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Oerth Journal #31 has released!

 
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Icarus
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:36 am    Post subject: Oerth Journal #31 has released! Reply with quote

Hey there, everyone! A little press release, here.
The much-anticipated OERTH JOURNAL #31 was just released yesterday as a New Year's Eve kind-of special!

It's a little bit of a benchmark for the magazine, too, because it's the first time it's been fully quarterly. Incredible artists and authors have come together to produce the 4th issue of the OJ in a single year! We're on a roll, and it's all thanks to the fans who create and share for the World of Greyhawk!

With Special Thanks to Steve "Tamerlain" Wilson and Erik "Iquander" Mona for creating and sharing the magazine for the World of Greyhawk all those years ago, and founding a legacy that would last for a quarter century! 25 years, and counting!!
Here's to a great 2020!

Download your FREE copy now!



Articles include:
"FACTIONS" of the Flanaess!
    Designing and DMing Factions - by Allan t. Grohe (grodog)
  • Rant of a Malcontent - by Nathan Doyle
  • Night Merchants - by William "Giantstomp Dvorak
  • The Cult of Steel - by Jason Zavoda
  • The Blacksheep - by James "AvatarOfWrath" Belk
  • The Blood Ravens - by Kalvin Gearhart
  • Guild of Lamplighters and Torchbearers - by Jason Zavoda
  • Cult of the Red Scythe - by Kristoph Nolen
  • Celene Suss Forest Knights' Watch - by Jay "LodGosumba" Scott
  • Church of Heironeous - by Thom "Oronir" Vandevenne
  • The Castle - by David Leonard
  • Origin of the Horned Society - by Jason Zavoda
  • Espionage at the Royal Opera House - by Kelli "TheOperaGeek" Butler, with Krissy Dominy
  • Alliance of Defiance - by Cal Scrivener
  • Grey College Observatory and School of Astronomy - by Andy Miller and Kristoph Nolen
  • Cartography by Aaron Froke

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mindseye
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really love the "Rant of the Malcontent." It demonstrated how at least some partisans should react to Iuz's dealmakers while the majority just shrug their shoulders or avoid them. It highlights the international bickering, with Keoland far more accepting than Furyondy might be.
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Icarus
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mindseye wrote:
I really love the "Rant of the Malcontent."

I'm really glad that you liked this one, Mindseye!!
The fella who wrote it, Nathan Doyle of Attention Deficit &Dragons, was really eager to write for the OJ the second time! He also wrote the adventure in the issue before, OJ30.
I really liked using this one, for two reasons.

  1. It's written in-character, instead of just a descriptive facts about a faction, and
  2. It's an example of a non-favorable view of a faction might be.

We definitely tried hard to make this issue be a good one, since it's the fourth this year (er, um last year?), which was a fairly big deal to us.
The Rant of a Malconent is, I think, the smallest article in the magazine. But, there's so many ideas packed into such a tight little space, it resounds with Greyhawk-iness. Happy
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Crag
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats OJ; Looks great, can't wait to get into it.
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Phalastar
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Joined: Apr 18, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:48 pm    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

I've just finished browsing through this latest issue. Congratulations and well done. I love that it is coming out quarterly now.

The magazine itself doesn't describe how/if you take submissions for articles and also if you plan to have topics (like 'Inifinite Oerths') beyond the next issue it could be helpful for aspiring writers. If you could describe the kinds of articles you want more of, if you have any submission guidelines and that sort of thing, it could be helpful (I'm thinking strike while the enthusiasm is there).

Also - I was wondering if you could consider putting Greyhawk dates either as a sub-sub heading/title or in the text somewhere? Many people play GH campaigns in different eras and this would help them to understand the context of the articles they are reading, e.g. pre-Greyhawk Wars, post-Greyhawk Wars etc.

I like the artwork you have used. It is great that WoC gave you permission to use some of their artwork. Hopefully you will be able to find some aspiring artist on deviantart or artstation willing to have their work displayed in a magazine to get some publicity. There is certainly some inspirational fantasy artwork displayed there.

Mostly I just wanted to say thanks for keeping Greyhawk alive!

Kind regards, PG.
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CruelSummerLord
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Thanks Reply with quote

One thing I'd like to ask is whether Oerth Journal articles have to be 'canon-compatible'.

The reason I've never submitted anything to the OJ is because I always thought material had to be compatible with canon. My Canonfire work has always been based on my own version of Greyhawk, which contradicts canon in many areas.
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Icarus
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Thanks Reply with quote

Phalastar wrote:
I've just finished browsing through this latest issue. Congratulations and well done. I love that it is coming out quarterly now.
Thank you so much! We're really glad to hear that it's well-received!!

