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5E Map of the Great Wheel Cosmology

Greetings!

Even though in our group we have long since moved on from AD&D 2e, we still use that edition's cosmology as our default, as I understand several other groups do as well. I made this thing (which is an update of a previous one I did a couple of years ago, posted around here somewhere) with the purpose of cramming the three main groups of realms -Outer Planes, Inner Planes, and the crystal spheres of the Prime Material- into a single chart, trying to be as comprehensive as I could given the scope, with the purpose of making it easier to understand how all the different worlds relate to each other.

Hopefully this can be useful for DMs still using that cosmology or new ones thinking about doing so.

Feel free to use as you see fit!

(click on the image for the full-size version)

1471811556017.jpg

Interesting detail: There are 482 different realms that are canonically part of the cosmology (between worlds, planes, demiplanes, and crystal spheres).
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
That's really cool!

But you seem to be missing Abeir, Toril's sister planet. Though I am not sure how you would list it, as it is supposed to be in it's own material plane.
 
That's really cool!

But you seem to be missing Abeir, Toril's sister planet. Though I am not sure how you would list it, as it is supposed to be in it's own material plane.
Was that concept part of AD&D? I may have missed it (it could have been in some obscure source) but my recollection was that Abeir-Toril was simply the longer name of the world originally, and 4e is where the idea of a second world came from.

But that's a good place to point out that almost all of the 2e cosmology is back for 5e. Mostly they've just added bits to it rather than made major changes. The only actual changes I can think of involve moving the Positive and Negative Energy Planes to their own category, rather than being part of the Inner Planes; and switching the Demi-Plane of Shadow into the Material Echo Shadowfell (which I like better than 3e's version). But the DMG also says that people envision this stuff in different ways (which if you think about it is very Planescape--some people might consider them Inner Planes, others might say they're something else; debates on the nature of the Plane of Shadow continue amongst scholars.). And I believe the quasi and para elemental planes are only hinted at (same as in the 3e Manual of the Planes), but unlike in 3e I wouldn't be at all surprised if they make them explicit in a later product. They are aiming for inclusiveness as much as possible, so they have taken the angle of describing what it actually like on certain planes (and even that is left vague enough that it only addresses aspects of the plane), but saying different worlds envision different ways that the various planes are arranged or connected. So for instance, the classic Great Wheel is one theory of the multiverse, but there are others, although you can get to the same Elemental Plane of Fire (as long as you have a way to get there) regardless of how you think it is connected to other planes.
 
Glad you guys enjoyed it! If you have ideas about how to improve it (there are some typos that I just noticed that will require fixing anyway), please share them!

Any plans to put directional notations on the Phlogiston connections?
I had an earlier version that included the direction of the flow, but I ended up removing it because I couldn't find enough reliable information about all of them (Nerik's Map of the Flow has directions, types, and speeds for all of them, but a lot is speculative); save for a few cases like the Radiant and the Arcane Inner, most of the canonical flows don't have a specified direction. I might have missed part of the data, though (maybe I forgot to check some of the Dragon articles regarding Spelljammer), so if you know of canonical information regarding the topic, I'd be more than happy to include it!

But you seem to be missing Abeir, Toril's sister planet. Though I am not sure how you would list it, as it is supposed to be in it's own material plane.
As Sword of the Spirit noted, even though Abeir was already showing up in the name in 2e, I think it wasn't until 4e that it became an actual world (previously it was just a suffix). My rule for this map was to keep everything locked up to the end of AD&D, since I believe that's the more consistent and expansive version of the Great Wheel we have (3e never covered it in much detail and when it did it was a bit ambiguous, 4e scrapped it, and for 5e it's still too early to judge). So I'm afraid that means Abeir had to be left out (though as you mention, I wonder how it would have to be represented. I'm not very well versed on 4e cosmology, but was it ever specified where exactly Abeir was? Was it just another planet in Realmspace or somewhere else in the Prime, or was it literally in another multiverse altogether?).
 

Igwilly

Villager
I don't know about FR, but in 4e, each "world" was its own Mortal World, that is, its own plane. They were probably two "know worlds" connected, together with FR's Feywild and FR's Shadowfell.
 

Kobold Avenger

Explorer
Back in 2e there were a couple of theorized planes, one was the Macrocosm where the creature known as the Chososion (PSMCIII) were theorized to come from, and 2e is where the Far Realm first appeared in many of the material written by Bruce Cordell, but back then it was just sort of theorized.

There's more demiplanes such as Inphirblau where the possible relatives to the Dabus the Phirblas (PSMCIII) come from. Some of the Planescape adventures may have some one-off prime worlds or demiplanes.
 

Igfig

Explorer
I believe the quasi and para elemental planes are only hinted at (same as in the 3e Manual of the Planes), but unlike in 3e I wouldn't be at all surprised if they make them explicit in a later product.
The map provided in the 5e DMG has paraelemental planes, but no quasielementals. Getting rid of quasielementals is probably a big part of why they moved the Positive and Negative planes out of the Inner planes in the first place.
 
