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

Yora

Legend
Planescape fails as a useful campaign setting because it states that it is designed to not be for adventures that are about looting treasures or killing monsters, but "about concepts and philosophy, man!"
And then never giving any helpful explanation or examples what that could even look like.

There are all the gods, and demon lords, and factions, and they have cool descriptions, but nobody anywhere has any motivations to become active and do anything. The factions have different philosophical dogmas, but many of those don't translate into specific actions that would step on the toes of the activities of others.
That might be why the Blood War became so overblown. That's an actual conflict where stuff is happening. It's only pointless combat for the point of combat, which Planescape isn't supposed to be about, but at least there's action going on.

The Planescape boxes for the different planes can be wonderful to read. But they are fiction. Not usable game content.
 

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Weird Dave

Adventurer
Publisher
Planescape fails as a useful campaign setting because it states that it is designed to not be for adventures that are about looting treasures or killing monsters, but "about concepts and philosophy, man!"
And then never giving any helpful explanation or examples what that could even look like.

There are all the gods, and demon lords, and factions, and they have cool descriptions, but nobody anywhere has any motivations to become active and do anything. The factions have different philosophical dogmas, but many of those don't translate into specific actions that would step on the toes of the activities of others.
That might be why the Blood War became so overblown. That's an actual conflict where stuff is happening. It's only pointless combat for the point of combat, which Planescape isn't supposed to be about, but at least there's action going on.

The Planescape boxes for the different planes can be wonderful to read. But they are fiction. Not usable game content.
YES! This 100%. Exactly how I felt about Planescape as a setting and the products released to support it. I'll add that I didn't care for the unreliable narrator aspect most of the books had as well - fun to read as a narrative, not fun to parse through as a DM to figure out how to use at the table.
 

Weird Dave

Adventurer
Publisher
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
Say what you will about AI art but it's helpful to visualize some of the weirder aspects of the planes. I hope no one steals my adventure "Ruby Light of the Fire Whales"!

Weird_Dave_obsidian_lighthouse_in_a_sea_of_endless_fire_d633f497-d6a3-4cbb-b50b-f2390a602e71.png
 


Undrave

Hero
Planescape fails as a useful campaign setting because it states that it is designed to not be for adventures that are about looting treasures or killing monsters, but "about concepts and philosophy, man!"
And then never giving any helpful explanation or examples what that could even look like.

There are all the gods, and demon lords, and factions, and they have cool descriptions, but nobody anywhere has any motivations to become active and do anything. The factions have different philosophical dogmas, but many of those don't translate into specific actions that would step on the toes of the activities of others.
That might be why the Blood War became so overblown. That's an actual conflict where stuff is happening. It's only pointless combat for the point of combat, which Planescape isn't supposed to be about, but at least there's action going on.

The Planescape boxes for the different planes can be wonderful to read. But they are fiction. Not usable game content.
Not to bring it up constantly, but Plane Above gave every faction they detail a goal they’re trying to accomplish. Many gods are given a specific motivation that could clash with other gods or the PCs. It’s just my go-to book to serve as an example of an adventurable plane.
 

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.
Isn’t that true of any setting?. It’s all a bunch of boring stuff accept a couple places that are cool. How is that different from the forgotten realms or greyhawk or dragon lands, or any other setting. It’s the locations within the world that are interesting not the world itself. The same is true of the planes. You just have to populate them with interesting areas.
 


Vaalingrade

Legend
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)
You're both right. They're both boring.

London With Slightly More Goatmen That Mocks You For Being From Out of Town and Is Ruled by Worst Plot Device, and Alignment, But Its A Place. Both boring.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
A major component of alignment in Planescape is that it could literally relocate entire cities. Sufficient corruption in Paladintown could drop the souls of tens of thousands of good people into the abyss, and kidnapping enough pure folks into a hell fortress could drop that fortress into the crater that used to be Paladintown. This gives political shenanigans and secret evils a lot of extra weight.
 


