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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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Dire Bare

Legend
Don't forget that Goodman Games' Original Adventures Reincarnated series has reprinted, converted and expanded upon several Mystara locations and adventures and at least one book uses the name Mystara.

I agree that Mystara for the DMsGuid would be sweet :)
Heh, I'm not arguing that WotC (and partners) are erasing the existence of the Mystara campaign . . . just that an official reboot/release is not in the cards, never has been, never will be. Mystara gets a shout-out in the 5E DMG, and in a few other places here and there. The Goodman OAC line isn't a release of Mystara products . . . . it's a release of classic modules, some of which were set in Mystara (retroactively).

The kind of release we're getting through the Vaults of Pandius, Jeff Grubb's "big book of Mystara" for AD&D 2E . . . we're incredibly lucky we're getting that! A 5th Edition version is what isn't happening . . . ever. I would LOVE to be proved wrong on that count, but I'm not holding my breath . . .
 

havard

Adventurer
Heh, I'm not arguing that WotC (and partners) are erasing the existence of the Mystara campaign . . . just that an official reboot/release is not in the cards, never has been, never will be. Mystara gets a shout-out in the 5E DMG, and in a few other places here and there. The Goodman OAC line isn't a release of Mystara products . . . . it's a release of classic modules, some of which were set in Mystara (retroactively).

The kind of release we're getting through the Vaults of Pandius, Jeff Grubb's "big book of Mystara" for AD&D 2E . . . we're incredibly lucky we're getting that! A 5th Edition version is what isn't happening . . . ever. I would LOVE to be proved wrong on that count, but I'm not holding my breath . . .
I agree with you about the likelihood of 5E Mystara.

As to the OAC series, the Isle of Dread was not set in Mystara retroactively. That module was where Mystara first appeared in published form. The name was added much later of course, but that a different story :) Similary, Castle Amber was always set in Glantri. But KotB and to some extent the Lost City have a weaker connection to Mystara, I agree. I especially like that GMG's Isle of Dread does use the term Mystara though and details the world even more than X1 did.

But yeah, we are very lucky to get Jeff Grubb's document :)

-Havard
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
So as the resident Zoomer, can someone give me a little primer on what this announcement actually means?

Its a release of an unfinished 2E product... is it just the manuscript, or did someone take a product that was 95% done (including art, layout) and they've taken it over the finish line? Are we able to purchase this when it is finished, or will it be freely available?

There doesn't seem to be a ton of details so maybe these aren't answerable, but maybe I'm just missing all the context.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
So as the resident Zoomer, can someone give me a little primer on what this announcement actually means?

Its a release of an unfinished 2E product... is it just the manuscript, or did someone take a product that was 95% done (including art, layout) and they've taken it over the finish line? Are we able to purchase this when it is finished, or will it be freely available?

There doesn't seem to be a ton of details so maybe these aren't answerable, but maybe I'm just missing all the context.
It's going to be freely available. It was a product from the tail end of 2E that was mostly done, and was cancelled when things went sideways for TSR. Not sure how polished and finalized it is, but late 2E was...not great...for polish...

Jeff Grubb was the godfather of the Forgotten Realms, having secured the rights from Ed Greenwood and turned that world into a product. All of the 2E Settings were overseen by him in some capacity, so this would probably have had serious classic cred if it had come out in the 90's. Apparently this particular product was such a fiasco that he left TSR and went into the video game industry.
 

Holy crap. This is amazing news.

On one hand, it's great to have it all in one spot -- the spot for Mystara -- but I also wish it was also hosted on DMs Guild, just to raise Mystara's visibility. The product going gold or better would be a great indicator to WotC that there's still interest in the setting. At the very least, they could sprinkle their legal pixie dust and open up the setting to creators. I definitely have some Mystara material I'd be willing to blow the dust off of and release. (My old MML stuff that's on the Vaults not included.)
 
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overgeeked

B/X Known World
Holy crap. This is amazing news.

On one hand, it's great to have it all in one spot -- the spot for Mystara -- but I also wish it was also hosted on DMs Guild, just to raise Mystara's visibility. The product going gold or better would be a great indicator to WotC that there's still interest in the setting. At the very least, they could sprinkle their legal pixie dust and open up the setting to creators. I definitely have some Mystara material I'd be willing to blow the dust off of and release. (My old MML stuff that's on the Vaults not included.)
Well, that's roughly how things happened with Eberron. Hopefully this is the trial balloon to gauge interest. Baker kept writing the blog and putting out stuff, he got a bit published on DM's Guild and the setting opened up. Then we got a proper book for 5E. Here's to hoping this is the start of something vaguely similar for the Known World.

