19 September 2019

Saving Throw OSRIC fundraiser zine News and Updates - #3 on DriveThruRPG Best Sellers!

Saving Throw zine - Introduction and Table of Contents
Saving Throw - Introduction
and Table of Contents

Some news and updates on Saving Throw since its launch on Sunday:
  1. Thank you for your generous support of this project!---Saving Throw has been as high as #3 on the DriveThruRPG.com best sellers list this week, outpacing both Eclipse Phase 2nd Edition and Legend of the Five Rings
    Tuesday 17 September 2019 - Saving Throw is the #3 Best Seller!
    Tuesday 17 September 2019 -
    Saving Throw is the #3 Best Seller!

    That wouldn't have been possible without your support!

  2. Please continue to spread the word---Saving Throw isn't even a week old yet, so many old-school gamers won't be aware of it:  mention it in your gaming groups, your local game stores, and in your social media channels! 

    Your primary link should be back to the DriveThru project page at https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/288750/Saving-Throw-fundraiser-fanzine-for-James-D-Kramer
  3. Positive reviews are starting to come in:

    Bryce "tenfootpole.org" Lynch's review is at https://tenfootpole.org/ironspike/?p=6236 and states:
    • "Jim Kramer is the guy behind Usherwood Publishing. Several of his adventures appear on my Best & Regerts list, including Arachnaphobia and most his Bone Hilt campaign series."
    • "You should go pick this up because you’re not an asshole. And, also, because the adventures are quite good. Also, there’s a lot of OTHER content in it, beyond the adventures."

    The DriveThru page now notes two five-star ratings thus far, and user Guggy Z also commented as a verified purchaser:  "What a great zine! Just skimming I think the hours of solid play to page count ratio looks immense, and I appreciate the chance to support a good cause. This stuff is going right to my table ASAP!"

  4. The print edition is getting closer to reality, per updates from Guy Fullerton:
    • 18 September:  On the bright side, the premium color hardcover masters got approved (this doesn't mean they'll look right), so I ordered a proof. Last time I ordered something, it took about a week to arrive. Fingers crossed.

      I may end up putting a variety of print options together, since drivethru makes that easy enough to do. A perfect bound book might suck format-wise, but it's cheaper to produce. I still plan on making a pair of staple-bound books available, one each with the first & last halves of the content, respectively, with the title page and OGL page in both; that's probably the cheapest option for lay-flat.
    • 15 September:  I submitted a cover & (non-final) interior to drivethru for a hardcover version. It takes a couple days for their validation process to determine whether there are any glitches. I will order a proof of the hardcover as soon as they give me the green light. I've never done a hardcover cover pdf before, so I don't know whether to expect multiple iterations. I tried to out-smart the lightning press template, which I may come to regret.
  5. Further content updates are in the works, including new artwork; update again from Guy Fullerton:
    • 18 September:  On the artwork addition front, we got several new filler illustrations by Wind the other day, and I saw an in-progress monster illustration by austinjimm that looks pretty amazing!
    • 15 September:  If you see any typos that we didn't catch, please let rredmond or me know. I want to fix glitches before we make a print version available, and will update the pdf too with fixes and additional artwork to come.

If you're interested in following the updates and breaking news for the project, you can do so via two threads on the Knights & Knaves Alehouse:

Thank you again for supporting this project, and please continue to share Saving Throw to amplify its visibility---the more gamers who are aware of Saving Throw, the more support it will bring to Jim and his family! 


15 September 2019

Saving Throw - new OSRIC zine to support Usherwood Publishing's Jim Kramer

Saving Throw is a new zine dedicated to OSRIC and AD&D 1st edition gaming, and it's being produced to support James D. Kramer of Usherwood Adventures, who is battling through his third round of brain cancer treatments.  

