Monday, July 15, 2019

Oerth Journal #29 Released!

Attention Greyhawkers! In case you haven't already heard, you need to head on over NOW to Greyhawk Online and download the newest issue of Oerth Journal, the seminal fanzine of the Greyhawk fandom. OJ #29 is chock full of amazingly cool articles and NPCs (the theme is "Folks" of Greyhawk) written by an equally amazing lineup of authors and artists from the Greyhawk online community:

Lee "Tanith1st" Murphy
Chris Siren
Will "Giantstomp" Dvorak
Tony "VorpalDM" Milani
Jay "Lord Gosumba" Scott
Thom Vandervenne
Michael J. Gross III
Devin "MysteryCycle" Parker
Michael "Milcheax" Crisefi
Ted "Bear" Gervais
Joey Julian
Belial Lyka
Patrick "Frogsama" Germann
Blake Ryan
NPC Bree
Denis "Maldin" Tetreault
Bryan "Saracenus" Blumklotz

and last but not least
Kristoph "Icarus" Nolen

Be sure to also download the bonus material for issue #29, because this Oerth Journal was too awesome to contain everything in one document. Enjoy Oerth Journal #29 and when you are done reading and adding this content to your campaign keep an eye out for next issue which will cover the theme of "Feuds". Congrats to all the authors on this publication.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Tribality: New Greyhawk Articles

Greetings Greyhawers! It's summer in the land of Ull so we need some cool topics to cover. As always, our friend in the community Blake Ryan over at Tribality continues to put out some amazingly good Greyhawk articles to keep the creative juices flowing.

First is a look at Eru-Tovar, the nominal capital of the Wolf Nomads. This is a fun take on the adventures, culture and factions one might find in this nomadic region of the setting. I really like the mention of Long Fang Riders as it summons memories of playing Warhammer 40k Space Wolves. The Long Fangs in that were veteran warriors, who were literally "long in the tooth". I imagine the same goes for Eru-Tovar's elite riders. Also, DMs should take note on the hardships the Wolf Nomads endure by being next to the evil of Iuz. This is a dangerous yet rewarding area to send players.

Lastly, is Mr Ryan presents an article on an overlooked facet of the Greyhawk setting and that's its connection to the Feywild. This term for the home lands of faeries and sylvan creatures in lore is one of my favorite recent updates to the D&D dictionary (including Shadowfell). In Greyhawk the Feywild and Fading Lands are related. The Fey Wild is a place of mystery and nature where Seelie and Unseelie Courts rule. For a visual, Ryan evokes some of my favorites like Alice in Wonderland or Willow, I might add movies Pan's Labyrinth and indeed Labyrinth!

The article goes a step further and provides some useful areas to access the Feywild from Oerth, including not only the well known Welkwood (by the elven realm of Celene), but also a tropical region (Turucambi) and a Baklunish cultural region (Pinnacles of Azor-alq). He also gives some useful lists on what type of creatures and magic items you might find in the Feywild. All in all, this is a good DM's resources for sending players to another plane for a side-quest.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Greyhawk: Let's Fight Nerull

Welcome back Greyhawkers. Today I'm revisiting one of my favorite columns and that is fighting deities! If you haven't seen the previous ones, head back and read about Istus, Ulaa and Trithereon. This time we are going to tempt your players with the ultimate showdown, death himself: Nerull!

First let's quickly recap: in the old days of AD&D, PCs could potentially take on gods (despite what canon says about gods staying off Oerth). The 1E Deities & Demigods was first to give stats and rules on the powers of immortals, later referred to as avatars in the Greyhawk Adventures source book which gave players a better chance to somehow prevail over a deity in combat. That said we are going with the full-power Nerull stats from the original World of Greyhawk boxed set; let's examine how difficult it will be to beat death at his own game.

Make no mistake players and DMs, Nerull is the personification of death and night. He is the Foe of all Good, Hater of Life, Bringer of Darkness, King of All Gloom and the Reaper of Flesh. Killing Nerull in combat may as well be like trying to kill Beory, the Oerth-mother when she is the personification of the planet! Of course, in this scenario, Nerull has chosen to take a form to tread the plane of mortals in person and do some culling, but the heroes are here to stop him for whatever reason because Nerull obviously cannot be reasoned with!
 No surprise to anyone at your game table, Nerull appears as a seven-foot tall, rusty-hued skeleton in a black cowled cloak with sickly green hair (or is it vegetation?), eyes, teeth and finger-nails. Not a pretty sight. The cloak and his rusty bones provides an impressive AC -6 (26 in present D&D). Nerull carries one object, his not-at-all unassuming sablewood staff.

Nerull has superior senses in every way including magical darkness. It is said he cannot be surprised except by "extraordinary means". Perhaps this means, invisibility, or maybe the heroes just pretend to be dead bodies to ambush him, I don't know...however, bony Nerull is lightning fast with a Dexterity of 21. One more thing to note, in AD&D rules, Nerull can only be harmed by +5 weapons. In later editions like 5E this could mean magic weapons in general or maybe just legendary weapons. That's up to each DM. Let's assume your heroes know this, since he is literally the grim reaper, and they brought their best holy avengers and artifact swords. Also, Nerull has 100% magic resistance. That means wizards and clerics are on support in this fight. 

If the PCs manage to go first in combat and can hit and harm Nerull, they will find he has 400 hit points, which in AD&D is the highest possible total allotted to gods' avatars. In later editions Nerull probably has something ridiculous like 2000 hit points, but that doesn't matter because unless the PCs manage destroy Nerull in one well-orchestrated round, Nerull only needs to attack once. 

1. His staff is called Life Cutter and on command a scythe blade of red magical force emanates from it the tip. It is a +5 weapon which means he can harm other gods with it, much less pesky heroes. Those hit by the scythe must make a Saving Throw vs Death Magic or die instantly! Now in AD&D characters could be instantly killed by a single attack. This is why the Tomb of Horrors is so famous. The players should expect no less of the god of death. In later editions (which I'm not going to reference) I'm sure Life Cutter is nerfed by a saving against additional necrotic damage. At any rate, Life Cutter sweeps in a path 10' long in a 180 degree arc. All creatures in that path are hit automatically, even if they are astral, ethereal, incorporeal or gaseous in form! Even if you happen to make your saving throw, the unlucky bunch in that arc of death take 5-30 damage. Fortunately for the heroes, he only gets one attack per round. So spread out...

