Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Greyhawk Folio: 30 Years

For some reason I couldn't adequately work this into any of my comics, but several weeks ago it was pointed out on the ENWorld forums that 2010 is the 30th anniversary of the World of Greyhawk Folio. Just like the original poster of the thread, I started playing Greyhawk with the 1983 boxed set version and had to go back and collect this earlier product. The folio as shown above was a folder that contained two slim booklets with bare bones information on the setting, and the same Darlene maps that everyone would come to revere. I highly recommend this product to any collector of old D&D books. Anyhow, read the forum thread and see MerricB's take on the Folio and the in-depth discussion that spins off from that.

Update 3/29/2021: ENWorld evidently pruned this forum topic so I removed the link. If anyone can find an archived post of Merric's thread please link it in the comments section.


Unknown said...

I too found this to be a particularly provocative product when I first saw it (I think it was 1980). It blew my mind! The maps were so superior to the hand drawn scribbly works I had used up until then. I was hooked from then on. I found the sparseness of the commentary in the booklet to be just right for sparking the imagination without controlling the direction of play too much (a feature I found disagreeable from later worlds ala Forgetten Realms and even worse, ICE's Middle Earth). The scope was immense enough to allow one to change 'settings' without giving up the history of previous play. Which is what my friends and I promptly did. Ah, memories....

Samwise said...

An interesting product - for its time.
The full color art of the covers and map gave it an immediate boost. At that time only old style board wargames were that colorful, gamers having to make do with feeble black and white or blue mimeographs.
The text was remarkably free of typos for a product in general and an RPG product specifically.
Naturally though, people wanted more. That is why the boxed set had to follow instead of just another print run. And then the City of Greyhawk, From the Ashes, and so on.
And of course it finally offered explanations of some of the proper nouns from the early modules.
Of course these days you cannot get any book without having a ton of rules expansion material bloating it, most of which is of questionable utility, so there were some benefits of the good ol' days. :P

Mike Bridges said...

tom: Funny you should mention MERP. The maps for that game are among my all time favorites with GH.

sam: Great insight. I never considered the Foilo's production quality compared to other games. I guess even early D&D mods were monochromatic at that time.

Sam said...

A lot of people overlook production qualities, but you could usually tell exactly when a product came out just by its cover. Of course remembering them all after 25 years is a bit more difficult. ;)
As I recall, modules had moved out of shaded pastel covers to full color by then, but except for Barrier Peaks, interior color illustrations simply did not exist.
It was a savage time indeed! ;)