Saving Throw cover art by Alex Zisch
Saving Throw cover art by Alex Zisch

I've known and worked with Jim for more than a decade now, and he has been an integral member of the old-school gaming communities that spawned the OSR:  his work to layout OSRIC is reflected in the standard version available on Lulu, the high-end Black Blade/Usherwood hardcover OSRIC edition, as well as his highly-usable OSRIC Pocket SRD digest-sized softcover book, also available in a layflat spiral-bound edition.  And it doesn't stop there!---Jim has built  .epub and .mobi versions of OSRIC, laid out the six issues of Knockspell Magazine, written and published the Bone-Hilt Sword Campaign, and created several stand-alone adventures and supplements, too.  

Jim's contributions to OSRIC and old-school gaming in general are quite extensive, so a group of folks at the Knights & Knaves Alehouse gathered together to help support him and his family.  Here's the product announcement from Guy Fullerton of Chaotic Henchmen Productions, who coordinated this project: 

Saving Throw — a fundraiser fanzine to help James D. Kramer

You may know Jim Kramer from his Usherwood Publishing modules & supplements, or his work helping produce works like OSRIC and Knockspell. You probably didn’t know Jim had multiple brain surgeries to remove tumors, and the battle has gotten much harder. To help Jim and his family during this difficult time, a group of his friends, collaborators, and first edition enthusiasts banded together to make this fundraiser fanzine, where all royalties go directly to Jim and his family.

This 60+ page issue of
Saving Throw contains:
  • Introduction by Ron Redmond
  • Island Tables - random generation/inspiration tool by EOTB
  • Sorcerer’s Stone - dungeon level by Keith Sloan
  • Trolls of the Simpolo Swamps - leech-mated trollish variations by Joseph Browning
  • Perladon Manor - adventure module by Gabor Lux
  • By The Runes - fiction by Dan Rasaiah
  • Magic Item Intrinsic Material Values - variant magic item value rules by Guy Fullerton
  • Goblin Garbug Cavalry - new monster by Andrew Hamilton
  • The Tiled Labyrinth - mini-dungeon by Guy Fullerton
  • Lotus Blossoms - magical and special properties of these exotic flora by Keith Sloan
  • Burly the Baker - ready-to-use NPC and cantrips by Gary Francisco
  • Darkworld Troll - new monster by Bryan Fazekas
  • Offig’s Tomb - treasure map by EOTB
  • Lizard Man Lair - outdoor module and new monsters by EOTB
  • Mephitic Geysers of the Intaglio Rift - treasure map by Allan T. Grohe Jr. (“grodog")
  • The Mere Beneath - dungeon level by Guy Fullerton, Allan T. Grohe Jr. (“grodog"), and Henry A. Grohe
  • Sarendra’s Crew & Kelurrin’s Crew - ready-to-use NPC parties by Allan T. Grohe Jr. (“grodog")
  • Rescue from the Sanctuary of the Leopard Goddess - dungeon module by Matthew Riedel
  • Featuring illustrations by Jimm Johnson, James D. Kramer, Wind Lothamer, Gabor Lux, Denis McCarthy, Peter Szmer (soon), Del Teigeler, and Alex Zisch

For the lucky price of $13, you get two treasure maps, three referee tools, five new spells, six modules, at least nine new monsters, twelve ready-to-use NPCs, and more. Plus the knowledge that your purchase helps a family during a difficult time.

Thank you!

Note: We plan to make a print version available soon. When it becomes available, will send DriveThru coupon codes to everyone who purchased the .pdf so they can get a print version at a discount.

Note #2: We are still in the process of gathering artwork for some of the articles, so don't be surprised by any of the blank spots. We will notify everybody when we update the .pdf with new art, and you can download the latest version from your library.

Here's a preview of one of the earlier drafts for my "Mephitic Geysers of the Intaglio Rift" treasure map:

Treasure map to the Mephitic Geysers of the Intaglio Rift by Allan Grohe
Treasure map to the
Mephitic Geysers of the Intaglio Rift
by Allan Grohe

Please consider purchasing a copy of Saving Throw to support Jim and his family!

10 September 2019

grodog in Greyhawk---a Summer Raining Multitudes!

