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5.5E Future-Edition Brainstorming: A Simplified Cosmology (+)

Lyxen

Great Old One
This is essentially DnD cosmology, just done better in DC comics.

No, it's not better, sorry. It's different, but I happen to dislike it, and in particular the ridiculous "speed force" which makes no sense at all. Tastes, and YMMV and all that.
 

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Rogerd1

Explorer
No, it's not better, sorry. It's different, but I happen to dislike it, and in particular the ridiculous "speed force" which makes no sense at all. Tastes, and YMMV and all that.
The main thing is that it is simplified, and that there is more detail regarding it, and that each universe works off brane cosmology. Magic has been codified and explained within the last year or so.

What has been done in DnD supplements, although gone into great detail, fails to explain numerous things, and also how can epic heroes take on multiverse level gods. Such a thing is utter nonsense.

Like I said you remove the Speed Force and replace with Astral and Ethereal. Which as written in DnD are just plain terrible.

Alternatively there is also the cosmology from 4e, which is very similar to both Gurps Cabal, and expanded upon in Champions Mystic World.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
The main thing is that it is simplified, and that there is more detail regarding it, and that each universe works off brane cosmology. Magic has been codified and explained within the last year or so.

If it works for you, good, but it holds no interest to me, it's not D&D. Note that I would not defend the Great Wheel in any other context than D&D either.

What has been done in DnD supplements, although gone into great detail, fails to explain numerous things, and also how can epic heroes take on multiverse level gods. Such a thing is utter nonsense.

Why ? Look at Brandon Sanderson's books which are really brilliant, this is exactly what heroes do. Again, YMMV and it might not be your cup of tea, but D&D is built around the concept, always has been.

Like I said you remove the Speed Force and replace with Astral and Ethereal. Which as written in DnD are just plain terrible.

Actually, they have always worked very well for us as transitive planes, the ethereal allowed a lot of shenanigans in dungeons, and the Astral plane, with Githyankis and such was really interesting too.

Alternatively there is also the cosmology from 4e, which is very similar to both Gurps Cabal, and expanded upon in Champions Mystic World.

As mentioned, there are parts of it that were brilliant, and others not so much, again a matter of taste.
 


Rogerd1

Explorer
If it works for you, good, but it holds no interest to me, it's not D&D. Note that I would not defend the Great Wheel in any other context than D&D either.

Why ? Look at Brandon Sanderson's books which are really brilliant, this is exactly what heroes do. Again, YMMV and it might not be your cup of tea, but D&D is built around the concept, always has been.

Actually, they have always worked very well for us as transitive planes, the ethereal allowed a lot of shenanigans in dungeons, and the Astral plane, with Githyankis and such was really interesting too.

As mentioned, there are parts of it that were brilliant, and others not so much, again a matter of taste.
1. Sphere of the Gods is exactly the Outer planes from Dnd. Quote obviously so.
2. Brandon Sanderson books are all set in one galaxy that I remember. So the deities are not multiverse level that I recall, and Sanderson is very keen on having limits to magic, what it can and cannot do. Now if I am wrong please say so, and point in a direction to get my facts right.
3. Yeah they are transitive planes. But why not just have one?
4. Yes it is, but remember the whole point of this thread is to simplify DnD cosmology, not keep it the way it is.

I think the real failure is pretending to explain things that aren't grounded in reality
Exactly, which is what DC comics has tried to do, and done successfully.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I think the real failure is wanting to explain things that aren't grounded in reality

What do you mean by "reality" ? The reason for which the Great Wheel and all its little cogs suits me is that it is extremely playable, if you are using the corresponding paradigms in your game (which we are, a lot of people at our tables are children of AD&D in particular, and even the younger generations like it that way). Obviously, if it's not your cup of tea, I understand you using something else, but the good points of the Great Wheel for us is that it was designed with playability in mind, just like Eberron's, by the way, which loops back to my first message here. Choose what you want to play, and design or re-use your setting and its appropriate cosmology according to what you want. My problem with the DC one is that it was designed for comics and that unfortunately, different mediums don't translate well across each other, it's really hard to implement a RPG in a book / comic / movie setting and vice-versa, they are not designed with the same audience in mind and using the same kind of heroes and actions. This is why, for me, cosmologies designed for TTRPG have always been superior in terms of gaming, they are suited to the hobby.
 

Rogerd1

Explorer
My problem with the DC one is that it was designed for comics and that unfortunately, different mediums don't translate well across each other, it's really hard to implement a RPG in a book / comic / movie setting and vice-versa, they are not designed with the same audience in mind and using the same kind of heroes and actions. This is why, for me, cosmologies designed for TTRPG have always been superior in terms of gaming, they are suited to the hobby.
Yet there is a DC Mutants and Masterminds using 3e I believe.
The the main M&M 3e setting uses one that is similar to Marvel's in the comics. Both of which are D20, and in essence what you play when DnD / PF breaks and you need to play higher levels of character.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
What do you mean by "reality" ? The reason for which the Great Wheel and all its little cogs suits me is that it is extremely playable
I hope you haven't played so much D&D that you forgot what reality means ;)

I am in fact saying that being playable is what matters, and that I also like Planescape. But when someone says "fails to explain", I shrug because
the game does not have to explain everything, especially does not have to explain every fantasy.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
1. Sphere of the Gods is exactly the Outer planes from Dnd. Quote obviously so.

