The 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons is approaching its 9th year, and with an upcoming refresh, we have the final adventure of the year in our hands: Planescape: Adventures In The Multiverse.
Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition has mainly focused on the Forgotten Realms, with some exploration into Eberron and the Magic the Gathering world of Strixhaven. However, last year we saw exploration into other realms like Wild Space and the Etherial Plane in Spelljammer and Journeys Through The Radiant Citadel respectively, as well as Krynn through Dragonlance. And this year, every Plane is on the table.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Planescape?
- 2 Lack of Player Options
- 3 Sigil and The Outlands
- 4 Impact of Each Gate on Its Town
- 5 Turn of Fortune’s Wheel – A Planescape Adventure
- 6 Morte’s Planar Parade – The Unicorn Transformed
- 7 Review: Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse | Final Thoughts
- 8 Should You Buy Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse?
What is Planescape?
Planescape is a setting that revolves around the torus-shaped city of Sigil, the surrounding Outlands, and the Gate Cities that connect the Outlands to the different planes of existence.
This release comes in the form of three books and a DM Screen. It’s similar to the Spelljammer release, where the intention is for the DM to keep track of the adventure and provide separate stat blocks for easier reference, while also giving players access to player-facing material. However, there isn’t much in this release specifically for players.
Lack of Player Options
In previous reviews of Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk and Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants, it was noted that there were minimal player options. While Planescape does introduce some backgrounds, feats, and spells, there still isn’t much for players who focus solely on D&D.
The feats do hint at what will come with the upcoming refresh of Dungeons & Dragons 5e, with prerequisites that allow players to create characters influenced by the planes and increase that influence as they gain power.
One drawback of the upcoming refresh is that publishing content now, which will likely be revised or updated in about 6 months, may not be worthwhile. This means that, unfortunately, there isn’t anything new for players to explore in this setting that focuses on the convergence of species from various planes and the warping effects on creatures and the environment.
While understandable, it is still disappointing for players.
Sigil and The Outlands
While there may not be much for players, there is plenty for DMs to delve into.
Sigil and The Outlands explores the major locations of this setting, including Sigil itself, the Gate Towns surrounding The Outlands, and The Outlands as a whole.
The section on Sigil covers rules for entering and leaving the city through magic, information on life and services within the city, details about The Lady of Pain who governs the city, descriptions of each faction and their significance, and key locations in the different wards.
I was pleasantly surprised by the level of detail provided about the factions, reminiscent of the faction information in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist.
The information on Sigil focuses on the major locations featured on the large map included in Sigil and The Outlands. It covers places like the Hall of Information in the Clerks’ Ward and interesting locations on the map that players will want to explore, such as Fell’s Tattoos.
The information on the Gate Towns follows a similar pattern. It provides details about local leaders, the appearance and location of each gate, and key locations. Specific districts, shops, and other local features will require DMs to create them, but there is a solid foundation to work with.
Impact of Each Gate on Its Town
One of the most interesting aspects of each Gate Town is the Regional Effects. Each gate, and the plane it connects to, has a direct impact on the nearby inhabitants.
For example, Mechanus – the mechanical world of the Modrons – causes repetitive sounds to synchronize with each other. The party’s footsteps will gradually align with other sounds like a blacksmith’s hammer or a bird’s song, all in harmony with the ticking of the gate.
Other interesting effects include the Curst gate to Tarterian, which makes creatures feel like they’re dragging a ball and chain, reducing their speed by 5 feet, and the Glorium gate that connects to the Heroic Domains of Ysgard, where a horn sounds throughout the land whenever conflict begins and can be heard up to 300 feet away.
This detailed exploration of Sigil, the Gate Towns, and The Outlands provides a solid foundation for DMs to create engaging and immersive adventures in this vibrant setting.
Turn of Fortune’s Wheel – A Planescape Adventure
This adventure takes players on a journey from Level 3 to Level 10. It starts in Sigil, where they meet the owner of the Fortune’s Wheel casino, and then sends them on a quest to gather crucial information about a missing Modron and about themselves.
Turn of Fortune’s Wheel is a captivating adventure that delves into the concept of multiverses as different possibilities across time. The locations players will visit are all unique and fascinating, ensuring a fast-paced and exciting experience.
Turn of Fortune’s Wheel presents a fascinating premise. The party, who are glitches in the multiverse, embark on a journey to discover the source of their own glitches.
Mechanically, being a glitch means that each player has three characters. If one character dies or faces a significant event, one of their multiversal counterparts will show up instead of creating a new character. These counterparts can differ in small ways, such as hair color, or even have entirely different classes.
In a world where time is limited and there are countless D&D adventures available, incorporating multiple characters into a single story is an exciting concept that fits well in this adventure.
During the adventure, the party will visit seven Gate Towns and gather information from their gates. Each town offers a unique and engaging story, preventing the adventure from becoming repetitive.
For example, in some towns, players must impress the locals to gain access to the gate, while in others, conflicts must be resolved before reaching the gate. My personal favorite is Curst, where gate access is allowed but leaving is strictly prohibited.
The adventure doesn’t end at Level 10 when the players solve their glitches. Instead, solving the glitches propels the characters to level 17 for the final chapter of the book.
This fast-paced adventure hooks players early on and provides clear instructions on their journey, while keeping the world interesting and engaging as they explore various locations.
Morte’s Planar Parade – The Unicorn Transformed
The bestiary, Morte’s Planar Parade, contains all the necessary stat blocks for creatures encountered in the adventure. As The Outlands are a peculiar place, players will encounter a wide variety of strange creatures.
However, what’s more interesting than the stat blocks themselves is the section on Planar Influences. Creatures originating from or residing near Gate Towns can undergo biological changes influenced by the planes. These changes manifest as alterations in alignment and other traits.
For instance, the artwork in Morte’s Planar Parade showcases a unicorn with a massive curved horn adorned with additional spikes, influenced by Gehenna. This unicorn might also possess the Vitality Theft trait, allowing it to steal half of a creature’s healed hit points when they are within 5 feet of the unicorn.
These rules provide insight into how the planes can affect creatures. DMs can use these concepts to introduce their favorite creatures or creatures they already have in their collection, customized to suit the Planescape setting.
Review: Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse | Final Thoughts
There is so much to love about this collection.
The fast-paced adventure, Turn of Fortune’s Wheel, captures the essence of what makes Planescape unique. It challenges established concepts and explores exciting multiversal ideas that keep both DMs and players engaged.
The unexpected twists and turns, as well as the varied locations, ensure that the adventure never feels slow or dull. A demonic unicorn or a land of deafening winds are just a taste of what lies ahead, keeping players guessing at what awaits them.
Although the lack of new player options, such as races or subclasses, is disappointing, it’s understandable considering the upcoming refresh of Dungeons & Dragons 5e.
Should You Buy Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse?
Planescape offers a wealth of information about Sigil, the Outlands, the impactful Gate Towns, and the diverse creatures that inhabit these realms. However, it is important to note that the content is highly specific to Planescape and adventures set in or passing through the Outlands.
If you are interested in playing or running an adventure in this unique setting, then I highly recommend buying Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse. It has everything you need to create an immersive and captivating campaign.
However, if you have no plans to journey through a portal into Sigil or the Gate Towns, then there may not be enough reason to own this resource focused on a specific topic.
The copy of Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse used for this review was provided by the Publisher. All photos were taken by the reviewer during the review process.