Planescape Check Out The Planescape Character Options

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WotC has unveiled some of the character options to be found in the upcoming Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse setting in a D&D Beyond article and a video.

The player options include two backgrounds and a handful of feats. The backgrounds are the Gate Warden and the Planer Philosopher, and the feats include Scion of the Outer planes, which gives you a damage resistance and a cantrip based on the plane you have a connect with. For example, a chaotic Outer Place give you resistance to poison and access to the minor illusion cantrip, which the Outlands give you resistance to psychic damage and the mage hand cantrip. Also included are a couple of new spells and some magic items.


 
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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Sure.

But you do realize that any scrutiny to your claim that WotC only cares about profits destroys the argument?
Most companies in the space are so concerned about their leadership's investments they don't pay living wages. Wizards does pay a living wage for its creative staff.
Happy workers are productive workers.
 

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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
If they could do so without backlash from the terminally online? Yeah they would.



LOL. This is grade AAA snark, and I unironically applaud it (take a look at the contributors though and get back to us) but if we want to talk about a company leveraging its reputation and place in the industry to do...pretty much anything it wants while headed by a bunch of old white dudes...lol. Honestly though, this is top tier snark.



Thats not Rated G enough for todays Wizards. ;)
Are we not allowed to make use of a theme from a culture you weren't born into?
 

So they can make decisions that aren't in their financial interest as long as they are bad all around. Hahahaha!!! They're not even good at what they're trying to be good at!
That's what weirds me out, honestly.

I don't know what WotC think they're doing, but it doesn't really make sense.

Like, if they're trying to make the best product artistically, obviously they're failing, but that would be dumb - that was often what TSR did and it didn't serve them well.

But if they're trying to appeal to the masses and put out content that's going to definitely get the most possible sales, what on earth are they doing? Their approach is bizarre. People want crunch. Crunch sells. They know this - we've got decades of evidence of this. They've even alluded to it themselves! But what they not making much of? Crunch.

I think the issue is that neither Crawford nor Perkins understands D&D nor its audience very well (some of the stuff from the 2024 UA seems to back this up), but they understand some basic sales ideas well enough to avoid falling into the traps early 4E and late TSR did, so have succeeded despite their lack of understanding, just by playing it safe. It's a little surprising no-one at WotC has tried to make them to put more crunch in, but I think two things are in play here - first off, things like that aren't "sexy" enough for the ex-MS high-ups at WotC/Hasbro to care about, so it would never be priority when you could back something like the 3D VTT and get to play with a lot more money - second off, I think it's entirely possible no-one high-up in WotC even really knows that much about TT RPGs, despite the decades.
 
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The reality is, for example, that crunch sells (demonstrated across decades of RPGs, very much including WotC ones), but WotC have been doing less and less crunch for quite some time.
FWIW, limiting the crunch you put out could well be an intentional attempt at brand management, where you can still say 'you just need the PHB' and its continued sales could cover for you creating the Planescape book you always wanted to make... but this is WotC, so I think it's more of an accident, especially when I haven't exactly felt inspiration/joy/love from the books they have put out.
 


but this is WotC, so I think it's more of an accident, especially when I haven't exactly felt inspiration/joy/love from the books they have put out.
Yeah it's kind of conspicuously absent from most WotC products. I think the last non-adventure where it felt like maybe the designers were genuinely excited about it was Ravenloft, and even then it felt like what we got was a sort of cut-down version of what they'd planned or something.

Whereas with other TT RPGs, old and new, and even 3PP products for 5E, you pretty often see that joy/inspiration/love. Not with every product for sure, but often enough.
 

Kurotowa

Legend
But if they're trying to appeal to the masses and put out content that's going to definitely get the most possible sales, what on earth are they doing? Their approach is bizarre. People want crunch. Crunch sells. They know this - we've got decades of evidence of this. They've even alluded to it themselves! But what they not making much of? Crunch.
In the MMO world, it's well established that one of the jobs of the game devs is to protect the players from themselves. If left alone, too many players will optimize all the fun out of the game. As one dev roughly put it (it's been many years so I'm paraphrasing), "If players could get a 1% damage increase by eating a live bug, the forums would be full of complains on how we're forcing them to eat buckets of bugs. It's our job to prevent the players from having to eat bugs."

So yes, players love crunch. But it's not always healthy to feed that love. Flooding the market with crunch so that creating a character is a complex job of cross referencing six or seven books at once is not good. Neither is putting out crunch so quickly that you can't do proper quality control, and most of the new crunch is uselessly weak with a few overpowered stand outs that completely warp the game environment.