2. Now, Nerull has been around since the beginning of time, so he is probably bored of killing mortals with his scythe. That is why he will most likely toy with the characters in other ways. One way he can do this is by casting a "clump of darkness with ebony tendrils" to attack his foes. Yes folks, Nerull is the originator of Evard's Black Tentacles spell. Except these tentacles can kill you fast. It's a 10' diameter blob with 4 tendrils that stretch 10' per round into a quadrant. Anyone touched by a tendril has to make the same Save vs Death as Life Cutter. Even surviving this a hero takes 3-18 corrosive damage and is grasped until it's destroyed. Lucky again, Nerull can only use this once a day.

3. If Nerull is particularly bored or distracted, he can summon three demodands to fight for him. Demodands are from Nerull's home plane of Tarterus. While not particularly fond of Nerull, the demodands likely will enjoy having a stretch on Oerth and will delight in killing your characters.

4. While the PCs are busy fending off black tendrils of death and nasty demodands, what is Nerull himself doing? Having fun of course! He is the patron god of assassins after all so maybe he wants to kill the PCs one at a time. Since he can fly at will and travel to virtually any plane when he wants, this means the Reaper doesn't stand still in a fight. Adventurers trying to hide or stand in the back ranks can expect special treatment by Nerull. The god of death has a tool belt of murderous cursed magic items to use on his enemies, such as the Necklace of Strangulation, the Rug of Smothering and my favorite, the Bag of Devouring. You know it's personal when Nerull uses these tricks on your poor character.

So there you have it. Nerull can be defeated by a properly armed and sufficiently high level party, but no one is coming out of this fight unscathed. Even if destroyed, Nerull will be back for the victors someday, he has all the time in the world. In the more likely event of a TPK however, Nerull will just leave the character's bodies there for someone else to clean up. And if the heroes are resurrected, Nerull will be just fine with killing them a second time... 

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Greyhawk Channel Summer 2019

Welcome Greyhawkers! Summer is heating up on the Greyhawk Channel at Twitch. There is literally a Greyhawk show every day of the week and then some. Besides staples of the channel like Return to Greyhawk, Mordenkainen's Path of the Planes and of course Legends & Lore with Anna Meyer and myself, there is some new faces and stories to check out.

So far my favorite new entry is Seekers of the Scorpion Crown DMed by Lex from the youtube show DankDungeonsTV. This adventure is set in the Bright Desert and has some clever title graphics and maps to go along with it.

The map for Seekers is by Daniel F Walthall who is an aspiring fantasy cartographer. This is a well researched and colorful rendition of the region first popularized in Rary the Traitor.

Do you like high seas adventure? Eric Vulgaris' Savage Tide game continues on Tuesdays, but this time there is more! Friday, there is two, count em, two Saltmarsh shows. Ghosts of Saltmarsh earlier in the day is handled by the veteran duo of Grimjack and DMShane. Then later in the day is Saltmarsh Stories which haven't seen yet, but from the sounds of it, adds even more nautical adventure to the lineup.

I also have to point out a couple other shows ongoing this summer by original GHC cast members now running their own games. Sandwiched between the two Saltmarsh shows is The Old Faith, a creepy romp in the Dreadwood Forest, DMed by NPCBree. Then there is the Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan ran by WingedHorizon.who is probably the best person I know who can capture the feel and fear of this Greyhawk classic.

Also, these two and many more of the stalwart fans and cast members of the Greyhawk Channel (not me) should be descending on Indianapolis very soon! Gen Con 2019 fast approaches on Aug 1-4 and they will be there in force running a bunch of games and hopefully streaming some content for the rest of us who can't attend. There is plenty more shows to tell you about, some I haven't even got to see yet. Give them all a look, hang out, meet the cast, maybe throw some love their way. Who knows, maybe you could have a show on the Greyhawk Channel someday!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Ghosts of Saltmarsh Campaign

Greetings again, friends of Greyhawk! Today is just some personal gaming news. Thanks to the release of Ghosts of Saltmarsh, I've been inspired enough to get my own Hold of the Sea Princes campaign running again after a short hiatus.

I recently threw together this map of the Jeklea Bay region to show what a widely interesting and underdeveloped area the Sea Princes really is like. Saltmarsh does not show on this map, but for those who don't have a map handy, it is due north of Monmurg on the coast of neighboring Keoland. It is just under 60 miles away (2 hexes)! Most of greater Keoland is much much farther away than that. For this reason, it is incomprehensible to me as a Greyhawk enthusiast, that you might be encouraged to run an entire Saltmarsh campaign and NOT use the Hold at all. I'd wager to say the plots and placement of all the GoS adventures, besides the three U-series modules, would work fantastically in the Sea Princes. They would definitely make more sense travel-wise than crossing the vast Azure Sea as well.

At any rate, with the Hold so damn close to Saltmarsh it is imperative to me, that this country gets developed in any shape or form through the DMsGuild. What we currently know of Monmurg and Prince Jeon II could barely fill an index card. I'm not necessarily asking for a full gazetteer write-up of the Sea Princes, that's easy to find, just handy references to what's right across the bay from Saltmarsh; to give the tiny town more context (like what's being traded, smuggled, notable pirates, ships, intrigues) and to push the boundaries to what's acceptable for publication on that site.

My Sea Princes campaign picks up with the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh (5E version) next week. I am also running a side-campaign that has so far tackled the Ghost Tower of Inverness, The Lost Laboratory of Kwalish (5E, really fun, try it out) and is now heading to White Plume Mountain. Good times!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Greyhawk Talk: Anna Meyer News

Greetings Greyhawkers! Today I'm spreading two news items. First, I'm promoting tonight's Legends & Lore show on the Greyhawk Channel. I was out last week due to the Stanley Cup, so thanks to Bryan Blumklotz for filling in for me. You can fill in any time. Seriously ;)
This week me and Anna Meyer are going to discuss Wizards' new book Ghosts of Saltmarsh. There's already been a lot of talk involving this book by now, but I might have some extra points and we will certainly discuss how this book will affect our campaigns and maps.

In addition, Anna recently announced that she will be soon be releasing a true type Greyhawk Gothic Font created by Greyhawk's original goddess of cartography Darlene! This collaboration is the stuff of dreams in the Greyhawk community. I for one cannot wait to use this font on some of my Greyhawkery graphics. Stay tuned to our show, Legends & Lore, Wednesdays at 7:00 pm central to hear info on the font and more coming from Anna's wonderful world of map-making. See you there!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

St. Louis Blues Win the Stanley Cup

Warning: Non-gaming related post ahead!

