I am the Mimir
FAQ

FAQ

Being a Compilation of the Questions Most Often Asked about Planescape, and their True Answers

PART THE FIRST: THE GREAT UNKNOWNS

Who is the Lady of Pain?

The Lady of Pain is, simply put, an icon representing the tone of the Planescape campaign. Enigmatic and untouchable, she embodies the cruel mystery of the planes. Not even she knows her true history, and most PS DMs think that’s exactly the way she should stay.

That’s not to say bashers never try to second-guess her origins, oh no! They say that for every berk who ever set foot in the Cage there’s a new story purporting to tell of her past. It’s best to take these with a pinch of salt.

The best of the collected “truths” of the Lady of Pain that the mailing list has dreamed up can be found on the Mimir at: LINK COMING SOON

If you’re curious about the poem which may have inspired the central, mysterious figure in Planescape you might like to read Swinburne’s “Dolores“.

See also Sigil and Beyond p 62, On Hallowed Ground p 52.

What is Sigil?

Sigil is the hub of the planes, arguably at the very centre, but without doubt the most cosmopolitan city you’ll find anywhere in the multiverse. It’s ruled by the Lady of Pain, though her voice is never heard, and her laws are few.

Sigil’s name is officially pronounced with a “G” not a “J”. Some cutters argue the former sounds silly (rhyming with giggle and squiggle). The Mimir CD quite clearly uses the official version.

As with the Lady, there are countless stories telling of Sigil’s origin, history and future. A few of them can be found on the Mimir here and here.

See also: Sigil and Beyond, In the Cage (all pages!), On Hallowed Ground p 43.

What is the Spire?

The Spire is the infinitely tall pinnacle above which Sigil floats, though even that’s a matter of contention. Some claim Sigil ain’t really there, because the Spire’s a dead magic zone and magic works in the Cage, sure as Sigil (as they say). Others deny that an infinite Spire can have a peak, and those berks should be pitied: They’re missing out on one of the greatest mysteries of the planes.

See, out there, where the powers live, the impossible and the infinite take on new meanings, which are interpreted differently, according to what you believe. Some points of view on the Spire can be found on the Mimir at: LINK COMING SOON

PART THE SECOND: LIFE ON THE PLANES

Aren’t there language problems on the planes?

Of course, though they’re probably not what most people expect. Strangely enough, most primes new to the planes find they speak a language common to humankind, though the funny accents and slang of Cage-folk (the Cant) throws a few off the scent until they pick up its darks.

Most of the planar races have their own languages, though most cutters who do any travelling also know the common tongue. Many races (baatezu, tanar’ri etc.) can also communicate telepathically, so they’re able to talk to anyone. Planewalkers who’ve been to Mechanus report that there’s no language barrier there at all; mysteriously every visitor there can understand everyone else, no matter what language they try to speak.

There’s also the Lower Planar Trade Tongue, that’s widespread throughout the merchant community and with planewalkers. Still, in the more isolated backwater burgs of the planes, there might be only one or two cutters who can speak common, so peery bloods’d be best off taking magical help, just in case.

Several essays on planar languages can be found here.

See also The Planewalker’s Handbook p 46 and 101.

How can there be a universal common language? Ain’t that unrealistic?

There are many theories, but the best one is perhaps that the powers wanted it to be this way. Maybe all humans originally spoke the same language, only their isolation on different Prime worlds bred dialects and accents. Scholars point to an ancient tongue, Koine Sophias, which seems to be related to all prime tongues: Maybe this was the First Common?

As for this being unrealistic: what’s a common tongue compared with a city the shape of a doughnut that floats atop an infinite mountain? Get things in perspective, berk!

See The Planewalker’s Handbook p 101.

Is there such a thing as planar commerce? How does currency work?

A: Planar trade is very big business. Large merchant cartels exist which take care of many trans-planar trade routes: for one thing, practically all food and building materials have to be imported into Sigil (ever wondered why nobody has allotments in the Cage?). Lucky for them they’ve got the portals. It’s a knack of finding portals that have convenient and cheap keys (the ones triggered by words are best) that open into civilised areas of the planes. Once you get control of one of those, the planes are your oyster.

As for the coinage used on the planes, it doesn’t much matter what shape your money is, so long as it’s gold. Sure, some cross-trading merchants’ll try to bob a gully Prime out of an extra coin (“Say, that jink’s a tiny one. It’ll cost extra!”), but they’re only profiting from berks’ naivete. Some places use far stranger things as money. Further information on this topic can be found on the Mimir here.

Companied like the Planar Trade Consortium also exist (think the East India Company, but run by a orge mage) which transport goods from one plane to another, making a tidy profit on top.

See also Sigil and Beyond, p 69.

Why are there only 12 (or 15) factions?

There were only 15 factions because the Lady of Pain decreed it should be that way several hundred years ago. Back then there were over 50 factions, and the kriegstanz (the undeclared war of belief in Sigil) was too chaotic for her liking. She cut out the dead wood and allowed only the strongest to survive. Such is her power that the factions obeyed her law. Following the events of Faction War, several factions merged, were disbanded or renamed, and now there are 12. Whether the Lady of Pain would allow any more than this isn’t known, and nobody yet’s been brave enough to test her patience. Some dyed-in-the-wool cutters steadfastly remain faithful to their original factions, others made the jump. You’ll find references to some of the disbanded factions (Sign of One, Believers of the Source, Revolutionary League, Xaositects) because of this — these factions no longer play a role in the running of Sigil but there are still philosophers who subscribe to their beliefs.

See the Factol’s Manifesto, all of it is useful but especially p 81.

The Visionaries are a diverse bunch of bloods who’ve got distinctive beliefs and a following of cutters who subscribe to ’em. They’re a part of Sigil’s factions, though they don’t always toe the faction line. Basically, they try to show that there can be many points of view about the same beliefs: after all, most of the factions contain many cutters of all alignments. Rather than forming a sect for each belief, the Visionaries show how the larger faction banner can encompass all sorts of fractional groups. The Visionaries can be found on the Mimir here.

What’s the difference between a Faction and a Sect?

The main difference between a Faction and a Sect is that the Factions have official representation in Sigil: a Headquarters and a seat on the Council.

Sects, on the other hand, are marginal groups of philosophers. Their beliefs usually arise on the Great Ring itself, and as such, are only locally appropriate. For example, the Mathematicians of Mechanus use algebra to calculate the correct position of cogs on Mechanus. Their philosophy just doesn’t work on another plane. Similarly, the Anarchs of Limbo shape chaos: on any other plane, their most basic tenet falls down.

