Eberron versus Multiverse

tetrasodium

Explorer
And yet, here we are. 4e didn't try to force Eberron into some universal cosmology, but 5e is.
Did you not notice when they declared Dolurrh was eberron's shadowfell, khyber was the elemental chaos, Siberyis the astral sea, added the plane of baator complete with asmodius & all of the nine hells lore in order to fit the massively conflicting tiefling/admodious metaplot as is?

Mystara's underground has numerous names largely because its not continuous. The most popular is the world below, but also has the broken lands and the shadow elf lands. Mechanically it was much more dangerous than the underdark because it was geologically unstable and large pockets could shift or fill with poison gas without notice. Like The shadow elves vs drow it was similar in concept but radically different past appearance in terms of actual function.
Thanks for clearing that up. Despite the similarity actual underground elves (something khyber lacks) another setting not just saying "X is this setting's underdark equivalent" is all the more reason khyber should not keep being called eberon's underdark. :D



The D&D multiverse isn't a kitchen sink though. It's more like a Golden Corral Buffet.

You can just stick to the section that has fried foods. Or you can go to the section that has salads.

But if you want... you can have salad AND fried foods... and pizza, and ice cream, and prime rib.

Just like with Eberron, the inclusion of any other D&D world onto the meta multiverse in literally no way impacts those individual settings... unless you want it to.
The golden Corral is a restaurant chain that does a good job of meeting the needs & expectations of its target market within the restaurant industry. With that said it will never be an upscale steakhouse, Ramen Shop, gastropub, Pastry shop, fast food joint, Ice cream stand, or many other niches within the restaurant industry Adding a Golden Corral to those other types of restaurants will not in any way improve them even if they sometimes have a salad bar or something. Mortons, Legal Seafood, Baskin Robins, & many others will cease to be what they are if they suddenly shared a kitchen & dining room with the Golden Corral Buffet.... Yes there are similarities, but the differences create incompatibilities that can not be reconciled without losin what one or the other is & anything gained is massively outweighed by the losses.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
With that said it will never be an upscale steakhouse, Ramen Shop, gastropub, Pastry shop, fast food joint, Ice cream stand, or many other niches within the restaurant industry
It's just an analogy to set up, not quality.

If Golden Corral offends your taste sensibilities on quality, imagine it rather as a food court that has Mortons, Legal Seafood, B&R, et al. All in one place where they exist each as their own unique restaurants you can sit and dine in with their associated ambiance, servers, kitchens, etc., but there is ALSO a place to dine in the center where people can bring something out from each individual place and eat together. Or the dinner organizer can specify a party room at Mortons where the group can also bring in some Ramen if any of the diners want while the rest of the food is all Morton's menu.

I don't understand why having all the settings in a single cosmology diminishes the settings themselves in any way. They are distinct and separate.

Plus if they weren't all in the same multiverse, we never would have had the super fun Wizards Three articles in Dragon :)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Did you not notice when they declared Dolurrh was eberron's shadowfell, khyber was the elemental chaos, Siberyis the astral sea, added the plane of baator complete with asmodius & all of the nine hells lore in order to fit the massively conflicting tiefling/admodious metaplot as is?


Thanks for clearing that up. Despite the similarity actual underground elves (something khyber lacks) another setting not just saying "X is this setting's underdark equivalent" is all the more reason khyber should not keep being called eberon's underdark. :D
Eberron has underground elves. They are a culture of Drow called the Umbragen.
 

tetrasodium

Explorer
Like it or not, it's been this way since the very beginning. Keith himself said as much.

Also if that isn't enough, the dragons of Argonessen worship the Draconic Pantheon of the Great Wheel in addition to the Progenitor Wyrms and the Sovereigns and Six, so that ship sailed a long time ago.
There are a lot of things in the book titled "Dragons of Eberron" that are like that where WotC devoted significant pagespace to showing the ways that Eberron's Dragons are just like the dragons of other settings rather than devoting that pagespace to showing how different they are within the Eberron setting itself. Luckily Rising avoided that sort of thing & there is every reason to expect that upcoming works from Keith like Exploring Eberron & such will also avoid it. :D

It's just an analogy to set up, not quality.

If Golden Corral offends your taste sensibilities on quality, imagine it rather as a food court that has Mortons, Legal Seafood, B&R, et al. All in one place where they exist each as their own unique restaurants you can sit and dine in with their associated ambiance, servers, kitchens, etc., but there is ALSO a place to dine in the center where people can bring something out from each individual place and eat together. Or the dinner organizer can specify a party room at Mortons where the group can also bring in some Ramen if any of the diners want while the rest of the food is all Morton's menu.

