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    Canonfire :: View topic - Village of Homlet 4e Coming
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:18 pm  
    Village of Homlet 4e Coming

    Scott Rouse posted up an enworld about a recap of a seminar he did at a con.... he let it drop Village of Homlet will see a 4e version... LINK:

    http://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rpg-discussion/254542-gts-2009-d-d-seminar-rouse-discusses-d-d.html

    Enjoy, discuss...

    ~~Saracenus
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    Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:34 pm  

    Say it isn't so.... Sad
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:57 am  

    This could be very interesting, considering what time period this 4e version of T1 will be set in and what changes will be made to it. It could very well forshadow things to come for Greyhawk.
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    Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:55 am  

    JHSII wrote:
    I will keep my Gary Gygax autographed 1st edition 1st printing monochrome copy, thank you very much. Cool


    I am sure that the 4e version will not make your original spontaneously combust Wink.

    Rouse announced the new Homlet in the context of showing the Role Playing aspects of the 4e system so I am curious how they are going to write this up myself. I am also curious if they are going to keep Homlet in the World of Greyhawk or if they are going use the less defined default assumptions of 4e's "The World."

    Ironically, the default world of 4e has been revealed a lot like Greyhawk was prior to the release of the folio. You get a bit here from an adventure or another bit in a line from the MM, DMG, or PH. And what are people doing? They are assembling the pieces to get the big picture. Sound familiar.
    Site Theocrat

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    Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:57 am  
    Re: Village of Homlet 4e Coming

    Saracenus wrote:
    Scott Rouse posted up an enworld about a recap of a seminar he did at a con.... he let it drop Village of Homlet will see a 4e version..
    Enjoy, discuss...
    ~~Saracenus


    You Bastard. You Killed Greyhawk. Enjoy, Discuss....
    Enjoy What? Discuss......what? The Lamentation Of The World of Greyhawk?
    It was known that this would happen, even if all they do is import Homlet into their Points of Light world.
    Again, all the more reason to further move to WoG 2.0. Golarion is what Greyhawk could be with love and attention.
    Be Well. Be Well and Long Lived.
    Theocrat Issak
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    Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:44 am  

    Think of all the money they can make if they convert all the 1e mods into 4e. Maybe people will buy them just to see what the differences are. Laughing

    Ummm, Ill pass.
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    Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:57 am  

    Scott seemed to generally dislike the combat all the time aspect that 4E has garnered, and wanted it changed to both combat and story. This is encouraging. Hopefully DMG2 for 4E will be as good for DMs as DMG 2 for 3.5 was. And I imagine their treatment of Homlet will be similar to the treatment of Saltmarsh in 3.5's DMG 2. A bunch of description, a new map, and a bunch of adventure ideas, including social adventures/skill challlenges.

    I seriously doubt either T1-4 or the Return modules will be touched. Rather there will be some loosely applicable stuff that takes all that into account and presents new adventures (that will give folks ideas in case they want to update the older modules). Just my thoughts though.
    GreySage

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    Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:13 pm  
    Re: Village of Homlet 4e Coming

    I think Hommlet already had a "Points of Light" presumption. After the Hateful Wars, there are no longer enough dwarves, gnomes, and elves to defend the region against bandits and monsters, so opportunists from the Wild Coast begin raiding the settlements there. With the great powers far away, the authorities of Verbobonc leave the borderlands villages to fend for themselves, islands of sanity in a land savage enough that temples of utter evil can be constructed unmolested.

    Of course, eventually things get bad enough that the forces of Good do send troops in to deal with the situation, resulting in the Battle of Emridy Meadows. But it's a tribute to how Points of Light-y the area was that the Temple was built at all. For a time, it must have been a region where people were terrified to leave the comparative safety of their hamlets. After Emridy Meadows, things get better for a while, but within a decade they've darkened again. Verbobonc must have very few troops to spare. Outside of village militias, the place is a wilderness.
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    Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:32 pm  

    Exactly!

    This (and Anced Math's description of travel to me when he first started explaining Greyhawk to me and how folks get around) is why I have always been confused by the sentiment that points of light and greyhawk don't go together.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:02 pm  
    Re: Village of Homlet 4e Coming

    TheocratIssak wrote:
    It was known that this would happen, even if all they do is import Homlet into their Points of Light world.
    Again, all the more reason to further move to WoG 2.0.


    Just to be sure, is WoG 2.0 Greyhawk with social networking built into it? Sort of a Facebook.com, you know, Facehawk <G>.

    All kidding aside, the only info released so far on 4e Homlet is that there will be one. We don't know if it will be Greyhawk specific (or not) nor do we know where it will be published (not likely the DMG2).

    I would save the death of Greyhawk stuff until we know what is coming. It could be good, it could be bad until then chill a little.

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    Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:41 pm  

    I think the more greyhawk we see in 4E the better. If you actually sit down and read the books you can not help but see Oerth peeking back at you.
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    Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:25 am  

    I'd be happy to see a 4e version. They've already done the Moathouse. Each edition places its own spin. 3e turned Hommlett into a cosmopolitan mix of humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes, and barbarian halflings (shudder). No doubt 4e will bung in some dragonborn blacksmith and deva greengrocer (shudders again). I prefer it as an insular, superstitious mix of ungrateful humans but modern kids may not find that appealing.

    The 3e version of Saltmarsh in DMG2 wasn't my Saltmarsh. I thought LG did a better job of capturing that spirit. However, convert it to a word document and edit all references from Saltmarsh to Seaton, take out the inappropriate core 3e temples and replace them with region-appropriate GH gods and the write-up works quite well for the capital of Salinmoor.

    I expect the 4e write-up will be similarly useful if you want to play a 4e GH, which I do. A lot of the stuff I will disregard but I will be interested to see how the write-ups on the npcs work. I'll be converting Age of Worms to 4e and some other classics mods too. Thhis might prove a useful article and it might lead to some Dragon articles with conversion details for GH religions and divinity feats.
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    Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:13 pm  

    I honestly don't get the whole "Points of Light" thing. When I first heard about it before the release of the game I was under the impression that they were going to be going back the style the game was written in 1st ed. Hell, even the old Basic box sets had that feel to them. Of course after having actually went through some of the 4th material all I was to discover was that everything was more homogenized then 3rd ed was and it seemed that they had completely dropped the whole points of light concept.

    Personally I hope that this is a sign of the resurgence of Greyhawk. It'll mean that there is actually some reason to buy the 4th ed books.
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    Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:09 pm  

    manus-nigrum wrote:
    Personally I hope that this is a sign of the resurgence of Greyhawk. It'll mean that there is actually some reason to buy the 4th ed books.


    Well there is a limit built into the 4e business model on how much campaign material is developed. The basic model is one each year containing the following:

    Campaign Guide (DM tool)
    Player's Guide
    Mega Adventure

    And then WotC is out and on to the next campaign.

    FR was the first (2008), Eberron is this years campaign(2009), and we don't know what next year will bring unless the Homlet slip is a harbinger of Greyhawk being the third campaign in 2010.

    Any other "campaign" support will come from Dragon and Dungeon magazine and us.

    Of course if the business model changes, who knows.

