Though the Planescape moniker was retired after the Faction War in 1998 (I’m not sure at the moment it was officially the last product to hit shelves, but it certainly wrapped up the setting’s primary metaplot), a number of Planescape-esque products saw release under the generic D&D trade dress in the last days of TSR. One of them was Warriors of Heaven (1999), the natural companion to Guide to Hell (1999), which I posted about a few years back.

The book is part of a larger nose-thumbing at the old editorial guidelines that took place after Wizards of the Coast took over TSR. While the existence of devils in D&D implied the existence of angels, the game always eschewed that particular nomenclature, until now. There is probably good reason for this — the term “angel” and all it implies feels…out of place. It is easy to handle devils and demons as embodiments of evil behavior without necessarily tying them to real world religion, but that does not strike me as true for the angelic. It reminds me of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, where Hell is a real place, but heaven and its god is rarely, if ever, mentioned in the context of the story’s cosmic struggles. They’re entirely humanity’s problem.

Complicating this is the fact that angels are boring. They’re not positioned as foes, obviously — they literally embody goodness — so this is essentially a sourcebook for very detailed (and literal) deus ex machina. Zzz.

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