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Silva
2018-11-16, 11:19 AM
I'm a big fan of this setting, but never played in it (except if you count the amazing Torment videogame, which I finished 3 times hehe). I have a ton of books for it here, and love the aesthetics. My only criticism is that the books are excessively verbose (I wish Greg Stolze or Neil Gaiman had written it) and the official adventures are not really good in conveying the setting crazy surreal existential potential (the videogame is much better at this). Also, I think all that 2e AD&D crunch present in the original box (spell effects per plane, etc) is dead weight and could be discarded without remorse. In fact, most mechanic bits present in the line leaves a lot to be desired (and that includes the factional powers from Factol Manifesto, imo).

That said, I'm opening this so we can talk about the setting. Why do you like it? What do you consider good advice for playing in it? How was your actual play experience in it? Etc.

ExLibrisMortis
2018-11-16, 12:34 PM
Obligatory (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?265884-afroakuma-s-Planar-Questions-Thread!-(You-ask-I-ll-answer)) links (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?272393-afroakuma-s-Planar-Questions-Thread-II!) to (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?299450-afroakuma-s-Planar-Questions-Thread-III!) Afroakuma's (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?317316-afroakuma-s-Planar-Questions-Thread-IV) old (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?372289-afroakuma-s-Planar-And-Other-Oddities-Questions-Thread-5!) Planescape (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?418709-afroakuma-s-Planar-And-Other-Oddities-Questions-Thread-VI) threads (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?527699-afroakuma-s-Planar-And-Other-Oddities-Questions-Thread-VII).

I like it because it's full of outlandish stuff and you can interact with all of it, even at lowish levels. Plus it's got all the fun of a recently created mythology, with a lot of humour.

Darth Ultron
2018-11-16, 12:50 PM
It's one of the best settings. I like it for it's Other World feeling and Quirky Style.

The Adventures are OK, but don't stand out much.

Planescape came, sadly as TRS was both publishing way too many settings and other books...and was starting to spiral downward.

The 2E crunch for Planescape was great, and really made the planes feel alien, exotic and dangerous. After 3E, the planes are a bit pointless as they are ''just like Earth". I still use the 2E crunch like planes for my game.

Planesacape games are always fun.

Kaptin Keen
2018-11-16, 03:32 PM
Of all the settings I love to read, discard and reinvent in my own version - Planescape is the one I love reading, discarding and reinventing the most. It's also the one from which I actually use the most of the original content.

Yora
2018-11-16, 04:23 PM
I was just reading in Planes of Chaos this week and thinking how frustrating it is to have this big world that has a lot of amazing stuff in it, but it just seeming really difficult to actually use for a game. As written, it seems almost unplayable, because there isn't any hints of what play in this setting might actually look like. Who are the PCs and what do they do?

Beleriphon
2018-11-16, 04:49 PM
I was just reading in Planes of Chaos this week and thinking how frustrating it is to have this big world that has a lot of amazing stuff in it, but it just seeming really difficult to actually use for a game. As written, it seems almost unplayable, because there isn't any hints of what play in this setting might actually look like. Who are the PCs and what do they do?

That was Planescape's biggest problem. It had awesome stuff, and no direction about what to do. Planescape had hints, and the Factions were great if you could weave them into a game, but the setting material didn't give much in the way of advice. Eberron has advice about what to do, just from the list of inspirational material. Forgotten Realms is a largely kitchen sink fantasy setting with enough back story to just go with it, Greyhawk is a setting with political intrigue and dungeon delving baked in, and other more esoteric settings had clear thematic structures which could play to the type of game and goals they setup and encourage.

Planescape had clear themes, but never had clear goals laid out. It many ways it was too broad for a game and takes a very narrow focus to make it work. Planescape: Torment is my go to for a narrow focus on a game. Yes the protagonist is different than the normal PCs, but there are clear goals, clear themes and a reason to play the game. It runs on Planescape's completely gonzo tropes, but it makes them relevant to the game you're playing right now.

And I think that's the setting's biggest failure, it never answered the question" "How do I use this book?"

Mechalich
2018-11-16, 04:54 PM
Planescape is gloriously weird, with all the awesomeness and all the trouble attendant to that. it is also stupidly huge, which creates its own problems. In fact, it's not really one setting its closer to forty-ish settings networked together in the form of each plane + demiplanes + Sigil. That's too much. Generally, even if you base your party in Sigil, you only want to use one or two other planes. Torment is actually a good example here: you only go to a couple of demiplanes, Baator, and Carceri in the course of the game.

This means that, in order to use Planescape, the GM needs to do a lot of work putting together the dynamics of whichever plane they wish to highlight for their campaign, and most of the planes in Planescape are not sufficiently detailed for the purpose of conducting adventures out of the box. In fact arguably only Sigil, the Outlands, Baator and certain portions of the Abyss actually are. The published materials, outside of those describing Sigil, are mostly presenting ideas, background, and campaign hooks. Significant GM labor is required to knit things together.


Who are the PCs and what do they do?

Planescape is a setting full of immensely powerful ideological (and non-ideological, especially in the Inner Planes factions) factions. However, these factions are generally extremely inflexible (yes including the chaotic ones). They have one way of trying to get things to work and if that doesn't work they can really only do one of two things, try plan A again, only harder, or get someone else with an alternate viewpoint to do it for them. That's the PCs - quasi-independent agents with just enough flexibility to operate in the cracks of the cosmic system that they can lever changes into happening if all goes well. And of course the PCs will have their own ideologies such that, when a rare moment of free choice does arise, they have to consider what this would mean and whether or not they should do it in addition to whether or not they can.

So the GM needs to pick two factions, one to support the PCs and one to oppose them, alongside some goal for the opposition faction that the PCs are in a position to oppose. Now the glory of Planescape is that these factions can be anyone for any reason. Embrace the weirdness. Planescape doesn't have tired kings or crotchety wizards as quest givers, it has megalomaniac Ethergaunts, bizarre hive intelligences, mutant dragons, reformed demons, chaos monks, and anything else you can possibly think of. Additionally, in Planescape 'you cannot achieve victory through force of arms.' Yes the PCs will occasional have to fight people, it's a combat game, and there are guards to beat down, traps to break, and nasty predators from alternate realities to face, but the overall goal is about changing some material aspect of the planes, not simply punching evil in the face, because there are lots of people more powerful than you will ever be already doing that.

Potential Planescape plots range from the extremely simple: the Fiends are trying to build a superweapon to destroy Mount Celestia, to the maddeningly esoteric: the wizard is going to mass-release basilisks into Dis so he can corner the interplanar market in gargoyle statuary. It is functionally impossible to be too crazy.

Beleriphon
2018-11-16, 05:52 PM
Potential Planescape plots range from the extremely simple: the Fiends are trying to build a superweapon to destroy Mount Celestia, to the maddeningly esoteric: the wizard is going to mass-release basilisks into Dis so he can corner the interplanar market in gargoyle statuary. It is functionally impossible to be too crazy.

I like the idea of planting a rose on the 782nd layer of the Abyss while playing a heavy metal power ballad because... THE POWER OF LOVE! :elan:

Throw in Brutal Legend vibes for style points and you have a game.

Darth Ultron
2018-11-16, 08:51 PM
Who are the PCs and what do they do?

Well, this is more of a Game Play of the Time, sort of thing.

Before 2000 RPGs, even more so D&D, were much more about the setting being just the bare bones to start from, not step by step instructions of ''what to do". This came up in your campagin setting thread a couple weeks ago, if you remember, a lot of people said that a setting book ''must have hooks" in it to tell them ''what to do". People wanted to open the setting book to page 11 and read "there are werewolves in the Red Forest...have your characters go kill them".

Of course, this is also from the time when most players did not have a character with a massive multi page back story, character wants and needs, and personal whims that they wanted worked into the game and played out.

JNAProductions
2018-11-16, 09:25 PM
Well, this is more of a Game Play of the Time, sort of thing.

Before 2000 RPGs, even more so D&D, were much more about the setting being just the bare bones to start from, not step by step instructions of ''what to do". This came up in your campagin setting thread a couple weeks ago, if you remember, a lot of people said that a setting book ''must have hooks" in it to tell them ''what to do". People wanted to open the setting book to page 11 and read "there are werewolves in the Red Forest...have your characters go kill them".

Of course, this is also from the time when most players did not have a character with a massive multi page back story, character wants and needs, and personal whims that they wanted worked into the game and played out.

So you hate roll playing, but don’t want characters to have backstories or goals or quirks or anything?

Tvtyrant
2018-11-17, 12:00 AM
If I was running a Planescape campaign I would probably go one of two approaches.

1. I would do a lot with Sigil as a politics heavy story. Don't go out of the city at all, the group is dealing with a series of internal conflicts. Sigil is cosmopolitan enough you don't need to add more stuff.

2. Futurama RPG style. You work for a Merchant-Mage of Sigil who wants you to either fetch things or take deliveries to other planes. This is basically an excuse to go everywhere on various campaigns and would explain why there are entries for the mineral plane or negative energy plane.

Darth Ultron
2018-11-17, 12:11 AM
So you hate roll playing, but don’t want characters to have backstories or goals or quirks or anything?

Well, I'm not a fan of the Modern Way. Even more so the players that demand it's the Only Way.

The main things are the over attachment that players have to characters: "It took me forever to make my character and they are special and so nothing can ever happen to them!"

And the demand that the players whims, mostly the twelve page backstory, MUST be part of the game every second and have the character in a big spotlight.

ahyangyi
2018-11-17, 12:18 AM
So you hate roll playing, but don’t want characters to have backstories or goals or quirks or anything?

The old school gaming style is different from both modern roleplaying and roll-playing. It was a game of mundaneness, high casualty, and unoptimized builds (because you rolled the stats), from what I heard about them.

And yes, I have a negative impression about the old school games, since their roleplaying part is superseded by modern TRPG, and the dungeon delving part superseded by modern Roguelike TV games.

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is, in particular, free and fun. Or if you want more old-schoolness you can play Nethack. But there's no reason you go to a game table to play a dungeon delve with no interesting back story with you.

Darth Ultron
2018-11-17, 01:13 AM
The old school gaming style is different from both modern roleplaying and roll-playing. It was a game of mundaneness, high casualty, and unoptimized builds (because you rolled the stats), from what I heard about them.


Well, that is the most popular often quoted style. But not the only one.

In a general sense classic D&D had less rules, for everything. Just about no ''crunch" other then combat. so anything else had to be done by role playing.

Fable Wright
2018-11-17, 01:23 AM
2. Futurama RPG style. You work for a Merchant-Mage of Sigil who wants you to either fetch things or take deliveries to other planes. This is basically an excuse to go everywhere on various campaigns and would explain why there are entries for the mineral plane or negative energy plane.

Aaand sold. How hard would to be to get Hasbro and Matt Groening to make this?

NichG
2018-11-17, 02:57 AM
Planescape is what got me into the hobby, but I never actually played it in its original form. I'd read bits of weird content from the mimir site and try to piece together what the heck this thing was. More so than any modern setting I can think of, I associate Planescape with the feeling of wanting to play in it so as to proactively explore the mysteries and contradictions presented in the written setting material. Probably in part because I'd never gotten a chance to do so as a player before GMing it myself.

That said, I tend to think that D&D (all editions) is a terrible fit for the setting. Something like 7th Sea seems closer, as those systems allow characters to be less combat-focused (and make it less suicidal to not be combat focused but still adventure around the planes). In general I think Planescape works much better as a setting when brute force is strictly off the table, to make it so that engaging with the nature of the plane one is on provides the bulk of a character's agency.

I did a '7thscape' adaptation once that I think worked pretty well...

Eldan
2018-11-17, 05:24 AM
Good point, actually. I've also seen fan adaptations for Fate of the planes (Fate) and Unknown Factions (Unknown Armies) that worked quite well.

But it depends a bit on what you want. Most of those are for low-level play, where the player are mundane people stumbling around in a crazy world. But it works just as well to have the players being quite powerful.

Mark Hall
2018-11-17, 10:26 AM
Back in the day, we mostly used Planescape as a supplemental setting for higher-level play. Sometime in the mid-levels, you'd probably go to Ravenloft; at the high levels, you'd likely go to the planes.

Florian
2018-11-17, 12:30 PM
So you hate roll playing, but don’t want characters to have backstories or goals or quirks or anything?

You're thinking way too "modern" about this. Part of the "old-school appeal" is the fact that the campaign world is at the front and center of the game and the characters are part of it, created to be played in a way that facilitates engaging with the actual content that is provided.

