Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Gary Gygax's original D&D world, where Dungeons & Dragons came to life in the greatest show on Oerth!
The Book-House: Find Greyhawk products.

Moderators: Cthulhudrew, OldDawg

Post Reply
User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 18302
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by Havard » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:40 am

Image

Image

Originally, Mordenkainen was modelled after Gary Gygax. Not unreasonable since he was Gary's character. Later on, he got the band visage as he was made to resemble Sean K Reynolds during the WotC era.

What hairstyle do you prefer Mordenkainen to have?

Is there an in-game explanation to why he lost his hair? :D

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

grodog
Orc
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:18 pm

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by grodog » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:57 pm

Havard wrote:Originally, Mordenkainen was modelled after Gary Gygax. Not unreasonable since he was Gary's character. Later on, he got the band visage as he was made to resemble Sean K Reynolds during the WotC era.
IIRC the bald Mordy first appeared with the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer cover:

Image
Havard wrote:Is there an in-game explanation to why he lost his hair? :D
Presumably the side-effect of some artifact that the recovered? ;)

Allan.
grodog
---
Allan Grohe
grodog@gmail.com
http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/greyhawk.html

Editor and Project Manager, Black Blade Publishing
https://www.facebook.com/BlackBladePublishing/

ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
Posts: 3264
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm
Gender: male

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by ripvanwormer » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:21 pm

Sam Wood, one of the 3rd edition concept artists, did a lot of Greyhawk concept art circa '99 (including the various races of the Flanaess, Iuz, and Mordenkainen) and conceived of the bald Mordy look.

In-character, it's conceivable he shaved his head after Rary's betrayal as a sign of grief/penance/whatever.

Out of character, in 2nd edition he was over 80 years old, keeping himself in a state of robust middle age with potions of longevity. In 3rd edition, potions of longevity no longer existed and with the onset of old age his hairline began retreating.

User avatar
Yaztromo
The Real Nowhere Man
Posts: 1060
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 10:55 pm
Gender: male

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by Yaztromo » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:41 pm

The bald version reminds me something.... ;)

Image
I'm the Real Nowhere Man, sitting in my Nowhere Land,
making all my Nowhere plans for Nobody.

grodog
Orc
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:18 pm

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by grodog » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:18 pm

Indeed! :D

Allan.
grodog
---
Allan Grohe
grodog@gmail.com
http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/greyhawk.html

Editor and Project Manager, Black Blade Publishing
https://www.facebook.com/BlackBladePublishing/

GMWestermeyer
Stone Giant
Posts: 726
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 8:07 pm
Gender: male
Location: Fredericksburg, VA

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by GMWestermeyer » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:16 pm

ripvanwormer wrote: Out of character, in 2nd edition he was over 80 years old, keeping himself in a state of robust middle age with potions of longevity. In 3rd edition, potions of longevity no longer existed and with the onset of old age his hairline began retreating.
Wiat, they removed potions of longevity in 3e?!?!? <snort> What nonsense.

User avatar
Dread Delgath
Fire Giant
Posts: 1174
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 10:09 pm
Location: "The Good Life"

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by Dread Delgath » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:54 pm

GMWestermeyer wrote:
ripvanwormer wrote: Out of character, in 2nd edition he was over 80 years old, keeping himself in a state of robust middle age with potions of longevity. In 3rd edition, potions of longevity no longer existed and with the onset of old age his hairline began retreating.
Wiat, they removed potions of longevity in 3e?!?!? <snort> What nonsense.
They shortened lifespans too. I'm not sure what they did in 3x, but in 5e, none of the demi-humans have the life-spans they had in 1e/2e eras.

The Ming look was why I always hated the 3x+ artistic renditions of Mordenkainen. Not that I hate Ming, he's an excellent bad guy; its just that Mordenkainen had an original look about him, and now he looks like someone else. :roll:

I would'a said the same thing had any artist drawn him to look more like Gary's original inspiration of the character: Dr. Strange.
My D&D 5th edition Dakan Mar Campaign setting Conspectus and Campaign Rules here at The Piazza Forums, a Fool's Errand WIP.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23196
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by Big Mac » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:54 pm