Vaalingrade

Legend
A major component of alignment in Planescape is that it could literally relocate entire cities. Sufficient corruption in Paladintown could drop the souls of tens of thousands of good people into the abyss, and kidnapping enough pure folks into a hell fortress could drop that fortress into the crater that used to be Paladintown. This gives political shenanigans and secret evils a lot of extra weight.
The most prominent of these was an infestation of ants though.

Don't leave your leftover foil swans in the office, people. This is how you get planeshfts.
 

grimslade

Krampus ate my d20s
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.
I would counter that you can have a sea of fire with fire whales and the obsidian lighthouse in any other setting. The awesome part of your idea is the image of Fire whales pulling ceramic skiffs across a Sea of Molten Glass to attack all that the party holds dear. Does it need to be from a land of only fire? What if the Sea of Molten Glass existed in a continent-sized caldera of a volcano? Is that less than a plane of all things fiery? I don't like the arbitrary 'Plane of Fire' 'Plane of Earth' 'Plane of more Chaotic than Chaotic Good'. The Great Wheel and the BS of balanced opposition are what is boring. Why is there such an orderly state of cosmology when chaos is half the equation? There should be flux and stagnation, not Mordenkainen's wet dream of 'balance'.
 

"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
In my defense, at least this time it is to share not-necessarily-widely-known info, and purely in a "this is awesome" sense? But yes, point (and joke) taken.

I actually find the 4e Bane really interesting, which is an odd thing for me to say, because I don't generally find war gods interesting and Bane Classic is even less interesting. Bane in 4e is both very tactical and actually valued by the other gods, even those who are good, because he's extremely effective. Getting him on board during the Dawn War was a HUGE help to the deities, and the War of Winter (where Kord's mother, Khala, tried to take over the world by locking it in an eternal freezing night invoked with her consort Zehir) would have gone disastrously for the opposed deities if Bane had chosen to join Khala instead.

Plus, as others have noted, "Bane" is not his true name. But it is a name he has accepted and even revelled in, and I think that's kind of cool too. Thst even gods can be given new names they like better than their "real" names.

It that from the “the Plane Above” or some other source?
It is from there, yes, though some of the details/flourishes might have come from a Dragon article supplement. I'll have to check exactly where/what when I get to my computer.

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.

Indeed! The 4e Cosmology is just the best! And I think it has the best Epic level adventure hooks in D&D history.
That's fair, though (and this is weird to say, given her overall more pragmatic bent) it is kind of pie-in-the-sky idealistic of her to prioritize fixing something that may not even be fixable instead of doing something practical now and then turning to solving the problem properly. "The perfect is the enemy of the good" is usually Erathis' watchword, which was beautifully (if tragically) exemplified when she tried to play both sides against the middle with Arkhosia and Bark Turath and ended up losing both.

Stupid sexy Bane.

Or should I say Bae-n?

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?
Cutting you off there for space. That's a lovely idea, one I might even steal at some point, but I don't really understand why it needs an infinite expanse of fiery nothing (even if that "fiery nothing" does in fact have liquid fire oceans and fire-sand beaches and literally breathable fire skies) in order to work. Indeed, this obsidian tower set with a ruby that can control fire whales sounds like it would be even better in something like 4e's Elemental Chaos. There, you have an overall absolute mess, but there ARE seas of fire and rivers of molten glass and planes of ice that stretch for leagues in every direction. There, the obsidian tower is not "okay well why isn't it just more fire," it's something built from the clash of fire and earth nodes, or a rocky promontory in an otherwise mostly fire-and-air region of the Elemental Chaos.

Isn’t that true of any setting?. It’s all a bunch of boring stuff accept a couple places that are cool. How is that different from the forgotten realms or greyhawk or dragon lands, or any other setting. It’s the locations within the world that are interesting not the world itself. The same is true of the planes. You just have to populate them with interesting areas.
Well...I personally think the Points of Light stuff specifically dodged that issue by speaking only in the broad strokes about anything that wasn't a Cool Place. That's part of why I like it so much. It offers "filler" background only as much as necessary to support the real meat, built on strong mythological bones.

