Wednesday, November 30, 2022

New Greyhawk Regional Product Map

Welcome back Greyhawk readers! We have had a discussing going on the classic Regional Product map found in the 1983 Greyhawk setting books. I've always loved the runic symbols used to denote the resources found in each country. It's a quick and easy reference for a DM to know what can be found or traded in an area. The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer further expanded on this information by including new resources and elaborating on those already presented. In this post I'm not trying to go into more detail than what was done in the LGG. The purpose is to somehow merge two good sources into one easy referenced set of maps. 

There is only a few caveats and liberties taken, first being the map is set in 576 CY. The LGG is set in 591 CY so there is some variance in resource access and export for nations. Second, I did not adapt all the new referenced resources out of the LGG for the sake of brevity, indeed I combined the listing of some resources to save space, such as platinum and electrum, livestock and horses, or standard timber and rare wood. Third, I added the city of Sasserine from Savage Tide as a region. Its resources are based on the proximity of the Amedio Jungle and on info from the Savage Tide Players Guide. I feel the inclusion of Sasserine is important in better understanding the Hold of the Sea Princes and the south seas during 576 CY and beyond. Lastly, after some consultation, I made a few judgment calls concerning the lack of published goods or services out of the Wild Coast and Horned Society. The Vale of the Mage was removed and Lendor Isle while on the map, has been left blank for now. There is just too little trade or contact with these two places. Otherwise, the majority of the data should be listed as it's referenced in the published source. 

Feel free to voice your thoughts on this document and maybe in the future, a more comprehensive Flanaess product map can be constructed. Until then, enjoy the download!


Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Revisiting: Ull Encounter Chart

Greetings Greyhawkers! In conjunction with our Legends & Lore stream I am taking another look at my Canonfire article from 2005 on Random Encounters in Ull. I am reposting the article as is, because the formatting on the original article is unreadable, so I tried to clean it up for the blog. Enjoy, and be sure to also check out the linked article to the blink camprat below!

mortellan writes "The World of Greyhawk’s encounter tables vary throughout the editions due to many factors including differing authors and sweeping campaign events. It is no surprise then that unwary adventurers have been given inaccurate statistical information on what they can expect to encounter in the harsh region of Ull. Tragically many deaths and untold fortunes could have been saved if but for a percentage point or two. This is a modest attempt to bring all Ull editions together into an updated contemporary source."

Random Encounters in Ull

N. Ull Plains        S. Ull Escarpment       Encounter*

01-02                    -                                     Camprats (1)                 
-                            01-02                             Ghouls (2)
03-04                    03-04                             Halflings (3)
05-10                    05-14                             Herd Animals                    
11-15                    15-20                             Humanoids
16-20                    21-25                             Men, Bandits
-                            26                                  Men, Dervishes (4)
21-30                    27-36                             Men, Herders
31-40                    37-46                             Men, Merchants (5)
41-50                    47-56                             Men, Nomads (6)
51-56                    57-61                             Men, Slavers (7)
-                            62-66                             Men, Tribesmen (8)
57-61                    67-71                             Patrol, Men, Warband
62-65                    72-74                             Wild Horses
66-00                    75-00                             Use Standard Tables

Ulsprue      W. Barrier Peaks                   Encounter*
-                            01-07                             Giants, Hill
-                            08-12                             Giants, Stone
01-08                    13-27                             Humanoids (9)
09-15                    -                                     Men, Nomads
16-31                    28-43                             Men, Tribesmen (8)
32-46                    44-48                             Ogres (10)
47-53                    49-55                             Special (11)
54-00                    56-00                             Use Standard Tables

