Greyhawk's China

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Greyhawk's China

Post by Havard » Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:33 pm

In Gary Gygax' Lake Geneva campaign, it was possible to travel from Greyhawk to China. In the Blackmoor: Greyhawk's Version Thread it is mentioned that Robilar and Tenser travelled to China in 561 CY (the first year of Gary's campaign). In a recent discussion with Benoist Poiree, Benoist mentioned to me that the Lake Geneva Group used the Outdoor Wilderness Survival Map to flesh out the lands between Greyhawk and China, much like Dave Arneson had used the same map to expand the wilderness around Blackmoor.

1. What else is known about China in Gary's Campaign?
2. How much of this has made its way into TSR's (later WotC's) version of Greyhawk? Is that where the idea for the Oriental Adventures Sourcebook first came from? I know it was planned for Greyhawk before it was moved to the Forgotten Realms.

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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by Big Mac » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:40 pm

That's a good question. I know there was a place called Nippon, but I think that was supposed to be Greyhawk's Japan.

I wonder if anyone has ever done a project to "adapt" Oriental Adventures back to Greyhawk, by using the Dragon Annual map.

I've seen a few maps of areas beyond the Flanaess, and they must be basing their stuff on research done from Gary Gygax's writings (or maybe from the Gord the Rogue novels).
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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by ripvanwormer » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:47 pm

Havard wrote:In the Blackmoor: Greyhawk's Version Thread it is mentioned that Robilar and Tenser travelled to China in 561 CY (the first year of Gary's campaign).
Please note that those dates are based on later canon; I don't actually know if Gary Gygax used dates in his original home game. Also, the bullet points between 561 and 569 are meant to span that entire near-decade; because Rob Kuntz didn't give any dates in the Dragonsfoot post I copied those from they only represent the order those events occurred in. They didn't necessarily all take place the same year. All we know is that the trip to China took place sometime between Robilar fighting a black dragon beneath Castle Greyhawk and the trip home via the City of Brass, and that this happened some time between the first adventures in 561 and the Battle of Emridy Meadows in 569 CY.
Havard wrote:Benoist mentioned to me that the Lake Geneva Group used the Outdoor Wilderness Survival Map to flesh out the lands between Greyhawk and China, much like Dave Arneson had used the same map to expand the wilderness around Blackmoor.
Robilar, Teric, and Tenser traveled to China via a slide through the center of Oerth, and then used the wilderness map to represent the trip back. There's some detail on this blog:
Gary Gygax wrote:"Hoist by my own petard! These three, separately, had attained the nadir (pinnacle in terms of success) of the dungeons, and thanks to Zagig were sent "clean through the earth" to a distant land. Having sown the seeds of my own undoing, how could I complain? So I was faced with major works of improvisation as one after another of these PCs (for the record Robilar, Tenser, and Terik) made their separate ways around the globe, seeking to reunite as they quested for their own homeland. While I was pleased with their enjoyment of the adventuring fare, it was less palatable to the DM. As it happened, each character decided on a different route for their trek. My capacity to invent interesting, different, and exciting material on the spot was stretched to the limit by a long series of one-character adventures, and I determined never to go through such a trial again. So as the triumphant trio of PCs who had penetrated to the lowest level of Castle Greyhawk and survived being sent as far from there as the world allowed received their well-earned laurels from their less enterprising fellows, as DM, more world building was feverishly in progress."
Rob Kuntz wrote:"Robilar was one of the first to make it around the Oerth. By entering the lowest level in Greyhawk Castle, he was propelled by a magical slide to what would be modern day "China." Teric and Tenser followed, as they missed his return to the first level of the Castle, which, as a team, this trio held sway over. They caught up with him by scrying and they finished the adventure together. They all split later - Teric visited the southeast area around the Sea Barons (he was looking for Voodoo-type areas), Tenser went home, and Robilar trudged down into the southern jungles, far past the reach of Sea Prince slavers."
Havard wrote:1. What else is known about China in Gary's Campaign?
Well, first of all, there's this bit from Dragon Magazine #1:
Gary Gygax wrote:If the learned men of Oerth were able to tell you its geography they would say that in relation to our planet they are quite alike. Asia is a trifle smaller, Europe and North America a trifle larger — but the scientists (or rather philosophers) of Oerth are not able to explain this for two reasons: They neither know of the alternate worlds in Oerth’s probability line nor do they have any sure knowledge of Oerth’s geography outside their immediate areas. Likewise, Oerth has races similar in many respects to ours, and their migrations and distribution somewhat resemble those of our world, but their histories differ sharply from ours departing from our probability line some 2,500 years ago. Then the changes were but small, but over the intervening centuries the difference has grown so that there is now no resemblance between Oerth and Earth when the contemporary models are compared. Oerth is backward in terms of our planet. It is a dreaming world. Socially, culturally, technologically it is behind us. When To my family who the probability line split there were other changes than those of bore up under all an historical nature, and scientific laws differ also. What is fact on Earth may be fancy on Oerth and vice versa. So a strange blend of Medieval cultures exist in the known lands of Oerth, and what lies in the terra incognita of Africa or across the Western Ocean is the subject of much myth and supposition only. Ships which ply the waters venture not into such areas, and few are the souls hardy enough to dare expeditions east or south, for things as they are seem quite satisfactory as centuries of tradition prove.
So, facts from this:

1. Oerth's Asia is a trifle smaller than Earth's Asia.
2. Oerth's Europe and North America are a trifle larger than their Oerth's equivalents.
3. Oerth's history was similar to Earth's until some 2,500 years ago.

