D&D General DnD cosmology - Which Edition do you prefer?

glass

(he, him)
Actually no, you can't use the great wheel with 4e, since you are lacking some alignments.
I am pretty sure I could. I know that I have run 4e with my homebrew cosmology, which has a non-evil plane of chaos and a non-good plane of law.
And the mistake you are making is restricting alignment to this, because it's the very bizarre and unique 4e view, which is also (at least for me) one reason it failed, it reduced most things to "teams".
That ship sailed with 1e Dragonlance at the absolute latest (see "all the gods, even the 'good' ones, destroyed a city and wrecked two continents because one priest got above himself).

About half of the planes of existence in the Great Wheel are unnecessary.
Nothing is "necessary". It is perfectly possible to play D&D for years with one small town and one dungeon nearby, with not a thought about cosmology.

Grid-filling is what a lot of early D&D was about. But specifically I think the original idea for the outer planes was to brainstorm as many after lives from religions and myth and legend first, and then after the fact they realized that they could be shoved into an alignment grid if they made up a few extra, rather than the other way around.
My understanding was it was a bit of both. Someone came up with the pure alignment planes, someone else came up with a bunch of planes to represent afterlives and the homes of pantheons, and the GW as we know it was the result of mashing the two together (with a couple of extras to fill in the grid).

Anyway, the OP asked for this not to be an edition warring thread. So please, whichever you prefer, could everyone possibly say that without running down the other cosmologies?

_
glass.
 

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Lyxen

Great Old One
Except you're making claims about 4e cosmology without keeping in mind the actual 4e use of alignment.

And you were one of the first apart from me to say that the use of alignment by 4e was "debatable". So using a debatable principle to create a cosmology makes that cosmology even more debatable. :p

When you call it "one dimensional" that's because you're imposing a 1e/2e "Great Wheel" conception of alignment onto something that wasn't actually built to handle a 1e/2e conception of alignment as a 9 point grid. When you're making strong claims about how 4e's cosmology is "this" or "that" and ignoring the actual construction of 4e cosmology it's just weird.

No, I'm just saying that, in general, I prefer a cosmology with more axis than one, as a general principle, as it creates more innate tensions.

(Arguably in the Planescape setting the entire Great Wheel is a shared delusion by the planars who live on those planes anyway - a self imposed construct to fit their worldview of a 9 point alignment grid. Re-reading some of the Planescape stuff recently I'm struck by how at some level the authors are actually mocking of the entire structure of alignment and having supposed "good" entities behaving in arguably evil ways because the Law/Chaos war of the Blood War is more important to the setting and to the folks who live in it than any concept of Good or Evil.)

Not really, it's interesting to see that the "good" side is relying on the "evil" side to conduct the law chaos conflict although it's obvious that the battlefront involves absolutely everyone, so he two axis are actually totally involved in very different ways => more tension and conflict and possibilities than with only one axis.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Yeah, I know all of that. I hate alignment, and I especially hate the redundant planes in the Great Wheel (why the hell is Pandemonium necessary? Just make it one of the levels of the Abyss. Or Hades? Why is Carceri evil? It's just a planar prison. It probably shouldn't even be a full plane of existence, just a large demiplane. Why do there need to be two different planes of war? War is war! Why does basically every plane have 5+ layers for no good reason? This cosmology is overly convoluted and makes no sense!!!)

About half of the planes of existence in the Great Wheel are unnecessary. If you want to base a cosmology off of alignment, fine. Make there be a Lawful Evil Plane, a Chaotic Good Plane, and a True Neutral Plane and whatnot. But you don't need a plane of existence for every in-between alignment (Lawful-Neutral-Evil, Chaotic-Neutral-Good, Lawful-Good-Neutral, etc).