For example, if you lean more towards the "adventure game" roots, than as a player, you have the duty to create a character that is able and willing to engage more or less anything, maybe with multiple gms and tables in mind. Character, Backstories and such are nice, as long as they don't get in the way. What you don't want, especially when playing one-shots, are s**t like the "Reluctant Hero" types or answering the question "What motivation does my character have to go on this adventure?".

When we're talking about the "sandbox" roots, which is mostly based on free roaming exploration, then having goals, motivation and such to actively seek to fulfill as part of the game is a fundamental necessarily.

Ok, on Planescape: Very important and often overlooked by people who came into the hobby with 3E: Planescape is a great setting, but (A)D&D is the wrong rules system for it, because it has the very strong core message of "Personal Power Means Nothing".

It´s actually funny, but despite being full frontal weirdness, it´s actually quite close to Lord of the Rings in that it actually allows you to play the "little people" that will come thru and carry the day.
It´s hard to pull off, but one of the best approaches is a 50/50 mix of sandbox exploration and story mode. I think the best example is actually the Great Modern March campaign, which is broken down into multiple seemingly unconnected adventures that you, as gm, should include nonchalantly as part of an entirely different campaign for full effect.

NichG
2018-11-17, 01:21 PM
Good point, actually. I've also seen fan adaptations for Fate of the planes (Fate) and Unknown Factions (Unknown Armies) that worked quite well.

But it depends a bit on what you want. Most of those are for low-level play, where the player are mundane people stumbling around in a crazy world. But it works just as well to have the players being quite powerful.

I think the key thing in my mind is, it's fine to have extremely powerful and influential PCs in a Planescape game, but the nature of that power and influence should operate in such a way that it acknowledges the setting elements rather than via deleting or overriding the setting elements. Someone going to Baator and using their mastery of forgery to alter the Pact Primeval is one thing, but someone going to Baator and cutting the Gordian knot of the infernal bureaucracy by just killing wave after wave of infernal enforcer is sort of missing the point. So ideally, the system should present ways for characters to become very powerful via deepening their connection with the setting (I'd imagine for example a system chock full of mythological transformative experiences, pacts, bits of cosmic lore which carry power in their own right, quirks of planar geography, magical locations, etc across the planes that one could make use of in order to gain agency), rather than by having a horizon of power beyond which players can expect to become able to ignore the various planar details.

One of the examples in the old 2e stuff was that on Limbo, there is a very small chance for someone's illusion spells to become permanently real. So you can imagine even low level characters going and making illusions of various things they can imagine as sources of power in order to try to exploit that effect and achieve a moment of ascension.

Silva
2018-11-17, 02:51 PM
Well, I think most styles work with the setting (sandboxes, story-driven, "modern" character-driven play, etc) as long as the group go CRAZY! You don't play a thief, you play f*cking Garrett the Masterthief out in the planes robbing and making a joke of the God of Thieves to take his place in the pantheon; or a Conan-like barbarian from Athas seeking a God of fertility to carry to his world even if he needs to drag It there by the neck. If you play Planescape as muh bearded dwarf with hammer n947, you're playing it wrong.

That said, I agree D&D rules don't add much to it. I think the ideal ruleset should challenge the characters convictions through moral dilemmas, and the consequences that entail. More or less what Torment videogame does. From the top of my head, Pendragon' passions and traits could be used here, as would Burning Wheel's Beliefs, Instincts and Athas, Fate with the conscious choice and challenging of Aspects, Unknown Armies with tailored Obsessions, or some Powered by the Apocalypse hack with some devious basic moves.


Obligatory (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?265884-afroakuma-s-Planar-Questions-Thread!-(You-ask-I-ll-answer)) links (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?272393-afroakuma-s-Planar-Questions-Thread-II!) to (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?299450-afroakuma-s-Planar-Questions-Thread-III!) Afroakuma's (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?317316-afroakuma-s-Planar-Questions-Thread-IV) old (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?372289-afroakuma-s-Planar-And-Other-Oddities-Questions-Thread-5!) Planescape (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?418709-afroakuma-s-Planar-And-Other-Oddities-Questions-Thread-VI) threads (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?527699-afroakuma-s-Planar-And-Other-Oddities-Questions-Thread-VII).

I like it because it's full of outlandish stuff and you can interact with all of it, even at lowish levels. Plus it's got all the fun of a recently created mythology, with a lot of humour.
This is AMAZING stuff! Thanks.

Arbane
2018-11-17, 03:10 PM
I was just reading in Planes of Chaos this week and thinking how frustrating it is to have this big world that has a lot of amazing stuff in it, but it just seeming really difficult to actually use for a game. As written, it seems almost unplayable, because there isn't any hints of what play in this setting might actually look like. Who are the PCs and what do they do?

I'd argue that's one of the bigger problems with AD&D's cosmology - for a game with plane-hopping, entirely too many of the planes will KILL YOU DEAD if you go there without first preparing like NASA making a moon-landing. Yes, it's 'realistic' (well, 'commonsensical', for planes based on the classical 4 elements anyway), but it's not very gameable.

Silva
2018-11-17, 03:31 PM
I'd argue that's one of the bigger problems with AD&D's cosmology - for a game with plane-hopping, entirely too many of the planes will KILL YOU DEAD if you go there without first preparing like NASA making a moon-landing. Yes, it's 'realistic' (well, 'commonsensical', for planes based on the classical 4 elements anyway), but it's not very gameable.
Haha true. And this counts even for some apparently harmless planes. Ie: Elysium and it's highly addicting vibrancy that eventually entraps visitors and make them petitioners.

Mechalich
2018-11-18, 05:39 AM
I'd argue that's one of the bigger problems with AD&D's cosmology - for a game with plane-hopping, entirely too many of the planes will KILL YOU DEAD if you go there without first preparing like NASA making a moon-landing. Yes, it's 'realistic' (well, 'commonsensical', for planes based on the classical 4 elements anyway), but it's not very gameable.

This is, in large part, a legacy effect. The D&D cosmology was designed all the way back in 1e, with the planes as a backdrop that you could only visit, if at all, with some really high level spells. The magic needed to survive on any of the planes was consequently well within reach of someone able to cast Plane Shift in the first place. The Planescape setting acknowledged this in the primes/planars divide. Primes don't really understand the planes and have to try and brute force every problem with magic. Planars, by contrast, no all sorts of dirty tricks to get around established problems. They also know that the planes are infinitely big. As a result, even if you can only survive in 0.01% of a plane, there's still a ton of interesting places to visit there.

That being said, it is hard to survive most of the planes at low-levels, even without environmental issues. For instance, if you're below a reasonable level a visit to any of the lower planes is simply going to result in the PCs being dominated/eaten by even relatively minor fiends. From a 3.X perspective planar adventures function best around levels 7-12, which actually works as a nice jump up since Prime Material adventures function best in the 1-6 ranges.

However, certain planes are more accommodating to lower level characters, including a number of the inner planes. The Ethereal, of course, is ideal, allowing the GM to generate numerous demiplanes arranged to taste.

Silva
2018-11-22, 03:42 PM
Something I really really like are the setting's aesthetics, both in the twisted-faery-tale-like Diterlizzi art, and also in the overall gothic/punk/"new weird" vibes from Ruppel and Knutson as seen on small ilos, maps, icons, textures and color palette. That Lady of Pain big image in the core's GM screen is emblematic to this, I think.

Edit: this one..

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcRZhQxPiSFIxy0ltG5bNet7Jq7BLAh J5B9v8f4-7pqUVXyCT7Vu

I understand part of this visual ID became the norm for D&D 3E and it's "dungeon punk", dropping definitely the classic fantasy aesthetics of previous editions. Makes sense sayin Planescape was an influence in this?

Yora
2018-11-22, 04:00 PM
I had not made the connection, but 3.5e Wayne Reynolds art seems very much like a straight continuation of that style.

Beleriphon
2018-11-22, 08:13 PM
Well, that is the most popular often quoted style. But not the only one.

In a general sense classic D&D had less rules, for everything. Just about no ''crunch" other then combat. so anything else had to be done by role playing.

Sort of. The original D&D rules generally assumed you were dungeon delving and that was the motivation: cash, money, jewels, prizes, maybe some fame, but mostly fortune. Most of the rules involved stabbing things to take its stuff, or sneaking paste it to take its stuff. Essentially they only covered what the assumptions of the game was going to do. Otherwise, the rules were built around late 60s/ early 70s understanding of history and Gygax's/Arneson's views of reasonableness for different situations that were eventually codified into the rules at some point.

In terms of Planescape it is a pretty substantial departure from the tone and expected game play for the D&D settings up until that point. Most of them still revolved around dungeons, killing dudes for their stuff, and gain treasure. The game was well designed to accomplish this, and radical departures like Birthright made it very clear what the players were doing and had new rules to support those new goals. Planescape however made it clear that stabbing dudes as a solution was not going to work (if only because you can't stab ideas) and that dungeons probably didn't factor into the game very much. In many ways Planescape was two products: 1) a setting useable from level 1 for new characters and 2) an update to the planar structure developed until that point for existing high level characters. On the later it succeeds because it really all you need are more monsters and the rules to operate on the planes, which Planescape offered in spades. For first level characters it didn't do as well because it never did a good job of telling the players or the DM what the core idea behind Planescape was. The books said what it wasn't about, but never gave any alternative to what Planescape was about. Just saying "the planes" wasn't a good answer, since D&D games aren't about places, they are about what the players do in the game. It isn't even about "hand holding" at this point, even Gygax's first D&D booklets told the players what the game was about!


I had not made the connection, but 3.5e Wayne Reynolds art seems very much like a straight continuation of that style.

You mean thick ankle, pointy foot upfront Wayne Reyolds? I'm not sure I see the link at all between the styles. I could see similarities between Todd Lockwood's style and Planescape, but not Reynolds.

Mechalich
2018-11-23, 02:53 AM
In terms of Planescape it is a pretty substantial departure from the tone and expected game play for the D&D settings up until that point. Most of them still revolved around dungeons, killing dudes for their stuff, and gain treasure. The game was well designed to accomplish this, and radical departures like Birthright made it very clear what the players were doing and had new rules to support those new goals. Planescape however made it clear that stabbing dudes as a solution was not going to work (if only because you can't stab ideas) and that dungeons probably didn't factor into the game very much. In many ways Planescape was two products: 1) a setting useable from level 1 for new characters and 2) an update to the planar structure developed until that point for existing high level characters. On the later it succeeds because it really all you need are more monsters and the rules to operate on the planes, which Planescape offered in spades. For first level characters it didn't do as well because it never did a good job of telling the players or the DM what the core idea behind Planescape was. The books said what it wasn't about, but never gave any alternative to what Planescape was about. Just saying "the planes" wasn't a good answer, since D&D games aren't about places, they are about what the players do in the game. It isn't even about "hand holding" at this point, even Gygax's first D&D booklets told the players what the game was about!


Planescape was supposed to be about the PCs picking ideologies and trying to bend the planes collectively closer towards the goals of those ideologies. The problem was twofold. First it was highly unlikely that you could talk a group into all picking a single faction or sect and many of the factions did not play well with others. Second, many of the factions they came up with weren't really very invested in the 'go adventuring!' gameplay that D&D supports, which meant that the PCs needed a fair bit of railroading to get them onto any sort of adventure path (Planescape: Torment also does this, the Nameless One spends the entire game being railroaded by his past).

To make it work you kind of have to pare down the available options. A party where all the PCs belonged to closely aligned factions operating on one or two closely aligned planes could be prevented with adventure hooks and be expected to follow them in a reasonable way, but it requires the DM to put their foot down hard during chargen. This is actually similar to the issues with Mage: The Ascension (which shares at least some DNA with Planescape and which there is a conversion to run Planescape with).

Mordaedil
2018-11-23, 02:56 AM
I mostly know of Planescape from the Manuel of the Planes printed for 3e, but I love how every plane is it's own world in a sense, with limitless adventure possibilities just in that contained space. Some are extremely dangerous by just their nature like the elemental planes, even ones you wouldn't really suspect to be so like the plane of positive energy, and going to Hell is strangely a more positive experience than you'd expect. While not extremely recommended, it isn't that unusual to strike up a conversation with a devil and get something out of it without it costing you your soul, albeit how verifiable any information you get is, is more questionable. And if you want a risk-free adventuring experience, there's even a plane just for that, where you are resurrected every dawn.