WOOOO! Greetings, my Greyhawk friends! If you've known me for any length of time, you'll know I have three obsessions. One is the World of Greyhawk (naturally) the other is the comic, Mighty Thor, and the other is hockey, namely the St. Louis Blues of the NHL. This week they won the Stanley Cup in a decisive game 7 over Boston Bruins. The same Boston Bruins who swept the Blues in four games 49 years ago. I'm almost 47, so that's how long this quest for redemption has been going on for our fan base. This is like the century-long struggle that was recently ended by Chicago Cubs fans in baseball.

Not only did they win 16 games to take the prize, they had to claw all the way from last place in the league in January, to get to the playoffs. How is that in D&D terms? Your character just got beat up going through a dungeon, then with one hit point left and a broken sword, you just rolled a bunch of nat-20's to slay a dragon. Okay that may be extreme, but it is definitely in the same realm as the 1980 U.S. Olympic team defeating the USSR.

At any rate, when it comes to my favorite three things, 2019 has been a damn fine year for me so far. I got to be on a Greyhawk panel with many of my friends at Gary Con, I got to see movie Thor kick ass one more time in Avengers: Infinity War, and now, my favorite hockey team finally lifted the most-difficult trophy to win in all of sports! I'm gushing with pride, my head is still in the clouds and I'm happy to shout it out on the internet: St. Louis Blues, Stanley Cup Champions!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

My Ghosts of Saltmarsh Review

Ahoy, Greyhawkers! I don't review just any D&D product as you know. I often promote them, but I'll only dig into them if there is a really good Greyhawk angle to discuss. Well, Ghosts of Saltmarsh is really good and as you've heard it's VERY grounded in the World of Greyhawk.

First, it bears repeating here that Ghosts' "Greyhawk pedigree" is amazingly good given the path of classic adventures that comprise the book. The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, Danger at Dunwater and The Final Enemy are all firmly located in the Keoland/Hool Marshes area. The Styes by Richard Pett was made with Prymp in mind and Tammeraut's Fate by Greg Vaughan is set in the south coast of Nyrond. Mr. Vaughan is a stalwart having written many Greyhawk themed adventures in Dungeon back in 3.5E. Salvage Operation is by Mike Mearls, the head-honcho of D&D, but also an avid Greyhawk fan.

Saltmarsh is perfect for a coastal setting book of course, not because it's big and iconic like Waterdeep, but because it's remote and generic. These traits are often why Greyhawk is the setting to turn to for D&D campaigns. Needless to say the ship sailing rules are effective and easy, building upon info already presented in previous 5E books, not superseding them. I am also jazzed about the ship upgrades in Ghosts, because it can get boring for one sailing vessel to pretty much be identical to the next one. This book also gives players some new character backgrounds that tie wonderfully into a nautical themed campaign, and then update familiar ones from the PHB to also work best with Saltmarsh's region.

A fun feature of Ghosts is the three factions which fit neatly into the setting. Traditionalists like the way things are in Saltmarsh and have been there a long time. Loyalists are fairly new to the town or favor bringing the region back under control of the Kingdom of Keoland, and then the Scarlet Brotherhood faction is well, the Scarlet Brotherhood we all love, sneaking and spying! This Saltmarsh is clearly set in the pre-Wars era because otherwise the backdrop of this book would look difficult, not to mention, most of these modules were written before the publication of Greyhawk Wars anyhow. I personally approve of this early part of the time line for it is has a high emphasis on adventures and exploration, less so on pointless war and destruction. Indeed it's the era that I've based my Hold of the Sea Princes campaign upon and will continue to now that this book is in play.

Ghosts really does emphasize the Greyhawk setting. Maps in this book are done by Dyson Logos and Mike Schley. The section on geography is a huge boon to anyone wanting to learn more about the setting because there is info on the town of Burle and Seaton. The Dreadwood and Hool Marshes are heavily detailed, along with encounter charts. The Azure Sea is even given some good encounter charts, including my favorite bit, a few unique pirates of the region. When I say unique, I'm not kidding either. You won't find these crews in any pirate movie you've seen before!

Furthermore, Ghosts offers DMs many, many wonderful charts to help create mysterious islands, ocean dangers, random ships to keep the campaign going beyond the adventures presented in between. This is a must own book whose usefulness can go beyond 5E rules.

Lastly, go check out DMsGuild now and you'll see Saltmarsh is an approved "Story Line" for 5E authors. Indeed, there is already several new Saltmarsh publications on the site which I have yet to check out. At any rate, sorry folks, according to WotC staff it's not a true setting, but yes you can write about, uh, let's just call it the "World of Saltmarsh" perhaps? Just be sure to keep your Greyhawk references coming from a Ghosts of Saltmarsh perspective. I mean if Procan (in the book) is worshiped in Saltmarsh, why not nautical deities Osprem and Xerbo as well? Oh, and those priests brought the religions to the port town from across the Azure Sea (in the book) in the neighboring Sea Princes (in the book) port called, um let's see, I got it, Monmurg. Meanwhile, here's a bunch of useful NPCs from Monmurg who are visiting Saltmarsh (some could be Scarlet Brotherhood spies, shh), and hey you already finished the six modules in Ghosts, well these guys have heard of some other places to adventure very close to Saltmarsh like Beyond the Crystal Cave, the Sentinel or Baltron's Beacon. See, I can do this all day. Come on Wizards, open up Greyhawk to the fans!

Friday, May 31, 2019

Pirate Fleets of Greyhawk

Welcome Greyhawkers! Today I'm going to try extra hard and bring you some new content for your home game, especially if you are like me and are about to get the 5E nautical rules in Ghosts of Saltmarsh. Now for several years already, I've been running a multi-party Hold of the Sea Princes campaign set before the Greyhawk Wars. Alot of my themes throughout the campaign has been about sailing the high seas and swashbuckling action. Not surprisingly this all started by running the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh! From there it spun out into treasure hunting, deadly curses, ocean pantheons and piratical politics inspired by movies like Pirates of the Caribbean.

One of my favorite things about our Sea Princes campaign has indeed been the use of factions, particularly pirate fleets which I became keen to expand upon when I saw the Crimson Fleet in the Dungeon Magazine AP, Savage Tide. Here is a survey of some known pirate fleets that ply the seas of the Flanaess. I leave much of the intricacies of these groups to each individual DM for now. Enjoy, mateys!

Prince's Fleet
(large fleet)
Home Port: Monmurg (Sea Princes)
Rivals: Toli Armada, Blue Confederation
Enemies: Crimson Fleet, Keoish Navy, Ulek Navy
Overview: This fleet is comprised of those nobles and captains loyal to the Prince of Monmurg who is generally regarded as the ruler of the entire Hold of the Sea Princes. These captains adhere to the laws of the sea, showing mercy to foes and eschew slavery in principle though its practice is too widespread in the mainland Hold to stop presently. The Princes Fleet is the main bulwark against the Keoish Navy and the Lion Throne retaking their former province back. For this reason, their piracy is subdued, now more focused on economic diplomacy.

