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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:54 am  

    mortellan wrote:
    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


    Mort’s right! I forget about Kord – “Kord is quite the fool for a pretty face. He favors elven and human women, but has also consorted with other humanoids and even giants. The world is full of his sons and daughters, but few, if any, of them can claim demigod status (less than 1%).” Dragon 87, p. 24. The article then goes on, in detail, to explain how a character can be declared a demi-deity offspring of Kord, essentially by passing a series of dice rolling tests with no modifiers. I’m Mort-ified! Cool

    If 4e Hommlet uses more “approachable” 4e gods, maybe the town is filled with the offspring of gods and the gods themselves getting busy with the local population. It could be an exception to the Living GH Gaz admonition that gods can only visit Oerth with a majority vote of the other gods. 4e Hommlet could be some sort of wide-open town/divine brothel!!! “Now entering Hommlet. Open 24/7." What happens in Hommlet stays in Hommlet? Shocked

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    GVD
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    Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:12 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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    Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:57 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    If 4e Hommlet uses more “approachable” 4e gods, maybe the town is filled with the offspring of gods and the gods themselves getting busy with the local population...


    Of course, 4E does comment that "Gods are distant," as one of the core conceits of its setting (per the 4E DMG). Whether or not that holds true in actual later published works is another issue and one I'm not sufficiently familiar with any of their published modules or such to comment on.

    I'm not sure where the idea of 4E's gods as any more "approachable" than 1E's gods are.

    After all, Lolth just keeps getting promotions with every passing edition; she's gone from Demon Queen with a side order of Demigoddess of the Drow to Lesser Goddess all the way up to Greater Goddess of Bad Naughty Stuff in the present edition; I rather like her better when she was a minor and unknown creepy-crawly in the Abyss...
    GreySage

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    Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:41 pm  

    cpip wrote:
    After all, Lolth just keeps getting promotions with every passing edition; she's gone from Demon Queen with a side order of Demigoddess of the Drow to Lesser Goddess all the way up to Greater Goddess of Bad Naughty Stuff in the present edition; I rather like her better when she was a minor and unknown creepy-crawly in the Abyss...


    This is somewhat incorrect, although the general sentiment is right. Lolth started out as a lesser goddess in her first appearances in Q1. "As a lesser goddess, Lolth has certain attributes common to all divine beings" (page 32). Per the original source, she was both a lesser goddess and a demon queen, although note that all demon lords were given the power of lesser deities in Deities & Demigods and subsequent first edition products (this changed in second edition, when Carl Sargent statted Graz'zt and Pazrael without any divine abilities in Iuz the Evil).

    Of course, the power of a lesser deity increased dramatically as time went on (with a bunch of new powers added in the Greyhawk boxed set and the 1st edition Manual of the Planes, and 2nd edition Legends & Lore added the intermediate category of deities - which caused Carl Sargent to upgrade many lesser deities to intermediate status even as he demoted many greater deities to this same newly defined rank.
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    Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:29 am  

    wow, im so late at tis discussion...but my 2 cents are:

    -its good to have GH products, even if its sucks and are made for 4ed. the thing is that it may lid the torch for people to look for more GH material, thus increasing fan support
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    Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:58 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    This is somewhat incorrect, although the general sentiment is right...


    Fair enough; it has been a while since I cracked open my copy of Q1 and was working from (faulty) memory -- still, I prefer Lolth when it was "Lolth Who? What strange mystery is this?" and not "Oh! The Evil Spider Queen Goddess That EVERYONE Knows!"

    Or, alternately, as this one-off monster who Venger threw at the Cartoon Heroes... Laughing

    That aside, I like the idea of an Intermediate Deity -- or the even more broadly sliding scale of 3E's "Divine Rank" system, I cannot deny.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Fri May 01, 2009 8:33 pm  

    Yes, the luster of Lolth wore off long ago unfortunately. Sad
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    Wed May 13, 2009 10:39 pm  

    Looks like 4e Hommlet is now out, per our own Jay Hafner: http://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rpg-discussion/255993-wizards-coast-just-mailed-out-village-hommlet-d-d-4th-edition-got-mine.html
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    Wed May 13, 2009 11:01 pm  

    Yep, its out. Its not retail but a free mailing for those enrolled in the RPGA DM rewards program (you also must have updated your profile before March 31st 2009).

    I do not have mine yet. Drat.
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    Thu May 14, 2009 12:10 am  

    Oh well, I won't qualify then. Mind you, the npcs should end up in the compendium, and that's really what interests me.
    CF Admin

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    Thu May 14, 2009 10:23 pm  

    Oh, so I had to have signed up prior to March? It sounds like in the thread that even signers after March will get the adventure, from what I read.
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    Thu May 14, 2009 11:23 pm  

    I believe the mod will be released each rewards period... so if you update now you will get it in about 3 months... I could be wrong.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu May 14, 2009 11:46 pm  

    Here is a link to a post with some more info:
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/4789799-post25.html

    Sar seems to be on the money here.

