Tuesday, April 7, 2020

'The Dawn of Man' - A 'What If' Greyhawk Source book & Campaign Setting Set Up For Advanced Dungeons & Dragons First Edition Or OSRIC

The year is Nineteen Eighty Two & The Dragon magazine issue number sixty eight hits the stands known as 'One of the Greyhawk issues' among collectors. This issue has Greyhawk weather, under water encounters for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Greyhawk Deities, & more. 

The 'Thrills & Chills' article would later become the basis for one of the most controversial & expansive source books for Advanced Dungeons & Dragon's Greyhawk. At this time Kim Mohan had taken over as editor & chief but new editorial & writing blood was infused into TSR with the inclusion of Roger E. Moore & Ed Greenwood. All of this lays the ground work for 'The Dawn of Man' source book that would come out in 1998.  Yeah that's right we're gonna do the latest entry into  another 'What if'  what would have happened if the trail blazing orange spines of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition reprint books had continued with those incredible pieces of cover artwork. James Panarella did some incredible Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition orange spine mock up covers of supplement books that we wish existed.  Welcome to another journey to an alternative Earth where classic TSR never disbanded & to this day the company continues. Our action takes place in 1998 when TSR begins to cement their hold on Greyhawk, & we get dream writing & design  team of Gary Gygax, Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grub, James Ward,Ed Sullivan, Frank Mentzer,  & a bunch of the TSR illumine tackling the creation of the proto prehistoric Greyhawk setting during the age of Dragons, giant mammals, & even the occasional dinosaurs all set against the background of the world of Greyhawk. Welcome to the 'The Dawn of Man' source book!

Roger E. Moore is instrumental bringing this book to market by combining his knowledge of the planes, the proto gods of Greyhawk, & his relationship with Gary Gygax. Frank Mentzer & James Ward work closely on hewing the 
 'The Dawn of Man' into a sustainable setting with lots of module support. There are ties in 
'The Dawn of Man' source book with new human & humanoid races, a boat load of new classes, lots of spells especially shaman,druid, & cleric spells & PC options, along with lots of adventure & a bright spark of a connection to Bill SlavicsekRichard Baker Alternity rpg. One of the latest in a long line of science fiction rpgs in the Ares line by Gary Gygax & James Ward. 

'The Dawn of Man' source book back focused into the adventure of survival itself as the party was a part of a clan or tribe. The tribal structure a key of survival among the wilds of pre historic Greyhawk. This was an old school & very proto Robert E. Howard setting with touches of Clark Ashton Smith's influence infused through out. But this was Gary Gygax's baby. This makes 'The Dawn of Man' source book both a first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons & a second edition Gary Gygax Advanced Dungeons & Dragons book. This was a move championed by both Ernie & Luke Gygax head of their respective divisions of the family corporate empire. The corporate holdings had spread out  into the highly successful Dungeons & Dragons film franchise, restaurants, theme parks, etc.
'The Dawn of Man' source book clocked in at one hundred & forty pages tying into 'Journey to The Stars' source book in a fundamental level. What made it controversial was the ties to the proto prehistoric Greyhawk setting. Here there were lots of grumbles among the Greyhawk fans with it being a 'true Greyhawk' setting and consistent with Gary Gygax's vision.

'The Dawn of Man' source book would go on to form the basis for the highly successful collaborations between Gary Gygax & Frank Mentzer in the form of the DM series of modules. These included DM1 The Houses of Dread, DM2 The Witch Queen of Oerth, DM3 The Drawing of The Seven, & finally DM4 The Castles of the Unholy.
Ten Ways To Incorporate 'The Dawn of Man' Source book into Your Own Campaigns 

  1. Bring your current adventuring party into the proto prehistoric Greyhawk setting & allow them to experience the deadliness of the world of Greyhawk 
  2. Exploit the connections between the Forgotten Realms & 'The Dawn of Man' tribal magics in 'Sword & Cavern' adventures. 
  3. Explore the dangerous & twisted beginnings of lichdom & the real reason for the sea of dust in Greyhawk. 
  4. Four bring down the hammer of the mysterious proto Greyhawk  godlings into your current campaign. 
  5. Bring home the dangers that some of the 'instruments of the gods' left behind on Greyhawk into your current campaign. 
  6. Strange & mysterious tombs are found all of the time on Greyhawk & some still with their proto lich occupants. These can destroy a campaign or wipe out a party of even experienced adventurers. 
  7. The artifacts of the mysterious lords of the Abyss still exist in the wild corners of Greyhawk & they appear from time to time. Use these to draw player's PC's into 'The Dawn of Man' setting. 
  8. The pre god horrors of 'Dawn of Man' could still be stalking some of the mega dungeons of Greyhawk or even worse the space ways. Use them sparingly but as a menace for higher level parties. 
  9. Time travel enables the DM to exploit major NPC's of the 'Dawn of Man' source book in their own campaigns. 
  10. The portal to 'The Dawn of Man' setting is still on one of the levels of Castle Greyhawk's dungeons. This could be an epic quest for a Greyhawk campaign. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.