Planescape by Email

Alright, even though the books haven’t quite arrived yet, I figured I’d make a post about this so we can get the ball rolling and the creative juices flowing.

The arrival of 4th edition gives us an impetus to start a whole host of new campaigns to make good use of the new rules. However, time is limited and schedules are difficult to arrange. As such, in addition to the more conventional campaigns we’re playing, I think it’s time to dip our toes into the literary wonder of Play by Email.

Being that this is our first foray into the medium, it might be a bit rocky at first but I hope that we can settle into the swing of things and enjoy ourselves. The pace of the game will be MUCH slower. As such, whenever something like combat occurs, I’ll likely not make it too difficult or complex of a fight, but I’ll still award good experience to level at a decent rate. This isn’t to say that the game won’t be challenging, but I want to draw the focus off exciting battles and onto exciting roleplay. On the upside, the slower pace is counteracted by the fact that the game is not in discreet sessions: we are technically always playing in a PBEM.

Even though the wiki says the advantage is keeping everything private, I would like to do the opposite for the most part. I want the game to be collaborative as much as possible, and so most of the actions in the game will be sent to everyone (reply to all).

Now, for the setting. It’s Planescape, but with the new 4e cosmology. Outland is gone, and as are the gate towns. The planes are much more morphic now, sitting primarily all within the Astral Sea or the Elemental Chaos. Sigil now spins in an unknown space between planes. Planes are not necessarily aligned and there are infinitely more planes that can be explored.

In addition to this, the setting will emphasize the whimsy of the planes. It’s the planescape as it is in planescape’s art. Only it will be advanced somewhat to an Edwardian era (think around WW1/Jules Verne sort of stuff). People wear tophats and tuxedos with coat tails. Guns exist, but are rare and typically only for the wealthy. Industry is paramount and unless you want to be working in some smog-belching factory your entire life, you might want to see what money can be gleaned from the planes themselves. What riches could be found beyond any portal, if only you knew the key.

If you’re interested in playing this, please comment on this post. This will allow me to determine just who I need to add to the mailing list for it.

When you get the chance, please make 1st level characters. There are no house rules, and you may (with approval) use racial details from the Monster Manual (this includes Planescape favorites the Gith) as well. Furthermore, because the game has such a strong emphasis on roleplaying and characterization, you will likely need a good solid background as well. If you’d all like to collaborate (and I encourage it), please do so in the comments here, or we can get an email conversation going around once people have signed on.

14 thoughts on “Planescape by Email”

  1. “Scotty, sign me up!”

    I’m in. Sounds intriguing and i am always interested in trying new things.

    Once i get my books and have time to pour over them i may be throwing a little something together. So if this works out well, then i can maybe use PBEM also.

    If/when i get what i want put together, of course.

  2. Actually i think i have my character idea pretty much nailed down. Just need my race. I didn’t grab the monster manual yet. So before i make a final decision there, i want to look it over.

    I am thinking a rogue that loves the performing arts and even performs himself in theater and the like. Also keeps his ear to the ground, he likes to know what is going on around him and is always looking for an opportunity to score big and enjoy the rich life…even if it doesn’t last long.

    Will be more of a trickster rogue then a brute, but may blend at times. (So i don’t like predefined roles…sue me :wink:)

  3. Hehe, nothing says you need to follow the sample roles. In fact, I didn’t follow them either with Zoe, I just aimed for whatever seemed most suited to an Acrobat/Circus-freak.

    As for the MM races, they are: Bugbear, Doppleganger (like the Changeling in Eberron), Drow, Githyanki, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, Hobgoblin, Kobold, Minotaur, Orc, Shadar-Kai, Shifter (Longtooth), Shifter (Razorclaw), and Warforged.

    They’re all playable at level 1. The only thing they’re missing in comparison to the PHB races are racial feats, which doesn’t strike me as a huge loss.

  4. I am definitely in!

    Not sure how much of a fan of the new cosmology I am. It seems interesting but I like the days of yore but I also know the cosmology is fully flexible and the great wheel is an option.

    But I definitely look forward to this 😀

    I will make a post about RL soon but want to get Cthulhu off the ground.

    Unfortunetely it will probably exclude people due to schedules but c’est la vie.

  5. I wasn’t a fan of the reworked cosmology when I’d first read about it in Worlds and Monsters, but now that I’ve had more time to read about it in the DMG (albeit it’s a short entry), I’m actually starting to prefer this arrangement. It allows for an infinite number of different planes, and they don’t really need to follow any particular rules. This makes it an almost better fit for Planescape than Greyhawk’s Great Wheel, especially now that alignment is changed.

    And don’t worry, there are still old favourites like Mount Celestia, The Abyss, and the Nine Hells. 😉

    Furthermore, the cosmology can and will always be setting specific anyway. Thus, the Great Wheel is Greyhawk’s cosmology, the Realms has it’s own, Eberron has it’s own, etc.

  6. I know, I’m just as surprised as you. Unless the post has gone unnoticed or something.

    If you guys are it, we can start whenever the two of you get your characters in.

  7. So that everyone who is playing Planescape can get an idea of what my guy looks like, here is his description. I am sure we will e-mail this around before we officially start, but figured why not post it for now:

    Name: Izz-Udin

    Standing just under six feet in height and having a fairly lanky build, he moves with the grace one would expect. Every step seems calculated. His black hair flows down to around mid back. The back has a few braided strands and another long braid in the front on his right side. Each braid is tied together with a decorative set of beads. His eyes are like black pits, looking into them it seems easy to lose ones self. His gray skin resembles the color of stone and is the perfect color for the shell of his being.

    His left ear sports a large series of piercings flowing along the outer ridge from top to bottom, while the right ear only has two joined by a small chain. He also has another small piercing over his right eye, and one on his right nostril.

    On his right shoulder blade he bares a tattoo. Across his body lie many old scars.

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