Thursday, June 18, 2020

State of Greyhawkery 2020

Welcome back Greyhawk readers. This post is not so good, and it's probably an overreaction, so bear with me. In the middle of a fandom renaissance online the last couple years, I have felt our community has never been more active in streaming, mapping, blogging, convention-play and article writing. I expect this creativity to continue, but will it for me? I don't know. I feel like Frodo at the end of Return of the King. I often go through moods like this during my decade long blog and comic run, except this time, an announcement by WotC has me feeling down and conflicted.

I will let you read the article, suffice to say it's a positive direction for D&D and one I agree should be done for the game and any content produced going forward. What I'm not thrilled about is that it means Greyhawk as we know it, in my opinion, might no longer be desirable as a published setting for the next generation of D&D players. After reading this press release, how can I not think the World of Greyhawk (and even Forgotten Realms for that matter) is only considered "legacy D&D content" to Wizards and that if they ever decide to use it again, rather than just strip-mine the best parts, the setting will require a HUGE overhaul in order to appeal to a new, younger, more diverse audience? That is not to say Greyhawk and its old school sensibilities can't be brought in tune with the new one. But is it worth the effort? At this moment, I'd be fine with Wizards focusing on Wildemount or Eberron or Theros,

That brings me back to this blog. I enjoy doing nostalgic posts on our game's history or musing on the intricacies of the setting. After literally thousands of posts, comics and articles I don't feel I have anything left in my tank. I've tried to raise awareness of Greyhawk, to keep it relevant through three different editions. I've educated, I've entertained, I've promoted others work and now I just want to sit back and see where it goes next. To that end I have about 73 more posts to reach the 1000 post milestone. I'd like to get to that point before hanging up Greyhawkery, so there's still several more months left in me. When that rolls around, we shall see what the state of D&D and Greyhawk is like in 2021 and then I'll reassess my plans like I always do.


grodog said...

I'm always curious about what Greyhawk's future holds, if anything, from WotC's POV, but from a quick read of their announcement, I don't see anything that's inherently anti-Greyhawk in the posting (I've not read any of the associated social media discussions about the announcement to date, so I'm not informed about how folks are reacting to it in general).

Changing out the term "race" for "peoples" or "folks" seems fine, and Greyhawk has always offered a diverse stew of races for players to portray in the game. While some monsters are good or evil in alignment, even that has shifted a bit over the years (drow being one example among many), which simply allows for a wider spectrum of definition for core races, monsters, and other creatures/entities in the campaign. So (and for what it's worth), I don't necessarily see this as detrimental to the core "Greyhawkness" of the setting, or that Greyhawk can't appeal to a racially diverse audience of gamers.

In terms of taking a break, I think you need to do what works for you, Mike: you've given a lot back to the community over the years, and we love you for it! Take whatever time you need and you'll find whatever groove makes you happy---and if that includes more Greyhawk in the future, so much the better, but you've gotta take care of you first! :D


Mike Bridges said...

Hey thanks for the reply Allan! Yeah I'm definitely drawing some huge inferences here, and I hope you're right. I guess it's my enthusiasm and hope that Greyhawk will be professionally published again that is worn out. If they'd open it to the fans on DMGuild (Goodman is nice but they only do modules) then no problem, I'd probably never read another press release again lol!

And yeah burn out. I'm having a blast retelling my 2E campaign, but when that runs out, I'm not sure what will strike me next, so giving myself a target of 1000 is a way to keep me going.

David Leonard said...

Whatever your decision, I can say that you have been an inspiration to me and many others. It was you, after all, who inspired me to begin my own blog; Jason Zavoda and Tommy Jon Kelly, as well, if recent Gabbin' streams bear any weight.
All I can say is that your posts have always been an inspiration, thought provoking, and chalk full of lore, for all to see.
Do I agree with WotC's direction? They certainly have experienced their own renaissance since releasing 5e, so who am I to judge. I'm old school. I like the old races, and believe that not everything should be a player "people." If the lines between good and evil get too blurred, the game will be as murky and conflicted as the real world, and personally, I like that old school escapism.
No matter. Should you decide to continue, I will cheer you on; if you choose to hang up your hat, you will leave behind a legacy of inspiration, and a wealth of gaming lore that few others can claim.
I salute you, sir!

Mike Bridges said...

David: Thanks for the kind words. I don't plan to stop running Greyhawk or doing Greyhawk stuff on the side. As always I will keep an eye on what WotC does, or doesn't do. This also has to be the 3rd or 4th time I've contemplated quitting. Having more fans like you doing blogs and streams is what has buoyed me. I wonder sometimes if I might enjoy more stuff if I wasn't busy creating content. Hmm!

Sean Robert Meaney said...

If you feel like Frodo at the end of LOTR you might want to read Silmarillion, because the supreme god of middle earth universe informs the god of evil right there, good god or bad god, every act is merely part of be supreme god's plan. Which means that the war of the ring isnt about dropping that one ring in the volcano, its about having frodo to be seen to be dropping that ring in the volcano so the elves will take him to their homeland where he can destroy the vast magical artefacts there that house the same energy as the ring. The darkness in frodo is not from the barrow wight's dagger, it was always within frodo and the wound is purely to convince you that the darkness came from the broken off dagger infecting the wound, and is not a darkness inherent to Frodo and the hobbits.

So as to D&D, yes, its a terrifying change that disregards the expectations of the majority in the centre. D&D was already educational, and it taught me about bigotry by me simply examining the history of fantasy creatures and understanding them to be human cultures not considered human cultures by those in the centre of the group because of their extreme and unacceptable diversity.

Yes, Its the end of the game as you know it. But they said that about Automobiles.

Mike Bridges said...

LOL Sean. Thanks for the pick me up. Agreed. Like you said D&D taught me so much that it made me more open-minded today than if I had grown up without it! I also know more about politics and religion thru roleplaying out the good and bad stuff, but that's a fight for another day!

Longetalos said...

Hey Mike, don't lose faith. You have been around long enough to remember the years of the Tanar'ri and the Baatezu. You are smart enough to see all the similarities and based on past experience we can predict the eventual outcome.

Mike Bridges said...

Longetalos: I'm trying not to lose faith. Waiting on the outcome is the trick, yup lol.