Sunday, December 13, 2009

RUMUR! Meet the New Hawk

RE: [greytalk] RUMUR! Meet the New Hawk
Thursday, November 19, 2009 10:07 PM
From: "Tom Roberts" Add sender to Contacts

I think Nitescreed's record still stands as sole ban-shee from Greytalk.

Randy's not popular and his vision of Greyhawk marches with very few, but he's able to express his opinion here, should he choose to. It might be the equivalent of Thomas Scott's return to Fort Garry, but there's nothing stopping him (AFAIK). I don't recall any announcement of his ban-ishment after the last War (back about 4 years ago if memory serves).

Tom Roberts
It is of little comfort to me that it is not my end of the boat that is sinking.

Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2009 05:06:53 -0800
Subject: RE: [greytalk] RUMUR! Meet the New Hawk

Ah, just the list. I think Gary is the sole moderator of the list.

Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2009 00:02:41 -0600
Subject: RE: [greytalk] RUMUR! Meet the New Hawk

I'm the last person to usually nitpick, so while Cebrion is right about Canonfire itself, the reference to this discussion was banning just from the Greytalk list. At any rate I'm no expert on either, but do (we) canonfire admins even have access to the list?


Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2009 21:31:40 -0800
Subject: RE: [greytalk] RUMUR! Meet the New Hawk - WoG to Restart/Reimagine in 4e

As I do most of the work right now, I guess I am the current "senior" Canonfire! admin/moderator. I don't have many of the mad skillz that chatdemon has, but I do what I can.

So far as I know, the only people who have been banned from Canonfire! have been spammers, and those who have posted offensive or inappropriate material(usually spammers). Flamewars usually result in posts being deleted, and perhaps a PM sent to the involved parties. The admins have given people quite a bit of leeway. Perhaps this level of tolerance is due to the nature of Greyhawk fans themselves- they are a vast and varied mongrel breed, and they won't always see things eye-to-eye, let alone get along. Some people are more caustic than others, some people are overly sensitive, and yet others have the bad habit of reading things into what other people post when they shouldn't. There will eventually be disagreements and misunderstandings among posters, and that includes the admins too. This doesn't mean we can't all get along in a somewhat civil manner though. There is a limit to what will be tolerated, but I don't recall anybody having gone so far as to cross the line, such that they were banned. Despite any disagreements, most people can agree on one thing: they like to discuss Greyhawk. So far as that is the main thing going on, and nothing extraneous to that gets out of hand, then nobody will be banned.

Hoping that nobody decides they want to test my theory anytime soon,

---Cebrion(Canonfire! Admin/Moderator) ;)

Re: Geographic and political absurdities or why the xoom Keoland writeup bites

Date: Tue, 09 Nov 99 14:04PM PST
From: Taras Cranden-Guarhoth
Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] Geographic and political absurdities or why the xoom Keoland writeup bites

> I'll look into the two less outrageous of the claims:

First of all, the author has stated that while based on canon, it's not completely canon.

> a) the Brotherhood has superiority on the seas. Any naval campaign is going to be a lost cause unless the brotherhood's control of the seas can be broken. Unfortunately, there is no easy way out
> on this one, as unlike demons, there is nothing to send the numerous seamonsters back into the depths. All the weirdos and pirates on the costs of the Jerlea bay aren't likely to be of
> tremendous help and are not likely to mount a big united campaign.
> Keoland does not have the option of an allout naval campaign against the Brotherhood, as it would leave their coast and ports
> open to the brotherhood forces coming from say the lordship of the isles. Similarily, if the keolandish naval forces do not gain a definate upper hand, they may get pitched between two
> brotherhood forces in the Jerlea Bay.

Flaw: This assumes that there's nothing else, like, say the Sea Barons, Nyrond, Ahlissa, not to mention that big blockade they're trying to run (it's gotta be tough to blockade such a huge expanse of open water). The moment the SB and their lackeys went ahead and tried to concentrate fully on something like overpowering Keoland navally, everyone else would notice the sudden drop in SB activity, and pounce. I think the SB would be less likely to interfere with Keoland invading a province they've pretty much lost if it'd mean they'd face increaded raids within provinces that they're not losing and are a lot closer to home.

> b) the hool marshes is a possibility, but it would have very grim results. Hool marshes are after all a big part of what has kept the Keoland out of there for so long. Just about the only way
> of moving large amounts of troops through the Hool Marches would be building special roads - most probably from treetrunks -
> over which the troops could move. Reinforcements and supplies would be a severe problem, especially should something happen to the long marsh road (which does not require all that high
> level mage). The army also has the chance of the road being destroyed at which point they are stuck in the middle of a large marsh with limited supplies...

IIRC, Keoland already went through the Hools to invade the Sea Princes once.
So it CAN be done. Plus, they could go by barge down the Javan, making the amount of marshlands that they'd need to cross significantly less.

> That all above there assumes that the locals in the Hold do not side with the Brotherhood against the new enemy - the Keoland. Keoland and the Hold have never had particularily good relations, and while they probably would at least initally cheer anybody fighting the Brotherhood, there is no
> reason to think that they like Keoland even a tiny bit more than the Brotherhood.

The locals consist of a rather large variety of peoples...Olman and Amedian savages, natives of the Sea Princes, slaves taken from around the Flanaess who were owned by the Sea Princes or Scarlet Brotherhood...I think the Keoish would face less opposition than you'd think. After all, the Olman detest the Brotherhood, as does anyone of non-Suel extraction. That alone would make them more inclined to side with the Keoish. As for the native Holders, well, considering that they all got made slaves by the SB, they'd probabily be a bit more inclined to side with the Keoish, in the hopes of getting some power back. I doubt too many would rebel against a well-trained Keoish army. But a lot may conspire behind the scenes.

> The inital cheering would soon be replaced by backstabing and sabotage.

Sounds like the makings of a campaign. And, of course, since each petty noble wants to rule a free Sea Princes, they wouldn't want to let the plans of the other nobles succeed.

> a) has a lot of dissent against any further wars due to excessive losses, inc. back at home (assassinations, etc.)

Well, there WAS a civil war, providing we're thinking of the same page.