* Based on encounter descriptions from the World of Greyhawk Glossography and Monster Manuals.
(1) See Greyhawk Adventures for details. In addition, 5% of camprats here will actually be Kund, also known as blink camprats.
(2) Ghouls are said to prowl the fringes of Kester by night..
(3) Halflings are mainly found in Uli towns and typically share their customs and venal dispositions.
(4) Will always be mystical devotees in the service of the Mahdi of the Steppes.
(5) Daring caravans from the northern Baklunish states are typically bound for Kester a trade nexus with the nomads of the Dry Steppes.
(6) Double standard encounter numbers for nomads in the Northern Plains.
(7) Southern slaving bands search for Yorodhi tribesmen and humanoids while the northern slavers capture Paynim nomads.
(8) Civilized Yorodhi hillmen (Oerid) normally except in the Ulsprues where they are instead less civilized ogre-blooded men (Baklunish).
(9) Humanoids migrating and foraging into the lowlands. It is not uncommon for smaller bands of orcs and half orcs to function in Ull society.
(10) Ogres include many half-ogres and also ogre magi within the Ulsprue Mountains.
(11) Special Ulsprue 1d6: 1-2=Minotaur, 3=Manticore, 4=Chimera, 5=Troll, 6=Giant-kin, Fomorian. Special West Barrier 1d4: 1= Dwarves, 2=Troll, 3=Wyvern, 4=Men, Slavers

A Guide to the World of Greyhawk
World of Greyhawk Glossography
Greyhawk Adventures
Living Greyhawk Gazetteer
Monster Manual
Living Greyhawk Journal #5
From the Ashes: Atlas of the Flanaess

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Greyhawk Comic Rewind: Say What?

Hail Greyhawk mavens! I was scrolling through some of my old Greyhawk Comics scrips recently, and there are some where the annotations at the end were full on blog posts. This is what led to Greyhawkery of course. Let's go way back to July 2009 and see a fun strip celebrating the linguistic depths of D&D and the Greyhawk setting. You can read the comic in its entirety below or follow this link if you want to go back and read other installments. Enjoy!

July 23th, 2009: 'Ware and were, friends! The World of Greyhawk has a long tradition of using obscure words, unique terms and especially keen, setting specific expressions in its publications. How then did poor Mayaheine fare when Pelor came along, picked her out of her home plane and dropped her off on Oerth? Check it out. ;)

Be sure to see the annotation at the end of this one. ;)

No games here. If you knew all the bold terms above, then you are a hardcore Greyhawk fan indeed! But just in case I have friends and family reading this, here is a glossary:

Cold Iron Avail You: "A common exchange between warriors among the Highfolk and in Furyondy, referring to the power of cold iron against certain undead, particularly the servants of Iuz."
I Spit on the Old One: (Among Highfolk and Furyondy) "An aggressive greeting or expression of bravery or disdain." The Old One refers to the demigod of evil, Iuz.
May the Axe Grow Great: "An expression used among the exiled Knights of the Holy Shielding. It refers to their deity Heironeous (above), who possesses an axe that can grow or shrink in size. It expresses the hope that good will thrive and grow great, that the Shield Lands will be reclaimed, and that better times will come."
Starcloak: A coin from the elven realm of Celene. 1 electrum piece. Electrum is a naturally occurring alloy of gold, silver and other metals.
Godsday: The 4th day of the week, a day of worship. The day before Godsday however is Moonday.
Thorp: A small village usually consisting of 2d4x10 people.
Fler: "The principal inlet to Lake Quag, flowing from the Burneal Forest and the Land of Black Ice beyond. It is supposed that much of this river is passable to large craft."
Meersalm: A special salve used on Heironeous by his mother, Stern Alia to make his skin virtually invulnerable. (Don't ask me why Meersalm is for barter in a small village.)
Guchek: A Wolf Nomad tribe living on the shores of Lake Quag in the trade town of Ungra Balan.
Hobilar: Light skirmishing cavalry.
Ordai: "This dialect shared by the Wolf and Tiger Nomads bears some resemblance to Ancient Baklunish, but it is most similar to dialects spoken among the distant Paynims."
Chrysoberyl: A yellowish-green gemstone worth a base 100 g.p. The Sultanate of Zeif has a secret source of Chrysoberyl that it trades as far east as Keoland.
Da'Shon: "Falling Hail, a complicated form of unarmed combat practiced by one of Xan Yae's sects (Goddess of Stealth and Mental Power)." Xan Yae sponsored the demigod of physical and mental mastery, Zuoken who is also the Master of Da'Shon.
Vetha: A Rhennee (Gypsy-folk) wise-woman, fortune-teller and mystic but not a da'shon teacher.
Rhopan: "The language of the Rhennee, Rhopan is also called 'Rhennee cant' because it borrows many terms from other languages, including the argot of several thieves' organizations. It is not related to any Oerthly tongue."
Sweet as the Mistmarsh: "A phrase used ironically throughout the Domain (of Greyhawk) to indicate a business deal or an agreement that smells fishy to the speaker."
Old Peculiar: An ale made at Peculiar Manor by Sanjaray Mohsin of Ekbir from a recipe given to him by a dwarven chieftain. "Old Peculiar is jet black and is so heavy some say it is best not drunk but eaten with a fork. It tastes like liquid peat and no one alive has ever claimed to have downed more than two pints, and usually only dwarves claim even that. Sanjaray boasts that the crucial test of the ale's readiness is that if a rat won't dissolve in a keg of it in less than five minutes, it needs more fermentation."
Dirawaen: A network of magical roads built during the height of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy. "Constructed by earth elementals tamed to the will of the famed Aerdi war-mages, these roads aided not only the passage of armies in war, but also of merchants and trade in peacetime. Neither rain nor snow gathers on the broad, black paving stones of the Dirawaen roads, rendering them passable even in winter when mundane roads are muddy swamps. Priests of Fharlanghn, god of Horizons, Distance, Travel and Roads, laid powerful dweomers on the Dirawaens allowing travelers to move quickly over long distances without tiring (travelling on a Dirawaen road doubles all land-based movement rates). It is said that no cart has ever broken a wheel, nor a horse thrown shoe or rider while travelling on a Dirawaen road."
Ktosor-hep: "Dustlakes." A feature of the Sea of Dust. "Expanses anywhere from half a mile to six miles across in which the dust is charged with a magic that causes it to take on the characteristics of water. The grains form a sort of fluid which permits the passage of air between them but retains them in a single body which supports waves and boats and swimmers as if it were a true lake. Unlike water, however, it may be made somewhat breathable if a fine cloth mask is placed over the mouth. It is therefore possible to descend to the surface beneath the dust, and there to examine in the dim and dust-laden atmosphere the ruins of towns and cities, for each dust-lake seems to have been just such a site before the Rain of Colorless Fire."
Tinklingice: Olven term for the month of late Autumn.
Ready'reat: Common Flanaess term for the same month of late Autumn.
Lirtlemark: Other name for the March of Bissel, once the northernmost frontier of the kingdom of Keoland before it was lost in the Small War against Furyondy (438 CY).
Old Ferrond: The lands from the western Nyr Dyv to the Yatil Mountains, primarily referring to the old Viceroyalty of Ferrond which served as the western frontier of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy. Old Ferrond eventually slipped away from the waning empire and broke into several smaller states including the Kingdom of Furyondy.
Thillonrian: A person (usually an Ice, Frost or Snow Barbarian) from the mountainous Thillonria Peninsula in the northeast Flanaess.
Subaltern: A junior officer (A rank not normally given to barbarians).
Bec de Corbin: A type of polearm similar to a Lucerne Hammer (neither of which barbarians prefer). In 1st edition, a Bec de Corbin cost 6 g.p. and it did 1d8 dmg vs small and 1d6 vs large, with a speed factor of 9.
Obex: An inverted two-step ziggurat shape normally used as a symbol of Tharizdun.
Ipt: A species of Ipp tree (60' high, greenish bark and hand shaped leaves) that is even larger and taller. Favored by Sylvan Elves.
Deklo: "Massive hardwoods often 15 get in diameter and over 100 feet tall. They have thick strong branches that grow almost parallel to the trunk. The leaves of the tree are nearly round and grow in thick clumps. On a mature deklo, leaves will be over 1 foot in diameter. These trees tend to grow in groves, excluding other forms of vegetation.
Dweornite: Found in the Horned Lands. "Tear-shaped semi-opaque, blue-white stones found in totally unpredictable subterranean locations. The gems have diverse magic powers." Similar to dweorstones found in the Cairn Hills and Ioun Stones.
Moonveil: A coin from the elven realm of Celene. 1 Platinum piece.
Sure as a Shielding Oath: "Refers to the Knights of Holy Shielding, famed for their loyalty. It indicates a thing is a near-certainty."
The Handmaiden: Also known as Kule or Celene, (the moon not the elven realm) the smaller of Oerth's two satellites.
The Mistress: The Great Moon (aka Raenei or Luna) upon which the months are based. Appears barren from the ground but is actually forested.
Thoqqua: A giant worm from the elemental plane of fire. Known to tunnel beneath the Sea of Dust.
Until the Starbreak: "A farewell and oath of fidelity used among the northern barbarians (Thillonrians). It has two meanings. In bitterly cold weather the exhalation of breath causes a tiny cloud of frost to form and fal, and these falling flakes are referred to as "the breaking of stars," hence, "until the starbreak" can mean "until we meet again." It can also mean "until the end of the world" since certain barbaric myths indicate that the world ends with a shower of stars that fall when the heavens break."
Hands in your pockets, eyes on your purse: "A common farewell in the City of Greyhawk, where thieves are everywhere." 

