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5E The Multiverse

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
The Multiverse... Every universe in it is irrational... Sloppy. I just try to make it rational. I just try to make it neat. You call it TPKing. How could I murder my own characters a hundred twenty three times? I just took those wasted builds... And put them into one container... Pun-Pun. It made him faster, smarter, stronger. What if that is D&D's fate? To unite with our other editions. To be unified forever. To be Pun-Pun. I will be The Pun.
 
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Coroc

Hero
Thank you Coroc. I would love to respond to what you are adding to the conversation here, but I am not quite able to follow. Could you explain what you mean by this:

In responding to Marandahir's contribution to this discussion, I was merely pointing out my understanding of how the crystal spheres operated in the TSR Spelljammer line and how the current Wizards team seems to regard crystal sphere viz a viz the Material Plane. I did not attempt to suggest that the Elemental Plane of Fire, or any of the Inner Planes, are regarded as a Transitive Plane (I think that is what you mean by "transitional plane"?). Beyond that, I simply did not understand your response.

To be clear, the only real idea that I was responding to from Marandahir's post was in relation to the notion that the Inner Planes and Transitive Planes were within a crystal sphere. I never saw that in print and I never heard that from any of the Wizards people interviewed on Dragon Talk. That's it.

As I indicated, my post is dangerously close to playing fantasy cop...it is all make believe, so I am going to simply keep it there. In some situations when people may not have played Spelljammer or read the Spelljammer material, some clarifications can be useful. But, sometimes they simply rub people the wrong way. Hopefully I have not offended anyone.
Off course not, at least not me, i was just philosophing a bit about your post, it seemed to me that your idea was somewhat around plane of fire as a transitional plane to otherwise (per official fluff/lore) inacceasible/difficult to access primes (athas / eberron) which is an interesting thing (it stil would require you to survive the elemental plane though, feel free to correct me, if i read to much into it.

But my main point (maybe more directed at the general discussion, than at your post, and maybe i should make a own thread about it, why do people want to planeshift to different primes in their campaign at all?
I can see planeshifting becoming interesting in a "vanilla campaign" if e.g. you visit abyss / elysium / mechanus and the like.

For the purpose of integrating e.g. saltmarsh into your homebrew/eberron/FR etc campaign i see no point in that, it just is to - how do i say it without downtalk - "mediocre" i mean noting in a negative way about the module itself, it is a superb module and has been in former editions, but it is not the world saving mission requiring the heroes to find some otherworldly artifact but rather a mundane pirate/smuggler/mystery adventure.
What i try to say is, if you want a module from some other "vanilla" world in your "vanila" world (again no offense meant!), then it's imho more easy to just find an area in your world to integrate it, than to make a big planeshift campaign out of it.
You see the landscape, a typical "real world like" seascape, would not be much different in any campaign world, compared to the odd landscapes of some of the outer or inner planes. Also the inhabitants would not be fundamentally different.
 

Hatmatter

Explorer
Off course not, at least not me, i was just philosophing a bit about your post, it seemed to me that your idea was somewhat around plane of fire as a transitional plane to otherwise (per official fluff/lore) inacceasible/difficult to access primes (athas / eberron) which is an interesting thing (it stil would require you to survive the elemental plane though, feel free to correct me, if i read to much into it.

But my main point (maybe more directed at the general discussion, than at your post, and maybe i should make a own thread about it, why do people want to planeshift to different primes in their campaign at all?
I can see planeshifting becoming interesting in a "vanilla campaign" if e.g. you visit abyss / elysium / mechanus and the like.

For the purpose of integrating e.g. saltmarsh into your homebrew/eberron/FR etc campaign i see no point in that, it just is to - how do i say it without downtalk - "mediocre" i mean noting in a negative way about the module itself, it is a superb module and has been in former editions, but it is not the world saving mission requiring the heroes to find some otherworldly artifact but rather a mundane pirate/smuggler/mystery adventure.
What i try to say is, if you want a module from some other "vanilla" world in your "vanila" world (again no offense meant!), then it's imho more easy to just find an area in your world to integrate it, than to make a big planeshift campaign out of it.
You see the landscape, a typical "real world like" seascape, would not be much different in any campaign world, compared to the odd landscapes of some of the outer or inner planes. Also the inhabitants would not be fundamentally different.
Hello Coroc,
Thank you for the clarification. I understand now, thanks!

I don't really have anything to say about why DMs or players would like to visit different worlds as I suppose the desire to have one kind of adventure with a particular flavor in a campaign is likely the consequence of what would be fun for the players or DM or both. Why does my daughter play make believe in one way and her friend play it in a different way?

