Known World Gazetteers

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The Known World Gazetteers were some of the earliest splatbooks for Dungeons & Dragons. Set in the Mystara setting, each was a supplement for the BECMI rules (aka "Basic D&D) which examined a particular region of the Mystara world and fleshed out the native races and cultures. In TSR's numbering scheme, they were usually designated by the prefix GAZ(number); the exception to this is the splat "Dawn of the Emperors: Thyatis and Alphatia", which is generally accepted as part of the Known World Gazetteers, but is not numbered as such, even though it came out before The Shadow Elves and The Atruaghin Clans.

Many of the Known World Gazetteers focused on pastiches of real-world human cultures, which was kind of the norm for both Mystara in particular and D&D in general at the time. Still, a significant minority did provide other kinds of cultures, from the magocracy of Glantri to the demihuman nations of Aelfheim, Rockhome, the Five Shires, Thar, and the realm of the Shadow Elves.

GAZ1: The Grand Duchy of Karameikos[edit]

Written by Aaron Allston in 1987. The book describes the feudal nation of Karameikos, designed to be a good starting place for player characters. The book covers the history, politics, society, economy, and geography of Karameikos, plus rules for generating local characters and their knowledge of the land.[1] The Grand Duchy of Karameikos features an extensive collection of detailed NPCs. The gazetteer includes maps and descriptions of several cities and villages, and a number of adventure scenario suggestions.

GAZ2: The Emirates of Ylaruam[edit]

Written by Ken Rolston in 1987. The book describes the desert nation of Ylaruam, a land similar to the medieval Islamic empire at its height. The book covers the history, land and ecology, economics, society, with a sample village, rules for dervishes (desert druids), guidelines for creating Ylari characters, and suggestions for campaigns and adventure scenarios. The Emirates of Ylaruam features a detailed desert village.

GAZ3: The Principalities of Glantri[edit]

Written by Bruce Heard in 1987. The book describes the land of Glantri, a country ruled by and for magicians. The book covers the history, geography, and economy of Glantri, with a special focus on the ruling families, their personalities, and intrigues. The Principalities of Glantri also describes Glantri City in detail, and includes many new spells.[1] The book includes sections on living in the city and what it is like at night.

The Gazetteer describes the nation's cultural and geographic background, adventures for Glantri, and its special features, including the fantasy city of Glantri City and variant magic systems. The nation's economy is explicitly developed in accordance with the dominion rules from the D&D Companion Set, and the nation's armed forces are also described in War Machine terms (the D&D Companion Set's mass-combat system). The origins, objectives, and main personalities of each aristocratic house and clan struggling for control of Glantri's Council of Princes are described, along with the number of votes it controls in the council. The book presents the city's assortment of guilds and brotherhoods, such as Beggar’s Court, the Elven Liberation Front, the Free Fundamentalist Farmers, the Monster Handler's Syndicate, and the Thousand Fists of Khan, each with conflicting interests and political machinations. The Gazetteer offers an elaborate view of the magic-user's career, focusing on enrollment in the Glantrian School of Magic, which permits a magic-user character to learn new skills, like quick spell-casting and the ability to combine spells. The Gazetteer also provides player character (PC) spell-casting specialties: The Seven Secret Orders of the Great School of Magic are the Alchemists, Dracologists, Elementalists, Illusionists, Necromancers, Cryptomancers (runemasters), and Witches.

GAZ4: The Kingdom of Ierendi[edit]

Written by Anne Gray McCready in 1987. The book describes the island realm of Ierendi, a pirate-ridden archipelago that tries to appear as a tropical paradise. The book covers the history geography, economy, government, and important personalities of Ierendi and describes the 10 major islands.[1] The gazetteer also includes simple naval battle rules, ship counters, and a map, as well as a simple board game for resolving large naval conflicts. Plot outlines for all levels of play are sprinkled liberally throughout the text.

GAZ5: The Elves of Alfheim[edit]

Written by Steve Perrin in 1988. The Elves of Alfheim describes the elven forest nation of Alfheim, and covers its history, geography, economy, politics, important personalities, its capital city, and its forest denizens. It includes comprehensive rules for elf characters, new monsters, and seven mini scenarios.

