As I mentioned recently, I'm a bit late to the phenomenal novel Ready Player One. It's a small spoiler, but Greyhawk and the Tomb of Horrors features prominently in the story that is soon to be a movie in the next year I hear. As such, to sate my obsession I found an official site that has been posting photos and fan art. I thought my Greyhawk fans would love to see the old lich Acererak having some fun. Make what you will of the images. If you haven't read the book I highly highly recommend it.
A week or so ago I saw a link to LoreMaps and their wonderful interactive fantasy maps of Faerun and Game of Thrones. This project is a combination of geotags and linked wiki information, but trust me see it for yourself. It's only going to get more advanced as they go along with search functions and more. I for one am also going to contact them and obviously nominate the World of Greyhawk for their next fantasy map, cause why not?
Welcome back Greyhawk readers! It's high time I get off my butt to promote the latest work on chapter four in our ongoing Castle Greyhawk graphic novel. Check out page-fourteen to see some smart screed by author Scott Casper. On our site you can also check the archives and follow the entire Castle Greyhawk story from the very beginning.
Artist's Commentary: And now we have Rary in the picture, or rather a younger version of the Rary we all know. Side thought, I'm not sure what a thaumaturgist is and I've played D&D for decades.
It's very interesting that Rary is a local wizard to this story in Greyhawk City. I don't know his Gygax campaign origins as well as Scott so I'm sure the precedence is there. I've only ever been familiar with the game setting version where he hails from the Baklunish West and somehow ends up in the Circle of Eight. It will be fun to see where Ehlissa's gambit takes her now that she's consulting a higher level mage (Higher than Tenser I assume). Stay tuned.
Let's talk nostalgia. For many of us who enjoy Greyhawk and D&D, we grew up in the 80's. For this reason I can be awfully sentimental when I read or listen to anything relating to that decade. I have a feeling the 80's is hitting a nostalgic high mark currently.
Who hasn't already read a blog post or new article about the popularity of the show Stranger Things? It touched on a lot of people's nostalgic heart strings and has inspired a new generation or two to go back and see what was so great about "back in the day". Building on this most recent development and working backward, we have long been in an 80's renaissance era with movie franchises like G.I. Joe and Transformers, not to mention innumerable cartoon remakes like Voltron. The list goes on and there is no way I can even touch on it all.
Back to gaming, WotC has been enjoying ever increasing popularity with 5E D&D largely, in my opinion, by catering to the nostalgic fun of older editions and material rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. This effort bleeds into the 90's of course since it concerns the Forgotten Realms, but Ed Greenwood's world does have roots farther back as we all know. With adventures based on Castle Ravenloft and notably Tiamat it would not surprise me one bit to see a remake of the 80's D&D Cartoon.
One last thing, for the last ten plus years, I've closely followed the goings on of D&D and Greyhawk. So imagine my surprise that I just now found out about the 2011 novel, Ready Player One because it has a VERY strong 80's nostalgic vibe. Not to give away the plot, but it references AD&D, Gygax, and Dragon Magazine quite liberally. It also specifically mentions and uses Greyhawk material in its plot more times than all of 4th edition! Author Ernest Cline has to be an old Greyhawk fan! As of writing this I haven't finished the book, but I hear Steven Spielberg the director of my favorite 80's movie of all time, Raiders of the Lost Ark, is making the movie version. Seems fitting.
Hey guys, I would be remiss if I didn't point out my friends over at the newTrench Monkeys RPG Podcast recently interviewed the famous Luke Gygax and talked a bit with him about GaryCon, Greyhawk and old school D&D. You have got to check this out.
Here's the results of a poll I conducted on the front page, thanks to everyone who participated. I was curious to see what the reader's consensus was on the most playable areas of the Flanaess and I wasn't too surprised. Let's have a look:
Northwest (2%) First off it seems not many people are playing in the milieu of Iuz's Empire vs Furyondy and farther afield such as Blackmoor. Though that place's community is a different one altogether! ;)
Southwest (25%) Not surprisingly the Sheldomar Valley and Sea Princes region is popular (I myself have worked from here the last several years). This area saw the most development in the early 2000's with Living Greyhawk and is also a favorite setting for it's heir, Greyhawk Reborn.
Northeast (4%) The north all in all is underdeveloped and very wilderness oriented which may lead to why few people make use of the barbarian lands or even places like Nyrond, Tenh and the Pale which only figure in sourcebooks like the Marklands.
Southeast (10%) This area mainly comprised of the Iron League states and the Great Kingdom should be more popular. The fact Ivid the Undying never saw publication is a travesty because the area could've been a whole series of sourcebooks in truth. I still think the popularity of Game of Thrones could bring this region new life if all the damages to the southeast were rolled back to pre-Wars era.
Baklunish West/Beyond (6%) Surprisingly more used than the northern lands, though there is scant publication on these areas. We seem to have some Baklunish land fans out there despite this and I myself of course am the steward of Ull so I always enjoy when other people produce fan work for Beyond the Flanaess be it maps or simple articles. Kudos to you folk!
Central (City of Greyhawk) (51%) Lastly is the obviously most popular region with the most printed information for DMs to use. Greyhawk and surrounding lands enjoy plenty of adventure (Temple of Elemental Evil, Maure Castle, Greyhawk Ruins, etc.) That's the beauty of Gygax's world is that his most exciting region is centrally located so you can spring board from here to all the other mentioned areas.You'd be crazy to not use this area.
That's all for now. Stay tuned for another poll soon.
One last thing, a reminder to check out and join the Patreon pageScott Casper and I have going for the Castle Greyhawk webcomic. It's a humble project we've been doing for a few years and perhaps we can give even more back to the community if you are a fan of ours. Thanks!
Welcome back Greyhawkers! I've been dragging my heels but at last it's time to promote the latest of chapter four in our ongoing Castle Greyhawk graphic novel. Check out page-thirteen to see some clever composition by author Scott Casper. On our site you can also check the archives and follow the entire Castle Greyhawk story from the very beginning.
Artist's Commentary: This page has come rather late and I apologize dear readers. Nothing particularly troubling in the art like last time, just RealLife(tm) making it hard to sit down and work.
Robilar is one of my faves. We have alot of characters in this story running around in armor or sporting beards and so on, but Robilar has an uncertain charm about him I like. He's definitely more relaxed when not in the dungeon, but not enough to lose armor completely. I also like the Green Dragon working relationship with Ehlissa. It's common for D&D players to want to own/work at a bar during their career and this plays out quite well. It's adventurers hanging out with adventurers. What's not to like?
So yes, loving the witty banter, but it looks like the Erac saga will be getting more interesting as Ehlissa gets involved with this unheralded Striped Mage. Stay tuned!