Traveling the Great Wheel

Sammael

Adventurer
First of all, [MENTION=1]Morrus[/MENTION] - why don't we have a Planescape prefix? Just wondering if it's an oversight, or a sinister Yugoloth plot...

Anyways, as I've stated many times in the past, I love Planescape - both as a full fledged campaign setting, and as a neat background drop for planar adventures in (mostly) non-planar campaigns. However, there is always room for improvement, and this topic is about one particular issue that I feel can be improved.

The source material vaguely states that it is possible to travel around the "Great Wheel" of Outer Planes simply by walking; if you walk for long enough in one direction, you eventually move from one (infinite) plane to another. This was later enriched by the information that there are (possibly numerous, possibly unique) portals located on the "edge" of each Outer Plane, and that you actually had to go through a portal to move from one plane to another (even if you are not aware that you are doing this).

The matter of walking across infinite planes is... handwaved. I always took the approach that, since the Outer Planes are based on belief, you basically had to believe in the direction you are taking, i.e. try to focus on the type of emotions that are prevalent on the plane in question. For instance, to move from Mechanus to Arcadia, one has to start questioning whether ultimate order is enough, whether the order should merely exist to benefit the society, and so on. Eventually, with enough belief (and appropriate actions that support that belief), you move towards the edge of your current plane where the neighboring plane is "bleeding" its own beliefs.

But here comes the tricky part - I think that having to cross a portal to enter the adjoining plane makes no sense whatsoever. After all, you are already in a spot where beliefs are mixed and boundaries are breaking - does the transition have to be really abrupt?

Naturally, the lawful planes will keep a strong military presence at the borders. Outsiders native to those planes will be able to instinctively tell where the borders are, but non-natives won't have such an easy job.

I tried envisioning how the border-crossing would work for the lower planes, and I'd really be interested in hearing other ideas (I'll ignore the rule that only topmost layers connect to each other; what's topmost in a planar sense, anyway? ;)) :

Acheron to Baator - As you rummage through among the petrified war machinery of Thuldanin, you come across an increasing number of infernal soldiers foraging for useful machines of war. They seem a little lost, as if they are not exactly sure who ordered them to go there, or what exactly they are trying to accomplish. At some point, you see a large number of citadels appearing from the rubble; they belong to those devils who have forgotten the true cause of Hell. Instead of destroying them utterly or demoting them to a lower rank, Archdevils exile them to the border of Acheron instead, where they stand guard - unsure of what it is they are guarding or why they are guarding it, but ever hopeful that this duty will return them to Hell's grace (fat chance).

Baator to Gehenna - As the jagged hills of Avernus grow ever-steeper, the landscape once more gives birth to hellish citadels; this time, they hold the outcast nobility of Baator. Bitter and vengeful, outcast dukes plot and scheme to overthrow their former masters, but, foremost, they plot and scheme against each other, one petty warlord against another, trying to sway each others' minions and take over what limited resources there are. Yugoloth mercenaries thrive in this area of Baator, often switching sides on a daily basis.

Gehenna to Gray Waste - contrary to the popular belief, it is possible to scale each of the four furnaces of Gehenna; you must be hell-bent on the task, of course, and ready to make a number of sacrifices, but once you reach the top it'll all be worth it... right? Wrong. Because once you get to the top, you realize that this is a hollow, empty, meaningless achievement. As you look upon the gray mists that loom on the other side, you are filled with dread and a desire to end it all by throwing yourself in the all-engulfing flames. But if you slowly descend, you realize that even though the slopes are much gentler on the other side, this makes no difference at all. There are no guards, no treasures, no respite awaiting. Just the laughter of the arcanaloths who've been watching you the whole time. Few manage to make the descent to Oinos.

Gray Waste to Carceri - boy, you must be desperate? Still, if you keep on walking through the Waste (instead of curling up in a fetal position and simply dying), you see the Styx meandering and splitting into numerous minor streams that seem to crisscross each other like a huge grid. Soon, you realize that there are precious few paths that are safe for you to walk on. As you walk into one swampy dead end after another, you realize that you are trapped and unable to go back. Welcome to Othrys.