Next, we have the short story "The Five Dragon Bowl" from Gary Gygax's short story collection Night Arrant. That story featured Maegus Yeo, also called Venerable Prince Yeo, a "dealer in antiques and rarities" living in Greyhawk, whose father was from the Suhfang Kingdom, "a place virtually unknown to the Flanaess, but a veritable wonder amongst all lands." Yeo explains to Gord the Rogue and his companions that there are five, not four elements: fire, water, air, metal, and wood. "That was long ago proven by Scholar Thu Kin Boh." There are five Imperial Dragons who are born and dwell within those elements, visiting the "world conglomerate" only when they choose, or are summoned. The Fire Dragon is gold, the Water Dragon is green, the Air Dragon is blue, the Metal Dragon is silver, and the Wood Dragon is violet. When the adventurers accompany Yeo to his temple, it turns out he has regenerating zombie minions and that he's a worshiper of Nerull. His language is characterized as "sing-song speech."

Gygax's novel Sea of Death mentions the following lands on the western edge of the Sea of Dust: Behow, Chomur, Sa'han.
Havard wrote:2. How much of this has made its way into TSR's (later WotC's) version of Greyhawk?
Well, the map of Oerth in the 1996 Dragon Magazine Annual included a region called the Celestial Imperium west of the Sea of Dust and the Baklunish lands. Presumably it encompasses the lands that Gygax named Suhfang, Behow, Chomur, and Sa'han (and probably other provinces as well).

In Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk, page 168, it's said that Zagig Yragerne made "a rare trip beyond the Baklunish west" to the Far Western Shaofeng Kingdom. Shaofeng is probably Erik Mona's name for what Gygax called Suhfang; WotC doesn't have the rights to the names coined in the New Infinities Gord the Rogue books, so he had to come up with a similar one usable by WotC. Zagig brought back a t'ien lung dragon called Han-Tan Chun, enslaving him for use as a guardian in his Hall of Memory.
Havard wrote: Is that where the idea for the Oriental Adventures Sourcebook first came from?
Maybe?

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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by Zudrak » Mon Apr 18, 2016 4:07 pm

I love this topic. So much so, that I asked Gary about it (in 2005) in the EN World Q&A thread hosted for him there:
Zudrak wrote:When Francois drafted his OA manuscripts, was it in his plans (or yours) to create a continent on Oerth where the "orient" would exist or was he seeking to create a new continent/setting to be created all on its own? I was wondering if Kara-Tur (which was set on Oerth originally, IIRC, because I set it east of Oerik across the Solnor Ocean from the North Province) was an idea created by you, Francois, or Zeb Cook.
http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread ... z46BoiVsgV
Col_Pladoh wrote:Well Michael...

Francois had a map of a continent and some islands to the east, and they were going to be added. The "Orient" wes actually to be past them, closer to the West Coast of Oerik.

Zeb took advantage of my being absolutely engrossed in the business affairs of TSR at the time--I was doing my best to keep the company from being forced into receivership, and i succeeded--but he managed to sink Francois' material and use only his own during that time.

BTW, Len Lakofka had an eastern continental addition as well as the Lendore Isles, so what Iplanned to so was incorporate Francois' and Len's maps with Oerik, complete the lower continent below it, and have a real globe

So much for plans.

Cheers,
Gary

Read more: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread ... z46BpXppkc
Note: Zeb Cook disputed this to a degree over on Dragonsfoot. I'm simply reporting this to be fair to both parties. I liked the OA book as written but would have liked to have seen Francois' version, too.

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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by vestcoat » Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:03 pm

Where can this "Outdoor Wilderness Survival Map" be found?

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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by Big Mac » Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:04 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Havard wrote:2. How much of this has made its way into TSR's (later WotC's) version of Greyhawk?
Well, the map of Oerth in the 1996 Dragon Magazine Annual included a region called the Celestial Imperium west of the Sea of Dust and the Baklunish lands. Presumably it encompasses the lands that Gygax named Suhfang, Behow, Chomur, and Sa'han (and probably other provinces as well).

In Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk, page 168, it's said that Zagig Yragerne made "a rare trip beyond the Baklunish west" to the Far Western Shaofeng Kingdom. Shaofeng is probably Erik Mona's name for what Gygax called Suhfang; WotC doesn't have the rights to the names coined in the New Infinities Gord the Rogue books, so he had to come up with a similar one usable by WotC. Zagig brought back a t'ien lung dragon called Han-Tan Chun, enslaving him for use as a guardian in his Hall of Memory.
Erik Mona just wrote about this, in the Flanaess Geographical Society:
Erik Mona in the Flanaess Geographical Society wrote:Gygax mention a Suhfang Kingdom (I'm sure I spelled that wrong) in the later Gord books. I quasi-canonized that as the Shaofeng Kingdom in Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk.
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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by Big Mac » Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:09 pm

Zudrak wrote:I love this topic. So much so, that I asked Gary about it (in 2005) in the EN World Q&A thread hosted for him there:
Zudrak wrote:When Francois drafted his OA manuscripts, was it in his plans (or yours) to create a continent on Oerth where the "orient" would exist or was he seeking to create a new continent/setting to be created all on its own? I was wondering if Kara-Tur (which was set on Oerth originally, IIRC, because I set it east of Oerik across the Solnor Ocean from the North Province) was an idea created by you, Francois, or Zeb Cook.
http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread ... z46BoiVsgV
Col_Pladoh wrote:Well Michael...

