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5E Planescape: Fantasy Taken to the Edge (5e conversion)



With Planewalker, the official fan site recovering from a crash, I started this thread for converting the beloved Planescape setting to 5th edition.

Races, Factions as backgrounds, Spells & Magic Items, and more will appear here as I convert them. And by all means, you're welcome to contribute your own conversions! :)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Variant Rules

Power of Belief: Inspiration Variant (this post, scroll down)

Portals
The Portal Resource (random tables; links to r/DnDBehindtheScreen)

Planar Races
Aasimar, variant
Tiefling, variant
Rogue Modron

Magic
Planar Spell Effects

Factions
Athar
Believers in the Source
Bleak Cabal
Doomguard
Dustmen
Fated
Fraternity of Order
Free League
Harmonium
Mercykillers
Revolutionary League
Sign of One
Society of Sensation
Transcendent Order
Xaositects

External Resources
Player's Guide to Planescape - GoogleDrive PDF (found online)
[MENTION=6981727]Lennon M[/MENTION]'s Random Planar Portal Tool
Infinite Planes Player Companion – GoogleDrive PDF (my most up-to-date work)
Monster Conversions at Planewalker.com
[SBLOCK=monsters converted by CR]
Astral Searcher CR 1/2 (by [MENTION=20323]Quickleaf[/MENTION])
Vargouille CR 1/4 (by [MENTION=20323]Quickleaf[/MENTION]), official version in Volo's Guide to Monsters
Cranium Rats CR 2, 4, or 6 (by [MENTION=20323]Quickleaf[/MENTION]), official version in Volo's Guide to Monsters
Dabus CR 1 (by [MENTION=20323]Quickleaf[/MENTION])
Yagnoloth, Yugoloth CR 11 (by [MENTION=20323]Quickleaf[/MENTION]), official version in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes
Maelephant CR 8 (by [MENTION=20323]Quickleaf[/MENTION])
Widdershins CR 9 (new monster by [MENTION=20323]Quickleaf[/MENTION])
Minion of Set CR 3 (by [MENTION=71130]Delazar[/MENTION])
Gohei P'oh CR 1/8 (Kara-tur monster by [MENTION=71318]Wick[/MENTION]e)
Aleax CR variable (by [MENTION=71130]Delazar[/MENTION])
Nic'Epona CR 4 (by [MENTION=71130]Delazar[/MENTION])
Spirit of the Air CR 5 (by [MENTION=71130]Delazar[/MENTION])
Vortex CR 1/2 (by [MENTION=71130]Delazar[/MENTION])
Marraenoloth, Yugoloth CR 7 (by [MENTION=71130]Delazar[/MENTION]), official version in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes
Decaton, Modron CR 9 (by [MENTION=71130]Delazar[/MENTION])
Nonaton, Modron CR 10 (by [MENTION=71130]Delazar[/MENTION])[/SBLOCK]

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The Power of Belief
Belief can move mountains, and in the Planescape setting that's literal, cutter. 5th edition's Inspiration mechanic is translated as the power of a character's beliefs (their ideals) manifested.

Gaining Inspiration
When a PC acts in accordance with one of their ideals in the face of great cost or personal loss, the PC gains Inspiration. Nearly dying (or actually dying) on a quest, sustaining a debilitating disease or injury, sacrificing something precious, forgoing important personal (or group) goals, refusing to comply and expecting to be severed punished for it - these are all examples of great costs or personal losses. It's important to remember that sacrificing a healing potion to save an NPC ain't necessarily Inspiration-worthy; however, if it clearly supports those of the PC's ideals and the PC (or other party members) could really use that healing potion, then it's definitely Inspiration-worthy.

Note that this system may or may not replace Inspiration as a reward for playing up your PC's flaws. For example, some flaws might be explained as beliefs (albeit unhealthy ones), and therefor indulging or acting them out at great cost might be worth Inspiration. This is for the DM to decide.

Using Inspiration
Inspiration lets you "break the rules" of the planes. In addition to spending Inspiration to gain advantage, you can instead call upon one of these options:

Attune to Touchstone: Attune to a planar touchstone, much in the same way as one would attune to certain magic items. You can only be attuned to one touchstone at a time.

Eschew Components: Wield your Inspiration as a spellcasting focus, ignoring the need for components for a particular spell.

Faction Feats: Faction feats grant you new uses for Inspiration. For example, the Athaon (Athar) feats lets you use Inspiration to banish celestials, fiends, proxies, and petitioners.

Gain an Intuitive Clue: Ask the DM a question or ask for a hint. It is up to the DM how much he or she reveals. This is intended to replace Intelligence/Wisdom checks for gaining hints. It reflects the PC being in tune with the cadence of the planes.

Outer Planar Metaphysics: Many Outer Planes provide new uses of Inspiration; sometimes these are limited to those of a certain alignment,but sometimes they are available to anyone. For example, on Mount Celestia you can spend Inspiration coupled with good deeds to ascend the slopes, whereas in the Gray Waste you may spend it to stave off the wasting sickness.

Reshape the Planes: You can literally reshape the planes with the power of belief. Unlike other uses of Inspiration, this often requires consecutive or simultaneous uses of Inspiration & some adventuring, particularly to achieve the more dramatic effects. Some of the possibilities include:
  • (1 Inspiration)
  • (2 Inspiration) Stabilize a shifting conduit/portal leading to a plane with an ideal/alignment similar to your own.
  • (3 Inspiration)
  • (4 Inspiration)
  • (5 Inspiration) Shift a gate-town on the verge of slipping from the Outlands to a neighboring plane (or vice versa). Or shift a realm in upheavel within a plane to another location within the same plane (provided no god contests you).

EDIT: Still brainstorming uses (and valuations of the uses) for Reshape the Planes.
 
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Planar Races

Primes and planars...you'll hear Planewalkers use those terms, but what do they mean?

"Planars" are born and bred on the planes, including aasimar, bariaur, genasi, githzerai, githyanki, rogue modron, nathri, planar half-elves, planar humans, tieflings, and stranger beings. Their extradimensional blood allows them to perceive the slight shimmering outline of inactive portals. However, they can be banished and summoned like other creatures of the planes.