GAZ6: The Dwarves of Rockhome[edit]

Written by Aaron Allston in 1988. The book describes the dwarven realm of Rockhome, and features new rules for dwarven characters, including dwarven clerics, plus information on the history, society, technology, politics, and important personalities of Rockhome and details its capital city of Dengar. Guidelines are included to convert it to AD&D, and also included as three miniscenarios and additional scenario suggestions.

GAZ7: The Northern Reaches[edit]

Written by Ken Rolston in 1988. The guides Helfdan Halftroll, Onund Tolundmire, Saru the Serpent, and Dwalinn the Dwarf take the reader on a tour of the Northern Reaches. The accessory describes the three Viking-style lands of Ostland, Vestland, and Soderfjord. The thirty-two page Players Book gives an overview of the Northern Reaches, and contains rules for Northman characters, including optional rules for character personality traits, and two new classes; the Wise Woman and the Godi (a priest of Odin, Thor, Loki or Hel). The sixty-four page DM Book contains the history, geography, nations and governments, rules, and nonhumans of the Northern Reaches, three scenarios, rules for adapting the setting to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, an epic campaign outline, and a new system of clerical magic: runes.

The gazetteer also includes a large color map and cardstock cutouts for constructing scale model Viking buildings. The complete 3-D card village can be assembled and used as the setting for two of the detailed adventures.

GAZ8: The Five Shires[edit]

Written by Ed Greenwood - yeah, the Forgotten Realms guy - in 1988. The book describes the land of the halflings, or Hin, as they call themselves. The 24-page "Player's Booklet" gives an overview of the Shires and their inhabitants, with rules for high-level halflings and new spells. The 72-page "Dungeon Masters Booklet" gives a more detailed description of the Shire's history, climate, geography, government, defenses, religion, and "The Pirate Life". The gazetteer also includes a section on "Campaigning in the Five Shires", encounter tables and suggestions for adventure scenarios, and rules for adaptation to AD&D.

GAZ9: The Minrothad Guilds[edit]

Written by Deborah Christian and Kim Eastland in 1988. The Minrothad Guilds are fictional seaborne merchants, and the book covers life, society, and politics in their lands. The Minrothad Guilds describes the great trading guilds of the D&D world and their island homes. The 32-page "Player's Booklet" outlines the operation of the guilds, including their laws and rigid caste system. The 64-page "Dungeon Master's Booklet" covers the guilds' overall history, government, and relationship with pirates. The gazetteer also describes trade in the D&D world, and includes rules for adaptation to AD&D.

GAZ10: The Orcs of Thar[edit]

Written by Bruce Heard in 1988. The Orcs of Thar covers the fictional Broken Lands that are inhabited by humanoids such as orcs, goblins, and bugbears. The "Player's Guide" is written for those who want to play orc player characters, and includes a description of the orcish view of the world, an overview of the Broken Lands, character creation rules, and "Thar's Manual of Good Conduct". The "Players' Guide" provides the history of the various humanoid races as seen through their own eyes, and describes the situation in the Broken Lands with an account of the ten tribes, their beliefs, and the areas they inhabit. It includes rules for generating humanoid player characters such as kobolds, goblins, orcs, hobgoblins, gnolls, bugbears, ogres, and trolls. Tables and suggestions for generating height, physical appearance, outlook, and various skills are available to add depth to the characters. "Thar's Manual of Good Conduct", a guide to portraying characters' obnoxious behavior and battle-lust, comes as part of the "Players' Guide" but is intended to be pulled out of the booklet, cut up, and stapled into a smaller booklet.