Francois had a map of a continent and some islands to the east, and they were going to be added. The "Orient" wes actually to be past them, closer to the West Coast of Oerik.

Zeb took advantage of my being absolutely engrossed in the business affairs of TSR at the time--I was doing my best to keep the company from being forced into receivership, and i succeeded--but he managed to sink Francois' material and use only his own during that time.

BTW, Len Lakofka had an eastern continental addition as well as the Lendore Isles, so what Iplanned to so was incorporate Francois' and Len's maps with Oerik, complete the lower continent below it, and have a real globe

So much for plans.

Cheers,
Gary

Read more: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread ... z46BpXppkc
Thanks for posting that Zudrak.

I've heard people suggest that Kara-Tur was "stolen" from Greyhawk and added to Forgotten Realms, but this seems to suggest that Kara-Tur wasn't supposed to be in Greyhawk anyway.

Do you think that François Marcela-Froideval's area or Len Lakofka's area would have included Greyhawk's "China"? :?
Zudrak wrote:Note: Zeb Cook disputed this to a degree over on Dragonsfoot. I'm simply reporting this to be fair to both parties.
Zeb Cook has written more Spelljammer novels than Gary Gygax, so I think I might have to take his side. ;)
Zudrak wrote:I liked the OA book as written but would have liked to have seen Francois' version, too.
There is a topic abotu François Marcela-Froideval's Black Moon Chronicles in the Chainmail forum at The Piazza.

I've heard people say that Black Moon Chronicles is based on François's home campaign, that was going to get turned into an area of Greyhawk. Icarus thinks that Black Moon Chronicles can fit into the Chainmail Campaign Settin.
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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by Havard » Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:51 pm

Since Gary's recollections of what happened when Zeb Cook took over the Oriental Adventures project, here are ZebCook's own recollections of what happened, copied from Dragonsfoot:
Zebcook wrote:Okay, I'm going to step in here and defend myself because this one boils me.

The "commissioned" manuscript was approximately 30-60 pages of double-spaced type-written material (in English) that in no way was sufficient to cover the topic or fill a book of that size. I didn't start on the book in earnest until approximately 4-5 months before it was due to ship when it was clear there was a serious danger of not making the ship date (which mattered a lot). Gary was fully aware of my involvement and approved it, especially since he gave me a handwritten contract to do the job. My work got vetted by him so it wasn't like I hijacked anything. I spent the better part of 3-4 months working 6 nights a week on OA until midnight or later because it was a separate contract from my regular duties at TSR during the day. The material written in OA is 100% my writing, for good or ill.
Zudrak mentioned this in his above post, but I figured it was only fair to provide the quote as well.

Back to Gygax again, it seems like Gary had several ideas for oriental settings in Greyhawk:
  • China (From the Lake Geneva Campaign)
  • the Suhfang Kingdom: Apparently mentioned in the Gord the Rogue novel Night Arrant
  • Various Quasi Indian kingdoms mentioned in the Gord the Rogue novel Sea of Death
  • Celestial Imperium (from Dragon Annual #1 (Vol. XXI, #13, 1996) - west of the Flanaess - Unclear to me if this is actually from Gygax or whether it was created by Skip Williams or someone else.
  • Len Lakofka's continental additions. (Just talked to Len and he says he did not create any Asian inspired countries so not sure what this referred to...)
  • Francois M Froideval's material

Lots of things to look into here!

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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:33 pm

vestcoat wrote:Where can this "Outdoor Wilderness Survival Map" be found?
This refers to Avalon Hill's Outdoor Survival game. Here's a blog post: https://www.blackgate.com/2013/07/28/th ... -survival/

Here's another: http://originaleditionfantasy.blogspot. ... world.html

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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by vestcoat » Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:55 am

Harvard, can you recall where that discussion with Benoist Poiree appeared (where he mentioned Wilderness Survival being used to connect GH & China?). Was it a public forum, FB group, or private discussion? Thanks

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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by Havard » Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:55 am

vestcoat wrote:Harvard, can you recall where that discussion with Benoist Poiree appeared (where he mentioned Wilderness Survival being used to connect GH & China?). Was it a public forum, FB group, or private discussion? Thanks
He posted a map for the Hobby Shop Dungeon Setting which I pointed out looked like it was inspired by the Outdoor Wilderness Surival Map. He confirmed that that was the inspiration and that Gary had used this map to develop the lands between Greyhawk and China. I think it was on his Facebook Wall, though he also posted the same map on the Hobby Shop Dungeon Facebook page.

I can check later if you want. I'm guessing Ernie or Luke Gygax are Benoist's sources on this.

As an aside, Dave Arneson also used the same map to develop the lands beyond Blackmoor's most immediate lands. When they reached the south of the the Outdoor Wilderness Map, they would simply appear on the north side of an identical map and so on. Greg Svenson, a player from Dave's group, told me this is what they did. I assume it was pretty common back then.

