D&D 5E Multiverse Theory and you

So I am curious. I have been DMing for decades and I don't know if I have ever used "multiverse" storytelling. While PCs have done some planar travel, especially when I have run Ravenloft or Planescape stories, I don't think I have ever had PCs traveling from one setting to another, as in, I have never had players transported from Krynn to Toril for example. But with the emphasis placed on the concept with recent releases, I am curious. Am I an anomaly?

So have you done worldhopping as a feature in a campaign? Care to talk about it?
 

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Irlo

Hero
No, I don’t use it and I don’t like it. I think the Multiverse concept is there to add official legitimacy to the idea that we don’t all run in a Shared World. But I don’t need the legitimacy and it doesn’t add anything to think of my campaigns linked cosmically to everyone else’s.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
So I am curious. I have been DMing for decades and I don't know if I have ever used "multiverse" storytelling. While PCs have done some planar travel, especially when I have run Ravenloft or Planescape stories, I don't think I have ever had PCs traveling from one setting to another, as in, I have never had players transported from Krynn to Toril for example. But with the emphasis placed on the concept with recent releases, I am curious. Am I an anomaly?

So have you done worldhopping as a feature in a campaign? Care to talk about it?
Published setting to published setting? Not really outside of planar travel within Planescape or traveling between Mystara and the "Dimension of Myth". Even when we played Ravenloft we played it as natives in the setting rather than as captives trying to get out.

Between my own settings? Yup. It can be fun for the players to have their characters visit another world and have it slowly dawn on them that it was the setting of one of our previous campaigns. or at least it's fun for me :)

(Also I think one reason why I'm less worried about a "multiverse" here might be because I spent so much of my early gaming time playing in Mystara, where "dimensional travel" is core to the setting, at least between Mystara and the "Dimension of Myth" and between Mystara and wherever the FSS Beagle survey team came from...)
 

payn

Legend
When I pick a setting its because that is the look, the feel, the flavor I want the game to have. Multi-versing can be a bit jarring to that experience. So it isnt something I have pursued. I have come a bit more around to the idea form other types of media, but im still dubious of it.
 

MarkB

Legend
Yeah, WotC's drive to link all settings to one shared multiverse has never appealed to me. I could see myself doing a campaign that involves hopping between different material planes, but even then, those various material worlds would be unique to that campaign.

The idea of bringing a character over from another campaign, set in a different world, just feels wrong to me, and having it become something that's just casually a part of the underlying assumptions of official worldbuilding is beyond annoying.
 

DarkMantle

Explorer
Also, no for me.

I think I've just gone with a generic setting out of status quo, and waiting for a new cool setting to maybe jump into later.

I started with FR because it was the main offering with 5E and had all the maps and everything. I don't have time to do much homebrewing, so that's important to me. But I ignore 95% of the FR stuff (factions, detailed histories, etc.) and use it like a generic setting.

Then we hopped off into Ravenloft and the Feywild for now, and really enjoying that.

But I definitely will hop back into another Material Plane World after. Just waiting for a new setting that actually captures my interest, maybe that new continent in the upcoming Call of the Netherdeep
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I've done nothing with traveling setting to setting, and actually find the multiverse idea distasteful, almost repugnant.

1. I exclusively run homebrew settings. They often have their own cosmology and pantheons. The concept that "D&D requires" that it's actually connected to everything - or even anything - else is a hard NO. You don't get to dictate my world like that. You most especially don't get to set player expectations such that they think anything from across the multiverse should be allowed to exist.

2. I strongly dislike "kitchen sink" settings when I play. Warforged in Eberron have a strong and dynamic place in the setting. They are connected to the history, and their existing in meaningful to what what and what is, forcing changes on the world. Warforged in FR are "oh look, mechanical men" with all serial numbers filed off.

3. Related to both number one and two, I enjoy flavorful settings. Dark Sun during the default age shouldn't have divine options available for PCs. Eberron is cut off from anywhere except the few specific planes occasionally because of the Ring of Siberys. Don't try to take away their uniqueness by connecting them up to a multiverse which will actively damage them by changing core assumptions of the settings.

Again, this is the idea of a multiverse - there being multiple planes in the cosmology is just fine. And that could include multiple material planes - if that's what that setting sets up. I had such in my Errantas setting that I ran multiple campaigns in. There were material planes accessible through the various elemental planes, and most of the races on the starting plane were refuges brought there by various deities to escape disasters or genocide because the walls of this particular material plane were "thin" and it was not too hard to get people here. But that doesn't mean that others of those material planes were FR, or that they could worship Tempus or meet Mordinkainen plane hopping. There were actually 18 "mantles" for gods, and the various pantheons filled most of them with Ascended from each culture. We also had strong genius loci (gods of places), and fisher-king like "the king is the land and the land is the king" connections to it. Other pantheon not part of that just didn't exist anywhere in (or connected to!) that setting.
 
