D&D 5E Astral Sea and Wildspace in the 5e Cosmology


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Lyxen

Great Old One
Honestly, if they stick to previous policies, I think that:
  • The simplest system could be done is
    • Keep Wildspace as per the original Spelljammer (gravity, air bubble, etc.)
    • Get rid of the phlogiston and crystal sphere, all the settings are on the prime but in different solar systems
    • Use the Astral Sea as the "hyperspace medium", that you can reach through "jump points" a.k.a. color pools.
    • So your Spelljamming helm is just your "engine" driving you to great but "conventional" speeds, enough for intra-system travel, but also able to push you through into "Astral Hyperspace", that you can explore on its own or that can be used as a transitive plane to outer planes or other areas of the prime.
  • Stil have a sidebar explaining the original concept of crystal spheres and phlogiston for those who want to keep these settings separate.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Meanwhile, I am unlikely to ever use the Outer Planes in any significant way, so the Astral doesn't have a lot of purpose for me, except for Spelljamming.

I understand, although there are lots of interesting things in the Astral itself, like GIthyankis, dead gods, etc. It's also a very interesting environment, where you are powered by thought, your speed depends on your int, etc. Nice changes...
 

Staffan

Legend
Honestly, if they stick to previous policies, I think that:
  • The simplest system could be done is
    • Keep Wildspace as per the original Spelljammer (gravity, air bubble, etc.)
    • Get rid of the phlogiston and crystal sphere, all the settings are on the prime but in different solar systems
    • Use the Astral Sea as the "hyperspace medium", that you can reach through "jump points" a.k.a. color pools.
    • So your Spelljamming helm is just your "engine" driving you to great but "conventional" speeds, enough for intra-system travel, but also able to push you through into "Astral Hyperspace", that you can explore on its own or that can be used as a transitive plane to outer planes or other areas of the prime.
If I were doing it, I'd treat transition between wildspace and the Astral sea the same as hyperspace works in Babylon 5. The common method is to do it at predetermined points ("jumpgates"), but being able to cross over under your own power is uncommon but not surprising. In B5, having on-board jump engines is usually a thing for capital ships, but in Spelljammer it would make more sense to be the result of actual spellcasting (perhaps a plane shift augmented by the helm).
 


Micah Sweet

Legend
If I were doing it, I'd treat transition between wildspace and the Astral sea the same as hyperspace works in Babylon 5. The common method is to do it at predetermined points ("jumpgates"), but being able to cross over under your own power is uncommon but not surprising. In B5, having on-board jump engines is usually a thing for capital ships, but in Spelljammer it would make more sense to be the result of actual spellcasting (perhaps a plane shift augmented by the helm).
Anything that makes space more like Babylon 5 is a plus in my book.
 


Lyxen

Great Old One
If I were doing it, I'd treat transition between wildspace and the Astral sea the same as hyperspace works in Babylon 5.

That's what I had in mind, yes. And note that it's also the way Color Pools work, specific points of passage.

The common method is to do it at predetermined points ("jumpgates"), but being able to cross over under your own power is uncommon but not surprising. In B5, having on-board jump engines is usually a thing for capital ships, but in Spelljammer it would make more sense to be the result of actual spellcasting (perhaps a plane shift augmented by the helm).

Or simply the power of some helms.
 


Staffan

Legend
Additionally, isn't Plane Shift limited to 8 people? That's not a lot of cargo. Could be a work around if you start using bags of holding and the like, I suppose, but, it also might just be one of those things we're not supposed to question as it's a lot more fun if we have honking big flying ships. :D
The carrying capacity of 8 people making a two-day round trip should not be underestimated compared to a ship whose journey back and forth takes maybe 6 months (depending on the vagaries of the Flow and the size of the crystal spheres).
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
There are no stars. Stars are a lie.

They are not necessarily lies, there are multiple cases:
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Einlanzer0

Explorer
Honestly, if they stick to previous policies, I think that:
  • The simplest system could be done is
    • Keep Wildspace as per the original Spelljammer (gravity, air bubble, etc.)
    • Get rid of the phlogiston and crystal sphere, all the settings are on the prime but in different solar systems
    • Use the Astral Sea as the "hyperspace medium", that you can reach through "jump points" a.k.a. color pools.
    • So your Spelljamming helm is just your "engine" driving you to great but "conventional" speeds, enough for intra-system travel, but also able to push you through into "Astral Hyperspace", that you can explore on its own or that can be used as a transitive plane to outer planes or other areas of the prime.
  • Stil have a sidebar explaining the original concept of crystal spheres and phlogiston for those who want to keep these settings separate.

This is the only approach I can think of that makes sense. Considering that the astral plane is supposed to be an extraplanar dream realm, having it literally, materially, and automatically occupy all the space between suns is nonsensical and creates a ton of cognitive dissonance around how that reconciles with a lot of established lore and canon, how it interacts with other planes, etc.

Even if this isn't how it's presented in the setting, this will almost certainly be how I treat it in my games.
 
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Can you find the exact quote. Presumamably the shallow wildspace borders the deep "astral" sea.

Nope. Most people never do and more often than not don't even realize they're regurgitating something that was expressed in yet another 3rd party opinion. If only more people understood the importance of proper source citation in these discourses. The lack thereof precludes any indication of an independent analysis, and it's all just their personal opinion that they're expressing, which is still important but completely useless in the dialogue.

Yaarel, your explanations are extremely helpful, and your analyses are phenomenal. I'm currently combing through AD&D's Spelljammer (1992) and will likely revisit 3e's Manual of the Planes (2001) next in my own analysis - had to digs these books out of boxes. Nonetheless, thanks for your post and comments!