"Primes" are folks from the Prime Material Plane worlds like Oerth & Abeir-Toril; typically they are seen as a bit provincial at best and just clueless at worst. Because of their origins, primes aren't subject to being banished or summoned. They can't perceive portals either. Instead, primes have an intangible magic silver cord which tethers them to their home world thru the Astral Plane and allows them to travel via the Astral Projection spell. Now that's a trick a planar can't do, though silver cords bring risks all their own...

I mentioned stranger races on the planes, and it's true we haven't seen half of what's out there! That's why this guide lays out the chant of the latest study from famed planar biologist Gorad Drummerhaven's apprentice on the Racial Composition of Planewalkers and Other Folk Who Risk Death, Dismemberment, Petrification...and Insanity on the Planes. This includes notes on the bladeling, ephemeral, foo dog, fused being, godling, mimir, petitioner, rutterkin, tso, and Yggdrasil spirit.

Where to begin? At 'A' of course!

AASIMAR

Aasimar are plane-touched mortals who can feel the majesty of the Upper Planes in their blood. Many are the descendants of rare coupling between mortals and celestial a such as deva & planetar collectively known as "aasimon" (hence the name). Others were human once but some incredible event on the Upper Planes - such as accessing a potent planar touchstone - infused them with celestial energy. And others still are mortal incarnations of celestial a that have taken on the guise of mortal flesh to better understand humanity or aid the fight against evil.

Aasimar Names: Aasimar often adopt human names to better blend in and not attract attention. However, some celebrate their exalted heritage by assuming names usually associated with saints and celestials. Male: Aritian, Beltin, Cernan, Cronwier, Eran, Ilamin, Maudril, Okrin, Parant, Gural, Wyran, Zaigan. Female: Arken, Arsinoe, Davina, Drinma, Imeash, Masozi, Nijena, Niramour, Ondrea, Rhialla.

Traits
Ability Score Adjustments: +2 Wisdom and +1 Strength or Charisma.
Age: Aasimar reach adulthood in their late teens and can live 120 years or longer.
Alignment: Aasimar tend toward good alignments, embodying the virtues of the Upper Planes.
Size: Aasimar about the same height and weight as humans. Your size is Medium.
Speed: 30 feet.
Darkvision: Able to pierce both metaphysical and physical darkness, you can see in dim light within 60 feet as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of grey.
Exalted Spirit: You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened.
Radiance Resistance: You have resistance to radiant damage.
Celestial Gift: Choose one spell from this list that you can cast once per day: aid, cause fear, command, daylight, detect evil or good, lesser restoration, zone of truth.
Languages: You can speak, read, and write Common and Celestial.
 
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Continuing with our look at the plane-touched, here's an entry for everybody's favorite tiefling...

TIEFLING

Tieflings have been touched by the Lower Planes; a shadow of a knife edge in their presence, a dark light in their eyes, a smile that reminds one a bit too much of a leering fiend - whatever it is gives away a tiefling for what they are. Many are the descendants of fiends, though it's best not to probe to deep about the specifics of a tieflings ancestry or they're liable to take it real personal like. Others are humans warped by exposure to powerful Lower Planar energies, such as accessing a potent planar touchstone. And others still are the result of an ancient deal with fiends made by their ancestors that left them cursed. Tieflings, despite their natural charisma, are ostracized across much of the planes, as much due to society's prejudices as due to a tiefling's own dark nature. Because of this it can be hard for many tieflings to trust others, having had no one to rely on but themselves for so long.

Traits
Ability Score Adjustments: +2 Charisma and +1 Intelligence or Dexterity.
Age: Tieflings reach adulthood in their late teens and can live 100 years or longer.
Alignment: While many tieflings are selfish, tending toward neutral, chaotic neutral, or neutral evil, plenty of tieflings defy this stereotype and rise above their base origins.
Size: Tieflings are about the same height and weight as humans. Your size is Medium.
Speed: 30 feet.
Darkvision: Accustomed to Lower Planar realms of metaphysical and physical darkness, you can see in dim light within 60 feet as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of grey.
Fire Resistance: You have resistance to fire damage.
Fiendish Gifts: The default tiefling can cast darkness once per day & has resistance to cold. Tieflings are far from a uniform bunch however, and you may instead roll or choose 2 different gifts from the Fiendish Gift Table.
Unusual Appearance: The default tiefling has goat hooves/legs, a tail, and sharp ears and/or horns. However, tieflings vary greatly in appearance, and instead you may roll or choose 3 times on the Tiefling Appearance Table.
Languages: You can speak, read, and write Common and one of these languages of your choice: Abyssal, Daemonic, Infernal, or Lower Planar Trade.

FIENDISH GIFTS TABLE

d20Gift
1Blur 1/day
2Chill touch at-will
3Charm person 1/day
4Cause fear 1/day
5Darkness 1/day
6Detect evil or good 1/day
7Disguise self 1/day
8Inflict wounds 1/day
9Invisibility 1/day
10Mirror image 1/day
11Thaumaturgy at-will
12Liar's Tongue: Gain proficiency in Deception, and immune to zone of truth.
13Menacing Mien: Gain proficiency in Intimidation, and can make your eyes glow.
14Fiend Lore: Speak, read, and write Abyssal, Daemonic, and Infernal.
15Devil's Own: Baatezu blood runs in your veins, granting you resistance to poison and telepathy with devils. However, tanar'ri react to you as if you were baatezu.
16Demon Spawn: Tanar'ri blood runs in your veins, granting you resistance to cold and telepathy with demons. However, baatezu react to you as if you were tanar'ri.
17Yugoloth-Touched: Yugoloth blood runs in your veins, granting you proficiency in Insight and telepathy with yugoloths.
18Hagspawn: The blood of night hags runs in your veins, granting you immunity to sleep magic/effects, telepathy with night hags, and the ability to commune with dreamers by touch.
19Amoral: All attempts to ascertain your true motives, alignment, or faction fail outright.
20Infernal Wrath: When you're not at full hit points, you can draw on a diabolical fury to gain advantage on your attack roll or impose disadvantage on an enemy's saving throws against your spell. After you use Infernal Wrath you must take a short or long rest before you can use it again.

