"Go to the sign of Harvel's Axe, a dubious inn on the edge of the Thieves Quarter, in the City of Greyhawk, and look to your own wrist. If you perceive a bracelet and dangling dice, watch for the next throw in the war between Law and Chaos and be prepared to follow the compelling geas." -Signal

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Greyhawk - The Adventure Begins, Cassandra's Mystical Extension & Great News

The Adventure Begins is as it describes itself as part of the fourth wave of  Greyhawk material which I guess is fairly accurate. It is either the fourth  of the fifth depending on how you handle Greyhawk Adventure and the original  folio edition versus the box set. Either way it was good to see Greyhawk  material again with the Return of the Eight and when this was released in  1998.

This module explains the City of Greyhawk and its environs as they exist in  591 CY. It also in part explains all of the changes that have occurred since  585 CY which is when the last "wave" of Greyhawk material was supposed to  have taken place.

The first section of the book after the explanation of what it is will be a  summary or earlier Greyhawk content it will make reference to. This is a nice  list though perhaps not exhaustive. There is also a section explaining the  abbreviations that will be used in the book.

Next we are given what pass for a travel brochure for the City of Greyhawk.  It goes into great detail on explaining how "The Gem of the Flanaess" as  Greyhawk is often called offers the best that can be found on Oerik. There  are a quarter page or so explaining how Greyhawk is the center of Trade,  Diplomacy, Finance, Defense, Learning, Magic, Religion and Adventure. I  almost booked my ticket there after reading these for the first time!

Next we are presented with a brief five page section describing the world of  Oerth. This was best brief as I am not sure how much campaign use there was.  The next twenty-five or so pages are better spent. They go over the people  and cultures of the Humans, demi-humans and humanoids of Oerth. It then  proceeds to explain the recent history of if not all then the vast majority  of the nations that make up Oerth.

The next section of the book describes the calendar of Greyhawk. It goes over  the days of the week, the months and what season occurs in that month. It  also goes over the monthly cycles for Luna and Celene the two moons of Oerik  which are always the same due to the orbit and calendar coinciding perfectly.  There is then seven or so pages describing the important annual events. The  last section before getting to the city and surrounding areas is one that the  DM will find useful. It goes over the climate of Greyhawk and provides random  tables to determine weather. This is done for all four seasons. It also gives  monthly average sunrise and sunset times as well as total daylight hours.

Getting into the larger portion of the book dealing with the city and her  surroundings. The first portion is an exhaustive history on the city which  includes information on a famous castle of some note. Next we are presented  with an explanation of the Oligarchy that makes up the government of Greyhawk.  We are also given the names of the members of the ruling council with their  stat block and a bio piece for each. There is also a note if they are members  of the inner circle of the Oligarchy. There is also a period describing the  internal issues the city faces.

We are next given a nice description of the law and military aspects of the  city. This goes into some detail describing the various watches, guilds and  constables that make up the protective forces in the city. We are then given  some information on the Criminal Code of Greyhawk, a list of the Major Crimes  with suggested sentence terms and then a list of the actual sentences that  could be assigned.  This is followed by a short section on petty crimes.

This is followed with a healthy section describing the population of the  city. It provides the DM with a a rough estimate on what the population of  the city has been over the last few years. It then goes into a breakdown on  the demographics followed  by social statuses, dress and finally languages.

The final fifty or so pages of the book are the city and the surrounding area.   It goes over the surrounding lands and then the city defenses in ten or so  pages. It then begins on the city quarters. Each of these are described in  some detail with important places to be found in each made note of. There DM  notes for each of these locations. Each quarter is provided a nice overview  of what can be found within and its importance in the city and what the  players might expect to occur there. The Quarters and areas provided are the  High Quarter, the Garden Quarter, Clerkburg, the Foreign Quarter, the River  Quarter, the Artisans Quarter, the Thieves Quarter and finally the Slum  Quarter.

If you like Greyhawk you need to own this. It may not be a nice as the box  set but it is easier to carry around and provides more than enough detail to  get the DM and players started in what I feel is the best campaign setting  out there.


Cassandra's Mystical Extension

Level: Fifth
Range: Special
Duration: Instantaneous
Ares Effect: One Spell
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 1 Segment
Saving Throw: None

With this spell the magic user greatly extends the duration of a spell. This spell will only affect spells with a duration and attempting to extend spells without one will fail. Spells of no greater than fourth level can be targets of this spell.

Immediately after casting the target spell the caster must follow with this spell. If more than two rounds pass after the casting of the target spell this spell will fail. The effect of this spell will be increase the duration of the spell by a factor of ten. Spells lasting a round will now last a turn and so forth.

If this spell is extending the duration of something that has already affected an target the victim is entitled to a second saving throw is desired. If that save is made then the original spell and the extension are both dispelled.

Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written or conceived of back in the 80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit. 

PS...Great news here

1 comment:

mortellan said...

I liked your review of The Adventure Begins. For being a rehash/update, it is still dense with good source material. It's one of those books that I can open up and find some tidbit I didn't remember reading; such as the section on holidays like Needfest.

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