The Big Names Behind Mystara

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The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by Havard » Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:00 pm

During the 15+ years it was in production, more than 400 TSR staff and freelancers involved with Mystara. Of course, most of these weren't designers, but even just counting designers there were quite a few of them. I have tried to give an overview of those who left the most defining marks on the setting below. Thanks to Agathokles, Jakob_Pawlowicz, AllanP, Gawain_VIII and Thorf for contribitions to this list:


Framework:
Gary Gygax for co-creating D&D
Dave Arneson for co-creating D&D and creating Blackmoor
Tom Moldvay and David "Zeb" Cook for their work on D&D and for creating the Known World
Frank Mentzer for BECMI D&D, Bargle, Aleena, the Immortals and the Mystara Cosmology

Development:
Bruce Heard: Product Manager from the Gazetteer Series and onwards, author of Gaz3, Gaz10 and the Voyage of the Princess Ark series.
Aaron Allston: For the definining Mystara products such as Gaz1, Gaz6, DotE, The Hollow World boxed Set, and Wrath of the Immortals.
Anne Dupuis: For her work on PC4, the Almanacs and being the one who was going to be the future of Mystara, even though that never came to be.

Further writing:
Carl Sargent: B11, B12, Eye of Traldar, Top Ballista and the Shadow Elves Gazetteer;
Jim Bambra: B10 Night's Dark Terror, the Golden Khan of Ethengar and the Sea People;
Ken Rolston: Ylaruam and Northern Reaches (plus Best of Intentions and development of the Ierendi gaz);
John Nephew: Tall Tales of the Wee Folk, Sons of Azca, the Dymrak Dread, and the Legions of Thyatis/Arena of Thyatis series;
Merle Rasmussen: Lathan's Gold, Quagmire!, Savage Coast, and Ghost of Lion Castle.
Michael S. Dobson: for X10: Red Arrow, Black Shield
Douglas Niles (CM1, X3 and others)
Stephen Bourne (X11 and X13)
Graeme Morris, B10 with Jim Bambra, CM6 (of oard fame)

Defining Artists:
Clyde Caldwell (gaz cover art)
Stephen Fabian (gaz interior art).
Larry Elmore (BECMI covers and interior art)
Jeff Easley (BECMI interior art)
Terry Dykstra (RC, WotI, and CoM interior art)





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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by JohnBiles » Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:11 pm

Sounds pretty accurate to me.

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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by agathokles » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:20 pm

Havard wrote: Bruce Heard: Product Manager from the Gazetteer Series and onwards, and his work on the Princess Ark Series.
Aaron Allston: For the definining Mystara products such as Gaz1, Gaz7, DotE, The Hollow World boxed Set, and Wrath of the Immortals.
Anne Dupis: For her work on PC4, the Almanacs and being the one who was going to be the future of Mystara, even though that never came to be.
Bruce's work on Glantri and Orcs of Thar should also be mentioned -- he and Aaron Allston (who did Gaz6, not Gaz7, IIRC) pretty much defined the Gazetteer-era version of Mystara.

A few others who did major work on Mystara:
Carl Sargent: B11, B12, Eye of Traldar, Top Ballista and the Shadow Elves Gazetteer;
Jim Bambra: B10 Night's Dark Terror, the Golden Khan of Ethengar and the Sea People;
Ken Rolston: Ylaruam and Northern Reaches (plus Best of Intentions and development of the Ierendi gaz);
John Nephew: Tall Tales of the Wee Folk, Sons of Azca, the Dymrak Dread, and the Legions of Thyatis/Arena of Thyatis series;
Merle Rasmussen: Lathan's Gold, Quagmire!, Savage Coast, and Ghost of Lion Castle.

I'd also add the people who gave to Mystara its visual definition, Clyde Caldwell (gaz cover art) and Stephen Fabian (gaz interior art).

GP

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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by Gawain_VIII » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:34 pm

agathokles wrote:I'd also add the people who gave to Mystara its visual definition
Elmore, Easley for BECMI art and Terry Dykstra for RC, WotI, and CoM interior art.

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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by AllanP » Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:11 pm

Who was responsible for module X10 "Red Arrow, Black Shield" ?

That was the module which was a campaign in itself , with scenarios in the Known World countries. I'd count that as a landmark in Mystara's development
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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by Jakob_Pawlowicz » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:13 am

X10 "Red Arrow, Black Shield" was written by Michael S. Dobson and edited by Edward G. Sollers.
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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by Thorf » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:58 am

A quick bit of trivia: there were in fact more than 400 TSR staff and freelancers involved with Mystara and OD&D products during the 15+ years it was in production. Of course, most of these weren't designers, but even just counting designers there were a lot.

Just how many, you may ask? This is the sort of question the database will be able to answer in very short order. :D

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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by Havard » Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:14 pm

Thanks for the input guys!
I edited the original post to include your comments so that it can make a good article for Pandius.

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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by agathokles » Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:45 pm

Havard wrote:Thanks for the input guys!
I edited the original post to include your comments so that it can make a good article for Pandius.
Uh, then I'll point out that Anne Dupuis' name is misspelt (one missing 'u'). Also, Easley's name is Jeff, IRRC.

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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by Havard » Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:48 pm

agathokles wrote:Uh, then I'll point out that Anne Dupuis' name is misspelt (one missing 'u'). Also, Easley's name is Jeff, IRRC.
Fixed. Thanks mate! :)

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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by Andaire » Sat Jul 12, 2008 3:21 pm

What about Douglas Niles, author of CM1, X3 and others?
Also, Stephen Bourne wrote X11 and X13.
Graeme Morris, in addition to his work on B10 with Jim Bambra, also brought us CM6 (of oard fame).

