Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

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Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by Havard »

Since the timeline for 4E Forgotten Realms was advanced by about 100 years, does that mean that other 4E material also takes places in this time frame?

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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by night_druid »

Possibly, although time moves differently on the planes. And with all the upheaval the planes have experienced, its really falls under "who knows?". Heck, I'm not really even sure the planes of 4e area really have any connection/continuity with Planescape.
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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by Big Mac »

Havard wrote:Since the timeline for 4E Forgotten Realms was advanced by about 100 years, does that mean that other 4E material also takes places in this time frame?
Interesting question.

I don't think I heard anyone talking about an Eberron timejump, but then again, there is a bit of a non-standard cosmology thing going on with Eberron. So it's possible that regular PCs are unable to cross between the Planescape cosmology and the cosmology mentioned in the Eberron Campaign Setting.

The same goes for Dark Sun. I think the 4e Dark Sun might even have gone back in time a little bit.

Then you have the Abyssal Plague, which I think connects all the 4e campaign settings (including Nentir Vale).

And that brings us to the connections between Elsir Vale (which is 3e) and Nentir Vale (which is 4e). But I don't think a 100 year timejump betwen Elsir Vale and Nentir Vale stuff would be an issue.
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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by ripvanwormer »

Havard wrote:Since the timeline for 4E Forgotten Realms was advanced by about 100 years, does that mean that other 4E material also takes places in this time frame?
Sometimes, but it's not consistent. Eberron and Dark Sun, as Big Mac said, didn't have timejumps. The 4th edition sequel to Return to the Tomb of Horrors takes place "decades" later, but not necessarily a century.

The Scales of War adventure path was a sequel of sorts to "The Lich Queen's Beloved" in Dragon #100. This adventure path takes place 25 years (Dungeon #168 is specific about the number) after the events of Dungeon #100, so considerably less than a century. That said, there are no dates in "The Lich Queen's Beloved" that require it to be contemporary with other 3e-era things, and subsequent sources like Planar Handbook must take place earlier, since Queen Vlaakith is still alive in them. Perhaps, then, "The Lich Queen's Beloved" should be set 75 years in 3e's future.

In Dragon #370, Robert J. Schwalb wrote a Planescape article called "Riven Justice: The Mercykillers." This article states that the Great Upheaval happened "over a thousand years ago." Taken literally, this means it takes place about 400 years in the future, since the Great Upheaval was 630 years ago in The Factol's Manifesto. The article goes on to say there were "nearly six centuries of relative peace" before the Faction War, which also makes it sound like it's been four centuries since the Faction War. However, the human paladin Arwyl Swan's Son, who is from Toril, is still alive in this article (he was a high-up among the Mercykillers in The Factol's Manifesto) and it says he's served as leader of the Sons of Mercy for "over a century." It says he's currently 150 years old, his aging slowed by his deity Torm. Verdict: the timeline in this article is kind of messed up, but Arwyl Swan's Son's age suggests that this article probably takes place about 100 years after the 2e era.

However, the Dungeon Master's Guide 2 details Sigil and it lists a number of NPCs who seem to be about the same as they were in the 2e era. The tiefling Kylie, for example, is still described as "young," and human NPCs that are still alive and doing the same things they were doing in 2e include not just Arwyl Swan's Son but Autochon the Bellringer, Ramander the Wise, Lothar the Old, Black Marian, and Lissandra the Gate-Seeker. It stretches credulity for all these humans to still be alive if a century has passed, let alone the other characters. Verdict: the DMG2 takes place considerably less than a century later. Even the 25 years of Scales of War might be pushing it.

In 4th edition's Demonomicon, though, the events of the 3e Savage Tide adventure path were said to have occurred "a little over a century ago" (page 68), which indicates that Demonomicon does take place a century after 3e.

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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by Zeromaru X »

What rip says. There is no definite timeline for Sigil in 4e. The only thing I can add to rip's info is Vocar, the Disobedient. He is a former exarch (demigod) of Vecna, and is living in Sigil, hiding from his former master, mentioned in the Manual of the Planes, and the Orcus adventure path (in the E1-E3 adventures). Meaning 4e Sigil is set sometime after "Die Vecna Die!", as Vecna cannot enter the city.

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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by apotheot »

If I recall, there was a blurb saying that Asmodeus ended the Blood War and 'pushed' the Abyss from the Great Wheel when he became a Greater God 1000 years ago..

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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by ripvanwormer »

apotheot wrote:If I recall, there was a blurb saying that Asmodeus ended the Blood War and 'pushed' the Abyss from the Great Wheel when he became a Greater God 1000 years ago..
I think this happened in the Forgotten Realms World Tree cosmology, 100 years ago.

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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by Havard »

Thanks for the input gentlemen! This did not really make things less confusing. :)

1. Sigil before and after the Spellplague
I don't know if this should be considered a design flaw from WotC, or perhaps the material was designed so that it could be used at ease with campaigns set both before and after the Spellplague. This becomes mostly problematic in campaigns where the DM runs say a Forgotten Realms campaign before the Spellplague that then moves to the time after the Spellplague with both parts of the campaign taking sidesteps into the planes and to Sigil. In such cases, NPCs like the Tiefling mentioned by Rip will have to be changed or renamed, but perhaps it can be assumed that the city itself does not really change all that much in that timeframe? The passage of time on the planes could also be used to explain discrepancies I suppose.

