Monday, February 28, 2011

Virtuosos of Villainy: Andrade Mirrius

I know more than a few detractors of the 2nd edition boxed set, City of Greyhawk (Those Blue and Yellow books). One common criticism of CoG is that it's "too nice" or not as gritty as the city in Gygax's novel  Saga of Old City which parts of the boxed set were actually based upon. I don't plan on ranting about merits for too long, but really, City of Greyhawk is as evil and mean as the DM who uses it, because the tools are in there if one knows where to look. And that leads me to perhaps the most insidious villain I've ever ran, Andrade Mirrius.

Background:
In the official timeline when the boxed set was published, the mysterious Hierarchs of the Horned Society had not yet been driven out of Molag and into exile by Iuz the Evil, and one of their spies abroad was a man named Andrade Mirrius, leader of the Cult of the Shriven Sickle. The City of Greyhawk cleverly presents Andrade as a long-term nemesis in three stages so that he can progress in level along with the player characters. As he begins, Mirrius is an 11th level priest of Nerull, described as 45 years old with gray-streaked black hair and brown eyes. He is the owner of "the Pit", a popular place for gladiatorial fights in the city's Foreign Quarter (Location F8 on the map). The Pit is managed for him by Pietain Morvannis a former gladiator from the Hold of Sea Princes. The Cult of the Shriven Sickle is a group of priests of Nerull based out of a secret lair in the Undercity of Greyhawk and are dedicated to spreading evil through the city. The cult is small, only numbering five including Andrade, but they are highly efficient at what they do. The cult's activities are:
  • Slaying Knights (Knights of Holy Shielding in particular)
  • Slaying of Good (priests of good deities essentially)
  • Disgracing the Good (fraudulent crimes mainly)
  • Disrupting Greyhawk (spreading deceit to hurt trade)
  • Espionage for the Horned Society (with Rhennee running the information back and forth)
  • Raising Money (through illicit means)
Andrade Progresses:
Mirrius advances to 14th level eventually (this varies but is considered to happen between 576 and 585 CY). Still the owner of the Pit, he now begins to push out other cults in the city and gain some influence over the Directors of the city, anonymously through blackmail, kidnapping and negotiation (he owns a Hat of Disguise). It is suggested that if his cult is destroyed before now, he moves to Admundfort to resume his goals, still able to clandestinely work in Greyhawk City with his magical hat. At 18th level Andrade Mirrius, if unchecked is more powerful than ever. He should have many Directors in his pocket, in addition to members of the Union of Sewermen and the Gravediggers' Guild. His influence is so subtle at this point, few of these pawns will know that anyone else is in on Mirrius' schemes. He ultimately wishes to raise an army of undead from beneath the city to surface and cause terror in the streets. If Mirrius is forced out of the city before 18th level he is now a full Hierarch of the Horned Society, hell bent on harrassing the PCs with assassins, raids and monsters.

More Time Passes:
By 591 CY, the starting timeline for Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins, Andrade is still operating secretly in Greyhawk City, but the Horned Society is now in exile, defeated by Iuz during the Blood Moon Festival prior to the Greyhawk Wars. This time Andrade has a new side venture, owning the West City Warhouse (R10) under the alias of Aros Mander. Though the Thieves Guild still manage and utilize this warhouse for their own use, none realize who the mysterious owner really is. Mirrius is also joined by another Hierarch in exile, Guiliana Mortidus in spreading evil throughout the domain. Their long term goals are the same as above, yet now include the overthrow of Iuz from their home city of Molag.

Powers: 
One guess, which one would
be Andrade Mirrius?
 Andrade Mirrius is as sneaky as they come. In fact, for a priest he is sneakier than most rogues you'll find in Greyhawk City! Like any uber-evil villain operating out in the open, he has an Amulet of Proof Against Detection and Location. The aforementioned Hat of Disguise also ensures his ability to blend into crowds and come and go at will. How slippery is he? Andrade is so slippery, there are no canon illustrations of him that I'm aware of. He is quite possibly the "Kaiser Soze" of Greyhawk (This comparison will come into play later). Speaking of slippery, he also sports a Ring of Free Action, Boots of Speed and a Necklace of Adaptation. Even if you do expose Andrade, he is hard to catch.


