Friday, August 2, 2013

Well HERE'S something odd...

Most Greyhawk fans are well acquainted with Gary Gygax's pre-Greyhawk map, created for the Castles and Crusades Society shared campaign world (due in large part to Jon Peterson's masterful history of the early days of the role-playing game hobby, Playing at the World):

I myself have looked at this map dozens of times, charting similarities between it and what would eventually become the map of the Flanaess. But tonight, as I was looking at it to answer a specific question, my eyes lit on a particular label and I noticed something very odd indeed that I never really processed before. I've circled it in the above picture.

Why would that particular body of water be called the "Western Ocean" when it is on the eastern side of the continent?

Is it a simple mistake, or could it portend something more interesting? Common sense tells me it's probably the former, but the DM in me wants to make up some extravagant explanation.

RIP Michael Ansara

Actor Michael Ansara, known in fandom circles for his roles as the Klingon Kang in Star Trek, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek Voyager, the voice of Mr. Freeze in Batman the Animated Series, the Technomancer Elric from Babylon 5, Killer Kane in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and a host of other roles in film and television, died today at the age of 91.

He and his wonderful characterizations will be missed.

He was one of only a handful of actors to play the same role in multiple incarnations of Star Trek, and his haunting portrayal of the ill-fated, vengeance-seeking Mr. Freeze in the Batman animated series redefined the character from a goofy villain with a "cold shtick" to one with real pathos and motivation that has influenced how the character has been portrayed ever since.

Canonfire! Chronicles Debuts

Today the first issue of Canonfire! Chronicles, a companion electronic magazine to the Oerth Journal, made its debut. The first issue consists of three adventures set in the World of Greyhawk, a set of rumors, and an NPC, the Oracle of Joramy. The three adventures are definitely the meat of the work:

  • A Little Problem (levels 3-8, set in Geoff, D&D 3.5 rules)
  • The Wailing at White Creek (levels 2-3, set in Perrenland, D&D 3.5 rules)
  • Agrosco Adventum (levels 8-12, set in Amedian Penninsula, D&D 3.5 rules)

The three adventures are all stand-alone and do not form an interconnected campaign.

The relationship between Canonfire! Chronicles and the Oerth Journal seems to be intended as analogous to Dungeon and Dragon magazine. C!C is for adventures, while OJ is for more general information on Greyhawk.

While I haven't read through all of the articles in depth, the artwork ranges from serviceable to excellent, and the cartography is very good throughout. I do hope they branch out to support other versions of D&D and other game systems in the future. Definitely worth checking out for fans of the World of Greyhawk.