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    Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:25 am  

    Gods no Shocked . After fleeing the destruction of the Realms, I've just become comfortable on Oerth again. Now I shall once again have to flee before the coming of Galactus and the destruction of this world Sad
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    Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:19 am  

    If there's one thing that all Greyhawk fans can agree on, it's that GH is a fertile ground for thought provoking themes that can contribute to fun roleplaying. Maybe more so than some other more pulpy settings.

    And, the message of the day in 2009 is clearly more better pulp. That's the thing that everyone attempting to sell TRPG currently agrees on, whether it's the so called old school movement, Paizo, or the 4e product line.

    Which, as a side note is something that I find ironic in view of all the message board & blogger version warfare of the past year or so.

    Don't get me wrong, I love pulp. My own version of Greyhawk is a pretty pulpy place, but I've always felt that pulp can and should coexist with themes that draw from other sources to provide plenty of ammo for players' exploration of how their characters relate to the world.

    I didn't invent that, it's straight out of the playbooks of Gygax and Sargent, and others who followed in their footsteps.

    If the WotC people wish to leverage GH as a way of showcasing roleplaying possibilities using 4e, I'm all for it, and I'll buy it. It means that, at a bare minimum, someone in a business suit views that as a potential selling point rather than a liability.

    Sure, it's possible that all they'll do is strip mine content out of T1-4 and repackage it for use in the nebulous implied setting of 4e, but so what. GH is currently moribund. It's hard to see how it could get more dead.

    If the most that comes of it is a resurgence of interest in the style of TRPG play that I grew up with, that's ok too.

    nematode
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    Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:14 am  

    nematode wrote:

    Sure, it's possible that all they'll do is strip mine content out of T1-4 and repackage it for use in the nebulous implied setting of 4e, but so what. GH is currently moribund. It's hard to see how it could get more dead.
    nematode


    Frankenhawk. It's...alive?

    "He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past." - Orwell

    The problem with polluting the Greyhawk stream with diluted and muddied revisions is that it makes it less likely that anything pure will ever again be produced to add to the canon collection. New authors will not know any better. New editors will think that something new produced that doesn't agree with the most recent production is flawed and inconsistent, even if it is more inline with more established canon. Producing heretical new stuff kills Greyhawk more effectively than not producing anything at all, IMHO.
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    Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:59 pm  

    IronGolem wrote:
    Producing heretical new stuff kills Greyhawk more effectively than not producing anything at all, IMHO.


    Anything WotC produces would be/will be Canon.
    I believe it is a good sign that GH related products are being considered just as I think the fact the GH is mentioned in quite a few of the new 4e books such as manual of the planes and draconomicon. If nothing else it shows that GH is still alive and that people at WotC are thinking about it.

    The GH community is a double edged sword in a way in that a lot of us spend lots of time whinging on that WotC has abandoned GH but let WotC release anything for GH and the torches and pitch forks come out. Example, I was a tester for DDO from late alpha all the way top beta two when I quit in disgust. At one point I asked the Devs why they chose Eberron and not FR or GH and the answer was that the Devs didn't want to have people criticizing and attacking every little thing they did that was not exactly canon. The Devs didn't want to listen to a torrent of complaints concerning the look of a sword or set of armor.
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    Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:40 pm  

    cennedi wrote:


    Anything WotC produces would be/will be Canon.
    I believe it is a good sign that GH related products are being considered just as I think the fact the GH is mentioned in quite a few of the new 4e books such as manual of the planes and draconomicon..


    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. Never before in Greyhawk's history has it been possible to say the IP holder nay but there is now an objective, contextually based means to do so; at least until Wotc explains itself in terms of its own context. Unless and until that time, 4e Greyhawk will at a contextual level contradict non-4e Greyhawk in terms of basic cosmology, to say nothing of in setting specific/historic continuity, and must then be accounted as "other" and hence not canon in any meaningful sense of the term.
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    Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:11 pm  

    GVD,

    Are you seriously going to get in a canon pissing match with the IP holder of Greyhawk. Good luck with that.

    Frankly, we don't have to use 4e Greyhawk if we don't like it, but the very definition of canon is material officially published (with a few notable exceptions) by the IP holder (or their licensees).

    Further, FR explained how the cosmology "transitioned" and it was a bit harsh. I think I will settle for a hand wave and just move forward with the new cosmology and not worry about a transition since it seems worse than the end result. It will be interesting how Eberron deals with the new cosmology hopefully they will use less of a hammer and more finesse in the new Eberron.

    Have fun,

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    Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:20 pm  

    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.


    Like many of us, I have followed the Greyhawk line from the 83 set, From the Ashes, TAB, and LGG. Please explain what Greyhawk material would be invalidated by use of the 4E cosmology/continuity, as I just don't see what it would possibly affect.
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    Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:40 am  

    4e Greyhawk mods would not be canon because 4e is NOT Dungeons & Dragons as far I am concerned, despite the title on the covers of the books. However, if they were to put out a Greyhawk gazateer, edited by a competitent Greyhawk historian, that didn't rely heavily on the 4e rules set, I'd consider that canon IF they incorporated at least some of the LG results (say, one major or minor event from each region for each year the campaign was running).
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    Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:39 am  

    cennedi wrote:
    At one point I asked the Devs why they chose Eberron and not FR or GH and the answer was that the Devs didn't want to have people criticizing and attacking every little thing they did that was not exactly canon. The Devs didn't want to listen to a torrent of complaints concerning the look of a sword or set of armor.


    It takes a lot of time and effort to become familiar with the history of a product line. It may be that developers do not typically have the time or incentive to do that kind of research before producing a new product for that line. In the absense thorough research, a pre-existing familiarity and love of the product line is crucial to producing a quality product. I think Paizo is the perfect example of how this is done right. Erik Mona clearly has a love and familiarity with Greyhawk that made the adventure paths in Dungeon a joy to read.
    GreySage

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    Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:40 am  

    OleOneEye 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.


    Like many of us, I have followed the Greyhawk line from the 83 set, From the Ashes, TAB, and LGG. Please explain what Greyhawk material would be invalidated by use of the 4E cosmology/continuity, as I just don't see what it would possibly affect.


    Well, any use of a succubus or cambion as a creature of the Abyss. Iuz could stay, since Graz'zt is supposed to be a former devil now, so Iuz would technically still be a cambion by the 4e definition. The succubus rulers Malcanthet, Red Shroud, and Shami-Amourae would have to be edited out of the Savage Tide adventure path (and all three were crucial to it, so I really don't know what you'd do here), though, since succubi no longer have a place in the Abyss. Any mention of demons as tempters of mortals rather then engines of pure destruction (such as the possessor demon Xazivort in From the Ashes) would have to be changed to devils.

    The Vale of the Lamia in the Abbor-Alz would have to go, since lamias have been retconned as fey. Graz'zt would no longer be a patron of lamias either, since they've been turned into a completely different creature (maybe the lamia of previous editions could be renamed). Enstad would likely be retconned as a city that spends part of its time in the Feywild (which wouldn't be a huge deal). Any mention of gnome kingdoms on the material plane (such as the one in the Kron Hills) would be suspect and require some rationalization. Grey elves now all have the ability to teleport using the Feywild, and gnomes have the power to turn invisible.

