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D&D General Jeff Grubb's Lost Mystara Sourcebook To Be Released

Ex-TSR designer Jeff Grubb wrote a Known World of Mystara sourcebook for AD&D 2E that was sadly never published. But now WotC has given permission for it's release to Shawn Stanley of the Vaults of Pandius website, the Official Mystara Homepage!

mystara.png


Grubb posted on Facebook:

"A long time ago I wrote a project for TSR converting the Known World of Mystara from D&D to AD&D 2nd Edition. Through a tale of woe and intrigue, (link below) that product was never completed, and instead became Karameikos, Kingdom of Adventure.

However, I kept a copy of the unfinished manuscript (well, print-out), and a short while ago, gave it to Shawn Stanley, who runs the Pandius Website. He in turn has cleaned it up a bit, and plans to release it, free, with WotC's blessing, to fans on the website's anniversary.

It is really nice to see this surface after so many years - it is a "Lost Tome" of D&D history, and I hope fans of the setting enjoy it."


He speaks more about the story, and why he left TSR, on his blog.

Mystara is a D&D campaign setting first published in the early 1980s, and was the 'default' setting for D&D for a long time.


Updates from @Dungeonosophy

Jeff Grubb gives an overview of the book on his blog

As for the release date: Shawn Stanley, Webmaster of the Vaults of Pandius, announced (here) that June 27th is the planned release date.

Some people were wondering if Jeff is involved in the release.

I reached out to Shawn Stanley on April 10th:
"Yes I was going to reach out to him with respect to providing some sort of foreword for the release. I had been intending to do so once I had finished the graphic design - but with the release of new news yesterday, I reached out to him yesterday. I also wanted to get his okay for the editing that I had done. But yes, I would think that anything that Jeff wants to write to accompany the document would be a great idea. I do kind of agree that something a little bit less-depressing than the blog posts might be preferable - something to celebrate the release than recall the negative things that had happened during that time."
"I do hope that he will agree."


Jeff also responded to me on April 10th:
"Shawn has been in touch with me, and I will be glad to write a brief foreword for the project."

Which will be a fulfillment of Jeff's offer back in 2019:
"If you succeed [with the petition], I will be glad to provide an intro with a less-depressing history of the project."

Note Vaults of Pandius is the Official Mystara Homepage! Given that designation by WotC, back in the 2000s, when Jim Butler was managing fan policy for "other worlds." There's an official agreement and everything. That's why the site is the natural host for this.
 
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jeffh

Adventurer
That sounds like a big nail in the coffin of getting Mystara released as an official 5E setting. If WotC were going to do an update, why would they let that out anywhere other than on DMs Guild?
Jeebus. One of the most purely good-news stories I can think of in quite some time, and the very first comment is someone trying to claim it's actually all doom-and-gloom.
 



jeffh

Adventurer
PS, for those interested, here is what Jeff Grub had to say about the state he left the Mystara Sourcebook in: Why I left TSR

Also, the group / person releasing it is cleaning it up a bit. It doesn't seem like they have contacted Jeff about this, but who knows.
Actually, he detailed the state he left the book in is a different post, a follow-up to the one you linked, namely this one.
 

The Glen

Hero
2e produced lots and lots of really good setting material.

Even if the game system of 2e AD&D was mediocre (at best) and hasn't aged well at all, I'd expect it to still be good source material.
Problem with Mystara 2nd edition is the management didn't care, and the production team wasn't given much in the way of proofing, editing or playtesting. TSR was obsessed with gimmicks and spamming stuff out regardless of quality. Every 2nd edition module required a CD, and the setting already plagued with continuity problems doubled down on them because of the lack of editing. The writers were trying their best but management wanted quantity over quality and it showed.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
That sounds like a big nail in the coffin of getting Mystara released as an official 5E setting. If WotC were going to do an update, why would they let that out anywhere other than on DMs Guild?
Heh. That was never going to happen regardless. Mystara, as an officially supported D&D campaign setting, is dead. And as a fan of Mystara, I'm okay with that. I just need WotC to open it up on the DMsGuild site, that's all. Perhaps they will alongside the release of Grubb's long lost manuscript.

Grubb's manuscript isn't being released on the DMsGuild itself because, 1) it's not going to be an official WotC D&D product, and 2) it's going to be for AD&D 2nd Ed, not 5th Ed, which is what the DMsGuild site is all about.
 


dave2008

Legend
I am a huge fan of Jeff grubb. I love his ad&d work. I would love for this to be true. And boy do I wish he would create new material for d&d again
It is definitely true, but perhaps you are reading more into the announcement than what is really there. To clarify a little:
  1. It was an incomplete book that is not been finished by Jeff Grubb (at least not that we know of).
  2. This is not an official WotC D&D product (no DMsGuild for Mystara)
  3. This is an AD&D 2e book, not 5th Ed
  4. It is not a print book. It will only be available digitally. Whether that is strictly web-based or via PDF is unclear at the moment.
 

RobJN

Adventurer
Problem with Mystara 2nd edition is the management didn't care, and the production team wasn't given much in the way of proofing, editing or playtesting. TSR was obsessed with gimmicks and spamming stuff out regardless of quality. Every 2nd edition module required a CD, and the setting already plagued with continuity problems doubled down on them because of the lack of editing. The writers were trying their best but management wanted quantity over quality and it showed.
The suits needed a game world to tie to the latest cycle of newbie intro material, and unfortunately it was wrong-place/wrong time for Mystara. Maybe they thought they could repeat the successes of the Gazetteer line but with that hot new Compact Disc tech?
 

AnotherGuy

Explorer
Since it is 2e - are we thinking it will include mechanics to include Radiance Magic, Merchant Princes, Seven Crafts of Magic, Humanoid Shamans, Northern Reaches Runes...etc?
 

Bitbrain

Fully vaccinated!
Actually, he detailed the state he left the book in is a different post, a follow-up to the one you linked, namely this one.

That actually sounds like a pretty cool product in my opinion, even if it is only a first draft.

An elven war in the Canolbarth Forest? That’s a neat idea. Certainly better than anything I was considering doing with Alfheim, in the event I get to run a Mystaran campaign in the future.
 







havard

Adventurer
Heh. That was never going to happen regardless. Mystara, as an officially supported D&D campaign setting, is dead. And as a fan of Mystara, I'm okay with that. I just need WotC to open it up on the DMsGuild site, that's all. Perhaps they will alongside the release of Grubb's long lost manuscript.
Don't forget that Goodman Games' Original Adventures Reincarnated series has reprinted, converted and expanded upon several Mystara locations and adventures and at least one book uses the name Mystara.

I agree that Mystara for the DMsGuid would be sweet :)
 

havard

Adventurer

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