In the context of Spelljammer, I know that a couple sentences that stood out to me immediately upon buying the box set was in the introduction: "This is a universe postulated on magical, not scientific, laws. There are universal laws and they must be obeyed, but they are the laws of magic, not physics--the laws of Mordenkainen, Elminster, and Fistandantilus rather than Galileo, Newton, and Einstein." Those two sentences made me fall in love with Spelljammer. I couldn't tell you why other than I loved how it pointed to a multiverse. I suppose the notion of the multiverse always suggested to me that anything can happen: it felt like freedom.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Where do you get that from? In Spelljammer only the prime setting and associated prime plane were contained by the Crystal Spheres.
Sorry, what is in your opinion the "Prime Setting"? Because he is right that most of those worlds are confirmed to have Crystal Spheres.

The MtG settings are not confirmed to have this, but I take Crawford's canon explanation and interpreted it to mean they do.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Sorry, what is in your opinion the "Prime Setting"? Because he is right that most of those worlds are confirmed to have Crystal Spheres.

The MtG settings are not confirmed to have this, but I take Crawford's canon explanation and interpreted it to mean they do.
The prime worlds are in crystal spheres, yes. The planes are not, though. He said that the inner, outer and transitive planes are in the crystal spheres as well, which is incorrect.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Hello Coroc,
Thank you for the clarification. I understand now, thanks!

I don't really have anything to say about why DMs or players would like to visit different worlds as I suppose the desire to have one kind of adventure with a particular flavor in a campaign is likely the consequence of what would be fun for the players or DM or both. Why does my daughter play make believe in one way and her friend play it in a different way?

In the context of Spelljammer, I know that a couple sentences that stood out to me immediately upon buying the box set was in the introduction: "This is a universe postulated on magical, not scientific, laws. There are universal laws and they must be obeyed, but they are the laws of magic, not physics--the laws of Mordenkainen, Elminster, and Fistandantilus rather than Galileo, Newton, and Einstein." Those two sentences made me fall in love with Spelljammer. I couldn't tell you why other than I loved how it pointed to a multiverse. I suppose the notion of the multiverse always suggested to me that anything can happen: it felt like freedom.
Hey Hatmatter, Coro, & Maxperson, thanks for jumping off of my earlier contribution.

I understand that in 2e TSR considered the Material Plane in a different way. However, 4e and 5e discussions of Nerath, Eberron, and Dark Sun suggest that this idea was changed. The issue arises from the fact that not every setting shares the same planar cosmology. Eberron especially eschews the Planescape module, but so do Nerath and Dark Sun. The Gods simply can't reach Athas. And in Nerath, the world is aligned in an Axis. It's different from the "arrange the planes as a World Tree or as the Planescape Orrey; they're the same thing just different models." Nerath and Eberron literally have different planes. And in the context of 5e, Spelljammer is supposed to be the answer for how one gets from one Material Plane to another.

I realise this is different than before, and as it's your game, you can make it work however you want. But crystal spheres, spelljammer, and setting boundaries work differently than they did in 2e.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Hey Hatmatter, Coro, & Maxperson, thanks for jumping off of my earlier contribution.

I understand that in 2e TSR considered the Material Plane in a different way. However, 4e and 5e discussions of Nerath, Eberron, and Dark Sun suggest that this idea was changed. The issue arises from the fact that not every setting shares the same planar cosmology. Eberron especially eschews the Planescape module, but so do Nerath and Dark Sun. The Gods simply can't reach Athas. And in Nerath, the world is aligned in an Axis. It's different from the "arrange the planes as a World Tree or as the Planescape Orrey; they're the same thing just different models." Nerath and Eberron literally have different planes. And in the context of 5e, Spelljammer is supposed to be the answer for how one gets from one Material Plane to another.

I realise this is different than before, and as it's your game, you can make it work however you want. But crystal spheres, spelljammer, and setting boundaries work differently than they did in 2e.
I don't know about 4e, but in 2e where it did work that way, the gods still could not reach Dark Sun. Also, the different cosmologies are not mutually exclusive. The planes are infinite, so you can have thousands of different cosmologies reaching the planes in different ways under different set-ups, much like it was in 2e and 3e.

5e is different than 4e in that it returned to the Great Wheel as the default cosmology and says nothing about crystal spheres. What 4e and 5e discussions are you talking about?
 

Hatmatter

Explorer
Hey Hatmatter, Coro, & Maxperson, thanks for jumping off of my earlier contribution.

I understand that in 2e TSR considered the Material Plane in a different way. However, 4e and 5e discussions of Nerath, Eberron, and Dark Sun suggest that this idea was changed. The issue arises from the fact that not every setting shares the same planar cosmology. Eberron especially eschews the Planescape module, but so do Nerath and Dark Sun. The Gods simply can't reach Athas. And in Nerath, the world is aligned in an Axis. It's different from the "arrange the planes as a World Tree or as the Planescape Orrey; they're the same thing just different models." Nerath and Eberron literally have different planes. And in the context of 5e, Spelljammer is supposed to be the answer for how one gets from one Material Plane to another.

