The original Greyhawk Folio states of itself:
"The world of greyhawk is yours now -- Yours to do with as you wish. You can mold new states out of old ones or inflame ancient rivalries into open warfare as you tailor the world to suit the needs of your players."
To me, this is a feature of Greyhawk worth more attention. Of course, there is implicit permission to do so with any setting embedded into the very nature of roleplaying, but few settings put it out as their Raison D'Etre and then follow through. As I mentioned in my previous entry, part of the beauty of Greyhawk is how many things it leaves unsaid.
|This is what the makers of the boxed set wanted you to see when thinking of Greyhawk|
The Folio is a scant 55 pages, and was never originally meant to be a fully fleshed out world. It is presented as a skeleton for DMs to "use as the backdrop of a new campaign without changes; or, as an alternative, city, country or geographical descriptions can be used to fill in details for existing campaigns." It provides a basic canvas of history, kingdoms and a map that DMs can then apply their own creativity to. As settings go, the Greyhawk Folio is analogous to a coloring book, with part of the lines unfinished as well, but suggestive of various patterns. The later boxed set adds a few more details, such as a pantheon of gods, but follows the same basic template.
Although later products have since then painted over the unpainted parts of the canvas, the original spirit of Greyhawk lives on. Online, some have carried that torch admirably:
Greyhawk Online and the Oerth Journal has a feature called "Alternate Oerths" which I think should be bigger than it is (and for one, link to all the alternate oerths in the blogosphere, like the ones below).
- Gothic Greyhawk - Dream's in the Lich House
- Wyrd Greyhawk - Old Guard Gaming
- The Folio Project - In Places Deep
- Sword & Sorcery Greyhawk - Beyond the Black Gate
If there are more Alternate Oerths out there worth a mention that I have neglected, please share in the comments. If you ave your own that you have not yet shared with the blogosphere, now is the time to start writing it up! It would be very cool if we could maintain a repository of Alternate Oerths somewhere.
Next up - My own Alternate Oerth: Mythic Greyhawk.