The City of Greyhawk
|The City of Greyhawk|
|Edition||AD&D 2nd Edition|
|Author(s)||Douglas Niles and Carl Sargent|
- This article is about the boxed set. For the city itself, see Free City of Greyhawk.
The City of Greyhawk is an AD&D second edition boxed set detailing the Free City of Greyhawk. Written by Douglas Niles, Carl Sargent, and Rik Rose, the boxed set was released by TSR in 1989, and was highly praised by Dragon magazine.
The boxed set describes the major city of the World of Greyhawk campaign setting in detail. The Free City of Greyhawk, Gem of the Flanaess, is the adventuring town that gives the World of Greyhawk setting its name. The City of Greyhawk includes two 96-page perfect bound books, four poster maps, and twenty-four separate card stock pages.
The first book, Gem of the Flanaess, details the city quarters and surrounding Domain, and can be cross-referenced with the poster maps. These maps include a diagrammatic, keyed-location street map; a map of the sewers and underground passages; and a map of the surrounding region, covering the Domain of Greyhawk. The fourth poster map is a three-dimensional bird's-eye-view of the town, illustrating the various landmarks and architecture of the city, and corresponding to the street map.
The second book, Folk, Feuds, and Factions, describes a wide variety of NPCs, their fellowships and conspiracies, and their associated game mechanics, personalities, tactics, and loose narrative threads. Potential allies, patrons, informants, and enemies are available for any group of characters. External politics are intertwined in the city's internal affairs, and rival guilds compete for power and influence, while dark conspiracies are plotted beneath the streets. Folk, Feuds, and Factions also includes four adventure scenarios that develop themes and elements already presented in the city background.
The card stock pages include twenty-three short adventures, each printed on the front and back of a single card, with the twenty-fourth card summarizing the monster stats for these short adventures. Each adventure develops at least some element of plot, character, or theme presented in the city background material. Some are dungeon crawls, some wilderness expeditions, some city adventures, and some diplomatic intrigues.
Ken Rolston reviewed The City of Greyhawk for Dragon magazine #156 (April 1990). He reviewed multiple city supplements in the same review, but said that this was "the most pleasing and playable" of them, and "it has that comfortable, played-in feeling that warms the heart of the experienced AD&D game DM". The maps "combine the virtues of easy reference, graphic detail, sense of place, and pleasing appearance better than any other city supplement I've seen". The four scenarios included in one of the booklets are "simple, complete, appropriate, and admirable examples of city FRPG adventuring", but the "real treasures" are the 23 short adventures printed on the card stock.<r He described the short adventures as "priceless, many touched with humor and irony, with interesting plot twists; they challenge role-playing and problem-solving. All are eminently practical and playable, and presented with rare charm and simplicity. Noting the inclusion of the Circle of Eight as an example, Rolston commented: "One of the best things about The City of Greyhawk is that it ably exploits all the venerable virtues of the AD&D game. This is the campaign pack that TSR should have produced a decade ago, back when AD&D games were young and fresh. Now it is perhaps a certain nostalgia I indulge in my enjoyment of The City of Greyhawk; this is a package out of the golden age of the AD&D game". Rolston concluded that "The City of Greyhawk is a very good urban FRPG pack, but more than that, it's really a complete campaign setting for the AD&D game, the best I’ve seen—coherent, playable, well-developed, and entertaining."
- Rolston, Ken. "Role-playing Reviews." Dragon #156. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR, 1990.
- Schick, Lawrence. Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role-Playing Games. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1991.