Just in time to close out the new year, I am pleased to present to you another lost article from the bygone pages of Dragonne Magazine, that publication in another universe where Gary Gygax stayed at TSR and was able to expand his vision for the World of Greyhawk. At least as I imagine it would have gone.
In this installment, I take a departure from deities and offer a meaty morsel, which expands the Guide to the World of Greyhawk to include the rest of the Baklunish nations to the west off the maps included in the original Gold Box. And indeed, this issue of the magazine includes an insert map, intended to extend the original maps far to the west. Just a note; you might have to monkey with your print settings to get the map to scale properly (it’s a huge oversized poster), but it can be done.
And take heart, fans of all things Baklunish; this is not the end of the series. There are more gods to be done, and more details of the Baklunish peoples’ habits and history that need to be revealed.
You can find the earlier installments of this series by clicking here.
Now through New Year’s Day – get 20% off all pdfs at the BRW Games online store!
6 thoughts on “Baklunish Lands Beyond the Flanaess”
This is a wonderful belated Christmas present to the Greyhawk fandom, Mr. Bloch, both for its building on what was mentioned in the LGG and its generally excellent writing.
One thing I was confused about was why you didn’t mention the dwarves, gnomes or halflings of the region. What are their relations with the human Baklunish cultures? The latter would be natural allies of the hybsils, so I’m left wondering what the halflings are like here.
Aside from that, this is an awesome piece-Gary Gygax would be very proud!
My thinking is that as one travels further from the Flanaess, “traditional” demi-humans become rarer and rarer. If you look at the original Guide, at best there are “few” demi-humans (in Ket) in the Baklunish lands, and it’s almost always “doubtful.”
Since the pattern had been started that way, I didn’t want to mess with it, save by putting the wood elves in the Verdured Heights. Mur is a sort of mystical place, so it felt right.
As I expand the series westward, my thought is to replace elves, dwarves, gnomes, and halflings with other sorts of creatures that are suitable. Dog men and monkey-men in the Celestial Imperium, for instance.
That’s kind of what I thought. My own take is that the “traditional” demihumans and humanoids should be extended around the world just like humans are, or it doesn’t really constitute ‘Greyhawk’ in my mind.
I really like the idea of building on the ‘Warped Mirror’ theme you discussed on this blog last year, wherein the concern with taking loose inspiration from real-world cultures is not to twist D&D’s tropes to fit them for ‘authenticity’ but to see how the D&D tropes might impact them.
In the Flanaess, we could see how those Flan who were nomadic might have acquired everything from metal swords and shields to arrowheads from dwarves and gnomes in exchange for foodstuffs, furs and other resources, much like the real-life Native American peoples acquired metal goods in trade with European visitors. In such a case, the Flan would have weapons to match any orc or hobgoblin who attacked them. If they eschew heavy metal armor, it’s because in some cases they might find it impractical, rather than not knowing what it is. (And apparently some real-life Native nations did use early forms of body armor which they discarded because it was impractical against European guns).
Other, similar themes could be developed in other cultures. How would honorable, lawful dwarves mesh with Chinese- or Japanese-inspired cultures that value honor and piety? How would scientifically-minded gnomes interact with a society based on the Islamic Golden Age with its contributions to mathematics and astronomy?
Wow. Bravo. Thank you.
I clicked on the get file here and nothing happens 🙁 Is it no longer available? I stream a weekly Greyhawk game and I’m looking into possible future locations and would love to get my hands on your megacontent map. Thanks for you time 🙂
That’s weird – it works fine for me (and I know other people have been able to download it). I tried it in two different browsers (including one I’m not signed in on) and it still worked.
Maybe try it in IE or Chrome?
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