new material or editions, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But they have done so when moving from each edition until now.

    DragonLance for example had the first three modules redone for 2nd Edition rules so I think if they had kept putting out the the same three modules for 3rd Edition and then 4th Edition, no one would bat an eye. But do this to Greyhawk and all the 'Hawkers that have been following timelines for decades are going to try to figure out how to reconcile 4th Edition products within their games while new players won't have any such problem.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:09 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Best be specific about gods manifesting.


    A Guide to the World of Greyhawk
    Gary Gygax

    St. Cuthbert, p. 66 "When on the Prime Material Plane he will sometimes appear as a manure-covered yokel, a brown- and green-robed wanderer, or as an elderly and slight tinker. In these guises he tests the doctrine of the faithful or seeks new converts."

    Ehlonna, p. 67 "Brownies, elves, gnomes, and halflings are especially attuned to this deity. . . She often travels among these folks."

    Erythnul, p. 67 "Erythnul stalks all battlefields in order to strike fear and rout whenever possible."

    Fharlanghn, p. 68 "As Celestian wanders the starroads, his elder brother, Fharlanghn, roams the four corners of the world."

    Heironeous, p. 68 "Heironeous often leaves the Seven Heavens in order to move around the Prime Material Plane in order to aid heroic causes and champion lawful good."

    Hextor, p. 69 "Most frequently, though, Hextor treads the Prime Material Plane in search of warfare, aiding lawful evil, opposing good."

    Incabulos, p. 70 "Clad in robes of dead black lined with cloth of sickly orang hue and nauseating moss green, he roams the Astral, Ethereal, and Prime Material Planes, the latter during darkness only."

    Istus, p. 70 "Istus does certainly make appearances on other planes, including the Prime Material."

    Iuz, p. 71 "Iuz rules a portion of Oerth, a horrid territory which bears its master's name, from the cursed city of Molag." (Gygax clearly had a typo here. Perhaps Dorakaa was originally to be named Molag?)

    Nerull, p. 72 "Nerull stalks the many planes - particularly the Prime Material when it is shrouded by night."

    Olidammara, p. 73 "He wanders the Prime Material Plane in many guises, stealing from the rich, hauty, or evil."

    Pholtus, p. 74 "The Ethereal Plane, the Positive Material Plane, and the Prime Material Plane are open to Pholtus, although the deity typically remains on his own (Arcadia)."

    Ralishaz, p. 74 "Ralishaz most often appears on the Prime Material Plane as an ancient and oddly dressed mendicant - sometimes male, sometimes female."

    Trithereon, p. 75 "When upon the Prime Material Plane, Trithereon appears as a tall, well-built young man with red-gold hair and gray eyes."

    Ulaa, p. 76 "Ulaa dwells most frequently on the Prime Material and Elemental Earth Planes."

    Wastri, p. 76-77 "Wastri, the Hopping Prophet, Hammer of Demi-Humans, dwells on the Prime Material Plane (now in the region of the Vast Swamp)."

    Zagyg, p. 78 "Zagyg will appear in nearly any guise when upon the Prime Material Plane."
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:04 pm  

    OleOneEye wrote:
    Cebrion wrote:
    Best be specific about gods manifesting.


    A Guide to the World of Greyhawk
    Gary Gygax

    St. Cuthbert, p. 66 "When on the Prime Material Plane he will sometimes appear as a manure-covered yokel, a brown- and green-robed wanderer, or as an elderly and slight tinker. In these guises he tests the doctrine of the faithful or seeks new converts."

    Ehlonna, p. 67 "Brownies, elves, gnomes, and halflings are especially attuned to this deity. . . She often travels among these folks."

    Erythnul, p. 67 "Erythnul stalks all battlefields in order to strike fear and rout whenever possible."

    Fharlanghn, p. 68 "As Celestian wanders the starroads, his elder brother, Fharlanghn, roams the four corners of the world."

    Heironeous, p. 68 "Heironeous often leaves the Seven Heavens in order to move around the Prime Material Plane in order to aid heroic causes and champion lawful good."

    Hextor, p. 69 "Most frequently, though, Hextor treads the Prime Material Plane in search of warfare, aiding lawful evil, opposing good."

    Incabulos, p. 70 "Clad in robes of dead black lined with cloth of sickly orang hue and nauseating moss green, he roams the Astral, Ethereal, and Prime Material Planes, the latter during darkness only."

