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    Ogre Magi in the Flanaess?

    Ogre Magi in the Flanaess?
    They don't fit that well
     0%  [ 0 ]
    Very rare
     61%  [ 13 ]
     38%  [ 8 ]
    Total Votes : 21

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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:32 pm  
    Ogre Magi in the Flanaess?

    What is your take on the ogre magi of the Flanaess? They seem so oriental... Do they mix that well in the Western and Arabic culture of the Flanaess? They are also masterful shapeshifters, so maybe there's several dozens of them in the Greyhawk city? What do you think? Rare or common? What is their ecology and place in the world of Greyhawk?
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    From: The Pomarj

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    Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:51 am  

    A possible way to justify "oriental" ogre magi being in the "occidental" Flanaess:

    The old Suel Empire was separated from the Celestial Empire by a range of mountains. Other than that, they were effectively next door neighbors. Any nation would want to keep an eye on its neighbors. One way of doing this is by sending spies. If there were ogre magi in the service of the Celestial Emperor, their shapeshifting ability would make them ideal in this regard.

    Even if they were not serving the Celestial Emperor, they may very well have been in the Suel Empire for their own reasons.

    Either way, when the Colorless Fire come falling down, some of them may have been over there on the eastern side of the Empire, and fled along with everyone else. Realizing they were pretty much stuck in the Flanaess now, the refugee ogre magi may have had plans to return home at the time, but could not find a way to make it happen.

    After some time, they produce children, who produce children of their own, and eventually these ogre magi, having been born in the Flanaess, and having only stories of where they came from originally, give up the old stories since this, the Flanaess, is where they were born, this is their home now.

    Well, there you go. Make of it what you like.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:12 am  


    Rare...but don't forget: There's a precedent for them being in the Flanaess. Qesnef, the monster at the end of White Plume Mountain, proves that they do exist, even if they're rare!

    Adept Greytalker

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    From: Aspedri

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    Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:22 am  

    They Greyhawk Monstrous Compendium has Ogre Mage as an aerial encounter under its excellent encounter tables. They would be extremely rare in the Flanaess, and unknown to most of the learned, but that would only make them more interesting if encountered. Characters would always be able to tell the tale of the strange magic-using ogres they met, even if no one believes them.

    Also, they featured in Greyhawk Ruins as the antagonists in the Tower of War.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:42 am  

    Among the 1E adventures there are two ogre magi that I recall- Qesnef and Blackthorn. "Ogre-magi" might be on a wandering monster table or two, but just as generic entries and not with the personality either of those two have.
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:48 pm; edited 1 time in total

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    Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:58 am  

    Dragon #349 included an ecology of the ogre mage for the 3e era, linking them to the ogre god Vaprak and an ancient war with humanity instead of the oni of Oriental Adventures. 3rd edition ogre mages were Westernized, with their distinctive Japanese iconography erased to make them fit better into standard D&D campaigns. While this might make them easier to imagine as long-term residents of the Flanaess, it also removes much of the flavor that makes them interesting. They're just smart, magic using blue ogres.

    I imagine the Baklunish having a lot more cross-cultural communication with the Celestial Imperium than the Suel, and I can imagine the Baklunish hiring oni mercenaries to lead hobgoblin troops into battle during the Baklunish-Suloise Wars and even after, with some of them following other humanoids into the Flanaess during the Great Migrations and during the invasions of the hordes that founded the Tiger and Wolf nomads. Of course there were massive humanoid invasions in the latter years of the war, driving the Oeridians forward, but oni infiltration of the Baklunish hordes would likely be more subtle. The Suel Imperium might have bordered Shaofeng, but the Baklunish are actually descended from the folk of the west (or at least a folk of the west), albeit 3,000 years removed. The Mongol flavor of the Baklunish hordes fits equally well on either side of the mountains. How much of their original culture the ogre magi would actually maintain after centuries in the Flanaess is a complex question with no real right answer. I imagine they might keep their traditional weapons and armor, especially in the case of magical or masterwork items inherited from their ancestors. Some of them may also be centuries old, of the first generation. It's also notable that oni, as wicked Buddhist spirits, reincarnate and even the younger ones may have clear memories of their past lives in the Celestial Imperium, "Nippon," the Mahasarpa peninsula, and even in the lower planes, where they may have served devil lords and evil gods as guardians of the infernal realms and tomentors of the damned before being reincarnated on the mortal plane. Also note that wicked humans can be reincarnated as oni, so some of them may have memories of human lives in ancient times, at least vague ones. Ogre magi may be living repositories of history, able to give PCs accurate first-hand information about the Baklunish-Suloise Wars, the flight of Azor-alq, and other lost secrets even as the humanoid hordes who they once led forgot about them and they found new masters and servants to occupy their time.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:40 am  

