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One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created,
Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
Len Lakofka 1944-2020
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    Canonfire :: View topic - Beyond the Flanaess' Importance
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    Beyond the Flanaess' Importance
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    Forum Moderator

    Joined: Feb 26, 2004
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    From: Ullinois

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    Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:27 am  
    Beyond the Flanaess' Importance

    http://greyhawkery.blogspot.com/2012/04/beyond-flanaess-importance.html

    Just some idle thought. I love development outside the Flanaess, heck I've always lived on the fringe. But can too much beyond the Flanaess take away from the Flanaess itself?
    GreySage

    Joined: Oct 06, 2008
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    From: South-Central Pennsylvania

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    Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:56 am  

    While development of the lands beyond the Flanaess would be a nice thing, I feel that the Flanaess, itself, hasn't been explored to the fullest.

    The advent of the Greyhawk Wars may make that seem untrue, but I, personally, have never gamed in every nation of the Flanaess, or every forest, swamp and stretch of mountains, or hills. Has anyone?

    For me, it is the same feeling that I have regarding published materials, such as the Monster Manual. As I've stated before, no one has used every creature in the Monster Manuals in their games. Still, WotC would rather produce a new Monster Manual, with "new" monsters, than another adventure module, or any other type of "story" material for that matter.

    Of course, their preference is to produce new "Rules." They haven't even competed their development of 4e and -- behold! -- 5e is coming!

    For me, I have all the monsters I need, why would I want another Monster Manual? I don't. And while I am currently DMing a game using 3.5, I am a fan of 2e. So why would I care about all of these "new rules?" I don't.

    For me, I'd prefer that the occasional character from "outside" the Flanaess to show up in my game. I've never been interested in India's "medieval" history, nor China's or Japan's, so I don't really need fully "fleshed out" nations to explore in my Greyhawk. I want to find ways to expand upon the material I already have.

    I do enjoy reading what fans here at Canonfire produce, in the way of the lands outside the Flanaess, but I probably won't ever "game" there.
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    Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:26 am  

    Agreed, mystic-scholar. There remains much of the Flaness itself to be fleshed out.

    Master Arminas
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    From: Frinton on Sea England

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    Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:23 am  

    I'm going to jump up onto Mystic's lap and purr contentedly whilst nodding in agreement a heck of a lot.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:43 am  

    I would say that no, it does not detract from the Flanaess. Developing beyond the Flanaess does not keep a DM from focusing on that region for his individual campaign and ignoring the rest if he chooses to.
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
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    From: LG Dyvers

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    Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:37 pm  

    Bluebomber4ever has got it right, methinks.

    I have little interest in expanding my own campaign beyond the Flanaess, but I do enjoy reading fan material on the area. Nothing anyone can produce can detract from my devotion to campaigning in the Flanaess. After all, if FR, DL, DS, et. al. couldn't seduce me away from Greyhawk and the Flanaess, why would I fear an expansion of Oerth?

    SirXaris
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    Joined: Mar 05, 2007
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    Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:24 pm  



    Last edited by BlueWitch on Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
    GreySage

    Joined: Oct 06, 2008
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    From: South-Central Pennsylvania

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    Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:57 am  

    Hmm. That makes three of you now and yet -- re-reading my post -- I do not see where I imply that the furtherance of this project detracts from the existing Flanaess. Confused

    I even stated that I enjoy reading what others here write about these "exotic" locations. I simply said that it does nothing for my campaign, or "world view" of Greyhawk, to develop these locals for addition to my game.

    By all means "knock yourselves out" and have a good time. My post was merely to express the opinion that I do not share the view of the "all importance" of developing these areas, or of the "great need" to augment them. Wink

    By no means does their further development threaten my Greyhawk, or its Flanaess. I choose to further the story line and develop the "unknown" areas of the Flanaess, itself.

    It's your Greyhawk so, by all means . . . "Have it your way."

    After all, you're at Burger King! Wink
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    Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:26 am  

    I don't think it was your post at all, Mystic. I think the three opinions relate more to mort's question in the first post.

