Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Once & Future Greyhawk -- Using The World of Greyhawk (1e) Campaign Folio By Gary Gygax For An OSR Science Fantasy Campaign

"So the players have been complaining that the campaign is too dull, eh? Not enough detail? Why is this country at war with its neighbors? How can trade routes exist with all those wandering monsters? Most importantly, why do all of those unsacked, unlooted dungeons and ruins stand so close to the one big city all of the adventurers in the world hail from?"

"Rejoice, Dungeon Masters, and relax! All of these questions can be answered by following the example of the volume in your hands. The World of Greyhawk is here, and is suitable for use as the backdrop of a new campaign without changes; or, as an alternative, city, country or geographical descriptions can be used to fill in details for existing campaigns."
World of Greyhawk blurb.
This isn't the world of Greyhawk you know. This is a very different world subject to events well beyond its ken. The Warden B crashed into 'The Grand Duchy of Geoff' & now for good or ill powers from beyond the stars are aware of the venerable Gary Gygax setting. When it comes to Greyhawk there are times when looking through the original Gary Gygax  folio edition some very interesting things become evident. Greyhawk could be opened up as an interstellar trading partner. No I'm not talking about Spelljammer. I'm talking about using the venerable world as a full on trading partner for interstellar missions. I've been thinking about two systems here rpg systems here Stars Without Number & the free  Amazing Adventures Starsiege rpg by Jason Vey offered on Starship Warden Kickstarter.

The campaign idea here is very straight forward, survivors of the Trans Plutonic Ship Yard have followed an FTL transmission of the smaller colony ship The Warden B through a hyper spacial warp to Greyhawk. This is the Warden B of S3: "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks" (1980), by Gary Gygax, is the third "Special" adventure for AD&D. It was published in February 1980. The events of the module come off without a hitch but a signal was sent by the Warden B.

The would be making their way through  'The Grand Duchy of Geoff'  & perhaps things would start to get interesting or dangerous should they land post Greyhawk Wars; "As described in the original World of Greyhawk Fantasy World Setting setting, the Duchy of Geoff was at peace and safe from the ravages of war that threatened the continent. Later published boxed sets and supplements such as From the AshesGreyhawk WarsAgainst the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff, and the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer described how the region was transformed in Common Year (CY) 583 / Flan Tracking (FT) 2463 as armies of giants from the Crystalmist Mountains mounted a brutal invasion. Much of the Duchy was destroyed or enslaved."

The party of adventurers would literally be strangers in a strange land  dealing with the primitive world of Greyhawk  all of its powers, monsters, humanoid races, & magic. Could they sustain themselves & build an empire from the ground up?
Once the PC learn about the fate of the Warden B? Well they might decide that empire building might be in order? Or they could begin building bridges towards a far greater end making in roads into the galactic empire. I'm going to go with the latter for this thought exercise. 
This campaign exercise is inspired by H.Beam Piper's Space Viking novel. The idea of forming a galactic trading partner from the Sword & Sorcery remains of Greyhawk isn't new. But as a campaign with a Dungeons & Dragons or OSR base it works & works very well.

With Stars Without Number Revised, Greyhawk works as a world that has had brushes with the galactic empire before the Scream. But the incidents  of the Event Horizon killed any brush with the 'spike drive FTL system. Greyhawk's time space continuum remains breached & it remains too tempting of a target for raiders from beyond the bounds of men. It may find itself center stage in galactic politics regardless of its own internal domestic issues. Perhaps one of the venerable 
Bruxelles-class battlecruisers has followed the survivors of the the Trans Plutonic Ship Yard  to the signal from the smaller Warden B exploration vessel & all Hell might break across the skies  of Greyhawk.

Bruxelles-class battlecruiser & her crew has come to Greyhawk to do a bit of intergalactic Viking, raiding, & pillaging. And now the PC's must muster the power to not only stop the raiders but push Greyhawk into a much greater intergalactic role then the young world was ready for. 

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