Vladar's Blog

Planescape review: Politics of the Beasts

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.


Politics of the Beasts

In which our Heroes discover that innocent Favors sometimes create unforeseen Consequences and experience a lesson in the Unity of Rings.


From the last time we met modrons, they have already marched through Bytopia, where gnome gods moved their entire realm to avoid the unyielding procession, rode the Oceanus river through Elysium, passed through the Asuras' Bridge, and emerged from the Ecstasy's gate just to march to Faunel and enter Beastlands, where this module will take place.

📝 NOTE: If you have run Harbinger House just before Politics of the Beasts, your characters could have encountered the march in Chapter II as it had emerged to the Ecstasy from Elysium.

By the suggested hook, the party is in search of a rare antidote to help a friendly NPC bitten by an aeserpent. I would strongly suggest using the character whom the party befriended in one of the previous adventures, since otherwise they won't have strong enough incentive to go on this risky journey. If you don't have a worthy candidate, you can make the aeserpent's victim a relative of a previous employer or an important ally from a suitable faction.

Soon the characters discover that the only antidote for this deadly in normal circumstances venom could be found in the possession of Alisiphone, a nymph from Beastlands. Luckily enough, the chant-broker also knows a nearby portal and a key to it.

📝 NOTE: The module also provides a brief overview of the special physical and magical conditions of the plane, including the primal change that alters the appearances of the characters, granting them animal features most suitable for their personality: horns, tails, beaks, etc.

Before the session, make a note of what bestial features each of the player characters will develop and track the time until the metamorphosis takes place. The time is random and differs depending on alignment. For additional information on Beastlands consult the Planes of Conflict3 boxed set.

Arriving at the nymph's lake, the characters discover her sick, due to pollution upriver. The nymph asks for aid, promising to provide the venom cure as soon as the contamination is dealt with. Upon traveling upriver, the cause of contamination becomes apparent: the modron army is stuck in the river, blocked from both sides by local inhabitants.

Unraveling the chain of events that lead to this situation, the party must deal with a pack of sentient dogs, local druids, a pride of wemics (lion-folk "centaurs"), a tree-dwelling community of avariel (winged elves), and a mortai — cloud-like aerial being.

If the characters are smart enough, they can solve the puzzle in a diplomatic manner alone, returning the modrons to their original path, and saving the nymph. Alisiphone keeps her side of the bargain, presenting the characters with the coveted antidote.


🖋️🖋️ useable

In ten pages (with some illustrations included) the module not only describes all pre-planned encounters but also provides basic information on the physical and magical conditions of the plane.

The only map presented does not have a scale. The adventure itself describes the rough travel time from one point to another through "a half-day of travel" or "a few hours" phrases.


No random encounters are listed, which is a clear miss in a wilderness module like this one. Using the official information about the plane as well as suggestions from the web, I've compiled the following table:

Random Encounters

d20 Encounter
1 5d6 huge centipedes MM, p.42
2 1d12 huge spiders MM, p.326
3-4 5d4 goats MM, p.241
5-6 1d12 wild boars MM, p.241
7-9 4d4 wild dogs MM, p.57
10-12 1d3 black bears MM, p.17
13-15 2d6 leomarhs MC2, p.60
16-17 1d6 quills MC2, p.74
18-19 1d8 lupinal guardinals MC2, p.48
20 1 baku MC1, p.30


☀️ linear

The adventure is unmistakably linear. Even if the characters skip an encounter or two, their voyage is pretty much predetermined. Thankfully, it ends fast enough to become tedious.


★★ - good

Despite its linearity, this short adventure was received well by the players and was quite fun, while providing a good introduction to the Beastlands, as well as its weird conditions and inhabitants. This familiarity will come up handy very soon when the characters must return here to save the entire plane from something wild. Till next time!


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

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

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

  4. https://www.dmsguild.com/product/16865/Monstrous-Manual-2e?affiliate_id=850783

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