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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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby Blackleaf » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:24 am

I think the notion of canon is silly in RPG settings but I'm excited to see new material from Frank Mentzer as I think the Red Box is a masterpiece and I enjoy his modules as well.
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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby Icarus » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:55 pm

Blackleaf wrote:I think the notion of canon is silly in RPG settings ...

You know what I think is silly? When other people feel the need to remark about how someone else enjoys the game.
Especially when it has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand.
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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby Blackleaf » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:22 pm

Chill dude.
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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby ExTSR » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:57 pm

Empyrea Update
Mon 28 Aug

The archetypical Game Creator was once a young white male with dreams and a day job.

Forty years of RPGs have matured both the Creators and the market. But there are too few Creators who are able to wear all the hats -- not just inspiration & creation, but business organization, economics, marketing, internet (formerly the Madison Avenue Advertising Game), and more.

I think it's time for more specialization. I want to create a business environment in which the Creators can create, and the Business folks can do Business. The Creator shouldn't need an MBA just to exist.

Hence Loxley, my new Design House, which will Create things to feed to the Business Ring. I've spoken of the esoteric Nash Equilibrium, and that's one piece of the puzzle. But...

The real story is People.

I believe in you. YOU, the gamer, the reader, the fan... no kidding. Look:
For forty years we've been spoon-feeding you our ideas as if they were important. And they WERE important, they got you started, right?
Flash -- We are the threshold, only the beginning. For 40 years we've watched new Creators arise, and some have been recognized, and some even found careers. Some of them, like Marc Miller and Greg Stafford and Ken St. Andre and Gary Gygax, built this city for the rest of us. But the vast treasure is YOU, the people who want to live here.

I believe that every single self-identified hobby gamer has Great Ideas, and most of them are being overlooked.
I think we (the 'Industry') haven't done enough to empower your Voices. We're so contorted, ear to the ground and nose to the grindstone and focusing on the Business, that we lost focus on You, and it became about Us.

Along the way I'm acutely aware of being an Old White Privileged American Male. I'm now reaching out to 30-somethings, women and minorities, others... because I'm ignorant, out of touch. But I know that, and I need to connect to the Real World of tabletop gamers. You are the Future, not me.

The OGL was a good first step, encouraging hundreds to put pen to paper, to share their creations.
I have a vision of a quantum leap in gaming, and many share it now, and we're jumping soon.
Empyrea is about Empowerment and Equality, and it's Yours.

A new moon is rising. It is now mostly dark, as are all New Moons, but the light is coming.

More to come...
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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby Big Mac » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:43 am

ExTSR wrote:The OGL was a good first step, encouraging hundreds to put pen to paper, to share their creations.
I have a vision of a quantum leap in gaming, and many share it now, and we're jumping soon.
Empyrea is about Empowerment and Equality, and it's Yours.

A new moon is rising. It is now mostly dark, as are all New Moons, but the light is coming.

More to come...


Sounds interesting. My guess at this point (which I'm going to nail down, so that I can see how right or wrong I was later) is that you are planning to do something similar to DMs Guild, that allows other people to publish stuff.
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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby NetoD20 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:13 am

Big Mac wrote:
ExTSR wrote:The OGL was a good first step, encouraging hundreds to put pen to paper, to share their creations.
I have a vision of a quantum leap in gaming, and many share it now, and we're jumping soon.
Empyrea is about Empowerment and Equality, and it's Yours.

A new moon is rising. It is now mostly dark, as are all New Moons, but the light is coming.

More to come...


Sounds interesting. My guess at this point (which I'm going to nail down, so that I can see how right or wrong I was later) is that you are planning to do something similar to DMs Guild, that allows other people to publish stuff.

As part of both the gamer and LGBT communities, that statement is very exciting, yet mysterious. I'm going to go with Big Mac's guess about the DM's Guild comparison, I think it makes sense.

ExTSR wrote:
Big Mac wrote: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.

Just came here to reinforce that there is interest in Pathfinder, would be a nice stretch goal, but even if it's not added I'll probably still be on board, given your explanation of the crunchy bits. The other factor that interests me, however, is what level of tech will Empyrea possess? I ask because I'm usually skeptical about merging fantasy with sci-fi, but I also enjoy steampunk, and so I'll try to be more open about it.

Anyway, I hope that it's going to be a success!
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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby ExTSR » Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:11 am

We just finalized our Kickstarter. Now it's to them for Review.

Empyrea will not be a Greyhawk product. Sorry, that's a toybox belonging to others, Gail and TSR/Wizards.
It follows Gary's intentions: on the same planet, but far across the Solnor, with no regular contact. (So I had to come up with Reaons for that.)
Gary's written approval for this will be reproduced and available.
The locals call it the 'old country' sometimes, but the old names and places are forgotten. Empyrea is its own realm.

We're trying a radical experiment. We're releasing the set statted for 10 different game systems. You pick the one(s) you want.
Every game publisher has to support the systems that they own. They can't even think about supporting others.
Loxley inc is a new Design House with the aim of supporting the whole Hobby, not just one System.

Set 1 will be released separately for:
D&D 5e, 1e/2e, and BECMI; OGL games Pathfinder, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Castles & Crusades, Swords & Wizardry, and Hackmaster; and the great Runequest and Savage Worlds systems.
If you want to play multiple games, you'll need separate System Books (all available), but the bulk of the set is the same.

'sall for now... Kickstarter Launching 02 October.
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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby Sturm » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:57 am

Great idea. A BECMI product for the first time in more than 20 years is something to wait for :)
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Re: Empyrea -- finally!

Postby GreyLord » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:11 pm

According to http://worldsofempyrea.com/news-updates/ the kickstarter started on Oct 2, but I cannot find it. Can someone put up a link to it.

Thanks

Ah, I'm an idiot...just a little bit more browsing and the kickstarter page on the site loaded up (for some reason my settings didn't have it downloading at first).

The link is

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ex ... for-10-rpg
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