TIEFLING APPEARANCE TABLE
d100Appearance
1-7Horns
8-9Long thing face
10-12Strange mouth (forked tongue, bloody lips, pointed teeth, fangs)
13-15Strange ears (pointed, fan-like, unnoticeable)
16-17Strange nose (hooked, squashed, very long)
16-26Strange eyes (burning iris, all black, deep-set, feline, viper, long eyelashes)
27-31Garishly colored hair
32-35Unusual hands (three fingers, six fingers on left hand, rakshasa hands, clawed)
36-39Long gangly limbs & emancipated appearance
40-43Vestigial bat-like wings
44-48Goat-like hooves and legs
49-54Tail (long and thing, horse, lizard, scorpion, rat)
55-57Spiny ridges along back, possibly elsewhere
58-61Inexplicable burn marks appear on body
62-65Body covered in for dish runes
66-68No body hair whatsoever
69-71Molts skin periodically like a snake
72-74Ashen shadowy skin
75-77Skin always caked with dried blood
78-83Scaly or leathery skin
84-87Blue, green, red, or purple-tinted skin
88-89Gender ambiguous
90SKin crawls with strange light beneath it
91Leaves behind steaming footprints or footprints filled with insects
92Weeps tears of blood or acid
93Rotting or Sulfrous odor
94Ash and cinder follow in the tiefling's wake
95Has no shadow and/or casts no reflection
96Presence causes unease in animals
97Prolonged touch/presence withers plants
98Sunlight (or moonlight) reveals the tiefling's actual hideous face
99Shadow of knife edge across the face
100Pained when entering holy areas and holy water inflicts damage
 
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TarionzCousin

Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
Now that's an interesting picture.... ;)

If/when I run my 5E Planescape game, I'm stealing most if not all of Quickleaf's ideas--and my players will be amazed at how smart I am and how much work I put into it.

Great stuff, as usual.

Thanks!

You must spread some Experience Points around before giving it to Quickleaf again.
I shall return... anon.
 

Now that's an interesting picture.... ;)

If/when I run my 5E Planescape game, I'm stealing most if not all of Quickleaf's ideas--and my players will be amazed at how smart I am and how much work I put into it.

Great stuff, as usual.

Thanks!
Haha, thanks :) I am working on genasi now, thinking of giving them one of the Elemental Mantle benefits (it's a level 3 wizard spell in the Basic D&D PDF). Not sure if that would be overpowered, however. For example, a Fire Genasi would have Darkvision, Cast affect normal fires 1/day, and...

Elemental Mantle (Fire): You are immune to fire damage. When a creature within 5 feet makes a melee attach against you they take 1d6 fire damage. In addition, your melee attacks deal 1d6 extra fire damage.

Hmm...definitely overpowered. Maybe I can reduce that to resistance to fire damage? Should I keep the "fire shield" effect of the mantle? Obviously the extra damage will get nixed.
 

gyor

Legend
WoTC will come out with planetouched on thier own eventually.

Here is how I would do planetouched, based mechanically on a mix of how the dragonborn and tieflings.



PLANETOUCHED.

Size: Medium

Speed: 30 feet

Darkvision.

Planar Origin:

Pick a Planar Origin

Species/Resistance/Cantrip/ 1st Spell/Second Spell


Devils/Fire/Fire Bolt/Hellish Rebuke/Misty Step
Demons/Cold/Poison Cloud/Darkness/Crown of Madness
Aberrations (Far Realms)/Posion/Vicous Mockery/Confusion/Unseen Servant
Air Elemental/Lightening/Poison Cloud/Gust/Leviate
Fire Elemental/Fire/Fire Bolt/continual flame/Flaming Sphere
Water Elemental/Cold/Ray of Frost/Fog Cloud/Grease
Earth/Acid/Druidcraft/Spider Climb/Hold Person
Angels/Radiant/Thaumaturgy/Healing Word/Bless
Archons/Radiant/Guidance/Cure Wounds/Divine Favour
Elderin/Radiant/Sacred Flame/Blur/Tasha's Hideaus Laughter
Some shadow race/Necrotic/Ray of Frost/Darkness/Misty Step
Fey/Psychic/Minor Illusion/Misty Step/Charm Person
 

kenmarable

Explorer
Yeeesssssssssssss!!!!!! :)

I am definitely subbing to the thread and will give what you have some thought. It might not be for a few months (wrapping up an existing PF campaign with the kids), but I think I'm going to definitely do a 5e Planescape campaign. Been itching to do some sort of Planescape for ever (heck, I owned and ran Planewalker.com for a while and never actually got to play or run a PS campaign, it was a dark time in my gaming days...)

I am thinking it might be time to do that now. I'm going to work on converting over a bunch of the old adventures (well, more like re-imagining them into a level 1-20 campaign, like a lot of 2e published stuff, most all of it was written for mid-level PCs rather than the full range). So hopefully soon, I should be able to start converting over stuff in prep for that even if I don't start playing it for a while.

One thing I was thinking is with the Factions, backgrounds could work, but I think things could be more open and flexible. The original system of everyone who joins the faction has some little neat trick seems too limiting nowadays. Although I'm waiting to see what's in the PHB, my thoughts on Factions were to have recommended (but clearly not required) backgrounds, traits, flaws, and ideals (especially ideals, of course).

Depending on what's in the PHB, maybe come up with some more to round things out for the Factions. I could see some options for Background or two tied to each faction for those who are more devoted, but given how rich backgrounds can be for PCs, I'm not sure about "Faction X is Background Y." Plus you can work faction mechanics into many places depending on how the PC wants to tie themselves to their Faction. I can easily see class options (for example, roguish archetypes) for certain factions, and especially feats for those who want to expand their abilities in ways that really align with their faction (like how PW handled their 3.x conversions).

I think opening it up to allowing PCs (and NPCs) to define how they interact mechanically with their faction would allow a wider range of PC concepts, as well as not trying to fit all of the factions into a single mechanic. Some may work as backgrounds, others as feats, some as class options, etc.

I will probably be diving into detailing out my fuzzy ideas once I have the PHB in hand. But I am eager to see what others come up with. I think it's definitely time for Planescape to rise again. :)
 

[MENTION=40359]kenmarable[/MENTION] Cool to hear from you! I remember when you used to manage Planewalker.

Definitely check out [MENTION=2067]Kamikaze Midget[/MENTION] 's excellent faction conversion just down the house rules page, there's a link to his site. Really solid conversion of the spirit of each faction as backgrounds.