There's just a lot of potential and I'd like to once do an entire adventure just leaping from plane to plane, but I am having issues figuring out how to do that from a low level.

Florian
2018-11-23, 03:51 AM
There's just a lot of potential and I'd like to once do an entire adventure just leaping from plane to plane, but I am having issues figuring out how to do that from a low level.

MotP was actually really a disappointment, at least when you are a long-time player and were into Planescape when AD&D 2nd was still alive and kicking.

I quite adore the PF update of the Great Wheel cosmology, The Great Beyond, which is a lot more coherent, less monolithic and makes way more sense.

Basically, don't fall into the typical 3E thinking of the characters having to have native and inbuilt access to certain options, like Plane Shift. That doesn´t matter. There're portals, rifts and planar traveller anywhere, even if you don't want to use the Infinite Staircase as a means of travel (I don't because it is dumb). Want to get to the Dreamlands? Research which harbors regularly deals with Black Ships, hitch a ride to Leng and proceed from there. Or maybe there's a trader with a Planar Skiff who´ll make a round-trip thru certain planes and planar trading posts, who´ll let you come on board very cheap, but woe to you when you miss the departure time....

Silva
2018-11-23, 05:19 AM
About the playability issue, I think Planescape is very similar to Vampire the Masquerade in this respect, which was the game that inspired it according to the devs - a very interesting setting and premise that didn't find a clear method to be gamified.

It's arguable if they did find a method in later editions. I think they did, and each new edition was a step in the right direction, culminating in the newest 5E Vampire which makes the "personal horror" premise the most playable so far. But then this new edition also made use of "technologies" that didn't exist in the early 90s, I think, like the "narrativistic"/personal dilemmas-driven methods of the Forge as developed in games like Burning Wheel, Smallvile, Unknown Armies, Don't Rest Your Head, Apocalypse World, Lady Blackbird, Hillfolk, etc.

It would be interesting to see what a new edition of Planescape that drank from those ideas would be like. I think 5E D&D could fit such tweak well, maybe expanding Inspiration to reflect the ideological focus of the setting better, while simplifying the more combat-centered parts. Who knows...

Eldan
2018-11-23, 05:31 AM
MotP was actually really a disappointment, at least when you are a long-time player and were into Planescape when AD&D 2nd was still alive and kicking.

I quite adore the PF update of the Great Wheel cosmology, The Great Beyond, which is a lot more coherent, less monolithic and makes way more sense.

Basically, don't fall into the typical 3E thinking of the characters having to have native and inbuilt access to certain options, like Plane Shift. That doesn´t matter. There're portals, rifts and planar traveller anywhere, even if you don't want to use the Infinite Staircase as a means of travel (I don't because it is dumb). Want to get to the Dreamlands? Research which harbors regularly deals with Black Ships, hitch a ride to Leng and proceed from there. Or maybe there's a trader with a Planar Skiff who´ll make a round-trip thru certain planes and planar trading posts, who´ll let you come on board very cheap, but woe to you when you miss the departure time....

Planescape had most of that too. Even apart from the random portals to Sigil, there's breaches, magical locations, fairy roads, magical rivers, Yggdrasil, the Infinite Staircase, Mount Olympus, the Astral Plane, portals in the clouds... you can pretty much walk from anywhere to anywhere on the planes. And there's dozens of interplanar trading factions and interplanar races. There's mounts that can travel from plane to plane, ships, airships, ring gates... there's even interplanar cities.

Beleriphon
2018-11-23, 07:55 PM
Planescape was supposed to be about the PCs picking ideologies and trying to bend the planes collectively closer towards the goals of those ideologies. The problem was twofold. First it was highly unlikely that you could talk a group into all picking a single faction or sect and many of the factions did not play well with others. Second, many of the factions they came up with weren't really very invested in the 'go adventuring!' gameplay that D&D supports, which meant that the PCs needed a fair bit of railroading to get them onto any sort of adventure path (Planescape: Torment also does this, the Nameless One spends the entire game being railroaded by his past).

That's very true. Its the problem I always had running and playing in the setting. It takes a fair bit of work to wrangle everything together


To make it work you kind of have to pare down the available options. A party where all the PCs belonged to closely aligned factions operating on one or two closely aligned planes could be prevented with adventure hooks and be expected to follow them in a reasonable way, but it requires the DM to put their foot down hard during chargen. This is actually similar to the issues with Mage: The Ascension (which shares at least some DNA with Planescape and which there is a conversion to run Planescape with).

This is very true as well. The books really needed better DM guidelines for how to make best use of the settings core themes.

Mark Hall
2018-11-24, 09:39 AM
There's just a lot of potential and I'd like to once do an entire adventure just leaping from plane to plane, but I am having issues figuring out how to do that from a low level.

Portals and planars... which I think is what was intended.

Do you want your party to leave Sigil and hare off to Limbo? Make them aware of a portal that will take them there, then give them a rabbit to chase. Make sure the rabbit is something in their range (i.e. a mortal planar), not a big demon that their first level butts would never be able to handle. If they need magic weapons when they get there, give them magic weapons from that plane, so they don't function when taken to other planes.

So long as you keep the opposition at the planar level, with fiends, celestials, and the like as backdrop and the occasional "immovable object", you can have a big Planescape campaign without needing to whip out Plane Shift all the time.

Silva
2018-11-24, 06:16 PM
What are good hooks for player-driven/sandbox campaigns in the setting? There's the planewalkers guild around. Maybe having PCs as members doing jobs or errands for Sigil sponsors (while keeping an eye open for opportunities to please their factions on the side) would be a good start.

Makes sense? What else are there?

Mark Hall
2018-11-24, 06:41 PM
What are good hooks for player-driven/sandbox campaigns in the setting? There's the planewalkers guild around. Maybe having PCs as members doing jobs or errands for Sigil sponsors (while keeping an eye open for opportunities to please their factions on the side) would be a good start.

Makes sense? What else are there?

It's a good start. I think Planescape: Torment does a good job of showing the variety... you might have them go to tombs, or disused parts of Sigil, or even to other prime material planes that you don't have to define too much beyond the particular hat you want it to wear.

Eldan
2018-11-26, 04:21 AM
What has worked well for me for low level parties is starting the PCs off on what seems like a fairly typical quest in an urban environment, but then have it get political. They raid a tomb deep below Sigil, but then find a drug lab run by a gang, but the boss of that gang is a faction member who can cause legal problems for the PCs. The bandits camping out at some rarely used gate are actually specifically targeting Dustmen, trying to goad them into showing emotions like anger to make them break their vows. The PCs are trying to find a missing person, but it turns out they haven't been abducted, but legally re-patriated to Hell by a Baatezu bounty hunter with a contract. That kind of thing.

Give the PCs an enemy they can't touch because of political power, but in the process, have them be recruited by a rival faction, who gives them more jobs.

Thrawn4
2018-12-05, 10:38 AM
As it happens, I may very well start a Planescape campaign soon. We use a simplified homebrew that I have to adapt, but I struggle with some issues as I prefer a simpler system but would like to keep the general fluff:

1. Healing - afaik healing is mostly a priest thing, right? But there can also be other classes like bards who have some access to healing spells? And curing permanent injuries requires high level spells?

2. Languages - is there a common one that everybody speaks?

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-05, 11:36 AM
About the playability issue, I think Planescape is very similar to Vampire the Masquerade in this respect, which was the game that inspired it according to the devs - a very interesting setting and premise that didn't find a clear method to be gamified.

It's arguable if they did find a method in later editions. I think they did, and each new edition was a step in the right direction, culminating in the newest 5E Vampire which makes the "personal horror" premise the most playable so far. But then this new edition also made use of "technologies" that didn't exist in the early 90s, I think, like the "narrativistic"/personal dilemmas-driven methods of the Forge as developed in games like Burning Wheel, Smallvile, Unknown Armies, Don't Rest Your Head, Apocalypse World, Lady Blackbird, Hillfolk, etc.

It would be interesting to see what a new edition of Planescape that drank from those ideas would be like. I think 5E D&D could fit such tweak well, maybe expanding Inspiration to reflect the ideological focus of the setting better, while simplifying the more combat-centered parts. Who knows...

Whereas for some of us, this would make the system more of a burden.

If we're using Vampire as an example, every time they tried with a heavier hand to force the players to stop having "badwrongfun" and railroad them down the path of personal horror angstburger, they just made things worse.

(Oddly enough, much of RE's Forge-era effort was a backlash against Vampire and other White Wolf games...)

Eldan
2018-12-05, 11:54 AM
As it happens, I may very well start a Planescape campaign soon. We use a simplified homebrew that I have to adapt, but I struggle with some issues as I prefer a simpler system but would like to keep the general fluff:

1. Healing - afaik healing is mostly a priest thing, right? But there can also be other classes like bards who have some access to healing spells? And curing permanent injuries requires high level spells?

2. Languages - is there a common one that everybody speaks?

The language is usually called something like Planar Trade language. It's said to be a kind of creole based on the common languages of some of the more prominent prime worlds and the languages of the major planar exemplar races. Chances are, everyone you meet will be more or less fluent in it. (As in: unless the DM wants to make it a challenge, dont' bother about language too much.) There's other major languages, like the elemental languages of the elementals and Djinn, as well as Celestial (the common language of the upper planes) and Fiendish (the common language of the lower planes), plus of course languages such as Infernal and Abyssal that are spoken by great powers.

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-05, 11:56 AM
There's a related discussion in World Building.

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?574188-The-D-amp-D-planes-modification-(Great-wheel-model)-Or-something-like-that

Mark Hall
2018-12-05, 01:51 PM
As it happens, I may very well start a Planescape campaign soon. We use a simplified homebrew that I have to adapt, but I struggle with some issues as I prefer a simpler system but would like to keep the general fluff:

1. Healing - afaik healing is mostly a priest thing, right? But there can also be other classes like bards who have some access to healing spells? And curing permanent injuries requires high level spells?

2. Languages - is there a common one that everybody speaks?

1) Depends on edition. In AD&D, Bards are complicated, but druids, and therefore healers. In 2e, bards are wizard casters, so no healing. In 3e and beyond, I believe they gave bards some healing.

2) I believe Planescape uses a Planar Common as a base.

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-05, 05:13 PM
Thing is, I really like the idea of a "city between worlds" setting, or location in a setting. It's the ultimate cosmopolitan crossroads. It's a bit like the fantasy version of the "neutral territory space station".


I'd just have to pry some of the elements out of it, such as the Great Wheel, and the whole subjective reality / power of belief thing.

Eldan
2018-12-05, 05:55 PM
Then why use Planescape? There's dozens or hundreds of cities or buildings or places between worlds in fictions, why use the one that has all the parts you hate as integral to every tiniest part of the setting?

Arbane
2018-12-05, 08:39 PM
Thing is, I really like the idea of a "city between worlds" setting, or location in a setting. It's the ultimate cosmopolitan crossroads. It's a bit like the fantasy version of the "neutral territory space station".

I'd just have to pry some of the elements out of it, such as the Great Wheel, and the whole subjective reality / power of belief thing.

Other cities in the same vein are Bugtown (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Those_Annoying_Post_Bros), Cynosure (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynosure_(comics)), and Nexus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nexus:_The_Infinite_City).

Eldan
2018-12-06, 03:15 AM
And a lot of varieties of the Tavern between Worlds, if you don't want an entire city. Like the World's End, the Free House, the House of Mystery or if you want to stay within DnD specifically, The World Serpent Inn.

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-06, 11:30 AM
Then why use Planescape? There's dozens or hundreds of cities or buildings or places between worlds in fictions, why use the one that has all the parts you hate as integral to every tiniest part of the setting?

I wouldn't use Planescape as a whole, just Sigil.



Other cities in the same vein are Bugtown (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Those_Annoying_Post_Bros), Cynosure (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynosure_(comics)), and Nexus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nexus:_The_Infinite_City).


And a lot of varieties of the Tavern between Worlds, if you don't want an entire city. Like the World's End, the Free House, the House of Mystery or if you want to stay within DnD specifically, The World Serpent Inn.

Or read up on all of these, file off the numbers, scramble up the ideas, let them cook for a while, and come up with my own "city in the between".

If such an idea fit the setting I was working on. Not sure if it fits either of the WIPs right now.

Eldan
2018-12-06, 11:48 AM
I wouldn't use Planescape as a whole, just Sigil.

That's the thing though... Sigil without Planescape is... nothing?

