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[Creative Exercise] Worlds in a word, planes in a paragraph

So I've recently been rereading Beyond Countless Doorways (still the best book Malhavoc ever produced, IMO). It's got a lot of cool stuff, but I think one of the niftiest aspects of the book is this: At the start of every chapter/planar description, it gives a sidebar of a handful of planes that are often connected with that plane. These planes are described in just a few sentences, but some of them are at least as evocative as the full-length chapters.

I thought it might be interesting to form a collection of, essentially, these "plane seeds." So here's the way it works:

1) You can contribute descriptions of as many planes as you'd like.

2) Each description can be no more than four or five sentences long.

3) Planes should be distinctive and interesting, but just as importantly, they must describe an environment that could serve as a setting for adventures. It doesn't need to be easy, but it must be possible. A plane where it's utterly impossible to survive, even with magic, might be "realistic" in an infinite multiverse, but it doesn't make for a good basis for adventuring.

4) It probably goes without saying, but each should be original.

I'll start with a couple, to get the ball rolling, and will likely add more later:

Chal-Dravathk: A land of craggy mountains and mist-shrouded bogs, where the native dragons are venerated as gods, and each draws power not from its age, but from the number of worshippers it has among the humanoid communities over which it rules.

Lavaragne: In this insect-infested land of jungles and swamps, humanoid children are born without souls. As infants, they are little more than pets or possessions, and as children, they labor as mindlessly as any undead. Only when they reach adulthood, and are possessed by the soul of a deceased ancestor, do they attain true sentience.

Tohn Vatar: In a world abnormally close to the Elemental Plane of Earth, nearly all living beings, including humanoids, possess skin almost impenetrable by any known material. The people are ruled, and order maintained, by a brotherhood of monks, whose unarmed strikes are the only reliable way of injuring a fellow humanoid.
 
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Talmun

First Post
Ok, I'll play -

Level 794 of the Abyss - Roiling Torment
The Boneship of the lichfiend known only as The Burning Shadow sails eternally on seas of molten flesh and burning hair under a velvet red sky.

Winternight
Perpetual snow and sleet mixes with the muddy floor of the barren forest that makes up this demi-plane. The dark sky is empty save for a large, sallow moon, whose face resembles that of a weeping child.

Iron Hell
This demi-plane consists entirely of tunnels lined with rusting blades and razors. Designed and created to be the gateway to a great mage's home plane it’s populated only by Razor Golems and their future victims
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Wall: This Plane consist entirely of a vertical cliff face, apparently made of rock and with ancient seams which might show signs of being built or may just be unusual geological deformation, some of which contain resevoirs of spirng water. The Wall is swept by fierce winds and unpredictable updrafts which some of the more inventive or capable creatures have learnt to ride. There is only 'up', 'down' and 'across' on the Wall where innumerable races live in suspended nests and dragons fly to the unknown heights...

Medula This is a nebulous place of mist with no apparent ground below nor sky above. Anyone who falls into the mist may well continue falling forever or may instead crash down upon one of the floating slabs which hang suspended in the mist. The slabs range in size from small steps to huge islands upon which villages and gardens have been established. Sometimes it is possible to leap from one such slab to another or to climb smaller step-slabs to reach those at different levels. But also between the slaps are the Shreikers creatures of the mist that seek living prey...

The Undersea From the city, the sandy plain stretches out before you from the Kelp plantations to the distant coral reefs whilst overhead schools of fish and even a pod of whales break out from the azure blanket before diving back up into the sea. The deep crack extends into inky darkness where you know the Ancient One lies until its people may once more need its aid...
 
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trancejeremy

First Post
The Ship of Eternity - Seemingly a late 19th century/early 20th century ocean liner (think Titanic), it doesn't actually move, but ship wreck survivors and lifeboats from wrecks occasionally are drawn into its plane. Its crew are human looking constructs, many drawn from fiction, and while it might look like a normal cruise ship from the outside, the inside is infinite. (If bars can be a plane, then so can a ship).


Loch Something - A plane dominated by one large Loch, surrounded by a small amount of land, then hills, then impassable mountains. Gaelic in flavor, and full of nessies and kelpies and intelligent sea otters.
 

Dark Seraph

First Post
SALZAHAR: A world / plane where the presence of three suns has created a desert like condition. Water is scarce but present deep beneath the surface. The world sees eternal daylight all year round due to the positioning of these three suns. The sentient and non-sentient races here have evolved accordingly. There is a strong presence of creatures and beings that have racial ties with beings native to the Fire Elemental Plane. The beings at the top of the food chain are highly intelligent Efreetis who rule over great cities with an iron hand. Certain parts of this world / plane are inhospitable due to super heated air created by the already high average temperatures of the world and volcanic activities.