> c) must hold in check a very troublesome new province.

And? Like the SB didn't have to hold in check a very troublesome province? That's just a fact of conquering.

> a) Yeomanry is bound to dislike the presence of Keoland on more than one of it's borders and would naturally provide help - whetever offical or not - to any dissent in Sterich.

The Yeomanry would be disinclined to do much of anything against Keoland. They do best in defense, by arming everyone. Now, if they took all these new troops to war, they'd run out of food, since they'd basically empty their country in order to use their main advantage.

> b) The Sterich refugees are bound to dislike any military action in Sterich that does not involve them, and a military action involving them will not lead to Sterich becoming part of
> Keoland.

Sterich refugees are a non-factor. A) They couldn't hold their own country in the first place. B) They are scattered about all over the place. Not all of them went to Keoland. In fact, those that had the least love for the Keoish were probabily those who went the farthest from Keoland. Those who saw Keoland as a strong, protective land that could keep them safe were probabily those who fled to Keoland.

> c) Gran Marsh, Veluna and the Ulek states are bound to strongly oppose any attempts of Keoland to annex Sterich. As Keoland cannot allow itself to be put to the situation that all it's
> neighbours have many axes to grind with it, it will not be able to undertake it. It would just not survive if its border areas and Good Hills decided to leave. It would immediately leave to
> the rest of the Keoland being split into three separate parts.

He's already stated that the three Uleks were backing Keoland. And as for Veluna, it's a non-issue. Veluna has two countries between in and Keoland. I seriously doubt they're worrying about Keoland with Ket on their border and a war with Iuz going on in their backyard (Furyondy). Which just leaves the Gran March. If the Gran March has any intelligence, it'd shut up, given that Ket's running around to the north, Veluna is distracted, and the Uleks have sided with the Keoish...leaves them pretty much alone and vulnerable...wouldn't want to give those Keoish any reason to invade, now would we? And the Good Hills...IIRC, that's the area that broke away in the civil war and had to be, erm, pacified.

> d) instead of guarding a border along a river Keoland will get new borders, inc. a very extensive border with Geoff and in the mountains, and will have to guard it against further incursions
> by giants, etc.

Which I'm sure Keoland is more than capabale of. After all, if the threats in the 591 CY era aren't so great as to stop the Sterich from doing it canonically, there wouldn't be enough to bother the Keoish from doing it in the same timeframe.

> C. Getting the Ulek States under it's banner. Yeah, right. And both Demogorgon and Grazzt reformed themselves and are now living on the plains of Elusium with other good gods...

If you disagree with his heresies, that's fine. But there's no need to discourage him from posting by mocking him. It speaks more about you than it does about him.

> Where Keoland would get all those resources that would take is another matter entirely.

Let's's a big was the only big country that wasn't directly involved in the Wars which troubled so much of the Flanaess a while back...odds are, it already had the resources. Gearing itself up for the next round so that it wouldn't get caught off guard like Furyondy (or worse, Tenh) were. It just decided to put the war into it's own terms, and on other people's soil, instead of it's own.

Taras Guarhoth, Sage of House Cranden

Keoland's Climate & Geography

Subject: [GREYTALK] Keoland's Climate & Geography
Date: Thu, 20 May 1999 07:16:36 +0900
From: Craig & Julie
Reply-To: The GREYtalk Discussion List

Hi curently developing Keoland for use in an upcoming caampaign (U1-3) and have ben working on the regions geography and climate. If anyone hs aany suggestions or feedback I'd love to hear from you. I'm also looking for information on Gradsul- ruler, maps, anything would be fine. Anyway here is my taake on Keoland's geography & climate...

Keoland enjoys a temperate, Mediterranean style climate. Summers tend to be long, hot, dry and dusty with the temperatures often reaching into the mid to high thirties (Celsius). Winters tend to be mild with the temperature seldom dipping below freezing, except in the northern provinces.

The climate is driest in the central and western regions; areas close to the two main river valleys, the Sheldomar and the Javan, use irrigation and canals to bring water to the crops during the driest months. Gradsul and the southern coast has the highest annual rainfall. In most areas precipitation occurs mainly during the spring months when the moisture heavy south-easterly winds sweep in from the Azure Sea bringing the rains which replenishes and nourishes the soils. Summer is dry often brings droughts especially to the inland regions. In both spring and autumn the
plains are often swept by fierce thunderstorms, cumuli-nimbus clouds tower up into the stratosphere, bringing heavy rains and sometimes even tornados.

Keoland's climate is due both to it's geographic location and the prevailing long term synoptic weather patterns in Greyhawk. In the winter months the prevailing winds in the Flanaess come from the north-east, sweeping down across the central kingdoms and into Keoland, bringing snow to many northern regions. These cold winds bring little or no rain or snow to Keoland but do deposit some snow on the Lortmil Mountains and bring frosts and cold temperatures to the northern provinces of the kingdom.

In spring the south east trade winds arrive, blowing in from the Solnor Ocean and Azure Sea and pushing the winter winds back northward. The south easterlies are warm and moisture laiden and as they meet the cold dry northerly winds they bring rainfall to the lands. These spring fronts bring heavy rains to Keoland and the other nations of the Sheldomar Valley for about a month during Planting but as quickly as they arrive the rains depart and the long hot summer begins.

As well as having heavier rainfall the coastal regions are also more humid than the central and northern provinces, due to the influence of the Azure Sea. Another feature of the climate of Keoland is the hot, dry Fohn wind, called the Dragon's Breathe by locals, that blows in from the Sea of Dust beyond the Crystalmist Mountains. This super dry wind dries the land as it sucks the last of the moisture out of the air as it blows down from the high mountain valleys. The Dragon's Breathe brings high winds, dust clouds and scorching temperatures to Keoland during summer.

Keoland's climate has a definite north-south and east to west gradient. The central and northern regions tend to be both hottest and driest during the summer months and the coolest during winter as they are furthest from the moderating influences of the Azure Sea as so have the greatest extremes in temperature. Summers tend to be coolest in the good Hills where the elevation affects the temperature and during winter these hills are sometimes blanketed in snow but such snow seldom remains for more than a day or two.