All the power groups in the city are philosopher-sects. All the public buildings are run by philosophers. And the shops. And the festivals, the sewers, the morgues, the courts, the police, the taverns, the markets... everything. Usually, about the third word in every NPC statblock is their philosophical affilitation. Every mentioned conflict and rumour is about philosophical differences. If you take the philosophy out of Sigil, there isn't anything left.

Tvtyrant
2018-12-06, 01:04 PM
All this talk of Sigil and world hopping makes me want to play Kingdom Hearts I again. Traverse Town is basically the same premise but more post-apocalyptic.

greenfunkman
2018-12-08, 02:11 PM
If I was running a Planescape campaign

2. Futurama RPG style. You work for a Merchant-Mage of Sigil who wants you to either fetch things or take deliveries to other planes. This is basically an excuse to go everywhere on various campaigns and would explain why there are entries for the mineral plane or negative energy plane.

I absolutely LOVE this idea

Clistenes
2018-12-08, 06:45 PM
That's the thing though... Sigil without Planescape is... nothing?

All the power groups in the city are philosopher-sects. All the public buildings are run by philosophers. And the shops. And the festivals, the sewers, the morgues, the courts, the police, the taverns, the markets... everything. Usually, about the third word in every NPC statblock is their philosophical affilitation. Every mentioned conflict and rumour is about philosophical differences. If you take the philosophy out of Sigil, there isn't anything left.

I always thought that mortal factions had too much influence... I mean, the Planes are where the Powers dwell, where all the souls of all the deceased come to be, where Fiends and Celestials and Modrons and Slaadi and Genies and Rilmani and many more have accumulated power and warred among themselves for centuries and millennia and more... And some upstart short-lived low-level mortals get to shape them? To throw Menausus from Arcadia into Mechanus?

I know Planescape is all about the factions, but, these could have clashed among themselves even if their conflict only influenced their own mortal lives...

NichG
2018-12-08, 07:28 PM
I always thought that mortal factions had too much influence... I mean, the Planes are where the Powers dwell, where all the souls of all the deceased come to be, where Fiends and Celestials and Modrons and Slaadi and Genies and Rilmani and many more have accumulated power and warred among themselves for centuries and millennia and more... And some upstart short-lived low-level mortals get to shape them? To throw Menausus from Arcadia into Mechanus?

I know Planescape is all about the factions, but, these could have clashed among themselves even if their conflict only influenced their own mortal lives...

The nature of the influence of mortals is basically the entire point of Planescape as a setting (as opposed to just the D&D planes). It forwards a particular reason for why the Powers would simultaneously care about what happens to their believers on the prime, but also would be hesitant to just wield their overwhelming power directly - what the mortals believe about that Power either with faith or just because of what they see or hear might become a real part of that entity's existence. Going out in person and doing things is like performing brain surgery on yourself.

That doesn't mean mortals get to just overpower gods at a whim, but it does mean they collectively have some leverage (which most, intentionally, are not aware of).

Planescape then explores what happens when a subset of mortals become aware of this leverage they possess. Some (athar) use it to try to get the Powers kicked out of office, some turn it on the substrate of reality itself trying to directly determine the nature of existence (sensates, doomguard, etc) without the intervening step of nucleating a deity around it, some turn it on themselves in attempts to ascend (godsmen, signers, ciphers).

As a result, mortals end up being exposed more directly and viscerally to the hidden contents of their own natures as those things are fed raw uncontrolled power in the form of belief, which sets up conflicts that parallel the structure of the planes as reflections of the extremes of various moral positions.

Clistenes
2018-12-08, 08:08 PM
The nature of the influence of mortals is basically the entire point of Planescape as a setting (as opposed to just the D&D planes). It forwards a particular reason for why the Powers would simultaneously care about what happens to their believers on the prime, but also would be hesitant to just wield their overwhelming power directly - what the mortals believe about that Power either with faith or just because of what they see or hear might become a real part of that entity's existence. Going out in person and doing things is like performing brain surgery on yourself.

That doesn't mean mortals get to just overpower gods at a whim, but it does mean they collectively have some leverage (which most, intentionally, are not aware of).

Planescape then explores what happens when a subset of mortals become aware of this leverage they possess. Some (athar) use it to try to get the Powers kicked out of office, some turn it on the substrate of reality itself trying to directly determine the nature of existence (sensates, doomguard, etc) without the intervening step of nucleating a deity around it, some turn it on themselves in attempts to ascend (godsmen, signers, ciphers).

As a result, mortals end up being exposed more directly and viscerally to the hidden contents of their own natures as those things are fed raw uncontrolled power in the form of belief, which sets up conflicts that parallel the structure of the planes as reflections of the extremes of various moral positions.

But, going back to my example of Menausus... no deity was able to predict what would happen and tattle to the native Outsiders and Petitioners of Arcadia?

Since each Outer Plane has their own governing philosophy, and they are infinite with infinite inhabitants, shouldn't the beliefs of the inhabitants of any Outer Plane outweigh the influence of any one of the fifteen factions based on Sigil, a city with 250,000-1,000,000 inhabitants?

Mechalich
2018-12-08, 08:29 PM
To throw Menausus from Arcadia into Mechanus?

That specific example is perhaps a good case of where the authors reached a little too far in terms of mortal influence on the planes. Losing a large chunk of Menausus - even a chunk the size of planets - would be one thing, but the loss of a whole layer was never well justified.


I know Planescape is all about the factions, but, these could have clashed among themselves even if their conflict only influenced their own mortal lives...

That's actually how the setting is mostly set up. None of the Factions is in anything like a position to do something about the really big cross-planar conflicts. There's no stopping the Blood War, or ending the Githyanki-Githzerai conflict (even though there is a 3e adventure that involved killing Vlaakith for some stupid reason), or anything like that. You aren't going to overthrow any of the big established pantheons either. Planescape is all about tinkering on the margins, with the idea that, eventually, if you mange to consistently move them in one direction increment by increment for thousands of years you might actually accomplish something.

Of course because the Factions want different things (or, in the case of the Bleakers, nothing), the mortal adventurers of the planes mostly undercut each other and prevent consistent movement in any given direction. They also generally fail to endure over the long term for all the usual political reasons and possibly because the Lady enjoys messing with them.


Since each Outer Plane has their own governing philosophy, and they are infinite with infinite inhabitants, shouldn't the beliefs of the inhabitants of any Outer Plane outweigh the influence of any one of the fifteen factions based on Sigil, a city with 250,000-1,000,000 inhabitants?

The majority of the residents of the Outer Planes are either exemplars (fiends, celestials, etc.) or petitioners and their beliefs kind of don't count or at best add to the belief supporting the various deities on those planes. Additionally the Factions have the majority of their members outside of Sigil on the various Outer Planes. In general, on most of the Outer Planes, the areas where mortals congregate are full of individuals who retain faction membership, so the Cagers aren't even the majority of their factions.

And Sigil has a ridiculously outsized influence because of its status as a planar transport hub and actual zone of neutrality. Anywhere on the Outer Planes (and to a lesser extent anywhere in the multiverse at all) the easiest way from point A to B is usually through the nearest portal to Sigil and then back out through a portal near your destination, even if those places are on the same plane. This also means that Sigil's transient population is several times larger than its resident population at any given point and a huge number of those people have at least nominal faction membership because it has huge advantages when they need to pass through Sigil.

NichG
2018-12-08, 09:08 PM
But, going back to my example of Menausus... no deity was able to predict what would happen and tattle to the native Outsiders and Petitioners of Arcadia?

Since each Outer Plane has their own governing philosophy, and they are infinite with infinite inhabitants, shouldn't the beliefs of the inhabitants of any Outer Plane outweigh the influence of any one of the fifteen factions based on Sigil, a city with 250,000-1,000,000 inhabitants?

So a couple of things there. One is that the infinite portion of the inhabitants of any Outer Plane are strictly non-mortals (not even petitioners, since the total number of mortal dead across the multiverse is still a finite number) and as such are created from the beliefs of a finite number of mortals in the first place. So that infinity should not weigh against the outcome. Even moreso, if it's established that a finite number of mortals can provide the belief to create a planar infinity, then belief is exactly the lever which is established to let the finite bridge to the infinite (which is why beings who are infinitely more powerful than mortals may still be forced to care about the beliefs of mortals).

And as to the scale, the Harmonium is interesting as a faction because it actually started as a world which unified under one banner and then began an interdimensional conquest across the prime material plane, which has relatively recently in planar scales made its way to the Outer Planes and gotten the direct support of some of the powers of those planes. So they may be wielding a far larger population than 250k-1m mortals - basically the population of one or more entire worlds. That's definitely a force on the scale of the kinds of belief that can empower entire pantheons, so it seems at least plausible to me that the combination of explicit recognition from outer planar forces, that sort of backing, and the actual establishment of a lever directly into the layer in question could lead to a shift.

Or, you could take it as an opportunity to say 'there's something darker going on behind the scenes, and that shouldn't have worked, therefore someone used it as an opportunity to amplify their own ambitions and get it done'.

Yora
2018-12-09, 02:26 AM
I believe the setting box says early on that Planescape is about belief changing reality. But never says how that could look in an adventure or campaign.

Clistenes
2018-12-09, 04:32 AM
The majority of the residents of the Outer Planes are either exemplars (fiends, celestials, etc.) or petitioners and their beliefs kind of don't count

As far as I know, that has never been established...


or at best add to the belief supporting the various deities on those planes.

Each of these groups have a very clear way of thinking about how the Multiverse works. Their beliefs should get the way things work at least within their Plane well nailed down...


In general, on most of the Outer Planes, the areas where mortals congregate are full of individuals who retain faction membership, so the Cagers aren't even the majority of their factions.

These mortals are still a minority compared with the endless denizens of the Plane. And most mortals actually born in an Outer Plane tend to follow the native philosophy.

And yes, I know the philosophy of some factions sorta matches the philosophy of their favourite Outer Plane, but that isn't always true: The Sign of One's favoured Plane is the Beastlands, I think, and their philosophy has nothing to do with the local's. Same with the Trascendent Order's and Elysium.

The Fated don't fit Ysgard that much either (the Fated's philosophy is "Might Makes Right", Ysgard's native philosophy is "Lets Get A Good Scrap").

The Society of Sensation's philosophy don't fit Arborea's very well, either (Arborea's philosophy is "Be Free And Let Others Be Free", the Sensates seek knowledge and enlightment by experiencing stuff...).


And Sigil has a ridiculously outsized influence because of its status as a planar transport hub and actual zone of neutrality. Anywhere on the Outer Planes (and to a lesser extent anywhere in the multiverse at all) the easiest way from point A to B is usually through the nearest portal to Sigil and then back out through a portal near your destination, even if those places are on the same plane. This also means that Sigil's transient population is several times larger than its resident population at any given point and a huge number of those people have at least nominal faction membership because it has huge advantages when they need to pass through Sigil.

Political and economic influence, yes... Influence over the beliefs in the whole Multiverse... that's different.



So a couple of things there. One is that the infinite portion of the inhabitants of any Outer Plane are strictly non-mortals (not even petitioners, since the total number of mortal dead across the multiverse is still a finite number) and as such are created from the beliefs of a finite number of mortals in the first place. So that infinity should not weigh against the outcome. Even moreso, if it's established that a finite number of mortals can provide the belief to create a planar infinity, then belief is exactly the lever which is established to let the finite bridge to the infinite (which is why beings who are infinitely more powerful than mortals may still be forced to care about the beliefs of mortals).

Has it ever been established that mortal belief created the Planes themselves? Because I always interpreted that the influence of all those billions or even trillions of Petitioners merging with the Plane during millions of years was WAY more important...


And as to the scale, the Harmonium is interesting as a faction because it actually started as a world which unified under one banner and then began an interdimensional conquest across the prime material plane, which has relatively recently in planar scales made its way to the Outer Planes and gotten the direct support of some of the powers of those planes. So they may be wielding a far larger population than 250k-1m mortals - basically the population of one or more entire worlds. That's definitely a force on the scale of the kinds of belief that can empower entire pantheons, so it seems at least plausible to me that the combination of explicit recognition from outer planar forces, that sort of backing, and the actual establishment of a lever directly into the layer in question could lead to a shift.

Each Outer Plane would constantly receive the souls of many different Prime worlds. And these souls stay there and contribute to keep shaping the Plane, and eventually become the Plane. Menausus was made of the soulstuff of a millionfold Harmoniums and even its Petitioners should outnumber the Harmonium by a large margin...

