5% of All Sales go to Support The Tavern

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Some Relevant Facebook Quotes from Frank Mentzer re: Empyrea Campaign Setting Kickstarter

There are bits and pieces of Frank's Facebook comments quoted on ENWorld (without sourcing it as FB comments / quotes, but I'm sure that is an oversight due to excitement) regarding the announcement of his forthcoming Kickstarter. Below I've gathered the relevant comments (edited slightly where needed for clarity)

Frank's Facebook posts and comments can be found at this link.

-Gonna be quite an Art project, as well as a full campaign set.

-We're talking to everybody listed, all old friends of mine... Caldwell, Dee, Diesel, Easley, Elmore, Holloway, Jaquays, and Otus

-Most artists are responding favorably. All are VERY busy, so we're gonna build around their schedules; a win/win.

-I plan to double-stat throughout (won't take much room) and issue free Stat Supplements for other systems, including DCC, S&W, C&C, and even Runequest.

-Shouldn't have omitted THAT one (Pathfinder), sheesh. ;> I have close friends at Paizo.

-We'll mention Greyhawk in the historical section (just the facts ma'am) but it will not be used in promotion or actual play. Gary wanted it that way.

-Deities are just masks. ;> See my Immortal set for details (and also for hints on the multiverse that applies to my campaign).

-Aquaria is a continent, Oerid is a continent. Greyhawk is a city in the latter, Empyrea in the former. WotC will receive advance copy of the historical section long before publication, and we anticipate no serious issues. We give them all due credit of ownership, we will not promote use or infract upon Gary's original. This was created before and after my TSR employment, and all I wrote 1980-86 belongs to them. So we'll work around that. But I do have Gary's original handwritten note of approval, and that's a zinger.

-Very fair questions, and I'm a cards-face-up kind of guy. We don't bend rules.

-We plan zero Stretch Goals. There may be a Deluxe version with special maps & overlays.

-Straightforward production project, no stretch. Possibly another 10-50 supplemental products if it's successful, tho (adjacent territories, Colonial play, Post-War play, and a pile of my adventures & others)

-Upcoming: I also want non-English editions; want to work with gamer/fan translators and place it with Euro publishers (avoids all kinds of taxes and stuff). I'll be in touch. :)

-it's (the project) taken 3 years to set up (along with the other stuff I'm up to)

-PR is our worst skill rating; we put all the points into Creativity. :/

-JG is not involved with production, in part because of the delays in existing projects. (All that is working out nicely, btw, just late.) This is a Loxley product. And I can't risk screwing up my very first ever Kickstarter, y'know? So I'm getting good advice on all that.

-Allan T. Grohe Jr. Frank: how will the initial release compare to what you published in a limited edition nine years ago at NTX#1?
-Frank Mentzer That was a mere hint, but it contains the core. I've retooled a few bits of campaign history to avoid legal issues, but that's the premise.

-Jennell Jaquays TBH that part of Oerth is really all Frank. I won't be hurt if any my modifications or changes to his RPGA adventures don't make it into canon.
-I want Jennell's art in the work. Alas, the Jaquays elements in ur Egg of the Phoenix compilation must be left alone, for copyright reasons.

-I'm going to describe a campaign world, in extreme detail. It doesn't hinge on any special monsters, combats, or other one-shot tricks. It's been in constant use for 40 years exactly, on a weekly basis. I'm gonna try to bottle that lightning.

-In fairness, the epic whole may suit oldschoolers more than the new, in the long run. But some folks play 5e oldschool style.

 Frank's G+ thread and comments can be found here

-I started my campaign in 1977 using a far corner of the Wilderlands set, and developed extensively from there. Many of the original names appear in both R-4 and I-12 from TSR, proving the JG connection.

-A lot of outstanding artists (but now independent, no longer TSR Staff) have a lot of work to do, and that'll take a while to schedule in. Rough guess, ship Spring 2018. With this many people on the job I can't dally. This isn't a part-time or basement job, it just got very Real

Comments from me:

-Glad Judges Guild is not involved. Frank doesn't need the attached drama.
-No stretch goals - wise.
-Not going to link to Greyhawk in promotion, but was referenced in the press release
-Frank mentioned to me at NTRPG that where Greyhawk was created for wargaming and then used for D&D, Emprea was built for for D&D right from the start.


  1. To say this interests me is an understatement. Woohoo!

  2. "I plan to double-stat throughout (won't take much room) and issue free Stat Supplements for other systems, including DCC, S&W, C&C, and even Runequest."

    Does this mean B/X and 5E? I am guessing here.

    1. "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."

    2. Thank you Tavernkeeper. I must have missed that. That is exactly what I was hoping!

    3. There is a huge fandom supporting Moldvay/Cook B/X, but I feel that's similar enough that they'll accept the BECMI basis.

  3. "We're talking to everybody listed, all old friends of mine... Caldwell, Dee, Diesel, Easley, Elmore, Holloway, Jaquays, and Otus" plus red box compatibility equals my mind is blown. Take my gold already.

  4. Whoa, so Oerth's 'other hemisphere'!

    1. Exactly. And Gary's point was the Solnor; huge, nearly impassible, as large as the Pacific or worse. So this is a stand-alone continent, its own story. We'll make it very clear before purchase that this is NOT a Greyhawk Supplement; that's WotC IP and we will try very hard not to infringe on their rights or ownership (including giving them material long before print publication, to ensure that).

      Not my first rodeo. ;>

    2. Maybe they'll see how good it is and back it. :)

  5. Varlet! Fetch my scribe at once! I must know how many gold pieces lie in the treasury!