Showing posts from July, 2019

Alternate Oerths - Mythic Greyhawk: Wizardry & the Circle of Eight

I mentioned in the introduction to Mythic Greyhawk that: The occult workings and experiments of the eccentric scholars, alchemists and mystic savants called "wizards" can somehow tame Chaos and produce so-called "arcane magic". But how controlled is it really? And who can say how tainted they become? Godly and Law-abiding people do not meddle with such forces. Witch hunts are rare, but wizards mostly stand outside the social ladder on the fringe of society, somewhere between shunned and exiled. A contributing factor to this is the fact that Alignment Language is a thing in Mythic Greyhawk and wizards are in the disreputable position of having to learn Chaotic and Neutral in order to cast their spells. Archetypical member of the Circle of Eight But a large part of the distrust of wizards is historical: It was wizards who catastrophically wiped out the two biggest empire in human history (not to mention sinking the Isles of Woe, creating the Bright

Alternate Oerths - Mythic Greyhawk: Religion & Cosmos

I find that I am enjoying chronicling Mythic Greyhawk more than I anticipated. Much of it are impressions from way back when, but some of it is also new discovery from taking a closer look. One thing I like about exploring a non-homebrew setting like this is the sense of exploring an independently existent world. The fact that others have studied the same world, albeit through a different prism than my 'Mythic' one, renders a feeling that somehow Greyhawk exists 'out there' to be explored. My interpretations don't feel like creating either. It is more of a - "when looking through this mythic prism, what is Greyhawk really like?" I study the lay of the land, observe and mull until Mythic Greyhawk reveals itself to me. And putting all this into writing is like a refinement process. Greyhawk stands out much more vididly and alive to my inner vision now than before I started. It's been fun.  With that said, let's talk about religion, metaphy

Alternate Oerths - Mythic Greyhawk: History, Kingdoms & Cultures

History In most cases, I refer to the  Oerth Journal #1  timeline for details when there are gaps to fill. Oerth is very ancient. Lots of eldritch races lived in the pre-history before the elves began to float to the top some 10-30k years ago. There was a 4e-style Dawn War at some point, before the Gods of Law and the Elemental/Demonic Forces of Chaos (I am undecided on this), where the cosmic status quo was established and started the current Aeon. The elves began to assert themselves sometime in the aftermath of this. Anything before that is unknown even to elves and is basically 'eldritch'. Leave blank to fill in with whatever zany stuff you want. Known Examples: Wind Dukes of Aqaa, The City of Gods. "Prior" to all that was also a 'Mythic' Aeon - Time wasn't quite linear back then, so in many ways this is a lot closer to the present Aeon than other Aeons that exist in linear time. The Dawn War is somehow mixed into this, even though it happens i

Alternate Oerths - Mythic Greyhawk: Introduction

This is the first entry in a series on Mythic Greyhawk. Upcoming entries will include Religion & Cosmos and History, Kingdoms & Cultures and what else I end up thinking of. One of my favorite GH illustrations. A baroque wizard sitting on an owlish griffon on top a ruin with an adventurous landscape in the background - somehow the image still has an earthy naturalistic character. All very Greyhawk. M ythic Greyhawk takes the Greyhawk Folio as its base (and looks at the boxed set more often than not) and borrows freely from other sources, whilst discarding and altering just as freely. The starting year is 576 CY, although most lands outside the great kingdom use Oeridian Record, of which the year is 1220. Mythic Greyhawk is a world much like a medieval Europe. The following paragraphs are obvious truths to all its inhabitants: The strange exotica of faraway lands usually more exotic than the tales told of them. All the faerie tales are terrifyingly true.

Alternate Oerths

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