D&D General UPDATE: this isn't greenlit : 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!


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.

WotC's approval of this sourcebook's release have been premature, i.e. it isn't greenlit.
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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Hey, they may be attracted to publishing Mystara because it doesn't have rival creators to conflict with, as Dragonlance and Greyhawk do.
Mystara occupies the same space as Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms: It's another kitchen sink setting. Now, it's different in its implementation, and the piecemeal way it was created also affects how it developed, but it effectively scratches the same itch. The biggest difference is that it explicitly wasn't AD&D initially, so it doesn't have drow, for instance, but shadow elves (who are very different) and no illithid, but it has a parallel development in the kopru (who are in many ways more interesting, if much less developed).

I think it's just a matter of someone at WotC saying "what harm could this do," because this document is unlikely to constitute a rival to WotC's 5E Forgotten Realms books, such as they are, no matter how well it's done.
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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Honestly, all they would really need to do is to put out overall campaign settings in the format they've already successfully developed for 5e, and just point out anyone needing any further fluff/detail to the DMs Guild for older products.
I think that's very likely what the multiple classic settings they've promised will be, at least in part. It's how they've "supported" Eberron, Ravnica and Theros already.
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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Please stop trying to police what people post, folks. Message board threads don't belong to any one person or persons, and them going off on tangents is a normal part of Internet discourse. And posters will make suggestions to requests that don't exactly match what you're asking for, since they're sharing something they're passionate about and think that you might love, too.

If something is problematic, contact a moderator with the Report link.

If you want more people to talk about the main topic, advance the conversation down that path to give people something to respond to.
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Nathaniel Lee

I'm super excited to see this. I've always been partial to Mystara since that was the setting of the first edition of the game that I partook in. The setting also inspired some aspects of my homebrew campaign setting that were at the forefront of my longest lived 5E campaign thus far, and I'm in the midst of introducing some other ideas from the setting into my current campaigns.


And who is the target demographic? Not the social influencers on Critical Role, I bet. Unless I misread 2e to be 5e, then, this could be a hit!

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