    Halflings are river-traveling nomads like the Rhennee, only about four feet in height. Dwarves no longer have the ability to see in the dark, and their strongholds are primarily above ground.

    Mentions of powerful daemons such as Anthraxus (for example, in the Gord books, and in the GDQ supermodule) would probably have to be eliminated, since they have no place in the 4e cosmology. Less powerful daemons such has Tul-oc-luc from Isle of the Ape could remain, perhaps as a raavasta.

    Mentions of the Fading Lands would be replaced with mentions of the Feywild or Shadowfell, which would be fine, but still a change.

    A big part of 4e continuity is Orcus's attempt to replace the Raven Queen as ruler of the Shadowfell; it's difficult to square this with Oerth's gods of death.

    Of course, the plot of Q1 was invalidated the moment the powers of lesser gods were increased in 2nd edition. While lesser gods are somewhat more in reach of epic-level mortals in 4th edition, Lolth remains alive and she has not conquered Sterich as she was supposed to do if the PCs failed to kill her. Again, this is a problem with every edition after the first rather than 4th specifically, but it's a problem with 4th as well.

    The climax of Return to the Tomb of Horrors is pretty drastically changed if you have to set it on the Shadowfell rather than the Negative Energy Plane. Ditto with other adventures set in the Negative Energy Plane, such as the recent "Castle Perilous" adventure in one of the last 3e-era Dungeons, which involved a simulacrum of Acererak.

    All the mentions of the Blood War and a rivalry between demons and devils in the From the Ashes-era material would likely have to be edited. Any attempt to use other 1st, 2nd, or 3rd edition planar material is rendered much more difficult with the Abyss or Limbo no longer in the Outer Planes. A substantial body of related canon, like Dragon ecologies that depended on previous versions of monsters (for example, the shadar-kai and devourer), is invalidated. This isn't a Greyhawk-specific issue, but it's certainly a problem in long-running Greyhawk campaigns that made use of these resources.

    The lack of a chaotic good alignment in 4th edition alters the presentation of gods like Trithereon and Kord. There are similar issues with the lack of a lawful neutral or neutral evil alignment. One could argue that the new alignments don't change the way a character is played, but in practice I think there's a substantial psychological difference when Trithereon and Pelor have the same listed alignment.

    The way dweornite worked in Iuz the Evil was dependent on the Vancian magic system to make sense. Not campaign-breaking, by any means, but definitely a change.

    The seemingly compulsory inclusion of dragonborn and tieflings as major races would have quite dramatic repercussions in the Flanaess.

    4th edition druids, who gain their powers from the natural world, would seem to have little reason to revere gods like Obad-hai.

    Now, granted, almost any of this could be ignored while still using the 4th edition rules. And some of these changes are bigger than others, and whether or not any of them are a big deal to you personally is a matter of taste. Replacements for older creatures who have been made unrecognizable could be invented. New planes or planar connections could be added as needed. One could even invent or hand-wave new alignments. You don't need to scatter dragonborn, goliaths, devas, and tieflings in every hamlet. However, WotC is unlikely to make any such concessions. 4th edition has its own themes and tropes that, judging from our experience in how the Forgotten Realms was converted, seem to be required inclusions in every 4th edition setting. While much of it isn't necessarily bad in itself, it feels to me like a very idiosyncratic, alien campaign setting, like an Eberron or a Dark Sun, rather than the D&D I'm familiar with, and overwriting it on Greyhawk substantially changes Greyhawk as well.
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    Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:20 am  

    LOL! I had just composed a response and Rasgon beat me thoroughly well and good to the punch! Bravo! What he said!

    4e explicitly and implicitly does not square with 30 plus years of Greyhawk's presentation.

    The IP holder can call anything "Greyhawk" but that doesn't make it canon as canon begins with the IP holder but is then contextualized by the consensus of the customers (e.g., "Funny" Castle Greyhawk, Rose Estes etc.). Thus, as was also well put, a Yugo does not become a Corvette with just a rebranding/name change.

    4e must explain itself in terms of GH to be other than some alternate universe version of Greyhawk. Maybe Vecna somehow really won in "Die, Vecna, Die" with heretofore unrealized results for the cosmos, including Oerth? Maybe Zagyg outsmarted himself and the multiverse and screwed around with reality one time too many with consequences? Maybe Greyhawk is just a consensual dream of the villagers of Hommlet and it never had any other reality? And they just woke up in the 4e Hommlet? SOMETHING needs to reconcile 4e and established Greyhawk or the result is suspect at the least. Then again its maybe best to just have 4e leave the GH IP alone!
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    Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:47 am  

    And here is the counter argument.

    If you consider a static never changing campaign your ideal then by all means ignore 4e Greyhawk if and when it comes out.

    However, we have seen changes made to Greyhawk with new editions, a case in point when 1/2 orcs, Monks and Assassins were removed from the rules (only to be added back in via the Scarlett Brotherhood source book). Greyhawk has changed. It will probably change again.

    I am not going to engage in a useless edition war with anyone here. If you don't like 4e I am not going to change your mind. But, don't tell me what is Greyhawk is or can be.

    When I run my campaign, it's my world, my rules. I will choose for myself what makes it to my game table. Conversely, if you want a more "pure" Greyhawk game (whatever that means) more power to you.

    I am finding it ironic that folks have been upset that Greyhawk has been ignored and left for dead by WotC and now that potentially (and I really only mean potentially) WotC might create new content for Greyhawk and people are upset that they might change things.

    You can't have it both ways. Either the setting grows (potentially bringing new blood to the table) or it atrophies (as it is doing right now). Since we don't control the IP of Greyhawk we don't get a lot of say in what happens to it.

    In conclusion while its nice to make bold statements and lines in the sand, we don't really know what WotC's intentions for Greyhawk are. All we know is that something called Village of Homlet is going to be made. Why don't we wait and see what is WotC is going to produce before we condemn it out of hand.

    My Two Coppers,

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    Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:02 am  

    Cosmology changes are annoying, but they don't necessarily have to break a setting. Counter to my gut feeling, sometimes no explanation for the changes is the best thing.
    As Saracenus pointed out, look at the Forgotten Realms. In 1st and 2nd Edition the Realms used the 'Great Wheel' for its cosmology, but in 3rd Edition the cosmology changed (more significantly than you'd think) to the 'Big Tree' (I can't remember its real name, but it looks like a tree). This invalidated all sorts of stuff from prior editions (including things from the Salvatore novels) and was just hand-waved with the old 'people used to believe in something else, but this is how the universe really works'. That really annoyed me, but...
    With the cosmology changes for 4th Edition they went the other way and explained it, and then you get the coming of Galactus (nice one Stonechild).
    I like the Great Wheel, I like the Blood War, but if they're going to change them I'd rather it just happen than having WOTC crash Luna into the Oerth to expalin it.
    Greyhawk as a setting survived the dissapearance of Assassins, Monks and even the temporary exclusion of Demons and Devils in previous editions. It can handle 4E.