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MGibster

Legend
So have you done worldhopping as a feature in a campaign? Care to talk about it?
I'm my first 5E campaign the PCs noticed that they all went to sleep for nearly a century. I mean everyone. They ended up traveling to Seattle to meet with the Wizard of the Coast who controlled all their destinies. They ended up helping the Seahawks defending Seattle from the Raiders of Oakland.
 

JohnF

Explorer
As a DM, never happened.

As a player, I once had a PC jump from the middle of a Pathfinder 1e AP into a 3e Forgotten Realms one-shot and then back again, and we made it “canon” sort of. That’s the closest vibe gotten to anything like a multiversal experience. It was meh.
 

Oofta

Legend
I have a few times. I had a campaign arc once where the PCs experienced an alternative version of their world. In this alternate version the world was ending and the PCs had to figure out what had happened and how to stop it back in their own timeline. It was kind-of-sort-of time travel in the sense that the other version of the world was a future version. Which sounds confusing now that I write it, but made sense at the time.

I also use Norse mythology as a base and in that mythology you have the different planes of existence as different worlds accessed via the tree Yggdrasil. I've alluded to the fact that Yggdrasil is just one tree in a forest. I may do something about it some day. 🤷‍♂️
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
As as DM I have never used it but I would like support for low level planar travel. I have toyed with ideas relating to that. D&D in space also has some attraction.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Well, since you asked like that: No, I've never seen a campaign that moves between settings. Or even heard of one.

That's interesting.

This is not something new by WoTC. Instead, it is more of a return to how D&D always has been. The multiverse was the original ur-D&D setting, and it was commonly accepted and officially acknowledged by the 1e DMG.

I had a series of posts about this a while ago- here's one of them...

 

Musing Mage

Pondering D&D stuff
Back in my 20s I ran a RIFTS game that was loosely based on the TV series 'Sliders' wherein the characters had a magical tablet that opened portals after a randomly determined period of time and took them to their next adventure. I hopped them through the full line of Palladium systems that we had regularly played at the time. Heroes Unlimited/TMNT, After the Bomb, Robotech, Beyond the Supernatural... and finishing off with a Mortal Kombat style tournament (we were big into MK at the time) and then finally back home to RIFTS Earth.

More recently, when I wrapped up my 2nd Ed campaign, the finale was a trip through the Dungeonland/Beyond Magic Mirror modules and ended with a few people going home, one dying, and two opting to travel into my current 1e game world. Down the road they will meet those survivors as NPCs and possible story hook.

That's about it for me on that front. Most of my adventures otherwise stay firmly on the realm they are in.
 

That's interesting.

This is not something new by WoTC. Instead, it is more of a return to how D&D always has been. The multiverse was the original ur-D&D setting, and it was commonly accepted and officially acknowledged by the 1e DMG.

I had a series of posts about this a while ago- here's one of them...

Yeah, it's definitely not a new concept. But it is one being re-explored/ reemphasized now. When Tasha's had the "Dream of the Blue Veil" spell I was rather struck. Left me thinking, "who is this for?" On reflection, I have done the "Person from our earth transported to DnD setting" schtick, but in my defense...
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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Yeah, it's definitely not a new concept. But it is one being re-explored/ reemphasized now.

I guess so. I've always had the Gygaxian multiverse as the backdrop to all of my campaigns.

To the extent that a single campaign needs to stay in place, or be cut off from the other planes (including alternate prime material planes), I just close off access via a generous dose of handwavium.
 

I think this was a bit of a thing back in the 70s and 80's when it was fairly well accepted for a player to bring an existing PC into another DM's game. People tended to be more strict about leveling by the book in my experience, so the only way to start above 1st level was to use an existing PC. Obviously this required some rationale why the PC had traveled between different DM's worlds. In any modern (i.e. last 30 years) game it would be expected that a new player would make up a character of the appropriate level when joining the group, so this would be unnecessary today.

Campaigns also tended to be much longer and more rambling. I heard of DMs back in the day deciding Dark Sun was cool, so poof, their existing party is now on Athas. When the got bored of that - poof - you're back in FR. Most people these days treat campaigns as more of a closed story arc, so if a group wanted to run a Dark Sun game they would almost certainly just start a new campaign to do it.

So yes, cross-campaign world play was a thing at one point, but in my experience it is as dead as disco today.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
So have you done worldhopping as a feature in a campaign? Care to talk about it?
A number of times over the decades. I've done the Earthling into D&D world, had PCs go from my homebrew world to Krynn, Faerun, and others, as well as numerous trips to the outer planes. Honestly, I think pretty much every campaign which goes a year or more has problem world-hopped at one point or another.
 


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