Beyond Countless Doorways

bonemage's picture

Type: Beyond Countless DoorwaysCompany: Malhavoc PressURL:

Designer: Monte Cook, Wolfgang Baur, Colin McComb, and Ray ValleseRelease: October 2004Outline: A Planescape reunion with four of the classic game designers presenting 18 new and unique planes for D20. Also includes an alternate Cosmology and ideas for creating parallel worlds. Contents:

Beyond Countless Doorways is a collection of Planes included with a new Cosmology that includes shifting planes. Planes can Converge, Diverge, or sever in this new Cosmology and this can result in many spectacular changes in realities affected by the planes moving around them. While the new planar system is interesting however the real meat of this product is in the newly created planes presented in chapters 2-19.

Chapter 1: This explains an alternative planar cosmology to the one offered in standard 3rd edition or the classic 2nd edition “Planescape” organization. The Planes are fluid there is no single plane of fire, chaos, and etc. There are an infinite number of planes that slid around in the ethereal sea and as they move planar travel not to mention the effects on Prime worlds can be dramatic.

Chapter 2: Avidarel: The Sundered Star is a world where the sun has died. A plane of cold and little life but some sparks still survive.

Chapter 3: Carrigmoor A domed city that was once a thriving trading city devastated by plague is home mostly thugs and thieves

Chapter 4: Curnormost Realm of the Dead Angels: a Sorrowful plane where angels pass into the unknown.

Chapter 5: The Crystal Roads of Deluer: A rich plane of raw materials guarded closely by its king

Chapter 6: Dendri: A war torn plane between shape shifting spiders and intelligent ants.

Chapter 7: Faraenyl: A fae realm where lords of the four seasons hold sway in 4 great realms.

Chapter 8: The burning shadows of Kin-li’in: A cursed plane of fire and ice where one’s must watch even their own shadow

Chapter 9: The Lizard Kingdoms: Lizard Folk and Dinosaurs rule supreme

Chapter 10: The Maze: A simple city surrounded by entrances to a great maze promising fortune, wonders and danger.

Chapter 11: Mountains of the five winds: A plane invaded by Chaos that threatens to overtake everything

Chapter 12: Ouno, the storm realm: A realm in the sky hovering over a great ocean of acid

Chapter 13: Palpatur: A living plane that bestowed biological technology upon its peaceful Tiefling inhabitants now ravaged by the blood war.

Chapter 14: Sleeping God’s Soul: A deity of Order in hiding in caves that reflect her thoughts and dreams

Chapter 15: The Ten Courts of Hell: Planes of judgment, torture, and punishment.

Chapter 16: Teveral Magic’s last stand: A world where magic makes its last stand users and creatures alike.

Chapter 17: Venomheart Haven of the Sleep Pirates: A crew of pirates aboard a ship made from a dragons body that plunder sleep and hoard it in a secret port.

Chapter 18: The Violet: An alien realm with no gravity and a dampening effect on magic.

Chapter 19: The Primal Gardens of Yragon: A primal world inhabited by intelligent apes exploring the planes searching for slaves.

Chapter 20: Through the Looking Glass: Ideas and hints on how to create parallel worlds for your PCs to adventure in.

Merits: A fine collection of unique planes ready for use in most campaigns that venture into the Planes. Beyond Countless Doorways offers fresh ideas on planar interactions, planar travel and a few new monster types that inhabited these planes.Flaws: Some of the Realms are interesting but short on details. Examples include Chapter 11 provides only scant information on the 5 major cities that are fighting the chaos and Chapter 15 The Ten Courts of hell for example had new monster types and eleven courts detailed which of course leaves only so much room for each section.

My feelings on the product:

The alternate cosmology can either be used or the planes can be easily inserted into other locations among the planes. In my Planescape campaign (based on second edition cosmology) I plan to place the entire concept inside of the ethereal plane. With the explanation of the Astral not existing with the Beyond Countless Doors Cosmology with these planes floating in the ethereal sea it makes perfect sense. I believe by converting these planes to demi planes that float around in the Ethereal I can preserve both concepts and give my adventuring party a bit of variety in their planar travels. Other options might include placing these realms on existing planes or using them as demi planes elsewhere without the new cosmology presented in Beyond Countless Doorways.

Overall the product is a great addition to any campaign looking for diversity in its planar travels. At $35.00 the price tag might seem a little expensive but in this day and age of Role-playing supplements it costs $30.00 for a Players Handbook and $40.00 - $50.00 for most setting Core books. In that perspective I believe this product is priced reasonably.

bonemage's picture
Joined: 2004-05-11
Beyond Countless Doorways

See I sort of like the combination effect because its nice to have a little cluster of gods that rule over various worlds but also cool to have planes shifting around blocking your exist or creating new gateways to other realms. I suppose you could still do the classic deity thing by saying the planes are just always in conjunction or very rarely ever becoming disjoined. Maybe it’s just the part of me that likes certain things stable but I can see cool aspects to both organizations.

Mephit James's picture
Joined: 2004-07-07
Beyond Countless Doorways

I also enjoyed the book very much, the demiplane take is something I hadn't thought of, though. I think the book is very useful as a Planescape supplement but is at its best when used as its own cosmology. It would be interesting to see a BCD cosmology with Planescape supplements instead of vice versa: a magic-nullifying plane with an infinite Spire atop which is the Cage. For an example of Beyond Countless Doorways in action (though it's just starting out) check out Through the Looking Glassses in the planewalker forums.

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