Vladar's Blog

Planescape review: Militancy Justifies the Means

For the last three years, I've run a Planescape1 campaign through almost all of its modules. Now, after successfully finishing it, I want to look back and review these adventures, highlighting the pros and cons of each one.

Each module will be rated in three categories, up to 3 points in each:

The full list of currently published reviews is available under the planescape tag.


Militancy Justifies the Means

In Which the PCs discover that Good Intentions may lead to Evil Ends.


This short module's focus is the Order of the Planes-Militant — a lawful sect from Mount Celestia, which the characters briefly worked with in the Ambushed! chapter of The Great Modron March3 anthology. This time, however, the party crosses paths with a radical group within the sect, that tries to covertly take hold over the Bytopian trading burg of Yeoman (for the greater good, of course).

📝 NOTE: A detailed overview of the Order can be found in the Mount Celestia booklet of the Planes of Law4 boxed set. The information about Yeoman is given in the Liber Benevolentiae book of the Planes of Conflict2 boxed set.

The way of the initial involvement isn't important, as long as the party arrives in the town. Ten potential hooks for this are given in the module. The events commence when the characters are exploring the splendor of Yeoman's Bazaar. Seven picturesque locations and their proprietors are detailed here, along with a gnome guide that offers his services to the party (or tries to pick a couple of pockets if they decline).

While wandering the Bazaar, the characters might happen to walk past the Center Fountain, where numerous speakers espouse their views to the crowd. The largest group here listens to a tall and attractive man from the Order of the Planes-Militant. A couple of excerpts from his speech are given for the DM to better roleplay the speaker, Hidalgo (who is the leader of the group that secretly tries to take over the town). This is a good opportunity to engage players' characters in a philosophical debate defending their own worldviews. Hidalgo, however, doesn't play fair, and soon motions to the disguised Brethren in the crowd who start to shout over and try to discredit the characters. Depending on how wise the party acts, they can either disengage from this unfair confrontation or persist, risking sparking up a fight with the crowd.


Either way, the characters are approached by Perseus Silverpaw, an ursinal mage who invites them for a drink at the Wooly Baku Inn. After asking some general questions about the characters and what brought them here (to make sure they are a good fit for the mission), Perseus makes an offer of 1,000 gp per character to investigate and expose Hidalgo's doings in Yeoman. The conversation, whichever way it takes, is interrupted by a sudden commotion outside: the Bazaar is aflame and Perseus rushes out to help the people, expecting the characters to follow him.

Apparently started from a now-destroyed tent of a local woodcarver, the fire now spreads over the nearest tents, threatening to engulf the whole Bazaar. Since this event is highly time-critical, I would recommend resolving it per round, asking what each character does to fight the flames. Creativity should be highly encouraged and suitable spells can help immensely, though this might also interfere with the search for clues afterward: the magical residue of the firestarter's spell can only be found if no spells were used to combat the fire.

Within a day of investigating the arson, the party is attacked by a pack of ni'iaths — flying wormlike creatures native to Bytopia. The attack is arranged by Hidalgo, of course, and the signs of magical summoning can be detected on the creatures. While the characters can theorize that the attack on them was orchestrated, no solid clues can be found to accuse Planes-Militant.

The "main clue" comes to the characters on his own. The firestarter, a young Planes-Militant mage by the name of Juniper barges in on the PCs while being pursued by his former Brethren. Now the main witness, he must be protected from a rival party of the Order's members that chase after him. If Juniper lives, he will spill out Hidalgo's plans and the high-ups of the sect can be alerted to the corruption in their ranks.


🖋️🖋️ useable

While somewhat short, the module is well-detailed, especially the Yeoman Bazaar section, its map being the only one present. No statistics are given for the rival party, only a statement that they are "equal in number to the PCs [...] of similar classes and levels with equipment analogous to that of the PCs."


☀️☀️ semi-linear

Alas, the module does not provide a possibility of a proper investigation, forcing the characters to react to the ongoing events in a predetermined order as they see fit. A missed opportunity, for sure, and if you have some extra time to prepare a web of clues, victims, and witnesses, your players for sure would be grateful.


★ mediocre

It's OK, but nothing to write home about. At best, it's a good introduction module for a campaign dealing with the inner politics of the Order of Planes-Militant. You'll need to write this campaign yourself first though.


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  1. https://www.dmsguild.com/product/17267/Planescape-Campaign-Setting-2e?affiliate_id=850783

  2. https://www.dmsguild.com/product/17278/Planes-of-Conflict-2e?affiliate_id=850783

  3. https://www.dmsguild.com/product/17302/The-Great-Modron-March-2e?affiliate_id=850783

  4. https://www.dmsguild.com/product/17272/Planes-of-Law-2e?affiliate_id=850783

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