Beyond the Flanaess: Where are *you* most interested in?

One of the things that has been lurking in the back of my mind since I did my “Beyond the Flanaess” maps is that there are just so many regions crying out for attention.

Now, obviously, up until now, we’ve only gotten information about the Flanaess in the written sources (aside from the occasional tidbit scattered here and there, and the Sundered Empire setting for the last version of Chainmail). But if Wizards of the Coast was ever to do something new with Greyhawk, completely outside the old familiar Flanaess, what would you be most interested in outside of the boundaries of the Darlene maps?

  1. The Baklunish Basin. The semi-Arabian region northwest of the Flanaess, already somewhat described by virtue of its being on the periphery of the Flanaess; we know about Ekbir, Tusmit, Zeif, etc., and a little about what lies west of them through magazine articles, but nothing really comprehensive. Gygax once stated he wanted to do this as a supplement, and we’d get a whole slew of new Baklunish deities to add to the ones already in the books.
  2. Hepmonaland. We got some details about this region in The Scarlet Brotherhood, but honestly it could use a whole supplement in and of itself. (Or you could “just use Nyambe”.)
  3. Nippon. Yeah, the name is lame, but at least the Dragon Annual Map explicitly said it wasn’t the real name, just a way to communicate the fact that it was Oerth’s version of Japan. Ninjas, samurai, yakuza… And I think the “Nippon Dominion” should be a fantasy Korea, conquered by the Nipponese, but with an underpinning of Korean folklore and monsters.
  4. Zindia. The names on that DA1 map were nothing if not… well… awful. But at least it communicated the gist of what was there. We got some Zindian lands named in Gygax’s Sea of Death novel, and maybekindasorta some more info in a couple of the short stories, but otherwise it’s wide open.
  5. The Celestial Imperium. Ahh… the China of Oerth. We know a scant few details from one of Gygax’s short stories (The Five Dragon Bowl) but nothing really substantive. It’s big enough that it would take three Darlene-sized maps to cover it all.
  6. Erypt. I’ll bet you can’t guess what Earth-analogue this is supposed to be. Mine has a Canaan-sort of land on those islands to the east.
  7. The Sundered Empire. Now we’re getting into the setting of Chainmail, with its various factions fighting over the artifacts of a slain deity of war (brother to Hextor and Heironeous). It was actually a really neat setting just as a roleplaying thing (which never really got developed as such), but one could see a lot of potential with the new Battlesystem rules that are coming out with 5th Edition. 
  8. The Empire of Lynn. This is where the Black Moon Chronicles (Chroniques de la Lune Noire) campaign of François Marcela-Froideval was set, and eventually became the basis for a very successful and cool series of graphic novels. The graphic novels were not tied explicitly to Greyhawk, but there’s a whole lot of circumstantial evidence that could lead to their being brought into the fold in some inventive ways.
  9. The Tharquish Empire. This is in the very southwestern corner of Oerik, and we know next to nothing about it, but there it was the original home of one of the lords of one of the domains of Ravenloft. I’ve seen it called Greek, Roman, British, and Babylonian. I’d love to see what it really is.
  10. Something else. There’s an unnamed continent on that DA1 map, which I’ve identified as Gonduria, which is a complete unknown. I kinda like the idea of leaving that for DMs to flesh out, but maybe I’m in a minority. There are also some polar regions, and Fireland (a colony of the Thillronian barbarians), and possibly Frank Mentzer’s Aquaria campaign as well. Maybe there’s something else I’m missing?
So what would you like to see? If Wizards wanted to expand beyond the Flanaess, what should their first move be? Let me know in the comments.

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.

11 thoughts on “Beyond the Flanaess: Where are *you* most interested in?

  1. I'm not sure I'd want Wizards of the Coast to do it, but if somebody was ever to publish a canon Greyhawk expansion, I'd want the Baklunish lands, no question.

  2. I'd second that sentiment on Baklunish Basin. It's still close enough to the Flanaess to be relevant to the main setting/storylines. Second for similar reasons I'd like to see Hepmonaland and the south seas, mainly because I've ran campaigns in that milieu (Savage Tide got me started)and there is so much that could be done with tropical regions that hasn't already been done.

  3. Well, about something made up? Does it always have to be the China / Egypt / India / Arabia / Norse analogue? Maybe, I dunno, come up with a new fantasy kingdom?

  4. In a funny way, I don't think Greyhawk can be "complete" without those ragged margins. Like all the hints of an older world and a broader story that you find in Lord of the Rings, Greyhawk has these *suggestions* of broader context that are, in their own way, richer than any source book could ever hope to be.

    That being said, the idea of pulp adventure in Hepmonaland takes me back to the grainy black and white Tarzan movies I watched on Sunday afternoons as a kid.

    Recently, when guiding a bunch of middle school students through their first tabletop role-playing experience, I took them straight to the jungle.

  5. I'm having trouble remembering which Ravenloft darklord comes from the Tharquish Empire. Can someone remind me?

  6. Is there an India analogue?

    If those Orc lands are analogous to American Indian lands (Plains, Pacific NW, Eastern, SW, etc) that might be interesting.

  7. I would love a Zindia or Celestial Imperium extension, the far west oerik is covered thanks the sundered empire and froideval works

    Zindia and CI its almost unknown

  8. I’m running a campaign in Thalos, and another in Hepmonaland with two separate groups. So… I kind of want as much mapping and lore as I can get for each. But here’s the real kicker. I hope to one day have the two adventurer groups meet, since they are actually playing in the same timeline. I’ve done this before, but never at quite so great a distance, and it worked out fantastically (pun intended). But to do that, and to keep the two worlds consistent, I’m going to need some major mid-world mapping, unless they surprise me and charter a ship. Either way, it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite place. I’d love to see a “Greyhawk: Exhaustive Setting and Lore Guidebook” someday. But I guess if I had to choose an absolute favorite…

    I’m going to go with 10. And for my choice on “Something Else”: Domain of the Despotic Giant King.

    What the heck is going on up there?

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