You know what, why do oyu need a cosmology ? Just don't use planes at all, if it's too complex for you. :p

However, some of them like the intricacies, the complexity, the little wheels within the big wheels, the various creatures with varying outlooks and ways to conduct their intrigue, etc. Everything that makes Planescape what it is, one of the most beloved settings of all time and for good reason.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
Nothing is "necessary". It is perfectly possible to play D&D for years with one small town and one dungeon nearby, with not a thought about cosmology.
This is not at all relevant. Whether or not the main cosmology of the game is simple to understand and actually makes sense is important to me. The Great Wheel is neither of those things. Redundant planes should be combined, misplaced planes should be moved to be more accurate of their true identity, and the planes of existence should be designed with adventuring in them in mind. An unexplorable cosmology is fine for a fantasy book where it normally doesn't matter. It matters for D&D where many players and tables would want to have adventures in the different planes of existence.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
IMO the best part of the Great Wheel cosmology in Planescape is how the setting sets up that it's a "real" thing and then undermines it wherever it can by making it just a construct of philosophers arguing the entire thing into existence because in the Outer Planes belief creates reality.

Indeed, and that makes it even more interesting because you have that kind or yet "orthogonal" view allowing even more possibilities at odd with what most other creatures think or are actualyl bound to because of belief.
 


glass

(he, him)
This is not at all relevant.
Of course it is relevant. You based your statement on necessity. I pointed out the massive flaw in your reasoning.

Whether or not the main cosmology of the game is simple to understand and actually makes sense is important to me. The Great Wheel is neither of those things. Redundant planes should be combined, misplaced planes should be moved to be more accurate of their true identity, and the planes of existence should be designed with adventuring in them in mind. An unexplorable cosmology is fine for a fantasy book where it normally doesn't matter. It matters for D&D where many players and tables would want to have adventures in the different planes of existence.
Just like there is no "necessary", there is no "should". You would prefer them to be combined, other people would prefer otherwise. Yet other people enjoy multiple different arrangements with varying degrees of lumping and splitting.

Matter of taste, I suppose.
Indeed. I am sure almost everyone here is familiar with the expression "De gustibus non est disputandum", but very few seem to really grok it.

_
glass.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I am pretty sure I could. I know that I have run 4e with my homebrew cosmology, which has a non-evil plane of chaos and a non-good plane of law.

Then how do you know which plane the souls go to after death ?

That ship sailed with 1e Dragonlance at the absolute latest (see "all the gods, even the 'good' ones, destroyed a city and wrecked two continents because one priest got above himself).

Did I say that I liked Dragonlance ? I have always found the cosmology way too simple and uninteresting, and the above is way too biblical for me.

Nothing is "necessary". It is perfectly possible to play D&D for years with one small town and one dungeon nearby, with not a thought about cosmology.

Indeed, after that, it's just a matter of preference.

My understanding was it was a bit of both. Someone came up with the pure alignment planes, someone else came up with a bunch of planes to represent afterlives and the homes of pantheons, and the GW as we know it was the result of mashing the two together (with a couple of extras to fill in the grid).

Anyway, the OP asked for this not to be an edition warring thread. So please, whichever you prefer, could everyone possibly say that without running down the other cosmologies?

You are right to centre the debate again. For me, it's not about an edition war, as I've said 4e has provided really great ideas, it's just a matter of preference, not of actual worth or principles.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
This is not at all relevant. Whether or not the main cosmology of the game is simple to understand and actually makes sense is important to me. The Great Wheel is neither of those things. Redundant planes should be combined, misplaced planes should be moved to be more accurate of their true identity, and the planes of existence should be designed with adventuring in them in mind. An unexplorable cosmology is fine for a fantasy book where it normally doesn't matter. It matters for D&D where many players and tables would want to have adventures in the different planes of existence.