Keoland is a large kingdom in the South West portion of the Flanaess. The Rushmoors form the nominal western boundary of the kingdom while in Azure Sea, some 600 miles south of these marshes form the southern boundary. To the east the mighty Sheldomar River is the kingdoms eastern border while the Javan River bounds it to the west. In the far north western corner of the kingdom the most recent acquisition to the lands, the County of Javan lies on the western shore of the Javan and this province stretches as far west as the Stark Mounds.

Most of the kingdom lies within the Sheldomar River Basin and consists of a huge plain that stretches from Gradsul in the South to the Thornwood, the capital of Bissel far to the north, a distance of some 1,000 miles.

The country generally slopes from west to east slowly rising in elevation the further west one travels. The vast plains of Keoland barely rise more than 300' in height from the Sheldomar River to the foot hills of the Good Hills, some 250 miles further west. These highlands are the only hills of any note in Keoland, and reach a peak of some 1500 feet above sea level. They are named the Good Hills for they are both fertile and have a favourable climate for growing crops and for orchards as well. Apples, pears, apricots, peaches, olives and even some citrus fruits are all grown in the valleys and slopes of the Good Hills. Beyond the hills the land falls away sharply as the hills drop down the Javan River Valley.

The most fertile soils are found closest to the Javan and Sheldomar Rivers where the annual floods deposits alluvial material that supplies the sustenance for the regions cops. The further north and west one travels from the Sheldomar the drier and stonier the soils get and the less suitable they become for arable farming. Instead the northern and central areas tend to rely more upon the raising of livestock, especially sheep and goats, for their livelihood.

Because the richest soils tend to be located nearest the Sheldomar Valley it isn't surprising to find that the majority of the kingdom's population live near this vital waterway, in fact more than 60% of the population live within 100 miles of the Sheldomar river, in the three main provinces of Gradsul, Sheldomar and Middlemarch. Population density is lessens in the central and western areas of the these provinces. The least populated provinces are in the far northern borderland provinces of (Javan, Rushmoor and Northmarch as well as the Southern Marches which lie between Dreadwood and the Azure Sea. The cooler, more temperate climate of the Good Hills, with its fertile soils, is also a favourable place to live so this region
tends to be quite densely settled.

(Note I've divided the realm into 9 provinces & am intending to start a write up on each soon).

Hope you enjoyed this

Craig Courtis

DMD: For your Campaign, the Dragons Rest

Date sent: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 -0400
Send reply to: The GREYtalk Discussion List
From: Noel Graham
Subject: [GREYTALK] DMD: For your Campaign, the Dragons Rest
Originally to: greyhawk@MPGN.COM

Haile and Fair Greetings All,

My apologies, I ran short of room. As this is the meat of the story, so to speak, please make effort not to post questions or comments regarding this section within eyesight of players.


The Dragons Rest (continued)


Unlike many Verboboncers, Senan harbors worries about the fate of good beyond the borders of the viscounty. He has heard news from places close and far; news that does not rest well on his ears. In turn, he sometimes passes this along to traveling fellowships in search of heroic adventure. He'll even keep messages and offer storage space to expedite such plans.
As such Senan can be used to lead into adventures nearly anywhere in the central and western Flanaess. Likewise, he can provide a logical game mechanism for introducing novice PCs into established groups, or to bring together surviving members from decimated companies.

Over the years, a considerable amount of effort and vandalism have gone into the search for Toblin's map. Some say this is in vain. Instead, they argue it's more likely Toblin kept a journal (bound in hide, of course) and it's this which has been secreted.
If it exists, the field of search for this lost treasure could be narrowed considerably, but the tome would be more valuable as a guide to the Gnarleys and upper Welkwood. No doubt much of what is practical concerning the nature of those woodlands and their denizens would be found between its covers, possibly with the names of some of Toblin's longer-lived contacts.
DM's needn't fear imparting instant wealth should PCs somehow locate the dragon's former lair. Its caves and modest horde were almost certainly looted long ago by Celenian elves who would have tracked the wyrm from its intrusion into the southern Welkwood.
The current inhabitants, say, a band of gnolls with flind leaders, a shaman of Gorellik, and a pack of hyena pets, are not expected to react well to interlopers. If the PCs are particularly strong or magic heavy, substitute a shaman of Yeenoghu commanding a force of humanoid zombies and ghouls/ghasts. If this yet proves insufficient, allow the PCs their hard-fought victory. There are others within the forests that will take notice when the gnolls are gone.

DMs only beyond this point. Remember players, it only ruins the adventure for you to know.
Additional Notes:

In the home campaign ::smile::, Toblin didn't slay the dragon. It really is a tall tale.
The elves of Celene had, indeed, tracked the wyrm from its depature from the Pomarj, launching harrying attacks once it was convinced to bypass the majority of the olvenrealm. It so happens the badly wounded drake had all but escaped the relentless elves with it fell upon Toblin's group, the Freeholders (originally from the Yeomanry).
Believing its salvation had been at hand, it turned its remaining rage upon them. They're lucky still to have *any * survivors. The elves recovered the trail and continued pursuing the wyrm only to arrive during its death throws. Toblin had a minor *altercation * with them over possession of the carcass, but once they revealed their strength, he acquiesced. In fairness, the elves took what they could carry and left Toblin with the remainder. Thus, the dragon's rest.
Toblin never found the lair nor treasure because the wyrm had neither. He *was * an accomplished yarn-spinner, however, so made good use of the encounter, sans the elves of course. Oddly enough, a new great (make that GREAT) green wyrm inhabits the Gnarleys (Kaivertaurosc the Wight Wyrm) that those in search of Toblin's treasure might just find!
Kai is most unusual for her kind. More on her will be forthcoming in a future issue of DRAGON, in my article “Wyrms of the Flanaess”. If forced to significantly abridge her entry (due to page-count limitations), I'll make an effort to post the important remainder to the List.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Re: greytalk Digest 24 Nov 2009 04:14:43 -0000 Issue 1134

Re: greytalk Digest 24 Nov 2009 04:14:43 -0000 Issue 1134
Monday, November 23, 2009 11:18 PM
From: "Brian McRae"

Reminds me of something that a scholarly wizard did in my campaign. The wizard chronicled his adventures through the Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun in great detail, and had 200 hand-scribed copies made at great expense. He was amazed at how quickly the copies sold. After a visit from representatives of some very powerful and influential religions and arch-mages. He kind of understood that the books were likely being studied by top men. Top men.

