How could Oriental Adventures fit onto Oerik/Oerth?

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Big Mac
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How could Oriental Adventures fit onto Oerik/Oerth?

Post by Big Mac »

Something I've heard, from multiple sources, is that the 1st Edition Oriental Aventures book was originally going to be located on Oerth, but relocated onto Tori, before publication (taking it away from Greyhawk and making it part of Forgotten Realms).

Now I don't disbelieve this but:
  • The word "oriental" means "eastern" and
  • The Flanaess is located at the eastern end of Oerik
I get how Kara-Tur can be the "Eastern Realms" as a Forgotten Realms subsetting, when Faerûn is west of it, but how could TSR have made Kara-Tur into an eastern subsetting of Greyhawk, when you can't go any further east from the Flanaess, without going on a boat?

So has anyone seen anything that explains how, geographically, Kara-Tur was going to be located to the east of the east, so that "orient" made some sort of sense?

Was Oriental Adventures originally going to be set on an island, east of Oerik?

Was Oriental Adventures originally going to have Kara-Tur in it, or was there another Asian-style setting with Oerik-elements planned?

Was Oriental Adventures originally planned to have a different name (that didn't suggest "east")?

Was Black Moon Chronicles originally supposed to be Oerth's Asia?
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Re: How could Oriental Adventures fit onto Oerik/Oerth?

Post by Khedrac »

I suspect that if this is true, then they were not thinking about "Oriental" meaning "Eastern" and were going to put it in the west.

However, all the maps in Oriental Adventures have Kara Tur as the Eastern end of a continent (similar to China on earth) so I suspect they didn't plan to put it in any particular world - similar to all the other 1st Ed supplements, e.g. Dungeoneer's Survival Guide - making it its own area to do with as the DM wanted.
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Re: How could Oriental Adventures fit onto Oerik/Oerth?

Post by Big Mac »

Khedrac wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 12:42 pm
I suspect that if this is true, then they were not thinking about "Oriental" meaning "Eastern" and were going to put it in the west.

However, all the maps in Oriental Adventures have Kara Tur as the Eastern end of a continent (similar to China on earth) so I suspect they didn't plan to put it in any particular world - similar to all the other 1st Ed supplements, e.g. Dungeoneer's Survival Guide - making it its own area to do with as the DM wanted.
I know that Zeb Cook took over Oriental Adventures and did some reworking. So I suppose that he might have done something like removed a map of Western Oerik and added a new one.

I wonder how well a horizontally flipped Kara-Tur fits onto the really old Western Oerik map from Dungeon. :)
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Re: How could Oriental Adventures fit onto Oerik/Oerth?

Post by ripvanwormer »

Here's an image I made of one way to fit Kara-Tur on Oerth: Image

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Re: How could Oriental Adventures fit onto Oerik/Oerth?

Post by Ashtagon »

I'd say that the book name was to help identify the contents to the target audience, so they would know what tropes it contained; it worked well for that, although the word oriental has become problematic, and is perhaps best avoided in any new editions. I'm not sure they were trying to aim for the geographical meaning of the word, such much as the cultures normally associated with it.

Based on the Dragon magazine 1996 map, the Celestial Imperium and Nippon would seem to be core for OA; Zindia seems like it was named as an India-expy, and the Khanate seems intended to be Mongol expys. However, this all suffers from the problem that these place names are obviously not those place names.
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Re: How could Oriental Adventures fit onto Oerik/Oerth?

Post by Ashtagon »

Also...

http://www.greyhawkgrognard.com/2013/08 ... thing-odd/

Apparently, that great sea on the right edge of the map was originally called the Western Ocean. Which would make Greyhawk's "orient" in the area that is now conventionally called "Western Oerik"!
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Re: How could Oriental Adventures fit onto Oerik/Oerth?

Post by Boneguard »

In dragon annual #1 You have this map https://ghwiki.greyparticle.com/images/8/88/Oerik00.jpg

Which shows the oriental nations to be southwest of Flannaes, but still on the Eastern side of the continent.
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Re: How could Oriental Adventures fit onto Oerik/Oerth?

Post by Ashtagon »

Everything west of the Flannaess is western Oerik ;-)
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Re: How could Oriental Adventures fit onto Oerik/Oerth?

Post by Dread Delgath »

ripvanwormer wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 2:44 pm
Here's an image I made of one way to fit Kara-Tur on Oerth: Image
I like this version. It would best fit my circa 976 GH campaign setting. :cool:
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Re: How could Oriental Adventures fit onto Oerik/Oerth?

Post by Raymond »

To get to the Orient, take a boat.

That's a pretty cool map.

