Saturday, December 3, 2016

State of Greyhawkery 2017

Hello Greyhawk loyalists!

It's been an extremely slow Fall for Greyhawkery. I am writing this post to address my thoughts on the future of Greyhawk community projects going into 2017. This isn't an early new years resolution thing either, this is a state of the blog brainstorm for any who would like to chime in. Here we go...

Greyhawkery as a blog has been a lot of fun for the last 6.5 years, but I'm not sure I have enough good content to keep up even my regular two post a week schedule. I've tailed off to once a week and many times those posts are just promoting the Castle Greyhawk webcomic blog. I'm not entirely sure how much traffic I send to Scott's comic blog for the comic in this fashion.The comic is drawn by me so it does count as content for my own site I guess, but in terms of my blog stats those posts flag way behind on pageviews from my random articles on various topics or new items.

That said, I recently stopped doing game recaps of my Sea Princes campaign as well due to the same lack in viewership. Having the content is good for the site yes, but many times I felt this was all I had to offer. I still have put out my art and conversions to 5E as I feel these have more use to other people who might frequent my blog. I'm curious if there's a huge demand for 5E Greyhawk conversion? Thats one avenue I've flirted with here, but not wholly embraced.

Back to random articles and news, I time to time hit on a great idea to write about from a chat discussion or game night and I love composing those things - if I ever have the time. Stuff like 5 Reasons to Visit Nyrond and The Pentad are great educational exercises and add to the setting overall. I'd love to do more like that which leads to my next thought.

The Greyhawk community is dormant. A lack of contemporary Wizards involvement in 5E has forced many gamers to move on to other settings or RPGs entirely. My stalwart home Canonfire still chugs along after all these years as the unofficial #1 fansite, but new fanon content is all but dried up and the website itself is sorely out of date. The forums still have life and that's good but hardly the preferred means of social media anymore (and IRC chat is dying out too). Add to this, the lack of backing for a continued Oerth Journal ezine. The old publication was a blast back in the 3E era when the setting and community was vibrant with freelance creators and a call for conversions. This excitement hasn't translated to 4E or 5E D&D for that matter. So between these three creative outlets I have chosen to utilize my own blog first, then anything else second. Outside my blog and a couple others, there isn't anyone carrying this torch besides Greyhawk Reborn perhaps.

The dearth of newsworthy items has also hampered my ability to blog effectively. At one time I could always count on an eDungeon adventure by Chris Perkins or scour the internet for map projects and the like, but these opportunities are too dried up. Even my GenCon efforts to generate Greyhawk buzz have waned (Anna Meyer's map notwithstanding) to the point I'm thinking of skipping 2017 and going to Garycon instead.

What's all this mean? I guess I'm searching for a mission or some validation to keep it going in 2017. I'm sure I can hold out one more year and see. However, it'll take a BIG Greyhawk storyline from Wizards in the next couple cycles to keep my interest from finally fading altogether.

Update 06/19/2021: WOW! Looks like things turned around the last 4 years. Even though 
I'm on hiatus now, it's for entirely different reasons than in December of 2016. Wizards still isn't fully supporting GH but it has put out plenty of anthologies of old modules. Oerth Journal and Canonfire is resurgent and both have an active Discord channel, that rivals the old outdated IRC chats. Along with that, streaming service Twitch has been the injection of fan involvement I wished for, and then some! 2020 was a rough patch with the pandemic, so alot of these online outlets thrived. Good times!


Mystic Scholar said...

Sorry to hear this, Mort.

For myself, I never found 4E or 5E interesting. I'm currently running two games and they're in Edition 3.5. As for the Oerth Journal, I've given it thought, but as you know, I do "story," not modules and modules seem to be all the rage.

I haven't been on Chat much, because when I do show up, there's no one there. And the forums on CF haven't been hitting on too much subjects that interest me. My love for all things Greyhawk remains. My two games are run in WoG, all of them are, but the subjects getting posted seem to be concerning 4th or 5th editions, two editions I know nothing about and have no real interest in learning. so I have nothing to contribute.

