Mike Mearls tweet: Is the Known World of Mystara coming to 5e? (What's Cool About Mystara?)

Meanwhile, I think that the other thread, and now my recollections about Mystara, make me realize that a Mystara setting would likely be a terrible idea.

It's one think to reboot a Greyhawk or even a Dark Sun, where you have defined issues like, oh, angering the blood of Grognards and slavery (!), but those pale in comparison to a setting that has large swathes of territory based on real-world cultures.

Just seems to be a recipe for disaster, especially when there's at more M:TG setting they can publish. ;)

You mean like Kamigawa or Kaldheim or Theros, or Amonkhet, or huge regions of Faerun?

log in or register to remove this ad

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
You mean like Kamigawa or Kaldheim or Theros, or Amonkhet, or huge regions of Faerun?

Mmmm.... I think you misunderstand (or I did not explain fully).

I would love nothing more than for Mystara fans to get what they want- a rebooted 5e setting! That would be awesome for them. Just as I hope people, generally, get what they want.

I just happen to think that Mystara presents additional problems that are not present in other settings to the same extent, and does not provide additional benefits (for WoTC) that cannot be achieved through other settings.

Theros, for example, was a M:TG setting, so it has benefits that Mystara doesn't. It has one culture (Ancient Greece) as opposed to a full world. And it doesn't have a massive legacy problem- that is to say, WoTC doesn't have to worry about people dredging up the old stuff, and, conversely, it doesn't have to worry about people complaining that they've changed the old stuff.

It's completely doable, and it would be great. It's just added layers of difficulty.

The Glen

From writing the book my feedback from playtesters and editors was they wanted the 'rule of cool' for their particular culture. They wanted to play over the top heroic stereotypes of their ancestors and if you had to bend a few historical points to get them so be it. For Ylaruam they wanted to play Oded Fehr from the Mummy. William Wallace for Crownguard. Pick any Erol Flynn movie for somebody from Darokin. If you were from Thyatis, you were Maximus. Over the top heroic fantasy, and the more the better.

The issue you immediately run into is that the nations were written as almost bottle episodes. Many of them mentioned other nations before those other nations were actually defined. Atruaghin was originally meant to be populated with something akin to the Gauls, before finally being turned into Cherokee/Comanche/Navajo/Chinook/Aztec. Vestland was represented as almost Arthurian England in Crown of Ancient Glory before being revealed as late-stage Viking Land. Tons of continuity errors, way too many mountains for national borders, and some of the modules were too sparse on details. Atruaghin was the worst, but Dawn of the Emperors should have been two boxed sets and it showed. To properly do it you would need to revise a lot of the gazetteers for a variety of reasons. Ylaruam needs actual background. Ierendi has to ditch the 80's TV references and needs a lot of fleshing out because it was one of the shorter of the books. Glantri needs to talk about places other than the capital. Northern Reaches introduced a lot of elements that were never explained and contradicted every other book in the setting. So explain those issues or remove them. Broken Lands needs to be revised in a far less goofy setting, done completely straight. Thyatis and Alphatia need to be fully explained, as the actual lands of the empires are given a few paragraphs at best each.

Fixing the setting requires a lot of revision, but mainly to just put some continuity into it. You gotta give them a quality product, more than anything else that's what people want. Experienced game designers, good artists and get an editor that understands the setting and the players will flock to it.


Limit Break Dancing
In all seriousness, Goodman Games has done an official reprint of Ilse of Dread, and that has the Known World:

They has also done collectible 5e included versions of B1, B2, B4, and X4. Thats one or more awesome Mystara campaigns right there. All official and everything.
I got GG's Isle of Dread for my birthday last year (thanks Mom!) and it is excellent. It's my second-favorite D&D book ever, right behind the Rules Cyclopedia.

The Glen

Biggest problem with the Goodman books is that stupid fold-out page in Castle Amber that has PAGE TEXT on the back of the map. Even they admitted it was a bad idea.

Remove ads


Remove ads

Upcoming Releases