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


4E's changes were pretty easy to ignore except for the removal of the Ethereal. Elemental Chaos being a nexus between elemental planes is fine, and the abyss being basically what makes you the multiverse swallow its own tail is fascinating.

log in or register to remove this ad


I think that Pandemonium, Carceri, and Gehenna could all be really cool hell dimensions. Though admittedly Pandemonium has been made kind of redundant with the Underdark. Same general idea, except with demons instead of tentacles.
Carceri is a prison world for the damned without having lots of big deadly demons and devils swarming everywhere to tear visiting adventurers apart the moment they arrive.
And Gehenna is just visually pure metal! Who wouldn't want to adventure in a world that is all volcano under a permanently black sky?
I have an idea for a mini-campaign in which the villain has an artifact from Carceri, which can exchange a soul from the Material Plane for a random denizen of Carceri. The artifact can also reverse this exchange, sending the Carcerian back... but if the Carcerian dies on the Material Plane, the soul is trapped in Carceri forever.

The villain is using the artifact to turn isolated villages into a motley army of fiends, monsters, and the damned. This army obeys the villain because he has the power to send them back at any time; however, they are absolutely treacherous, and what they really want is to see the artifact destroyed so they can't be sent back. (Mind you, they will still return when they die; the artifact is a malevolent trap, not an escape hatch.)

So, the PCs will need to discover what the artifact actually does, capture it intact, and use it to send the army back before destroying it. Unless, of course, they stop to think about the Carcerians they killed during the course of the adventure, and decide they have a duty to retrieve those lost souls. There are two ways to accomplish that: First, the artifact has the power to swap one soul for another, so you can retrieve the lost souls by throwing other people into Carceri in their place... if there's anybody you can convince yourself deserves that fate. Second, you can bring back the lost souls connected to all Carcerians you killed, if you're willing to throw yourself in. Doing so will begin a new story arc where the PCs have to bust out of the prison plane.

(If the players don't stop to think about the slain Carcerians, or decide it isn't their responsibility, none of that last part will come into play. It's not something I intend to push on them.)


There is definitely a need for habitable zones in the inner planes so players can interact with them more. Each plane really needs one NPC-friendly area before things ramp up to dead-on-arrival.


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.
The main thing I like about Eberron's planes is that they are, by and large, conceptual rather than alignment-based (except maybe Daanvi and Kythri).

But if I were to design a cosmology from scratch, it would be more like 4e, except without the privileged position of the Material Plane. Rather, all planes would have a similar position, and you'd need to find portals to get to "the in-between" where you'd be walking paths in the void through psychedelic space in order to find the portals to where you need to go. My main inspiration for this would be classic Marvel comics like Doctor Strange and occasionally the Hulk. This kind of stuff:


Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Like making the elemental planes something useful rather than 'City of Brass plus places where you die for being there', and turning the Plane of Shadow into an actual place (the Shadowfell). And made angels non-insufferable. Except the one type. You know the ones.
Yeah, like that


The Dr. Strange etc. feel is basically a more compact transitive plane.
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.

And there should be a myriad of other planes, primarily just being strange and weird. No gods or other nonsense.


Since way back in AD&D 1st edition, D&D settings generally were assumed to be part of a planar system consisting of 17 outer planes, 14 inner planes (later reduced to 6), an astral plane, and a variable number of other planes bordering the material plane. In 3rd edition it was decided to throw all of these out for Forgotten Realms and replace them with roughly as many new planes. Eberron also got its own planes and there were quite a number of them. Then 4th edition changes things and I believe introduced the Feywild, but otherwise still mostly just shuffled things around without meaningful changes, unless I remember wrong.

Thing is, when you look at published material outside of the 2nd edition Planescape product line, how many planes did actually ever get mentioned or covered in adventures or even novels and videogames?

There's the Abyss, the Nine Hells, the Astral Plane, and maybe if you are lucky the Elemental Plane of Fire or Limbo. The Forgotten Realms deities all have their respective home planes, but again, except for the Abyss none of these ever appear anywhere.

Anything else? Basically completely missing in action outside of Planescape for a few years in the 90s.

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?
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

Remove ads


Remove ads

Upcoming Releases