    [EDIT Saracenus beat me to the Assasin and Monk thing Happy }
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    Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:02 pm  

    Saracenus wrote:
    When I run my campaign, it's my world, my rules. I will choose for myself what makes it to my game table.

    ~~Saracenus


    This misses substantially the point.

    What individuals do or do not do with published material is entirely subjective. What Wotc (and formerly TSR) does or does not do with published material is entirely objective.

    Subjective discussions are interesting, useful and informative but since the only commonality most posters have on which to base discussion is objective, published, material, saying in essence "Have it your way in your campaign" more avoids a topic rather than engaging it.

    On an objective basis, 4e is substantially incompatible with much of Greyhawk's 30 plus year cosmology and continuity. That is an objective fact. That one can subjectively choose to accept this, ignore or it or fix in their campaign does not alter the objective comparison of published material with published material.

    Saracenus wrote:
    If you consider a static never changing campaign your ideal then by all means ignore 4e Greyhawk if and when it comes out. . . .

    However, we have seen changes made to Greyhawk with new editions, a case in point when 1/2 orcs, Monks and Assassins were removed from the rules (only to be added back in via the Scarlett Brotherhood source book). Greyhawk has changed. It will probably change again. . . .

    You can't have it both ways. Either the setting grows (potentially bringing new blood to the table) or it atrophies (as it is doing right now).


    This, again, side steps the issue.

    The objection is not that Greyhawk changes/evolves but HOW it does so. No one, not me anyway, is advocating stagnation.

    And while it is true that Greyhawk has previously evolved and in inconsistent ways at times, there is the matter of degree. Never before have the fundamental cosmological underpinnings of the setting and established continuity been disrupted to the degree they would be if the core 4e were applied without modification to Greyhawk.

    To continue the earlier automobile analogy, Greyhawk has changed from one model of automobile to another but it has never been changed into a tricycle or motorcycle. Or a boat. 4e, if applied without explanation or modification to Greyhawk, promises transformation on a scale previously unknown, so divergent as to warrant the adjective "alternative" to a 4e Greyhawk.

    Will 4e be applied wholesale to Hommlet? That is unknown. It is, however, a distinct possibility. As is some sort of FR-like explanation. Both are then, IMO, fit topics for discussion and such discussion does not prejudge the final product as it will, objectively, stand on its own, if and when published.

    Greyhawk can surely survive 4e but 4e Greyhawk may, depending on its execution, become iconic or the next Rose Estes-like alternate universe Greyhawk.
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    Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:51 pm  

    GVD,

    Again with the irony. You claim that you are measuring objective criteria but then you sink your argument with this little snippet:

    GVDammerung wrote:
    The objection is not that Greyhawk changes/evolves but HOW it does so. No one, not me anyway, is advocating stagnation.

    And while it is true that Greyhawk has previously evolved and in inconsistent ways at times, there is the matter of degree.


    It’s all subjective at this point. We are now arguing where the line for too much change is and that is a subjective choice. Your tolerance for what constitutes “too much” change is radically different from mine.

    The motto of this site is “Rules change, Greyhawk endures.” The question becomes what aspects of Greyhawk endures when the rules shift. That again is an individual choice where one would consider the fluff of the setting set in stone and another has no objection to shifting to the new paradigm. Count me in the latter.

    So yeah, I am arguing from a subjective point of view on Greyahawk 4e because I will know if it is still Greyhawk to me when I see it. To me it doesn’t matter how much I quantifiably measure the changes 4e fluff and crunch brings to Greyhawk so long as the subjective experience at the table feels like Greyhawk to me and my players. Even more important are we having fun. If the answer to that question is yes then no problem. If it is no, I got plenty of material to convert for my own purposes.

    Subjectively Yours,

    ~~Saracenus
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    Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:47 pm  

    Rasgon,

    An interesting post. I think some of this will be hand waved and others prolly will be explained. Here are a few comments.

    rasgon wrote:

    The Vale of the Lamia in the Abbor-Alz would have to go, since lamias have been retconned as fey. Graz'zt would no longer be a patron of lamias either, since they've been turned into a completely different creature (maybe the lamia of previous editions could be renamed).


    I am not sure why the switch to fey is a problem. There are plenty of fey living in "The World" (or Prime Material for us old-tymers): Eldrin, elves, gnomes, etc. Just because a creature has an origin of Aberration, Fey, Shadow, Immortal, Elemental, or Natural doesn't mean that it can't be born or live on a different one.

    As for worshiping Graz'zt there is nothing preventing Lamias from worshiping him, just as there isn't any reason why a community of elves couldn't worship him either.

    rasgon wrote:

    Dwarves no longer have the ability to see in the dark, and their strongholds are primarily above ground.


    I don't see a problem with the former, darkvision doesn't define a dwarf. And its a minor fluff change to say that dwarven Kingdoms are normally underground with the exception of the Principality of Ulek.

    rasgon wrote:

    A big part of 4e continuity is Orcus's attempt to replace the Raven Queen as ruler of the Shadowfell; it's difficult to square this with Oerth's gods of death.


    4e has already said that the Raven Queen replaced Nerull as the Death Deity in Open Grave. So, that change already is in play. Whether they hand wave it (it was always like this) or explain it (I have the Raven Queen as a hidden Wee Jess who gave up her magic domain to Baccob in exchange for sole dominion over Death during the "God War" in my campaign. The God War was the fight between the interloping Suel Pantheon with the everyone else, they lost. Only a few remain, think the combining of the Assir and Vanir in Norse mythology). Either way the Raven Queen will prolly be in 4e Greyhawk.

    rasgon wrote:

    The lack of a chaotic good alignment in 4th edition alters the presentation of gods like Trithereon and Kord. There are similar issues with the lack of a lawful neutral or neutral evil alignment. One could argue that the new alignments don't change the way a character is played, but in practice I think there's a substantial psychological difference when Trithereon and Pelor have the same listed alignment.


    I am not sure the alignment issue really matters. Alignment never really played a heavy lifting role for me in differentiating one god to the next. I am more interested in what the ethos of each god is and what is expect of their worshipers. I think there is enough room in the Good alignment for worshipers to approach things differently and even be in conflict.

    Interesting points Rasgon. I doubt they will address all of them because D&D development assumes that DMs will take ownership and answer those questions themselves. That is if the DMs even know the prior history. There is only some much you can cram into 3 books for a campaign. I am imagine a lot will get left out.

    Besides most "new" Greyhawk folk that enter the campaign via a 4e version are not going to be concerned with the weight of 30 years of history. That is for us.

    ~~Saracenus
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    Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:01 pm  

    Saracenus wrote:
    I am not sure why the switch to fey is a problem.


    I'll answer this one:

    It's not just that they're fey, but that they're a completely different monster. There's no reason, other than the fact that they're called lamias, to associate them with the lamias of previous editions at all. Fey made out of thousands of insects don't have any reason to be hanging out in a vale worshiping a serpent goddess, while the lamias ruled by the half-serpent lamia nobles of previous editions did. Nagas or even yuan-ti would be a better match.

