Friday, May 10, 2019

Recaps & Roundups part 10: Supplement 1 - Greyhawk


In The Strategic Review #1, it was noted that the first of a series of D&D supplements was on the way. Supplement I - Greyhawk would be published in March of 1975. Written by Gary Gygax and Rob Kuntz, it was heavily drawn from material used in their home campaign. In many ways, it's probably the most historically important D&D product outside of the original boxed set; so many of the new rules and game elements introduced here become integrated into the core game that it's almost unrecognisable without them. Dungeons & Dragons, as the vast majority of its players would recognise it, is born here.

New Rules Introduced
  • Strength now provides bonuses to attack and damage for Fighting-Men only.
  • Strength now affects encumbrance, and a character's chance to open doors.
  • Exceptional Strength for Fighting-Men.
  • Intelligence now affects a Magic-User's chance to learn a spell, how many spells they can learn, and the highest spell level they can learn.
  • Dexterity now provides an AC bonus for Fighting-Men only.
  • Constitution now grants higher hit point bonuses.
  • A limit is imposed on the number of times a PC can be resurrected, based on Constitution.
  • Character classes now have differing Hit Dice, and monsters roll 1d8 per HD.
  • NPCs now suffer a loyalty penalty when working for Chaotic characters.
  • A different method of calculating XP is introduced.
  • NPCs working for PCs now earn 50% XP.
  • Weapon Type vs. AC
  • Ranges and range penalties for missile weapons.
  • Attack bonuses for whacking someone who is lying prone.
  • Varying damage by weapon type, and varying monster attack damage
  • Magic armor and shields now stack all their bonuses
  • Rear and right flank attacks now ignore shields
  • Cleric spells of 6th and 7th level, and Magic-User spells of 7th to 9th level.
  • New Monster Level Tables replace those in D&D Vol. 3.

New Classes Introduced
  • Thief
  • Paladin

New Races Introduced
  • Half-Elves
  • Dwarves are split into Hill Dwarves, Mountain Dwarves, and "Burrowers". "Burrowers" seems to be another term for Gnomes, which suggests a relationship between these two races.
  • Elves are split into Wood Elves, High Elves, and Meadow Elves (otherwise known as Fairies).

New Spells Introduced

Magic-User Level 1
  • Shield
  • Magic Missile
  • Ventriliquism (sic)

Magic-User Level 2
  • Darkness, 5' radius
  • Strength
  • Web (previously seen as an ability of the staff of power, in D&D Vol. 2)
  • Mirror Image
  • Magic Mouth
  • Pyrotechnics

Magic-User Level 3
  • Explosive Runes
  • Rope Trick
  • Suggestion
  • Monster Summoning I

Magic-User Level 4
  • Ice Storm
  • Fear
  • Monster Summoning II
  • Extension I

Magic-User Level 5
  • Monster Summoning III
  • Extension II

Magic-User Level 6
  • Legend Lore
  • Repulsion
  • Monster Summoning IV
  • Extension III

Magic-User Level 7
  • Delayed Blast Fire Ball
  • Reverse Gravity
  • Limited Wish
  • Power Word - Stun
  • Phase Door
  • Charm Plants
  • Mass Invisibility
  • Simulacrum
  • Monster Summoning V

Magic-User Level 8
  • Mass Charm
  • Clone
  • Power Word - Blind
  • Symbol
  • Permanent Spell
  • Mind Blank
  • Polymorph Any Object
  • Monster Summoning VI

Magic-User Level 9
  • Meteor Swarm
  • Shape Change
  • Time Stop
  • Power Word - Kill
  • Gate
  • Wish
  • Astral Spell
  • Prismatic Wall
  • Maze
  • Monster Summoning VII

Cleric Level 2
  • Silence, 15' r.
  • Snake Charm

Cleric Level 3
  • Prayer
  • Speak With Dead

Cleric Level 6
  • Animate Objects
  • Find the Path
  • Blade Barrier
  • Word of Recall
  • Speak With Monsters
  • Conjure Animals

Cleric Level 7
  • Earthquake
  • Aerial Servant
  • Wind Walk
  • Holy Word
  • Astral Spell
  • Symbol
  • Part Water
  • Control Weather
  • Raise Dead Fully
  • Restoration

