MadCast: Munsa

Planescape 5E Conversion

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https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0Z7ZsrO9VLBVUtITGRDeWw4a28/view

@MadCast: Khaos

This is, bar none, my favorite campaign setting ever for ANY Tabletop game, approached only by Ravenloft.  This will be my next game, once Drowned wraps up in the Autumn.  

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Schedule permitting (and that's a big if considering your normal game time, and my own current commitments), this is something I'd love to try out.  I'm a huge fan of the Arkham Horror boardgame and this sounds like the RPG version (and likely the predecessor) of that.

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Game times will be determined by the group when it is finalized.  

I don't know if I would draw a comparison between Arkham Horror and Planescape.  At it's core, if AH is about struggling to close doors, Planescape is about opening them.  Let me elaborate a bit.

latest?cb=20090201100659

 

That's Sigil, pretty much the center of the multiverse.  From the outside, it looks like a huge doughnut.  The city itself exists on the inside of the "doughnut".  Instead of physical gates, Sigil is riddled with portals that, literally, go everywhere.  Every plane of existence connects to Sigil, usually hundreds or thousands of times over.  Each of these portals requires a specific key to activate, and the identity and control of these keys is just as valuable as gold.  

Sigil is ruled by an odd entity known as The Lady of Pain.  Two things, and two things alone bring the wrath of the Lady: Threatening the existence of Sigil, and attempting to worship her as a deity.  Apart from that, she is largely removed from the management of the city.  Sigil itself can be compared to London during the Cold War, with individuals from all over the planes engaged in open diplomacy, back alley deals, subterfuge, and all manner of plots, schemes, and conspiracies.  What would be a dire foe in Greyhawk or the Forgotten Realms might be your barkeep, provisioner, or magistrate.  The angel that would be your stalwart ally in any other setting may well be the one plotting your death.

Ideas, philosophies, and the belief therein have tangible power in the planes.  The player's guide PDF in the link above has details about the Factions that broker power in Sigil.  These Factions are dedicated to certain philosophical beliefs that transcend alignment.  You will find Evil and Good alike working side by side to advance a shared philosophy.  The task of the players is to develop their own philosophies, whether as a group or individuals, and either mold it toward one or more of the Factions, or convince (or force) the Factions to come to heel to your whim.  The plot and this battle of ideas intertwine, and your influence of belief can affect your power much more than levels and loot.

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GreatWheelMap.jpg

 

Sigil sits in The Outlands, more banally known as The Plane of Concordant Opposition.  The Outlands is composed of 9 "rings", each progressing ring hampering magical abilities as it approaches the central Spire.  The Spire is perhaps the most important location outside of Sigil itself, as whatever power lies within it blocks all magical powers, even reducing the gods to mere mortal beings.  Approached and ascended from the bottom, the Spire is inifite.  Sigil visibly floats at the top of the spire, taunting all who would seek entry from below.

The Outlands themselves are a collection of every terrain imaginable, with no logical or geographical reasoning to their layout.  Some settlements in the inner rings are not even aware of their home's connection to the other planes or to Sigil, living out quiet lives in nestled hamlets.  On the outermost (9th) ring are the Gate-Towns, settlements sprung up around the main portals to each of the 16 connected planes.  These Gate-Towns serve as trading posts, border fortresses, and political middle ground between Sigil and each plane , and all have publicly controlled portals to Sigil.  

The order of these planes is not random.  If you cut a set of axes across the map, what you will have is a distribution along these lines:

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This is why I've always loved Planescape.  It bases its very structure around principles taken from both the base rules of the game, as well as psychological principles that will be fairly familiar to anyone who has taken a psych 101 course or read some introductory psychological literature.  Layer on top of that the most wonderful hyperbolic fantasy you can conceive.  It is not uncommon to convince the inhabitants, rulers, or governments of the various Planes of a change or addition to their guiding philosophies, and see the terrain reshape itself to reflect it.  