    Yes, 4e lamias could worship Graz'zt (and here I'm speaking of lamias in general, not the lamias of the Vale of the Lamia who worshiped a serpent goddess) - so could an orc or a minotaur or a flumph. But lamias were named as servants of Graz'zt for a reason that no longer applies. Graz'zt isn't a lord of fey or insects. Any connection would be arbitrary and senseless. Yeenoghu or Malcanthet would make as much sense, not that 4e has a place for Malcanthet. So Graz'zt has lost one of his classic attributes. Replacing it with a completely different monster would be pointless.

    So in asking the question of what Greyhawk things would be invalidated by the 4e changes - yes, that's one of them.

    I'm not here to bash 4e or participate in an edition war or anything like that. But as a whole, the 4th edition material feels to me like it's part of a different fantasy role-playing game, like Earthdawn or Warhammer Fantasy or RuneQuest or World of Warcraft, and the differences aren't only mechanical. If you like it, great; I like some of it too. But the fact that it's so different, and that it seems to be WotC's current policy to emphasize these differences rather than reconcile them, means that 4e Greyhawk will likely be a very different place.

    So I'm not going to go with you point by point debating why I think such-and-such does too make a difference. Believe me, I'd like to - your wrongness eats away at my insides like black dragon breath - but just as trying to fisk my list of problems misses the larger point, so trying to fisk your fisking only serves to further the distraction rather than advancing the conversation in a useful way.

    Oh, god, you have no idea how badly I want to show you how very wrong albeit very polite each and every word that you typed is. It hurts, lord, it does, but I will be strong.

    Oh, crap, I'm weak. So help me, I'm so very weak. One more, then:

    Quote:
    4e has already said that the Raven Queen replaced Nerull as the Death Deity in Open Grave. So, that change already is in play.


    This is the 4th edition core world, which is known simply as the World. It is not Oerth. It only has one moon, for one thing. It has nations and gods that Oerth does not have. The Nerull to which they refer is not Oerth's Nerull, any more than the 4e core Bane is the god Bane of the Forgotten Realms. The 4th edition core Nerull died long, long ago. The Raven Queen has ruled for eons. There is no reason to think that a theoretical 4th edition Greyhawk would follow that particular plot hook. The Forgotten Realms doesn't have a Raven Queen, but it was spared retconning one in.

    If they did splice a Raven Queen into Oerth because they feel Nerull or Wee Jas doesn't work well enough - and I wouldn't put it past them - that'd be a pretty significant change to the setting; more significant, I'd argue, than virtually any of the other ones I've mentioned.

    My fear is that they would change Oerth too much to make it more like the World. I fear that regardless of whether or not there is a 4e Greyhawk campaign setting, Greyhawk is dead - either from old players dying out or the setting being rendered unrecognizable as the Forgotten Realms has. I do not fear, however, that that every part of the World will be considered canon for Oerth. That is not the pattern I've been seeing. The whole point in creating the World instead of using Corehawk as 3e sometimes did is that the World is not Oerth; its continuity is independent of Oerth's, and the fact that it shares some names with Oerth should not fool you.

    Okay, I'm sated for now. Thank you for your patience. I'm sure you have more of it than I do.


    Last edited by rasgon on Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:27 pm  

    Rasgon,

    I actually have no animus towards you.

    I asked the question in good faith because the way you wrote it seemed like the change in origin was the issue for Lamias (which as you point out and now that I have read the actual entry now is not the case). The beetle swarm thing is a complete change and so I agree that the vale as written is a major change.

    As for the rest I will agree to disagree with you.

    I actually respect your almost encyclopedic recall of obscure Greyhawk lore. I actually enjoy talking with you during Greytalk chats, you have been most helpful when I have been looking for something off the beaten path. I would consider it a great shame if my writing would make it impossible for you to continue talking with me. If you change your mind I will be around.

    Ciao,

    ~~Saracenus
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    Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:31 pm  

    Whoa, there. I didn't expect there to be animosity on either side. I am frustrated with the Great Wrongness of it All, but don't have any problem with you personally, Saracenus.

    I wasn't swearing off talking with you forever; I was just trying to bow out of this particular conversation, as it didn't seem to be productive.
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    Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:31 pm  

    WOTC can and will do what they want as far as translating the old Greyhawk material. The 'New 4e' Hommlet will always be a pale, bleached flour version of what was an excellent module because the 4e system is an inferior system. I frankly don't care what they do with their version. I am a solid AD&D/basic D&D and OD&D player/GM. I will continue to encourage all players and GMs to abandon the low quality, over-priced clunker of 4e in favor of any other version including Labrynth Lord, BFRPG, Castles and Crusades, 3.5e, and Pathfinder.

    Keith the Hammer
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    Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:33 pm  

    cennedi wrote:

    At one point I asked the Devs why they chose Eberron and not FR or GH and the answer was that the Devs didn't want to have people criticizing and attacking every little thing they did that was not exactly canon. The Devs didn't want to listen to a torrent of complaints concerning the look of a sword or set of armor.


    Ok, this is a total BS argument. Here's a crazy idea, try advancing the story line a few years WITHOUT invoking a world changing apocalypse! No matter what they release they're going to get the Superfans come out of the wall and tell them that they did something wrong.

    Such is life. You can't please everyone and you're going to have detractors scream at you no matter what you do but if they do do anything to support Greyhawk, then Greyhawk will die taking the generation of gamers that built D&D along with it. We'll always have our current collections, we'll always have our communities and quite frankly, we don't need WotC to run a game in the setting. Where we need WotC is in the continuation of the story. We don't really need a re-envisioning of the old material, we need campaign progress. An update, preferably one based off of the LG campaign that ran for gods know how long.

    The thing is, when it looks like they aren't going to support it, it makes me rather sad. For a long time I was not able to game at all and when I was able to the only thing people wanted to play was Vampire.

    Hmmmm.... This gives me an idea....

    But now that I am able to play again and I see them basically tossing aside the last campaign world worth a damn and that seriously pisses me off.
    GreySage

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    Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:44 pm  

    Well, I understand the sentiment. As campaign worlds get more and more developed, the amount of creative freedom a designer retains lessens accordingly. Gary Gygax could invent just about anything he wanted; Carl Sargent was more limited, Roger Moore more so, and Erik Mona et. al were more limited still. Some people thrive within limitations, while others would rather just be able to make stuff up again like Gary Gygax could. That's why they nuked the Forgotten Realms - they had run out of places they could write about that would be "theirs" without having to worry much about what other people had done.
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    Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:51 pm  

    Thank you for listing actual changes, Rasgon. It is refreshing to see examples and arguments rather than hyperbole.

    Succubi, cambions other than Iuz, lamias, and daemons are pretty minor potato monsters in Greyhawk who have little face-time other than a handful of encounters in some adventures. Changes to their nature hardly equates a change in Greyhawk any more than the lack of support for Gibberlings in post-Gygaxian Greyhawk. I have no idea why the Vale of the Lamia would have to go – Lamias are a creature in the Monster Manual. Daemons will, in all likelihood, be released in a future Monster Manual (and it is not like they had a write-up in 3E when the LGG was released). Powerful daemons like Anthraxus will very possibly be released in future 4E materials like the Demon Princes are currently being released – and it is not like a limited 4E Greyhawk book run should mention daemons in the first place (they just are not that important outside the Gord novels). As you stated, ecologies of monsters were never Greyhawk in the first place, and since any anticipated 4E Greyhawk line is unlikely to come close to touching ecologies of various beasties this is a fairly moot issue.

