Ramon’s Guide to the Lower Planes

Just… do as she says.  Fewer people get hurt that way.  Also, please don’t bring up Gehenna!  Other ‘loths anger her.  She won’t say why!

“The multiverse, she is a cruel mistress.  For much time, things have looked up for me.  But for so long, my luck is rather dreadful.  While my poems and records will be the stuff of legends, a break from this figurative and literal hells would be quite nice too!  I preferred my luck with just the King of the Cross-Trade in Sigil.” – Ramon DeLeon, Planar Traveling Bard

 

Of Bards and Bad Places

While I assure you that not all planes are mortifying and deadly, I tend to have rather bad luck.  This luck has sunk even lower, finding myself in the dark planes of the fiends.  Races of creatures built from pure literal evil, formed into physical manifestations.  Only the most noble and just and survive a trek into these wretched places.  As I can assure that I’m not, I have my work truly cut out for me.

Let us discuss The Lower Planes of the Great Wheel.  This is a place for not just creatures made of evil, but the most equally evil souls that find themselves punished or harvested for the creation of more fiends.  The most worthy petitioners even gain the chance to become fiends of their own!  To make matters more hostile, each plane has its own challenges within the environments themselves.  Acidic air, dueling erupting fissures, grey murk and more await the most intrepid and foolish of explorers.

Now, where do I fit into this?  A valid question!  An attempted escape from strange realities proved rather flawed.  My grasp on the planes is quite good, within my rules of reality.  Parallel versions of the Wheel has all sorts of alterations, to say the least.  With some level of luck, this is the “true reality”, however escaping the Lower Planes proves to be far harder than expected.  Even any portals and keys that should work mysteriously fail.  Well, through narrowly dodging fiends and escaping hostile environments, I’ve found my way across the Planes Below.  Impossible as it may be, I find myself not too damaged by this.  But, a Planeswalker has already seen a lot, no?

Author’s Note: I’ve been feeling a little down, so things have slowed a bit as a result.  Plus, I junked a previous post that I couldn’t find myself completing, which slowed things down more.  My apologies.  Anyway, here is something I have been sitting on for a while.  My Look at the Planes have focused too much on Ramon flailing about and finding danger, rather than describing locations and happenings in the planes, with Ramon as your guide.  Let me change that.  Also, I figure I may as well toss out a reference to the recent adventure.  In addition, plenty of references to classic D&D lore, as well as my own mad musings.

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A Tout’s Look At Other Denizens of The Cage

Image result for Sigil the city of doors

You love me, you really love me! Your kindness is matched by the most generous berk in the world who hocked their jink to learn everything about the fair cage. But in all seriousness, I’m glad you returned for more of the dark on those who dwell here.

I gotta hit up other primers, lest you keep popping jink in my bag as I act like your personal info automaton.  All of you seem like fine bashers and bloods, ripe with adventure or something.  But, we have to stop meeting like this.  Besides, some of my associates think I might be planning some big dark with you.  Can’t have that, just business and all that.  That said, I would be willing to talk to you all about some hot shots of the Cage, if ya got the jink for it.  But, that’s closed quarters stuff.  Nothing any Hiver or higher Warder could sneak a quip on!

Author’s Note: Doing all of those variant plane-touched made me really want to tackle other races. I honestly don’t know if they’ll appear in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foe’s or not.  Githzerai and Githyanki are already scheduled to appear in the upcoming book.  I might create stats for them before it drops for AL stores, we’ll see.  That might be for next week.  Either way, here is my take on them. Now, these races have been tackled by other people… perhaps with more know-how. Regardless, I wanted to do my own take. Here ya go!

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

Lady of Pain - Planescapes Character by Pseudooctopus

Please don’t anger the Lady of Pain!

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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