Mystara Internet Community History

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Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Havard » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:40 pm

In light of the 15th anniversary of Pandius, I thought I would draw up a timeline of important events of this community, going back to the beginning of the Mystara Mailinglist in 1995.

The Early Years:
1991: First mention of the name Mystara in Dragon 173 to describe the world containing the Known World, the Hollow World, the Savage Coast region and the rest of the setting.
1993-95: A significant Mystara community exists on AOL (America Online). Projects include 6 NetMags (individual Files available on Pandius), a collaborative novel, and the first appearance of Kaarjala. Members included Brant Guillory, James Mishler, RobJN, Bruce Heard and many others. Much information was lost when TSR moved from AOL to their own website.
1994 - Jeff Grubb leaves TSR due to frustration of how the company handled the AD&D Mystara line.
1995 - Last print products of the AD&D Mystara line published.

1990s
1995 - Mystara Mailinglist (MML) set up by Leroy Van Camp III. This marks the forming of the Mystara Internet Communtiy.
1996 - Vaults of Pandius set up by Shawn Stanley (June)
1996 - The Shadowelf Gazetteer made available on TSR website, prepared by Roger E. Moore as part of Sean K Reynolds project.
1996 - Savage Coast and Orcs Head Peninsula products released as free downloads. This marks the end of the AD&D Mystara line.
1996 - TSR's Ann Dupuis, who had a central role in the AD&D Mystara line, spends time on the MML.
1997 - Bruce Heard joins the Mystara Mailinglist
1997 - First Mystara Net Almanac (1014) released with Herve Musseau as editor
1997 - TSR is bought by WotC
1998 - Mystara Message Board (at TSR's Website) becomes a second base for discussions. Both Mailinglist and Message Board enjoy activity.
1999 (November) - Mystara3E EGroups (later Yahoo Groups) created by John Hofmann for dedicated development of Mystara for D&D 3E. Initial membership included Bruce Heard. Mystara 3E Website containing development results created and maintained by Jenni Merrifield. The group, and all it's discussions and decisions, is still accessible at http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/mystara3E/
1999 (November/December) - Vaults of Pandius becomes Official Mystara Fansite. See details here.

2000s
2000 - Leroy Van Camp III steps down from the position as MML List Ogre. Geoff Gander takes over this responsibility.
2000 - D&D 3E launched.
2001? - Bruce Heard encourages the conversions to 3E with his talkin 3E article.
20001 - Mystara Space group set out to develop Mystara's Solar system. The group is lead by Marco Dalmonte and Havard.
2002 - Marco Dalmonte (DM) compiles the Tome of Mystaran Magic and publishes it on a dedicated website about Mystara (on Geocities)
2003 - Hackwurld of Mystaros announced for later publication by KenzerCo.
2003 - The Italian Message Board (IMB) about Mystara opens (it was hosted in a subsection of the italian "25th edition" forum)
2003 - Blackmoor D20 line launched by Dave Arneson's company ZGG.
2004 (ca) -Mystara Forum at Wizards.com gains new momentum and gradually becomes the main discussion arena for the community.
2004 - Frank Mentzer signs up for Dragonsfoot.org
2005 (January) - Thorf begins teasing his "Secret Project" on the Wizards Mystara board.
2005 (February - June) - "Thorf's Secret Project" announced, with maps posted (almost) daily to the Wizards of the Coast Mystara board.
2005 - The IMB gains momentum: both the Codex Immortalis and the Mystaran Demography are laid out
2006 - Vaults of Pandius Diamond Anniversary
2006 - GazF line of Fan Gazetteers with OldDawg as editor is launched. This sets off a new wave of fan produced gazetteers.
2006 - Last known participation by Bruce Heard with the community, before his return in 2012.
2006 (June) - The Codex Immortalis by Marco Dalmonte is completed.
2007 - Robert Schwalb's Essence of Evil makes references to the Outer Beings,a term coined by Geoff Gander ca 1997 on the MML.
2007 - The Mystaran Demography by Zendrolion is out; by this time the number of active members in the IMB reaches its maximum
2007 (June) - Mystara 3E Yahoo Group "closed" and development moved to Mystara d20 Google Groups under the direction of Jenni Merrifield. Website also moved to current location. Regular development continued until later that year, around the time D&D 4E was announced (approx Aug 2007).
2007 (July) - Voyage of the Princess Ark #36 appears in the very last print issue of (Dragon #344). Bruce Heard gives a shout out to the Mystara Community.
2008 (May) - The Piazza is set up by Ashtagon and quickly becomes the new home of the Mystara Community after turmoil caused by reorganization at wizards.com
2008 (June) - Thorf announces that his "Secret Project" is to make an Atlas of Mystara, and The Piazza becomes the project's new home. The Geographical Mapping forum opens the project up to the community.
2008 - A whole set of adventures (in italian and english) set in Mystara is out
2008 - 10th Gazetteer in the GazF line published.
2008 - D&D 4E launched. The Isle of Dread promised to become one of the iconic locations of the edition.
2008 - Mystara Reborn group created by David Fryer. It is originally set up as a rules conversion group, but later develops into a major meeting point for Mystara fans in general.
2009 - Geocities is shut down. Several fansites lost, but some were preserved on Pandius and elsewhere.
2009 - In the Italian Mystara Community, a major update in the 25 Edition servers deletes all message board posts up to this date; the IMB communitiy starts again from scratch.
2009 - Tim Beach (Red Steel), Allen Varney (HWA1-3) and Monte Cook (G:KoM) join the Piazza and talk about their involvement with Mystara.

