A ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' setting, your basic MedievalEuropeanFantasy. Originally developed by co-founder Creator/GaryGygax by amalgamating his and his friends' campaign worlds, it's often thought of as the "default", and has been used to flavor the core edition rulebooks more than once.

The setting is named after the great Free City of Greyhawk, a sprawling metropolis that lies at the heart of the Flanaess, the eastern part of the continent of Oerik on the world of Oerth, as well as Castle Greyhawk, a legendary dungeon that lies outside the city. Ravaged by centuries of warfare, contested by dozens of races and organizations, the Flanaess is crawling with monsters to slay, ruins to loot, and vile magicians to foil. A very generic [[HeroicFantasy heroic fantasy]] setting, but one which suits the game's needs perfectly. In the ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' and ''TabletopGame/{{Spelljammer}}'' settings, the world of ''Greyhawk'' is part of a [[TheMultiverse larger universe]] that also includes ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' and ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms''.

''Greyhawk'' was published as an optional supplement, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greyhawk_%28supplement%29 Supplement 1: GREYHAWK]]'', by Gary Gygax and Robert J. Kuntz, in 1975. Unlike later setting material, ''Supplement 1: GREYHAWK'' focused on optional rules as opposed to towns, monsters, etc. The rules introduced for ''Greyhawk'' evolved into ''Advanced Dungeons & Dragons'', and ''Greyhawk'' has remained an influence on the core setting ever since. Numerous setting supplements, magazine articles, and adventure booklets have been released, including ''TabletopGame/TheTempleOfElementalEvil'' and ''TabletopGame/TombOfHorrors''.

There have been several ''Greyhawk'' novels, but the line never reached the same level of success as ''D&D'''s ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' and ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' franchises. Perhaps the most notable was the "Gord the Rogue" series by Gary Gygax, the tales of a dashing burglar from the City of Greyhawk.

''Greyhawk'' has not been the default setting since the 4th edition of D&D, but the 5th edition still includes material that was once associated with ''Greyhawk'', such as a list of ''Greyhawk'' deities for the Cleric class. The setting seems to have inspired some of the fifth edition's "look and feel", such as its treatment of the Paladin class and the Beholder and [[OurElvesAreBetter Dark Elf]] races.

!!Works that are set in ''Greyhawk'' includes:
* ''TabletopGame/SavageTide''
* ''TabletopGame/TheTempleOfElementalEvil''
* ''TabletopGame/TombOfHorrors''

* ''Gord the Thief''
* ''Literature/TheKnightsOfTheSilverDragon''

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/TheTempleOfElementalEvil''

!!The world of ''Greyhawk'' contains examples of the following tropes:

* ArtifactOfDoom: There are several of these, such as the Crook of Rao (good) and the Scorpion Crown (do not touch!).
* ArtifactTitle: Gary Gygax's original Greyhawk campaign in the early 1970s was set on a parallel Earth ([[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness hence the references in the original]] ''[[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness Monster Manual]]'' to real-life locations such as [[OurDemonsAreDifferent India]], [[{{Youkai}} Japan]], and [[RodentsOfUnusualSize Sumatra]]) and [[CreatorProvincialism centered on the Great Lakes region of North America]]. The Free City of Greyhawk was an analog of {{UsefulNotes/Chicago}}, and its name may have been a reference to the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Hawk_War Black Hawk War]] of 1832 that took place nearby. When the setting was revised for commercial release, the existing cities and landmarks were transplanted onto a brand-new map (the Flanaess) along with many others, but some hints of their origins remained; for one example, [[http://rolesrules.blogspot.com/2013/10/north-american-greyhawk.html compare the Nyr Dyv to Lake Superior]].