2. Two different cosmologies
Does the Elemental Chaos model (4E cosmology) evolve from the Great Wheel Cosmology over time, or are the two simply two models that each DM can select independent from the passage of time and editions? 5th Edition seems to treat it as the latter. Do most Planescape fans simply ignore the 4E model or have some considered introducing a different model over time?

3. Dark Sun and Eberron
Both of these worlds seem to be separated from both Spelljammer and Planescape at least to some degree. So I am not sure if we have to spend too much energy reconciling these settings with the overall Multiverse? The Forgotten Realms and the Nentir Vale are different cases though. It seems like many DM's might want to take their campaign between the Forgotten Realms, the Nentir Vale and Sigil. This is why I think it would make sense to consider 4E's Sigil and the Nentir Vale as contemporary to the Post Spellplague Forgotten Realms. Of course, for those of us running Planescape campaigns in the 2e/3E era, this raises interesting questions such as what the Nentir Vale was like 100 years earlier.




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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by apotheot »

ripvanwormer wrote:
apotheot wrote:If I recall, there was a blurb saying that Asmodeus ended the Blood War and 'pushed' the Abyss from the Great Wheel when he became a Greater God 1000 years ago..
I think this happened in the Forgotten Realms World Tree cosmology, 100 years ago.

No, he killed Azuth in the FR cosmology. He killed He Who Was everywhere else. This references that killing as well as the Great Wheel Cosmology, not the World Tree. That sets a date of +1000 years.

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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by ripvanwormer »

Havard wrote:The passage of time on the planes could also be used to explain discrepancies I suppose.
Time generally passes at the same rate on the standard Great Wheel planes, but some planes do have nonstandard time effects. The 3e Manual of the Planes lists the flowing time (where time is consistently faster or slower) and erratic time (where time slows or speeds up at random) traits. The Plane of Faerie and the Far Realm have the flowing time trait, while the Temporal Energy Plane (similar to what Planescape called the Demiplane of Time) has erratic time. The city of Rempha on the plane of Celestia has a connection to the Demiplane of Time and time flows "backwards, forwards, and sideways" there. The cubes of Acheron have a special effect where if one drifts too far away from the others time stops for those on the cube until the cube returns, so ancient armies sometimes resume their battles centuries after the original wars ended. The Lady of Pain's mazes might might do weird things with time, leaving their prisoners unaging and not needing to eat or drink, or perhaps their exits could lead into the future or past. And Ravenloft sometimes snatches characters out of time.

All of that could justify individual NPCs appearing in Sigil unaged a century after their original time, but it would still be odd if there are so many (though, whatever, it's not like there are exact statistics to point to, maybe timelost planewalkers are really common in your campaign). Time passes at the same rate on the Material Plane and Sigil, though I suppose you could rule that Nentir Vale's world was an exception, if you wanted.
Does the Elemental Chaos model (4E cosmology) evolve from the Great Wheel Cosmology over time, or are the two simply two models that each DM can select independent from the passage of time and editions?
The latter, officially. The 4th edition cosmology (known as the World Axis Cosmology) is a result of the Lattice of Heaven shattering during the Dawn War eons ago, and this didn't happen in the Great Wheel cosmology. In the Forgotten Realms' cosmology, the Spellplague was an event of similarly cataclysmic impact that transformed the 3rd edition World Tree Cosmology into the 4th edition World Axis. It seems unlikely that the death of Mystra would have been so calamitous in the Great Wheel that it would have actually shattered the planes in a model similar to Planescape, where Toril is just one world among many. But who knows, you could play it that way if you wanted. Maybe the planes are more fragile than they seem.

From what I've seen, most Planescape fans continue to use the Planescape cosmology rather than coming up with explanations for why the Great Wheel might have become the World Axis.

But as I said above, some of 4e's books do explicitly refer to 3rd edition events and note the passage of time since they happened. 25 years between "The Lich Queen's Beloved" and Scales of War. Over a century between Faction War and "Riven Justice." Over a century between Savage Tide and Demonomicon. Decades between Return to the Tomb of Horrors and 4th edition's Tomb of Horrors. So regardless of cosmological differences, some connection was made.

There are some official connections between Athas and Planescape. The ruvoka from the Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix III were said to have originated on Athas. The Inner Planes accessory describes portals between Athas and the inner planes. The plane of Arborea has some Athasian elves living in the desert of Pelion, according to Planes of Chaos. Sigil has two neighborhoods populated by Athasian immigrants: New Tyr in the Hive Ward and a community of Athasian halflings who had to be expelled from the halfling community of Curly-Foot.