As to printing, wood block print would work well, and even simple movable type(wood letter blocks in a frame) is doable. However, with spells like copy(a dirt cheap 1st level spell from the 2e "Wizard's Handbook") in existence, if it does exist in a particular DM's campaign, circulating even books becomes much more simple. Now, with regards to movable type, it would take even less time and expense to just have a spell caster cast a spell that changes the shape of the wood block stamp to be embossed with reverse images of the required type/images, and then you just print as much as you want to. Simple tech more easily implemented by the simple application of magic.

On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 8:14 PM, wrote:

greytalk Digest 24 Nov 2009 04:14:43 -0000 Issue 1134
Topics (messages 13419 through 13422):
Re: Greyhawk Grumbler
13419 by: ukegreg
13420 by: Kent Goertzen
13421 by: Chris Anderson
13422 by: Tracy Johnson


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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "ukegreg"
To: "'greytalk'"
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 09:50:27 -0800
Subject: RE: [greytalk] Greyhawk Grumbler

If you want historical precedent for printing I recommend “woodblock prints”. You take a block of wood and carve it into a huge ink stamp basically. The effort it takes to create a set of hardwood plates for one ‘book’ is enormous though. Only major religions and/or countries would bother, and then only for super important books.

I agree with the others that an easily modifiable mass-produced newspaper is probably beyond the scope of the setting. Ideally technology should advance to prevent a setting from stagnating, but if you aren’t careful you might ruin the atmosphere. It’s also worth noting that there are some VERY smart villains in the campaign setting who would feel threatened by a printing press and try to subvert or destroy it immediately. If you’ve got PC’s running it they might get in serious trouble for printing the wrong thing. Imagine the party bard composing some super-motivational “Anti-Iuz” article and then spreading two hundred thousand copies throughout the Flanaess…

“Master, you need to have a look at this…”
“I guess there’s some guy in Greyhawk City making them.”
“Couple of months I guess. He’s got this really talented bard doing the illustrations.”
“Yep. There’s a naked tri-fold drawing of your mom on page 17. Apparently Iggwilv made scantily-clad-sorceress of the month. They’re calling her ‘Miss Fireseek’. We’ve seen them pinned-up in every barracks in Furyo-”

From: Vest III, Robert W []
Sent: Sunday, November 15, 2009 12:15 PM
To: 'greytalk'
Subject: RE: [greytalk] Greyhawk Grumbler

There is actually a canonical precedent for having printing presses in the Flanaess. See the Age of Worms backdrop article on Alhaster (Dungeon 131), which mentions an underground broadsheet in Alhaster called The Sinchaser Report.

From: CJ MacLean []
Sent: Sunday, November 15, 2009 3:04 PM
To: 'greytalk'
Subject: RE: [greytalk] Greyhawk Grumbler

From: Wade Nolen []

"I’m beginning to think that people aren’t listening to points being made, because all three of these have been refuted, over and over."

Me too. The kind of broadsheet designed to be read by thousands of people didn't happen until the mechanized printing press. Commoners didn't have access to newspapers until the 19th century, even now in unindustrialized nations newspapers can be hard to find because paper isn't a commodity that is easy to get or make without industrialization/motorization.

The examples that you keep pulling out to defend your arguments are edicts or proclamations that were read by an official and then posted in a public place, NOT given to every commoner to read. Even the later broadsheets were for merchants and the upper class not for lower caste society.

In game terms paper is costly, depending on where you look a single sheet is 1gp or more. To circulate a paper of 5000 copies (a reasonable amount given Greyhawks size) and sell it for a copper piece would mean a massive loss per issue. This cost doesn't reflect the cost of the machine/spell/scribes/time/ink/retailers that would also be needed to make the newspaper exist. No one could afford to take this loss, and no powerful businessman would lose this cash when they can hire a bard, beggar, crier, or rumormonger to get the information out at a fraction of the cost.

A newspaper doesn't make business sense, It would most likely be suppressed by the government, and while it may be historically possible to create a broadsheet, it isn't historically possible to have the circulation it would need to reach a debatably literate peasant population.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kent Goertzen
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 13:46:49 -0600
Subject: RE: [greytalk] Greyhawk Grumbler

Time, effort (woodblock prints for example), and cost (paper really wouldn't be cheap in that period), would really prohibit it.

As far as a setting precedent, Forgotten Realms right before the switch to 4e Chapbooks filtering around Water deep weren't uncommon. But only those who were wealthy were really able to afford to produce them. Not sure what time period you've moved forward to. Living Greyhawk would probably be a 200-400 years behind where Forgotten Realms was in terms of technological advancement. Where FR is closer to 15th-17th century and GH closer to 13th-14th imo.

Kent Goertzen


“Master, you need to have a look at this…”
“I guess there’s some guy in Greyhawk City making them.”
“Couple of months I guess. He’s got this really talented bard doing the illustrations.”
“Yep. There’s a naked tri-fold drawing of your mom on page 17. Apparently Iggwilv made scantily-clad-sorceress of the month. They’re calling her ‘Miss Fireseek’. We’ve seen them pinned-up in every barracks in Furyo-”

Lol, :D

Bing brings you maps, menus, and reviews organized in one place. Try it now.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Chris Anderson
To: Kent Goertzen
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 17:34:38 -0800
Subject: Re: [greytalk] Greyhawk Grumbler

Paper costs are not a problem. They are based on historical western European paper costs... so you would think that they are accurate, but they're not.

Western Europeans lost access to cheap writing paper when the Mediterranean was blockaded by the Arabs in the 700's. Papyrus is extremely cheap to make, lasts a long time, and is able to be printed on. However, when Islam took away Egypt and northern Africa, and conquered Spain, western Europe lost access to papyrus.

As a result, they turned to vellum/parchment... which is a processed animal hide. Making vellum is expensive in time, materials, and skills. So much so, that vellum was traditionally reused by scraping it clean of ink.

