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

Incenjucar

Legend
I would not mind some elements of the 4E cosmology merging into the old one a bit, or staying a second possible vision. Heck, imagine a campaign where the two cosmologies clashed!
 

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Bane and Gruumsh are fighting over Chernoggar. Tiamat and Zehir are fighting over the latter's native domain, Tytharion--and because of how her invasion worked, both of them got the part they like least. She and her minions are stuck in the caverns below the surface, while he and his ilk are stuck on the mountainous surface, away from the caverns they prefer. Each is too weak to claim the whole domain, and too proud (and backstabby) to even attempt to cooperate in order to get the part they'd actually want to have.


Indeed. It's worth noting that technically Ioun is also morally grey, she just has her primary rivalry with arguably the dirt-worst deity of the whole pantheon, Vecna. When your enemy is friggin' Vecna, it's easy to come across as a good person purely from that opposition. She does seem to cleave very close to Good, but properly she's Unaligned; she comes across like Girl Genius's Incorruptible Republic of the Immortal Library, which Ardsley Wooster describes as, "They lend out any book to anybody. Many people find this irresponsible." (Emphasis in original.) In a world where magic is demonstrably real and potentially extremely dangerous, an "information wants to be free" attitude really does have some shades of morally dubious reasoning.

You also have the Unaligned Kord on Mount Celestia itself. (I always liked to think of it as Kord being Bahamut's boyfriend, which is why the two most uptight goody-two-shoes deities of the whole pantheon would tolerate a wild child like Kord living among them full time.) Though apparently in some other material he's presented as being more like The Goddamn Batman, as in, a crazy prepared type that's willing to Do What It Takes to fight bad things and protect the things and people he cares about.


Indeed. And because it's my favorite plot point of all time, I can't help bringing this one up.

Context: in 4e, the afterlife is broken. Some souls just...don't get an afterlife. They get to go to the Astral Sea, but they never get a connection to one of the divine domains. If they tried to live on said domain full-time it would friggin' absorb them over time. Really bad juju. Unfortunately, there's basically nothing the gods can do, because the Dawn War, the destruction of the Lattice of Heaven, and the immense damage to their domains has basically fried the structure they built and it's almost miraculous that it works at all. Double unfortunately, this means none of the gods really has any interest in trying to fix the problem, they just shrug their divine shoulders and focus on other things.

Except, of course, Bahamut. Because he is a badass, and he doesn't just talk the talk when it comes to being "one of the most compassionate beings in the multiverse." No, instead, since a direct solution to the "broken afterlife" problem is not forthcoming, Bahamut has commissioned artisans from all the planes to create state-of-the-art DIVINE ASTEROID ARK-SHIPS to house all the souls of folks who didn't get an afterlife. They'll sail the Astral Sea in the vicinity of Celestia and other friendly domains, allowing these lost souls to at least have a safe, protected, comfortable place while the gods look for a more permanent solution. How friggin' awesome is that?! Divine asteroid ark-ships are a canonical thing.

Except....turns out, Kord gets an itchy trigger finger in his concerns about the Dawn War coming back. So he, or at least some of his followers, hijack the prototype ship shortly after its test voyage, intending to use it for some purpose or other related to fighting the remaining Primordials, which has a huge risk of actually triggering the Dusk War instead. So now you're going out, to fight denizens of Celestia specifically at Bahamut's request in order to prevent someone from accidentally-on-purpose triggering friggin' Ragnarok II: Deific Boogaloo.

The fact that this was a perfectly cromulent Epic-level campaign chunk in 4e remains one of the most absolutely metal D&D things I've ever encountered and I love it to death. From top to bottom it's just excessively, profligately cool.
It that from the “the Plane Above” or some other source?
 

