4th ed Planescape, assistance appreciated

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So, I'm deciding to start up a 4th ed planescape campaign (just because I love the setting SO much) and I was wondering if I could get some advice. I'm running through the books, determing what I can do and what I should do, and what I need to change. Here's what I got so far.

1) Revising 4th ed back to the 'old' alignment system, as it makes more sense in the planescape enviroment.

2)Most stuff doesn't need changing. Portals operate the same way, the descriptions of the planes work, the cosmology works, update creature types and stats.

3)Problem 1: Feywild. I am tempted to simply say that the feywild is the Beastlands and call it quits, but that's not quite accurate. The beastlands are a repository of 'natural' beasts, and their dire versions. Not for sylphs and sprites and such. A second Idea is to make the feywild a "Third" transiant plane between the inner and outer planes, but that wouldn't contact the prime where Eladrin call home. A third idea is to have the feywild be Ellysim. This seems like best idea to me.

4) Problem 2: Okay, so we've taken care of the feywild, what about the other end of the spectrum? Even undead can't 'survive' in the negative energy plane. The most promising idea is to call to turn it into the grey wastes, but both this solution, and calling the Feywild "Ellysim" seem to demish them somewhat.

5) I've decided to do away with the stupid 'cleric spells get less powerful the further you are away from their source' thing. While it does make sense, it is a nightmare to keep track of and it seems to unfairly penalise clerics. I will be keeping somet things intact though, such as the loss of spells if you cannot access them. (For example, if you cannot access the astral plane, then you cannot pass into it, etc.

6) I'm going to do away with factions (and thus, faction abilities) by saying my faction takes place AFTER the faction war. I will, insead, allow the players to gain abilities based on their beliefs. I'll probably give them a questionaire before they begin, and give them one of the following abilities:

+2 belief bonus to initiative
+1 healing surge per day
+2 belief bonus to Will Defense vs. charm/domination effects
+Bonus skill: Intimidate (or, if they already have it) +2 belief bonus to Intimidate

7)I may or may not include belief points, but that is not a big deal and easily converted.
So, I'm deciding to start up a 4th ed planescape campaign (just because I love the setting SO much) and I was wondering if I could get some advice. I'm running through the books, determing what I can do and what I should do, and what I need to change. Here's what I got so far.

First and foremost, I congratulate you on embarking on this mission. I'm sure it will take a lot of work, but could well be totally worth it.

1) Revising 4th ed back to the 'old' alignment system, as it makes more sense in the planescape enviroment.

No problem there. Alignment anymore is not much more than fluff, so adding back in the old alignment system should pose no issues at all.

2)Most stuff doesn't need changing. Portals operate the same way, the descriptions of the planes work, the cosmology works, update creature types and stats.

I think updating the creatures will be the most time-consuming part of it all. After converting several old OD&D and AD&D adventures to 4E has shown me this.

3)Problem 1: Feywild. I am tempted to simply say that the feywild is the Beastlands and call it quits, but that's not quite accurate. The beastlands are a repository of 'natural' beasts, and their dire versions. Not for sylphs and sprites and such. A second Idea is to make the feywild a "Third" transiant plane between the inner and outer planes, but that wouldn't contact the prime where Eladrin call home. A third idea is to have the feywild be Ellysim. This seems like best idea to me.

Well...the Feywild is...unique. I think it's December when the new Manual of the Planes comes out (I preordered it on Amazon, and I think it said December), so it might be worth the wait to see what plans 4E has in store for the planes. I'm sure the Feywild and Shadowfell are separate planes unto themselves. Simply replacing one of the other planes with them might run you into trouble later on, but honestly...how many times would your PCs journey to Elysium or the Beastlands in the first place? If they probably won't, then it wouldn't be a big deal.

4) Problem 2: Okay, so we've taken care of the feywild, what about the other end of the spectrum? Even undead can't 'survive' in the negative energy plane. The most promising idea is to call to turn it into the grey wastes, but both this solution, and calling the Feywild "Ellysim" seem to demish them somewhat.

Again, the Shadowfell comes into play. It is separate from the Negative Energy Plane, but I'm not sure how separate. That's why I think simply replacing one of the planes with either the Shadowfell or the Feywild could lead to trouble (or at least awkward questions) later.

5) I've decided to do away with the stupid 'cleric spells get less powerful the further you are away from their source' thing. While it does make sense, it is a nightmare to keep track of and it seems to unfairly penalise clerics. I will be keeping somet things intact though, such as the loss of spells if you cannot access them. (For example, if you cannot access the astral plane, then you cannot pass into it, etc.

This I totally agree with. Of course, in Sigil, the Lady of Pain can control even the Gods when it comes to the types of energies that enter her city. I would do the same thing you're doing, as it is.

6) I'm going to do away with factions (and thus, faction abilities) by saying my faction takes place AFTER the faction war. I will, insead, allow the players to gain abilities based on their beliefs. I'll probably give them a questionaire before they begin, and give them one of the following abilities:

+2 belief bonus to initiative
+1 healing surge per day
+2 belief bonus to Will Defense vs. charm/domination effects
+Bonus skill: Intimidate (or, if they already have it) +2 belief bonus to Intimidate.