    Istus, p. 70 "Istus does certainly make appearances on other planes, including the Prime Material."

    Iuz, p. 71 "Iuz rules a portion of Oerth, a horrid territory which bears its master's name, from the cursed city of Molag." (Gygax clearly had a typo here. Perhaps Dorakaa was originally to be named Molag?)

    Nerull, p. 72 "Nerull stalks the many planes - particularly the Prime Material when it is shrouded by night."

    Olidammara, p. 73 "He wanders the Prime Material Plane in many guises, stealing from the rich, hauty, or evil."

    Pholtus, p. 74 "The Ethereal Plane, the Positive Material Plane, and the Prime Material Plane are open to Pholtus, although the deity typically remains on his own (Arcadia)."

    Ralishaz, p. 74 "Ralishaz most often appears on the Prime Material Plane as an ancient and oddly dressed mendicant - sometimes male, sometimes female."

    Trithereon, p. 75 "When upon the Prime Material Plane, Trithereon appears as a tall, well-built young man with red-gold hair and gray eyes."

    Ulaa, p. 76 "Ulaa dwells most frequently on the Prime Material and Elemental Earth Planes."

    Wastri, p. 76-77 "Wastri, the Hopping Prophet, Hammer of Demi-Humans, dwells on the Prime Material Plane (now in the region of the Vast Swamp)."

    Zagyg, p. 78 "Zagyg will appear in nearly any guise when upon the Prime Material Plane."


    I am going to say upfront that my reading of the above is, well, my reading of the above. Smile

    As I read these passages, I see that EGG could have said these gods appeared in the Flanaess (or a country thereof) or failing that Oerth. That he didn't and references the "Prime Material Plane" is, to me, significant. The PMP is a BIG place encompassing way more than Oerth.

    What's more, all of these gods, of course, CAN manifest on the PMP. They have the innate ability. However, I don't reads the above as saying they make any sort of habit of doing so (with a few notable exceptions). That EGG could have provided specific examples within the history Flanaess and did not (except with the noted exceptions) is again significant to me.

    However, I can see how one could read the above quotes as a blanket statement that the gods are constantly or at least are at their whim wandering Oerth and the Flanaess at any given time.

    I dislike this possibility and am quite pleased that subsequent material has kept the gods aloof. But YMMV.
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    Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:13 pm  

    OleOneEye wrote:

    The power of gods in relation to PCs as per the god's stats. In the 83 boxed set, high level PCs stood a chance of battling, say, Hextor. In 4E, high level PCs stand a chance of battling gods. However, 2E assumed gods were so tough that PCs could never challenge them and 3E made their power levels so high that PCs would have to be rediculously high 50th level or something.


    Okay. I see what you are getting at.

    However, this idea makes me crazy. I think the idea of PCs fighting gods and doing anything other than dying very fast, or getting a geas, is ridiculous. I grant others may think otherwise and look to mythology, Age of Worms etc. for examples, but to me gods who can be killed by heroes swinging their trusty +5 Swords of Ragnarok, as if the gods were just big monsters, is just so far over the top as to be beyond silly. I can compromise after a fashion if the god's avatar or aspect is involved but if we are talking the actual divine itself incarnate, I personally draw the line.

    YMMV Obviously
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    Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:32 pm  

    Darrell wrote:
    GVDammerung wrote:
    Anything Wotc produces for 4e that involves Greyhawk but that uses the 4e cosmology is not immediately canon unless and until Wotc reconciles/explains how the 1e/2e/3e cosmology/continuity changed to the 4e cosmology/continuity; otherwise what Wotc produces is a faux/doppleganger/alternate multiverse/mirror-mirror Greyhawk - at best.


    GVD, all they have to do is say "that's the way it's always really been, the GH 'sages' just misinterpreted it." That is, if they address the changes at all.

    If WotC, the owners of the IP, publish it, then it is canon, whether we, who have continued GH support for so long, like it or not; or whether we, individually or en masse, use it in our games or not.

    It's their toybox, and they get to arrange the 'official' version as they like. That's not to say we have to use it that way, but every deviation from WotC 'canon' is another thing we'll have to explain away to any new players who join our games.

    Regards,
    Darrell


    You draw the distinction that I make. Wotc as the IP holder gets to say what the official, that is published, version is, but that is as far as it goes. Fans determine what is canon and what is not. Rose Estes is not canon GH. Why? Because fans have, IMO, rightly recognized Estes' work as unworkable with other setting specific material. The same with "Funny" Castle Greyhawk. Etc.

