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OP1 Tales of the Outer Planes (1e)Click to magnify
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OP1 Tales of the Outer Planes (1e)

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Has reality got you down? Tired of everyday, humdrum, commonplace happenings of life on the Prime Material Plane? Want to really get away from it all? Then step right up for the chance for adventure out of the ordinary... way out of the ordinary...

Tales of the Outer Planes is an anthology of short adventures set throughout the many Outer Planes for use with the AD&D Manual of the Planes. Some of gaming's best designers have contributed adventures to this set, which includes scenarios set in the Seven Heavens, Olympus, the four Elemental Planes, the Nine Hells, and the Astral and Ethereal Planes. Tales of the Outer Planes is a perfect collection for powerful characters who have it too easy at home and are looking for new challenges. Many of the most fearsome monsters are even more dangerous on their own planes - can you take them on and live to tell the tale?

These adventures can be inserted as a "change of pace" in an existing campaign, or can be the foundation of an entire new set of adventures. Either way, Tales of the Outer Planes will be sure to open up a whole new frontier for AD&D game players everywhere.

Product History

OP1: Tales of the Outer Planes (1988) is an anthology of adventures that supported the Manual of the Planes (1987) hardcover release. It was published in April 1988.

Planes Support. Since Manual of the Planes mostly provided abstract rules and background, this adventure book was important to the success of the line. It plays that role to the hilt by specifically offering up adventures for 11 different planes. It also provided 17 lairs for planar monsters, using the format pioneered in REF3: Book of Lairs (1986).

Unfortunately, Tales was the only support for the original Manual of the Planes. One reason for the line's demise was probably the release of second edition AD&D (1989), which (somewhat) rendered all the old hardcovers obsolete. The OA line - published in support of the Oriental Adventures (1985) hardcover - similarly ended in 1989 (or 1990 if you count FROA1: Ninja Wars).

However, the release of Spelljammer (1989) likely hurt Planes support too, as it filled much of the same position at TSR as a world-spanning setting.

Expanding the Outer Planes. This anthology's biggest contribution to the world of D&D was its creation of the World Serpent Inn, a tavern with connections to many planes. Jeff Grubb later wrote about the inn for 3e in a web article, and it also appeared in Dragon #351 (January 2007), where it was described by Eric L. Boyd.

Anthologies. The idea of an anthology of mini-adventures had been broached years earlier with the release of B9: "Castle Caldwell and Beyond" (1985) for Basic D&D, but it was only in 1988 that anthologies (briefly) became a regular staple of TSR's production. That same year also saw adventure anthologies for the Dragonlance and Greyhawk lines.

About the Creators. TSR advertised Tales of the Outer Planes as being the work of "TSR Staff," which it largely was. However, it also included some notable freelancers such as John Nephew, who went on to form Atlas Games a few years later.

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

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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TSR 9225
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File Last Updated:
January 24, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on January 22, 2013.