Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:19 pm Post subject: Greyhawk 2015: Year in Review
Because official Greyhawk products aren't published anymore, I've fallen in the habit of cataloging new products that are inspired by, or related to, our favorite setting. Likewise, new bits of old lore are discovered and I copy down the forum links. I've intended to post an annual review to promote these sources and generate conversation for several years. Unfortunately, it takes time to transform my cut/paste notes into a legible form. 2015 was a slow year for Greyhawk, requiring less work, so here goes. Many of these findings are too apocryphal or insignificant for a Collector's Guide and I dislike ENWorld's style of profiting on user content and keeping a tight grip on their IP. I may go back and finish 2013-2014 if there's interest. If I missed anything, like significant fanon, blogs, articles, or PDF releases, please let me know so I can include it and extend proper credit.
24 February 2015
Chaotic Henchmen release the revised version of Robert Kuntz' classic Dark Druids. With roots in the Lake Geneva campaign, this scenario was originally set in the Gnarley forest and cost James Ward the life of his famous wizard. Of course the GH references are long gone, but much information and history on Tharizdun can be found here. Owners of the TLG D20 version or even those lucky enough to have the ultra rare Pied Piper 1E PDF will appreciate this comprehensive update, expansion, and return to classic rules.
25 March 2015
Black Blade Publishing release the third printings of Cairn of the Skeleton King and Tower of Blood at Gary Con. No Greyhawk references, but isn't everything RJK writes set in Greyhawk? (Rhetorical question.)
These still aren't listed on the Black Blade website. Try Noble Knight.
14 April 2015
Troll Lord Games successfully funds their kickstarter for a revised version of The Lost City of Gaxmoor, with stretch goals for new adventures by James Ward and Luke Gygax. The digital version is now available and physical copies are at the printers. For those who don't know, two of the original authors playtested Gaxmoor as an early-migration Oeridian city in Bissel and the setting still screams to be placed there. A thinly-veiled Fharlanghn appears as the "Traveling God" and Gary Gygax himself penned a short Gaxmoor adventure in the original Codex of Erde. Any excuse to place another EGG adventure in GH is a good one.
3 May 2015
Jeffery Talanian releases his limited edition OSRIC adventure from Gary Con VII, Chasm of the Faceless King, for online ordering. While not explicitly set in Greyhawk, the module details a short encounter with Xxubleks (i.e., Juiblex) in "the awesome depths of a fantastic dungeon complex." Considering Talanian's pedigree, it's safe to say this is a Castle Greyhawk adventure.
16 May 2015
Lenard Lakofka's article "Leomund's Long Coats" in & Magazine #11 details a number of the fabled wizard's magical garments.
The 1E version of Goodman Games' compilation Saga of the Witch Queen is reprinted for North Texas RPG Con. Saga's Baba Yazoth is an obvious pseudonym for Iggwilv's adopted mother, the Mad Hermit is rather familiar, and the "Lost Passage of the Drow" reminds me of a couple of sites in the western Flanaess. These GH ties may be a stretch, but this is an awesome adventure worth picking up before it goes out of print for another ten years.
Pacesetter Games release the playtest version (June) and final version (November) of B2 Beyond the Caves of Chaos. This sequel to the classic Keep on the Borderlands is set in the Misty Isles campaign, but adapts to Greyhawk as easily as its predecessor did. For those who don't know, Bill Barsh has a growing collection of generic sequels to classic Greyhawk adventures at Pacesetter Games: U1 Dark Eye of the Hurricane, TM4 Legacy of the Forbidden City, B1 Legacy of the Unknown, A1 Path of the Slave Masters, A2 Sanctuary of the Slave Masters (playtest only), and A3 War of the Slave Masters (playtest only). Some of my orders have experienced significant shipping delays, but with a little patience and a couple of polite reminders Bill has always delivered. Impatient gamers may want to order from Noble Knight. Note this module uses 5th Edition rules.
Yeenoghu appears in Footprints Magazine #23 and the author recommends several classic Greyhawk adventures to be played as prequels.
Pacesetter releases B0.5 Secrets of the Unknown in print and free PDF format. This short module expands B1 In Search of the Unknown with additional encounters and ties into Pacesetter's sequel Legacy of the Unknown. B1 was loosely tied to Greyhawk in the original monochrome printing and via the connection to Quasqueton on the map of 1999's Return to the Keep on the Borderlands. The print version of B0.5 is now sold out, but the free PDF is still available.