It's been a busier summer than usual this year, in part because I've got lots of Greyhawk going on, which is a wonderful "problem" to have =)

Here's what's been cooking:

  • I'm continuing to play in Bill "TheDungeonDelver" Silvey's ongoing Greyhawk AD&D campaign, which is heavily-focused at present on the exploration of his version of Castle Greyhawk!  Let me tell you that it's a treat to explore Bill's Greyhawk and its Castle, not knowing a thing about it =)

    Here's where we are, after spending most of this year clearing out the upper ruins of Bill's version of Castle Greyhawk:

    Bill Silvey's Castle Greyhawk - PC map by Allan Grohe
    Bill Silvey's Castle Greyhawk - Ruins Level
    Player map by Allan Grohe

    Bill Silvey's Castle Greyhawk - Ruins Level Player map by Allan Grohe
    Bill Silvey's Castle Greyhawk - Ruins Level
    Player map by Allan Grohe

    We just began to explore down the central well last week, and will likely pick that up again this week.

    I began playing in Bill's game since July last year, and have enjoyed it immensely!  Thus far we've remained in the vicinity of Greyhawk City and the Gnarley Forest---not counting a demi-planar/extra-planar holiday adventure at Christmastide.  My high elf, Svert, is now a 5/5 Fighter/Magic-User, about to level up to 6th MU (but I've hit my level limit in Fighter unless I'm able to permanently gain two or more points of Strength, alas...).

  • My 11-year-old son Henry has been running an on-and-off again AD&D campaign for some school friends, his older brother Ethan, my wife Heather, and me (although both Ethan and Heather have largely stopped playing D&D in general save for special occasions here and there).  Set in his Underground Mansion dungeon, situated on an island in the Nyr Dyv.  While Henry's game is nominally set in Greyhawk, he doesn't know much about the setting itself, which is fine because he crafts a great mega-dungeon.  This is what we've explored of the first level to date, before moving into the second level over the summer:

    Henry's Underground Mansion - Level 1
    Player Map by Allan Grohe

  • Henry, not quite having enough AD&D in his life already (!!!, to quote Andy Markham), began to craft a new mega-dungeon earlier this summer as the primary forus of his game for just me and him to play in.  (Which is pretty darn sweet, isn't it?).  We've played once thus far over Labor Day weekend, and I'm looking forward to getting back in there to see what else I can find:

    Henry's Dada Mega-Dungeon - Level 1  Player Map by Allan Grohe
    Henry's Dada Mega-Dungeon - Level 1
    Player Map by Allan Grohe

  • And, since I'm clearly not having sufficient fun in the World of Greyhawk already (!!!), I am in the process of starting up one or perhaps two groups of new players in The Flanaess locally here in Wichita.
I've also been continuing to work on some of my levels of my version of Castle Greyhawk for publication next year, and have made good progress on The Iounic Caverns, The Heretical Temple of Wee Jas, Diamonds in the Rough, and The First Landings Level.

More to come on that front as things continue to develop!


26 August 2019

Darlene Greyhawk Gothic Font

Darlene Artist's wonderful Greyhawk font, showing-off some of the dungeon level titles from my version of Castle Greyhawk!

You download the free-for-non-commercial-use font from https://www.facebook.com/groups/1471065309863986/permalink/2082384232065421/

In the text file of the download, Darlene includes details on how to purchase a commercial license as well.  

Some additional context/details from Anna Meyer, who sponsored Darlene's development of the font:
I helped Darlene create a font featuring the famous script of the Greyhawk logo. It took awhile but here it is, version 1 of the Greyhawk Gothic font.

It is released as Creative Commons -BY -NC -SA 4.0 so you can use it for all your gaming needs as long as they are not for commercial purposes. 

You can grab it here: http://bit.ly/GreyhawkGothic-Font
Image may contain: text

After I downloaded the font, I played around with it using some of my Castle Greyhawk dungeon level titles:


22 August 2019

"Celebrating Greyhawk - A Fandom Renaissance" GaryCon XI - seminar video recording now available

Luke Gygax just posted the video from our "Celebrating Greyhawk - A Fandom Renaissance" seminar at GaryCon XI to his YouTube channel:

Thank you Luke, for arranging to record the seminars and for keeping GaryCon a great place for Greyhawk gaming, year-in-and-year-out!