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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by Big Mac » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:49 am

I got this from Jason at the Google+ community for The Piazza:
Jason at the Google+ community for The Piazza wrote:Kara-Tur [PLC]
WG8 - 107,110,117,119,124

This is the only mention that I've noted. For something more in spirit with a Gygaxian campaign I recommend reading Gygax's anthology of Gord the Rogue Greyhawk fiction Night Arrant - The Five Dragon Bowl.
Hope it helps. :)
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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:20 am

For what it's worth, Jason's second citation is the module Fate of Istus, which had monks from Kara-Tur migrating to the Scarlet Brotherhood region via a magical portal. It's ambiguous because it doesn't say that Kara-Tur is part of Oerth; on the other hand, it doesn't say it's part of the Forgotten Realms either, though we know from other sources that it is. Sean K. Reynolds' The Scarlet Brotherhood retconned the Scarlet Brotherhood - Kara-Tur connection away, anyway.

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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by Big Mac » Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:58 am

Havard wrote:Back to Gygax again, it seems like Gary had several ideas for oriental settings in Greyhawk:
  • China (From the Lake Geneva Campaign)
  • the Suhfang Kingdom: Apparently mentioned in the Gord the Rogue novel Night Arrant
  • Various Quasi Indian kingdoms mentioned in the Gord the Rogue novel Sea of Death
  • Celestial Imperium (from Dragon Annual #1 (Vol. XXI, #13, 1996) - west of the Flanaess - Unclear to me if this is actually from Gygax or whether it was created by Skip Williams or someone else.
  • Len Lakofka's continental additions. (Just talked to Len and he says he did not create any Asian inspired countries so not sure what this referred to...)
  • Francois M Froideval's material
Don't forget that there is also the Nippon setting used in that Endless Quest book: Blade of the Young Samurai that Morris Simon wrote, although that would have been "Greyhawk's Japan" if it had been shoehorned into Greyhawk.

Also, one of the interesting things about the Eleven Dueling Socieities in Chainmail, is that, they adopted exotic weapons (various Asian weapons) so they would seem to have picked up skills from one or more of the Asian-like areas in the middle of Oerik...

...unless the Empire of Ravillia is made up of some sort of Asian elves. :)
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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by Benoist » Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:38 pm

vestcoat wrote:Where can this "Outdoor Wilderness Survival Map" be found?
Hi there, I am Ben Poire, and I am Ernie Gygax's partner on the Hobby Shop Dungeon project and at GP Adventures.

Ernie talked to me about the slide to China and the use of the Outdoors Survival map in the Greyhawk campaign.

This actually fascinated me as we discussed the concepts behind Ernie's own Hobby Shop Dungeon and how to develop the material to the best, most appropriate effect that would be both genuine in terms of representation and straight play style, and also usable at anyone's gaming table, whatever the campaign. We started developing the idea of using the map for other worlds, demi-planes accessible through the Marmoreal Tomb and the Hobby Shop Dungeon, far away lands, other planets and more.

With this idea in mind, we added a stretch goal to our Marmoeal Tomb Campaign Starter KS where I would work on a replica of the Outdoors map to be included with the Wilderness expansion to the Marmoreal Tomb and used with the Hobby Shop Dungeon series as such.

I am currently working at the map.

Here's a preview:

Image

It will be colored when I am all done with it.

It will be part of the Marmoreal Tomb campaign starter, which includes the base module, the wilderness expansion, and the underworld expansion with added levels to the Tomb and more. The campaign starter is being worked on right now and should be published by the end of this year.

Here are the cover prototypes, with original paintings for GP Adventures by Jeff Easley and Val Mayerik (of Howard the Duck/Marvel comics fame):

Image
vestcoat wrote:Harvard, can you recall where that discussion with Benoist Poiree appeared (where he mentioned Wilderness Survival being used to connect GH & China?). Was it a public forum, FB group, or private discussion? Thanks
You can find the original exchange here:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... 975&type=3

The post is Public. You should have no problem seeing it.

See also the Hobby Shop Dungeon Facebook Group, where I have been posting with pics on the progress of the Outdoors map from the start: http://www.facebook.com/groups/hobbyshopdungeon
Havard wrote:1. What else is known about China in Gary's Campaign?
I can add some info as it pertains to the extended map of Oerth that appeared in Dragon magazine after Gary's departure and the land of Nippon in particular.

Ernie Gygax used to tell stories about the adventures of Sammi-Zowa to his grandchild Sam. The adventures were taking place in the fantasy land of Nippon, and were very much inspired from Japanese fairy tales and the like (Ernie has one specific book in mind which I could actually manage to find in scans -- don't have the title coming back to mind now but I should have the documents still somewhere, a book from the 1920s of illustrated Japanese tales, if memory serves).

In any case, when we started GP Adventures we went through that story with Ernie. He wanted to publish it right away, because it had special meaning to him, both in relation with the stories Gary used to tell him as a child, and in regards to Sam and the stories he used to tell himself. From the stories Ernie told me about these childhood tales, the vibe is very much the same, except that the names used to be Gary's children instead with the Zowa at the end to personalize whatever story he made up that night while tucking them into bed.