The way I like to play it, the planar mortals only believe they control the Planes, and their belief skews their perception, but the Outsiders and Petitioners perceive them as irrelevant... Basically, the planar mortals live on the thin outer skin of the Outer Planes, like mold growing on a rock, and they don't have influence over most of the Plane... they just think they do, because they just aren't aware of most of the Planes...

NichG
2018-12-09, 04:59 AM
Has it ever been established that mortal belief created the Planes themselves? Because I always interpreted that the influence of all those billions or even trillions of Petitioners merging with the Plane during millions of years was WAY more important...

Each Outer Plane would constantly receive the souls of many different Prime worlds. And these souls stay there and contribute to keep shaping the Plane, and eventually become the Plane. Menausus was made of the soulstuff of a millionfold Harmoniums and even its Petitioners should outnumber the Harmonium by a large margin...

The way I like to play it, the planar mortals only believe they control the Planes, and their belief skews their perception, but the Outsiders and Petitioners perceive them as irrelevant... Basically, the planar mortals live on the thin outer skin of the Outer Planes, like mold growing on a rock, and they don't have influence over most of the Plane... they just think they do, because they just aren't aware of most of the Planes...

Of course you can run any number of interpretations of the basic concept of 'planar cosmology' - shaped by belief, shaped by clay tablets written at the dawn of time, just having always been there that way, actively built by ur-beings from soulstuff, etc. But in terms of what makes Planescape as a setting special (as opposed to just running the D&D great wheel without the Planescape elements) is the degree to which belief actively shapes the planes. It wouldn't be very interesting of a setting if it said 'belief shapes the planes, but it has so much inertia that nothing you ever do with belief will actually matter and it's just an abstract point'. The 'default static' planes view has no real conflicts and no motivations, because everything is basically sorted to the place where it's with things that like things that are that way. Having belief be maleable and shifting (and correspond to very large-scale planar cosmological shifts that mirror it), coupled with events like factions being kicked out of Sigil and forced to center themselves in planes that don't agree with their philosophy are the generators of conflicts in the Planescape setting - that's what it gives you above and beyond the planes just being aligned places.

Things like the Nameless One creating Adahn out of pure fabrication, just by giving his name as Adahn to a couple dozen people scattered throughout the planes, are sort of the meat of the setting.

Florian
2018-12-09, 05:24 AM
@Clistenes:

Sorry, I don't have the old books and boxes anymore, so I can´t give you a concrete reference....

But yes, it was stated more than once that the Outer Planes are continuously shaped by the believe of the mortals in the Inner Planes and the process of petitioner absorption is one of the vehicles of this constant change. As above, so below.

Outsiders lack the duality created by the separation of body and soul because they're already made up out of planar matter. They already being a reflection can´t themselves enact changes.

(Keep in mind that creature type didn't exist in AD&D. The overabundance of the Outsider type in 3E spoiled a lot of the cosmological functions.)

Clistenes
2018-12-09, 05:58 AM
coupled with events like factions being kicked out of Sigil and forced to center themselves in planes that don't agree with their philosophy are the generators of conflicts in the Planescape setting - that's what it gives you above and beyond the planes just being aligned places.

You can have that without giving the factions the power to reshape the Multiverse...


Things like the Nameless One creating Adahn out of pure fabrication, just by giving his name as Adahn to a couple dozen people scattered throughout the planes, are sort of the meat of the setting.

I'm okay with a more localized influence. One thing we had once in a non-Planescape Great Wheel game was that you needed to live in the Outer Planes for a time in order to reach a breakthrough and go beyond human limitations, but you had to open yourself to the influence of the Planes, which could change your core being. So there were sects that tried to do it in a controlled manner, using belief to control how the Planes changed you... Think of a Taoism or Buddhism shoddy rip-off...

Most mortals who dwell in the planes were members of similar Ascensionist mystical sects, worshipers of a deity who camped at the entrance of their Divine Realm (most deities restricted entrance only to a few chosen), slaves, pets and serfs of Genies and Fiends, or deluded mages who thought themselves very important because they had managed to build an outpost in some corner of an Outer Plane... Interplanar trade was done by specialist races (like the Mercanes) or by the worshipers of deities of trade by controlling a key portal or more, or even a Demiplane with a few useful portals.

Most conflict was local, over control of a settlement, sect, portal or trade route.

The local environment in a Plane was locally influenced by the outlook of local groups... the rules were different in the Holy Land of psionist-monks who wanted to channel the power of the Overmind, the Sacred Mountain of shugenjas and wu-jens who wanted to obtain a body made of pure Quintessence, the City of Light of the paladins and mystics who wanted to commune with the Ultimate Good, and the Worldtree of the shamans and druids who wanted to become greater spirits...

These sects shaped the local environment consciously to a degree (most knew they had created their strongholds, but most weren't sure of the extent the local rules were the product of their influence or were inherent to the plane).

And yeah, I know it has nothing to do with Planescape, but what I mean is, I'm okay with local influence of the power of belief.


(and correspond to very large-scale planar cosmological shifts that mirror it),

That's the part I have trouble with...

JAL_1138
2018-12-09, 06:13 AM
There's just a lot of potential and I'd like to once do an entire adventure just leaping from plane to plane, but I am having issues figuring out how to do that from a low level.

There are a couple of plane-hopping published modules intended for reasonably low-level characters.

“Tales From the Infinite Staircase” is for character levels 3-6 in AD&D and it takes players to a decent variety of different planes, not just the alignment planes but others like the astral as well; it’d need to have the encounters reworked for later systems, but other than that it’s not too bad (some of the maps are really trippy).

“The Great Modron March” is means for levels 1-10, and travels across much/all of the Great Wheel’s outer planes. And a GitP forum poster of some renown, mgshamster, has a well-written, detailed conversion document (note: you’d still need the module itself, the document is just conversion notes) for running it in 5e, available on google drive here:
mgshamster’s 5e conversion doc for Great Modron March (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cFQkh68w_wSY0T7m2O-aGVXmfsn3AJe2/view)

NichG
2018-12-09, 06:49 AM
You can have that without giving the factions the power to reshape the Multiverse...


I think that's basically shying away from the big questions and implications of belief shaping reality though. Again, of course, there are many sorts of games one can run, and you don't have to go there. But the thing I think sets Planescape apart is that you can push it that far, that it invites you to do so.

Florian
2018-12-09, 06:55 AM
That's the part I have trouble with...

Yeah, it´s a different size and scope of things. It actually puts the very big question of "What is the Great Wheel" at the front and center of it, because it challenges some of the basic principles, like for example the question whether perception shapes reality, or whether Objective Morality as expressed by the nine alignments has to be "truth". It really stresses the principle of "as above, so below" to the final point, as in, "When Heaven is a reflection of the people whose souls will go there, what happens to Heaven when we change the people?".

Psikerlord
2018-12-10, 11:27 PM
I loved the planescape lingo and the factions.

I don't know how you would run it as an actual game, except perhaps as a faction war in a city, or across multiple hot spots in the multiverse, with the party send out on commando like missions, then returning to home base. I suspect all PCs would need to belong to one faction, or two very similarly aligned factions. I see it working as a kind of super gonzo dnd shadowrun game.

I think the factions aspect suggests it would work best as an adventure path with a defined scope and long term objective. I think it would be a poor sandbox, the scope is just too boundless and random - pc efforts cannot have any real weight against such a backdrop.

Mechalich
2018-12-10, 11:47 PM
I loved the planescape lingo and the factions.

I don't know how you would run it as an actual game, except perhaps as a faction war in a city, or across multiple hot spots in the multiverse, with the party send out on commando like missions, then returning to home base. I suspect all PCs would need to belong to one faction, or two very similarly aligned factions. I see it working as a kind of super gonzo dnd shadowrun game.

I think the factions aspect suggests it would work best as an adventure path with a defined scope and long term objective. I think it would be a poor sandbox, the scope is just too boundless and random - pc efforts cannot have any real weight against such a backdrop.

The factions are not intended to be violently opposed to each other, or insofar as they are, such violence is supposed to be pointless. that's part of the whole idea of Planescape and why the actual Faction War, when TSR produced that adventure, was so poorly received among the PS fanbase and ultimately ignored by 3e in its limited PS references.

The intent of the factions was to provide an additional level of motive for why the characters adventure, since the traditional D&D motives: fame, fortune, and grateful persons aligned to one's sexual preference, didn't really apply well in the greater multiverse. The economy was broken to the point of tragicomedy since what was phenomenal wealth in one place could easily be worthless in another; the big movers and shakers were all deities or stupidly powerful exemplars you could never openly challenge; and as far as hormones go, you could hop into the domain of pretty much any deity of love and that was that. The setting was madness, and your goal was to fight for meaning within it, whatever meaning you thought you could find (or, in the case of the Bleakers, no meaning at all).

The tricky part was that 'plumb the madness for meaning' is a rather rarefied TTRPG campaign goal and was way beyond what 2e AD&D was designed to achieve. The game system was still very much mired in the 'find den of stinking evil, murder everything in residence, keep all shiny objects,' and couldn't handle what Planescape was trying to do. Designing adventures for it meant trying to reduce philosophical debates about the meaning of whatever weird *%$& appealed to the GM into something that could be cut, smashed, and fireballed. This was...challenging.

Thrawn4
2018-12-11, 04:06 PM
Another question: How do you handle currency? Do you just assume that gold etc. is equally rare among the planes? I find the idea of favours impractial in regard to daily business.

JAL_1138
2018-12-11, 06:06 PM
Another question: How do you handle currency? Do you just assume that gold etc. is equally rare among the planes? I find the idea of favours impractial in regard to daily business.

I’d recommend having gold be gold in any actual shop, unless there’s a good reason not to. Exchange rates and barter systems tend to bog things down when it comes to ordinary purchases of mundane gear. It’s metagamey and falls apart under economic scrutiny, but it’s convenient.

But even so there’s always going to be some—or potentially quite a lot of—people who simply aren’t interested in cash, for various reasons.

Mechalich
2018-12-11, 06:32 PM
I’d recommend having gold be gold in any actual shop, unless there’s a good reason not to. Exchange rates and barter systems tend to bog things down when it comes to ordinary purchases of mundane gear. It’s metagamey and falls apart under economic scrutiny, but it’s convenient.

One in-game justification is that gold can be cashed out in the Prime Material for goods of high value in the planes, like environmental protection items. There are almost certainly whole merchant cultures (and possibly the Mercane themselves) devoted to doing this sort of thing on a regular basis. As a result even in areas where the economy becomes based on exotic things like souls, it converts out into gold readily enough.

Eldan
2018-12-12, 03:17 AM
Another question: How do you handle currency? Do you just assume that gold etc. is equally rare among the planes? I find the idea of favours impractial in regard to daily business.

Especially when doing business in Sigil, I've sometimes started to include primitive banking. Letters of credit. It also prevents the problem of players having to carry a few ten thousand gold coins.

Mark Hall
2018-12-12, 01:37 PM
Especially when doing business in Sigil, I've sometimes started to include primitive banking. Letters of credit. It also prevents the problem of players having to carry a few ten thousand gold coins.

I do that in the Realms, actually. The church of Waukeen and many merchant houses offer letters of credit, which can be redeemed at other churches/merchant houses, sometimes with reciprocity (i.e. I can take the Golden Coster's letter to the Waterhavian Trader's Guild and cash it, and a Waterhavian Trader's Guild note to a third coster and cash it there). The Waukeenar have the best network, of course, and honor most notes, and charge only a modest fee for a sigiled note (proving authenticity).

In Sigil, I figure a lot of places use scales... you're not giving gold COINS, you're giving a standardized chunk of gold, that the merchant weighs and determines is correct. With the magitech level of sigil, I figure there's a market for scales that detect false gold or illusions, imported all the way from the Elemental Plane of Earth.

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-12, 01:54 PM
Especially when doing business in Sigil, I've sometimes started to include primitive banking. Letters of credit. It also prevents the problem of players having to carry a few ten thousand gold coins.

That's generally useful for many settings -- and there's nothing about banking that hard-locks it to some particular "tech level" or "real history timeframe equivalent".

What's really needed is an institution that's trusted enough for people to hand over their hard coin for a piece of paper and a ledger entry, that's also got enough clout of whatever sort to maintain its independence and integrity from other powerful actors, or backing from powerful actors with a long-term interest in its success.

In a setting I worked on, there was a powerful international traders/transporters "guild" that pushed for standardized coinage and rates, offered basic banking (deposit here, withdraw there, etc), and would collectively refuse services to polities that interfered with its members (all the way to embargoing them).

