- Dec 1969 -
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AD&D Manual of the Planes

I just finished reading the Manual of the Planes for ADVANCED DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS. I don't really know what to say, quite a fair bit of information to absorb all at once! I just figured I would write something as I have been swamped down by reading and running multiple campaigns. Encounters is going well, so that is good.

The early cosmology of D&D is an interesting one. It is the one I grew up with, and I while I thoroughly enjoy the cosmology of 4e it is the 1st ed I concern myself with here.

It is easy to see how the Manual of the Planes evolved into Planescape. The whole of the information is presented in AD&D 1st ed, albeit not as completely for the Outer Planes. This is the main complaint I have with the Manual of the Planes for AD&D. That it doesn't delve into the Outer Planes the way I would have liked. Although, in all fairness the book was overloading enough as it was and such writings would have comprised many more volumes. The Inner Planes section was staggering, with the magic alterations making sense but perhaps a little hard to retain. The book itself makes perfect sense though, with the alterations to magic occurring on the planes being explained clearly for each section.

The Ethereal Plane was explained well, with the Border Ethereal brought into focus, something which is not really touched upon in other sourcebooks for AD&D. The Astral Plane was also expounded on clearly and concisely so there was little room for questions at the end of each section, mostly a "yeah, I got it" and then on to the next.

I don't really like writing reviews of books. But, I am bored and need to ouput. I can't really formulate any cool ideas about the finer details in the MoTP at the moment, something I would like to change... So I will write about how I liked the book.

I guess it's still a little fresh for me to be trying to use the information other than for campaigning purposes. The idea of combat on the planes is pretty exciting though, and with all fairness this is something that is easy to take for granted in 4e. I guess it might have been nice to have some of the alterations remain intact, but to be honest I prefer having a party in the Chaos or the Astral and having a considerably easier time DMing it.

Does it make sense though? Would the dailies, etc be affected by the transfer in planes?

Yes. And that kinda makes me wonder, with straight combat being what it is was the intention behind 4e Deicide? I mean, I'm all for deicide, look at my blog about messing the spider queen up. I pick on her, again and again and again. But I digress.

I guess at the end of it, the Demon Princes, etc are the powers that are reachable by the levels of parties in 4e so it can't really be considered deicide. Another one I wonder is why they put Lolth at 35th level, as if she is "off the table" for this one. She's getting kinda old now anyway, probably gonna have to retire soon...

I kid. The powers themselves issue from a source, yes? So they are drawing from the Planes themselves? Or how does that work? Is Arcane simply arcane and there is no qualification, if so then why does the Divine Power Source work in something like the Chaos or the Astral Dominions. There is no explicit restriction in using specific powers against deities, although common sense dictates against it.

How would rad damage look in somewhere like the Abyss? Why is it possible to access radiant energy in such a devoid place as the Abyss. I mean, I know that the denizens of the Abyss have specific resistances (which is something that also exists in the AD&D MoTP) But how do the conduits of energy work in 4e? I'm sure someone will say, just DM it away! But I really would like to know from a design standpoint how it is justified. Don't just say "Magic" and wave it off, thank you very much!

Why aren't Clerics affected as per their deities? Are the gods now interested in meddling in one another's affairs? If so, COOL! It's about freakin' time. I always thought that it was a bit stodgy not to give clerics powers from their deities in other gods' dominions. It seems that the deity would want to further their agenda, just that they wouldn't like to be caught doing so.

Well, I've gotten a little of this off my chest. So I guess I can call 'er here.


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