2010s
2010 (February) - Comeback Inn Forum opens, for Blackmoor Discussion.
2010 (October) - In the Italian Mystara Community, another server movement and update deletes all message board posts up to this date. Current location of the IMB is in an italian subforum of the "Games Academy" message board. New products are released by new members
2011 - Pandius 15th Anniversary Celebrated
2011 - D&D Next Announced. Caves of Chaos will later be used as the first playtest adventure for this editon.
2011 - Codex Immortalis translated to English.
2011 (October) - Bruce Heard sets up his own blog where he begins to write new Mystara material (first Mystara articles appearing in feburary 2012).
2012 - Bruce Heard rejoins the community participating on various forums and social media including the Piazza, Facebook and Gpluss.
2012 - Thorf's Atlas of Mystara Wiki opened, although still heavily under construction.
2012 - "Mystara Reborn" Facebook Group is reinvigorated with membership including former TSR authors such as Bruce Heard, Ed Greenwood, Frank Mentzer, Michael Dobson (X10), Allen Varney, Steve Perrin, Douglas Niles, Steven Winter, Jennell Jaquays, Tim Beach, Ann Dupuis, Aaron Allston and Ken Rolston.
2013 - WotC relaunches classic PDFs for sale including B2 Keep on the Borderlands and DA2 Temple of the Frog
2013 - WotC announces reprinted deluxe version of the Original D&D White Box, Supplement II Blackmoor and the original version of the Temple of the Frog.
2013 - CapCom announces Chronicles of Mystara, collecting the two Mystara arcade games, Tower of Doom and Shadow over Mystara to be relaunched in June.
2013 - WotC informs Bruce Heard that they are not interested in lisencing out Mystara or Voyage of the Princess Ark IP at this time.
2013 - Mystara fanzine Threshold #1 published by Mystara fans on The Piazza on October 1st in time for Dave Arneson Gameday.
2013 - The Piazza celebrates its 5th Anniversary.
2014 - Aaron Allston passes away. Allston was one of the most influential Mystara authors.
2014 - D&D 5th Edition released.
2014 - Bruce Heard publishes the World of Calidar with Mystara communtiy member Thorfinn Tait (kickstarter launched previous year).
2015 - 20 Year Anniversary of the Mystara Fan Community.
2015 - Frank Mentzer makes a statement saying The Piazza is now his main Internet Hangout.
2015 - Wizards of the Coast removes the forum and community sections from their website. The Piazza is now the only major forum to have a Mystara section.
2016 - The majority of the Gazetteers and modules set in Mystara are made available for purchase via DMsGuild.com & Drivethrurpg.com. Later they were also made available as Print on Demand.

****

Need dates:
Frank Mentzer joins the MML for a time.
Harold Johnson joins the MML for a time.