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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Sat May 16, 2009 8:41 pm  

    First off - Hey! Long time no see! Happy I just got my copy yesterday. A surprise as I hadn't realized I was signed up for the DM rewards program (I was just a player in my first 4e campaign when I signed up although I've since taken over the campaign from the previous DM, which explains much of my absence from CF). Anyway, have just skimmed it so far but it appears to be, as I expected, setting neutral, although Andy Collins does give due props to GH in the intro. There is however a map of the Hommlet area with pointers to Verbobonc, Nulb, and the ToEE, although nothing is ever said about And now for what's inside -

    **Spoiler Alert**

    The temple of Cuthbert is now a temple of Pelor but most everything else is essentially the same. The druid grove is still referred to as a "bastion of the Old Faith", Rannos and Gremag, Terjon, Jaroo, Burne, Rufus, all still there. Jaroo is a half-elf, can't remember if he was in the original. Ditto for the moathouse for the most part - Lareth the Beautiful, giant frogs, giant crayfish, zombies, even our old buddy Lubash the ogre. There's also a mention of an amulet possesed by Lareth's spies in the village inscribed with the letter "TZGY." Hmmm... Who could that be referring to? This is probably just thrown in as an easter egg for us old-timers by Andy though since there is a sidebar giving some choices as to whom Lareth serves, mentioning previous refs to Lolth and Tharizdun while serving up some likely choices for 4e DM's. Sadly, no mention of Nuestra Senora de los Fungi. Other changes - Lareth has a dragonborn bodygaurd, inclusion of some 3e/4e monsters, inclusion of minor quests at several locations in the village, mostly to get players headed to the direction of the moathouse (Yeah, yeah, I know, "World of Warcraft!", but it's a pretty nice tool to include, especially for new DMs, IMO). Well and of course it's written for 4e.

    From the map and what Andy says he went back more for the feel of the original though he included some elements from Return. Suits me as I always preferred the cozy small village. Very nice maps. No tactical map of the dungeon level of the moathouse, though there is one of the ground level. But there is a tactical map of the Inn of the Welcome Wench, just waiting for a bar-fight to break out!
    As far as the speculations on more emphasis on role-playing Andy set up an enounter at Rannos and Gremag's trading post with guidelines for playing it either as a combat or role-playing encounter, yet trying to avoid the clunky (IMO) skill challenge format of most 4e non-combat encounters.

    All in all, I like it so far, but then again I like 4e and therefore am clinically insane, so what do I know. Razz
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    Sun May 17, 2009 5:18 am  

    Thanks for the run down on the module Scott!

    Hoping to get my own copy, I renewed my RPGA membership on line (it had been 9 years since I had done anything with RPGA) and signed up for the DM Rewards program, and that was pretty painless.

    They say that another shipment of Hommlet modules will be made later this year and if "they" are not full of it, I'll be on the list to receive one Smile

    nematode
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    Sun May 17, 2009 10:44 am  

    smillan_31 wrote:
    . . . I just got my copy yesterday. . . . have just skimmed it so far but it appears to be, as I expected, setting neutral . . .. There is however a map of the Hommlet area with pointers to Verbobonc, Nulb, and the ToEE, although nothing is ever said about And now for what's inside -

    **Spoiler Alert**

    The temple of Cuthbert is now a temple of Pelor but most everything else is essentially the same.


    Thank you for the information! Happy

    I'm pleased Hommlet was not 4e'ed beyond recognition.

    The question strikes me, then, why Hommlet? If its not to be 4e'ed and its not to be an intro product to a 4e GH (and really even if it was so intended), why the same old, same old Hommlet?

    Wotc has made sufficiently obvious that their target audience is not the rollplaying crowd circa 1972, 1982, or 1992 for whom Hommlet would have the most resonance. The rollplaying crowd of 2002 has also been left laying, unless they want to start over with 4e. They know Hommlet only from (maybe) RoToEE or the snipet in the LGG. Hommlet means almost nothing, I'd think, to the fresh 4e crowd Wotc longs to draw to the game, so why Hommlet?

    And why Hommlet virtually unchanged (something I personally like) in any case? Hommage or tradition seems right out, given the target audience. You'd think a 4e Hommlet would have gone all 4e-eeky.

    I suspect the two questions - why Hommlet and why virtually the same old, same old Hommlet - have the same answer:

    Wotc's designers are too lazy to be bothered creating a highly detailed small village when they have one sitting on the shelf. Its not that they fear any comparison with EGG's masterwork, or that they are paying homage to that work or that they don't think they can do as well or better - they are just stone cold, dead assed lazy.