Rag paper was a closely guarded secret that traveled from China. Those who knew how to make it forced you to pay dearly for it... they could do this because there was no cheaper alternative. Prices for rag paper were relatively low in the middle east, because it had to compete with papyrus. They were higher in western Europe because the only competition was vellum/parchment.

So, without the Arab blockade of the Mediterranean, prices for paper in western Europe would not have been high.

You can tell this because costs of paper in Roman times were low... because trade flowed freely to Egypt. However, costs of paper in Italy during the middle ages was high, because there was no trade to Egypt.

Now, in Greyhawk, there is no Arab blockade. Trade flows freely (with some local exceptions). There is no need for high paper prices due to artificial shortages.

Woodblocks are not costly to make compared to copyists, and there is a really, really good reason to use them instead of copyists: reducing mistakes.

Copyists produced many grammar and subject matter mistakes due to the process. During Carolingian times, this was such a problem that new fonts, grammar, and punctuation were introduced in an effort to reduce copyist mistakes.

Woodblocks, once they're correct, are perfect time and again until the wood is pressed down over time and it has to be created again.

Now for rapidly changing news, I would agree that carving a woodblock over the course of a day to tell the day's news won't happen. But for news that needs to be reproduced exactly, or for holy books, or for items which must not have mistakes, it's a perfect solution.

-- Chris

On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 11:46 AM, Kent Goertzen wrote:

Time, effort (woodblock prints for example), and cost (paper really wouldn't be cheap in that period), would really prohibit it.

As far as a setting precedent, Forgotten Realms right before the switch to 4e Chapbooks filtering around Water deep weren't uncommon. But only those who were wealthy were really able to afford to produce them. Not sure what time period you've moved forward to. Living Greyhawk would probably be a 200-400 years behind where Forgotten Realms was in terms of technological advancement. Where FR is closer to 15th-17th century and GH closer to 13th-14th imo.

Kent Goertzen


“Master, you need to have a look at this…”
“I guess there’s some guy in Greyhawk City making them.”
“Couple of months I guess. He’s got this really talented bard doing the illustrations.”
“Yep. There’s a naked tri-fold drawing of your mom on page 17. Apparently Iggwilv made scantily-clad-sorceress of the month. They’re calling her ‘Miss Fireseek’. We’ve seen them pinned-up in every barracks in Furyo-”


Lol, :D

Bing brings you maps, menus, and reviews organized in one place. Try it now.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tracy Johnson
To: greytalk list
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 21:38:30 -0500
Subject: Re: [greytalk] Greyhawk Grumbler
On Mon, 2009-11-23 at 17:34 -0800, Chris Anderson wrote:
> Paper costs are not a problem. They are based on historical western
> European paper costs... so you would think that they are accurate, but
> they're not.

I don't think it matters as far as a Fantasy setting is concerned. The
overuse of magic bypassed the use of paper. I compare this to the
ubiquitous rise of today's Internet. Because of it, the traditional
newspaper is failing, because they cannot find a business model that
will support paper. (Similar to game companies that publish paper are
going under.)

Much in the same way, the all-pervasive use of scrying, seeking,
clairvoyant, clairaudience type of magic doesn't not allow a newspaper
business model to develop, because the opportunity was bypassed.
Besides, there are easier ways to find news in Greyhawk!

As was noticed on by an intern looking over the shoulder of Otiluke in
standing before one of the numerous Palantir's at the Greyhawk school of
magic library:


Tracy Johnson
Old telnet games at


RttKotB review

Subject: [GREYTALK] RttKotB review
Date: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 22:41:50 EDT
From: "Nathan E. Irving>"
Reply-To: The GREYtalk Discussion List

OK, I didn't want to comment on Return to the Keep on the Borderlands until I'd read it. Here goes.

Overall - 9 out of 10. I think this is a great adventure.

Canon Greyhawk - 2 out of 10. In my recollection, the World of Greyhawk was mentioned five times. One reference to the Sea of Dust, one to the Yeomanry, one to Wee Jas, one to St. Cuthbert, and one to the Lendore Isles. These were far outnumbered by references to Nergal, Erishkigal, Hispis, Apep, Cathos City, etc., etc..

Adventure Hooks & Opportunities (for adventuring above & beyond the scope of the module) - 8 out of 10. Far better than Star Cairns or Crypt of Lyzandred, equal to or slightly better than Doomgrinder.

OK, explanations. It seems as though this adventure was first written for Mystara -- logical, since B2 was a basic D&D adventure, and the basic D&D world became Mystara. This would explain the bhut (a monster), the D'Amberville, and the inclusion of Cathos City (which is purportedly a location in/on Mystara). Conversion to the World of Greyhawk was unquestionably haphazard and poorly done. I'm not sure if this is originally an editing failure or authorial failure, but it certainly should've been
caught by the editor (Duane Maxwell, if people are curious).

The first section of RttKotB is devoted to the Keep on the Borderlands (actually Kendall Keep). My biggest issue with this section, and the history of the Keep, is that the author seems to have confused the "lordless land" of the Yeomanry with a lawless land. Despite that, this is a great "rest & regroup" area for a party of characters. Every NPC is detailed and named (and unlike other listmembers, I had no problem with the names). Most have some kind of background hook or secret that could lead to further adventures for a party of characters that becomes well acquainted with them.

The second section is a rough overview of the wilderness surrounding the Keep, and a number of encounters a wandering band of PCs could have thereabouts. My main problem with this section is carried over from the original module, and that's the close confines of the "wilderness". Many of the encounters are within a mile and a half of the Keep. Having grown up "in the country", I know from experience that a kid can easily cover a mile and a half just for fun, let alone what a ground a serious hunter or scout could cover. the current scale of the map is 1" = 500 yrds; I think 1" = 1 mile is more realistic.