    That's a bit more refined then what I was going to say. I pretty much recall the picture of them in the 1E Monster Manual showed them as Japanese, but was there anything else that really made them "oriental"? Just make them smarter and magic using Ogres.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:06 am  

    I posted this in my personal thread in the "Welcome to Greyhawk!" forums and just thought it appropriate here just for the simple fact that I JUST finished this piece when you guys started this thread and it being my first ever drawing of an Ogre the was too coincidental for me not to put it in here. Carry on with the discussion...I'm enjoying the thread and the various takes on this cool "monster."


    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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    Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:21 am  

    Although they might be more "appropriate" in an Oriental setting, I don't mind the infusion of ogre magi to a more "European" setting. For those purists, perhaps they are out of context, but a clever DM can always adapt the monster to fit the cultural milieu of his/her campaign world. I never had any compunction adding them to the World of Greyhawk. In fact, just last year I ran a campaign that featured an ogre mage that ruled as an overlord to a militant tribe of ogres and orcs. I don't think the addition of the ogre mage resulted in any complications, but rather added a new dimension and one of the reasons why the humanoids were so disciplined and deadly.

    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:07 am  

    I don't think I've ever used an ogre mage, so I haven't given it a lot of thought. I do like the origin described in the Ecology of article that Rasgon mentioned. It ties together the bloodlines of ogres, trolls, and ogre mages pretty nicely, although I too don't want to strip them of their cultural flavor. I'd probably be inclined to make their origin, or at least higher populations be in Baklunish lands, with rare numbers in those eastern lands nearby, and with very rare occurrences east of the gap in the Lorridges.
    Another origin story I've been playing around with, probably triggered by the Ecology of Annis Hags article in DRG #345, which hints at some connection between annis hags and ogre magi, is that they are the male children, or at least immediate descendants of the rare or very rare mating of an ogre and a hag. Unfortunately, this origin would also strip them of their western cultural flavor. Choices, choices! Smile
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:28 am  
    Re: Ogre Magi in the Flanaess?

    Sutemi wrote:
    What is your take on the ogre magi of the Flanaess? They seem so oriental... Do they mix that well in the Western and Arabic culture of the Flanaess? They are also masterful shapeshifters, so maybe there's several dozens of them in the Greyhawk city? What do you think? Rare or common? What is their ecology and place in the world of Greyhawk?

    -Besides Kraftwerk's mention of Quesnef, there is also the Ogre Magi who commanded one of the three power groups (a group of gnolls, IIRC) in the Bone March ca. CY 578-579. See Dragon #57.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:48 pm  

    Let's also not forget that ogre magi were introduced in supplement 1, Greyhawk, with a full-page illustration! A group of them also appear in Howl From the North. *shudder*

    So far we have:
    White Plume Mountain
    Secret of the Slavers Stockade
    Dragon #57
    Dragon #349
    Greyhawk Ruins
    Greyhawk Monstrous Compendium
    Howl From the North

    Also the Greyhawk-default 1e DMG tables and Book of Lairs.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:55 pm  

    In my campaign's many people confused Trolls for ogres. Trolls in my campaign follow closely to those in Norse mythology. They are smart and adept with magic. The term Ogre mage would be used in west for those people not versed in the difference between ogres and trolls. It also makes more sense when using Vaprak whom is listed as a deity for both of these races. In the east the common man many call them Ogre magi while those better versed in humanoid culture may refer to them as Oni. I also do not subscribe to blue being the singular pigment associated with their skin color. Instead their skin color tends to match the temperature of the climate they reside in.

    Last edited by Argon on Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:02 am  

    Don't forget that there is one in the lower dungeons of the second slavers module as well.
    Adept Greytalker

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    From: Aspedri

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    Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:46 am  

    The Ogre Magi are like bad pennies... they always turn up.
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