One of the secrets they accidentally stumbled onto with 5e is that less is more. Putting out limited amounts of high quality crunch means the game is healthier and the fewer books you put out sell in higher amounts. A large part of why we've needed to wipe the slate clean with entirely new editions is to clear out all the junk crunch the last edition was buried under.

So yes, I'm happy that they're putting out crunch at a slower rate. If anything, I worry that the Eye of Hasbro being turned on the game will pressure the devs to revert to the old ways of trying to milk the players with more rapid releases, bringing us back to the bad old days.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Yeah it's kind of conspicuously absent from most WotC products. I think the last non-adventure where it felt like maybe the designers were genuinely excited about it was Ravenloft, and even then it felt like what we got was a sort of cut-down version of what they'd planned or something.

Whereas with other TT RPGs, old and new, and even 3PP products for 5E, you pretty often see that joy/inspiration/love. Not with every product for sure, but often enough.
That is definitely a huge missing component from WotC. I never get the impression they care about what they make beyond profit.
 

In the MMO world, it's well established that one of the jobs of the game devs is to protect the players from themselves. If left alone, too many players will optimize all the fun out of the game. As one dev roughly put it (it's been many years so I'm paraphrasing), "If players could get a 1% damage increase by eating a live bug, the forums would be full of complains on how we're forcing them to eat buckets of bugs. It's our job to prevent the players from having to eat bugs."

So yes, players love crunch. But it's not always healthy to feed that love. Flooding the market with crunch so that creating a character is a complex job of cross referencing six or seven books at once is not good. Neither is putting out crunch so quickly that you can't do proper quality control, and most of the new crunch is uselessly weak with a few overpowered stand outs that completely warp the game environment.

One of the secrets they accidentally stumbled onto with 5e is that less is more. Putting out limited amounts of high quality crunch means the game is healthier and the fewer books you put out sell in higher amounts. A large part of why we've needed to wipe the slate clean with entirely new editions is to clear out all the junk crunch the last edition was buried under.

So yes, I'm happy that they're putting out crunch at a slower rate. If anything, I worry that the Eye of Hasbro being turned on the game will pressure the devs to revert to the old ways of trying to milk the players with more rapid releases, bringing us back to the bad old days.
I just don't buy that this is some carefully-considered intentional "protect the players" deal, because they when they do put out crunch, it's frequently just rubbish that very few people care about. No company which was trying to protect the players from themselves crunch-wise would have implemented Goliaths the way they did in the Giant book, for example - nor unnecessarily updated Goliaths at all.

If you were protecting the players, you'd put out moderate amounts of crunch, but it'd be carefully picked and designed high-quality crunch. Clearly not currently the case.

Also:
most of the new crunch is uselessly weak with a few overpowered stand outs that completely warp the game environment

Are you saying that's not happening or that is? Because most of WotC's "new crunch" is indeed "uselessly weak", and whilst we've seen fewer "overpowered stand outs", that's mostly because the core books often have the most overpowered subclasses and Feats, and it would be hard to exceed, say, PAM or GWM.

Whatever their attitude is, when it leads to them bringing out a Planescape book that doesn't even have playable Bariaur in, it's a idiotic and confused situation, where they're misprioritizing pretty obviously.
 
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UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
In the MMO world, it's well established that one of the jobs of the game devs is to protect the players from themselves. If left alone, too many players will optimize all the fun out of the game. As one dev roughly put it (it's been many years so I'm paraphrasing), "If players could get a 1% damage increase by eating a live bug, the forums would be full of complains on how we're forcing them to eat buckets of bugs. It's our job to prevent the players from having to eat bugs."

So yes, players love crunch. But it's not always healthy to feed that love. Flooding the market with crunch so that creating a character is a complex job of cross referencing six or seven books at once is not good. Neither is putting out crunch so quickly that you can't do proper quality control, and most of the new crunch is uselessly weak with a few overpowered stand outs that completely warp the game environment.

One of the secrets they accidentally stumbled onto with 5e is that less is more. Putting out limited amounts of high quality crunch means the game is healthier and the fewer books you put out sell in higher amounts. A large part of why we've needed to wipe the slate clean with entirely new editions is to clear out all the junk crunch the last edition was buried under.

So yes, I'm happy that they're putting out crunch at a slower rate. If anything, I worry that the Eye of Hasbro being turned on the game will pressure the devs to revert to the old ways of trying to milk the players with more rapid releases, bringing us back to the bad old days.
Yup, Dan Olsen (Folding Ideas on YouTube) has a video in that very topic.
 

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