No ordinary tome can hold the powers of the planes, berk. That's why On Hallowed Ground is two books in one. In the first chapters, learn what divine compacts keep the gods from tearing the multiverse apart. Get the dark on turning player characters into proxies. Find out what happens when a spellslinger brings a petitioner back to life. And tumble to the awesome prestige—and awesome danger—of walking the Great Ring as a priest.
The second part of On Hallowed Ground delivers the chant on hundreds of AD&D game powers, from Aasterrinian to Zivilyn, and just about every high-up in between. More than a summary of old material, it updates the AD&D game's gods for the Planescape campaign setting, featuring their trusted proxies, their brash rivalries, and their hard-won roles in the cosmos.
Written for Dungeon Masters and players, this 192-page, full-color book includes the following:
- 20 separate pantheons detailing the powers worshipped by humans, demihumans, and monsters (including the deities of the AD&D game worlds). Zeus, Sung Chiang, Gruumsh, Takhisis—they're all here, based on chant from Legends & Lore, the Deities & Demigods book, Monster Mythology, and AD&D game world sources.
- New ideas and rules for priest characters on the planes
- Tips on creating, visiting, and surviving divine realms
- A look at powers favored by factions and planewalkers
- Comprehensive appendices listing gods by pantheon and portfolio
- Full-color maps of realms glorious and infernal
On Hallowed Ground (1996), by Colin McComb is a book about gods in the Planescape setting. It was published in October 1996.
Continuing the Planescape Line. Throughout the first two-and-a-half years of its existence, the Planescape setting focused on the city of Sigil and the various planes, revealing them as places for adventure. Rather surprisingly, there was very little attention paid to the gods that made the Outer Planes there homes — with just a few exceptions such as "Harbinger House" (1995), which imagined a halfway house for would-be deities, and "Something Wild" (1996), which was about an imprisoned god and the cult that wanted to free him. Now, however, the Planescape setting was ready to fully embrace deific ideas: On Hallowed Ground was intended to talk about every deity ever imagined for the D&D game, all in the context of Planescape.
On Hallowed Ground came to author Colin McComb because he "desperately wanted" it. He'd been a fan of mythology for most of his life, and so wanted to write about the myths of Planescape. He thus convinced the Planescape developers to let him write this book, rather than passing it off to freelancers.
Not the First Deity Book. Deities had been a part of D&D since its earliest days and the release of Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976). However, they'd been especially plentiful during AD&D 2e (1989), which had already seen the release of three deities books: Legends & Lore (1990), DMGR4: Monster Mythology (1992), and (earlier in the same year) Faiths & Avatars (1996) for the Forgotten Realms.
On Hallowed Ground covers all of the gods from Legends & Lore and Monster Mythology, plus the gods from the Birthright, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, and Greyhawk campaign settings. It uses the standard 2e format for god descriptions, which appeared in Legends & Lore and Monster Mythology, rather than the updated format from Faiths & Avatars. It also isn't intended to fully describe the various gods, but rather to reveal how each fits into the Planescape setting.
Expanding Planescape. On Hallowed Ground touches upon realms all across the Planescape multiverse. It provides particular detail on: Apollo's Temple (in Arborea), Asgard (in Ysgard), Arvandor (in Arborea), the Demonweb Pits (in the Abyss), the Green Fields (on Mount Celestia), Heliopolis (in Arcadia), the Mithral Forge (in Bytopia), Mount Olympus (in Arborea), Redspike (in Acheron), and Tir Na Og (in the Outlands)
Expanding the Multiverse. Though the older Spelljammer (1989) setting had placed great importance on its connections to the D&D campaign worlds, the same wasn't generally true for Planescape. On Hallowed Ground changed that with its ties to Birthright, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, and Greyhawk.
This expansion of the Planescape setting (and the rest of the multiverse) was in large part thanks to McComb, who'd been a fan of world-hopping since before he came to TSR. He also thought that it could help to defragment D&D's market — which was a huge problem going into the mid '90s due to TSR's numerous settings. Unfortunately, it was already too late for that to make a difference, as TSR's apocalypse was just a couple of months
About the Creators. On Hallowed Ground continued McComb's triumphant march through the later Planescape line. He'd already coauthored Hellbound: The Blood War (1996) earlier in the year, and would move on to Face of Evil: The Fiends (1997) and The Great Modron March (1997).
About the Product Historian
The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.