Carceri to the Abyss - find yourself trapped on Minethys, in the middle of a sandstorm; fill your heart with burning rage, and let that rage out by annihilating everything in your path as you run from the desiccating storm. As long as you survive the burning, biting sand and the hordes of gehreleth guards hungry for your flesh on your way, you'll find yourself upon the Plane of Infinite Portals. That's when the real fun begins.

Abyss to Pandemonium - As you descend the Grand Abyss, you realize that the wind currents coming out of some of the tunnels are so strong that you are flung for miles in the opposite direction when you approach them. If you have some way of beating those currents, and you are feeling particularly insane, you can enter the tunnels easily. Of course, once in, it is entirely possible that the winds will sweep you up and crush your pathetic body against the sharp rocks of the tunnels. Or maybe it was all a trick, and you entered the domain of a demon lord with a chilling sense of humor and a roaring, thunderous laugh. Who cares, right?
 
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Jimlock

Adventurer
I like the ideas very much. Yet there is a problem with this fading technique.

The planes are not actually different, which means that being in one of them is like being in all of them at once.

I understand how you can make some passes almost impossible, still, and as much I like the concept, I also like the idea that different planes are not "spacial-y" connected with one another.
 

TarionzCousin

Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
First of all, [MENTION=1]Morrus[/MENTION] - why don't we have a Planescape prefix? Just wondering if it's an oversight, or a sinister Yugoloth plot...
I made these in response to Morrus' answer in the Meta forum. He said something like "We just don't have a banner. If someone would make one...."

So I did.

tarionzcousin-albums-numero-drei-picture1466-planescape-banner-002.jpg


It was a huge hassle to get the smaller one legible. That's the best I could do. I almost don't want to admit it took about 2 hours, but it did.

tarionzcousin-albums-numero-drei-picture1473-planescape-banner-005b.jpg


Honestly, I think the answer is one of two things:
1. Morrus has been too busy with WotBS, Zeitgeist, life, etc.; or
2. The small banner isn't legible enough.

If it's #2, I could tinker with it more--probably make the background have less contrast, maybe be only shades of gray.

/end threadjack. :)
 

Sammael

Adventurer
I like the ideas very much. Yet there is a problem with this fading technique.

The planes are not actually different, which means that being in one of them is like being in all of them at once.

I understand how you can make some passes almost impossible, still, and as much I like the concept, I also like the idea that different planes are not "spacial-y" connected with one another.
Roleplaying-wise, I'd say that traveling the planes in this manner takes a lot of effort and great willpower, which is why most travelers take an easier route via Astral, portals, Styx/Oceanus, Mt. Olympus/Yggdrasil, or Infinite Staircase. It just never made sense to me to have the planes arranged as they are without a direct way to cross from one another.

Incidentally, when traveling by Styx or Oceanus, do you feel the change between planes should be gradual or abrupt?
 

jefgorbach

First Post
Roleplaying-wise, I'd say that traveling the planes in this manner takes a lot of effort and great willpower, which is why most travelers take an easier route via Astral, portals, Styx/Oceanus, Mt. Olympus/Yggdrasil, or Infinite Staircase. It just never made sense to me to have the planes arranged as they are without a direct way to cross from one another.

Incidentally, when traveling by Styx or Oceanus, do you feel the change between planes should be gradual or abrupt?

I agree, however recall Gygax proposed the Great Wheel back during the late 1970s as a way Sages might represent how the Planes related to each other symbolically rather than physically. In modern parlance, the planes would be more akin to the Internet: co-existing infinite spaces addressable/reachable via the correct planar-address; thus sufficiently changing your belief changes which Outer plane you are currently on. Most find this difficult to do so take the much easier route of using the known Astral/Etheral/Sigil access points (ie: using the public bookmark menu list in-lieu of directly typing/believing in the desired planer-address)

This also hints asto why the numerous lesser demi-planes/etc are so more difficult to find: their lack of popularity means they simply are not on the public menu list yet, so their "planar-url" must literally be stumbled over individually to become known/accessible. Presumably one could travel directly to/from a specific Bag of Holding, Portable Hole, or any other extra-dimensional space IF you knew its exact planar-address.

