Astral Plane Think Tank

Sadras

Adventurer
So our table is currently running through this great little module called The Lich-Queen's Begotten by M.T. Black which takes place on the Astral Plane. Despite all my years as a DM this, shamefully, is my first use of the Astral Plane. So I have done some reading on the matter and came across a site by DMDave who likely is the very same on Enworld. :)

Anyways, so he has an expanded view on the Astral Plane and I thought about the merits of incorporating a few of these ideas...and I'm wondering what Enworlders' thoughts on these are, particularly the deep thinkers and scientists. Yes I know it is ALL magic - but our table bends towards logic, sometimes.

1. Time on the Astral Plane
You can’t cheat time on the Astral Plane. Even though you stop aging while on the Astral, when you return to the Prime Material your years will catch up to you. If you enter when you’re 20 and wait 50 years, then when you come back, time catches up to you and you instantly turn 70. And if you try to go back to the Astral Plane, you’ll still be 70. No reclaiming lost youth!

2. Eating on the Astral Plane
You don’t have to eat while on the Astral Plane. And you won’t die of starvation if you stay there for years without eating. However, once you return to a place where time functions normally, you’ll find yourself famished!

3. Injuries on the Astral Plane
Wounds don’t heal normally on the Astral Plane. If you’re cut, you’ll bleed. That stays the same. Only problem is you won’t heal naturally.
The only way to heal on the Astral Plane is through magical means.


4. Movements on the Astral Plane
To move is to think. That’s it.
And for complicated Astral Plane maneuvers, all it takes is a thought (an Intelligence check).
Swimming, climbing, jumping–everything physical is related to Intelligence checks while in the Astral Sea.

5. Momentum on the Astral Plane
There is nothing to stop nonthinking objects from moving in the Astral. Fire an arrow and it travels on and on forever. On the other hand…
Thinking objects must always think to move. If you aren’t thinking about moving, you won’t move. Sleeping? You’re still. Thinking about eating a donut? Still!

6. Vision on the Astral Plane
The astral limits normal vision. Therefore, those with normal vision can only see a maximum distance of 200 yards. However, those with true sight can see with a more “normal” viewing range.

7. Stealth on the Astral Plane
Since there is no real “movement” in the Astral Plane, all Stealth checks are done with advantage even when wearing heavy armor.


8. Intelligence Replaces Strength
The Astral Plane is the realm of the mind. Because of this, a character’s Intelligence score takes the place of his Strength score to determine attack and damage bonuses (or penalties), as well as carrying capacity, ability to bend bars, lift gates, and so on. Any action that would normally require a Strength ability check should use Intelligence instead including the Athletics skill.

9. Wisdom Replaces Dexterity

in the same vein, Wisdom takes over for Dexterity on the Astral Plane. Wisdom becomes one’s Armor Class modifier and initiative bonus. And any action that would normally require a Dexterity ability check should use Wisdom instead, including Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth, ranged attacks, attacks with finesse weapons, etc.

10. Melee Combat on the Astral Plane

There’s a whole lot more movement on the Astral, and it’s easy for the uninitiated to get caught off guard while fighting there. Furthermore, attackers can surprise people from above and below allowing extra flanking opportunities.

11. Ranged Combat on the Astral Plane
Since everything is done in zero-gravity environments, ranged attacks suffer. All ranged attacks are made at disadvantage while on the Astral Plane unless there is a source of gravity (dead god’s carcass or a big ol’ rock to land on).
However, all ranges are doubled on the Astral Plane since there’s nothing to block line of sight. So a shortbow with a short range of 80 would have a range of 160 on the Astral and a long range of 640 instead of 320.


12. Magic on the Astral Plane

12.1. Magic - Extradimensional

The Astral Plane has no dimensions, therefore extradimensional spells such as Leomund’s Tiny Chest or the carrying capacity of a bag of holding won’t work there.

12.2 Magic - Physical Spells in the Astral Plane
Spells that rely on the physical world such as disintegrate or the effects of a sphere of annihilation don’t work on the Astral Plane.
However, spells like fireball and lightning bolt are translates to the metaphysical nature of the Astral Plane.
Spells that alter space/time also won’t work, such as time stop.
There is not a lot of “solid ground” in the Astral Plane, therefore spells like Evard’s black tentacles and Tenser’s floating disc don’t really have that much effect there, either.


12.3 Magic - Spell Potency on the Astral Plane
Spell ranges increase by 50% on the Astral Plane.
And spell times are reduced as follows:

  • Spells that normally take a single action can now also be used as a bonus action.
  • Any spell that takes 1 or more hours is reduced to the same number of minutes.
  • And any spell that takes 1 or more minutes is reduced to the same number of rounds for casting time.
All mind-influencing spells are more potent on the Astral Plane. The duration of these spells increase by 50% and saving throws against these spells are made at disadvantage.
Haste and slow work normally except they do not affect movement.
When psychic winds occur (more on that later) there is a chance that illusions such as hallucinatory terrain and phantasmal force could get absorbed by the winds and come out completely different than what was intended. You wanted a dragon illusion? Well, now it’s a clown with a seltzer bottle. Darn those pesky psychic winds!