(Cynics...you can not bother crushing my starry-eyed hope. Thanks.)
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Well, that's roughly how things happened with Eberron. Hopefully this is the trial balloon to gauge interest. Baker kept writing the blog and putting out stuff, he got a bit published on DM's Guild and the setting opened up. Then we got a proper book for 5E. Here's to hoping this is the start of something vaguely similar for the Known World.

(Cynics...you can not bother crushing my starry-eyed hope. Thanks.)

I'm not going to try and crush your hopes here, so I will say it seems extremely odd for WotC to approve something fan-finished like this. Someone sad this is proof WotC aren't interested in publishing Mystara; I'm not so certain of that, as this is for 2E of course. Nothing really to lose by letting it go, but it is interesting to me that WotC even bothered responding. I've noticed other creators (like Rob Kuntz) getting a cold shoulder from the company, and others like Hickman/Weiss in more direct conflict.

So, it is weird to me they let this go through, when the typical response to this would be "Do nothing." Not sure why they allowed this, and it could be they are looking into Mystara, or they're not. Very hard to tell, though it may be they're actually considering it.

Hey, they may be attracted to publishing Mystara because it doesn't have rival creators to conflict with, as Dragonlance and Greyhawk do.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I'm not going to try and crush your hopes here, so I will say it seems extremely odd for WotC to approve something fan-finished like this. Someone sad this is proof WotC aren't interested in publishing Mystara; I'm not so certain of that, as this is for 2E of course. Nothing really to lose by letting it go, but it is interesting to me that WotC even bothered responding. I've noticed other creators (like Rob Kuntz) getting a cold shoulder from the company, and others like Hickman/Weiss in more direct conflict.

So, it is weird to me they let this go through, when the typical response to this would be "Do nothing." Not sure why they allowed this, and it could be they are looking into Mystara, or they're not. Very hard to tell, though it may be they're actually considering it.

Hey, they may be attracted to publishing Mystara because it doesn't have rival creators to conflict with, as Dragonlance and Greyhawk do.
I mean, Mystara does get mentioned in the 5E books (DMG, Ghosts of Saltmarsh, actually a lot of the example flavor paragraphs for Subclasses and such), and quite extensively in some of the Goodman Games material. IT also gets into those "what is your favorite D&D Setting?" surveys, when not every Setting does.

I'm not betting on Mystara anytime soon, but, it is not fully dead and never say never. If they start doing regular D&D Sets for Magic: the Gathering...well, they'll need a lot of material, and IP is a long game.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
Holy crap. This is amazing news.

On one hand, it's great to have it all in one spot -- the spot for Mystara -- but I also wish it was also hosted on DMs Guild, just to raise Mystara's visibility. The product going gold or better would be a great indicator to WotC that there's still interest in the setting. At the very least, they could sprinkle their legal pixie dust and open up the setting to creators. I definitely have some Mystara material I'd be willing to blow the dust off of and release. (My old MML stuff that's on the Vaults not included.)
I wish he would take an interest in mystara the way Bruce heard did later in life and len lakofka did with other products.
 





Dungeonosophy

Adventurer
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Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Rob owns the license to his own creations. WotC worked with Weis and Hickman and resolved the lawsuits and worked with Hickman on Curse of Strahd.

Rob may own the license, but WotC didn't have to "give their blessing," but they did. I find that interesting.

And I am well aware that WotC has worked with W&H and resolved the lawsuits, but I doubt the legal people at the company were very happy with that whole fiasco. There will probably be a bit of tension releasing future Dragonlance products between the money-people and the passionate designers who would want to make it.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Rob may own the license, but WotC didn't have to "give their blessing," but they did. I find that interesting.

And I am well aware that WotC has worked with W&H and resolved the lawsuits, but I doubt the legal people at the company were very happy with that whole fiasco. There will probably be a bit of tension releasing future Dragonlance products between the money-people and the passionate designers who would want to make it.
The guy who told them he would withhold any future approvals had his last day at WotC last week. He was the subject of a number of very nasty controversies, with the Dragonlance lawsuit being one of the least dramatic, so good riddance.
 

darjr

I crit!
The guy who told them he would withhold any future approvals had his last day at WotC last week. He was the subject of a number of very nasty controversies, with the Dragonlance lawsuit being one of the least dramatic, so good riddance.
What?!? I hadn’t heard that!
 

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