GDW & Gary Gygax vs. T$R
Here's a "could-have-been"... In the early 90's Gary Gygax (a creator of the original Dungeons & Dragons) teamed up with GDW to create an all-new RPG. The game was originally called Dangerous Dimensions (DD) [An advertisement from the May/June 1992 White Wolf magazine can be seen at left]. Though this was changed early on, the damage was done. Rival company TSR claimed that the renamed Dangerous Journeys game infringed their D&D trademark, though the rules systems & backgrounds of the games have little in common. TSR sued. The issue was resolved out-of-court, with game production ceasing, and TSR acquiring the game.
The lawsuit was both costly and distracting for GDW, at a time when the RPG industry was beginning a contraction. GDW would stumble on for a few more years before ceasing operations in 1995. (Interestingly, TSR -- $30 million in debt -- was sold to Wizards of the Coast in 1997, a victim of poor management and market forces.)
Quality of production appears to be high, and the basic game is relatively simple. Much of the book is taken up with elective add-ons. It's a shame Mythus wasn't allowed to continue.
"Roleplaying at its finest—simple or with elective complexities which place this game far beyond any other.
Straightforward mechanics, with emphasis on percentile dice and the six-sided die, yet allowing a battery of optional modifiers to heighten realism to any degree desired.
More than 50 starting vocational backgrounds for Heroic Persona creation, plus as many personalized ones as the gamemaster wishes to add.
A "Knowledge/Skill" system using percentile probabilities, with hundreds of areas and sub-areas to learn, and specializations too. With Joss, Socio-Economic Class considerations. Special Connections, Quirks, background information, and more included, never have RPG personas had the character and personality of the Heroic Personas herein or has roleplaying been so detailed and enabled.
More armor and weapons included than would be found in the arsenal of a medieval potentate! Use them with a short and easy combat resolution method, or with expansions that take into account virtually every salient feature of armed, magickal, and mental or spiritual battle, too.
Persona advancement based on logical and realistic standards, not relying on loot garnered and critters slain.
No totally fanciful monetary system with ridiculous standards and confusing pricing. Income and costs are as easy as knowing what a BUC is.
All this and still more... Need more details? Buy this book. In it, you'll find everything you need to begin playing. Along with it, pick up the Mythus Magick volume (Book II of these rules, with over 1000 magickal Castings, plus Powers, personalized Castings, and more!) and the Epic of Ærth companion volume (which describes the world of Ærth in detail). Find a comfortable place, and begin reading immediately. This work is a quantum jump in roleplaying games, something which enthusiasts have awaited for years!"
1992 ... Gary Gygax & Dave Newton ... 414 pages ... GDW 5000 ... ISBN 1558781315
The Epic of Ærth (Aerth Companion Volume)
"Six Worlds in One!
This is the sourcebook for the fantasy milieu you've always dreamed of!
The world of Aerth is hauntingiy familiar, yet strangely mysterious.
Visit Aeropa’s Avillonian Isles, which include mighty Lyonnesse. See the "Dark Continent" of Afrik, travelling up the Nylle River, past Egypt's four great pyramids, to the unexplored lands of the interior. Or cruise the long reaches of the Mare Ostrum which reaches from eastern AEropa to the steppes of Central Azir. And then there are the Seven Lakes of distant Vargaard.... Learn about the nations of AErth, their populations, rulers, capitols, and wonders of their great cities, their magick, intrigues, conflicts, and more.
Then read about the labyrinths which honeycomb the world's crust, Subterranean AErth's Shallowshadow, Midgloom, and Deepdark. The races, creatures, and ecology found in this underground maze are like none other.
You can even journey to the planet's hollow interior, where ancient life forms still dwell.
Do all that and you are still only acquainted with half of Aerth! For the world has a counter-phase, connected to AErth by magickal Portals, the world known as Phaeree. It too has its outer, subterranean, and interior spheres, the realms of Faerie, Hobgoblin, and Goblin, and of thousands of other things...
The Epic of AErth is the single best source for establishing a complete fantasy campaign. Buy it now! And don't forget to pick up the Mythus fantasy roleplaying game book and the Mythus Magick book too, so that your fantasy game world can truly come alive."
