Old-ass setting made with help from the G-man himself; lots of the core fluff is from here.
This setting is by far the best one - Toril can go fuck itself because Oerth is THE SHIT! A peasant's life is full of shit, just like it should be. Magic items do not grow on trees in Oerth. The Gods are not going to help with every little problem you have here. The Blood War's origin is actually clear and logical. And the Circle of Eight are total badasses.
Until 4th edition every edition change's fluff explanation was the result of some great (moronic) event in the Greyhawk setting. For 1st to 2nd the explanation was a great plague with mysterious origins that was altering the fabric of reality and magic itself. For 2nd to 3rd, the explanation was really, really awesome; Vecna proved once and for all that he was the end-all, fuck-all of fantasy villains. He was trapped in Ravenloft as one of the Dark Lords, but he did what no Dark Lord could ever do - he escaped Ravenloft to his native universe and became a demi-god. Then he managed to kick Iuz's ass and take his power to become the mightiest Greater Deity to have ever existed. Then he tore reality a new asshole to enter the Planescape setting and plotted to kick the Lady of Pain's ass and storm Sigil. This part actually failed, but he kind of just whoopwhoopwhoopwhooped out with zero consequences anyway, in itself a big deal; then break reality really really hard. Even though he was beaten by a plucky band of adventurers the damage was already done and reality was broken so bad that all the mechanics changed and casters became totally overpowered. In addition, he managed to come back once more as a lesser deity (which means that he still got a net gain in power level).
The world of Greyhawk is called Oerth. Oerth has four continents, the largest and most important of which is Oerik, or at least that's what the people who live there think. The setting proper is Flanaess, the eastern part of Oerik, where you will find the city of Greyhawk.
Flanaess has six races of humanity:
- The green-eyed Baklunish, who used to have a big empire before the Invoked Destruction (which no one alive remembers the form of) but have retained the rest of their culture
- The nomadic nature-loving Flan, Flanaess's first human settlers
- The warlike Oeridians, who have an empire today
- The barbaric, jungle-dwelling Olman, who lost their empire to internal strife
- The foreign Rhennee, short sailors who come from Rhop, either another continent or another plane and ply Flanaess's riverways
- And the fair-skinned Suloise, whose wicked empire was destroyed in the Rain of Colorless Fire (a mutual kill with the Baklunish empire above, actually, called the Twin Cataclysms).
These people all have their own languages, though Suloise is basically extinct. Flan is the oldest, and shares roots with Druidic. Common in Greyhawk is a widely popular fusion of ancient Baklunish and Oeridian. This is without going into the specific dialects, like Cold Tongue, a version of Suloise spoken by frost barbarians.
Notable nations in Flanaess include the isolationist elven Kingdom of Celene, the temperate trading nexus Dyvers, the ancient and fertile Kingdom of Keoland (inhabited by a mixture of Suel and Oeridians), the evil enigmatic Scarlet Brotherhood, the decadent Great Kingdom of Northern Aerdy which currently has an uprising problem, the Baklunish Caliphate of Ekbir, the Free City of Greyhawk (another trade nexus), the walled harbor city of Irongate and the greater Iron League, its neighbor the rich but war-torn Onnwal, the slaving Orcish Empire of the Pomarj to the south of Greyhawk, and the Empire of Iuz the Old One, who likes to stir shit up.
Try not to get the frost barbarians (the Fruztii, who are slowly becoming more 'civilized' to the older jarls' displeasure), ice barbarians (the Cruski, who hate the Scarlet Brotherhood with a passion after they poisoned Old King Cralstag), and snow barbarians (the Schnai, who share a forest border with the frost barbarians) mixed up. They're all Suel vikings, and worship a sleeping god called Vatun, which let Iuz trick them into starting a war for him some years ago.
The Godwar mini-setting can be recognized as taking place in the far west of Oerik.
|Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Settings|
|Basic D&D:||Mystara (Blackmoor) - Pelinore|
|AD&D:||Birthright - Council of Wyrms - Dark Sun - Dragonlance |
Forgotten Realms (Al-Qadim - The Horde - Icewind Dale - Kara-Tur - Maztica)
Greyhawk - Jakandor - Mystara (Hollow World - Red Steel - Savage Coast)
Planescape - Ravenloft (Masque of the Red Death) - Spelljammer
|3rd/3.5 Edition:||Blackmoor - Dragonlance - Eberron - Forgotten Realms - Ghostwalk - Greyhawk - Ravenloft|
|4th Edition:||Blackmoor - Dark Sun - Eberron - Forgotten Realms - Nentir Vale|
|5th Edition:||Dragonlance - Eberron - Forgotten Realms - Greyhawk - Nentir Vale - Ravenloft|
|Third Party:|| Dragonmech (3e) - Kingdoms of Kalamar (2e/3e) - Midnight (3e) |
Scarred Lands (3e/5e) - Spellslinger (3e) - Wilderlands of High Fantasy (Basic)