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Planescape is a campaign setting originally designed by Zeb Cook. As its name suggests, the setting crosses and comprises the numerous planes of existence, encompassing an entire cosmology called the Great Wheel, as originally developed in the Manual of the Planes by Jeff Grubb. This campaign setting includes many of the other worlds, linking them via inter-dimensional magical portals. The setting crossed Victorian era trappings with a pseudo-steampunk design and attitude. Planescape won acclaim on its unique visual aspects, products of artist Tony DiTerlizzi, Robh Ruppel and Dana Knutson.


The cosmology as reflected in Planescape consists of a number of planes, which can be divided into the following regions:

  • The Inner Planes (representing planes of elemental nature, such as Water, or Earth, or Lightning)
  • The Ethereal Plane
  • The Prime Material Plane
  • The Astral Plane
  • The Outer Planes (representing alignments and the primary domains of the various deities)


Template:Mainarticle Sigil, the "City of Doors", is located atop the Spire in the Outer Planes. It has the shape of a torus; the city itself is located on the inner surface of the ring. There is no sky, simply an all-pervasive light that waxes and wanes to create day and night. Sigil cannot be entered or exited save via portals; although this makes it quite safe from any would-be invader, it also makes it a prison of sorts for those not possessing a portal key. Thus, many call Sigil "The Bird Cage" or "The Cage". Though Sigil is commonly held to be located "at the center of the planes" (where it is positioned atop the infinitely tall Spire), some argue that this is impossible since the planes are infinite in all dimensions, and therefore there can never truly be a center to any of them, let alone all of them; thus, Sigil is of no special importance. Curiously, from the Outlands, one can see Sigil atop the supposedly infinite Spire.


Template:Mainarticle The Factions are the philosophically-derived power groups based in Sigil. Before the Faction War, the factions controlled the political climate of the city. Each of the factions is based around one particular belief system; many of the factions' beliefs make them enemies where their other goals and actions might have made them allies. Most factions are organized into covert cells for their own protection. There are fifteen factions in total, per a decree of the Lady of Pain; any additional factions emerging would be subject to her wrath.

Fraternity of order



Society of sensation


Transcendent order

Sign of one

Believers of the source



Bleak Cabal


Free League

Revolutionary League


The Faction War[]

Template:Mainarticle In 1998, TSR published Faction War, an adventure that effectively closed the book on Planescape as it was then and ending the product line. The culmination of several adventures leading up to that point, the Faction War brought an end to the factions' control of the city. Instigated by the power-hungry Duke Rowan Darkwood, factol of the Fated, in a bid to dethrone the Lady and rule Sigil himself, the war spread throughout the city before the Lady of Pain, with the aid of a group of adventurers (the players' characters), intervened.


Template:Mainarticle Sects are in many ways identical to the Factions, differing in that they are not based in Sigil. Sects are often highly specific to the particular planes they originate from, though historically many of the Factions were once Sects and some Sects were once Factions. A complete list of Sects is probably not possible due the infinite multitudes of the Planes.

Published material[]

  • Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (First Edition)
    • Dungeon Master's Guide
  • Manual of the Planes.
  • Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (Second Edition)
    • Boxed Sets
      • Planescape Boxed Set
      • Planes of Chaos
      • Planes of Law
      • Planes of Conflict
      • Hellbound: The Blood War
      • A Player’s Primer to the Outlands
    • Accessories
      • Planescape Conspectus
      • In the Cage: A Guide to Sigil
      • The Factol’s Manifesto
      • The Planeswalker’s Handbook
      • On Hallowed Ground
      • Uncaged: Faces of Sigil
      • A Guide to the Astral Plane
      • A Guide to the Ethereal Plane
      • The Inner Planes
      • Faces of Evil: The Fiends
      • Monstrous Compendium Appendix
      • Monstrous Compendium Appendix II
      • Monstrous Compendium Appendix III
      • The Planescape Sketchbook
    • Adventures
      • The Eternal Boundary
      • Well of Worlds
      • In the Abyss
      • The Deva Spark
      • Fires of Dis
      • Harbinger House
      • Something Wild
      • Doors to the Unknown
      • The Great Modron March
      • Faction War
      • Dead Gods
      • Tales From the Infinite Staircase


In 1995, Planescape won the Origins Award for Best Graphic Presentation of a Roleplaying Game, Adventure, or Supplement of 1994.

The setting was featured in the computer game Planescape: Torment, the only game to portray the Planescape world (specifically Sigil, the Outlands, Baator, Carceri, and the Negative Material Plane). It is now a cult game, also long out of print yet not hard to find.

External links[]