What is Planescape? Exploring the Legendary D&D Campaign Setting

By now, it’s no secret that Planescape is going to be the big Wizards D&D release of 2023. But what is Planescape exactly? Originating in the '90s, Planescape is a beloved D&D campaign setting that redefined the concept of multiverse exploration. With the announcement of a 5th Edition Planescape release by Wizards of the Coast, it's a perfect time to delve into this remarkable universe and rediscover its allure.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

First introduced in 1994, Planescape broke away from traditional D&D settings, emphasizing philosophy, cosmology, and intricate politics instead of the standard fantasy fare. The universe was centered around Sigil, known as the 'City of Doors', acting as a multiverse hub connecting to various planes.

Uniquely, Planescape also introduced the concept of belief shaping reality, where conviction and force of will can reshape the very nature of the planes. The campaign setting's factions, each advocating different philosophies, were integral to the gameplay. “The beauty of Planescape was its ability to present complex, thought-provoking themes in a richly imaginative setting," recalls long-time DM, Alex.

Sigil, the City of Doors, from the Planescape setting for Dungeons & Dragons

Notable Locations

Sigil: The 'City of Doors' is a sprawling metropolis filled with portals leading to various corners of the multiverse. "Sigil is a character in itself," says player Jane, "A city that's always shifting, brimming with intrigue and adventure."

Baator: Known as the Nine Hells, Baator is home to lawful evil beings and a showcase for the darker aspects of power and order.

The Outlands: This plane of neutrality is the meeting ground for all alignments. The Outlands are a ring-shaped plane, encapsulating a variety of environments and locales.

Elysium: A place of ultimate good and tranquility, it is home to benevolent deities and creatures. "Elysium reflects the capacity for extraordinary goodness," notes player Mark.

Limbo: A chaotic neutral plane where the landscape reacts to the thoughts and emotions of its inhabitants. DM Rebecca says, "Limbo is a challenge to navigate, testing a player's ability to control their thoughts and emotions."

"The idea of twelve factions vying for power creates so many opportunities for intricate storytelling."

DM Alex

Speculation & Excitement for the 5th Edition

With the announcement of Planescape's return, the D&D community is abuzz with speculation. The new edition, set to release on October 17th, 2023, will comprise three hardcover books featuring Sigil, the Outlands, a new bestiary, and an adventure.

DM Alex is particularly excited about the faction system: "The idea of twelve factions vying for power creates so many opportunities for intricate storytelling." Meanwhile, player Jane is keen to see the return of belief shaping reality: "I loved how your character's beliefs could influence the world around you. I hope that aspect is preserved."

What is Planescape? It's more than just a campaign setting. It's a universe where philosophy matters as much as swordplay, where belief can shape reality, and where every doorway can lead to a new, strange plane. The upcoming 5th Edition release is an exciting opportunity to revisit this unique universe or discover it for the first time. Whether you're a seasoned explorer of the multiverse or just beginning your journey, Planescape promises a truly unique D&D experience.