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D&D 5E What exactly is Feywild in your campaigns?

Stormonu

Legend
Read a couple of earlier posts I missed, and I like the idea of the Feywild being future/potential/hope/dreams - making the shadowfell be past/regret/failure.

Things in the Feywild are colorful, fantastic, odd and whimsical. Things in the Shadowfell are old, decrepit, abandoned and bland. As new ideas are discarded, abandoned or become cliche, they move to the Shadowfell. If an old idea resurges, is embraced or refined it can slip back into the Feywild (though it rarely does so).

The darkest of memories or acts, whose atrocities cannot be forgiven slide from the Shadowfell into Ravenloft.

Those ideas and dreams that forever remain child-like and adored become Domains of Delight.
 

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Yaarel

Mind Mage
This post is a long text. I havent proof-read it yet. I will when I can read it fresh. I hope enough of it is helpful and interesting.



Statting a Nature Being in D&D

D&D seems able to stat nature beings with some degree of mythological accuracy.

The main solution is, the Ethereal Plane, including both fey and shadow, is the "spirit world". The nature beings have bodies that exist in the Material Plane. Their physical body is a specific river, island, mountain, rock, cloud, sun, tree, or so on. But like a human person has both a body and a mind, the nature beings also have both a body and a mind, and are persons. The mind of a feature of nature can project outofbody, thus travel thru the Material Plane via the Ethereal Plane. The ether itself is the stuff of telekinetic forces and telepathic presences. The Ethereal Plane is actually the entanglement of the influences of the minds that are in the Material Plane. A disembodied mind travels ethereally by means of a virtual body, made out of telekinetic forces, namely made out of ether. In this sense, these ethereal minds of the nature beings are sometimes called nature "spirits". However, the physical bodies of these nature beings are probably a nearby hill, rock formation, thunderstorm, sunbeam, flower, water current, and so on. Nature beings are features of the Material Plane.



Interrelating D&D Concepts

There are many entangled concepts in D&D that need sorting thru, in order to stat a nature being within D&D.

• Material plane (matter, action, physical world)
• Ethereal plane (ether, force, form, spirit world)
• Astral plane (aster, thought, concept, meaning)
• Elemental planes
• Nature beings
• Feywild (positive ethereal, fey spirits)
• Shadowfell (negative ethereal, shadow spirits)
• Spirit World
• Dream (thought, phantasm, dreamscape)
• Illusion (quasi-real or phantasm)
• Conjuration (quasi-real or real)
• Animism = Shamanism
• Psionic power source
• Primal power source



Physical Matter and Nature Beings

The Material Plane is the physical world. It is made out of matter, but perhaps more significantly, it is a place where actions happen. The Material is a realm of dynamic activity and interaction. This is reallife realm of being that we engage via our physical senses.

Mainly because I have Norse animism in mind, I make point to refer to "nature beings", because they are definitely "beings" (vættir) and definitely not "spirits" (andar). This is a central point, because these nature beings are physical objects. They are the actual rivers, stones, mountains, landscapes, trees, winds, clouds, thunderstorms, sunbeams, and so on. You can see nature beings. You can touch nature beings. ... And they can see you. And they can touch you. When you sit on a rock, the rock is holding you up, supporting you.

The animistic world is strictly about the Material Plane. There is nowhere else, except the Material Plane. When humans die, they dont leave the the Material Plane. But rather, they shapeshift. What was previously in a human form, becomes corpses and dust of the earth and also becomes breath and winds of the sky. These new forms are literal, not figurative. The life − and consciousness − of the former human now exist in new ways − and in multiple places simultaneously. As part of nature, ones consciousness recycles within nature along with ones physicality and can reform in various places and times in the future.

Animism is about the physical world. When descriptions about nature beings stop being about physicality, then they stop being about nature beings. And it is no longer animism.

The main difference between the animistic worldview and the modern worldview, is relationships. The modern world relates to the environmental features of nature as objects and machines to be dissected into components are manipulated into tools. The animistic world relates to the environmental features of nature as persons.

A human has both a physical body and a conscious mind. Likewise, a river, a stone, a mountain, a storm, or so on, has both a physical body and a conscious mind. When you swim in a physical river, the river can feel you. When you throw food into a river, the river can taste it.