1992 ... Gary Gygax ... 272 pages ... GDW 5001 ... ISBN 1558781323
"You’ve never seen a magick book like this before!
Within these pages, you'll find more than 1,400 different Castings for your Heroic Personas and their evil enemies! There are Eyebites, Charms, Cantrips, Spells, Formulas, and Rituals, divided among more than a dozen different types of magick use. Herein you'll find Dweomercraeft Castings (general, plus five different colleges) and Priestcraeft Castings (those held in common, plus five different ethoi), as well as Castings from 15 other types of practice — Alchemy, Apotropaism, Astrology, Conjuration, Divination, Exorcism, Fortune Telling, Heka Forging, Herbalism, Mediumship, Mysticism, Necromancy, Sorcery, Spellsongs, and Witchcraeft — everything you could imagine for use by heroes and villains, and others too.
But that's not all!
Also included are rules for designing your own Castings, allowing magick in your campaign to grow as far as you can imagine!
There are scores of magickal devices detailed herein: Wands, Rings, Rods, Cloaks, Pyramids, and a guide to devise your own items.
Plus, a full treatment is given of innate magickal Powers: Petrifaction, Shapeshifting, Flight, and Weather Control, just to name a few. There are even rules for making Psychogenics, from other Dangerous Journeys genres, work within the Mythus game!
One look through these pages will show you why the Mythus magick rules deserved a volume all their own. Whether you're a gamemaster or a player, you'll want this book for your reference. It will show you magick like you've never seen it before!"
1992 ... Dave Newton ... 384 pages ... GDW 5002 ... ISBN 1558781331
Mythus Gamemaster's Screen
"Here, in one easy-to-access package, is all the essential information a busy Mythus GM needs in the heat of play!
The first part of the package is an innovative GM screen —- actually composed of two screens which can stand separately or together (with the adhesive-backed clips enclosed). One screen contains the essential details of time, movement, task difficulty ratings, Heka use, and Mental and Spiritual combat; the other covers Physical combat, both lethal and non-lethal. And every table is color-coded by subject, to make accessing the information a breeze!
The second part of the package is a durable 40-page booklet of handy references for your use, including full weapons and armor tables, damage tables (for shock, cold, exposure, fire, disease, poison, etc.). healing rates, Accomplishment Point tables, OP tables, and more, all carefully arranged to be located easily during play. There is even an area by area list of magickal Castings, with the Mythus Magick page number identified for each!
Finally, the booklet's cover art is an eye-pleasing two-page piece, and the combined screen boasts three panels of beautiful, full-color art sure to encourage a sense of wonder and adventure in players!
Helpful... beautiful... and inexpensive! What more is there to say?"
1992 ... two 3-panel screens + 40-page booklet + 2 clips ... GDW 5003 ... ISBN 1558781420
Necropolis and the Land of Ægypt (Aegypt)
"The Necropolis campaign scenario is an epic adventure which sweeps the Heroic Personas across the dramatic landscapes of Ærth's most magickal kingdom, Ægypt.
From a hidden evil in a desert village, to tribes of raiders in the wilderness, to the secrets of ancient tombs, and beyond, the Necropolis campaign scenario takes your HPs on a dangerous mission to prevent an undying archpriest-wizard from calling a dark god back to rule the Ærth!
Action herein includes city adventuring, outdoors travel and combat, interaction with other personas in a small village and a military post, exploration, problem solving, and plenty of indoors and subterranean adventuring too. In fact, the Necropolis adventure covers just about every aspect of roleplaying you can imagine.
The designation of this work as a campaign scenario means that playing time for this product is judged in weeks rather than days. The book comes complete with extensive GM information and multiple maps. Also included is an appendix of commentary on the Kingdom of Egypt, with a detailed full-page map meant to supplement data found in the Epic of AErth companion volume. Finally, there is a full-color, fold-out, 17"x22" map of the adventure's primary tomb.
In the Necropolis campaign scenario, the forces of Evil are strong, and the price of failure is deadly, so the Heroic Personas had better be good!"
1992 ... Gary Gygax ... 224 pages + poster ... GDW 5004 ... ISBN 1558781439
Mythus Bestiary: Aerth Animalia
"Betuhuru? Horntooth? Hippocorn? Blindworm? Green Racer?