* AssInAmbassador: After the Greyhawk Wars, part of the peace treaty required the creation of embassies in the city of Greyhawk to try and prevent such a massive disaster in the future by making sure each power bloc or great power had at least the ability to negotiate in good faith with each other at all times. Iuz, being an evil half-fiend demigod with a massively expanded empire thanks to said war, showed his contempt for the whole thing by sending as his representative the worst possible candidate: one of his clerics named Pyremiel Alexane, who looks like a mummified corpse and has a bevy of odious features and behaviors (he has wracking coughs that make him spit out black phlegm, smells terrible from his nonexistent hygiene, pick his claw-like nails in public specifically to gross people out, eats like a pig in a through, etc...). And to top it off, the guy is a smug, smarmy {{jerkass}} toward everybody. In his game stats writeup, he actually has a Charisma stat of 3 (the absolute human minimum in D&D).
* AuthorAvatar: Mordenkainen (who you may recognize for being the author of many spells of inconsistent quality) was originally Gary Gygax's player character. [[BackwardsName Zagyg]] almost certainly was also an avatar for Gygax. So was Yrag the Lord. Bigby (he of the various "hand" spells) was an NPC henchman played by Gygax.
* BackFromTheDead: After Rary killed him, Tenser was revived through a clone of himself he had hidden away. Of course, this being D&D, there are quite a few ways this can happen.
* BehemothBattle: On level 5, of the module [=WG7=] ''Castle Greyhawk'', a Players observe a battle between an Apparatus of Kwalish and an iron golem piloted by an orc. It's an AffectionateParody of FASA's ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' game (the orc is even named "Fahzah").
* BoisterousBruiser: A number of them appear, both good and evil: the god Kord encourages the attitude among his faithful, and the noted warrior Lord Robilar has remained one regardless of whichever alignment he happens to have.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Rary of Ket was always seen as the most reserved and soft-spoken member of the Circle of Eight. After years of failures, reflecting that [[GoodIsDumb all the Circle's bickering had done was give the forces of evil a chance to launch a world war,]] he became HeWhoFightsMonsters and set out to TakeOverTheWorld.
* BlondesAreEvil / EvilRedhead: The ancient, defunct Suel Imperium, whose humans were fair-skinned and -haired, was clearly more wicked than its enemy the Baklunish Empire. Its modern descendants, the Suloise ethnic group, has mostly managed to cast off the attitude and reputation. However, certain [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything secretive racist groups]] continue to plot.
* TheBrute: Warduke. Originally a ''D&D'' action figure from the '80s, an issue of ''Dungeon'' {{retcon}}ned Warduke as the martial champion of the Horned Society (an empire of devil-worshippers). A hulking monster of a man, Warduke is presented as the ultimate physical threat in a non-epic campaign.
* CharacterAlignment: Present as in all ''D&D'' settings.
** TrueNeutral: [[invoked]] In earlier Greyhawk stories and adventures, a lot of emphasis was placed on some characters' obsession with preserving the balance, especially the archmage Mordenkainen. To truly understand Mordenkainen's dedication to neutrality and balance, consider this: Mordenkainen released a sealed evil demigod from beneath Castle Greyhawk, simply because good was "too powerful".
*** Of course, what Mordenkainen ''thought'' he was releasing was a demon lord, not a [[PhysicalGod demigod:]] he's been spending most of his career since then [[WhatHaveIDone trying to balance the scales in the opposite direction.]]
* TheChessmaster: Mordenkainen.
* {{Crossover}}: ''Greyhawk'' has crossed over with numerous other ''D&D'' settings, though most of these crossovers are of dubious canon at best.
** Oerth is one ''D&D'' world among many connected through the ''TabletopGame/{{Spelljammer}}'', ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'', and ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' campaign settings, at least until 3rd Edition when different settings were given their own cosmologies.
** Vecna and his traitorous lieutenant, Kas, were briefly imprisoned in the Demiplane of Dread, home of the ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' setting. Azalin Rex, one of the archvillains of ''Ravenloft'', also originally hailed from Oerth.
*** One of the last 2nd edition scenarios, ''Die, Vecna, Die!'', took the players on a tour of many settings, among them Greyhawk, Ravenloft and Planescape to stop said Vecna in his [[AGodAmI bid for godhood]]. The canon nature of several events there is hard to doubt considering that Vecna was at least partially successful if 3rd edition is anything to go by.
