Planescape Collector's Guide
This Geeklist is intended to be a reasonably comprehensive guide to products released for the Planescape setting. It is an expanded version of my Planescape Collector's Guide, one of a series of D&D Collector's Guides over on ENWorld. It's also a companion to a similar Spelljammer Collector's Guide here at RPGGeek. This guide lists all of the Planescape items in the RPG Geek database (and one each from Board Game Geek and Video Game Geek), and also includes products not covered by the Geek.
As well as a line of thirty Planescape-branded RPG products, TSR released five novels, an extensive line of miniatures, a collectable card game and the Torment computer game. There were Planescape articles in Dragon, Dungeon and Polyhedron magazines and Planescape products were translated into at least three other languages.
Planescape has its origins in an idea put forward in TSR brainstorming session by Slade Henson. Together with Jeff Grubb and Dori Hein, Henson had previously pitched the idea of updating the 1st edition Manual of the Planes to 2nd Edition. In 1993, when TSR was looking for a new setting to replace the winding down Spelljammer line, Henson's proposal morphed into the Planescape setting. Steve Winter writes about this process in 30 Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons:Steve Winter wrote:When the search for a new setting got seriously underway, the Planescape idea was still kicking around and it got tossed onto the table. It had never really been considered as setting up to that point. This cast it in a whole new light, and we all took a serious look at it. By the time the project got the final go-ahead to be placed on the schedule, almost everything about it was changed except for its name. That shouldn't be considered an indictment of the original proposal because it wasn't at all uncommon in a process like this. The name, though, which originated with Slade, was inspired. No other name would have suited Planescape half as well.It was Zeb Cook, who together with editor David Wise, did the initial design work on the Planescape setting and they provided a clear vision for the line support team of Andria Hayday, Monte Cook, Ray Vallese, Michele Carter and Colin McComb to follow. In an article in Dragon #315, Stan! suggests that much of the success of the Planescape line was due to the lack of interference from TSR's upper management. Quoting McComb, Stan! writes:Stan! wrote:"We were lucky," say McComb. "Upper management was focusing their attention on a beginner game that Jeff Grubb was designing. He couldn't make a decision without it being second guessed." But the Planescape team was able to do their work with unfettered creativity. […]Working along side Cook and Wise on the initial design team was artist Dana Knutson, whose initial concept art for the setting helped establish the tone. One of the rarest Planescape collectables is the Planescape Sketchbook a 32-page collection of Planescape concept art which was sold as a promotional item at GenCon 1994.
Upper management was surprised when Planescape turned out to be such a hit. "Especially because we did it without their help," McComb says chuckling. "Best of all, because they left us alone at the beginning, they had to leave us alone as the line went on. And that was heaven."
Despite Knutson's early work, the setting is most strongly associated with artist Tony DiTerlizzi's work. He, together with the graphic design team of Dawn Murin, Angie Lokotz and Dee Barnett, set the visual style of both the setting and the Planescape product line.
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