Some other dates of note:
1974-1976: Tom Moldvay and Lawrence Schick run their Akron Ohio Known World Campaign which will become the basis for Mystara.
1981 - Known World introduced in X1 - Isle of Dread
1983 - Frank Mentzer's Basic D&D D&D Set marks the beginning of the BECMI D&D line, including the intro adventure with Bargle and Aleena.
1983 - Bruce Heard joins TSR
1985 - M1 Into the Maelstrom published, written by Bruce and Beatrice Heard.
1986 - Frank Mentzer leaves TSR.
1987 - Gaz 1: Grand Duchy of Karameikos published, marking the beginning of the Gazetteer product line. Bruce Heard now Product Manager
1990 - Hollow World boxed set published, greatly expanding the setting.
1991 - First mention of the name Mystara in Dragon 173 to describe the world containing the Known World, the Hollow World, the Savage Coast region and the rest of the setting.
1994 - Last products of the Classic D&D line published
1994-1996 AD&D Mystara, Red Steel and Odyssey (Savage Coast) product lines
1996 - Shadows over Mystara video game published.
1998 - Rakasta article by Bruce Heard in Dragon #247
2006 - Final Voyage of the Princess Ark episode by Bruce Heard in Dragon #344

As you can see the timeline is hardly complete. What else should be included? Should anything be deleted? Have I made any mistakes?


Edit:
http://grubbstreet.blogspot.no/2017/06/ ... t-tsr.html
https://richard-baker.blogspot.no/2015/ ... art-6.html


-Havard

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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Angel Tarragon » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:55 pm

Havard wrote:As you can see the timeline is hardly complete. What else should be included?
2005 VoP Diamond (USA)/Tin (UK) [10th] Anniversary [Diamond Anniversary has a better ring to it imo]
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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Seer of Yhog » Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:11 pm

How about these:

- Release of significant products that mention Mystara, that were released after the Mystara lined was cancelled (Meredoth's Isle was mentioned in Ravenloft in the late 90s, wasn't it?) - we didn't create that product, but I remember people talking about it often enough that I felt it was significant to us as a community

- Release of "official" products that mention things that we have created (e.g., Essence of Evil - I think there are others, though)

- Creation of the GazF line (next to the Mystaran Almanacs, perhaps the most ambitious undertaking we've done as a community)
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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Planefarer » Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:14 pm

As a community, we really haven't produced much in the last few years, have we? :(
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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Seer of Yhog » Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:28 pm

The GazF line is pretty major (10 books and counting), and that's been since 2005 or so. I would also include the Ochalea Gaz, and the Codex Immortalis, too.
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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Havard » Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:47 pm

Great suggestions!
I have edited the first post to include the GazF line. High quality fan gazetteers had been produced prior to this, but that really took them to a new level. GP's gazetteers are not formally part of that line, but follow the same wave and are equally excellent. Codex is worth mentioning, as is IMO the Dragon book.

I like the other suggestions too, but I need dates! :)

As to what we have been doing, here is a list of the major fan productionsthat I have been able to collect so far. Nothing to be ashamed of IMO. Then there is all the other stuff that has not yet been presented in collected formats.

-Havard

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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Chimpman » Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:11 pm

I might add the announcement of Thorf's Secret Project (The Mystaran Atlas) as something noteworthy as well. There has been a ton of work there over the past few years that I think has greatly contributed to the Mystaran community. ... and the announcement was made right here on the Piazza!
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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Havard » Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:14 pm

Agreed. And the Mystara BC2300 stuff.

My main worry is about forgetting something, or someone.

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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Chimpman » Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:40 pm

Havard wrote:My main worry is about forgetting something, or someone.
No worries man... we won't let you forget anything. ;)
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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by LoZompatore » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:32 pm

If you'd like to include some important events involving the Italian Message Board here are my suggestions. The list is quite detailed: see what to include and what to leave about our petty story.

2002 - Marco Dalmonte (DM) compiles the Tome of Mystaran Magic and publish it on a dedicated website about Mystara (on Geocities)
2003 - The Italian Message Board (IMB) about Mystara opens (it was hosted in a subsection of the italian "25th edition" forum)
2005 - The IMB gains momentum: both the Codex Immortalis and the Mystaran Demography are laid out
2006 (June) - The Codex Immortalis by Marco Dalmonte is out
2007 - The Mystaran Demography by Zendrolion is out; by this time the number of active members in the IMB reaches its maximum
2008 - A whole set of adventures (in italian and english) set in Mystara is out
2009 (early) - A major update in the 25 Edition servers deletes all message board posts up to this date; the IMB communitiy starts again from scratches
2010 (October) - Another server movement and update deletes all message board posts up to this date. Current location of the IMB is in an italian subforum of a "Games Academy" message board. New products are released by new members

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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Havard » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:03 pm

Thanks Zompa!

