In order to facilitate a campaign, by default, the most important place on Oerth is exactly where the players are, and where they are going next. To infer anything else during play, or designing play around to force players to go to the most important place should be met with obstinance and if necessary, ridicule.ripvanwormer wrote:In any case, say the City of Greyhawk, or Castle Greyhawk, is the most important place on Oerth. What do you do with that? How does that inspire adventures? It makes the setting seem smaller and less interesting to me. I'd rather think of Oerth and the Flanaess as a varied setting with a number of equally viable places for adventure, not satellites orbiting around a single town.
(What I'm saying is that it doesn't matter what the players are doing, going, or planning, its the DM's job to make it interesting and worth playing - thus that is the goal - and that is the most important place in any campaign.)
Now, to be totally serious and provide a little bit of an answer, I'd say that WoG setting is big enough to allow many equally interesting places to adventure, and using the City of Greyhawk & Greyhawk Castle/Ruins as the cornerstone of the campaign, or at least as far as locating the "big finish" to a campaign.
I'd love to see at least five starter places featuring campaign set-ups for immediate sandbox play, each of the five giving one section of the alignment chart - Neutral (City of Greyhawk), Lawful Evil (Great Kingdom), Lawful Good (Furyondy/Nyrond), Chaotic Good (Keoland/Verbobonc), and Chaotic Evil (Iuz/). The other four could be worked in later - Chaotic Neutral (The Barbarians), Neutral Evil (Valley of the Mage), Lawful Neutral (Theocracy of the Pale), and Neutral Good (Yeomanry/Geoff/Sea Princes).
(These are examples, based on what I remember from my old Greyhawk campaign, and may not be accurate to the latest "canonical" information post-Wars.)
I'd like these to be players guides for human characters - informing the players what the humans from these major areas (more than simple alignments, however) are like - culturally, ethnically, alignment tendencies, and all the rest of the logistical stuff, but not get bogged down in "everything is happening here at X marks the spot" kind of detail.
I always got the distinct feeling that the later WoG material assumes that the players want to be exactly where the book says all the action is happening, but in all of my experience as player and DM, those make for the worst kinds of adventures because whatever the script is on about, its usually the farthest from the players' collective area of interest. This kind of design felt very "top down", and I always used the "bottom up" style write ups to much better response from my players - and this is because it allows the players to make their own decisions about where they want to go, and not let any "adventure seeds" stop them from doing what they want, based solely on "you must help us for the good of the kingdom!" traps.
TLDR Version: I want more Greyhawk Sandbox.
Sorry, it is late where I am at and I am starting to feel the downward pull of the 'lids, and I'm rambling, so this is a good place to stop, and hopefully I will pick this up later and run with it some more.