Welcome to the Cage, friend.
You'll want to watch your back in Sigil - it seems every cutter here's got a way to peel a clueless basher, and you're no exception. Besides, there's something happening down in the Hive that's got the factions in an uproar, and word is you're the cutter to look into it. Barmies and bubbers have been waking up in the Dead Book, but they haven't been staying there. They've been returning to Sigil with minds restored, telling tales of the Eternal Boundary. But the air's turning foul here in the Cage, and there'll be blood spilled soon if someone doesn't learn the dark of things, an quick!
The Eternal Boundary is a PLANESCAPE adventure for a party of four to six characters of 1st to 5th levels. Players are introduced to the city of Sigil - the Cage, as some call it. Inside this crossroads to the planes, a sinister plot unfolds, leading the heroes into the most dangerous and desperate part of town - the ramshackle slum known as the Hive.
Do your player characters have what it takes to confront the Eternal Boundary - and pass beyond?
"The Eternal Boundary" (1994), by L. Richard Baker III, is the first adventure for the Planescape setting. It was published in June 1994.
About the Title. When people die, they pass beyond "The Eternal Boundary". This is the story of some of who have come back.
Continuing the Planescape Series. The world of Planescape kicked off with the Planescape Campaign Setting in April 1994. "The Eternal Boundary" was the first supplement for the setting; it would be followed by the Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1994) one month later.
As the first supplement for the Planescape line, "The Eternal Boundary" affirmed its format. Like the Planescape Campaign Setting, it's an artistic book, with innovative layout and full of Planescape slang. It also contains something unique — a GM screen relevant to the adventure — an idea that would be repeated throughout the first five Planescape adventures.
The "AD&D 2e" logo appears on the cover of "The Eternal Boundary", something that TSR flirted with from May 1994 through July. Despite that logo, "The Eternal Boundary" is in no way a generic 2e adventure. The book makes that very clear, saying, "Although this adventure can be run by a DM who's not familiar with the PLANESCAPE setting, it would lose a lot of its flavor and planar ambience."
Adventure Tropes. As the first adventure for the setting, "The Eternal Boundary" answers the question, "What does a Planescape adventure look like?" To start with, it's drenched with flavor, recalling the feel of Planescape through its slang, its factions, and its urban focus. The adventure spends about two-thirds of its time in Sigil itself, but then casually moves to the Elemental Plane of Fire, providing a nice introduction to the far-ranging style of Planescape adventures.
However, "The Eternal Boundary" also contains some surprisingly traditional elements. Much of the adventure is focused around a few "dungeon delves": into a mausoleum and a citadel. There's even a visit to a tavern!
Expanding Planescape. For the most part, "The Eternal Boundary" expands on Sigil as described in the Planescape Campaign Setting. It details the Hive Ward, which received about two pages of attention in the Campaign Setting, and also focuses on four factions: the Bleak Cabal, the Dustmen, the Society of Sensation, and the Xaositects. The Dustmen gets some particular notice, because part of the adventure takes place in their Mortuary.
Keeping to the setting's name, "The Eternal Boundary" also travels a little further afield, to the Elemental Plane of Fire. The Elemental Planes had always been somewhat troublesome adventure locations because of their primal … elemental nature. T1-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil (1985) had provided watered-down versions of the planes in "elemental nodes", but beyond that hadn't received a lot of attention in adventures.
Jeff Grubb's Manual of the Planes (1987) correctly realized that the right way to explore the Elemental Plane of Fire was through individual locales that weren't as dangerous as the fire-soaked plains, and so it introduced the City of Brass, a locale that also received attention in a Rob Kuntz tournament adventure that year: "(To The) City of Brass" (1987). Similarly, "The Eternal Boundary" takes places in a "Citadel of Fire": a part of the Elemental Plane of Fire that's protected by a magic gem that keeps out the worst of the infernal flames that make up the realm.
About the Creators. Baker got his start at TSR writing for Dark Sun. "The Eternal Boundary" was just one of two major contributions he made to Planescape, the other being the second Monstrous Compendium (1995) for the setting.
About the Product Historian
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