    It really can be no other way given that the GH IP holder has been wholly inconsistent in presenting the setting. Given version A and version B and version C, all officially published by the IP holder, one cannot look to the IP holder to say what is or is not canon. They gave up any say in the matter when they could not maintain consistency. That leaves canon to the consensus of the fans. The fans as the end users choose among themselves from the various iterations of the setting what they will use and that becomes, by general consensus, canon.

    In point of fact, the IP holder cares not a wit for canon because canon does not sell anything. Canon is an idea that originates with fans who are etymologically "fanatics" about the setting. Only when enough fans agree on canon so that they will reject anything else does the IP holder care, and maybe not even then.

    At the same time, canon inherently makes design harder because it lays down givens or rules. The IP holder would prefer canon not exist so that they could publish anything, and more easily, and it would be accepted without question. Here again we see canon's origination among the fanbase and,it being imposed on the IP holder, at best.

    One of the knocks on GH is that Wotc does not like to design for it because, if they wish the end product to be accepted, they have to pay attention to fans expectations or canon. Here again, canon comes from below, not above.

    Wotc just gets to say what is "official," the most current version. Official does not inherently equal canon. Not with so many inconsistencies among several versions, each at one time "official."
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    Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:48 pm  

    So what yer saying is WotC is lazy at design. For all the knocks on Sargent-hawk, Moore-hawk and Paizo-hawk they at least knew or researched the previous material fairly well. But I believe it's too early to pan 4e-hawk since a comparible GH-czar hasn't been set on developing it (that we know of). As has been mentioned before, worries about 4e Hommlet being the last and latest word on GH canon is flimsy as the 3.5 Saltmarsh defining Core-hawk last edition.

    On the much more enjoyable topic of deities visiting Oerth. Yeah, the PMP is synonymous with Oerth in the context of the 1E setting, since there was no other Prime settings to go by at the time. Even GH Adventures written near the beginning of 2E mentioned gods openly facing off in the streets of GH City. I'd like to see some timeline evidence but my gut tells me the 'Pact' concept was put in place in canon post-Time of Troubles in FR, to keep GH free of similar mega-events.

    At any rate, the list is a good one that I agree with, but in most cases, as mentioned before, they will be in disguise anyways. The mere proof of this is Iuz. He is active on Oerth but does he lead his armies from the frontline or appear in GH City to get his enemies? I think he is afraid of the unseen gods that are always stalking the Oerth that would jump him if he left his safe-house.
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    Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:40 am  

    Yes I'm aware that the gods are quoted as visiting the prime, but what I mean about how they are manifesting goes very much to how they do so, and not that they do so. Surely they appear, but not such that the common folk would ever be heard to say

    "Uhoh! There goes Nerull again reaping his way across the Flanaess. He's simply incorrigible!" Laughing

    I just prefer not to have any common folk to ever say

    "You just missed God A who was hanging around all week, but look! Here comes god B, and he's got gods C and D with him!"

    "Big deal. I just finished a weak of carousing with gods E and F." Wink

    And so I interpret "appearances" to be nearly always incognito or not literal physical manifestations. Ehlonna may hang out with elves and the fey often, but seldom will she do so in her true form. Erythnul will not literally appear on battlefields all over the place but instead manifest in the person of a worshipper(similar to possession), glaring out at a victim as they are killed. Erythnul himself is not personally stalking the battlefield like a behemoth of destruction however, but soaking up the mayhem and carnage through his followers. I see this more as the norm, and of course that doesn't preclude him actually showing up in person anywhere at any time.

    The gods may pay many visits to the Prime but don't leave many signs of their passing, nor do they often take a direct hand against one another, instead choosing to do so in the more usual(and more fun) manner- through their worshipers. it helps maintianthe mystery.

    Greyhawk isn't South Park. Wink
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    Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:40 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    I dislike this possibility and am quite pleased that subsequent material has kept the gods aloof. But YMMV.

    You should absolutely interpret and use the material in the manner you best enjoy - for Greyhawk is, perhaps most of all the published settings, to be molded to each DM's personal desires.

    However, suffice to say that if another DM were to choose to have the gods physically manifesting upon Oerth, there is ample canon to support the position. The fungibility of Greyhawk is a boon.

    mortellan wrote:
    At any rate, the list is a good one that I agree with, but in most cases, as mentioned before, they will be in disguise anyways.

