Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Beadle & Grimm’s Goes Heavy Metal With Planescape DM Vault

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Let us return to the Pandemonium Warehouse this week with a look at Beadle & Grimm’s premium edition of D&D’s Planescape:Adventures In The Multiverse. As with most non-linear D&D titles that the goblins get a hold of, there’s a lot of room for creativity in how they approach these releases. Keys from The Golden Vault came in a pleasant blue valise, for instance. For this release, they decided to pack everything into a fetching metal tin that really puts the VAULT in DM’s Vault. Without the need to adapt a long adventure, these releases work more as a toolkit for DM’s using the book for their Planescape journeys.

Maps & More

Your best friend as a DM is maps and I’m sure I sound like a broken record when I say the maps in this Vault are fabulous. The “show” pieces are the maps of Sigil and The Outlands taken directly from the Planescape release. They’ve taken these maps and blown them up, printing them on heavy duty canvas. Like previous canvas maps they’ve done, these are as vibrant as the originals and something that you could very easily hang up. I think at this point I could just have a room of nothing but amazing B&G maps. In addition to these, they’ve also added a great deal of battle maps you can use for the different adventures, letting you have better control of the field and giving your players a better sense of where things are without having to imagine onto a plain grid.

The ever-essential Encounter Cards are also included, more useful than ever due to just how weird and alien things can get with Planescape. Everything from Shemshekas to Night Hags are included with their art blown up and made easy for players to see. These are included alongside a large stack of artwork cards. Again, with Planescape description can only go so far so it’s helpful for any DM to have the visual aid these pieces provide even if they’re not the flashiest thing.

So Much Sigil

If there’s one thing Beadle & Grimm’s is going to do, it’s a city. Like with Eberron and Baldur’s Gate, they did a really great job helping the city feel alive with all sorts of little details. The included brochure helps a lot with not just givine the “City of Doors” a lived-in vibe but leaves room for some great plot hooks.

There’s three player aids that stick out as being uniquely cool helps for the Turn of Fortune’s Wheel adventure. First are the above pictured Razorleaf coins (three gold, one platinum) that are used in the Fortune’s Wheel casino. As you’d expect, they’re super hefty and well detailed like most of the metal feelies you get from B&G. The second are the death certificates that factor into Chapter One of the adventure. They’re not crazy fancy but it’s fun to be able to fill them out, see your character name on them, etc. Finally, they included some really cool Memory Trackers to help players through the gathering of their memories. They’ve had similar helps in previous releases and I’ve found that they can help keep things on track. Players like to take notes but…sometimes aren’t great at knowing exactly what to mention.

Planescape Tales

They didn’t include too much original content in this release (there’s already a lot in the Planescape content and they like to keep these vaults more streamlined). But they did include an incredibly fun little intro adventure called “The Wandering Bottle,” which is aimed to be inserted before Chapter 15 of Turn of Fortune’s Wheel. If you haven’t played that yet (spoilers), it ends with players reaching level 17 in a rather abrupt jump. Rather than having you jump STRAIGHT in, “The Wandering Bottle” is meant to let players get to know their characters and new powers a bit better.

It does so by introducing a villainous sator demodand named Dezerinac (see above), who players meet at level 2 in the first part of the encounter. Obviously at that level he’s WAY too powerful for them to take on and, if they don’t play their cards right, might find themselves dead (they’ll get better). But that changes in Part Two, aptly titled “Remember Us?”. Now beefed up to 17th level, the demodand is not so scary anymore. With their new powers and experiences in the multiverse, they get the satisfaction of not just defeating a powerful foe but ALSO get their revenge. And everyone loves revenge, right?

You can grab the Planescape: Adventures In The Multiverse DM’s Vault from the Beadle & Grimm’s shop, where it retails for $195.00.

Images via Beadle & Grimm’s

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