My model was to have a group of faction backgrounds and a group of non-faction plant backgrounds (e.g. Chant-Broker, Blood War Mercenary, etc) for those players who just aren't joiners or don't grok the factions. And then each faction has one feat clustering abilities from Factols Manifesto & 3e for those who want greate attention on their faction beliefs / powers. The premise is that since belief is the main theme of Planescspe then factions should be woven into the heart of the game because they represent what character's believe.

I agree that belief needs to be woven into the fabric of the rules for a Planescape game, and factions need to have some presence, but I'm not sure you need factions as background....actually, I am not even sure you need the Big 15 factions. On the story games forums, someone mentioned that in their ideal conversion of Planescape for Burning Wheel there would be a "Faction Burner", a way to generate a planar organization with a coherent belief system and interesting NPCs & adventure hooks.

A question: If factions aren't backgrounds, then what backgrounds do planar PCs choose from?
 

I had a great look over [MENTION=2067]Kamikaze Midget[/MENTION]'s conversion of several Planescape races and the 15 factions as backgrounds, and it is all superb stuff! Unsurprisingly :)

Check it out here: http://daedaluswing.wikidot.com/

Rather than recreate the wheel, I thought it would be good if my conversion efforts supplemented the awesome work he has already done. There are things I'm working on both on the Player's side and the DM's side....

On the Player's side, in addition to some really cool bizarre races, I was thinking about factions. Doing them as backgrounds makes sense if you have a game that is 100% Planescape and all the players are on board to play as faction members. But what about games where that's not the case? What about players who love Planescape but just aren't joiners and don't care for the faction philosophies? What about campaigns where clueless primes travel to the planes? What about games where Planescape elements are fused into an existing campaign? Does a "sage" or "urchin" lose their background to gain "Harmonium Member" or "Bleaker"? It's an interesting question... Maybe the easiest answer is to say everything stays the same but the unique feature changes, so the "sage" would lose the "knows where to find the answer" feature for the Harmonium's ability to cast charm person once per day and some perks. Maybe this makes faction background features more potent by design? Cause belief is powerful.

While I'm mulling that over, I know for sure that I want to write up a feat for each faction representing advanced study/great devotion on the part of a character. These will be based on the Factol's Manifesto and the prestige classes that appeared in Dragon magazine. So the idea is that a basic member (namer) in a faction takes the faction background or whatever, but someone with real dedication (a factotum or factor) will then take the feat corresponding to their faction, e.g. Athaon (for Athar) or Entropy Champion (for Doomguard).

Also, as I participate in the Planar Renovation Project over at www.Planewalker.com, I am thinking it will be really cool to compile the reworked planes with a simple 1 or 2 page spread with 5th edition mechanics for the conditions on the plane and effects it has on magic. Since I'd be doing this with an eye toward making the plane imminently usable for my own adventures, it would be very DM-friendly.

Just some initial thoughts. More to come.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
In my tackling of this, I basically put the "more powerful" faction abilities into Inspiration. The Harmonium background, for instance, lets you charm someone, but only if you spend your faction-specific Inspiration to do so (so Harmonium members that don't really risk anything for their belief just have the mundane training and guild-like membership benefits, while those that do can shape the multiverse according to their beliefs).

That Inspiration ability could be acquired even if you didn't take the background, by signing up as a member with the faction and living that faction's beliefs (since handing out Inspiration is in the hands of the DM anyway). In fact, it's entirely separate from the in-world organization of the faction -- if someone lives the beliefs of the Dustmen, in a PS game, they should probably earn inspiration for that, even if they DON'T belong to the faction officially.

I'm not sure they're all the most thoroughly balanced, but they're all evocative and interesting ways to spend Inspiration, which was the primary goal here. :) Balance can come with iteration.

The "feature" of every faction was basically the little membership benefits that being a member gives you. Access to the faction HQ, training, libraries, lore, dormitories, and a way to get to the faction's planar HQ. More about linking you to the setting.

For those of other backgrounds who join the faction anyway (like, a Noble who joins the Bleakers), they don't really get the feature, meaning essentially that this character is more embedded in the setting according to their actual background than their faction membership. A Noble Bleaker is more defined by being a noble than by being a Bleaker, though they are both (and can receive Inspiration for adhering to the Bleaker philosophy as well, and spend it on the Bleaker-specific ability). It matters more what family they're from than what soup kitchen they work at.

So separating out the more powerful special ability into the Inspiration mechanic leaves room for these kinds of distinctions. For instance, a member of the Dust who was a Hermit might be someone who spends most of their time at the Fortress of the Soul contemplating death and who discovered some truth via that. They'd be a member of the Dust, but they wouldn't really use the Mortuary or the Catacombs or become a corpse-collector or make regular use of the portal leading back to the Fortress. They're defined more by their secret discovery than by their faction membership (though they can gain faction inspiration and benefit from the Dead Truce just like any other factioneer).

As a side benefit, this also helps me weave in the faction restrictions from 2e. An Athar member is free to accept healing from a priest of a specific god -- but refusing such healing on the basis of faction belief would be an excellent reason to award an Athar member Inspiration, thus tying the use of their faction ability precisely to the action of adhering to your belief.
 
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[h=4]Backgrounds in Planescape[/h]
Acolyte:
Missionaries to Sigil, proxies-in-training, and failed priests all fit this background, as do orphans left on temple steps, thieves endentured to temples they tried to steal from, and Athar raised in the faction. For example, you could be the child of a defeated enemy of the faith raised in the temple so the priests could guide you to the light (and watch you for signs of darkness).

Charlatan: Deceitful touts (guides), larcenous jinkskirts (escorts), and general cony-catchers (con-artists) all fit this background, as do fixers, gold-diggers, and those who lie about their true nature to seek revenge. For example, you could have been part of a heist to land a major score in Dwarven Mountain or the Iron City of Dis only for the plan to have gone terribly wrong.

Criminal: Cross-traders come in many shades: Hinterlands bandits preying on caravans in the Outlands, smugglers of forbidden spell components, and rube-hitchers who specialize in stealing from a victim then ditching them thru a portal are just some of the colorful sorts of knights-of-the-cross-trade that frequent the planes. For example, you might be a former member of the Arcane Eye thieves' guild specializing in abducting magical specimens for the slave trade.
Variant - Spy: Replace one of your tool proficiencies with a language instead. Members of the Bytopian Spy Network, covert faction agents, and spies in the Blood War fit this variant background.

Entertainer: Storytellers with fabulous tales of their ventures across the planes, poets extolling the virtues of the Upper Planes or terror of the Lower Planes, and gypsies practicing strange fireside dances all fit this background,whether used to performing in the taverns of Sigil, the first halls of Arborea and Ysgard, or forced to sing panegyrics in a fiend's court. For example, you might be a dramatist who lampooned the wrong fiend only to find yourself forced into early retirement.
Variant - Gladiator: Brawlers in Hive ward fighting rings, slaves forced to kill each other for the amusement of fiends, and the more rowdy natives of Ysgard fit this variant background.

Folk Hero: Folk heroes can hail from the planes just as easily as they can from the Prime. Leaders of movements to keep a gate-town in the Outlands, those who outwitted vastly more powerful beings, and freedom-fighters against oppressors fit this background. For example, you may have been a simple Bytopian farmer who realized you were getting an unfair share of the profits due to a wicked Tradegate merchant who you promptly put out of business.

Guild Artisan: Guilds in Sigil include the Advocate's Guild, Builders Fellowship, Council of Innkeepers, Daylaborer's Guild, Doorsnoop's Guild, Escort and Touts Guild, Order of Master Clerks and Scribes, Runners and Messengers Guild, Teamster and Lightboy's Guild, Undertaker's Guild. For example, you might be a former Doorsnoop discovering gate keys for new or unknown portals who distanced yourself form your guild in the wake of a series of murders, the victims all Doorsnoops.
Variant - Guild Merchant: Members of the Planar Trade Consortium, traders of Bytopia, and Outlands caravan masters fit this variant background.
*Variant - Doorsnoop: Rather than proficiency with artisan's tools, gain an additional language. And instead of artisan's tools begin with a gate key to a portal that you know.

Hermit: Seekers of spiritual truth in the remote reaches of the planes, prisoners in extra-dimensional oubliettes, and those trying to forget darkness that has touched their lived fit this background. Suitable retreats might include githzerai monasteries in Limbo, Doomguard citadels at the edge of the Negative Energy Plane, or starry astrolabes in the Astral. For example, you might be atoning for a murder you committed by aiding the infirmed even though you committed the murder while under the compulsion of a charm spell that you haven't forgiven yourself for.

Noble: Hereditary nobility of towns like Excelsior, minor descendants of fiendish aristocracy, and the family of a Factol all fit this background, as do nobles of some Prime duchy or barony.
Variant - Knight: The knighthoods that exist on the planes are of limited geographic scope or only recognized within specific faiths, such as followers of Heironeous or St. Cuthbert. Sometimes knighthood may involve swearing fealty to a more powerful planar being who serves as your liege.

Outlander: While this background does indeed fit many natives of the Outlands, it is also well suited to natives of the Beastlands, Carceri, bariaur tribes, and raiders of mercenary troops turned stag. For example, you might be a part-time resident of Ironridge, a mountain town in the Outlands, trapping and scouting for resources to aid the town.

Sage: Academics full of wonder at the planes, accursed desperately searching for a way to end their curse, and amnesiacs seeking the truth of their identities all fit this background. Famous libraries and lore-keepers you may have visited include: Boccob's Library of Lore (Outlands), Deneir's Library of All Knowledge (Beastlands), the Cup of Freedom (Sigil), the Great Library (Outlands), the Hall of Records (Sigil), the Library of Ignorance (Carceri), the Katsudarma Library (Mount Celestia), the Library of Heart's Faith (Mount Celestia), the Libarary of Infernal Law (Baator), the Mirrored Library (Outlands), the Norns (Outlands), and many more.

Sailor: Sailors aboard astral vessels, crew serving on planar dromands docking at the City of Brass, and captains of longships navigating Elysium's seas all fit this background, as do oarsmen who ply the dark waters of the Styx or bright waters of the River Oceanus. Examples of planar oceans include the Sea of Thalasia (Elysium), the Sea of Timelessness (Water), Sea of Scorching Waves / Sea of Fire (Fire), the Amoebic Sea (Abyss), the Scalding Sea (Abyss), the Frozen Sea (Abyss), the Scarlet Sea (Abyss), the Sea of Stones (Acheron), the Living Sea (Astral), the Sparkling Sea (Arborea), Ossa (Arborea), the Waveless Sea (Ethereal), the Silver Sea (Mount Celestia), the Great Sea of Stygian (Baator), and the realms of several ocean gods.
Variant - Pirate: Demi-plane marauders who strike from the Ethereal, captains of Astral vessels pirating against the githyanki, and pirates slipping between worlds thru the Plane of Shadow fit this variant background.

Soldier: Brave guards defending Outlands towns from raiders, natives of Ysgard who fight alongside einherjar spirits of their ancestors, and foot soldiers in the armies of Arcadia fit this background. Mortal armies are generally small on the planes, with large armies made up of more powerful planar creatures. For example, you might be a rogue modron who once served in the modron's Army of the Blood War as a sapper.
*Variant - Mercenary: Blood War mercenaries, soldiers without cause on Acheron, and cutters fighting the battles that angels cannot to protect the Upper Planes for coin fit this variant background. Replace the "military rank" feature with "bad reputation" from the Pirate.

Urchin: Sadly, there are many urchins across the planes, whether unwanted tieflings abandoned to the cold streets of Sigil, slaves to the efreeti in the City of Brass, or runaways from insufferable homes.
*Variant - Lightboy: Lightboys are unique to Sigil, urchins who've acquired wands of light and serve as cheap guides to Sigil at night. Replace disguise kit proficiency with an additional language, and replace the 10 gold in your belt pouch with a wand of light that functions as a bullseye lantern with 3 charges (each charge acts as a pint of oil).
 

Are there any player rules folks want to see for Planescape that [MENTION=2067]Kamikaze Midget[/MENTION] hasn't already covered?

For example, any spells you want to see converted? Any class options you feel Planescape could really use?

Some class ideas I've been brainstorming...

Barbarian - A trance-based sub-class who channels their rage, possibly merged with a stealthier more Conan-esque build. Or maybe a Fury sub-class which can inspire rage in others. Not sure.

