More Politicking and Intrigue of the Fey – Part 1

Kips in the Cage: Custom Lifestyle Expenses for Planescape's Sigil - The  Planar DM

Ah, here we are again!  The Civic Festhall!  Some time ago, I was here to deliver my information on the fair folk, after a wondrous trip to Ecstasy.  Since then, I have been criticized and lambasted with an incomplete or biased take, especially by the mysterious Narrator.  After all, focusing on such matters can deeply upset the fey.  And that can cost one an eye *tap*… or even your entire being.  Just look at me, I’m a one-eyed cat man now.  But, I am not here to defame or bring attention to various characters.  Likewise, my own association to a bookshop should not paint any bias either. Let us speak on more joyous occasions, the realms of knowledge.  And specifically, let us study more on society and politics of the fey.  For you see, they are far more complicated and organized than we could initially fathom.

I speak of the faerie kind that span the many planes.  We know to some degree what they are, but how do they operate?  What can we learn from their daily directions and general politics?  Let us dive a little further into their own planes, as well as their own takes on our fair City of Doors.  I shall await all to seat and properly get comfortable.  I assure you that once I start my lecture, I shall continue through conclusion.

Author’s Note: The ways of the fey!  Why not?  I keep coming back to this topic one way or another, so let’s go!  At this rate, I may as well be making my own fey content for a new setting.  Also, it happens to coincide with the January 2022 RPG Blog Carnival!  Should you be interested, please jump on board.  Also, if you’re curious about my writing process, let this video explain it for you.  Also, accompanying each part is some artwork from DiTerlizzi.  This is mostly because I love his style and it’s perfect for this, considering he did artwork for Planescape, Spiderwick, Changeling and more.

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Planar Explorations, by [REDACTED] or “The Narrator”

“I hate this Ramon DeLeon, barmy liar has brought many to their dooms!  My brothers feel it’s in best interest to visit the bard, as well as his monastery friends in due time.  I lack the muscle of some compatriots, but I can only hope my word craft and reason is enough to get this menace to stand down.  And if he doesn’t, may his long ears be ripped off his head!  Now, where’s my wine?” – Gerard Claude Dupois, Renardois-folk Lupin of Petite Renardie

Where’s a primer to go to learn all there is upon the planes?  Why, to Sigil of course!  And where from there?  Well, competition has floundered in the claws of a beast named Ramon!  His biased words paint a different story of the planes, bringing glory to some and chastisement to others.  But, be assured there are far stranger truths than those cooked up by some hairball hacking mutant with a knack for storytelling.  And within such stories, many things are best left alone.  Because of his foolish idealism, a racial war begins to boil… not unlike that of the gith.  But, enough tearing of one’s fake character.  It’s time to explore the planes with a tighter focus and sense of scrutiny.  Dare you discover what truly happens within realities beyond?  Of course you do, that’s why you’re here!

Now, who might I be?  Why, the Narrator, of course!  Do you think I’m like the Editor?  Because you shouldn’t!  I’m far more charming and more elaborate.  No cryptic absurdity here, only the upfront truth and the deepest of dark you can muster.  Besides, he seems to have given the city the laugh for a while.  Good for him, I say.  You work hard, you eventually catch a break.  So, why can’t you see me?  Well, disclosing such information is dangerous.  Surely, you can understand this.  So, let us not waste too much time.  Turbulence and conflict bubble and ooze around the cage, especially in these trying times.  Methinks another age of upheaval is upon us.  But, whose to say?  I surely can’t, I’ve moved onto other business after ages of merc blood-work.  But, onto other matters then.

Author’s Note: Yup, split post.  Unrest still hovers over the greatest city in the multiverse.  And as one can assume, not all like the traveling bard.  Some think he’s a foul swindler even!  But, what other stories can be told of the planes?  Plenty, I can tell you!  Also, I wanted to explore an even darker look at the fey.  I don’t care for Disney takes on Faeries, give me gothic style aliens any day!  And yes, it overtook the post.  And once again, The Evil Dead inspired something for me to work with.  In addition, we have strange elementals, trade war, a sentient astral pocket and a drifting piece of New Jersey!  Also, as the name might imply, one of my greatest inspirations for Planescape content is the Grimjack/Mundens/Cynosure universe.  Science-fantasy hodgepodge, multiversal antics, a grim mercenary tone often used, lots of it already felt Planescape, even if it predates the setting by around a decade.

