Planescape 5e Planescape- What would you like to see in the upcoming setting?

I'll just be watching this one from the sideline with a large bag of popcorn. Mostly I'm curious how WotC will solve the PS fundamentals of alignment etc - on paper it should be an even harder nut to crack that the Dark Sun "problems", at least if they want to preserve some of the meaning and feeling of the setting. But we'll see, we might get surprised.
Not really, Dark Sun's problems are very different.

I don't see how PS alignments are any issue at all.
 

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I might as well add that Alignment was not that important in Planescape, the Factions in Sigil took members from a wide spectrum of alignments. Like they had leanings like Harmonium only accepting Lawful people, but it was more to show off differences between groups that theoretically could share alignments.
Alignment was not that important in Sigil, but in the broader Planescape setting it certainly was. A big part of all the conflict etc in the Outlands, for instance, was people of different alignments trying to nudge the general alignments of gatetowns in just the right direction that they'd tip over the edge and become part of Bytopia or whatever. And more notoriously (though I don't expect or want this to be a part of 5e Planescape) if you were a divine spellcaster in the planes, your connection to your deity got weaker the further away you got from their home plane alignment-wise, which made things REALLY difficult when your LG cleric of LG Heironeous took a quick jaunt to the Abyss and was suddenly casting all their spells at -4 caster level or something.
 

I've said this before elsewhere, but....

My problem with Planescape is that what was presented wasn't particularly well fleshed out. The art was amazing and it had good ideas, but....
  1. The factions were presented as having ideologies but not as having goals. This kind of left them as nebulous religions without deities more than living organizations. They feel like chess pieces that you don't know the rules for moving or capturing.
  2. Too many of the factions feel too similar, as well. There isn't quite enough identity to each faction, IMO. I don't feel like the Faction War helped anything, either, even if we set aside that it wasn't well received.
  3. The Lady of Pain is a terrible NPC. She's iconic. She's memorable. She's mysterious. And the DM and players are told that PCs should never ever interact with the Lady of Pain. That is an awful NPC.
Now, I know some people like the above choices. I don't. To me it feels like a campaign setting under glass. Like a ship in a bottle, it's meant to be looked at and admired rather than played with as a toy. And sure, you could use Sigil like a city-sized World Serpent Inn, but then you're kind of ignoring all this world building that makes Sigil interesting.

My other complaint is that the nature of portals to other planes feels like the DM has direct control and the PCs have less agency. Like portals can be anywhere and go anywhere, but where they go isn't up to the PCs. And they're not necessarily two-way portals, even. That takes a lot of control away from the PCs in ways I don't really like.

All in all, it feels very easy to ignore the world building that makes the setting unique or interesting. Almost to the extent that you're supposed to ignore all the lore and backstory of the setting. It's just a strange choice.
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
I'd like a good focus on Sigil, before the faction war. Factions similar to the guilds of ravnica could work, though I'd like to see benefits gained through ranking up beyond just room and board, actually gain some special abilities as you further align yourself with your factions beliefs

Some information about the outlands and gate towns, also some about the that the gate towns lead to, but I think the planes shouldn't be the focus of the setting as they'd take up a lot of space.

More planar races, make tieflings random again! Subclasses, planar monsters.

I wouldn't mind a small adventure, but if this is too much adventure then I might actually skip it, or wait until I can get it in sale.
 

And more notoriously (though I don't expect or want this to be a part of 5e Planescape) if you were a divine spellcaster in the planes, your connection to your deity got weaker the further away you got from their home plane alignment-wise, which made things REALLY difficult when your LG cleric of LG Heironeous took a quick jaunt to the Abyss and was suddenly casting all their spells at -4 caster level or something.
The those rules on losing spellcasting levels dependent on your deity and current plane, losing your class abilities because your current plane, and losing +1's from your magic weapons, are things I'm 100% sure they're ignoring for a 5e Planescape.
 

  1. The Lady of Pain is a terrible NPC. She's iconic. She's memorable. She's mysterious. And the DM and players are told that PCs should never ever interact with the Lady of Pain. That is an awful NPC.
The Lady of Pain is effectively the Goddess of Sigil (though yes I know she isn't a Deity), you aren't supposed to directly interact with Gods in most campaigns.
 


I've said this before elsewhere, but....

My problem with Planescape is that what was presented wasn't particularly well fleshed out. The art was amazing and it had good ideas, but....
  1. The factions were presented as having ideologies but not as having goals. This kind of left them as nebulous religions without deities more than living organizations. They feel like chess pieces that you don't know the rules for moving or capturing.
  2. Too many of the factions feel too similar, as well. There isn't quite enough identity to each faction, IMO. I don't feel like the Faction War helped anything, either, even if we set aside that it wasn't well received.
  3. The Lady of Pain is a terrible NPC. She's iconic. She's memorable. She's mysterious. And the DM and players are told that PCs should never ever interact with the Lady of Pain. That is an awful NPC.
My main interest in Planescape is the factions! Love them, but I absolutely agree with your criticisms. The idea that adherence to an ideology brought some amount of power was intriguing. Writing more about them and fleshing them out for Planescape was a goal of mine, bue education and life goals got in the way.

I didn't mind the Lady of Pain, actually. She was... more part of the set than an actor, and the lines to not cross her seemed pretty clear. But, yes, you couldn't interact with her so that prevented her being more than set dressing.
 


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