** Duke Rowan Darkwood, one of the prime movers in the ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' setting, was born on Oerth. He later used magic to travel to the world of ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'', and from there to the City of Sigil in ''Planescape''.
** Mordenkainen, along with Elminster from ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' and Dalamar from ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'', was one of the "Wizards Three", a trio of archmages who met for friendly get-togethers in a humorous column in ''Magazine/{{Dragon}}'' written by Ed Greenwood.
** The grandson of Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun from ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'', Khelben the Younger, took up planewalking and settled down on Oerth.
** Completely canon however is the presence of various spells bearing the name of Greyhawk mages (such as Mordenkainen) in other settings. One would suspect [[TabletopGame/{{Planescape}} Planewalkers]] were involved at some point.
* CrossoverCosmology: Iuz is the grandson of both [[Myth/RussianMythologyAndTales Baba Yaga]] and (maybe) [[CthulhuMythos Nyarlathotep]].
* [[CrystalDragonJesus Crystal Dragon Mohammed]]: The faith of Al'Akbar, the patron demigod of the Baklunish people, is strongly based on Islam, down to the division between Shiite and Sunni sects. His holy artifacts, the Cup and Talisman of Al'Akbar, were originally published in ''Strategic Review'' #7 as fictional Muslim relics.
** The name is rather revealing - it's a shortened version of "Allah akbar", "God is great", a common Muslim saying.
* DeityOfHumanOrigin: This is practically a tradition, and a major reason why Oerth does not have as many epic-level NPC's as the ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms''. Legendary characters frequently ascend to at least demigod status. Notable examples include Zagyg (very recently), Vecna, Wastri, Zuoken and Al'Akbar. Several characters are currently in the process of divine ascension, including Heward, Kelanen, Keoghtom, Kyuss and Muryland. St. Cuthbert was allegedly once a mortal, but is said to have become a deity in ancient times.
* DemonLordsAndArchdevils: Most of the notable demon lords have had a hand in Oerth's affairs. Most notable are Graz'zt, the father of the [[HalfHumanHybrid half-demon]] demigod Iuz; Fraz-Urb'luu, a demon prince trapped under the ruins of Castle Greyhawk for centuries; Demogorgon, Prince of Demons, who launched a bid to conquer all of Oerth in the ''TabletopGame/SavageTide'' adventure series in ''Dungeon'' magazine; Lolth, Spider-Queen of the dark elves, who has ravaged both ''Greyhawk'' and the ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms''; and Zuggtmoy, the Demon Lady of Fungi, who conspired with Iuz to build the infamous TabletopGame/TempleOfElementalEvil.
* DevilButNoGod: Tharizdun, an OmnicidalManiac EldritchAbomination, is the ultimate force of evil in the cosmology, with the power to force all other evil deities and fiends to do his bidding; there is no corresponding good counterpart. A direct confrontation between Tharizdun and the forces of good would have destroyed the multiverse, so the ''neutral'' gods tricked him into [[SealedEvilInACan sealing himself into a trap]].
** How dangerous is he considered? The pocket dimension he's sealed in has no exit at all, and the only possible area where it could be cracked open again is eternally guarded by an angel of the highest rank, with direct divine orders to vaporize anything and everything within vaporizing distance that tries to approach, without regard to alignment, circumstances, or intentions.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The racist, blond- or red-haired Scarlet Brotherhood are [[ANaziByAnyOtherName basically Nazis]].
* TheDragon: Saint Kargoth to Demogorgon. Also Kas to Vecna.
* EldritchAbomination: In addition to the expected D&D aberration races such as mind flayers and aboleths, Oerth has [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Dread Tharizdun]], an OmnicidalManiac MadGod said to be a swirling spiral of black entropy, who wishes to return all of existence to oblivion.
* TheEmpire: Several historical and present-time:
** The Ancient Suloise and Baklunish Empires, which basically destroyed each other in a magical nuclear war.
** The Great Kingdom of Aerdy, established by Oeridian tribes fleeing the Twin Cataclysms that destroyed the above-mentioned Suel and Baklunish nations. It once spanned most of the Flanaess, although it has since collapsed. It's two successor states, the United Kingdom of Ahlissa and the Great Kingdom of Northern Aerdy, are borderline (especially the former) and both are competing to claim the legacy of their parent empire.