Regarding the change, I expect it reflects how long it takes you to alter your belief sufficiently to switch planes. For most, its a prolonged journey of reflection (either afoot or via one of the Rivers) until they gradually realize they're no longer on the plane they were and have arrived elsewhere. Others simply concentrate strongly enough upon the desired belief/mind-set to effectively "type in" the desired planar-address and abruptly shift there.

Likewise, EVERY hex/square in every plane is referenced by a specific planar-address. Teleportation occurs simply by over-writing your existing address for the desired location's address. Not that any one in-game knows this of course which is why the spell relies upon the user's ability to clearly focus upon their destination (so the Server may best-guess the desire location's address; much like a "I feel lucky Google search")
 

Ripzerai

First Post
The source material vaguely states that it is possible to travel around the "Great Wheel" of Outer Planes simply by walking; if you walk for long enough in one direction, you eventually move from one (infinite) plane to another.

Errr... kind of. Not really.

The Planescape Campaign Setting, Manual of the Planes, and all other 1st and 2nd edition sources said there were portals that connected the various planes of the Great Wheel.

There are also planar paths like the Styx, the Oceanus, Mount Olympus, and Yggdrasil. There are also planar conduits, which connected various parts of the Outer Planes to one another via silvery Astral tubes, similar to the astral conduits that souls use to travel from the Material Plane to their respective afterlives.

But simply walking from one plane to another? No. You can't do that.

The 3rd edition Manual of the Planes did vaguely say you could do as you're suggesting and physically walk through border regions in the infinite Outer Planes, where the boundaries between neighboring planes were thin. In this, it kind of reversed the 1st/2nd edition system. In 1e/2e, the Outer Planes were separate and transversable mainly through portals, while the Inner Planes bled together and had distinct border regions that could be physically crossed. In 3rd edition, the Inner Planes were distinct and the Outer Planes kind of bled together in places.

I prefer the 1e/2e system, myself.

Therefore, I'm going to ignore the rest of your post! Which looks like it's entertaining, creative, smart, and engagingly written, but it's wrong, wrong, wrong.:p
 

TarionzCousin

Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
I like the concept in general and most of Sammael's executions, too. The idea that one could walk from one plane to another sounds like the stuff of legends--and it's notoriously difficult. That's a bonus.

I would probably have most of the transition areas be gradual. Primarily because I think it would be the most interesting approach--it's more open to variety, in my opinion. Of course, I would make some transitions abrupt, especially if it involves falling from miles in the sky.

You must spread some Experience Points around before giving it to Sammael again.
I'll be back.
 

Sammael

Adventurer
Thank you all for the kind words :)

As for the source material, I could have sworn that some 2nd edition books were vague on the subject matter, but I'd have to double-check. I am personally much more in favor of planar "bleeding" than strict impenetrable borders. We already know it's possible to transplant a part of one plane into another, hence the constant "erosion" of the Outlands via slipping gate-towns, and the infamous Arcadia/Mechanus indident, to name a few, but I also see those incidents as being slow and gradual rather than abrupt.

I was never a big fan of the gazillion para- and quasi-elemental planes in 2e, but the 3e approach of completely separate elemental planes doesn't sit well with me, either. So, I think taking the para- and quasi-elemental planes and turning them into simple borderline regions between the elemental planes might be the best option for me.

I'd love to see new ideas and new executions for planar transitions. The planes being what they are, it is entirely possible to have multiple different paths that one could take between adjacent planes, each with its own challenges and difficulties to overcome.
 

Stormonu

Legend
In a planar realm where belief is power, I see portals between planes as a sort of epiphany.

