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.
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
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).
My guess is that, at some point in the development of this book, all of this stuff got thought out at WotC but, for whatever reason, it didn't make the final version of the book. It certainly doesn't seem to have meaningfully hurt its sales.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Staffan

Legend
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.
Well, with FR that spelljammer sailed a long time ago. I don't know if there was a metaplot around in 1e material, but it wasn't long between the release of the Grey Box and 2e with the Avatar Trilogy to change things up. In addition, back then the novels were a Big Thing for FR, and to some extent they drove the development of the setting. Plus, even in the Grey Box, there's a sense that Things Are Happening Right Now – there's a chapter about current events, and one of the intro adventures is about the pursuit of Lashan, former lord of Scardale, who had just been trying to take over the Dales but was stopped. Part of that is probably because the Realms was Ed Greenwood's own campaign setting which he was running games in, so there were already "current events" to use in official publication.

In Eberron, by contrast, there is a sense that the world is in between big things. The Last* War formally ended only two years ago, and everyone is sort of holding their breath to see what happens next. That is a precarious state, and once things actually start happening it's not easily recovered. And unlike the Realms, Eberron was created from scratch as part of Wizards' setting search, so it doesn't have the organic, lived-in feel that early FR had.

Plus, I reckon the Powers that Be at Wizards saw the reaction to 4e Forgotten Realms, which basically reworked the setting entirely and only keeping the geography more-or-less the same, and decided that they should be a bit more conservative with Eberron. Also, at the time Eberron had been actively published for four years - sure, four very productive years, but there was still a lot of potential there to be mined. Forgotten Realms, on the other hand, had had 21 years of very active publishing, and not very many nooks and crannies were left untouched. Eberron had had about 20 books released, FR hundreds. So rebooting FR in order to provide room for new exploration kind of made sense.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
My guess is that, at some point in the development of this book, all of this stuff got thought out at WotC but, for whatever reason, it didn't make the final version of the book. It certainly doesn't seem to have meaningfully hurt its sales.

I'm pretty certain the 5E team prefers to follow the "rule of cool," and just changes stuff when they want to change stuff, instead of holding previous lore as a sacred timeline that needs explanation when changes are made... but that's just my opinion.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
Sure, retcons and Easter Eggs abound, as needed, but a metaplot? Nah.

I guess one could consider the whole obelisk thing as a metaplot, but that was really more putting obelisks in random places and then later explaining what they do; they don't actually have any impact on plot when they appear (usually).
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
My guess is that, at some point in the development of this book, all of this stuff got thought out at WotC but, for whatever reason, it didn't make the final version of the book. It certainly doesn't seem to have meaningfully hurt its sales.
I bet they never had any interest in answering those questions: that's for the DM.
 


Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
In Eberron, by contrast, there is a sense that the world is in between big things. The Last* War formally ended only two years ago, and everyone is sort of holding their breath to see what happens next. That is a precarious state, and once things actually start happening it's not easily recovered.
If the Last War is World War I, yeah, Eberron's Next War will likely mean some pretty drastic changes to the setting.
 


Yaarel

He Mage
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.
"gods by an other name"

The problem is, there are way too many gods by the name of "gods".


Priests typically worshipped the immortals or one of the alignments of law, neutrality, or chaos. I think they should both stay.
When "priests" "worship", by definition, the object of "worship" is a god.

There are other words that can convey sanctity without worship: revere, esteem, value, admire, venerate, honor, respect, support, celebrate, consecrate, enshrine, uphold, stay true to, trust, adopt, befriend, love, etcetera.


Again, for a setting that has no gods, there are way too many "gods".
 
Last edited:

Yaarel

He Mage
Re this site (Mystara Cosmology)

Im exploring the Mystara cosmology, and whether it can fit into the 5e multiverse or not.

One thing I know, I love the way Mystara depicts the elemental planes.

The way I understand it, each elemental plane is the actual material plane, but where only the specific element appears. So, In the water plane, only the oceans, rains, rivers, aquifers, lakes, atmospheric humidity, and anywhere else where there is water, can be seen. Everything else gets screened out by the ether of the ethereal plane.

The fiery aspect of the material volcanoes exists in the fire plane. Everything not fire is ether. And so on for the planes of air and earth.

This one-to-one overlap is awesome.



Since humans are solid but also constitute much liquid, mainly water, perhaps humans show up within the water plane too, perhaps as liquid or misty shapes?



When thinking about elements, I like the medieval tradition that explicitly identifies them with "states" of matter (rather than kinds of substance).

• Fire = plasma, sun, lightning, even the "dark fire" plasmasphere between the earth and the moon. This heavenly fire differs from normal fire.
• Air = gasses
• Water = liquids
• Earth = solids
• Ether = force, gravity, etcetera

Find this modern-friendly medieval worldview helpful when trying to make sense of the D&D elemental cosmology in a consistent way.

A consequence of this view is, the D&D ethereal plane is moreorless the samething as a realm of invisible telekinetic forces.

Taking a leaf from Asian traditions, I also find it helpful to think of "Plant" (tree, vegetation, improperly including fungi, etcetera) as a kind of element.
 

Remove ads

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top