** The Empire of Iuz, spanning a fair chunk of the northern Flanaess and directly ruled by an [[PhysicalGod evil demigod]].
** The Scarlet Brotherhood intends to become one, but its internal struggles and rebellions among its conquered territories have prevented it.
* TheEmperor: The Overkings of Aerdy.
* EvilOverlord: Iuz is the present holder of that title, but Greyhawk has suffered under many, many others - Lum the Mad, Shattados, Kyuss, Iggwilv, Ivid V and many others.
* EvilSorcerer: Quite a multitude.
** Rary the Traitor, a formerly heroic wizard [[FaceHeelTurn who turned on his companions]], the Circle of Eight.
** The undead Acererak, a skeletal wizard who's been dead for so long that all that's left of him is his skull. Easily the most sadistic sonuvabitch in the entire history of tabletop gaming, all thanks to his abode: the TabletopGame/TombOfHorrors.
** Vecna: The ultimate evil sorcerer made good. Er, evil. Star of a series of popular adventures (including the awesomely named ''Die, Vecna, Die!''), Vecna ultimately achieved [[AGodAmI actual godhood]] as Oerth's God of Secrets. How powerful is this guy? Two artifact tier items are his gouged-out eye and his hacked-off hand, left behind due to his near-fatal confrontation with Kas.
*** By 3rd edition, Vecna was so iconic that he became one of the gods of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' in general, typically holding the post of "God of Secrets, BlackMagic and/or [[TheNecromancer Necromancy]] and [[ThingsManShouldNotKnow Forbidden Lore]]". So did his Hand and Eye.
** Following Vecna's apotheosis, one of the most powerful mortal spellcaster on Oerth is the witch Iggwilv, who has enslaved genuine DemonLords - and used one to produce an heir: Iuz.
** Keraptis, the maniacal overlord of White Plume Mountain.
** Some interpretations of the Mage of the Valley make him outright evil rather than merely sinister and reclusive.
** Evard - inventor of D&D's ''rudest'' spell, [[CombatTentacles Evard's Black Tentacles.]]
** Abi-Dalzim, whose name means "Father of Droughts" in his native Baklunish, worshiper of [[GodOfEvil Incabulos the Black Rider]] and inventor of another fuzzy-wuzzy spell, Horrid Wilting (which sucks the water from enemies, leaving them withered husks).
** Iuz offers sanctuary, authority and screaming victims to certain maniacal sorcerers in exchange for the use of their talents: this cabal includes Kermin Mindbender, Null, the mad illusionist Jumper, the vampire Maskaleyne and [[ButtMonkey the unfortunate Vayne.]]
* EvilVersusEvil: Evil groups like the Horned Society, Iuz, the Scarlet Brotherhood, the Aerdi kingdoms and Turrosh Mak are just as apt to fight and plot against each other as they are the forces of good.
* EvilVersusOblivion: Almost all of the setting's conventional villains (orc warlords, decadent nobility, secret assassin cults and even full-on demon lords) oppose any effort to wake, free, or aid Tharizdun.
* FaceHeelTurn: Rary and Robilar. This was a bit of a BaseBreaker, since they immediately signaled their new priorities by attempting to sabotage a major peace summit, [[KilledOffForReal going to unusual lengths to kill a few former associates]] while they were at it.
* FantasticRacism: Plenty to go around, especially since several groups haven't even shaken off ''ordinary'', intra-species racism.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: The Baklunish people are similar to real-world Middle Easterners. The Olmans and the Flan are clearly based on Native Americans-the Flan on northern First Nations (Cree, Sioux, Iroquois, etc.), and the Olman on the southern nations, especially [[{{Mayincatec}} the Maya and Aztecs]]. It's implied that the Rhenee ''are'' Roma, having arrived on Oerth from another place called "Rhop"--possibly Europe. The Great Kingdom of Aerdy had a HolyRomanEmpire vibe to it.