I never really liked the different factions (or the Blood War) in the first place. You, as DM, have enough to keep up with as it is. I think what you have come up with is a very reasonable, logical answer.

7)I may or may not include belief points, but that is not a big deal and easily converted.

Very true.

So far, you seem to have everything well in hand. I wish you much luck, and am a bit envious. Planescape, when it first appeared in 199?, quickly became my favorite setting. I certainly hope WotC will reproduce Planescape for 4E. I know it will be a while, as they have Forgotten Realms and Eberron already on the schedule, but it is certainly something I am willing to wait on.
Steely_Dan dropped a comment about having converted his 3E Planescape campaign to 4E. Maybe we can get him in here and you two can compare notes.
Steely_Dan dropped a comment about having converted his 3E Planescape campaign to 4E. Maybe we can get him in here and you two can compare notes.

Uh, who is steely_dan, and would he mind if I just randomly PMed him?

Okay, so, here is the general idea I have so far, as far as campaign layout.

I've decided to draw from a number of different pop-culture plots and referances, as well as the nature of planescape, in order to create, what I hope to be, a very epic and fun campaign.

The major spoiler and idea behind the campaign is that there is a group of people called the Hakuhana (name needs work). They are a secret society dedicated to doing good works throughout the multiverse. Their primary, and current, goal is to find and destroy an evil artifact, which has been known to posess people and go on a rampage, not only killing innocent people but feasting on their souls.

This group started spreading misinformation, falsly claiming that there was a group of heroes that were on a quest to destroy the artifact. This was done so that, if someone posessed the artifact, they would come out of hiding and start looking for them (to kill them) and thus the secret society could effectivly 'smoke it out' and kill it.

Only problem is that the stories took off, like wildfire, and became extreamly popular, so much so that, with everyone believing that they exsisted, they actually came into being, as the PCs.

The PCs start play with amnesia (actually they were just created) and it will take them a LONG time to figure out what is actually going on. A lot of the time they will be running around, trying to figure out who they are or were. They may end up fighing or destroying the artifact, depending on their choices.
Uh, who is steely_dan, and would he mind if I just randomly PMed him?

He's another of the long-time DMs that hang out on the general boards.

I've already shot him a PM, he says he's headed home from work but he'll drop in after he gets there. I don't think he'd have any problem with you shooting him a PM if you felt like it, though. ;)
Why even bother with Feywild or Shadowfell. Just use the old cosmology.

Astral
Ethereal
Elemental:Air
Elemental:Earth
Elemental:Fire
Elemental:Water
PE:Ice
PE:Magma
PE:Ooze
PE:Smoke
QE:Lightning
QE:Mineral
QE:Radiance
QE:Steam
Positive Energy
Negative Energy
QE:Ash
QE: Dust
QE:Salt
QEacuum
Abyss
Acheron
Arborea
Arcadia
Baator
Beastlands
Bytopia
Carceri
Elysium
Gehenna
Gray Waste
Limbo
Mechanus
Mount Celestia
Outlands
Pandemonium
Ysgard

Arborea would be Feywild and the Demiplane of Shadows would be Shadowfell. Also on a side note, undead can survive on the Negative Energy plane...they are one of the few residents. The Doomguard also made a fortress there on its border, and after the faction wars they pretty much fled to these fortress'.

I really like your idea of benefits based off of beliefs. Factions are still around after the faction wars, they just change so greatly. Some of the 15 broke up, while others left Sigiil as their base of operations. Others still broke down their structure and just maintained belief. As we all know beliefs shape reality.

I have been trying, along with other players to bring to light a 4ed version of PS/SJ using the 4ed cosmology. Still a work in progress but you may find something useful. The link is in the sig.
Actually, I believe that undead CANNOT survive on the Negative Energy plane, just like living things cannot survive on the positive energy plane, for exactly the same reason.

When an undead is on the Negative energy plane, negative energy flows into them, boulstering and making them stronger, giving them something like 1d10 temporary HP per round (in the old, 2nd ed system, I don't know what the new system would do, since people have substantially more HP then they did now). Which is GREAT, until they reach double their maximum HP, at which time they 'pop' and explode, like a baloon filled with too much air. Same thing happens if a living creature visits the positive energy plane.

The reason the dustmen have a fortress on the border of the negative energy plane is that they CANNOT enter it, so they get as close as possible.

From my understanding (and remember, I haven't played this in a while) the negative and positive energy planes were the ultimate no-go zones. They were the source of all energy (life or unlife) in the planes and, thus, is was VERY bad to go there.

This was actually one of my (very) few problems with the game 'Planescape torment.' They ignored several of the finer points of the cosmos. Ghosts cannot exsist in Sigil, (because there is no etheral plane) and NOTHING can exsist in the negative energy plane.
Undead are on the Neg Plane in Planescape.

Look up the selection in the material and they are a native hazard. Where as on the Positive Energy plane Xag-ya are the only known beings on the plane.

Neg has Xeg-Yi, yet also contains Slow shadows, spectres, weight, wraith, and others including even liches.