Undrave

Hero
the destruction of the Lattice of Heaven, and the immense damage to their domains has basically fried the structure they built and it's almost miraculous that it works at all. Double unfortunately, this means none of the gods really has any interest in trying to fix the problem, they just shrug their divine shoulders and focus on other things.
Technically Erathis want to restore the Lattice of Heaven and made it her ultimate goal, but it's more because she really wants things to be in order.
Context: in 4e, the afterlife is broken. Some souls just...don't get an afterlife. They get to go to the Astral Sea, but they never get a connection to one of the divine domains. If they tried to live on said domain full-time it would friggin' absorb them over time. Really bad juju. Unfortunately, there's basically nothing the gods can do, because the Dawn War, the destruction of the Lattice of Heaven, and the immense damage to their domains has basically fried the structure they built and it's almost miraculous that it works at all. Double unfortunately, this means none of the gods really has any interest in trying to fix the problem, they just shrug their divine shoulders and focus on other things.

Except, of course, Bahamut. Because he is a badass, and he doesn't just talk the talk when it comes to being "one of the most compassionate beings in the multiverse." No, instead, since a direct solution to the "broken afterlife" problem is not forthcoming, Bahamut has commissioned artisans from all the planes to create state-of-the-art DIVINE ASTEROID ARK-SHIPS to house all the souls of folks who didn't get an afterlife. They'll sail the Astral Sea in the vicinity of Celestia and other friendly domains, allowing these lost souls to at least have a safe, protected, comfortable place while the gods look for a more permanent solution. How friggin' awesome is that?! Divine asteroid ark-ships are a canonical thing.

Except....turns out, Kord gets an itchy trigger finger in his concerns about the Dawn War coming back. So he, or at least some of his followers, hijack the prototype ship shortly after its test voyage, intending to use it for some purpose or other related to fighting the remaining Primordials, which has a huge risk of actually triggering the Dusk War instead. So now you're going out, to fight denizens of Celestia specifically at Bahamut's request in order to prevent someone from accidentally-on-purpose triggering friggin' Ragnarok II: Deific Boogaloo.

The fact that this was a perfectly cromulent Epic-level campaign chunk in 4e remains one of the most absolutely metal D&D things I've ever encountered and I love it to death. From top to bottom it's just excessively, profligately cool.
Indeed! The 4e Cosmology is just the best! And I think it has the best Epic level adventure hooks in D&D history.
 

"And all threads become 4e threads, in time." - EzekielRaiden (Probably) ;)

Just poking fun, as that does seem an interesting story, but...why did they reuse Bane, just to have it be a different Bane...lol
Aren’t all the gods a little different in 4e?

At least Bane got a cool origin story, and source for his “name” in 4e.

FYI, Bane is not his name, but a nickname of sorts in 4e. He was the primodria’s “bane” during the Dawn War.
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Just poking fun, as that does seem an interesting story, but...why did they reuse Bane, just to have it be a different Bane...lol

Because DIFFERENT BANE is BETTER BANE!

bane-harley-quinn.gif


Oh.... you weren't talking about Harley Quinn.

....nevermind.
 



Weird Dave

Adventurer
Publisher
I think all of the planes in the Great Wheel are heckin' cool (as the kids say?) because it's imagination bound by the flimsiest of rules - which, sure, you can apply to any general D&D setting. But the planes are a framework established within the history of the game as a place where the "rules of reality" don't apply in the same way. However, that being said, they suffer from the same problem as any cool setting - it's not cool if there's nothing to do there. Adventures are conflicts of one sort or another, so finding these conflicts is always what makes a game regardless of where it's set. The planes do allow for some bigger picture things (see the divine ark referenced post earlier which is SUPER AWESOME!) but there's just as much on every plane for smaller events too.

As I was developing each entry in the Codex of the Infinite Planes series (one entry for every plane) I focused on making the planes usable, even the Upper Planes. Setting up mysteries with interesting hooks and highlighting conflicts that the DM could exploit for a game or campaign was my goal. I hope I succeeded, but ultimately that's up to the individual. For my own purposes, I've got notes on dozens of smaller campaigns focused on individual planes that I think would be a lot of fun - hunting giant monsters on the Beastlands and finding out what's making them go berserk; uncovering the mystery of the Ruby Heads of Jovar on Mount Celestia and how they link to a broken lineage of duergar dwarf emperors in Erackinor; tracking down subversive Far Realm influences on Mechanus and why entire gears are transforming into glass; helping the Jotundrott of Ysgard fight back against the Aesir in epic battles of viking metal awesomeness; those kinds of things.

