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Harbinger House (2e)


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A succubus with an unquenchable lust for power is turning the Cage into a ripping madhouse.

And the Lady of Pain ain't pleased. . . .

Something's foul in Sigil, berk. A mad slasher prowls the streets, leaving a trail of bloody clues in his wake. Leatherheads boldly court the Lady of Pain, longing for the sharp touch of her shadow. Even the silent dabus're acting barmy, a sure sign that the Lady herself is uneasy. Are these strange events tied to a madhouse full of spell-touched sods ready to slip the bonds of mortality? A curious body'd better step carefully. After all, the dead-book's full of fools who wished for power?or got in the way of another berk's wish.

Harbinger House is a Planescape adventure for four to six characters of 4th to 7th levels. From Sigil to the Outlands and back again, the heroes must piece together a puzzle that could shake the Cage to its foundations. A dark secret of the multiverse wails to be discovered in the lunatic asylum called Harbinger House, and only the player characters can shape its power-for good or ill.

The Planescape Campaign Setting boxed set is required to run this adventure. The Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix, In the Cage: A Guide to sigil, and A Player's Primer to the Outlands are recommended to enhance your enjoyment of this adventure.

Product History

"Harbinger House" (1995), by Bill Slavicsek, is the fifth standalone adventure for Planescape. It was published in August 1995.

Continuing the Planescape Series. By August 1995, the Planescape line was just 16 months old, but "Harbinger House" was already the sixth adventure — including five standalone adventures and one anthology. This made adventures the most popular category of supplements for the setting. However, times were changing. Though the adventures had been upgraded to 64 pages with the release of "Fires of Dis" (1995) they were now being downgraded in a different direction: "Harbinger House" was the last adventure to have its own GM screen — which meant that the line "only" had six DM screens total, one in the original Planescape Campaign Setting (1994) box and one in each of the first five adventures.

"Harbinger House" was also the final release in a four-book series of Planescape supplements that TSR published in mid-1995. In the previous three months, TSR had released three sourcebooks detailing the center of the Great Wheel: "A Player’s Primer to the Outlands" (1995), In the Cage: A Guide to Sigil (1995), and The Factol’s Manifesto (1995). "Harbinger House", which focused on the Outlands and Sigil, was a natural capstone to these supplements.

Adventure Tropes. With the exception of "The Mazes" in The Well of Worlds (1994), "Harbinger House" was the first adventure to be focused largely on Sigil. Though the city had been created mainly to give players of Planescape a home base, it was now taking on a life of its own.

The adventure itself is a very event-driven story of the type that was common in the AD&D 2e (1989-2000) era. However, it contains three very distinct styles of play. "Chapter I: The Streets of Sigil" is a mystery focused on detective work, "Chapter II: On the Outlands" is a hunt, and "Chapter III: Harbinger House" is a more typical dungeon (house) crawl — albeit one with a plotted final encounter.

Expanding the Outer Planes. "Harbinger House" is mostly set in Sigil, and so offers a fine example of how to set an adventure in Planescape's central locale. It also offers additional description of the gate-towns of Curst and Ecstasy in the Outlands.

However "Harbinger House"'s biggest contribution to the Outer Planes is probably in its devious ideas about they work. The eponymous House is a shelter for madmen who might (or might not) become the next gods of the Great Wheel. It's the sort of big idea that was entirely possible in Planescape, but which wasn't always supported by the actual adventures.

About the Creators. "Harbinger House" was Slavicsek's second adventure for Planescape< following "The Deva Spark" (1994). That same year, he was also writing for the Birthright, Dark Sun, and Ravenloft lines. He'd write one more Planescape adventure: "Doors to the Unknown" (1996).

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

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.

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Ethan K January 24, 2024 1:49 am UTC
POD please!
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Jeff O February 02, 2023 9:27 pm UTC
Possible to get a better scan? A lot of the amber text is very difficult to read.
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Jozsef T December 11, 2021 8:01 pm UTC
pod pls
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Frederic L April 12, 2021 1:34 pm UTC
Print on demand please!
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Nicholas P January 13, 2021 5:10 pm UTC
POD please
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This title was added to our catalog on March 04, 2014.