The encounters are varied in nature and tone. Several are potentially fatal to entire parties, others are exercises in roleplaying (and could result in allies for the PCs). The Shy Tower is particularly...interesting. :-)

Finally, the Caves. They've undergone a number of changes in the 20+ years since the original adventure. I won't go into details, but I do believe the adventure hangs together well. While none (or almost none) of the monsters exist in a vacuum, they aren't particularly inclined to come to each other's aid, either, allowing adventurerers to tackle one cave without involving the rest of them. One of the greatest features of this adventure is Rateliff's detailing of the consequences of a party's actions -- if the creatures of Cave X are wiped out, those of Cave Y move in, splitting their forces and affecting the inhabitants of Cave Z.

This is NOT an adventure the PCs can simply walk into and expect to walk out of. Numerous opportunities exist for the death of one or more party members, but none are unreasonable, and nearly all are avoidable with foresight, planning, and quick reactions. The deadliest encounters are mostly confined to one area, allowing PCs the opportunity to run away.

More later...

Re: FW: Ivid the Undying

Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] FW: Ivid the Undying
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 23:12:13 -0400
From: The Watcher
Reply-To: The GREYtalk Discussion List

Haile and Fair Greetings All,

Ken writes:
>No No No. Please don't listen to him TSR. I would pay a fortune to
>have the books printed, and the same for the supplements. Yes I like
>the electronic supplements, and they help my game, but I still prefer
>to have the book on my shelf and be able to read it
>with out worrying about the refresh rate on my monitor.

First off, folks, don't lose sight of the fact that I was musing over an effort long expended. I was merely relating in mock exasperation the process I once went through in attempts to see the work to print. It would be marginally naive to think that with all the revision and supplementary materials I managed into the pages of DRAGON, DUNGEON, and to the lists that I should "suddenly" have this idea now, without ever having pursued it. Apart from that, each gamer's views are their own, of course.

>>From Kent:
>> While not every gamer has access to the 'net, I think that MOST do
>(more so every year) And, although I know there are people out there
>who would buy a copy anyhow, I have to say that (speaking strictly for
>myself), you people are just WEIRD. :-)

Fair enough. But let me be the first to break to you that you assumption seems not to be borne out by what information has been available. By comparing the figures of sales (and I don't want to debate the actual figures or how I got them) v. numbers of members on various lists recognized by TSR, there appears to be a quite small segment signed on (a vocal minority, if you will). Certainly, materials are further
disseminated after they are downloaded, but those numbers can only be guessed at -- not even estimated. As it currently stands, the WotC doesn't have evidence to definitively indicate any particular bulk of its consumer base is actively on-line at its doors.

>> Why fork out $40 for a product that is free? Sure, the binding
>might be better (the map of course would be - sorry I didn't do a
>better job - maybe some day I'll do up an Acrobat version), but $40
>for a glued spine and some metallic ink to decorate the
>> borders? I can't see the attraction - it's no more usable (in fact,
>sometimes less so - the upcoming GH modules are listed as "perfect
>bound", which don't look so perfect after you have to nearly crack the
>spine to get them to lay flat).

First of all, the manuscript was not free. Everyone who was involved in it got paid. In fact, it took quite some effort to get the manuscript posted on the TSR site. As well, the product I mused did not contain solely the _Ivid_ manuscript, but additional materials including a "current" update of the region c. 591 CY -- a completely separate work which would eventually be done and distributed at some point, anyway. Think of it as similar to the like of the _Return to..._ series, which includes reproductions of the originals within; only this reproduction will also be properly edited.
Secondly, I find it somewhat short-sighted that one would look upon one's own resources and, upon finding them sufficient, declare the rest may eat cake -- which may be misrepresented here. Kent makes an excellent case for why he should not purchase such a compilation, citing spartan preferences. But, I don't think he means to say that because of any personal indifference to bindings and graphic elements, the art department of gaming companies should be out of work.
Lastly, in his own reverse-psychology way, Kent makes yet another excellent point in that most folks don't know how to actually own/use books. As we all know (we all know, right?), one is not supposed to "crack" the spine of a perfect-bound book as is typical of stitch bindery. What we all know is that with this kind of binding, one should place a straight-edge (a ruler is a good tool) along the gripper line of the spine and fold back the cover and a number of pages at a time along
this line; the process repeated on the other cover, in the reverse direction. This "breaks in" the book properly and preserves the binding. But, I figure everyone already knows this, so forgive me for stating the obvious.

>> I'd much encourage TSR go in the OTHER direction - release their
>supplements and modules electronically - cheaper, faster, and
>customizable to my campaign- I can cut, paste and print up tidbits as
>player information (and stop yanking the books out of the
>> hands of some of my nosier players).

This is a good idea. For those who do not wish to pay the exceptional costs of hard copies -- particularly our oft-out-of-mind brethren beyond the US, where cost are *significantly* higher (!) -- there should be the option of visiting the TSR-online site and purchasing a (possibly) reduced cost electronic copy (sans extraneous graphical elements). This way, those who don't care for the "needless" parts or those where no stores seem ever to have the products have a viable option. For those in Canada and beyond, it's merely a question of exchange rates on the US$ (versus foreign production or distribution, tariffs, etc.).
Of course, this leaves out those who well have the money but prefer not to possess credit cards (like myself). This would include the youthful gamer the industry desires to restore to the ranks of players, but this are reasons enough (along with the computer issues: hardware and access costs, user-illiteracy, etc.), certainly not only the maps, for the hard copy to survive for now.

Soft Winter and Sweet Flowers,

P.S.: Oh, and one more thing. I just took some quotes today on perfect200 +/- pages of 8.5 X 11 sheet in runs under 50 copies. The "median" quote was $150 for set-up and $1.50 per copy bound. Imagine how little per copy it is in runs of thousands.

DMD: The Dragons Rest [Pocket Guide to Verbobonc]

Date sent: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 15:56:25 -0400
Send reply to: The GREYtalk Discussion List
From: Noel Graham
Subject: [GREYTALK] DMD: The Dragons Rest [Pocket Guide to Verbobonc]
Originally to: greyhawk@MPGN.COM

----Begin forwarded message -----
Subject: Greyhawk's Inns, Taverns, and Shops

As always, this looks a might better dressed up in the bells and whistles of WordPerfect 7.0. I've also had to insert the footnotes [ ] near the text in order for them to translate. “Cariel” is, of course, Cariel Mansharn of the GH MTU, the man responsible for developing the Pocket Guides (as you know from my longbill post); “Sparius Ersitan” is one of Cariel's trusted itinerant merchants whose travels make him quite knowledgeable concerning Verbobonc.
Incidentally, the Yeoman Knight, Sir Bastromel, is NOT a member of a Yeomanry order of knighthood (as I didn't intend they have any), but rather an indication of his espoused origins.