    Huzzah! Thank you for the plain-english reading of Gygax's text for what it literally says.

    Cebrion wrote:
    Surely they appear, but not such that the common folk would ever be heard to say

    "Uhoh! There goes Nerull again reaping his way across the Flanaess. He's simply incorrigible!"

    I just prefer not to have any common folk to ever say

    "You just missed God A who was hanging around all week, but look! Here comes god B, and he's got gods C and D with him!"

    "Big deal. I just finished a weak of carousing with gods E and F."

    I am not sure which straw-man you are debating, but I certainly agree that it would be trite to the utmost degree for godly appearances to be as common a sighting for the common folk as knights or troubadors.

    Cebrion wrote:
    The gods may pay many visits to the Prime but don't leave many signs of their passing, nor do they often take a direct hand against one another, instead choosing to do so in the more usual(and more fun) manner- through their worshipers. it helps maintianthe mystery.

    Jeepers! We agree! Where are the differences of opinion?
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    Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:58 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    However, this idea makes me crazy. I think the idea of PCs fighting gods and doing anything other than dying very fast, or getting a geas, is ridiculous. I grant others may think otherwise and look to mythology, Age of Worms etc. for examples, but to me gods who can be killed by heroes swinging their trusty +5 Swords of Ragnarok, as if the gods were just big monsters, is just so far over the top as to be beyond silly. I can compromise after a fashion if the god's avatar or aspect is involved but if we are talking the actual divine itself incarnate, I personally draw the line.

    YMMV Obviously

    By all means, envision the gods in the manner you best enjoy. However, your position piques my curiosity on a couple of things. Please note, I am passing no judgement, just honestly curious.

    Do you dislike the Gord novels, wherein a simple street-urchin rose to the likes of defeating Tharizdun in two of three battles? Or perhaps, do you dislike the concept of PCs being able to rise to such stratespheric heights as did Gord?

    If the gods are beyond the upper-limit of "monsters" to challenge the PCs, what is the upper limit? Demi-gods? Quasi-gods? Demon Princes and Dukes of Hell? Demon Lords? The eldest of dragons? The Overking? Kings of Keoland, Nyrond, Furyondy? Palitinate rulers of the various duchies, counties, and baronies? Non-palitinate dukes, counts, and barons pledging fealty to the kings?

    Do you have limits on how powerful and influential you allow the PCs become? Can they displace the likes of Mordenkainen or Tenser? Can they overthrow, say, the Beygraf of Ket and dominate the important Tuflik trade route?
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    Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:31 am  

    OleOneEye wrote:
    Cebrion wrote:
    Best be specific about gods manifesting.


    A Guide to the World of Greyhawk
    Gary Gygax

    Iuz, p. 71 "Iuz rules a portion of Oerth, a horrid territory which bears its master's name, from the cursed city of Molag." (Gygax clearly had a typo here. Perhaps Dorakaa was originally to be named Molag?)


    This is all covered in Iuz the Evil. It's not a typo.

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    Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:45 am  

    What a wonderful discussion (and I actually mean that sincerely 8).

    It's interesting to see how the idea of Greyhawk as repackaged Corvette is used, but I think instead of talking about Corvettes and Yugos and Mustangs to make the point, look at it this way:

    Greyhawk is the Corvette of the gaming world. When Corvette's first appeared, they were very nice little sports coupes, but didn't really light the world on fire, or sell very well. This could be akin to the 1st generation of Greyhawk products.

    Then, when Corvette stylings changed to the much more recognizable "Mako Shark/Stingray" body styles, they hit big time. They became everybody's darling. Everybody loved them, much like everyone has happy memories of the Greyhawk period between about the release of the first Folio, and we'll say the last of the post-FtA material.

    Then, Corvette did the unthnkable in the 80's... they abandoned the Stingray body style for a new one, with a boxier rear end. The uproar was immediate. Old scholl Corvette stylists HATED it, and started talking about how it wasn't even a Corvette anymore. The new kids like it because it had awesome power. This would be the arrival of 3rd edition, and how old school 'Hawkers started decrying the changes/abandonement of the Greyhawk way, while the new kids just liked to play.

    Then, Corvette change again in the mid-90s, coming out with ZR-1 power monsters. People who liked power thought Corvettes were still pretty sweet. People who liked STingrays probably no longer had anything to do with Corvettes, other than remembering fondly the days of the Stingray. That is the 4ed Greyhawk.