No, but neither are most planes. I mean the prime is infinity large (or close enough), but are we saying it is boring? No because it is populated with interesting places and people. The planes are the same, we just need to populate them with the places and people.
By volume, the Prime is incredibly boring, because the vast majority of it is empty space, empty air, or solid rock. We subconsciously ignore all of that because we know it's boring; our attention is focused only on those eggshell-thin layers of Actually Interesting Stuff.

The problem with the planes, both elemental and alignment, is that their whole premise is to force us to pay attention to all those boring non-places. The Plane of Earth is literally an infinite extent of solid rock and soil. That's boring! By definition, nothing happens in 99.999...% (as a measure, since this is an infinite thing) of the Plane of Earth. Only the vanishing portion of it that is not solid rock, and is instead caves and bubbles and open space allows for anything interesting to happen. The Elemental Plane of Air is literally an infinite vastness of absolutely nothing but air, with floating islands and the like near its edges. That's better than Earth, since at least things fly and move around so you could do cool battles or something, but it is only by weakening the "this is PURE ELEMENT and NOTHING ELSE" pattern that you get anything interesting, but the fans of this place almost always demand that that be what it is.

Again, the Elemental Chaos gets all the useful parts of the various Elemental Planes, while ditching the commitment to vast amounts of boring, untraversable (or at least not worth traversing) space. Sure, the Elemental Chaos is also infinite, but its infinitude is more useful due to stepping away from the rigidity of the "inner planes" cosmology.

The outer planes....you basically have to really, REALLY love the alignment grid, because it reifies alignment hardcore and pushes it up from "a personality classification system of debatable usefulness" to "literally the core conceit of reality." For one setting, e.g. Planescape, that's a neat conceit, giving as you said a new edge to political intrigue and subversive efforts (whether evil or good--subverting a hell fortress is an interesting idea that I may also steal.) As a general thing that is part of a Great Wheel cosmology forced onto every setting and campaign? It's really frustrating.
 

In my defense, at least this time it is to share not-necessarily-widely-known info, and purely in a "this is awesome" sense? But yes, point (and joke) taken.

I actually find the 4e Bane really interesting, which is an odd thing for me to say, because I don't generally find war gods interesting and Bane Classic is even less interesting. Bane in 4e is both very tactical and actually valued by the other gods, even those who are good, because he's extremely effective. Getting him on board during the Dawn War was a HUGE help to the deities, and the War of Winter (where Kord's mother, Khala, tried to take over the world by locking it in an eternal freezing night invoked with her consort Zehir) would have gone disastrously for the opposed deities if Bane had chosen to join Khala instead.

Plus, as others have noted, "Bane" is not his true name. But it is a name he has accepted and even revelled in, and I think that's kind of cool too. Thst even gods can be given new names they like better than their "real" names.


It is from there, yes, though some of the details/flourishes might have come from a Dragon article supplement. I'll have to check exactly where/what when I get to my computer.


That's fair, though (and this is weird to say, given her overall more pragmatic bent) it is kind of pie-in-the-sky idealistic of her to prioritize fixing something that may not even be fixable instead of doing something practical now and then turning to solving the problem properly. "The perfect is the enemy of the good" is usually Erathis' watchword, which was beautifully (if tragically) exemplified when she tried to play both sides against the middle with Arkhosia and Bark Turath and ended up losing both.


Stupid sexy Bane.

Or should I say Bae-n?


Cutting you off there for space. That's a lovely idea, one I might even steal at some point, but I don't really understand why it needs an infinite expanse of fiery nothing (even if that "fiery nothing" does in fact have liquid fire oceans and fire-sand beaches and literally breathable fire skies) in order to work. Indeed, this obsidian tower set with a ruby that can control fire whales sounds like it would be even better in something like 4e's Elemental Chaos. There, you have an overall absolute mess, but there ARE seas of fire and rivers of molten glass and planes of ice that stretch for leagues in every direction. There, the obsidian tower is not "okay well why isn't it just more fire," it's something built from the clash of fire and earth nodes, or a rocky promontory in an otherwise mostly fire-and-air region of the Elemental Chaos.


