Frank Mentzer Reveals More About World of Empyrea
  • Frank Mentzer Reveals More About World of Empyrea


    Frank Mentzer's Worlds of Empyrea Kickstarter has been announced for Monday, 2nd October. I initially covered this a few weeks ago -- he is planing a 5E and Red Box compatible setting based on the same world as Greyhawk, and is inviting a group of TSR-era artists to join the project.





    Loxley, 01 Sept: Empyrea Kickstarter Announced

    Frank Mentzer's Empyrea begins on Monday 02 October—a Kickstarter for a boxed campaign set usable with multiple fantasy RPG systems.

    This set is the first big step, created with the help of many friends. Watch for details coming throughout September.
    The core set has a lot to cover, and must be brief. The ambitious Empyrea product line will eventually include adventures, novels, details of all cities and major areas, and other supporting products.

    Empyrea Online is a future Community project, where many fans can design the details of the Realm. We hope to make parallel-world Empyreas available for most popular RPG systems. We'll need your help describing it… that’s a lot of real estate! The gateway has opened; throw your hat in the ring at http://worldofempyrea.com/.

    This is thrilling! Lots more news to come. Thanks very much for your interest.

    —Frank Mentzer


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    Comments 16 Comments
    1. EthanSental's Avatar
      EthanSental -
      I'll back this thing in a heartbeat as long as it's a certainty WoTC won't shut it down a week later. Obviously that will hopefully be one of the first FAQ he answers.
    1. Caliburn101's Avatar
      Caliburn101 -
      We shall see...
    1. JohnnyZemo's Avatar
      JohnnyZemo -
      This is still maddeningly vague; the headline had me hoping for a more concrete details. The link in the article just lets you sign up for the newsletter.
    1. Mike Myler's Avatar
      Mike Myler -
      Hey everybody! I'm the (lucky person who gets to be the) Media Coordinator and Crowdfunding Engineer for Empyrea. Frank has his head firmly in the Aquarian clouds and unfortunately can't answer everything personally, but he and Russ are in contact and EN World will be getting some exclusive information (only available here!) before the KS launches.

      Quote Originally Posted by EthanSental View Post
      I'll back this thing in a heartbeat as long as it's a certainty WoTC won't shut it down a week later. Obviously that will hopefully be one of the first FAQ he answers.
      Frank has already (and is continually) in contact with members of the Gygax family and we've got a list of Banned Words to avoid any IP transgressions. Moreover, the editing team is extremely aware of the delicate situation here and they're all veterans of the industry more than capable of keeping the lanes clear, as it were. We will absolutely be addressing that in the FAQ!
      Also I would add that Frank is a consummate professional and wouldn't have 12 people working on this thing already if he had any suspicions we'd all get the rug pulled out from under us.

      Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyZemo View Post
      This is still maddeningly vague; the headline had me hoping for a more concrete details. The link in the article just lets you sign up for the newsletter.
      JohnnyZemo I'm right there with you and I pushed for more meat in this announcement, but I promise over the next month you're going to get those details.

      Here's what's up: if this were a Kickstarter for a small thing (like a tiny 20 page adventure module) we wouldn't have released the launch date a month in advance--this is a big, big deal. People need time to prepare their finances and it would've been a real bummer for folks if they didn't get that opportunity.
      Some of the pledges include signed materials (which is something many of Frank's international fans maybe would never be able to get otherwise) as well as some REALLY amazing stuff really only available for this one thing, like having Frank make and run a small campaign for your group (which is kind of beyond belief for me and I'm trying to figure out how to buy one). Giving people a reasonable amount of time to prepare their bank accounts to get in on things like that is important because those primo pledge levels are definitely limited and being able to pledge right away is vital.
      On that note, Kickstarter and I are still working it out but Frank's whole altruistic ethos here also led to this lottery idea where even folks folks that can't afford to pledge for a reward level that includes that experience (or miss these announcements and get to the party late) can still get in on a game. The fairest way to do so is in a fashion which Kickstarter has very, very, very specific rules against, although it's a little bit of a gray area in our case--they did not shoot it out of the air immediately when provided with the details on how we thought it might work, but I honestly can't say if they will or not just yet until they get back to me again.

      This is also a good way to get folks that want things like a newsletter (which is 100% something people should sign up for at www.WorldsOfEmpyrea.com) into the information loop. Frank has plenty of younger fans (like myself) but a lot of OSRs too and they aren't all as internet savvy as the usual Kickstarter backer.

      I'm overwhelmingly happy to answer any other questions or concerns (and apologize in advance for information I'm not allowed to reveal until later this month). Frankly I cannot wait for October to start so we can get this project off the ground and into the air!
    1. Mike Myler's Avatar
      Mike Myler -
      Also, WotC probably would've come after him years ago if Frank didn't have publishing rights to Empyrea (I hate to link to another forum but ThePiazza has a whole thing dedicated to exactly this, listing out a number of publications for the campaign setting by Eldritch Enterprises back in 2010-2014).
    1. tgmoore's Avatar
      tgmoore -
      I'm a long time Greyhawk and Red Box fan. Can you provide any ideas what we might see beyond just a single box set? Will this KS launch include a beastiary, modules, etc?
    1. Mike Myler's Avatar
      Mike Myler -
      Quote Originally Posted by tgmoore View Post
      I'm a long time Greyhawk and Red Box fan. Can you provide any ideas what we might see beyond just a single box set? Will this KS launch include a beastiary, modules, etc?
      Woot!