Faction beliefs, though, remain roughly appropriate whatever plane they’re transposed to: the Guvners can find rules even in the chaos of the Abyss (the First Law of the Abyss being “The Strongest will Survive”.) The Doomguard see entropy everywhere, even in the Upper Planes.

The versatility of the Factions’ beliefs might be the reason they’ve gained a hold in the Cage, for there, anything can be true. A Sect’s philosophy more than likely wouldn’t stand up to the scrutiny of so many bloods from so many places. That don’t mean they can’t try, though. The Ring-Givers (whose ideas are closer to the Factional than the Sect-like) are certainly giving it their best shot.

See The Planewalker’s Handbook, p 54-56.

Where are the Sun, Moon and Stars on the planes?

Heavenly bodies are a thing of the Prime, berk! They’re there to give the Prime berks a sense of tiny insignificance; to remind them that beings greater than themselves created them and watch over them.

Thing is, on the Planes, that’s never cut it. Planars ain’t likely to be bobbed into feeling small by the Powers (and many of the planar races’d see it as downright patronising). There’s also no need for outside illuminations, as the planes themselves provide whatever light seems appropriate.

There are a few exceptions, as with every rule. The only Outer Planes with heavenly bodies (barring the Realms of Powers) are:

  • Arcadia, which has starry night radiating from the Orb of Day and Night, the planes’ tallest peak. Some bloods reckon the stars are the powers’ real realms.
  • Mount Celestia’s first layer of Lunia has two moons and a sky full of stars. Nobody’s sure what the stars are, whether they’re distant places that could be visited, powers, or just painted on the night sky. The moons are manifestations of the lunar powers Nikkal and Yarikh.
  • The Beastlands…the first layer (Krigala) has a sun (Selera), the second layer (Brux) has Selera setting and Noctos (the moon) rising moon, and the third layer (Karasuthra) a barely visible moon, and glittering stars (DM’s Guide to the Planes p53).
  • The Abyssal layer of Pazunia is baked by a dying sun, and also has a visiting comet-moon called A’othorh.
  • Carceri’s skies contain smatterings of red pearls, each the next orb in the layer’s string. These become progressively fewer and further between as you descend the layers, as the pearls become further away and duller.
  • Ysgard’s light comes solely from the undersides of burning earth burgs from other layers. They look like nothing so much as rivers of lava streaming through the skies. Thing is, it’s the powers who call the shots when it comes to day and night. For some reason, the like to imitate the seasons of the Northern lands of the Prime, and when winter comes, it can stay dark for weeks.
  • Gehenna has diamond-shaped “stars” hanging in the black void. They’re the other layers of the plane (they’re double-ended volcanoes, hence the shape). One of them’s nearly invisible it’s so cold, so you’d be able to see three or two, depending where you’re standing. Oh, and one of the layers has a floating city called Nimicri which looks like a moon, but ain’t.
  • Random layers of the Abyss might have some sort of Infernal Sun, Moon or Stars.

Can a cutter walk from one gate town to another?

Yes, but it’s never the same trip twice. It will always take 3-18 days to walk from one major landmark on the Outlands to another. And the round-trip doesn’t have to be the same length. That is to say, travelling from Rigus to Plague-Mort could take 10 days; but the return trip may only take 4.

Note that this 3-18 days only deals with known landmarks and if the people travelling actually want to get to their destination. If you wander at random, you could actually travel forever and still not get anywhere. (Although, you may still run into interesting things.) The belief in the destination tends to speed up a journey, at least on the Outlands — the same might not apply for other planes. A total disinterest in the trip (even if it is between known locations) could make the trip last up to ten times longer.

Can you walk from the Outlands to Baator without a gate?

No. At least, not according to the Planescape rules as they stand. This is an old topic from the Mailing List that’s been much debated, and the conclusion was this: The only way to get from the Outlands to a plane of the Great Ring is through the permanent portals which are located in each of the Gate Towns, via colour pools on the Astral Plane or through one of the Lady of Pain’s Portals.

While the Outlands appears to take on the character of the plane it borders, the effect is most pronounced near the Gate Towns. A cutter continuing to walk away from the Spire, past the Gate Towns does not find the land becoming more and more like the bordering plane, they enter the Hinterlands instead.

It’s a difficult thing to visualise, this: The Outlands and the other Great Ring Planes do come close to touching, only it’s not at the edge of the Outlands that this happens, it’s at the Gate Towns. If you like, you could consider the Outer Planes to be curved (they’re probably not, but it makes understanding this phenomenon a little easier).

Why do fiends often look mundane if they’re supposed to be the embodiment of evil?

As the native inhabitants of the Lower Planes, fiends are the embodiment of evil. Some berks have then wondered why the fiends of the PS Monstrous Compendia looked so mundane compared with what we, as real world humans, might think fiends should look like — hideous distortions of our worst nightmares, gory masses of claws and fangs, or Cthulhuesque masses of oozing tentacles…

In fact, the question contains its very answer. We are clueless humans from a prime world, hence we believe fiends are beyond-the-pale monstrosities. We believe they’re utterly ugly and they act with utmost savagery.

Remember: Planescape is about belief. As a consequence, this belief of ours rather of forces the finds to appear ugly and savage when addressing primes. True, a fox-headed ‘loth may not be an average prime’s embodiment of evil…you can bet a mere zombie will scare him a lot more! So fiends perhaps do appear as gory nightmares when summoned on the Prime; maybe they do kill, violate and maim innocent people when on the Prime… because they have to if they want to be recognised as fiends. A baatezu might prefer a clever bargain or an insidious contract…but he’ll have to act savagely in order to be taken seriously.

On the other hand, Planars are truly blasé. The average Cager may have already met fiends in a tavern or inn. The average Outlander may have fought a battle or two against an invading army from the Lower Planes. Fiends are also common sight in the evil gate towns. Faction members may have fiends amongst their fellows…They know fiends are evil, sure, but they also know they can outsmart them, or that their faction might help them if they have problems with fiends. A wise cutter may have fought as a mercenary in the Blood War and know a few things about fiendish powers and weaknesses too. For a Planar, killing and maiming ain’t necessarily representative of the worst evil… after all, the Planes are where bacchae wreak havoc for fun, where Paladins kill innocent bystanders when fighting on behalf their high-ups, where the Hardheads torture people for Good’s sake!