There is a lot of meat on the bones of the planes, but from an official support standpoint in the course of the game, a lot of that meat has been left off the plate.
 


Undrave

Hero
I dont know it well enough. There were enough changes, across the board, that I really didnt look at it much.
Here's a quick rundown of the 4e Pantheon. It even includes a list of dead gods!

Few interesting things to note:

-None of the dead gods, or Tharizdun, are mentioned in the PHB. Tharizdun is trapped in the Abyss and is its creator. I thought it was an interesting wrinkle to have a SECRET GOD in the DMG. Really useful for Cultists.

-The story of He Who Was and Asmodeus is a cool spin on the story of Lucifer.

-After Lakal’s destruction, its inhabitant, the Quom, who until then had been healers, vowed to get her back together and began a hunt for her fragment. They are ready to do anything, including killing innocents, to get their hands on any fragment, which they can detect across large distances. They travel in asteroid ships and are fanatical in their pursuit. They kinda look like bald dwarves in blueish-purplish skin tones and the most powerful of them have a SECOND FACE at the back of their head.
 


grimslade

Krampus ate my d20s
Well that is a terrible answer. You have basically just spotlighted your own ignorance.

If you wanted to make this argument, you should probably at least frame it around the planes that are actually like this. Many/most are not.
Oh I'm sorry. I thought this was abuse. Arguments are down the hall.

Here is my argument. City of Brass is cool. The Elemental Plane of fire is filler. Levistus trapped in Hell Ice is iconic. A whole layer of Ice Hell is lazy.
The problem with planes is they are giant sections of blank with cool bits in them. Keep the cool bits. Don't worry about fitting them into a pleasing background palette of sameness. The Great Wheel Cosmology is dedication to an image in the back of the PHB, that is all.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
These planes are not just sameness, they just haven't been develop as locations.

The plane of fire is basically a very hot sea, and you can fill it with islands, depths, fortresses, fauna, flora, unique terrain, and so on, as long as you have a way to deal with the heat long enough to adventure in it, like being able to carry a pocket of cool air on your sailboat, and the treasure you seek doesn't melt.
 


The problem is, almost all the planes, unless you have the conflict Planescape adds to them (i.e. of potentially dragging places to other planes etc.), are INCREDIBLY BORING. Like OMG SO BORING.

If anything Planescape is the only version of the Great Wheel that is boring. Because the Great Wheel cosmology has tons of interesting locations, but Planescape expects you to ignore those and just stick in the one that can be summed up as "New York, but with London accents"

(edit: and neither of those traits in a good way)
 



Weird Dave

Adventurer
Publisher
Here is my argument. City of Brass is cool. The Elemental Plane of fire is filler. Levistus trapped in Hell Ice is iconic. A whole layer of Ice Hell is lazy.
The problem with planes is they are giant sections of blank with cool bits in them. Keep the cool bits. Don't worry about fitting them into a pleasing background palette of sameness. The Great Wheel Cosmology is dedication to an image in the back of the PHB, that is all.
I mean, sure. But so it goes with every setting - it's individual locations that make it cool. Waterdeep is cool. Faerun is filler. Etc., etc.

The benefit of the larger setting for those cool locations for me is "associative imaginative thought processing" (patent pending). Start with a known and then imagine what could logically exist. Yes, City of Brass is super cool. The Plane of Fire is filler, but it has a sea of literal fire. An island in that sea of fire is kinda cool, but what about an obsidian tower on that island? An obsidian tower with a ruby that can control fire whales that swim in the sea of fire, like a weird lighthouse place? Who controls this Inferno Lighthouse? What did they do to piss off the Grand Sultan of the City of Brass? Why are fire giant cultists of Surtr seeking it? Why would a group of characters care or be involved? What kind of havoc could the Grand Sultan wreak if he could control thousands of destructive fire whales? Could I have this Inferno Lighthouse on Faerun, Oerth, or Krynn? Not to the same level. But on the infinite planes, I can imagine a place for it! Does it have to be on the Plane of Fire? Not necessarily, but it probably doesn't belong on a regular Material Plane setting either.
 

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