Clistenes
2018-12-12, 02:13 PM
That's generally useful for many settings -- and there's nothing about banking that hard-locks it to some particular "tech level" or "real history timeframe equivalent".

What's really needed is an institution that's trusted enough for people to hand over their hard coin for a piece of paper and a ledger entry, that's also got enough clout of whatever sort to maintain its independence and integrity from other powerful actors, or backing from powerful actors with a long-term interest in its success.

In a setting I worked on, there was a powerful international traders/transporters "guild" that pushed for standardized coinage and rates, offered basic banking (deposit here, withdraw there, etc), and would collectively refuse services to polities that interfered with its members (all the way to embargoing them).

Taking into account the many Prime worlds, many of them would have developed basic banking financial tools, so it makes sense this knowledge would leak to the Planes.

As for who would be trustworthy enough to act as a planar banker... Planar dwarves from Erackinor, clergy of LG deities of Laws and Contracts, Arcadian petitioner organizations (these wouldn't leave Arcadia, but they could keep the money safe in Arcadia and provide letters of change)...etc.

Magic could be used to prevent forgeries.

Of course, their representatives would have a hard time working in the chaotic planes, were nobody would care about legality and many would take their mere existence as a challenge... The planar bankers would probably have to create some kind of powerful multiplanar alliance and support each other so nobody would mess with them...

Florian
2018-12-12, 02:33 PM
Another question: How do you handle currency? Do you just assume that gold etc. is equally rare among the planes? I find the idea of favours impractial in regard to daily business.

I handle it in the abstract. You have stuff to trade for which is roughly worth X gold.

PairO'Dice Lost
2018-12-12, 02:52 PM
In Sigil, I figure a lot of places use scales... you're not giving gold COINS, you're giving a standardized chunk of gold, that the merchant weighs and determines is correct. With the magitech level of sigil, I figure there's a market for scales that detect false gold or illusions, imported all the way from the Elemental Plane of Earth.

Generally when I run a party through Sigil or another very cosmopolitan city for the first time (even just a capital city of a Prime empire with a bunch of conquered territories or the like), the first time they want to make a purchase I roleplay out the minor scene of a merchant pulling out the high-precision scales and illusion-detecting loupe, commenting on their mix of currencies and offering to trade them for local coinage to skip the verification process in later purchases (for a nominal fee, of course), giving them a spiel about the local churches of deities of wealth offering secure banking and storage, and so forth. Later purchases get a quick mention of how shopping takes a little while as every merchant goes through the same standards-checking process, and then it gets glossed over once they're used to it.

That generally manages to answer all of the "Wait, why are they using the same gold coins throughout the multiverse?"-type objections upfront, without bogging down the game by actually making exchange rates and the like matter mechanically. And it also gives the party an opportunity to express that they do find all the nitty-gritty economic stuff interesting by taking the currency conversion offer, in which case I can whip up some basic rules for that and highlight minor setting details when relevant later on.


That's generally useful for many settings -- and there's nothing about banking that hard-locks it to some particular "tech level" or "real history timeframe equivalent".

What's really needed is an institution that's trusted enough for people to hand over their hard coin for a piece of paper and a ledger entry, that's also got enough clout of whatever sort to maintain its independence and integrity from other powerful actors, or backing from powerful actors with a long-term interest in its success.


As for who would be trustworthy enough to act as a planar banker... Planar dwarves from Erackinor, clergy of LG deities of Laws and Contracts, Arcadian petitioner organizations (these wouldn't leave Arcadia, but they could keep the money safe in Arcadia and provide letters of change)...etc.
[...]
The planar bankers would probably have to create some kind of powerful multiplanar alliance and support each other so nobody would mess with them...

In a few of my homebrew settings, I have banking systems run by the older dragons who have decided that they're sick of the annual assassination attempts by local adventuring parties. You give the dragons your valuables, they catalog all the relevant ownership details, the valuables are added to the dragons' hoards, and you're given a tiny enchanted gemstone that works like a debit card to use instead of currency. The dragons charge a nominal upfront tribute fee to each polity in which they operate to set up the gemstone focus system, and humanoid artificers work together with the dragons themselves to ward the hoards even more than the dragons already do.

The public like the system because they don't have to carry around lots of heavy coins, merchants like it because they don't have to deal with nearly as much security as they would if they dealt in hard currency, dragons like it because they get more coins to lie on (and if some coins are eventually withdrawn, well, it's hard to part with them but at least their hoards are always bigger than they would have been otherwise) and any dragon who breaks the rules (by, say, refusing to give back some items from their hoard) forfeits its hoard to be divided up among the other dragons in the network, and governments like it because anyone who tries to mess with the financial system or the monetary supply itself via forgery or identity fraud or the like have a convenient tendency to die suddenly and painfully in a cloud of dragon fire without the government having to lift a finger.

Beleriphon
2018-12-12, 11:52 PM
That's generally useful for many settings -- and there's nothing about banking that hard-locks it to some particular "tech level" or "real history timeframe equivalent".

What's really needed is an institution that's trusted enough for people to hand over their hard coin for a piece of paper and a ledger entry, that's also got enough clout of whatever sort to maintain its independence and integrity from other powerful actors, or backing from powerful actors with a long-term interest in its success.

In a setting I worked on, there was a powerful international traders/transporters "guild" that pushed for standardized coinage and rates, offered basic banking (deposit here, withdraw there, etc), and would collectively refuse services to polities that interfered with its members (all the way to embargoing them).

Didn't the Medici's basically invent modern banking in the mid 16th century? Mind I think that speaks to the wealth of the family and their control of Florence rather than anything to do specifically with the time period or tech level of 16th century Italy.

Tvtyrant
2018-12-13, 03:38 AM
One I am working on is that the churches of Healing are the banks. They issue notes annually on loan that can be repaid in commodities or gold, and the notes can be redeemed in healing at the church. The only way to pay the Church for healing is in its own notes, which essentially forces everyone to accept them at face value and keeps them from depreciating.

The notes themselves are loaned out to farmers and businesses as expansion capital at 3% annual interest and 20 annual installments to repay. The church attempts to increase note circulation by 1% annually, to forestall inflation while turning a tidy profit.

Easy to adapt to any high magic campaign and sidesteps the weird billions of coins economy.

Eldan
2018-12-13, 03:53 AM
Didn't the Medici's basically invent modern banking in the mid 16th century? Mind I think that speaks to the wealth of the family and their control of Florence rather than anything to do specifically with the time period or tech level of 16th century Italy.

Not just them, but they were big in it. So were a lot of the free cities in Germany and the Netherlands. The Hanseatic league and the Fuggers were active after about 1300. And the Templars issued letters of credit to pilgrims since around 1100: you could pay in your money in Europe, and then get it back in Outremer when you arrived there on your pilgrimage, so that you couldn't be robbed on the way.

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-13, 09:33 AM
Not just them, but they were big in it. So were a lot of the free cities in Germany and the Netherlands. The Hanseatic league and the Fuggers were active after about 1300. And the Templars issued letters of credit to pilgrims since around 1100: you could pay in your money in Europe, and then get it back in Outremer when you arrived there on your pilgrimage, so that you couldn't be robbed on the way.

You beat me to it.

There were even institutions in ancient Rome, etc, that engaged in some practices we identify with modern banking, such as holding deposits and issuing loans... but we're not allowed to mention those institutions here.

Yora
2018-12-13, 10:32 AM
One I am working on is that the churches of Healing are the banks. They issue notes annually on loan that can be repaid in commodities or gold, and the notes can be redeemed in healing at the church. The only way to pay the Church for healing is in its own notes, which essentially forces everyone to accept them at face value and keeps them from depreciating.

The notes themselves are loaned out to farmers and businesses as expansion capital at 3% annual interest and 20 annual installments to repay. The church attempts to increase note circulation by 1% annually, to forestall inflation while turning a tidy profit.

This made me think that you should never do any kind of banking business with the Dustmen. You'll be paying interest for all eternity from beyond the grave.

Eldan
2018-12-13, 11:52 AM
They do the opposite, actually. They givem oney to poor people for membership, if those poor people promise to stay dead (not reincarnate or go to some afterlife) and give their body to the dustmen when they die.

Tvtyrant
2018-12-13, 01:53 PM
This made me think that you should never do any kind of banking business with the Dustmen. You'll be paying interest for all eternity from beyond the grave.

That actually sounds like a cool plot. The Dustmen would only need so many zombots at a time so they would contract the excess out, which is where all those colossal necromancer armies come from.

"Subclause 13890: You agree to take full responsibility for all damages accrued in your quest for planetary domination. For each zombie lost you must provide a zombie of equivalent value, failure to meet this requirement leads to soul forfeiture and possibly soul contracting (see infernal and abyssal subclause 666-A and 666-B respectively.)

Subclause 13891: You agree to arbitration via Infernal or Inevitable Court in case of a dispute. If arbitration is required posthumously..."

Clistenes
2018-12-13, 04:29 PM
In a few of my homebrew settings, I have banking systems run by the older dragons who have decided that they're sick of the annual assassination attempts by local adventuring parties. You give the dragons your valuables, they catalog all the relevant ownership details, the valuables are added to the dragons' hoards, and you're given a tiny enchanted gemstone that works like a debit card to use instead of currency. The dragons charge a nominal upfront tribute fee to each polity in which they operate to set up the gemstone focus system, and humanoid artificers work together with the dragons themselves to ward the hoards even more than the dragons already do.

The public like the system because they don't have to carry around lots of heavy coins, merchants like it because they don't have to deal with nearly as much security as they would if they dealt in hard currency, dragons like it because they get more coins to lie on (and if some coins are eventually withdrawn, well, it's hard to part with them but at least their hoards are always bigger than they would have been otherwise) and any dragon who breaks the rules (by, say, refusing to give back some items from their hoard) forfeits its hoard to be divided up among the other dragons in the network, and governments like it because anyone who tries to mess with the financial system or the monetary supply itself via forgery or identity fraud or the like have a convenient tendency to die suddenly and painfully in a cloud of dragon fire without the government having to lift a finger.

That sounds really good!

Yora
2018-12-13, 04:51 PM
That actually sounds like a cool plot. The Dustmen would only need so many zombots at a time so they would contract the excess out, which is where all those colossal necromancer armies come from.

"Subclause 13890: You agree to take full responsibility for all damages accrued in your quest for planetary domination. For each zombie lost you must provide a zombie of equivalent value, failure to meet this requirement leads to soul forfeiture and possibly soul contracting (see infernal and abyssal subclause 666-A and 666-B respectively.)

Subclause 13891: You agree to arbitration via Infernal or Inevitable Court in case of a dispute. If arbitration is required posthumously..."

Thinking about Planescape finances some more:

Doomguard stock brokers do nothing but short selling. Everything is going to go down eventually, which can be your profit! :smallbiggrin:

And Revolutionary League economists will never stop telling everyone to invest all they have into gold. Because all monetary systems not based on the gold standard will soon collapse. :smallamused:

Just don't give your money to the Sensates. They believe that bancruptcy is a enriching personal experience.

Beleriphon
2018-12-13, 11:55 PM
You beat me to it.

There were even institutions in ancient Rome, etc, that engaged in some practices we identify with modern banking, such as holding deposits and issuing loans... but we're not allowed to mention those institutions here.

You can mention them, we just can't discuss certain aspects of the other part of their business.

I'm also aware that there were loans and what not for centuries. As long as there has been hard currency there's been somebody around to loan you some and get some interest back.

I was mistaken on the Medici's they didn't invent banking. They invented what amounts to modern ledger accounting. Which means a great deal when you want to know exactly how much money you have. Or I suppose for Planescape how many zombies are in your warehouse.

Imagine the Dustmen with a fudge zombie ledge sheet? There should be 12 zombies, but there are 11 and nobody has marked a withdrawal.

hamishspence
2018-12-17, 04:49 AM
One I am working on is that the churches of Healing are the banks. They issue notes annually on loan that can be repaid in commodities or gold, and the notes can be redeemed in healing at the church. The only way to pay the Church for healing is in its own notes, which essentially forces everyone to accept them at face value and keeps them from depreciating.

The notes themselves are loaned out to farmers and businesses as expansion capital at 3% annual interest and 20 annual installments to repay. The church attempts to increase note circulation by 1% annually, to forestall inflation while turning a tidy profit.