A nature being is both a physical feature of nature, and its mind.



The Mindscape of Nature Beings

The mindfulness of nature, is where the animistic worldview can become more complex and interactive. But it is vital to know there is a physical body for every mind of a nature being.

A human shaman (in this case a Norse vǫlur) can self-induce a trance to project ones mind outofbody into the physical world. In precisely the same way, a nature being can enter a trance to project its mind outofbody to travel thru the physical world. In other words, the mind of a rock can project out of its physical body of rock to travel the physical world as a disembodied mind.

A rock can be a shaman too. For example, the names of dvergar often refer to their shamanic skills, such as Finnr an honorary nickname for a male shaman. Similarly, a Norse tradition identifies Vǫlundr as an alfar. His name means the "wounder" (undr) by means of a "shaman-rod" (vǫlr). In other words, this alfar is a shaman who fights in combat by means of wielding his shamanic magic as his weapon. The Norse term trǫll, whence English troll, means "mage" (whence witch or enchanter). All jǫtnar are trǫll, whether charming or frightening, and are among the main teachers of shamanic magic to humans.

The nature beings, including a rock, can train and master the same kinds of mindful magic that the human shamans can. Indeed, human shamans often learn their mindful skills while in trances in order to visit a nature being who coaches them.

Typically, the nature beings that have a powerful mind are projecting it outofbody to wander, similar to the way ghosts do. Those physical bodies that are almost motionless, like rocks and mountains, are often perceived to be in a deathlike shamanic trance while their disembodied mind travels elsewhere. Mountains and minerals are often powerful mages.

Most humans cannot see a disembodied mind, but those with strong "prescience" can. The Norse word meaning "prescience", or "sight" or "extra sensory perception", is of uncertain etymology: ófreski. Possibly it means something like "non-rational" in the sense of knowing what is not normally known, but this etymology is a guess. When I use the English term "prescience", I mean the Norse term ófreski. A person who is "prescient", or "sighted" or "clairvoyant" or has "esp", is: ófreskr. Even the minds of typical humans have some natural prescience. One might feel a sense of being watched, or feel a warmth or a chill, or even a breeze, as a disembodied mind passes by.

A mind has force and can influence other minds and even influence matter. A mind is both telekinetic and telepathic. The disembodied minds see each other and interact with each other. There is a story of two rival shamans (in this case Norse berserkar). Each in ones ́home, enters a trance to project mind outofbody. The two minds meet in a field, where they fight a duel. Each disembodied mind travels by means of a virtual body thru world to the field. Each mind took the form of some formidable beast, one a bear and the other a bull. The two beast forms fight ferociously. One beast prevails. One shaman emerges from the trance. The other shaman is found dead. In the field where their two disembodied minds fought, the minds physically left claw prints and hoof prints ripping thru the soil and grasses.

The Material Plane includes a kind of mindscape that overlays it, where disembodied minds can move thru − and even interact with − the physical world. This mindscape is somewhat like a "spirit world", and seems roughly equivalent to the Ethereal Plane, but it is moreso the minds that are in the Material Material Plane, and their mindful influence.



D&D Terminology: Psionic versus Primal

D&D refers to the power of the mind and its mental manifestations within the physical world as the "psionic" power source. The etymology of this term is technobabble, deriving from "psychic" "electronic". The Greek letter "psi" is often an abbreviation for "psychic". To modern ears, psionic means something like, relating to the technology of the power of ones mind. For many players, the term psionic sounds "too modern" and less appropriate for a medieval-esque setting. To be fair, these modern investigations into the claims of "mind over matter", "extra sensory perception", and "psychic phenomena", are actually examinations of prehistoric human belief systems. Especially animism. These animistic worldviews are very much part of many medieval cultures, including Nordic cultures. These mind-over-matter beliefs also relate to the concept of Dreamtime among Australian Aborigines, the concept of Medicine among Native American tribes that seems mainly psychic, the concept of "witch" among the animistic African tribes, that do "witchcraft" by means of the power of ones own mind. And so on. Mind-over-matter is a human worldview, and it also relates to each feature of nature having its own mind, just like a human body has a mind.