    So let's cheer the laziness of Wotc and Andy "Dead Assed Lazy" Collins! Razz

    NB - So there I am roaming through Half Price Books this weekend and I come to the used games section and what to my wondering eyes should appear than all the basic 4e D&D books (multiple copies of each) and some of the follow on products. I buy - none. At subsequent stops on my Half Price Books tour, I see more 4e materials in the used games sections. 4e was released not even a year ago! I never saw the like for 3.0 or 3.5. Make of it what you may.
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    Sun May 17, 2009 11:22 am  

    Scott,

    Thanks for the just the facts rundown on the mod.

    I am hoping my copy will show up soon. I really want it for the poster maps if nothing else. That I can use it to intro my 4e players to Greyhawk is a bonus.

    T1 was the first mod I played (In Search Of The Unknown I ran as a DM before I ever played). Of course I didn't have a clue as an early teen how to do either very well...

    BTW, you are not crazy for liking 4e, fun is fun whether you are playing OD&D or its latest incarnation.

    ~~Saracenus
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    Sun May 17, 2009 12:47 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Hommage or tradition seems right out, given the target audience.


    I think you might be too cynical. Some of the WotC designers are fond of old school gaming (I know at least one was running a Castle Greyhawk campaign), and they may have genuinely wanted to bring a classic module to a new audience with minimal distortion.

    I don't think laziness is the answer. They've developed new villages for 4e before, and could do so again (or just re-present some they've already developed). There's only one reason to make the thorp in question Hommlet, and that's as an homage to a classic AD&D module.

    As for their target audience, they may be primarily going after newer gamers, but they know that older gamers have money too. It's possible that part of their motivation is to please older gamers who know what Hommlet is, and another part to introduce newer gamers to the history of the game.

    Laziness is insufficient motivation. People become professional game designers because they enjoy designing games.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Sun May 17, 2009 8:06 pm  

    Ditto what Rasgon said. Andy wrote a very nice author's note about his fond memories of running T1-4 back when he was in middle school.

    Saracenus, I sure could have used the moathouse map two weeks ago myself. As it was I just mapped one out on a large piece of cardboard I gridded myself. My first thought was "Maybe I can use this later," but now that I look at it, the map I "made up" out of my head looks strangely similar to the moathouse. It's funny what you don't even realize you're doing. As an aside, since taking over the 4e campaign I've been running the party through a reworking of UK5 - Eye of the Serpent, and have been pretty happy with the results so far, though sadly I don't think I can get DM reward points by running a non-RPGA sanctioned module. Cry
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    Mon May 18, 2009 7:57 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Wotc has made sufficiently obvious that their target audience is not the rollplaying crowd circa 1972, 1982, or 1992 for whom Hommlet would have the most resonance.


    The Hommlet module is this year's annual freebie for RPGA members. If it is like previous years' RPGA freebies, it won't be sold in stores.

    RPGA members are WoTC's installed base. They've heard of Hommlet. As a self selected group of hardcore DnD players, they share very little from a marketer's perspective with a target audience of new customers.

    Insofar as it says anything about WoTC's brand strategy, it's a customer retention strategy, and viewed in that light, using something from GH makes sense. And it doesn't say much about that, beyond a way to encourage people to join the RPGA (cuz its got free stuff), and get existing RPGA members to keep their contact info up to date so WoTC has a mailing list.

    GVDammerung wrote:
    let's cheer the laziness of Wotc and Andy "Dead Assed Lazy" Collins


    It's extremely late in the game to be throwing around the "lazy" accusation. Everything commercially produced related to the setting for at least the last 10 years has been a retread.

    nematode
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    Tue May 19, 2009 12:45 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    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.

    Of course. The PMP also encompasses an infinite number of home campaigns, and by referencing the PMP rather than Oerth in general, Gygax invites gamers to have the deities manifest in their home settings.

    Or maybe Gary didn't think he should spell out exactly when and where each miracle occurred, lest people would get into a snit about overly-detailed settings.

    Quote:
    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.


    My mileage does vary. Deities are a constant presence in my campaigns and in my campaign setting. Why? Because the PCs are Important People, whether they know it or not, and Stuff Happens Around Them. Do the gods swoop in and save the day? No, because then the gods would be the Important People, not the PCs. Does every Tom, ****, and Harry get to see a god? No, just Important People. Are there towns that are divine brothels? No, because that would be stupid. The gods still show up, though, at least once or twice a campaign, just to stick their fingers in and Make Stuff Happen. The gods act through mortals; management gets better results if management gets off its **** and shows its face downstairs every once in awhile. And there wouldn't be any point in acting through mortals if mortals couldn't actually do anything, so mortals must be able to muck things up for the gods every once in awhile too.

