I love Raggi, although I totally don't agree with him on a lot of scores. Still, he is a passionate and talented advocate of gaming, which you can't really argue with. I also thought about picking up the LOTFP boxed set, but I didn't get around to it - if he does it as a collected hardcover, that is a sure buy.
The sandbox-y setting that Raggi included is called "Weird New World". It sounds interesting, and I'm looking forward to checking it out. But a world doesn't have to be new to be weird. I found that out recently when I started researching Karameikos and found... THE VAULTS OF PANDIUS! http://www.pandius.com/index.html.
I typed that in CAPS because it really should be said in a really deep, impressive-sounding voice. Because it is freaking insane how much information is on this site. Hundreds of pages, maps, collected information about Mystara. I don't know why people want WotC to re-release old D&D stuff - there's a fuck-ton of material out there on the internet for free (and I'm not talking about torrents, people).
Since we're running the new game in Karameikos, I've been doing some reading on the ole Grand Duchy, and have uncovered a number of curious things about it.
1) The original inhabitants of modern-day Karameikos were the "Traladarans" or possibly "Tralaladarans". Knapsacks and singing were apparently their most popular exports.
2) The capital of Traladara used to be called "Marilenev", but the name has since been changed to "Specularum". Sources appear to disagree as to whether this change was made by the Thyatians or by Duke Steve-O. I've been operating under the assumption that it is Duke Stefan. Hence my previous comment about "Duke Stev the Gynecologist". (If you don't understand the reference, do a google search for "speculum". Do NOT do an image search).
3) Steve, formerly of Machetos, is a HUGE DICK. Really - he traded his ancestral lands to the Thyatian emperor in exchange for Karameikos (or Tralalalalalalaldara or whatever). The emperor promptly strips the place of everything valuable, then hands it over to a crony to run. So the people who have trusted and supported Steve's family for generations get the shaft, Steve gets a shiny new country to run, and the emperor gets richer and rewards one of his boys. Serious dick move, there.
4) Duke Stev is retarded. No, seriously - he's disabled. Apparently he's unable to understand the motivations and actions of chaotic or evil people. Which pretty much means he's high-functioning autistic, or at least Asbergers. Which leads us to the next bit of "lore".
5) The Black Eagle Barony. Where to start, here? Run by Ludvig von Hendriks, some sort of relation of Steffo's. Ludvig wears all black and silver. He runs his fief like North Korea, plots constantly to take over the Duchy, changed the name of his city (formerly Mirov) to FORT DOOM. Oh, and his main advisor is a dude named Bargle (my character was totally gonna nail Aleena, she was Elmore-hot) and somehow, Sir Steffeo the Smart doesn't notice.
I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, that Mystara is hella-weird. But a good place to go on an adventure!