For a group...a whole host of enviroments are just as dangerous and deadly. Such as no air in the vacuum or turning to salt. I will try looking into more specific information but I still suggest running with Arborea as Feywild and the Shadows as Shadowfell. I will let you know what I turn up on Positive and Negative.
Undead are on the Neg Plane in Planescape.

Look up the selection in the material and they are a native hazard. Where as on the Positive Energy plane Xag-ya are the only known beings on the plane.

Neg has Xeg-Yi, yet also contains Slow shadows, spectres, weight, wraith, and others including even liches.

Huh, guess your right. I suppose my old Planescape GM changed it and never told us about it. Still, I kinda like my idea better. Then again, he may have just wanted to stop us (our mage wanted to create a planar cube with one side going to positive energy, so we could get quick and easy healing every once in a while.

--------------------------
Seperate Issue:
There is one problem I have come up against. The old Planescape had a spell, (warp sense) that allowed players to find portals, and discover their portal keys. This was 'simply' another spell in 2nd ed, and could be easily picked up by the mage and cast. However, with the new system in DnD 4th ed, this makes it almost impossible. There are a few ideas I have, each having a problem:
1) Turn it into a ritual. This seems like the best solution for keeping in line with the old system, but would require a lot of time and a large chunk of change every time the PCs wanted to cast it.

2)Turn it into a cantrip: This makes it pretty much useable every round for a PC and kinda defeats the purpose, making it too easily accessable.

3)Ignore it: have others tell people where the portals are. This takes some of the power fromthe PCs.

4)Give the PCs a magic item (or two) that duplicates the effects 1/day or so. Seems like a good idea to me, but getting it seems like it would be a bit tough.
I am at the same wall myself. I believe the best way to manage is through the ritual as well as word of mouth. It should be a low level ritual that way it is accessible by the players early on, and the players should be aware that if they do some asking around they may not have to spend money and time on the ritual. I do also like the item as well

Your way in regards to the undead make sense to me, yet knowledge from other things like Evolved Undead and just how different undead are compared to living things, them not exploding when they are on the negative energy plane also makes sense. Undead that are around for a long time start to grow more powerful because their tie to the negative energy plane grows stronger. The same is not true on the opposite end of the spectrum.
Well, if it was a ritual, it would probably look something like this: (tell me what you think.)

Ritual: Warp sense
Lvl:1
Catagory: Divinition
Time: 10 Minutes
Duration: Varies
Componant cost: varies depending on market (10+1d10gp)
Market Price: 50 GP
Key Skill: Arcane

This spell enchants a small piece of glass, so that anyone looking through it can see portals, and their keys. Anyone who took part in the ritual (even if they didn't contribute anything) may look through the glass and make a notice check (DC 20) to see any portals within the area. The glass remains enchanted for the duration of the spell. If a portal is found, looking through the glass with an Arcane check (dc 20) will decipher the portal key. These rolls may get bonuses, depending on the check result. Anyone who took part in the ritual may make either check, if they are allowed to look through the glass.

Check: 1-9: Duration, 5 minutes
10-19: 10 minutes, +1 to notice/arcane checks
20-25: 15 minutes, +2 to check results
26-30: 20 minutes: +3 to check results
31+: 30 minutes: +4 to notice checks, automatically succeed on arcane check results.
Hmm, you could also make Portal Sense a function of a trained Arcana skill check, like Detect Magic is. That would seem to be well within the current rules.
That's certainly a thought, though:

The thing is, planar beings (those born on the planes) are supposed to be able to inately see portals. Even normal, mundane, humans. Being born on the planes innately made you Planar.

The benifits in 2nd ed were:

Prime: If you were a primer, you were immune to the planar function of "Protection from X" (in other words, you could still enter an area that was protected from evil, even if you weren't on your home plane." Also, you could not be 'banished.' (as per the spell.)

Planar: You could see portals. However, if you could be hedged out from protection from X, or banished, if you weren't on your home plane.

The spell was for primes who couldn't normally see portals, or if you wanted to discover a portal key.
Uh, who is steely_dan, and would he mind if I just randomly PMed him?

The greatest band ever!

…Well, not really a band, more of a concept realized my two amazing musicians/songwriters who hire the best session players to play their material.

Okay, sorry, enough of that – just got to work (very late) and received your PM, and I have emailed you back about sharing Scaping juiciness, so hope to hear from you soon.

P.S. If there is a delay in my reply it is because I only visit these boards and my email when I'm at work.
Well, if it was a ritual, it would probably look something like this: (tell me what you think.)

Ritual: Warp sense
Lvl:1
Catagory: Divinition
Time: 10 Minutes
Duration: Varies
Componant cost: varies depending on market (10+1d10gp)
Market Price: 50 GP
Key Skill: Arcane

This spell enchants a small piece of glass, so that anyone looking through it can see portals, and their keys. Anyone who took part in the ritual (even if they didn't contribute anything) may look through the glass and make a notice check (DC 20) to see any portals within the area. The glass remains enchanted for the duration of the spell. If a portal is found, looking through the glass with an Arcane check (dc 20) will decipher the portal key. These rolls may get bonuses, depending on the check result. Anyone who took part in the ritual may make either check, if they are allowed to look through the glass.

