I meant to sit down and play some Dungeons and Dragons with Quinn over the weekend. I forget sometimes how busy a relaxing Thanksgiving can be. Wednesday, we spent the day and night relaxing and trying to catch our breath. Thursday, we watched the parade and then I went to pick up Aiden’s girlfriend to hang out with the family. Friday, we went to Greenfield for dinner and then Bright Nights. Chris came over Saturday and Quinn felt sick yesterday. So, now, what do I write this week? Well, I got the bright idea to review each book from Planescape. I start with Sigil and the Outlands.
Of the settings I played when younger, Planescape offered the most interesting possibilities. Those possibilities never paid off because nobody else in the playgroup wanted to explore them. But, the release of the set in 5th edition opens up all new chances to travel the planes.
A Multiverse of (Possible) Madness
The book starts by telling you that the only rules in Planescape are that there are no rules. As someone who plays D&D by that very rule, this again tickles my funny bone and makes me want to try it even more now. Maybe after Quinn and I finish our pirate adventure, we can try some Planescape. Then again, I mistakenly grabbed my Spelljammer books instead of Planescape for this article. That gave me an idea for a way to take us into space. Maybe after that, we can plane walk.
In keeping with the tradition of these books, the first chapter then goes on to explain player character options. This one offers no new races but it gives players two “backgrounds” to play as their character. Neither of them speak to me necessarily, but I might take some aspects of one or both of them to work into a future character.
Especially when I look at the feats that they describe in the next part of the chapter. Some of them look like a lot of fun to play. They all require some sort of planar attunement. That’s just my fancy way of saying that you need to have the Scion of the Outer Planes feat, which is only available to the backgrounds they introduce in the book. So, watch this space for a new character. A warlock with the planar philosopher background. Only because I never played a Warlock.
The chapter closes with some discussion about a few magic spells and item. Again, none of them jump out to me as particularly interesting. But, with some imagination and work, maybe I can give them a fun twist.
Sigil, City of Doors
The second chapter gives information on the main hub city of the many planes, Sigil. It starts with basic information like currency and the like. This part mainly reads like the rule that “there aren’t any rules” and anything goes. It’s less interesting than it sounds. But, again, with some work and imagination, anything is possible.
Then, they write about the various portals that lead from the city. They define some of them explicitly in a table for those of us who are in a hurry or not feeling inspired. It also gives a template for other portals to other places when you start to feel more inspired or imaginative.
The final part of this chapter introduces the Lady of Pain, explains the various wards in the city and their make up and denizens, and discusses the factions in the city. I don’t care much about the politics of any given setting in Dungeons and Dragons. However, i like the idea of starting an adventure in the city. Therefore, with a description of some of the places to visit, I got ideas how to craft that part of the adventure.
The final chapter lists and describes the major planes of existence in the realm known as The Outlands. In keeping with the layout of many of the recent 5th edition books, it covers just the basics of each of the areas. Enough to set things up for you. The thing that I like best is that I can fill in the gaps as I write the adventure. I know that many players want more description and detail. But, I want the freedom to imagine.
Reading Sigil and the Outlands plus the book I picked up from Spelljammer gives me ideas for how to expand this adventure with me and Quinn. Now, I just need to sit down and write the new parts. We also need to find time to play the game. We get a week off for Christmas, so that seems like as good a time as any.