** The Flan are a bit peculiar about this - they once had thriving, advanced kingdoms about two millenia ago or more, from which extremely powerful spellcasters like Vecna and Acererak came; by the time of the the Twin Cataclysms and the Great Migrations a little over a thousand years ago, however, they had reverted to "primitive" tribal enclaves for unknown reasons (although giving rise to at least two of the setting's greatest {{evil sorcerer}}s could be related to said reasons...). Also, several of the more successful Flan groups quickly integrated in or adopted the newcomers' hierarchy, meaning that sizable flan-blooded populations are rather common, and a few nations are dominated by this ethnic group.
*** The evil wizard-lord Keraptis disappeared (and is usually claimed to have been killed) about thirteen hundred years ago. His rise and fall may have been part of a general downward trend that resulted in the collapse of civilization in the region. Records from the time are, to say the least, sketchy.
* FantasyGunControl: Guns are generally accepted not to work on Oerth, although exceptions are made in some cases for the hero-god Murlynd and his paladins.
* FiveRaces: Humans, dwarves, elves, gnomes and halflings.
* ForScience[=/=]ForTheLulz: The mad archmage Zagig Yragerne created the wacky demiplanes of [[Literature/AliceInWonderland Dungeonland]] and [[Film/KingKong the Isle of the Ape]] pretty much just because he could.
* GodEmperor: Iuz is a half-demonic being, head of state, and focus of a ReligionOfEvil all in one.
* GodOfEvil: There are dozens of evil gods, though Tharizdun is the one who most closely embodied pure, destructive evil.
* GodsHandsAreTied: It's generally accepted that the gods cannot intervene directly on Oerth without starting TheApocalypse, and can only act through their mortal servants. This typically takes the form of granting divine spells, although they can act on a larger scale if their mortal servants meet the right conditions, such as using an ArtifactOfDoom. Exceptions to the rule are gods who actually dwell on the Prime Material Plane such as Iuz and Wastri (who tend to be among the weakest gods (AKA demigods), though still far more powerful than most mortals). St. Cuthbert has also appeared on the material plane on a couple of occasions, although it's implied that the gods of evil may be able to do the same at some point [[YouOweMe to restore the balance.]]
* GodsNeedPrayerBadly: Averted. While the gods of Oerth ''can'' derive extra power from worship, they do not need it to survive or be gods. Boccob, who has the not very reassuring nickname "The Uncaring", is worshiped by very few people, yet is still a greater god for example. Many deities with huge followings are less powerful than other deities with smaller ones.
* GoodIsNotNice, verging into LightIsNotGood: The church of ostensibly LawfulGood god Pholtus, who commonly start prayers with the worryingly appropriate "O Blinding Light"; they have a strong streak of intolerance towards any other religion, even other good and lawful ones, considering non-Pholtus worshipers to be misguided, heathens or heretics, and advance a form of proto-monotheism with Pholtus as the sole god worthy of worship; taken UpToEleven in the Theocracy of the Pale, where martial law and TheInquisition have been active for 200 years, who considers all other nations to be {{wretched hive}}s for not worshiping Pholtus exclusively, and which has territorial and religious imperialistic designs on all its neighbors. Their [[PlanetOfHats hat]] is pretty much being {{Knight Templar}}s. Consequently, they're considered LawfulNeutral as a whole rather than LawfulGood.
* HiddenElfVillage: The elven kingdom of Celene, which refused to aid its human allies during the Greyhawk Wars. The elven race as a whole tends to subvert this, as while they will help humans and other races in need they're just more comfortable living among their own kind. Even within Celene itself, many elves disagreed with their queen's decision to not help their human neighbors, and work to help the humans anyway.
* IllegalReligion:
** In the Theocracy of the Pale, the only legal religion is that of Pholtus -- all other religions are expressly forbidden.
** In many areas religions based on evil deities are officially forbidden because of the death and destruction their worshipers tend to cause.