First, good books and TTRPG both provide complex but explorable cosmologies. Nothing says, however, that they have to be immediately explorable and that they will make sense instantly. Sometimes unexplainable complexity is great, it makes people wonder. Just look at Sanderson's Cosmere, it matters hugely, so many secrets to find, so many things that did not make sense at start (and still don't), but knowing him I'm sure they will make sense at some point.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
You know what, why do oyu need a cosmology ? Just don't use planes at all, if it's too complex for you. :p

However, some of them like the intricacies, the complexity, the little wheels within the big wheels, the various creatures with varying outlooks and ways to conduct their intrigue, etc. Everything that makes Planescape what it is, one of the most beloved settings of all time and for good reason.
I'm fine with the concept of Planescape. I'm pretty fond of Sigil, the Factions, the Lady of Pain, the Blood War, and a lot of extraplanar creatures (Demons, Devils, Angels, Modrons, etc). I think Planescape is one of the more interesting settings from past editions.

But the Great Wheel? I think . . . isn't good. The second worst cosmology in the history of D&D (with the World Tree being just slightly worse). IMO, the World Axis was a way better idea, and I'm sad that it was dropped. I like Eberron's Cosmology, too. It makes sense for the world.

There's no good reason for having 16 different alignment-inspired planes of existence in system where alignment has just 9 options. Practically all of the "in-between alignment planes" could be either removed entirely or folded into a different Plane of Existence and have the same role in the cosmology. Gehenna should be the True Neutral Evil plane of existence, and Hades is really boring (it doesn't even have the same role that it had in Greek Mythology!). There really don't need to be two separate planes of existence for the idea of war. War never changes, just make it be one plane of existence with different regions if you want. There's no reason for Bytopia to be separate from Arboria, or for the Beastlands to be separate from the Feywild (yes, I know the Beastlands predate the Feywild, that doesn't mean they're not largely redundant). Much of the concepts that Bytopia and Arvandor have are pretty redundant with the Feywild, too. There's no reason Carceri needs to be a full plane of existence, especially not an evil one. Just make it a large demiplane where the PVA (Planar Variance Authority) put people that broke too many of the setting's rules/caused too much mayhem. I could go on and on. And I have before. The Great Wheel really doesn't need to be as complicated and contradictory as it is.

And I like cosmologies. I really, really like cosmologies. They're one of my favorite things to worldbuild. I just think the Great Wheel is a messy, nonsensical cosmology that really shouldn't be the base assumed one of 5e. It is really, really hard for newer players to understand and learn completely (at least, it was for me and my players when we joined the hobby in 5e). I'm fine with it existing, and still really like the concept of Planescape . . . I just think that something like the World Axis or the one I brainstormed earlier on this site would be better suited for newer players.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
The only I know some of D&D's forerunners did it with using Chaos for Evil, and I know Planescape did it, but the only one of those books ended with a fight inside a giant worm rolling through Hell and I gave up ecause I was pretty sure the pages were laced with something, but I am not aware of any genre where this is a mainstay. Even Saturday Morning Cartoons have given up on 'He's evil because... Evil'.

Then you have not been reading enough good fantasy, it's present in most of them. The simplest ones have good and evil, but it fairly rapidly became too simple. Which is why it was great that Moorcock (amongst others) added Law and Chaos as another axis. But look at Sanderson, arguably one of the best fantasy authors today, and you have Preservation vs. Ruin, Honor + Cultivation vs. Odium, Devotion vs. Dominion, etc. All these cosmic principles warring against each other, and all intricate magic systems and powers being used in wars that go way beyond the physical.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I'm fine with the concept of Planescape. I'm pretty fond of Sigil, the Factions, the Lady of Pain, the Blood War, and a lot of extraplanar creatures (Demons, Devils, Angels, Modrons, etc). I think Planescape is one of the more interesting settings from past editions.

But the Great Wheel? I think . . . isn't good. The second worst cosmology in the history of D&D (with the World Tree being just slightly worse). IMO, the World Axis was a way better idea, and I'm sad that it was dropped. I like Eberron's Cosmology, too. It makes sense for the world.

It's all a matter of taste, the Great Wheel makes sense for the D&D multiverse, which is for me larger than just one setting.

