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

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I'll disentomb a thread if it's relevant to current discussion.

That thread is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions. Old Testament, real wrath of God type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... MASS HYSTERIA!
 

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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
That thread is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions. Old Testament, real wrath of God type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... MASS HYSTERIA!
If only more people would agree with me, we could avoid so much needless suffering. [/SARCASM]

Seriously though, I had mostly forgotten about this thread until the "Similar Threads" list below reminded me of it. I remembered reading something about a 5E Mystara before the pandemic, and @Dungeonosophy writing about the history of the product line, but it was the algorithm that ultimately pointed me to it.

I maintain that it would be interesting to see a 5E adaptation of the Mystara campaign setting, for all the reasons outlined in the first half-dozen pages of this thread, and all 20+ pages of That Other Thread.

Would it be profitable? Unlikely.
Easy? Certainly not.
Worth it? Debatable.
But interesting? Absolutely.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I maintain that it would be interesting to see a 5E adaptation of the Mystara campaign setting, for all the reasons outlined in the first half-dozen pages of this thread, and all 20+ pages of That Other Thread.

Profitable? Unlikely.
Easy? Certainly not.
Interesting? Absolutely.

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. ;)
 

Carlsen Chris

Explorer
Yes, you’re right, it’s much better to just rampantly speculate wildly based on random information like a conspiracy theorist connecting pins with rolls of red yard.
Oh look, Mearls also tweeted about his dog. Caninefolk confirmed for 5e! Perkins mentioned one of the AI generated monsters! They must be being added to game! I head an interview with Rodney Thompson talking D&D; he must be about to rejoin the WotC team!
My gawd. The world will certainly collapse into ashes because of all this rampant speculation. It must be stopped!
 


CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
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're not wrong; this would be an exceedingly large amount of work to produce a risky product that would be unlikely to turn a profit. Even more so than Greyhawk, or Dark Sun, or even Spelljammer now that I think about it. The correct direction to go is forward, to new campaign settings...not backward, to the old ones.

But a moogle can dream, kupo. The best we fans of Mystara can hope for is for a third-party, fan-created product that somehow gets permission from WotC to be published (and that permission is, understandably, rarely given.) And even this would be an incredible longshot.

No, it looks like the foreseeable future is me lurking around on eBay for bargains, or picking up the odd POD copy of whatever I can find on DriveThruRPG, and swapping ideas with folks on the BECMI Facebook page or the Vaults of Pandius. And honestly? That's not so bad.
 

The Glen

Hero
I did write a full conversion of Mystara for 5e that was formatted for POD using the rules for fan works. Was incredibly popular in terms of downloads and donations. You can get it for free here

 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I did write a full conversion of Mystara for 5e that was formatted for POD using the rules for fan works. Was incredibly popular in terms of downloads and donations. You can get it for free here

I was just looking for this very link! Thank you for bringing it up to the top of the stack; it's amazing work.
 

The Glen

Hero
I'm currently working on the dungeon Master's guide. The biggest problem with updating the setting is the lore is often contradictory and more often than not all over the place. Because they released all the nation books individually they don't often reference each other. And the early ones had some weirdness in their layout because they had not decided how to approach the format yet. You have to weld some of these nations together with the information they give you. Ylaruam for example was almost a choose-your-own-adventure. It gave almost no solid details on NPCs, any information on the major cities, or much detail in the day-to-day life. It was all explicitly left up to the dungeon master to fill in all the blanks. It made the nation incredibly difficult to update because they intentionally left out all the major details.
received_916830425626793.jpeg
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
The biggest problem with updating the setting is the lore is often contradictory and more often than not all over the place. Because they released all the nation books individually they don't often reference each other. And the early ones had some weirdness in their layout because they had not decided how to approach the format yet. You have to weld some of these nations together with the information they give you.
@The Glen oh yeah, tell me about it. I remember how even the maps didn't agree with each other, and how frustrating it was trying to run CM1: Test of the Warlords after running X11: Saga of the Shadow Lord. The whole Kingdom of Wendar and its rival Kingdom of Denagoth was missing (and has remained missing, in the Gazeteers and the Rules Cyclopedia).

You've got your work cut out for you! I look forward to seeing the completed product.
 

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?
 

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

Hero
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.
 


CleverNickName

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

Hero
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.
 

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