As you stated, the idea that the planes sort of bleed into one another with a gradual shift could be possible, and those hell-bent on a walkabout of the planes could travel from one to the other over a long and gradual shift.

However, most individuals don't. At some point in their journey towards another plane, their belief, their attitude shifts. Often, these shifts occur at areas where the topography matches the mental attitude one thinks of in the plane being traveled to. If one's physical position is close enough, and the mental imagery strong enough, it can be enough to tip an individual from one edge of the plane to the other.

This sort of tipping often produces an effect where the individual can't "go back". One's belief has changed enough to match the new plane and it would take an equally radical shift for them to bring their beliefs back around to a quality that would allow them to return to the plane from whence they came.
 

Ripzerai

First Post
My problem with the idea of outer planes "bleeding" together is that it makes gate-towns less important. Why use the creative and complex portals found throughout the planes if you can cross planar boundaries through sheer force of will? You still might want to stop in the various planar trading towns to resupply and find rumors and hirelings, but bargaining with the Master Trader of Tradegate, getting lost in the forest outside of Sylvania, hunting for the ever-changing portal in Xaos, venturing through the dreaded Razorvine Gate in Curst, garnishing the appropriate palms with jink in order to win the requisite papers to get through Ribcage's gate, and so on is to me an important part of the flavor of the planes, and allowing characters to simply walk from one infinite plane of existence to another takes away from all that.

So no, I think it's a bad idea.

It also takes away from the idea that the portals are DM tools to help steer your PCs in the direction of the plot, if it's possible to planewalk with no portals at all (in the Inner Planes, you need an elemental guide or a plot-specific magical device to get around).

Another problem I have with the idea is that if having a personal outlook different from the plane around you is enough for you to slowly find yourself on a neighboring plane, how would a good-aligned party manage to stay on the first layer of the Abyss (or wherever) without continuously falling off?

Moving between layers on the same plane, on the other hand, is different. In 1st edition there were regions where the different layers of a plane overlapped, and these could be crossed through force of will. I'd rather it was tied to changes in philosophy, as a character becomes more attuned to one interpretation of chaotic good (for example) than another, moving between the liquid mindfulness of Ossa to the faded dreams of Pelion to the vibrant passions of Olympus depending on their mood. Though that sort of thing is hard to judge, and it's a lot simpler to just use portals, just using portals means there's no real difference between a plane and a layer. A layer is another aspect of the same universe - a plane is another universe altogether, and walking from one universe to another should be an intimidating prospect.

Yes, there are areas of the Outlands that are more Limbo-like and areas of Baator that are more Gehenna-like, but at the point of greatest similarity with the neighboring plane you find... a portal, which you typically need a key to cross. And each plane is infinite (or, at least, limitless), so beyond that point of similarity there's still an unending number of other things to see without ever leaving the plane.

We already know it's possible to transplant a part of one plane into another, hence the constant "erosion" of the Outlands via slipping gate-towns, and the infamous Arcadia/Mechanus indident, to name a few, but I also see those incidents as being slow and gradual rather than abrupt.

The actual moment when a town is ripped free of one plane and crashes into another is abrupt, per canon. I actually think portals might be the unhealed wounds left behind by the fabric of existence being torn open by the philosophical imbalance.

If the question is "If a town can cross the planes, why can't an individual?" I'd say the answer is that an individual doesn't have enough momentum to tear open reality with nothing more than their own mind, but the accumulated belief of hundreds of people are a much more potent force. A gate-town is, in a funny way, kind of a mini-outer plane in its own right, with its own distinct philosophy. If the town of Fortitude ascends into Arcadia, then the platonic idea of fortitude, however it manifests in the infinite minds of souls throughout the multiverse, makes a conceptual shift from a neutral notion to an orderly notion. That's belief-as-power.
 
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Sammael

Adventurer
My problem with the idea of outer planes "bleeding" together is that it makes gate-towns less important. Why use the creative and complex portals found throughout the planes if you can cross planar boundaries through sheer force of will?
Because, for the most part, it's a lot easier. I go to a gate town, I do a quest or two for the local high-ups (or simply grease the wheels), and into the portal I go.

