Pathfinder: Why the Plane of Shadows

As was announced last week, Jon Brazer Enterprises will be releasing in 2012 a number of books detailing the Plane of Shadows. Many of you are probably wondering, “Why the Plane of Shadows?” My response is, “Because the Plane of Shadows is the most inhabitable of all the planes. It is made up of the familiar and of the forgotten and twisted into something horrifying. This place is perfect for high level support and has never been detailed in any true sense of the word.” (That and “Because I want to,” but I’m focusing on the other one for this blog post.)

I have always held the belief that high level play is rarely pursued by game masters and players for one reason: there isn’t much support for it. Having said that, I also feel that the reason that many game companies do not support high level play is because there are few people playing it. Its a viscous cycle. I want to help alter that. Like the elemental planes, the Plane of Shadows is a place that is in everyone’s campaign setting because of the way magic works. However, it is a little harder for a group to survive on the planes of fire or water. Sure it can be done, but serious magical preparation is required. Then there’s the planes of positive or negative energy. It is difficult for most groups to image what they would find there. The Plane of Shadows by comparison offers groups the ability breathe air and not take damage every round (most of it anyways) while still giving them a frame of reference from which to imagine the world around them. Shadowsfall allows game masters to describe locations like, “This town looks like the one you just left, but …” and then proceed to tell the players about how the people look deathly malnourished or the houses look like they have been crumbling for hundreds of years or how zombies and spider webs are everywhere. That is something easy for game masters to describe and players to latch onto. In this way, the Plane of Shadows is ideal for development and ideal for home games.

So now you might be asking yourself, “But wait, the Plane of Shadows is detailed. I have it in this book of all the planes.” Exactly. That’s the problem. In many books detailing it over the past 10 years, few individual planes ever received more than 10 pages of detail. Compare that to much detail is there on various important cities in other campaign settings. I’ve got many books that are 64-128 pages thick that do nothing but detail one single city. This is an entire plane we’re talking about. Cities, countries, mountain ranges, continents, oceans, planets, moons, stars. Less than 10 pages by any single company. This leaves a lot more work up to the GM. As a result, the planes do not get nearly as much use as they otherwise could.

So that’s why we’re doing it. We want to provide you with high level support and detail a place that is in your campaign setting right now. This way you can bring it in anytime you want, even if it is at lower levels. We’ll be detailing how that is possible in a future blog post. Stay tuned to and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date and get exclusive first looks on all our upcoming Shadowsfall books.

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