Ah yes, I remember now. That's in the Border Elemental regions. They also used "Ash" instead of "Smoke" for the border between Fire and Air, which is a bad call, since it makes it a bit more difficulty to discuss the quasi-elemental planes--though the idea that some people call the Border version the plane of Ash, while scholars tend to refer to the area between Air and Fire as Smoke, and therefore prefer that name for the Border version makes sense.

Quasi-elemental planes are some of the most fun ones out there. Hopefully they'll revisit them at some point.
 
I don't know about FR, but in 4e, each "world" was its own Mortal World, that is, its own plane. They were probably two "know worlds" connected, together with FR's Feywild and FR's Shadowfell.
Ohh, I was under the impression that mortal worlds in the 4e cosmology were floating about in the same plane. I'll have to study the subject more closely!

Back in 2e there were a couple of theorized planes, one was the Macrocosm where the creature known as the Chososion (PSMCIII) were theorized to come from, and 2e is where the Far Realm first appeared in many of the material written by Bruce Cordell, but back then it was just sort of theorized.

There's more demiplanes such as Inphirblau where the possible relatives to the Dabus the Phirblas (PSMCIII) come from. Some of the Planescape adventures may have some one-off prime worlds or demiplanes.
I totally forgot about Inphirblau and Macrocosm. They shall be added in the updated version! Thank you very much.

As for the Far Realm, when first introduced (in White Plume Mountain, I think?) it was just a weird place on the other side of a portal, and I believe it never got an update into an actual "other place" until the 3e Manual of the Planes, when it became the default source for tentacle magic.

Ah yes, I remember now. That's in the Border Elemental regions. They also used "Ash" instead of "Smoke" for the border between Fire and Air, which is a bad call, since it makes it a bit more difficulty to discuss the quasi-elemental planes--though the idea that some people call the Border version the plane of Ash, while scholars tend to refer to the area between Air and Fire as Smoke, and therefore prefer that name for the Border version makes sense.

Quasi-elemental planes are some of the most fun ones out there. Hopefully they'll revisit them at some point.
Aye, I also thought it odd when they replaced Smoke with Ash in the 5e cosmology. Quasiplanes seem to have fallen out of favour from 3e onward, and I'm not entirely sure why. I really enjoyed the notion of the elements having "lively" and "decaying" versions, and I personally loved using the Negative Quasielemental Plane of Vacuum as the definitive "now you've gone too far" place (and then they find out there's even a further beyond Point of Absolute Nasty where it touches the Negative for a "stop saying it could be worse!" sort of situation).
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
I use a home-brewed cosmology for the campaign I DM. Some people (mainly clerics and churches) in the game world actually use the "Great Wheel" Cosmology, but they are wrong. :)

The druids came up with the most correct version (the "Source to Terminus" cosmology I wrote up), and various wizard schools are split between the Great Wheel Cosmology, the Source/Terminus, and other theories.
 
I use a home-brewed cosmology for the campaign I DM. Some people (mainly clerics and churches) in the game world actually use the "Great Wheel" Cosmology, but they are wrong. :)

The druids came up with the most correct version (the "Source to Terminus" cosmology I wrote up), and various wizard schools are split between the Great Wheel Cosmology, the Source/Terminus, and other theories.
My cosmology is mostly the 2e version, with the 5e additions tacked on, but people on different worlds, and with different levels of knowledge have all sorts of different ideas. So priests in the Forgotten Realms believe the cosmology in the 3e FRCS, people with just a little bit of knowledge believe something like the 1e Manual of the Planes "Happy Hunting Grounds" and all, but minus quasi and para elemental planes, scholars tend to believe something like the setup in the 5e PHB, but don't know about the Border Elemental plan regions, and people living out on the planes in Sigil or wherever have the most accurate view (2e + 5e additions). That basically holds true for most worlds--priests tend to believe in the more particular cosmological arrangement that is part of their world's mythology, while educated wizards disagree.

On worlds with very different cosmologies, people might not have any idea of the Great Wheel in any form, and have a totally different conception. From their point of view it works just as well, even if from other points of view their "heaven place" is some domain on Elysium, and their meeting place of the gods is a demi-plane or some domain out in the Hinterlands of the Outlands. Since people on a particular material plane world generally only interact with small parts of the cosmos, the nature of most of it is both unknown and irrelevant to them, so they create less accurate but more mythologically consistent versions to believe in.