New Monsters
  • Druids
  • Tritons
  • Bugbears
  • Ogre Magi
  • Storm Giants
  • Shadows (previously mentioned in D&D Vol. 3)
  • Titans (previously mentioned in D&D Vol. 2)
  • Will o' Wisps
  • Liches
  • Harpies
  • Brass Dragons
  • Copper Dragons
  • Bronze Dragons
  • Silver Dragons
  • The Platinum Dragon
  • The Chromatic Dragon
  • Lizard Men
  • Dopplegangers (previously mentioned in D&D Vol. 3)
  • Wererats
  • Lammasu
  • Salamanders (previously mentioned in D&D Vol. 2)
  • Beholders
  • Umber Hulks
  • Displacer Beasts
  • Blink Dogs
  • Hell Hounds
  • Phase Spiders
  • Rust Monsters
  • Stirges
  • Giant Ticks
  • Owl Bears
  • Carrion Crawlers
  • Gelatinous Cubes (previously mentioned in D&D Vol. 2)
  • Giant Slugs
  • Homonculous
  • Flesh Golems
  • Stone Golems
  • Iron Golems (previously mentioned in OD&D Vol. 2)
  • Rot Grubs (alluded to only, not given stats or named)
  • Ettins (alluded to only, not given stats or named)
  • Carnivorous Apes (mentioned in the Monster Level Tables, possibly as a replacement for Martian White Apes)
  • Fire-Breathing Hydras (mentioned in the Monster Level Tables)

Magic Swords Introduced
  • Swords +4 and +5
  • Sword +2, Nine Steps Draining Ability
  • Holy Sword +5
  • Sword of Cold
  • Dragon Slaying Sword +2
  • Sword +1, Cursed
  • Dancing Sword
  • Sword of Sharpness
  • Vorpal Blade

Miscellaneous Weapons Introduced
  • Magic Arrows +2 and +3
  • Arrow of Slaying
  • Magic Crossbow Bolts +2
  • Crossbow of Accuracy
  • Crossbow of Speed
  • Crossbow of Distance
  • Axe +2 and +3
  • Mace of Disruption
  • Cursed Spear of Backbiting

Armor Introduced
  • Shields +4 and +5
  • Armor +4 and +5
  • Shield of Missile Attraction
  • Armor of Vulnerability
  • Armor of Etherealness

Potions Introduced
  • Extra-Healing
  • Oil of Slipperiness
  • Super-Heroism
  • Oil of Etherealness

Rings Introduced
  • Protection +3
  • Shooting Stars
  • Contrariness

Rods Introduced
  • Rod of Cancellation
  • Rod of Beguiling
  • Rod of Absorption
  • Rod of Lordly Might
  • Rod of Rulership
  • Rod of Resurrection

Miscellaneous Magic Introduced
  • Crystal Hypnosis Ball
  • Medallion of ESP (3" and 9" ranges)
  • Medallion of Thought Projection
  • Amulet of Inescapable Locating
  • Scarab of Enraging Enemies
  • Scarab of Insanity
  • Scarab of Death
  • Bag of Tricks
  • Bean Bag
  • Bag of Transmuting
  • Bag of Devouring
  • Censor of Summoning Hostile Air Elementals
  • Luckstone
  • Loadstone
  • Brazier of Sleep Smoke
  • Bowl of Watery Death
  • Boots of Dancing
  • Flask of Curses
  • Jug of Alchemy
  • Decanter of Endless Water
  • Beaker of Plentiful Potions
  • Animated Broom
  • Helm of Brilliance
  • Rug of Smothering
  • Drums of Deafness
  • Horn of Collapsing
  • Horn of Valhalla (Silver, Bronze and Iron)
  • Horn of Bubbles
  • Gauntlets of Swimming and Climbing
  • Gauntlets of Dexterity
  • Gauntlets of Fumbling
  • Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity
  • Necklace of Missiles
  • Necklace of Strangulation
  • Cloak of Protection +1 to +3
  • Poisonous Cloak
  • Mirror of Mental Prowess
  • Mirror of Opposition
  • Trident of Warning
  • Trident of Commanding Water Creatures
  • Trident of Submission
  • Trident of Yearning
  • Eyes of Charming
  • Eyes of Petrification
  • Gem of Brightness
  • Gem of Seeing
  • Jewel of Attacks Upon the Owner
  • Bracers of Defense AC 6, 4 & 2
  • Bracers of Defenselessness
  • Rope of Entanglement
  • Rope of Climbing
  • Rope of Constriction
  • Dust of Appearance
  • Disappearance Dust
  • Dust of Sneezing and Choking
  • Talisman of Lawfulness
  • Talisman of Chaos Supreme
  • Talisman of the Sphere
  • Javelins of Lightning
  • Arrow of Direction
  • Saw of Mighty Cutting
  • Mattock of the Titans
  • Spade of Colossal Excavation
  • Wings of Flying
  • Cube of Force
  • Portable Hole
  • Horseshoes of Speed
  • Sphere of Annihilation
  • Chime of Opening
  • Pipes of the Sewers
  • Lyre of Building
  • Figurines of Wondrous Power (Ebony Fly, Onyx Dog, Marble Elephant, Golden Lions, Ivory Goats)
  • Wizard's Robe
  • Robe of Blending
  • Robe of Eyes
  • Robe of Powerlessness
  • Manual of Puissant Skill at Arms
  • Manual of Gainful Exercise
  • Manual of Bodily Health
  • Manual of Stealthy Pilfering
  • Manual of Golems
  • Manual of Quickness of Action
  • Book of Exalted Deeds
  • Book of Vile Darkness
  • Book of Infinite Spells
  • Libram of Silver Magic
  • Libram of Gainful Conjurations
  • Libram of Ineffable Damnation
  • Tome of Understanding
  • Tome of Clear Thought
  • Tome of Leadership and Influence
  • Deck of Many Things

