GM Workshop

A community-created and maintained place for Game Masters of all systems to bounce ideas around. It's a place for inspiration and sharing tips.

Working within Greyhawk

Working within Greyhawk

I love settings. Forgotten Realms is one of my favorite all time settings, not only because I've read so many FR books, but because of how richly detailed each country, region, and kingdom is. If I really need to know about any region of Forgotten Realms, all I have to do is open the Campaign Setting book, maybe do a few Google searches, and voila... I can find out what cities are there, how they're ruled, what common monsters and conflicts can be found in the regions, what deities they tend to worship, what their primary trade export is (and import) a few need plot hooks, influential non-rulers in town, local legends and myths... heck, I can even find out their average annual rain fall if it pleases me. They even have scaled maps so I can determine just how long it would take to travel from Neverwinter to Luskan. I love all that depth and detail. It helps me create a realistic and richly textured landscape for my players to enjoy.

But I don't always want to do an FR setting. Sometimes I want to host a game in a Greyhawk setting. But where's the support for it? I would pay for a class to just learn about the world, the history, and the juicy details about Greyhawk... but beyond a crude map of Oerth, and the odd flavor text when describing a monster, there doesn't seem to be any easily available resources on the subject. I've heard of a Greyhawk Setting book made by Gygax himself, but none of the gamer shops sell them. I've even sifted through dusty old tomes in the back of resale book shops, trying to find something that will tell me more about Oerth, Greyhawk and the Flanaess.

Does anyone know where I can get resources on the subject? I'd prefer it to pertain to the 3.5 setting, but I'm in no place to be choosy. I'd love to explore this world more.

I have a suggestion, but it may not be what you want to hear:
I think you would have more luck if you named your thread something like "Greyhawk rpg setting" and another suggestion I have, instead of typing that in the thread topic bar, type it into google.
Have you tried looking online at all? The internet is a much bigger place than an old bookstore, or single PbP forum...

I've tried Google, but with very little luck. I want a consistent setting, and most of what I find online are homebrews that are badged as Greyhawk setting campaigns. I realize that was the point of Greywawk, to be versatile and open to personalization, but I'd like to start with the core idea of the setting before I tweak it. Idk... it's just how I am. But, you make a valid point. I'll rename the thread title once I figure out how... still new to the site.

I'm hoping there's a grognard or two on this site who might know just where to look, or have a link I could reference.

OK good explanation.
I award you a bonus hint: You may need a mod to change the title. Site discussion is the place we usually ask for help from a mod.

Here ya go:

Not too pricey considering what some of the other old campaign settings (like Dark Sun or Planescape) go by. Honestly though, Greyhawk is really just a plain ole fantasy setting with all the usual trappings. Nothing too special, at least not woth the $50 IMHO.

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.

Try this: Canonfire

and especially this section: Greywiki

Its a fan site with quite a bit of fan written material. The wiki is a compilation of factoids and tidbits from all editions going back to AD&D.

Also take a look at the Living Greyhawk Gazeteer. Its the 3e equivalent of bandersnatch's suggestion, dated about 30 years later (Greyhawk time).

The map of Greyhawk CY 589 is all over the internet. Here's a nice high res version: Darlene Greyhawk Map

Originally Posted by Muggie2 View Post
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.
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 [Castle] Greyhawk, 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:


Oerth Journal

Maldin's Greyhawk

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.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Last Database Backup 2017-10-17 09:00:07am local time
Myth-Weavers Status