Greyhawk, Posters

Welcome to Greyhawk, Where You’re Always Welcome to Play

With the end of January we come to the end of my Greyhawk Poster month!

In late 2019 I decided that I wanted to start of 2020 with a show of appreciation for all the weird, strange things about the world of Greyhawk that made me fall in love with the setting. So I decided to gather all of the posters I’ve made about the setting in a single place this year. Some of them you may have seen back on Dyvers when I wrote it; while others have been published for the first time.

Anyway, I hope you all have enjoyed this month as much as I have! See you in February!

2 thoughts on “Welcome to Greyhawk, Where You’re Always Welcome to Play”

  1. It seems like you’re a huge fan of the Greyhawk setting. When I started getting interested in D&D, I started with the Dragonlance novels and the cartoon series, which I think might have been in… Mystara?

    Greyhawk is one of the settings I wanted to know more about, but sure how to go about it. I’ve got the original boxed set, but trying to read it is a little dry, and I never really got the taste for High Gygaxian purple prose. The first time I came across the deities of the setting were in the 3e PHB. (Forgotten Realms is even worse, there’s just too much info about it available to know where to get started.)

    Do you know of any good sources of general knowledge about the setting? I’ve found a few, but they’re usually full of deep setting history that’s a bit like trying to get a sip of water from a streaming fire hose.

    Or, have you ever considered blogging a bit about what makes Greyhawk a good choice for people new to the setting?

    Like

  2. “Do you know of any good sources of general knowledge about the setting?”

    A good question that has a complicated answer. The world of Greyhawk has four distinct versions of the setting and depending on your preference for the style of the setting it can change where to start learning about the setting.

    The first period is defined by Gary Gygax and runs from before the formation of TSR to around 1985 when Gary left. This version of Greyhawk is a world on the precipice of a world war. The setting is more of a loosely defined world with each nation set up in the Greyhawk Folio (https://www.dmsguild.com/product/17392/World-of-Greyhawk-Fantasy-Game-Setting-1e?src=hottest_filtered&filters=0_0_0_0_45357_0_0_0) and lots of room for the players to refine the setting into the sort of world they want. This period also has the most published adventures for it and most of the classic adventures are set there (White Plume Mountain, Temple of Elemental Evil, and so on). For many Greyhawk fans this is where they begin.

    The second period is the Greyhawk Revived period which was lead by Roger E. Moore and Carl Sargent and runs from about 1988 – 1997. This period largely takes place after the Greyhawk Wars (the world war we were waiting on in the previous period) and is largely defined by From the Ashes ( https://www.dmsguild.com/product/17399/From-the-Ashes-2e). The world is darker in tone and a fragile peace is held which can be broken at any moment. We’re still loosely defined (a hallmark of the setting throughout it’s history) but there is enough here to refine the world into your own setting. This period is marked for the compelling writing style of both Moore and Sargent but it is also a controversial period for many fans because it goes in such a radical direction from Gygax’s version. I still enjoy it and if you’re looking for a darker tone to your games then From the Ashes is the place to start.

    The third period is defined by the Living Greyhawk Campaign. This period runs from around 2000 – 2008. Greyhawk was the home setting of the Dungeons & Dragons game and is loosely hinted at in the Player’s Handbook but would largely be defined in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (https://www.dmsguild.com/product/28492/Living-Greyhawk-Gazetteer-30?term=Living+Greyhaw). This version of the setting is largely apocryphal as none of the Living Greyhawk material is considered official. Still, there is more here for the setting than just about any other version. The world is more settled and less wild than in other periods.

    The final period is Greyhawk Undefined which runs from 2009 – today. Greyhawk is only hinted at but what we see is often very different from previous versions in subtle, but substantial ways. There are two books which help define this version of the setting Ghosts of Saltmarsh and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes which you should be able to find out in stores now. Ghosts of Saltmarsh is probably the best place to start for the 5e version of the game as it updates the world and helps re-contextualize the way that things work now.

    If I had to recommend one to you I would suggest starting with the Greyhawk Folio (https://www.dmsguild.com/product/17392/World-of-Greyhawk-Fantasy-Game-Setting-1e?src=hottest_filtered&filters=0_0_0_0_45357_0_0_0). This allows you the greatest freedom to explore the setting and to find ways to make it your own – something Gary Gygax wanted us all to do.

    You can also check out the following blogs:
    Greyhawk Grognard (http://www.greyhawkgrognard.com/) – a great source for explorations of the setting throughout the history of the blog. The author has a solid writing style and he can help launch your love for the setting or inspire you to take it in a wholly different direction.

    Greyhawkery (http://greyhawkery.blogspot.com/) – Arguably the easiest introduction to the setting as Mike has a writing style that feels like an old friend rather than an authoritative teacher. He’s fantastic to talk with and often one of the first places I go to when I have a question about the setting. He’s also drawn a fantastic webcomic about exploring castle Greyhawk with many of the great characters from the setting.

    Grodog also has two great blogs that have helped me over the years. First there is From Kuroth’s Quill (https://grodog.blogspot.com/) which is a bit easier to read due to the way that blogspot is organized. The second is Greyhawk, Grodog Style (http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/greyhawk.html) which I absolutely love. Reading either of these is like finding hidden treasure because Allan has been digging deep into the lore and world in a way that few others have.

    I’m also exploring the setting in my Greyhawk Reconsidered series (https://dragonsneverforget.wordpress.com/the-series/) where I’m looking at various locations and working them into something that represents my own version of the setting. I used to write more about it on Dyvers (http://dyverscampaign.blogspot.com/) but I’ve stopped updating that blog.

    There’s also the Oreth Journal (http://greyhawkonline.com/oerthjournal/) which features the writing of people who helped create the original setting and who helped define what it would become over the years. All of this information is considered apocryphal as it was not published by TSR or Wizards of the Coast, but for many of us who love the setting it is considered a valuable resource. While you’re there be sure to check out Greyhawk Online as it is a great repository of knowledge on the setting as well.

    “Have you ever considered blogging a bit about what makes Greyhawk a good choice for people new to the setting?”

    I am now. Thank you for the suggestion!

    Like

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