Published Flanaess Maps - a Brief Overview


Maps of the Flanaess over the years

The new Dungeon Masters guide is going to include a poster map with a map of the Flanaess on one side and a map of he City of Greyhawk on the other. A teaser for the new map was just revealed, and it’s made by Mike Schley, this is but the latest of a number of maps of the Flanaess by TSR, WotC, and of course fans. Let’s have a brief look at the different maps, and what they tell us about the setting itself.

Due to copyright I’m only going to post low resolution versions of the maps as a guide, for full versions, I refer you to the products or creator.


The Great Kingdom

The roots of the Greyhawk setting ca be found in the Great Kingdom map from 1971 published in the Doomsday Book Fanzine #9


This map is already familiar to Greyhawk fans, Dry Steppes, Sea of Dust and the Lake of Unknown Depths (called Nir Dyv at this time) are present. The Layout of the mountains separating the western parts from the eastern Great Kingdom is somewhat already resembling the ranges we see much later on the published maps.


As the Castles & Crusades Society was established a more detailed version of the Great Kingdom map evolved.


The geography hasn’t changed much but lots of new names have appeared, most of them very familiar to Greyhawk players. Gary Gygax created and claimed the Principality of Walworth north of Nir Dyv, what would later become the Shield Lands with a Walworth province still part of it.

The Setting Takes Shape

As part of the work getting the Greyhawk setting ready for publication was to create a proper setting map. A sketch map was made and circulated among TSR staff and friends of Gary Gygax, and I have scanned Len Lakofka’s old copy of the map.

Now for the first time we have a map that every Greyhawk fan recognizes and are familiar with. Some of the names and places have been slightly altered or moved, like Rinton which became Rinloru on the published map, and Loreltarma which was moved from the northern coast of Lendore Isle to the southern.


The Darlene Map

In 1980 the Greyhawk Folio was published and with it came the 2-part poster map made by Darlene, which have rightly become fantasy cartography legend. It was one of the first fantasy setting maps and a great piece of art, with beautiful calligraphy and striking colors.  

The style of the Darlene map was probably inspired by the Outdoor Survival board game by Avalon Hill published in 1972.

The Darlene map was reprinted again both for the 1983 boxes set, and From the Ashes in 1992, but tis time with blue borders instead of white.  


The Saga of Old City and Artifact of Evil by Gary Gygax has a Flanaess map probably made by Clyde Caldwell depicting Gords journey across the Flanaess.  


WotC Takes Over

After WotC acquires TSR in 1997 a new series of Greyhawk content was published and with it came new maps. A series of maps including a Flanaess map made by Sam Wood was included.


Third Edition D&D was launched in 2000 and with Greyhawk as the standard setting, and we got a new look at the setting in the D&D Gazetteer with a map by Dennis Kauth and Rob Lazzaretti.

This map was the first Flanaess map published that is based on a post war Flanaess without the Great Kingdom.  


In the mid 90’s TSR announced an Atlas of the Flanaess that was never published, probably due to TSR’s failing finances. A decade later Paizo was the publisher of Dragon and Dungeon magazines. In 2005 a 4-part poster map was published in Dungeon #118-#121, it was made by Rob Lazzaretti and was hailed as the most detailed Greyhawk map ever published. That is still true, if you don’t count fan made maps.   

It was a great new take on the setting and would be the last published Flanaess map, until the new DMG comes out.


D&D 2024

In the new DMG coming out later this year Greyhawk will be given a chapter and a new poster map, made by Mike Schley. It seems to be a reboot of the setting with some changes, but the cartography is solid, despite a bit overdone labeling. The labels might be for the low-resolution preview only, its too early to tell.


This was a quick overview of publication history of Flanaess maps. Jay Scott and me will discuss this topic on the Legends & Lore Show on the LordGosumba Twitch tomorrow Wednesday the 26th @7pm EDT.