Planescape has returned to Dungeons & Dragons. Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse includes three new books: the setting book Sigil and the Outlands; Turn of Fortune’s Wheel, the campaign book; and Morte’s Planar Parade, the bestiary.
Much like the Spelljammer release from last year, it comes in both a standard and variant set, has two different DM screens, and has a double-sided map. Greg Tito, Wes Schneider, and Justice Arman spoke to a group of press last week, explaining the new, the old, and the bold when it comes to the new Planescape.
Planescape was first developed in 1994 and drew on mythos established in the ‘80s, when the Manual of Planes was released. It was built “to be everything,” said Schneider. Since then it’s come in and out of editions, having been re-released in the early 2000s to align with 3.5. The current update for 5e was hinted at in playtest documents when eagle-eyed fans noticed “Sigil”—the main city of the Planescape setting—popping up in flavor text. Planescape, much like Radiant Citadel, is meant to have doors to specific settings—Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, and Gray Hawk to name a few. Additionally, surrounding Sigil are 16 gatetowns that are doors to the other planes.
Arman stated that there were a lot of “opportunities to add” to what came before, especially as the designers considered how people play D&D now as compared to the ‘90s. Arman was aware that they couldn’t “yes, and” their way out of all expectations. “You can’t have Planescape without the Lady of Pain,” he said, before describing her place in the setting and her mysterious powers to prevent gods from entering the city and punish anyone who crosses her gaze.
One of the best ways to get your character through Planescape, or any mysterious land, is to introduce a guide character. Enter your friend and mine, Morte, a talking skull that will help DMs loredump on their players without ever breaking character. Besides Morte there’s going to be Mimirs—magical devices that keep a whole lot of information hosted inside of them, kind of like Siri, but with magic instead of the internet keeping them up to date on all the deep wikidives. Morte is not a Mimir, but he is the “point of view” character for the three books, which is a fascinating little bit of introspection.
Arman described Sigil’s courthouse as being at the center of the multiverse where trials from across the realms take place. Marut patrol the courthouse and deliver those who violate the laws of death and the multiverse to the courthouse to meet their judgement.
The books will include several factions in Sigil, each of which embody a philosophy on the multiverse within the city. There is the Fraternity of Order, the Mercy Killers, the Hands of Havoc, and others. They are in constant “conversation” as ideas rise and fall in popularity and philosophies change within the populace at large. Characters can join up with these factions and be a part of them within the game.
The adventure—Turn of Fortune’s Wheel—forces the players into a multiversal glitch where if they die, or even if something “dramatic” happens to them, they become an alternate universe version of themselves. Schneider explains that if you will return “slightly different.” You might die “with a mustache and come back without one, or you could be the same character but now you’re a wizard, or an elf.” Schneider says that you get three versions of yourself to play as you attempt to piece together who you are throughout the campaign.
The bestiary, Morte’s Planar Parade, shows off “a host of planar creatures” that the characters might run into. The book also gives the DM information on how to make any creature a “planar creature” using “planar influences.” The idea is that a creature can be affected by the portals and gates surrounding Sigil and the Outlands, which can fundamentally change its abilities, nature, and appearance. The bestiary is also where the faction stats are outlined.
The alternate cover is illustrated by Toni DiTerlizzi, who did a lot of the original art for Planescape back in the ‘90s. These covers will be available only at physical game stores.
You can access the Planescape books digitally on D&D Beyond on October 3. The physical release date is October 17. Preorders are available now on the D&D Strore and Amazon.
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