Nerissa Montie reworked the text with Ernie, and Simon Todd illustrated the whole. The result is Sammi-Zowa versus the Dueling Dragons:

Image

Which is available on the GP Adventures website in digital and print, with autographed copies if so desired in print.

This story is linked to the Marmoreal Tomb, because the lands familiar to Sammi-Zowa in the story can be reached and explored from the depth of the Tomb. I'll be designing a map for use in the game based on the story very shortly, and it will be part of the Underworld expansion to the Marmoreal Tomb.

Now, in the process of researching all this, with all that Ernie told me about it, I ended up asking questions to Skip Williams about the map of Dragon Magazine describing the lands of the Oerth beyond Oerik, and he confirmed that he had written the whole thing that came with the map extremely quickly, because of the short deadline (in a day, or close to, if I remember correctly) and worked from a previous, hand-drawn map that was in the TSR offices. Skip doesn't know where the hand-drawn map came from. It is hypothesized that this map was left behind by Gary after being ousted from TSR, but no one I've come in contact with has been able to confirm or infirm the theory. The "Nippon" connection seems to point out this could be Gary's map, but I can't be sure 100%. The background coming along with the map was entirely Skip's, not Gary's, that is for sure.
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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by GMWestermeyer » Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:35 pm

Interesting thread.

I came up with my own Greyhawk/OA stuff in an SJ pdf I wrote. You can see it here:
https://spelljammerblog.wordpress.com/2 ... r-a-guide/

The point was to direct DMs & players to more information. I don't consider Gygax's work on Greyhawk particularly 'authentic' so I was mostly interested in linking things together in a plausible way rather then rejecting some authors in favor of others.

I definitely take Cook's word over Gygax's as far as the genesis of OA is concerned. Or much of anything else, Gygax's tales were always heavily slanted and untrustworthy. Especially concerning how this or that thing came about.

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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by Zudrak » Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:12 am

Havard wrote:Since Gary's recollections of what happened when Zeb Cook took over the Oriental Adventures project, here are ZebCook's own recollections of what happened, copied from Dragonsfoot:
Zebcook wrote:Okay, I'm going to step in here and defend myself because this one boils me.

The "commissioned" manuscript was approximately 30-60 pages of double-spaced type-written material (in English) that in no way was sufficient to cover the topic or fill a book of that size. I didn't start on the book in earnest until approximately 4-5 months before it was due to ship when it was clear there was a serious danger of not making the ship date (which mattered a lot). Gary was fully aware of my involvement and approved it, especially since he gave me a handwritten contract to do the job. My work got vetted by him so it wasn't like I hijacked anything. I spent the better part of 3-4 months working 6 nights a week on OA until midnight or later because it was a separate contract from my regular duties at TSR during the day. The material written in OA is 100% my writing, for good or ill.
Zudrak mentioned this in his above post, but I figured it was only fair to provide the quote as well.

Back to Gygax again, it seems like Gary had several ideas for oriental settings in Greyhawk:
  • China (From the Lake Geneva Campaign)
  • the Suhfang Kingdom: Apparently mentioned in the Gord the Rogue novel Night Arrant
  • Various Quasi Indian kingdoms mentioned in the Gord the Rogue novel Sea of Death
  • Celestial Imperium (from Dragon Annual #1 (Vol. XXI, #13, 1996) - west of the Flanaess - Unclear to me if this is actually from Gygax or whether it was created by Skip Williams or someone else.
  • Len Lakofka's continental additions. (Just talked to Len and he says he did not create any Asian inspired countries so not sure what this referred to...)
  • Francois M Froideval's material

Lots of things to look into here!

-Havard
Thanks, Havard, for posting Zeb Cook's quote. I ran out of time at lunch the other day while posting & forgot to link it.

As far as Len's contribution, it would not have been Asian continental additions but something else -- like Frank Mentzer's Aquaria, which was also supposed to be added to Greyhawk, as has been pointed out elsewhere on the Internet (& probably here at The Piazza, too, but I admit my visits have been too few & too cursory).

I am presently sick as a dog so I hope to read and add more to the discussion in time. Next up: reading Benoist's long post above. :mrgreen:

Happy gaming,
Zudrak / Michael

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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by Zudrak » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:18 pm

GMWestermeyer wrote:Interesting thread.

I came up with my own Greyhawk/OA stuff in an SJ pdf I wrote. You can see it here:
https://spelljammerblog.wordpress.com/2 ... r-a-guide/

The point was to direct DMs & players to more information. I don't consider Gygax's work on Greyhawk particularly 'authentic' so I was mostly interested in linking things together in a plausible way rather then rejecting some authors in favor of others.

I definitely take Cook's word over Gygax's as far as the genesis of OA is concerned. Or much of anything else, Gygax's tales were always heavily slanted and untrustworthy. Especially concerning how this or that thing came about.
What do you mean you "don't consider Gygax's work on Greyhawk particularly 'authentic?'" Why do you think this?

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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by GMWestermeyer » Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:33 am

Zudrak wrote: What do you mean you "don't consider Gygax's work on Greyhawk particularly 'authentic?'" Why do you think this?
Sure, Greyhawk began as Gygax's home campaign, but that world didn't look like the Greyhawk we got in the Folio (my first Greyhawk product back in the day). There was no fully formed campaign that we never got to see. From day one he was adding things hodge podge with no rhyme or reason, and over-promising ('Castle Greyhawk is just around the corner!' 'I promise, as soon as I get less busy I'll finish T2-4.') And so on and so forth.