D&D calls this kind of mindful magic, "psionic". I have come find the term psionic to be an endearing D&D-ism. I happily refer to "psionic vikings", and so on, when statting Norse folkbelief within D&D nomenclature. Personally, while I view the word psionic positively, I feel the D&D psionic tradition becomes more useful by "normalizing". Avoid technobabble. If there is already a word for something in D&D, like "teleportation", then avoid a redundant word like "psychoportation". Avoid redundant mechanics. In D&D 5e core, the psionic power source can cast magic "spells". Yes, psionic casting is natural, "innate", and without spell "components", but the effect is the same as the effects that the other power sources can do. Psionic can also manifest magical and nonmagical effects that are not spells, but so can the other power sources. Some psionic class archetypes should be casting spells from the normal spell list in the Players Handbook and elsewhere. Some of the psionic concepts are missing from the spell list, but we can create new spells to fill in any missing concepts. The descriptions of some core spells feel not at all psionic, and these spells can be absent from a psionic spell list. Many core spells feel psionic and work well in a psionic spell list. Of course, there are also classes and archetypes whose psionic power is class features, perhaps skills, that look less like "spells". In Tashas, the Psiknight and other archetypes have examples of psionic features that arent spells.

The more normal nomenclature for the D&D psionic power source is useful to describe many medievalesque cultures, especially the ones known for animistic shamanism. Nordic shamans, including Norse vǫlur and Sámi noaidi, manifest the power of ones own mind, thus in D&D terms are "psionic".

At the same time, the D&D tradition includes both a "psionic" power source and a "primal" power source. I feel this distinction can be meaningful. Both psionic and primal are the same thing, in that they are the power of mind-over-matter, but their innate magic mainly focuses on different phenomena.

Psionic is mostly about the minds of humanoids and beasts, including telepathic manipulation to charm and illude, and it also includes the telekinetic force of a mind, whence teleportation, and also shapeshifting, whence healing. The mind can shift the form of the body to grow a wound back together.

Primal is mostly about the minds of the four elements − Earth, Water, Air, and Fire − plus Plant as a kind of element. Primal includes weather magic, volcanism, elemental transmutation, as well as the creation of objects and structures.

In other words, the psionic magic that focuses on the fire element (pyromancy, pyrokinesis) is more specifically doing primal magic.

Likewise, the Norse jǫtnar who are the minds of mountains and glaciers are "elementals" of earth and water, respectively. These "elementals" who live among humanoids in the Material Plane, are "primal" nature beings. Likewise the alfar sunrays and the dvergar mineral formations are "primal" "elementals". It seems nature beings and elementals are moreorless the same thing, except nature beings are the ones who exist in the Material Plane as specific features of nature.

Nordic magic is exclusively mind magic, namely psionic and primal. When the disembodied mind of a rock physically manifests in the form of a humanoid or a beast, that rock is doing psionic magic relating to humanoids. When a human shaman (such as a Sámi noaidi) manifests a storm, the shaman is doing primal magic relating to elements. It is the mind whose influence does both kinds of magic. Both psionic and primal are the innate magic of a mind. Both can cast spells without spell components. They follow the same mechanical rules. But they tend to focus thematically on different tropes.

The same mage that knows psionic magic, might also know primal magic, and viceversa. The Norse term for a mage who knows various disciplines of mind magic is "many-knowing" (fjǫlkunnigr).



The Spirit World is the Ethereal Plane

In animism, the mind of a shaman can project outofbody in the form of a mental virtual body, to travel thru the physical world. The virtual body is often in the form of an animal. A bird flies anywhere and a wolf that runs quickly, thus convenient ways to travel elsewhere. Probably, the self-visualization as a beast form is a common meditation technique to help the mind disassociate from the identity of the human body, thus more easily send the mind elsewhere while free from the body. These disembodied minds can interact with each other, forming a kind of "spirit world" that overlaps the physical world.

Actually, this spirit world is nothing but the telekinetic and telepathic influences of the minds that are traveling thru the physical world. But because most humans cannot see the disembodied minds, they can form an interactive "world" onto themselves, mostly unnoticed. But these disembodied minds can, by means of the power of the mind, also interact with the humans who live in the physical world. The idea of a disembodied mind visiting nearby can comfort or spook the physical humans who go about their daily activities.

