eXPloring the World of Greyhawk

What would motivate a Christopher Columbus or a Marco Polo in a D&D-type setting?

Jeff Rients came up with an absolutely awesome idea (perhaps “came up with” is the wrong term; “articulated for use in D&D” might be a better one) that one should earn experience points by the simple act of exploring. Reaching certain destinations would earn a character a certain modest amount of x.p.; the idea is that by “broadening” oneself, one gains life experiences (that can be translated into x.p. in game terms). Others have also talked about the same concept both before and after (and apparently it’s something that has roots in Warhammer and Rolemaster as a concept), but unfortunately I hadn’t run into the idea prior to reading Jeff’s post.

This harkens back to the concept of the “Grand Tour” of various Continental centers of culture that English gentlemen-to-be were expected to undertake in order to round out their education and get acquainted with other lands and see for themselves the roots of their Classical educations. In contemporary America, you could make an analogy to “visit the Grand Canyon”, “see Niagara Falls” (with bonus x.p. for “go over Niagara Falls in a barrel”– not any waterfall will do), “go skydiving”, etc. Think of it as The Bucket List with x.p. awards for crossing something off the list.

I think this is an absolutely terrific idea, and have, needless to say, jumped on it and poked around with it in Greyhawk-specific terms. I take it a little beyond just “see the sights,” though. I think experiences that aren’t specific to locale should count, too; seeing a dragon fly overhead for the first time, making a pilgrimage to a shrine of your patron deity, etc. Jeff suggested that he could find a hundred such things on the map of the Flanaess, so below you’ll find 100 entries, broken roughly into four categories; geography, religious obligations, general events, and class-specific events. Almost all of the awards are in experience points, but a few yield benefits of another nature.

So, without further ado, I give you…

eXPloring the World of Greyhawk

It should be noted that, unless otherwise noted, all of these awards are one-time prizes, and are in addition to any other experience points that might be accumulated while in the process of earning the prize for the particular geographical feature or special event.


