The Planescape setting is designed to encourage philosophical discussion, but the philosophies of its 15 Factions read like bad philosophy 101 essays. Let’s make the factions more engaging and believable by adding extreme and moderate subfactions.
In this Introduction to Planescape Series, we first explained why Planescape exists as both Dungeons and Dragons’ Theory of the Planes and as a specific setting, then explored each of the two aspects in more detail. In this final article of the series, we will put everything together and discuss how GMs should and should not introduce Planescape into their campaigns.
The Planescape campaign setting published for DND Second Edition is filled with complex NPCs, fantastic locations, villainous schemes, and the peerless artwork of Tony DiTerlizzi. But how do you find what you’re looking for in an out-of-print setting with 4 box sets and 20+ published adventures? This article will get you started, laying out the basics you need to know and other resources that will help you run the setting.
The planes are critical for helping players rationalize and organize information about some of the aspects of Dungeons & Dragons that are both the most fun and most confusing. The 5e writers identify these problems, listing them as the justification behind the minimum number of planes required for most DND campaigns (DMG, p.43): Where do Fiends and Celestials come from? Where do the deities “reside”? Where do mortal souls go after one dies?
Planescape should be understood in two ways: as a specific setting, and as a Unified Theory of DND Everything. In this series of articles, I will use this framework to introduce Planescape to GMs new to the setting and explain how to add the planes into your game.