    Who says that all wizards are tetchy and grumpy? Laughing
    GreySage

    Joined: Oct 06, 2008
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    Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:18 am  

    Ah ha! Methinks thou hath hit upon it, my furry friend! Laughing

    And may I say how soothing I find your continued "purring." Evil Grin

    Apologies all around. Laughing
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    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 12, 2001
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    Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:52 pm  

    Not outside of canon, no. If WotC published a fabulous new addition to the WoG that everyone loved, then maybe. Or if Gygax had published a Lands of the Utmost West expansion, then maybe. But I don't think anything fan-based is going to overtake the core of GH.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:52 pm  

    Certainly nothing fan-produced is going to take the place of something that is official, at least on any kind of scale. But given the current vacuum vis-a-vis canonical information on the lands of Oerth beyond the Flanaess (not counting the Sundered Empire, which is certainly official, even if it's sketchy in its details and not all that widely known to be on Oerik), I'm not surprised that folks such as bluebomber4ever and myself (and several others) are looking to fill the void. I'm fully convinced that if WotC ever produces a canon map of Oerik, my own humble maps will quickly (and rightly) be set aside in favor of them.

    The other issue is whether or not the lands beyond the Flanaess are suitable as the basis of a campaign. While that's probably not universally the case, I happen to think that certain regions would make splendid campaigns. If you were looking to do an Oriental Adventures game, Nippon (what I call Woguo) and the Celestial Imperium would be perfect. More standard campaigns could be set in the Sundered Empire; it's actually a great setting; the more I study it the more I like it. And although there's precious little detail currently available in English, Lynn (Lhynn in the original) has a lot of potential as well.

    I think, though, that rather being the basis for a campaign, they're much more suitable as a location for a Flanaess-based campaign to visit as a change of pace. A group of adventurers from Keoland could, after years of play in the Sheldomar Valley, find a jaunt to Suhfang or Thalos (perhaps to swoop in and snatch a piece of Stratis' panoply for their own) a fine palate-cleanser to shake things up and add freshness to the campaign.

    Joe / Greyhawk Grognard
    http://greyhawkgrognard.blogspot.com
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    Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:56 pm  

    Yeah I'm overly concerned with officialdom vs fan work. What is going on in the BtF subculture is amazingly cool in fact. My own rambling thoughts are on how it all ties together in the larger Oerth tapestry, if at all.
    For example, we know the Suel Empire was once so great and has an at least 5000 year history before being blown up. How much of West Oerik owes their culture to Suel Imperialism? The Oerid diaspora. How far west did they originate? How much does the Baklunish cultures know of the west that they aren't telling? How much do the elves of the Spindrifts know? We know Aerdy and Thillonrians explore the seas, so should the western cultures across the Solnor. Who will 'discover' who first? Then there is religious similarities. I know vaguely of the deity Stratis from Chainmail is 'another' relative of Hextor and Heironeous. Is this a lost relationship or do the Oerid gods exist in the west? Or are we looking at variant names of the same deities like we have had before.
    There's alot going on, plenty to keep our fanbase busy for years to come!!
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue May 08, 2012 11:03 pm  

    For what it's worth, I once ran a PBP based on Chainmail's Ravilla domain.

    It was set as a part of Blackmoor's Great Kingdom, though, and drew A LOT upon the descriptions from the Adri Forest. Another source I used to map the "uncharted land" was Judge Guild's "Broken Tree Inn" module.

    If I had to do the same game on Oerth, though, I'd probably use pretty much the same approach.

    (Elves in hiding, Elven cities placed on a mirror plane, etc.)

    All the notes for the game are available at the Comeback Inn, but you'll have to register to access them:

    http://blackmoor.mystara.us/forums/viewforum.php?f=46
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue May 08, 2012 11:11 pm  

    Now that I think of, another model I have used for the Elven dominion of Ravilla has been "The Timeless Forest" from "Record of Lodoss War"/"Sword World".

    If that specific gaming group ever comes together again, we might run this adventure:

    http://www.atlas-games.com/product_tables/AG3208.php



    That's pretty much how I fleshed out the area, for my own game, with the basic concept going around "The Empire of the Owls" from another Atlas/Penumbra release.

    On Oerth, what I would likely insert would be that I'd make it the Elves' ancient homeland, similar to the "Garden" from Tad Williams' Osten Ard, series. - So the Flanaess Elves would really be exiled from there.


    ...Sorry if my ramblings are specifically incoherent this time. Embarassed Smile
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