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Barmy Kips and Dark Locales – More Curiosities of Sigil

door at end of dark alleyway | Dark alleyway, Dark street, Anime background

Oh, so you’re in need of a tout?  Yeah, I could do that.  What’re in the need for, chummer?  You gave the jink tip, so I’m all bone box gab.  Juggling Monk Way holds the chant on good eats and bub, little cost.  You gots yourself 3 different taverns, all good options.  What’s next, yes?  Oh, Easy workin’s.  Aye.  You can help patrol against Cranium Rats.  Yeah, office right down where I’m pointing.  There’s also the labor yard, a bit more north in the Hive here.  They need bashers to haul bunches o’ junk, probably for trade.  But, real thrills?  Follow me down this burned alley, I gots something that’s a real once in a lifetime treat!  Promise ya that!  Haha.

Author’s Note: Continued influence from Eberron, the High Society and the near-end of the Antorek metaplots.  And just below, things deep in UnderSigil.  I know I brought that blasted mad dragon and his fey helpers back, but this is what happens when you port Mutant Plants and Mutant Animals from Gamma World into AD&D… among other things from Gamma World.  The Bathysphere is from that too, as well as some planar weirdness.  More is on the way, as things have been split up once again.

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Monsters of the Elements: Creatures of the Inner Planes

Planescape Finders: Planes

The Inner Planes provides a host of habitats, sites and niches; all teaming with all means of elemental lifeforms… and not-so-lifeforms.  These creatures exist to feed, fight and survive in their respect realms; some on a level more intelligent than others.  Among these more intelligent organisms, alien parallels to society exist within their respective home planes; drawn from the motifs and energies of the equally respective plane.  Some thrive from mixtures of the elements; some are new creations, while emerge from calamities that clear the way for something new.  From what I understand, natural scholars refer to this as a “secondary succession” of sorts.

Author’s Note: I wanted to do a fair number of things, since it’s been a while.  I haven’t done much in terms of mechanics, even beyond D&D 5th Edition and onto other games.  I’ve been rereading Cyberpunk 2020, in part because it somehow feels more relevant in some ways than it did all those years ago.  Granted, there’s enough 3rd party and custom stuff from a 25 Yr.+ range to never warrant me making my own things.  Anyway, I’d rather keep these little blips pertaining to the page itself rather than personal gripes and issues.

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Ramon’s Guide to More Elemental Planes

Cloud Elemental ∙ Magic: The Gathering ∙ R. MICHELSON GALLERIES

The search for all that the elements have to offer continues.  To put things simply, the elemental planes converge into their own realms of sorts.  These fusions act as elemental planes in their own rights, the para-elemental as they are known.  In addition, I can’t help but research some hypothetical planar fusions that come up in various lectures and notes across the planes.  Someone’s idea of a practical joke?  A sinister piece of the chant?  Who knows?  Either way, there is knowledge to find!

Author’s Note: The Inner Planes.  Yeah, you gotta stretch the imagination a bit.  All the same, I hope this thought exercise proves you can mold something out of a tough template.  Hopefully, you’ll find some inspiration too.  Though, not necessarily references to say /tg/ classic lore, DOOM or Warhammer or many other things either.  Also, shout out to The Pathology Guy, whose take on the Inner Planes has been a large inspiration for me.

 

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Ramon’s Guide to the Inner Planes

The inner planes | Fantasy map making, Sigil, Astral plane
Details on more comes later!

Circling the prime are realms where natural life is abundant, even the opposite is present too! This is the circle of the Inner Planes. Looping forms of elements dancing endlessly, the fabric of natural matter locked in a glorious display. So, why not explore them? A novel idea, and what better host for such an adventure? If I do say so, myself. Follow my mad scribblings and even madder musings as we quest to see the workings of the Inner Planes, uncovering many secrets and hidden goodies along the way.

