Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Re: [GH98] WotC/TSR need to be fearless

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Date sent: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 10:19:21 -0400
Send reply to: Keith Horsefield
From: Keith Horsefield
Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] [GH98] WotC/TSR need to be fearless
Originally to: David Rooke

Good Day All,

>> I disagree. If one thing can be said for Carl Sargent he was true to
>> his predecessors.
>That is the crux of the matter. You think Sargent was true to his
>predecessors and I think that he most certainly was not.

David, you prove my point for me:

>I had a long chat at a convention with Carl Sargent and discussed many
>things with him. One of the things he mentioned was how he felt
>hamstrung by the Rary the Traitor material and would have loved to have
>just ignored it. He actually felt that some material did need to be cut
>but he wasn’t authorized to do so.

This is just one case in point. Carl also was true to a fault
t[missing text] Cook the author of Greyhawk Wars.

>Of course, he made worthy attempts to make the timeline consistent
>bearing in mind that even this he failed in, as he admitted to me
>personally, since the world was EGG’s (not hit) and he was therefore
>guessing in many areas.

And there is the key phrase, it WAS Gygax’s world. Greyhawk is no
longer Gygax’s and from the looks of things it may never return to the
fold. Gary has my utmost respect and I thank him for bringing his
vision to all of us, but the ‘official’ Greyhawk is now owned by TSR.

>What damns Sargent’s work in my eyes, however, is that he turned the
>setting inside out from a setting for heroic, S&S style fantasy to an
>essentially dark fantasy setting. Consequently, his stated aim of
>remaining true to the essence of EGG’s creation was just the waving of
>flag of convenience.

Under the guidance given Carl (see your comment about TSR and [text missing]
deciding upon a consistent history and the Rary the Traitor
conversation, he kept to Gary’s vision as much as possible. Once
again I’ll state that if you read “War’s End” from the Atlas of the
Flanaess from FtA and the ‘Brief History’ from the 1980 WoG Gazetteer,
the end political result is remarkable similar.

I find the duality of FtA Greyhawk, a much darker fantasy in the east over the west, a welcomed change from the dribble we receive all too often from TSR.

>The Greyhawk Wars and FtA won’t happen IMC at all.

What about Dragon #65 (by Kuntz)? Nyrond, Almor and the Iron League declare war on the Great Kingdom in 578 CY. Personally, I like the idea that a state of war existed for 4 years between these nations, but it took the ‘Vatun’ incident to actually light the fuse.

>However, what happens IMC isn’t what’s being discussed here. It’s what
>happens with the Official Campaign that counts


>>If Roger’s version of GH does not take into account the
>>evolution that has happened through the Greyhawk Wars then there is
>>no valid reason for it except possible $$$$ and catering to minorities
>>within the community who were put out by subsequent TSR publications
>>on Greyhawk. Just republish the original setting and be done with it.
>But am I saying scratch the GH Wars? Of course not.

I didn’t say YOU did, but I have my concerns about TSR.

>> One of the caveats of Greyhawk is an internally consistent
>>history. We just can’t change this because we don’t like the outcome.
>Part of TSR’s job is to decide on a consistent historical timeline. If it
>offends a few people then that’s too bad. You can’t please everyone. I’d
>rather have a few people offended and a consistent/believable history
>than an fractured and unbelievable history with another set of people
>aggrieved (somewhat more justifiably. IMO).

Bingo!! When TSR handed Carl the job of producing FtA, he was placed under some strict guidelines as to what he could do with it and what he couldn’t. Now, due to public opinion, it would appear that they regret that decision. Roger is probably also working under a set of guidelines but IMO the issues that were introduced by the Greyhawk Wars and then ‘codified’ within FtA must be dealt with, neither ignored nor glossed over with simple fixes.

I’ve been relatively silent on the use of the Crook of Rao to rid Oerth of ALL the fiends. I don’t agree with it. It introduces a whole host of problems. But as of yet I have not been able to come up with a palatable solution that achieves the same ends. This one issue, removing the fiends from Oerth, appears to be one of the foundation building blocks for the next edition of Greyhawk.

>>Sometimes people die and sometimes people don’t live up to your
>Are you trying to say that, “yes there’s some crap in WG but you have
>good stuff and bad stuff in a product line but this “lumpiness” makes it
>more real. For real life has good and bad”? To that I say humbug!

No what I was trying to say is that Tensor is dead and Rary acted contrary to how most people envisioned him. These events are now in the past and written in Greyhawk’s history. It is time to move on.

>What I feel WotC/TSR are in danger of doing is trying to please everyone
>(or should I say offend no one) with GH98 leaving us with a wishy-washy
>creation that resolves none of the settings core problems.

Core problems in whose opinion (though it would seem Roger and TSR agree with those against FtA. Wonder why? Could it be up until this point only those who felt slighted by FtA voiced their opinion)? I agree catering to a vocal on-line minority that all we get is a Greyhawk not of any vision.

We already have a S&S Greyhawk in the 1983 boxed set. If this is all the new edition is going to do then drop the new edition and publish supplements for the original setting and FtA.

>WotC/TSR must decide on a firm stance with the setting and the way it’s
>going to be developed cutting some of the crass historical stuff, if that’s
>what it takes to get the job done.

To this statement I can only second Galwylin’s comments:
>the ‘it never happened’ sticker.

>For this to happen in Greyhawk would be completely unacceptable.
>What eventually goes into Greyhawk’s new game has to include
>everything that’s happened in it’s past.
>>RPGs are just a mirror of Real Lif(with a lot of escapism thrown in for
>>good measure) and for the most part should operate in like manner.
>Again humbug! RPGs are a *game* meant to be enjoyed as a
>recreational pastime by those taking part. Nothing more and nothing
>less. Mirror of real life? Such profound nonsense makes me want to

Up until this point I found your posting palatable. How you choose to run relationships between your PCs and NPCs is your decision. How I choose to run them in my campaign is my decision. Whether or not you agree with that does not grant you the opportunity to make light of other views on how RPGs d be gamed.

Keith Horsefield
Member Team OS/2
“To a person with a hammer, everything looks like a nail”
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