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Author Topic: The Campaign World Of Mystera!  (Read 2001 times)

SHARK

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The Campaign World Of Mystera!
« on: July 02, 2020, 09:09:08 pm »
Greetings!

I always played AD&D 1E back in the day, using my own campaign world. I did purchase *many* gazetteers for Mystera though, and used them for inspiration, and adventures. What do you like about the world of Mystera?

What don't you like about Mystera?

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
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RandyB

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The Campaign World Of Mystera!
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2020, 09:40:06 pm »
As I said in the other thread, Mystara never clicked with me. I never had a negative opinion of the setting, and have no reason to. Just not my cuppa.

Definitely interested in hearing from those who love it, though. Share your happy!

VisionStorm

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The Campaign World Of Mystera!
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2020, 10:23:14 pm »
I only ever got to play a few sessions in Mystara decades ago, and mostly know only bits and fragments of it from what I gathered from friends and glancing at their books at the time, as well as a few things I read online later on. I was intrigued by its cosmology and immense variety of cultures, and the idea of a Hollow World that had another world inside its main, primary Known World (following the concept of a Hollow Earth), with the inhabitants of each largely ignorant of the other. But occasionally, someone from the surface "known" world of Mystara would fall through the cracks to land in the mysterious, unknown world underneath, which was lit from a light that radiated from inside of it (IIRC).

The world had a strange mix of many cultures and pretty much every type of classic fantasy creature or mythical version of real world culture had a place or analog within it. I never ran into much material for it, since I got into the hobby in 1990 and didn't really start buying books till 1991, by which time AD&D 2e was out (which I preferred over Basic and quickly made the change), and I believe Mystara may have already been cancelled by then. But it was the one thing about Basic that always stuck with me due to its strange cosmology and myriad lands, cultures and peoples.

Thornhammer

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The Campaign World Of Mystera!
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2020, 10:33:51 pm »
...that fucker Bargle.  

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Razor 007

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The Campaign World Of Mystera!
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2020, 10:45:24 pm »
The concept of the Hollow World, is very interesting.  Does the Underdark still exist between the surface world, and the hollow world?  Because; if we can still have the Underdark within the outer crust, let's rock that setting!!!
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deadDMwalking

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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2020, 10:47:53 pm »
I was expecting a discussion of an off-brand Chinese knock-off of Mystara.
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insubordinate polyhedral

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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2020, 11:14:02 pm »
And for those of us who missed Mystara the first time around, but are interested -- what were your favorite adventures/books/publications about the setting?

Darrin Kelley

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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2020, 11:19:15 pm »
Mystara was my first D&D fantasy world. Because I started with BECMI. It was just the defacto setting I was introduced to. And I too bought a bunch of the Gazeteers.

My problem with the world was when it became overloaded. When there was just too much new material and classes to keep up with. Which ended up making it feel like the system was always missing something. Even though it started out pretty simple.

Would I like to see Mystara come back? Yes. But in a much more manageable form.

My favorite adventure for Mystara will always be B10 Night's Dark Terror. The module was a fully fleshed out campaign that gave the players a full D&D Basic experience. Rather than jumping though the episodic nature of the rest of the series.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 11:50:30 pm by Darrin Kelley »
 

Steven Mitchell

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The Campaign World Of Mystera!
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2020, 11:41:49 pm »
Despite BECMI being one of my favorite editions, Mystara was never a big draw for me.  Though in fairness, that was during a spell where I was doing nothing but my own settings (similar to now), and thus wasn't buying much when it was big.  I might have gotten into it more had the timing been different.

Shasarak

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The Campaign World Of Mystera!
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2020, 11:45:14 pm »
I loved the Princess Arc articles in the Dragon magazine and my favourite supplement was Top Ballista.  I love Tinker Gnomes!
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Spinachcat

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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2020, 12:21:33 am »
What made the setting special?

How was the setting notably different than Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms?

Why would I play Mystara rather than a homebrew?

What would be the motivation to revisit the setting?

Mercurius

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The Campaign World Of Mystera!
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2020, 12:25:36 am »
Elven facial hair sucks. Stephen Fabian's artwork does not.

If memory serves, most folks back in the 80s were either BECMI or AD&D, rarely the twain shall meet (As an AD&D guy, I remember buying Death's Ride for the cover but being annoyed with the BECMI rules). BECMI folks were into Mystara, AD&D folks into Greyhawk or Dragonlance. I bought a few Mystara gazetteers because I like setting books but never deep-dove into Mystara lore like I did with the D&D settings.

S'mon

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The Campaign World Of Mystera!
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2020, 02:14:21 am »
Quote from: SHARK;1137676
Greetings!

I always played AD&D 1E back in the day, using my own campaign world. I did purchase *many* gazetteers for Mystera though, and used them for inspiration, and adventures. What do you like about the world of Mystera?

What don't you like about Mystera?

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK

Don't like - it uses hex maps, which I love, but they are vestigial and not keyed for hexcrawling. The GM still has to do all the work of keying hexes if running a hexcrawl sandbox.

Like - the greatest thing about Mystara is its flexibility through compartmentalisation; each Gaz is its own little compartment world, which lets you establish an immediate campaign theme. They don't work very well if all are treated as canon - far better to take one as canon and then take compatible bits from the rest to build the world you want. But this is an extremely easy and fun exercise. You can do a low magic Vikings game, a super high magic Wizards World, a medieval D&D-world, a world of 17th century swashbucklers, a Roman Empire setting, etc etc. Not to mention the Hollow World - if only HW had been hex keyed, how awesome it'd be!
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JeremyR

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The Campaign World Of Mystera!
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2020, 02:49:18 am »
The key to Mystara (or the Known World) was that it was built around the implications of the D&D rules (BECMI). Like you had a nation full of 36th level magic-users, because they never aged, potions of longevity didn't have the nasty catch to them that AD&D did.  War and mass combat were important, because it had a mass combat system in the rules.

This is why the later AD&D conversion didn't work. It made it into a generic fantasy world, losing all the D&Disms that separated D&D from AD&D.
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Reckall

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The Campaign World Of Mystera!
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2020, 03:20:25 am »
Quote from: insubordinate polyhedral;1137695
And for those of us who missed Mystara the first time around, but are interested -- what were your favorite adventures/books/publications about the setting?


To me, Glantri was the absolute pinnacle: Renaissance Venice plus oWoD-level intrigue plus radiation-based magic - what there was not to like? On the "classic D&D side", Karameikos was a fully fleshed background for low-to-mid characters - you could play a whole campaign without exiting its borders (see also "Night's Dark Terror").
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