Advanced Search

Hellbound - The Blood War (2e)Click to magnify
Quick Preview
Full‑size Preview

Hellbound - The Blood War (2e)

Selected Option:

Since before mortals drew breath, the cunning baatezu and the fiery tanar'ri have struggled furiously to batter each other out of existence. The prize in their devastating war of annihilation: the Lower Planes. 'Course, when two unstoppable armies of evil collide, the tremors might leave the entire multiverse a smoking ruin. And woe be to any berk who stands against them - or simply gets in their way.

Created for both players and Dungeon Masters, Hellbound: The Blood War is a comprehensive resource on the infernal clash that has torn the planes apart for millennia. Though the war has spilled into many other PLANESCAPET products, the full story of the roaring conflict has never been detailed - until now.

Hellbound features:

  • The Dark War, an 80-page guide for the Dungeon Master that reveals the secrets of the struggle - its history, strategies, magic, and battlefields.
  • The Chant of the War, a 32-page book for DMs and players, detailing the facts that player characters would know about the conflict.
  • War Games, a 96-page book of three complete Blood War adventures, including an epic scenario in which PCs can weaken the fiends permanently and forever change the course of the war - not to mention create a brand-new monster in the process.
  • Visions of War, a 24-page, full-color booklet of illustrations and maps (scenes and sites in the adventures) to bring the war's horrors alive for players.
  • The Bargain, a 16-page, full-color comic book of wartime love and betrayal, painted by DiTerlizzi and Robh Ruppel.
Note on the print edition: All of the separate books from the box set have been combined into a single softcover volume for this version.

Product History

Hellbound: The Blood War (1996), by Colin McComb and Monte Cook, is a Deluxe Adventure and Accessory for Planescape. It was published in July 1996.

Continuing the Planescape Series. Though the Planescape line was focused on novels in 1996, it put about as much attention toward adventures. There were two normal 64-page adventures, and then Hellbound, which is described as a "deluxe adventure". That meant a massive boxed set, similar to the Planes of … (1994-1995) boxes that had been released in previous years. It was also the final boxed set for the Planescape.

In all, Hellbound contains five books: a 96-page adventure book, an 80-page setting book, a 32-page player's book, a 24-page art book, and a 16-page comic. The division of the box into adventures, player's info, and GM's info was pretty typical for the Planescape line, but the inclusion of the two illustrated books was something new …

Gaming Accessories. TSR had included handouts and other player accessories in their books as far back as the release of S1: "The Tomb of Horrors" (1978). That's essentially what the "Visions of War" book was: it contained 14 illustrations to highlight the adventures. Similarly, TSR had been regularly publishing fiction with its Dark Sun (1991-1996), so the "Bargain" comic continued that trend. However, both of the books in the Hellbound box were laid out with the very distinct artistic sensibilities that defined the Planescape line, so they were something new and innovative as well.

Enter the Blood War. The idea of a Blood War between demons and devils had originated with MC8: "Monstrous Compendium Outer Planes Appendix" (1991), then had been expanded upon in the Planescape Campaign Setting (1994) box. It'd also been a minor element in several adventures and a background detail in the three Planes of … boxes. However, prior to the release of Hellbound, it had primarily been a part of the setting, not a metaplot.

There had been two exceptions. "In the Abyss" (1994) had revealed chaos ships that were under construction for use in the Blood War, then "Something Wild" (1996) had promised that "a particularly nasty stage of the Blood War" lay ahead. Now, TSR was ready to take these scattered plot threads and turn them into a story that could change the Planescape setting. The heart of that is "Squaring the Circle", one of the three adventures in Hellbound; it reveals some of the secrets underlying the Blood War and also causes a catastrophic change for fiendom: devils and demons alike lose their ability to easily travel between the planes!

Adventure Tropes. Though the "Strange Bedfellows" adventure is investigative, the other two are both MacGuffin quests. In fact, "Squaring the Circle" is a sequence of three different MacGuffin quests, though it also includes dungeon crawls through a Fortress, caverns, and a warship. Beyond these elements, Hellbound is a typical 2e-era adventure, which means that it's heavily plotted and tends to focus on events and encounters.

Expanding Planescape. Unsurprisingly, Hellbound puts most of its focus on the planes most involved in the Blood Wars: the Abyss, Baator, and the Gray Waste. The Fortress of Indifference is detailed in the Abyss, while the abandoned city of Malatanni and the catacombs beneath it get attention in Baator. Finally, a battlefield called the Field of Nettles in the Gray Waste is extensively detailed in an adventure of the same name. Carceri and Gehenna also get some attention. Overall, Hellbound is a great supplement if you want more detail on any of the lower planes.

There's also a bit of focus on the Outlands, particularly the gate-towns of Hopeless and Torch.

Monsters of Note. Though Baatezu (devils) and Tanar'ri (demons) both get considerable attention in Hellbound, it's the Yugoloths (daemons) who shine. We get their deep history and how they relate to the other fiendish races, in what's probably their most notable spotlight ever.

Numerous other races get a bit less attention: celestials (including aasimon, archons, asuras, and the brand-new guardinals), gehreleths, modrons, and slaadi.

NPCs of Note. Planes of Chaos (1994) rather surprisingly noted that Orcus' realm in the Abyss, Thanatos, was now under the rulership of a drow deity named Kiaransalee — who'd recently been introduced in Mosnter Mythology (1992). This strange change is finally explained in Hellbound, but the explanation is just as surprising: Orcus was deposed, perhaps slain, by Kiaransalee!

This was actually the lead-in to Planescape's other major metaplot, focused on the death and resurrection of Orcus. It would run through The Great Modron March (1997) and Dead Gods (1997).

Future History. Daemons, demons, devils, and their war would get more focus in Faces of Evil: The Fiends (1997).

About the Creators. Cook and McComb were becoming Planescape's two star authors. Between them, they'd write the rest of the line's greatest hits, including Faces of Evil: The Fiends (1997), The Great Modron March (1997), Dead Gods (1997), Faction War (1998), and The Inner Planes (1998)

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.

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (7)
Discussions (3)
Customer avatar
George F May 12, 2020 6:05 pm UTC
A hardcover of this would be fantastic.
Customer avatar
Matt B September 11, 2018 6:02 pm UTC
The POD is a good copy. The little comic is included within the (giant) POD book.
Customer avatar
Stuart José A August 29, 2018 6:40 pm UTC
This book came in a box, if I remember it contains a small history/comic based on the character in the cover... does it still have it?
Customer avatar
Sotirios Z October 06, 2021 1:43 pm UTC
Yes it is included in the PoD.
Narrow Results
$ to $
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!

Product Information
Platinum seller
Rules Edition(s)
Publisher Stock #
TSR 2621
File Size:
91.79 MB
Scanned image Click for more information
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 Click for more information
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:
June 11, 2014
This title was added to our catalog on June 10, 2014.