I don't know enough about the DC cosmology, but I suspect it's not the case, the Outer Planes are not only the domains of the gods in the Great Wheel, and some gods don't even dwell there anyway.

2. Brandon Sanderson books are all set in one galaxy that I remember. So the deities are not multiverse level that I recall, and Sanderson is very keen on having limits to magic, what it can and cannot do. Now if I am wrong please say so, and point in a direction to get my facts right.

You can have a look here, it will show you that it is really a multiverse and not only planets in a galaxy (some of his other series like skywards are not in the cosmere and are in the galaxy though). But it is a multiverse, and a very complex metaphysical one with three realms (Physical, Cognitive and Spiritual) interfering, and it's probably not all as there are also things beyond death not covered by those realms.

3. Yeah they are transitive planes. But why not just have one?

Because they behave differently and cover a physical transition and a metaphysical one. One would be more boring and less rich, and honestly "speed force" is a concept that does not make any sense for either, at least to me.

4. Yes it is, but remember the whole point of this thread is to simplify DnD cosmology, not keep it the way it is.

My point is that simplification for the sake of simplification is pointless, designing from the ground up is way better if it matches your goals.

Exactly, which is what DC comics has tried to do, and done successfully.

It depends on your point of view, for me the success is very relative in the sense that I'm not interested in it at all for my TTRPGs (contrary to the Great Wheel, or even better to Glorantha).
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Yet there is a DC Mutants and Masterminds using 3e I believe.

Extremely confidential, at best...

The the main M&M 3e setting uses one that is similar to Marvel's in the comics. Both of which are D20, and in essence what you play when DnD / PF breaks and you need to play higher levels of character.

I'm sure all the 3 people who played it loved it. :p
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I hope you haven't played so much D&D that you forgot what reality means ;)

Sometimes I'm not so sure, should I consult ? ;)

I am in fact saying that being playable is what matters, and that I also like Planescape. But when someone says "fails to explain", I shrug because
the game does not have to explain everything, especially does not have to explain every fantasy.

Then we completely agree. What is important is that it supports your stories, but for me, stories are even better when everything is not explained, especially TTRPGs who can be truly endless, so leaving space for future sequels is mandatory. :)
 

Rogerd1

Explorer
I don't know enough about the DC cosmology, but I suspect it's not the case, the Outer Planes are not only the domains of the gods in the Great Wheel, and some gods don't even dwell there anyway.

You can have a look here, it will show you that it is really a multiverse and not only planets in a galaxy (some of his other series like skywards are not in the cosmere and are in the galaxy though). But it is a multiverse, and a very complex metaphysical one with three realms (Physical, Cognitive and Spiritual) interfering, and it's probably not all as there are also things beyond death not covered by those realms.

Because they behave differently and cover a physical transition and a metaphysical one. One would be more boring and less rich, and honestly "speed force" is a concept that does not make any sense for either, at least to me.

My point is that simplification for the sake of simplification is pointless, designing from the ground up is way better if it matches your goals.

It depends on your point of view, for me the success is very relative in the sense that I'm not interested in it at all for my TTRPGs (contrary to the Great Wheel, or even better to Glorantha).
1. I do know DC cosmology, and trust me it is, albeit very simplified....
2. Ta very much i get a cup of coffee and have a good read of that.
3. Okay.
4. This is both wrong, and right. Simplifying it, is very laudable, and good goal - but redesigning from the ground up is better
5. Glorantha is extremely limiting a place to rpg to be honest. I know it was the inspiration for Exalted, but even so it is a far more limiting than say DnD.

Extremely confidential, at best...

I'm sure all the 3 people who played it loved it. :p
1. This is plain wrong, right there.
2. I know you are trying to be humorous but seriously dude. It is an incredibly well played game, and is in all seriousness where you go when you want to either DnD or higher level of play. Powers and chargen is reasonably simplistic, more so than standard DnD as it all points buy.
 
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@AcererakTriple6 Yeah, the Great Wheel (aside a cool name) is an utter mess. I'd never use it as written. As for your simplified model, it seems pretty logical, though personally heaven/hell division and basing things on alignment is something I wouldn't do. But if it works for the tone you're going for, then great.

Another thing I'd consider is how much any of this usually matters. Planehopping is really high level stuff, and most campaigns don't go that far. Most of the time all is needed is some vague idea that there might be some other dimensions where demons and other stuff like that comes from, but how it exactly works doesn't need to be something the characters actually know about.