Bard - An Orphic Poet sub-class who knows how to make (un)dead spirits docile, sings eulogies and panegyrics with lasting effects, can interpret mysterious symbols, gains a magically protected memory, can construct some kind of literal memory palace, and has some kind of secret knowledge about escaping inescapable planes.

Ranger - A Planewalker sub-class who gains special abilities against certain types
of monsters, gets the ability to make their weapon attacks count as magical, and gains some kind of planar survival/navigation abilities.

Rogue - Possibly a Gatecrasher sub-class that specializes in learning and manipulating portals and gate keys, though it might be enough to convert some Planescape spells and let an Arcane Trickster pick them up.

Sorcerer - A "tattoo magic" based sorcerous origin, perhaps connected to the dabus Fell, the Codex of the Infinite Planes, or certain planar libraries/realms aligned with Law or Neutrality. Not sure how much this would just be a re-skin versus an actual new sorcerous origin.

Warlock - A "Great Githzerai" pact to either Zerthimon or the Wizard-King Zaerith Menyar Ag-Gith would be really interesting. Personally I think Zerths are better modelled as Fighter (Eldritch Knight), Fighter/Wizard, or Monk/Wizard, so maybe the Wizard-King would be interesting to explore as a warlock pact.
 

Rogue Modrons are my next project for conversion.

In 5e the defining trait of Modrons is Truesight, which isn't a far cry from 2e's immunity to illusions.

However, Truesight is very very powerful... it lets you see in magic darkness, see invisible creatures and objects, automatically detect visual illusions and succeed on saves against them, perceive the true form of a shapechanger or creature transformed by magic, and see into the Ethereal.

By comparison, see invisibility is a 2nd level spell which grants just the ability to see invisible creatures and objects, and see into the Ethereal.

Tieflings get access to a 2nd level spell - darkness - once they reach 5th level. So rogue modron PCs with some version of Truesight would need to break the trait down into smaller chunks and distribute them across levels. Also, some of these powers granted by Truesight can be adventure-disruptive so will probably need to be dialed back a bit.

In 2e the original rogue modron gets:
  • +1 Con, +1 Int, -1 Dex, -1 Cha
  • Finding/detecting secret doors
  • 30% resist illusion, charm, fear 
  • Move 15
  • Natural AC 8
  • +1 save vs acid, cold, fire

So here's my rough draft version...

Rogue Modron
+2 Con and +1 Int, or +2 Int and +1 Con
Darkvision 60 ft
Medium

Vestige of Primus: Choose on of the following features:
  • Built-In Tools: You have a magnifying lens which you can activate as needed. In addition, choose two small pieces of equipment which are built into your construct, such as a hooded lantern and thieves's tools.
  • Hardened Shell: Gain a +1 bonus to AC.
  • Quadruple Arms: You can dual wield hand crossbows, wield a single crossbow and ignore its loading property, draw or stow two items for free, and perform other mundane tasks that might require multiple hands.
  • Supreme Logic: You gain proficiency in Investigation checks, and double your proficiency bonus to active and passive Investigation checks. You can solve multi-variable math problems in a fraction of the time it takes others.
  • Translator: Learn 3 additional languages.
  • Articulated Legs and Vestigal Wings: Your base speed is 35 feet. When you make a running jump, increasing the distance you cover by 10 feet.
Truesight: Your darkvision allows you to see in magical darkness as if it were dimlight. Once you reach 3rd level, you gain advantage on saving throws against visual illusions and Intelligence (Investigation) checks to detect a shapechanger or creature transformed by magic. Once you reach 5th level you can cast see invisibility once per day.
 
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ROGUE MODRON

Modrons are clockwork caretakers of the gears of Mechanus, virtually unthinking in their strict hierarchical order. No beings’ minds are as focused on law, stability, repetition and the security of harmonious repetition. But the multiverse isn’t perfect – not even in Mechanus – and sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes a modron receives conflicting orders from two or more superiors, or is confronted with incontrovertible proof that all is not orderly. Sometimes a modron’s mind just snaps. These circumstances create rogue modrons.

When modrons go rogue, they lose most of their special abilities and even the normal modron form that designates their position within the clockwork hierarchy. They find themselves cast out of Mechanus, the heart of law and the only world they have ever known, and plunged into the cold, lonely and (worst of all) chaotic multiverse. Rogue modrons have the forbidden and reprehensible glimmerings of self-awareness, the only thing that allows them to survive in this new sphere.

Rogue modrons are not crazed lunatics craving chaos and destruction. Most folks can’t tell a rogue modron from a “normal” one just by listening to it talk about the multiverse. It still is an extremely ordered being, with law at the center of all of its thoughts and ingrained in the way it feels, acts, and reacts. To another modron, the differences are obvious, and the rogue is some sort of chaotic wild-child; but to other folks, the rogue modron still seems like the epitome of order.

Rogue Modron Names: Clanker, Cubit, If-Then, Nines, Stripes, Three-by-Three, 2π r, Watcher.

Traits
Ability Score Adjustments: +2 Constitution and +1 Intelligence (or vice versa).
Age: Rogue modrons are effectively immortal.
Alignment: Rogue modrons tend toward the Lawful Neutral alignment.
Size: Rogue modrons measure 3 feet by 3 feet, weigh 500 pounds, and stand 6 feet tall. Your size is Medium.Speed: 30 feet.
Darkvision: You can see in dim light within 60 feet as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of grey.
Living Construct: You are both a construct and a humanoid. You are immune to disease, and you do not need to eat or breathe, though you can ingest food and drink if you wish.
Truesight: Your darkvision allows you to see in magical darkness as if it were dimlight. Once you reach 3rd level, you gain advantage on saving throws against visual illusions and Intelligence (Investigation) checks to detect a shapechanger or creature transformed by magic. Once you reach 5th level you can cast see invisibility once per day.
Vestige of Primus: Choose on of the following features:
  • Articulated Legs and Vestigal Wings:Your base speed is 35 feet. When you make a running jump, increasing the distance you cover by 10 feet.
  • Built-In Tools: Choose two small pieces of equipment which are built into your construct, such as a hooded lantern and thieves's tools. In addition, you have a small built-in storage space in which you can conceal a small object.
  • Hardened Shell: Gain a +1 bonus to AC.
  • Modron Investigator:You gain proficiency in Investigation checks, and double your proficiency bonus to active and passive Investigation checks. You also have a built in magnifying lens.
  • Quadruple Arms: You can interact with two objects or features of the environment for free on your turn (e.g. draw or stow two weapons).
  • Translator: Learn 3 additional languages.
Languages: You can speak, read, and write Common and Modron.
 
