Sunday, February 8, 2015

[Mystara] The Original Known World

Lawrence Schick, one of the early designers of Dungeons & Dragons at TSR, has revealed some interesting maps that detail the Original Known World that he and Tom Moldvay used in their Kent, Ohio Dungeons & Dragons campaign. If the "Known World" sounds familiar, it is because it is the world that was used in the 1981 edition of Basic/Expert Dungeons & Dragons, revealed in the module X1: The Isle of Dread and detailed further in the Expert Set book (notably detailing the Grand Duchy of Karameikos). He has posted several maps and note sheets with this article on the Black Gate website.

Read that article first if you have not already read it; then come on back here and check out the maps.

It is not exactly the same world, but instead is obviously the progenitor of the Known World that eventually evolved into Mystara. When Tom Moldvay, David Cook, and the rest of the development team for B/X needed to use a world, they went back and borrowed from Moldvay and Schick's Original Known World. Many of the names and ideas survived; you can also see much of the TSR Known World geography owes its design to the Original Known World's eastern half.

So as usual, when I get excited about mapping stuff, especially when it comes to one of my favorite campaign settings, I kind of took the maps presented and ran with them...

In all cases, right click and open in another window for the best view. For larger versions of the maps or the original Hexographer files, you can e-mail me at

First, here's Moldvay and Schick's Original Known World maps knitted together with annotations of location names:

Second, here's the Hexographer version of the Western Known World:

Third, here's the Hexographer version of the Eastern Known World:

And finally, here's both ends of the Original Known World knitted together...


  1. I find the city of Keraptis, in the lower right corner very interesting, as that's the name of the wizard who rules White Plume Mountain, in S2.

  2. Lawrence wrote S2 so this might be where the name originated.

  3. James, is this where I put in a ticket for the big maps? If so, then that, please.

  4. Keraptis is interesting, as is Cynidicea