Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Greyhawk Channel's latest new campaign on Twitch, Vile & Villainous where the players get to be shady characters in the service of the Land of Iuz. This particular show includes my good friend Boshie who is also an entertaining video game and IRL streamer. Check out her channel. The "evil" party also includes map maker extraordinaire, Deven Rue. What sort of trouble will they get into? Only time will tell. Tune in Mondays! In the meantime check the Greyhawk Channel and watch their videos of the day.
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Coming in tied for first (30%) is the two most popular mega-monsters, the Red Dragon and the king of D&D monsters the Tarrasque. Red dragons are of course the evil, fire breathing variety and are generally the strongest in most fantasy literature and art. The tarrasque is a unique creature which like a dragon, slumbers and comes out to feed and destroy towns before going dormant again. The only difference between the two is red dragons want your treasure, the tarrasque just wants to kill anything that moves.
Where to use a Red Dragon or Tarrasque? This is quandary because the tarrasque can be buried virtually anywhere, ready to pop out. I'd suggest placing the monster in the already dangerous hills of the Pomarj or perhaps somewhere isolated but still inhabited like Perrenland's highlands. However, if you really want to maximize your threat to civilization put the tarrasque in the Cairn Hills not far from Greyhawk itself. The tarrasque is an indiscriminate killer that can only be stopped with high-level combat or magic. It's appearance could be instigated by evil forces, but then again the Big-T is a force of nature itself so fighting him could be a situation where good and evil must band together. Who needs the Doomgrinder?*
Brazzemal the Bright who can be found either in the Hellfurnaces or in the Rift Canyon depending on your source, he is first seen in Hall of the Fire Giant King. There is Farcluun a rather intelligent yet powerful red found in the dungeons of the Greyhawk Ruins. Finally, there is another epic red in the Crystalmist Mountains named Sulphacitezus from the book Treasures of Greyhawk. All of these dragons can make a cunning and ultra-deadly foe for PCs and a terror on any towns nearby.
Coming in second with 16% of the vote is the surprising Roc! For those who don't know, a roc is a gigantic bird of prey known from mythology often depicted carrying off an elephant in its talons. It is featured in the popular fiction The Arabian Nights encountered by Sinbad the sailor. In Greyhawk fiction I believe there is a roc on the cover of Dungeonland. So yes, this is Rodan-level death from above for monster buffs out there.
Next in line with 10% of the vote is the Purple Worm! This is just what you think it is, a colossal sized worm that burrows and swallows whole everything in its way including unwitting heroes. The purple worm is an iconic D&D creature featured in the Monster Manuals from way back, it is often seen in the Underdark and not on the surface however. This doesn't mean a DM can't lure one to the surface though. A confused hungry purple worm on above ground is just as deadly.
Speaking of giant things, coming in with 8% of the vote is a Titan. Again, this is a mythological giant, even greater in size and strength than even storm giants. A titan is supposed to be a near god-like being and are typically represented in D&D as being in Greek-garb and have special abilities according to their sphere of interest. While not generally evil, an enraged titan could be trouble for a town either directly or collaterally.
Where to use a Titan? The titans are not prevalent in Greyhawk on their own per se, so they can appear virtually anywhere. They could be the divine agents of a deity like Pelor however showing up to exact vengeance on a wicked town. Titans as such will rarely come into conflict with PCs, but they could be nice to break out if players start to get on an ego-power trip at higher levels. Now speaking of titans...
Lastly and most surprisingly at 6% last is the Kraken! No not the monster from Clash of the Titans, I'm talking the one we all know about, the colossal intelligent squid kind. With its size and giant reaching tentacles, the kraken would be the most awful terrible and epic creature to unleash on a small harbor town. If the tarrasque rules land, then surely the kraken (is that singular or plural?) rules the deep oceans.
Where to use a Kraken? In canon Greyhawk has/had a kraken in Grendep Bay near the barbarian lands. The town of Krakenheim is derived from this tale. If there is giant squids in the cold north, then surely there some in the vast deeps of the Azure Sea ready to be called up by evil such as sahuagin to wreck havoc on cities like Irongate or Gradsul. Or maybe your PCs are into high seas exploration off the map into the tropics? Well then there is definitely some krakens out there, ready to haul down a ship or terrorize the local natives.
*No, really, do not play Doomgrinder what ever you do! It will wreck your campaign and is in general a huge waste of time.
Whatever your choice of monster, remember the long lasting effect they can have on your campaign could be significant. Players, beware and behave!
Saturday, April 7, 2018
Over at Greyhawk Grognard is a great series finishing Kuntz and Gygax's "Greyhawk's World" updates from Dragon Magazine that were left hanging so many years ago. First was the Sheldomar Valley, followed by the more recent West Central Flanaess. It's top notch, seamless work, trust me check it out if you are interested in the political and military milieu of Greyhawk.
Next up is my friends at the Greyhawk Channel. They keep growing and growing with more shows and a burgeoning fanbase. All the campaigns are interconnected as well. The most recent additions are Mordenkainen's Path of the Planes an "epic plane-hopping adventure from the master of mages" which is timed with the upcoming release of Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Also there is DMShane's biggest challenge yet, an all evil group in Vile and Villanous "wicked fun in the World of Greyhawk".
I don't know how TGC juggles all these games and players, but kudos to these folks for having the desire and energy to play in our favorite setting on a regular basis. Support them by following, subscribing an maybe even joining in the fun on their Discord. There is also a Youtube channel where you can watch past episodes. Enjoy!
Lastly, if you haven't already, join the Canonfire! group on Facebook. It's under new administration and is growing fast! For those who have never been to Canonfire! it is the oldest fan site dedicated to Greyhawk on the internet with features like articles, a Greyhawk wiki and active forums. Support your fellow fans and visit both these Canonfire! sites.