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Sigil’s Lady of Pain, with an elaborate headdress, stands before a collection of odd characters from the latest adventure from Wizards of the Coast.
The centerpiece of the Dungeon Master’s screen that comes packaged with the independent retailer’s collectible version of Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse.
Image: Tony DiTerlizzi/Wizards of the Coast

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Death is the hot new mechanic in Dungeons & Dragons’ fancy Planescape campaign

Fans of Planescape: Torment are in for a treat

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Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Planescape, the setting for the cult classic role-playing video game Planescape: Torment, is back for tabletop Dungeons & Dragons. A three-volume boxed set is on the way from Wizards of the Coast, and it’s titled Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse. Inside, you’ll find a 96-page setting book called Sigil and the Outlands, plus a 64-page bestiary titled Morte’s Planar Parade, a double-sided map, and a Dungeon Master’s screen. But the real gem of this collection appears to be Turn of Fortune’s Wheel, a new 96-page adventure that senior game designer Wes Schneider calls “frickin’ wild.”

We sat down with Schneider during a private press preview last week to learn more, but be advised: Wizards has absolutely no qualms about spoiling the gimmick on this campaign. So let’s dive in.

Turn of Fortune’s Wheel takes place in and around Sigil, the D&D canon’s famed “city of doors.” From Sigil, players can find portals to every realm in the D&D multiverse, meaning that every other adventure yet published for 5th edition D&D — from Dragonlance’s world of Krynn to the Radiant Citadel — can easily be the jumping-off point for this one. It should be no surprise, therefore, that once they get sucked in, players will be doing loads of traveling and exploration.

But there’s a catch.

Modrons — bug-eyed automatons — trapise through a horrid underground lair, filled with eyeballed fungi and dessicated demon skulls. Image: Andrea Piparo/Wizards of the Coast

[Ed. note: The following spoils major plot points for Turn of Fortune’s Wheel, the adventure that comes bundled with Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse.]

The trouble is that death isn’t working the way it’s supposed to inside the city of Sigil. Or rather, dead people aren’t behaving the way they’re supposed to... or... OK, so it’s complicated. Here’s Schneider taking a stab at explaining it:

“Something that players are going to discover in this adventure is that they’re at the center of this multi-planar glitch where something about reality isn’t clicking with them [correctly],” Schneider said, waving his hands around and trying to look sensible as he discussed something very silly on the video call. “They’re going to discover that when they die — or when something dramatic happens to them — they don’t just die. Their souls don’t just move on to the other places in the multiverse where souls typically go. After a few beats, they come back as a different incarnation of themselves.”

The double-sided map included with this boxed set tackles the donut-shaped warrens of Sigil, the City of Doors, with skill.
Image: Wizards of the Coast and Image: Wizards of the Coast

Schneider said it’s possible — likely, even — that you’ll kick off the adventure as one character or race, and then finish as another. Begin as a human fighter and then, when you die, you might be reincarnated as a wizard. Or as an elf. Or as an elf wizard. It might be a great way to try out new character builds — or you could just get goofy with it. Maybe the only thing different is that your character now has an inexplicable mustache, or a French accent. Maybe they’re 2 inches shorter, or left-handed — or blue.

Schneider went on to add that, over the course of the adventure, players will inhabit at least three different versions of themselves at the table. Later, once they’ve met them all, that’s when the fun really begins. He said that parties should prepare for some high-level D&D shenanigans, because, by the end of the adventure, you’ll get tossed straight from level 10 all the way to level 17.

“You have these opportunities throughout the course of the game to be shifting between three different versions of yourself, [versions that may] have completely different character sheets and stat blocks,” Schneider said. “[Then] at a later point in the adventure, [...] the truth [...] ends up coalescing. Once all your pieces come back together [correctly], that’s when you make this catapult up to your true potential [...] to finish off the adventure in grand form.”

A walking castle causing a stampede of spectral horses... and an imp? Odd. Image: Zoltan Boros/Wizards of the Coast

Fans of Planescape: Torment should expect plenty of other nods to the beloved CRPG, in addition to the whole death thing. Turn of Fortune’s Wheel begins in the Mortuary — the same location where the legendary Torment begins as well. And, as it turns out, players begin in exactly the same state: dead. Morte, the wisecracking skull from Torment, is there, too, it’s just that he’s looking for a different corpse. Is it The Nameless One from the video game? It can be, Schneider said, if you and your Dungeon Master decide that it is. Maybe you see key events from the video game happening down the dark alleys of Sigil as you go racing by. Maybe not, if that’s going to be too distracting. Regardless, after a few choice words from the foul-mouthed skull, players are off to the races. The campaign moves at a decent clip, Schneider said, before finishing off with what would normally be some very late-game challenges.

Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse will be available in stores beginning Oct. 17, with a special set of collectible covers only available at local retailers. You can also purchase the set directly through Wizards of the Coast for $94.99. Its version even includes a digital copy via D&D Beyond, and you get access to it two weeks early — on Oct. 3. Amazon is also selling the books at a hefty discount — $59.49 versus the suggested $84.99 — just without the digital copy or the early access.


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