My sight is beginning to clear up, getting injections into both eyeballs now, so I guess I need to get back to my own blog and see if I can't pump out a couple of stories for CF. I hope this doesn't spell the end of Greyhawkery. Although I don't always comment, I always read your posts.

And never let go of Greyhawk, my friend, editions not withstanding.

Jason R said...

I returned to the hobby a couple years ago from a loooong hiatus (1996 to 2014), and so I'm still hungry. I binged read your blog when I found it and was sad when you said you were discontinuing your play reports. I eat those up. I haven't hit CF hard with forum contributions yet, but I've consumed a lot of material on there as if it's all new. I do get what you are saying in terms of the community as a whole going dormant though.

I can't see myself moving off the Greyhawk platform as a base setting. I think as long as there are people using the setting, there are cool stories to be told, but then again, I'm not trying to maintain a blog under these conditions. So, I understand, but I want to encourage you to keep 'er going. Perhaps you could just post what you feel works? Those posts on 5 Reasons to Visit Nyrond and The Pentad for example were great and useful also.

Thanks for all the work you've done up to this point, and I hope there is more to come :)

Mike Bridges said...

Mystic: Get better dude and thanks for always being here. I'll do my best.

Jason R: Great hearing from ya man. I'm glad you enjoy my blog. I've always strived to put out stuff that noone else is doing hence comics and conversions. I also wish I could get off my butt and do more Ring of 5 Question interviews. All I need is inspiration to strike me again. The doldrums are rough.

MP said...

Another 3.5e man here, but I'm glad to see Greyhawk material of any stripe. I'm not all that familiar with 5e, but what little I've seen looks largely compatible with 3.5e, so that's a bonus.

It's once again up to the fans to carry the Greyhawk torch, since WotC seems to have forgotten about it. (Well, except for feeding a classic module or two to the tired old Forgotten Realms cash cow to keep her going.) That said, I'm not contributing anything to the community myself, so I certainly can't fault anyone else for getting burned out. Just know that your work is appreciated, whatever you decide to do.

Baldur Mekorig said...

Mike: I know what the burn out can cause, but dont give up. Your 5e stuff is very good. I would like to see more Greyhawk 5e stuff, even some module conversion if you dare to do them!

BenS said...

Long time lurker here, I just want to say, no one will blame you for feeling burned out. I've been a fan of the WoG comics since forever, and I appreciate you carrying the torch for so long. I hope to get another year or 2 out of 3.5 GH before moving on myself. I'll keep checking here for as long as it's here. Thanks so much for everything you've done!

Mike Bridges said...

MP: Thanks for the vote of confidence. I still ike 3.5e albeit core books only. My bookshelf couldn't handle the bloat, but I do still keep a few treasures handy like Frostburn and the Book of Vile Darkness.

Baldur: I will see what I can do! Thanks for the encouragement.

BenS: Thanks for coming out of hiding. I appreciate your following my old WoG comics. Coincidentally due to server issues I had to stash those away for the time being until I can release them again. Keep checking. I'm good to go, just not sure what pace I can keep up.

Brett said...

another long time lurker here Mike, have been following your blog for ages, You are my fist port of call for a blast of greyhawkery, then I follow my nose from there. I understand the burn out but you have some inspirational stories and ideas that always stoke my imagination.
good luck Mike with whichever way you go.

Mike Bridges said...

Thanks Brett! Yeah time to time you have to do a gut check to see if it's worth it. I questioned DMing earlier this year and I'm still going strong. Time and energy gets to be in shorter supply it seems as you age.

Nerman Thomas said...

Hi Mike,

I totally understand. Just like Jason, I came back to D&D after a 20 year hiatus, and it was such a joy to find your blog along with CF.

I loved the 5 reasons series. If I may, I recommend you just post whenever the thought strikes you. My preference is that this blog live on, and perhaps the best way to ensure that is for you to enjoy posting rather than having to adhere to a regular tempo.

Food for thought. Regardless of the path you choose, thanks a ton for the happiness I've experienced learning more about my favorite setting.