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D&D: Known World

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The Known World predated what later became known as Mystara. It was the default setting for Classic D&D, introduced in 1981 in module X1: The Isle of Dread, and sporadically detailed in various modules and rulebooks.

In 1987 the Gazetteer series began with GAZ1: The Grand Duchy of Karameikos. The gazetteers formally and systematically developed the known world as a campaign setting, filling in the empty spaces and changing many details of the original. At some point in the 1990s the setting was formally renamed to Mystara, and that is now the the general term used for the entire gazetteer era.

The original Known World started with a black and white hexmap, and hex-crawling rules to explore it. There were few cities, mostly a wilderness filled with monsters. In contrast to Mystara, it incorporated gods and demons rather than immortals, and cities were ten times smaller.

See The Known World vs. Mystara and Mystara on wikipedia.

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