1. Amedio Jungle. 300 x.p. for traveling at least 10 miles into the steaming jungle. An additional 300 x.p. for finding the vast lake concealed within.
2. Azure Sea. 300 x.p. for sailing from one side to the other (i.e., the Hold of the Sea Princes to Onnwal, the Principality of Ulek to Idee, etc.).
3. Baklunish Lands. 250 x.p. for a non-Bakluni to visit one of the Baklunish nations (Ket and westward) for the first time.
4. Blackmoor. 400 x.p. for reaching the ruins at the edge of the Cold Marshes.
5. Bright Desert. 400 x.p. for traveling at least 60 miles into its expanse.
6. Burning Cliffs. 50 x.p. for seeing the billowing steam and smoke of the Cliffs from afar; 250 additional x.p. for actually travelling into the region of the Cliffs themselves.
7. Castle Greyhawk. 200 x.p. for spending at least an hour on the first level of the dungeons, over and above any x.p. that might otherwise be earned there. Followers of the demigod Xagyg receive a bonus of 250 x.p.
8. Csipros Erd. 200 x.p. for visiting the Geysers of Death and living to tell the tale.
9. Corusk Mountains. 500 x.p. for crossing the mighty mountain range by a route other than the pass between Jotsplat and Knudje.
10. Enstad. 400 x.p. for entering the capital of the Elven realm of Celene.
11. Erelhei-Cinlu. 400 x.p. for entering the city of the Dark Elves.
12. Esmerin. 400 x.p. for visiting the fabled vale in the Lortmil Mountains.
13. Greyhawk. 250 x.p. for entering the city. An additional 100 x.p. for staying overnight in the Foreign Quarter.
14. Gull Cliffs. 500 x.p. for looking out over the crashing waves of the Solnor Ocean from their heights.
15. Here there be dragons. 400 x.p. for traveling off the map of the Flanaess.
16. Innspa. 250 x.p. for entering the city and sampling its famous baths.
17. Irongate. 250 x.p. for entering the city.
18. Land of Black Ice. 300 x.p. for gazing upon the vast frozen expanse with your own eyes.
19. Loftwick. 200 x.p. for entering the city.
20. Lopolla. 250 x.p. for entering the city.
21. Nyr Dyv. 250 x.p. for sailing at least 30 miles from land.
22. Molag. 200 x.p. for entering the city.
23. Niole Dra. 250 x.p. for entering the city.
24. Olman Islands. 200 x.p. for visiting these isles which mark the southernmost reaches of the Azure Sea.
25. Phostwood. 200 x.p. for entering the gently glowing forest for the first time.
26. Pinnacles of Azor’alq. 400 x.p. for seeing the famed massive spires in the Dramidj Ocean.
27. Pits of Azak-Zil. 300 x.p. for finding the lost dwarvish mine.
28. Rauxes. 250 x.p. for entering the city.
29. Rel Astra. 250 x.p. for entering the city.
30. Rel Mord. 250 x.p. for entering the city.
31. Rift Canyon. 400 x.p. for gazing over the rim of the mighty chasm. Bonus of 250 x.p. for traveling to its bottom.
32. Rigodruok. 500 x.p. for visiting the legendary Rainbow Vale beyond the Land of Black Ice.
33. Scarlet Brotherhood. 300 x.p. for penetrating the mighty plateau controlled by the mysterious red-garbed monks.
34. Schwartzenbruin. 250 x.p. for entering the city.
35. Sea of Dust. 1,500 experience points for traveling one week in the immense desert. A bonus of 1,000 x.p. for reaching the Forgotten City.
36. Sinking Isle. 350 x.p. for walking along the waterlogged surface of the isle when it breaks the surface as it is wont to do.
37. Skrellingshald. 300 x.p. for re-discovering the famed lost city of the Flan, in the Griff Mountains.
38. Stoink. 200 x.p. for entering the town.
39. Suhfang. 2,000 x.p. for visiting the kingdom in the distant West.
40. Temple of Elemental Evil. 300 x.p. for passing through the front gate into the courtyard of the legendary Temple.
41. Tovag Baragu. 150 x.p. for touching one of the stones.
42. Turucambi. 250 x.p. for visiting the vast semi-submerged limestone complex in the Oljatt Sea.
43. Twisted Forest. 150 x.p. for walking among the petrified “trees”.
44. Valley of the Mage. 500 x.p. for penetrating at least 50 miles into the valley.
45. White Plume Mountain. 200 x.p. for viewing the endlessly streaming flow of steam emanating from the famous volcano.

Religious Obligations (see Pilgrims and Pilgrimages of the Flanaess)

