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!

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.

UPDATE:
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
That's precisely the reason. The Eberron setting is full of potential adventure, and full of things that can go either this way or that way. Adding metaplot to that would necessitate collapsing those waveforms into actual events, thereby closing off potential plots. But by instead freezing the setting's point in time and instead (at least in 3e) spending development resources delving into what the status quo is, they leave it open to each DM to determine what happens to it.
I get that. But why does Eberron get this treatment when the Forgotten Realms doesn't? That's the conversation I'd like to have been a fly on the wall for. I'm guessing it has to do with WotC wanting to leave the possibility of more Forgotten Realms novels that might again upset the apple cart, even if that seems increasingly unlikely.
 

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Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
If Van Richten's said that Victor was always Viktra Modenheim, it would be a retcon. But the book doesn't say anything of the sort -- it doesn't address it at all.

See, this analysis is just silly... why would the book go out of its way of saying Viktra "was always Viktra." That doesn't make any sense at all, that would just be nonsensical writing.

Think of how Star Wars retcons how the Force works, from it being "The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together," to Qu-Gon-Jinn's explaining how one's midichlorian count actually being how the Force works.

Technically, you can reconcile the two with a little bit of lore finangling... but that doesn't make the addition of midichlorians any less of a retcon. Jinn doesn't need to look into the camera and say "Oh, the Force isn't magic at all, it's entirely science," for it to suddenly become a retcon.
 

The Glen

Legend
They don't have gods but they do have immortals who are gods by another name, the only difference being that they are all ascended mortals. Priests typically worshipped the immortals or one of the alignments of law, neutrality, or chaos. I think they should both stay.
There are a few differences between Immortals and Gods in previous editions, but 5E divine intervention is just DM fiat so until that's defined it's not much of a factor. The biggest change compared to other settings is that Mystarans tend to worship entire pantheons rather than just a single Immortal. You can follow entire spheres, specific pantheons (Immortal pantheons are not restricted to just immortals from one sphere), or pick and choose the Immortals you follow. The immortals gain the benefits of followers no matter how they are followed, so there is little competition for followers unless the Immortals have a personal beef with each other. And one of the big rules they have to follow is no killing mortals with their powers. That rule has caused some continuity snarls.
 
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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
See, this analysis is just silly... why would the book go out of its way of saying Viktra "was always Viktra." That doesn't make any sense at all, that would just be nonsensical writing.
There are ways to do it: "Since time immemorial, Viktra has ..." That wouldn't be any worse writing than anything else TSR/WotC has put out for Ravenloft.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I get that. But why does Eberron get this treatment when the Forgotten Realms doesn't? That's the conversation I'd like to have been a fly on the wall for. I'm guessing it has to do with WotC wanting to leave the possibility of more Forgotten Realms novels that might again upset the apple cart, even if that seems increasingly unlikely.
They've quietly put the FR in the same boat: there is no advancing FR timeline, just a field of gameplay possibilities.
 


Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
They've quietly put the FR in the same boat: there is no advancing FR timeline, just a field of gameplay possibilities.
We'll see. The new announcement that there's a bunch of other drow around seems like it's going to change the setting mid-edition and going forward. There's a drow in the Starter Set who isn't an "Udadrow," but just a "drow."

(I would argue, incidentally, that this comes pretty close to a retcon, rather than just new data: "Oh, yeah, we've always called ourselves 'Udadrow.' You must have thought we were saying 'you da drow,' which is an understandable mistake.")
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
We'll see. The new announcement that there's a bunch of other drow around seems like it's going to change the setting mid-edition and going forward. There's a drow in the Starter Set who isn't an "Udadrow," but just a "drow."

(I would argue, incidentally, that this comes pretty close to a retcon, rather than just new data: "Oh, yeah, we've always called ourselves 'Udadrow.' You must have thought we were saying 'you da drow,' which is an understandable mistake.")
Sure, retcons and Easter Eggs abound, as needed, but a metaplot? Nah.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
There are ways to do it: "Since time immemorial, Viktra has ..." That wouldn't be any worse writing than anything else TSR/WotC has put out for Ravenloft.
To be fair, the book does call out how certain characters might be gender swapped in different iterations of the Domain (specifically, Tatiana in the "what's up with Tatiana this cycle of reincarnation?" set of tables).
 

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