[Mystara/Known World] What product should I start with?

Sunsword

Cosmic Enforcer
Validated User
Pretty much what the title says, if I had to start with just one product (setting wise, not rules wise), what would it be? And where would I go form there?
 
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Davies

Registered User
Validated User
X10 Red Arrow, Black Shield. A good description of the nations of the Known World with hints at events going on beyond. Admittedly, it gets contradicted by everything that comes after it, but that's true of just about anything I might recommend.

Alternatively, GAZ1 The Grand Duchy of Karameikos. The center of the campaign setting, and the first attempt to really discuss the region as a background, with some discussion about many of the nations beyond Karameikos' borders. If you can find it, the Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure boxed set does an even better job at setting up the region as a whole, but has other problems that makes it less of a recommendation; also it's unavailable as a pdf.
 
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devlin1

Human Paraquat
Validated User
GAZ1 is pretty great. The Rules Cyclopedia has a pretty good breakdown (and lots of maps) of Mystara as well, plus you get the Rules Cyclopedia!
 

Bomberg

Registered User
Validated User
I'd say it depends on the type and theme of the campaign you want to run. Each of the gazetteers stands on its own and supports certain themes.
 

Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
Validated User
Well, coming from a totally biased spot, I'd say Gaz1: Grand Duchy of Karameikos. It's packed full of Mystara goodness, is a fairly complete campaign setting and has lots of areas for adventure.
 

Koren n'Rhys

Got your mirrorshades?
Validated User
Another vote for GAZ1. It's arguably the best of the entire gazetteer line and Karameikos is the heart of the setting. Start there and expand as needed.
 

TimsGeekery

Formerly 'iamtim'
Validated User
While GAZ1 is great, I would look more to the 2E boxed set "Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure" as a better starting point.
 
Since I'm much less of a fan of the Gazetteer and post-Gazetteer era, I'll disagree with the suggestions of GAZ1 and instead recommend picking up the old X1 module.
 

JoeNotCharles

Registered User
Validated User
Since I'm much less of a fan of the Gazetteer and post-Gazetteer era, I'll disagree with the suggestions of GAZ1 and instead recommend picking up the old X1 module.
I'm going to disagree with this and say the Mentzer Expert Set. It includes the continent map from X1, plus a more in-depth look at Karameikos and Threshold which has plenty of hooks and enough detail to give the DM a jumping off point, while still having a great frontier feeling without as many blanks filled in as GAZ1, so it's still wide open for the DM to add things. With X1, instead of that you get the Isle of Dread, which is a classic adventure but really only a little niche corner of the Known World, and a sentence or two describing each country on the map, which is easy to pick up from the Internet.

The other obvious pre-Gazetteer starting point is B10 - Night's Dark Terror, which is a better adventure than X1 plus delves into Kameikos more.
 

guachi

Registered User
Validated User
I'll give thumbs up to B10 Night's Dark Terror and GAZ1 The Grand Duchy of Karameikos. The Karameikos Gazetteer is heavily based on the information in B10 as well as B10 being a dynamite adventure. I wish it were one I had picked up when it was released.

Yes, that's two products. Maybe pick one. If you like it, pick the other.

Pandius.com is a marvelous fan site that has many free things available. Look for their magazine, Threshold. The first edition is all about Karameikos and it's free!

I did purchase X10 Red Arrow, Black Shield when it was new and I fell in love with it. I believe I purchased it before I bought any of the Gazetteer and IIRC it's a major reason I did. It involves a major land war and as a wargamer at heart I really liked it for that reason. The part can go to every country and try to elicit aid so you do get a brief overview of all of the major players.

All three can be had for $5 on dndclassics.com. Many of the other modules, particularly the X series and beyond (CMI) are explicitly set in the Known World. The other Gazetteers are, of course, also set there (duh...) and range, IMO, from good (Atruaghin, Ierendi) to outstanding (Glantri, Karameikos, Broken Lands aka Orcs of Thar)
 
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