D&D 5E Multiverse Theory and you


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I have no major issue with multiversal theory, but it seldom sees much actual use in play. I dislike the idea of forcing all settings to fit within multiversal theory. Having a setting that has its own cosmology can be a good idea, but to hammer it into this universal notion is just bad (re: Eberron).
 

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
My group has been using a multiverse for 10 plus years now, utilizing official D&D worlds, MtG worlds and homebrew worlds. While not every campaign has plane hopping, their are always references and easter eggs from previous adventures and any major shake up from a previous campaign may effect later ones even in small ways (we have had several characters become gods for example, the current Asmodeus is the son of the previous Asmodeus who killed the original one for example).
 

Azzy

KMF DM
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?
No, I've never run or played in a worldhopping campaign and generally have a distaste for the idea. I'm not a big fan of planehopping, either, but that, at least, doesn't make me roll my eyes.
 

Only as part of the Ravenloft campaign, where PCs are transported from another world into Ravenloft. (And then were able to leave.)

Oh. And I played Dungeons and Dragons Online which allowed PCs to go between some different settings.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I've had individual characters move from a campaign in one setting to a campaign in another setting (Nentir Vale to the Shadowfell then Shadowfell to Barovia)... likewise I had one player when I was running Tyranny of Dragons if his PC could be an old wizard from Greyhawk that got into some sort of magical accident that sent him to Faerun and dropped him down to level 1 and a rather senile old man. I also have referenced old campaigns in other ones for my players even if they took place in different settings. They get a kick out of it.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
I like referencing the Multiverse, and I like a little bit of plane-hopping (though I prefer the other planes intruding on the Material, rather than players going to other planes). But no, haven't really done a "Players jump from world to world" kind of game.

Honestly, that is probably where I book like Ravnica would be most useful. That being the player's "hub" world, and they get jobs and contracts taking them to various worlds in the Multiverse. Like "Planeswalkers for hire," and of course the main villain would be someone like Dakkon who can also planeswalk.

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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?

I did a bit of 'built in' multiverse gaming with Planescape, Ravenloft and to a lesser extent Spelljammer, back in 2E.

I've wanted to do a sliders /quantum leap* type game where the players jump from one campaign/ world setting to the next. I have some ideas for a couple of Dark Sun encounters, but not enough to fill a campaign. But this has never really eventuated. I have dropped in some hooks that might lead to this in a couple of games, but the players have never followed those threads and I never really force players in any particular direction.

Currently my home brew world has been having portals open to Ravnica for some time, with the Guilds spilling out across various cities around the world. One of the groups I run was asked if they wanted to go thereby an NPC, as there might be a clue to an over-arcing plot point, but they thought a planet sized city sounded too intimidating. (there also wasn't any assurance they'd find what they were after there either)

*in the end if it ever happens it will probably end up being more like Count Duckula and his teleporting castle.
 

S'mon

Legend
I tend to have more plane-hopping NPCs than PCs, currently. I like the Moorcockian Multiverse, but I think players prefer to put down roots in a single place and really make a difference to the world (for good or ill!). Eg in my Faerun/Damara 1360 campaign there's an NPC warrior woman, Jane Poole of Bognor Regis, who was a champion fencer on Earth, then transported to Wilderlands, then ended up on Faerun via Stonehell Dungeon. Basically a female John Carter type with a bit of Moorcock's Eternal Champion. And the Epic Tier Heroes of Bloodstone NPCs recently returned from Krynn with an Orb of Dragonkind powered by the captive Takhisis, Avatar of Tiamat. :D

Conversely I would not use the D&D Multiverse in my Primeval Thule game, it would heavily detract from the feel I'm going for which is early 20th century modernist swords & sorcery meets cosmic horror.
 

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?
Depends on what qualifies as "worldhopping," I suppose. In the formal sense, my players have only been to three worlds: the one they come from (Al-Duniyyah, mostly the Tarrakhuna region), the elemental otherworld favored by genies (Al-Akirah, specifically the loose coalition of feudal city-states known as Jinnistan, which loosely corresponds to the Tarrakhuna), and an artificially-constructed "perpendicular" plane, Zerzura (inspired by/reworked from the lovely Gardens of Ynn supplement.)

However, as part of that, they've come to learn that there ARE other planes out there...but for some reason they're inaccessible. This is a long-standing mystery the party is dedicated to solving. If that qualifies...well, I'm always happy to blather about it.
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
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...


But have you had a campaign that moves between settings? Not to an outer or inner plane, but to, like, Oerth.
 

I ran a world hopping campaign somewhere around 1983, heavily influenced by Moorcock, who I was reading a lot at the time. The party adventured across several alternative prime material planes. They where all homebrew - there wasn't much else around at the time.

My current campaign has visited the Feywild, Ethereal and Astral planes, and several demiplanes, but no alternate PMPs as yet.
 
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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?
I had a campaign travel across three prime materials (including Toril and Krynn), and it was a lot of fun, but I think it's only for certain campaigns, because it means that the PCs don't get very attached to places and their backstory becomes less relevant in most cases (but that's also true with non-native Ravenloft characters in that setting and so on too).
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
I have had a planer element in pretty much all of my campaigns. For something like Ravenloft, I might just merge into the main world, but in that game, there were still other planer elements.

In terms of travel across settings, no. Closest was sending the PCs to Gamma World. Definitely a highlight.
 


HaroldTheHobbit

Adventurer
My usual cosmology is a multiverse rooted in Spelljammer with different settings in crystal spheres etc. Most often the campaign is grounded on a continent/planet/setting with eventual excursions to other planes.

But in my current campaign with lvl 9 players the party has just gotten access to a spell jamming ship. My plan is to keep stuff in realmspace, but might continue to a forgotten crystal sphere for the final bbeg confrontation. So there might be another setting involved in actual play, but not an official published one.
 

dave2008

Legend
Meanwhile, a DM who choses to embrace the multiverse framework runs into some serious worldbuilding constraints:
  • It becomes impossible, by definition, to have an omniscient (let alone omnipotent) deity in some settings but not others.
  • It also becomes impossible for the existence of deities to be genuinely uncertain, if works describing them in other parts of the setting are established as canonically true.
  • If different material planes share the same fire elemental plane, the same 9 hells, and so forth, a DM who takes the idea of a shared multiverse seriously loses much of their ability to homebrew when dealing with these planes.
Interesting, I don't find any of these to be true.
 


I'd like to do a multiverse spanning 'Rod of Seven Parts' campaign, but that would entail learning about (and paying for) far too many campaign worlds for my limited time.
You can create your own settings. Some people would have you believe that worldbuilding some arcane art, requiring huge amounts of time and skill, but really it isn't. Especially when characters are just passing through, you don't need thousands of years of history or pantheons of gods.

One thing you can do is borrow a trick from science fiction. You think of one defining characteristic and blow it up to gonzo proportions. It might be kilometre tall trees, or floating islands, or planetary cities, or a lizard world. Political and social ideas taken to extremes also work.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
We had quite a few examples of that while playing a high level in AD&D, whether through Planescape or through Spelljammer, visiting the FR or Greyhawk or DL for short periods of time, or simply because it was a crossover for the origins of the adventurers. We also had a few occasions of visiting earth, sometimes in modern times, including a major incident in which a creeping doom was cast inside the toilets of a 747... :)
 

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