The Astral Plane is cut off from the Inner Planes. Therefore, elementals cannot be summoned to the Astral Plane.

So...
I dislike 1 because it means that Githyanki age every time they leave the Astral Plane - at times significantly. However I feel 1, 2 and 3 are all inter-connected. For instance can you include 2 without using adopting 1 and 3 logically?
Undecided on 7
Love 4-6 and 8-10
Does 11 makes logical sense?
I'm not so worried about 12.1 and 12.2
I'm unsure of 12.3 due to the possible ramifications that could exist.
 
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Coroc

Adventurer
12.3 breaks mechanics. Casters especially wizards seem to get advantages already by favoring int. No need to bend the rules for spellcasting actions (allowing a wizard to cast two non cantrips in a row).
12.1 and 12.2 sound cool and good for me.
3 and 5 are nice ideas but can cause complications eventually.
1 is, hm how much time does your group intend to spend on the astral? More than their predetermined lifespan? What I try to ask is : Does it matter and how? If not just put it in for an extra fluff effect.
When they return they are, whatever, 1 year older suddenly. Does not hurt, but tells them their is a price to be paid.
11 is not concludent with 4 and 6. The range beyond vision does not make sense. Just leave it as it is those are just a set of modifiers for special case : long range combat.
8 and 9 go into a similar field like 11. Wisdom for stealth and perception? Ok. if you like it, it is odd fun but still can be fun. But your fighter would be on constant disadvantage here. Maybe it unbalances the group to much.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
For 1 and 2 I think it might be worth it to distinguish between being physically in the astral vs astrally projecting oneself there. The rules as above make sense when projecting as your body is still in a place where time and space exist, but if your body is actually translated there I'm not sure they should apply.

To elaborate think on this: While physically in the astral does it make sense for your body to have some sort point of reference to a material plane you came from so that age and hunger can catch up to you? Personally I don't think it does. If your body is in a place where time doesn't exist I don't think it would have a way for time to catch up with you when immersed in it again. This would also solve your Githyanki aging issue as they actually live in the astral and thus will only age when they travel to other planes.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
1. Time on the Astral Plane
I dislike this one because it doesn't make sense. You're not experiencing time, why would it catch up with you?. There are great storylines to be had with that.

2. Eating on the Astral Plane
I like not having to eat while on the plane, and being hungry when you enter the material plane after... 8-9 hours or so makes sense as time and metabolic processes start working on your body.

3. Injuries on the Astral Plane
I like this one.
4. Movements on the Astral Plane
This is classic
5. Momentum on the Astral Plane
Makes sense, with no mind to stop them.

6. Vision on the Astral Plane
I would have this inability to ebb and flow as you want PC's to see thing in the distance and set an ominous tone.

7. Stealth on the Astral Plane
For audible stealth, sure, but bulky armor still makes movements awkward, so hiding should still be at disadvantage.

8. Intelligence Replaces Strength
I don't like this, otherwise, why are Githyanki +2 to Str race?

9. Wisdom Replaces Dexterity
I don't like this.

10. Melee Combat on the Astral Plane
Yup, 3D fighting is great!

11. Ranged Combat on the Astral Plane
Sure?

12. Magic on the Astral Plane

12.1. Magic - Extradimensional
There are dimensions on the astral, otherwise, you wouldn't exist when you went there. I know transitive spells go through the Astral (Dimension Door, teleport), etc. But I thought extra-dimensional spells create spaces on the ethereal? Secret Chest specifically puts the chest on the Ethereal Plane, so it should still work.
12.2 Magic - Physical Spells in the Astral Plane

12.3 Magic - Spell Potency on the Astral Plane
Magic should just work

I dislike 1 because it means that Githyanki age every time they leave the Astral Plane - at times significantly. However I feel 1, 2 and 3 are all inter-connected. For instance can you include 2 without using adopting 1 and 3 logically?
Undecided on 7
Love 4-6 and 8-10
Does 11 makes logical sense?
I'm not so worried about 12.1 and 12.2
I'm unsure of 12.3 due to the possible ramifications that could exist.
Overall, I like most of these, but some dont' make sense to me.
 

Galandris

Adventurer
The "time catching up with you" is a staple of some fey stories where when the human gets back from Faerie, he suddenly ages, sometimes catastrophically. I don't mind it since it usually won't have any mechanical effect for players but I'd be wary of the food/waer aspect of this. Aging 20 days when you get back is not a big deal. Suddenly getting 20 days worth of thirst means instant death. I am not sure it's much fun.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
The "time catching up with you" is a staple of some fey stories where when the human gets back from Faerie, he suddenly ages, sometimes catastrophically.
I totally agree with this... if you're coming back from a time variable plane like the Feywild!

For a plane like Astral that is timeless, it doesn't really make sense to me.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Ragnar the Barbarian enters the Astral plane. Suddenly 5. THIRTY THOUSANDS arrows hit Ragnar because I shot an arrow into the air where it landed I now know where. (Couldn't find the gif of the Viking dude getting hit with all the arrows.
 

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