Toli Armada (large fleet)
Home Port: Port Toli (Sea Princes)
Rivals: Prince's Fleet, Sasserine Fleet, Crimson Fleet
Enemies: Keoish Navy, Ulek Navy
Overview: The pompous Prince of Port Toli commands the loyalty of many captains in the southern Hold who are more concerned with personal wealth and prestige. This fleet is mainly responsible for the nation's exploration and expansion into the jungles and islands farther south, as well as the slave trade so despised by Monmurg. The Toli Armada is a fearsome naval power in its own right, but is prone to alliances and defections to the Crimson Fleet much to the dismay of Monmurg.

Hold Flotilla (small fleet)
Home Port: various (Sea Princes)
Rivals: Princes Fleet, Toli Armada, Sasserine Fleet
Enemies: Crimson Fleet, Keoish Navy
Overview: This is a loose association of captains who consider themselves above the petty squabbles of the Hold nobility and their fleets, preferring to seek independent ventures legitimate or otherwise. These captains tend to stay close to home waters however, until such time when the entire Hold is threatened. In these emergencies the Flotilla rallies and its squadrons sail with the flags of their kin.

Crimson Fleet (medium fleet)
Home Port: Scuttlecove (Pirate Isles)
Rivals: Toli Armada, Cousins of Tilva
Enemies: Keoish Navy, Prince's Fleet, Hold Flotilla, Iron League, Ulek Navy, Sasserine Fleet, Duxchan Armada
Overview: The dread Crimson Fleet carved out an island realm of their own in the seas south of the Olman Isles. The rulership of this fleet and their diabolical patrons is highly questionable. What is known is the Crimson Fleet attracts all manner of cutthroats, mutineers and disaffected captains who have no where else to call home. For this reason, the Fleet is a mish-mash of former pirates from nearly every known fleet in the Flanaess. Crimson Fleet pirates are accepted bounty in nearly any port in the south seas.

Cousins of Tilva (medium fleet)
Home Port: Kro Terlep, Ekul (Tilvanot Peninsula)
Rivals: Slave Lords, Blue Confederation, Crimson Fleet, Duxchan Armada
Enemies: South Provincial Navy, Iron League, Rel Astran Navy, Sea Barons, Sulward Blockade
Overview: This coalition of pirate captains seem to control all harbors, coves and islands surrounding the coast of the Tilvanot Peninsula and the horn of Hepmonaland. Their presence is both a bane to trade-fleets on the Azure and Aerdi Sea and a boon to the poor, defenseless villagers of this tropical region whom give the Cousins shelter. The captains of the Cousins are without exception always of Suloise descent though their crews are accepting of any ethnicity or race. They are considered more honorable than most of their rivals and have been known to sail far out of their normal sea-lanes on business for the mysterious plateau realm of Shar, rumored to be their true masters.

Slave Lords (medium fleet)
Home Port: Elredd, Highport (Wild Coast/ Pomarj)
Rivals: Blue Confederation, Cousins of Tilva
Enemies: Hardby Marines, Iron League, Nyrondal Navy, South Provincial Navy, Dyvers and Furyondy Navy.
Overview: The infamous yellow sails of the Slave Lords have long been feared in the central Flanaess, though their vicious captains rarely realize the identities of their true masters. The presence of these pirates is a constant concern for Wild Coast towns and merchant fleets crossing the Woolly Bay. Less obvious is this fleet runs a slaving network that has somehow spread inland to the Nyr Dyv incurring the wrath of the Dyvers and Furyondian Navies. The Slave Lords have also sought to expand their fleet by training Pomarj orcs and goblins the ways of sailing, to limited success.

Blue Confederation (medium fleet)
Home Port: Blue (Pomarj)
Rivals: Slave Lords, Iron League, Prince's Fleet
Enemies: South Provincial Navy, Hardby Marines, Ulek Navy, Nyrond Navy
Overview: The alliance of independent captains who mainly harbor in the coves of the southern Pomarj and Blue pre-date the rise of the Slave Lords and have managed to remain viable by working with them to harass all merchant activity passing through the Sea of Gearnat. Even so, the Blue Confederation is generally honorable compared to most pirates, and has also been known to smuggle for the Iron League if it means affecting the South Province.

Densac Squadrons (small fleet)
Home Port: Narisban (Olman Isles)
Rivals: Crimson Fleet, Prince's Fleet, Cousins of Tilva, Toli Armada
Enemies: None
Overview: The captains who call the Olman Isles their home are a mixed bunch of retired fleet captains, Olman-born sailors and Narisban freebooters. The Densac and the port of Narisban is traditionally considered neutral waters for all pirate society and the Densac Squadrons are merely an informal alliance to protect their routes. Foreign explorers and traders seeking riches to the south are not so safe.

Sulward Blockade (large fleet)
Home Port: Sulward (Lordship of the Isles)
Rivals: Rel Astran Navy, Duxchan Armada
Enemies: Sea Barons, North Provincial Navy, Spindrift Isles, Cousins of Tilva
Overview: The Sulward Blockade is formed by captains sworn to the Lord of the Isles who is nominally a member of the Iron League as well. The captains of Sulward, once part of the Great Kingdom, have changed from their piratical ways to extracting tribute on all Aerdian vessels passing south to the jungles or through the Tilva Strait (Iron League vessels pay none). In particular the Oerid population of this fleet has made them biased towards most Aerdian ships unlike their islander rivals the Duxchan Armada. The Sea Barons however, desire to crush the blockade someday and with it, retake the Isles.

Duxchan Armada (large fleet)
Home Port: Duxchan (Lordship of the Isles)
Rivals: Rel Astran Navy, Sulward Blockade, Cousins of Tilva
Enemies: Sea Barons, North Provincial Navy, Spindrift Isles, Crimson Fleet
Overview: This fleet is comprised of mostly Suel-born buccaneers from the southern isles of the Lordship. These captains are more free-wheeling and prone to adventure than the reformed Sulward Blockade, but are quick to rally in times of war. The Duxchaners have been in open conflict with the Sea Barons for a long time and chafe at contested sea traffic in the Tilva Strait with the rival Cousins. The Duxchan Armada is highly honorable and often take part in dangerous Iron League missions against the Aerdy for the riches and glory.

