D&D General The cosmology of your homebrew campaign

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
That is indeed how I handle it as well, and the limitation requiring to have the right tuning fork is fundamental in keeping things under control there.
I don't bother with the tuning fork. The way I limit it is that other than your own world and your deity's home plane (to which you can always go from anywhere), you can't Planeshift to a plane or world you haven't already been to via some other means. You also can't Planeshift directly to a world or plane you're already on, which gets around using it as a backup Teleport.

With one exception I also limit the arrival points to any of:

--- your point of first arrival on a plane or world (neat side effect: you can always arrive at your birthplace)
--- a known temple to your own deity or, in some cases, an allied or friendly deity
--- ground consecrated to your deity either by you or someone else.

The one exception is your deity's home plane, on which you can arrive anywhere you (or your deity) desires.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
I base my cosmology loosely on Norse mythology with non-human gods pulled from various sources, mostly Greyhawk. In addition, I threw in a bit of Celtic mythology with the Archfey that live in Alfheim, repurposed a couple of worlds and voila. Yggdrassil, the tree of life connects all 9 worlds. I tried to stay true to the spirit of the mythology, but several things are modified. I'm not too worried about it because we only have tiny, tiny scraps of the real mythology and even that is from somewhat unreliable narrators.

In any case, we have 3 levels.

The first level:

  • Asgard, world of the Aesir
  • Alfheim, land of the Sidhe (feywild)
  • Dwarfheim, Land of the dwarven deities
  • Vanaheim, land of the Vanir (Elven Deities)
The second level:
  • Midgard, Mortal Realm (middle world/garden)
The third level:
  • Jotunheim, Land of the giants (Jotuns) and fiends (devils/demons)
  • Svartalfheim, Land of the drow, the underdark
  • Helheim, Realm of the dead
  • Niflheim (shadowfell), World of the dead, shadow and dreams.
View attachment 148583
The gods of the elves became the Vanir who long ago made war with the Aesir, gods of the humans. Frey and Freya are Vanir, and frequently worshipped by half elves. Since dwarves and dark elves are quite muddled in what little record we have I just repurposed Muspleheim (moved it to Jotunheim) for the dwarves and created Dwarfheim for the dwarven gods. Alfheim is basically the feywild, the Nifleheim is the Shadowfell.

Some of the legends have been tweaked as well. Moradin created Thor's hammer Mjollner and Odin's spear Gungnir. Garl Glittergold wove Sif's hair because even a gnome knows a practical joke can go so far.

So, no great wheel. No plane of air or fire which I always thought was a bit goofy. If you really, really want more detail you can always go to my wiki pages I've built over the years in Obsidian Portal: Thraes Mythology. It is, and probably always will be a work in progress. I don't really expect people to read it all, it's more of a reference for me.

P.S. I promised the link to @Matrix Sorcica long ago in a thread far far away. Sorry I kind of forgot about it!
I do like the Norse cosmology and have considered using it before, whether as a full on Norse world campaign or just as a basis for the cosmology. Too many campaigns, too little time.
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
Probably, which is why there are so many of them ("them" being fiends in the interest of clarity), but I actually don't really know for sure. Or, I suppose I should say I haven't decided yet?
I often do that, consider what could be true and then sort it out in the future. Depending on how localised the subject is (the woods have wicked elves in them vs. There are material planes put there) it might not even come up.
 

Oofta

Legend
...
Which leads me to a question as to how you lot rule on something: I've always allowed the spell Planeshift to take you from one prime material world/setting to another (e.g. Greyhawk to Toril) in the same universe, even though technically you're still on the same plane. Why? Because otherwise there's no spell that can jump you from world to world. Am I alone or unusual in this ruling, or is this how others handle it as well?

In my campaign world, going from one plane to another is not that simple. You have to find a gate, then travel the world tree Yggdrasil. You can't just pop up into Valhalla because Heimdall guards the Bifrost bridge, unless you're a god shifting between planes is not easy. Even for them it's limited.

