In the mid- to late 1990s, there was a campaign setting for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons called Planescape. Those were the glory days of big boxed sets with a campaign setting book, Monstrous Compendium pages, maybe even a GM screen. Anyway, Planescape was never too popular, but it served an important function in a pretty unique and interesting way: it mapped out the different planes of existence of the AD&D multiverse and provided a sort of “cosmic hub” from which any and all places (and possibly times) in the multiverse could be accessed if you found the right key. It was a unique steampunk city, before steampunk was trendy, at the center of the vast fantasy cosmos of the AD&D game. If you want to experience Planescape in its more glorious form, head on over to Gog.com and buy a copy of Planescape: Torment, one of the best computer RPGs ever made!
Planescape is just one example of a way to incorporate planar travel in a fantasy RPG in a way that keeps the planes mysterious places of adventure, wonder, and terror. Before Planescape, AD&D had Spelljammer, in which those with the means could travel between the planes in a magical spacecraft. The Palladium Megaverse (including Palladium Fantasy RPG, Rifts, Beyond the Supernatural, and other amazing games) has mysterious psycho-physical rifts in spacetime which can lead to other planets, times, even universes.
Alderwood Cemetery started several years ago as my own attempt at modeling the planes. Back then, I never actually used it in a game, though I had planned out ways of incorporating it into Tunnels & Trolls and GURPS. But now that I have a regular RPG group again, I can finally develop Alderwood Cemetery and share what I’m doing with other GMs and players! Instead of T&T, though, I’m running the marvelous and inspiring Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC) from Goodman Games. Rather than trying to provide details for every last thing, DCC returns to the roots of fantasy roleplaying by presenting a functioning skeleton of a system—though with a lot more polish, better organization, and deeper flavor than classic D&D provided, for as important as that game was for gaming—with spaces intentionally left for the players and GMs of the game to fill in their own details as they want to.
That is largely what I’ll be doing here. As I fill in those details, construct setting details, customize and home brew, I’ll share with those who might find it interesting. I’m not sure how often I’ll be updating this blog, because I never know when I’ll be writing something new, so check back often!