Check: 1-9: Duration, 5 minutes
10-19: 10 minutes, +1 to notice/arcane checks
20-25: 15 minutes, +2 to check results
26-30: 20 minutes: +3 to check results
31+: 30 minutes: +4 to notice checks, automatically succeed on arcane check results.

Looks good to me. I would give it a fixed component cost to keep it consistent with the rest of the rituals in the game, say 10gp flat. It holds to the idea of the 2E spell pretty well, and I like the arcana check for the key (instead of either automatically knowing the key or automatically having to guess at it). I would require even creatures native to the planes to use the ritual to detect portals; there was supposed to be a big underground trade in portal information in Sigil and if people can just go around and find them with no effort then it undermines this idea.
Looks good to me. I would give it a fixed component cost to keep it consistent with the rest of the rituals in the game, say 10gp flat. It holds to the idea of the 2E spell pretty well, and I like the arcana check for the key (instead of either automatically knowing the key or automatically having to guess at it). I would require even creatures native to the planes to use the ritual to detect portals; there was supposed to be a big underground trade in portal information in Sigil and if people can just go around and find them with no effort then it undermines this idea.

If I recall my 2nd ed Planescape (and it's been ten years, so I may not be accurate) Planars could FIND portals, no problem, but no one could figure out the key except by trial and error. The big reason for the 'portals chant' trade was because some portal keys were nasty. Like all the money off a berk, or even a live human being (consumed key.) It could be dangerous to go into portals that you didn't know the key for.

The cool part about this spell is that ANYONE who has ritual casting can get it. You don't need to be a mage or a cleric, a rogue with the ritual casting feat (and the arcana skill) could use this ritual too. Kinda gives it more variaty, I think.
You are correct. You needed a key for the portals...with one exception. The portals on the outlands were great arches that you could just walk through...

Anywho I can tell you this much...the new planar is going to be divided like...

Heroic Tier - Feywild, Prime, Shadowfell
Para Tier - Elemental Chaos
Epic - Astral/Deep Elemental Chaos (Abyss)

It may be a neat idea to divide the campaign up in a similar manner, if your seeking a good mix of philosophy and diplomacy, with combat.
You are correct. You needed a key for the portals...with one exception. The portals on the outlands were great arches that you could just walk through...

Anywho I can tell you this much...the new planar is going to be divided like...

Heroic Tier - Feywild, Prime, Shadowfell
Para Tier - Elemental Chaos
Epic - Astral/Deep Elemental Chaos (Abyss)

It may be a neat idea to divide the campaign up in a similar manner, if your seeking a good mix of philosophy and diplomacy, with combat.

First off: There are a couple more portals that don't need keys. The portals on the Tree Yigdrassil, and the infinate staircase don't require keys, neither do elemental conduits (though these aren't, specifically, portals)

The idea of devision seems like a good idea: but I'm dividing it differently:

That seems like a good idea, though I'm pretty much chucking out the 4th ed cosmology and using 2nd ed DnD cosmology (except for one thing: The shadowfell and Feywild are now Demiplanes in the astral, large ones, larger than Ravenloft.)

Heroic Tier: Sigil, Outlands, Infinate staircase
Para Tier: Some outer planes
Epic: Lower planes, confrontation with big bad.
Comming up with a few more things, I'll be posting them as I finish them.

Baatorian Green Steel:
Originally exclusivly found on the evil planes of Baator, this strange metal with a slight greenish hue first found it's way to the planes as left-over weapons forged for the never-ending blood war. Enterprising berks could find these weapons from old battle sites and re-forge them with the proper skill. At first, the only place to buy them was the Severed Head, a shop in the market ward of Sigil, but the Doomguard quickly found out about, and began using the stuff. Rumor has it that the Baatazu have even started trading the ore, hoping to get money or magic items for their war.

Baatorian Green steel is lighter, stronger, and sharper than normal steel. Despite being non-magical, his has an almost inherent viciousness to it. Trying to forge one is a task, and it is as if the metal BEGS to be forged into cruel shapes with barbs or long prongs.

(Technical Stuff)
Greensteel, if you can get ahold of it, is a hard metal to work with. It requires more intense heat, and is more difficult to work. A weapon made of greensteel is 3/4 the weight of the normal item. Because of this, it is unsuitable for items that require mass behind their swing (such as a Maul or warhammer.)

Greensteel armor weighs half as much as normal armor, and can be fasioned into chainmail, scalemail, or Plate. It can also be fasioned into metal shields.

Where greensteel truely shines is in the creation of blades. Greensteel almost never dulls, and edges are almost supernaturally sharp. In addition to greensteel bladed weapons weighing only 3/4 normal weight, they also deal +1 damage. This is considered basic weapon damage, so it is added again to weapons with the high crit property.

Working with greensteel adds 5 to the craft DC when working with it, is counted as a +1 magic item when determining ease of destruction, and usually costs quadruple to buy (if you can find it.)
Okay, this is a VERY Beta Race test, I haven't Playetested it at all, but I tried to balance it as much as possible.