I compliment you on
fiding out my secret...
NOW DIE!!
 Oh but Mirrius is not scared of anyone though, he can defend himself in combat; his unassuming Bracers of Defense giving him the equivalent protection of platemail armor, and you can hardly shoot at him from a distance due to his Gloves of Missile Snaring and Brooch of Shielding. At 18th level you know he throw some mean spells as well: Blade Barrier, Harm, Slay Living, Firestorm, and so on, it's no surprise the priest of Nerull delights in killing things. Then when things get up close and personal, Andrade can draw out a concealed Sickle +4, +6 versus Neutral Good (to whom it causes paralysis). He's kind of like Chancellor Palpatine in Star Wars, one minute he is calm and polite, then the next second he flips out and becomes Darth Sidious.


Andrade in the Home Campaign:
In my 2nd edition campaign Andrade Mirrius was played to evil perfection. After earning a vast fortune exploring the dungeons of Greyhawk Castle, the PCs invested their gold into real estate both outside the city and in the Foreign Quarter. Valkaun Dain the Cruskii fighter, in particular became the leader of the Cairn Hills Force and eventually the owner of more than one tavern. This brought him into contact with another local businessman, Andrade Mirrius of the Pit. Valkaun and company had little cause to suspect this NPC was the most evil person in the city, after all the resident mafia don of the Foreign Quarter was Duke Garand, a vicious loan shark and bookie operating outside the rule of the Thieves Guild. Then there was the Thieves Guild itself to contend with, as well as other troublesome NPCs such as Glodreddi Bakkanin of the Greyhawk Revenue Service who was always looking to tax their loot from Greyhawk Ruins. So, all of this drama drives Andrade and Valkaun together as friends, the perfect cover.
Andrade's plans simmered for a long time and ultimately resulted in the activation of a Quest spell (epic spells from the 2nd edition Tome of Magic) called Undead Plague which raised an army of undead from the crypts to terrorize the city. With pandemonium going on in the city, the PCs finally exposed the cult and Andrade, defeating them in a climatic battle that resulted in Mirrius' Imprisonment  in temporal stasis beneath the ground. This unfortunately left Valkaun Dain to take the rap for the death and destruction as certain corrupt officials brought up trumped charges that he was a conspirator in the cult's attack on Greyhawk City. Acquitted of any wrong-doing, but forever black-listed in the public eye, Valkaun left Greyhawk City and moved back to the Cold North.

Andrade was not done however. Years later he would be rescued from his imprisonment to begin another round of evil. Without the same resources and contacts however, Andrade had to start small this time posing as "Andy" a mentally challenged servant for a new group of player characters. Needless to say, once the players found out they were fooled by Andrade Mirrius again they were stunned. This of course led to rage as they showed no mercy, making sure this time he would end up irrevocably dead (If there is such a thing in D&D). To this day, my players don't trust any NPCs who befriend them and it's all because of one villain, Andrade Mirrius.

Bonus content: 18th level not tough enough for you? Here is a 24th-level version of Andrade Mirrius for 3.5 edition, compliments of Rick Miller's NPC Archive.



Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened...

Who likes Keoland?
Not the Sea Princes! 
A funny thing happened on the way to starting my weekly Mutants & Masterminds game: a Greyhawk campaign broke out. Sure, my long-running super-hero campaign was winding down and we had already discussed what our next M&M campaign would be after that, but in no way was I expecting such a change in direction for the Wednesday game. Some how, some way my friends spontaneously started agreeing with one another on an idea for a new Greyhawk campaign. I had got burnt out with running D&D entirely after Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk and the Age of Worms Adventure Path. Before that I had ran Maure Castle plus a bit of Epic Level stuff and played in the Savage Tide AP. So when 4th edition came out, I stubbornly held out and took it as an opportunity to go into semi-retirement from DMing. Since then I have started playing 4th edition and I've even toyed with running D&D with M&M rules (It's not the same). Truthfully, beyond writing and drawing about Greyhawk, I had a gut feeling I wouldn't get much call for running Greyhawk ever again. Gladly I was wrong. After this week I am stoked and ready to get back on the Greyhawk horse. 

The deliberations were quite good. The guys were more focused than they've been in months in fact, and in the end we decided to go with core 3.5 edition. They asked me which region of the World of Greyhawk I've never ran a campaign in and the first thing that popped in my head was Keoland and the Hold of the Sea Princes. A coastal based game in the Hold has something for everyone because its located near every imaginable type of terrain, it's a launching off point for so many other ports of call including the unexplored south seas, plus there is ample chance for courtly intrigue. Oh yes, and everyone loves pirates. No mega-dungeons here. 

The added incentive for the players of this "Sea Prince campaign" is that I am going to try and document their exploits in this blog. I'm not positive it'll work, but after reading Joe Bloch's campaign reports at Greyhawk Grognard, I think having readers comment on the game will give my players a new reason to take pride in the development of their characters and the story. It's still early though. Nothing is set in stone. Once I have more details I'll report on it, for now I still have a super-hero campaign to finish up...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mearls: Legends and Lore

I came across what should be a hot topic across all gaming blogs this morning and had to chime in. Mike Mearls, who has shot to prominence designing 4th edition D&D has a new column at Wizards called "Legends and Lore." You do not need a DDI subscription to read this column. In it he tries to repair some of the fractures in the D&D community with some profound quotes and nostalgic appeals of commonality. As others have pointed out by now, Wizards and Hasbro needs to show they mean well through action not just words. At this point in my D&D playing life I wonder though, what do I demand of a company I barely patronize anymore? The two blogs I linked mention putting PDFs of older edition material back online for sale. I can get behind that idea, but I think Mearls may have tripped up in this article and gave me another idea that directly applies to Greyhawk fans or fans of any game setting languishing on the shelf right now:

"This may sound strange, coming from R&D—but it’s easy to mistake what Wizards of the Coast publishes as the core essence of D&D. We might print the rules for the current version of the game, or produce accessories you use at your table, but the game is what you, the community of D&D fans and players, make it. D&D is the moments in the game, the interplay within a gaming group, the memories formed that last forever. It’s intensely personal. It’s your experience as a group, the stories that you and your friends share to this day. No specific rule, no random opinion, no game concept from an R&D designer, no change to the game’s mechanics can alter that."

Yes, Wizards has shown for many many years now that publishing rules (crunch) is more lucrative for them than setting material (fluff). So, as he says in this quote, the community of D&D players whose experience together is intensely personal, should make the game what they want. Said another way, if Wizards wants to be forward thinking and win back quite a few fans, the World of Greyhawk should be licensed out to a company or group who will give it the attention, care and fan input that it deserves.

This is not an empty plea. The best Greyhawk material of the 3.0/3.5 edition did not come from Wizards, it came from the authors of the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. It came from the host of authors with the RPGA's Living Greyhawk Campaign, and it came from Paizo in Dungeon Magazine, the company which Wizards now competes with. As it stands now however, the best Greyhawk fans can hope for the future is one calendar year of setting releases, which as we've seen from 2010, can be cut down at a whim. Let's not settle for PDF scraps. Wizards can have their rules R&D, no one will ever begrudge them that, but the devoted fans of world settings should be put in charge of their future development.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Greyhawk Comic #303: Gods in Space!

You thought I was done making comics? Hah! Wrong! Buckle up and sit back Greyhawk fans as we launch back into the ongoing parody saga of....



Previously on Gods in Space, a small spelljamming vessel belonging to Mayaheine was boarded by a larger pursuing ship before it could reach Oerth. Once you are finished catching up, read the most CURRENT EPISODE and don't forget the commentary at the end. Enjoy!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Unnatural Deserts of the Flanaess

Forgotten City or bust!
I was involved in a forum discussion last summer about the lack of any natural deserts in the World of Greyhawk setting. Those fans who have followed Greyhawk since the 80's already know about this topic fairly well, but just in case, it goes as follows: All the major arid regions of the Flanaess have had some kind of magically influenced climate brought upon them in the past. A popular way of justifying this is to say that magic affecting the weather in the Flanaess is natural to a high magic setting. This is a fine in game excuse except as I have recently investigated, I now think the reason for all the magical deserts is due to emulating campaign development.

1st Edition (World of Greyhawk Folio and Boxed Set)
In the original published setting we have four major arid regions in the Flanaess (I won't get into Riftcanyon might be a fifth). The Sea of Dust, the Dry Steppes, the Bright Desert and the Barren Wastes. The Sea of Dust and the Dry Steppes of course are the leftovers of the Suloise and Baklunish Empires respectively after their Twin Cataclysms destroyed each other. This is the historical backbone that the campaign is built on as laid down by Gygax and there is no disputing these massive regions were magically created.

"History tells us that (the Sea of Dust) was once a fair and fertile realm extending thousands of miles west and southward, too."

"Once the (Dry Steppes) was well watered and fertile, forming the homelands of the Baklunish Padishahs and Sultans..."

What of the Bright Desert in 1st edition?

"The harsh climate, wildly varying temperatures, and hostile inhabitants...tend to discourage exploitation."