I don't understand why having all the settings in a single cosmology diminishes the settings themselves in any way. They are distinct and separate.

Plus if they weren't all in the same multiverse, we never would have had the super fun Wizards Three articles in Dragon :)
It's not about taste sensibilities so much as identity of those restaurants themselves. I question if you've ever been to Mortons(a generally upscale steakhouse chain) or Legal Seafood (a casual to semiupscale seafood chain) if you think that sort of food court ambiance & setup would not massively degrade the identity of what they are.

Eberron has a very different planar cosmology than FR/Plaescape, the gods are not a hands on active provable fact you can metaphorically call up on the phone, monsters are people, and absolute morality is flatly unwelcome in the deeply shades of lore yet the reverse is true of all those in planescape/FR ... Thoughtlessly adding a bunch of lore from one to the other would degrade the recipient setting. Darksun has gods are in hiding or dead, monstrously powerful sorcerer kings that are only held back by the fact that they can't get elsewhere, pretty much assumes everyone is too busy worrying about simply surviving to worry about alignment, & basically* no planar structure to speak of, Thoughtlessly adding a bunch of planes from eberron or planescape as is to darksun would degrade the setting

As to that article of eliminster/mordenkainen/dalimar meeting.... All of those settings have strong links to absolute morality, active provable gods you can call on the phone, & they treat magic like cargo cultists treat science. Throw in Ourelonastrix, & Borys or Rajaat... the new arrivals look at each other with a polite chuckle chuckle at the primitive understanding of the first three when they say absurd things like having recently proved the arcane equivalent of "π is about 3." An hour into the nonsense of primitives Ourelonastrix shrugs & telepathically offers to help the frustrated SK quietly defiling the potted plants simply to further desirable outcomes in The Prophecy. The SK then proceeds to cast mind rape & worse on the first three to enslave them with the help of Ourelonastrix... Months years or centuries after Toril/Faerun are like wastelands like Athas & completely destroyed by the SK's greed for power Ourelonastrix has never given a second thought to what he considered on par with swatting a troublesome mosquito sees the desirable actions have passed and are now heading towards an undesirable outcome in The Prophecy that can most easily be solved by teaching the SK how to burn the Crystal Spheres containing FR/Greyhawk to a cinder that restores Athas back to the blue age(or doing it themselves). So The Dragons come along to destroy everything in both worlds because now those worlds are doing something to threaten The Prophecy.... With the gods of those settings Dead, Bound, or in hiding for a long time they offer no meaningful hindrance to that cinderification either.

Just because FR & Greyhawk are virtual palette swaps does not change the fact that there are settings simply too incompatible to carelessly dump lore from setting to setting. Being part of the same "Shared" great wheel multiverse isn't the problem, that problem is the careless export of lore from one specific setting into sourcebooks dedicated to some other setting then pretending all of the lore from the setting being shoved aside will not react logically to the new shipment of lore.

@doctorbadwolf Your right about the Umbragen & I don't know much about the Shadow elves of Mystara, they could be as different & unrecognizable compared to the drow of menzoberranzan as the Umbragen are to those drow. Diluting those differences by replacing chunks of lore from one setting with ill fitting chunks of lore from another setting does nothing good for either setting.

* The Grey, The Black, & a hard to reach elemental plane rather than a bunch of discrete planes like eberron & the great wheel is basically none, not looking for a lore fight ;D
 

Coroc

Adventurer
When you pour every dish you make into the kitchen sink, the only flavor you get back out is dishwater.

I know D&D has had a "multiverse" since before I ever learned to play, but I wish to the great homogenized Christ that they'd stop it already. If a published setting has a cosmology of its own, stop trying to explain where it belongs in the cosmology of another published setting-- it doesn't belong anywhere.

Absolutely none of these settings benefits in any way from being shoehorned into the others.
Agree full heartedly with one little exception: planescape. But I think a good planescape campaign does not benefit much from visiting some other campaign settings prime world other than for some session or for a change or a minor clue or McGuffin.
It is not needed at all for a planescape campaign to even visit any of the primes the Torment CRPG is the best proof.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
The D&D multiverse isn't a kitchen sink though. It's more like a Golden Corral Buffet.

You can just stick to the section that has fried foods. Or you can go to the section that has salads.

But if you want... you can have salad AND fried foods... and pizza, and ice cream, and prime rib.