I just don't consider Gygax any more 'authentic' as a Greyhawk authority then I do Cook or Ward or Sargent. He's just one more designer to me, not a trump card.

So I don't consider the Dragon Annual map somehow 'less authentic' because it doesn't fit 'Gygax's vision' because Gygax never had any vision for Greyhawk. Just a bunch of hot air. <shrug> I merged that old Annual map with bits of info we have from GH sources & the Gord novels because doing so conserved lore and sources. (when I write my articles, I assume published material is canon and work out how it fits together, I don't toss it out even if it appears to be contradictory).

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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by Big Mac » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:05 pm

Benoist wrote:
vestcoat wrote:Where can this "Outdoor Wilderness Survival Map" be found?
Hi there, I am Ben Poire, and I am Ernie Gygax's partner on the Hobby Shop Dungeon project and at GP Adventures.

Ernie talked to me about the slide to China and the use of the Outdoors Survival map in the Greyhawk campaign.

This actually fascinated me as we discussed the concepts behind Ernie's own Hobby Shop Dungeon and how to develop the material to the best, most appropriate effect that would be both genuine in terms of representation and straight play style, and also usable at anyone's gaming table, whatever the campaign. We started developing the idea of using the map for other worlds, demi-planes accessible through the Marmoreal Tomb and the Hobby Shop Dungeon, far away lands, other planets and more.

With this idea in mind, we added a stretch goal to our Marmoeal Tomb Campaign Starter KS where I would work on a replica of the Outdoors map to be included with the Wilderness expansion to the Marmoreal Tomb and used with the Hobby Shop Dungeon series as such.

I am currently working at the map.

Here's a preview:

Image

It will be colored when I am all done with it.

It will be part of the Marmoreal Tomb campaign starter, which includes the base module, the wilderness expansion, and the underworld expansion with added levels to the Tomb and more. The campaign starter is being worked on right now and should be published by the end of this year.

Here are the cover prototypes, with original paintings for GP Adventures by Jeff Easley and Val Mayerik (of Howard the Duck/Marvel comics fame):

Image
vestcoat wrote:Harvard, can you recall where that discussion with Benoist Poiree appeared (where he mentioned Wilderness Survival being used to connect GH & China?). Was it a public forum, FB group, or private discussion? Thanks
You can find the original exchange here:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... 975&type=3

The post is Public. You should have no problem seeing it.

See also the Hobby Shop Dungeon Facebook Group, where I have been posting with pics on the progress of the Outdoors map from the start: http://www.facebook.com/groups/hobbyshopdungeon
Thanks for all that detail about the Outdoors map Ben. As always, your maps look outstanding. :)

Is this pretty much the same shape as the map that Gary borrowed to represent the journey back to the Flanaess from Greyhawk's China or have you added in any new features to customise the shape to fit in with Ernie's campaign setting?
Benoist wrote:
Havard wrote:1. What else is known about China in Gary's Campaign?
I can add some info as it pertains to the extended map of Oerth that appeared in Dragon magazine after Gary's departure and the land of Nippon in particular.

Ernie Gygax used to tell stories about the adventures of Sammi-Zowa to his grandchild Sam. The adventures were taking place in the fantasy land of Nippon, and were very much inspired from Japanese fairy tales and the like (Ernie has one specific book in mind which I could actually manage to find in scans -- don't have the title coming back to mind now but I should have the documents still somewhere, a book from the 1920s of illustrated Japanese tales, if memory serves).

In any case, when we started GP Adventures we went through that story with Ernie. He wanted to publish it right away, because it had special meaning to him, both in relation with the stories Gary used to tell him as a child, and in regards to Sam and the stories he used to tell himself. From the stories Ernie told me about these childhood tales, the vibe is very much the same, except that the names used to be Gary's children instead with the Zowa at the end to personalize whatever story he made up that night while tucking them into bed.

Nerissa Montie reworked the text with Ernie, and Simon Todd illustrated the whole. The result is Sammi-Zowa versus the Dueling Dragons:

Image

Which is available on the GP Adventures website in digital and print, with autographed copies if so desired in print.

This story is linked to the Marmoreal Tomb, because the lands familiar to Sammi-Zowa in the story can be reached and explored from the depth of the Tomb. I'll be designing a map for use in the game based on the story very shortly, and it will be part of the Underworld expansion to the Marmoreal Tomb.
Have you ever seen the Endless Quest book: Blade of the Young Samurai, that I mentioned in my previous post? I started a topic about that because I thought that it might possibly be connected to Gary Gygax's Nippon, but got told that Nippon is just another word for Japan. But that era of Endless Quest book is fairly old, so I do wonder if TSR had asked Morris Simon to work on Gary's concept of Nippon...or if the Endless Quest book was a parallel Nippon concept that is not connected.

Has Ernie ever discussed this book (or any other published or vapourware TSR product) with you?