Rogue Modron (race)
Modrons are beings of supreme law and order from the realm of Mechanus. They care nothing for good or evil, but they wish only for pure, absolute, order. Modrons come in varying shapes and sizes (monodrones are spheres, Duodrones are rectangular prisims, Tridrones are tetrahedrons, Quadrones are cubes, etc.) As each drone goes up the 'ladder' they become increasingly smarter and more capable. Each Modron is aware of only the modron 'caste' directly above or below it. They have a strange combination of metal and flesh, or flesh-like stuff, and cannot even comprehend the CONCEPT of chaos

Most of the time.

Rogue Modrons are created when a modron, for whatever reason, goes WRONG. Modrons that encounter the impossible concept of chaos go insane (well, insane for a modron) and are cut off from the great source of the Modron world (Primus, the modron 'god.') Rogue Modrons are still extreamly lawful and orderly, but they have had JUST enough chaos to go into this rogue state. Rogue Modrons loose most of their memories from when they were in Mechanus, and inexplicably, all of them change to the form of a quadrone (a cube) with 3 foot long legs, and the cube is three feet long on each side, with two three foot long arms.

Rogue Modrons, despite having a metal-like substance on their bodies, are treated just as other creatures when determining effects like fire, acid, or healing. They are most often Fighters or Wizards, as they find other diciplines too diverse to undertake. There have never been recorded instances of Modron Paladins or Clerics, though it is theoretically possible for a Modron to believe in law and order so much that he could be something akin to a cleric, following law and order.

Modron: (always 6 feet tall, always exactly 200 lbs.)
Size: Medium, Speed 6 squares, sight (special, see below)
+2 Inteligence, +2 Constitution
Languages: Common, Dwarven
Skill Bonuses: +2 perception, +2 Arcana
Modron Mind: Modron mental facalties are infinatly different than a normal character. Being part machine, they gain a +1 racial bonus to will defense, and an additional +5 bonus vs. illusions.
Modron eyes: Modron eyes are a complex series of actual lenses. This not ony improves their persception (as above) but also doubles their eyesight range as they have an effective 'zoom.'
Modron Body: Modron Bodies are made of sturdier stuff than simple flesh. Their base AC is 12.
Shutdown: Modrons must 'shut down' to recharge like a normal human sleeps. However, this cycle lasts only 4 hours for an extended rest.

DOWNSIDES:
=Modrons are sexless, and have no need for clothes. However, many Modron (especially fighters) discover it is beneficial to have armor. Accomplishing this task requires a unique set of armor to be specially commissioned. This armor's material cost is 4 times that of normal armor, and weighs twice as much. Magical Modron armor will HAVE to be commissioned by a mage, as it is almost impossible to FIND enchanted Modron armor (magical armor won't resize to fit a Modron, it's just too strange.) A Modron who wishes a cape or belt will have to have it commissioned, and pay double.
=Modron's don't understand non-modron society too well. In fact, all but the most well-traveled don't understand it at all. Modron's suffer a -2 penalty to diplomacy, Insight, and Bluff in some situations, depending if the person (or group) is being logical or not (or, more accurately, if they are receptive to logic or not.)
=Normal Modrons are fueled by the great source, the energy core at the heart of Mechanus. Rogue Modrons, being cut off from that, must eat and sleep, and breathe, just like humans, though their 'shutdown' cycle lasts only 4 hours (see above.)
Now again, I will quip that as posted once by someone, you don't have to do a litteral conversion... you can folow the 'spirit' of the setting, use the new rules as they are and make something old, yet new.

But you follow the advice already, so...
Okay, so, rummaging throught the Planescape material, I find most of it is scenery, so all I need to do is replace monster 2nd Ed Monster A with 4th Ed Monster B and I'm golden! I found a place in 'DEAD GODS' where players fight Set's minions, so just replace them with the stats for Shadar-Kai (and alter their physical discription) and I'm good to go.

There is, however, two hang ups I keep getting over, and over again. Planar hazards. The fires of the city of brass (in the elemental plane of fire) deal 3d10 damage per round. Now, while that's a lot in 4th ed, it was about 10x worse in 2nd ed. 3d10 damage could instantly kill a lvl 5 mage in one shot! Do I keep the damage, and make it so paragon-lvl character scan run through the City of Brass for short jaunts, or do I up the damage? And if I do, how much?

The other problem I'm running into is spells. Particularly, WISH. It's gone, it doesn't exsits anymore. In Planescape, Wish was an ultimate ace-in-the-hole. If you got a ring of wishes (or whatever) you held onto that sucker, as it could save your bacon. You accidentilly step into Baator? WISH will get you to the outlands, no questions asked. Your up against a Tan'ari? Wish will gaurantee that he can't gate in any of his minions. WHY is there no wish spell anymore? Other spells are also lacking that were almost vital in 2nd ed planescape. I've already made the Warp Sense spell, but Protection from evil (10ft radius) could stop demons from getting up close and personal, and postive/negative energy protection could let you exsist for a short time in the energy planes. There was even a spell, I recall, called Planar attunement, that let you be comfortable (at least alive) on any plane (such as the plane of fire, breathing in the plane of water, or keep you warm on the plane of ice.) These spells would be useless as rituals because you would be dead by the time the ten minute ritual was over.