Remember: Belief is the key to understanding Planescape. Belief — and attitude. A fiend certainly prefers looking threatening than just evil. The Elder Gods on the other hand…

How do you find a portal key, or where a portal is located?

It all depends on what the key to that portal is. If it’s an object, it can probably be found in any shop (if it’s something like a green cloak), or at specialty shops. (There is at least one portal key shop listed in Uncaged, “Tivvum’s Antiquities”, run by the charming Alluvius Ruskin). As for price, well that can range from the cost of a green cloak all the way to a 10 pound block of platinum. Or, the cost could be free, if the key is something like an action (such as bowing three times).

As for finding what the key is in the first place, it all depends on where the portal goes, and who you ask. If you ask a Cipher, they might blurt out the answer for free, while a Fated would charge an arm or a leg (sometimes literally). Cutters like Lissandra the Gate-Seeker (Uncaged: Faces of Sigil p60) have made a business out of learning and then selling the darks on portals.

Portals can be located inside any bounded space — an archway, a doorway, a natural curve formed by two trees, etc. They can even be inside such small spaces as the top drawer of your dresser. (Of course, when the drawer is closed, the portal can’t be opened, even if some one has the key.) On very rare occasions (and only outside of Sigil), a portal can exist in free space.

There’s a great article in the Dragon Magazine Annual #1 that’s all about gate keys and the portals they might open.

How big is Sigil? Population? Length across?

A: It’s said the city’s been measured by the Harmonium, has a diameter of five miles and a circumference of twenty miles. If we assume a width of 2.5 miles, This gives the city a surface area of around 50 square miles. To visualise 50 square miles, this is about the same size as Edinburgh (which has a population or around half a million, although probably fewer baatezu than Sigil). 50 square miles is slightly large than two Manhattan Islands (which would equate to just over 3 million people, and probably the same number of baatezu as Sigil). So a Sigil population of around 1 million sounds reasonable. Incidentally, 2.5 miles wide and 20 miles long is pretty much the same shape as two Manhattan Islands laid end to end. Loop them around in a circle and you’ve got one Sigil!

The Lady of Pain can change the size of the city at will, however. Nobody ever notices it getting larger or smaller, though — this is probably one thing that should be chalked up as a “mystery of the planes”. The population is also tricky, since probably only a third or so of the beings in the city are permanent residents, the rest are merely passing through. Sigil isn’t the most populous city on the Planes, but it’s certainly the best known, and best connected.

How common are portals in Sigil?

Pretty sodding common. It’s sometimes said that practically every single bounded space has been a portal at one time. Now, not all spaces are a portal at any given time. The Lady creates and closes portals at her own whim. Thus, the front door to your house could be a normal door for 30 years, and then one day it becomes a portal to the Prime activated by a scream of terror.

Some portals see heavy use, other may never be used before they disappear again — it depends on the destination of the portal, the key (how rare or expensive it is), and the length of time the portal operates for before shutting down (if ever). Some portals are one way, some require a different key to go in each direction, some have a destination that shifts in a predictable pattern, others shift seemingly randomly. Some portals consume the key when activated, others do not. Some keys are physical, others might be a though, an action, a phrase or a song.

Are there portals to Athas and Ravenloft from Sigil?

Sigil’s portals reach wherever the Lady of Pain wishes them to reach. Portals to Athas (the world of the Dark Sun) are few and far between, but they do exist. Portals into Ravenloft (a mysterious demiplane of Dread in the Deep Ethereal) are likely to exist; it’s just no-one who steps through them ever returns. Similarly, there are portals to all the AD&D campaign worlds. It’s up to the DM which ones he uses and where he wants to place them.

See The Planewalker’s Handbook p 32 and 148.

Where can I find a list of everything for sale in the Great Bazaar?

Simply put: You can’t.

The Great Bazaar is one of the largest marketplaces in the Multiverse. It’s be physically impossible to list everything available. What can be bought there? Anything at all, provided a cutter’s prepared to ask half a hundred merchants and shell out garnish left, right and centre. Magic, illegal services, assassins, poison, Spelljammer ships, “company”, dark, impossible objects, hire swords: Anything.

‘Course, asking too many times for things which ain’t legal might well attract the attention of Hardhead or Mercykiller patrols. Consider yourself warned!

Does everything in Sigil comes from other places?

Pretty much, yes. Sigil itself has no raw materials to speak of — there are no farms, forests, quarries, mines or even sources of clean water naturally occurring. Name a place and Sigil probably gets something from there. Granted, there are more common places (such as Arborea or Arcadia for food), but if it’s in Sigil, it’s a safe bet that it’s come from outside. Consequently, there’s a lot of recycling that goes on. Buildings that fall into disuse (and occasionally those that are still occupied!) can sometimes disappear, shunted from Sigil to some kind of extradimensional storage place — be that the Mazes, the Soul Cage or some kind of demiplane. They may then reappear elsewhere in the Cage, in the same or a different form, with the Lady of Pain’s dabus servants directing, dismantling and building as they see fit. Maps of the Cage can therefore become outdated over time as the city warps and shifts.

What is the Soul Cage?

The Soul Cage is a (non-canonical) phenomenon that most bloods don’t know about. While trans-planar travel in Sigil’s out-of-bounds except through the Lady’s portals, the Cage has a pseudo-ethereal sister, according to some (this ain’t official though, berk!). Depending on who you ask, this is a place filled with lost spirits, the warrens of the dabus, or merely the ravings of a bubbed-up barmy. The details can be found in Magnum Opus’ Musée Arcane. LINK COMING SOON

PART THE THIRD: MAGIC AND PSIONICS

This section relates to the AD&D (2e) rules as written. We will have to wait and see what changes D&D 5e brings…

How is magic affected by the planes?

That’s a big question, berk. There are lots of things a blood wizard has to remember when he’s casting spells, the first being where he’s standing. Many magic spells draw their energy from other planes, and if the wizard’s cut off from these places, his spells function less effectively, or not at all. ‘Course, this works the other way round too: Some planes enhance spells which are related to them.

Still more complicated are the alterations to certain schools of magic. See, the planes have their own themes and personalities, and they don’t take too kindly to spellcasters going against their essences. Some spells are entirely negated (like Illusions on clockwork Mechanus or Divinations on the mysterious Ethereal) and in other situations they’re diminished (like Enchantments on mean-spirited Gehenna) or enhanced (like Fire spells on the Elemental Plane of Fire). Some schools of magic are altered: The Planes of Chaos tend to pervert Alterations, while harmful Necromantic magics might be revisited on the caster or negated entirely, depending upon the Upper Plane.

Many of these alterations or restrictions can be avoided with the proper use of Spell Keys (q.v.), but some absolute restrictions cannot be avoided. Amongst these are the Spire’s negation of magic, and the ban of Wild Magic on Mechanus.

Priest spells are generally unaffected by the plane they’re cast on, as the Will of Powers is enough to overcome most local conditions. For example, a priest can cast the astral spell on the Inner planes, even thought there’s no natural Astral connection: His power’s might is enough to allow this spell to work. However, the absolute prohibitions still remain &emdash;no matter how mighty your Power, you still can’t cast spells at the Spire!

The many intricacies are far too numerous to mention here. Details can be found in The Planewalker’s Handbook, p 102-107.

What are spell keys and power keys?

Spell keys are little tricks that canny wizards pick up to allow them to bend the rules that the planes have set on magic. On many planes, it ain’t possible to cast spells from certain schools, or else the effects of those schools are altered or diminished. Spell keys can be general (which means they affect a whole school on a given plane) or specific (which means they affect only one spell on a given plane). The exact nature of spell keys depends on the plane and spell in question; it’s usually a symbolic gesture to the Laws of Magic. Whatever it is, using a spell key’ll add 1 to the casting time of a wizard spell. It’d also be best to bear in mind that not every spell has a key: for example, wild magic’ll never work on Mechanus, whatever the key, as its nature is just too antithecal to the plane.

See A DM Guide to the Planes, p 13 and The Planewalker’s Handbook, p. 106.

Power keys are rather different. They’re much rarer, as they’re granted directly from a power to his or her servants, the priests. They can change at the power’s whim, and don’t usually last longer than a week or so. They’re also much more potent: Power keys cause the spell they affect to have maximum possible effect. Basically if there’s a random factor in the spell (damage, range etc.) then it always is as large as possible.

See A DM Guide to the Planes, p 14, The Planewalker’s Handbook, p 109-110, and On Hallowed Ground, p 16.

How are magical weapons affected by the planes?

Magical weapons and armour, and items with pluses are magically bound to their home plane, much like creatures. Unlike creatures, however, the further the enchanted item is taken from its home plane, the weaker its enchantment becomes. Luckily, this isn’t a permanent reduction, but it can be a shock for Clueless cutters when they realise they’re stranded on a hostile plane and their magic sword suddenly stops being so magic.

For each plane of separation from its home plane, the item loses one magical ‘plus’. The numbers are best explained by example:

A sword from the Prime would lose one plus when taken to the Astral or Ethereal Planes, and two when on the Inner or Outer Planes. The absolute number of planes between the item’s home plane and current location are counted, even if the item physically travelled through fewer planes: For example, from the Prime to Sigil through a portal counts as a -2 loss, as the portal technically moved the traveller through the Astral, even if he didn’t notice it.

Inner Plane-forged items are worse off. On an adjacent Inner Plane (e.g. Air and Ice or Water and Salt) the item loses one plus, as it does on the Ethereal. On any other Inner Plane or the Prime the item loses two pluses, as the item can be traced through the Ethereal back to its home plane). In the Astral, the item’s at -3, and on any Outer Plane at -4.

Outer Plane-forged items are -1 on an adjacent Outer Plane or the Astral, -2 on the Prime or a non-adjacent Outer plane (the route can be traced through the outlands or the Astral), -3 on the Ethereal and -4 on the Inner Planes.

The most useful weapons, then are those forged on the Outlands or Sigil (which are adjacent to every Outer Plane) the Astral, or Ethereal. DMs using these rules should be careful to note the plane of origin of any magic items they allow their players to acquire, especially those with pluses. It’s a bit of extra book-keeping perhaps, but introduces a whole new dimension of possibilities to the game.

These guidelines are summed up more fully in The Planewalker’s Handbook, page 110, and in the massive (epilepsy-inducing) table on page 157. There’s also a section explaining this on page 15 of A DM Guide to the Planes.

How are psionics affected by the planes?

A thorny question, with no official answer. Generally, psionics are considered to draw upon internal energy rather than anything external, so they’re affected less by planes than magic.

On the Outlands, from the sixth ring and in, non-godlike psionic abilities are annulled (source: A Player’s Primer to the Outlands, p 6).

Other than this one restriction, the official rules remain very quiet about psionics and their users. This is partly due to the fact that they’re an optional part of the AD&D rules, and partly due to the Planescape 2e designers being self-confessed psionophobes.

There’s an unofficial Planescape Psionics Handbook being put together right now, and as soon as it’s on the Internet, this FAQ will be updated with a link leading to it. It will address not only the way psionics works on the planes, but introduce now planar psionic powers, attack and defence modes, and offer an extensive revision of the psionics rules themselves. When it’s complete, it will be mentioned on the Planescape Mailing List. Until then, cutters, you’re on your own.

Are there any other discrepancies I should be aware of?

Yeah. Careful reading of spell descriptions in the Player’s Handbook will reveal a number of spells which don’t work when cast on extra-planar creatures. That was written originally to prevent players using certain spells against aasimon, baatezu, elementals, and the like. With the Planescape rules, players can now have characters who don’t hail from the Prime Material Plane.

For example, the 1st-level Priest spell cure light wounds (as well as all the other priest spells which heal damage) states: “This healing cannot affect creatures…of extra-planar origin.” The 6th-level Wizard death spell “does not affect…creatures from planes other than the Prime Material.”

Clearly, if these rules are strictly followed, there is no way for priests to heal planar PCs (bariaur, githzerai, tieflings, aasimar, githyanki, rogue modrons or planar humans). The advice from TSR’s designers was to simply ignore the rule (assume they were written by some clueless wizard – or Zeb Cook 🙂 )

DMs can interpret this how they wish: Healing and Death spells might be restricted to affecting only the ‘mortal’ races (ie. any creature except the ‘immortal’ planar races like the tanar’ri, rilmani or genies), or they might simply be allowed to work on any creature.

Alternatively, a simple spell key might be required to cast one of these spells on a non-Prime (the symbol of the creature’s home plane, for example).

PART THE FOURTH: CHARACTERS AND MONSTERS

Where can I find the Lady of Pain’s Game Statistics?

You can’t. The Lady doesn’t need stats, and assigning her mere numbers lessens her aura of mystery and majesty. Rather than argue about this here, consider the words of Planescape creator Zeb Cook:

“When I made up the Lady of Pain, there was a conscious decision among a lot of us at TSR *not* to give it stats. There’s several reasons: 1) we wanted a mystery and wanted to make the point about the Planescape world that there are things that do not have answers; 2) she was cool and giving her stats and numbers robs her of that factor (we thought); 3) if we made up an answer then somebody would make up a thing to overcome her (be it designer, DM, or player) and all PS would wind up going to hell; 4) we didn’t know and probably wouldn’t have agreed; and 5) I didn’t want to deal with letters saying ‘My player killed the Lady of Pain and now runs Sigil so you can take her out of your manuals,’ etc.

“I honestly don’t understand the need to give her stats. She does the things the DM needs her to do. Why, how, and by what rules is pointless and robs the imagination. It’s like I don’t understand the desire to quantify the powers or to create exact rules for how players become powers. If these things need to happen in a game, then they will and if they don’t, then they won’t.”

And that, as they say, is that(!)

How do the family trees of aasimar, genasi and tieflings work?

In bizarre and unpredictable ways. Basically, these three plane-touched races all indicate that one or more of the character’s ancestors was some sort of planar creature. For tanar’ri, the direct descendants of unions between fiends and mortal are alu-fiends or cambions, so a tanar’ric tiefling will have a fiendish grandparent rather than parent. Other planar races don’t have such half-breeds, so an aasimar might well have an firre eladrin for a mother.

Where do Planescape characters train?

If you use the training rules, you ought to spend some time considering possible locations of schools in Sigil and other major planar burgs that could provide training for adventurers. Planar churches (or Realms) like that of the Torilian power Tymora are friendly to adventurers, and would be likely candidates. Factions would also be good places to train, especially because higher-level members with similar beliefs might be able to teach younger PCs a trick or two. Finally, consider learning from planar creatures themselves: What better place to learn to be a warrior than fighting for the baatezu in the Blood War. They’re always recruiting, after all!

What happens to lycanthropes if there’s no moon?

The “official” answer from Planescape writer Monte Cook was that nobody gives a damn about lycanthropes on the planes (!) He’s got a point: who’d be scared of a man who can change into a wolf in front of you when there could be a man who can change into a Balor standing behind you?

Unofficial opinions expressed have included:

  • Lycanthropic changes are triggered by emotions (hate, love, anger).
  • Lycanthropes are affected by the phase of the moon on their home plane, no matter where they are.
  • Some planes would probably trigger a change on entering. Remember Karasuthra (the 3rd layer of the Beastlands has a perpetual moon in the sky anyway).
  • Travel through portals might trigger a change if a save vs. polymorph is failed.
  • Other planes might specifically prohibit changes: Mechanus, for example. Limbo might force the change randomly, or the lycanthrope might find himself shifting into an entirely different shape!

What PC races from which AD&D campaigns are allowed in Planescape?

Any and all the DM chooses to allow. Pretty much anything from any of the AD&D campaign worlds is appropriate; after all, the Planes encompass all cultures of the Multiverse.

Game mechanics-wise, DMs might have trouble with Athasian characters, as they’re so much tougher than PCs from other worlds. A quick solution to this is to reduce their ability scores to the racial maximums of the “normal” AD&D rules when the characters are off their home prime.

This might be explained by the lower temperature of the planes reducing performance, the will of the powers (they wouldn’t want their creations shown up by denizens of a godless world, after all), or a magical effect caused by the absence of the ambient psionic energy of Athas or the Sorcerer Kings.

Can the rilmani use their magical powers at base of the Spire?

According to the rules describing the absolute restrictions on magic, nothing can overcome the negation of magic at the Spire, so the rilmani cannot use their magical powers there.

However, there is (allegedly) a rule somewhere that states planar creatures can use any of their powers on their home plane (such as a succubus being able to become Ethereal on the Abyss, even though the Abyss has no Ethereal connections). Under this rule, a DM might choose to allow the rilmani some of all of their powers at the Spire. Bear in mind, however, that they’ll suddenly become incredibly powerful, as even the gods lose their magical abilities at the Spire.

5e Update: The Sigil and the Outlands book states that rilmani can use their powers at the Spire. The rules for magic annulment as you get closer to the Spire are also rather vague, it just mentions magic dead zones. Do whatever is convenient for your game!

Can planar PCs take character kits / prestige classes as well as factions?

Yes, but it depends upon where in the planes a planar PC hails from as to which kits are most appropriate. If you’re a planar dwarf from Mount Clangeddin then you’re more than likely to have a kit from the Complete Book of Dwarves, for example. Planewalker characters, however, are far more likely to have one of the planewalker kits (there’s one for each main character class in the Planewalker’s Handbook) or a kit based on location (again, see the PWHB).

You’ll also find some kits from other sources fit in well with particular planes. For example, the ‘clockwork mage’ from the Complete Sha’ir’s Handbook would be very appropriate for a planar wizard coming from Mechanus.

See The Planewalker’s Handbook, pp. 92-98, and also A Player’s Guide to the Planes, p.14.

How well can planars see portals?

The planar in question must concentrate for one round before he can see the aura of a portal. On a roll of 1, 2 or 3 on 1d6, he is able to see the faint glowing outline of a portal, or a roll of 1 if he’s only casually observing.

Obviously, if there is no portal within his field of vision, or he’s looking at a shifting portal which is currently inactive, he doesn’t detect one — it’s not a magic “find” type of ability, merely a different way of looking at things.

The planar doesn’t automatically know where the other end is. However, if he has the Portal Feel NWP (or a similar spell), he can get idea of which Plane, and maybe what layer the portal goes to – but that’s all. Other spells or abilities may reveal what the key to the portal is.

See The Planewalker’s Handbook, p. 36 for more details.

Can petitioners re-enter the Prime Material Plane if they want to?

Yes, petitioners are free to leave their planes of residence. However, since if a petitioner is killed off his home plane he is forever gone and doesn’t merge with his deity, the petitioner doesn’t leave except on express order of his deity.

PART THE FIFTH: PLANESCAPE CANON

What Planescape / Planes-related products are out there?

The original Planescape products from the late 1990s are all obviously now out of print, and physical copies will set you back some fairly eyewatering prices. Probably the best place to get yourself a copy now is DrivethruRPG … these bloods sell PDF versions of all of the books. They also do print-on-demand runs. I don’t own any of these (I’m sitting on a small treasure horde of the original books like a gold dragon, berks!) but I’ve heard mostly Good Things.

The Planescape Boxed Sets [AD&D 2e]

  • Planescape Campaign Setting
  • Planes of Chaos
  • Planes of Conflict
  • Planes of Law
  • Hellbound: the Blood War

Planescape Accessories [AD&D 2e]

  • A Player’s Primer to the Outlands
  • Faces of Evil: The Fiends
  • The Factol’s Manifesto
  • A Guide to the Astral Plane
  • A Guide to the Ethereal Plane
  • In The Cage: A Guide to Sigil
  • On Hallowed Ground
  • Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix I
  • Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II
  • Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix III — focussed on the Inner Planes
  • The Planewalker’s Handbook
  • Uncaged: Faces of Sigil

Planescape Adventures [AD&D 2e]

  • Dead Gods
  • The Deva Spark
  • Doors to the Unknown
  • The Eternal Boundary
  • The Great Modron March
  • Faction War
  • Fires of Dis
  • Harbinger House
  • In The Abyss
  • Something Wild
  • Tales from the Infinite Staircase
  • Well Of Worlds

Planescape Novels

  • Blood Hostages
  • Abyssal Warriors
  • Planar Powers
  • Pages of Pain

Other Planar D&D Publications

  • AD&D 1st Edition
    • Manual of the Planes (1e): Interesting read, but totally outclassed by the Planescape line.
    • Queen of the Demonweb Pits Q1
    • Tales of the Outer Planes (OP1): The adventures are more glorified monster-bashes than the more thought Planescape 2e style of adventure.
    • The Throne of Bloodstone (H4)
  • AD&D 2nd Edition
    • Chronomancer: While not part of the Planescape multiverse canon, this product’s got some interesting ideas, if time travel’s ever appealed to you.
    • Die, Vecna Die!: This was the plane-shattering adsventure that marked the transition of 2e to 3e.
    • For Duty & Deity
    • Guide to Hell
    • Legends & Lore
    • Monstrous Compendium Outer Planes Appendix (MC8): There’s nothing here that hasn’t been reproduced in the PSMC I or II.
    • A Paladin in Hell
    • The Vortex of Madness and Other Planar Perils
    • Warriors of Heaven
  • D&D 3rd Edition
    • Book of Exalted Deeds (3.5e)
    • Book of Vile Darkness (3e)
    • Elder Evils (3.5e)
    • Expedition to the Demonweb Pits (3.5e)
    • Fiend Folio (3e)
    • Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (3.5e)
    • Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells (3.5e)
    • Manual of the Planes (3e)
    • Planar Handbook (3.5e)
  • D&D 4th Edition
    • Demonomicon
    • Manual of the Planes
    • The Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos
    • The Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea
    • Player’s Option: Heroes of the Feywild
    • The Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond
  • D&D 5th Edition
    • Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus
    • Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel
    • Keys From the Golden Vault
    • Out of the Abyss
    • Manual of the Planes more info here
    • Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse
    • Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse, more info here
    • The Wild Beyond the Witchlight
  • Non-D&D
    • Planescape: Torment (enhanced version of the incredible 1999 game is available on Steam for multiple platforms)
    • Planescape Torment: the unofficial audio series more info here
    • Beyond Countless Doorways (d20)
    • Blood of Angels (Pathfinder 1e)
    • Blood of the Elements (Pathfinder 1e)
    • Distant Realms (Pathfinder 1e)
    • The First World, Realm of the Fey (Pathfinder 1e)
    • The Great Beyond (Pathfinder 1e)
    • Heaven Unleashed! (Pathfinder 1e)
    • Planar Adventures (Pathfinder 1e)
    • Plane-Hopper’s Handbook (Pathfinder 1e)
    • Planes of Power (Pathfinder 1e)

Blood Wars: The Card Game

  • Blood Wars Dual Deck
  • Escalation Pack I: Rebels and Reinforcements
  • Escalation Pack II: Factols and Factions
  • Escalation Pack III: Powers and Proxies
  • Warlord’s Tactical Manual
  • Blood Wars was axed due to poor sales. Planned escalation packs IV, V and VI were never printed.

What 2e products should a DM new to Planescape buy?

No Planescape DM should be without:

  • The Planescape Boxed Set – not clear yet how much overlap the 2e and 5e boxed sets will have…
  • The Planewalker’s Handbook – which explains pretty much everything you’ll need to know, to begin with.
  • The Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix I – all the core creatures are here.
  • Well of Worlds – nine short and sweet adventures on the planes. This is how it’s done, cutters!
  • Once you’ve mastered the basics, consider:
    • The “Planes of…” boxed sets.
    • The Factol’s Manifesto – which explains the factions in great detail.
    • In The Cage: A Guide to Sigil – with its expanded map and dozens of locations.
    • Uncaged: Faces of Sigil – for dozens of brilliant NPCs with tightly woven stories. One of my favourite Planescape books.
    • Faces of Evil: The Fiends. The other one of my favourites.
    • The Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II – lots of new monsters and three entirely new planar races.
    • On Hallowed Ground — answers all your questions about priests, proxies, powers and petitioners, and describes a few score realms in the bargain.
    • The Great Modron March and Dead Gods. Two epic and linked adventures spanning multiple planes.
    • The Eternal Boundary, Fires of Dis and Deva Spark. All good adventures with rich plots, but not the complexity of some of the later adventures. I’ve run Eternal BOundary a few times and it’s great to intriduce new players to the setting.
  • When you’re feeling something of a pro, you should consider:
    • Something Wild, Harbinger House, Doors to the Unknown, brilliant adventures all three, but challenging to DM without extensive knowledge of How the Planes Work.
    • Hellbound: The Blood War, a fantastic addition to any campaign with a plane-shattering trio of adventures. Definitely not one for the Clueless!
    • A Guide to the Astral & Ethereal planes – non-essential but nonetheless excellent exploration of a most bizarre place (or non-place, if the screed’s to be believed).
    • Inner Planes — useful if your wanderings takes you away from the Outer Planes. You’ll also want the corresponding Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix III.
    • A Player’s Primer to the Outlands – containing the Mimir, a CD featuring the voice of the planes and darks from across the Outlands. The accents might be cheesy, but the overall effect is impressive. The 32 page booklet with it fills in the gaps left where the Planescape Boxed set stopped describing the Outlands.
    • Tales from the Infinite Staircase and Well of Worlds, both contain some great mini adventures. Infinite Staircase has an overarching campaign too.

