Being an Introduction to Planescape
for the Truly Clueless Reader
The Mimir was
Inspired by TSR's Audio CD Mimir,
in the dark?
So what is this "Planescape" Thing, then?
Planescape's a setting for the AD&D role-playing game, though it can be played with any RPG system.
Excuse me, What's AD&D?
You really are clueless, ain't you? Don't worry, that's not a bad thing: Everyone has to start somewhere! AD&D is Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. It's a game where players take on the role of a character living in a fantastic world, where magic and dragons are real.
Oh, Dungeons and Dragons! Ain't that Satan-worship?
Erm...no. Satan worship involves babies being sacrificed to the Devil, orgies around effigies of goats, drawing mystic pentagrams and the like. Dungeons and Dragons is a game. Quite a difference there really, berk!
Okay, I get the point. But ain't it a bit Childish?
Quite a hobby, this: Some reckon it's Satanic, others that's it's "Kid's Stuff". Couldn't say that about many things, could you?
How do you Play?
One person is the Dungeon Master (DM), and he or she's the one who tells the story and describes the result of actions which the players' characters take. It's been likened to a board game, but without a board. Anyone can do anything they want, at any time. That might sound like a recipe for disaster, but there are plenty of guidelines and rules which you can use to structure the game, if you like. All it takes is a little practice and the knowledge that if some rule doesn't work, then you don't have to use it.
So how's Planescape different from other AD&D game worlds?
Planescape's one of the game worlds designed to appeal to the more mature gamer. While 'normal' AD&D is set in a mediaeval world where magic and dragons really do exist, Planescape's set in higher (and lower) Planes of Existence.
So it's like Philosophy with Dice?
Yeah, sort of. A reader familiar with the main themes and ideas of philosophy will recognise a lot in the beliefs of the Factions (powerful guilds of individuals who share common beliefs about the nature of existence), and the mythologically-minded will notice that the myths of the real world have done a great deal to add richness to the Planescape multiverse.
What's all this got to do with Mimirs? And why are there so many Skulls on this Site?
According to A Player's Primer to the Outlands (a sourcebook for Planescape), a mimir is a magical construct designed to provide information on all aspects of life on the Outer Planes. They appear as metallic skulls that jabber all sorts of information when asked, some useful, some not. This site draws on that magical item and (I hope) provides a comprehensive resource for Planescape DMs and players alike. Since Summer 1996 (when the online Mimir was 'born'), hundreds of generous planewalkers have donated bits of chant, art, and articles, and the Mimir has grown into a vast encyclopaedia of planar lore worthy, I believe, of the name 'mimir'.
Why do you keep calling me Clueless?
Sorry, nothing personal. Just a Planescape joke...see, there's a distinctive style of talking called the Cant, based loosely on 17th century English slang, that is used in the planes. 'Clueless' is a term used for someone who doesn't know the dark (way) of things. Again, it's optional, but it just adds a bit of atmosphere.
Sounds like fun. So where can I learn more?
Planescape is published by TSR Inc., a US-based company now owned by the Wizards of the Coast. AD&D and Planescape products can be bought in many bookshops around the world, and specialist role-playing shops also sell TSR's books. In the UK in particular, Virgin Megastores and Virgin Games Centres are major AD&D stockists. In France, Planescape is available at Jeux Descartes and L'Oeuf Cube, and in Italy, try I Giochi dei Grandi.
Being a brief map of the site, its main features and areas, also displaying which mimir knows which chant.
Throw a mimir in the air, watch it hover and spin, then ask it a question. If it can, it'll spill all the chant it knows on that topic.
Consult a Mimir