46. Those of Baklunish extraction receive 10 x.p. for visiting each of the hundred Healing Shrines of Al’Akbar that are scattered throughout the Baklunish lands. There is a bonus of 15 x.p. if one is accompanying someone in need of the particular healing properties of the shrine in question.
47. Those who worship the Arch-devils of the Hells and their lord Asmodeus receive 150 x.p. for visiting the imposing Infernal Temple in Hokar.
48. Followers of Saint Cuthbert gain 200 x.p. each for visiting the Church of the Holy Cudgel in Verbobonc, the Great Cathedral of Mitrik, and the Church of the Apotheosis in Littleberg. They receive 300 x.p. for visiting the Healing Shrine in Shibboleth, Gran March.
49. Followers of Delleb get 300 x.p. for visiting the great library-cathedral in Niole Dra, Keoland. They receive 175 x.p. for visiting the Gardens of Chellester in the eastern portion of Sunndi.
50. Devotees of Ehlonna receive 200 x.p. for visiting Her sacred grove in the heart of the Silverwood, in Ulek.
51. Followers of Heironeous get 500 x.p. for visiting the Cathedral of Chivalry in Chathold, Almor. 250 x.p. more for visiting the shrine of Heironeous-by-the-sea on the coast of the Sea of Gearnat. And 350 x.p. for visiting the Temple of Heironeous Triumphant in Niole Dra, Keoland.
52. Worshippers of Hextor receive 200 x.p. for visiting the Blood Chapel in Mentrey, in the See of Medegia. They also receive 100 x.p. for visiting the great Cathedral in Rauxes.
53. Followers of Iuz get 150 x.p. for paying homage to their deity in person during one of his quarterly Great Audiences in Dorakaa.
54. Those whose patron deity is Joramy will receive 250 x.p. for visiting her temple in the foothills of the Hellfurnaces, in the western portion of the Hold of the Sea Princes.
55. Followers of Kord get 100 x.p. for the first time they participate in one of the sacred contests of strength and combat in Hookhill and Gradsul, with 50 x.p. for the first time they are in the contests in Flen, Cryllor, and Niole Dra. These awards are cumulative (i.e., one can get 450 total for appearing in all these contests).
56. Devotees of Lirr receive 100 x.p. for attending the great Theater in Gorna (in Geoff). They receive an extra 150 x.p. if they end up performing there. They also receive 100 x.p. for attending one of the performances in the Seven Shrines of Lirr in Innspa (and a bonus of 100 x.p. for performing at one of them).
57. Followers of Llerg receive 150 x.p. for visiting the shrine of Llerg of the Hills, at the headwaters of the Old River.
58. Followers of Lolth get 200 x.p. for visiting the Fane of Lolth in Erelhei-Cinlu.
59. Followers of Olidamarra get 300 x.p. for touching the marble statue of the God in Gradsul, Keoland.
60. Those adherents of the faith of Pholtus of the Blinding light have several destinations in the Pale from which to choose. They receive 250 x.p. for visiting the Grand Cathedral of the Light in Wintershiven, 150 x.p. for paying homage to their God at the Shrine of the Heavenly Courses (in the headlands of the Rakers), and another 150 x.p. for purging themselves of doubt and error at the Temple of Doubting Folly a few days’ ride northwest of Ogburg.
61. Followers of Syrul receive 100 x.p. for visiting her shrine in Westkeep, in the Hold of the Sea Princes.
62. Followers of the evil demigod Wastri receive 50 x.p. for visiting the Vast Swamp, and an additional 150 x.p. for finding the temple of their deity within the endless and trackless mires.
63. Farmers who are devoted to Wenta will find their next harvest increased by 20% if they visit the shrine in the Thin Vale, in Idee (1 in 4 chance; the increase will only happen once every five years, maximum).
64. Worshippers of Zilchus receive 150 x.p. for travelling to the free city of Irongate (and a bonus profit of 10% on whatever trade they happen to be conducting while on their first visit).
65. Any who recognize the divinity of the Oeridian Gods of the Winds can receive 200 x.p. for visting Four Airs Tor; a singular mesa northwest of Pitchfield. If they are present when the winds change, they receive a bonus of 5% to all x.p. earned during the next 3 months.