BTW I stumbled upon this: http://index.rpg.net/display-search.pht ... ort=system
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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by Thorf » Sat Jul 12, 2008 4:28 pm

Excellent! What a great site. :)

Incidentally, a lot of what they are doing is stuff we've been planning to do in the Mystara Database. In fact, this is precisely the kind of way I would like to present things. The only difference is that since we're focusing on a smaller product range, we should be able to present even more information, and tie things together even better.

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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by sunbeam » Sat Jul 12, 2008 4:36 pm

I didn't know the kind of stuff you posted here.

Ms. Dupuis is it? I wonder if she would respond to a request to come here and answer some questions. I'd like to know what she had in mind for Mystara, and what happened to derail it from an active setting.

Any of those guys would be great, but I'd love to hear from her, I didn't know she wrote the almanacs.

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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by Andaire » Sat Jul 12, 2008 6:08 pm

Thorf wrote:Excellent! What a great site. :)

Incidentally, a lot of what they are doing is stuff we've been planning to do in the Mystara Database. In fact, this is precisely the kind of way I would like to present things. The only difference is that since we're focusing on a smaller product range, we should be able to present even more information, and tie things together even better.
I was sure you'd find it interesting. :)
After seeing this thread I was checking my books (in particular CM1, which was a milestone for me), to see who had been left out, and came back with some names. As I was wondering what else Stephen Bourne had written, I typed his name in wikipedia (which only returned me the inventor of the Bourne shell :geek: ), then googled his name and came across this great site 8-) . Went on to click Mystara :ugeek: , of course... And shared. ;)
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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by Havard » Sat Jul 12, 2008 9:44 pm

Merci, Herve!

I added the names you mentioned. :)

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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by Thorf » Sun Jul 13, 2008 4:56 am

We're forgetting some of the best artists:

Keith Parkinson
Fred Fields
Jim Holloway

And we've had contributions from some otherwise very famous and popular artists too:

Tim Hildebrandt
Gerald Brom

There's a long list of artists who have contributed to Mystara. I've only mentioned the most prolific or the most famous, but we could add a lot more to the list if we counted people who've only done one or two products.

Perhaps that's the key point about Mystara, actually: it includes work from most of the masters of the industry during the period it was produced.

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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by RobJN » Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:16 pm

sunbeam wrote:Ms. Dupuis is it? I wonder if she would respond to a request to come here and answer some questions. I'd like to know what she had in mind for Mystara, and what happened to derail it from an active setting.

Any of those guys would be great, but I'd love to hear from her, I didn't know she wrote the almanacs.
Ms. Dupuis posted a few times back in the day when TSR had a forum and message boards on AOL.

I'll see if I can unarchive her email address. If its still active, I'll send her in invite to the Piazza.
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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by Shannon » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:30 am

Does Valerie Valusek deserve a place amongst the iconic artists for King's Festival, Into the Maelstrom, and Tall Tales of the Wee Folk?

I also agree about Fred Fields.

I don't reckon the idea is to catalogue every contributor, just those who contributed an especially great deal, or who are such luminaries they should be mentioned even if they didn't do a whole lot of work for this particular line of products. I reckon Fields and Valusek meet at least the second criterion....

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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by Mike » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:24 pm

RobJN's last comment was 11 years ago, but Ann Dupuis was and is the current copyright holder and publisher of the Fudge RPG. Her company is Grey Ghost Games.

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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by Thorf » Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:29 am

I can't believe we don't have Allen Varney on this list. :o

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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by Morfie » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:48 am

Thorf wrote:
Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:58 am
A quick bit of trivia: there were in fact more than 400 TSR staff and freelancers involved with Mystara and OD&D products during the 15+ years it was in production. Of course, most of these weren't designers, but even just counting designers there were a lot.

Just how many, you may ask? This is the sort of question the database will be able to answer in very short order. :D
Database?! :o

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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by Thorf » Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:36 am

Morfie wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:48 am
Database?! :o
I'm afraid it's a defunct project. It never worked out. :(

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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by Allen Varney » Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:07 pm

Thorf wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:29 am
I can't believe we don't have Allen Varney on this list.
In fairness, my Module M4 Five Coins for a Kingdom slightly predates the christening of Mystara, and the M4 adventure is tangential to (as it was known then) the Known World.
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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by agathokles » Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:07 pm

Allen Varney wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:07 pm
Thorf wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:29 am
I can't believe we don't have Allen Varney on this list.
In fairness, my Module M4 Five Coins for a Kingdom slightly predates the christening of Mystara, and the M4 adventure is tangential to (as it was known then) the Known World.
True, but it is one of the few defining what a D&D Outer Plane looks like. Besides, the Blood Brethren trilogy is a major contribution to the Hollow World, which in turn is a key component of Mystara.

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Re: The Big Names Behind Mystara

Post by Thorf » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:16 am

agathokles wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:07 pm
True, but it is one of the few defining what a D&D Outer Plane looks like. Besides, the Blood Brethren trilogy is a major contribution to the Hollow World, which in turn is a key component of Mystara.
I have to concur — the Blood Brethren trilogy is in my top three Mystara modules. :D Regarding contributions to the setting, it introduced Shajahpur, of course, but also detailed fun ways to get to the Hollow World and gave us some rather cool new villains. It was a lot of fun to DM and play through.

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