What books should players buy?

The Planewalker’s Handbook is a great asset to any game, even more so of there’s more than one copy in the group. If a player’s serious about having a planar character, then it’d be wise if he boned up on much of the chant in the book. Essential stuff.

Each of the boxed sets have their own thin 32-page player’s guide, but they can’t be bought without the accompanying boxed set…players should probably ask DMs if they can borrow these books rather than buying the sets themselves. These contain the sort of information that a planar character would probably know.

What books require others to be able to use them?

A: Obviously, the Planescape Boxed Set itself is pretty much essential to any Planescape game. Everything else is optional, and there ain’t much that relies heavily on other books. Even the adventures set in specific planes contain enough background for a DM without the right “Planes of…” boxed set to run.

Is the old Outer Planes Monstrous Compendium MC8 worth getting?

No. All the creatures it detailed are described in more detail, with revised statistics and much better artwork in the Planescape Monstrous Compendiums I and II.

Are there any mistakes in the published 2e Planescape books?

One or two 🙂 Known errata include:

A DM Guide to the Planes (Original PS Boxed Set):

There’s a typo on Table I of this book. In the key for the table, the entries for * and ** have been swapped over.

A Player’s Guide to the Planes:

p. 4-5 This one’s proper nerdy — in the illustration the planes of Air and Earth, and Fire ad Water are shown as adjacent when they should be opposite each other.

The Eternal Boundary

p. 2 DMs should be aware that the spell mentioned in the fifth paragraph (not wishing to give anything away :-), according to the PHB, can only be cast upon willing targets. An easy way out of this problem is to make this a variant which can affect unwilling targets, but allow a saving throw.

The Planewalker’s Handbook:

p. 78/81 The text on tieflings states they may be rangers or bards, but the Level Limits Table says these classes are not available. Ignore the table: These classes are available to tieflings.

Harbinger House:

p.15 A’Kin the friendly fiend’s alignment is listed an N here but other sources list it as NE: Uncaged p.9, Hellbound p.28 and Faction War p.96.

Uncaged: Faces of Sigil

p. 99 Despite being given the male symbol, Shemeshka is actually female. Ray Vallese later admitted “It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to sneak TSR’s first cross-dressing arcanaloth into a product.” Caught in the act! If only… 😉

In the Cage: A Guide to Sigil

p. 6 The Aoskian Hound is listed as having 22 HD! This should read 2 HD.

Hellbound: War Games

p. 56 The text at the top of the first column claims the Keeper is wrong in thinking the portal key is the same for the return journey. The text itself is wrong: The key is the same (as both p. 72 and Monte Cook, the author, confirm).

A Player’s Primer to the Outlands

All through this book the phrase Hoi Polloi has been used to refer to the high-ups of a given burg. ‘Hoi polloi’ actually means common people rather than high-ups!

Fires of Dis

p. 57 The text says the gate in question requires a key to operate, which the locals refuse to give. In fact, this sort of portal (not wishing to give too much away) does not require a key – however, the PCs aren’t supposed to go through anyway (which makes this a rather pedantic point! 😉

The Great Modron March

p. 28 The mayor Cauldronborn is listed as a level 3 fighter, but his stats (THAC0, Attacks, Hit Points) are those of a much higher level fighter. Colin McComb’s reply: He’s supposed to be an 11th level fighter. Oops.

If you spot any more, please contact me and I’ll include them here.

Are the published Planescape novels any good?

Pages of Pain is very good indeed, and highly recommended by pretty much everyone who’s expressed an opinion on the Mailing List.

The Blood Wars trilogy, on the other hand, is not heartily recommended. There are some nice ideas, and the plot’s certainly bizarre, but there are a number of glaring errors (intentionally?), including (but not limited to) teleportation into Sigil, hints of connections between Planescape and the Real World, the Lady of Pain’s griffon-riding shock troops (!) and time differences between planes. All in all, they ain’t awful, but Planescape deserved better.

PART THE SIXTH: PLANESCAPE IN TSR MAGAZINES

Are there any Dungeon Magazine adventures for Planescape?

Yes, two.

The first, Umbra, was fantastic, and appeared in issue #55. Set in Sigil, the plot revolved around a long-dead faction, and the prophecy it made finally coming true. Gripping stuff; easily worth the price of the magazine alone.

The second, Nemesis, (issue #60) is by the same author, and was a relative disappointment. It seems that anything set in the Abyss is doomed to be dull (see In the Abyss itself for an example of another). Nemesis has promise, but the plot just isn’t special enough to be a great Planescape adventure. DMs should also watch out for the mistakes: Despite what the adventure claims, it ain’t possible to get into Sigil by any means other than the Lady’s portals.

Are there any Dragon Magazine articles for Planescape?

  • Issues 203 to 205: The Plane Truth, Parts I to III. The very first introduction to the Planescape setting.
  • Issue 208 (?) told the story of how the Planescape line was created.
  • Issue 213: The Planes Issue. Articles expanding on faction abilities (later incorporated into The factol’s Manifesto), the Demiplane of Shadow, Planar Personalities – four NPCs later detailed in Uncaged: Faces of Sigil, and Planar encounter tables.
  • Issue 216: April Fools Faxions – a spoof article lampooning Sigil’s factions.
  • Issue 219: CD on cover has a track explaining how the CD mimir was created.
  • Issue 221: Lords of Chaos – The four Slaadi Lords of Limbo detailed.
  • Issue 223: Lords of the Nine – The nine Lords of Baator revealed.
  • Issue 229: The Dimensional Wizard – A character suitable for many a Planescape campaign.
  • Issues 230 to 234: Hellbound – A stunning cartoon telling a tragic story of the Blood War. This cartoon also appears in the Hellbound deluxe adventure boxed set.
  • Issue 233: Fiendish Fortresses – An examination of the bastions of evil belonging to baatezu, tanar’ri and yugoloth alike.
  • Issue 235: Planar Heroes – Player’s Option Rules for Planescape PCs, a huge article. If you use the character point rules for designing characters, this issue is a must. Also came with a Planescape ad poster, describing Sigil and her facets in the words of a tout on one side, and showing the great wheel of the planes in all their glory on the other side.

PART THE SEVENTH: HELP FOR DMS

What’s this “Philosophers with Clubs” malarkey?