Travel between worlds? Never done it, but I have revealed in past campaigns that the world tree is just one tree in a forest. You'd have to have some kind of SpellJammer ship to travel between the worlds. I've actually thought about doing it as an invasion from another realm campaign. Maybe someday. :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
In my campaign world, going from one plane to another is not that simple. You have to find a gate, then travel the world tree Yggdrasil. You can't just pop up into Valhalla because Heimdall guards the Bifrost bridge, unless you're a god shifting between planes is not easy. Even for them it's limited.
I can see how that'd work in a set-up with a limited number of planes, sure.
Travel between worlds? Never done it, but I have revealed in past campaigns that the world tree is just one tree in a forest. You'd have to have some kind of SpellJammer ship to travel between the worlds. I've actually thought about doing it as an invasion from another realm campaign. Maybe someday. :)
We had to think about it ages ago, as we have a very long history of characters jumping between different DMs' worlds/campaigns for a variety of different reasons.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Travel between worlds? Never done it, but I have revealed in past campaigns that the world tree is just one tree in a forest. You'd have to have some kind of SpellJammer ship to travel between the worlds. I've actually thought about doing it as an invasion from another realm campaign. Maybe someday.
Brings an entirely new meaning to the word "lumberjack"!
 



Mine tends to be Great Wheel (although it actually forms a shell around the multiverse, largely protecting it from the Far Realm), but souls are split apart after death with the LG part going to Mt. Celestia, the CE part going to the Abyss, etc. Outsiders can be formed by the two biggest parts of a soul (so angels want you to be LG to increase the chance of making an angel, etc.); any parts of the soul that are less than the two biggest just becomes part of the land or part of the body of an outsider. Most outsiders of CR 2 or less are almost like constructs built out of the "soil" of the realm with as much "programming" as they need.

The Shell is also continuous, so there are 8 transition zones where, say LN stuff mixes with LG (or LE): Arcadia, Bytopia, the Wildlands, Ysgard, Pandemonium, Carceni, Gehenna, and Archeron. The gods hang out in these areas, since the area is more malleable. Any CR 2 or less outsider that hasn't already been claimed by another god that enters the god's realm can be changed to anything else with the same CR (or less) at the god's whim (and in most cases, this is automatic). The gods tend to recruit higher level outsiders with the promise of power (and transformation), protection (particularly in the Lower Planes), and a chance to engage in a particular mission (particularly in the Upper Planes).

The Plane of the Outlands is special, since this is where souls are broken up, and it is both a primary realm (N) and contains transition zones in its border. Most of the outsiders encountered there are servants of the gods that live there, but my interpretation of N on the L vs. C axis tends to involve the phrase "don't want others thinking about me when I am doing this", so the natural outsiders may just be sneaky or pretending to be servants of the gods.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I ran two campaigns in my Errantas setting back in 3.0 & 3.5 days. The cosmology concept was that each of the material planes drifted in each of the elemental planes - so it was in one "place' in the elemental plane of fire, and a different place in the elemental plane of water, and so on. You could think of it of having 12 different coordinates, three for each elemental plane, that could change independently.

If material planes were close enough, you could travel from one to another via the elemental planes. Think a bit of two spheres that had a surface tension-like connection where they were nearest that was partial of that plane and partial of the element. For example, the humans in the primary area the players were in came on a three year sea journey between them, while one set of dwarves came through the elemental plane of earth in what seemed like a series of earthquakes that relocated their underground metropolis. There were different sets of orcs with their separate custoims that came from different material planes.

The material plane that was primary for the campaigns had a "thin skin" - it was easier to travel to it. It had been used as a refuge for various deities across eons when they had people who were going to be wiped out due to natural or man-made disaster. So the conceit was that most material planes had one race, but this had the full selection.

There was a Dreaming, which was a dark and distorted mirror of the material plane that also functioned as the Ethereal for spells and undead and such. A bit like the Upside Down, but predating that by a number of years.

The elves also had small demiplanes that they had limited control over how they moved, and they would intentionally move them near full material planes to visit for decades or centuries then move on (all while doing the same in the other elemental planes to other material planes). Each ws referred to as a court, and was the proto Feywild, since that concept wasn't really introduced. At the beginning of the first campaign, all of the elves were from a court that had left, abandoning them here. For the second campaign (80 years later), a new Court had connected a few years before the campaign start, with vastly different politics and leader - which was not known to people at large, including the characters.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top