Is Calidar a Mystara clone?

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Angel Tarragon
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Is Calidar a Mystara clone?

Post by Angel Tarragon » Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:57 pm

I'm considering getting in on the kickstarter, but I'm a little confused about the setting. I know there are elements of Mystara to Calidar, but I'm a little lost about the setting on the whole. Is Calidar supposed to be a sort of Mystara clone, only modified enough to not violate Mystara intellectual property?
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Re: Is Calidar a Mystara clone?

Post by Ambreville » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:21 pm

The Angelic Dragon wrote:I'm considering getting in on the kickstarter, but I'm a little confused about the setting. I know there are elements of Mystara to Calidar, but I'm a little lost about the setting on the whole. Is Calidar supposed to be a sort of Mystara clone, only modified enough to not violate Mystara intellectual property?
Hi Ange'

The Great Caldera definitely offers aspects that are common to Mystara (in fact they are archetypes common to many game worlds -- the elven kingdom, the dwarven realm, the Byzantine-like empire, the religious freaks of the desert, the magocracy, the underworld, etc. . .) Of course, it had to be different enough not to violate the Mystara IP while providing Calidar's more unusual features. In some ways, it would not be impossible to shift a campaign from Mystara to Calidar, or more likely, to place Mystara within the framework of the Calidar universe, whichever works best for you. It is written in such a way to bring out the Mystaran flavor and poster maps, though they use updated icons, are very similar to the Gazetteer poster maps. There is no perfect solution here -- obviously it can't be a Mystara knock off for both legal reasons and personal ones. From a creative standpoint, Calidar has to offer innovative content, otherwise what's the point?
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Re: Is Calidar a Mystara clone?

Post by agathokles » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:35 pm

It is a different setting. It does share something with Mystara, but that's the result of sharing an author (so you'll find that the tone of the stories is not unlike that of some Gazetteers, etc).
Of course, Mystara does have skyships, and VotPA did focus a lot on them, but skyships are much more important in Calidar, which has three inhabited moons, which are the original settlements of most civilizations, with the planet being a colony and a battleground for all three. All the major races in Calidar seem to have skyships, which is not the case in Mystara (where skyships are mostly built by humans, and only marginally by elves).
So, in terms of the D&D settings I'd consider it midway between Mystara and a single-sphere version of Spelljammer.

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Re: Is Calidar a Mystara clone?

Post by Thorf » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:13 am

Great replies to this question. :)

Bruce created Calidar when Wizards of the Coast declined to license Mystara to allow him to write new episodes of the Voyages of the Princess Ark series. You can read the original announcement here, if you haven't already. As Giampaolo said, the main thing Calidar shares with Mystara is the author; as I'm sure you know, Bruce was Product Manager for many years on Mystara, and wrote two Gazetteers in addition to the Princess Ark series in Dragon. This means that in many ways it shares the same spirit a Mystara, which is to say Bruce's writing style and tastes. This includes the format, which is an evolved form of Bruce's Princess Ark series [ fiction + gazetteer ] formula, as well as the dominance of skyships in the setting.

This can all be summed up by saying that Bruce has developed Calidar with Mystara fans in mind. There is much that Mystara fans will find familiar, especially in the spirit of the setting. I suppose you could say that it's like Mystara reincarnated.

But it's also so much more, because Calidar has, naturally, developed in its own direction, too. I'm sure Bruce's ideas have changed over the twenty plus years since he worked on the Princess Ark – in fact you can see that for yourself in his work on Alphatia on his blog. You can also see this in Calidar.

My best advice would be to check out the short stories Bruce has been writing. They introduce a wide range of Calidar's themes. You can get started on this with episode I here. I have also just published an article on them at my blog.

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Re: Is Calidar a Mystara clone?

Post by Angel Tarragon » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:10 am

Thanks everyone for all the replies. Very helpful.

The next question may warrant it's own thread, but I'll ask it here just in case it is better off being asked here; Being that Calidar is the spiritual successor to Mystara, how easy or hard would it be to use the Mystara setting with the Pathfindar Calidar mechanics (and vice versa)?
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Re: Is Calidar a Mystara clone?

Post by Ambreville » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:43 pm

The Angelic Dragon wrote:Thanks everyone for all the replies. Very helpful.

The next question may warrant it's own thread, but I'll ask it here just in case it is better off being asked here; Being that Calidar is the spiritual successor to Mystara, how easy or hard would it be to use the Mystara setting with the Pathfindar Calidar mechanics (and vice versa)?
First and foremost, the Calidar setting is a system-neutral campaign setting. This means there is a minimum of anything considered game mechanics, at least for the first few books. Calidar is written in such a way to make it easy to translate contents into the D&D Game or Pathfinder. Thomas Reid will be writing a set of guidelines for the Pathfinder adaptation, which will be included in at least the first book. Building on the wisdom acquired on the first volume, a new set of guidelines may be written in Book II for D&D Next.
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Re: Is Calidar a Mystara clone?

Post by Ashtagon » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:46 pm

Are there any plans to make a GURPS adaptation for it?
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Re: Is Calidar a Mystara clone?

Post by Ambreville » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:06 pm

Ashtagon wrote:Are there any plans to make a GURPS adaptation for it?
Not at this point. But may be we'll do a Doctor Who adaptation instead. :P
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Re: Is Calidar a Mystara clone?

Post by Justinov » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:31 pm

Ambreville wrote:
Ashtagon wrote:Are there any plans to make a GURPS adaptation for it?
Not at this point. But may be we'll do a Doctor Who adaptation instead. :P
Hopefully settle for Torchwood instead.
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