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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by ripvanwormer »

apotheot wrote:
ripvanwormer wrote:
apotheot wrote:If I recall, there was a blurb saying that Asmodeus ended the Blood War and 'pushed' the Abyss from the Great Wheel when he became a Greater God 1000 years ago..
I think this happened in the Forgotten Realms World Tree cosmology, 100 years ago.
No, he killed Azuth in the FR cosmology. He killed He Who Was everywhere else. This references that killing as well as the Great Wheel Cosmology, not the World Tree. That sets a date of +1000 years.
What you're describing is from the 4th edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, page 73: "An ancient deity turned arch-devil, the Lord of Nessus longed for untold millennia to reclaim his godhood. The destruction of Dweomerheart sent the dying Azuth (a patron deity of mages) into Asmodeus’s fiery domain. The archdevil killed him and consumed his divine essence. He then ended the Blood War by pushing the Abyss to the bottom of the Elemental Chaos."

There was never a Great Wheel as such in 4th edition's core World Axis cosmology. The Abyss was formed within the Elemental Chaos after the obyriths planted a shard of pure evil there; Asmodeus never moved the Abyss in this version. 4th edition's Demonomicon has the Blood War raging for "untold millennia" until "unexpectedly, recent centuries have seen the endless battle devolve into a state of sullen truce. On the heels of a civil war in the Nine Hells and constant struggles for power among the demon lords, the losses of the Blood War became too high a toll." [Demonomicon, page 9]

The thing about Asmodeus pushing the Abyss is exclusive to the Forgotten Realms. In core 4e, the timeline looks like this:

1. Asmodeus slays He Who Was, and is imprisoned in Baator with his infernal army. [Demonomicon, page 9]
2. "Millennia later," Asmodeus becomes a deity in his own right. [Demonomicon, page 9]
3. The Blood War rages "for untold millennia" before coming to a "sullen truce" in recent centuries. [Demonomicon, page 9]

It's not clear exactly how long "untold millennia" is, but in the Forgotten Realms setting the Dawn War ended well over 36,400 years ago. The Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide has the Dawn War end during the Shadow Epoch, and then "eons passed" before the Age of Thunder begins in -35,000 DR.
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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by Zeromaru X »

ripvanwormer wrote:
From what I've seen, most Planescape fans continue to use the Planescape cosmology rather than coming up with explanations for why the Great Wheel might have become the World Axis.
In fact, the 4e Manual of the Planes gives you a version of the Great Wheel compatible with the 4e planes and monster origins, as a variant cosmology.
ripvanwormer wrote:There was never a Great Wheel as such in 4th edition's core World Axis cosmology. The Abyss was formed within the Elemental Chaos after the obyriths planted a shard of pure evil there; Asmodeus never moved the Abyss in this version. 4th edition's Demonomicon has the Blood War raging for "untold millennia" until "unexpectedly, recent centuries have seen the endless battle devolve into a state of sullen truce. On the heels of a civil war in the Nine Hells and constant struggles for power among the demon lords, the losses of the Blood War became too high a toll." [Demonomicon, page 9]
The official 4e explanation of "why the Blood War is in a truce in the Nentir Vale world" has to do with a being named Maeldur Et Kavurik. I'm no familiarized with 2e, but that thing is a 2e reference, I know that.

"Some adventurers working for the yugoloths are sent to Baator to retrieve Maeldur Et Kavurik, and they convinced Maeldur to submerge in the Styx River and forget everything. The yugoloths recovered Maeldur and began to using it only for their own ends. Without their ability to teleport between planes, demons and devils were forced to wane the intensity of the Blood War and form an uneasy truce that has held for several mortal lifetimes now."

This is stated in "History Check: The Blood War" (Dragon 417)

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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

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ripvanwormer wrote: What you're describing is from the 4th edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, page 73: "An ancient deity turned arch-devil, the Lord of Nessus longed for untold
millennia to reclaim his godhood. The destruction of Dweomerheart sent the dying Azuth (a patron deity of mages) into Asmodeus’s fiery domain. The archdevil killed him and consumed his divine essence. He then ended the Blood War by pushing the Abyss to the bottom of the Elemental Chaos."

There was never a Great Wheel as such in 4th edition's core World Axis cosmology. The Abyss was formed within the Elemental Chaos after the obyriths planted a shard of pure evil there; Asmodeus never moved the Abyss in this version. 4th edition's Demonomicon has the Blood War raging for "untold millennia" until "unexpectedly, recent centuries have seen the endless battle devolve into a state of sullen truce. On the heels of a civil war in the Nine Hells and constant struggles for power among the demon lords, the losses of the Blood War became too high a toll." [Demonomicon, page 9]


The thing about Asmodeus pushing the Abyss is exclusive to the Forgotten Realms. In core 4e, the timeline looks like this:

1. Asmodeus slays He Who Was, and is imprisoned in Baator with his infernal army. [Demonomicon, page 9]
2. "Millennia later," Asmodeus becomes a deity in his own right. [Demonomicon, page 9]
3. The Blood War rages "for untold millennia" before coming to a "sullen truce" in recent centuries. [Demonomicon, page 9]

It's not clear exactly how long "untold millennia" is, but in the Forgotten Realms setting the Dawn War ended well over 36,400 years ago. The Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide has the Dawn War end during the Shadow Epoch, and then "eons passed" before the Age of Thunder begins in -35,000 DR.
[/quote]

I don't think that is what i refer to, as I have never read that book and do not own it. I am referring to something I read somewhere else specifically a generic 4e product...maybe a Dragon or Dungeon article or something from the Worlds and Monsters book... The idea that 1000 years had passed caused quite a stir in Planescape Circles when that tidbit was released. Was it something about the Guardians at the Gates? Sorry, I was so disgusted with most of 4e that a lot of the lore went in one ear and out the other.

