I've been trying to accumulate a collection of unique and flavorful (and canonical) class-specific groups and organizations to offer to uninitiated players for an upcoming Greyhawk campaign. However, I'm having some trouble locating options for some specific classes. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Bards: There are mentions of dozens of bardic colleges in the Flanaess, but do any bardic organizations really stick out from the pack in a way that would make a player go "ah, that's interesting!" I haven't been able to find anything aside from the Azure Masks from Dragon Magazine.
Rangers: Same story. Every one of the umpteen major forests in the Flanaess has some sort of dedicated ranger society, but they all seem pretty cookie-cutter.
Druids: Old Faith this, Old Faith that. Beory this, Obad-Hai that. Anything... else...? The only semi-interesting option I can come up with would be a druid devoted to Phyton, since he gives a slight twist to the typical nature deity.
Fighters: I'd consider the jillions of "knightly orders" to be more within the paladin's purview. Like I mentioned for the bards and rangers above, every gosh darn city has a "city watch," but they all blend together. The only fun/unique option I can come up with would be monster-hunting specialists that guard the Rift Canyon of the Bandit Kingdoms.
Sorry if it's a lot to ask, I'm just a little desperate for world-involved character hooks. :) Thanks again for any thoughts.
I'd suggest you take another look at some of the orders of knighthood in the Flanaess, as they don't always seem fitting for paladins:
The Knights of the Watch are hinted in the LGG as having imperialist ambitions, along with their obvious loathing of the Baklunish. Neither is necessarily all that paladin-like.
The Knights of the Hart seem less paladin-like than they do ranger-like to me, especially the Knights of the High Forest. They are close allies of the peoples of the Vesve and Highfolk, which are more like Lothlorien than they are Gondor, in my mind.
Both the Hart and the Watch have all sorts of interesting rivalries with other states and peoples which can spawn plots for you and complications for your players.
As for bards, the Old Lore is the quintessential bardic tradition. I seem to recall there also being orders dedicated to Luna and Celene...although that may have been druids. Bards can train at the Grey College, but the Bardschool would likely produce better musicians overall, since they are specialists. Given that I consider the free cities to be military, scholarly and cultural second-raters compared to larger kingdoms and duchies, Grey College doesn't really compare to the grand institutions of places like Niole Dra, Wintershiven, Rauxes, Rel Astra, Rel Mord, Chendl or Mitrik. The Bardschool has the saving grace of focusing specifically on music and associated teachings.
Elven bards might also find a home among the Knights of Luna. Although many of the Lunas are wizards, elves appreciate music and magical music are equally welcome.
Druids may also have the orders dedicated to Luna and Celene, although I cannot recall for certain.
As for rangers, the Knights of the Hart would more than welcome them. The Knights of the Watch, especially the Knights of Dispatch junior branch, would also value their skills against the western giants and humanoids. If the ranger is an elf, the Knights of Luna is another possible option.
Paladins would certainly be welcome in all the knightly orders, but my own view on it is that Flanaess knights don't all wear shining armor. Rogues might be employed for scouting or stealth missions, wizards help with magical scrying, protection and firepower, and what order of warriors doesn't appreciate the healing powers of clerics?
I was permitted to reflavor the "Mage of the Arcane Order" to "Guildmage of Greyhawk," tying it in to the Guild of Wizardry (also helps that one of the Spellpool explanations involved binding a demigod, which made me think of Zagyg).
Maybe not traditionally in the real world, but we do have rather glaring examples of paladin knights of secular orders in Greyhawk in the persons of Prince Thrommel of Furyondy (Knight of the Hart) and Lady Valderesse Sharn (Knight of Holy shielding), among others. It is a bit easier to tie paladins to the Knights of Holy Shielding and Knights of the Hart (Veluna/Furyondy factions) than to others though. Despite this, I do favor most paladins being in service to their faiths rather than to secular orders. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
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