The Dragons Rest

This well-known innhouse stands a brisk walk up from the Bailey Gate. Some of you know it as the Inn of the Sleeping Dragon or Green Meadows Inn, but be assured it's still a place of familiar faces, the lettering now reunited with the signboard.
It's easy to find so locals, who well make up half the taproom business, often meet with travelers here or each other[1]. The draconic tokens which are the inn's heritage draw as many gawkers as earnest guests. On some nights it's difficult to be heard the length of your table and almost impossible to leave it, although overly roisterous patrons are encourages to go elsewhere.

[1]Sparius Ersitan: Nearly any Gent'lman of the Watch this side of the Lords District can direct ye there if ye've trouble finding it.

What to Expect
The Rest is built from creeper-sieged quarry stone and timber with distinctive decklo woodwork: portals, wingswept shutters, scaled shinglry, and the like. Rounded lamps with frosted glaziery are mounted abreast the signboard and entry, whose hinge and band work are vaguely claw-shaped works of aged brass. A fieldstone wall along the inn's rears encloses the Damaris family's semi-private garden.
Inside, lighting is supplied by three candle wheels suspended from the pleasantly high rafters. A large stone hearth a perfect backdrop for tale tellings and minstrels stands opposite the counter (not a bar!). Perched high above the mantle, twinned dragon ribs almost from over an empty hanger that once cradled the mighty battleaxe[2] charged with their capture, long gone.
Alas, the bone-handled tableware and flagons are far between too, so don't come expecting to toss back ales from a hollowed dragon tooth. No doubt a few pieces proved the tales of less valourous men or fueled the magicks of arch-sorcerers. The remainder are now served up so infrequently that curious attentions make them less likely to regrow legs and wander off unseen.

[2][For more information on Toblin's axe, see Appendix II of this guide]

The host, Senan Demaris, is a tall and amicable enough presence in the taproom, unless he's called upon to be otherwise. Patrons have pointed out a collection of tapping mallets he keeps close to hand and remark at his aim, should trouble brew anywhere in the crowd. Take heed those who'd remark too loudly or too often on the similarity to a certain less reputable locale of the Free City[3].

[3]Cariel: While presenting herein, it seems the subject of Senan's familiar surname is rarely delved. Though, given his skill at negotiation and the jawset scowl he received, Sparus could offer only a hasty “M'haps ye should ask of Ricard.” In its stead, he was able to share a curious observation.
Patrons of suspicious airs tend to receive a piece of dragon ware with their drink or meal. Whether those who attempt to strike up conversations do so at Senan's behest, Sparys couldn't say, but the reactions are often telling.

His charming wife, Jessra, oversees the kitchens and the results are more than palatable. Scales branded into fare lists have been affixed to walls about the taproom. A copy has been rendered herein to show its eccentricities. Meals are generously portioned and can be taken there or carried up nearby stairs to lodgings above, as can complimentary pitchers of brandymint water.
Sauces available range from a spicing of crushed peppercorn and herb left to roast in the catch pan and ladled over afore serving to a broth of crushed Keoish firefingers. The latter is best reserved for the strong of constitution.
Together, the proprietors direct a staff of three kitchenfolk, six innhands (who also service the taproom), and two ostlers. This includes their youthful son, Arik, and fostered daughter, Tresea.

The Dragons Platter[4]

For the Feast

Roast Game (basted with spiced wine broth):
Hare 6 cp
Hen 4 cp
Fine Fowl (when available) 9 cp
(your meat and garden choices) 1 sp
Venison (slow simmered in garlic red stock) 2 sp
Roast chops (done to taste):
Mutton (with our crème sauce) 2 sp
Dragon (aged and seasoned) 6 sp
Lairs, Great and Small
Meat and Garden 4 cp 8 cp
Liver and Kidney 3 cp 5 cp
gravyed mild or with piper sauce
Garden and Grains
Three of: hand loaf, greens, tubers, cheese, and sauces for the feast order two-fold as a feast!) 5 cp
Yarpick Loaf 6 cp
Shielf Loaf 8 cp

By Your Command

Soup (garden broth) 2 cp
Soup (meat and garden) 4 cp
Whitebroth Stew
(spiced fish and garden) 3 cp
Grilled Fish and Other Freshwater Fare (from the Velverdyva)
3-10 cp
Kettle Roast (meat, leaks, greenstalks, and red tubers) 7 cp
Eggs, Pan-Freyed (or as you like)
Hen 2 cp
Fine Fowl 5 cp
For the Trail (most items packed cold in decklo leaves) 2 cp

For Merryment
By the Flagon or Globeglass, Also By the Bottle or Hang Keg

Ale (common) 3 cp 12 cp
Stout 7 cp 3 sp
Toblin's Taste 4 cp --
Mead 6 cp 25 cp
Wine & Hard Cyder 1 sp 4 sp
Silaurey 8 cp 3 sp
Gauglathiir 3 gp 21 gp
Brandy (by the quaff):
Galda-fruit 3 sp 2 gp
Keoish 8 sp 8 gp
Ulek Elixir 5 gp 27 gp
Raritys & Exotics 1 gp and up
Sweet Cyder 2 cp 1 sp

[4]Fine fowl is, as ye must know, goose, duck, grouse, quail, or other game bird. The smaller one come spitted in pairs, but can be had of half the cost fer one. Lances are small pikes impaled as ye like, caught in wyrm's breath, to tell, and eaten asizzle. An' while good turn on the inn's fame, to truth a dragon chop means more a maw-size cut of steer – us'aly. Dragon-kin are known to the nearby wilderlands, after all.
Small lairs are pies sized to fit in a full grasp, with the great'ns bein' full-grown pies. Shield Loaf is freyed and battled in frothe wedges of loaf grilled 'til crisp and moist within. Try it at dawnfeast with crème butter and olven sweet sauce.
Toblin's Taste is a bitten but tasty ale p'culiar fer its ruddish cast, guarded recipe, and the practice of serving it fresh from the cold cellar. Mind ye, locals call it Redhand and mark outlanders by that. Of wines there's that olven wintagreen, Greyhawk's cinnamoned Silaurey, and of times Furyondian apple wine, Voll Shamarit, and more. Ask when ye get there.
A quaff is what we'd call a gill. A globeglass is likened to a goblet without the stem. Exotics is, m'haps, Samberra or that baklunish brewed kaffet.