I'd appreciate suggestions on this matter.
Okay, now, in my campaign, I won't be using factions, but if you want to, here are my suggestions for faction abilities, and their restrictions/downsides:

I tried to make them as balanced as possible. Some factions powers are better then others, but their downsides are also harsher. Like I said before, this is all just off the top of my head and I haven't playtested this.

Athar (defilers, the lost) Don't believe gods are divine. Powers (gods) are just beings with a lot of power to throw around.
Power: +1 to Fort/Ref/Will Defenses against a Divine attack
Restriction: Cannot be a priest of a spacific deity, VERY reluctant to be aided by one (and priests are reluctent to aid them back.)

Believers of the Source (Godsmen) Believe every being can be elevated to the status of the divine beings, or even higher.
Power: +3 to Diplomacy rolls (even if untrianed, everyone likes it when they are told they can become a god!)
Restriction: Priests of specific Deities cannot take their deity feats, because they do not have unwavering faith.

Bleak Cabal (Bleakers) The universe just IS, there is no grand scheme or purpose. It's all rather depressing really.
Power: +1 to all defenses vs. Psychic damage, +1 to will defenses vs. mind-affecting spells that influence emotions. (You DON'T want to see into their heads)
Restrictions: Depressing guys to be around, every day, 5% chance of falling into a melancholy (-2 to all skill checks). Cannot be lawful.

Doomguard, Entropy is the nature of the universe, and we'll help it along.
Power: Gain either proficiency with Heavy blades, or (if you already have that) Weapon focus with heavy blades.
Restrictions: They HATE supernatural healing. When a cleric or Warlord DOES use a power granting a healing surge on them, doomguard do not gain the extra healing normally associated with it (in other words, they get a normal healing surge)

The Dustmen (The dead): Life is a horrible, never-ending cycle of pain. The only true release is to feel no emotion or passion when you die, thus you will be free of the cycle.
Power: +1 to Fort/Ref/Will Defenses vs. Necrotic type.
Restriction: Dustmen don't WANT to come back if they die . . . ever. Resurrecting them costs 1.5x the nomral cost, and they won't be happy about it.

The Fated (The takers): The strong rule. Take what's yours, and be as self-reliant and prosperous as possible.
Power: Gains the Jack-of-all-trade feat, for free.
Restriction: As a fated you cannot willingly accept or give out charity.

The Fraternaty of order (Guvners): The universe works on rules. Learn the rules, and everything else will click into place.
Power: Learn and study from the past: Gain the History skill or (if you already have it) get a +3 bonus to it.
Restriction (old alignment system) Must be lawful (new system) cannot be chaotic. As a Guvner, you cannot knowingly break any law.

The Free League (Indeps) Not really a faction, just a group of people getting together for protection. Independence is the most important thing here.
Power: +2 bonus to saves vs. charm or enthralling effects.
Restriction: As an indep, you will never put yourself into a situation where you are compleatly subservient.

The Harmonium (Hardheads) Further the Harmonium goal of bringing order to the multiverse . . . by any means nessicary!
Power: Automatically gain the skill Intimidate, or a +3 bonus if you already have it.
Restrictions: You must follow all the orders and decrees of the Harmonium, and uphold their beliefs. Cannot be chaotic.

Mercykillers (Red Death.) Justice is absolute. Everyone must be PUNISHED if they commit a crime. YOU are judge, jury, and executioner.
Power: Automatically gain the skill Insight (or a +3 bonus if you already have it, gotta find out who's lyin' and who's tellin' the truth.)
Restriction: A Mercykiller must give into punishment if they have committed any crime (except crimes done in the course of bringing another criminal to justice.) Cannot release a lawbreaker who has not been punished.

The Revolutionary League (Anarchists): Society is corrupt. Sneak into the cracks, then crack it open! Rebuild it from the ground up!
Power: Automatically gain the skill Bluff (or a +3 bonus if you already have it, gotta take down the man from the inside, man!)
Restriction: Cannot be lawful, an Anarchist can never truely hold a public office or buisness (though he can pose as one for a while). Is expected to give some proceeds to help their cause.

The Sign of One (Signers): Belief shapes the world. Maybe we are all the product of one guys twisted dreams, maybe we all share one, large, collective dream. Who is to know?
Power: If the player fails to notice an illusion on the first roll, they get a second, automatic reroll (or the DM rolls for them twice, if all the world's an illusion, the cheap ones are easy to spot.)
Restriction: Signers are usually pretty alouf and, because of their nature, they often wax philisophical and are rarely down to earth. Thus, they suffer -2 penalties to diplomacy when not talking about philosophy, or similarly heady subjects.

The Society of Sensation (Sensates) The Multiverse has no true, overarching scheme other than to EXPERIENCE it. Go out, see the different sights, feel them. SEE what an infinate infinaties have to offer.
Power:Automatically gain the Perception skill (or a +3 bonus if you already have it, you must to have finely tuned senses to sense the multiverse.)
Restriction: A sensate will NOT say no to a new sensation that poses no obvious, damaging threat.

The Trancendent order (Ciphers) Don't, think, DO. The only way to attain enlightenment is to let the universe FLOW threw you, thinking will only bog you down.
Power: Automatically gain the Alertness or Improved Initiative feat (Your choice)
Restrictions: A Cipher is prone to snap judgements, and will absolutely NOT 'take time to think about it.'

