Greyhawk is a setting with almost no background. The setting is the characters, pretty much, with a few locations. What background there is kinda gives a rough feeling for some of the history without saying much of anything. There's a reason pretty much every Greyhawk campaign setting with any level of detail is a homebrew setting.
Originally Posted by Muggie2
Greyhawk isn't as fleshed out as FR, but there's actually a ton of material on it--problem is it's not in print and the best overview sources are not available online.
My best suggestion to the OP is to go on e-bay and scare up a copy of the Living Greyhawk Guide
. It isn't quite as detailed as the basic FR setting book, and it's a 3.0 source, but it's got a very good overview of the setting--enough to figure out what parts of the setting you want to focus on, info on countries, deities and the various important organizations (Circle of Eight, Knights of the Hart, Silent Ones, and so forth). It's pretty bare bones on important NPCs, but that's OK--gives you scope to stat them up the way you want.
A second extremely useful source is The Adventure Begins
, a late 2e TSR publication by Roger Moore. That's got just about everything you need for the immediate environs of the Free City of Greyhawk, which is the heart of the setting anyway.
Once you know what part of the campaign world you want to focus on, you can start gathering additional materials--it used to be you could buy cheap PDFs from Paizo, but WotC shut that down due to piracy issues, so now you pretty much have to go on E-bay to buy hardcopies, unless you know someone who is willing to uh, cough-cough, help out.
Adventures: Some major published Greyhawk 3.5 adventures include WotC's Expedition to the Ruins of
, the Paizo Age of Worms
adventure path (in Dungeon
Magazine issues 124-135), several levels of Maure Castle (Dungeon 114, with a couple of additional levels published in later issues), and the Istivin adventure arc (Dungeon 117-119). There are a number of other pretty good 3.5 Greyhawk adventures scattered through the last forty print issues or so of Dungeon magazine--you can look through the tables of contents of different issues on the Paizo website and find ones that interest you and obtain used copies of those issues. Also there's Return to the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
in the first electronic edition of Dungeon (#151, which was available from WotC as a free download, and I imagine still is), and the 3.0 adventure Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
(a print adventure book from WotC), which are kind of reworks of 1e Greyhawk adventures, but detail two iconic settings. The Shackled City
and Savage Tide
adventure paths are also set in a peripheral part of Greyhawk, and are both pretty solid--the former is available as a hardcover book, the latter in Dungeon 139-150.
Another great resource is the late 2e sourcebooks focused on specific regions of the campaign world: Iuz the Evil, the Marklands, the Scarlet Brotherhood,
and Ivid the Undying
. The first three are print books and can be found on E-bay, the latter was never officially published, but is available (or was) as a free download on WotC's site. These books detail areas that have lots of interesting adventure possibilities much more thoroughly than Living Greyhawk Guide
or Adventure Begins
, and in the case of Scarlet Brotherhood
provide info on a part of the setting that isn't covered anywhere else.
There's lots of other stuff out there, but even with what I've mentioned you basically have to become a collector and invest a bit of money hunting stuff down on E-bay.
Here are some electronic resources on Greyhawk, not canon, but maintained by people who are devoted to the setting and have done a good job (mostly) of making their work mesh well with canon:
Wikipedia can be useful for some Greyhawk topics, but for others it's pretty sparse, and it's never going to give you much crunch.
In summary, start with Living Greyhawk Guide
, decide where you want to start your campaign, and hunt down material to flesh out your knowledge of that sector of the campaign world and adventures that can be set there (or transplanted there). If you want some specific suggestions about materials for specific parts of the campaign world, don't hesitate to ask. If I don't answer up here, PM me.