In D&D, it seems ok to say the animistic virtual "spirit world" is the same thing as the Ethereal Plane. Creatures in Ethereal Plane are immaterial (lacking matter), but can observe the Material Plane plainly, travel thru it, and if magically powerful enough, can interact with the people in it.

Consider the D&D ghost. It is a disembodied mind, in the Ethereal Plane, who can manifest physically within the Material Plane. This is moreorless what the outofbody mind of a shaman can do.

The Ethereal Plane is ether. Ether is the fifth element. The other four elements (earth, water, air, and fire) are made out of ether.

Different traditions describe ether variously. There is a specific medieval tradition that sounds quite modern. The four elements are states of matter, namely, solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. Here plasma refers to the sun and stars, as well as lightning, and the "dark fire" of the invisible plasmasphere surrounding the earth. This plasma is sometimes called "the fire of the heavens", or "the fire that burns fire". The four elements are "forms" of matter. But the fifth element has no matter. It is pure "force". The gravity that holds the planets in orbits is made out of this fifth element.

Other traditions describe this ethereal force as a "sound", in the sense of forms of energetic vibration.

Still other traditions identify the ether as "spirit", in the sense of a subtle stuff that spiritual beings are made out of.

Some traditions identify this ethereal spiritual force as the consciousness of a person. According to some alchemical formulas, the alchemist must focus ones mind on the alchemical process in order to supply the ether as a necessary ingredient. Relating to lifeforce and soul, this alchemical consciousness often involves medicinal applications to heal injuries and even imbue immortality.

Ether is wondrous stuff.

In D&D, these traditions equating mindful consciousness and immaterial force, make ether a telekinetic force. In other words, ethereal creatures are constructs made out of telekinetic force. When a person becomes ethereal, they give up their body of matter and become a being made out mindforce, namely ether. An ethereal being is a "spirit", in the sense of being made out of spirit. When a material person utilizes telekinesis or inflicts force damage, they are wielding ethereal force − and can affect ethereal creatures. Viceversa, an ethereal person can wield telekinesis and force damage to effect material creatures.

(I am even tempted to go so far as to say, the ether and the "Weave" from where all magic comes, are the same thing. Constructs that are made out of "magical energy", are made out of ethereal force. This ethereal stuff is psychosensitive and responds to the mind of a person, and can manifest physical force, and even become matter. The arcane power source is a protoscience exploiting the alchemical properties of the ether that are inherent in material plants and stones. The divine power source engages the astral realm of thought to ethereally manifest meaningful miracles.)

The Ethereal Plane is the spirit world. Ethereal forces are spiritual forces that emanate from some mind some where. It is a level of being where embodied minds, disembodied minds, fey spirits and shadow spirits, can interact while wandering the world. These mindful presences can push objects and influence minds.



The Shallow Ethereal and the Deep Ethereal − and the Dream

Importantly, the Ethereal Plane is never separate from the Material Plane. This ether is a way to describe the entangling influences of the minds that are in the Material Plane. These minds can influence each other and influence matter itself. Even disembodied minds that are made out of only ether coexist among the physical humanoids that are in the Material Plane.

At least, this immanence of the ether is true when talking about the Shallow Ethereal. The Shallow is the telekinetic forces and telepathic presences that are part of the physical world.

The Deep Ethereal is something else. The places in the Deep dont correspond to places in the Material Plane.

The Deep Ethereal borders the Astral Plane. The Astral is a level of being that is pure thought. No force, no substance, no actual distance. Only concepts. The aster is the power of language, including symbols, archetypes, concepts, plans, worldviews, ideals, alignments, and meaning. When the universe came into being, it existed first as a thought (aster) − a plan − then as a force (ether), and only afterward became a physical existence (matter).

Dreams are thoughts. A dream includes various thought constructs, made out of aster. Wherever the Dreaming Plane is, it is strictly somewhere in the Astral Plane.

The dreamlike qualities that are in the Deep Ethereal are not dreams, exactly; they are more like illusions. The Deep Ethereal is a twilight zone, where the borders between dreams and reality become blurry. It is a realm where the thoughts of a dream can become quasi-real. These dreamy illusions are gaining telekinetic force and telepathic influence while within the Ethereal Plane. These illusions havent entered the Material Plane, yet, but they could. Potentially, these Deep illusions can even become physical matter permanently within the Material Plane. In the meantime, the quasi-real illusions are something like force constructs, where the form of a thought becomes an ethereal force that can shift from the Deep Ethereal toward the Shallow Ethereal to manifest into the physical world, at least temporarily.