The Spinel Ossuarium - Reliquary of St. Kargoth

The Spinel Ossuarium - Reliquary of St. Kargoth, Grand Marshal of the Demonic Knights of Doom

Sacred to the faiths of Erythnul and St. Kargoth, The Spinel Ossuarium is known to house the ashes and bone fragments of St. Kargoth's mortal form.  Previously anointed as Grand Marshal of the Demonic Knights of Doom, Kargoth's conflagration in Mentrey marked the end of his mortal existence as his body was consumed in his fiery descent into death knighthood.

The central skull gemstone of The Spinel Ossuarium is of dark rust-red luster, and was Kargoth's unholy symbol in life.   The unholy symbol is encased in red-gold and platinum, and inset with twenty-two diamonds, one for each Demonic Knight of Doom in the order, with a baleful jacinth crowning the amulet for Kargoth himself.  The whole is mounted upon a double-stranded thick red-gold chain that cannot be broken if worn by the faithful.

Known powers for The Spinel Ossuarium operate at 28th level and include:
  • Continuously radiates Protection from Law and Protection from Good in a 20' radius at double-strength; the hue of the aura is as of drying blood
  • Detect Good at triple duration and range 6/day
  • Commune twice per week with St. Kargoth, once per month with Erythnul; up to 5 questions may be asked
  • Eruption of Discord, as Symbol, at 18" range with 50' radius area of effect twice per month
  • Radiates Protection from Good in a 400' radius sphere at quadruple-strength for 28 hours once per month
  • When unholy water is poured through the reliquary, the unholy water tints red with the blood of Kargoth, and inflicts +2 damage.  If unholy sacred red wine of Medegian vintage is poured through the reliquary and harvested in a unhallowed bloodstone font, the wine will transform into an unholy elixir of healing:  if consumed by a neutral or evil character, it cures as 2-9 hit points of damage; if drunk by the faithful of Erythnul or St. Kargoth, it heals as Keoghtom's Ointment, curing 9-12 points of damage, curing disease, and neutralizing poison; good characters drinking it must save vs. poison at -4 or die, with successful saving throws inflicting 18-24 (2d4+16) points of damage and the effects of a symbol of pain for one day per point of damage sustained.

The Fables of Burdock describe further powers which may or may not be actual, most centering around the ability to create or to summon the Blood Shades of St. Kargoth---whether these were powers of the relic or of Kargoth himself are mysteries revealed only to the Prelates of Terror.

GP Value: 135,000 gp based on its monetary value alone

Thanks for The Red Priest (TRP) at The Knights & Knaves Alehouse, who inspired this creation:  http://knights-n-knaves.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=16096


16 August 2019

grodog interview on Twitch TV, Sunday 18 August @ 7:30pm EDT

Jay Scott, one of the gamers I know in South Jersey, runs a Twitch TV channel dedicated to his 30+ year 1e campaign set in the World of Greyhawk. 

While visiting with him on my last trip back home, he asked about having me on his show, which will be live-streamed on Sunday this weekend.  Here's his announcement:

Sunday Evening on the Lord Gosumba Channel

Hello Friends and Greyhawkers! Finishing up a wonderful vacation week with family at the shore! On this Sunday's Gabbin at Lord Peak's Haven #58, my special guest will be Allan T. Grohe Jr., the grodog!

We will discuss Allan's multitude of accomplishments to the D&D and gaming community, his love of the World of Greyhawk, and share what Allan and his company, Black Blade Publishing, are working on currently.

Also, we will discuss some intriguing Greyhawk topics, including, Castle Greyhawk and Castle El Raja Key, Greyhawk Artifacts, rules variants for homebrew Campaigning, and using third party D&D Adventures in the World of Greyhawk setting. I cannot wait to delve into this discussion!

As always, we will welcome questions and participation from the audience! See you Live Stream, Sunday, 8/18, 7:30 PM EDT! https://www.twitch.tv/lordgosumbahttps://www.twitch.tv/lordgosumba
Perhaps I'll see a few of you on Sunday night in the audience :D


06 April 2019

Cairn Hills Lairs - The 1st and 2nd Fluted Cairns

I've been noodling on more regional Greyhawk adventure locations, and the Cairn Hills continue to call to me---there's LOTS of room in them thar hills for various vicious and grand adventuring sites, as well as gold and explorational hijinks!