There's no good reason for having 16 different alignment-inspired planes of existence in system where alignment has just 9 options. Practically all of the "in-between alignment planes" could be either removed entirely or folded into a different Plane of Existence and have the same role in the cosmology.

They could, but the setting would be poorer for it. These intermediate planes are great for petitioners who have tendencies in their alignement, who drifted a bit, in addition to having great environment for adventure and specific denizens that make for great intrigue.

Gehenna should be the True Neutral Evil plane of existence, and Hades is really boring (it doesn't even have the same role that it had in Greek Mythology!). There really don't need to be two separate planes of existence for the idea of war. War never changes, just make it be one plane of existence with different regions if you want. There's no reason for Bytopia to be separate from Arboria, or for the Beastlands to be separate from the Feywild (yes, I know the Beastlands predate the Feywild, that doesn't mean they're not largely redundant). Much of the concepts that Bytopia and Arvandor have are pretty redundant with the Feywild, too. There's no reason Carceri needs to be a full plane of existence, especially not an evil one. Just make it a large demiplane where the PVA (Planar Variance Authority) put people that broke too many of the setting's rules/caused too much mayhem. I could go on and on. And I have before. The Great Wheel really doesn't need to be as complicated and contradictory as it is.

Again, just a matter of taste, there are great adventures in Carceri for example, with its specific jailers.

And I like cosmologies. I really, really like cosmologies. They're one of my favorite things to worldbuild. I just think the Great Wheel is a messy, nonsensical cosmology that really shouldn't be the base assumed one of 5e. It is really, really hard for newer players to understand and learn completely (at least, it was for me and my players when we joined the hobby in 5e). I'm fine with it existing, and still really like the concept of Planescape . . . I just think that something like the World Axis or the one I brainstormed earlier on this site would be better suited for newer players.

I agreed earlier that, for newer players, the world axis is easier to explain. But that's the trick, isn't it, why should the cosmology be easy to understand and explain? I personally find it way better when there are questions unanswered, when players can formulate so many hypothesis that they become lost in thought, some of which might even end up being correct.

Just as I love picking up a new Sanderson book, knowing that, on each new world, there will be so many secrets to find out, that the characters are absolutely not aware of, but which provide the strings for all the mysteries happening...
 

glass

(he, him)
Then how do you know which plane the souls go to after death ?
Fair question. In my homebrew cosmology, Pelhorin, it is not a factor because where your soul goes is not (directly) dependant on alignment.

For the Great Wheel I guess I would have to houserule 9-point alignment back in if disposition of sould was going to be important to the campaign. But since alignment affects basically nothing in 4e, that would be trivial.
Did I say that I liked Dragonlance ? I have always found the cosmology way too simple and uninteresting, and the above is way too biblical for me.
Whether you like Dragonlance or not, you were seemingly criticising 4e for something that 1e (Dragonlance) and 3e (Book of Exalted Deeds) did, but which 4e does not really do. There is no "it is Evil to poison someone, but Good to poison someone as long as you call the posion something else" in 4e.

4e did not make alignments team jerseys, it made them vestigial.
Indeed, after that, it's just a matter of preference.

You are right to centre the debate again. For me, it's not about an edition war, as I've said 4e has provided really great ideas, it's just a matter of preference, not of actual worth or principles.
I think the reason you have been getting a lot of push back, from myself and others, is that really did not come across in your earlier posts. Calling other people's preferences "one-dimensional" did not help on that score!

_
glass.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
Of course it is relevant. You based your statement on necessity. I pointed out the massive flaw in your reasoning.
My statement of "necessary" meant "if you can fulfill a concept with one plane, you really shouldn't create two that basically do the exact same thing as one another". Not that cosmologies are necessary to the hobby. But that only the "necessary" ideas should be included as full planes of existence. Other things can be folded into layers of these planes or made into mostly unimportant demiplanes.

