D&D (2024) 2024 Astral Plane

Yaarel

He Mage
The flaw in that logic is that PCs do not age on the Astral Plane, but they do age on the outer planes. Souls are not alive, and so don't age. It's not an astral plane thing with them.
Any creature in the Astral Plane is a "disembodied mind". These creatures can enter an Outer Plane, either by pool or by floating island.

At no point is there any "aging". The minds along with their virtual astral bodies can exist anywhere there eternally.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Any creature in the Astral Plane is a "disembodied mind". These creatures can enter an Outer Plane, either by pool or by floating island.

At no point is there any "aging". The minds along with their virtual astral bodies can exist anywhere there eternally.
You reform when you leave, and you can get to outer planes without ever entering the astral. You age. That's why it goes out of the way to say no aging ONLY for the astral.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
You reform when you leave, and you can get to outer planes without ever entering the astral. You age. That's why it goes out of the way to say no aging ONLY for the astral.
I read the Celestial and Fiend creature types as both being Astral.

The Outer Planes are alignment domains in the Astral Sea.

So, all of it is Astral, and none of it ages.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I read the Celestial and Fiend creature types as both being Astral.
They are other planar beings. It's apples and oranges. They don't age, but mortals do.
The Outer Planes are alignment domains in the Astral Sea.
Not in 5e.
So, all of it is Astral, and none of it ages.
Wrong. It's factually wrong. You only fail to age on the astral, which is why the astral is the only place that says it. It wouldn't break the game for you to home brew that into the outer planes, but it's not that way by 5e default.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
They are other planar beings. It's apples and oranges. They don't age, but mortals do.

Not in 5e.

Wrong. It's factually wrong. You only fail to age on the astral, which is why the astral is the only place that says it. It wouldn't break the game for you to home brew that into the outer planes, but it's not that way by 5e default.
Can you find an example in 5e where someone in an Outer Plane ages?
 

Yaarel

He Mage
In 5e, the plane of the Outlands is no longer considered an Outer Plane. 5e cosmology is unlike earlier editions of D&D.

Planes can exist inside other planes, including Fey, Shadow, and Material inside the Ethereal, Elemental Planes inside the Elemental Chaos, and Outer Planes inside the Astral Plane.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Can you find an example in 5e where someone in an Outer Plane ages?
The main problem is that in 5e if it isn't said, it isn't done. You don't get to fly without an explicit fly speed. You age unless something explicitly ends aging, like the ASTRAL PLANE. The astral plane is only the astral plane. It isn't the outlands. It isn't the abyss. It isn't gehenna. It isn't the 9 hells. Even if you were correct and those planes float in the astral, they still are not the astral and are distinct planes of their own. Unless of course you can show explicitly where in 5e it says that those planes are also the astral. The astral is explicitly a pathway TO the other planes.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
If you're playing Planescape, you care really about the 16 Outer Planes and the Outlands, less about the Astral Sea.
Indeed, the Outer Planes and the Outlands link to each other via portals. So characters can hop back and forth among all seventeen without ever entering the Astral Sea.


WotC have been very clear in 5e that the Planar Wheel is JUST A MODEL by mortal sages trying to make sense of the planes.
The map of the cosmology in the Players Handbook is the default model for 5e.

Even tho it is a model, WotC still needs to clarify practical questions.

Can player characters in a spelljammer ship dock at an island to embark into an Upper Plane such as Arborea, or into the Outlands to view and somehow get to Sigil?


A Higher Plane of Existence is not physically part of the same space as our world. Trying to say that Celestia is physically INSIDE the Astral Sea as opposed to connected to it is like trying to force a tesseract-shaped peg through a torus shaped hole but only being able to see in 2 dimensions.

In YOUR game you can make the Astral Sea or Astral Plane a physical space surrounding both the mortal plane(t) and other plane(t)s but that's not the defined 5e cosmology assumed by the core books.
According to the 5e Players Handbook, the default model includes the Outer Planes inside the Astral Plane. They are even specifically inside the Astral Sea.

The wildspace would be the part of the Astral Plane that overlays the Material Plane.