2 September 2015
The biggest GH news this year was the very successful kickerstarter for Ernest Gary Gygax Jr.'s upcoming Marmoreal Tomb Campaign, the first major publication in the Hobby Shop Dungeon series. Over $126k were raised and stretch goal conversions for Castles & Crusades, Hackmaster, Astonishing Sorcerers and Swordsmen of Hyperborea, DCC, 5th Edition, sci-fi, horror settings and more were unlocked. This is going to be massive!
But how does the Marmoreal Tomb relate to Greyhawk besides the name "Gygax"?
First, the setting dates back to Lake Geneva and the creators have repeatedly promised that this will be a "Gygaxian" dungeon, showing awareness for fans' discontent with the cancellation of Castle Zagyg.
Second, Gary Gygax adventured in his son's dungeon with his 10th-level magic user Slidell from the Wild Coast City of Fax, so the HSD had a home in the vicinity of Greyhawk once upon a time.
Third, cartographer and GP partner Benoist Poiré has discretely mentioned a few links to Greyhawk on the HSD Facebook group, including a certain "Frontier Keep" and the fact that's Eurth's Castle Celadon (the Hobby Shop Dungeon) is a mirror of a famous castle ruin in an alternate, but related, dimension.
Set for release next year. Support their current works here:
14 September 2015
"The Tavern of Whyestill Cross" and the "Amedio Vampire" appear in & Magazine #12.
14 October 2015
BRW Games (of Castle of the Mad Archmage fame) release Darker Paths III: The Demonolator. This short work details a new class for Adventures Dark & Deep that can be adapted to any classic rules set. But don't be fooled -- DP3 looks more like Tsojcanth's companion volume than a mere PC splatbook. The new spells, new monsters, and rules for patron demons and familiars are invaluable for any campaign using Fraz-Urbluu, Orcus, or Greyhawk's many other demon lords and their followers, making DP3 a worthy appendix to WGR5.
4 November 2015
A rare Greyhawk Spellfire promo from Brazil turned up on ebay called "Recife & Olinda, The Sibling Cities." Like some other Brazilian promos, these are real-world cities with no D&D counterparts. Included here for hardcore Greyhawkers seeking to canonize everything with a logo and Spellfire fans.
Pacesetter releases T0.5 Cursed Cairn of the Moathouse as a free PDF. This short module details the territory surrounding the Moathouse, adding encounters for parties adventuring in The Village of Hommlet.
That concludes everything on my radar. As Greyhawk fans, it behooves us to support current authors doing their best to keep our setting alive, however disguised or unofficial. I also want to mention some of my favorite generic products that came out this year and may be of interest: Frog God Games' Quests of Doom, TSR's Gygax Magazine 5 & 6, Michael Curtis' long-awaited finale to Stonehell Dungeon, the complete Barrowmaze, TLG's reprinted Towers of Adventure by James Ward, and North Wind Adventures awesome new module trilogy.
Finally, I'm not affiliated with any publisher; I'm just a fan and customer.
Last edited by vestcoat on Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:52 pm; edited 8 times in total
Thanks guys! I'm always amazed how much pseudo-Greyhawk goodness is constantly being released, but self publishing has diversified so much it's almost impossible to keep up with it all. I kind of miss the Nineties when all we had to track was Oerth Journal and Greytalk.
Xaris - thanks! I have those sources in my notes, but they were released prior to 2015. I'll include them if I go back farther. Let me know if you catch anything else.
Mortellan - Totally. I like your blog (particularly Ull, the Ring of Five, and the comics) and check it out every few months. I've never gotten in the habit of subscribing or commenting on blogs, but maybe that will change.
Joined: Oct 05, 2003 Posts: 38 Location: Gettysburg, PA
Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:46 pm Post subject:
And no mention of Greyhawk Reborn, the longest running 5E living style campaign. We ran 3-4 tables a slot and Gen Con 2015, and are running at 8 or so conventions and some game days in the central-eastern Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey area. We've been having a blast!
Joined: Jun 29, 2001 Posts: 1223 Location: Wichita, KS, USA
Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:51 pm Post subject:
Thanks, vestcoat, for all of your compiled research!
And while I was away over the holidays, Jon initiated a new web site project, so hopefully we won't have to worry about announced and published products with no content on our web site for too much longer =) _________________ Allan Grohe (email@example.com)
Last edited by grodog on Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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