There are concepts "necessary" to most D&D cosmologies. A place for demons/devils/fiends to come from, a place for celestials to come from, a place for fiends to come from, an afterlife system (possibly also fulfilling the role of the origin of undead), etc. They're "necessary" in the sense that it's expected that the cosmologies of D&D have a place for all of these thins.

But creating planes of existence to grid-fill a pre-determined alignment-based chart of the planes? That's not a good way to worldbuild. You can't force creativity. Restricting yourself to a wheel of 16 different planes all bound to an alignment (or combination of alignments) is going to cause you to stretch to fill all of those grids (possibly making redundancies) and force you to exclude ideas that should be included in D&D's cosmology, but can't because they don't fit into one of the alignments (the Far Realm, a realm of fairies, plane of judging the dead, etc).

So, you're right. "Necessary" is not the right word. But that doesn't refute my point.
Just like there is no "necessary", there is no "should". You would prefer them to be combined, other people would prefer otherwise. Yet other people enjoy multiple different arrangements with varying degrees of lumping and splitting.
No, there is a "should". Base D&D cosmology should include planes of existence for most of D&D's assumed creatures. A realm for celestials, a realm for fiends, a realm for fey, a realm for aberrations, a realm for undead, and so on. If they're not included, it would probably work better as a specific setting's cosmology that doesn't have all of those base assumptions (Theros, Dark Sun, etc). Base D&D's cosmology also should be relatively simple for newer players to understand. Otherwise, it might turn away new players, which is not a good thing. If planes are redundant, they should be combined, because having any more planes than are necessary to get across the base assumptions of the game and make cosmology over-convoluted (which is obviously not a good thing).

The World Axis does not have this problem. Eberron (mostly) doesn't have this problem. They're much easier to understand, get the same basic concepts done in fewer planes than the Great Wheel, and are more user-friendly because of it. And user-friendliness is definitely a good thing to strive for with the core cosmology of the game.
 

Fifinjir

Explorer
There's no good reason for having 16 different alignment-inspired planes of existence in system where alignment has just 9 options. Practically all of the "in-between alignment planes" could be either removed entirely or folded into a different Plane of Existence and have the same role in the cosmology. Gehenna should be the True Neutral Evil plane of existence, and Hades is really boring (it doesn't even have the same role that it had in Greek Mythology!). There really don't need to be two separate planes of existence for the idea of war. War never changes, just make it be one plane of existence with different regions if you want. There's no reason for Bytopia to be separate from Arboria, or for the Beastlands to be separate from the Feywild (yes, I know the Beastlands predate the Feywild, that doesn't mean they're not largely redundant). Much of the concepts that Bytopia and Arvandor have are pretty redundant with the Feywild, too. There's no reason Carceri needs to be a full plane of existence, especially not an evil one. Just make it a large demiplane where the PVA (Planar Variance Authority) put people that broke too many of the setting's rules/caused too much mayhem. I could go on and on. And I have before. The Great Wheel really doesn't need to be as complicated and contradictory as it is.
Bytopia and Arboria are incredibly different. Bytopia is quite and peaceful, a place were people can live relatively ordinary lives without anxiety. Arboria is emotional, ever-changing, and loud, like an eternal party that even nature is participating in.

Same with Pandemonium and the Abyss from earlier. Life might royally suck in Pandemonium, but at least you can live there. In the Abyss, a person will almost certainly be killed, tortured, eaten, reanimated, and mutated in any combination of orders.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Fair question. In my homebrew cosmology, Pelhorin, it is not a factor because where your soul goes is not (directly) dependant on alignment.

Which I can understand, it could depend on worship, but then you would have to locate the gods's home in planes which do not reflect their alignement either, etc. I prefer it when there is at least some link between all the things in the string, which does not prevent me from breaking it when I feel like it, for surprise reasons.

For the Great Wheel I guess I would have to houserule 9-point alignment back in if disposition of sould was going to be important to the campaign. But since alignment affects basically nothing in 4e, that would be trivial.