My vision is that I will have a series of plot points and events planned out, and the campaign will likely be very narrow at the outset to reflect the groups lack of influence and portal knowledge/keys.  As you gain influence, renown, and increase your ability to travel the Planes, the players will really dictate the story as they test their philosophies against the multiverse and against each other. 

 

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Time for fun with mathematics.

The radius of the outside circle is 3.2 miles, the radius of the inside circle of the torus is 2.45.  Taking the surface area of the torus, we use the equation 4 π2 Rr and get a surface area of approximately 309.5 square miles.  That is without taking into effect the various pocket dimensions, larger-on-the-inside constructions, and all other manner of oddities.  For a visual comparison, Sigil is essentially New York City (approx 302.5 square miles) if it were wrapped around the inside of a torus.

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I loved Planescape back in 2nd edition. Was always a blast, I still have the monster manuals and a lot of the player's guides to the planes etc.

 

"You'll have a hell of a time berk"

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This has been on my mind recently, as my Drowned game is heading towards an apocalyptic climax.

For those that are interested in participating in this campaign, I have given some thought as to how best utilize a setting like Planescape.  Infinite possibility is something that has to be carefully handled, less it become trite and boring.  However, I think the greatest allure of Planescape IS exploring a wide variety of places.  Therefore, I have crafted some additional layers to the setting, and character creation, to enshrine this ethos.

The PCs in this game can be from anywhere.  They can be from another D&D setting, another favorite fantasy 'verse, or completely spun off the dome.  If you want to bring in a race or class outside the current books we have access to, a quick review from me to ensure a balanced game is all that is required.  The hook, however, for each PC is that for whatever reason the player comes up with, they are in a massive amount of financial stress or debt, up to the point of mortal threat.  Desperation set in long ago, and each character is at rock bottom when they are approached by a simply garbed human and given an offer for an incredibly well paying job.  Not in a position to refuse even vague offers, each PC ultimately accepts, and immediately loses consciousness.

The PCs in this game are going to be exceptionally rare individuals who have a natural immunity to the negative effects of a very powerful magical enhancement.  Hopping planes is a dangerous game, with harsh environments that will kill unprotected individuals outright.  This enhancement gives any individual an automatic adaptability to whatever plane they are on, protecting them from the inherent environmental dangers (like not turning to a charred corpse in the elemental plane of fire).  Normally, this enhancement comes with an impressive amount of side effects, many of them debilitating or fatal.  Individuals who do not suffer these side effects are highly valued, and the dispensation of this spell is tightly controlled, only available in Sigil.

The PCs are beneficiaries of this spell, and their unique immunity makes them prime candidates to become agents of the Aquisitor's Guild, an organization that specializes in finding and retrieving things of value for their clients.  This is not a shady thief guild or kidnapping ring, but an upstanding business with a peerless reputation for efficiency and success.  Aquisitors seek out objects lost, knowledge forgotten, and persons missing.  Selected from all over the multiverse, the PCs are new to Sigil, new to plane hopping, and, most importantly, new to the 15 factions that broker power in Sigil.

(Side note:  This does not necessarily mean that all the PCs are new to each other.  If two or more players have a concept that involves their characters knowing each other or being related or whatever, that's perfectly acceptable)

I am looking for a group of 5 players, with my usual flexibility extending out to 6.  Prince, if you are still interested, I consider it an obligation to the hobby to allow a new player a spot.  It is yours if you wish it.  Beyond that, I will select my players from those who declare (have declared) interest, based upon my personal experiences with them vis tabletop play and a quick chat.  

While the game is still a number of weeks out from the first proper session, I certainly would enjoy sitting down with my eventual group beforehand and having a group character creation session.  Not only will this give a number of experienced individuals on hand to assist newer players, I find that creating characters together is an experience almost more fun than the game itself.  When I have selected the group, I will post a roster and we can set a communal time (probably about 1.5-2 hours) to sit down and craft characters.
 

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