View Full Version : Planescape Hook, and new races in 4th Edition

2008-06-14, 07:59 PM
So with one of our key members unable to play for the next two months, I put my party to a vote concerning what they wanted to do. Everyone wanted to go ahead with fourth edition rules, and we wanted to do Planescape. So here's what I've got so far.

- 16th Level
- Any race from 1-3E of appropriate size is allowed, provided the player is interested in working with me on balancing it out.
- Hook: A new god has originated (undetermined), but as he's very new, he has little power, The PCs work for a group that finds old artifacts and magic items that are defunct and repairs or repurposes them... they've been hired by this god to repair an artifact tied to a dead god and tie it to him, so he can wave it at his followers as proof of his benevolent power.

What I need help with:
- Balancing the two non-standard 'new' races my PCs decided they wanted to play. (Follows below).
- Ideas for expanding the hook. Our other game is antagonist-driven, and while I allow my players as much freedom as possible under those circumstances, they don't have the time to say, wander through various and sundry areas as their players are inclined. I very much want this to be as open-ended as possible, while allowing them to experience as much of the flavor as possible. I have little experience with Planescape outside of what I encountered in NWN:HotU and NWN2:MotB, so a very brief primer'd be cool.


Chaos and teeth in a rabid, foaming, furry package.

Average Height: 5'8" - 6'4"
Average Weight: 190-260 lb.

Play a gnoll if you want...

- To be just like Whoopi Goldberg in The Lion King
- To cackle idiotically while doing anything
- To destroy everything that moves within a fifty square radius simply because you can. While laughing.

Or die trying.

While laughing.


Rogue Modron

Warforged. Switch out +2 Str for +2 Int. Replace Warforged Resolve with:

Pattern Recognition
Focusing intently on your task, you see the true order beneath apparent chaos.
Encounter - Minor Action - Personal
Effect: You ignore randomness - at least once in a while. Your next attack or skill roll is treated as a natural 11.

Unsure. The Heroic Tier feat could bring the power up to a natural 12 or 13, but it seems kind of dull to do it again for Paragon and Epic (as my PC suggested I do.)

2008-06-14, 08:21 PM
Eep. Tough call, trying to give a 'brief' Primer to Planescape, as it's a very comlpex setting. You can often find the out-of-print supplements for download in torrents and whatnot, or on eBay; getting hold of the books in the Campaign Setting boxed set would be the minimum, at least.

Because the thing about Planescape is how thoroughly non-intuitive it is. It's a setting where the Good/Evil axis quite possibly means less than the Law/Chaos axis; where all things are driven by belief and those who have no strong convictions are treated like nobodies; where philosophical 'thought guilds' called Factions each have their own plans to shape the cosmos to their own design; and where every Plane is completely different to the next, even if travelling from one to another is easy (but only if you know where the doors are, and only if you have the right key...)

Thoughts, though. The Astral Plane is likely to feature heavily, if only because it's where dead gods go to die; they float around in the Astral, becoming like large asteroids in space, rocky and inert. Travelling in the Astral would require a ship of some kind, and invites attack by Gith pirates...

The most famous dead god in Planescape lore is Aoskar, the dead god of Portals. He was killed in a throwdown against the Lady of Pain, the being that rules Sigil; he'd been steadily becoming the patron god of Sigil for a long time, and when one of her servants became his high priest, it was the last straw she could bear. In the setting, even saying his NAME is a capital offence in Sigil, and likely to incur the Lady's wrath if she or one of her Dabus hears it.

And then there are Factions. Some might actively try to impede the PC's mission, and use their own high-powered agents to get in the way. The Athar hate Gods for being nothing more than just very powerful Planars, and don't believe them worthy of worship; they would oppose a new God's rise to power if they thought they could get away with it. The Sign of One (Signers) have been trying to raise a dead god through the power of belief and positive thinking for who knows how long, and perhaps the PCs are interrupting their plans. And the Believers of the Source (Godsmen) believe that everyone continually reincarnates onto a higher or lesser plane of being, and that gods are merely mortals who did really well in a previous life; some might support a new god's rise to power, others might see taking a dead god's stuff as akin to grave-robbing.

And then, of course, you have all the other myriad beings in the Planes; Celestials might be in favour if it's a good God, but some might disagree... fiends like the Yugoloths might even help, as the rise of this new deity all fits into their manifold evil schemes, but it'll cost the PCs, oh will it cost them... and the Rilmani, Planescape's best-kept secret, might even step in if they feel that an appearance of a new deity unbalances the delicate relationship between good and evil, and that the time is not right for one to appear (or, conversely, they might feel the balance needs redressing and be bang alongside the idea).

Dozens of possibilities!

2008-06-15, 09:36 PM
Not sure if you were aware of this: the Gnoll is a playable race in 4e. It can be found on page 277 of the MM.

2008-06-16, 10:41 AM
SmartAlec - that's pretty much exactly what I was looking for. A good jumping off point. Thanks.

Not sure if you were aware of this: the Gnoll is a playable race in 4e. It can be found on page 277 of the MM.

I am, I'm just trying to give it a full write-up - feats and stuff.

Heroic Tier:

Paragon Tier:
Impose Order [Modron]
Prerequisites: Modron, Pattern Recognition racial power.
Benefit: You may select any creature within 30 ft. as the target of your Pattern Recognition ability, rather than yourself.

Opportunist [Gnoll]
Prerequisites: Gnoll, Ferocious Charge racial power.
Benefit: Once per encounter, when your ally successfully makes an Opportunity Attack, you may choose to immediately charge that target as an Opportunity Attack.

2008-06-16, 01:00 PM
For the Heroic Gnoll:

Pack Mentality
Prerequisites: Gnoll
Benefit: You get a +1 bonus to melee damage rolls as long as you're flanking the target.

Blood Frenzy
Prerequisites: Gnoll
Benefit: While you're bloodied add your Constitution modifier to the hit points healed by your healing surge.

2008-06-19, 02:06 AM
Well, the first session of Planescape 4E should be tonight. Still haven't really settled on a pair of gods that interest me.

Does anyone have some good resources on Sigil? I know the general gist of the city, but nothing really detailed.

2008-06-19, 06:03 AM
Does anyone have some good resources on Sigil? I know the general gist of the city, but nothing really detailed

If you go on Paizo, in the 2nd edition ADnD section, you can buy the original Planescape book in pdf form for 4 dollars. Obviously any mechanics will be redundant, but the fluff should still be fine

2008-06-19, 07:17 AM
Does anyone have some good resources on Sigil? I know the general gist of the city, but nothing really detailed.

To amplify Project Mayhem above: "Sigil: Guide to the Cage", $4 pdf download from paizo.com. All you could ever want to know about the City of Doors. :smallwink: