D&D 5E Multiverse Theory and you


log in or register to remove this ad

dave2008

Legend
Thank you again for the reply.
I dont really care to continue this, but bringing up MTG is a great example of how I hate it.

In MTG, you used to go to all these different worlds, same multiverse, and see them. Fine.

Then, Wizards decided they needed a few 'faces for the game', and they leaned into the Lorwyn 5, the eventual Gatewatch or "Jacetice League" as it was sometimes referred to.

I hate it, and it will never change.
I have no idea what your talking about. I only know MTG through D&D really.
So thats fine, you all can have your view, and it can be as rare or as common as you like, but I hate it, and always will.
Sorry to drag the conversation out and upset. That is not my goal. I am really just trying to understand why you hate it. By I guess that is the thing about hate, it is personal and not completely rational. What seems like a non-issue to me, is a big deal to you. I am sure there are things that trigger me and don't bother you. I don't get it, but I don't have to either. I respect your hate and I hope you can do the same for my tolerance. Have a great day!
 

Scribe

Hero
I have no idea what your talking about. I only know MTG through D&D really.
Pushing a view into the game that shrinks it, by focusing on a small number of perspectives, repeatedly over multiple sets and years.

There was a period where Jace, a planeswalker in MTG, was the assumed face of the game. This later shifting to Chandra/Lilliana for reasons over other sets. I couldnt tell you who is the face now.

Sorry to drag the conversation out and upset.

No harm! Its all good. Its the concept I hate. The shrinking of the 'universe' by pushing ones view through a smaller set of eyes and perspectives.

I wouldnt want to see Athas, Eberron, Krynn, and Toril all through the same party or character, when those places all have their own unique tone.

Ultimately its kind of the 'what is the point of canon' conversation, some care, some dont.
 

I wouldnt want to see Athas, Eberron, Krynn, and Toril all through the same party or character, when those places all have their own unique tone.
This is sort of my problem with the current 'multiverse' push - I loved that Planescape offered the chance to run a multiversal D&D game, and I loved that Dark Sun and Eberron had their own cosmologies and were specifically 'something else'*. The explicit support to do either was neat.

* Yes, I know about the adventure with the Gith. I still think it's silly, and that Athas is a stronger setting on its own.
 
Last edited:

JEB

Legend
My campaigns have generally assumed they were part of the larger D&D multiverse.

My original 1990s 2E campaign (when I was a young teen) introduced a magical McGuffin that could open portals to different realities depending on what spells were flung at it; however, these were non-D&D worlds. Later, another set of characters found a spelljamming ship, with one very brief sidetrip to Faerun before the campaign petered out.

In my 2000s 2E-with-bits-of-3E campaign, the same villain that created the original McGuffin returned, as an excuse for a dungeon with locales and creatures extracted from various campaign worlds (Ravenloft, Dragonlance, etc.).

Our most recent multi-DM 5E campaign never had the multiverse become directly relevant in an adventure. However, one of our players (also a DM) used his PC in a few of another friend's Forgotten Realms games (and this was treated as canon), while another player (who also later became a sometimes DM) brought their character in from another unidentified setting, along with some NPCs from said setting (was never sure if she was referencing a prior fictional world she'd made up; should have asked). In our campaign, based on then-official lore, the Isle of Dread was also a place that exists in different settings simultaneously (and this was an internal justification for why Demogorgon wanted control of it, not that the players ever asked).

Like another poster upthread, I toyed with having some planar adventures centered around the Rod of Seven Parts if the 5E campaign ran long enough, but doubting that'll happen now after a two-year hiatus.
 
Last edited:

Pushing a view into the game that shrinks it, by focusing on a small number of perspectives, repeatedly over multiple sets and years.

There was a period where Jace, a planeswalker in MTG, was the assumed face of the game. This later shifting to Chandra/Lilliana for reasons over other sets. I couldnt tell you who is the face now.
I really don't understand. What does it matter who the "face" of a card game is? Isn't that arguing if the Queen of Hearts or the Ace of Diamonds is the face of poker?
No harm! Its all good. Its the concept I hate. The shrinking of the 'universe' by pushing ones view through a smaller set of eyes and perspectives.

I wouldnt want to see Athas, Eberron, Krynn, and Toril all through the same party or character, when those places all have their own unique tone.
And I don't see why that is ever likely to happen. The universe is full of worlds, but you don't see many aliens walking along the high street.

Just because something is hypothetically possible doesn't mean it happens.

But it's the players' eyes that see the world, not the characters, and if you play campaigns in multiple settings it's going to be the same players eyes' viewing those settings, irrespective of if the characters can travel between them or not. All fictional worlds have always been connected to each other, via the real world.
Ultimately its kind of the 'what is the point of canon' conversation, some care, some dont.
That's easy, canon has no point.

Edit: Actually, I think the purpose of canon is to cause nerd-rage.
 
Last edited:

dave2008

Legend
Pushing a view into the game that shrinks it, by focusing on a small number of perspectives, repeatedly over multiple sets and years.

There was a period where Jace, a planeswalker in MTG, was the assumed face of the game. This later shifting to Chandra/Lilliana for reasons over other sets. I couldnt tell you who is the face now.
Again, I have no idea what your talking about - maybe we just drop the MTG references, I don't get them.
No harm! Its all good. Its the concept I hate. The shrinking of the 'universe' by pushing ones view through a smaller set of eyes and perspectives.

I wouldnt want to see Athas, Eberron, Krynn, and Toril all through the same party or character, when those places all have their own unique tone.
But no one has ever forced you to and the lore has been like this for a long time (at least for Athas and Eberron), so what has changed? Or have you always hated Eberron and Athas?
Ultimately its kind of the 'what is the point of canon' conversation, some care, some dont.
A care for canon only as a point of inspiration. To me canon is what my group plays (it is a game), not what WotC, TSR, Paizo, Ed Greenwood, or Keith Baker print on a page. Now I actually use quite a bit of those written words in my campaign, but I have never felt beholden to it.

I don't want to drag this conversation on, and apologize for this lengthy response (it was originally much shorter), I really just wanted to comment that I don't understand your "shrinking of the universe" comment. No need to explain, I just have a different perspective. The semi-unified multiverse concept doesn't shrink anything for me, but instead expands possibilities. I think the reason I see this differently stems from our different perspectives on "canon." Though I understand what you say (about the universe and canon), it is such a foreign viewpoint to me that I just can't truly embrace it enough to really walk in your shoes. That is rare for me so I am struggling a bit to let it go. I feel I need to understand your perspective Scribe, but I just can't. OK, that is it for me - have a great day!
 
Last edited:

Well, for me, multiple worlds has always felt like the norm. The Magician's Nephew* was read to me when I was around 6, I grew up watching Star Trek and Doctor Who, and I started playing D&D with 1st edition, where alternate prime material planes are discussed in the DMG.

*Origin of The Wood Between the Worlds.
 
Last edited:

Bitbrain

Glory to Ka!
Reply to OP.

Yes, I like the Multiverse concept and I’ve been slowly setting the stage in my campaigns for a multiverse-hopping adventure.

The thing is though, my interpretation of the Multiverse is “anchored” to the Material Plane. Basically, each setting has its own distinct extraplanar cosmic structure:
  1. Athas (Dark Sun) is connected to a variant World Axis (Astral Sea, Elemental Chaos, and the Grey).
  2. Eberron is connected to the Great Orrery.
  3. Mystara is connected to the Seven Realms (cosmic model seen in M3 Twilight Calling).
  4. Shoril (my dad’s Wuxia-inspired Fantasy China-Forgotten Realms-Sword Coast) uses an Overheaven & Underworld model.
 

Hussar

Legend
My current Candlekeep Mysteries game is actually doing a bit of this sort of thing.

1. 2 of the PC's are from the Feywild and 1 is a lucid dream of an aboleth, so I have no idea where it's from. :D
2. There are currently two plotlines leading into the Shadowfell.
3. There is the distinct possibility in the very near future that they might travel to another planet via rocket tower (maniacal giggle)
4. They recently traveled into the past and nearly rewrote history by preventing the creation of Larue the Unicorn and thus the founding of Silverymoon. Fortunately, the baddy wasn't actually extra planar, so the Banishment spell that it failed it's save against didn't shunt it off to another plane.

So, yeah, there's a fair chance of some pretty strange plane hopping stuff going on.
 

Tallifer

Hero
I grew up reading Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion cycle, so yes. One of his evocative phrases was the Conjunction of the Million Spheres.
 

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.
I've run a Rod of Seven Parts campaign and I found it was better to create new worlds rather than take from others. I figured avoiding the clutter and backstory of established worlds (though I did use Darksun) was a good way to narrowly focus on a story and metaplot. The campaign started on Greyhawk and the PCs traveled the Prime Material in a Spelljammer. A young dragon discovered the location of the centerpiece to the Rod, which would lead the PCs to the other pieces. The reason for revealing it to the PCs was because she knew her mother had a part of the Rod and it would reunite them. However, a young dragon can't be adventuring so the PCs can keep the Rod, and anything else they find. It was a great plot hook. Not to mention, the mother wasn't eager to give up her section of the Rod so they had to figure out another way to get it from an Ancient Red Dragon.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Well, for me, multiple worlds has always felt like the norm. The Magician's Nephew* was read to me when I was around 6, I grew up watching Star Trek and Doctor Who, and I started playing D&D with 1st edition, where alternate prime material planes are discussed in the DMG.

*Origin of The Wood Between the Worlds.
I like the philosophical essays by CS Lewis, but I havent read his fiction. (I did see the movie tho!)

His, The Magicians Nephew, seems like a story that would interest me.

From what I gather, one of the main characters is Andrew Ketterley, a magician. As a character that is both the wizard archetype and the hero of the story, he seems like an early prototype for the Harry Potter novels. Is that so?
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I really just wanted to comment that I don't understand your "shrinking of the universe" comment. No need to explain, I just have a different perspective. The semi-unified multiverse concept doesn't shrink anything for me, but instead expands possibilities. I think the reason I see this differently stems from our different perspectives on "canon."
Speaking for myself.

I want D&D settings that lack gods.

If the current approach to the multiverse assumes that every setting has gods − or more specifically, the gods of Forgotten Realms created every setting in the multiverse, directly or indirectly, whether that setting knows it or not − then the multiverse has "shrunk" to a degree that I find painful to my choices as the DM.

I want D&D to have a multiverse that is big enough for my creative freedom to fit within it.
 

HammerMan

Legend
So have you done worldhopping as a feature in a campaign? Care to talk about it?
back in 2e (I was a teen) I took the idea of DC's "Crisis on Infinite earths" and a new story I was reading "Zero Hour" and mixed them togather with what I thought was a brilliant idea. I pitched it to a good friend and we CO DMed a ggame in his basement (his mothers basement lol) where the players didin't know that part. We split the players up in half and they thought they were just in diffrent cities near each other for first 3 sessions... until the fissures started to open in space time and someone made a joke "Gee better ask the other what year they are playing in" and got close... so we moved things up and introduced the vampire lord with the same name as a player in the other group... becuse they were not in diffrent times, they were on parralel earths and they were about to meet there own doppleganger but also the other party.

by mid level (about 12 or 13 sessions in) the worlds were merged not just witheach other but with 4 others (and none of the PCs now on 'new world' knew the combined history. It was only semi a shock when matt felt tired, and put his hand toward the sun light and pulled it back in pain. However that lead to the begning of the next crisis when Max (a white dwarf spellcaster) and his palidens all went missing... there holy/arcane energy (since on one world they were wizard on the other knights on merged they were paliden/mages) was being used for time stuff... and it turned out that a good friend of both groups now had gone insane and was trying to wipe out merged world...

it was epic

at the begining of 5e I ran somewhat of a spirtual succesor to that buy with WAY less players no codm and it wasn't as fun (maybe it was only we were young back then)
 

Voadam

Legend
The Pathfinder 1e Adventure Path Reign of Winter has the party at one point shunted off to other world's in Baba Yaga's chicken-legged TARDIS. When I was running it the party TPK'd before getting to the world hopping but the second world in particular looked like fantastic fun. The first new world was ok but I was considering swapping the default world out for another setting and had not yet decided on one before the unexpected cascading TPK event ended that game and we moved on to another campaign.
 

guachi

Adventurer
I find the WotC official stance that all worlds are connected to be very unappealing. It adds nothing to any game I'd ever run or play in or have ever run or played in. It does take up pages in books I won't buy and developer time away from things I might actually buy so I guess it's a net negative.

I don't mind the idea of planes, though. That can give campaigns other places to go or get ideas/monsters from.
 

I like the philosophical essays by CS Lewis, but I havent read his fiction. (I did see the movie tho!)

His, The Magicians Nephew, seems like a story that would interest me.

From what I gather, one of the main characters is Andrew Ketterley, a magician. As a character that is both the wizard archetype and the hero of the story, he seems like an early prototype for the Harry Potter novels. Is that so?
Ketterley is the magician, but he is a minor villain. The protagonist is the nephew, Digory Kirke, who is Professor Kirke in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.
 

If the current approach to the multiverse assumes that every setting has gods − or more specifically, the gods of Forgotten Realms created every setting in the multiverse, directly or indirectly, whether that setting knows it or not − then the multiverse has "shrunk" to a degree that I find painful to my choices as the DM.
This is not the current approach.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
This is not the current approach.
The idea that all the settings of D&D are descended (so to speak) from one primal world is at least a plausible reading of the stuff in Fizban's and maybe elsewhere. Seems to me to be the intended meaning, but I could be mistaken.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top