The Italian segment of the community certainly deserves inclusion here. This is really useful since to the non-Italian speakers here it has sometimes been quite a mystery what was really going on on those boards :) I will edit the OP to include all of these dates.

-Havard

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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Havard » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:42 pm

More stuff added, including the Dragon #344 shout out to the Mystara Community by Bruce Heard.

Question: What were the NetMags? Brant Guillory organized these, and he and James Mishler among others contributed to them. Most of the files from the mags are available on Pandius, but when were they made? This seems to predate the MML?

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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Angel Tarragon » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:57 pm

No Diamond Anniversary?
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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Havard » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:00 am

oops forgot TAD, now its there. :)

-Havard

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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Havard » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:39 pm

New information from the editor of the original Mystara NetMags:

93-95:
A significant Mystara community exists on AOL (America Online). Projects include 6 NetMags (individual Files available on Pandius), a collaborative novel, and the first appearance of Kaarjala. Members included Brant Guillory, James Mishler, Bruce Heard and many others. Much information was lost when TSR moved from AOL to their own website.

This is before my time, so it is pretty cool to learn about it. :)

-Havard

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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Seer of Yhog » Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:27 pm

Agreed! It would have been interesting to read the old emails from the AOL board - I'm sure some of those discussions never made it into the NetMags.
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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Cthulhudrew » Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:11 am

You mention the migration of the MMB community to the Piazza, but don't mention the event that prompted that migration (ie, the wonky board compression and eliminations over at Wizards.com). That might be a good inclusion, for completeness' sake.
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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Classicdnd » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:04 am

Fantastic thread, Havard!!
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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by RobJN » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:16 pm

Havard wrote:New information from the editor of the original Mystara NetMags:

93-95:
A significant Mystara community exists on AOL (America Online). Projects include 6 NetMags (individual Files available on Pandius), a collaborative novel, and the first appearance of Kaarjala. Members included Brant Guillory, James Mishler, Bruce Heard and many others. Much information was lost when TSR moved from AOL to their own website.

This is before my time, so it is pretty cool to learn about it. :)

-Havard
I hung out a bit on the TSR Message Boards on AOL, before and after Keyword: TSR left the service to start their own website. At the time, Bruce Heard was the only name I recognized, and I'd chimed in on a few things he mentioned, all of which made their way to Pandius. Unfortunately, as AOL unravelled, a lot of the material went *poof* as areas' file libraries and message boards were shut down. The last time I'd accessed those boards was back around 2002, when my production position at an AOL Partner forum (Keyword: Writers) was done away with. There wasn't more than a whisper of traffic on those boards, as most had shuffled over to WotC by then. Wish I'd have been more active back then, I would have been able to salvage more before things went dark there.
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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Havard » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:54 am

Updated this to reflect some of the things that have happened over the last year. :)

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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Seer of Yhog » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:44 pm

Thanks for keeping this one going, Havard!
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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by CmdrCorsiken » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:51 pm

Should we add the English translation of the Codex Immortalis? According to this thread, it was completed/shared late 2011.
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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Angel Tarragon » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:02 pm

never mind...
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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Morfie » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:14 pm

This is a great list, but makes me sad for all the years I missed out.

Re lost info from AOL, Geocities, IMB... ARGH! :(

I hope Piazza stuff etc is being backed up so this does not happen again.

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Re: Mystara Internet Community History

Post by Havard » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:30 pm

Seer of Yhog wrote:Thanks for keeping this one going, Havard!
Thanks! :)
CmdrCorsiken wrote:Should we add the English translation of the Codex Immortalis? According to this thread, it was completed/shared late 2011.
You know I think I will add it. Especially since we could say this marks the beginning of more systematic translation of Italian language material into English. Who knows? It may become the new big trend? :cool:
Morfie wrote:This is a great list, but makes me sad for all the years I missed out.
Thanks!
Those were good times, but we still have lots of great times ahead of us dont we? :) I am very happy that new people are joining and people from the past are coming back. This is one of the best D&D-related communities on the web and the members are what makes it so great :)
Re lost info from AOL, Geocities, IMB... ARGH! :(
Yeah, it sucks, but alot of stuff is preserved on Pandius.
I hope Piazza stuff etc is being backed up so this does not happen again.
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