I realise this is different than before, and as it's your game, you can make it work however you want. But crystal spheres, spelljammer, and setting boundaries work differently than they did in 2e.
Hi Maxperson,

Thank you for the clarification. Fascinating stuff. I think the D&D cosmology is one of the more appealing aspects of the immersive RPG experience for me in D&D.

I am sure that there are some differences between how Spelljammer handled the Material Plane in the 1990s, for example I seem to recall in the Spelljammer box set (and this is only from memory, I have the box set on my shelf, I should probably just look it up), that the different worlds of D&D were both regarded as different Material Planes, but also were able to be traveled to by traversing through the phlogiston between the various crystal spheres.

Yet, now, I think there has been an intentional ambiguity built in in order to retain the unique flavor of settings. For example, in preparing for Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron, Keith Baker and Jeremy Crawford brainstormed ideas how to handle the cosmology of Eberron. In an interview with Dragon Talk published on July 25, 2018, Crawford noted that Baker came up with the idea that the dragon shards are pieces of the crystal sphere that have fallen to Eberron. There are also its own planes associated with it, but the Wizards team still conceives of Eberron as part of the same Material Plane as the others D&D worlds (e.g. Krynn, Abeir-Toril, Oerth, Athas, etc.).

Yet, in a section in Eberron: Rising From the Last War called "Planes of Existence," Eberron is described as both "part of the Great Wheel of the multiverse" and also "fundamentally apart from the rest of the Great Wheel, sealed off from the other planes even while it's encircled by its own wheeling cosmology." That seems ambiguous.

On the other hand, in the July 25, 2018 Dragon Talk podcast (and in other podcasts where the subject of the multiverse has come up, Crawford and also Chris Perkins have reiterated this point), Crawford notes (and these are exact quotes that I am transcribing for everyone's benefit):

"I often get asked, ‘are all the worlds in the same universe [by “universe” he means “Prime Material Plane, which he says just before this],’ the official answer is ‘yes.’

“The Prime Material Plane is where all the D&D settings reside [. . .] Spelljammer was a D&D product years ago that grappled with what’s going on inside the Prime Material Plane [. . .] Spelljammer is specifically about the Prime Material Plane and how you might get from one D&D world to another.

“Let’s talk about Eberron. There was a period in D&D’s life, especially around the 3rd edition years, where this idea of all of D&D’s worlds being in one giant setting together, that idea started to go out of focus. And, you started ended up with worlds that were really shepherded and designed to be their own thing [. . .]. But again, it’s important for people to remember for the background of D&D, the original assumption in 1st edition was that the worlds were all in a multiverse together and that is also the assumption of 5th edition. And so, Eberron, in its original conception, arose in that environment when the worlds were not conceived of as having this relationship to each other.

“Keith Baker and I in the lead up to Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron, we had about a year ago, a real fun talk about Eberron’s relationship to the rest of the cosmology because Eberron introduces an interesting twist in that it’s not just a world, it’s also a world with a set of planes around it; it assumes an entirely different cosmology. And that posed an interesting question: like how do we reconcile this with this multiverse that all the other D&D worlds are in? Keep in mind that some of those worlds are in it but cut off, like part of the story of Dark Sun is that it is in the D&D multiverse, but because of the catastrophe is cut off from the other worlds.

“Keith and I’s [sic] discussion was really great in that we realized that this is not a hard problem to solve. In fact, it’s not a problem at all [. . .] Keith said, ‘what if the Ring [of Siberys] is a crystal sphere?’ When the Progenitors created Eberron, they wanted a world they could call their own. And they wanted more than a world, they wanted a universe they could call their own, and made a world with little planes surrounding it, with the desire of controlling something of their own.

“The story of Eberron, Keith and I realized, was that these Progenitors wanted to solve this problem by creating a world of their own: a world complete with its own planes, and then they cut it off; with the Ring of Siberys, they cut it off from the rest of the multiverse [. . .] when the shards fall, that’s the shield cracking.

“If a DM wants to explore Eberron’s relationship to the rest of the D&D multiverse, you can ask what happens when the cracks in the Ring get big enough?

Greg Tito than riffs on this and suggests that adventurers from Krynn could arrive through a crack in the Ring of Siberys (crystal sphere) and discover Eberron.

From there, they go on to discuss Ravnica as part of the Prime Material Plane of the D&D multiverse also. Crawford says the “The Prime Material Plane of the D&D multiverse can gobble up anything [. . .] we only know some of the worlds [. . .] the Prime Material Plane is vast."

