We’re doing previews of all of the sourcebooks that are launching along side the core rules for Heart. This week, we’re focusing on DOORS TO ELSEWHERE.
Elsewhere is a nexus point between realities – the gateway to a dozen worlds, protected by a cadre of overworked cartographers, threatened by hungry shadows, and panicking as the lights go out.
It’s up to you to save it – and the Heart, and maybe a few other dimensions as well.
WHAT IS DOORS TO ELSEWHERE?
Doors to Elsewhere is a campaign frame for Heart – it’s a scenario, a set of NPCs and factions, some adversaries to fight, lots of details on Elsewhere itself and a situation so dangerous you’ve got no choice but to intervene.
Elsewhere is alive – but it’s a city, and it only speaks in doors and pathways. The lights that keep it safe from those aforementioned hungry shadows are winking out one by one, and it’s thrown open doors to the Heart to try and recruit some proactive individuals to come and save it. (And maybe to let some of the shadows out to eat someone else for a bit, too.)
We mentioned Elsewhere in Spire – the Gentlemen who run L’Enfer Noir are from there – but that’s pretty much it. As with most of our setting details, we had intended it as a throwaway line that wouldn’t attract much attention, but people started to ask questions about it.
With the arrival of Heart, we were able to leap feet-first into the subject of otherworlds, and Elsewhere (along with UnSpire and the Moon Garden) was already waiting for us. We wanted Elsewhere to be everything the Heart wasn’t: comprehensible, modern, and… nice? Maybe not nice, actually, as it has the whole “hungry shadows” thing going on – but during the day, at least, we aimed for something like La Belle Epoque Paris crossed with Planescape’s Sigil.
Rather than go into exhaustive detail on all the alternate realities accessible through the city, we’ve tried to focus on Elsewhere itself – we reckon it’s interesting enough to warrant it. (My favourite bit is the way that, if you break the unwritten and inscrutable rules of Elsewhere, the City simply walls you off into a cellar and waits for you to die or starve long enough that you learn your lesson. There’s a roaring trade in finding the corpses of thieves trapped in basements and crawlspaces and reselling their stolen goods.)
Should your players end up spending several sessions there, we’ve provided a set of minor advances available to any class that give access to magical tricks such as sealing dimensional portals, making yourself understood in any language or summoning a temporary bridge.
Inspired by scenarios such as The Armitage Files and the loose way that we run our own games, Doors to Elsewhere is not only open-ended but open-beginninged and open-middled. We’re looking to provide you with something to spark an interesting story, so we’ve done our best to provide you with as many hooks as possible. If we’ve done our job properly you should be able to adapt the adventure to reflect whatever the players are interested in.
In short: the crystals that power the lights are going missing. We’ve provided means and motive for any one of around six interested parties to have carried out the theft, and reasons that the other five would try to hire a bunch of disposable rubes to steal them back. You can decide whodunnit before play and sculpt the adventure yourself, or – as we’d do it – go with whatever the players reckon is going on but add a couple of twists along the way.