The Cairn Hills - map by Darlene
from the 1980 World of Greyhawk Folio

I've dubbed these small dungeons Cairn Hills Lairs, and drew two new ones last night and this morning. Both are part of an inter-related system of cairn dungeons called "The Fluted Cairns"---so called because of their titular flutes are, in fact, the entrances into the cairns:  I imagine them as the end-points for large pipe-organ-like tubes that stick up out of the ground all over the hill that the cairn is sited on. You enter by climbing in and sliding down, arriving in one of the various fluted corridors drawn along the edges of each map:

The Fluted Cairn

The Fluted Cairn - by grodog

The Second Fluted Cairn

The Second Fluted Cairn - by grodog

More to come later in terms of the actual key information about the Fluted Cairns, as well as updated maps with intra-level stairs and other dungeon features.


17 March 2019

Celebrating Greyhawk: A Fandom Renaissance - GaryCon XI Seminar

On Friday afternoon last week, I co-hosted a seminar panel discussion at GaryCon XI entitled, "Celebrating Greyhawk—A Fandom Renaissance."  Our panel had a great time discussing past, current, and future fan works, projects, and plans centered on The World of Greyhawk, across all editions, eras, and versions. 

Seminar Topics

The seminar brought together six long-time Greyhawk fans, each discussing different aspects of fan engagement with the Greyhawk setting:
  • Kristoph Nolen kicked off the seminar, starting at 4:00.
  • Mike Bridges (starting at 9:00 to 14:20) spoke to his writings, art, and cartography as seen via his Greyhawkery blog, his creative work on Ull, his W.o.G. comic (showcased weekly-ish on Facebook by Bryan), and Castle Greyhawk comic (written by Scott Casper with Mike's artwork), and his recent work with Anna Meyer on their Legends & Lore show on the Greyhawk channel (live on Twitch, reruns on YouTube)
  • Allan Grohe (me, starting at 15:00 to 27:55) shared some of my favorite Greyhawk researchers and their "deep dives" into the setting's lore, in particular the work of bloggers like Timrod's T1 Moathouse-DMG Sample Dungeon-B2 analysis, Scott “scottsz” Szczypiorski for his Cold Text Files work on WG4 Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun, and Scott Casper and Mike Bridges' Castle Greyhawk web comic, among other topics.  You can also download my "Greyhawk Fandom - The Deep Cuts" presentation in PDF format.
  • Anna Meyer (starting at 28:40 to 53:20) spoke about her long-term love for and engagement with the cartography of the Greyhawk setting, including the Flanaess Geographical Society and her Patreon---Anna is the only panelist who's full-time day-job focuses on games-related work; Anna also spoke about Creative Commons licensing
  • Carlos Lising (starting at 54:20 to 1:10:22) discussed how to publish and share your Greyhawk home content, with an emphasis on the challenges around self-publishing for Greyhawk based lessons learned via his casl Entertainment publishing company and Patreon
  • Bryan Blumklotz (starting at 1:11:06 to 1:30:45) spoke about the dynamics of building, growing, maintaining, and managing fan communities, how to help encourage Greyhawk fans to tap into the wealth of resources that are available today; Bryan co-administers the Canonfire!  Facebook group, and also creates fabulous Greyhawk Heraldry (which we didn't discuss much during the seminar, but which is featured throughout Anna's maps as well as OJ28 and its handouts!)
  • Kristoph Nolen (starting at 1:31:45 to 1:49) wrapped up our presentations with his vision for GreyhawkOnline's role in the Greyhawk fan community, including the Greyhawk Wiki, fan space on GHO (both current and legacy fan sites), and the Oerth Journal, among other topics
  • Q&A conclude the session, starting at 1:49.

