D&D General Sir Plane "Not Appearing in this Cosmology"

dave2008

Legend
The planes are boring. Even Hell is boring. The problem is that planes are infinite, but we treat them as different mono flavors of Prime Material.
Hell is Lawful and Evil Prime. The Plane of Fire is hot and flickery Prime. The Feywild is Extra Prime and Shadowfell is faded, depressed Prime. You don't need an infinite space to be a BBEG lair.
Actually the haven't been infinite since at least 4e.
 

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How come we're always ever only got to see the same three or four planes when there are so many more? Why the regular overhaul of the planar system that in the end only replaces the planes that nobody had use for with basically the same thing again?
As has been mentioned 4e nuked the Great Wheel and started from scratch with planes, like the Feywild, the Shadowfell, and the Elemental Chaos, that were designed for adventuring. The 4e overhaul was not at all the same thing and people rioted.

5e then took the 4e cosmology, separated the Astral Sea and hung the Great Wheel on it and said everything was back to normal. Meanwhile they have an entire adventure in the Feywild, and they have the Shadowfell being a thing. Have they used the actual Elemental Chaos as a setting yet?
 

Ain't that the dang truth.
Which would be why 4e actually did the work of making these places adventurable. And it did so quite well.

Of course, then you had the unpleasable "fans" who got super upset because there wasn't an infinite plane of nothing but fire anymore. Even though there's literally nothing to do in an infinite expanse made of nothing but fire, you'd better believe such a thing is absolutely necessary for reasons never quite articulated.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Well, yes. But I don't want to bypass it. Something like plane shift should open a portal to the Crossroads (as it was called when Hulk was banished there) at the most, not straight to whatever other plane you ultimately want to go. You need to find a path along the Crossroads, and be able to survive the journey.
For cases where the caster hasn't previously visited the destination plane, this is a cool idea.

Right now, I just simply don't allow planeshift to get you to a plane you've not previously been to, with the execption of your deity's home plane - you can always get there.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
Which would be why 4e actually did the work of making these places adventurable. And it did so quite well.

Of course, then you had the unpleasable "fans" who got super upset because there wasn't an infinite plane of nothing but fire anymore. Even though there's literally nothing to do in an infinite expanse made of nothing but fire, you'd better believe such a thing is absolutely necessary for reasons never quite articulated.
The plane of fire does actually have some differentiation. There is a sea of fire and a toxic scorching sky and volcanic rock islands here and there. Per the 2E Planescape Inner Planes book, "The Sea of Scorching Waves washes upon the shores of the Lands of Fire while the Scalding Skies rise above, filled with firestorms and rippling waves of pure, invisible heat."

Obviously it's all killing you, but if you have protection from fire and choking air it's basically an acid trip ocean.
 

The planes are boring. Even Hell is boring. The problem is that planes are infinite, but we treat them as different mono flavors of Prime Material.
Hell is Lawful and Evil Prime. The Plane of Fire is hot and flickery Prime. The Feywild is Extra Prime and Shadowfell is faded, depressed Prime. You don't need an infinite space to be a BBEG lair.
Why does being infinite make the planes boring? Honest question.
 




Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
I say this as an Eberron fan: the Eberron planes are meh. A few planes are important as invasion points (Dal Quor, Xoriat) but the rest are just variants on the regular Great Wheel planes (fire plane, fey plane, shadow plane, chaos plane, etc). Permanent Manifest zones are handwavium (explaining why Sharn is the only city built vertical) and the whole waxing and waning influence either happened at the speed of plot or were as annoying to track as Krynn's moons. I've run two long-term Eberron games, and I think planar influence (heck, Eberron's planes themselves) have never come up, Dal Quor/Inspired notwithstanding.

People gush about Eberron's planes, but I don't think they're within the top ten best things about the setting, and if WotC said they were just Eberronian names for the planes of the Great Wheel, I wouldn't care less.
You forgot to mention Khyber, that one's quite important in Eberron, but overall, as much as it pains me to say it, I agree. Most of Eberron's planes are pretty uninteresting subversions/reflavors of planes from the Great Wheel and Manifest Zones are super under-used in Eberron. The main thing that makes Eberron's planes of existence better than those of the Great Wheel is that they aren't attached to alignment and mostly aren't redundant. And, of course, Dal Quor is probably the best addition to cosmology that Eberron introduced.