      Unfortunately I can't give any details on what exactly the primary pledge level will contain aside from what Frank already said (a boxed campaign set). I think I can hint that the box set is very OSR, but I don't want to indemnify myself. I am consistently pushing to have something tangible about Empyrea with every announcement though and details on the Empyrea Box should be coming up in the queue pretty soon.
    1. Big Mac's Avatar
      Big Mac -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mike Myler View Post
      Also, WotC probably would've come after him years ago if Frank didn't have publishing rights to Empyrea (I hate to link to another forum but ThePiazza has a whole thing dedicated to exactly this, listing out a number of publications for the campaign setting by Eldritch Enterprises back in 2010-2014).
      That Aquaria forum (Aquaria is the original name of the Empyrea setting) is several years old now, and Frank has answered quite a few questions about the earlier products.

      There might be some changes with the new Kickstarter (over and above removing any TSR IP) but it's worth having a look around the topics there, if you want an idea of what might be in the new boxed set.
    1. ExTSR's Avatar
      ExTSR -
      Briefly confirming that Mike is part of our core Team.
      More to come. (Hi Morrus ;> ) (Good job Mike.)


      F
    1. EthanSental's Avatar
      EthanSental -
      Even more excited about the potential of this!
    1. ExTSR's Avatar
      ExTSR -
      Heya again. In a nutshell:
      I just wanted to publish my ol' campaign, somehow. But a lot of my health is behind me. :/
      So I asked a few friends to help, do a little art, write a few small bits...
      It escalated. Everybody said yes. Hadn't planned for that. So I (suddenly We) revised the Plan, broadened our sights to some Possibilities, and are working and planning (and expanding) accordingly.
      This is getting Big, and very quickly. Hanging onto the reins loosely, finding the right amazing people, and building the Team first, people first. As long as it doesn't lose money, I'm good. With that basis, the sky's the limit.
      Sure hope I don't screw up. So to prevent that, as I said... now it's We. (Lord, the talent in these people... we get chills.)
      More to come (duh)
    1. Shasarak's Avatar
      Shasarak -
      A Boxed Campaign set really hits me in the old nostalgia basket.

      Put me in the: Yes, Please column.
    1. TreChriron's Avatar
      TreChriron -
      This is sounding epic! Super excited!
    1. Greatwyrm's Avatar
      Greatwyrm -
      I almost feel silly asking, but will the various products be available in pdf? It's surprising, but I still find the occasional project that doesn't offer them.
    1. Mike Myler's Avatar
      Mike Myler -
      More news from Frank!

      ================

      Greetings.
      Let's start from scratch.

      My name is Frank. A long time ago I worked for TSR and Gary Gygax, and I wrote some things.
      Now it's 35 years later (!), and most Tabletop Hobby Gamers don't know me. Many have never heard of me.
      There are a lot of great games out there, and it's hard to pick one. Thank you for your time and interest.

      When I was Gary's Creative Aide, we talked about my Campaign. We decided to publish it, but Gary wanted it very distant, with no active connections to his continent. That's what he wanted so that's what I did. Earlier plans didn't materialize, so the time is now, sadly 9 years after my friend left us.

      Empyrea is based on three premises: Magic instead of Technology, a sentient but indifferent Planet who knows how everything can be in balance, and royals who place Quality of Life (for all) above unbalancing mass whims (like war and wealth).

      These premises have far-reaching consequences, and I have spent decades extrapolating the results and applying them to an entire continental society. (I have over a thousand chatroom game logs, i.e. my laboratory.)

      Our story is about Empyrea at its height. It is geographically constrained on all four sides, and Evil wants to spoil the party. But at the moment it's a comfortable Realm, the sort of world in which your current player characters have grown and thrived. They'll find a second home in Empyrea.

      We plan to release the core set by next Summer (Kickstarter in October). If it is well-received, we'll offer a whole line of supporting products. We're trying to make Empyrea available for various Fantasy RPG systems, and a Science Fiction interface for the offplanet setting. These are plans, but only the future will reveal the results.

      SPOILERS: Additional sub-plots involve Orcs trying to be civilized, Dragons deciding not to be adventurer-fodder any longer, an undersea race of Giant Squid who actually rule the planetary ocean, a Lost World right next door, Giants who may have an offplanet heritage, and Immortal beings who might just erase everything and start over. But that's all in the background, and won't affect you... much.

      Why will this take 9 months to produce? Because Loxley is assembling fantastic talents from all fields, but few are working on Empyrea full-time. You'll soon see 30 names. These tremendously talented people work with many companies. We just have to deal with the logistics.

      Thanks again for your interest. More to come soon.
    1. pming's Avatar
      pming -
      Hiya!
      @Mike Myler Sounds pretty sweet! I remember this "new guy" (Frank) got to write a new version of D&D. I was even a grognard then, with only about 3 or 4 years under my belt at the time (hey, at least I'm consistent ). When I saw the new Red Box D&D set, with the dragon, mound of treasure, and fighter? ...pure excitement! Upon reading the little "blurb" on the back ("As you whirl around, your sword ready, the huge red fire-breathing dragon swoops TOWARD you with a ROAR!"), I was hooked on this new version.

      Anyway, having just got the World of Greyhawk folio a year (?) before, I wanted more! I'm SUPER excited about this new campaign setting. Really looking forward to reading it and DM'ing in it. I'm on that Kickstarter like dust on a dwarf (or grime on a gnome, or twigs on an elf, or offal on an orc, ...you get the picture).
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