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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by ripvanwormer »

Zeromaru X wrote: The official 4e explanation of "why the Blood War is in a truce in the Nentir Vale world" has to do with a being named Maeldur Et Kavurik. I'm no familiarized with 2e, but that thing is a 2e reference, I know that.

"Some adventurers working for the yugoloths are sent to Baator to retrieve Maeldur Et Kavurik, and they convinced Maeldur to submerge in the Styx River and forget everything. The yugoloths recovered Maeldur and began to using it only for their own ends. Without their ability to teleport between planes, demons and devils were forced to wane the intensity of the Blood War and form an uneasy truce that has held for several mortal lifetimes now."

This is stated in "History Check: The Blood War" (Dragon 417)
Interesting. The adventure retrieving the Maeldur was in the Hellbound: The Blood War boxed set for Planescape. Tying that in was a pretty good idea, since the Maeldur was kind of a dangling plot thread.

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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by Zeromaru X »

apotheot wrote:I don't think that is what i refer to, as I have never read that book and do not own it. I am referring to something I read somewhere else specifically a generic 4e product...maybe a Dragon or Dungeon article or something from the Worlds and Monsters book... The idea that 1000 years had passed caused quite a stir in Planescape Circles when that tidbit was released. Was it something about the Guardians at the Gates? Sorry, I was so disgusted with most of 4e that a lot of the lore went in one ear and out the other.
As rip said, in the generic 4e world, Asmodeus has nothing to do with the Abyss, its creator was Tharizdun. He has a similar background to that of Greyhawk's Tharizdun, and Gary Gygax's "overgod" Tharizdun also exists in 4e.

Tharizdun killed the Guardian of the Living Gate and released the defiling energies of the Far Realm in the Nentir Vale world, but that happened way before the stuff with the Shard of Pure Evil and the Obyriths. And the Abyss was created in the Dawn War (it was the reason the Dawn War started, in fact), untold millennia before the current year of the Nentir Vale campaign (1000 years in the past of the Nentir Vale world was the time of Arkhosia and Bael Turath).

If you're interested you can read this topic for more info about the generic world of 4e: viewtopic.php?f=72&t=15647

Asmodeus creating the Abyss in 4e is a Forgotten Realms exclusive stuff.

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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by Havard »

Now that I think about it, I assume that any 5E materail detailing the planes will also have to be contemporary to 5E Forgotten Realms and thus also post Spellplague era?

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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

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Havard wrote:3. Dark Sun and Eberron
Both of these worlds seem to be separated from both Spelljammer and Planescape at least to some degree. So I am not sure if we have to spend too much energy reconciling these settings with the overall Multiverse? The Forgotten Realms and the Nentir Vale are different cases though. It seems like many DM's might want to take their campaign between the Forgotten Realms, the Nentir Vale and Sigil. This is why I think it would make sense to consider 4E's Sigil and the Nentir Vale as contemporary to the Post Spellplague Forgotten Realms. Of course, for those of us running Planescape campaigns in the 2e/3E era, this raises interesting questions such as what the Nentir Vale was like 100 years earlier.
To be honest, if I was going to put Nentir Vale into a multiverse campaign, I would probably be inclined to ignore the Spellplague Era, and it's associated timejump, and put Nentir Vale alongside the 2nd Edition timeline of various other D&D campaign settings. 2e gives us the best information for Planescape and Spelljammer. And some campaign settings were never published again, after 2e, meaning that a GM would need to do 100 years of extrapolation for every world. Moving Nentir Vale back 100 years in time before docking it onto Planescape and Forgotten Realms is a lot less work, than trying to do 100 years of work rebooting Sigil.

(I would also be inclined to ignore the timejump that the later Dragonlance novels use and stick with the 2e Dragonlance era.)

But, that's just me. If you like the Spellplague Era enough, that you want to push Dark Sun and Eberron forwards 100 years and use them (and maybe other D&D settings) with Sigil then maybe you can help a bunch of other fans that want to do the same thing. :)
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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

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Big Mac wrote:(I would also b inclined to ignore the timejump that the later Dragonlance novels use and stick with the 2e Dragonlance era.)
I don't know, seeing as how Dragonlance advanced their timeline exactly 50 years from the start of Dragons of Autumn Twilight to the end of the Stonetellers series (the last chronologically), They are halfway caught up with Post-Spellplague 4e/5e timeframe already. And late 3e Dragonlance did a good job of capturing the magic of the setting that frankly never really caught on during 2nd ed. But who knows what 50+ more years would do, and what weird changes the spellplague itself might bring... I know the effects would be minimal, but I wonder if they would even be noticeable. Based on The Empyrean Odyssey we can assume that the effects were immediate and widespread, even if not universally felt. Perhaps the Wizards of High Sorcery will really get the upper hand on the Sorcerers who threatened their authority by using magic that was more primal. Or Krynn suddenly has closer ties with the Planes than it ever did in 2/3e. After all, the intent of the Spellplague from a production perspective, was to provide an in-universe explanation for the major changes to rules from 3.5 to 4e. Dragonlance skipped 4e, and 5e rules are a bit closer to 3 than 4 mechanically. I think it is an interesting thought experiment. Hopefully, one day they will do a 5e Dragonlance and we will see if they even acknowledge the 3e supplements (done by then Sovereign Stone) or will they ignore it like some 4e stuff did with Arthaus version of Ravenloft.

