Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What City of the Gods?

So my Greyhawk stuff doesn't look like anyone else's that I've been able to see online. I mean there are no knights swinging swords over their heads or cartoonish monsters (though certainly there are cartoonish people) howling as they swing their cudgels at hapless heroes that are begging for their lives. Still, I like them.

That doesn't mean that everyone does.

Last night I received an e-mail that asked - no, that isn't quite right - that demanded that I stop presenting Greyhawk like this. It isn't the Greyhawk that my e-mailer grew up with; nor is it one that they appreciate. "My God," they said as they clutched their pearls to their chest, "could you imagine what Mr. Gygax would say if he saw this, this filth!"

Well I tell you friends that I just couldn't be compelled to give less of a fuck. I mean I really tried to get worked up about that e-mail. I even tried to shed a tear. Really, I got choked up and everything. But not one fuck was given.

Look these covers are done like the things I grew up with and that left a lasting impression on me: jazz albums and movie posters. If you look at the other covers I've done they all feel that way because those are my influences. My Greyhawk is a bit crasser, more aggressive, and fully aware of the idea that if I'm not having fun then neither are my players. Sure I could be worrying with the minutia and stressing out about what happens when someone from Dyvers wanders into Ket in the year 437 CY, or I could just jump in my rocket ship and not give a fuck.

I choose the latter.



18 comments:

  1. Joke 'em if they can't take a fuck.

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  2. been there, done that. i own the 1st edition 1st printing of every Gygax era Greyhawk publication -- because I bought it the second it showed up in my FLGS, played through it and then kept it in case needed it later. I have been playing D&D since 1976 for what it's worth, and the only thing on your covers that offends me is the bit that says "WIZARDS OF THE COAST PRESENTS".

    It's not my vision of Greyhawk, cause mine was an older, friendlier place that wasn't constantly trying to kill you (but would be happy to if you blundered into the wrong place and/or time)...

    but it's not wrong either.

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    1. Well, I'd put TSR presents but then all the covers would be pictures of Lorraine Williams and I'm just not a fan of that lady.

      Also, this friendlier place you're talking about . . . What's it like playing in a world like that? All that I have ever played in were Hobbs worlds.

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    2. Don't get me started on Lorraine Williams...

      What I'd like to see, as I've stated elsewhere, is for WotC to release Greyhawk under a BSD-like open source license, since they obviously have no interest in supporting it. They would retain all of their Copyrights and continue to profit from them, but stop enforcing the trademarks, and allow fans and third-party companies to produce and sell or share Greyhawk materials of their own as "derived works". They could continue mining Greyhawk for content (of course we would continue ridiculing them for lacking creativity and original thoughts) and If they should change their minds in the future, nothing would stop them from producing as much new Greyhawk as they want (probably stolen from other worlds because they lack creativity and original thoughts).

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    3. Have you ever sent that idea to them?

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    4. As you might have noticed, I don't always phrase things in the most diplomatic way possible.

      I did in fact write a fairly tactful letter making making this suggestion about eight years ago shortly after they announced the end of Living Greyhawk. It earned me a politely worded form letter response that pretty much translated to "fuck off".

      Perhaps now would be a more opportune time, but I don't follow the company closely enough to know who to approach, and selling such an idea to a hostile or indifferent audience is really not my specialty.

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  3. Someone complained? Wow.

    I don't have much interest in Greyhawk -- sorry! -- but I like these because they dare to go beyond the traditional design sense we see in fantasy rpgs; I know from experience that there's a lot of resistance to doing anything other than a painting of "bloke with sword".

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    1. Yeah, I get lots of complaints that I don't think other people get. I cuss too much; I write too much; I'm not "Old School" enough; I'm too liberal; I'm too conservative; I'm too new; My opinion carries too much weight; My opinion doesn't matter at all . . . It goes on, and on, and on.

      "I like these because they dare to go beyond the traditional design sense we see in fantasy rpgs; I know from experience that there's a lot of resistance to doing anything other than a painting of "bloke with sword"."

      Thank you! That really means a lot coming from you Kelvin!

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  4. To be honest, your cover make me want to at least check out Greyhawk, even though I haven't heard much good about it other than from you.

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    1. Okay, Murky, give me a day or two and I'll give you an awe inspiring introduction to Greyhawk that will make you rethink all of the criticisms you've heard of the setting.

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    2. You must not have been looking in the right places. Try Greyhawkery or Greyhawk Grognard on Blogger. Try sites like CanonFire, or the Oerth Journal archives

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  5. Anyone who adheres to the proposition that such a thing as "wrongfun" or "wrongfan" exists, well...I'm not sure a suitable punishment has been conceived.

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  6. Seriously? Someone found these mock covers offensive enough to bother E-mailing you? I think the covers are cool. The first AD&D group that I gamed with played in Greyhawk. We were all thirteen or thereabouts and I can't imagine a more profane and irreverent group.

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