    Really, in the Corvette community, you have two types of people... those who think Corvettes stopped being Corvettes after the Stingray was dropped, and those who appreciate the power of a Corvette, regardless of what the body looks (I was going to say "power and craftsmanship", but associating the work "craftsmanship" with a Corvette is pretty hard to swallow 8). Just like Greyhawkers. You have a group who will say Greyhawk stopped being Greyhawk the day 3ed hit and started mucking with things, and you have those who like the concept of D&D, and will play Greyhawk regardless of the "body styling" or "engine". With Corvette enthusiasts, you will likely never convert the Stingray group out of their ways... they still appreciate the power and beauty of new Vettes, but think they would be so much better if they still looked like Stingrays... And so go Greyhawkers. Do I like all the changes that they are doing in Greyhawk? Not really.... but I also don't really like 3rd Ed or 4th Ed, so I just ignore them, and tinker with that old 2nd Edition Stingray in my garage, finding factory parts when I can, but using modern parts to keep the old "Stingray" running, because otherwise, it's done.

    I just felt this had to be said, because if I love anything, it's Greyhawk and Corvettes. 8)
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    Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:59 pm  

    1st Edition AD&D GH and Godly Intervention

    “In general, the greater gods are too far removed from the world to have much to do with humanity . . . These deities have been known to intercede directly in the affairs of men, but only if these affairs have a direct and crucial bearing upon the concerns of the deity. Even so, the annals of the historians list only a few such instances in the history of the Flanaess.“ Guide to the World of Greyhawk Fantasy Setting, 83Box, p. 62. The foregoing applies to the Greater Deities; they do not get involved in Oerthly affairs as a rule.

    How about other deities, less than greater gods, more generally? “Deities have weighty affairs to attend to, and in general they can not be bothered with the trivial needs of a party of lowly mortals. However, under certain circumstances, a demi-god and a godling might well become embroiled in human affairs . . . (note made concerning Iuz and St. Cuthbert, the classic exceptions to the rule). “Guide to the World of Greyhawk Fantasy Setting, 83Box, p. 62.

    What we have here in 1st Ed. is a defacto non-interference situation, if not yet a pact. The gods don’t act directly on Oerth, particularly the Flanaess, with the noted exceptions.

    But what to make of all the references to the gods being active on the Prime Material Plane as noted in the Guide to the World of Greyhawk Fantasy Setting, 83Box, p. 64 to 78? The PMP is much more than just Oerth. “The Prime Material Plane (or Physical Plane) houses the universe and all of its parallels. It is the plane of Terra, and your campaign, in all likelihood.” Players Handbook (1e), p. 120. The PMP is thus much, much larger than Oerth; it encompasses the universe and any parallel universes. Thus the references to the gods being active on the PMP can be reconciled with the statements that they are much less active on Oerth itself.

    The Gord Books

    Despite the above, written by EGG, in the Gord novels EGG has Gord fighting deities. How can these two separate canon sources be reconciled. Easily. Gord’s adventures take place in novels and are then subject to the needs of the novel. Novels, which tell an entertaining story, have obviously different needs than game accessories that facilitate the play of a game. Gord and the 83 Box are apples and oranges; both fruit but of distinctly different types.

    If the above were not immediately obvious, one need only look to the ultimate plot outcome of the Gord novels. Oerth is destroyed in the novels. Obviously, this is distinct from the game world of Oerth, which suffers no such fate.

    2e and the Deific Non-Interference Pact

    “The Powers of Oerth rarely intercede directly in the affairs of Oerth.” Atlas of the Flanaess, From the Ashes, p. 80. Note that this statement squares exactly with the above citations from the 83 Box quoted above. The two are in accord.

    “The Powers have an implicit understanding that if one of them should act too directly, others will act in concert to oppose the meddler, for if all acted in such a manner, Oerth would be destroyed by the Powers. “ Atlas of the Flanaess, From the Ashes, p. 80. There are two things to note here.

    First, the pact is “implicit” not explicit. This is entirely in accord with the behavior described in the 83 Box – with the noted exceptions ,the gods stay out of Oerthly affairs.

