D&D General Bruce Heard wraps up the World of Calidar

The voyage of the Star Phoenix comes to an end as TSR alum calls it a day.

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After ten years of work, famed TSR alumni Bruce Heard has announced there will be no future releases for his World of Calidar D&D-compatible setting.

The World of Calidar was inspired by Heard's series of articles in Dragon Magazine, Voyage of the Princess Ark in the 1990s, which also expanded on the world of Mystara. Under his label Calidar Pubishing, over two dozen titles were released between 2017 and 2023. The setting tells the story of the skyship Star Phoenix and describes the world itself.

Given the limited sales of the last series, I can't find the energy to launch another. These books represent a major amount of work, and I'm not getting any younger. It's a heartbreaking decision, but in the face of the apparent lack of activity after the latest Kickstarter and little or no ensuing feedback, I'm not comfortable pursuing the Calidar project.

Calidar's latest Kickstarter was in 2021 and raised $22,000.

It's a great shame, but it appears he was unable to build a reasonable audience for the setting. Bruce's heart has always been with Mystara, so I'm now hoping WOTC will open up the DMs Guild to Mystara content at some point.
 

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M.T. Black

M.T. Black

Azzy

ᚳᚣᚾᛖᚹᚢᛚᚠ
It was largely sabotaged, management at TSR wanted to do away with Greyhawk and Mystara, despite them being some of the few settings that sold at the time. Mystara was the best seller outside the US because it was the setting they decided to get translated. But those settings were tied to Gary or his friends and the decision was made to get rid of them. The settings, Gary and his friends were already gone.
Mystara had nothing to do with Gary. It was created by Lawrence Schick and Tom Moldvay.
 

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The Glen

Legend
Mystara had nothing to do with Gary. It was created by Lawrence Schick and Tom Moldvay.
He wrote two books tied to it but no Greyhawk was his baby. Mentzer wrote BECMI which was the rules set Mystara used. He left shortly after the management shake up.
 


Zardnaar

Legend
Except that's not what the Hollow World represents at all. It's a sanctuary for civilizations that were dying out, almost all from the Bronze Age. It has just as many European based cultures as not. It's got Greeks, Belgians, Swiss, Vikings, Slavs, Scythians and some elves that could be construed as Finnish depending on who's writing them. There's also Incan, Aztec, Central African, Polynesian and Ancient Egyptian for non European as well as a host of cultures with no equivalents like the cyber-elves, neanderthals and a collection of pirates from every culture and time period. The Immortal in charge makes it a point to save cultures about to die out due to conquest, disaster or just cultural change. None of them are portrayed as bad guys, except for the corruption-worshiping elves that go up like candles in direct light.

It's also things like the art and language used or what they focus on.

Eg Orcs depicted as Polynesian, savages, cannibalism.

Such things happened of course in place like Fiji, NZ, PNG but it wasn't universal across Polynesia or even individual tribes.

It's an Americanized pastiche of stereotypes.

I have a Maori player if you included cannibalism and slavery in his culture it wouldn't offend him. It might though if it was the only thing depicted. His tribe moved away from the tribes who practiced that and got preyed on by said tribes.

The other sticking point would be art and how you depicted tribal tattoos.

Don't do this.


Also don't go to far the other way like WotC who bastardized things the other way ( I know a Greek not a fan of Theros).
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Except that's not what the Hollow World represents at all. It's a sanctuary for civilizations that were dying out, almost all from the Bronze Age.
You are describing a zoo, especially given that the cultures aren't allowed to advance or escape.

It has just as many European based cultures as not. It's got Greeks, Belgians, Swiss, Vikings, Slavs, Scythians and some elves that could be construed as Finnish depending on who's writing them. There's also Incan, Aztec, Central African, Polynesian and Ancient Egyptian for non European as well as a host of cultures with no equivalents like the cyber-elves, neanderthals and a collection of pirates from every culture and time period.
"There are White people in the zoo, too!" isn't going to sway many newcomers, I don't think.

Look, I'm of the opinion that Dark Sun in 2023 is fine, even forward-looking, in fact. The slavers are the bad guys and it's a setting where catastrophic manmade climate change is the overriding plot of the entire setting. But WotC apparently finds even bad guy slavers too problematic.

In that context, "the Inca were going to die out, so we put them in a jar so we could preserve them, just as they are, forever" isn't getting published any time soon.
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
You are describing a zoo, especially given that the cultures aren't allowed to advance or escape.


"There are White people in the zoo, too!" isn't going to sway many newcomers, I don't think.

Look, I'm of the opinion that Dark Sun in 2023 is fine, even forward-looking, in fact. The slavers are the bad guys and it's a setting where catastrophic man-made climate change is the overriding plot of the entire setting. But WotC apparently finds even bad guy slavers too problematic.

In that context, "the Inca were going to die out, so we put them in a jar so we could preserve them, just as they are, forever" isn't getting published any time soon.

I'm more or less fine with Darksun as depicted in the 2E material. Stick a warning label on it. Needs some minor tweaks.

But yeah Mystara cultural pastiche was bad even in the 90s when I read it.

Lesson I learnt from it was never base a culture in game to closely on a real life one.

That lasted until 2019 when I ran ancient Egypt themed game.
 


Voadam

Legend
You are describing a zoo, especially given that the cultures aren't allowed to advance or escape.
This was my big aesthetic objection to Hollow World after buying and reading it.

Its not here is a bunch of cool cultures and empires, the big reveal is that they were dying out and an immortal felt they were cool and so they were preserved as a living diorama for the immortal to enjoy. You thought they were cool empires, but actually it is just an immortal propping them up. And there is mass mind control to keep them as they are and mostly in stasis.
 


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