    What does it matter if Ehlonna spends 24/7 manifested on Oerth - in the Flanaess, even? She never manifests near the PCs or anyone remotely connected to the PCs. Kord could be banging his way through the Snow Barbarians and it wouldn't matter, unless your campaign happens to be set in the Schnaii -- in which case, Kord has decided to mix it up, get a little tropical, and go visit a few Hepmonaland Suelii instead.
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    Wed May 20, 2009 12:03 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Wotc's designers are too lazy to be bothered creating a highly detailed small village when they have one sitting on the shelf. Its not that they fear any comparison with EGG's masterwork, or that they are paying homage to that work or that they don't think they can do as well or better - they are just stone cold, dead assed lazy.

    Ah. Like the gamers who are too lazy to design their own campaign setting, and instead just pull some "hacked-together-out-of-real-world-cultures" setting out of a box.

    Quote:
    So let's cheer the laziness of Wotc and Andy "Dead Assed Lazy" Collins! Razz

    Gosh, it's so refreshing to see people using the internet to belittle and insult other people, whom they don't even know, over a product they've never seen.
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    Wed May 20, 2009 1:02 pm  

    Nellisir wrote:
    Ah. Like the gamers who are too lazy to design their own campaign setting, and instead just pull some "hacked-together-out-of-real-world-cultures" setting out of a box.


    Nellisir wrote:
    Gosh, it's so refreshing to see people using the internet to belittle and insult other people, whom they don't even know, over a product they've never seen.


    There is a difference as between "professional" designers paid to produce product and consumers who no one pays for anything related to the game. One expects a higher standard from "professionals," which Andy has loudly proclaimed himself and Wotc to be as a basis on which to premise the supposed superiority of their designs while denigrating others.

    Moreover, given the ease with which one can assemble a list of old products and concepts revisited, again and again, without substantial change or development, I think laziness is as good a term as any.

    And as it happens, I have met Collins on multiple occasions. I found him arrogant, dismissive and particularly hostile to Greyhawk. I recall with clarity my last meeting with him and his reaction when 4e was announced and it was further announced that RPGA Greyhawk was going to be terminated. He dismissed Greyhawk as old news and fans of Greyhawk as hopelessly out of touch. When his quick dismissal only brought further comments and questions supportive of Greyhawk, which others answered, he maintained a look as if someone had just done something unspeakable on his shoe, before chimming in finally with a "Too bad, so sad, get used to it" comment completely dismissive of the obvious feelings in the room. The Wotc panel was BOOED by the RPGA audience in immediate reaction.

    Andy Collins is no friend of Greyhawk. His design of 4e Hommlet (which has been thoroughly reviewed in multiple venues) bespeaks this as Hommlet is essentially simply reprinted. I call that lazy. At the least.
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    Wed May 20, 2009 2:05 pm  

    Hi all,

    As the OP on this topic I am asking those that want to debate the merits of GVD's posts on Andy Collins and the responses to them to please fork it over to a new thread.

    Talking about the merits of Andy as a person and designer adds little to the main topic and will serve as a distraction to those that haven't seen the new/old Homlet yet and want to ask questions of those that have.

    This will be my only response on this tangent.

    Thank you,

    ~~Saracenus
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    Wed May 20, 2009 3:32 pm  
    My defender just tripped over the striker...

    Fans of T1,

    Keep in mind, I have only looked over 4th ed PH, DMG and MM, not actually played. With that said...IMO one of the pivotal encounters in T1 is with those rascally brigands in the "Black Chamber" of the ruined moathouse. They pose a substantial threat to the 1st level party, if the party has been hammered by the frogs, spider, snake etc., and they meet these guys when down on HP and spells...big trouble. In 1st ed, they are all, except the leader, 0 level dudes, "normal" guys who through misadventure or choice ended up leaving the farm/shop/village and now are hardened criminals.

    In 4th ed. in my reading, they would immediatly be dead meat; faceless 1hp pincushions, fodder for the pc party, who, in 4E, is by necessity, a tactical fire-team, with complex tactics and moves. This is my problem with 4E; in 1E, it was recommended to have a ftr, thf, clr and mu, but if you didn't, cleverness and luck, and role-play, you could succeed. In 4e, if you don't have a striker, defender etc. acting with polished tactical teamwork, the game has been created to insure your doom.

    This, i feel, is prolly reflected in this first encounter in T1, and is one of my major beefs with 4E....

    ...or I could just be a gaming Luddite weeping in my dice bag...

    I would like to get the opinions of people who know more about 4E, and especially the 4E version of T1

    THX

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