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Well of Worlds [Planescape] (2e)
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Well of Worlds [Planescape] (2e)

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Clueless? The majesty and the dark got you down, cutter? Don't know how to lead a green prime to water? Then worry no more! The Well of Worlds is the answer to every basher's pleas for introducing gamers to the planes.

The chant is: Nine new adventures; a poster map of the planes (depicting Avernus, the first layer of Baator); a slew of magical items; and excitement!

Face off against a crazy king or steal a factol's better weapon—Well of Worlds gives hours of play. It's designed for any plane-traveling party, with adventures for characters of all levels. (An' if that ain't enough for ya, then pike it, berk!)

Product History

The Well of Worlds (1994), by Colin McComb, is the first adventure anthology for Planescape. It was published in October 1994.

About the Title. The title of The Well of Worlds implies that there's some literal well in the adventure, an idea supported by the gaping hole on the cover. That's not the case: the "well of worlds" is just a metaphor for an anthology of adventures. There's not a connection to the "well of many worlds" magic item either.

Continuing the Planescape Series. The Well of Worlds was the fourth supplement for the Planescape line, and once more it was something new. The Eternal Boundary (1994) had been an adventure; Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1994) had been a monster manual; and Planes of Chaos (1994) had been a setting book. The Well of Worlds returned to the idea of adventures, but instead of offering up a single, longer adventure it instead presented a whole series of unconnected (and shorter) scenarios. Ironically, this was quite similar to the first-ever big adventure book for the outer planes, OP1: Tales of the Outer Planes (1988).

Adventure Tropes. Before The Well of Worlds, Planescape had just one adventure, The Eternal Boundary, which suggested that a typical Planescape adventure started in Sigil and then traveled out into the planes. The Well of Worlds considerable broadened the scope of Planescape adventures by offering many more options for "typical" scenarios.

It suggested that Planescape adventures could:

  • Take place entirely in Sigil ("II: The Mazes").
  • Involve quests or tasks where the characters decided to enter other planes ("III: Love Letter", "V: Hard Time", "IX: People under the Fall"), like in The Eternal Boundary.
  • Transport characters to other planes that they then had to escape ("I: To Baator and Back", "VII: Recruiters", "VIII: The Hunt").
  • Focus on planar monsters attacking prime planes ("IV: Blood Storm", "VI: Epona's Daughter").
  • Detail wars between the planes ("IV: Blood Storm", "IX: People under the Fall").

The adventures in The Well of Worlds also had some very nice formatting and organization that wasn't very common in D&D adventures at the time. This included great overviews of the adventure and descriptions of what various Planescape factions wanted.

Expanding Planescape. The Well of Worlds touches upon many locales in the Planescape setting, including the Abyss, Arborea, Baator, the Beastlands, Carceri, and the Outlands. However, almost all of these visits are very shallow and don't reveal many details about the various planes. The only real exceptions are the adventure in Baator (which includes a full-color map of Avernus) and the adventure in Sigil (which details Timlin's Maze).

In the broader story of Planescape, The Well of Worlds is notable for its looks at the Blood War, one of the most important plot elements in the setting. It's hinted at in "III: Love Letter" and is the focus of "IV: Blood Storm".

About the Creators. McComb was in the middle of his five years at TSR when he wrote The Well of Worlds. This was his first work for the Planescape line, but he'd return many times, with his other contributions to the setting including work on Faces of Evil: The Fiends (1997), The Great Modron March (1997), Hellbound: The Blood War (1996), On Hallowed Ground (1996), Planes of Conflict (1996), and Planes of Law (1995), and A Player's Primer to the Outlands (1995).

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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Reviews (1)
Discussions (2)
Customer avatar
Søren W June 09, 2017 9:52 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Now we just need "Tales from the Infinite Staircase" and "The Great Modron March" to get the same treatment! =3
Customer avatar
James B October 22, 2014 3:15 am UTC
Double-sided poster map has two scans of one side (i.e. one side is missing) as of July 16, 2014.
Customer avatar
Ben W August 28, 2015 3:21 pm UTC
Has this been fixed? Looks like the file was updated in April 2015
Customer avatar
Zia M April 26, 2017 4:39 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Looks complete currently, both sides of the map are cut into sections over 8 pages each. I have the original in print and I don't see anything missing from the map as far as I can tell.
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Product Information
Author(s)
Rules Edition(s)
Pages
130
Edition
1.0
ISBN
9781560768937
Publisher Stock #
TSR 2604
File Size:
42.7 MB
Format
Scanned image
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File Last Updated:
April 26, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on January 21, 2014.