I view the ability to walk from one plane to another as something that very few adventurers would likely try to do, and then only when in dire peril (i.e. being pursued by the enemies and unable to find an appropriate portal).

You still might want to stop in the various planar trading towns to resupply and find rumors and hirelings, but bargaining with the Master Trader of Tradegate, getting lost in the forest outside of Sylvania, hunting for the ever-changing portal in Xaos, venturing through the dreaded Razorvine Gate in Curst, garnishing the appropriate palms with jink in order to win the requisite papers to get through Ribcage's gate, and so on is to me an important part of the flavor of the planes, and allowing characters to simply walk from one infinite plane of existence to another takes away from all that.

So no, I think it's a bad idea.
While the gate towns are pretty cool, they are basically just watered-down (and somewhat sheltered) versions of the planes they lead to. Gate towns also rip the Outlands of its uniqueness, as the only time PCs are likely to spend in the Outlands is in one of the gate towns. Which are about 80% like the plane they are going to visit anyway.

It also takes away from the idea that the portals are DM tools to help steer your PCs in the direction of the plot, if it's possible to planewalk with no portals at all (in the Inner Planes, you need an elemental guide or a plot-specific magical device to get around).
I am not big on railroading, so this is not an argument that is likely to sway me. Pretty much all pre-made PS adventures contain an ungodly amount of railroading, which was common in that era (see also: FR modules, DL modules), yet I've been able to successfully run PS games with very little railroading for years. And I like giving players options.

Another potential problem with forcing the portal hopping is that adventurers are pretty much forced to spend an inordinate amount of time researching portals and going to and from the gate towns and Sigil. It's interesting the first few times but after a while... it gets old.

Another problem I have with the idea is that if having a personal outlook different from the plane around you is enough for you to slowly find yourself on a neighboring plane, how would a good-aligned party manage to stay on the first layer of the Abyss (or wherever) without continuously falling off?
They don't fall off, they just feel ill and cannot think straight, since the plane itself is trying to alter them. To beat it, they must be able to alter the plane around them - much like the deities do, just on a much smaller scale.

Moving between layers on the same plane, on the other hand, is different. In 1st edition there were regions where the different layers of a plane overlapped, and these could be crossed through force of will. I'd rather it was tied to changes in philosophy, as a character becomes more attuned to one interpretation of chaotic good (for example) than another, moving between the liquid mindfulness of Ossa to the faded dreams of Pelion to the vibrant passions of Olympus depending on their mood. Though that sort of thing is hard to judge, and it's a lot simpler to just use portals, just using portals means there's no real difference between a plane and a layer. A layer is another aspect of the same universe - a plane is another universe altogether, and walking from one universe to another should be an intimidating prospect.
Layers are really ill-defined for the most part anyway.

Yes, there are areas of the Outlands that are more Limbo-like and areas of Baator that are more Gehenna-like, but at the point of greatest similarity with the neighboring plane you find... a portal, which you typically need a key to cross. And each plane is infinite (or, at least, limitless), so beyond that point of similarity there's still an unending number of other things to see without ever leaving the plane.
See above for my view on having to depend on portals. As for the movement on infinite planes, which cannot be mapped, progress is (IMC) only possible through force of will and beliefs as well. If you are on Avernus, and you do not have a clear goal in mind, you will be doomed to spend an eternity walking across the blasted plains and foothills. This is why the Grey Waste is the most dangerous of all planes, really - it sucks that drive away from you continually, making you apathetic and complacent, which results in eternal imprisonment.

The actual moment when a town is ripped free of one plane and crashes into another is abrupt, per canon. I actually think portals might be the unhealed wounds left behind by the fabric of existence being torn open by the philosophical imbalance.
Consider the idea yoinked.