A word of warning, many of the inner planes are truly primal. You feared the forces of the Outer Planes, but many of these are broken into base primordial essences. And no, I don’t mean like Primordium; such a strange place is still rather dangerous in its own right. I talk of the place that gave the inspiration to build Primordium in the first place! It’s amazing how something so simple can be so awe inducing. To me, those are the Elemental Planes. Let us not dally.  Admittedly, my venture to the Upper Planes lasted quite a while, the better part of many primer yearly calendars. So, do stay close and protect yourself against the correct force, one of many elemental vortexes are just a jump away!

Author’s Note: Before we continue, because I don’t say it enough, a big thanks to Todd Stewart for being a huge inspiration.  His work in pathfinder’s planar content gets a nod from me partially because of it!  While I doubt I’ll ever really jump back to Paizo, I can appreciate the work the some of the people over there are doing.  Besides, I’m more so feeling Cyberpunk 2020 or one of many other seemingly relevant dystopian games for this day and age…  Anyway, jokes and other topics aside, the Inner Planes always felt like they needed more to them.  The Inner Planes book itself jokes about this while giving some neat suggestions, but I want to add my own touch.  Hell, it calls out the people who aren’t imaginative enough to make those planes work.  I’ve seen too many silly complaints about the Inner Planes too, in part because it puts your mind in a challenge…  Anyway, here are the results of my own elemental plane challenge.  Well, part of them.  I have much more where this came from!

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Planar Double Feature

Image result for science fiction double feature

I’ve been quite busy, especially with an expo.  However, here’s my means of catching up on things.  In fact, two critters popped out to me when I was combing through the Monstrous Compendiums for Planescape.  Here are my takes on the Rast and the Bloodthorn.  Enjoy!

Author’s Note: In which the author covers up his posterior by posting two new creatures.

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The Planes, The Planes! – Doc’s look at the Planescape Setting

So, the theme for this blog for the past couple of months has been planar creatures and dimensional weirdness.  Nothing embodies both better in my opinion within the realms of D&D than the Planescape Campaign Setting.  While I’ve enjoyed other AD&D settings like Greyhawk, the Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance; Planescape has remained special to me.  It’s a strange and cosmic fantasy where imagination is truly the limit!  You want to fight insane mechanical cubes with ray guns?  You can!  You wanna gamble with a Devil with an Angel by your side?  It’s possible!  You wanna get flayed by a giant lady for treating her like a God?  PLEASE DON’T DO THAT!  But I digress, Planescape is a high concept setting with endless amounts of play and content to explore.  For the reasons above and the many reasons below, I hope the full flavor of Planescape returns to D&D 5th Edition.  So far, it’s my favorite incarnation of the rule set (and I loooove AD&D 2e, albeit mostly for the vast library of settings.)  While they more or less have the Great Wheel, it feels much of the shadow of its former self like in the 3rd Edition of the game.  I want the vibrancy, the absurdity and the wonder of those wonderful weird planes.  Digressing from that, I’m here to address another question… How does one do a Planar game in this setting?  Why, I’m glad you asked!  Here’s a few humble suggestions from yours truly!

Now, I know what you’re thinking…  “Doc!  Didn’t you write about the planes on your other blog?”  Yes, I did.  However, I think now is a good time to revisit that post, especially now that I’ve been creating content revolving around planar travel and alternate dimensions.  Plus, cosmological models and jumping between worlds has been one of my favorite aspects of D&D as a whole!  With that, let’s chat about campaigns within the planes.

For starters, you might also ask me something; “Hey Doc!  Aren’t there more cosmological models than The Great Wheel a la AD&D?”  And you would be right!  Especially since 3rd edition, new models have popped up.  The Portals and Planes D20 Book (a rare title, if I may add) had heavily versatile options for truly forging your own planar realms.  Pathfinder modifies the Great Wheel and adds to it in simply awesome ways (with help of Todd Stewart himself!)  Eberron has an orrery based system where some planes overlap at the material plane at points in time.  The World Axis is a duality between the Gods above and the Primordials below.  That said, the Great Wheel remains my personal favorite of mine.  To be fair, it’s where I had the most adventures within the planes themselves.

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