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Deva Spark (1994)

Deva Spark (1994) is the only Planescape adventure module I haven’t covered, because when I was doing the Planescape adventures, I skipped it because I didn’t really like it. I’ve softened on that somewhat, but it is still my least favorite of the modules, which is ironic since it is co-written by Bill Slavicsek and he wrote Harbinger House, which is probably my favorite of the bunch?

So, there’s this angel, who hides their divine spark so they can go on a stealth mission in the abyss. They accidentally hide it in the soul of a chaotic evil mortal, who dies and also winds up in the abyss, where he is killed (er, his soul, I guess, is more-killed) by a demon, who inadvertently gets that spark of goodness inside. The adventure is an event-crawl in the ‘90s mode, where players must save the angel, get to the bottom of the demon’s bizarre behavior and sort out everything in a moment of final decision-making that parallels the choice systems that would emerge in videogame RPGs in the 21st century. Heal the angel, heal the demon, heal both a little, heal neither or fuse them into something new. There is one option here that is pretty clearly flagged as the “correct” one (something new) but the adventure gives little guidance on what that new thing is or what the consequences of its unique existence might be. Frustrating.

Despite this, and the rigidity of the event-crawl, the plot is satisfyingly Planescape-y. You get a real sense of a vast cosmic order that is both inexorable and infinitely changeable, and it is nice to have the players directly have a hand in some of that change, even if the path to get there is clearly marked out.

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