If the question is "If a town can cross the planes, why can't an individual?" I'd say the answer is that an individual doesn't have enough momentum to tear open reality with nothing more than their own mind, but the accumulated belief of hundreds of people are a much more potent force. A gate-town is, in a funny way, kind of a mini-outer plane in its own right, with its own distinct philosophy. If the town of Fortitude ascends into Arcadia, then the platonic idea of fortitude, however it manifests in the infinite minds of souls throughout the multiverse, makes a conceptual shift from a neutral notion to an orderly notion. That's belief-as-power.
Yes, but shifting an entire area - or mini-outer-plane as it is - takes the belief and willpower of many individuals (particularly since their beliefs are so diverse). When an individual crosses planes, he only has to focus on his own beliefs and actions. At least that's the way I see it.
 
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As I've said before, much of what your sages know of the Great Wheel is half-truth and conjecture based on maybe two or three traveller's accounts, not all of whom made it through all parts of the Wheel.

For Example: You may be shocked to learn that it is only one small region of Acheron that has the floating cubes. This was probably the only spot one traveller visited in that plane. Similarly, Pandemonium is not all tubes. Mostly not tubes in fact (again, a small section must have been visited). In these cases, it is possible that the chain of translator spells used to communicate with native inhabitants of these places may have produced inaccuracies in the original accounts, in addition to the standard possibilities of gullibility, lying and ignorance on the part of the traveler and his sources. Most likely the source of this prime world's knowledge was guided by a being not native to these planes whom was working off rumor and conjecture himself.

And Sigil: You clueless are so f---ing clueless. Sigil is a suburb of the main city of the Bureaucracy which takes up most of the "planes" of Acheron, Mechanus, and Arcadia. Sigil is actually in Arcadia and the "Concordont Opposition" is just a piece of Arcadia around Sigil. The developers who built it were trying to market it as the new rich suburb (as opposed to the old Republican rich suburb or old Democratic rich suburb), but when that didn't work, they just started marketing themselves to the Clueless, who seemed to be the only ones dumb enough to pay their exorbitant rents (still, nice views though).

Just forget the idea that the "Planes" are infinite. Each "Planes" is huge, but some are not more than a couple times the size of the Prime (which again, is not infinite). I'd have to dig it back up, but I did once estimate the size of the Great Wheel (it was big).

That Said, it doesn't take forever to walk from one place to another, since some places are fairly close on the Great Wheel. Travel times can vary greatly depending on which path is taken (consider: walking around the outside of a donut vs walking around the inside of the donut hole).

Let me explain the topology of it:

Imagine a flat piece of plane. Imagine three dots in a row on the plane (dot A, B, and C). Now raise up a pimple under the middle dot (B). We've now made the distance between A and B and A and C a little longer (now we have to scale the side of the pimple to get to B from A and we have to do the same to get to C, or go around the pimple).

Now, start inflating the pimple like a balloon, keeping the B dot on the top of the ballon. By inflating the pimple/balloon this way we can arbitrarily increase the distance of dot B from dots A and C without further increasing the distance between A and C.

This is kinda how the Great Wheel is structured. It is like a coiled tube, with pockets and ballons branching off and re-connecting. Some bubble off only one connection to a main trunck, many have multiple connections to main trunks. In some places, it is unclear which area is the main trunk of the Wheel with many large areas running in "parallel" with bridges to eachother. This also give rise to what may have misconstrued as "Layers" of planes. Typically, a realm of a Power is one of these bubbles off the trunks of the plane, giving the size of "border regions" between the realm and the rest of the "plane" very little direct relation to the size of the realm.

Additionally, the main circuit through the planes (the big hula hoop) is shortcutted and intercrossed with other paths, such as links between realms of deities in a given pantheon (Yggdrasil for example, which is like a branch laying through the middle of the hula hoop).

The lawful end of the Great Wheel is dominated by tight planes that are usually well connected and behave like one big tube. The Chaotic end has lots of tangles and branching. Generally these chaotic "planes" are less compact as well (they're bigger).