* IncrediblyLamePun: Brian Blume had devised the character of Rary with the intention of leveling him up only to third level. Why third level? In the old [=D&D=] and [=AD&D=] game rules, the different levels had titles: a third-level magic-user was styled "medium." According to [[WordOfGod Gary Gygax]], Blume just wanted to be able to call him the "Medium Rary."
** Has anyone ever killed him by knocking him over a cliff? [[spoiler: "My, that's a long way to tip a Rary."]]
** And the Nyr Dyv, the lake of unknown depths. "Nyr Dyv" is pronounced like "near dive." Get it?
** [[NotSoSafeHarbor The Wild Coast]] lies off of Woolly Bay.
* {{Irony}}: The toad-like demigod Wastri, whose priests themselves become more toadlike over time, is basically the patron of humanocentric FantasticRacism, amusingly enough. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in ''The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer'':
-->The fact that he dislikes nonhuman races, yet is only barely human himself, is an irony lost on the godling.
* ItIsPronouncedTroPAY: Although most people pronounce "Oerth" to rhyme with "north", [[WordOfGod according to Gygax himself]] he pronounced it "Oyth" [[UsefulNotes/AmericanAccents (as if with a Brooklyn accent)]].
* {{Ladyland}}: The city of Hardby was founded by a Suel witch as a monument to the superiority of womankind after men caused a great magical war, and is traditionally ruled by an all-female council of gynocrats led by a despotrix. However, in recent years, male-dominated guilds and trade unions have been chipping away at their power.
* LeftJustifiedFantasyMap: Inverted--to the west lies the trackless Sea of Dust, all that remains of the Suel Imperium after the Rain of Colorless Fire burnt it to ashes. The ocean lies to the east and south.
* LovableRogue: Gord.
* MadGod: Several [[GodOfEvil evil gods]] come off as at least sociopaths or psychopaths, but two gods deserve special mention: Zagyg (who prior to [[AGodAmI ascention]] was known as the mad archmage, and hasn't become any saner afterwards; not evil, though) and Dread Tharizdun (a monster [[OmnicidalManiac wanting to unravel the universe]]; basically the UltimateEvil).
* {{Magitek}}: The Machine of Lum the Mad, the Mighty Servant of Leuk-o, the Doomgrinder and the Apparatus of Kwalish. The first three are also in the ArtifactOfDoom category. Rary is fond of creating ClockworkCreature[=s=].
* MalevolentArchitecture: Castle Greyhawk is one big, mile-deep DeathTrap. The TabletopGame/TombOfHorrors, meanwhile, [[UpToEleven makes Castle Greyhawk look like one o' them bouncy castles]].
* TheManBehindTheMan: Iggwilv to Iuz, and to a lesser extent, Graz'zt to Iggwilv. Although given the peculiarities of their relationship (both are basically {{tsundere}} for each other, and both have OutGambitted the other quite a few times), it's hard to say who's the boss at any given time.
* MechanicalHorse: Lord Robilar has one that Rary the Archmage built for him. Actually, Rary is rather fond of building magical automatons generally, including a full-sized [[spoiler: dragon]].
* MirrorUniverse: Oerth has several parallel worlds, including Aerth, Yarth, and Earth (and possibly TabletopGame/{{Mystara}} and [[TabletopGame/NentirVale Nerath]]). The most notable, though, is Uerth, where everyone's alignment is switched (most notably Bilarro, the evil double of Robilar).
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Iuz the Evil, Rary the Traitor, Dread Tharizdun, Ivid the Undying...
* ANaziByAnyOtherName: The Scarlet Brotherhood, a group of blond, fair-skinned [[FantasticRacism human supremicists]] who practice selective breeding amongst themselves, and are devoted to exterminating certain groups of humanoids (like elves and dwarves) and making slaves of others (like goblins and orcs).
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: The demon Fraz-Urb'luu was released from his imprisonment by two foolish adventurers.
** So were Iuz, Zuggtmoy and many many others--mostly by the same band of intrepid adventurers (Creator/GaryGygax's original gaming group).
* OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness: The Circle of Eight, founded by Mordenkainen to manipulate events across the Flaeness.
* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: But of course. The evil duergar got their start here, but they're the same kind of evil gray dwarves found on most standard D&D worlds so the point still stands.
* OurElvesAreBetter: Actually, Our Elves Are Pretty Standard, all things considered.
** But on a related note, this setting was the TropeCodifier for D&D's ''dark'' elves. Though much rarer than in the ''ForgottenRealms'', they even display the same tendency towards being redeemable, as proven by characters like [[CloningBlues Leda]] and several of the rebellious dark elves in the city of Erelhei-Cinlu. The Unearthed Arcana sourcebook even references the idea of drow being rebels due to their alignment. And all of this actually precedes the introduction of [[Literature/TheIcewindDaleTrilogy Drizzt Do'Urden]].
* OurGnomesAreWeirder: Well, not really in this case; they're completely conventional D&D gnomes with the regular subraces like svirfneblin familiar to most players.
* OurOrcsAreDifferent: Out of all the ''D&D'' settings, the orcs of ''Greyhawk'' are probably the worst, if only because they have no notable heroes to show off their ProudWarriorRaceGuy side (well, there's Turrosh Mak, but he's clearly too much on the "total asshole" side of things to be seen as admirable). They're very much of the "Tolkienian Orc" model, especially in early editions when they [[PigMan looked like pigs]].
** There ''is'' a notable exception to this rule, though; the sultanate of Zeif has a sizable population (10%, or about 140-150,000) of integrated orcs, descendants of mercenaries hired by the ancient Baklunish empire who mostly assimilated into the culture of the survivors over the last thousand years.
* PhantomThief: Gord the Rogue. He steals mainly for the challenge (and because he ''loves'' treasure).
* PhysicalGod: All of the gods are capable of taking material form, but the ones who most often walk the Oerth are Iuz, who rules an EvilEmpire as its god-king, and Saint Cuthbert, who often dispatches avatars to fight Iuz.
* RagtagBandOfMisfits: Fairly common to any ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' setting, but Greyhawk can have some particularly odd ones. Mordenkainen used to belong to one that turned out to include the BigBad Iggwilv when she was starting out, for example.
** Paul Kidd created one of the oddest adventuring bands this side of ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' for his Greyhawk stories. How often do you see an adventuring band comprised of a human Ranger with an attitude befitting a Paladin, a still-sentient [[AscendedDemon redeemed and very friendly]] {{Hellhound}}'s skin, a fairy sorceress (with [[InterspeciesRomance a crush on the Ranger]]), a naive young adventurer-wannabe, a shy and humble sphinx, and a {{Motor Mouth}}ed merchant (who eventually ends up as a badger), to say nothing of the prissy sentient sword?
* ReligionOfEvil: Kinda comes with the territory when you have a bunch of evil gods active. Fortunately, there's just as many good gods (''and'' just as many neutral gods) with their own churches.
* {{Retcon}}: After Gygax and Kuntz both left TSR, in the ''Greyhawk Wars'' storyline, Kuntz's character Lord Robilar betrayed his friends, killing some of them; Kuntz was none too happy. Twenty years later, Wizards of the Coast published ''Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk'', in which it's retconned that Robilar had been replaced by an evil double from a MirrorUniverse.
* ScienceFantasy: ''Expedition to the Barrier Peaks''. It concerns a crashed spaceship filled with aliens and robots--in the fantasy world of Greyhawk. The players can even hijack a suit of PoweredArmor and take it with them after the adventure ends (though thankfully it has limited fuel). Needless to say, many fans consider it FanonDiscontinuity.
** However, there have been a number of {{Shout Out}}s to it over the years. 4th edition even included stats for the Vegepygmy (an enemy introduced here) and a number of the classical sci-fi weapons.
* SealedEvilInACan: Several examples.
** Iuz (and eight other demigods, including two other evil ones) were trapped beneath Castle Greyhawk by Zagig Yragerne, who siphoned off their power to become a god himself.
** Fraz-Urb'luu was also trapped in Castle Greyhawk by Zagig, presumably as a practice run for his gambit at godhood.
** At the beginning of time, the unspeakably powerful and insane Tharizdun was trapped in a remote demiplane by the rest of the gods.