Comboing healing with banking makes me think of an OOTS Dragon Magazine strip:


"I'm not paying them a copper."
"You misunderstand. The time for payment has lapsed."
"So what are you going to do - repossess my health?"
"Actually, yes. Plus interest, of course."
"AAARGH!"
"Hold still! I need to assess a late fee!"

Thrawn4
2018-12-18, 01:10 PM
So yeah, I am just dumping my setting-related question(s) for my next campaign here:

Which one is better, Planescape before or after faction war?

Caelestion
2018-12-18, 01:57 PM
If you like the established Planescape setting as a campaign, rather than an adventure or two, then it's by far before Faction War. It's a fine adventure with an interesting story, but it takes a gigantic dump on the canonical Sigil.

Mechalich
2018-12-18, 02:27 PM
Which one is better, Planescape before or after faction war?

The overwhelming majority of the 2e material that forms the core of Planescape's fluff was written prior to the publication of Faction War, and the post-faction war environment was only hastily outlined at the end of the adventure in question. Planewalker.com expanded on this significantly in their sanction 3e conversions of the material, but it doesn't even come close to matching the volume and is forced to deal with some of the rather more questionable decisions made in the canonical conclusion of Faction War.

That being said either approach is viable, especially if Sigil is not going to be the centerpiece of your Planescape campaign. If the party is not engaged in the politics of Sigil, then the Factions are mostly personal motivators and backdrop to events and you can choose whichever personally appeals.

Yora
2018-12-19, 12:24 PM
Faction War is weird. Was there any metaplot in Planescape before that?

Eldan
2018-12-20, 02:20 AM
Hinted at, sort of. The Great Modron March was what basically today would be an adventure path, which culminated in a separate adventure, Dead Gods, but also pulled in a lot of story threads that were hinted at in the Factol's Manifesto (which described all the factions, but also gave a few sample NPCs, several of which also had their own plots and Faces of Sigil, a list of NPCs, which in the last few pages described a few ongoing plots that involved severa of those NPCs, one of which came up again in Dead Gods.

Yora
2018-12-21, 03:34 AM
Well, it was the 90s. Metaplots were the fad of the day. They even tried to cram one into Dark Sun, but that got wholy rejectes by the fans, at least for after the series was discontinued.

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-21, 10:26 AM
Well, it was the 90s. Metaplots were the fad of the day. They even tried to cram one into Dark Sun, but that got wholy rejectes by the fans, at least for after the series was discontinued.

Metaplots BAD.

Eldan
2018-12-21, 10:58 AM
I'd say it only really became a metaplot with faction war. Modron March/Dead Gods is an adventure path that brings back a previously dead bad guy and kills a few mostly unimportant gods and involves a few small roles by previously named NPCs. It's not exactly huge in that way. And until you get to Dead gods, the adventures of the Modron March are extremely loosely connected. I've considered running it before and came to the conclusion that most of them really aren't all that interesting and not connected enough that I think I could get a group to care about doing them all.

Florian
2018-12-21, 11:36 AM
Metaplots BAD.

Not necessarily. It depends on how it is done.

I give you two counter-examples to the way that it was handled in D&D and especially WoD:
1) DSA is the 800 pound gorilla in the german RPG scene. They mainly sell modules and they work on the assumption that players will succeed at playing thru the modules, which will change the meta-plot of the setting. Therefore the scope only changes with the module or campaign and is something you can easily shift to the background.
2) Well, you own the L5R 4th stuff. This runs with a meta-plot-agnostic core and adds the meta-plot on top if it for those who want to have it. It´s having your cake and eating it.

Mechalich
2018-12-21, 08:26 PM
Metaplot is important, perhaps even necessary, if the fantasy world in question is non-static in the short term.

For example, the oWoD was intended to mirror the modern world of the 1990s and early 2000s, and due to both changes in current events and technologies needed metaplot to reflect those changes. Now White-Wolf produced both vastly too much metaplot and awful metaplot, but it's not like 9/11 or the development of cell phones were things you could get away with ignoring in a game set in the modern world. By contrast, D&D and similar games are largely supposed to operate in a zone of medieval stasis, so metaplot should be avoided - though some will remain necessary if any significant amount of in-universe time passes (which becomes inevitable if you attach your game to a novel line), simply to reflect changes in important nations and dynasties. This is the same thing that would happen in any historical fantasy scenario, such as in the long running Romance of the Three Kingdoms video games, which have different scenarios at different points in the timeline to reflect the events on the ground.

Planescape, due to both the incredible vastness of its operational canvas, and the fact that the overwhelming majority of its major players were, if not immortal at least stupidly long-lived, ought to have needed the least amount of metaplot of pretty much any setting ever created. Events of multiverse level significant might happen once in every ten thousand years or so (for example, part of the joint Planescape/Spelljammer history of D&D is the downfall of the Illithid Empire and the emergence of the Githyanki and Githzerai many thousands of years in the distant past), which meant there was absolutely no need for any of them to ever occur during the setting's operational timeframe. And this was largely true, most planes remained extremely stable and even seemingly huge events like a whole layer changing planes only upset the status quo a little, with two big exceptions. The first, which ultimately didn't matter that much, was Hell. Various writers kept changing the identities of the various Lords of the Nine at points as part of some sort of high-level political gamesmanship, but since the number of games where the identities of the Lords mattered in the slightest was tiny, this wasn't significant. The second, which did matter, was Sigil.

Sigil was always intended to be the sort of chaotic, ever-changing, riotous metropolis that makes for an awesome adventure backdrop with a huge dose of Planescape weirdness on top, and the writing of the city was largely successful in presenting this. They also created, in the Lady of Pain, a plot device that allowed the authors to come right out and say 'the following enumerated things are very important and will never, ever change.' And...then they broke that promise. Partly this happened because of the inherent instability of the city, but it also happened because as the various writers continued to build up Sigil across one supplement after another, and Planescape spilled an almost ridiculous amount of ink detailing the city, they continued to emphasize how everything was building to a head between the various factions and something would have to give. Now in a traditional setting, Rowan Darkwood could have just gone off the deep end into evil-overlordship and the PCs would have stopped him, some Factols would have died and been replaced, but aside from new names, everything would subsequently return to normal, but since Planescape had ambitions that didn't happen and a move was made to change everything for no good reason.

Of course, Faction War was published in 1998, after TSR had been purchased by WotC and the publication line was operating in zombie mode. Everyone involved with the production knew there would be no more books after it came out and the product line was closing. So the book was never made with the intent that anyone would actually play a game set after the Faction War, even though there's material in the book to that effect.

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-21, 09:30 PM
Metaplot is important, perhaps even necessary, if the fantasy world in question is non-static in the short term.

For example, the oWoD was intended to mirror the modern world of the 1990s and early 2000s, and due to both changes in current events and technologies needed metaplot to reflect those changes. Now White-Wolf produced both vastly too much metaplot and awful metaplot, but it's not like 9/11 or the development of cell phones were things you could get away with ignoring in a game set in the modern world. By contrast, D&D and similar games are largely supposed to operate in a zone of medieval stasis, so metaplot should be avoided - though some will remain necessary if any significant amount of in-universe time passes (which becomes inevitable if you attach your game to a novel line), simply to reflect changes in important nations and dynasties. This is the same thing that would happen in any historical fantasy scenario, such as in the long running Romance of the Three Kingdoms video games, which have different scenarios at different points in the timeline to reflect the events on the ground.


Our oWoD campaigns never needed the metaplot. Our characters, especially the vampires, had cell phones from the start, it wasn't a big deal, of course they all had flip phones at the time.

Sept 11th happened in our campaigns, but unlike WW, we never suffered from the monomania of making everything important or historical about some supernatural or another... it was human beings, without any supernatural involvement, doing the horrible things that human beings are quite capable of doing without any prompting at all from "monsters"... and it served as a reminder that drinking blood, or turning into a murder-furball, or whatever, isn't what makes a person a monster.

NichG
2018-12-21, 09:42 PM
IMO, there's a difference between meta-plot and something like having a timeline of changes in a campaign setting. One could have readily had a setting book Planescape: Diaspora set after some arbitrary future point in time in which the factions have left Sigil, or Planescape: Panoply set in the time where there were 50+ factions in Sigil, or even Planescape: Origins, set around the time of the formation of the Pact Primeval and that probably wouldn't have set off as much acrimony as the Faction War adventure path did.

Making different eras like that lets a GM insert arbitrary amounts of time in between, choose whether to run a campaign at a transition point, or say very naturally 'since this campaign takes place in the 3rd era, we can assume that everything in the 4th era and later may be subject to change now on the basis of the party's actions'

Since Faction War was essentially a module set in a way which was explicitly contemporary, tried to involve the PCs as actors in the mess, and then fixed the outcome by fiat, it has this forced feeling to it, similar to things such as the FR Spellplague. Less 'here, we're exploring different eras in the history of this setting', more 'we want to reboot'

Beleriphon
2018-12-22, 05:58 PM
Our oWoD campaigns never needed the metaplot. Our characters, especially the vampires, had cell phones from the start, it wasn't a big deal, of course they all had flip phones at the time.

Sept 11th happened in our campaigns, but unlike WW, we never suffered from the monomania of making everything important or historical about some supernatural or another... it was human beings, without any supernatural involvement, doing the horrible things that human beings are quite capable of doing without any prompting at all from "monsters"... and it served as a reminder that drinking blood, or turning into a murder-furball, or whatever, isn't what makes a person a monster.

Actually, oWoD always operated on the principle that human evil was human.

The only other game that even makes sense for metaplot is Shadowrun because half the game is advanced technology. The stuff the game says will be available in 2054 is available now, at least to some degree. So the game has always been roughly 60 years from the date of when the edition was published. It also gives them and excuse to blow up the setting and try new stuff.

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-22, 09:12 PM
Actually, oWoD always operated on the principle that human evil was human.


What they said and what they did were often different things.

Eldan
2018-12-23, 08:16 AM
Actually, oWoD always operated on the principle that human evil was human.

The only other game that even makes sense for metaplot is Shadowrun because half the game is advanced technology. The stuff the game says will be available in 2054 is available now, at least to some degree. So the game has always been roughly 60 years from the date of when the edition was published. It also gives them and excuse to blow up the setting and try new stuff.

Our DM once brought in an old version of Cyberpunk 2020. I think it was 2020? Anyway, in that game, cyberspace (the matrix) was described as green and black gridlines and a mobile phone weighed four pounds and was a phone only. We had a hearty laugh at that in ca 2015.

Florian
2018-12-23, 09:13 AM
The only other game that even makes sense for metaplot is Shadowrun

Hm...

I think the fundamental question is about size and scope. How "big" are the character compared to the rest of the world and how "meaningful" is the "impact" of their actions?

For example, DSA offers a very detailed faux medieval setting and the individual characters are pretty "small" in it, they can save a town from an undead horde, but they are nowhere around the level of movers and shakers that can start, steer or win something as a fully fledged war.
You have a different feeling when playing DSA than D&D because of that. Basically, the meta plot that happens here is way, really way above the pay grade of anything that can be affected by the characters, but is still a reasonable and well understood part of the game world.

PhoenixPhyre
2018-12-23, 09:39 AM
How does a metaplot differ from a living campaign world?

I run a multi-group, persistent-action campaign world. At any time I may have 2-3 groups active in the world and their actions spill over both to other simultaneous groups (although they rarely interact directly in-game, the effects of their actions do carry over) and the effects of their actions definitely affect the subsequent groups in ways ranging from small (different rulers) to large (discovering new lands and new races, new gods, new international organizations, fomenting civil war in established nations, new forms of magic, etc). Time advances, but slowly. Retired PCs become NPCs, fixed at the power level they retired at. The one big thing that (in my opinion) distinguishes this from a "bad" metaplot is that I don't set these in advance. I set the quest seeds for each group (based on the situations occurring in the world at that time) and then curate the effects of their actions (deciding what actions cause lasting ripples and which are damped away by other forces) as they move along. Players know that their actions have consequences both for themselves and for the world/other groups and this leads them to be very invested in the world. I have yet to have any murderhobo behavior or other stereotypical "bad D&D" behavior at all.

The concept is that while the PCs aren't major figures, they're catalysts. Someone would make changes, and we're following the ones that (in retrospect) did make those changes just by being in the right place at the right time. Or the wrong place at the wrong time. Or whatever. It's about exploring the "and what happens when we do this?" questions.

Florian
2018-12-23, 09:57 AM
How does a metaplot differ from a living campaign world?