I don't own this Endless Quest book yet, but when I do get a copy, I'm going to bump my other topic with a list of any locations I find in the book that might support or refute this being part of Gary's Nippon.
Benoist wrote:Now, in the process of researching all this, with all that Ernie told me about it, I ended up asking questions to Skip Williams about the map of Dragon Magazine describing the lands of the Oerth beyond Oerik, and he confirmed that he had written the whole thing that came with the map extremely quickly, because of the short deadline (in a day, or close to, if I remember correctly) and worked from a previous, hand-drawn map that was in the TSR offices. Skip doesn't know where the hand-drawn map came from. It is hypothesized that this map was left behind by Gary after being ousted from TSR, but no one I've come in contact with has been able to confirm or infirm the theory. The "Nippon" connection seems to point out this could be Gary's map, but I can't be sure 100%. The background coming along with the map was entirely Skip's, not Gary's, that is for sure.
That all sounds logical.

Gary built up a team before he got booted out of the door, so they had to either abandon his work or build on the themes that he started.

I won't say I'm glad that Gary got ambushed, but I do think that the people who worked on Greyhawk products for 2nd Edition and 3rd Edition (and the people who worked on Living Greyhawk and the people at Paizo who created Greyhawk material) did a great job of turning lemons into lemonade.

If Gary was still around, and Greyhawk got released to the Dungeon Master's Guild program, I would have been excited to see what being given freedom to publish material for his own world would allow him to do.

Will you and Ernie be publishing any Gygaxian content for DMs Guild if/when WotC open Greyhawk to it?
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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by Icarus » Sun May 01, 2016 10:21 pm

I'm really rather surprised that no one's mentioned a little tidbit mentioned in "Return of the Eight.
"Alhamazad has ties to sorcerers far to the west, across the Dry Steppes and beyond the Dramidj Ocean. He has hinted that he would like someone to visit one of these distant lands in his stead, as he is infirm these days: the path would follow known caravan routes into lands with a strong Oriental flavor."
from <WGT1 - Return of the Eight, p62. (in description of Alhamazad the Wise of Zeif)>
So, that means there's caravan routes from the Flanaess, to the Orient.
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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by Zudrak » Thu May 05, 2016 3:58 pm

Icarus wrote:I'm really rather surprised that no one's mentioned a little tidbit mentioned in "Return of the Eight.
"Alhamazad has ties to sorcerers far to the west, across the Dry Steppes and beyond the Dramidj Ocean. He has hinted that he would like someone to visit one of these distant lands in his stead, as he is infirm these days: the path would follow known caravan routes into lands with a strong Oriental flavor."
from <WGT1 - Return of the Eight, p62. (in description of Alhamazad the Wise of Zeif)>
So, that means there's caravan routes from the Flanaess, to the Orient.
That is interesting, but I must admit I prefer pre-1986 Greyhawk to the works that came afterward because of the change in political dynamics, more than anything else. So, my post-1986 Greyhawk reading is lacking even though I own most of the material. I'll be checking this out more now. I'd always assumed the Sea of Dust kept the Sungkinese and Flanaess separated but the Dry Steppes are not the wasteland that the Sea of Dust is.

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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by Benoist » Thu May 05, 2016 7:07 pm

Big Mac wrote: Thanks for all that detail about the Outdoors map Ben. As always, your maps look outstanding. :)

Is this pretty much the same shape as the map that Gary borrowed to represent the journey back to the Flanaess from Greyhawk's China or have you added in any new features to customise the shape to fit in with Ernie's campaign setting?
It is the same map, with the icons replaced to reflect the board's usage in the campaign, with keeps around the lakes and signs for towns, instead of the little houses of the original board. I also added hills terrain, which was complete absent from the original board. To use the terrain as the original board, ignore the hills and treat them as flat terrain. That's it.

Here's a comparison of the maps without icons side by side:

Image
Big Mac wrote:Have you ever seen the Endless Quest book: Blade of the Young Samurai, that I mentioned in my previous post? I started a topic about that because I thought that it might possibly be connected to Gary Gygax's Nippon, but got told that Nippon is just another word for Japan. But that era of Endless Quest book is fairly old, so I do wonder if TSR had asked Morris Simon to work on Gary's concept of Nippon...or if the Endless Quest book was a parallel Nippon concept that is not connected.

Has Ernie ever discussed this book (or any other published or vapourware TSR product) with you?

I don't own this Endless Quest book yet, but when I do get a copy, I'm going to bump my other topic with a list of any locations I find in the book that might support or refute this being part of Gary's Nippon.
I'll check out the topic. No, the choose your own adventures books we talked about extensively with Ernie were the Sagard the Barbarian series, which were ghost written by Ernie and Flint Dille, and we talked about those in another context, unrelated to Nippon and Sammi-Zowa.
Big Mac wrote:That all sounds logical.

Gary built up a team before he got booted out of the door, so they had to either abandon his work or build on the themes that he started.

I won't say I'm glad that Gary got ambushed, but I do think that the people who worked on Greyhawk products for 2nd Edition and 3rd Edition (and the people who worked on Living Greyhawk and the people at Paizo who created Greyhawk material) did a great job of turning lemons into lemonade.
I know some people have have shed blood and cried tears working on Greyhawk after Gary was ousted. For that reason I'm not going to trash what they did. Carl Sargent's From the Ashes is a fine work, though it reads as a different setting to me. Erik Mona has done a lot to bring back Gary's fiction into print (including the Anubis Murders and all that), and he's done his own thing with the Expedition to Castle Greyhawk. This isn't the Castle Greyhawk that interests me, but I can't begrudge people for doing their own thing with it. Greyhawk was stolen from Gary. Them's the brakes. These people weren't responsible for what happened. This all in the past.
Big Mac wrote:If Gary was still around, and Greyhawk got released to the Dungeon Master's Guild program, I would have been excited to see what being given freedom to publish material for his own world would allow him to do.