And the Wastes? Virtually no reference outside the Rovers of the Barrens hiding there time to time. This is what grabs me. In the early going we have two magic deserts and two natural ones. It would have to take a great leap of imagination to translate "wildly varying temperatures" as magically influenced back then. Moving on...

2nd Edition (Greyhawk Adventures, Rary the Traitor, Iuz the Evil, etc.)
Development on the setting moves forward. James Ward writes about the Burning Cliffs in the Wastes for the first time. From this section we learn about a possible magic origin for the Wastes:

"...the forests, marshes, and grasslands at the edge of the Wastes, hundreds of miles away, have begun to sicken and die, supporting the claims of some scholars that the Burning Cliffs are in fact responsible for the Wastes to begin with."

"A large town has grown up near the center of the conflagoration, where there is a gate to the plane of Fire. The wily Storich's boasts are true to the hilt; he passed through to the City of Brass itself..."

Ward goes to the magical gate theory and so the Wastes become in danger of losing its natural desert status. Then some years later, Iuz the Evil by Carl Sargent further elaborates on the creation of the Wastes. The wheels completely fall off this time and the Wastes are forever in the magical column.

"The origins of the Wastes are generally thought to be magical, with some natural, or most likely magical, cataclysm having created them much as the Sea of Dust was created, probably centuries before the Invoked Devastation."

It gets stranger...

"Other tales tell of a subterranean race of intelligent, magical reptilian creatures which employ magic to render the Wastes a wholly barren land to keep the surface folk from taking an interest in their affairs."

Then there is the Bright Desert. This completely untouched desert region got its first dose of Greyhawk development in the divisive Rary the Traitor by Anthony Pryor. Metaplot aside, he introduces good material on the climate and life of this previously undeveloped desert.

"Any desert is a harsh climate, and the Bright Desert is harsher than most. Located in a waterless bowl, with scant rainfall each year, the Bright Desert challenges even the hardiest wilderness survival expert."

Then Pryor introduces the ancient kingdom of Sulm and its rival Itar to give the area its place in the Flanaess' background.

"Once, over 2000 years ago, a Flannish kingdom called Sulm ruled the central portion of what is now called the Bright Desert. Constant warfare with desert nomads and internal unrest led Sulm's rulers to delve into forbidden magic and the worship of evil gods."

This quote is good in that it means there has always been some arid areas of the old Bright Desert. Perhaps Sulm's central region was a river cutting through the desert not unlike the Nile or Tigris. Of course this all goes to "waste" with the curse of the Scorpion Crown which turns all Sulmites into manscorpions and with it the fertile kingdom of Sulm vanishes from history. All is not lost though:

"If the crown is eliminated...the Bright Desert slowly begins to revert to a reasonably fertile, if somewhat arid region. There changes taken place over a century or more..."

So we finally have a natural desert with some fertile areas, that then falls into the same development hole and becomes affected by high magic and changed into a completely hostile desert region. At least Anthony gave the Bright Desert a little credit. Perhaps the reversion back to a fertile land is slow because natural desertification would have slowly ate it up anyhow even if Sulm hadn't vanished overnight. This is a good partial save for the Bright Desert to not be cataclysmically created by magic but rather maintained by it. 

What of the rest of Oerth? We now know of other arid lands beyond the Flanaess thanks to the Dragon Annual map and its highly controversial analogue nations. Here we have possible candidates for future natural deserts with places like Erypt and the Red Kingdom. The temptation for future writers, be they professional or fanbased, to make these undeveloped lands magically created or maintained will be great. After all they are following in the footsteps of Gygax and if destroying kingdoms and turning them into ash was good enough for him, why not try it again? 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fiction: The Mortal Life of Kostchtchie



Over at the Greyhawk fansite Canonfire, regular forum guru Rasgon has posted a short story (which I can only assume is written by him) about the mortal history of famed Demonlord Kostchtchie. The tale blends his Earthly historical myth with the more modern D&D milieu. It's quite a good read, check it out!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ghost Tower of Inverness in 4e


A friend of mine from the Portland area who works closely with his local Wizards' D&D Encounters program, pointed out to me their newest storyline beginning on February 9th. I'm not sure of the official title, but it has something to do with a "Phantom Brigade." Cool so far. Now I've never paid much attention to D&D Encounters, but when he told me this one involves the Ghost Tower of Inverness well, you know I had to check into it. Note: I'll try to hold back on the scathing condemnation of 4th edition as much as possible. I mean, I do play in a 4e homebrew game, but this is about Greyhawk classics being used in organized play so expect a little edge to my words.

