Threshold: The Mystara Magazine #1 released


4th Edition


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For those fans of the Mystara setting, the contributors at the Piazza have just released the first issue of their fan magazine, Threshold.

Issue #1: Karameikos, can be downloaded free from the Vaults of Pandius via the front page.

180 whopping pages of articles, comics, and artwork!

(Direct link to the pdf here; warning, it is a large file- 25MB).


Oh, that's fantastic!

Mystara was the first real campaign setting I got to play in, and I still treasure my D&D boxed sets, Rules Cyclopedia, Modules and Gazetteers to this day - even when I've let other games head eBay-wards.

I always felt it had a rich political set-up between the countries which left lots of scope for roleplaying in what would otherwise have been a much blander dungeon-crawl game, and I'll often reference Test of the Warlords as one of my all-time favorite modules because of its sandbox style - in fact, it heavily influenced how I designed The Athena Strain for the Babylon 5 RPG in terms of giving the GM a toolset with a stage, timeline and NPCs rather than a script to follow.

The Exchange

Looks like a lot of interesting stuff.


This is really great. I remember when and where I first bought GAZ1 back in the day and how as a setting Mystara was always a favorite of mine. I have a classic game going right now based off of B11 and B12 and I'm sure I'll find some good stuff to mine for that game in this issue. Keep up the good work!


Thanks for the warm reception - we hope you'll enjoy the read!

And please remember: In the magazine you can find details on how to get involved yourself if you have any fantastic ideas, you want to share! :-)


Thank you so much for letting us know about this! I'm running a PFRPG campaign in Karameikos now. I would have bought GAZ1 already, if I could have found it at a decent price. I'm still holding my breath waiting for WotC to release it in PDF. (Darn myself for not buying it in 2009 when I had the chance!) I downloaded this magazine for future reading. Maybe it will serve as a - dare I say it? - poor man's gazetteer.


Will have to check this out.

Scarab Sages

dot


Jesper at Blood Brethren Games wrote:

Thanks for the warm reception - we hope you'll enjoy the read!

And please remember: In the magazine you can find details on how to get involved yourself if you have any fantastic ideas, you want to share! :-)

Are you going to continue to generally concentrate on one nation or region with each issue? I really like the depth that was provided relative to the history of Karameikos in this issue.

What game systems will you be supporting? This issue seemed mostly crunch free. Could for example someone put an adventure together for the magazine and include stat blocks from BECMI/RC, and/or another system like Pathfinder?

Relative to adding content, I'm a little confused after reading Bruce Heard's interview in this issue. What is the difference in terms of use of the D&D/Mystara IP from what Threshold contains, and the posts that Bruce has on his blog detailing various sections of Alphatia, versus WotC telling him he can't produce the continuing voyages of the Princess Ark? Is the detailed content in this issue considered fair use since it isn't being sold for money? Does it have something to do with the arrangement that makes Pandius the official site of Mystara?

L


Aaron Bitman wrote:
Thank you so much for letting us know about this! I'm running a PFRPG campaign in Karameikos now. I would have bought GAZ1 already, if I could have found it at a decent price. I'm still holding my breath waiting for WotC to release it in PDF. (Darn myself for not buying it in 2009 when I had the chance!) I downloaded this magazine for future reading. Maybe it will serve as a - dare I say it? - poor man's gazetteer.

I think you'll find some very useful stuff in this issue, perhaps not quite full gazetteer style, but in particular I think the Demography article might help serve somewhat, and it provides a lot of good "hmm that could be really interesting" moments, too.

There is a wealth of material on the Karameikos page at the Vaults of Pandius, and you might also benefit from the Newbie's Guide to Mystara.

Not a lot of Pathfinder conversions so far, though the Vaults have a lot of 3/3.5 conversions of things, such as Mystara monsters. I've done a couple of writeups of the Radu clan members, Pathfinder style; it was the basis for the article in this issue, in fact. I hope to get back to doing some more with them soon.


Legendarius wrote:
Are you going to continue to generally concentrate on one nation or region with each issue? I really like the depth that was provided relative to the history of Karameikos in this issue.