It's great fun for me to watch as the DM where my player's low-level characters from different worlds (Toril, Oerth, Krynn, and a couple of homebrews) were thrust together and eventually led to some in character discussions between the more knowledgeable characters about their different views of the multiverse. I had previously written a document for each player telling that in general what their PC knew, and the player with the Toril character had more out of character knowledge that was perfectly appropriate to use, making for a really fun session. Through divinations from a cleric of a power of Knowledge they were able to verify that the Arvandor known to the people of Toril and the 2 homebrew worlds (the character from Oerth just wasn't well versed in all this magic and relgion stuff) was the same place, which gave them some sort of connection amidst the confusion.

So I definitely agree with your methodology of having some people just have incorrect beliefs about how it all works.
 

SkidAce

Adventurer
I use a home-brewed cosmology for the campaign I DM. Some people (mainly clerics and churches) in the game world actually use the "Great Wheel" Cosmology, but they are wrong. :)

The druids came up with the most correct version (the "Source to Terminus" cosmology I wrote up), and various wizard schools are split between the Great Wheel Cosmology, the Source/Terminus, and other theories.
I like having various cosmological setups and creation stories, especially like yours, where the different groups think different things.

I keep a source document with the "true layout", but many different versions are believed by the populace, mainly varying by geographical, religious, or arcane demographics.

Here is one such "truth". Creation Myths
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
I like having various cosmological setups and creation stories, especially like yours, where the different groups think different things.

I keep a source document with the "true layout", but many different versions are believed by the populace, mainly varying by geographical, religious, or arcane demographics.

Here is one such "truth". Creation Myths
Neat. This is the cosmology I'm using, if anyone is interested. (I think you've already seen it SkidAce.)

http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?479902-Shattered-Realms-a-Homebrew-Cosmology
 

D_E

Explorer
As for the Far Realm, when first introduced (in White Plume Mountain, I think?) it was just a weird place on the other side of a portal, and I believe it never got an update into an actual "other place" until the 3e Manual of the Planes, when it became the default source for tentacle magic.
My understanding is that it was introduced in the Gates of Firestorm Peak, where it was a distant crystal sphere (and possibly also a distant time, the Vast Gate is said to be able to bridge any distance through both space and time).

The map provided in the 5e DMG has paraelemental planes, but no quasielementals. Getting rid of quasielementals is probably a big part of why they moved the Positive and Negative planes out of the Inner planes in the first place.
I think it was probably the other way around. Good clerics have been associated with Positive energy, and evil clerics with Negative energy, since at least 3rd edition. They probably moved the energy planes in order to firm up this Positive == Good, Negative == Bad connection, with the elimination of the quasielementals happening as a consequence of the move.
 

Igfig

Explorer
I wouldn't be surprised if it was both at once.

"Maybe we should move the Positive and Negative Planes out here to associate them more with the Upper and Lower Planes? Oh hey, that would get rid of the quasielemental planes too. That settles it, we're doing this."
 
Ah yes, I remember now. That's in the Border Elemental regions. They also used "Ash" instead of "Smoke" for the border between Fire and Air, which is a bad call, since it makes it a bit more difficulty to discuss the quasi-elemental planes--though the idea that some people call the Border version the plane of Ash, while scholars tend to refer to the area between Air and Fire as Smoke, and therefore prefer that name for the Border version makes sense.

Quasi-elemental planes are some of the most fun ones out there. Hopefully they'll revisit them at some point.
I think they are using the elemental chaos part of the elemental planes to cover the quasi-elemental planes. I haven't looked at that part of the DMG in a while, but I recall they wanted there to be 3 sections to the elemental planes: a transition section close to the material planes where PC's could survive (not necessarily in comfort) and have adventures without special spells/gear, the traditional elemental plane, and the elemental chaos where everything got mixed up. This also circumvents the naming issue.
 

D_E

Explorer
As for the Far Realm, when first introduced (in White Plume Mountain, I think?) it was just a weird place on the other side of a portal, and I believe it never got an update into an actual "other place" until the 3e Manual of the Planes, when it became the default source for tentacle magic.
Incidentally, the Far Realm in the Gates of Firestorm Peak is indeed called the Far Realm. The adventure also has an 10th level Alienist who draws his power from the Far Realm and is trying to attract the attention of a Far Realm entity to act as his patron, so it's already a major source of tentacle magic, too.

The Far Realm featured in that adventure is, as mentioned previously, a distant crystal sphere. However, it is suggested that the important variable is the vast distance (in both space and time) from the players' home sphere to the Far Realm sphere, suggesting that Far Realm-like places can be reached by traveling far enough in any direction, and/or by time-traveling far enough into the past or future.

I believe that the Far Realm as another Plane was indeed first mentioned in the 3e Manual. ...Actually, I just noticed that Gates suggests that the Far Realm may be so distant as to be located in its own multiverse, so....



BTW, I think the illithid world Penumbra is usually shown as an Alderson disk-like structure surrounding Truespace's sun, but I don't know if that was in the original adventure (Dawn of the Overmind). None of the adventure summaries I've found mention it.
 

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