Friday, August 8, 2008

To homebrew or not to homebrew, that is the question.

In recent weeks I've been toying with the idea of creating a homebrew campaign to replace the WoG campaign I'm currently running. It's not like it's a new thing for me; I've designed quite a few homebrew campaigns over the years.

I do dearly love the World of Greyhawk setting, and that won't change regardless of whether or not I'm actively running a campaign in it. Nor would my eccentric delving and rambling on bits of obscure Greyhawk lore. But I'm wondering if any published setting isn't just a little too limiting for me at the present time.

I've been going through a lot of old issues of The Dragon, particularly articles dealing with campaign creation. I've got some ideas regarding religion that I would really like to try out, but which wouldn't really fit into the schema of pantheons. Plus some Outer Planes stuff that is a complete departure from what's published. And I would love to experiment with some other ideas, perhaps even going as far as making the new campaign completely devoid of demihumans and humanoids altogether. Heck, I might even drop AD&D in favor of something new (or, perhaps old but new to my players) like Rolemaster, GURPS, or even something completely home-grown.

Of course, I hear some say, you can do most of those things in Greyhawk. But I wonder if it would still be Greyhawk without Heironeous and Hextor, or the Nine Hells, or gnomes and elves and half-orcs. At that point, I think it becomes a case of "why bother to even call it Greyhawk, if you're changing so much?" (Much like the new Battlestar Galactica television show, or the upcoming remake of Death Race 2000, or, dare I say, the Forgotten Realms.)

As I said above, I'd still be looking at interesting bits of Greyhawkiana, but it would be more in the realm of a scholarly exercise rather than something that had a practical angle for me. Not that most of the stuff I've posted here has been particularly practical for my own campaign, which has been set in Tenh and tonight sees the PC's (hopefully) moving on to the Rift Crag in the Bandit Kingdoms.

Perhaps once (if?) Troll Lord Games ever gets some of its Castle Zagyg material actually published, I would return to running a Greyhawk campaign. That might be just too much to resist. But for now, the muse of unbridled creativity is beckoning to me, and I might just heed her summons.