Case Study:Planescape Campaign Setting (AD&D)
- Genre: Fantasy
- Races: the usual D&D races plus a few Planar choices
- Main Setting: The Multiverse made up of Prime Material, Inner and Outer Planes
- Setup: As a multiverse, it seems less about exploring a dungeon for treasure and XP and more about exploring worlds and philosophies. As such, there’s a lot of potential scenarios for a variety of game set-ups: Gold & Glory, Sense of Wonder, Long-Term Objectives and Themes. Frankly, it’s a lot for a non-player to take in but, wow, was there an awesome amount of work put into the building of this campaign setting. But, then, I’m learning to expect that from TSR!
So, what’s a chef to do? Well, one of the first things I read was the “Planescape Conspectus” which includes a helluva lot of vernacular as a guide gives us a tour of sorts through Sigil, the crossroads of the multiverse, a place absolutely lousy with portals.
The talk about portals has me thinking desserts–namely stained glass cookies. No, not made of glass, sugar cookies with shapes cut out and those shapes filled with crushed hard candies and baked to melt the candy and create a stained glass look.
But, okay, that dessert (or nibbles) what about the rest of the meal?
The “Conspectus” folds out to this massive map of the Outer Planes with descriptions of, from what I can tell, the main 8 planes. Hello, theme!
Why not prepare dishes to correspond to each of those planes?
Abyss (Chaotic Evil) & Baator (Lawful Evil)
These two planes are engaged in a who-knows-how-long Blood War between the tana’ri and baatezu. Neither is exactly hospitable to it’s denizens much less visitors, but let’s tone down the hostility a bit but keep the intensity with some Chicken Wings doused in Ghost Pepper sauce and Jalapeno Poppers stuffed with pepper jack cheese.
Carceri (Neutral Chaotic Evil)
Described as a Red Prison with six nested levels, how about a Mexican Six-Layer Dip with chips to round out the snack portion of the meal.
Limbo (Chaotic Neutral)
Just a big ol’ mix-up of who knows what all. The description made me instantly think of a cocktail shaker and low and behold there is such a thing as a Limbo Cocktail. Sounds pretty tasty, too!
Arborea (Chaotic Good)
It’s all Greek here with the Powers identifying with the Olympian gods as well as an elven contingent. I’m thinking a good Pastitsio would be perfect, rooted in the Greek tradition with three layers, just like plane: pasta, meat sauce and a bechamel (white sauce) that, I think, speaks well to the elven idea.
Beastlands (Neutral Good Chaotic)
As the name would suggest this is your very own multiverse safari, described as the Happy Hunting Grounds, and it just screams out for a hunk of roasted meat! I’d do something on the bone, like this Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary.
Mount Celestia (Lawful Good)
This plane makes me think of transcendentalism the white fluffy clouds shown on the map lead me to think of a nice Floating Island dessert. Meringues in a custard sauce? Sounds like nirvana to me!
Mechanus (Lawful Neutral)
Also known as the Clockwork Universe–which makes me think of a Clockwork Orange and while I never want to see that movie again, personally, oranges are a nice direction to take. We’re feeling adventurous, right? Try a Baba Au Rhum, a yeast-risen cake brushed with a citrus-rum sauce. You can make individual ones or one large one and it’s great to be made ahead and then let to sit with the syrup soaking in.
Sure, it sounds like a lot of food, but much of it can be prepared ahead of time or brought by others pot luck or supper club-style. Plus, considering how long a gaming session can go, this menu would be great for one of those intense weekend games with multiple food breaks.