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First of all, who should read this material. That's simple. Anyone who has interest in the world of Mystara. Of course, some need a more specific answer than this. As such, all the Atlas sections (of the Old World, Norwold, etc.) found in Book I can be read by both players and DMs of Mystara. The information given is general, usually common knowledge, and more than often slightly-or not so slightly-biased by the correspondents' point of view. Of course, this means that the information is not always 100% accurate, so players be warned: individual DMs might not accept the descriptions of any given place, changing it to suit their needs and campaign. And they're within their rights! After all, who said that the correspondent wasn't a complete fraud? It already happened (and we're sorry for that). DMs may also want to limit the PCs' knowledge to just one area of Mystara (after all, why should someone from the Old World know anything about the Savage Coast?). The other sections of Book I are left to the DM's judgment as to whether or not his or her players know this information.
The timeline section, located in Book II, dealing with events for the year of AC 1019, is for the DM's eyes only. It reveals certain secrets that players are just not meant to know unless they discover them the hard way. Of course, this only makes it easier for DMs to change any timeline event to match events that are occurring in their own world of Mystara. Likewise, the adventures in Book III are destined for the DM only, as reading them would spoil the surprise to a PC whose DM wishes to send on an adventure found, or based upon, one in that book.
The format used throughout the Mystaran Almanac is similar to the various previous almanacs in this line. As such, each nation will have an entry that will give a brief summary of location, size, population, languages, coins, taxes, industries, and flora and fauna.
There is also a section that lists the names of important people at any given entry.
Finally, a section on Further Reading is also given. We strongly recommend purchasing all the wonderful books and adventurer modules on Mystara, as they truly give a much deeper understanding and description than this almanac can ever give. Some of them are available through Joshuan Gallidox Publishing.
Nation descriptions will, as before, have a brief intro section from the correspondent, a section on the land and another on the people of the land, history, and a peek at places that are highly recommended, either to visit or avoid. Those sections are original, as a correspondent gives us his or her own perspective on a place; for other points of views or for a description of a nation that does not have one included this year, consult previous almanacs.
The section on recent events is totally different each year. I would think this would be obvious. This section can be used as a quick reminder of what happened last year, as a prelude to the new events that are to be found in Book II.