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Recent Mystara-related products

by David Keyser

With Mystaros and Blackmoor soon to be released for 4th Edition and 3rd Edition D&D respectively, I eagerly anticipate holding freshly printed "Mystara" product for the first time since what, 1997?

Before that happens, I figured I would share with the list a few more published products that have some interest for Mystaraphiles. Some of these are probably already known to at least some of you, but I had not put them in my index before(because I had not known about it).

As has been mentioned previously on the list, two Greyhawk products, the old Greyhawk folio box set and the 3rd Edition D&D Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, include one or two page entries on Blackmoor. Not much detail is provided in either case, but it appears on Greyhawk the Egg of Coot has successfully conquered Blackmoor and his troops occupy the area. The RPGA Living Greyhawk campaign did not, however, assign Blackmoor to any of its regions in the world for adventures and campaigns.

The First Quest box set, which has been brought up on the list before, was released before the Kingdom of Karameikos box set. I picked up a copy and it turns out that the adventures included in the box set were explicitly set in Karameikos after all. It doesn't add much new information, it sets the adventurers' home base in a town previously unmentioned anywhere else, and one of the adventures does link Spelljammer into the setting.

Some of you know about the arcade games Tower of Doom and Shadows over Mystara that were released in the mid '90's. The games can be downloaded and played off the web now, but I also learned that Capcom released both games as part of one set of CDs for the Sega Saturn system, but only in Japan. To play it you would need a Japanese Sega Saturn or an ST key adaptor with your American Sega Saturn.

I also found that book 15 of the Super Endless Quest/Adventure Gamebook series, The Vanishing City, was an adaptation of M4 Five Coins for a Kingdom. The adventure uses some of the same encounters, with the reader playing the role of the ruler of the city of Lighthall. It uses two of the pre-generated characters from the module as the characters you control in this solo adventure.

Hackmaster has already released the B1 and B2 modules for their system. I was surprised how little of B1 was changed, except that it had a few extra rooms and was stocked with monsters. But the mystery of the main characters in the module wasn't as well done as Jenni did with her Darokin adaptation.

In November of 2001, WotC released a novel of The Keep on the Borderlands. I managed to finish it, nothing spectacular, but the author's source material (the original B2), didn't give her much to work with. The novel assumes the later Greyhawk placing used in the Return to module, and it does seem to ensure that events are set up so that they occur as Return to the Keep on the Borderlands reports the past. One personal peeve, the author just drops some plot threads, apparently assuming people will be familiar with B2 and won't notice. For example, the adventurers in the story meet up with the hermit's mountain lion north of the Keep. They sense but never see the hermit, and later speculate that the controller of the mountain lion may be the same one who is behind the evil gathering in the caves. The author never explains any further, leaving a reader wondering at the end of the book if there was a connection. Sure, if you have B2, you know there isn't, but the novel should stand on its own.

Lastly, there were some 16 page RPGA adventure booklets that were released only to participating stores as part of the Adventurers Guild program between 1998 and 2000. These adventures were designed to sell/advertise RPG products that TSR/WOTC was selling concurrently. None of these were designed for Mystara since the campaign setting had been cancelled at the time. But one of those RPGA adventures, The Displaced, was released as a companion to Return to the Keep on the Borderlands. While RttKotB was not set in the D&D Known World, there were three NPCs in the module that were. As it turns out, each of the RPGA modules used pre-generated characters, and although the adventure for Displaced is no more Mystara specific than RttKotB, one of the pregenerated characters is Dubricus d'Ambreville. All the information about him comes from RttKotB.