Just like with Eberron, the inclusion of any other D&D world onto the meta multiverse in literally no way impacts those individual settings... unless you want it to.
And all you get is ... fat :p
 

The Glen

Adventurer
@doctorbadwolf Your right about the Umbragen & I don't know much about the Shadow elves of Mystara, they could be as different & unrecognizable compared to the drow of menzoberranzan as the Umbragen are to those drow. Diluting those differences by replacing chunks of lore from one setting with ill fitting chunks of lore from another setting does nothing good for either setting.
Mystara is my specialty. Shadow elves are a race of elves that live underground past that they are nothing like the drow. They went underground not because of the curse but because of a natural disaster. They don't have any penalties at all above ground they do have Superior darkvision but lose that above ground as well and regain it when they go back underground. They don't have any natural spell abilities or spell resistance like the drow do. They are rather religious and very pragmatic but they also live in an unstable Subterranean area of limited space so those unable to take care of themselves are left to fend for themselves. Unlike the drow they are largely unknown on the surface and while their leaders might not be friendly to servicers the race itself leans towards true neutral or lawful neutral. The populace is also quite naive and if they found out the truth about the surface they would probably turn on their leaders for lying to them as long as they have.
 

gyor

Hero
There are a lot of things in the book titled "Dragons of Eberron" that are like that where WotC devoted significant pagespace to showing the ways that Eberron's Dragons are just like the dragons of other settings rather than devoting that pagespace to showing how different they are within the Eberron setting itself. Luckily Rising avoided that sort of thing & there is every reason to expect that upcoming works from Keith like Exploring Eberron & such will also avoid it. :D



It's not about taste sensibilities so much as identity of those restaurants themselves. I question if you've ever been to Mortons(a generally upscale steakhouse chain) or Legal Seafood (a casual to semiupscale seafood chain) if you think that sort of food court ambiance & setup would not massively degrade the identity of what they are.

Eberron has a very different planar cosmology than FR/Plaescape, the gods are not a hands on active provable fact you can metaphorically call up on the phone, monsters are people, and absolute morality is flatly unwelcome in the deeply shades of lore yet the reverse is true of all those in planescape/FR ... Thoughtlessly adding a bunch of lore from one to the other would degrade the recipient setting. Darksun has gods are in hiding or dead, monstrously powerful sorcerer kings that are only held back by the fact that they can't get elsewhere, pretty much assumes everyone is too busy worrying about simply surviving to worry about alignment, & basically* no planar structure to speak of, Thoughtlessly adding a bunch of planes from eberron or planescape as is to darksun would degrade the setting

As to that article of eliminster/mordenkainen/dalimar meeting.... All of those settings have strong links to absolute morality, active provable gods you can call on the phone, & they treat magic like cargo cultists treat science. Throw in Ourelonastrix, & Borys or Rajaat... the new arrivals look at each other with a polite chuckle chuckle at the primitive understanding of the first three when they say absurd things like having recently proved the arcane equivalent of "π is about 3." An hour into the nonsense of primitives Ourelonastrix shrugs & telepathically offers to help the frustrated SK quietly defiling the potted plants simply to further desirable outcomes in The Prophecy. The SK then proceeds to cast mind rape & worse on the first three to enslave them with the help of Ourelonastrix... Months years or centuries after Toril/Faerun are like wastelands like Athas & completely destroyed by the SK's greed for power Ourelonastrix has never given a second thought to what he considered on par with swatting a troublesome mosquito sees the desirable actions have passed and are now heading towards an undesirable outcome in The Prophecy that can most easily be solved by teaching the SK how to burn the Crystal Spheres containing FR/Greyhawk to a cinder that restores Athas back to the blue age(or doing it themselves). So The Dragons come along to destroy everything in both worlds because now those worlds are doing something to threaten The Prophecy.... With the gods of those settings Dead, Bound, or in hiding for a long time they offer no meaningful hindrance to that cinderification either.

Just because FR & Greyhawk are virtual palette swaps does not change the fact that there are settings simply too incompatible to carelessly dump lore from setting to setting. Being part of the same "Shared" great wheel multiverse isn't the problem, that problem is the careless export of lore from one specific setting into sourcebooks dedicated to some other setting then pretending all of the lore from the setting being shoved aside will not react logically to the new shipment of lore.

@doctorbadwolf Your right about the Umbragen & I don't know much about the Shadow elves of Mystara, they could be as different & unrecognizable compared to the drow of menzoberranzan as the Umbragen are to those drow. Diluting those differences by replacing chunks of lore from one setting with ill fitting chunks of lore from another setting does nothing good for either setting.

