The Planar Armory

A Walk Through the Planes – Part 68: The Planar Armory




Before we get going, let me acknowledge that I’m well aware that this article isn’t going to be the most interesting entry of this series. “The Planar Armory” by Glen Jukes appeared just two issues of Dragon away from the launch of D&D‘s newly not-so-advanced third edition (in issue #272, June 2000 to be precise), and you get the sense that the editors were just happy to toss something out that they’d previously agreed to pay for before it became completely out of date. Three pages long, and featuring just six weapons (two of which are kind of the same anyhow), the high point of the piece is probably Shawn Sharp’s drawing of a modron, which I rather like. But it’s nonetheless one of the edition’s final mentions of Planescape, and so is of at least passing interest to interplanar scholars, which apparently I’ve at this point become. 

Following an introductory paragraph that serves less to talk about the items and more to remind people as to what Planescape is/was, “The Planar Armory” dives quickly into a couple of thematically planar weapons. Arcadian Dwarven Hammers are, well, magical hammers gifted from the dwarven god Clangeddin to his followers. They’re fine, though in many cases probably disappointing given the planar rules regarding magical items, which still exist as of this point in time. Fortunately (in my opinion, at least), that rule would be gone soon, but this is still second edition AD&D so in most cases these hammers are going to be useless. Awesome.


Also included is the Bytopian Flintspear, a spear that you can light on fire, a la flint, and the Flail of Apomps, which is flail with a three-headed end that has three possible magical effects, all of which are kind of ok I guess. Then there’s Modron Heartspears, which are used by modrons fighting in the Blood War and, for lore reasons that are actually kind of hilarious (involving devils punishing each other by dunking them in Primus’ energy pool), they don’t lose their bonuses dependent upon planar location. Neat.

I’m always here for good modron art.

Most of the article is devoted to Celestial Swords and their evil counterparts the Fiend Blades, which are specifically gifted from patron celestials or fiends. In order to use them, a person needs to make a pact with an outer planar being, and aside from normal bonuses they offer additional abilities dependent upon who gifted them, though the article mostly leaves this for DMs to decide on themselves. I quite like the idea of aligned weapons requiring patronage, and aside from the modron lore I mentioned above these are the only weapons included I would consider using myself, as I love it when magic items have a story involved with them and aren’t just a nameless bonus item.


And that’s really it. As I said, not such an exciting article, but then, Dragon‘s Bazaar of the Bizarre pieces aren’t really meant to be. This reads like pretty good fan fiction, and that’s really the point, offering people a place to feature a couple cool things from their campaigns for others to lift. Don’t worry, I promise you that even though the previously-covered Die, Vecna, Die! is the final second edition Planescape book widely published, we still have something else interesting planned for this series before making the jump into third edition. 

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