While I think alignment is a great too for cosmic conflict (and absolutely mandatory for Planescape to work as designed), I have never been one to force it down everyone's throat, some people like it vanilla, others hate it, it's fine and a matter of taste. What rubs me the wrong way is people (not you) criticsing alignement for the wrong reasons, because they don't understand it or twist it to make a point (like saying it's rigid, or saying that it dictates your actions, etc.).

But if you prefer using it as a "team" tool like in 4e, good for you, it's not my preference as (as indicated above) I prefer to have consistency between the cosmic principles of high fantasy and what happens in the game, but if your preference is different, all power to you for your games.

Whether you like Dragonlance or not, you were seemingly criticising 4e for something that 1e (Dragonlance) and 3e (Book of Exalted Deeds) did, but which 4e does not really do. There is no "it is Evil to poison someone, but Good to poison someone as long as you call the posion something else" in 4e.

My difficulty is with 4e is that while good and evil are clearly defined (whereas they were indeed misused in the past in some settings), law and chaos are not, nothing more.

4e did not make alignments team jerseys, it made them vestigial.

Sort of, because they are still present. And making them vestigial is fine, 5e probably went even further, it was making them sort of inconsistent and centering too much on good vs. evil which did not match my preferences.

I think the reason you have been getting a lot of push back, from myself and others, is that really did not come across in your earlier posts. Calling other people's preferences "one-dimensional" did not help on that score!

Hmmm. If you look at my first posts, I did not criticise 4e at all:
  • 5e, since it's the Planescape Great Wheel, but with the very welcome additions of Feywild and Shadowfell.
  • Very simply, the World Axis was great (and gave us the Feywild and Shadowfell), but it was still more one-dimensional than the Wheel, which is at least two dimensional, and actually more than that since it also applied to the inner planes who were mostly fused in the World Axis.

And, FACTUALLY, an axis has one dimension and the wheel has two. But there are a few 4e fanboys around here (once more, not you) who cannot abide the slightest criticism of their beloved edition.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
And user-friendliness is definitely a good thing to strive for with the core cosmology of the game.

Simply, why ? Once more, "user-friendliness" is certainly not a characteristic of the Cosmere, it's completely the contrary, but its mysteries make it even more enticing. This is background, not rules.

By the same token, certainly the FR should not be the default setting, and yet it is and it pleases a lot of players.

User-friendliness in rules I'm totally in favour of. In settings, I'm not, something too simple is not interesting, and after that it's just a matter of taste as to how complex you want it to be. But complexity also means more wealth, more possibilities, etc.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
First, good books and TTRPG both provide complex but explorable cosmologies. Nothing says, however, that they have to be immediately explorable and that they will make sense instantly. Sometimes unexplainable complexity is great, it makes people wonder. Just look at Sanderson's Cosmere, it matters hugely, so many secrets to find, so many things that did not make sense at start (and still don't), but knowing him I'm sure they will make sense at some point.
Sanderson's Cosmology is pretty easy to understand. There's the Physical Realm, the Mental Realm, and the Spiritual Realm. The Physical Realm is 3D, obeys the typical laws of physics (and the laws of magic), and has its own solar systems, galaxies, and what we think of as a universe. The Mental Realm is constructed entirely by the thoughts of sentient people, and differs from location to location based on the views of the people in that area. It's kind of 2D, in the sense that the whole thing is flat (but you still exist in a 3-dimensional state, even if the realm is flat). You can travel back and forth between these realms with enough magic or if you happen upon the right place (a Shard's Perpendicularity). Time flows normally in these first two realms. The Spiritual Realm is 0-dimensional, timeless, and is the source of all magic (Investiture).

