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Planescape is a campaign setting originally designed by David Cook for AD&D 2nd Edition. As its name suggests, the setting crosses and comprises the numerous planes of existence, encompassing an entire cosmology called the Great Wheel, as originally developed in the Manual of the Planes by Jeff Grubb. This campaign setting includes many of the other worlds, linking them via inter-dimensional magical portals. The setting crossed Victorian era trappings with a pseudo-steampunk design and attitude. Planescape won acclaim on its unique visual aspects, products of artist Tony DiTerlizzi, Robh Ruppel and Dana Knutson.
The cosmology as reflected in Planescape consists of a number of planes, which can be divided into the following regions:
- The Inner Planes (representing planes of elemental nature, such as Water, or Earth, or Lightning)
- The Ethereal Plane
- The Prime Material Plane
- The Astral Plane
- The Outer Planes (representing alignments and the primary domains of the various deities)
- Main article: Sigil
Sigil, the "City of Doors", is located atop the Spire in the Outer Planes. It has the shape of a torus; the city itself is located on the inner surface of the ring. There is no sky, simply an all-pervasive light that waxes and wanes to create day and night. Sigil cannot be entered or exited save via portals; although this makes it quite safe from any would-be invader, it also makes it a prison of sorts for those not possessing a portal key. Thus, many call Sigil "The Bird Cage" or "The Cage". Though Sigil is commonly held to be located "at the center of the planes" (where it is positioned atop the infinitely tall Spire), some argue that this is impossible since the planes are infinite in all dimensions, and therefore there can never truly be a center to any of them, let alone all of them; thus, Sigil is of no special importance. Curiously, from the Outlands, one can see Sigil atop the supposedly infinite Spire.
- Main article: Canon:Faction (Planescape)
The Factions are the philosophically-derived power groups based in Sigil. Before the Faction War, the factions controlled the political climate of the city. Each of the factions is based around one particular belief system; many of the factions' beliefs make them enemies where their other goals and actions might have made them allies. Most factions are organized into covert cells for their own protection. There are fifteen factions in total, per a decree of the Lady of Pain; any additional factions emerging would be subject to her wrath.
- Fraternity of Order
- Society of Sensation
- Transcendent Order
- Sign of One
- Believers of the Source
- Bleak Cabal
- Free League
- Revolutionary League
The Faction War
- Main article: The Faction War
In 1998, TSR published Faction War, an adventure that effectively closed the book on Planescape as it was then and ending the product line. The culmination of several adventures leading up to that point, the Faction War brought an end to the factions' control of the city. Instigated by the power-hungry Duke Rowan Darkwood, factol of the Fated, in a bid to dethrone the Lady and rule Sigil himself, the war spread throughout the city before the Lady of Pain, with the aid of a group of adventurers (the players' characters), intervened.
- Main article: Sect
Sects are in many ways identical to the Factions, differing in that they are not based in Sigil. Sects are often highly specific to the particular planes they originate from, though historically many of the Factions were once Sects and some Sects were once Factions. A complete list of Sects is probably not possible due the infinite multitudes of the Planes.
Planescape was not supported as a campaign setting in 3rd edition. There are references to a post-Faction War Sigil and to the Blood War in the Manual of the Planes and Planar Handbook, expansion books detailing the planes, but these are relatively minor.
Conversion of the setting and the production and promotion of adventures took place at Planewalker.com, the official Planescape fansite.
Planescape is not supported at all in 4th edition. Part of the designers' attempt to simplify the game included simplifying the alignment system and cosmology, neither of which resemble those used in this system.
- Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (First Edition)
- Manual of the Planes.
- Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (Second Edition)
- Boxed Sets
- Planescape Conspectus
- In the Cage: A Guide to Sigil
- The Factol’s Manifesto
- The Planewalker’s Handbook
- On Hallowed Ground
- Uncaged: Faces of Sigil
- A Guide to the Astral Plane
- A Guide to the Ethereal Plane
- The Inner Planes
- Faces of Evil: The Fiends
- Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix
- Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II
- Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix III
- The Planescape Sketchbook
- Boxed Sets
- Dungeons & Dragons (Third Edition)
- Dungeons & Dragons (3.5 Edition)
- Pages of Pain (December 1997), by Troy Denning, (ISBN 0-7869-0508-5)
- Torment (October 1999), by Ray Vallese and Valerie Vallese, (ISBN 0-7869-1527-7)
- Blood Wars Trilogy
- Blood Hostages (January 1996), by J. Robert King, (ISBN 0-7869-0473-9)
- Abyssal Warriors (June 1996), by J. Robert King, (ISBN 0-7869-0501-8)
- Planar Powers (August 1997), by J. Robert King, (ISBN 0-7869-0532-8)
In 1995, Planescape won the Origins Award for Best Graphic Presentation of a Roleplaying Game, Adventure, or Supplement of 1994.
The setting was featured in the computer game Planescape: Torment, the only game to portray the Planescape world (specifically Sigil, the Outlands, Baator, Carceri, and the Negative Material Plane). It is now a cult game, also long out of print yet not hard to find.
- Planewalker.com, the official Planescape fansite
- The Planescape Open Wiki Project
- Mimir.net, the former official fansite, now on hiatus
- Sigil Prep School
- Sigil Maps
- Project to bring Planescape to NWN
- Unity of the Rings Online Planescape Comic
- Planescape: Metamorphosis, ongoing webcomic
- Planescape Survival Guide, ongoing online webcomic
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