Empyrea -- finally!

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Empyrea -- finally!

Postby ExTSR » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:42 pm

Press Release:
Historic Dungeons & Dragons® Campaign Returns

Loxley, Madison, WI, August 11, 2017

Legendary game designer Frank Mentzer, famed for his worldwide version of the Dungeons & Dragons® game, has teamed with fiction author Ted Fauster to revisit one of the earliest known D&D® fantasy worlds. The game continues to be one of the most popular of all time, and Mentzer’s version is still available in fourteen languages, on every continent.

In 1981, Mentzer was given written permission from E. Gary Gygax (co-author of the original game in 1974) to establish and develop this little-known portion of Oerth, one of the game’s original settings. This new realm of Empyrea has a 40-year history (starting with simple materials from Judges Guild) and is still actively used. The artist Darlene, who painted Gary’s maps in his 1980 product, will create similar maps for this one. Other famous artists of that era -- including Caldwell, Dee, Diesel, Easley, Elmore, Holloway, Jaquays, and Otus -- are being invited to join the project.

Empyrea is on the mysterious and isolated continent of Aquaria, east of Gygax’s World of Greyhawk™ setting. Until now, knowledge of this portion of the world has remained largely a mystery, as the broad and dangerous Solnor ocean separates the two. The continent is briefly described in the Advanced D&D® adventure “Egg of the Phoenix” (Mentzer & Jaquays, TSR Inc., 1987).

“It’s time to share this Dungeons & Dragons® world with hobby gamers,” Mentzer says. “Unlike others, Gary approved this personally. Empyrea combines both traditional fantasy and science fiction elements. Magic is dominant, but technology lurks. And it’s one Realm… this isn’t a cluster of medieval city-states like Greyhawk.”

Author Ted Fauster has accepted the role of Creative Aide, which was Mentzer’s original title when he worked with Gygax at TSR in the 1980s.

Mentzer and Darlene will finance the set through crowdfunding, with support from Judges Guild. It will be compatible with the most recent Fifth Edition D&D® game (D&D 5E) as well as Mentzer’s own world-famous "Red Box" edition of the game.

An official start date for the Kickstarter will be announced shortly after the GenCon® 50 Game Convention in August.

For More Information, contact Loxley LLC:
Mentzer: LoxleyKey@gmail.com
Fauster: ted@tedfauster.com
(Ownership of trademarks indicated is not disputed)
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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby Big Mac » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:24 pm

Congratulations Frank. I'm glad to see this happening. :cool:

ExTSR wrote:Mentzer and Darlene will finance the set through crowdfunding, with support from Judges Guild.


Oooh! Are you running the return of Empyrea as a joint venture with Darlene. Nice! Does that mean that she gets to make more stuff based on how much the backers want to invest in the project?

Where to Judges Guild come in? Are they going to be handling sales after the Kickstarter is over and you get stuff published?

ExTSR wrote:It will be comptible with the most recent Fifth Edition D&D® game (D&D 5E) as well as Mentzer’s own world-famous "Red Box" edition of the game.


That's going to be good. I hope that helps more fans to play. I still like 3rd Edition D&D. Do you think you might be supporting Pathfinder RPG, if you raise extra money?

[quote="ExTSR"An official start date for the Kickstarter will be announced shortly after the GenCon® 50 Game Convention in August.[/quote]

Are you going to do one of those "test Kickstarter" things, where you let people see what's in the deal before the Kickstarter goes live?
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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby ExTSR » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:57 pm

Big Mac wrote:Are you running the return of Empyrea as a joint venture with Darlene. Nice! Does that mean that she gets to make more stuff based on how much the backers want to invest in the project?

That's one result of many, yes.

Where do Judges Guild come in?

We're discussing ways they can become a full sponsor/partner, but as most of their output is through Goodman Games nowadays, that resource pool is very limited. But they do have a vast amount of published product, some of which was critical in the early phases of my campaign. I would like to produce a little brown booklet detailing how I took just one corner of one JG map of 1977 and developed it in my own direction... exactly like hundreds of DMs in the 1970s.

Do you think you might be supporting Pathfinder RPG, if you raise extra money?

More a question of interest than funding. Again, prelim plans... but we hope to offer the stats in 5e and RedBox formats initially, with free downloads of Crunch Supplements from our website. These would be crunch-only, just the (few) specific statted NPCs and creatures, so the crunch for the entire set may be in a 4- or 8-pg PDF, with no context. I even hope to do crunch for Runequest and others not in the D&D nest.

Are you going to do one of those "test Kickstarter" things, where you let people see what's in the deal before the Kickstarter goes live?