    Second, the idea that if the gods got heavily involved Oerth would be destroyed, exactly mirrors the plot of the Gord novels. Sargent, who authored From the Ashes is thus following not only the idea of a deific pact from the 83 Box, he is also following the counter possibility novelized in the Gord adventures! Where EGG kept the Gord novels and AD&D Greyhawk game setting separate in their presentations, Sargent drew from both. Indeed, the whole idea of a Flanaess-wide war was first posited by EGG in his From the Sorcerer Scrolls columns in Dragon Magazine updating the Flanaess game setting. Sargent era canon is thus in accord with Gygax era canon, at least in these three particulars.

    Subsequent Canon

    The idea of deific non-interference on Oerth has been carried forward in GH canon. It is repeated in the Players Guide to Greyhawk, p. 18 – “The people of the Flanaess feel their gods are real and can take concrete action on the material plane. This feeling isn’t changed by the fact that the most powerful gods rarely involve themselves directly with happenings on Oerth, St. Cuthbert being an occasional exception to this.”

    The idea of deific non-interference on Oerth is further carried forward by the Living Greyhawk Gazatteer – “ Finally, no god above demigod level may enter the Prime Material Plane of Oerth without the consensus of a majority of the gods of Oerth. (exceptions then noted)” Living Greyhawk Gazateer, p. 164.

    Conclusion

    Canon sources are in broad agreement – gods do not work actively, in person, on Oerth. Gods are certainly not available for PCs to slay and take their stuff or position as if gods were just bigger monsters.
    All this says nothing about what PCs might or might not accomplish if they leave Oerth to venture onto the planes themselves. See Planescape and its exposition of the Great Wheel and its deific residents for further discussion.

    To the degree 4e might reduce gods to just big monsters, 4e is not “returning” to Greyhawk’s roots as a published setting because such has never been the case, broadly speaking, in the game setting of Greyhawk. Gods can manifest on Oerth but do not do so as a rule. That is the consensus among canon sources. If 4e might be read to say otherwise, it would be standing apart from the mainstream of GH canon sources on the subject.

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    Sat Apr 25, 2009 2:25 pm  

    OleOneEye wrote:
    Do you dislike the Gord novels, wherein a simple street-urchin rose to the likes of defeating Tharizdun in two of three battles? Or perhaps, do you dislike the concept of PCs being able to rise to such stratespheric heights as did Gord?

    If the gods are beyond the upper-limit of "monsters" to challenge the PCs, what is the upper limit? Demi-gods? Quasi-gods? Demon Princes and Dukes of Hell? Demon Lords? The eldest of dragons? The Overking? Kings of Keoland, Nyrond, Furyondy? Palitinate rulers of the various duchies, counties, and baronies? Non-palitinate dukes, counts, and barons pledging fealty to the kings?

    Do you have limits on how powerful and influential you allow the PCs become? Can they displace the likes of Mordenkainen or Tenser? Can they overthrow, say, the Beygraf of Ket and dominate the important Tuflik trade route?


    First, the Gord novels are novels, not game accessories. See my post immediately above. Novels and game accessories are not equivalent.

    Second, would I allow as DM a PC to achieve in a D&D game what Gord achieved in the novels? No. Never. The game, IMO, would mechanically not support such powerful PCs, particularly if there were an entire party of such godlings. And if only one PC were a godling, he or she would vastly overshadow the PCs of the other players to boot.

    Finally, my sources of inspiration for gaming do not include material where the protagonists become gods. I'm old school - REH, JRRT, Lieber, Moorcock, KEWagner - Conan, Bilbo/Frodo, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, Elric, Corum, Hawkmoon and Kane never became divine.

    For these three reasons - no. Otherwise:

    With respect to demi-gods as challenges to PCs - yes - but only as the penultimate challenge of a campaign (like e.g. Age of Worms) - never casually. The same would pretty much hold true for demon princes and arch-devils (like e.g. Savage Tide), with only slightly more leeway.

    Elder dragons etc., kings, lesser nobility as opponents - sure - no problem. Not casually but much easier than demi-gods, demon princes and arch-devils.

    With respect to notable NPCs (eg Mordy, Tenser etc.) and political power (ruler of Ket etc.) grabs - no problem at all. Although again, not casually.

    Anything less than full divine is negotiable, IMO. Philosophically, the divine stands apart by its very nature, IMO. Practically, PCs capable of legitimately supplanting the divine rise to a power level not supported by the game mechanics nor by fictional sources from which I, in the main, draw my inspiration.