By inference, the Astral Plane overlays everything that exists in the multiverse, from the outermost Astral edge to the innermost Material center. The Astral Plane is everywhere.


In MY game, for example, the Astral Sea is a physical space related to Wildspace and Star Wars Hyperspace and IRL Outer Space; a space so big that distances and timelines become impossibly large and our tiny lives and world becomes essentially a blip in the fabric of existence,
My view is similar.

The Material Plane includes distant stars that are impossibly far away, like reallife.

In D&D, those distant stars have their own worlds, including planets like Athas, Eberron, Oerth, and Toril. Each planet is a separate campaign setting: Dark Sun, Eberron, Greyhawk, and Forgotten Realms respectively. It is unfeasible to try reach these stars by mundane means. The typical way to reach them is to enter the wildspace of ones own star system, then sail from there across the Astral Sea at the speed of thought to the wildspace of that distant star system. Those stars are all visible within the Astral Sea via their respective wildspaces. One dematerializes from one star system and rematerializes in an other star system, effectively teleporting.

Creatures in a wildspace can exist both the Astral Plane and the Material Plane simultaneously. These creatures age because of the planar properties of the Material Plane.

(There are no wildspaces in the vacuum of remote outer space, perhaps because there is little or nothing to overlap. Maybe it has something to do with gravity. In any case, altho the Astral Plane overlaps the empty space of the Material Plane, the Material Plane doesnt exert influence on the Astral Plane there, hence no wildspace.)


while the Elemental Chaos is like the Quantum Realm from Marvel - a hidden "inner space" so tiny that time becomes meaningless and the building blocks of creation drift between states of matter and energy.
You have the Elemental Chaos exist at the "quantum" level of atoms. That makes sense. Because it a "place" where Force, elemental energy (Fire, Cold, Lighting, Thunder), and unstable matter (Acid) are all in flux.

When I look at the 5e map, I see the main features as:

• Positive Energy and Negative Emptiness preexist the multiverse.

• Where Positive and Negative interact the Astral Plane of thoughts results.

• The Astral Plane causes and overlaps the Ethereal Plane.

• The Ethereal Plane causes and overlaps the Material Plane.

• The Astral Plane overlaps both the Ethereal and the Material.

• The Elemental Chaos is where Ethereal force becomes matter.

• This Elemental matter is the building blocks for the Material Plane.

Note, one can reach the Four Elemental Planes from the Ethereal Plane, because its Ethereal force is part of the Elemental Chaos and each Element is actually made out of force. The Elements are states of matter: earthy solid, watery liquid, airy gas, and fiery plasma. All matter derives from the fundamental forces. In other words, the Four Elements are made out the Fifth Element, ether, which is Ethereal force. Ether as an element is also called Quintessence.

The Elemental Chaos is like the Big Bang. It is a creation event. But it is ongoing, in a continual flux, where resulting matter can revert back into force and energy. That is true at the subatomic quantum level, is helpful.


Meanwhile, the Outlands in my game are literally beyond the raw edges of the universe, the space between all things and at the outer limits of our understanding
In the cosmology map, there is a ring from which spokes radiate to each Outer Plane. Perhaps this ring itself, or perhaps what is within it, is somehow the Outlands.


-- and where the Ruby Gate and its Shardmind guardians hold back the incursions of the Far Realm.
I kinda want to put the Far Realm entering thru a lower level of Hades − with the Gray Waste including Aberration imagery.

Meanwhile, "Hades" and everything belonging to any "underworld" of the dead become moreorless the same thing as Shadowfell in the context of 5e.


I see these as fundamentally related ideas to the 5e cosmology, but clearly the way I'm interpreting them and retrofitting 4e concepts and MtG concepts and building in my own ideas makes it different.
Because there are omissions in the official descriptions of how these planes relate to each other, DMs are somewhat forced to fill in the gaps, and reconcile incongruencies.