66. Attending a wedding at the Temple of Myhriss in Chendl, in Furyondy will gain one 25 x.p. (Devotees of Myhriss earn 75 x.p. for doing so the first time.) This is an award that can be earned as often as once per year.
67. Seeing a dragon of young adult age or older flying overhead earns 100 x.p.
68. Witnessing the crowning of a king or other royalty earns one 50 x.p.
69. Attending the Midsummer revels in the Elven court at Enstad, when the moons are both full, earns one 400 x.p.
70. Retrieving a treasure marked on a treasure map for the first time; 50 x.p.
71. Witnessing a fireball or lightning bolt spell for the first time earns 35 x.p. (one or the other; not both).
72. Going on a ship for the first time; 40 x.p.
73. Witnessing an honor duel amongst the Rhennee; 40 x.p. Participating in one; 250 x.p.
74. Experiencing one of the great storms in the Sea of Gearnat; 100 x.p.
75. Being on a ship that is attacked by pirates; 125 x.p.
76. Travelling more than 100 miles from the place of your birth; 1 x.p. per 10 miles (greatest distance). (The game master might want to calculate this on a regular basis rather than in real-time, to avoid unnecessary book-keeping.)
77. Those encountering advanced technology for the first time (lasers, robots, etc.) gain 250 x.p.
78. Riding an unusual mount (elephant, roc, polar bear, etc.) earns 25 x.p. per animal type.
79. Flying for the first time (whether by spell, magic item, mounted on a pegasus, etc.) earns 100 x.p.
80. Seeing a character (PC or NPC) of over 20th level; 50 x.p. (Note; this is not per character; anyone only gets this once, and does not apply if the character in question is in disguise or incognito.)
81. Fighting as a soldier in a battle with at least 1,000 troops on each side; 100 x.p. (can be cumulative for multiple battles).
82. Commanding at least 500 troops in a battle with at least 1,000 troops on each side; 200 x.p. (halved if the battle is lost).
83. Spending at least 1,000 g.p. on a single night’s carouse; 250 x.p. bonus.
84. Seeing an undead creature for the first time is worth 45 x.p.
85. Encountering an extra-planar creature (devil, elemental, etc.) for the first time earns one 100 x.p.
86. Seeing some creature or representative of some race that is supposedly mythical; 250 x.p.
87. Visiting either Luna or Celene (the moons of Oerth); 5,000 x.p.
88. Solving a murder mystery or other serious crime for the first time; 300 x.p.
89. Witnessing the “Rite of Battle Fitness” in the Hold of Stonefist; 200 x.p.
90. Seeing a king or other ruler in person (as in a parade or procession, etc.); 25 x.p. (can be awarded once per year).
91. Travel as part of a merchant or other caravan; 50 x.p.

Class-Specific Experiences

92. Cleric: successfully converting someone to your own particular religion; 50 x.p.; 10 x.p. for every subsequent convert (lifetime maximum 1,000 x.p.—Saints have no maximum (that’s one of the things that makes them Saints)).
93. Druid: saving a grove of at least 30 trees from destruction; 200 x.p.
94. Fighter: defeating another fighter at least three levels greater than yourself (alone); 250 x.p.
95. Paladin: defeating a Greater Demon for the first time; 400 x.p.
96. Ranger: First giant-class creature killed (solo) whose hit dice are at least three times higher than the level of the ranger in question; 250 x.p.
97. Magic-user: watching a spell being cast that is more than three levels higher than you can cast; 300 x.p. (Cannot be cast for the purpose of benefitting the recipient.)
98. Illusionist: watching a spell being cast that is more than two levels higher than you can cast: 250 x.p. (Cannot be cast for the purpose of benefitting the recipient.)
99. Thief: stealing a treasure of at least 1,000 g.p. value where the victim doesn’t realize the treasure’s been stolen; 400 x.p.
100. Assassin: Assassinating someone twice your own level (victim 6th level minimum); 500 x.p.

Written by 

Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

15 thoughts on “eXPloring the World of Greyhawk

  1. Ridiculous "story awards?"

    I truly hope the OSR is not just an excuse to rationalize everything fundamental about the game slowly metamorphosizing into this kind of hippie bullshit.

    Hint: XP = GP + monster awards. Period. Full stop.

    (See Raggi)

  2. Will, I'd rather be full of hippie bullshit than make sweeping comments about the entire OSR every time a couple of people float a new idea I don't like.

  3. Wonderful stuff, Joe. I immediately copied, pasted, printed, and it'll be going in my Greyhawk folder. A lot of adventure seeds to be found in those little XP award nuggets, too.

    (Living in Seattle, I have a highly sensitive hippie-bullshit-detector, and this isn't it! 🙂

  4. While I always adhered to the old school awarding of experience as gps and monster kills only, I like the idea of small xp awards for characters first time experiences. It's neat and would inspire players I think. The xp awards are small so they won't imbalance a well run game.

  5. Freakin' incredible! I can't wait to use it in my campaign. Two questions: do you inform your players that these xp opportunities are out there so perhaps they might be spurred on to visit or explore? And is this list in a Word doc or some printable format for easy access?
    Great job!

  6. Hedgeknight: I think the DM would absolutely want to let his players know about the awards; the idea is to create a spur for pure exploration. Keeping the fact that the players get XP for doing so defeats the purpose.

    I don't have it in Word format, but I could certainly do so.

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