Will you and Ernie be publishing any Gygaxian content for DMs Guild if/when WotC open Greyhawk to it?
Never say never, I guess, but that's unlikely.

See, part of the reason why Ernie and I started our own company was to be able to do what we wanted, and to not see our content and IP controlled by a third party. When you publish things with the DM's Guild, as opposed to the plain OGL, WotC can decide at a later date to yank the agreement from under your feet and stop the distribution of your product. You are bound to the agreement with WotC, give 25% of your revenue to WotC and OneBookShelf each, they can both decide they have a problem with what you publish and stop publishing it, and they can decide the agreement you sign before publishing stuff is null and void at any point in time, unlike the OGL, which is irrevocable. Moreover, the content you create is irrevocably usable by other users of the DM's Guild program, and you are waiving any and ALL possible legal claims and recourse you might have had if copyright infringement ensues. The 50% you get off the price of your product? These are *royalties*. This means WotC in effect owns your work.

Am I willing to give Ernie and my work to WotC for free, without negotiations on who owns what IP, using a generic program that benefits WotC entirely, instead of a negotiated, specific contract between both parties? No. Thanks, but no thanks.

(This is different from the OGL, which works differently -- we are going to have conversion documents for 5th edition for the Marmoreal Tomb and Hobby Shop Dungeon under the OGL).

To me, Greyhawk is Gary's campaign, with Rob as Co-DM.

The Hobby Shop Dungeon on the other hand is Ernie's campaign, and I guess you could see me as the Co-DM in that picture. Just like Castle Greyhawk evolved when Rob added his material to Gary's to run the campaign, Ernie and I developed the HSD and it's become our joint creation as we went on through our journey with GP Adventures. That's the creation I deeply care about and will see through. That's a creation that is unique and adds forward to the broader Lake Geneva gaming legacy. I'm not interested in doing nostalgia products for the sake of it, of doing "the Keep on the Borderlands 2.0" or whatnot. I don't think these classics need fixing. I want to add new classics to the existing corpus of awesome modules out there. Not copy them or repackage them to call them new.

Could there be HSD/Greyhawk cross-overs? In people's private campaigns, certainly. One could even drop the whole Duinnsmere in the Flanaess, for instance. As GP publication? I'd negotiate this with WotC directly. I don't think the DM's Guild would be appropriate for that (see above). I certainly wouldn't somehow give up my and Ernie's rights on the HSD, nor would I just give up on the HSD and do Greyhawk instead. The HSD is Ernie's and my creation. It's my baby as well as his. I would not give it up for the world.

:)
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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by Dread Delgath » Thu May 05, 2016 8:24 pm

Icarus wrote:I'm really rather surprised that no one's mentioned a little tidbit mentioned in "Return of the Eight.
"Alhamazad has ties to sorcerers far to the west, across the Dry Steppes and beyond the Dramidj Ocean. He has hinted that he would like someone to visit one of these distant lands in his stead, as he is infirm these days: the path would follow known caravan routes into lands with a strong Oriental flavor."
from <WGT1 - Return of the Eight, p62. (in description of Alhamazad the Wise of Zeif)>
So, that means there's caravan routes from the Flanaess, to the Orient.
No, it just meant that those lands had "an Oriental flavor". ;)

IIRC, Return of the Eight came out after the Dragon Annual #1 "Western Greyhawk" map, which featured a large swath of territory labelled "Celestial Kingdom" or something "Oriental". Reading the DA#1 article that featured the map, that kingdom was similar to Chinese society & culture, it was obviously not China, nor was it far enough around the globe to be on the opposite side of Oerth from Gary's original Greyhawk campaign. IMO, the "Oriental flavor" material in Rot8 was a reference to the Celestial Kingdom in DA#1 article, nothing more.

It is almost a foregone conclusion, after all the pre-WoG examinations that have been done in recent years by various D&D scholars & historians, that the "official" TSR WoG setting was loosely based on Gary's original campaign, and many things that were part & parcel in Gary's world did not make it into TSR's version. Gary's China, f'rex, was one of those things. That is not to say that there are TSR WoG equivalents available to "the rest of us", (DA#1's "Celestial Kingdom" is a prime example, as is all the OA Kara-Tur material) but Gary's personal campaign notes were never published/will never be published for the general D&D gaming public.
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Re: Greyhawk's China

Post by ripvanwormer » Thu May 05, 2016 10:38 pm

Zudrak wrote:I'd always assumed the Sea of Dust kept the Sungkinese and Flanaess separated but the Dry Steppes are not the wasteland that the Sea of Dust is.
Yeah, I've always assumed there was a silk road through the Baklunish lands. Not necessarily through the Dry Steppes, since caravans could hug the coastline of the Dramidj Ocean if they wanted a route that was more populated and less... dry.

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