Close
Close
Advanced Search

Manual of the Planes (1e)
Quick Preview
/gs_flipbook/flip.php?xml=/demo_xml/17009.xml&w=500&h=321
Full‑size Preview
https://watermark.dmsguild.com/pdf_previews/17009-sample.pdf

Manual of the Planes (1e)

ADD TO WISHLIST >
Watermarked PDF
$9.99

"...from Arcadia to Pandemonium, from the plane of elemental Fire to the Astral plane, vast new worlds of adventure are now open to players."

A vital source book for players and DMs of all levels of experience, the Manual of the Planes details the manifold worlds of the known planes of existence. This book describes the inhabitants, rulers, and environments of these worlds, as well as rules for movement, survival, combat, and spell use in these alien surroundings. A different style of AD&D adventures awaits!

Product History

Manual of the Planes (1987), by Jeff Grubb, was one of two AD&D hardcovers released in 1987. It came out in July, a month before the year's other hardcover, Dragonlance Adventures (1987).

Needed: New Hardcovers. After the publication of Unearthed Arcana (1985), AD&D had a pretty complete set of alternate Monster Manuals and alternate Player's Handbooks. However, the hardcovers were crucial to TSR's business - and had in fact helped save the company in 1985. So the question was, what next?

TSR decided upon a pair of books about rules for the two most common adventuring environments: the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide (1986) and The Wilderness Survival Guide (1986). After that, it was probably a small jump to the idea of a book about the planar adventuring environment - which was sort of a combination of those earlier Survival Guides with Deities & Demigods (1980).

(The upcoming release of second edition AD&D was probably also a factor, as a book like Manual of the Planes could remain relevant even under a new edition of the game.)

Expanding the Outer Planes. The Great Wheel of Planes first appeared in The Dragon #8 (July 1977). It was refined in the Player's Handbook (1978) and Deities & Demigods (1980).

In the early days of D&D, the planes mostly acted as a source of enemies - like demons, devils, slaads, elementals, daemons, and more. There was talk of publishing adventures set in the Plane of Shadow and even about creating a whole series of planar adventures related to Greyhawk, but because of Gary Gygax's creative role in many of these adventures (and because of his increasingly busy role as a manager at TSR), they never appeared. Instead, players' first chance to adventure in the planes was in "Q1: Queen of the Demonweb Pits" (1980), which took them to the Abyss. TSR would return to the planes (sort of) in T1-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil (1985).

Meanwhile, Dragon magazine started covering some of the planes in more depth. Roger E. Moore wrote about "The Astral Plane" for Dragon #67 (November 1982), then Ed Greenwood covered "The Nine Hells" in Dragon #75 (July 1983) and #76 (August 1983). Despite their in-depth coverage, these major pieces on the Planes were very piecemeal; there was no overarching plan for the planes of D&D other than a few increasingly old drawings.

Needed: Clarification. The original goal of Manual of the Planes was to simplify and codify the scattered material on the Planes, by now written by a variety of hands at a variety times - particularly including rules on how spells worked on different planes. As Grubb wrote the Manual, however, it became more of a "guidebook for survival and adventuring", but one that still referred back to everything that had come before.

The Cover Critter. In Dragon #142 (February 1989), Skip Williams revealed that the monstrous critter on the cover was an "astral dreadnaught, an as-yet undescribed monster that inhabits the Astral plane." Grubb also mentioned the mysterious creature in Dragon #120 (April 1987). It sadly wouldn't be detailed in 1e days.

Outer Planes Support. Manual of the Planes
is mainly a location book, describing the various planes, delineating how spells work, and - in the style of the Survival Guides of 1986 - talking about how to survive there. Other than a few monsters, there's very little crunch and there's no support for GMs who want complete adventures instead of encounter tables.

Grubb planned to publish that missing crunch through a new "Plane Speaking" column in Dragon. However, he only ended up writing three entries, for issues #120 (April 1987), #125 (September 1987), and #128 (December 1987). Adventure support came through the OP module series, but only one of those was published, "OP1: Tales of the Outer Planes" (1988).

Future History. Despite minimalistic support in the first edition era, the idea of planar adventures has been wildly successful from second edition onward. It most notably spawned the Planescape (1994-1998) setting and a new Manual of the Planes (2001) for third edition. Grubb remains credited as one of the creators of that 3e book (while Moore and Greenwood are still credited for their Dragon work).

D&D4E totally reinvented D&D's cosmology, then published its own Manual of the Planes (2008), which was followed with more in-depth books on some areas.

About the Creators. Jeff Grubb did a bit of everything at TSR over the years. A few years later he'd author Spelljammer (1989), which would be a totally different sort of plane-hopping setting.

About the Product Historian

This history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, 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.

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

 
 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (3)
Discussions (31)
Customer avatar
May 21, 2021 4:19 am UTC
Would be delighted to see a POD version of this. Fingers crossed.
Customer avatar
Kyle D May 20, 2021 3:19 am UTC
PURCHASER
Please Sir, may I have some POD so I don’t have to spend $200 on eBay for my collection?
Customer avatar
Sean C May 09, 2021 2:44 pm UTC
POD! Please!
Customer avatar
Shawn E April 29, 2021 2:41 am UTC
POD!
Customer avatar
Jim N April 22, 2021 10:02 pm UTC
So sick of woke s**t!!! FK WOTC!!!! Release ALL OD&D, AD&D 1E and 2E in print!
Customer avatar
Simon W April 29, 2021 3:01 pm UTC
PURCHASER
WOTC are the ones who decide which of their products to make Print On Demand. Do you really believe they'll do what you want if you insult them like that?
Customer avatar
John A May 22, 2021 10:25 pm UTC
Why are you so angry? LOL
Customer avatar
Simon W April 05, 2021 4:20 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Please make a Print On Demand option for this book. :)
Customer avatar
Erik T February 28, 2021 6:06 am UTC
Another vote for a POD version please!
Customer avatar
Kevin K February 12, 2021 9:18 am UTC
POD please
Customer avatar
Nicholas P January 28, 2021 10:35 pm UTC
POD please
Customer avatar
Laurens K January 27, 2021 6:42 am UTC
added to wishlist, waiting for POD ;-)
Customer avatar
Henry L January 11, 2021 12:00 am UTC
PURCHASER
I'd buy this if there was a PoD!
Customer avatar
December 10, 2020 8:20 pm UTC
Yes, I know it's difficult, but a PoD would be great!
Customer avatar
Jeremy K December 04, 2020 9:56 pm UTC
I'll put my cash in for PoD!
Customer avatar
Steve D December 01, 2020 6:56 pm UTC
Print on Demand, please.
Customer avatar
Brent W November 29, 2020 8:49 pm UTC
I also want to give you money for a POD version of this book.
Customer avatar
Nathan T November 12, 2020 12:19 am UTC
I want to give you money for this POD. Please do it.
See 16 more
Browse Categories
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!
 Recent History











Product Information
Platinum seller
Author(s)
Rules Edition(s)
Pages
128
Edition
1.0
ISBN
0-88038-399-2
Publisher Stock #
TSR 2022
File Size:
45.41 MB
Format
Scanned image
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Information
Watermarked PDF
Watermarked PDF

These PDF files are digitally watermarked to signify that you are the owner. A small message is added to the bottom of each page of the PDF containing your name and the order number of your purchase.

Warning: If any files bearing your information are found being distributed illegally, then your account will be suspended and legal action may be taken against you.

Here is a sample of a page from a watermarked title:

File Last Updated:
October 19, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on January 22, 2013.