Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Greyhawk Realty: Looking to buy in the Flannaes

I used to thrill at the sight of above-ground structures in D&D adventures, and only partly because of the claustrophobia I felt when we ventured under the earth to get our adventure on.  The great beauty of those supraterranean dungeon locales was that they offered the greatest treasure of all--real estate!  As soon as I was done clearing out the baddies, I was sending in teams of the most stylish architects, skilled contractors, and beguiling realtors in all of Oerth to transform these lairs of evil into pleasure palaces.

Bottomless was my desire for new real estate to develop, and though I turned many of my gaming colleagues home-brewed settings into garden estates and townhouses, I preferred the name-brand recognition provided by the official TSR-published adventures.  Indeed some of the most posh addresses in the Flannaes are laid out in those classic modules.  Here are just a few:

First off was the moathouse in T1 Village of Homlet.  When I was done with it, it had become a lovely 7 bedroom, 5 bath cottage with a spacious ballroom and extensive wine cellar.   I even drained the swamp--had to get rid of those murderous giant frogs somehow--and started a vineyard.  I've also put an offer on Rufus and Byrne's little hilltop chateau closer to town.  They've apparently grown bored with the rustic setting of Homlet and are thinking of moving to a more exciting and open-minded burg. 
U1 Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh: It took some work to overcome it's "haunted" reputation, but I finally tidied up the mansion on the bluff and sold it for a nice profit.  The private beach access was a huge selling point.  The smuggler's ship is available separately.  Serious inquiries only.

UK3 The Gauntlet has the fabulous Keep of Alderweg, a rugged mountain getaway with stunning vistas and exquisite stonework.  Ease of access makes it a great spot for a B&B during ski season.

B2 Keep on the Borderlands:  A quaintly rustic tree house in a grove of stately oak trees close to both the eponymous Keep and the adventure-laden Caves of Chaos, the Mad Hermit's lair is perfectly located for a weekend retreat.

A3Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords  Buy in the Pomarj?!  Ridiculous, right?  Actually, no other neighborhood on Oerth offers such a great investment opportunity.  Centrally located, close to numerous shipping lanes, adjacent to the always-happening Wild Coast and speckled with bucolic hilltops, the Pomarj is a neighborhood on the brink of greatness.  Though gentrification is already underway, a townhouse in Suderheim can still be had for a song.  You won't have to wait long for this transitional neighborhood to give you a nice return.  The amount of house you can get for your copper will make this a very enticing place to start a family.

X2 Castle Amber: Located in a parallel dimension, this eccentric chateau is far, far off the beaten path.  Comprised of enormous, lavishly furnished chambers complete with an expansive indoor garden, it's definitely worth consideration if you're thinking about retirement or if you're needing a secluded getaway in which to lay low for a while.  At this price, it won't be available for long!

But not all castles are equal, and several promising locales have failed to make an impact in the real estate market.  A prime example: I could barely contain my excitement when I set out to exorcise the ghosts from C1 Ghost Tower of Inverness and convert the place to condos.  You can imagine my disappointment when I discovered that the tower itself was the ghost.  Completely worthless as a development property. 

L1-Secret of Bone Hill While Len Lakofka's quirky L-series modules are among my favorites, it's not for the fine architecture.  The structures of Restenford are particularly lacking in charm.  Have a look at the Baron's squat, cramped, little abode; the master bedroom suite is the same size as the servant's quarters--tiny!--and completely windowless.   Look to Pelltar's rental tower* or the castle atop Bone Hill--a definite fixer-upper but with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside--for a better investment.   

* Strangely, the lease terms of the tower are actually included in the module. 

L2 Assassin's Knot The Lord Mayor's castle down the coast in Garrotten, though a vast improvement over L1's dreary domiciles, was still too cramped and utilitarian to inspire the hominess most buyers look for.  Add to that the reputation of the aptly named town and this place was too tough of a sell to merit pursuing.

N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile Gods: Another of my favorite modules, but alas, I couldn't drum up any interest for the temple.  If anyone wants it, you can buy it from the Town of Orlane for back taxes.  Might be a good spot for a night club one day.

If anyone out there has their hands on a promising property in Greyhawk (pre-war structures only, thank you; there's just no market for those over-stylized newer properties) let me know if you're looking for an agent with experience selling in the area.