Planescape uses the Great Wheel Cosmology as a default, but remember that it's ONLY A MODEL. WotC don't have a financial incentive to define it further than that, especially given that the Forgotten Realms are their home-base setting. FR has a history of understanding cosmology in multiple ways, of plane lists changing, and that history wasn't wiped when the Spellplague ended and Abeir and Toril passed out of alignment with each other again at the turning of 5e a decade ago. The Forgotten Realms are a living setting, even if the exact details of scale have changed from edition to edition (seriously, the 3e and 4e maps of the Realms are SO MUCH SMALLER than 5e's version). And that means that the nature of Cosmology needs some flexibility to allow past interpretations to remain as a viable option for the sages to discuss.
It is the great point that Forgotten Realms, namely the default setting for 5e core, has a tradition of changing cosmologies. Talk about "Realms-shaking events"!


So they're probably not going to define the space between the planes further with Planescape; instead, they'd focus on the factions of Planescape and the campaign adventures of Planescape and the options of Planescape characters and what it means to play a game without a Material Plane as the central starting zone and place to protect from planar incursion. I'd expect close details on Sigil and character options, a starter adventure in Sigil, a larger campaign taking inspiration from PS:Torment, and a Manual of the Planes gazetteer that explores the creatures and factions and some key locations in each of the Outer Planes. I actually expect them to ignore the Inner Planes, the Parallel Planes, and the Transitive Planes when it comes to details, but to speak to them very briefly as also there.
Probably true, mostly.

But there are still practical questions that require clarification.

Can players in the Planescape setting, be in an Outer Plane like Arborea and sail out from a dock there into the Astral Sea?

In the Outlands, what is beyond the edge of the stable hub of the Spire? Is it the Astral Sea, the Elemental Chaos, more Outlands, or something else?

How does one get to a relevant dominion like Hestavar from the Outlands, or from Elysium? Does one get there by a spelljammer ship? Can one get there by a spelljammer?

I find it difficult to imagine a Planescape setting that avoids clarifying these likely adventure scenarios.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The wildspace would be the part of the Astral Plane that overlays the Material Plane.

By inference, the Astral Plane overlays everything that exists in the multiverse, from the outermost Astral edge to the innermost Material center. The Astral Plane is everywhere.
It might be everywhere, but it isn't everything. Here's an analogy. If I take you and throw you into a sea, you don't become the sea. You stay you. Something discrete from the sea that you are floating in. That means that even if you are correct and the outer planes are infinitely large islands floating in the astral sea, those islands are not the astral sea and don't have the same traits.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
It might be everywhere, but it isn't everything. Here's an analogy. If I take you and throw you into a sea, you don't become the sea. You stay you. Something discrete from the sea that you are floating in.
I get that.

For example, the Astral Plane overlaps the Material Plane. But each is distinct from the other.

(Indeed it is planar properties of the Material Plane that cause Astral creatures in the Astral Plane to "age". Thus Astral creatures can only have children who grow up while in the Material Plane. Afterward, the family returns to the Astral Sea where they can no longer age.)


That means that even if you are correct and the outer planes are infinitely large islands floating in the astral sea, those islands are not the astral sea and don't have the same traits.
My preference is: Astral dominions are part of the Astral Plane, but arent part of the Astral Sea.

Unfortunately, a single sentence in a sidebar in Spelljammer makes this awkward (Guide 21).

"Because these dominions are part of the Astral Sea, they are timeless. Nothing ages there, and creatures can survive there indefinitely without food or drink."

To this I respond.

Astral creatures can eat and drink harmlessly for enjoyment, but dont need to for survival. It is all virtual reality. Feasting is a metaphor for the bliss in the realm of ideals. Even Angels can eat if they feel like it.

While it is true that Astral dominions are (typically) ageless, a dominion can have unique planar properties to itself.

For example, the dominion of Hestavar is the concept − the paradigmatic thought construct − of the ideal civilization. I expect and hope it will have unique planar properties that cohere with this archetype. (Star Trek tropes might make sense here.) In some ways it already has properties, like gravity and apparent solidity, which the rest of the Astral Sea lacks.

I expect the same form the Outer Planes, aka alignment domains. Each will have unique characteristics.

Even tho the domains are part of the Astral Sea, each can have specific characteristics that are unlike the rest of the Astral Sea generally.
 

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