The 3e Psion includes the trope of an "astral construct". However, this is probably more accurately described as an "ethereal construct", being made out telekinetic force. Astral stuff itself is pure thought, without substance or force. It is the mindful force that makes the thought manifest into reality. These kinds of conjurations of force constructs relate to the Deep Ethereal where ideas become real.

When one is in the Shallow Ethereal, one can see the Material Plane normally, without distortion, except maybe less less substantial. However, as one shifts deeper toward the Deep Ethereal, the distances and flow of time in the Material Plane appears to distort becoming more dreamlike, and eventually a waking dream with little or no connection to the Material Plane. Telekinetic effects that alter space-time, such as Time Stop and the spells of the dunamancy school, relate to manifesting the Deep Ethereal.

The telekinetic and telepathic influences of the Ethereal Plane are bridge between the Astral Plane of thoughts and the Material Plane of substances. The Shallow Ethereal interacts with the Material Plane, while the Deep Ethereal interacts with the Astral Plane. Astral thoughts become ethereal forces, and ultimately material reality. There is a spectrum between the Shallow and the Deep.



Feywild and Shadowfell

Feywild and Shadowfell are made out of ether. They are the Positive Ethereal Plane and the Negative Material Plane, respectively. Fey beings and shadow beings are spirits.

Between the Positive and Negative influences, there is a realm across the Ethereal Plane where the Positive and the Negative can intermingle. The fey dryad and the shadow ghost can sit down together and chat.

It seems to me there is no such thing as "neutral", but there is such thing mixed. The same being might do one thing to express Positivity and then do an other thing to express to Negativity.

Relatedly there can be fey beings who become shadows, perhaps like Norse Jǫrmungandr or a Celtic banshee. Oppositely, there can be shadow beings who become feys, like a ghost that becomes a guardian spirit.

Human behavior matters. When humans behave positively, the natural environment becomes more positive too, sources of healing and hope. Oppositely, when humans behave negatively, the natural environment becomes more negative, sources of harming and despair. There are mutual influences in play.

Probably, nature beings start off negative. Consider the term jǫtnar literally means "eaters" in the sense of consuming and destroying. Nature can be cruel, indifferent and violent, toward humans. But when humans interact with the environment in positive ways, the minds of the features of nature can seem helpful, even loving. There is a joy from nature. It is as if the minds of nature beings can migrate back-and-forth across the ether between Feywild and Shadowfell.

Of course, Feywild and Shadowfell are not really places. They are more like frequencies of Positive and Negative energy. While observing the same location in the Material Plane, the location can look radiant and lovely, or can look gloomy and deathly, depending on whether one is in Feywild or Shadowfell, or in some spectrum in between. A shadow cannot exist in the Feywild, and a fey cannot exist in the Shadowfell, but the frequencies in between can get interesting. A shadow can transfigure into a fey, and viceversa. A shadow dryad might be the mind of a deathly frightening tree. A fey jǫtnar might be the mind of a wellspring of great healing and abundance.

Both Feywild and Shadowfell have a Shallow region. These are moreorless identical to the Shallow Ethereal. The Shallow Feywild, or the Fey Shallow, sees the Material Plane normally and without distortion, except more luminous and lovely. Compare the concept of "elf shine" (Old English aelfscinu), where the elf literally glows with a superhuman beauty that charms and captivates. This telepathic luminosity is a manifestation of what the Fey Shallow looks like. It appears as the physical world, but more vibrant. It is Positive Energy perfusing the ether and the matter. Eladrin Misty Step teleports ethereally via the Fey Shallow. As one shifts deeper into the Feywild, the appearance of the Material Plane distorts, increasingly becoming more vibrant and more wild, more alive, more passionate. Material locations that are more fey, become more prominent, more imposing. Material locations that are more shadow, diminish or vanish. Oppositely, the Shadow Shallow looks like the normal Material Plane, except dimmer and spookier. Moving deeper into the Shadowfell distorts increasingly, becoming more neglected, more deathly. Compare The Lord of the Rings movie when putting on the ring − that is what the Shadow Shallow looks like when starting to drift deeper. Material locations that are more shadow, become more prominent, more imposing. Material locations that are more fey, diminish or vanish. In between the extremes of the fey and the shadow, the Shallow Ethereal looks like the normal Material Plane. The colors are there albeit perhaps a bit fainter and less substantial, a bit like fog.