Well...I personally think the Points of Light stuff specifically dodged that issue by speaking only in the broad strokes about anything that wasn't a Cool Place. That's part of why I like it so much. It offers "filler" background only as much as necessary to support the real meat, built on strong mythological bones.


By volume, the Prime is incredibly boring, because the vast majority of it is empty space, empty air, or solid rock. We subconsciously ignore all of that because we know it's boring; our attention is focused only on those eggshell-thin layers of Actually Interesting Stuff.

The problem with the planes, both elemental and alignment, is that their whole premise is to force us to pay attention to all those boring non-places. The Plane of Earth is literally an infinite extent of solid rock and soil. That's boring! By definition, nothing happens in 99.999...% (as a measure, since this is an infinite thing) of the Plane of Earth. Only the vanishing portion of it that is not solid rock, and is instead caves and bubbles and open space allows for anything interesting to happen. The Elemental Plane of Air is literally an infinite vastness of absolutely nothing but air, with floating islands and the like near its edges. That's better than Earth, since at least things fly and move around so you could do cool battles or something, but it is only by weakening the "this is PURE ELEMENT and NOTHING ELSE" pattern that you get anything interesting, but the fans of this place almost always demand that that be what it is.

Again, the Elemental Chaos gets all the useful parts of the various Elemental Planes, while ditching the commitment to vast amounts of boring, untraversable (or at least not worth traversing) space. Sure, the Elemental Chaos is also infinite, but its infinitude is more useful due to stepping away from the rigidity of the "inner planes" cosmology.

The outer planes....you basically have to really, REALLY love the alignment grid, because it reifies alignment hardcore and pushes it up from "a personality classification system of debatable usefulness" to "literally the core conceit of reality." For one setting, e.g. Planescape, that's a neat conceit, giving as you said a new edge to political intrigue and subversive efforts (whether evil or good--subverting a hell fortress is an interesting idea that I may also steal.) As a general thing that is part of a Great Wheel cosmology forced onto every setting and campaign? It's really
First, I was thinking less about what may have been written about the planes and more about what could be written. What are the possibilities?! They don’t have to be so rigid and boring. They creativity shown in 4e can be stretched over a more traditional D&D cosmos. Not that you have to use a traditional structure.

I like how 5e started that conversation where it has the elemental planes bleeding into the elemental chaos. I think you could do similar things with the outer planes.

However, even the traditional plane of earth doesn’t need to be solid earth and nothing else. There is room for a creative mind to create something fantastic with it
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
First, I was thinking less about what may have been written about the planes and more about what could be written.
We're talking about what they are. Not what they could be. The planes are boring. They're infinite, homogenous environments with mostly nothing to do in them and the "good stuff" being relegated to tiny chunks of the infinitely big cosmology (the Nine Hells, the City of Brass, Ysgard and Acheron, etc).

Saying "X is boring" doesn't mean "X will always be boring". It means "X is currently boring, and needs improvements to stop being boring".
 

Scribe

Legend
Again, the Elemental Chaos gets all the useful parts of the various Elemental Planes, while ditching the commitment to vast amounts of boring, untraversable (or at least not worth traversing) space. Sure, the Elemental Chaos is also infinite, but its infinitude is more useful due to stepping away from the rigidity of the "inner planes" cosmology.

Granted, I do like Elemental Chaos, over the various Inner Planes.
 

We're talking about what they are. Not what they could be. The planes are boring. They're infinite, homogenous environments with mostly nothing to do in them and the "good stuff" being relegated to tiny chunks of the infinitely big cosmology (the Nine Hells, the City of Brass, Ysgard and Acheron, etc).

Saying "X is boring" doesn't mean "X will always be boring". It means "X is currently boring, and needs improvements to stop being boring".
Yes and no. You are talking about what has been written, not how they are. No lore, on any D&D subject is all inclusive. The difference is important to me. One perspective describes a shackle and the other a starting point. I prefer the starting point.
 




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