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General The Brilliance of the Original Gygaxian Multiverse


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The following tweet of Jeremey Crawford troubles me:

The different worlds of the Material Plane are, indeed, on the same plane of existence. Teleportation is possible between the worlds, but the DM decides whether such travel is reliable/safe and whether sigil sequences are available for teleportation circles. #DnD https://twitter.com/ivstinus/status

The Official answer to the question: Are campaigns world all part of the same Material Plane or are Separate Planes? Should be simply saying, Yes!
The official answer should be, use whatever cosmology you like.

Perhaps, my campaign world takes place on the back of an enormous tortoise.
The statement in the tweet, doesn’t even consider campaigns set in tropes that do not conform to planetary mechanics.

How far is it to Teleport from Waterdeep to the back of the enormous tortoise that is someone’s campaign world?

I also don’t like the answer because he didn’t have D&D DM’s back. 🤯
You know some DM got Papa Smurfed, by some player:
“Jeremey Crawford SAID I could teleport from Sharn to Waterdeep on Twitter”.

Not Cool Man, not Cool at all. 🤦

You can not, just Teleport to Krynn. When Raistlin, Mord, and Elminster met in old Dragon Magazine, it was not assumed they teleported to the location...it was plane shifting.
 

atanakar

Hero
You can not, just Teleport to Krynn. When Raistlin, Mord, and Elminster met in old Dragon Magazine, it was not assumed they teleported to the location...it was plane shifting.
Did you just say that they plane shifted to the Dragon Magazine Headquartes for a get together and interview by the staff? That is cool. :D
 


Snarf Zagyg

Aleena died for your sins.
I believe it was Ed Greenwood's kitchen.
As someone who defends alternate realms and was even about to do a little section regarding the meta-framing of the 80s D&D Cartoon ...


Man, the "Elminster is on my kitchen" conceit always bugged me! No one is perfectly consistent.
 


Hoffmand

Explorer
Alright @LuisCarlos17f , I'll bite. Why exactly are you so set on crossovers of D&D with other properties? You don't seem to care what the crossovers actually are, or even what properties they're with, as long as they exist.

Why do you care so much? Why on earth do you need D&D Transformers so badly, or Zelda or FF or whatever?

I ask because although on paper some of these ideas aren't bad (an official Hyrule D&D box set isn't the worst idea), you seem to really want something completely nutty as all of these properties jumping from one to anther, for no reason at all other than you want it.

So why? Why do you want it?
I want Zelda crossovers bad, and others. But I don’t need know stamp of approval I will do it myself. Same for all the crossovers I do. Is there some millennial mind set that I need permission. Is there a d&d regulation board that will remove my license or certification to write adventures and run games.
 

The following tweet of Jeremey Crawford troubles me:

The different worlds of the Material Plane are, indeed, on the same plane of existence. Teleportation is possible between the worlds, but the DM decides whether such travel is reliable/safe and whether sigil sequences are available for teleportation circles. #DnD https://twitter.com/ivstinus/status

The Official answer to the question: Are campaigns world all part of the same Material Plane or are Separate Planes? Should be simply saying, Yes!
The official answer should be, use whatever cosmology you like.

Perhaps, my campaign world takes place on the back of an enormous tortoise.
The statement in the tweet, doesn’t even consider campaigns set in tropes that do not conform to planetary mechanics.

How far is it to Teleport from Waterdeep to the back of the enormous tortoise that is someone’s campaign world?

I also don’t like the answer because he didn’t have D&D DM’s back. 🤯
You know some DM got Papa Smurfed, by some player:
“Jeremey Crawford SAID I could teleport from Sharn to Waterdeep on Twitter”.

Not Cool Man, not Cool at all. 🤦

You can not, just Teleport to Krynn. When Raistlin, Mord, and Elminster met in old Dragon Magazine, it was not assumed they teleported to the location...it was plane shifting.
I've run the Material Plane as including all of the worlds ever since 2e, and it kept doing it in 3e, and am glad that 5e is back to it.

That being said, I don't particularly like teleportation magic as a simple way to get from world to world. I feel like you should either need to use Spelljamming or planar travel to get between them, not bypass it with a 5th level spell. The way I've looked it since 3e is to treat each crystal sphere as more or less equivalent to a planar layer (which generally interact as if they were planes). That means you need a plane shift rather than a teleportation circle to get there.

When they come out with more details on Spelljamming, maybe they'll do the same thing and make them planar layers. I mean, it always seemed like the obvious solution, given that planar layers are an established thing and have results that pretty much solve all of the issues.
 

I think the crossovers are the best way to promote D&D. But I also worry because some crossovers could break the right tone. For example Darkstalkers is a Capcom beat'em videogame with monsters. Theses characters aren't right for Ravenloft because they aren't enough grimmdark.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Says who? Space is infinite. We could have several different universes all expanding in different directions in our reality. Different planes are not required for different universes.


This is from 2018

Jeremy Crawford
@JeremyECrawford


The different worlds of the Material Plane are, indeed, on the same plane of existence. Teleportation is possible between the worlds, but the DM decides whether such travel is reliable/safe and whether sigil sequences are available for teleportation circles. #DnD
Hmm. Not something I would allow, no matter who said it.
 

Aaron L

Adventurer
See, that's where I disagree.

The inner and outer planes are a forced expansion. They don't .... really .... add very much. Yes, there is a vocal contingent of Planescape fans, but the details about the outer planes did not expand the game so much as it constricted it.

You ask what the expanded Prime Material did? It did everything! And in a deliberately useful way. Instead of the crabbed and useless outer planes, you had an infinite possibility of planes. You had the explicity recognition that PCs would go from campaign to campaign (as @darjr just noted). You had campaigns using different mechanics from different genres. You had the regular inclusion in published materials from the 70s and early 80s.