The themes will depend on the issue. The first issue focused more narrowly on Karameikos since that seemed the logical starting place; Karameikos was the first introduction via the Gazetteer series, and was the first most developed place in the Basic and Expert sets as well.

The next issue is going to be a spotlight on the Vaults of Pandius, which has served as a repository for the community that has kept the setting alive since its cancellation, and will be a mix of articles- some old, some new, some in-between.

After that, we have some themes that are focused on various areas of the world, but they are a bit more broad in scope than individual nations. It's not inconceivable that we might do some more narrowly focused issues down the road, though. I suspect a Glantri issue would probably be pretty well received.

Quote:
What game systems will you be supporting? This issue seemed mostly crunch free. Could for example someone put an adventure together for the magazine and include stat blocks from BECMI/RC, and/or another system like Pathfinder?

That's a good question. As you note, we've kept the first issue pretty crunch free, mostly due to the fact that there have been so many incarnations of Mystara that it seemed the most useful that way. We are planning on including adventures, and currently will probably stay mostly rules light- generic things that can be used across various D&D/Pathfinder systems (Class, Level, Alignment), but it's certainly something we've discussed and will continue to revisit.

Not to speak for the rest of the editorial team, but I would think its possible to include more rules specific adventures and articles as you suggest, depending. I hope to have a more detailed answer for this one, though.

Quote:
Relative to adding content, I'm a little confused after reading Bruce Heard's interview in this issue. What is the difference in terms of use of the D&D/Mystara IP from what Threshold contains, and the posts that Bruce has on his blog detailing various sections of Alphatia, versus WotC telling him he can't produce the continuing voyages of the Princess Ark? Is the detailed content in this issue considered fair use since it isn't being sold for money? Does it have something to do with the arrangement that makes Pandius the official site of Mystara?

I think it's mostly that, currently, he's producing content as a fan, not getting paid or receiving any sort of compensation, or attempting to leverage the articles and content for any personal gain; the same way our fan magazine or any similar site or publication would.

As I understand Bruce's concerns, he doesn't want any potential appearance of conflict from his upcoming personal venture and his Mystara produced content. More of a premeditated attempt to cover himself rather than any actual danger of WotC deciding he's impinging on their rights.

Since his new project is a similar sort of venture to the work for hire he produced while with TSR, he just wants to make sure they don't come back at him later and claim he's using the same IP with a different coat of paint.

Again, not to speak for Bruce, but that is my take on what he's talking about.


Can't seem to read it in my phone. Fail. :)

Guess ill sd card it and read at home.


Freehold DM wrote:
Can't seem to read it in my phone. Fail. :)

That's too bad. Was it too big a file, or was there some other issue (don't own a smart phone; that's my concession to ludditism).

I will mention this to some of the rest of our team so hopefully we can see to it that Threshold is available to all!!!! :)


Cthulhudrew wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Can't seem to read it in my phone. Fail. :)

That's too bad. Was it too big a file, or was there some other issue (don't own a smart phone; that's my concession to ludditism).

I will mention this to some of the rest of our team so hopefully we can see to it that Threshold is available to all!!!! :)

files too big-shrink it down a few megs or give us a dOwnload individual chapters option. Keep the smartphone market in mind my friend, its the future of gaming. I used to feel very much the same way you did, until I discovered pfbattle and other gaming apps. There's no going back now!


Heh. Who says that entertainment has no practical use? It motivates us to try new technologies!

On a more serious note, even though I use good old-fashioned desktops, I would agree that smaller files are a plus, making them faster and easier to download. If there are any bells and whistles whose elimination would cut down the file size significantly, I would usually prefer to go without them. I was happy when Paizo starting making "Lite" versions of some of their bigger PDFs, for instance.


Good suggestions. This is our first time out, and it's all kind of new for everyone who's been working on this, but I will take your suggestions to the team and see what we can do going forward (and even with this issue), to make Threshold as accessible as possible!

Thanks for the feedback!

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