Phalastar wrote:
The magazine itself doesn't describe how/if you take submissions for articles and also if you plan to have topics (like 'Inifinite Oerths') beyond the next issue it could be helpful for aspiring writers.... (I'm thinking strike while the enthusiasm is there).
THAT is an incredibly good idea that, frankly, hadn't even occurred to us! We'll definitely see what we can do about that!

Phalastar wrote:
Also - I was wondering if you could consider putting Greyhawk dates either as a sub-sub heading/title or in the text somewhere?
Again, a fantastic idea that hadn't occurred to us! Marvelous suggestion!

Phalastar wrote:
It is great that WoC gave you permission to use some of their artwork.
This is entirely due to WotC's very generous Fant Content Policy They allow creators to use their IP, as long as it's entirely free and it's just fan content. We're enormously glad WotC has left behind the restrictive policies of the past, and embraced the idea that fan content is what helps them thrive!
Phalastar wrote:
Hopefully you will be able to find some aspiring artist on deviantart ...
That's how we found Shabazik, the cover artist for the last two issues!

Thanks again for the great feedback!
We hope you continue enjoying what the authors, artists, and editors come up with! The next issue will be in March, coinciding with the two GH seminars being given at GaryCon XII!!
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Icarus
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Thanks Reply with quote

CruelSummerLord wrote:
One thing I'd like to ask is whether Oerth Journal articles have to be 'canon-compatible'.

The reason I've never submitted anything to the OJ is because I always thought material had to be compatible with canon. My Canonfire work has always been based on my own version of Greyhawk, which contradicts canon in many areas.
The answer is an unequivocal NO !!!!
There's all kinds of fan material in the OJ that's based on non-canon stuff! And, in fact, the next issue, #32 in a little over ten weeks in March, is themed as "Infinite Oerths".
It's intended to be basically all the different variations we play or use that make our own GH unique.
    What if Iuz won the war?
    What if the Temple of Elemental Evil wasn't put down?
    What if the GHWars didn't happen?
    What if Celene was run by Melf?
    What goes on in Aerth, Yarth, or Urth?

Or, you know, just an overview ways to make GH unique. Or fiction about Gord, or, an Ice Age Oerth, or you know ... all the different possibilities for GHs.
It's what Gary wanted us to do with GH, and we're leaning in to that, hardcore. That's not saying there isn't material based on officially published sources, or there won't be issues that aren't only content that's from "canon", but, we certainly accept "non-canon" articles.
But, it always does need to be recognizably Greyhawk, in some way, though. Wink
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JasonZavoda
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are a few What Ifs I'm toying with for my spiffy new 5e Greyhawk campaign down the road.

What if Luna was actually a moon-sized starship of which the City of the Gods and the wreck in the Barrier Peaks were only a small part? The players are transported to the ship and find just about anything you want them to find on the ship.

What if the Elemental Evil was really the forces of Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos and things in Greyhawk were about to take a very dark turn?

What if an ancient dwarven kingdom from the mountains re-emerges and begins to reclaim its ancestral land with loyalties strained on all sides.

What if a strange fog descends upon all the oceans and strange ships from all across the multi-verse begin to arrive on the coasts of the Flanaess?

What if Incabulos and Nerull created a plague that kills 90%+ of the humans in the Flanaess? Towns and cities are mostly empty and abandoned while demi-humans and humanoids find themselves the dominent races and societies.
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Phalastar
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Following on from my earlier comment - if you do accept non-canon articles - something to consider is a note flagging the following article as deliberately non-canon, or some other kind of note that suggests the content of the article largely contradicts existing canon. Then readers will know the author's intent is to provide an alternative to existing canon. Could be as simple as a little text flag near the heading like 'canon-breaker'.

I love the alternate 'what-if' ideas. I'm sure it has been a thread many times on CF.

While I personally have never liked to starship elements of CF (I edit them out) - the idea above of Luna being a starship is a brilliant one. Someone could have a lot of fun with that.

Some others:
- what if Empires/civilisations to the West started sending explorers to the port cities of GH? What about an invasion fleet?
- what if an undead plague started (say in the former Great Kingdom) due to a long lost artefact being discovered (zombie plague anyone?)
- An invasion fleet of unknown people/beings arrives in the East from across the Solnor
- What if the loss of Arcane magic suddenly sped up and no-one could use arcane magic anymore (or arcane magic above a certain level)?
- What about the loss of divine magic, or in addition to above? (Anyone game to imprison more deities...)
- What if more Suel emerge from their former empire (perhaps through Slerotin's tunnel) and decide to continue the fight with the Baklunish?