That's a really, really simple cosmology. What isn't simple about the Cosmere is the fact that it has so many gods. It has 16 gods, all of them have at least one magic system, and things change over time. The base world building of the Cosmere's cosmology is really simple. You can explain these concepts to practically anyone and have them understand it in a single conversation. The characters and magic inside the setting? Not so much. That's what makes the Cosmere complicated, not the actual "planes of existence" present in it.

That is how to create a cosmology. Have it be as simple as you can possibly make it with what you're trying to have as the base assumptions of the setting so that it's easy for people to understand, but complicate things with how the magic works, the gods and characters in the setting, and the different planets/worlds of the main physical realm.

The 5e Great Wheel is kind of the opposite of the Cosmere in this aspect. There are 25+ different planes of existence (I don't know if you count the Far Realm, Positive and Negative Energy Planes, and the Elemental Chaos). There's also probably a dozen deities that lives on every single plane of existence in this complicated cosmology. The Cosmere has a just a few planes of existence, the 5e Great Wheel has literal dozens. The Cosmere has dozens of inhabitable planets on its "Material Plane," like how Spelljammer has a ton of different settings on the Material Plane. The Cosmere has over a dozen deities and a pretty complicated timeline to keep track of. The 5e Great Wheel has hundreds of deities to keep track of (not even counting the various archfiends, archfey, archomentals, dark powers/lords from the Shadowfell, and celestial paragons that are out there) and a very complicated timeline to keep track of, too (probably more complicated than the Cosmere's).

Is the Cosmere complex? Definitely. Is it because of its Cosmology? No. Is it because of the deities, timeline, and characters in the setting? Yes.

Is the Great Wheel complex? Absolutely. Is it because of its Cosmology? Yes, as well as a lot of other aspects of the setting.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
Same with Pandemonium and the Abyss from earlier. Life might royally suck in Pandemonium, but at least you can live there. In the Abyss, a person will almost certainly be killed, tortured, eaten, reanimated, and mutated in any combination of orders.
I'm sorry, but I don't find "the abyss, but very noisy and possible to live in" a good idea for a plane of existence. The Abyss already has literal hundreds of layers. There could literally just be a single level or two that is inhabitable for mortal creatures and very, very windy. Pandemonium doesn't deserve to be its own plane of existence any more than any of the layers of the Abyss, IMO.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I've forgotten, but don't you like World of Warcraft's cosmology?
Can't remember who honestly. Avatars change so I've clearly disassociated something.
When I respond, I want to be clear that it wasn't me either.

The WoW mythos has some neat ideas. I particularly like the idea of the Arcane being an aspect of Order/Law rather than a more abstract cosmic everything magic. That does move it a bit more towards "Blue" in the MtG Color Pie.

Likewise, ever since Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed, I'm also a sucker for the Green vs. the Dark (Death) motif, so I enjoy seeing it in things like Warcraft, the Feywild vs. Shadowfell of the World Axis, Swamp Thing, or in Old Gods of Appalachia.

Sanderson's Cosmology is pretty easy to understand. There's the Physical Realm, the Mental Realm, and the Spiritual Realm. The Physical Realm is 3D, obeys the typical laws of physics (and the laws of magic), and has its own solar systems, galaxies, and what we think of as a universe. The Mental Realm is constructed entirely by the thoughts of sentient people, and differs from location to location based on the views of the people in that area. It's kind of 2D, in the sense that the whole thing is flat (but you still exist in a 3-dimensional state, even if the realm is flat). You can travel back and forth between these realms with enough magic or if you happen upon the right place (a Shard's Perpendicularity). Time flows normally in these first two realms. The Spiritual Realm is 0-dimensional, timeless, and is the source of all magic (Investiture).
Reminds me a bit of the Berserk cosmology; however, the three aforementioned layers also overlap:

b35.jpg

So in this cosmology a corporeal body is required for three layers (i.e., Nexus, Interstice, and Physical), which requires great power for beings from the Vortex to manifest in either the Nexus or Interstice. It also means that mortals can't reach the Vortex without shedding their mortal body entirely.
 

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