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jabelincoln

First Post
Thanks to Quickleaf and others for getting this ball rolling.

I too am eagerly prepping for a 5e planescape game I'll be running after the MM comes out, already have players lined up. I've been gleefully reading through all my old material, and the thing I've been pondering the most is spell restrictions/keys on the various planes. Back in second addition that level of mechanical minutia didn't seem clunky, it was completely par for the course. But now, I don't know, it seems not to jibe with the looser, more streamlined feel of 5e.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. I might rule that any plane can mess with the effects of a spell or disallow the spell on DM whim based on the ideology of whatever plane we're talking about. No Tasha's Hideous Laughter on a serious plane like Baator and on Mechanus maybe a fireball explodes in a neat cube. I'd then do something like you need a spell key per school to be safe. I could do something similar for divine spells since they're all listed with schools, or something completely different I haven't thought of yet. Or, I might just leave things exactly the same as 2e to reinforce the flavor. I really have no clue at this point.

I also don't know how I'm going to handle restrictions on magic based on planer contact, i.e. casting etheral spells from the outer planes or priest casting level being affected by how many "steps" away he is from his god. Might hand wave a lot of that stuff, who knows. Anyway, any help or discussion on the matter is appreciated.


Cheers
 

Thanks to Quickleaf and others for getting this ball rolling.
No worries, mate.

I too am eagerly prepping for a 5e planescape game I'll be running after the MM comes out, already have players lined up. I've been gleefully reading through all my old material, and the thing I've been pondering the most is spell restrictions/keys on the various planes. Back in second addition that level of mechanical minutia didn't seem clunky, it was completely par for the course. But now, I don't know, it seems not to jibe with the looser, more streamlined feel of 5e.
It's worth noting in the original Planescape material several realms had unique conditions that imposed additional constraints/variations on magic. So you'd be entirely justified winging it on a case by case basis.

That said, there's no reason you can't use the 2e rules almost verbatim. For example, take Gehenna...

Conjuration: Summoning spells can only summon creatures native to Gehenna. Additionally, summoned creatures must be bound under rigorous strictures that you can either roleplay, hand waive as requiring the spell be cast as a ritual (+10 minutes), or call for an Intelligence check from the caster.

Divination: Divination spells require the entrails of a freshly killed creature.

Enchantment: Enchantment spells function as if cast with a spell slot one level lower. Also, enchantment spells greater than 4th level fail outright.

Evocation: Evocation spells are harder to resist and gain +1 to their spell save DC.

Necromancy: Necromancy spells cast to cause pain or command/create undead function as if cast with a spell slot one level higher, while those cast to help function as if cast with a spell slot one level lower.

Elemental Spells: Fire and earth related spells function as if cast with a spell slot *two* levels higher; spells with either keyword usually incorporate lava in some way on Gehenna. There is also some variation by layer. Water related spells don't function on the 2nd and 3rd layers. On the cold 4th layer water functions, but Fire magic fails completely.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. I might rule that any plane can mess with the effects of a spell or disallow the spell on DM whim based on the ideology of whatever plane we're talking about. No Tasha's Hideous Laughter on a serious plane like Baator and on Mechanus maybe a fireball explodes in a neat cube. I'd then do something like you need a spell key per school to be safe. I could do something similar for divine spells since they're all listed with schools, or something completely different I haven't thought of yet. Or, I might just leave things exactly the same as 2e to reinforce the flavor. I really have no clue at this point.
One thing I'm doing is adding a type of spell key that lets you adjust the spell slightly. For example, water breathing. Rather than do what 2e did with a bunch of different "breathing" spells for different environments, I'll let players use the spell key to change the element that water breathing let's them breathe.

I also don't know how I'm going to handle restrictions on magic based on planer contact, i.e. casting etheral spells from the outer planes or priest casting level being affected by how many "steps" away he is from his god. Might hand wave a lot of that stuff, who knows. Anyway, any help or discussion on the matter is appreciated.
Certain spells requiring connections to the Ethereal/Astral is still alive in 5e, though appears to be limited to the astral projection and etherealness spells. Whether you can cast, for example, rope trick in the Ethereal  Plane is up to you to decide. I'd just be careful if you have a transmuter or conjurer wizard, sin those are the two schools of magic that got most nerfed in 2e Planescape.
 

jabelincoln

First Post
Certain spells requiring connections to the Ethereal/Astral is still alive in 5e, though appears to be limited to the astral projection and etherealness spells. Whether you can cast, for example, rope trick in the Ethereal Plane is up to you to decide. I'd just be careful if you have a transmuter or conjurer wizard, sin those are the two schools of magic that got most nerfed in 2e Planescape.
That's a great example of why I'm wrestling with this. I want very much to keep the weird planar flavor of this strangely wound web of magic, but not at the expense of too much player creativity. Also I'm not terribly great at memorizing all the specific changes across planes so on a plane-hopping adventure do I want to keep stopping to refer to the books or have some lighter, easier to roll with rule more in keeping with the overall feel of this edition? There's good and bad to both sides and I'm sure I'll enjoy it either way, but right now I'm thinking of going more oldschool with it.


Cheers.
 

kenmarable

Explorer
Thanks to Quickleaf and others for getting this ball rolling.

I too am eagerly prepping for a 5e planescape game I'll be running after the MM comes out, already have players lined up. I've been gleefully reading through all my old material, and the thing I've been pondering the most is spell restrictions/keys on the various planes. Back in second addition that level of mechanical minutia didn't seem clunky, it was completely par for the course. But now, I don't know, it seems not to jibe with the looser, more streamlined feel of 5e.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. I might rule that any plane can mess with the effects of a spell or disallow the spell on DM whim based on the ideology of whatever plane we're talking about. No Tasha's Hideous Laughter on a serious plane like Baator and on Mechanus maybe a fireball explodes in a neat cube. I'd then do something like you need a spell key per school to be safe. I could do something similar for divine spells since they're all listed with schools, or something completely different I haven't thought of yet. Or, I might just leave things exactly the same as 2e to reinforce the flavor. I really have no clue at this point.