    Changes to the already present player races are significantly more pertinent. Though, I would argue that the changes have less of an impact than that produced by LGG with the heavy proliferation of demi-humans across the Flaneass.

    Halflings as river-boat folk has an impact. At best, I suspect most of us older folk could use it as an alternate Halfling culture to the hairfeet, tallfellows, and stouts. At worst, the Rhennee would be completely ret-conned into halflings – which would be bad.

    Having just read the 4E PH2 description of gnomes, I fail to see any issue with them also having significant population centers on the material world. Presumably, there would be more links to the Feywild in the Kron and Flinty Hills, County of Ulek, etc. That they can all turn invisible only enforces their illusionary abilities – hardly changing the nature of Greyhawk (and seemingly very appropriate for those in the Valley of the Mage). Of course, I was never a fan of gnomes and have never really used them much.

    Dwarves loosing Infravision/Darkvision seems no more hostile to Greyhawkiness than when Elves lost Infravision/Darkvision back in the day. I am unsure of your concern about dwarves building patterns. To quote page 97 of the Monster Manual, “They build remarkable fortress-cities among the peaks, under which they delve into the earth for riches and raw materials.” This sounds like what dwarves have always been.

    Teleporting Eladrin/Grey Elves is rather funky, I admit. Though Enstad shifting between the material world and the Feywild seems both appropriate for Greyhawk (fading lands) and a pretty nifty concept. I suspect we would all agree that a trip to Enstad should be more mystical than a trip to Verbobonc.

    If Dragonborn, Tieflings, Deva, Shifters, and Goliaths are given significant roles than yes, it will be a very significant impact on Greyhawk. If they are treated as minor races that players can choose if they want, than I fail to see why a couple extra humanoids among the dozens already there makes that big a difference.

    Fading Lands should most certainly still exist. The Feywild and Shadowfell give them a better reason to exist than they currently have.

    You are correct that Raven Queen has no place in Greyhawk, nor Orcus’s rivalry with her. Nor would I expect a 4E Greyhawk book to discuss any of it.

    Having never owned Q1, I feel confident that Greyhawk can maintain its character by totally ignoring anything to do with the adventure. At any rate, 4E gods are far more like the original Gygaxian gods than anything we have had since our esteemed steward left the helm. It will be refreshing to have the Greyhawk gods physically manifest across Greyhawk like they originally did without being total uber-beings able to level whole countries.

    The Negative Energy Plane can easily be a place in the Astral Sea or Elemental Chaos, and so, be used in any manner one wants. Again, I would not expect 4E Greyhawk to have any mention about the Negative Energy Plane even if it did exist in 4E cosmology.

    The Blood War was a significant part of From the Ashes? Perhaps I need to peruse Sergent’s work, as I cannot think of a single significant event in Greyhawk that involves the Blood War.

    Personally, I don’t use alignments and try to view each being as a 3 dimensional personality with its own hopes, dreams, and aspirations. I would expect the 4E Greyhawk godly write-ups to offer as much toward making each 3 dimensional as we have received in the past. However, if you find utility in the 9 alignments, than yes, the 4E alignment model offers less than before.

    4E druids, like everyone else in the world, still worship the gods. Obad-Hai, Beory, and Ehlonna would seem relevant as patrons.

    As you so aptly stated, whether any of the changes are pertinent is as much a matter of taste as anything else. Certainly, if 4E Greyhawk has massive sweeping changes like what was done with the Forgotten Realms, than yes, the character of the world will undeniably alter. However, I completely fail to see why the very nature of 4E would make Greyhawk unrecognizable. It remains to be seen whether WotC desires massive sweeping changes to every campaign setting it re-releases. Again, I thank you for presenting reason rather than hyperbole.
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    Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:57 am  

    JHSII wrote:
    For me it's simple - Imagine that Chevrolet bought the rights to build the Yugo. They then renamed it "Corvette" for the 2010 model year and put one of those little Corvette plastic decals on it.

    Any guesses on how popular it would be?

    Would any of you want to buy a Corvette ZR-Yugo for $135,000?

    This is what Hasbro/WotC is trying to do. They want my business - they're going to have to do better. A whole lot better!!


    Sorry, but at best this is a poor analogy. I refuse to get into edition wars, but this is so far from the mark its not funny.
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    Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:17 am  

    On the subject of gods, I will note that when working in a campaign world, they present equivallents to "core" gods, but not those gods. Look at Forgotten Realms. Admittedly they had to change the face of the world to accomplish some of it (well they didn't have to, but they did), but they have very different flavor from the core gods.

    As for Vale of the Lamia, I never liked Lamia as a name for lion centauroids. It just made no sense. And even if you keep the name and rename the fey bug monster, there is no reason to fret over it all. I agree that any greyhawk specific demonsdevils could easily be written up. A demon can be a seducer, they just have to be spiteful and violent if they don't get their way :)

    As long as they have the Dragonborn coming from the West, Goliaths from the remote mountains, shifters from the deep swamps and remote mountains, and Tieflings from Iuz's realm, everything will be fine. Deva are so low impact on the world its silly (overall anyway). If they don't keep the wheel cosmology (which is listed as an option in the DMG when world building, just not the one they use), then I suspect Celene merging with the Feywild, and the subsequent dimensional stresses this places on Oerth, will bring it inline with the Astral Sea, Shadowfell, etc. I've never really dealt with planar structure, so I know for me it won't matter much.

    I personally will always use the description in LGG for halflings. Which description you use has NO affect on their abilities. They are nimble and can duck out of the way of blows...k. whether they are boat folk or rural farmers and traders, I see no real difference here.

    As for the rest, OldOneEye has very succinctly replied to that :) I get the concerns, but honestly I've seen nothing in all of this a good DM couldn't get around with one or two quick decisions, just like any other edition of the game. :)
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    Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:32 am  

    JHSII wrote:
    Sorry, but at best this is a poor analogy. I refuse to get into edition wars, but this is so far from the mark its not funny.


    No, it's the perfect analogy with what they are doing to/with Greyhawk.
    The changes they are making is turning Greyhawk into something that is NOT Greyhawk - but will bear the Greyhawk label. You may like what they're doing - or are planning to do - but that doesn't mean I have to sit here and stay silent as they tell me to go ***expletive deleted*** myself.[/quote]

    I wasn''t referring to it not being a different car repackaged as an existing one. But I do take issue with it being compared to a yugo. One is a mustang, one is a corvette. Completely different approaches to very similar desires. One is not markedly better than the other. One is more recognizeable, perhaps, but one is not necessarily better. That was my point. You may disagree with their direction - heck I may disagree with their direction, but as its their IP, they can make any change they want, and all we can do is either accept it or use it, or strip it for parts and rebuild our own frankenstein. :) But the value judgement that just because it involves 4E it is bad is just simply wrong. Different is not the same as bad, while some recognize that (props to ya Rasgon :) ), others fail to see that a branch in the road does not devalue the original road or the new road, just because it branched.....

    wow that was so incomprehensible its not funny. I'm not retyping it, because as bad as it is, its still closer to what I meant than anything else.
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    Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:38 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    Well, I understand the sentiment. As campaign worlds get more and more developed, the amount of creative freedom a designer retains lessens accordingly. Gary Gygax could invent just about anything he wanted; Carl Sargent was more limited, Roger Moore more so, and Erik Mona et. al were more limited still. Some people thrive within limitations, while others would rather just be able to make stuff up again like Gary Gygax could. That's why they nuked the Forgotten Realms - they had run out of places they could write about that would be "theirs" without having to worry much about what other people had done.


