Yesterday I was at New Dimension Comics in the Pittsburgh Mills, and for the first time I really took a close look at 5th edition D&D and my impression was the layout and artwork and organization are of high quality. It certainly seems like they are trying to have the best of all worlds, with all races and classes from previous editions available to play with the exception of the assassin. I like the idea of an entire campaign published in a single hardback vs. individual modules that you have to buy separately or boxed sets with multiple booklets. They certainly seem to be in another "mining the nostalgia" phase similar to the 25th Anniversary in the late 90's. Very nice cover art of the Saltmarsh book with the sahuagin and kraken and full moon in the background... I kept thinking "Ghosts of Innsmouth"!
The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer is released in November 2000, to drive the Living Greyhawk Campaign. Fans are asked to support the book, written by some of the top GH fans of the day, that sales will drive more official Greyhawk material. Didn't happen.
Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk is released in August 2007, and fans are urged, again, to throw their weight behind it---that WotC will take good sales as a sign of GH's viability and that the line will be officially supported once more. Which of course happened as much as it did after the publication of the LGG, which is to say not at all.
The Ghosts of Saltmarsh cannibalizes material from 1st and 4th editions (or was it the 3.0 or 3.5 DMG that provided some additional Saltmarsh content??). Yet again this is seen as a harbinger for a Greyhawk revivial, when all they're doing is cannibalizing Greyhawk to make the new generation of FR fans think that the FR is awesome because of all this GH content that's available there.
Once bitten, twice shy. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. There is no phrase for going back to the well a third time, to hoodwink fans again with the same ploy.
I think WotC has demonstrated quite clearly what they think about the Greyhawk setting: Living --> Ruins --> Ghosts
I doubt they are being intentionally disrepectful of Greyhawk. It's a business. Forgotten Realms sells. Nostalgia sells. Also, it is easier to recycle and reboot than to create something new and original. It's probably that simple-minded. I honestly can't say I want to see another corporate revival of Greyhawk. What post-1985 Greyhawk product has been great?
Last Edit: Feb 25, 2019 14:06:05 GMT -5 by GRWelsh
Also, there was another Greyhawk adventure WotC published recently, I thought I posted about it, I think it was about Otiluke. I am drawing a blank at the moment. Correction, it was Lost Laboritory of Kwalish.
I doubt they are being intentionally disrepectful of Greyhawk.
Agreed, but while I don't find the general progression disrespectful (disappointing and disturbing yes, but intentionally disrespectful no), the continued hanging out of the "please support Greyhawk" sign on non-Greyhawk products doesn't show much respect for the fans of the setting or the setting itself. It exists to be stripmined, and we exist to support that stripmining process so that we transfer loyalty to the FR or whatever setting takes over in the long run. That's the disrespectful part, IMO.
Post by foster1941 on Feb 27, 2019 17:09:50 GMT -5
If WotC did a Greyhawk revival, what would it even consist of? They've already strip-mined out most of the top-tier Gary stuff - Temple of Elemental Evil, Tomb of Horrors, and Against the Giants - and relocated them to the Forgotten Realms, and their recent Waterdeep and Undermountain books presumably rule out any Greyhawk City/Castle stuff in the near term. It's kind of sad if their pinning a Greyhawk revival on the Saltmarsh series, since the original had nothing Greyhawk-specific about it at all. I suppose there's still S3 and S4, and the A series, and Len Lakofka's stuff, but that seems pretty thin to hang a setting revival on.
That said, something the officially de-canonized everything after 1985 would make me happy just on principle alone
The best case scenario for a Greyhawk revival would be someone who loves the classics and understood EGG's style of play and could write like him -- not to retread the classics but to develop new classics. I'd like to see new material that shows awareness of Greyhawk lore without being long winded about it. I do not like the idea of building adventures around famous Greyhawk characters, but I do like them being referenced. Since many of them were someone's player character (Murlynd, Tenser, Robilar, Mordenkainen), or EGG's homage to people he knew IRL (Heward, Bucknard, Tasha), it seems somehow illegitimate for someone else to develop them or use them in published campaigns (home campaigns is a different matter). But I like the idea of them being referenced and the feeling of a world that has been adventured in, with some of those adventurers now being famous across the Flanaess.
I can't even imagine WotC declaring everything post-1985 non-canonical, but then again, I couldn't imagine Disney doing that to all the STAR WARS comics and novels, or STAR TREK wiping out the original series in favor of the Abramsverse, yet those things happened. So I guess anything is possible. But the track record so far is to treat all published Greyhawk material as canonical or at least to not actively disparage it. I suppose one could simply take the approach of not referencing anything post-1985, and/or set the campaign circa 576 CY.
It would have to be low key and integrated but has the ship left the harbor for integration? Its easy to attack the big guys when they do Greyhawk but they emerge from prolific little guys. Which sort of off topic has been the ranks of the pseudo-D&D crew they have running things for so long I don't even acknowledge D&D is still in production in any manner. The problem is there is too many of "them" the followers of big product and not enough of "us" the followers of essence and theory behind the game.
All I know is that I'm going to finish my Elemental Evil add on and its probably going to be better than what anyone is going to put up for Greyhawk in any official manner. At least, I'm trying. (Note: The map for the third part is finished and is probably going to be an easy favorite. ) As for formula, I'm avoiding "porn" (logos and such) and name dropping. I see way too much of that on the net for Greyhawk and it gets me annoyed. I think this Saltmarsh thing is too porny to be Greyhawk. The real question might be is there anything of value in anything "Greyhawk" that wasn't part of the original flow? I would love to namedrop Robilar but I'd rather create my own Robilar peer that would fit in but be original right next to Robilar in theory.
That’s pretty much how I ran my Greyhawk campaign. I didn’t use Mordenkainen or Tenser or anyone from the Circle/Citadel of Eight. I had other NPC magic users acting as patron/sage/employer. No name-dropping. The PCs barely met any of the famous canon NPCs.