* The Grey, The Black, & a hard to reach elemental plane rather than a bunch of discrete planes like eberron & the great wheel is basically none, not looking for a lore fight ;D
Please, the idea that a Sorcerer King knows more about magic and is more powerful then Elminister, even a nerfed 5e Elminister is crazy, SKs are glorified magic scavengers, in a Spell Dual, Elminister would slaughter the SK, because while the SK is draining flowers for magic, El is drawing upon the weave and Mystria. And that is before you count the other two Archmages.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
Please, the idea that a Sorcerer King knows more about magic and is more powerful then Elminister, even a nerfed 5e Elminister is crazy, SKs are glorified magic scavengers, in a Spell Dual, Elminister would slaughter the SK, because while the SK is draining flowers for magic, El is drawing upon the weave and Mystria. And that is before you count the other two Archmages.
Well depends, in FR I'd say Elminster wins because a goddess has his back if everything else fails.
Alone in Athas? No way. The sorcerer king would drain Elminsters lifeforce to power spells cast at Elminster.
Also a sorcerer king is a level 20+ psionic. Elminster has not enough defenses on his side to counter this.
 

Mecheon

Explorer
Athas is sealed off from the multiverse for a reason.

The Dragon going against Eliminister is going to end up making wherever it happens in Faerun doing its best Mournlands impression. Who wins? Not anyone living in the area for the next few centuries, that's for sure.
 

Mirtek

Explorer
The SK are 20/20 multiclass aren't they? They fall into the trap most such builds do and would probably lose against a pure level 30 archmage
 

Coroc

Adventurer
The SK are 20/20 multiclass aren't they? They fall into the trap most such builds do and would probably lose against a pure level 30 archmage
No, not really by 2e rules they have to be 20 Defiler /20 Psionic when they try to become a dragon. When they succeed they can gain levels after that.

If you take the mystic UA as a baseline and give them the immortal subclass in psionics plus superhuman stats, then they are quite unkillable, especially by a single level 30 Wizard. Remember that in 5e 20/20 would mean a hypothetical Level 40char.
After their metamorphosis things would be even worse, the attack routine would be like a dragon and to stat such a thing as a mob would give it incredible legendary resistances in his lair (=town). It would simply save / nullify / counter every spell the wizard throws at him.
 

Mirtek

Explorer
Well, Athas was/is the least sealed of sphere. At least as far as getting in is concerned. Sure a would be visitor needs to go the extra mile as opposed to just blink over between Toril, Oerth and Krynn, but it's not an extra marathon.

Getting out is a little harder, but there are surpringly many portals for those in the know. At least more than one would initially expect.
 

Mirtek

Explorer
No, not really by 2e rules they have to be 20 Defiler /20 Psionic when they try to become a dragon. When they succeed they can gain levels after that.

If you take the mystic UA as a baseline and give them the immortal subclass in psionics plus superhuman stats, then they are quite unkillable, especially by a single level 30 Wizard. Remember that in 5e 20/20 would mean a hypothetical Level 40char.
After their metamorphosis things would be even worse, the attack routine would be like a dragon and to stat such a thing as a mob would give it incredible legendary resistances in his lair (=town). It would simply save / nullify / counter every spell the wizard throws at him.
In 5e both would have much different stats. So we can only compare their 2e stats and maybe 3e stats (if there were official stats)

5e they would get a low-to-mid-20 CR. Basically like powerful archfiends as 30 is for full fledged deities.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
Well, Athas was/is the least sealed of sphere. At least as far as getting in is concerned. Sure a would be visitor needs to go the extra mile as opposed to just blink over between Toril, Oerth and Krynn, but it's not an extra marathon.

Getting out is a little harder, but there are surpringly many portals for those in the know. At least more than one would initially expect.
Official lore on that? I know of none, at least not in the 2e rulebooks. They maybe made some comment as side notes of what to do if players want to import characters from another world but that was just for that importing not for regular travel or such, and they did that sort of side notes also for other campaigns.
 

Mecheon

Explorer
Official lore on that?
Early Spelljammer just sort of had Athas there as a place to visit (if completely mad), but later Dark Sun stuff that I can't remember did say that the Grey functioned as a barrier, effectively keeping things trapped in there. Easy to get in, as some particularly unlucky Gith found out. Nigh on impossible to get back out
 

Mirtek

Explorer
There was the occasional two way portal mentioned in various Planescape sources. At hard to find places, usually well guarded but for a supposedly sealed of place at least I would Rate the Number as "more than one would expect"
 

Coroc

Adventurer
There was the occasional two way portal mentioned in various Planescape sources. At hard to find places, usually well guarded but for a supposedly sealed of place at least I would Rate the Number as "more than one would expect"
Mm ok, that was planescapes take on inclusiveness for the "just in case ... " situation.
Still, for PCs it does not make much sense to get in or out of darksun in ravenloft style. The themes in DS are a bit different. For a planescape campaign most prime worlds are not very interesting besides eventually some short trip for a session or so imho, but the inner and outer planes are all the fluff needed.
 

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