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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

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apotheot wrote:
Big Mac wrote:(I would also b inclined to ignore the timejump that the later Dragonlance novels use and stick with the 2e Dragonlance era.)
I don't know, seeing as how Dragonlance advanced their timeline exactly 50 years from the start of Dragons of Autumn Twilight to the end of the Stonetellers series (the last chronologically), They are halfway caught up with Post-Spellplague 4e/5e timeframe already. And late 3e Dragonlance did a good job of capturing the magic of the setting that frankly never really caught on during 2nd ed. But who knows what 50+ more years would do, and what weird changes the spellplague itself might bring... I know the effects would be minimal, but I wonder if they would even be noticeable. Based on The Empyrean Odyssey we can assume that the effects were immediate and widespread, even if not universally felt. Perhaps the Wizards of High Sorcery will really get the upper hand on the Sorcerers who threatened their authority by using magic that was more primal. Or Krynn suddenly has closer ties with the Planes than it ever did in 2/3e. After all, the intent of the Spellplague from a production perspective, was to provide an in-universe explanation for the major changes to rules from 3.5 to 4e. Dragonlance skipped 4e, and 5e rules are a bit closer to 3 than 4 mechanically. I think it is an interesting thought experiment. Hopefully, one day they will do a 5e Dragonlance and we will see if they even acknowledge the 3e supplements (done by then Sovereign Stone) or will they ignore it like some 4e stuff did with Arthaus version of Ravenloft.
My reason for sticking with the 2e Dragonlance era is purely because the changes involved in Dragonlance canon have made crossover gaming harder to work than during the 2nd Edition Era.

The later Dragonlance is just as good as the original Dragonlance, but I want to use Krynnspace (as well as Realmspace and Greyspace) and Krynnspace kind of gets messed up by the world-changing events.

Now, if things were different, and if WotC worked with Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman to create a Planescape compatible backstory for the origin of the Alien Dragons and if they gave the "Takhisis steals Krynn" concept a backstory that made it work OK with Spelljammer, I would be more inclined to use it. But, as it is, it's a bit of a "can we have our ball back" move on the part of Dragonlance.

The post-Spellplague era of the Realms has some great themes to it. And Nentir Vale is so interesting, that it's made me buy 4e products, when I have no intention of using the 4e rules. But the built in blocking mechanisms, that make it a lot harder to use the material in a SJ/PS compatible game, mean that the work involved in getting things to work is a lot more than the work involved in converting 2e material to 3e rules, and sticking with the 2e timeline.

So, I agree with you. That stuff is good. And I intend to buy more of it. But I can't use most of it out of the box.

As for ignoring the Soverign Press/Margaret Weis Productions stuff, if you take a look at Dungeon Master's Guild, they are already selling the 3e Dragonlance PDFs and listing WotC as the publisher.
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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by Havard »

Big Mac wrote:My reason for sticking with the 2e Dragonlance era is purely because the changes involved in Dragonlance canon have made crossover gaming harder to work than during the 2nd Edition Era.

The later Dragonlance is just as good as the original Dragonlance, but I want to use Krynnspace (as well as Realmspace and Greyspace) and Krynnspace kind of gets messed up by the world-changing events.

Now, if things were different, and if WotC worked with Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman to create a Planescape compatible backstory for the origin of the Alien Dragons and if they gave the "Takhisis steals Krynn" concept a backstory that made it work OK with Spelljammer, I would be more inclined to use it. But, as it is, it's a bit of a "can we have our ball back" move on the part of Dragonlance.

The post-Spellplague era of the Realms has some great themes to it. And Nentir Vale is so interesting, that it's made me buy 4e products, when I have no intention of using the 4e rules. But the built in blocking mechanisms, that make it a lot harder to use the material in a SJ/PS compatible game, mean that the work involved in getting things to work is a lot more than the work involved in converting 2e material to 3e rules, and sticking with the 2e timeline.

Is there any reason why we cannot develop both the classic 2nd ed era and the Post Spellplague 5th Edition Era for all the settings, including Spelljammer and Planescape? Rather than seeing this as a potential problem, I see this as an opportunity for us fans to flesh out the details that TSR and WotC never got around to. Although it is possible that worlds outside the Forgotten Realms might see a setting book every decade or so from WotC, it seems likely that this will be mostly rehashing of old material, and further development is mostly left to the hands of the fans.

