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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Greyhawk - my favorite edition

I know this is probably sacrilege  to the OSR, but I don't really care for the Greyhawk box set with the Darlene map. Yes, it is wide open so you can do what you want. There's not really anything going on, which a lot of DM's probably love. However, it feels very bland to me.

I'd have to say my favorite version is the Player's Guide to Greyhawk, which was published for 2e. It's still pretty open, but a lot has happened. The world actually feels alive. The Greyhawk Wars changed a lot of countries, the Circle of Eight was broken and rebuilt, and Iuz became a god. The Scarlet Brotherhood is also a great villain.

Another thing I like about this version is that even the evil countries fight each other. Ahlissa and the Scarlet Brotherhood are fighting in Onnwal. Heck, most of the evil countries would fight Iuz if he got near them. There are active wars going on (the new Shield Lands and Geoff are the best examples of this), but large parts of the world are relatively peaceful, or at least a good spot for adventurers. Heck, the area right around Greyhawk City is loaded with stuff for players to do.

In any case, if I get to run another Greyhawk campaign, this is the version I'm using.

I also have the Living Greyhawk book, and I like it. I don't think it's as good, though. Maybe the writing style is too dry, or stuff changed even further as the timeline moved. I'm not really sure, but I don't like it as much.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Currently published fantasy valley settings?

I was just wondering if there were any currently published fantasy settings.

Settings similar to what I'm looking for:

1. Haunted Highlands (Castles & Crusades). I like large parts of this setting, but it's certainly not perfect. I'd have preferred more stuff like the first couple books, and less on a big war against the orcs.

2. Nentir Vale. WotC really dropped the ball with this. A fully-fledged campaign box or hardback would have been great.

3. Griffin Island (Runequest). Good stuff, but I prefer more medieval settings.

4. Thunder Rift (D&D). This was pretty good, but also had some silly stuff like ninja rakasta.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Someone made a white box Dark Souls conversion

The OSR blog "games with others" has three posts on Dark Souls and the Original D&D rules.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

I think it's really cool, though I don't know about starting as a 0-level character. If nothing else, there's lots of usable bits for people interested in dark, gritty games.

Also, a cool 5e conversion is HERE.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Dark Souls and Greyhawk

I was thinking about running Dark Souls atmospheric game set in Greyhawk. The characters wouldn't be undead, but the area would be dark, filled with monsters and undead. I would probably run this with one player, who would be a follower of either Pelor or Pholtus. I'd probably make a new class, similar to the Paladin, but with no holy mounts and more fire-based magic.

In any case, is there a region that would fit easily for this? I'm thinking of either the Hellfurnaces west of the Sea Princes, or somewhere around Iuz. Any suggestions?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Demon city

I recently rewatched the anime Demon City Shinjuku. It gave me an idea. Have the biggest city in your setting have a demon gate open in it. The demons take over part of the city, turning it into a literal hell on earth.

For a fantasy city, I'd think the local mages find some way to use the walls around that particular neighborhood to contain the demon outbreak. The demons can't get out, but entering the area is a death sentence.

Maybe the local government uses this as a way to execute criminals. Maybe heroes come from everywhere and attempt to seal the gate. Sneaky demons may actually get over the walls and corrupt the rest of the city. The sorcerer who initially opened the gate may be dead, or he may have become incredibly powerful, but with his death, the gate might close.

Friday, August 5, 2016

A tree diagram showing Earth's religions

Here's a tree diagram showing current Earth religions: I've heard of most of the big religions, but there are so many sects in each one. I'm surprised more fantasy games don't go into that a bit more. Imagine a Forgotten Realms where the different churches of Lathander fight each other based upon whether to use the term Dawn or Sunrise during services.