    A clean slate is always better for a new product line from a dev point of view, and I have heard numerous times that this is why Eberon was used for the RPGA's factions-style campaign (the one with level bumps that you play a drow. Don't get me started on level bumps or on letting people play drow).

    Living Greyhawk had the writing problem Rasgon mentions above. Some authors and Triad members knew the canon or researched it very well prior to writing a mod. Did they get everything right? No. Did they at least try? Yes. Some, like BK Triad member Austin "Theo" Judd, had actually spoken to Gygax about a few things so that we could get guidance from the master himself, so to speak (Theo liked to ask him about Stoink, iirc. He was always pissed that they killed off Stoink's old boss in the LGG. If you read the LGG closely, Theo mantained that there are several instances in there where it appears that WOTC was trying to eliminate Gygaxian NPCs and ideas from LG).

    Anyhow, other authors and Triad members cared less about what came before and only wanted to write the mod that they had in their head, regional flavor and Oerth history be damned. Part of the problem was that initial Triads were HIGHLY composed of administrators from Living City, people the RPGA were familiar enough with to trust initially to get the ball rolling on Oerth. While they may have had some familiarity with Greyhawk material, they had spent the previous years sorting through FR canon and producing, imo, pretty damn silly high-fantasy mods (LC PCs often would have +5 weapons at low levels due to cert trading and sharing). The result was that sometimes, early LG mods felt and looked more like LC mods.

    Example: There was one mod from the the BK's year 1 that had a mysterious tower, home to a high-level wizard, suddenly appear one day near Rookroost. Oh, and the Sherrif of Rookroost was detailed as being a 18th level lawful good fighter, or some such stupid nonsense. Worse, the map included with the event clearly showed that the mod author had no idea where Rookroost really was (I think it put trees north and south of the city, mountains to the west, a river to northeast, etc., etc., etc.). How this mod ever made it past SRM and RPGA HQ (who supposedly reviewed all regional mods back then), I'll never know. My bet is that the initial BK Triad, needing a mod post-haste for an upcoming convention, turned an unpublished LC mod into a LG BK mod. I eventually retconned that mod out of BK continuity in year 5, as soon as I became a Triad member. Whenever I get around to working on my great LG BK summary project, this mod won't be mentioned at all.

    On a random side note re: Orcus and Iuz, early Greyhawk products contain speculation that Iuz is actually Orcus' child. I forget when it was made official that he was Grazz't's spawn, but I'd actually be a bit impressed if WOTC, IF they made Oerth 4E, changed Iuz to being Orcus' kid. At least that would let me know that someone there might be paying attention to old books.

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    Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:39 pm  

    aurdraco wrote:
    Whenever I get around to working on my great LG BK summary project, this mod won't be mentioned at all.
    [...]
    Casey


    I realize that this is off-topic, but I eagerly await this summary, Aurdraco! I played in some of the early BK modules myself, but never had a good sense of an over-all story arch or of any significant, campaign-altering events. Much of my at-home campaign is centered around the BK-SL region, so I am still interested.

    Also, thank you for your efforts to keep new material consistent with past material!

    Back to topic.
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    Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:47 pm  

    You guys all crack me up. Good to see everyone keeping it civil so far. Keep it going.

    As for car analogies, if I may...In my opinion, what is going on is something like this: Greyhawk in any edition has always been a sports car. There is the classic model and later models too but so far we don't have a new model. What I see is so far is more of what Wizards did in Core 3.x D&D and that is chop shopping this car for its best parts. I know the parts of the car are all good and well-made but I'm not always willing to collect(or pay for) all the parts I need to rebuild this car from scratch. It can be done but I don't have the patience. Most people would like to buy the whole car used and maybe tune it up with some different parts or some would like to drive a shiny new model right off the lot as is. That is if the new model ever goes from concept car at a show to factory floor. What we should be hoping for is not what model it will be, but will the engineers for our American sports car be made by Japan instead.
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    Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:39 pm  

    aurdraco wrote:
    I forget when it was made official that he was Grazz't's spawn


    The earliest mention of this relationship, if I recall correctly, was in the novel Artifact of Evil by Gary Gygax. We knew from Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth that Iggwilv had imprisoned Graz'zt in the past, but it wasn't until the novel series that Gygax revealed a child had resulted from this.

    The first RPG supplement to mention it was WG7 Castle Greyhawk, of all places, in the adventure that Scott Bennie (author of the seminal "Setting Saintly Standards" in Dragon Magazine, as well as the Ecology of the Rakshasa and FR's Old Empires) wrote. That was by far the most Greyhawk-heavy and interesting of what was mostly a series of parody adventures unconnected to the setting.

    I don't think it was mentioned again in the RPG line until the Carl Sargent era, though it continued to be a big part of Gary Gygax's Gord the Rogue series. I know it was mentioned in Iuz the Evil by Carl Sargent. The next mention was probably Return of the Eight.
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    Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:23 pm  

    MikelAmroni wrote:
    As for Vale of the Lamia, I never liked Lamia as a name for lion centauroids.


    Why not? It's one of the traditional portrayals of them, found in medieval bestiaries. D&D traditionally uses both the lion/ungulate form (for common lamias) and the serpent-bodied form (for lamia nobles) that form the two major depictions of the creature in ancient legend. It seems like a good compromise to me. There was a really cool "Ecology of the Lamia" in Dragon Magazine that added a third form, an entirely bestial lion/goat hybrid.

    Quote:
    A demon can be a seducer, they just have to be spiteful and violent if they don't get their way


    I'm glad you think so; I'd be happy to let you design for 4e. WotC apparently disagrees with you; they think that makes demons and devils too much alike. Devils are tempters and seducers with an interest in mortal souls, while 4e demons are angry elementals who want to break stuff. The idea of a 4th edition demon seducing someone is like a chaotic evil xorn or a crysmal seducing someone.

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    As long as they have the Dragonborn coming from the West


    I'm not a fan of that idea at all. For one, it means every time someone wants to play a dragonborn, the DM has to invent a convoluted story that explains how it got into the Flanaess from the other end of the continent. That works once, but ruins the suspension of disbelief if it's invoked too many times. If you must permit dragonborn in Greyhawk, I think it's better to have them come from the Flanaess like all the other major races. This doesn't seem like a problem to me; it's not like humanoid dragons are something new to D&D; 2nd edition had dragon-kin (from the Dragon Mountain boxed set and reprinted in the Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume One), 3rd edition had half-dragons, spellscales, dragonspawn of Tiamat, and dragonborn of Bahamut. I'm sure there are other humanoid dragon-looking things in various obscure places. My concern isn't with dragonborn being added to the Flanaess, only with the idea that they're suddenly relatively common in every city and town, which is an impression that someone who uses published 4th edition adventures might well get. Being that it seems to be WotC's policy to make their campaign worlds all fit with published adventures, the demographics of the Flanaess seem potentially posed to change radically. With it, I fear the feel of Gygax's human-dominated, medieval European-style setting would be compromised.