Gygax wasn't exactly clear (!) about how Oerth was comprised. Maybe part of that was he might have made decisions over time. The Stratigic Review from Spring of 1975 lists analogs for Asia, North America, Europe, and Africa. There is also an implication that the map is backwards (which fits with the idea that Gary at some point flips east and west). I personally think that he did at first consider Greyhawk in North America, but then changed it to a flipped Europe because the City of Greyhawk seems to be at the same latitude as Constantinople. The Great Kingdom map from 1971 shows a Western Ocean. Meggary's map from about the same time shows the same ocean labeled as the Eastern Ocean.

Then there is apparently Gary answering a post on-line which implies a decades later answer about what he had intended that says, "Francois had a map of a continent and some islands to the east, and they were going to be added. The "Orient" was actually to be past them, closer to the West Coast of Oerik... Len Lakofka had an eastern continental addition as well as the Lendore Isles, so what I planned to so[clarification needed] was incorporate Francois' and Len's maps with Oerik, complete the lower continent below it, and have a real globe." This is weird to me because that seems to imply that Aquaria would be left as an oriental continent and I don't think that fits with what I've seen so far of the R series modules...unless Eastern Aquaria is Oriental in flavor while Western Aquaria is Occidental in flavor. Having a Japanese-flavored Caribbean, Korean-flavored Florida, Chinese-flavored Eastern-Seaboard is growing on me.

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Re: How could Oriental Adventures fit onto Oerik/Oerth?

Post by ripvanwormer »

Raymond wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 7:01 pm
Then there is apparently Gary answering a post on-line which implies a decades later answer about what he had intended that says, "Francois had a map of a continent and some islands to the east, and they were going to be added. The "Orient" was actually to be past them, closer to the West Coast of Oerik... Len Lakofka had an eastern continental addition as well as the Lendore Isles, so what I planned to so[clarification needed] was incorporate Francois' and Len's maps with Oerik, complete the lower continent below it, and have a real globe." This is weird to me because that seems to imply that Aquaria would be left as an oriental continent and I don't think that fits with what I've seen so far of the R series modules...
Well, Francois' map is the Black Moon Chronicles, which is only "oriental" in the sense that it was to be placed to the east of Oerik; it's a western fantasy setting. As Gygax said in your quote above, the "Orient" was going to be past Francois' continent. Aquaria doesn't seem to be part of this scheme at all.

Gygax has cast doubt on the validity of the Dragon Annual map of Oerth, but the fact that François Marcela-Froideval's Black Moon Chronicles setting is incorporated into it shows it's probably based on a draft of what he's talking about above. The idea of making Black Moon Chronicles and "the Orient" separate from Oerik, as Gygax recounted above, would have been better, but apparently at some point someone at TSR made a version of the map that was all one continent, and that got canonized in the Dragon Annual. It's not that far from what Gygax described though: you still get Froideval's nations across the Solnor to the east, the "Orient" to the east of that, and then the Flanaess to the east of that. The only difference is that they're linked together instead of being separate.
Big Mac wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 1:11 pm
I know that Zeb Cook took over Oriental Adventures and did some reworking. So I suppose that he might have done something like removed a map of Western Oerik and added a new one.
There's no map of Kara-Tur in Oriental Adventures at all. I think the Kara-Tur map first appeared in the OA module series. I don't think any part of François Marcela-Froideval's manuscript was used in the published book.

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Re: How could Oriental Adventures fit onto Oerik/Oerth?

Post by Raymond »

The book has a description but no map.

OA1 has a map that implies characters sail west though for characters in Oerth, we're not sure where they'd be sailing west from. For DMs setting OA1 on Toril, I see the same problem.

I've got Google Earth now, so if I have time, I'll try to overlay the OA1 map on each Oerth and Toril and see what it looks like. :)

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Re: How could Oriental Adventures fit onto Oerik/Oerth?

Post by Raymond »

Using Oerth, the characters in OA1 would be coming from "Zindia." Using Toril, the Ocean Voyage Map places ocean over half of the Osse continent and then places the characters' home shoreline in the middle of an ocean nowhere near a continent. *blah* I'm tempted to say the OA1 Ocean Voyage Map should be placed on Iscandar.

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Re: How could Oriental Adventures fit onto Oerik/Oerth?

Post by JamesMishler »

I kludged together a proposed map using Ripvanwormer's map that simply reverses East and West for Kara-Tur and tacks it on where the "Celestial Imperium" is on the Dragon Annual map, getting rid of all the other stuff to the west. That puts it all on the same continent, though the "orient" is in the west and the "West" is in the east.

Needs some fixing along the seam, but otherwise it fits a nice reversal of the Eurasian continent.

I'm pretty sure that Kara-Tur is too small for the official version on this map, but this is just a general placement anyway...

I can't seem to upload any maps, so here is a link to it on my Googledrive: Karaoerik New

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