AATHISS: A world / plane where there is an absence of solid ground and bodies of water. All beings that thrive here have the ability to fly or propel themselves thru the air, naturally, mechanically or magically. This world / plane experiences vast, powerful and extremely volatile wind, rain and electric storms. The sentient races of this world. thru the manipulation of raw magic and elemental energies, have managed to construct floating landscapes upon which shelters, towns and even rare few cities. The common races are regularly terrorised by Dragons who have evolved to be able to morph into various elemental states of wind and storm.

PITHARN: A world / plane that is in a constant state of twilight due to the absence of a nearby sun and the presence of 5 moons that reflect the light of a distant sun / star. The world / plane also experiences frequent and erratic electric storms. Large parts of this world are covered in ice and snow. The terrain is rough and undulating more often than not. This world / plane is presently in the grips of a world spanning war thats lasted the last 3 centuries between highly intelligent insect like race with a multitude of sub-species and the various humanoid races who are themselves paralysed by much internal strife and in-fighting. Harnessing elemental energies here is easy but highly risky due to its erratic base nature, though harnessing fire / heat is an extremely taxing task.

NOTE: I think I may have exceeded the word / sentence limit. Buit here are my initial seeds all the same.

DS.
 
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mythusmage

Banned
Banned
Veldt: Rolling plains, grassland, and brush with the occasional acacia tree. Fauna is late Paleolithic, just before the end of the last ice age. Resources are bone, the occasional flint or obsidian. Sinew and skin for garb. Acacia wood sucks for construction material, tools and weapons. Everyone is traveling in the same direction.

Urban Maze: A city that does not end, and is never the same from one day to another. One can enter a building and travel stairs, hallways, elevators, escalators, and ramps that simply couldn't fit inside the building viewed from the outside. Where one goes depends on how one gets there, and even your apartment, townhouse, or condo can change as you sleep.

Dog: You are a dog, you live in the world as dogs see it. You see, and battle, things Master cannot see. Your goal is to keep Master from falling into the grip of the twisted Indifference.

Continent in the Sea of Time: You live on North America. North America, from the Columbian/Panamanian border on north, now floats in great banks of roiling fog and mist. Occasionally things come out of the mist. Sometimes people find things out in the mist. Sometimes people don't come back. Sometimes they come back changed.

As On a Darkling Plain: The plain is flat. The plain is unending. It is always twilight on the plain. There are only lone travellers, lone farmhouses, small villages on the plain. The only music on the radio is 30s country. The only weather reports are of dust storms and tornadoes.
 

awayfarer

First Post
Grinth Three words: Giant crazed sheep. The vast, unending grasslands of Grinth contain large herds of 18-27 ft tall sheep. More advanced groups of giants (storm giants etc) often visit here, as the sight of all that meat and wool in one place is enticing. One problem; why, in the presence of meat, do the sheep suddenly become carnivorous?

Paloth The Paper Cells. The perfectly cubed rooms that make up Paloth are silent and eerie. Some travelers ahve suggested that they see silhouettes of other people in rooms next to them, only to find those rooms empty when they tear through (there are no doors). Hpw the paper floors support weight is unknown, the entire plain appears to be plain, white paper.

Morrisull Apparently a small world, (only a few hundred miles) carved out in the cavity of a giants tooth. Inhabitants have no agriculture, they simply wait for food and water to shower down upon them.
 

Dark Seraph

First Post
ITHMYSS: A plane / world that is completely over-run by trees that tower to heights of several hundred feet and are near impossible to cut or damage with any known material or substance. This place is rich with non-intelligent life, the atmosphere is bursting with moisture and the passing seasons are mild regardless of where one is on the plane / world. Certain species of vegetation have evolved with varying degrees of intelligence and consciousness and have managed to keep in check the population growth of the other sentient races by varying means and methods.

ESSEMYRAH: A plane / world where the outcasts of "Heaven" and "Hell" are banished to and trapped for eternity. The terrain and atmosphere is erratic and ever-changing as these highly evolved beings engage in constant war between themselves. Cities and bastions of power rise and fall as frequently as the weather and climate change over the vast expanse of this plane. Lesser beings are made up of manifested souls of sentient beings originating from across the multiverse who have died denying the existence of the Oversoul. These lesser beings manifest on this plane in a variety of forms and they live and die (only to be reincarnated back in Essemyrah in any possible intelligent or non-intelligent form) serving the will of one or more of the Banished Ones.

VO: A world / plane where the very atmosphere is charged with psychic energies awaiting an attuned mind to giove them shape, form, force and purpose. The fabric of space and time within this "pocket" is malleable; reality is subjective. A handful of highly intelligent races thrive here, constantly engaged in a struggle to be dominant. Every so often someone manages to open a gate to another realm just long enough to exit or allow entry, since the nature of the plane denies a gate to remain open for longer than a few moments and the probability of opening a subsequent gate that connects to the same point as before is very close to nil.

DS.
 