The booklet covers orcish shamans, important humanoid leaders, campaigning in the Broken Lands, and an adventure scenario. The gazetteer includes rules for adaptation to AD&D, and rules for a simple orc-conquest boardgame. The "Dungeon Master’s Booklet" gives the “real” history of the humanoids and details on the major NPCs in the Broken Lands. It includes new rules for playing shamans and wiccas as character classes, as well as nonhuman spell-casters described in the D&D Master Set, clerics and magic-users of the humanoid races. The "Dungeon Master’s Booklet" provides information about the best way to stage and present humanoid adventures, along with adventure outlines. It presents details of the orcish city Oenkmar, allowing humanoids and humans to explore, and lists the rules for tlachtli, a ball game played in Oenkmar.

The board game included is called Orc Wars, and is set in and around the Broken Lands and features a power struggle to become the top humanoid.

GAZ11: The Republic of Darokin[edit]

Written by Scott Haring in 1989 . The fictional Republic of Darokin specializes in land-based guilds, and the accessory covers life, society, and politics in their lands. The gazetteer describes a plutocratic republic ruled by a council of merchants. The 32-page "Player's Guide" gives a brief overview of the land, with rules for Darokinian player characters and a Merchant character class, and includes guidelines for trading and a map of the Known World's main trade routes, imports, and exports. The 64-page "Dungeon Master's Guide" contains background material on Darokin's history, climate, geography, economy, society, and places of interest. The gazetteer also includes rules for adaptation to AD&D, a map of the city of Darokin, a large color map, and cardstock miniatures of merchants' wagons.

GAZ12: The Golden Khan of Ethengar[edit]

Written by Jim Bambra in 1989. The gazetteer describes the land and people of the Ethengar tribes, who resemble the Mongols at the time of Kublai Khan. The 32-page "Player's Guide" gives a brief overview of the land, and includes rules for Ethengar player characters and a shaman character class. The 64-page "Dungeon Master's Guide" contains background information on the Ethengar tribes' history, politics, and leaders, including the Golden Khan and his court. The gazetteer also covers the geography of the steppes, the humanoids and other monsters that live there, and adventure scenario suggestions, as well as rules for adaptation to AD&D, and a large color map.

Dawn of the Emperors: Thyatis and Alphatia[edit]

Written by Aaron Allston in 1989. Dawn of the Emperors is a campaign setting in the world of the GAZ series, and describes the two warring empires of Thyatis and Alphatia.

The 32-page "Player's Guide to Thyatis" describes an expanding, eclectic empire reminiscent of the Roman that reserves its highest regard for warriors; this book includes character creation rules for Thyatian player characters.

The 32-page "Player's Guide to Alphatia" describes a chaotic, bizarre, and ancient empire where magic-users reign over all non-magical folk; this book includes rules for Alphatian character creation, and for making magic items.

The 128-page "The Dungeon Master's Sourcebook" includes a history and atlas for each of the two featured empires, plus details of disputed territories, campaign and adventure scenario suggestions, and rules for conversion to AD&D.

GAZ13: The Shadow Elves[edit]

Written by Carl Sargent and Gary Thomas in 1990.The gazetteer describes the region deep beneath the Broken Lands, where the underground shadow elves live. The 64-page "DM's Guide" describes the locations found on the large color map, and also includes new rules for shamans, plus miniscenarios. The 32-page "Player's Guide" contains rules for creating shadow elf player characters. The gazetteer is adaptable to AD&D 2nd Edition rules.

GAZ14: The Atruaghin Clans[edit]

Written by William W. Connors in 1991. The book describes the territory of the Known World/Mystara known as "the Atruaghin Clans", which are a society loosely based on American Indian tribes.

The publication consists of two booklets, a fold-out map and a cardboard cover. The 64-page booklet "Player's Guide" describes the realm of the Atruaghin Clans within the D&D world for the players. After the introduction, the book is divided into the following sections: The Story of Atruaghin, Character Generation, Shamani, Spell Descriptions and sections on the individual tribes (Children of the Horse, Children of the Bear, Children of the Turtle, Children of the Tiger, Children of the Elk). The second 32-page booklet ("Referee's Guide") is for the DM. It contains information on the history timeline, the Immortals ("Gods") involved in the Clans' history, some Non Player Characters, sections on "Totem Magic", on "Atruaghin's Mystical Conveyor" and a note on how to adapt the content to 2nd Edition AD&D.