D&D General Baator Burger: The Inevitable Progress of Multiversal Society

While researching for my projects on DMsGuild, I realized that a lot of the civilizations in the DnD multiverse would have had time and opportunity to develop all sorts of innovations, technologies, and societal norms, well beyond Medieval/Classical/Renaissance Era societies as presented in real life history books.

As such, we have flying ships of massive proportions and Mad Max automotive vehicles in the depiction of Avernus seen in Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus.

Since the souls of inventors and innovators throughout history are also potentially having a blast in the Outer Planes, there would likely be a spread of information and ideas throughout the multiverse that can profoundly transform civilizations.

Imagine a demon building a giant stealth aircraft for the Blood War, or a devil opening up a burger franchise in an infernal city.

A mage sets up an internet service that connects several continents.

Gnomes organize labor unions in the Bytopian quarries.

The drow of Eilistraee export a pop singer group to tour the concert halls and theaters of Arborea.

Gond the Wonderbringer builds a full scale Gundam in his workshop, for personal use.

Genasi in the Elemental Plane of Water develop an industrial water cutter to sell in the dwarven markets.

The possibilities are exciting.

What would you like to see in a plane-hopping campaign that took into account potential developments that PCs might not have ever imagined before?
 

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Voadam

Legend
It would depend a lot on the cosmology.

I prefer outer planes more along 4e lines where it is not mortal souls recycled into outsiders but outsiders as outsiders. The planes as extreme high fantasy outsider settings and so things are different and fantastical and not so human mortal society based or mortal afterlife based. Angels as astral sea concept based beings, not the souls of saints pumped up magically by gods as afterlife rewards. The Abyss as Elemental Chaos corrupted by [EVIL]. The gods' astral domains as being more defined by the sphere of influence concepts the gods embody than by housing afterlives.

So more reflections of those types of driving concepts, maybe things like devils setting up interplanar recruitment networks to get mercenaries to fight the Blood War or resource acquisition for their war effort as their big thing outside of Hell and the Abyss.
 

Reynard

Legend
Here's the thing: dogmatic philosophy is not good for innovation, and by definition every Plane is ruled by dogmatic philosophy. So Avernus may have cool Mad Max death cars, but it's not going to produce logical extensions of that magitech in other sectors. It's a great excuse to add a specific funky thing to an outer planar adventure, but I don't think it does much for broad cosmological world building.
 

So Avernus may have cool Mad Max death cars, but it's not going to produce logical extensions of that magitech in other sectors.
There's a gigantic moving fortress that's basically an aircraft carrier on wheels from back in the 2e-era Hellbound boxset (specifically the adventure "Squaring the Circle"). From 3e and beyond, they've also had "Hellfire Engines".

There's an entire ministry under the Dark Eight's Pearza dedicated to military Research and Development for the Blood War.

After barely surviving an assassination attempt, Geryon's consort Cozbinaer basically pilots a mech suit that doubles as a Darth Vader-style life support system.

Mephistopheles's consort Baalphegor has been noted to be a master inventor/artificer, as well as a couple of other notable figures (though admittedly, I have a lot of third party and fan-made material related to various lesser arch-devils floating around in my head, so some of that may not be strictly canon).

I see no reason that infernal "magitech" can't be a thing.
 
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Reynard

Legend
There's a gigantic moving fortress that's basically an aircraft carrier on wheels from back in the 2e-era Hellbound boxset
That's a difference of scale, not kind. My point was there won't be an infernal machine textile factory or harvesting combine. That's not how outsider minds work,no matter how smart.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
That's a difference of scale, not kind. My point was there won't be an infernal machine textile factory or harvesting combine. That's not how outsider minds work,no matter how smart.
True, but visitors of all kinds- voluntary or not- may have a mindset that sees potential in one plane’s inventions that natives to that realm might never considered.

Over enough time, someone else might invent an infernal textile factory. And over even more time, infernal minds might steal the idea back.
 

Reynard

Legend
True, but visitors of all kinds- voluntary or not- may have a mindset that sees potential in one plane’s inventions that natives to that realm might never considered.

Over enough time, someone else might invent an infernal textile factory. And over even more time, infernal minds might steal the idea back.
That's an interesting perspective. My view is that planes don't have infinite time, they essentially have no time. That is, they are so rigid (specific to their alignment etc) that they must, by definition, be unchanging. No "progress" happens in Hell or Elysium. If it did, they couldn't be Hell or Elysium.
 

That's an interesting perspective. My view is that planes don't have infinite time, they essentially have no time. That is, they are so rigid (specific to their alignment etc) that they must, by definition, be unchanging. No "progress" happens in Hell or Elysium. If it did, they couldn't be Hell or Elysium.
I mean, one of my favorite things about Baator is charting out the political structure and how it changes over time - different arch-dukes rising to power and being overthrown.

Go far enough back and Baator was ruled not by Asmodeus and the baatezu, but by Zargon and the ancient baatorians - a now extinct(?) race of fiends. Back in the day, the Lords of Nine were responsible for their armies in the Blood War, but after the Reckoning of Hell, that authority was largely revoked and placed in the hands of the Dark Nine Eight, a council of pit fiend generals answering exclusively to Asmodeus.

Whether you consider it "progress" or not is another matter, but the Nine Hells absolutely change over time.
 

That's an interesting perspective. My view is that planes don't have infinite time, they essentially have no time. That is, they are so rigid (specific to their alignment etc) that they must, by definition, be unchanging. No "progress" happens in Hell or Elysium. If it did, they couldn't be Hell or Elysium.

To see how progress can produce Hell, one can try visiting a cubicle floor in an office building. Waka waka.
 

Reynard

Legend
I mean, one of my favorite things about Baator is charting out the political structure and how it changes over time - different arch-dukes rising to power and being overthrown.

Go far enough back and Baator was ruled not by Asmodeus and the baatezu, but by Zargon and the ancient baatorians - a now extinct(?) race of fiends. Back in the day, the Lords of Nine were responsible for their armies in the Blood War, but after the Reckoning of Hell, that authority was largely revoked and placed in the hands of the Dark Nine Eight, a council of pit fiend generals answering exclusively to Asmodeus.

Whether you consider it "progress" or not is another matter, but the Nine Hells absolutely change over time.
Bit do those machinations change anything? I would argue that they don't, they just define the eternal nature of Baator in that there are always power struggles. But there's no "progress" and no chance that just the right fiend will come to power that will change the nature of the plane.

Unless they do, which sounds like a great setup for a campaign: celestial spies who sacrifice themselves by intentionally falling go to Baator to destabilize the plane by affecting real change in the cycle of coups and revolutions, establishing one fiendish ruler whose radical positions will actually make the plane easier to conquer.
 

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