I'm getting the impression from this thread that Sigil itself might not necessarily change that much over the course of a century, even if time should happen to pass at the same time as on the Prime Worlds. In the case of Dragonlance, I think one could very well run a campaign in the classic era using Spelljammer to connect it to the rest of the Radient Sphere, but a 5th Ed Era Spelljammer campaign leaves us both with an abandoned crystal Sphere (where Krynn used to be), a new Crystal Sphere (where Krynn is now) and the homeworld of the Dragon Overlords to explore! That sounds like fun to me! :)

The Nentir Vale's current year seems more logical to place close to 4th Ed Forgotten Realms since there would have been crossover campaigns (and crossover events like the Abyssal Plague) that affected both of those worlds, presumably at the same time.

In the case of Dark Sun, it seems like that is a bit more of a mess, but then my impression is that the timeline was always a bit of a hazy and vague thing in that setting?


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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by apotheot »

apotheot wrote:The later Dragonlance is just as good as the original Dragonlance, but I want to use Krynnspace (as well as Realmspace and Greyspace) and Krynnspace kind of gets messed up by the world-changing events.
Keep in mind that the post War of Souls Krynn has been returned to Krynnspace...at least that was what Margaret Weis claimed happened when I asked her about it at Gen Con back in 2004. I know there is some debate on that issue.

Havard wrote: In the case of Dark Sun, it seems like that is a bit more of a mess, but then my impression is that the timeline was always a bit of a hazy and vague thing in that setting?
Well 2e Darksun had a very definitive, if unpopular, timeline. By extension both the Athas.org and Paizo 3e versions had the same timeline. 4e is another matter. The timeline from 2e isn't gone...just overlooked. The first book in the Pentad did occur, and if the Ashes of Athas Organized play setting is to be believed events from the 2nd and 3rd book in the pentad did as well. The new novels fit in the timeline, but just barely....and the weird crossover with the Abyssal Plague can even still happen because there is no canon source from any edition stating when the timeline of Athas should connect to other settings (closest things are the RPGA adventure Dark Suns,in which a group of 3e characters from Malatra head there briefly though no dates are given some things can be inferred, or Ravenloft's nebulous connection to Kalidnay which itself is not firmly in the RL timeline.) So in 4e the setting was basically static, everything was set in Free Year 1, and there wasn't enough development needed to advance the timeline or retroactively space the few adventures and other things out.


Some other tidbids worth noting.
In the FR novel Unholy, the character Malark claimed that the spell plague was universal and happened on EVERY world. Though we must consider the source and it is somewhat contradicted by Zass Tam's comment that other gods of magic had died before without similar repercussions in the preceding book.

The novel The Crystal Mountain likewise said the entire Multiverse was reacting to the Death of Mystra, which leads one to suspect that her role was more important than had been let on.

The novel The Ghost King heavily implies that the Shadow Plane actually BECAME the Shadowfell, and not that they were two separate places as has been theorized in some threads.

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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by ripvanwormer »

apotheot wrote:The novel The Ghost King heavily implies that the Shadow Plane actually BECAME the Shadowfell, and not that they were two separate places as has been theorized in some threads.
This is canon, since the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide states it explicitly:
Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide page 69 wrote:A gloomy echo of Toril, the Shadowfell is at once ancient and new. The dark goddess Shar reshaped what was then known as the Plane of Shadow during the years of chaos following the Spellplague. In her craft, she folded in the energy of death that didn’t make the transition to the Elemental Chaos. She renamed her creation the Shadowfell, which became its common name among mortals, though some still refer to it simply as “Shadow.”

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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by Big Mac »

Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:My reason for sticking with the 2e Dragonlance era is purely because the changes involved in Dragonlance canon have made crossover gaming harder to work than during the 2nd Edition Era.

The later Dragonlance is just as good as the original Dragonlance, but I want to use Krynnspace (as well as Realmspace and Greyspace) and Krynnspace kind of gets messed up by the world-changing events.

Now, if things were different, and if WotC worked with Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman to create a Planescape compatible backstory for the origin of the Alien Dragons and if they gave the "Takhisis steals Krynn" concept a backstory that made it work OK with Spelljammer, I would be more inclined to use it. But, as it is, it's a bit of a "can we have our ball back" move on the part of Dragonlance.

The post-Spellplague era of the Realms has some great themes to it. And Nentir Vale is so interesting, that it's made me buy 4e products, when I have no intention of using the 4e rules. But the built in blocking mechanisms, that make it a lot harder to use the material in a SJ/PS compatible game, mean that the work involved in getting things to work is a lot more than the work involved in converting 2e material to 3e rules, and sticking with the 2e timeline.
Is there any reason why we cannot develop both the classic 2nd ed era and the Post Spellplague 5th Edition Era for all the settings, including Spelljammer and Planescape?
There's no reason. No reason at all, except that
  • I don't have time to do this (so I'm not going to do this) and
  • I've not had time to play out the original era (and have no interest in skipping past the original era).
But I'd be happy to see other people create 5th Edition versions of other campaign settings.
Havard wrote:Rather than seeing this as a potential problem, I see this as an opportunity for us fans to flesh out the details that TSR and WotC never got around to. Although it is possible that worlds outside the Forgotten Realms might see a setting book every decade or so from WotC, it seems likely that this will be mostly rehashing of old material, and further development is mostly left to the hands of the fans.
It is an opportunity.