Mapping the planes and estimating their size is actually one of the main activities of the Bureaucracy of Mechanus (and is somewhat guarded proprietary information). They actually provide much of the "interplanar" travel through their near monopolization of teleportation technologies (the "Gate Towns" around Sigil are actually examples of this commercial service, that's why the gate fee, I mean "key" for you Clueless is usually $3.50 or something of around that value; f---ing marketing). Mapping the planes through manual translation (i.e. walking) allows them to back up their data on the workings of their teleportation machinery and make new additions with more predictable orderliness (if all you know is that your teleportation machine takes you "there", how do you know where "there" actually is if it occassionally moves around from techtonic-like shifts? You strap on your hiking boots). The reasons why operating a teleportation service is good for Primus is a little arcane, so I'll leave it outside the scope of this discussion.

In any case, there are no doubt place that resemble the ones you described above, although guarding the border regions between planes is not usually practiced with special intensity (since these borders are not really demarcated). The planes are not really separate; where one ends and the other begins may vary depending on the weather, the day of the month, or who you ask. In fact, as I've explained before, entire planes are like the border zone between two combination planes on each side. "Gehanna", or The Place of Contempt and Hatred is just the area over which the front lines in the Blood War range usually between stuff crawling out of "The Grey Wastes" and the forces of "Baator". "Acheron" or the place of Boredem and Belligerence is where the seat of the Bureaucratic Governance lies and is fairly indistinct from "Baator" and "Mechanus" and arguably "Arcadia" (although Arcadia is clearly on the "right side of the tracks" in the supermetro area) in terms of borders. Only on the off cycle does Acheron become the battle ground between "Mechanus" and "Baator"ian forces. "Baator" or The Place of Anger is demarcated mostly by being the area inhabited by beings which fight Disgust in the On Cycle and fight Certainty in the Off Cycle. "Mechanus" or the place of Certainty similarly is working to stop the reformers from "the Heavens" in Arcadia (from messing stuff up in their view) in the On Cycle and struggling to preserve the Status Quo in the face of outpouring Anger from "Baator"[/COLOR] in the Off Cycle. "Acheron" and "Arcadia" really have no idependent identity apart from occasionally being a bridge of alliance or a site of conflict between Cardinal and Corner Cardinal "planes".

The tone of the planes, and what gives them coherent identity as Places is caused by their relative locations. Anger, or "Baator" is dominated by frustration and anger because it is constantly being assaulted by Disgusting things. It's not fear because they usually have everything under control. It is just repetitive, somewhat boring, and unpleasant. YOU as a DM must generate that atmosphere when the PCs are there. For example: certain regions of "Baator" require you to declare the ruling local autocrat is glorius and powerful every fifteen minutes in order to allow access to breathable air. This gets frustrating, but is an effective barrier for many Disgusting creatures that attempt invasion. "Baator" is in fact full of these somewhat ridiculous tortious obligations. You need a filled out form 32c for continued explanation on this topic, or I'll have to break your arm.

On the other side of the Lower Great Wheel, the Abyss induces fear. Go ahead. Have a seat in the Abyss. Oh there? That's actually a monster that's going to eat you, not a rock outcropping. There? Oh, that's covered in parasites. Maybe you should ask that guy. Oh wait, he's just gonna trick you and try to eat your soul. Really, the parasites are probably the worst part. "Baator" might be Hell, but at least it is clean. In the Abyss, you can't trust anything, everything is looking to get you and eat you. The birds, the trees, the dirt, sometimes the air, ALL of it is just looking to lull you into a sense of ease and then strike when your guard is dropped. You might get your soul eaten in Baator, but you'll have an exact date on that well ahead of time usually. In the Abyss, anything can happen at any time. You might feel like king of the Abyss and that you can do no wrong one moment only to discover that your enemies have only been playing dead all along just to mess with you. Not knowing what thing will jump out at you next or what the next thing to go wrong will be is the character of the Abyss.

You want an explanation of how Disgust (or "The Grey Wastes") is different?
 

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