    Luckily for me, GH canon sources lead me pretty much where I was inclined to go anyway. See my post immediately above. Maybe that's why I like GH so much.
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    Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:56 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Finally, my sources of inspiration for gaming do not include material where the protagonists become gods. I'm old school - REH, JRRT, Lieber, Moorcock, KEWagner - Conan, Bilbo/Frodo, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, Elric, Corum, Hawkmoon and Kane never became divine.


    I generally agree with you, although I feel obliged to note that Elric killed a number of gods, and the entire plot of the first Corum trilogy involved him killing the chaos gods who ruled the fifteen local planes of existence one by one. Although he never retained it for long, Elric did achieve divine-level power a few times: when he merged with his counterparts Corum and Erekose to fend off a multiverse-threatening villain; when he similarly merged with Jerry Cornelius, Sexton Begg, Jack Karaquazian and so forth at the climax of the Michael Moorcock's Multiverse comic; and at the climax of Stormbringer, when he gained enough strength from murdering gods with his titular sword to keep overpowering other gods.

    Entities like Arioch, Mabelode, and Xiombarg weren't small fry, either; they had the ability to destroy entire worlds (five each, in fact) in the Corum series, and as such had a rather better kill record than Tharizdun.

    Quote:
    With respect to demi-gods as challenges to PCs - yes - but only as the penultimate challenge of a campaign (like e.g. Age of Worms)


    This doesn't modify your point, but Kyuss was actually the ultimate challenge in Age of Worms. The penultimate (second to last) challenge was Dragotha.
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    Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:26 pm  

    Oh GVD, you and your well-researched quotes...

    There's a few loose threads to tie up that may or may not already be covered by your pursuasive post(At least a few I can think of now):

    1) Later editions, 3.x in particular have stretched the progression of deific modes of manifestation. I am referring to Avatars and 'Aspects' of true gods that are of a lesser "Divine Rank" and are thus equal to in power of a demigod and thus within the acceptable limits of the Pact. With these rules in place, it is still entirely possible to have gods roaming Oerth freely.

    2) Telchur, a lesser god and likely not covered as an exception imprisoned Vatun another lesser god somewhere. On Oerth most likely and the 5 Swords of Corusk are said to summon Vatun. If that ever truly was meant to work, is that an exception or a loophole in the Pact?

    3) In Greyhawk Ruins, Nerull fought over the dungeons beneath the Tower of War with Vaprak, causing much damage to the place. An isolated event but highly unusual given Nerull is a Greater God who should be above the concerns of even a god like Vaprak.

    Hm. What's all this have to do with Homlett in 4E? I forget. Maybe we need to branch this topic off before its hijacked any further.
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    Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:38 pm  

    mortellan wrote:
    2) Telchur, a lesser god and likely not covered as an exception imprisoned Vatun another lesser god somewhere.


    Technically this was done by Telchur's priests, not Telchur himself.
    Quote:

    3) In Greyhawk Ruins, Nerull fought over the dungeons beneath the Tower of War with Vaprak, causing much damage to the place. An isolated event but highly unusual given Nerull is a Greater God who should be above the concerns of even a god like Vaprak.


    The damage was done by "a giant wraithlike monster that looks like drawings of Vaprak." I don't think this was Vaprak himself (who is not described as wraithlike). I don't see any evidence that Nerull ever manifested in the dungeons; he only exercised his power to stop Vaprak from destroying them. Mostly they seem to be working through their priests, though Vaprak gated in a great deal of monsters.
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    Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:47 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    Technically this was done by Telchur's priests, not Telchur himself.


    That's even worse! Smile
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    Sun Apr 26, 2009 12:20 pm  

    fwiw, 1e ex1, Murlynd wasn't home, uk1, the Greenman was going anywhere. Both low level god, somewhat off plane, not making much of any impact.
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    Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:37 am  

    Well, they had a little help from an arch devil, so not quite as bad. Still kinda bad though, introducing a god who seems to have no purpose for existing other than to have a reason for 5 swords to be rejoined. Sad

    So....how about that Hommlet, eh? Laughing
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:10 am  

    Well I always figured that the Greyhawk model took its inspiration from the Greek & Norse models with gods carousing, impregnating, and smiting mortals every now and then but otherwise doing their own thing.
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    Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:20 am  

    Thank you Paul! I forgot about Kord(Greater God) and his many children fathered on Oerth as per Dragon Magazine #88.

    Ah that Lakofka! Wink
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