Strange names for strange creatures...these beasts and hundreds more await you inside the Mythus Bestiary. Prepared especially for use with the Mythus fantasy roleplaying system, the Mythus Bestiary is an encyclopedic reference containing descriptions of over 400 creatures — some animal, some vegetable, some mineral.
The listings inside the Mythus Bestiary are divided into separate treatments of Exterior Aerth, Interior Aerth, and Subterreanean Aerth for ease of reference.
A bull the size of an elephant? A scorpion the size of a bull? An elephant the size of a pony? A lizard that could eat a tiger? A tiger with 9-inch fangs?
The Mythus Bestiary is more than just a list, however. Each creature is fully detailed and illustrated, from the bovine aurochs (5 feet at the shoulder) and the Antlantlan pygmy elephant of the Exterior, to the Dilophosaurus (a poison-spitting carnivorous dinosaur) and the fin-backed dragon of the Interior. Denizens of the briny deep are not neglected; a sea voyage might be cut short by anything from the lowly barracuda and the great white shark to the sea mugger (a giant oceanic crocodile), the serpent whale, or the true sea serpent (as its name implies, there are several such monsters). There is more to Aerth than just the two worlds on the inside and outside, however. The Mythus Bestiary also deals with the strange creatures inhabiting the dank caves and stygian passages of Subterreanean Aerth; cave apes, centaurants, smotherslugs, drownweed and other nightmare monsters.
Reptile Men? Intelligent Foxes? Walking Mushrooms? Living Rocks?
In addition to the "dumb animals" noted above, the Mythus Bestiary also includes many tribes of humanoids: primitive cave-dwellers, savage lizard-men, flying bat-people... the list goes on and on.
The world of Aerth can be a dangerous place for the unwary. The Mythus Bestiary will help prepare you for your journey."
1992 ... Gary Gygax & Dave Newton & Michele Newton ... 352 pages ... GDW 5005 ... ISBN 1558781536
This is the "rules-light" version of Dangerous Journeys/Mythus.
"Gateway To A Parallel Universe...
Welcome to the Mythus Prime fantasy roleplaying game. There are wondrous worlds awaiting within — worlds of palace intrigue, subterranean adventure, places forgotten by time, and whimsical 'counter worlds' where winged sprites and monstrous beings of evil dwell. Swordplay and sorcery, dragons and giants, alchemy and conjuration, the counter world of Phaeree and the temples of demon-servers — all these things and more are just the turn of a page away.
The Mythus Prime game is based on fantasy, myth, and legend. If you've ever enjoyed reading Robert E. Howard, J.R.R. Tolkien, or myths and fairy-tales, then you have an inkling of what's in store for you within. Likewise, if you've found excitement in films such as Dragonslayer, The Three Musketeers, Excalibur, Conan The Barbarian, Robin flood, or The Thief Of Baghdad, then you'll find equal excitement in this game.
The Mythus game deals with heroic fantasy adventure in a universe dominated by magick. In addition to this product, the game system consists of several other larger books: the Mythus book (including the Advanced Mythus rules), Mythus Magick (the expanded rules covering magick and the extended listing of over 1000 magickal castings). Epic of AErth (the world book and gazetteer), and Mythus Bestiary, to name the most important volumes. But parts of each of these fascinating works are included in this book you currently hold, and Mythus Prime is a complete game by itself.
If you have never played a roleplaying game before, or even if you've already experienced the enjoyment of fantasy roleplaying games, the Mythus game will bring you new and innovative approaches to your cherished form of entertainment. Mythus is the first of many from the Dangerous Journeys series of products. Each game system module from the line focuses on a different genre, but all of these different settings have a core system of rules that remains the same from genre to genre.
In such a multifaceted setting, your Heroic Personas will venture forth to right wrongs, gain all sorts of new knowledge, destroy evil, acquire impressive skills, and possibly become famous champions, great sages, court officials, archpriests, high mages, nobles, or even lords of their own realms. You've already taken your first steps toward the open door to an adventure-filled universe."
1994 ... Gary Gygax & Dave Newton ... 147 pages ... GDW 5006 ... ISBN 1558781595
City of Ascalon Campaign Setting
Note that this product was never released. Loren Wiseman has all the materials, and he hasn't yet decided to release them as a D20 product. Scan is taken from Journeys issue 5.