For those who aren't aware, D&D Encounters is done at organized sites, like game stores. It's advertised as such:

"D&D Encounters is an exciting, weekly campaign that plays out one epic encounter at a time. As you defeat enemies, solve puzzles, finish quests, and perform heroic deeds, you’ll earn Renown Points that you can use to get exclusive rewards. Each session only takes 1-2 hours to play, so it’s easy to fit your game in after school or work. And each week there’s a new and exciting challenge. Jump in anytime!"

Easy enough. Not everyone has the time and/or luck to have their own home campaigns. In my estimation, this Encounters biz is a direct offspring of Magic the Gathering leagues and Living Campaigns. What about the Ghost Tower? Their ad says:

"Over sixty years ago, a group of bold adventurers calling themselves the Silver Company delved into a mysterious tower that appeared in the ruins of Castle Inverness. The result was tragic."

 That sounds like the Ghost Tower I know!

"Now, six decades later, an ambitious young cleric named Aldus Splintershield seeks to make a name for himself and his clan by founding a new town in the ruins of the infamous castle. And so he has hired you, brave adventurers, to guard against whatever perils may arise from such an expedition."

Hm. So its set in the ruins of Inverness, but not necessarily the Ghost Tower. I wouldn't bet against it though, because as D&D Encounters is a series of weekly, um, encounters then the story would awful bland if it was one attack after another in the same location. It is good to see that it isn't a rehash so much as a storyline extension of the original, sans any Greyhawk reference of course.

"So prepare yourself and guard against the worst. For in the Nentir Vale, the worst is always on the way."

The Nentir Vale as best as I can guess is the default world of D&DE. Is this the fate of Greyhawk material in 4th edition? To be dropped piece by piece into new settings such as Nentir Vale? Possibly, but more on that later. The organized play enticements are more eye-popping to me. Remember, I do play in a 4e campaign and in a game store no less. Yet, if I had to play it through D&DE each week, I'm not sure I'd be able to stick around for long. It's too many new tricks for this old dog:

First off there is the new Fortune Cards that Wizards is pushing for organized play (It's optional for home use otherwise). It looks like a must have if you're playing in D&DE. In fact, I'm fairly sure its a requirement in some cases to participate at stores. You build a deck of 10-30 cards (note that boosters are 8 cards each, you can do the math) and so it goes you draw a new card each round for some random element that can be played in combat.

" These cards give characters fun, temporary benefits that feel different from the benefits gained from powers and feats, without adding undue complexity to the D&D game."

As most 4e combats I've been privy to run longer than 10 rounds, you'll need plenty of fortune cards. As for complexity, 4e is already rife with complex feats and powers, so 10-30 more one-shot powers shouldn't be too much more to buff a character right? Okay, how about a buff for the buffs? Yes, there is also something called "Twitter Buffs" that further add complexity to the Fortune Card buffs. I kid you not.

"Every week, Dungeons & Dragons® Encounters™ brings new adventure. And every hour, D&D’s @Wizards_DnD Twitter Channel brings you a new way to interact with your game. Get your D&D Fortune Cards ready and watch for tweets that will bring the two together.
Twitter Buffs will allow you to do even more with your D&D Fortune Cards—follow @Wizards_DnD"

Okay then! So now those with their smart phones handy at the game table can keep checking for special buffs while they wait for their character's next turn. I can barely stand that kind of distraction in home play but if it's integrated into play? Yikes. But that's not all! There is also Rewards and Renown Points.

"Players, as you progress through each season, you’ll earn Renown Points you can use to get exclusive Fortune Cards. Dungeon Masters, as a way of thanking you for your invaluable work, you’ll get exclusive game aids you can’t find anywhere else."

That's correct, earn points for a chance to earn more cards to improve your character so that he can earn more points and so on. That's incentive enough for the journeyman gamer. Hey and bring in a new player for 2 extra points! Wizards has this down to a science.

Anyhow, gripes about collectable card games aside, the parting out of Greyhawk in 4th edition continues. But really, it's only come full circle if you think about it. Sure, Greyhawk was originally Gygax's homebrew world but alot of the classic mods that we associate with the published version were at first tournament modules written by other authors, that got pieced together into a nascent world that became 1st edition Greyhawk. So the fact Greyhawk classics like Inverness may be seeding new storylines in 4th edition is fine in essence. Greyhawk icons have stood the test of time and its easier to revisit those than create new ones. But from a setting legacy standpoint, there has to come a time when the Greyhawk is given the spotlight again, or else the next generation of gamers, whom I assume Wizards targets with programs like D&D Encounters, may never know that their favorite adventure spots, like Inverness started not with Nentir Vale but another obscure fantasy world.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Greyhawk Rugby League!