Details and conjecture relevant to the Ultimate Sandbox
  • Dwarves are split into two sub-races: Mountain Dwarves and Hill Dwarves.
  • Gnomes are related to Dwarves, and sometimes referred to as "burrowers".
  • Elves are split into three sub-races: High Elves, Wood Elves and Meadow Elves (also known as Fairies).
  • There are Dwarven and Elven clerics that do not venture outside of their homelands.
  • Strictly by the book, it can be interpreted that demi-human PCs can all become paladins. In the interests of compatibility with AD&D, I'm going to interpret it so that only humans can become paladins.
  • Odin, Crom, Set, Cthulhu, the Shining One, and other unspecified demi-gods are mentioned as beings that might be summoned by a Gate spell. The Shining One might refer to the Greyhawk deity known as Pelor, but it's more likely to be a reference to the entity from A. Merritt's novel The Moon Pool.
  • Mars and Talos are also mentioned as a possible monster encounter.
  • The Astral Plane is specifically mentioned for the first time, as a place a spellcaster may travel in their astral form.
  • Hell is mentioned, both in the Astral Spell description, and the name of the Hell Hound.
  • Flubbit the Wizard is mentioned in the spell description for the magic mouth spell. Being a Wizard he (or she I suppose) should be at least 11th level. I'll add the character as an NPC somewhere around Greyhawk city, or in the dungeons.
  • Vampires from the "Middle East" are mentioned, as are"Japanese" Ogres and "Sumatran" Giant Rats. The last of those is no doubt a reference to Sherlock Holmes, but all of them point to Oerth having similarities to Earth, and having regions culturally similar to those listed.
  • Druids are a type of neutral priest, attuned to nature. Their followers are mostly barbaric fighters.
  • Bugbears are said to be "goblin-giants".
  • The Platinum Dragon is the King of Lawful Dragons. He lives in a palace behind the east wind, and is served by a host of seven gold dragons. His main goal is to oppose the Dragon Queen.
  • The Chromatic Dragon is the Queen of Chaotic Dragons. She lives in a stupendous cavern far beneath the earth, and is accompanied by one of each type of Chaotic dragon. Her main goal is to spread evil.
  • Displacer Beasts hate Blink Dogs, and vice versa.
  • A bunch of items can allow a PC to become ethereal, and Phase Spiders can do so as well. It's the first hint of the Ethereal Plane, though it's not specifically mentioned.
  • Armor with a +4 bonus is said to me made from "mithral", while +5 armor is made from a strange alloy known as "adamantite".
  • Valhalla is mentioned, as a place from which berserk warriors can be summoned.
  • All of the magical tomes appear to be identical, which indicates that they were all created by the same culture, or that something about the process of creating them makes this inevitable.
  • There's a long list of tricks and traps near the back of the book. Given the name of this supplement, I'll try to squeeze them all into Greyhawk Castle.
  • The "Living Room" is a specific room in Greyhawk Castle, where "furniture is animated to trip, confine, and smother (rugs and carpets) or move about and hug and kick (stools, chairs, divans) or blinds and throws down (tapestries and wall hangings)".
  • The 2nd level of Castle Greyhawk's dungeon had a fountain which issued an endless number of snakes.
  • As well as tricks and traps, there are a load of special monsters and monster combinations that should be found in Castle Greyhawk.
  • The Great Stone Face, also known as the Enigma of Greyhawk. This is a giant head, similar to the heads on Easter Island, that can be found in the dungeons of Castle Greyhawk.


  • The following image shows a weird pumpkin-headed Bugbear, which I attribute to them wearing carved pumpkins as ceremonial battle masks.


No comments: