Greyhawk Adventures Book 1 – Saga of Old City

Greyhawk Adventures was a huge add on to the Dungeons and Dragons sets. It creates an entire new world to run adventures. It was pretty cool to play these adventures, and the novels were originally a pretty short lived series, with the first two written by Gary Gygax himself.

We meed the main character, Gord, very quickly as he is a kid and we see that his life is a daily struggle just to have food to eat. Gygax does a good job of giving us the backstory. We find that he is small, people steal from him because he is an easy target, they take his money, his food, anything he has. Gord gets angry at himself for letting these sorts of things happen. Gord, in order to survive tries stealing things and gets caught.

As a result of his theft he is sentenced to three years in prison, which originally Gord is happy about because he will have food people can’t steal from him in prison. It isn’t long before he realizes that prison isn’t the improvement in his life that he thought it would be. It doesn’t take long before he starts trying to figure out how to escape.

He does come up with a plan, one of the guards catches onto that plan, helps him escape, but then sells him into the service of the Beggars Guild, which will teach him a trade, but not an improvement either, at first.

Gord does learn how to make the best of things, but that is before the Thieves’ Guild and the Beggars Guild are kind of at war with one another. And as Gord has been begging, but also stealing he isn’t in a great place with the Thieves’ guild, they don’t like crossovers.

One thing he does learn during this time is how to create entire new personas which helps him as he is a thief, and after he manages to escape this world and starts to adventure around the world this comes in handy as he runs a series of cons for money in different cities.

Gord is a good thief, and great with his hands, so he is good in a fight. The book follows Gord on his first adventures, and that is pretty interesting.

Gary Gygax (and I am a fan of his career) is a fantastic world builder. This book does set the stage with a whole new world. What Gary wasn’t as good at was getting us in the heat of the battle and feeling the emotion of it. However, some readers prefer that world building, some prefer the emotion. It is up to you to decide which you prefer, and enjoy appropriate titles!

I did enjoy this book, as a teenager and now. There are others I like better, but this one is pretty darn good at setting the stage of this entire new world, and that is hard to accomplish for anyone.

Now, if you are fan of Dungeons and Dragons art. Clyde Caldwell did the cover art as well as all of the interior art (one of which is shown above in black and white) to be found sprinkled throughout the chapters. The art of Clyde Caldwell is simply amazing. What that man can do in black and white…just phenomenal.

World of Greyhawk Novels – Rose Estes

In my opinion one of the overlooked authors from the TSR days is Rose Estes. She was a journalist as well as writing novels.

She worked for TSR for a while, and worked to bring about a series of books called “The Endless Quest” These turned out to be best sellers for months. Last I looked the Endless Quest books had been translated into more than 20 languages and sold more than 16 million copies.

She has books in multiple series, and one of the names/authors I remember fondly from the late 80s and early 90s. Every single time I came across one of hers I knew it wouldn’t disappoint. She was truly one of the female pioneers of this genre along with Margaret Weis and others I’m sure I’ll remember and post about at some later date.

In the Greyhawk books you will find an adventure novel in the World of Greyhawk game setting. Greyhawk itself began as just a simple dungeon under a castle designed by Gary Gygax himself, but it was expanded into a multi-layered dungeon, then added a city, and eventually expanded into an entire world with some novels set in that space.

Please enjoy them if you come across a copy as I have.