Now? You don't have that. We have sacrificed actual diversity for monotony, and infinite possibilities for arguments about the shape of outer planes (is it a wheel, or a tree?).

Eh, to each their own. :)
Plus, I just revile the idea of villages of mortals living in Heaven and Hell. It really rubs me the wrong way.
 

Aaron L

Adventurer
Returning to the OP, I think it overstate the "problem." Is there a problem with bringing together Magic and D&D worlds? No, especially considering the default assumption of Rule Zero (or perhaps we should call it Rule Hyperzero to differentiate from specific in-game rulings): Every DM is the Creator of their campaign and, in this context, can decide how things are put together. This includes whether or not different worlds are in the same physical universe or not, or alternate planes, or different universes, etc.

As far as canon goes, my assumption has always been that the Prime Material Plane is basically synonymous with Multiverse--if we take that to mean the entire physical universe, other physical universes, including alternate universes--emphasis on the word physical. "Material" as in of material existence, or matter. Jeff Grubb altered this somewhat in Manual of the Planes by adding plurality based around individual campaigns. Meaning, my campaign is set in the Prime Material, while yours is an alternate Prime Material (unless I say that yours is within mine, which is entirely up to me). This is mostly just a convention of the D&D community. It doesn't really change the basic Gygaxian structure in any meaningful way; it merely states what was already implied: that we all create our own version of the game that is primary.

On a side note, it is worth noting that the esoteric philosophies that Gygax based his original conception on hold that the "planes" beyond the physical are non-physical. They are "energetic dimensions" if we understand that to mean non-physical energies and dimensions. The most common Western esoteric model holds that each of us is comprised of four "bodies," of which modern science only recognizes one: the physical. The other three are etheric, astral, and spiritual (there are variations, but that's the gist of it). Hinduism envisions these as the five koshas, or sheathes: annamaya (food/physical), pranamayakosha (breath/etheric), manomaya (mind), vijnanamaya (higher mind, or intuition), and anandamaya (bliss). Some Asian traditions see three domains, correlating with the waking world, dreaming, and deep sleep; when we're awake, we're in the material world; when we're dreaming, we're in the astral world; when we're in deep sleep, we're in the spiritual world.

Gygax, in a sense, materialized the entire structure, bringing it all down to the physical--or at least apparently physical. I don't know whether he did this out of ignorance, or utility; I would assume the latter. But if we go back to the esoteric traditions, whether of the East or West, we could imagine that the planes are actually non-physical realities translated and experienced as physical realities. Matrices, in other words, but not cybernetic or reliant upon the physical world in any way.

Now if we envision the planes as being actual other physical realities that characters go to, in a sense we're misconstruing them from the original Gygaxian idea, that all physical realities are actually Prime Material. Again, without going back and reading the text, I'm uncertain whether this was "Gygaxian confusion" or a recognition that a person identified with the Prime Material would experience non-physical realities as if they were physical.
I thought it was a basic assumption that all the non-Material planes, were, well... non-Material? The Astral spell even explicitly says that it creates a compatible body for you in the new plane you travel too. The only violation is with the Plane Shift spell, which actually physically moves you to another plane.

That was my main objection to Planescape, in that it basically portrayed the Outer Planes as basically just being alien worlds. For all the lip-service paid to the idea of the Outer Planes being realms of belief and thought, they sure felt and looked and behaved like alien planets, populated by weird physical alien creatures, and complete with colonizing mortals living in basically normal physical material villages and cities.
 

Mercurius

Legend
I thought it was a basic assumption that all the non-Material planes, were, well... non-Material? The Astral spell even explicitly says that it creates a compatible body for you in the new plane you travel too. The only violation is with the Plane Shift spell, which actually physically moves you to another plane.

That was my main objection to Planescape, in that it basically portrayed the Outer Planes as basically just being alien worlds. For all the lip-service paid to the idea of the Outer Planes being realms of belief and thought, they sure felt and looked and behaved like alien planets, populated by weird physical alien creatures, and complete with colonizing mortals living in basically normal physical material villages and cities.
I hear you, although I think we can chalk this up to playability. A concession, if you will, as for most it is easier to imagine the planes as other worlds than non-physical dimensions. This is a tabletop RPG, after all, and not an esoteric manual.

That said, it would be an interesting angle to take: optional rules for more literal (non-physical) extra-planar travel.
 

Aaron L

Adventurer
I hear you, although I think we can chalk this up to playability. A concession, if you will, as for most it is easier to imagine the planes as other worlds than non-physical dimensions. This is a tabletop RPG, after all, and not an esoteric manual.

That said, it would be an interesting angle to take: optional rules for more literal (non-physical) extra-planar travel.
I totally agree... it was just that they seemed to forget that they were only using a convenient narrative shorthand to depict non-physical spiritual planes, and went too far and had people actually living in these metaphysical places.
 

Staffan

Adventurer
I mean, sure, the original AD&D cosmology had "infinite worlds" within the prime material plane (whether these were separate material planes or "layers" or parallel worlds seems rather academic). But it still had a very specific arrangement of all the other planes: six primary inner planes (air, fire, earth, water, positive, negative), four para-elemental and eight quasi-elemental planes on the borders of these, the ethereal, astral, and shadow planes, and the seventeen alignment-based outer planes. And that's a pretty big limiter on how those infinite worlds can differ (unless you use the "different perspectives" cop-out).

For this purpose, I prefer the 3e conceit that each prime has its own cosmology, and the connecting tissue between them is the Shadow Plane. So Oerth is at the center of the Great Wheel cosmology, Al-Toril is at the base of the World Tree, and Eberron is at the center of a Cosmic Orrery. This lets each world deal with planar stuff in ways befitting that world, without messing with the way things work in other worlds.
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

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