______
Sorry for the repeat post below, not sure how that happened.
 

Can you find the exact quote. Presumamably the shallow wildspace borders the deep "astral" sea.
Can you find the exact quote. Presumamably the shallow wildspace borders the deep "astral" sea.

Nope. Most people never do and more often than not don't even realize they're regurgitating something that was expressed in yet another 3rd party opinion. If only more people understood the importance of proper source citation in these discourses. The lack thereof precludes any indication of an independent analysis, and it's all just their personal opinion that they're expressing, which is still important but completely useless in the dialogue.

Yaarel, your explanations are extremely helpful, and your analyses are phenomenal. I'm currently combing through AD&D's Spelljammer (1992) and will likely revisit 3e's Manual of the Planes (2001) next in my own analysis - had to digs these books out of boxes. Nonetheless, thanks for your post and comments!
 

Nope. Most people never do and more often than not don't even realize they're regurgitating something that was expressed in yet another 3rd party opinion. If only more people understood the importance of proper source citation in these discourses. The lack thereof precludes any indication of an independent analysis, and it's all just their personal opinion that they're expressing, which is still important but completely useless in the dialogue.

Yaarel, your explanations are extremely helpful, and your analyses are phenomenal. I'm currently combing through AD&D's Spelljammer (1992) and will likely revisit 3e's Manual of the Planes (2001) next in my own analysis - had to digs these books out of boxes. Nonetheless, thanks for your post and comments!
I would wait until 5e Spelljammer before making too many assumptions.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Crawford has in mind the "body bleeds into thought".

Even here, the body itself appears to be an immaterial and nonphysical thought construct, made out of information, like a video game or virtual reality.

The 5e Spelljammer books are starting to show up.

"In Wildspace, the Material Plane and the Astral Plane overlap. Creatures and objects in Wildspace age normally and are effectively in both of those planes at once."

So wildspace isnt the material plane. But the astral information of wildspace closely simulates the material plane. The wildspace is virtually the material plane. The "overlap" is very close.

These information constructs in the wildspace simulate matter less if they shift into the astral sea. In the astral sea, there is no aging, nor hunger, nor thirst. The information constructs simulate less the material world and simulate more the angelic world of the celestials. All of this is data constructs and information processing.



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Hussar

Legend
That’s kinda neat. I’m so torn. I have a home brew campaign that I’ve been knocking around for a while to run after my current game but this looks so cool.
 


Yaarel

Mind Mage
Here is an excerpt from the 5e Spelljammer: Light of Xaryxis.

"
ASTRAL ELVES

Long ago, some elves ventured to the Astral Plane. ... There, they ceased to age and could exist indefinitely without sustenance.

Astral elves were among the first creatures to dwell in the Silver Void [Astral Sea]. As other explorers have reached for the stars, astral elves have had to reckon with violent neighbors and strange visitors. Over the eons, astral elves have clashed with numerous invaders, including psurlons, mindflayers, and githyanki. When dealing with others astal elves customarily cover their faces with ornate visors. ... Astral elf warriors [have] the power to channel the radiant energy of starlight through their weapons, just as ... astral elf leaders the ability to cast spells and summon solar dragons.

Astral elves ply the Astral Sea and Wildspace in ships of their own design. These ships are fashioned from crystals harvested from Wildspace systems and bound with an organic plant-based [resinous] material that hardens like ceramic. The elves sculpt these substances in various configurations to create star moth [ship]s, and other vessels. The elves also reshape ... in the Silver Void, floating cities and citadels.

Altho the Silver Void is their home, astral elves often venture into wildspace systems and place their ships and citadels in orbit around stars. Astral elves do this for several reasons. Proximity to a star allows the astral elves to forge pacts with solar dragons and to collect starlight, which the elves use to grow their crystals and repair their ships. Most important, astral elves use their time outside the Deep Astral [sea] to replenish their numbers by having and raising children.

Many astral elves are thousands (in some cases tens of thousands) of years old. Whatever their disposition, their longevity gives astral elves a perspective on time that few other kinds of creatures can appreciate. Whether they choose to live in quiet contemplation or strike out to explore the far reaches of the multiverse, astral elves tend to see events happening elsewhere as having little or no meaning to them.

"



Some thoughts.

The astral elf culture cannot age in the astral sea, so children cannot grow up there. The elves must leave the astral sea in order to raise children.

Mainly for children, the astral elves have satellites − citadels − orbiting the sun of a wildspace solar system, where time works normally and the children can grow up.

In other words, "astral" elves are also "solar" elves. Star=Sun.

They have affinity with solar radiation − starlight − and radiant energy and damage type.

They make political treaties − pacts − with solar dragons, who also inhabit near or inside the sun.



These elven crystals are probably not the same thing as the "crystal sphere" shards in Doomspace. But the crystals seem strong enough to make space ships out of, and the elves know how to "grow" these crystals.

Possibly, these crystals are "indestructible" to some degree, so that they must be grown into their desired shape. But once the shape is completed, it cannot be reshaped and is difficult to break.

As such, this resembles the "invincible" adamans of ancient Greek traditions. Adamans originally describes colorless corundum, relating to sapphire, ruby, and emery. From the Greek word come English words like "diamond", "adamant", and the D&D metal "adamantine" that literally means the metal is as hard as adamans.

The crystal seems to be a cool reference to adamans.



The themes of the astral/solar elves − sky, distant levels of the sky, solar corona habitation, and radiant beams − resonate the Norse concept of elves.

Love it!
 

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