    Would it still be Greyhawk? Well, we'll see. It would certainly contain many elements of Greyhawk, but I don't know that it would replicate the feel that I've come to associate with the setting very well.

    Whether or not this could be easily changed by the individual DM is, as GVD ably put it, beside the point. I greatly object to the view that it's illegitimate to discuss or review RPG products "because you can always just change them." By that standard, every RPG supplement is of equal quality and an equally good use of your money. It should be obvious that this isn't true, and, given that RPGs have varying levels of quality and usefulness (I would even be so bold as to say that this isn't entirely a subjective thing), it should be possible for us to say so without being shushed by the "you can just change it" brigade.
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    Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:05 pm  

    The term "edition wars" and announcing one will disengage from a discussion so as not to engage in "edition wars" begs an obvious question.

    If one says, "I dislike 4e, and all things 4e, because I play/prefer Edition X," THAT is an edition war argument. Similarly, if one says "I love 4e and all things 4e, so if its 4e its fine," that too is an edition war argument, albeit a more camoflaged/politically correct one.

    To say, "4e includes material that is at odds with material in pre-4e setting X," THAT is _NOT_ and edition war argument. It is a comparison of the elements of 4e and setting X and a conclusion that they match up or don't match up and to what degree.

    Hiding behind "avoiding edition wars" is disingenuous in the second case.

    4e, as Rasgon has enumerated, is at odds in any number of particulars from published Greyhawk. THAT is NOT an edition war statement/argument.

    Hommlett is iconically Greyhawk both as T1 and as the lead in to the even more iconically Greyhawk TOEE. A 4e Hommlett, given that elements of 4e are at odds with elements of published GH, is cause for an immediate pause. And so saying no "edition war" is involved. In any way.
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    Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:23 pm  

    OleOneEye wrote:
    At any rate, 4E gods are far more like the original Gygaxian gods than anything we have had since our esteemed steward left the helm. It will be refreshing to have the Greyhawk gods physically manifest across Greyhawk like they originally did without being total uber-beings able to level whole countries.


    I'm not sure where the first conclusion comes from. I don't see the 4e core deities as at all like anything Gygax ever created, expect where the names are the same names. What are the similarities (other than the names of some of them)?

    Greyhawk gods physically manifesting "like they originally did?" Hmmm. I agree that Greyhawk gods have in the past manifested physically on Oerth. However, they have not done so recently (with a few exceptions) because of the "noninterference pact." Changing that noninterference pact so that gods can go romping and stomping around the setting would be, I think, a big change to GH as published from the Folio to date - some 30 years of published history. I see no reason to do that, as other setting have that feature already, and reason not to - Greyhawk sans heavy godly interference is part of what makes Greyhawk unique. Also, IMO, gods are too easily deus ex machina devices or cheap villains (cheap in the sense that gods as villains are very common). If I am reading you correctly, I am of the opposite opinion.
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    Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:22 am  

    Hommlet won't likely be a module at all, but a chapter/section in the DMG 3's "How to Role-play" section, similar to how Saltmarsh was introduced in a hardback and given some background in the past. It could very well be an chapter section that illustrates what role playing is about using Hommlet as the location, and telling how role-playing is not about running amuck in a delve of some kind, but is about walking into this particular village where instead of killing everything in sight you have to interact(non-violently) with everyone in sight(at least to start with:wink:). This is apparently a feature that is not played up much in WotC's 4e modules so far which are mostly hack-n'-slash delves with not much interaction. Urban adventures are of course perfect for role-playing. Heck, even running amok in Dorakaa in City of Skulls or Highport in the A-series/Slavers requires careful role-playing, as even though you may want to kill everything in sight, it is a deathwish to do so. Happy

    It'll probably just be another Greyhawk taster rather than the launch of a Greyhawk product line. What would be very intersting would be to see a series of articles on DDI(Dragon Magazine) that broke down in detail the features of each campaign setting and compared and contrasted them. Newer people might gain a better understanding of the settings then, plus there would also be some insight into the developers' opinions on what they thought were the defining features of the various settings and how they fit into 4e(or 4e fits into them).
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    Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:24 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    I'm not sure where the first conclusion comes from. I don't see the 4e core deities as at all like anything Gygax ever created, expect where the names are the same names. What are the similarities (other than the names of some of them)?

    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.

    I absolutely agree with you that the 4E core deities have nothing to do with Greyhawk - nor would I expect them to have anything to do with a 4E campaign setting.

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Greyhawk gods physically manifesting "like they originally did?" Hmmm. I agree that Greyhawk gods have in the past manifested physically on Oerth. However, they have not done so recently (with a few exceptions) because of the "noninterference pact." Changing that noninterference pact so that gods can go romping and stomping around the setting would be, I think, a big change to GH as published from the Folio to date - some 30 years of published history. I see no reason to do that, as other setting have that feature already, and reason not to - Greyhawk sans heavy godly interference is part of what makes Greyhawk unique. Also, IMO, gods are too easily deus ex machina devices or cheap villains (cheap in the sense that gods as villains are very common). If I am reading you correctly, I am of the opposite opinion.

    The 83 boxed set does not have a noninterference pact. To my knowledge, that is a 2nd edition idea. Pretty much all of the gods which were given a write-up were described as manifesting on Oerth in the 83 set - not just Iuz, Wastri, Cuthbert, and Farlanghn as later writings indicate. I fail to understand why it would be a big change to Greyhawk to use the 83 gods' write-ups (though it would certainly be a big change to post non-interference pact writings).

    We are certainly in agreement that godly deus ex machina (or any deus ex machina, for that matter) is a bad thing, as well as using gods (or any other discrete group) as patrons/colleagues/villains more than once every 10 campaigns or so would cheapen them. However, with two decades of role-playing behind me, using them every once in a long while is refreshing.
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    Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:43 pm  

    Best be specific about gods manifesting. It's mostly the quasi-deities who are manifesing(i.e. the ones who were mortal relatively recently), and nearly all of them are doing so in a very low key manner. St. Cuthbert is not leading armies againt Iuz, Fharlanghn isn't doing the Forrest Gump "Walk Across the Flanaess" event, Celestian isn't showing up places juggling stars, and Incabulos is not riding around striking down mortals who cross his path. Laughing Wink

    And of course they are almost always in disguise. They influence those who act on events, but seldom influence events directly. I prefer that this is so due to an uspoken agreement among the gods- a mutual respect thing(or better still, a "you don't mess with my stuff; I don't mess with your stuff" sort of thing) and not any non-agression pact they all agreed to formally.
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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.
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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."
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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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    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

    Laughing
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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...
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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.
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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.
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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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    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.

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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.
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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,

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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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