Charges have increased only slightly with the past few moons. A cozy room with twinned beds, wash basin, low table, and stout lock[5] is 7 sp from one suncrest to the next. Each of two “master rooms” adds a small hearth, comfortable chairs, locking trunk, and bathing chamber use – a real luxury for the road weary (and 15 cp for others). These cost 12 sp/day, though both charges vary according to business, if stays at length are arranged, and the like.

[5]Sparus: Afore ye scoff, the Rest may look of just a piled stone, but test yer eye. Thick walls are bane to thieves and spell-throwers, and to here it, the cover-all moss counts to proof ag'inst visits from the ethers. Aye, the Rest offers up safety enough fer its coin.

Fear not a night of tossing due to noise from below. The floors have been cleverly rendered proof against such nuisance. Extra coverlets or bed warming (3 cp) are also available for colder nights.
Bunk space in a common room is 1 sheridan/night and includes a flagon of ale or soup and a handloaf of (day old) bread on the dawnsbreak. Lastly, stall fees are 1 sheridan/day per steed. A green coiled wyrm sigil has long been used to mark linens, furnishings, and oddments against pilferage. For the most recent seasons of visitors, however, this seems only to have increased their value as keepsakes. To curb losses, the sigil-branded platters and hand size paste-wood scales[6] are being offered for purchase at 3 sheridans and 5 (copper) commons, respectively.

[6]The scales bring coin as trinkets and pass on the Rest's fame in the bargain. In Baranford, whole sets were made to talis decks of paint'n their backsides.

Legends & Lore
There's much to tell here. The Rest was constructed on the whim of the Yeomen mercenary, Toblin “Redhand”, after a successful season of dragon hunting in the Gnarley Wood. As the tale goes, Toblin, once known as “Axehand” for his favored weapon, and a band of compatriots took up the hunt and, though reduced in numbers, emerged victorious a sennight later.
Though doubters have tried to cast Toblin's tales as tall indeed, it's hard to argue with proof. Several items, the scales and hide-bound faldstools for starters, have been authenticated through the years by a variety of scholars. It's also clear he wanted for little for the remainder of his days, lending some to conclude Toblin made a secret cache of the dragon's horde.
Once every few seasons he'd make a foray into those forests, taking a different course each time. Noone ever claimed knowledge of his destination and when questioned, he'd only giver a wide grin and say his children would profit from his ventures.
Fortune seekers far afield still flock to the Rest with each new rumor of a lost map[7]. The stay of a Yeoman knight, one Sir Bastromel, a few seasons back started tongues wagging anew. Was he, as some thought, retained as part of a recovery party or the heirs of Toblin's surviving partner, come for his share[8]? Whatever the case, Senan appears disinterested, but is known to have short shrift with gossip-mongers (or mongrels, as he puts it) and those who'd press him on such points.

[7]Senan: Don't you believe any of this. The Freeholders were set upon by a green alright, but it was by mercy of the gods he survived. The attack left him with lasting red splotches and a chronic cough from the beast's fell breath. He built the inn from coin of selling the hide and such. Look to his name, man, his days as a freesword were over!
There's no map nor treasure, though I'm sure he looked ever for it. His profits come from good business sense, tall tales and rumors together.

[8]Sparus: The last tale's gained the widest hold, since the knight report'ly regaled lis'ners with stories, first of being set upon in the Gnarleys by a green and next a fellow trav'ler. Some say this was done to test Damaris' reaction.
That Sir Bastromel awoke to thieves few nights later and was forced to draw steel fer his life...was judged a hap of bad fortune. Now, these same sources crook finger at past tries to name changes as proof the inn had something to hide—and Damaris hadn't found it yet!

Summer will see the expansion of the Rest. Many have wondered aloud at whether this could be from a new-found source of wealth or if the fell of hammer blows will reveal what was once thought lost.

Appendix I:
Folk of Verbobonc
JESSRA DAMARIS (CG hf P0; DEX 14, WIS 13, CHA 13). Brown-flecked bright blue eyes and a slim build mark her ancestry to Toblin and his half-elven lady companion. Jessra is patient (lending calm to Senan), caring, but not easily fooled. Her quiet reverence of Hanali Celanil seems reflected in the vitality of her gardens and family. One of a collection of dragon bone figurines is of the Power, to which she makes offerings of fresh-made potpourri.

SENAN DAMARIS (NG hm F3; DEX 16, CHA 12). Senan is 6', 200 lbs. Or so, and patronly for his 41 winters; has brown eyes, hair, and thick sidebars, the latter two now streaking with gray. He's a thoughtful and pragmatic man whose obvious concerns are his family and the prosperity of the Rest. Of course, if beset, his temper is quick and hot (and +2 to hit with mallets in the taproom), the result of recurring incidents connected with the inn's fame.

TRESEA is a quick-witted lass of some sixteen winters with short-bobbed sandy hair. From her years prior to the Damaris family she learned to tread softly and conceal her presence. Tresea's since stolen a lesson or two at the blade, from which it's clear there's warrior spirit in her. She's also heard her share of tales while working the taproom and is slowly growing infatuated with the wandering life.

Appendix II:
Pars Arcanum

Magical Items
Toblin's Axe
While this battleaxe predates Toblin, its origins and true name have been lost. The axe bears a +1 enchantment, emits a flickering light (equal to torchlight) which seems to arc like heat lightning throught the head when so willed, and can discharge a 6d6 lightning bolt upon utterance of an unknown command word, twice per month. Its present whereabouts is uncertain, but one story puts it in the possession of a Pomarj orog chieftain.
----End forwarded message-----