Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Stuff of Legends, continued

Among the numerous aspects of the first D&D campaign settings and rulebooks, the sense of (fictional) history and (fantasy) legend top my list. I wish I could have been there when Greyhawk and Blackmoor were emerging from the mists of creation. I long for the opportunity to create timeless figures of myth and contribute to worlds that will endure and inspire long after I am gone.

Vecna, Tuerny the Merciless, Lum the Mad, Queen Ehlissa, Johydee, Tenser, Bigby, Kwalish, Leuk-O, Heward, Murlynd. What dedicated D&D player doesn't recognize these names? So many of them no more than PCs run by the earliest players - now elevated to at least demigod status and immortalized in the annals of their respective published campaign settings.

Well, that is some of the gist of my most recent campaign offerings. Legends. Names that early gamers knew only through the magic that bore them. Names that went on to echo through Greyhawk history - and the annals of other settings as well. Many of those names are attached to artifacts and relics - items of singular power and reputation. Mighty magics from ages lost. Unique. Mysterious. Evocative. Dangerous. Prized.

In my own campaign setting, I don't intend to throw around names like Kas or Gaxx, but I would like to invoke the same sense of history and myth as best I can. Fortunately, I am known for creating memorable NPCs and interesting items of magic. Still, the players in my game can expect some of the classic artifacts to make the occasional appearance - with somewhat altered histories and nomenclature.

While I was doing research for this campaign, I came across a lot more information about these legendary figures than I was ever aware of before. Admittedly, I've never been a big fan of Greyhawk as a setting - merely a source for memorable characters and game details. So, I never kept up with all the gazetteers and journals and such. I had been hoping to use some of these famous NPCs as the basis for figures in my own setting. I'd assumed there wasn't much information about the "minor" names like Leuk-O or Queen Ehlissa. I was mostly wrong there. Hell, I should've consulted past issues of Dungeon magazine for more details of such luminaries as Kwalish or Tuerny. In any event, I've decided to create my own legends mostly from scratch or, at the very least, put my own unmistakable stamp upon some of those I covet too much to leave behind.

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