Thillonrian Raiders (various size fleet)
Home Port: Soull, Krakenheim, Glot (Snow, Frost, Ice Barbarians)
Rivals: Themselves
Enemies: Sea Barons, North Provincial Navy, Hold of Stonefist
Overview: The raiding captains (often chieftains) of the Thillonrian Peninsula are far flung from the cares of the south and central seas, but they share a generational hatred for the provincial navies of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy. When not raiding over the Icy Sea or venturing to places uncharted, these barbarian ships come into conflict with one another for plunder rights on the Solnor Ocean. Even so, the raider-kings of Rhizia can at times overcome these tribal differences to form a mighty invading fleet.

Added notes on national fleets for completion sake:

The Great Kingdom of Aerdy has a considerable presence on all the seas, being comprised of the North (medium) and South (large) Provincial Navies and in addition the formidable Sea Barons (large).

Rel Astran Navy (medium) protects the port and merchants of this free-city and have little love of the Aerdian Navy or the Sea Barons.

The Iron League Fleet (large) is comprised of ships from Irongate, Onnwal, Idee and Sunndi (the Lordship has its own fleet). Irongate and Idee have the strongest warships, while a majority of the fleet is tiny ships converted for war.

Keoish Navy (large) and Ulek Navy (small) are the allied fleets of the western kingdoms and principalities that trade on the Azure Sea.

Nyrondal Navy (medium) is mainly concerned with piracy across the Sea of Gearnat, but also in helping the Iron League vie against the Great Kingdom.

Hardby Marines (small) protect Greyhawk Domain interests on the Woolly Bay and along the Wild Coast.

Spindrift Isles (Lendore Isles) Navy is mainly composed of elven warships whose speed and skill have confounded all pirates and navies on the seas. Only the Duxchaners have been foolish enough to test their mettle and sail within their waters.

Sasserine Fleet (small) captains serve council-members of the free-city nestled on the Jeklea Bay coast near the Hellfurnaces. They maintain peaceful ties with their former rulers the Sea Princes, but often defend against Crimson Fleet raids.

Dyvers and Furyondy Navies (medium) control the western freshwaters of the Nyr Dyv. Their main concerns are the threat of Iuz, deep lake monsters and smuggling Rhennee. The infiltration of the Slave Lords has been an added thorn in their side.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

New Greyhawk Articles and Stuff

Greetings Greyhawkers! I have nothing new to present, but there is always some good Greyhawk stuff online. Such as:

Greyhawk Grognard has finished off his long running Greyhawk's World series, finishing the column that Gygax started so long ago in Dragon Magazine, that updates various regions of the Flanaess. This newest download details Events on the Periphery of the Flanaess like Blackmoor, Lordship of the Isles and the Olman Isles. I love "the Periphery" as a name for these scattered locations. Be sure to get Joe Bloch's latest article, it will definitely spice up your Greyhawk campaign. I know the added news dealing with the south seas lands will help in my own Saltmarsh-Sea Princes campaign.

Over at Tribality, Greyhawk superfan Blake Ryan has a couple new articles in his ongoing column on Greyhawk cities. This time he presents Greyhawk Cities-Yecha home of the roving Tiger Nomads. Pay particular attention to the "wedding quests." I love this idea. Also check out Greyhawk Cities-Sefmur as Mr. Ryan gives the Baklunish West some more love. Looking for a raid quest? There might be a certain witch-queen lurking here to give one.

This last one is from ENWorld. It's not Greyhawk per se, but it's a great article on the development of Deities & Demigods by the author of the AD&D book himself, James Ward. I highly recommend this read to all especially my old school friends. James Ward was instrumental in Greyhawk's early development as well so it's nice to know his thought process and how he and Gygax interacted. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Random Greyhawk Esoterica

Welcome back Greyhawkers. Well I don't have my copy of Ghosts of Saltmarsh yet and our Legends & Lore stream show returns in a couple weeks, so for now I'm going to do one of my favorite things and talk about random published Greyhawk tidbits. This time I'm going to peruse some stuff from Dungeon and Dragon Magazines. Let's dig in...

Dragon #277 had an interesting article called Greyhawk 2000 by Philip Athans. This article was an example of advancing timelines in a fantasy world that includes gods, monsters and magic. I had to look it up again because I thought I was dreaming this happened. Guns, automobiles, fighter jets, etc. Indeed it reminds me of the near-future-fantasy of Shadowrun, but without proliferation of cybernetic technology. If Mr. Athans were to update his article to be "Greyhawk 2020", I'm sure there would be even more familiar concepts from real life entering the Flanaess (like smart phones). At any rate, check out this wiki Greyhawk Timeline that includes the future-hawk events, it's good for a fun read.

Raiders of the Black Ice by Wolfgang Baur of Kobold Press fame, can be found in Dungeon #115 and it is one of my favorite Greyhawk adventures from the magazines. This adventure was a tie-in to the 3.5E environmental splatbook Frostburn. This book involved arctic settings and was my favorite of the series. Using it to run in the Land of Black Ice was just perfect. RotBI has more than black ice and surviving the elements, it has frost-folk, automatons and an amazing map of Blackmoor region by Rob Lazaretti. If you don't own this issue, I highly recommend it.

In Dragon #351 is the long overdue article Irongate - City of Stairs by my good friends Gary Holian and Denis Tetreault. The guys had an Irongate Project in the works for ages and this sadly short offering was published by fellow Greyhawk loremaster Erik Mona before the tragic end of Paizo's run on the magazines. While there is so much more to Irongate, they capture the history of the free city and manage to develop some cool stuff for an otherwise untouched part of the setting. One thing is they tie the mysterious World Serpent Inn to the city making it a multi-planar destination for some NPCs. Another thing is a sidebar on Oerthblood. This rare material also known as blood-iron, is unique to the World of Greyhawk and is useful in crafting weapons and armor. Before the stuff is even enchanted it grants a +1 luck bonus to hit or variable damage resistance. Want some of that? Go to Irongate!

 Lastly, is a treat from Dragon Magazine Annual #3 by Noel Graham called Falcon's Bazaar. This article made during 2E I believe, covers a bunch of intriguing mundane items that can be found in the markets throughout the Flanaess. It reminds me alot of Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue which funny to say, may be my favorite FR book of all time. In Falcon's Bazaar you can find items you never knew your character needed, like Bronzewood Portals for your bar (20-175 gp for doors, 11-85 sp for shutters), Luminous Paste made from Phostwood trees to help mark your way in the Underdark, Rhizian Shield Harness for barbarians who need to use two-handed weapons time to time, and chewable Tamal Leaves from the Amedio Jungle for hardened adventurers who are too cool (or disgusting) for halfling pipe-weed.

That's all for, good luck finding these articles, they are all timeless and useful in any edition of D&D. You won't be disappointed. Until next time!

Monday, May 20, 2019

A Few Interesting Greyhawk Posts

Howdy Greyhawkers! The big news from Wizards last weekend was about their new adventure, Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus and they've announced a setting hardback for Eberron. (for some reason) I'm not here to discuss Sharn, but I do have a few Greyhawk items to tide us over until I can get the new Ghosts of Saltmarsh book and then with Anna Meyer, on June 5th, start back up Legends & Lore on the Greyhawk Channel.

First up, over at Tribality, author Blake Ryan has another mysterious location to show off in his Greyhawk series, this time it is Xanvak, an underwater lair of Aboleth in Lake Quag near Perrenland. Suddenly that sleepy lake got 1000% more deadly. Blake throws in some interesting loot choices drawn from Greyhawk Adventures if your players care to brave this deep danger.

Second, the new Avernus book mentioned above partially takes place on the first level of hell (making this a stealth Planescape adventure). One of the product points for this event is some big nasty vehicle called the Infernal War Machine. Over at ENWorld there is photos and advance look at the rules. They are touting this as Mad Max inspired, though my next inclination is my Warhammer 40k orks would love to ride that. However, an astute Greyhawk-file will also point at this infernal machine and scream DOOMGRINDER! Or for that matter maybe the Machine of Lum the Mad or Mighty Servant of Leuk-O could come from this family of hellish devices. All this time they were Blood War left overs!

Lastly, I rarely go to Dragon+ cause reasons, but in this month's feature for the Best of the Dungeon Master's Guild by Shawn Merwin also includes some links to PDFs of classic Dragon Magazine articles that can enhance a nautical campaign. Among these excellent entries is a Greyhawk article I DO NOT REMEMBER. This is significant to me, because I thought I had seen it all. Ironically, issue #125 from 1987 features a cover painting of King Arthur at the Battle of Camlan by Roger Raupp.

This same artwork would later be recycled in 1991 for...Greyhawk Wars boxed set cover. Yes I am underwhelmed too, but I had forgot that excellent cover graced Dragon before the forgettable game. Fast forward almost three decades later and now it is here again. Magical Maps of Greyhawk by Lee Ian Wurn has some excellent lore on the Cataclysms to go with his unique magical items. Download this article!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Ghosts of Saltmarsh Thoughts

Howdy Greyhawkers! It's a lazy weekend, so all I have is some quick commentary on some early reviews of Wizards' release of nautical themed rule/adventure hardcover Ghosts of Saltmarsh. There's a good one on ENWorld by Beth Rimmels. And there's an excellent post by NewbieDM with pictures. I'm sure you've read the contents and seen the maps. I'm stoked, you're stoked. Here is my observations:

First off, the word going around from the Wizards staff is that Saltmarsh will be considered a "setting" and Greyhawk won't for purposes of DMsGuild content creation. Think about that for a second. Had they said sure, writers you can do Sword Coast but not the rest of Forgotten Realms then there would be grumbling, Barovia but not the rest of Ravenloft, grumbling. Sharn but not the rest of Eberron, grumbling. Why should Greyhawk fans be any less offended then? That said it's smart, because as I've analyzed before, the adaptation of Greyhawk classics in 5E is coming up to a crossroads. It will soon have to delve into actual Greyhawk story lines before long or be forced to switch to another classic setting like Dragonlance or Planescape. Futhermore, Saltmarsh was never an integral part of the World of Greyhawk yet it attained this classic status despite being canonically invisible. So, good on Saltmarsh as the choice for a setting to develop on its own. I take it as a sign Wizards knows its burning through IP too fast and is pumping the brakes.

Even so, from the photos shown in NewbieDM's post, we see Keoland, the Sea Princes and King Skotti are mentioned. This is fantastic exposure. The SW of the Flanaess is a popular area with a wealth of history and much open sea to explore. I should know, I've spent the last several years developing the Sea Princes and South Seas. Those DMs looking to start a high seas campaign in Greyhawk, check out my map HERE.

I am very intrigued by the factions in this book, Traditionalists, Loyalists (to Keoland) and the kicker, the Scarlet Brotherhood! This is a huge addition. The SB is a secret organization early in Greyhawk lore, who then jump into the spot light and begin conquest during the Greyhawk Wars. What era GoS is representing will definitely tip off fans where the future of published Greyhawk may be heading. The SB were never featured in any of the original modules featured in Ghosts AFAIK, so this faction addition like I said, is a big nod to setting development.

There is mention made in the pictures of at least THREE Greyhawk deities, one of which, Procan is entirely appropriate since he is the god of the seas. This is notable because Procan is not listed in the scant section of Greyhawk gods in the 5E PHB. I can only hope fellow nautical deities Xerbo and Osprem sneak into this module as well.

I've ran Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh before, it's wonderful, but not the other constituent modules (a couple which are Dungeon Magazine classics). I'm sure this book along with the rules section on seafaring will be amazing. I wish it had come out three or four books ago! So yes, I cannot wait to get this book. I also cannot wait for Greyhawk to be turned loose for real on DMsGuild. Until then, enjoy the Saltmarsh "setting".

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Greyhawk A-Z: Monsters

Howdy Greyhawkers! I was looking for something to write about this weekend and lo and behold this old column popped up. If you haven't seen my A to Z posts check them out on the Best of Greyhawkery HERE. I've covered people, places, deities and magic, so why not monsters? This is generally going to be about D&D monsters, but I guarantee I'll give my Greyhawk angle to them. Enjoy!

Aarakocra: What's an Aarakocra? Well they are bird-folk from Fiend Folio of course. They are misspelled as Aarakoora in the World of Greyhawk Glossography encounter charts. You can find these winged creatures in the Corusk, Griff, Rakers and Lortmil Mountains.

Bulette: I have never used a bulette that I can recall. The Monster Manual says these armored burrowing monsters are also called landsharks and they might be the creation of a wizard. As for Greyhawk, apparently half-strength, sand bulettes can be found in the Sea of Dust. Beware!

Cooshee: Elf dogs! Why aren't these smart pups from Monster Manual 2 more well know today? They are green, people!

Drider: You like drow? You like giant spiders? How about a drow-spider hybrid? These things are supposed to be cursed drow who fail Lolth, but serious they seem like an upgrade to me! I need to use them more.

Ettercap: Speaking of spider-kin, I never understood Ettercaps or whatever their historical origins. In D&D they are spider-men that over the editions get less and less human-like in description. An interesting theory says Ettercaps were once mad druids that changed into these things and never came back. Whatever the case, aren't there enough spider-things in Greyhawk?

Firbolg: What does Greyhawk have more of than spiders? Yeah, giants. In MM2, there was three new minor giants introduced, Verbeeg (skinny intelligent ogres), Fomorians (deformed hill giants) and the Firbolg. These giants are hermits and have magic power. Among them, they can appear small. In 5E, I'm not sure what Firbolg are like, but I'm sure it's a change from 1E. Historically, Firbolg I believe are from Celtic myth? *shrug*

Grung: If you are relatively new to D&D you might even know what the toad-like Grung are thanks to 5E's Tomb of Annihilation. Cool but I'm fairly certain they are Greyhawk originals, seen in the hardback Greyhawk Adventures. Though I've never used them, I imagine they are frog-gnomes from a playable race standpoint.

Horg: Want to know what the scariest monsters is in all of Greyspace? It's the Horg hands down. Fortunately for you Oerth-bound adventurers, they inhabit the vacuum of the asteroid belt Grinder. They are bat-like humanoids who can phase and have poisonous attacks that would worry even Tiamat. I could go into more detail, but you'll have to trust me, Spelljamming isn't a cake-walk.

Illithid: aka Mindflayers, these monsters are another I've underused in my DM career. I wager it's because of their psionic-ness. I've never been a fan of psionics. Also, rumor has it there is an Illithid lair in Riftcanyon. They apparently like collecting Greyhawk lore too. Take my word for it.

Jermaline: I love sneaky, underdark creatures like the Jermaline. Also known as bane-midges, these little guys were created by Gygax and first appeared in Fiend Folio. If you don't own the original FF, get one now! It's a classic. In the World of Greyhawk, you can even find Jermaline in the tunnels of the Sea of Dust.

Kech: Off the top of my head these are tree-dwelling camouflaged simians? I believe they were in MM2 and Ghost Tower of Inverness as I chose to replace them with Chokers because they haven't been converted to 5E yet.

Losel: Speaking of which, Losel are like primitive orc-baboon crossbreeds. Apparently Gygax first used them in his novels and they made their way into the setting lore as creatures brought to other forests of the Flanaess by Iuz and the Scarlet Brotherhood. As for my home campaign? Hard pass.

Manotaur: Anyone else remember this guy? No, not minotaur...manotaur.  I think it was in Greyhawk Ruins, but I can't seem to find it because I tore all the monster pages out to add to my 2E Monster Manual binder that I obviously didn't take good care of. Ah well, I know I didn't imagine it.

Norker: We have alot of spiders and giants, but Greyhawk also has tons of evil goblinoids. Not quite goblins, not quite hobgoblins, Norkers are fun because their hide is so tough they don't need armor. Otherwise, they're just extra-hard-to-kill goblins. Try em out! I do believe Iuz is doing just that in his armies.

Ogre: Ogres are everywhere! But did you know there is an ogre hang-out near Hardby called Ogremeet? Coincidentally in the adventure Greyhawk Ruins there is evidence Zagyg Yragerne was making rings of ogre control. Ogre army perhaps?

Pernicons: I have never used these grasshopper-like pests, but if you don't know what Pernicons are then check out this old post of mine that mentions them. Fiend Folio is the best! Look for these nasty swarms in the Sea of Dust and Bright Desert.

Quaggoth: Found mainly in the Burneal Forest, I like to think of these fuzzy bear-folk as D&D's version of Chewbacca. In Age of Worms they introduced an NPC Quaggoth who got some culture. I'm unsure if any edition of D&D has made them a playable race though.

Remorhaz: There is few creatures in the frozen north lager and scarier than "frost worms". They have such hot cores that being swallowed by a Remorhaz is one of the worst ways to die. I picture these being common around they geyser filled Land of Black Ice.

Swordwraith: You can probably imagine what these are already. Indeed, they are intelligent undead swordsmen from old battlefields who still gather and plot and raid! Originally in Greyhawk Adventures, it says they are most likely found in the Stark Mounds, but can be at the site of any battle. I can think of a few spots that would be crawling with these guys.

Trolls: I've gone on how there is many kinds of giant, arachnids and humanoids in Greyhawk, but let's not leave out Trolls. They apparently can adapt to ANY environment and even mate with ettins and things. Now that I think of it, they are classified as giants, so never mind. My favorite is Ice Trolls, cause well, who is going to protect you from the Remorhaz until you kill them off?

Unicorn: Who in the 80's didn't watch the D&D Cartoon and instantly want to use unicorns in their campaign? Oh yes, there was also The Last Unicorn cartoon and the movie Legend. It's amazing I barely used them until 3rd edition. When I did they were in Welkwood and Silverwood.

Volt: Are your players tired of yet another predictable Stirge attack? Okay, send Volts after them next time! Another fine creation from Fiend Folio that hasn't translated over to later editions. This is remarkable because it made the top 10 vote for best monsters in the book for White Dwarf magazine. They basically work like Stirge, but while they are draining blood they also whip you for electrical damage. You're welcome!

Will-o-Wisp: Speaking of electrical damage. The "WoW" is a creature I've underused and I can't figure out why. They are fast, evil and pack a punch. Glowing orbs that like to lure people into haunted ruins and traps also rates high on the DM toolbox. Muahaha.

Xvart: These creepy blue goblins are everywhere. Verbobonc, Bone March, Bandit Kingdoms, Vesve, Horned Society, etc. We all should know about their precocious deity, Raxivort, but I remember a VERY obscure xvart from Living Greyhawk Journal named Xiq-Ciq. IIRC he is the "pet-friend of a Komali noblewoman.

Yuan-ti: Everyone knows about these snake-people. The fun thing about them is the variety of yuan-ti that have been created over the years. This makes them seem more realistic and fearsome because you never know what you may run into next. I'm positive they rule wide swathes of Hepmonaland, but outside the jungles do yuan-ti roam the Flanaess?

Zombie: Sure, any priest of Iuz can raise them, but let's try out a new scenario more in line with our TV and movie zombies...

That's all for now!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

New Blog: Greyhawk Stories

Welcome World of Greyhawk fans. Today I'm promoting a new Greyhawk themed blog called Greyhawk Stories! What is the mission of Greyhawk Stories? Obviously to share some of the best lore and fiction about the setting we all love. And there will definitely be a healthy dose of new works by the site as well. Check out this intro for more.

In the meantime the first few articles posted cover some juicy subjects. First off is The Making of Turrosh Mak by Jeff Mckillop. Turrosh is the most famous half-orc in the Flanaess and rules over an empire of humanoids in the Pomarj. Check out this blast from the past.

The next is some original fiction by Greyhawk Stories titled Iggwilv in the Hut of Baba Yaga. What more do I need to say there? Two of the best witches in all of D&D fandom. In part one we get a wonderful tale of how a VERY young girl comes to meet Baba Yaga and charms her way into becoming her daughter.

