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Doors to the Unknown (2e)
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Doors to the Unknown (2e)

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Four doors of mystery appear in the Cage. They lead to four adventures, if a basher has the dark of them.

"These aren't doors in the traditional sense, cutter, but they're portals just the same. They appear for a short time every 500 years, popping up in different parts of Sigil. Each hides a mystery that's waiting to be solved, and together they just might hold the key to a secret of the multiverse. All a body's got to do is tumble to the right keys, open the doors, and face down the Unknown."

- Estavan, merchant lord

Doors to the Unknown is a collection of four Planescape adventures that can be played separately or as a mini-campaign. When four doors appear in the Cage, the barmies crawl out of the shadows, and the heroes get drawn into events that could have consequences for the entire multiverse. Each door leads to a different plane and a different deadly challenge for the player characters. Together they offer a way to stop an ancient menace before it strikes again.

The Planescape Campaign Setting boxed set is required to run these adventures. The Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix (I and II) and Uncaged: Faces of Sigil are recommended to enhance play.

For 4 to 6 Players of 2nd to 10th levels

Product History

"Doors to the Unknown" (1996), by Bill Slavicsek, is a Planescape anthology adventure. It was published in November 1996.

Origins: Continuing the Planescape Line. Adventures were quite common in the Planescape line; this was the ninth. It followed most closely after "Well of Worlds" (1994), an anthology adventure book, but this new anthology had a twist: the adventures in "Doors to the Unknown" were (sort of) connected.

"Doors to the Unknown" is also a nice complement to the trilogy of Sigil sourcebooks, which had ended with "Uncaged: Faces of Sigil" (1996) earlier in the year. Most Planescape adventures began in Sigil, but this one goes a step further, taking advantage of a unique feature of Sigil: its doors.

About the Book. Like "Something Wild" (1996), "Doors to the Unknown" features handouts and an adventure book in a folder, with small flaps on the folder containing cute clues for the players.

Adventure Tropes. All adventures begin in Sigil. That's true four times over in "Doors to the Unknown", as the eponymous doors open from Sigil to other realms. In addition, the adventures all start as episodic encounters, where players march through events in order, but end as keyed encounter locations, where players can freely wander through small locales.

More notably, Slavicsek suggests that "Well of Worlds" be laid out an episodic campaign, with other adventures occurring between at least the first three scenarios.

Exploring the Great Wheel. The encounters in "Doors to the Unknown" occur "off the beaten path" in places that are "impossible to reach through any other means". As such, they're pretty isolated and don't necessarily do a lot to define those places.

The first adventure occurs in Thuldanin (the second layer of Acheron), in a sealed cube, while the second adventure is set in Agathion (the fourth layer of Pandemonium, in an isolated cavern. The settings of the last two adventures are even more esoteric: one occurs in Logicus, a technical prime world, while the other occurs in hyper-reality, the fourth level of reality.

NPCs of Note. Doors to the Unknown is full of well-defined NPCs, but most make their own appearance here. There's even some suggestion that merchant lord Estavan will be important in later Planescape modules, but he never returns.

However, "Doors to the Unknown" has a few returneees of its own. Dead-god-returning Aoskar had been mentioned as far back as the Planescape Campaign Setting (1994) while fallen dabus Fell dates back to "Uncaged: Faces of Sigil" (1996).

About the Creators. Slavicsek joined TSR full-time in 1993. Some of his early work was for the Planescape line, including "The Deva Spark" (1994) and "Harbinger House" (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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March 31st, 2004
Outside of what's in overview the adventures are set over a relatively short period of time (2-3 months). This wouldn't be much of a problem except that the set of adventures as is have a fairly large level spread (2-8). This may be too fast a leveling [...]
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64
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1.0
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File Last Updated:
February 26, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on February 28, 2017.