I recorded the audio for the seminar and posted it to my site at http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/greyhawk-seminar-garycon-2019-03-08.mp3.  A transcript for the session will also available once I get that generated.  If I get ambitious, I'll carve up each segment so that you can drop back into the seminar wherever you'd like to do so, but until that time, I've placed time-markers in our section notes above.

GaryCon also recorded audio/video for the session, and it is available on YouTube on Luke Gygax's YouTube channel @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCfI_zFaVZE:


The GaryCon event description for the seminar is at
https://tabletop.events/conventions/gary-con-xi/schedule/355 and if you're curious I wrote a little more about the seminar's background in my January update to my Charting the Flanaesss: a Settlements Distance and Mileage Chart project, too.


Seminar Video Content

Jay "Lord Gosumba" Scott and DMShane of the Greyhawk Channel also provided videos for the seminar.  Unfortunately we ran out of time and weren't able to share them live, but through the magic of the internet you can view them both:


Oerth Journal 28!

At the seminar, we also debuted the newest issue of the Oerth Journal #28, and distributed 100 copies in print for free to the attendees of the seminar and other folks at the show.  This is the first time that the OJ has been published as a print project!  

Oerth Journal #28 cover image - cartography by Anna Meyer, artwork by W. Kristoph Nolen, Heraldry by Bryan Blumklotz
Oerth Journal #28 cover -
cartography by Anna Meyer,
artwork by W. Kristoph Nolen,
heraldry by Bryan Blumklotz

The seminar participants each contributed expanded material inserted to the OJ print edition, with some new/overflow content appearing online only (not in the print booklet/handouts):
In addition, OJ28 also includes these articles:
  • Order of Ulek: Founding and Synposis – by Jay Scott
  • State of the Bandit Kingdoms – by William Dvorak
  • Order of Ulek: The Shield Lands – by Jay Scott
  • Trading Card Style Artwork – by Jeffrey B. Garrison
  • Rhennee Rumors from Up and Down the River – by W. Kristoph Nolen with the Oliver Brothers
  • The Great Flanaess River Adventure – by the Oliver Brothers with W. Kristoph Nolen
  • Cultists of Tharizdun comic by Mike Bridges
  • The Cerulean Cyst – by Carlos Lising, an AD&D 1e adventure set in the Cairn Hills
  • The Wall – by Denis “Maldin” Tetreault, an AD&D encounter area
  • Greyhawk Reborn Introduction – by Dave Guerreri
  • The Greyhawk Channel – by W. Kristoph Nolen
  •  Flanaess Distance Chart – by Allan T. Grohe Jr.

Lastly, the submitted materials included a lot of "overflow" content that could not possibly fit into the print issue.  

For full details, see https://greyhawkonline.com/seminar/ (and note the upcoming 24th anniversary of the OJ in May 2019, too!). 

Thank You!

We'd like to thank all of the fans who attended the seminar, who expressed interest in the recordings and the Oerth Journal content afterward, and who have helped make Greyhawk into one of the most-fun worlds to game in over the years!

Bryan, Mike, Allan, Carlos, Anna, and Kristoph.

23 February 2019

UPDATE 2 - Charting The Flanaess: a Settlements Distance and Mileage Chart

In May 2018 I began work on building a Settlements Distance and Mileage Chart for the Flanaess, but the project has lain fairly fallow until last month.

Since before the start of the year, our team of Greyhawk fan contributors have been working on material for the Greyhawk Seminar (details in last month's update), and I've been doing my part in that effort too.

As part of some of that work, I've realigned my mileage distances chart data to include only those settlements that appear on Anna B. Meyer's Flanaess map excerpt for the handouts.  In doing so, I removed a few cities from my original swag list, and added a few more, which meant that last Sunday I performed the rest of the Darlene map measurements to drive my distance calculations formulas.  

Here's where things stand at present:

Flanaess Settlements Mileage - Data Entry for Distances and Conveneting mm into Miles
grodog at work -
fitting the Flanaess into spreadsheet cells

With the change from some of the original settlements that are now out-of-scope for the map area in the new handouts, and adding in the new ones, I've now completed distances for 17 of the 130 locations, which is 13.1% of the overall effort.  A little progress goes a long way---although not so far in this case, since all of these settlements are in the Central Flanaess and are pretty close to one another! ;)


19 January 2019

UPDATE 1 - Charting The Flanaess: a Settlements Distance and Mileage Chart

In May last year I began work on building a Settlements Distance and Mileage Chart for the Flanaess, but the project has lain fairly fallow until recently.

