by Mike 'mortellan' Bridges|
Dec 24, 2018
It all begins with a map...
The Plains of Ullinois, circa 1982, an old friend of mine introduced me to the splendor of the two folded maps that make up the World of Greyhawk. Like the people contacted by aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind I became one of those attracted to this fantasy world and ever since then you cannot tear me away from it. The map is perfect, from its texture to the calligraphy, to the mysterious names for everything. It became a life-quest to learn everything about everything on that map. Then once that is accomplished, move on to places OFF that map! My first (and most treasured) D&D book was the 1E Dungeon Master's Guide. Naturally that would become my nerdly calling in life. I was always keen on writing and drawing since grade school. My fascination with maps and medieval/ancient times just seemed to mesh perfectly with the game. It's a common story for alot of us I'm sure. Needless to say I've been running Greyhawk for 36 years now, and even though I've dabbled in Forgotten Realms, and Mystara, and a slew of non-D&D games, I have always come back to Greyhawk like a boomerang.
36 years of gaming in a nutshell...
My campaign can be broken down into three distinct campaigns.
Golden Age Greyhawk: 1st Edition. Total Monty Haul gaming from my teenage years. At first the simple stuff is tackled like Tomb of Horrors and White Plume Mt. Then the players raise an army and totally conquer the map.
Silver Age Greyhawk: I pull a 'Dallas'. Golden Age was a dream! 2nd Edition stuff, more mature high school/ college age gaming. Adventures like Greyhawk Ruins, Temple of Elemental Evil, Vecna Lives and City of Skulls are among the best I've ran.
Electrum Age Greyhawk: 3rd edition led to a new campaign start and new villains are used besides the usual Iuz and Vecna. Notably Eli Tomorast, Iggwilv and Abi Dalzim. Characters reached Epic Level and we found out how out of control 3rd Edition can get, resulting in their exile into the Far Realm. A second generation campaign started 20 game years (615 CY) after the Epic exile. Dungeon's Maure Castle renewed the rivalry with Eli Tomorast! Both the Savage Tide and the Age of Worms was averted by Demogorgon and Kyuss' defeat! And so much more!
Copper Age: 4th edition was passed and 5th edition brought a new resurgence of players and a campign set in the Hold of the Sea Princes during 576 CY. In this swashbuckling millieu, many different groups of players collectively fought pirates, sea monsters and the Great Kingdom on both land and sea. I adapted Five Shall Be One to the South Seas setting giving a new generation of Suel heroes a chance at claiming the five Blades of Corusk.
Cartooning on the brain...
Since grade school I've been doing comic art. I am a life long fan of Marvel's Mighty Thor(Currently has over 500 issues) and Sergio Aragones' Groo the Wanderer. I tried my hand at serious super hero comics, but was never successful, it's too much work. In high school I started a long running sci-fi comedy series called Space Force that is based on my friends and me. In Space Force we get involved in parodies of classic scifi movies like Empire Strikes Back, Aliens and Dune. From there I returned to my Greyhawk roots and employed the techniques and comedy I honed on Space Force into creating the comic you read today, W.o.G.
My modest publication history...
I won't lie to you, I'd love to be a published writer or artist for D&D or Dragon and Dungeon Magazine. The only thing stopping me has been myself. However I have taken the next best route and at canonfire.com and Oerth Journal I am among the most noteable if not single minded authors to be published there currently. I even continue to write a Greyhawk themed blog since 2010 called Greyhawkery! My body of work is not too shabby, especially if one likes the barren plains of Ull:
The Dagger of Misfortune
See Ull…and Die! Part 1
See Ull…and Die! Part 2
Planes of Retribution
Random Encounters in Ull
Blink Camprat (Kund)
Magic Items of Ull: Part 1
Magic Items of Ull: Part 2
The Yellow Cartel
Minotaur Mask of the Ulsprues
Map of the Great Oerik Flood
Bruzharag the Misbegotten, Orakhan of Ull
Ull Gazetteer: Ulakand the City of Horses, part 1
Ull Gazetteer: Ulakand the City of Horses, part 2
Ull Gazetteer: Trade Town of Kester, Part 1
Ull Gazetteer: Trade Town of Kester, Part 2
The Altar of Dhawar
Gazetteer of the Flanaess: Ull (Oerth Journal #19)
My goals for 2019 and beyond
Since getting into D&D and Greyhawk, RPGs have become more mainstream than when I was a kid. I have attended several Gencons and a few Garycons so far where meeting other Greyhawk fans is always a high priority for me. Since the advent of podcasts and online streaming shows such as The Greyhawk Channel I have even been on a stream with fellow Greyhawk superfan Anna Meyer called Legends & Lore and for several years now I've also been on the cast of Gamerstable an RPG podcast put on by my local game group. So with this rennaisance in RPGs I hope the Greyhawk community keeps growing and connecting through new media, such as Roll20, Facebook, Twitch and Discord, but also through the old guard sites like Melkot, Greyhawk Online, Canonfire and Greyhawk Grognard. I hope we can even gather someday to host a seminar for all the new or displaced Greyhawk fans who yearn for WotC to notice us and publish more material. Until then I am going to continue punching away at my blog and who knows, perhaps restart this crazy webcomic someday. See ya on the interwebs.