However, once I buy Exploring Eberron, my opinion might change a bit. I heard that its approach to the planes is much better than their usual depiction, just because it gets to go more in-depth than the other Eberron books.
 

grimslade

Krampus ate my d20s
Why does being infinite make the planes boring? Honest question.
Because the planes are boring when finite. Adding endless amounts of boredom does not suddenly spark joy.
Or the plane has to have sections of 'not the plane' for adventures to be able to take place there. Why not just have the 'not the plane' then? Worked for the Shadowfell eating the negative energy plane.
The problem with the Great Wheel Cosmology is that it is a literary device that requires a lot of jerry-rigging to make playable. Planescape put a lot of paragraphs and pages out trying to make it sing. 4E thought of its cosmology as a setting for actual play, not just exposition. It was a good try but had muddled success.
Oddly enough, my favorite plane is the Ethereal. Border Ethereal and Deep Ethereal, blink dogs and ghosts, the shadowy gossamer mirror of our own world with strange denizens and haunted memories. The Shadowfell seems cluttered in comparison to me but links well to it. Both ethereal and astral feel like parts of the adventure while the end destinations of Outer and Inner planes seem to be lackluster.
 

However, once I buy Exploring Eberron, my opinion might change a bit. I heard that its approach to the planes is much better than their usual depiction, just because it gets to go more in-depth than the other Eberron books.
Can't say whether it will change your opinion or not, but the chapter on the planes in Exploring Eberron is quite extensive.

I highly recommend it.
 

grimslade

Krampus ate my d20s
You forgot to mention Khyber, that one's quite important in Eberron, but overall, as much as it pains me to say it, I agree. Most of Eberron's planes are pretty uninteresting subversions/reflavors of planes from the Great Wheel and Manifest Zones are super under-used in Eberron. The main thing that makes Eberron's planes of existence better than those of the Great Wheel is that they aren't attached to alignment and mostly aren't redundant. And, of course, Dal Quor is probably the best addition to cosmology that Eberron introduced.

However, once I buy Exploring Eberron, my opinion might change a bit. I heard that its approach to the planes is much better than their usual depiction, just because it gets to go more in-depth than the other Eberron books.
The best part of Eberron's planes is that they interact with the world. You don't need to go to Fernia, there are zones on Khorvaire touched by Fernia yielding impossibly hot jungles or infernal deserts. The towers of SHarn can only climb so high because Sharn is coterminous with Syrania. The planes may be esoteric extremes but their effects can be used and interacted with in a multitude of ways.
 

Undrave

Hero
In 4e there are definitely articles on other planes and adventures that take you to the City of Brass (in the elemental chaos in 4e), Mt Celestia, the Abyss, the Shadowfell, the Feywild, and Tytherion. There may be others, but those I know off the top of my head
The Plane Above is still one of my favorite RPG book. Just full of amazing Astral Plane locations, lore and seeds of adventures!
 


Scribe

Legend
It would be interesting to see a mythic-feeling setting that had a natural bleed into the outer planes where you could basically just walk into the realms of the gods like you can in so many mythologies.

I honestly cannot wait to see how its dealt with.
 

Obviously no adventurer goes to the upper planes in games because that's not where the villains are. That doesn;t mean they can't play a role in the plot

EDIT:
Well they might go there at the exciting conclusion, if invading the upper planes is one of the villain's goals
 
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Incenjucar

Legend
I honestly cannot wait to see how its dealt with.
Same. It's a pretty big deal for me. I skipped 5E entirely, but the planes always call to me, and the strong influence of Planescape on the OneD&D stuff is making me consider investing once more after my long hiatus. I've been using my design chops elsewhere in recent years, but if Planescape Returns (TM) in proper glory and they make the concept sing, I'm rather tempted to start making up for lost time to add to the Dungeon Master's Guild. If it lands with a thud, though, I'm less inclined to start an uphill battle.
 

Yora

Legend
Obviously no adventurer goes to the upper planes in games because that's not where the villains are. That doesn;t mean they can't play a role in the plot

EDIT:
Well they might go there at the exciting conclusion, if invading the upper planes is one of the villain's goals
I think a problem with the upper planes is that they are inherently good, and that this is assumed to apply to all of their inhabitants.
This implies that any guardians guarding access to gods or holy artifacts will be acting understanding and benign, and if the players explain that they are on a quest to do a good thing, they will be ushered through and given any assistance they need.

There's not just no villains there, it's hard to even think of any kinds of obstacles to get into the PCs' way.
 

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