Size and scope. A well executed metaplot will enact change to the game world on a grand scale and is carried on a backbone of individual plots that are beyond the scope of individual actions to be affected.

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-23, 09:59 AM
How does a metaplot differ from a living campaign world?

I run a multi-group, persistent-action campaign world. At any time I may have 2-3 groups active in the world and their actions spill over both to other simultaneous groups (although they rarely interact directly in-game, the effects of their actions do carry over) and the effects of their actions definitely affect the subsequent groups in ways ranging from small (different rulers) to large (discovering new lands and new races, new gods, new international organizations, fomenting civil war in established nations, new forms of magic, etc). Time advances, but slowly. Retired PCs become NPCs, fixed at the power level they retired at. The one big thing that (in my opinion) distinguishes this from a "bad" metaplot is that I don't set these in advance. I set the quest seeds for each group (based on the situations occurring in the world at that time) and then curate the effects of their actions (deciding what actions cause lasting ripples and which are damped away by other forces) as they move along. Players know that their actions have consequences both for themselves and for the world/other groups and this leads them to be very invested in the world. I have yet to have any murderhobo behavior or other stereotypical "bad D&D" behavior at all.

The concept is that while the PCs aren't major figures, they're catalysts. Someone would make changes, and we're following the ones that (in retrospect) did make those changes just by being in the right place at the right time. Or the wrong place at the wrong time. Or whatever. It's about exploring the "and what happens when we do this?" questions.

Metaplot in the context of gaming is distinguished from what you're doing by the fact that it's published, sent down from above, part of the ongoing publishing of materials about the setting, and in the case of WW's oWoD games with some assertion that if your campaign isn't following it then you're having badwrongfun.

Your living campaign world is your campaign world, even if you begin from a published starting point.

Metaplot says "nope, this publisher's campaign world, don't you forget it".

PhoenixPhyre
2018-12-23, 10:09 AM
Metaplot in the context of gaming is distinguished from what you're doing by the fact that it's published, sent down from above, part of the ongoing publishing of materials about the setting, and in the case of WW's oWoD games with some assertion that if your campaign isn't following it then you're having badwrongfun.

Your living campaign world is your campaign world, even if you begin from a published starting point.

Metaplot says "nope, this publisher's campaign world, don't you forget it".

Ah, so external rather than internal. Compulsory (this will happen, like it or not) vs reactive (this did happen and here are the consequences).

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-23, 10:37 AM
Ah, so external rather than internal. Compulsory (this will happen, like it or not) vs reactive (this did happen and here are the consequences).

Right, and even if they never say "you're expected to follow along" (which WhiteWolf's people did more than once), once you start deviating, new published setting materials become less and less relevant to your campaign over time. For example, after a certain point, published Vampire materials assumed that a certain Clan had gone mad and been wiped out, and that another Clan had almost all spontaneously lost one Discipline and gained another in its place due to big spooky stuff happening.

Florian
2018-12-23, 10:52 AM
Ah, so external rather than internal. Compulsory (this will happen, like it or not) vs reactive (this did happen and here are the consequences).

That's not quite hitting it. Close, but still not there.

The core difference is how we understand the function of a setting. For games created with a meta-plot in mind, that plot is the actual setting, the other details are just the stepping stones to reach the necessary stage to engage with that setting.

Ok, slightly stupid example, but take Shakespears Romeo and Juliet. You either have all the props and tropes, making the city of Verona the setting, with the NPC and the houses the background info, or you go the metaplot way, making the play the setting and the actions of the cracaters and how the plot develops happens in relation to that main plot.

@Max:

I think WW was quite open and clear about there being only one World of Darkness and you pay to be part of it, but you're out in the cold and dark when you want to create your own sub-version of it.

PhoenixPhyre
2018-12-23, 11:00 AM
That's not quite hitting it. Close, but still not there.

The core difference is how we understand the function of a setting. For games created with a meta-plot in mind, that plot is the actual setting, the other details are just the stepping stones to reach the necessary stage to engage with that setting.

Ok, slightly stupid example, but take Shakespears Romeo and Juliet. You either have all the props and tropes, making the city of Verona the setting, with the NPC and the houses the background info, or you go the metaplot way, making the play the setting and the actions of the cracaters and how the plot develops happens in relation to that main plot.

That sounds like in a metaplot setting, the designers want to be writing a movie script instead. That the characters are just observers being carried along with the flow, powerless to affect anything of substance, whether it makes any in fiction sense or not.

Florian
2018-12-23, 11:21 AM
That sounds like in a metaplot setting, the designers want to be writing a movie script instead. That the characters are just observers being carried along with the flow, powerless to affect anything of substance, whether it makes any in fiction sense or not.

Not exactly. Ok, let me try an analogy: a functional metaplot setting is like a train, it moves, it has momentum and enough mass so that you can´t stop it on a whim. The actual plot that involves the characters is what happens within the train. Now the thing is, we know that this particular train is going full speed towards a broken bridge and everyone will die. That can´t be avoided and informs what we are playing within the train, what themes and moods we aim forward, knowing that the end comes.
The main difference between your assessment and this, is one of focus - the end is inevitable. You can fight it and fail, or you can do whatever you want to do in light of the end coming.

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-23, 11:23 AM
Not exactly. Ok, let me try an analogy: a functional metaplot setting is like a train, it moves, it has momentum and enough mass so that you can´t stop it on a whim. The actual plot that involves the characters is what happens within the train. Now the thing is, we know that this particular train is going full speed towards a broken bridge and everyone will die. That can´t be avoided and informs what we are playing within the train, what themes and moods we aim forward, knowing that the end comes.
The main difference between your assessment and this, is one of focus.

So... it's railroading at the publisher level.

Florian
2018-12-23, 11:26 AM
So... it's railroading at the publisher level.

Nope. Railroading means the illusion that you are in control, while you're still moving on hidden tracks.
What happens here is quite obvious, out in the open in and your face. You rather have to ask yourself what went wrong with your own expectations when you go into it and expect a different outcome.

Florian
2018-12-23, 01:03 PM
@PhoenixPhyre:

Ok, I think I can offer a better example and explanation: Legend of the Five Rings (4th edition) comes along with a strict separation. Everything you get is written plot-agnostic and works independent of the metaplot, but you also got handed the timeline for each metaplot and, more important, was changes in the setting due to the metaplot. You're absolutely free to play with our without, whatever is better for your individual table.

As you're playing in a rather small country (Rokugan) and will never leave that, the appeal of using the metaplot is the constant changing of the political landscape, wars and alliances and the changing relationship between the main actors/movers and shakers.

For example, the Pre Coup era is rather neutral, things will get hot when the Scorpion Coup happens and get complicated once we move into the Great Clan War.

You don't even have to throw the characters into the relevant action, but as this is a game with a highly sophisticated social component, they will most likely be affected by the changes nonetheless.

To clarify this a bit, one common campaign type is the Magistrate model, meaning characters of all clans and classes get transferred to the Emerald Magistracy, a part of the imperial bureaucracy, to work as investigators. Now let's say their officer is originally from the Scorpion Clan and as GM, we know that the Coup is going to happen, so it´s interesting to see what we can make of it and how we get that particular Scorpion involved (as he will be the enemy later).

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-23, 03:56 PM
Nope. Railroading means the illusion that you are in control, while you're still moving on hidden tracks.
What happens here is quite obvious, out in the open in and your face. You rather have to ask yourself what went wrong with your own expectations when you go into it and expect a different outcome.

If there's nothing to be done to change the predetermined course of events, if the PCs cannot avoid what has been planned, I'd call that railroading of a sort regardless of the level of illusion.

Plus, you did use a train analogy.

PhoenixPhyre
2018-12-23, 04:22 PM
If there's nothing to be done to change the predetermined course of events, if the PCs cannot avoid what has been planned, I'd call that railroading of a sort regardless of the level of illusion.

Plus, you did use a train analogy.

Whatever we want to call it, knowing that whatever you do will be erased (or overwritten and credited to some NPC) in favor of the "approved" future history is demoralizing, speaking personally.

Of course, if the entire game culture is built around module play, then a certain amount of this is inevitable if you want to have coherent, multi-module stories. I've never been fond of module play, however. Or settings that revolve around it. My favorite non-homebrew setting is Points of Light (the default 4e setting) specifically because it's not much of a setting. It's mostly gaps for campaigns to fill, each in their own way.

Mechalich
2018-12-23, 04:45 PM
Okay, first of all, with regard to Metaplot, it is important to recognize that White Wolf did metaplot in perhaps the worst way possible and the oWoD should not be taken as a good example of the functions of metaplot in game design.

Metaplot is something that should happen above the campaign level, and generally functions as a method to explain changes that happen to the setting and/or game system that are happening at a scale above that at which a typical campaign within a given setting or system operates.That scale could be geographic - for example in FR the not-Mongols invaded a huge chunk of territory 1360 DR and that event had a cascade of consequences across the whole continent - or it could be temporal - Vampire the Masquerade launched in 1991 and wrapped in 2004, the setting obviously required changes over time because the world of 2004 was not even close to the world of 1991 (ex. Czechoslovakia still existed in 1991).

Now, rather obviously, long-running campaigns are likely to deviate from any given setting's metaplot because the PCs may, at any given gaming table, not only alter nation and world changing events, but also continue on afterwards. In fact, in game settings with a highly constrained chronological scenario and significant instability (ex. Wheel of Time or Game of Thrones) it may well be inevitable that this happens. You have to accept that, at some point, your campaign has stacked up enough 'what if' alterations that you're playing in a setting different from the published one. Metaplot isn't going to help a long-running multi-year campaign. Where it is helpful is for a GM who wants to use a setting multiple times in various different, relatively short-term campaigns but doesn't want to get running the same scenario over and over again, and this is doubly helpful when dealing with a setting that is 'the modern world' in some sense, because that's a moving target requiring periodic updating.

To get back to Planescape, one of the reasons adding any level of metaplot to the setting was egregiously unnecessary was that the setting is so incredibly massive. It's size meant that you could have huge events involving millions of people, including whole societies or even whole planets, and it wouldn't change the planar status quo. You could run a campaign where failure meant that Demons eat an entire crystal sphere and most people in Sigil would greet such stories with a yawn. Launching the Faction War meant bypassing the size and wondrous absurdity of the setting to turn it into a bizarre conspiracy thriller where a handful or people and a handful of murders got to alter the multiverse dramatically for no particular reason.

Beleriphon
2018-12-23, 07:44 PM
To get back to Planescape, one of the reasons adding any level of metaplot to the setting was egregiously unnecessary was that the setting is so incredibly massive. It's size meant that you could have huge events involving millions of people, including whole societies or even whole planets, and it wouldn't change the planar status quo. You could run a campaign where failure meant that Demons eat an entire crystal sphere and most people in Sigil would greet such stories with a yawn. Launching the Faction War meant bypassing the size and wondrous absurdity of the setting to turn it into a bizarre conspiracy thriller where a handful or people and a handful of murders got to alter the multiverse dramatically for no particular reason.

Still better than Die, Vecna, Die. That was metaplot on an edition level scale.

Silva
2018-12-25, 04:08 PM
Pause to appreciate this great piece by Robh Ruppel:

(by the way, was races like Mariliths ever supported as playable in any supplement?)

https://www.therpgsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=3104&d=1545668102

Caelestion
2018-12-26, 06:02 AM
That image doesn't show up for me.

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-26, 09:43 AM
That image doesn't show up for me.

Doesn't show up for me either.

Silva
2019-01-03, 10:05 PM
Oops, it's just the cover for Hellbound the Blood War.

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/kJcAAOSwdCFbcivN/s-l640.jpg

Caelestion
2019-01-04, 04:43 PM
The box art, you mean?

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/cf/Hellbound%2C_The_Blood_War_%28D%26D_boxed_set%29.j pg

Eldan
2019-01-04, 06:27 PM
Since he mentioned Marilith, probably the second one here:
http://www.waynesbooks.com/images/graphics/hellboundthebloodwarsetb.jpg

Mark Hall
2019-01-05, 11:14 AM
Since he mentioned Marilith, probably the second one here:
http://www.waynesbooks.com/images/graphics/hellboundthebloodwarsetb.jpg

Again, it does not display for me.

Tanarii
2019-01-05, 03:50 PM
The main difference between your assessment and this, is one of focus - the end is inevitable. You can fight it and fail, or you can do whatever you want to do in light of the end coming.
Makes me think of trying to run adventures in pre-cataclysm Deagonlance.