The Outer Planes are built from belief, and this fact is reflected wherever you look. The planes themselves embody ideas and concepts which people live their lives by. A body needs to know where he stands in all of this, or risk going barmy at the majesty of it all. Enter the factions.

The factions represent a way of looking at the multiverse. There’s something compelling about what each of them say: Something that’s undeniably true. Cutters join factions which most closely mirror the way they think, not just to talk philosophy with other members (thought that’s doubtless an important aspect of the factions) but also because they’re like great social clubs.

A faction can provide many services for its members: Protection against persecution for their beliefs, a safe place to meet and conduct business, facilities for hiring mercenaries or other specialists, information and darks on the planes, rival factions or individuals…the list goes on.

Bashers who aren’t in a faction tend to be viewed with a little suspicion by most planars; the Outer Planes are often a place where folks wear their beliefs on their sleeves. Besides, there are so many benefits to faction membership that a sod’s got to either be Clueless or up to something if they ain’t a member of one!

See also page 8 of Sigil and Beyond.

How do I introduce Clueless primes and players to the factions?

Try a friendly tout or two. Quite a few DMs make the mistake of using a sarcastic tout the first time…that’s not so wise, because you don’t want to put the players off joining the factions in the first place. It’s best to paint ’em all in a favourable light at first, then when the players have joined their respective factions you can really start the in-fighting up! I like to use the poster with faction symbols and let the players refer to the Player’s Guide. Dropping all the factions at once on players is a lot, I suggest taking it carefully or you might overwhelm them.

How do I keep a party of opposing faction members together?

It’s ideally the job of the players to find reasons for the party to co-exist, the DM has enough to think about. Emphasise that it’s quite possible for members of factions with very different ideologies can still get along as friends. It ain’t every member who’s a raving fanatic, and factions are more about understanding beliefs than segregation of belief. Just like in the real world, it’s perfectly possible for a socialist and a capitalist to be good friends (so long as they keep politics out of it), there shouldn’t be a problem with a Guvner and a Xaosman being buddies. ‘Course, there’ll probably be a bit of good-natured teasing about each other’s beliefs, but all-out war’s a bit of an exaggeration!

Of course, that don’t mean that all factions are the best of friends, just that fanatics are the exception rather than the rule.

How do I stop players wanting to kill everything they meet?

Try putting them in a situation where using their brains rather than their swords is the only way they can possibly escape alive. The Blood War might be the perfect excuse here: No matter how over-powered a party of characters might be, they’d never defeat a legion of fiends. Add a teleport anchor to stop the players running away with magic, and they’ll be forced to negotiate or die.

Maybe after they’ve died a few times they’ll start to get the message 🙂

Seriously, though, it’s a big problem if your players want to fight everything. Your best bet is to continually reinforce the message that the planes are home to creatures unimaginably more powerful than the PCs, which get along fine without resorting to violence. Maybe if they’re made aware that they’re the unreasonable ones – you could even include a bunch of planar creatures who tell them, in no uncertain terms, that they’re quite the rudest and most sorry group of clueless primes that the planes ever saw.

The Planescape Boxed Set briefly touches on this topic in Sigil and Beyond, page 13.

How do you stop PCs going somewhere you don’t want them to go?

Don’t give them a portal to get there!

There are many ways of preventing PCs from using portals, even if they already know the location and key of the door they want to use. How about:

  • The portal’s a shifting or temporary one rather than a permanent one, and it’s shut down when they try to use it (or, worse still, takes them somewhere else altogether…perhaps, surprise surprise, where you intended them to go in the first place!)
  • The portal’s been destroyed, perhaps by the Grixxit (see Uncaged: Faces of Sigil for details on this portal terrorist).
  • The burg where the portal used to be has been absorbed by another plane…oops!
  • The portal’s been taken over by some other force, who’re demanding money (the Merkhants), garnishes (the Fated) or blood sacrifice (the tanar’ri) to let cutters pass.
  • Some sod’s gone and built a temple, fortress or tavern around the portal, hiding or damaging it in the process.
  • The gate key ain’t available anywhere (perhaps the market trader who sold ’em’s just been scragged by the hardheads for being a suspected Anarchist!)
  • The portal simply ain’t working today…maybe by the Lady of Pain’s whim!

This might sound heavy-handed, and if you’re prepared to wing it when the players take a trip to a plane you’d not planned on them visiting then more power to you. Basically, though, an infinite multiverse is a lot to get used to, and you’d certainly not be the first DM to stop players gallivanting across it!

How do I create the sense of awe and majesty inherent in the planes?

Think strange, and think big. Try to relate how much grander everything looks on the planes compared with the prime (‘even the colours have an extra hue’). Envelop all the senses – don’t just describe sights and sounds, but smells, tastes and emotions too. Use adjectives in new ways: Give inanimate objects qualities you’d normally associate with creatures, as if everything were alive or sentient in some way (and surprise the players when some of ’em are).

When trying to describe infinity, emphasise how impossible what they’re seeing is, and mention how much their brains hurt trying to comprehend the sights. Maybe they’ll even start to go a little barmy if they think about things too long.

Remember also that much of the Outer Planes has always existed, or existed for so long that it might as well have always been there. Planar creatures might easily be thousands of years old, and more intelligent than any mortal’s got any right to dream of becoming. Bear this in mind, and you can’t go far wrong.

As I add new planes and layers to the mimir, I’m adding a short section on how to emphasise the unusual nature of that particular place. Planes shouldn’t feel like prime worlds with scarier monsters, they should feel unfamiliar, uncanny and alien.

I also like to use atmospheric music and sound effects (I’ll add links at some point) and coloured lighting (Philips Hue is great). I use a portable projector pointed down onto the gaming table to show images of NPCs, creatures and places as well as battle maps.

THE FINAL WORD

The motto of all DMs:

If you don’t know, make it up!

FAQ by Jon Winter-Holt, updated for 2023…. but I’m unfamiliar with 5e so please forgive while I get up to speed…

It would not have been possible without the input of:

Monte Cook, Colin McComb, Sean Reynolds, David ‘Zeb’ Cook, Alistair Lowe-Norris, Angelo, Claudio, EspNH, Gianni Vacca, Gryphon435, Hugo, Skypti Xardwarks, Zak Arntson, Pjack, Thomas Magann Jr., Scott Kelley, Miguel Lopez, randir, Jay Walton, Danilo Moretti, and anyone else from the 1990s Planescape Mailing List who ever asked one of these questions or helped out a sod more clueless than themselves 😉 and especially Ken Lipka.