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Manual of the Planes (3e)

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Visit New Dimensions

The most powerful adventurers know that great rewards - and great perils - await them beyond the world they call home. From the depths of Hell to the heights of Mount Celestia, from the clockwork world of Mechanus to the swirling chaos of Limbo, these strange and terrifying dimensions provide new challenges to adventurers who travel there. Manual of the Planes is your guidebook on a tour of the multiverse.

This supplement for the D&D® game provides everything you need to know before you visit other planes of existence. Included are new prestige classes, spells, monsters, and magic items. Along with descriptions of dozens of new dimensions, Manual of the Planes includes rules for creating your own planes.

To use this supplement, a Dungeon Master also needs the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual. A player needs only the Player’s Handbook.

Product History
Manual of the Planes (2001) presents the infinite planes of existence within 3rd edition D&D. This book lays out each of the inner and outer planes in moderate detail, and provides rules and examples for demiplanes, variant planes, planar monsters, characters, and magic.
Big Boots to Fill. Oh, the temerity. The prior work on the outer planes began with Gary Gygax's and Dave Sutherland's vision, expanded spectacularly by Jeff Grubb in the 1st edition AD&D rulebook of the same name. The 2nd edition AD&D Planescape team of David Cook, Monte Cook, Colin McComb, and Michele Carter took this cosmology and expanded it into a stylized campaign setting that was eminently accessible and playable. With Planescape ignominiously canceled after the 1998 adventure Faction War, there was more than a little fan trepidation about how the planes would be presented in the new edition of D&D.
Needless Worry. The design team and art team got it right, and the fan reception to the 3e Manual of the Planes was overwhelmingly positive. The authors used an approach that said "here's how it's been done in the past, and here are other ways you can do it," which allowed the book to avoid setting planar mechanics in stone. Instead it gave DMs a modular approach by presenting Options, a flexible strategy that pleased both 1e and Planescape fans. Vast amounts of new ideas and new locations were presented, dovetailing nicely with canon from earlier editions.
Adventuring, not just Exploring. Picking up on the lessons of Planescape, there's a definite focus on interesting and explorable space. Let's face it, no one cares about the Elemental Plane of Fire if there's nothing to do there except run around, screaming and burning. Remind players of the efreeti City of Brass, and suddenly they have plot hooks and a place to go.
Similarly, planar prestige classes and spells make adventuring in the planes a much more palatable and interesting experience. Even lower-level characters have a chance of surviving if they ready themselves ahead of time, opening up vast new sites for adventures.
Broad but Shallow. Limited space means that many locations are discussed, but few are described in depth. The city of Sigil, for instance, can (and has) filled a book of its own. Here, it is summarized in a page. This is frustrating for DMs who want great detail and everything laid out for them, but it's like catnip to DMs who prefer to build their own worlds based on established rules.
Luckily, space is still spent discussing remarkable places like the plane of mirrors, the realm of faerie, the region of dreams and the far realm. Alternative cosmologies are also discussed for people who don't like the "Great Wheel" cosmology that is usually assumed.
New Monsters. Or rather, old monsters that are newly statted up for 3rd edition. If you've wanted to sic an astral dreadnought on your players ever since you saw the cover of the 1987 Manual of the Planes, here's your chance.
About the Creators. Author and designer Jeff Grubb pushed back the boundaries of D&D when he wrote the original Manual of the Planes in 1987. Leading the design team here, he joins long-time designer Bruce Cordell and prolific 3rd edition designer David Noonan in creating a worthy sucessor.
About the Product Historian
History and commentary of this product was written by Kevin Kulp, game designer and admin of the independent D&D fansite ENWorld. 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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James B October 22, 2014 3:13 am UTC
Back cover is missing as of July 16, 2014. (Minor problem, admittedly.)
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Arnie Swenkel, et al.
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File Last Updated:
February 15, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on January 22, 2013.