The Xaositects (Chaosmen) The nature of the universe is pure, unadulturated chaos . . . act accordingly . . . or don't.
Power: Chaosmen are rediculusly crazy, and unpredictiable. OTHERS suffer a -5 PENALTY to use sense motive on you.
Restrictions: In addition to acting as barmy (crazy) as you possibly can, you can never be a part of long-term plans, own a buisness, (or practice law). You cannot be Lawful.
Environs should stay deadly, yet you will need to introduce ways to adapt. This is very similar to doing a underwater adventure where the players are prepared and have their water-breathing handy. If they know there are going to a plane with a harsh enviroment let them find a means to get prepared for the trip, either by equipment or whatnot.

Also for factions...are you planning on having Faction Wars in your group? You can either start the group off before the Faction Wars or after.
No, I'm not planning on fation war. . .

Does anyone care about the factions I made? Can I get a couple critiques? Too powerfull? Too unbalancing?
I care, I actually like them alot to be honest, though I I think you misread the philosophy for the Dustmites over there.The penalties also give a reason to actually try real roleplaying if they plan to use them

Edit: Also, about the City of Brass - in W&M, the rulers of the city decided to lower the heat a bit. Sure, it's still hotter tan astral hell, but it's just bearable that it doesn't hinder you or deal damage, so it's fine for any tier, really
Post Faction War faction edits:

The Mind's Eye (Seekers, Visionaries) - Find yourself in the universe

Powers: Ever advancing in your destiny, you know nothing can slow you down. You gain a +1 to all Saving Throws

Restriction: Even if you don't share the arrogance known from your faction, it's your reputation and simply the fact that people seem to know that your part of the Seeker that still projects that image, you take a -2 to Diplomacy checks

Ring-Givers (Bargainers, Beggars) - You only get as good as you give

Powers: When buying items, you only pay half the listed price, as proof that you get back what you give. You also gain a +1 bonus that you can apply to any d20 roll once per encounter. This improves by +1 for every tier you gain beyond Heroic

Restriction: Of course, you must lose to gain in the first place. When selling items, you can only receive 1/10th of the items value. Because of how the multiverse works, the Disenchant Ritual gives you the same amount, as the planes rework magic to fit your beliefs. In addition, you may not own or use a magic item of your level or higher

Sons of Mercy (Martyrs) - Justice exists in order to hold the greater good

Powers - You gain a +1 bonus to damage rolls against creatures with the Evil or Chaotic Evil alignment (add the same thing to Lawful Evil if you use it). This improves by +1 for every tier beyond Heroic

Restrictions: If you ever are given a choice, you must always pick the option that serves the greater good. You must be of non-evil alignment

Harmonium: You must be lawful and non-evil

Fraternity of Order: You must be non-chaotic
There are too many damn factions...The Ragers, The Guardians, the Prolongers...just not as active in Sigil as the 15...so ya looks good.
I care, I actually like them alot to be honest, though I I think you misread the philosophy for the Dustmites over there.The penalties also give a reason to actually try real roleplaying if they plan to use them

Edit: Also, about the City of Brass - in W&M, the rulers of the city decided to lower the heat a bit. Sure, it's still hotter tan astral hell, but it's just bearable that it doesn't hinder you or deal damage, so it's fine for any tier, really

Any tier in theory... in practice, the city is ruled by Efreet, and every Efreet in the MM is epic. The CoB isn't really a safe place for heroic or paragon characters that are interested in maintaining their freedom, i.e. not being enslaved by the Efreet.
More stuff, again, all of this is off the top of my head and has NOT been playtested:

Bariar Race:
The Bariar resemble Centaurs (though don't tell them that!) with the exception that their hindquarters are half-goat, and that their 'human' part tends to look more feral than centaurs. They have pointed ears, and the men have horns.

They hail from several of the upper planes, where they are know for their carefree spirit and their love of good-natured battle. They are usually quick to anger but fiercly loyal, but in general they enjoy good food, good drink, and good company.

Strangly enough, unlike most sentient creatures, Male and Female Bariar are actually very different. Perhapse owing to their anamal nature, the women are weaker and less resiliant than their male counterparts, but faster and stronger, thus they are considered different species. Women do not have hornes.

Male Bariar
Height 6'0"-6'7", Weight 400-600 lbs.
+2 Str, +2 Con
Size: M
Speed: 8 squares
Languages: Common, Elven
Vision: Low-Light

Skills: +2 Endurance, +2 History
Large Frame: Double Normal carying capacity
Stable: Your four legs give you a +4 bonus to resist trip attempts, and when other effects attempt to move you, you move one less square than normal (if you wish to, minimuim 0 squares)

At-will Power: Headbutt:
You can use your horns for devistating attack.
You must charge to use this attack. It is a Str vs. AC attack (with a +2 prof. bonus) that deals 1d8+strength mod damage. On a critical hit, you get a free trip attempt (and the enemy cannot trip you back.)