* StarPower: Celestian is the deity of space and the stars. He has a number of space/star related powers, including Aurora Borealis, Comet, Meteors, Space Chill and Starshine.
* TakeThat: The bizarre Egg of Coot, a ruler in the Blackmoor area, was a [[http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/gh_anagrams.html jab]] at a certain Gr'''egg''' S'''cott''', who ran a wargames miniatures company and with whom DaveArneson had previously clashed. (It's often mistaken for a jab at '''E. G'''ary '''G'''ygax.)
* TechnicalPacifist: The clerics of Zodal, god of mercy, are allowed to fight but typically deal nonlethal damage.
* ThemeNaming: Ernest Gary Gygax named a huge number of people and locations after himself, including Yrag, Tenser, Urnst, and of course, Zagyg/Zagig Yragerne.
** A lot of other people were named after Gygax's players and children, or drawn from other mundane sources:
*** Drawmij, of ''Drawmij's instant summons'' fame, is Jim Ward's character. Spell Jim Ward backwards... There's also a Drawmidj Ocean.
** Melf (of ''Melf's acid arrow'' and ''Melf's minute meteors''), a male elf character, was named from what appeared at the top of the character sheet: M Elf.
* TheUndead: Notables include the liches Acererak and Vecna, described above. Also the first death knight, Saint Kargoth; the vampire Kas; and the piteous, zombie-like King Ivid the Undying.
** Ivid's state was a bit of LaserGuidedKarma, though; in his insanity, he arranged to get evil clerics to create a new type of powerful, free-willed undead, the Animus. He then proceeded to give the "gift" of death and reanimation as an animus to scores of lords, generals and priests without bothering to find out if they wanted it. Needless to say, a lot of his supporting hierarchy was either ''pissed'' or terrified they would be next; his own animus transformation following his assassination shattered what little lucidity he had left, leaving a paranoid, gibbering and unpredictable wreck, whose only notable accomplishment was completing the ruin of the Great Kingdom, his own realm.
* VainSorceress: Iggwilv, the Witch of Perrenland, the mother of Iuz and on-again-off-again consort of the demon Graz'zt. She appears as a stunningly beautiful young woman and sadistically kills anyone who sees her true form--a hideous crone.
* VestigialEmpire: The fractured [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Great Kingdom]], now split into numerous warring states.
** The successor-states born from its final collapse are at each other's throats, but those successor-states who'd seceded in the previous centuries (the Great Kingdom's been losing chunks for a ''long'' time) get along pretty well for the most part.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Rary just wants to bring peace to all of Oerth... by crushing it under his heel.
** Mordenkainen wants to keep balance, even if it means unsealing evil demigods and razing entire kingdoms.
* WhatMightHaveBeen: Gygax had planned to write a series of expansions covering the rest of the continent Oerik (of which the Flanaess is only the northeastern portion), but his recurring absences from Lake Geneva to work on [[WesternAnimation/{{DungeonsAndDragons}} the animated series]] and [[DevelopmentHell potential movie deals]] in Hollywood forestalled that (and ultimately helped lead to his ouster from TSR at the end of 1985). [[http://www.canonfire.com/wiki/index.php?title=Oerik An official map]] of the entire continent was eventually released in ''Dragon Annual #1'' in 1996, and later publications such as the ''Chainmail'' relaunch in 2001 and the Canonfire! fan site added more details.
* WretchedHive: The Vault of the Drow and the village of Nulb.
** Eastfair, capital of Great Kingdom successor-state North Kingdom is noted as being a reflection of the debauchery of its monarch, Overking Grenell.
** The City of Greyhawk itself qualifies: although it has many good inhabitants, the city is essentially run by a council of [[CorruptCorporateExecutive merchant guildmasters]] and [[TheMafia leaders of organized crime.]] The rich - and/or the magically talented - live in luxury among gardens, fine restaurants and concert halls, while at [[WrongSideOfTheTracks the other end of town]] overpopulated slums are so rife with crime and disease that being a member of the Beggar's Guild is a step ''up.''