|“|| If you seek to stem this tide of chaos at its source, follow my lead—I set out for the dreaded Abyss on the morrow. —Lord Amgar the Bold, Paladin of Bahamut
The planes have always been a place of great mystery and danger in the Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game, and the new array of planes debuting in 4th Edition continue that grand tradition. Home to gods and devils, demons and genies, fey and titans, these strange dimensions offer unlimited adventure opportunities for Dungeon Masters and their players.
Manual of the Planes explores the many planes introduced in the 4th Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide. This useful travel guide also comes in handy for players seeking to battle demons, devils, elementals, and other iconic D&D monsters native to the planes.
|“|| Adventure Beckons Through Planar Portals
Beyond the mortal world awaits great peril, power, and adventure. Welcome to the planes! With this book, you can explore the magical realms of the Feywild, the haunted lands of the Shadowfell, the divine dominions of the Astral Sea, and the savage maelstrom of the Elemental Chaos and the Abyss. Every plane offers unique adventuring locations filled with unparalleled dangers and fantastic features.
This supplement for the Dungeons & Dragons® Roleplaying Game explores the planes of existence, including the Feywild, the Shadowfell, the Astral Sea, and the Elemental Chaos. In addition to planar monsters and hazards for Dungeon Masters, this book features new paragon paths, feats, rituals, and magic items for players looking for an edge when adventuring in the planes.
The Manual of the Planes is the authoritative guide to the new cosmology presented in the 4th edition of the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. Like previous versions of the book the 4th edition of the Manual of the Planes (MotP) is primarily a lore book, focusing on background information on each plane it covers rather than introducing new rules. At the end of the book, however, rule mechanics are presented for new paragon paths, races, and rituals.
Information in the Manual of the Planes is considered canonical to the 4th edition variant of the Forgotten Realms insofar as it does not directly contradict other 4th edition Realms sources. For instance, the details of Arvandor are canon but the details on Shom, which does not exist in FR's version of the Astral Sea, are not. Similarly, the Feywild and Shadowfell sections are mostly apocryphal, since each campaign setting's variant of the parallel planes is a reflection of each setting's Prime Material Plane rather than having details wholly unique to itself.
The book is divided into seven chapters, as follow:
- Exploring the Planes — This early chapter introduces readers to the 4th edition cosmology and explains how rules referees or "dungeon masters" might use the cosmology in their campaigns. The chapter also details how planes are characterized and categorized, how one might traverse the planes, and provides information on Sigil, the Far Realm, and the Plane of Dreams.
- The Feywild — This chapter details the realm of the fey, a bright and lively realm known as the Feywild. Details are provided as to what races are commonly found in the Feywild, including a definition of archfey, what the structure of the Seelie Court is, and what kind of locations a planewalker can expect to find on the plane as well as how to reach the Feywild. This chapter was primarily written by John Rogers
- The Shadowfell — Written primarily by Robert J. Schwalb, his chapter focuses on the dark and shadowy twin of the Prime, a plane known as the Shadowfell, brimming with necrotic energy. Details are provided as to what races make their home on the plane and what kind of locations a planewalker might find while traversing to the plane, as well as how to reach it in the first place.
- The Elemental Chaos — The Elemental Chaos is described here by James Wyatt. How to reach the Chaos as well as what locations and elemental realms a planewalker might visit are described here, as are the various races that make their home on the plane.
- The Astral Sea — Written by Richard Baker, this chapter describes the Astral Sea and its inhabitants. The most prominent astral dominions are listed, as are the types of races who commonly make their homes on the plane. The chapter also describes how one might travel the Astral Sea.
- Monsters of the Planes — An alphabetical listing similar to that in the Monster Manual is provided here, from air archons to raavasta. Included alongside more "mundane" monsters are the demon lords Baphomet and Graz'zt as well as the archdevil Dispater. Rudimentary rules for playing a bladeling are also provided.
- Planar Characters The final chapter provides information useful for players, including new paragon paths, such as the doomguard marauder or the Malec-Keth janissary, as well as new rituals and items.