Havard wrote:[Originally, Mordenkainen was modelled after Gary Gygax. Not unreasonable since he was Gary's character. Later on, he got the band visage as he was made to resemble Sean K Reynolds during the WotC era.
Do you think they changed Mordenkainen's appearance to remove the reference to Gary Gygax.
grodog wrote:
Havard wrote:Is there an in-game explanation to why he lost his hair? :D
Presumably the side-effect of some artifact that the recovered? ;)
A cursed magical comb, perhaps. :P
ripvanwormer wrote:Sam Wood, one of the 3rd edition concept artists, did a lot of Greyhawk concept art circa '99 (including the various races of the Flanaess, Iuz, and Mordenkainen) and conceived of the bald Mordy look.
Has anyone ever interviewed Sam Wood and asked him why he decided to reinvent Mordenkainen?
ripvanwormer wrote:In-character, it's conceivable he shaved his head after Rary's betrayal as a sign of grief/penance/whatever.

Out of character, in 2nd edition he was over 80 years old, keeping himself in a state of robust middle age with potions of longevity. In 3rd edition, potions of longevity no longer existed and with the onset of old age his hairline began retreating.
No potions of longevity in 3rd Edition? :o

Are they actually banned from 3e, or just not something that was added?
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
Dragonhelm
Aurak
Posts: 1481
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 3:53 am
Gender: male
Contact:

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by Dragonhelm » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:15 pm

As it turned out, his hair was actually a magical sentient toupee. He was bald all along. :D
Trampas Whiteman
---DragonHelm--->

Image

Moderator for: Dragonlance. My moderator voice is Dark Red.

jimflory
Goblin
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:29 pm
Gender: male

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by jimflory » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:28 pm

Simple.
He had a full head of hair.
Then he got married.
Things got rocky.
Hair thinned.
Got a divorce.
Shaved his head.
Getting lots of action in Free City bars.
Chicks dig a smooth archmage pate.


Alternatively, Mordenkainen is ACTUALLY Ming the Merciless!

User avatar
Cthulhudrew
Green Dragon
Posts: 4116
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:13 pm
Gender: male
Location: Long Beach, CA

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by Cthulhudrew » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:59 pm

Havard wrote:Is there an in-game explanation to why he lost his hair? :D
Vecna killing the Circle of Eight would be my guess. :lol:
Moderator of the Mystara and Greyhawk forums. My moderator voice is gray-green.
Image

User avatar
Cthulhudrew
Green Dragon
Posts: 4116
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:13 pm
Gender: male
Location: Long Beach, CA

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:15 am

Big Mac wrote:No potions of longevity in 3rd Edition? :o

Are they actually banned from 3e, or just not something that was added?
They're not banned, per se, they just don't exist. When they were reworking magic items for 3E, they made a lot of changes to better redefine the various types of magic items. One of those decisions involved making the decision that potions were always liquid forms of spells- ie, if it didn't have a spell counterpart, you could no longer make it into a potion and, further to that, that you could only make potions of 3rd level or lower spells (oils also fell into the same category, just with a different method of application).

Thus, as there was no longevity spell, and even if there were, it would doubtless have been of a higher level, there were no longer potions of longevity.

That led to certain items that were formerly potions turning into wondrous items, even though they were still effectively potions (ie, philtre of love). It didn't always make sense, but there you go.

(The staff of withering was similarly dropped, as there was no equivalent "aging" spell to imbue into a staff, which was a requirement of staves in 3E, that they be "spell containers," functionally higher level wands- which could only hold spells up to a certain level I can't recall offhand.)

Overall, pretty much anything related to aging was dropped in 3E initially other than age categories for PCs: ghosts lost their aging attacks, etc.

I don't recall any discussion during any of the playtesting or release relating specifically to why the aging stuff got largely dropped, but if I had to hazard a guess I'd say they did for two reasons:

1) Aging penalties adversely affect certain races more than others (short-lived races feel the effects much more quickly and damagingly than longer lived races);
2) Negating physical aging penalties (via potions of longevity while still allowing aging bonuses to mental abilities tended to be unbalancing as it more favorably benefited spellcasting classes; note that all "age negating" special abilities in the game (like the Druid's Timeless Body capstone ability negates both penalties and benefits).

Given 3E's emphasis on game balance, these things were probably considered to unwieldy and it was just easier for the design team to jettison them rather than redesign.