"The City of Ascalon is a teeming port city, a setting of political intrigue and swashbuckling high adventure. The city of Ascalon is a large seaport located on the border of Aegypt and Azir, at the junction of land trade routes from Azir and Afrik. Ships and caravans come to Ascalon from the far reaches of Aerth, bearing a thousand exotic cargos: gold, silks, precious stones, ebony, sandalwood, myrrh, fine wines, fruits, marble, slaves, ivory, furs, amber... the list is endless.
Ascalon is a city of tremendous contrasts. Wealth and hedonistic opulence are found existing cheek-by-jowl with privation and grinding poverty. Tenements and mansions, temples and taverns, are mixed together in a jumble of essentially independent neighborhoods. Mystery, intrigue, and adventure await around every corner."
Box set includes: poster-sized map of the city, eight 11x17 street maps, and a 160 page book.
The Anubis Murders
The first in a series of fiction by Gary Gygax in support of the Mythus game.
1992 ... 304 pages ... ISBN 0451452143
The Samarkand Solution
1993 ... ISBN 0451452402
Death in Delhi
"Setne Inhetep, the Pharaoh's most resourceful magistrate, teams up with the Amazon warrior Rachelle to recover the Crowned Jewels, which have been stolen."
1993 ... ISBN 0451452445
Journeys was published in support of the ill-fated Mythus/Dangerous Journeys role playing game. Articles for other Fantasy RPGs were also published.
September 1992, 32 pages
* A Short History of Amber Diceless Roleplaying (Interview with Eric Wujcik)
* Dream Park: Or New Dimensions in Meta- (not Multi-) Genre Gaming (Mike Pondsmith)
* Socio-Economic Class (Gary Gygax)
* Any Port In A Storm [Adventure]
* Building the Possibility Wars One Reality at a Time (Bill Slavicsek)
* 3 Ways To Skin A Cat: Varieties of Multigenre Game System (Steve Jackson)
* Customizing RPGs (George MacDonald)
* Back to Basics (Frank Mentzer)
* The Advantage of Skill-Based RPGs (Dave Newton)
October 1992, 48 pages.
* A Short History of Amber Diceless Roleplaying, pt. 2 (Interview with Eric Wujcik)
* Slammin' (GURPS Cyberpunk adventure)
* Created Castings Into Standard Ones in the Mythus FRPG (Gary Gygax)
* It's Never A Good Day To Die [Adventure]
* A Journeyer's Guide to Aerth: Everyday Life in Aeropa
* The Winds at the World's Edge [Adventure]
December 1992, 48 pages
* The Antares Factor
* Readied Castings
* Trouble with Tribals
* Grand Campaign, by Gary Gygax
* Everyday Life in Aeropa, Part II
* For Love of Mushrooms
1993, 48 pages
* Deeds, Not Words [Adventure]
* The Grand Campaign in the Mythus FRPG, pt. 2 (Gary Gygax)
* The Scepter of Amun-Ra [Adventure]
* K/S STEEP Cross-Feeding and Feeding: A Complete Listing with New Additions to Boost Persona Ability Scores (Gary Gygax)
* The Prancing Pony Inn [Adventure Locale]
* A Journeyer's Guide to Aerth: How a Feudal Noble's Stronghold is Organized
1993, 48 pages
* Operation Connecticut (GURPS Time Travel adventure)
* NPC Warriors
* The Grand Campaign in the Mythus FRPG, pt. 3 (Gary Gygax)
* Grym's Keep [Adventure]
* A Journeyer's Guide to Aerth: Castle Rooms and the Manor Lands
* Continuity, Plot and Other Stuff (Greg Porter)
* Integrating the Realms
* The Thinking Villain
1993, 48 pages
* Walking Dead in Gilmer (GURPS Horror adventure)
* Witchcraeft Isn't Just for Bad Guys Anymore (Gary Gygax)
* Elemental, My Dear Man [Adventure]
* Lighthouses of Aerth
* A Journeyer's Guide to Aerth: Organization of an Ecclesiastical Stronghold
TIMELORD (Dr. Who)
* Curse of the Conqueror [Adventure]
* Hunting High-Tech is Fun and Easy
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