Greetings from the Scout. This week
I'll be providing a quick look at a new accessory from TSR for the Greyhawk campaign
world, called The Adventure Begins. If you can get past the somewhat uninformative
title, you'll find that this 128-page sourcebook provides a good bit of background
information for DMs who want to start a Greyhawk campaign, or update an existing one.
This year's new Greyhawk releases, of which The Adventure
Begins is one, are set in the year 591 CY, nearly a decade after the so-called
Greyhawk Wars. This accessory is designed to act as a bridge between previous Greyhawk
products (such as 1992's From the Ashes boxed set) and the new releases planned for
the months to come. If you are familiar with descriptions of places from older Greyhawk
products, you'll find updates in this sourcebook that reflect the same locations for the
current game year.
The Adventure Begins itself begins with a brief
description of the City of Greyhawk, noting its suitability as a starting point for a
campaign, and continues with a bit of flavor text on the history of Oerth (the planet on
which Greyhawk can be found). After a brief description of the Flanaess (Greyhawk's
general geographical region) and its inhabitants, a detailed 20-page history covers the
history of the Flanaess from the Greyhawk Wars to the present time. Information about
Greyhawk's calendar, seasonal festivals, and climate (including weather tables) is also
included. A removable 16-page map booklet contains some pretty basic maps of the region.
The largest section of the book focuses on the City of Greyhawk,
and, in addition to providing a history of the city from its ancient beginnings through
the present day, it also notes character descriptions for important NPCs, a list of crimes
and punishments, and social details like racial population and language information. Also
included in this section are descriptions of the city's various Quarters and numerous
locations of interest both within and without the city walls.
If you are a Greyhawk DM, and you're interested in keeping up
with what's going on in published source material, then this book will probably be
something you'll want to get; it does a decent job of updating what was previously
published in the City of Greyhawk boxed set back in 1989, and will likely help you get
your game set up in the "new" Greyhawk setting. However, if you're not concerned
with keeping your campaign concurrent with published materials, then you'd do just as well
to track down a copy of the old 1989 boxed set -- there's a lot more information in it,
and it would probably be cheaper. Also, on a technical note, the page layout of The
Adventure Begins is strange: the text on each page is split into one wide column and one
narrow one, for some reason. It's laid out as if there are sidebars, but there aren't,
it's all one body of text. It got on my nerves after a while.
Well, vertebrates, I see my dimensional portal opening, so I'm
off in search of another new item. Until next time, happy gaming. Scout out.
As a postscript, let me mention the fact that due to yet another
reorganization at MSN, the RPG Forum is (as of this writing) in danger of being
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please help by sending an e-mail message to MillieCat
adding your name to the petition to keep the RPG area alive.