But considering that the 4th Edition Forgotten Realms and 5th Edition Forgotten Realms had a lot of work put into them by WotC and also created a lot of changes to how that world worked, I personally wouldn't be happy to play a 4th or 5th Edition game based in Realmspace, Al-Qadim, Maztica, Kara-Tur or Malatra: The Living Jungle, without taking the time to sift through the Faerûnian content to get to the 4e and 5e themes to infer what the big Spellplague and Sundering vibes were, so that I could apply those vibes to any other setting based in Realmspace.

I wouldn't expect anyone else to do this, but I still have a zillion old Forgotten Realms novels to read and dozens of 2e and 3e gamebooks to read and I just don't feel that I could make 4e or 5e Realms material that I would be satisfied by. The only way I'm going to get anywhere, is to focus on getting something done, and I've decided that I'm going to focus on the era that I'm most interested in.

However, I am interested in the post-Spellplague eras (from an academic level) so although I have no interest in playing in them, I do want to learn more about them. I personally see them as "one possible future" (like the future that Kyle Reece comes from, in the Terminator movie).
Havard wrote:I'm getting the impression from this thread that Sigil itself might not necessarily change that much over the course of a century, even if time should happen to pass at the same time as on the Prime Worlds. In the case of Dragonlance, I think one could very well run a campaign in the classic era using Spelljammer to connect it to the rest of the Radient Sphere, but a 5th Ed Era Spelljammer campaign leaves us both with an abandoned crystal Sphere (where Krynn used to be), a new Crystal Sphere (where Krynn is now) and the homeworld of the Dragon Overlords to explore! That sounds like fun to me! :)
I can't see how that could be true. I don't know very much about Planescape, but I'm pretty sure that the Faction War made big changes to Sigil. If you add in a 100 year timejump, then a lot of NPCs are going to die of old age (and presumably turn into petitioners).

If you buy into the 4th Edition cosmological model and the 5th Edition cosmological model, you theoretically have a big reorganisation of reality and a second reorganisation of reality that shunts the planes around. Someone who wants to do a Sigil +100 campaign is going to have to decide if they want to do that...or if they want to ignore it all. (And if they are going to ignore it all and have a 5e Sigil that is identical to the 2e Sigil, I wonder why it's worth doing two time jumps, at all. :? )

I suppose that one way to go with a 4e Sigil would be to ignore continuity and to simply link the 2e Planescape setting (or chopped up elements of it) into the 4e Forgotten Realms cosmology. That way the 4e Sigil wouldn't be "similar" to the 2e Sigil. It would be the actual 2e Sigil, and no R&D work would be needed.
Havard wrote:The Nentir Vale's current year seems more logical to place close to 4th Ed Forgotten Realms since there would have been crossover campaigns (and crossover events like the Abyssal Plague) that affected both of those worlds, presumably at the same time.
I agree with that.

I'm still deciding if I need to run time backwards 100 years to bring Nentir Vale back to the Elsir Vale era, if I should ignore continuity and link a 4e Era Nentir Vale to 2e Era D&D worlds or if I should just ignore the idea of using Nentir Vale (for now) and concentrate on campaign settings that are "more important to me".
Havard wrote:In the case of Dark Sun, it seems like that is a bit more of a mess, but then my impression is that the timeline was always a bit of a hazy and vague thing in that setting?
I think the issue with 4e Dark Sun, compared to 4e Forgotten Realms, is that that WotC have rebooted Athas back to the original boxed set for 4e, but moved on 100+ years for Forgotten Realms.

I don't know Dark Sun well enough yet, but I think the Dark Sun timeline wasn't vague. I think there are two main phases to the Dark Sun timeline. There is the original product line and the second wave (complete with the typical D&D design philosophy of "we need to introduce radical changes to make people buy this" that has had the same mixed reception that radical changes in other campaign settings has had). I think the 4e Dark Sun team decided to "pull a Bobby Ewing coming out of the shower" move on the later part of the 2e product line.

I think that my advice to anyone wanting to run a 4e Planescape game - someone who wanted to use the existing 4e books, but top them up with other D&D settings, would be to ignore this "100 year timejump" thing that Forgotten Realms brought to the table, toss out all the previous D&D timelines (and the crossover link dates from 2e and 3e products and to start from the premise that 4e Forgotten Realms, 4e Dark Sun and 4e Nentir Vale are all set at the same time. That would both cut out all the R&D work that someone like me would need to do and also wave away issues with late 2e Dark Sun products being set after the date of the 4e Dark Sun books.

From that starting point (working from the "4e canon") I would suggest that anyone looking to import 2e products like Planescape (or 3e products like Elsir Vale) should simply assume that everything in those 2e (or 3e) products is set in exactly the same year as the "4e baseline timeline" unless, anything in the 4e products they are using says otherwise. And in the event of any conflicts in canon, I would recommend that 4e canon trumps earlier canon (for them).

If someone were to do that, they would be able to import 2e and 3e Forgotten Realms products as "history of Abir-Toril", while importing everything else as "current era of other settings".

