5E Map of the Great Wheel Cosmology
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  1. #1

    Map of the Great Wheel Cosmology

    Greetings!

    Even though in our group we have long since moved on from AD&D 2e, we still use that edition's cosmology as our default, as I understand several other groups do as well. I made this thing (which is an update of a previous one I did a couple of years ago, posted around here somewhere) with the purpose of cramming the three main groups of realms -Outer Planes, Inner Planes, and the crystal spheres of the Prime Material- into a single chart, trying to be as comprehensive as I could given the scope, with the purpose of making it easier to understand how all the different worlds relate to each other.

    Hopefully this can be useful for DMs still using that cosmology or new ones thinking about doing so.

    Feel free to use as you see fit!

    (click on the image for the full-size version)

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    Interesting detail: There are 482 different realms that are canonically part of the cosmology (between worlds, planes, demiplanes, and crystal spheres).

  2. #2
    Awesome. Any plans to put directional notations on the Phlogiston connections?

  3. #3
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    That's really cool!

    But you seem to be missing Abeir, Toril's sister planet. Though I am not sure how you would list it, as it is supposed to be in it's own material plane.

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    AWESOME!

  5. #5
    Very nice I like!

    Sent from my SM-G935P using EN World mobile app

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Leatherhead View Post
    That's really cool!

    But you seem to be missing Abeir, Toril's sister planet. Though I am not sure how you would list it, as it is supposed to be in it's own material plane.
    Was that concept part of AD&D? I may have missed it (it could have been in some obscure source) but my recollection was that Abeir-Toril was simply the longer name of the world originally, and 4e is where the idea of a second world came from.

    But that's a good place to point out that almost all of the 2e cosmology is back for 5e. Mostly they've just added bits to it rather than made major changes. The only actual changes I can think of involve moving the Positive and Negative Energy Planes to their own category, rather than being part of the Inner Planes; and switching the Demi-Plane of Shadow into the Material Echo Shadowfell (which I like better than 3e's version). But the DMG also says that people envision this stuff in different ways (which if you think about it is very Planescape--some people might consider them Inner Planes, others might say they're something else; debates on the nature of the Plane of Shadow continue amongst scholars.). And I believe the quasi and para elemental planes are only hinted at (same as in the 3e Manual of the Planes), but unlike in 3e I wouldn't be at all surprised if they make them explicit in a later product. They are aiming for inclusiveness as much as possible, so they have taken the angle of describing what it actually like on certain planes (and even that is left vague enough that it only addresses aspects of the plane), but saying different worlds envision different ways that the various planes are arranged or connected. So for instance, the classic Great Wheel is one theory of the multiverse, but there are others, although you can get to the same Elemental Plane of Fire (as long as you have a way to get there) regardless of how you think it is connected to other planes.
    XP Jeff Albertson gave XP for this post

  7. #7
    Glad you guys enjoyed it! If you have ideas about how to improve it (there are some typos that I just noticed that will require fixing anyway), please share them!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sword of Spirit View Post
    Any plans to put directional notations on the Phlogiston connections?
    I had an earlier version that included the direction of the flow, but I ended up removing it because I couldn't find enough reliable information about all of them (Nerik's Map of the Flow has directions, types, and speeds for all of them, but a lot is speculative); save for a few cases like the Radiant and the Arcane Inner, most of the canonical flows don't have a specified direction. I might have missed part of the data, though (maybe I forgot to check some of the Dragon articles regarding Spelljammer), so if you know of canonical information regarding the topic, I'd be more than happy to include it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Leatherhead View Post
    But you seem to be missing Abeir, Toril's sister planet. Though I am not sure how you would list it, as it is supposed to be in it's own material plane.
    As Sword of the Spirit noted, even though Abeir was already showing up in the name in 2e, I think it wasn't until 4e that it became an actual world (previously it was just a suffix). My rule for this map was to keep everything locked up to the end of AD&D, since I believe that's the more consistent and expansive version of the Great Wheel we have (3e never covered it in much detail and when it did it was a bit ambiguous, 4e scrapped it, and for 5e it's still too early to judge). So I'm afraid that means Abeir had to be left out (though as you mention, I wonder how it would have to be represented. I'm not very well versed on 4e cosmology, but was it ever specified where exactly Abeir was? Was it just another planet in Realmspace or somewhere else in the Prime, or was it literally in another multiverse altogether?).
    XP Jeff Albertson gave XP for this post

  8. #8
    I don't know about FR, but in 4e, each "world" was its own Mortal World, that is, its own plane. They were probably two "know worlds" connected, together with FR's Feywild and FR's Shadowfell.

  9. #9
    Back in 2e there were a couple of theorized planes, one was the Macrocosm where the creature known as the Chososion (PSMCIII) were theorized to come from, and 2e is where the Far Realm first appeared in many of the material written by Bruce Cordell, but back then it was just sort of theorized.

    There's more demiplanes such as Inphirblau where the possible relatives to the Dabus the Phirblas (PSMCIII) come from. Some of the Planescape adventures may have some one-off prime worlds or demiplanes.
    XP Cristian Andreu gave XP for this post

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Sword of Spirit View Post
    I believe the quasi and para elemental planes are only hinted at (same as in the 3e Manual of the Planes), but unlike in 3e I wouldn't be at all surprised if they make them explicit in a later product.
    The map provided in the 5e DMG has paraelemental planes, but no quasielementals. Getting rid of quasielementals is probably a big part of why they moved the Positive and Negative planes out of the Inner planes in the first place.

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