And that's all my OT knowledge for today, folks! :D
Moderator of the Mystara and Greyhawk forums. My moderator voice is gray-green.
Image

User avatar
Mr Dark
Orc
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:17 pm
Gender: male
Location: Missouri

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by Mr Dark » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:00 am

I think he looks more like Anton Lavey

Image
Donner Party Meats: We're here to serve YOU!

User avatar
Cthulhudrew
Green Dragon
Posts: 4116
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:13 pm
Gender: male
Location: Long Beach, CA

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:43 am

Big Mac wrote:Do you think they changed Mordenkainen's appearance to remove the reference to Gary Gygax.
I wouldn't think so. If they had wanted to do that, then I think it would have happened prior to 3E, back during the Lorraine Williams era, when they were doing all they could to get rid of Gygax. Mordy didn't go bald until 3E, which was a period when Peter Adkison had gone out of his way to make amends to Gygax and bring him back into the fold, so to speak.

I think it was just a matter of changing times, changing artwork to accompany the Greyhawk style that Todd Lockwood brought to 3E. That, and perhaps a changing aesthetic in the attitude towards baldness from the 70s and 80s to the 90s and more recent times. Chalk it up to Dennis Franz and Bruce Willis, who made the bald look sexy for men (white men, at any rate). :lol:
Moderator of the Mystara and Greyhawk forums. My moderator voice is gray-green.
Image

vestcoat
Gnoll
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:55 pm
Gender: prefer not to say

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by vestcoat » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:18 pm

Havard wrote:Originally, Mordenkainen was modelled after Gary Gygax. Not unreasonable since he was Gary's character. Later on, he got the band visage as he was made to resemble Sean K Reynolds during the WotC era.
Sources please? Mordenkainen doesn't look much like Gygax (for a wizardly depiction of EGG, see the 384th Incarnation of Bigby's Tomb in Polyhedron #20). 3E Modenkainen is a portrait of Anton Lavey, not SKR.
grodog wrote: IIRC the bald Mordy first appeared with the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer cover:
He's first bald on Todd Lockwood's cover of TSR Jam, released January 1999, then LGJ#0 in July 2000, then the LGG in November 2000.

ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
Posts: 3264
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm
Gender: male

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:37 pm

Sean K. Reynolds set the record straight on his wordpress blog: https://seankreynolds.wordpress.com/201 ... -jam-1999/
Sean K. Reynolds wrote:Many people see that Todd’s depiction of Mordenkainen is bald with a goatee, and wonder if I was the model or inspiration for that character’s look, either here or on the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. Answer: No, but I was the model or inspiration for some other characters he’s painted, which I’ll mention in future blogs. Lockwood says Mordenkainen is based on illustrator Fred Fields, a WotC temp as the tiefling, cartographer Dennis Kauth as Elminster, Lockwood himself as Raistlin, artist Sam Wood as the space trooper, and head cartographer Rob Lazaretti as the vampire Strahd.

User avatar
stebehil
Ogre
Posts: 270
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:37 pm
Gender: male
Location: Dresden, Germany

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by stebehil » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:48 pm

Wow. I did not check out everyone SKR mentioned as inspiration, but it seems that the art does take quite a development. I would never have guessed Fred Fields as the inspiration for Mordy. (Still love Fred Fields "Birth of Night" which graced a Dragon cover at some point, btw)

vestcoat
Gnoll
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:55 pm
Gender: prefer not to say

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by vestcoat » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:48 pm

Nice find, Rip. Definitely looks like Fred Fields. So...
WG5: ?
TSR Jam: Fred Fields
LGJ0: ?
LGG: ?
Expedition: Anton Lavey

User avatar
NetoD20
Goblin
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:30 pm
Gender: male

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by NetoD20 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:54 pm

Between TSR JAM 1999 and the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, bald Mordy appeared on the cover of Living Greyhawk Journal #0:
Image

Also, Theodain looks very eastern in there. Love that I can see the actual stars in Starcoat's coat (but you're gonna have to go after a bigger picture to see these details, couldn't upload a bigger image in here).

GMWestermeyer
Stone Giant
Posts: 726
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 8:07 pm
Gender: male
Location: Fredericksburg, VA

Re: Mordenkainen's Hairstyle

Post by GMWestermeyer » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:59 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Big Mac wrote: When they were reworking magic items for 3E, they made a lot of changes to better redefine the various types of magic items.

You use the word 'better' as if it apples here. <snort>

Post Reply

Return to “Greyhawk”