I think they should reboot Planescape, to fit in with the 4e Manual of the Planes, but use the Planescape products to flesh out the 4e MotP. And I think they should think about two options with Al-Qadim, Maztica, Kara-Tur and Realmspace: Either:
  • Run time forward 100 years to create a post-Spellplague version or,
  • Reboot the product to add in 4e themes and use it, as is.
This isn't the way I would do this myself, but it would be a lot less work and would allow people to directly use 2e and 3e products with 4th Edition rather than have them read 2e and 3e products and then spend ages deciding on what needs to change.
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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by Big Mac »

ripvanwormer wrote:
apotheot wrote:The novel The Ghost King heavily implies that the Shadow Plane actually BECAME the Shadowfell, and not that they were two separate places as has been theorized in some threads.
This is canon, since the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide states it explicitly:
Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide page 69 wrote:A gloomy echo of Toril, the Shadowfell is at once ancient and new. The dark goddess Shar reshaped what was then known as the Plane of Shadow during the years of chaos following the Spellplague. In her craft, she folded in the energy of death that didn’t make the transition to the Elemental Chaos. She renamed her creation the Shadowfell, which became its common name among mortals, though some still refer to it simply as “Shadow.”
Either Forgotten Realms/Realmspace has it's own Plane of Shadow, that was converted into the Shadowfell or there is one Plane of Shadow for the entire D&D multiverse and Shar used the Spellplague on Toril to power a change in the entire Planescape cosmology.

From what I can tell Nentir Vale has the Shadowfell. I'm not sure if Elsir Vale ever named a Plane of Shadow (3e style). I think the 4e Eberron Campaign Setting has a rebooted cosmology. I'm not sure about Dark Sun.
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Re: Is 4E Sigil Set 100 years after 2e Planescape?

Post by ripvanwormer »

Big Mac wrote:Either Forgotten Realms/Realmspace has it's own Plane of Shadow, that was converted into the Shadowfell or there is one Plane of Shadow for the entire D&D multiverse and Shar used the Spellplague on Toril to power a change in the entire Planescape cosmology.
Or Shar affected only Toril's local Plane of Shadow (the part that resembled a reflection of Toril and/or the other planets of Realmspace), leaving Deep Shadow and the shadow-reflections of other worlds alone.

The difficulty I have with the Spellplague's cosmological changes is that they're very specific to the 3e idea that the Realms had their own planar cosmology completely separate from other campaign settings. In that view of the multiverse, you can reshape the planes as much as you want. Apotheot said above that some novels indicated that Mystra's death affected every world/the entire multiverse, which makes sense if the entire multiverse is built around Toril and its gods, as it is in the 3rd edition Great Tree.

However if, like me, you ignored the 3rd edition Great Tree cosmology and just assumed that Toril was still part of the Planescape/Spelljammer cosmos, one world among many, the cosmological changes of the Spellplague make much less sense. Things like Asmodeus casting the Abyss into the Elemental Chaos and Shar reshaping the entire Plane of Shadow are very unlikely to have happened at all. I don't think there's much of a compelling story reason for them to happen, either; it looks like a top-down corporate decision to force every game world to use the same cosmology rather than anything that makes for a good story. So my impulse is to ignore it entirely.

I admit, though, that the idea of a massive cataclysm on one world having some effect on multiple worlds or the planes is appealing. I like the idea that the Great Rain of Fire in Mystara might have affected the planes to some degree, or that the Great Disaster in Talislanta might have in part caused the Great Rain of Fire. So I'm not inherently opposed to the notion that the Spellplague might have left scars and damage on multiple planes. I don't see how changing the nature of the Plane of Shadow advances Shar's goals (the Shadowfell is less shadowy than the Plane of Shadow was; it even has a sun! Why would the goddess of darkness want to make a plane less dark?), but other effects might have been apparent. The realms of the Faerunian gods (some of which are shared with the gods of other worlds) might have been consumed in blue fire and twisted into plaguewrought lands. I think Asmodeus wouldn't have absorbed Azuth (if you use his backstory from Guide to Hell, he's already one of the two most powerful gods in multiverse and Azuth had little to offer him) but he may have imprisoned him somewhere. Toril's deep connections to other planes might have resulted in other effects, but in general I think the multiverse would be broadly the same in its basic structure.
From what I can tell Nentir Vale has the Shadowfell. I'm not sure if Elsir Vale ever named a Plane of Shadow (3e style). I think the 4e Eberron Campaign Setting has a rebooted cosmology. I'm not sure about Dark Sun.
The Scales of War adventure path, which was set partly in Elsir Vale, included visits to the Shadowfell. 3e Elsir Vale was just a generic 3rd edition place and used the same Great Wheel cosmology as other generic 3e things. The Plane of Shadow wasn't mentioned in Red Hand of Doom, but it had to exist if magic and class abilities still worked the same way as in 3e core, and there's no indication they didn't.

4e Eberron did change the cosmology somewhat (adding the Abyss and Nine Hells and adding "Shadowfell" as an alternate name for Dolurrh). 4e Dark Sun made the Shadowfell the same as the Gray, a plane that existed in earlier editions of the setting but was considered to be the same as the Border Ethereal in 3e and Planescape.

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