Greyhawk Seminar at GaryCon 2019

A crew of six of us will host a Greyhawk seminar at GaryCon XI in March 2019, focused on the state of the state of Greyhawk fandom.  The seminar is titled "Celebraing Greyhawk: A Fandom Renaissance" and the event description is:

Greyhawk fans have been creating and sharing content online for 25+ years, across many platforms. Join Bryan Blumklotz, Mike Bridges, Allan Grohe, Carlos Lising, Anna Meyer, and Kristoph Nolen as we celebrate and showcase Greyhawk resources created by the fans who champion one of D&D's oldest settings. Reference handouts will be provided, and perhaps prizes if we get our act together!
Additional informationabout the seminar  (including a recording of the session and any distributed handouts) will appear on Greyhawk Online at https://www.greyhawkonline.com/seminar.

Charting the Flanaess Update

One of the seminar handouts I'm planing is a working prototype for the mileage chart,  limited in scope to the Central Flanaess in and around the City of Greyhawk, so I’ve been working on that recently by measuring out the distances from city to city on the Darlene map, in millimeters:

Flanaess Settlements Mileage - Raw Darlene Map Distances in mm
grodog at work -
measuring the Flanaess in millimeters

Once the measurements are complete, I enter the raw data into Excel in the first/upper set of cities listings.  The green, red, and yellow highlighted rows are my fact-checking:  I want to insure that the figures true-up across each row and column, and then in total as well:

Flanaess Settlements Mileage - Data Entry for Distances and Converting mm into Miles
grodog at work -
fitting the Flanaess into spreadsheet cells

The second/lower set of cities listings is where I convert the measured distances in mm into scale miles (I’ll eventually do kilometers as well), based on this data and formula logic:

  1. One Folio Darlene hex = 55 mm across = 10 scale leagues/30 scale miles
  2. Convert the raw distance between each city into a ratio relative to the hex sizes on the Darlene Folio maps:  (X mm/55mm). 
  3. Multiple the ratio by 30 miles to derive the final distance figure
Like in the first/ upper set of cities, I also fact-check the figures to insure that they match properly. 

I think I’ve also found a good methodology for how to manually count out of the Darlene map mileage distances:  I’ll simply print a copy of the “Index to the Cities & Features of the Flanaess” page from the Glassography and measure out the distances for each listed city, one city to a sheet.


Interesting aside #1:  of the 130 settlements that appear in the Glassography index, about 50 appear in the general region of the Central Flanaess.  That’s 38% of the cities squeezed into an area only that occupies only 25% of the Darlene mapspace. 

Interesting aside #2:  looking at each page of the original maps to calculate the settlement density will also be an interesting exercise to go through, I think. 

Minor Complications

One of the major issues I’ll want to call out in the data is a possible discrepancy in measurement when the distances span both of the Darlene maps:  maps can shift around, the hexes could be misaligned, etc., so measuring across both maps will be more challenging and more prone to error than when measuring within either map alone. 

In my prototype data set, only Luekish, Radigast City, and Riftcraft appear on the right-hand map, so I calculated all of the left-hand map’s distances first, then measured the right-hand ones back to the left, and wrapped up with the right-hand-only mileage. 

Next Steps

Once I have a better understanding of the scope included in the map handouts that we’ll distribute at the seminar (and we will post all of the handouts to Greyhawk Online, and at minimum an audio recording of the seminar as well), I will update the list of cities to feature any other major ones that aren’t already included in the chart, which will finalize the initial prototype data set. 

Sometime after GaryCon, the rest of the long-haul work will begin, likely to occur in three phases: 

  1. Count out all of the distances in the left-hand map.
  2. Count out all of the distances in the right-hand map.
  3. Count out all of the distances that span both maps.

I’ll continue to post updates here as I make further progress!