Female Bariar
Height 5'10"-6'4", Weight 300-500 lbs.
+2 Dex, +2 Int
Size: M
Speed: 8 squares
Languages: Common, Elven
Vision: Low-Light

Skills: +2 Endurance, +2 History
Large Frame: Double Normal carying capacity
Stable: Your four legs give you a +4 bonus to resist trip attempts, and when other effects attempt to move you, you move one less square than normal (if you wish to, minimuim 0 squares)
Quick Reaction: You react with almost blinding speed. You gain a +4 to all perception and insight checks to avoid surprise, and even when you are surprised, you get one standard action during the surprise round.

All Barriar have the following abilities and drawbacks.
1) Four legs: They gain a +4 racial bonus to all athletics checks that involve jumping, or running, but suffer a -4 penalty to all athletics and acrobatics checks that involve climbing or doing flips.
2)Barriar armor is almost like a horse's barding. Like Modrons, they must have armor specially commisioned, and it costs twice as much, and is twice as heavy.
Any tier in theory... in practice, the city is ruled by Efreet, and every Efreet in the MM is epic. The CoB isn't really a safe place for heroic or paragon characters that are interested in maintaining their freedom, i.e. not being enslaved by the Efreet.

Okay, maybe the city of Brass was a bad example. Point is, I'm having trouble converting 2nd ed enviromental damage to 4th ed.
Simply cut the damage in half, and then make it a static value. That seems to be the 4e kind of way
Just whip up some rituals to counter various environments. The places should be deadly if you are unprepared, but any good planar will be prepared and be sure to have their towel.
Okay, maybe the city of Brass was a bad example. Point is, I'm having trouble converting 2nd ed enviromental damage to 4th ed.

Actually, considering how Eferrti are really more of a noble class almost exclusive to race and considering how small the noble class is, even in as big as the City of Brass, who I might add can be found everywhere amongst the planes, I think the characters can be safe (well as far as adventurers go in a hell-like city ruled by genies and devils go)

Also, it's more than just Eferrti there are a few fire based archons who have some military rule, a fire gensai who made begrudingly made her way up the ladder and a mind flayer who serves as one of the advisors of the Sultan himself, as well as an Osyluth who owns his own batalion of legion devils. Of course, the first two I just made up and the last two are just a rumor.
Actually, considering how Eferrti are really more of a noble class almost exclusive to race (there are a few fire based archons who have some military rule, a fire gensai who made begrudingly made her way up the ladder and a mind flayer who serves as one of the advisors of the Sultan himself, as well as an Osyluth who owns his own batalion of legion devils. Of course, the first two I just made up and the last two are just a rumor), and considering how small the noble class is, even in as big as the City of Brass, who I might add can be found everywhere amongst the planes, I think the characters can be safe (well as far as adventurers go in a hell-like city ruled by genies and devils go)

THAT WAS ONE SENTENCE!?! Thank you for murdering my language....
Okay, so I babble! I'll correct it, but seriously, why so frikin' antagonistic?
I don't mean to antagonize, I was just... incredulous....
I guess that makes sense, then.

Anyway, back on topic. We sure as hell haven't converted or changed everything, so what else do we need to develop?
I guess that makes sense, then.

Anyway, back on topic. We sure as hell haven't converted or changed everything, so what else do we need to develop?

Okay, so, just to review, I have converted:
The 'Warp sense' spell
Rogue Modron
Bariar
Baatorian Green Steel
The factions

In addition, the book has for us:
Githyanki
Githzarai
Tana'ri and Baazatu

What we still need (off the top of my head)
Rules for subjective gravity
Rules for Limbo (ha ha! I love the idea of 'rules' for limbo)
Resolve the 'enviroment' question.
Need spells like "Protection from evil, 10' radius (for hedging out outsiders), Banishment, wish.
Items like various other small charms and such.
Okay, so, just to review, I have converted:
The 'Warp sense' spell
Rogue Modron
Bariar
Baatorian Green Steel
The factions

There's also a conversion at ENworld of these, plus some paragon paths for the giths and new planetouched. Here's the link: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?t=230803

In addition, the book has for us:
Githyanki
Githzarai
Tana'ri and Baazatu

Which means we also need more on angels, primordials, fey and aberrant creatures, as well as exarchs

What we still need (off the top of my head)
Rules for subjective gravity
Rules for Limbo (ha ha! I love the idea of 'rules' for limbo)
Resolve the 'enviroment' question.
Need spells like "Protection from evil, 10' radius (for hedging out outsiders), Banishment, wish.
Items like various other small charms and such.
Not sure yet on gravity. Probably use the rules for flying on perfect mobility

Don't you know? It's called the Elemental Chaos now, and the rules are difficult to understand (which, with a name like that, would make sense). It's probably has a smorgishborg of traits in different areas

The environments have been described in the DMG, along with hazards and what could be traps with planar origins. Things like razorvine has also been converted at ENworld, too.

The protection spell is even more complete with the Magic Circle ritual, which can easily be converted to an alignment based theme. Banishment is harder because most rituals are at least 10 minutes long. It's possible to make it part of a paragon path or a spell/prayer, but otherwise it's kind of unknown for me. Wish would of course be a ritual, but it's mechanics would take at least a few days to convert into something balanced and meaningful. It would at least be of 26th level and require quite the cost.
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