I also don't know how I'm going to handle restrictions on magic based on planer contact, i.e. casting etheral spells from the outer planes or priest casting level being affected by how many "steps" away he is from his god. Might hand wave a lot of that stuff, who knows. Anyway, any help or discussion on the matter is appreciated.


Cheers
Personally, I never liked the various "steps away" rules. They are onerous to keep track of. It can harshly limit only certain characters and not affect other ones at all. And the only benefit is conveying some extra flavor to the planar setting, but there are already a ton of ways to do that built in and many more that can be used.

In fact, I think non-mechanical effects might convey that flavor even more. The further away they are the quieter and more garbled the voice of their deity is with other voices creeping in, demanding your service or offering you power. If they are on a plane completely opposed according to the Great Wheel even have things like when they pray for spells they can't even make out the voice of their own deity as all of the other voices are so much clearer and louder and their own deity is like that kind of faint noise that you think might be a voice but you can't make out whether it is actually speaking words or is just random noise. I can even see on something like the Outlands feeling like a crowded room with a jumble of voices. Or Sigil being eerily silent as you didn't even realize the constant presence of your deity until they were suddenly gone. When you pray for spells or commune with your deity, you hear what sounds like a door opening and can make contact again, but once you are done, it slams shut and then there is silence again.

Or even other non-mechanical effects like an cleric of some good nature-focused elven deity casting a spell on the Lower Planes has grass and flowers sprout at their feet as they feel their deity trying to push their way onto the plane, and then the plants immediately shrivel and die and the cleric can feel their deity being violently forced back out of them.

Those sorts of things that don't even need to have any mechanical benefit at all could probably convey the ideas much better than "sorry, your spellcasting sucks now."

As for planar effects on magic, with 5e I think you can go a long way with just simple advantage/disadvantage (or maybe resistance/vulnerability as well). One thing I like about 5e is that with these simple mechanics, you can on the fly determine whether something fits with the plane or not and grant the bonus or penalty. No need to reference charts or know spell schools, or any of that. If their action aligns particularly well with the plane, then they get advantage (or target gets disadvantage if its a save). If they are working against the nature of the plane, then the opposite.

I might even expand it beyond just magic to other class abilities or even a whole variety of actions. Is a particular skill check working with or against the plane? The plane might boost or hinder your efforts. Executing an organized battle plan on Acheron? Then players can pick 1 or 2 key attacks that will have advantage. Charging into glorious battle on Ysgard gets advantage on initiative. Etc. No need to just let the spellcasters have all the fun.
 

[MENTION=6779939]jabelincoln[/MENTION] [MENTION=40359]kenmarable[/MENTION]

I agree that the following rules should just be ignored outright:
  • Priest spell level loss by how far they are from their deity's home plane.
  • Weapon enchantment loss by how far from plane of construction.

Also I would keep the unique effects of each plane as described in the original Planescape books. Very little tweaking is needed to make these work in 5e. 

That leaves the more complex question of spells which required planar pathways in 2e. Traditionally, the Inner Planes are cut off from the Astral Plane (and thus the Outer Planes) while the Outer Planes are cut off from the Ethereal (and thus the Inner Planes). These spells generally came in four types:
  • Spells requiring access to the Astral.
  • Spells requiring access to the Ethereal.
  • "Dual" Spells potentially requiring access to either/or the Astral and Ethereal.
  • Spells creating extradimensional spaces (which don't work on the Astral).

Here's a list of those spells. Spells with 5e versions/equivalents are in bold face.

[sblock=Spells requiring an Astral connection]
Astral spell ( Astral projection)
Astral window
Divination
Duo-dimension
Find familiar
Identify
Join with astral traveler
Raise dead
Reincarnate
[/b]Resurrection[/b]
Speak with astral traveler
Speak with dead[/sblock]
Personally, the only one I would make require an Astral connection in 5e is the Astral projection spell, since it explicitly states so. 

[SBLOCK=Spells requiring an Ethereal connection]
Etherealness
Aerial servant
Chariot of Sustarre
Conjure elemental / Conjure minor elementals
Demishadow magic
Demishadow monsters
Distance distortion
Elemental swarm
Energy drain
Estate transference
Etherwalk
Invisible stalker
Khazid's procurement
Lorloveim's creeping shadow
Lorloveim's shadowy transformation
Major creation / Minor creation (Creation
Negative plane protection
Reflecting pool
Restoration (Lesser Restoration / Greater Restoration)
Shades
Shadowcat
Shadow engines
Shadow magic
Shadow monsters
Shadow walk
Summon shadow
Vanish
[/SBLOCK]
The only spells I would make require an ethereal connection are Etherealness, of course, and Conjure elemental / Conjure minor elemental, because in Planescape spell keys were often used to summon elementals on the Outer Planes and these elementals had personalities reflecting the plane summoned on.

[SBLOCK="Dual" spells requiring access to either/or the Astral or Ethereal]
Augury
Commune
Contact other plane
Dismissal (Banishment)
Divine inspiration
Drawmij's instant summons
Draw upon holy might
Ensnarement
Hornung's random dispatcher
Sanctify (Hallow)
Vision
[/SBLOCK]
Personally, I don't think any of these spells should be limited by Astral/Etheral access. In fact, Drawmij's instant summons explicitly states it works regardless of being on different planes, suggesting the design philosophy of 5e is to simplify such things.

The 5e Conjure fey spell should probably be on this list too. That one might require access to the Ethereal/Astral (meaning it can't be used on any layer below the 1st of an Outer Plane), but I'd be tempted to break that rule if in a thematically "fey" environment.

[SBLOCK=Spells creating extradimensional spaces]
Deep pockets
Extradimensional detection
Extradimensional manipulation
Extradimensional pocket
Leomund's secret chest
Maze
Mordenkainen's magnificent mansion
Rope trick
Seclusion
Transformation
[/SBLOCK]
These spells need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Leomund's secret chest in 5e explicitly requires an Ethereal connection.

Maze mentions "demiplane" but in the 5e cosmology demiplanes are not tied to the Ethereal, existing as their own things. Thus, Maze should work wherever you cast it.

Mordenkainen's magnificent mansion and Rope trick both mention "extradimensional" but in the 5e cosmology so far we don't know if that means it will work on the Astral or not.
 

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