Friday, November 4, 2022

Sea Princes Nobles 576 CY - Marquis Symeon IV

Welcome Greyhawkers! Let's have a look at another noble of the Sea Princes from 576 CY. If you haven't seen my prior entries, check out the Best of Greyhawkery tab above. This one is rather important and has featured in my campaign in the past. Enjoy!

His Magnificent Grace, Symeon IV, Marquis of Hokar; Treasurer of the Hold, Protector of the Crossroads. (House Harriven, Toli Armada, Rogue 5 / Wizard 3)

Centrally located, Hokar is a hub for mining, smelting, and minting for the entire Hold. Symeon I of House Harriven was granted the rule of Hokar after saving the Prince of Toli at the Battle of Jetsom Isle in 464 CY. Since then, the Harrivens have built up this once insignificant mining town into a burgeoning city. Today, rulership of Hokar has passed to Symeon’s great-grandson, the narcissistic Symeon IV. Extremely wealthy and equally psychotic, the marquis is a recent widower after his wife’s horse-carriage accidentally crashed into a ravine and caught on fire during a trip to White Cove. The marquis currently grieves by hosting frequent receptions at his palace, full of wild debauchery and often ending with random guests being thrown in the dungeons.
The marquis cares little for sailing the seas like his Harriven cousins. Indeed, during his younger years, he apprenticed as a mage under his father Symeon III, that is until his proclivities led him to instead pursue a roguish lifestyle that earned him the nickname the Knave of Hokar. It is well known that Symeon’s mania has only got worse with age, and now as marquis, his mood swings affect daily life in Hokar. 
Politics and Intrigues: The marquis’ late father, Symeon III was an accomplished enchanter of metals and created a dungeon workshop and mint below Harriven Keep. Symeon IV is obsessed with exploring an abandoned mine and cavern system discovered beneath this workshop after a recent earthquake. This lucrative mission has drawn a steady stream of adventuring parties to Hokar. Symeon is also hyper-focused on gaining the favor of a secret pirate society called the Fivefold Council with whom he believes he will one day join. The erratic behavior of Symeon is such a constant concern in the House of Peers, that House Harriven discreetly plots his ouster.
Marquis Symeon IV is an excellent noble benefactor (or antagonist) for all levels of play in a developing city that serves as a good base of operations for adventurers. Unpredictably cunning, Symeon is a lightning rod for intrigue in the Hold of the Sea Princes, giving DMs an opportunity to create a series of stories connected to his questionable goals. The marquis has virtually unlimited resources to either reward heroes for a mission like the aforementioned Mines of Hokar, or to hire mercenaries to harass PCs far afield should they cross him. 

 House of Peers in the Sea Princes
The Hold of the Sea Princes comprises thirty domains, divided amongst a dozen noble houses. A few of these houses can trace their lineage back hundreds of years to the first Suel migrations, while most are merely fabricated hereditary titles of pirate captains who settled down a century ago. While the Hold is currently ruled by the Prince of Monmurg, the Prince of Port Toli has led the House of Peers for much of the Holds’ history. In political situations, the twelve houses are evenly divided between naval factions called the Princes’ Fleet and the Toli Armada. Those Sea Princes captains who choose to avoid house politics, nominally defer to a fleet named the Hold Flotilla in times of war.