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Retro DnD world Greyhawk returns in new Dungeon Master’s Guide

The new Dungeon Master's Guide comes with a ready-to-use primer on Greyhawk, a Dungeons and Dragons setting created by Gary Gygax in 1972.

The cover art for the new DnD Dungeon Master's Guide superimposed on a map of the fantasy world Greyhawk

The new Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide will be the first ever to contain “an example of a campaign setting” that DMs can use right out of the book. Talking at an exclusive press briefing, lead designer Chris Perkins reveals that the venerable world of Greyhawk has been given a play-ready write up in the new DMG.

Greyhawk is almost as old as DnD itself, first appearing in Gary Gygax’s 1972 adventure module ‘Castle Greyhawk’, and then written up into a full campaign world in 1980’s ‘World of Greyhawk’. Perkins explains that Greyhawk was chosen for the new DnD Dungeon Master’s Guide because it was both “a celebration of 50 years of DnD” and “a setting that a DM can take on and make their own”.

Map of the major continent of the Greyhawk DnD setting, from the upcoming Dungeon Master's Guide

Though Greyhawk isn’t as famous a DnD campaign setting as the Forgotten Realms (particularly since Baldur’s Gate 3 took the setting supersonic), Greyhawk did appear in the popular 5th edition DnD book Ghosts of Saltmarsh. It’s a very solid choice for a default setting, with all the DnD races and DnD classes appearing in very standard presentations.

The new DMG will contain “all the information you need to use the city of Greyhawk as a play hub to base your campaign around”, including a map of the world, and an isometric map of the city of Greyhawk itself. It’s part of a chapter with advice on how to create and maintain campaign settings.

There’s plenty more ready-to-use content in the new DMG, including several example adventures. These are presented in a streamlined notation format compared to published DnD adventures, to give new DMs an example that’s easier for them to use when creating their own homebrew content.

A two-page spread from the new DnD Dungeon Master's Guide giving advice on how to create adventures.

The new book will end with a chapter on ‘Bastions’, strongholds that players can start to build from level five if they so desire. The concept of player characters building their own home base is every bit as retro as the world of Greyhawk. This kind of territory building was absolutely integral to the earliest DnD editions but has gradually been lost from play, so it’s interesting to see it return to a core rulebook

The new Dungeon Master’s guide will be available on November 11 this year. Check out our guide to the DnD release schedule to find out when the other new core books will also be available.