One thing I've done my setting, is magical zones, which have some characteristics that you'd normally associate with certain planes. But these are merely areas within the normal world. Death zones (created by ancient mass deaths and/or powerful necromantic magic) that are a bit like Shadowfell, Wild Magic zones that are a bit like Feywild, Elemental zones where the elemental balance is skewed towards one element, making the area more like elemental planes etc.
 

Rogerd1

Explorer
One thing I've done my setting, is magical zones, which have some characteristics that you'd normally associate with certain planes. But these are merely areas within the normal world. Death zones (created by ancient mass deaths and/or powerful necromantic magic) that are a bit like Shadowfell, Wild Magic zones that are a bit like Feywild, Elemental zones where the elemental balance is skewed towards one element, making the are more like elemental planes etc.
The Modern Age: Threefold setting divides planes into three. Those that follow science, standard physics rules, magical planes, and netherworlds which are essentially afterlife type settings. A good media example of this would the Angel episode where he visits surburbia, or the hell dimensions.

Another rpg, Gateway, has the world split into three zones, science, magic, and mutants.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
1. I do know DC cosmology, and trust me it is, albeit very simplified....

And therefore potentially much less interesting.

2. Ta very much i get a cup of coffee and have a good read of that.

Honestly, I would start from the books rather than from Coppermind, which will spoil many good surprises from the books. I'm sure that you started by DC comics and then approached the cosmology, not the other way around. I did the same for D&D and for Sanderson. My point is that the cosmologies are suited to the media.

5. Glorantha is extremely limiting a place to rpg to be honest. I know it was the inspiration for Exalted, but even so it is a far more limiting than say DnD.

Well, I thoroughly disagree here. Every single campaign that we've done in Glorantha, whether using Runequest or Heroquest or a mix has been a huge success, as Gloranthat is extremely varied, actually. But like any other setting, it needs to be approached by playing it.

1. This is plain wrong, right there.
2. I know you are trying to be humorous but seriously dude. It is an incredibly well played game, and is in all seriousness where you go when you want to either DnD or higher level of play. Powers and chargen is reasonably simplistic, more so than standard DnD as it all points buy.

And again, never met anyone who played it or who even advocated it. I'm sure fans love it, but it looks very confidential to me.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Why doesn't D&D just list like all 50+ planes and give 6-10 configurations? Two of which can be simple.
Then give you guidance to make you own.

Well, I know that no one reads the DMG, but it actually does just that, so...

Just read "creating a multiverse" and in particular the section about "putting planes together", which contains things like this:

For your campaign, you decide what planes to include, inspired by the standard planes, drawn from Earth’s myths, or created by your own imagination.

At minimum, most D&D campaigns require these elements:

A plane of origin for fiends
A plane of origin for celestials
A plane of origin for elementals
A place for deities, which might include any or all of the previous three
The place where mortal spirits go after death, which might include any or all of the first three
A way of getting from one plane to another
A way for spells and monsters that use the Astral Plane and the Ethereal Plane to function
Once you’ve decided on the planes you want to use in your campaign, putting them into a coherent cosmology is an optional step. Since the primary way of traveling from plane to plane, even using the Transitive Planes, is through magical portals that link planes together, the exact relationship of different planes to one another is largely a theoretical concern.

etc...

sigh
 

Rogerd1

Explorer
And therefore potentially much less interesting.

Honestly, I would start from the books rather than from Coppermind, which will spoil many good surprises from the books. I'm sure that you started by DC comics and then approached the cosmology, not the other way around. I did the same for D&D and for Sanderson. My point is that the cosmologies are suited to the media.

Well, I thoroughly disagree here. Every single campaign that we've done in Glorantha, whether using Runequest or Heroquest or a mix has been a huge success, as Gloranthat is extremely varied, actually. But like any other setting, it needs to be approached by playing it.

And again, never met anyone who played it or who even advocated it. I'm sure fans love it, but it looks very confidential to me.
1. Above the gods are 5th dimensional Imps, then above then is the Sixth dimension - the multiverse control room is where the three Monitors watch over reality. The gods are split into fragments, each one exists in every reality- but they can be combined as Darkseid has done. Pre-Crisis Darkseid was bigger than a universe, and when he fell the destruction caused was incalculable. And because you don't know it, you have deemed it useless. Very biased and very small-minded of you.
2. Okay.
3. I am not saying Glorantha as a setting isn't fun, but the setting is extremely limiting in scope, say compared to DnD.
4. This is rubbish statement about it being confidential, of the highest order. The books are readily available on DTRPG, and M&M 2e uses DnD stats too boot.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Well, I know that no one reads the DMG, but it actually does just that, so...

Just read "creating a multiverse" and in particular the section about "putting planes together", which contains things like this:



etc...

sigh
I have page 43 bookmarked.
My point is that I don't consider it guidance. Or at least full guidance.

There should be a stp by step example of creation of a cosmos just like creating a PC or race.
 


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