The Eternal Boundary (1994)

You can tell just from the name – The Eternal Boundary – that Planescape’s first adventure is aiming for heady stuff. What you get is, well, a bar, a citadel, a bit old mausoleum and some city slums. But that’s OK! When the infinite multiverse spreads out before you, maybe a bit of restraint is in order. The adventure is rated for levels one through three, after all.

The Eternal Boundary is all about the stage dressing, gussying up your basic D&D module with the flash and flare of the planes. The graveyard isn’t just a graveyard, is the Mortuary of Sigil, where death is dealt with on a grander scale than anywhere else in the cosmos. The citadel isn’t some tower on a hill, it’s a fortress surrounded by a molten sea on the Elemental Plane of fire. It’s the names – Green Marvent, the Dancing Man, the Isle of Black Trees – and the way people talk about things – crazy folks are barmies, jink is coin and finding your name in the dead book, well, that is self-explanatory – and the casual way everyone shifts from one reality to the next that makes Planescape special. Like the factions, it’s about ideas, and approach. The Eternal Boundary is the perfect introduction.

A personal note: I looted the hell out of this module. Running it way back in ’95, it was the first time I improvised whole chunks of the story, embellishing a larger plot that would be the thread of my first original campaign on the fly. The central villain was a minor NPC called Brandal – some rando priest in this, but an acolyte of Orcus in my version. I bet my players recognize the name of the Isle of Black Trees, too. It’s just a McGuffin in The Eternal Boundary, hinted at but never visited. But all my games wind up there eventually…

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