Anyone who knows me well, knows I am quite a sports-maniac. This mania has even leaked into my D&D gaming. With that said, in honor of this year's Superbowl, I have gone into my Greyhawk Archives to find my notes on a rather unique period from my "Silver Age" 2nd edition campaign. Back in the 90's we gamed heavily around Greyhawk City; exploring Greyhawk Ruins, putting down the Temple of Elemental Evil and playing medieval rugby. Say what, you ask? Rugby in Greyhawk? Yes! It is slightly canonical too:

(Free City Arena) "About 200 years ago, Lord Mayor Zagig Yragerne and the newly founded Grey College joined forces to build a great arena in which student assemblies, sporting events, public entertainment, and so forth could be held."


"The arena can seat about 18,000 people, most such gatherings being for inter-school sports and competitions. Grey College, the Bardschool, the School of Clerkship, the University of the Flanaess, and low ranking wizards from the University of Magical Arts are joined by independent fraternities, sororities and other student groups representing the minor schools in these games."


"The oval field (shaped that way to accommodate certain "long-field sports" played by two teams) is usually hard-packed sand, but rolls of grassy turf can be laid over it..."


(University of the Flanaess) "..the student body is lively and loyal and it does well against Grey College in team sport."


(School of Clerkship) "The school does not do well in athletics against Grey College (or even small schools)..."


"The faculty, staff, and students of Bardschool have a friendly rivalry with Grey College and compete against that facility in sports and other events."


In 629 CY (Our timeline always ran far ahead of canon), a group of PCs settled down in Greyhawk City and with the great wealth from their adventures, began a "Guild of Adventurers" to combat what they felt was unfair practices of the Mercenary's Guild and several other  city institutions. Their hall was nicknamed the "Brothers in Arms" and was friendly to all civilized races, classes and religions. The actual reason behind them joining the inter-city rugby league is unknown, but I'm sure it was to boost the popularity and membership of their new organization.


As I designed, the current G.R.L. had been going on nine years before the Brothers in Arms came along, so a quick recap of the previous seasons was needed to show where the various teams stood. The G.R.L. consisted of:

University of the Flanaess "Griffons" (blue & silver) Av. fan attendance: 10,000. Active 620-633 CY
University of Magic Arts "Lightning Bolts" (red & gold) Av. fan attendance: 5000. Active 620-632 CY
Grey College "Greyhawkers" (black & grey) Av. fan attendance: 10,000. Active 620-633 CY
School of Clerkship "Clerks" (brown & gold) Av. fan attendance: 500. Active 620-628 CY
Bardschool "Poet Heroes" (green & gold) Av. fan attendance: 2000. Active 620-633 CY
City Watch "Watchmen" (red & blue) Av. fan attendance: 5000. Active 620-633 CY
Adventurers Guild "Brothers in Arms" (blue & gold) Av. fan attendance: 5000. Active 629-633 CY
Dyvers College "Lakemen" (blue & black) Av. fan attendance: 1000. Active 633 CY

The Adventurers' Guild replaced the School of Clerkship who had tired of getting beat on year after year. Dyvers College was invited in to replace the University of Magical Arts, who dropped out because of a subplot involving the High Ring (more on them another time). This league wasn't just a lark, there were other subplots between the schools (and the corrupt City Watch team) and recruiting to be done each year (much akin to hiring henchmen) as well as player tampering I am sure. Then there was the inevitable after-game parties and brawls at Gnarley House. The only thing my memory is sketchy on is how these games were actually played out (for the PC's team at any rate), but I do remember having some sort of system because some of their own players were involved and they had created set-plays. Once again, in hindsight I wish we had played Bloodbowl for the G.R.L. it would've worked perfectly! Sure we knew about Bloodbowl but for some reason were against playing it back then. Naturally, a decade later I got into playing Bloodbowl quite heavily, both table top and online, even going as far to play in a tournament at Gencon one year (the Ratanapolis Revolt). Maybe next time. In any event, I hope this post inspires other Greyhawk fans who like sports to take a break from the dungeon-crawl and do something similar.