I have no idea. :) I'm the orchestra conductor; we need someone who plays kickstarter to coordinate that side and tell us what to do. This has to be done not just Right but surpassingly well, first time.

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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby Morfie » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:46 pm

I'm assuming "RedBox" compatibility also includes BlueBox and perhaps GreenBox and BlackBox too.. maybe one day GoldBox as well.

Otherwise no-one is above Level 3.

I will be supporting this anyway. I'm also sure we can put Aquaria/Empyrea into Mystara as well :D
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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby Yaztromo » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:28 am

Best of luck!
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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby Havard » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:56 am

Fantastic! I am really looking forward to this! :)

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Empyrea setting launch by Frank Mentzer for Oerth

Postby NPCDave » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:50 pm

http://www.enworld.org/forum/content.ph ... ng-For-D-D

This may feature some familiar bits from the Companion/Masters/Immortals sets too, since Mentzer put some of his own creation into those box sets.

MODERATOR NOTE (by Big Mac): Frank already started a topic for this in the Aquaria forum, so I'm going to merge them. Rather than have topics in the Aquaria, Greyhawk, Classic D&D and 5th Edition D&D forums, I've decided to drop four topic redirects and put this into The Wishing Well (which is where product announcements/industry news goes).
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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby Tim Baker » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:40 pm

Is Facebook the best place to stay up-to-date on this?
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Re: Empyrea setting launch by Frank Mentzer for Oerth

Postby Sturm » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:34 am

Interesting, so it could also be adapted to Mystara.. it seems the original material was the module Egg of the Phoenix. Anyone played it and adapted it to Greyhawk or else? I suppose this means placing this realm of Empyrea somewhere.. Elemental evil is mentioned too.. tie in to Temple of Elemental Evil?
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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby Giant Space Hamster » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:57 am

MODERATOR NOTE (by Big Mac): We are getting duplicate topics for this, so I'm going to merge them, so that we can have a single discussion that everyone can take part in. Rather than have topics in the Aquaria, Greyhawk, Classic D&D and 5th Edition D&D forums, I've decided to drop four topic redirects and put this into The Wishing Well (which is where product announcements/industry news goes).
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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby zontoxira » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:50 pm

That's quite interesting news, I'm looking forward to any updates.
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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby Icarus » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:27 pm

I will be perfectly frank about this ((See what I did there? haha)) :
I haven't ever used the Aquaria stuff because it was mostly speculation and tiny sources that weren't really "official", per se. (as in, published in Greyhawk).
But, if this ends up being compatible with the Greyhawk material that's already out there, and I can implement it without disrupting any existing canon, I will **SO** make this an integral part of my Greyhawk world.

I would **LOVE** to have this in my play-set!
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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby ExTSR » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:38 pm

Tim Baker wrote:Is Facebook the best place to stay up-to-date on this?

At the moment, yes. However, we're hard at work on the Empyrea website and more.

We has launch. Lots happening soon.

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Re: Empyrea setting launch by Frank Mentzer for Oerth

Postby ExTSR » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:45 pm

Sturm wrote:Interesting, so it could also be adapted to Mystara.. it seems the original material was the module Egg of the Phoenix. Anyone played it and adapted it to Greyhawk or else? I suppose this means placing this realm of Empyrea somewhere.. Elemental evil is mentioned too.. tie in to Temple of Elemental Evil?


If you want more info about Greyhawk, the original Egg of the Phoenix (R3/R4), or details from the Jaquays/Mentzer I-12 Egg... sorry;
It won't be here.

We strongly support, respect, and comply with all copyright and trademark laws. Greyhawk was Gary's, sold to TSR and hence WotC. Everything I wrote from 1980-86 belongs to them too, including the "R" series, Temple, etc. Those are THEIR toys, not mine; I won't play with them.

The vast bulk of the campaign details were created 1977-79 and 1990-present. It's all legally clear, as long as we avoid the "do not enter" turnoffs along this road. :)

This campaign has been compatible with, and dovetails into, the whole Greyhawk line. It's on the same planet, per Gary's approval.
It will contain many things you've never seen before... and at the same time, many things that echo your home campaign of many years.
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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby ExTSR » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:49 pm

Icarus wrote:if this ends up being compatible with the Greyhawk material that's already out there, and I can implement it without disrupting any existing canon, I will **SO** make this an integral part of my Greyhawk world.


And that, dear friends, is precisely what Gary wanted and told me.
It can be on the planet, fit all the Canon,.
But it cannot disrupt anything that Gary planned or wrote.
It must be a stand-alone Realm, plenty attractive on its own without being propped up by Greyhawk references.

Everybody here is very excited about this, to say the least.
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