Lastly is the expanded account of the Battle of Emridy Meadows, the most famous battle in the World of Greyhawk, researched and analyzed by yours truly back in 2008. Greyhawk Stories, with my permission, did a amazing job cleaning up this article and making it a presentable PDF download. Check it out!

Keep checking in on this new blog, they have a lot of enthusiasm and good tales to share in the future. The Greyhawk fan community has never been stronger!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Avengers Endgame Thoughts

Hello Greyhawkers. It's been a long, busy week, but I did manage to see Avengers: Endgame and I must say, after 10 years of amazing Marvel comic movies building up to this finale I got some thoughts to share in relation to running a D&D/RPG campaign (not just Greyhawk). Also, no don't worry, there won't be any spoilers in this post. If you haven't seen the movie do so NOW. If you haven't seen any Avengers movies, what's wrong with you? Okay let's start in no particular order...

1. Adventure Paths, much like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, are hard, but if you can finish it the memories and emotional pay off will be worth it. Be it the Against the Giants/Queen of Spiders, Age of Worms or your own series of adventures. If you intend to do the long-campaign, see it through!

2. A central uber-villain like Thanos is worth his weight in gold. This guy has to be untouchable, but so personally hated by the PCs that they will try to defeat him/her no matter the odds. I think of heavy villain types like Iggwilv, Iuz or Vecna.

3. Villains can win. Yeah they can and it only makes the players want to try harder to undo what victory the bad guy may achieve. In the module Vecna Lives! there is a scenario in which the arch-lich wins. Does he? Probably not in 99.9% of games played, but if he does, it ups the stakes for your entire campaign.

4. Call backs to old NPCs or locations or events is a great way to reward players. Referencing something a PC has done to change the world is a good way to acknowledge that the players have mattered and their time is not wasted. If such a place or person is revisited, the platers will want to defend it just that much more. It's also a good way for a DM to show that no minor detail or random NPC you may meet in a Greyhawk tavern is unimportant because they might matter some point in the future.

5. If you're going to have an epic finale, be sure there is plenty for every hero to do. Having a character be the "chosen one" is fine in many stories with only one central character, but RPGs are usually ensemble casts. Give them stuff to do and personal goals to tie up at the end. this is why I feel quests like Five Shall Be One's quest for the five Blades of Corusk is great, because it requires all the heroes to be invested in the story and lend a hand in victory.

6. Character death should be epic, not pointless. This is of course easier said than done. But if the PCs live as well, there should always be an opportunity to take one for the team. The struggle against Kyuss in Age of Worms was quite good at handling climatic situations in this fashion.

7. Sometimes a new player thinks outside the box better than veterans. If this ever happens it is a breath of fresh air for DMs and a shot in the arm for long time players. I've seen it happen occasionally over the years. Never discourage creative plans and ideas, no matter how silly or over the top they may seem at first.
8. It's okay to move up the timeline. RPGs these days work in at accelerated pace. It's easy to do an Adventure Path like Savage Tide, that takes less than a game year to finish but takes the PC from 1-20th level. So your PC may be ultra powerful and rich now, but has he really developed? As a DM, adding incremental timeline changes gives the players an opportunity to change not just their stats but their character's personal story moving forward.

9. Cross-overs can work. Are you a DM that runs more than one game group? Do they play in a shared world like the World of Greyhawk? If you ever get to mix these game groups up and let them cross over the teams, it can make for some interesting relationships and new group dynamics. I used to run games like this frequently and we still proudly talk about those games decades later.

10. Have an easily defined villain plot or quest. If you're playing an RPG involving intrigue, investigation or horror then sure, it can be good to slowly dish out information and build to a reveal. In an epic fantasy quest, sometimes it's good to know the danger up front and what will happen if they fail. All the stuff in between is the meat of the story and for a DM can be fluid at this point. Iuz's demons will overrun the Flanaess unless you get the Crook of Rao, And....GO!

11. A good villain or hero never stays gone for long. It's more true for comic books, but in a game like D&D it's easy for recurring villains or even heroes to be brought back into the story if needed, such as clones, simulacrum, resurrection, raise dead, reincarnation, undeath, etc. If done right this can span a wide timeline gap like in Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure and the sequel Maure Castle which was also written 20 real years apart.

12. Sometimes villains can make great allies or can even be redeemed. If you haven't tried to have a villain team up with the PCs to take down a greater threat, you are missing out on some great roleplay opportunities. Imagine the possibility of a romantic storyline with a villain like in the movie Willow, or something familial like Thor and Loki or Raistlin and Caramon from Dragonlance.

13. The story goes on. And when you finish your epically long campaign, sometimes it is nice for your heroes to lay the ground work for your next campaign. Pass the torch so to say. This could be like a legacy game where the Circle of Eight loses and adds new members, or maybe the timeline changes and you carry on the name of a previous PC. Or maybe your PC becomes a ruler of a nation that your next character hails from and is sent on the next quest by this mentor. There's many ways to tie up the end of a campaign and let your PC leave a permanent mark on the world.

Monday, April 22, 2019

A Few New Greyhawk Articles

Greetings seekers of all things Greyhawk! Today I bring you three new works from various luminaries of the Greyhawk community. Let's get it started!

First up is the final installment of Joe Bloch's wonderful series of articles expanding the Baklunish Pantheon. If you haven't seen this already be sure to back track and download all his articles on his blog Greyhawk Grognard. In the final issue, Joe features classic deities Geshtai and Zuoken, then adds newcomers Suwat, Waadi and Malakim. They are loving produced and well-written and researched to the point you will swear it's canon!

Next up is actually two entries by one author. Blake Ryan has been building up steam as he releases new Greyhawk articles on D&D fan-site Tribality. His latest contributions to our lore is quite original. First he writes about a place called Zulpar, a lair of the Mind Flayers found in the Underdark beneath the Rakers mountain chain. Remote and scary indeed!
The second is Syrmyr, the lair of a nasty sea hag in the White Fanged Bay near Stonehold. Why would one want to go to such a cold and dangerous place? Mr. Ryan supplies plenty of good reasons in this article. Enjoy!

Last up is a new article at Canonfire! titled Beasts of the Scarlet Brother (5e Update) by Paul "Woesinger" Looby. In this, Woesinger updates an article he did for Dungeon #106 with fellow Onnwalian, Stuart Kerrigan way back in the heyday of Living Greyhawk. Now you can enjoy critters like Dreamstealers, Yeshir and Mazchedeen for your own 5E campaign. Good work, we need more 5E conversions like this.

That's all for now!