When discussing other means of accessing other worlds in addition to Spelljammer, Crawford goes out of his way to specify that, because the D&D worlds are on the same plane (i.e. the Prime Material Plane), that if a character knows where he or she is going, a teleport spell can take a character from one world like Eberron or Ravnica to Abeir-Toril or Krynn or what have you: “Can I use a spell like Teleport or Teleportation Circle to get to another D&D world? The answer is ‘yes’ because all the teleportation spells require is the sigil sequence of a teleportation circle and the destination has to be on the same plane of existence [. . .] Forgotten Realms & Greyhawk are both on the Prime Material Plane, they are on the same plane of existence.”

And so forth and so on. Hopefully this is interesting food for thought.
 
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Well, now that Theros is out on D&D Beyond, it has this to say about Theros' place in the multiverse:

"The world of Theros, as its inhabitants understand, includes three realms: the mortal world, the divine realm of Nyx, and the Underworld. They are three distinct planes of existence, tucked into their own pocket of the multiverse and shielded from the rest of the cosmos by the power of the gods."

So, like Eberron, it's technically part of the D&D multiverse, but cut off and inaccessible unless the DM wills it otherwise.
 

Hatmatter

Explorer
Well, now that Theros is out on D&D Beyond, it has this to say about Theros' place in the multiverse:

"The world of Theros, as its inhabitants understand, includes three realms: the mortal world, the divine realm of Nyx, and the Underworld. They are three distinct planes of existence, tucked into their own pocket of the multiverse and shielded from the rest of the cosmos by the power of the gods."

So, like Eberron, it's technically part of the D&D multiverse, but cut off and inaccessible unless the DM wills it otherwise.
Cool! Thanks!
 




cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
If I use the MtG universes as part of the larger DnD cosmology then I will pretty much just treat them like a different world in much the same way that Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms and Eberron are different. The MtG worlds aren't even that affected by MtG in that the colours don't matter so a wizard or druid is just using DnD mechanics to cast spells without having to worry about which colour of magic they are accessing.

I do like dave2008's cosmological map that he put together though where the MtG worlds are orbiting far distant from the core DnD worlds.
 

Parmandur

Legend
If I use the MtG universes as part of the larger DnD cosmology then I will pretty much just treat them like a different world in much the same way that Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms and Eberron are different. The MtG worlds aren't even that affected by MtG in that the colours don't matter so a wizard or druid is just using DnD mechanics to cast spells without having to worry about which colour of magic they are accessing.

I do like dave2008's cosmological map that he put together though where the MtG worlds are orbiting far distant from the core DnD worlds.
One of the most brilliant moves they made with Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica was moving the Mana wheel into the realm of the esoteric: some powerful wizards might know of the concept and understand the deeper truth, but very few PCs in the Magic universe would know about their Mana relations: the average Goblin or Elf wouldn't think in those terms on the ground.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
One of the most brilliant moves they made with Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica was moving the Mana wheel into the realm of the esoteric: some powerful wizards might know of the concept and understand the deeper truth, but very few PCs in the Magic universe would know about their Mana relations: the average Goblin or Elf wouldn't think in those terms on the ground.
Yeah, I think the closest I've seen to the colour wheel in the DnD worlds was from one of the planeshift articles which was just some fluff for PCs to imagine that if they cast a fireball they were drawing upon threads of red mana, plant growth drawing upon green mana, but there was no mechanic related to this, it's still just a DnD caster casting a DnD spell, no need to worry about the colour of magic in use.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Yeah, I think the closest I've seen to the colour wheel in the DnD worlds was from one of the planeshift articles which was just some fluff for PCs to imagine that if they cast a fireball they were drawing upon threads of red mana, plant growth drawing upon green mana, but there was no mechanic related to this, it's still just a DnD caster casting a DnD spell, no need to worry about the colour of magic in use.
One of the Planeshift articles really went to town with Mana as an alternative Alignment system, which works well given the light touch of Alignment in the rules. I remember from an interview a couple years ago that Wyatt wanted to include that in Ravnica, but Crawford wanted to keep it more "street level" and maintain D&Dness.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Meanwhile, in Theros, it's very clear that the deities are designed around the 5 Colors and combinations thereof (5 big deities are pure elemental, the other 10 are dual-elemental deities, one for each of the 10 combos). And I guess there's 5 color cultures too:

Blue - Tritons
Red - Minotaurs
White - Leonin
Black - The Revived
Green - Satyrs

With the human city states and the Centaurs somewhere in-between.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
The gods were definitely designed around the colour wheel but you don't need to know it or interact with the wheel to use them. Same with the city states which had one or two colours. Satyrs are actually an interesting case, they revolved around red with two colour combos, red/green and red/black. I don't think I really agree with the Theros book when it says they gravitate towards good, their culture seems to have quite a dark undercurrent to it. Inviting people to a revel and then effectively enslaving them for a time.
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

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