Reimagining the Planes
Design & Development
by James Wyatt and Rich Baker
Rich: If I had to pick one D&D book over the years that just rocked my world, I might have to pick the 1st Edition Manual of the Planes. I started playing D&D back in the days of 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, and the Manual of the Planes just blew me away with its vision of infinite possibilities. The Great Wheel held up for twenty years as the blueprint for the heavens and hells of countless D&D campaigns -- but one of our ongoing challenges with the 4th Edition design process was to take nothing for granted, to challenge all assumptions, to look at every single component of the game and evaluate how it helped or hurt the experience at the table. In that light, we took a good long look at the cosmology of the D&D game and said to ourselves, “This is all great stuff, but how can we make it better? What’s working, and what isn’t?”
This is a brief look at how we answered those questions.
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About the Authors
Richard Baker is an award-winning game designer who’s written scores of D&D adventures and sourcebooks, including the 4th Edition Thunderspire Labyrinth, King of the Trollhaunt Warrens, and Manual of the Planes. Rich is also a bestselling author of Forgotten Realms novels, including Swordmage, first book in the new Blades of the Moonsea series.
James Wyatt is the D&D Design Manager for Wizards of the Coast Roleplaying R&D. He was one of the lead designers for 4th Edition D&D and the primary author of the 4th Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide. He was one of the designers of the Eberron Campaign Setting and is the author of several Eberron novels.