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Psion

Adventurer
The Field of Whispering Steel:

That sword at your belt. That ring. That wand. These are mere tools to you. But did you ever ask the craftsman who bound magic to steel how it was done? Or did he not even know the nature magic that he wrought?

You see, magic is no simple process. It is tapping into the wellspring of the world, the stuff from which all living spirits are made. And when this energy is bound to an item, an animus is given birth.

In this land, these spirits have the barest of existences, only dimly aware they are alive, unless the mage coaxes them forth*.

But there is another land wherein these spirits spring forth as if seeds planted in fertile loam. Many who travel their by their own abilities never see it as anything but a quit and cool grassland dotted by huts and dominated by kingdoms with strangely varied citizens with an odd preponderance of magic items.

But for those who travel there with trinkets such as yours, a different tale is told. The spirits awaken. What was once a silent blade become an intelligent object, keenly aware of its history. It purpose, however, is uncertain. Steel that was once a warrior's fondest ally can become his most dangerous enemy, perhaps even subverting his will.**

* - That's in-game speak for creating an intelligent item.
** - All permanent magic items and magic items that have 50 or more charges become intelligent items while on the Field of Whispering Steel. Roll all aspects randomly, INCLUDING ALIGNMENT.

Thanks for the thread idea, Mouse, and thanks to all participants. Sorry I broke your 4 or 5 sentence rule. The last paragraph gets the gist if you just want it in one paragraph. ;)
 

mythusmage

Banned
Banned
awayfarer said:
Morrisull Apparently a small world, (only a few hundred miles) carved out in the cavity of a giants tooth. Inhabitants have no agriculture, they simply wait for food and water to shower down upon them.

The most common mistake visitors to Morrisull make regards the lowest of the low. Those people are not slaves, they are indentured servants.
 

Denizen

First Post
The Battleground: Once a terrible god of battle and destruction, Grednaruk was overthrown by his jealous brothers. Too powerful to be completely destroyed, his essence formed the sentient plane known as the Battleground. The Battleground calls to being across the planes with the promise of godhood to the one that can defeat its challenges.
 



Tharagh (aka The Shroud of Mists, aka the Breath of God): This realm of deep lakes, narrow vales, and sharp cliffs is covered in a thick perpetual fog, so heavy that the days are gray, the nights jet-black, and sight an almost useless sense. The native grimlocks, far more intelligent than their cousins on other worlds, are the dominant race. They hire themselves out to other races as guides for a steep price, but those who trust the wrong grimlock find themselves sacrificed to the slumbering god whose breath (or so the grimlocks believe) is the fog itself.
 

The Unending Machine: This world is made up entirely of mechanics and pistons. The sun rises and falls on a great golden gear, and the lands are occupied by clockwork versions of animals and monsters. The few organic lifeforms are hunted down as flaws in the "world machine," which seems to have a will of its own.
 
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Nellisir

Adventurer
Azult: Light permeates this orderly realm. Fields of crystalline emerald grass shimmer under the white sun, while the stars are radiant beacons in the silky-black sky. Golden-skinned humans, opalescent elves, bright steel dwarves, and silver-hued halflings all rule prosperous and peaceful nations, but judge good and evil by how reflective and bright one's skin is.
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
Edge: This lonely and desolate realm is like no other, rising out of the silvery Astral like the dark shore of a unknown land. No more than ten miles wide, but infinitely long, a harsh wind endlessly races from the Astral, over the stony wasteland, and into the lightless abyss on the other side. The inhabitants here are the cast-ashore detritus of the Astral plane; lost travellers, abandoned victims, and a thousand thousand others. The unchanging, unending timelessness of it drives many to despair and suicide, and they cast themselves over the edge of existence and into oblivion.
 
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Nellisir

Adventurer
Asath: This wasteland bears a striking similarity to another isolated plane, but those who assume everything is the same are in error. Here, powerful dragon-kings, their exemplar servants, and the arcanist Filers are the protectors of life and civilization against the Servers and druids, minions of the mindless, fecund, chaotic Green. Without their constant erosion of the Green's energy, Asath would be overrun in a matter of years, all of its inhabitants absorbed, and the Green would subvert the reality of Asath itself, extending tendrils into the multiverse itself.

(This is obviously inspired by an existing campaign world, but hopefully counts as original nonetheless. ;) )
 
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Nellisir

Adventurer
Minos: This lush, pastoral world is the domain of the minotaurs and related bovine races. Despite its gentle features, many travellers are uncomfortable here. The native humans, gnomes, dwarves, goblins, and similar races never developed past an animal intellect, and are treated as animals by the minos races. Ogres draw ploughs in the fields, humans do lighter duty in the cities and towns, and halflings are kept as pets for the elite. Dwarves and gnomes are feral diggers, sometimes domesticated for hunting rare roots or valuable gems, while goblinoids are exterminated as pests wherever they can be found.
 

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