The grodog's

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Introduction and Intent

I grew up on Greyhawk, like many gamers who began to play D&D as kids.  The first module that I ever purchased was A1 Slave Pits of the Undercity, and the A series still ranks near the top of my favorites among all of the old D&D modules.  I remember searching through The Dragon indices to guide my purchases of past issues, seeking Kuntz's "Demonic Knights of Doom," the various Greyhawk's World updates, and the elusive issue 37 (which, when discovered, I found also contained another favorite article, Ed Greenwood's "From the City of Brass to Dead Orc Pass:  The Theory and Use of Gates").   Ah, the good ol' days!

In addition to waxing nostalgic over my gaming youth, I intend to use this site to publish and explore some of my ideas about why Greyhawk is the way it, from the perspective of both a research scholar and a fan.  I started researching Greyhawk long before I got my M.A. in English, and I have enjoyed applying professional techniques and standards to my Greyhawk research.  I hope you'll enjoy the results as much as I have the sifting through Greyhawk's arcana!  

The grodog's Greyhawk Offerings

I divide my Greyhawk site into seven primary sections:

  • The grodog Explores . . . :  Esoteric essays about various Greyhawk subjects that have caught my fancy over the past 23+ years.
  • grodog's Greyhawk Compendium:  A collection of errata, facts, inspirations, lists, names, places, tributes, sources, and such; one and all are near and dear to some Greyhawk scholar's heart.
  • Greyhawk Links:  Visit the best Greyhawk sites that the internet has to offer.
  • Greyhawk Thank Yous:  I would like to thank the  many kind folks who have directly or indirectly assisted my Greyhawk research efforts:  this site would not be as thorough and informed as it is without the help of these kind people.
  • The Gygaxian Vault:  The beginnings of my bibliography, biography, and such about Gary Gygax.  [this isn't live yet].

The grodog Explores . . . 

  • Greyhawk Cataclysms:  A study of the vast footprints left behind as geographical features of the Flanaess, and speculation as to the causes of these cataclysms and what effects may still linger.  In addition to hitting on the Dry Steppes (the Invoked Devestation) and the Sea of Dust (the Rain of Colorless Fire), I'll look at the Bright Desert (although I don't like the Serpent Crown from Rary the Traitor at all), the Rift Canyon (cause unknown), the sinking of the Isles of Woe (cause unknown), and the Land of Black Ice (cause unknown).
  • Greyhawk's "Lost" Dungeon Levels:  What ever happened to the other levels of the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (and why is the dungeon in the mountain south of the one named Iggwilv's Horn?--obviously the Lost Caverns were not her headquarters!)?  What about that convenient cave-in at the edges of the G1 maps?  Just how many levels do we know existed in Gygax's version of Greyhawk Castle?  I'll flit through these and other esoteric textual questions about how Gygax's dungeons were seemingly trimmed to accomodate publication.   
  • Greyhawk's Volcanism and Vague Tectonics:  Greyhawk's volcanoes and dungeons with rivers of lava are scattered all over the place, not just in the Hellfurnaces.  I'll list them out, then see what theories we can draw about Oerik's plate tectonics (if any).  Denis Tetreault's Irongate Geology is the only other attempt of this sort with which I'm familiar. 
  • Gygax, Sargent, and the Canonization of EGG's Novels:  While EGG may have been forced out of TSR in 1986, Carl Sargent drew heavily from Gygax's Gord novels when creating his Greyhawk supplements, which, in effect, kept the EGG in the 'hawk. 
  • Gygax's Evil Temples:  "You round a corner and see a temple, it's walls covered with weird purple runes that seem to shift and move as you watch.  Please make a saving throw . . . "  Hmmm.  What a surprise :-)  Let's look at B2: The Keep on the Borderlands, WG4: The Lost Temple of Tharizdun, G3: The Hall of the Fire Giant King, and D3: The Vault of the Drow, and see what commonalities we can find between all of these strange, lost temples.  
  • The Lovecraftian Mythos in Greyhawk:  Robert J. Kuntz, J. Eric Holmes, Imprisoned Tharizdun, and Dead Cthulhu--Shaken, Not Stirred--meet the Elder Elemental God.
  • The Magical Might of Greyhawk Races:  Is Greyhawk in a magical recession?  Will it ever pull out?  The Suel and Bakluni managed to nuke each other's empires into embers, so why is it that they're still  considered the pinnacle of magical might in Greyhawk?  I'll take the Oeridians any day.  
  • Verticality and the Average Gygax/Kuntz Dungeon:  Have you ever tried to map out all the entrances and exits and sub-levels that form the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth?  Gygax and Kuntz wrote in an era when dungeons sprawled across multiple sheets of graph paper, with a lot of verticality, in part created by the long entrance passages to their complexes.

The grodog's Greyhawk Compendium

  • Greyhawk Anagrams:  Kuntz = Tzunk.  Tom Keogh = Keoghtom.  Geoff = Jeff, Perrenland = Perren. Nosnra = Arn[e]son.  Et cetera.  I've grown tired of trying to track all of these down when my brain inserts one into a random dream, so I'm going to compile a listing of Gygax's anagrams that I've found, as well as those that I've hunted down from other sources (primarily Greytalk).  
  • Greyhawk Errata:  A summary of the errata in the 1980 Folio, 1983 box set, 1992 FtA box set, and other Greyhawk publications.
  • Greyhawk Languages:  [see also "Leomund's Tiny Hut" in Dragon 52, pages 18-24].
  • Greyhawk Personages:  The famous, the infamous, and the simply strange characters who have tread Oerth, from before the migrations to 591 C.Y.  [I may just link to Jason's Encyclopedia here]
  • Greyhawk's Tournament Scenario History:  A listing of known D&D tournaments, including those set in the World of Greyhawk, and their subsequent publication as D&D modules (if any).  This listing originally focused on Greyhawk tourneys, but has expanded in scope to include the D&D Opens in general.  I will begin to categorize Greyhawk and non-Greyhawk tourneys soon.  Promise.
  • Greyhawk's Tribes:  A listing of known human, demi-human, and humaniod tribes in Greyhawk, as well as a map showing the settlement patterns of the demi-human and humanoid populations, with an eye toward extrapolating their migration patterns relative to those of the Suel, Bakluni, Oerid, and Flannae peoples
  • Prestige Classes in Greyhawk
  • The Mythic Geography of Greyhawk:  A listing which includes all known legendary sites of innate magical power, including demi-planes, the Fading Lands, sites which produce oerthblood, etc.
  • The Rulers of Greyhawk:  Changing the leaders of Oerth's nations to include DMG NPC classes, and otherwise tweaking them to my whimsy
  • Versions of the World of Greyhawk:  Have you compared the original 1980 Gazeteer entries vs. the 1983 box set vs. From the Ashes vs. Greyhawk the Adventure Begins vs. the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer?  Some interesting changes are revealed when you do, and I don't think that many of the  changes were caused by the progression of the campaign storyline:  rulers shift level and class,  national alignments change, etc.  Two teasers:  
    • compare the description of the Sulhaut Mountains from the 1980 Folio to the 1983 Guide to see what black-skinned elves suddenly appear in 1983
    • compare national alignments from the maps in the 1980 Folio and the 1983 Guide to the 1983 Glassography birth tables

 

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