Let’s Read: Greyhawk Adventures (Part 2)

Next up are the deity-specific rules, and working alphabetically we come first to Boccob. Boccob’s avatar is an 18th level magic-user with 62 h.p. (in the Glossography he was 24th level in both magic-user and illusionist with 354 h.p.) with several special abilities, including the dreaded Disc of Concordant Opposition. The Disc is somewhat lessened in power from its first mention in the Glossography; it can only be cast once per day instead of once per round, now affects creatures 10 HD or less rather than 13 HD or less, and does a maximum of 50 h.p. of damage.

Boccob, from the Dragon
Magazine article

I confess this is one thing I don’t like about the avatars as they are presented in this book. Setting aside for the moment the fact that they’re not mentioned earlier – the game evolves and new ideas come in all the time – they seem woefully underpowered even so. The avatar of a Greater Deity is only an 18th level magic-user? That seems to take “nerfing” to an extreme. His avatar does now have a Staff of the Archmage that combines a staff of the magi with a wand of conjuration, and can absorb 24 spell levels per day, but it hardly seems to make up for what the god himself has lost.

Clerics of Boccob are now granted “limited sage ability” in the “supernatural and unusual” major field, with one special category for every 4 points of INT. That’s a nice touch, and makes sense given the god’s sphere of influence. If they build a stronghold, they can essentially get a free crystal ball, with a few minor differences. They retain the ability to use magic items at 10th level, and have a new spell – disc of concordant opposition – which is a 6th level cleric spell that works like a watered-down version of the ability the deity has. We don’t learn anything new about the religion of Boccob; everything is recounted from the Guide, in some cases word for word.

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.

4 thoughts on “Let’s Read: Greyhawk Adventures (Part 2)

  1. Avatars are weird. But the second you give a god stats someone steps up and says "I bet I could take him".

    I also try to the take the "average guy" point of view. To your 0-level NPC then yes an 18th level wizard is a big deal.

  2. Continuing the proud D&D tradition of giving you full combat stats for gods in hopes your munchkin party can beat them up, rather than information about their religion that a sane campaign can actually use.

  3. Boccob's avatar is underpowered because he simply does not care to intervene in the world. 🙂
    You did not mention his epithet, "The Uncaring."

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