Best of luck with the next issue. Looks like it could be fun.
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JasonZavoda
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phalastar wrote:
Following on from my earlier comment - if you do accept non-canon articles - something to consider is a note flagging the following article as deliberately non-canon, or some other kind of note that suggests the content of the article largely contradicts existing canon. Then readers will know the author's intent is to provide an alternative to existing canon. Could be as simple as a little text flag near the heading like 'canon-breaker'.

I love the alternate 'what-if' ideas. I'm sure it has been a thread many times on CF.

While I personally have never liked to starship elements of CF (I edit them out) - the idea above of Luna being a starship is a brilliant one. Someone could have a lot of fun with that.

Some others:
- what if Empires/civilisations to the West started sending explorers to the port cities of GH? What about an invasion fleet?
- what if an undead plague started (say in the former Great Kingdom) due to a long lost artefact being discovered (zombie plague anyone?)
- An invasion fleet of unknown people/beings arrives in the East from across the Solnor
- What if the loss of Arcane magic suddenly sped up and no-one could use arcane magic anymore (or arcane magic above a certain level)?
- What about the loss of divine magic, or in addition to above? (Anyone game to imprison more deities...)
- What if more Suel emerge from their former empire (perhaps through Slerotin's tunnel) and decide to continue the fight with the Baklunish?

Best of luck with the next issue. Looks like it could be fun.


The latest published Greyhawk material sets the timeline back to 576cy. I have no idea what they plan to do with things but they may contradict, in brutal fashion, earlier published material. Gygax also gave the Greyhawk campaign to any DM who wanted to make it their own. Later IP owners may want to rescind that but the genie is out of the bottle making the concept of Greyhawk "canon' absurd. Greyhawk is what it means to you, not what someone else tells you. It isn't the Forgotten Realms so you can let your freak flag fly and not worry that some other DM or paid writer is going to break your campaign from the official muzzle of canon. Greyhawk is magical because it does not belong to just one person or company. The magic is that it belongs completely to each of us, as full and rich as our imagination can make it, with infinite possibilities. I know Id love to hear the canon of your campaign but Id hate for people to think that there a lines which cannot be crossed, borders to the imagination, or a right version of Greyhawk and a wrong one.
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Icarus
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:49 am    Post subject: "Officially Published Sources" and setting back ti Reply with quote

JasonZavoda wrote:
Gygax also gave the Greyhawk campaign to any DM who wanted to make it their own. Later IP owners may want to rescind that but the genie is out of the bottle making the concept of Greyhawk "canon' absurd. Greyhawk is what it means to you, not what someone else tells you. It isn't the Forgotten Realms so you can let your freak flag fly and not worry that some other DM or paid writer is going to break your campaign from the official muzzle of canon. Greyhawk is magical because it does not belong to just one person or company. The magic is that it belongs completely to each of us, as full and rich as our imagination can make it, with infinite possibilities. Id hate for people to think that there [are] lines which cannot be crossed, borders to the imagination, or a right version of Greyhawk and a wrong one.
Spot on!
This sentiment is one we share, and is exactly why we try to avoid using terms like "canon" for GHO and OJ.
We do our best to use something like "officially published source", or something, so that it doesn't imply being mandatory. Just because it's published by the IP holder doesn't mean anyone has to use it, if they like it some other way.
Lord Gosumba's game is a perfect example of that.

JasonZavoda wrote:
The latest published Greyhawk material sets the timeline back to 576cy.
Just for sake of a slightly different PoV, but not being pedantic over semantics or anything, because you're right we have no idea what WotC is doing/will do in the future with GH

But, just because Ghosts of Saltmarsh is set in what was the past doesn't mean that the timeline is reset.
DMs have set games in the past for years without their entire campaign timeline being "set back".
It doesn't even have to involve time travel. Just a portion of the game that takes place in the past.
Not trying to be contradictory or anything, just saying.
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grodog
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:37 am    Post subject: Re: Thanks Reply with quote

Phalastar wrote:
The magazine itself doesn't describe how/if you take submissions for articles and also if you plan to have topics (like 'Inifinite Oerths') beyond the next issue it could be helpful for aspiring writers. If you could describe the kinds of articles you want more of, if you have any submission guidelines and that sort of thing, it could be helpful (I'm thinking strike while the enthusiasm is there).


FYI Icarus, there was an inquiry about the next issue over on ENWorld too; see https://www.enworld.org/threads/oerth-journal-31-released.669396/

Allan.
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LarethTheBeautiful
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must admit that I was a little disappointed at the Alliance of Defiance article. I had hoped for a little more than just a summary of the cards, perhaps some addition lore spun around the characters.

If anyone was wondering about the quality of those cards, I believe another Greyhawk druid was listed with the name "Trehuger" which is about all that needs to be said.
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