The Primal and Psionic in the Regions of the Ethereal Plane: From Shallow to Deep, from Fey and Shadow

Two sides of the same coin, the psionic and the primal are a natural, innate, source of magic. A consciousness directly causes reality. Mind-over-matter. Minds affecting each other. Together, these entangling mental influences weave a fabric that D&D calls the Ethereal Plane. It is part of the Material Plane but is usually subtle, and humanoids rarely notice it. Especially powerful minds in the Material Plane can manifest ethereal telekinetic and telepathic forms to alter the minds and the materials of the Material Plane.

Primal magic is elemental magic. It telekinetically wields earth, water, air, and fire − and plant. It can create items and structures from these materials.

Moreover these elemental beings of nature can be under Positive influence or Negative influence, or both. Thus primal magic includes both fey and shadow aspects. A fey being can heal body and mind and bless a persons fate. A shadow being can harm body and mind and curse a persons fate. Positivity and Negativity too are aspects of the primal magic. Fertile farming weather and deadly blizzards, are both primal.

The minds doing primal magic manifest ether, including the fey Positive ether and the shadow Negative ether. Likewise, there is a Positive Material Plane and a Negative Material Plane. Certain material locations exhibit affinity with the Positive and Negative frequencies. The elementals of such places might too.

Also, primal magic can involve the Shallow Ethereal and the Deep Ethereal. The Shallow magic focuses on the interaction between the ethereal mind and its physical influences. The primal magic of the Shallow tends to be about animating elements to form effects and creations. The Deep primal tends to manifest a dreamlike realm of illusions and strange physical manifestations. These primal illusions tend to be elemental and environmental themes, and can be weird and disorienting. For qualitative transformations, such as when a humanoid transmutes into an earth elemental, like the Stoneskin spell, this otherly primal magic probably manifests the novelty from the dreamlike possibilities in the Deep Ethereal.

A humanoid can become an elemental, permanently. And viceversa. Even tho these are different types of nature beings, a mind can be strong and transformative, and the member of one type can migrate and become adopted into an other type.

The primal mind can shift the elements that are in this world via the Shallow telekinetic forces and can also manifest Deep telekinetic forces to form illusions about possibilities and radically new realities. Likewise an elemental manifestation can transmit Positivity and Negativity, treating these as if kinds of elements.

Primal themes: earth, air, fire, water, plant, positivity, negativity.

The psionic mind and the primal mind work the same way but focus on different themes.

Psionic themes: mind, body, humanoid, beast, shapeshift, health, prescience, teleportation, telepathy, telekinesis.

Psionic magic is humanoid magic − including beasts. Every human mind includes an animalistic aspect, and the border between humanoid and beast is quite blurry. Shifting into the form of a humanoid or a beast is psionic magic.

The psionic themes tend to be about the minds and bodies of individual creatures. The psionic and primal themes can overlap where an environment or an object is the home or the tool of a creature. The themes also overlap in the sense that a material nature being, whether elemental, fey, or shadow, is an individual creature. But the psionic engages these overlaps as persons, while the primal engages these overlaps as substances.

The psionic themes relating to the mind develop from the concept of prescience. A mind is able to extend elsewhere in space and time to know things that one normally does not know. In this awareness, ones mindful influence is present, literally, extending outward from a physical body, traveling at the speed of thought to there and then. When a psionic observes some remote space and time, then the psionics own mind is also potentially observable there and then too. A person in that space and time might have a way to detect the mindful presence. In this sense, an extra sensory perception is an actual remote presence.

The "mind" (Norse hugr) includes both the "brain" and the "heart". It is thought and analysis, attention and awareness, but also intention, desire, and mood. In Norse, the power of the mind is literally called "minds" (hugar), plural, in the sense that each person has multiple mindful forces. In this sense, I often translate the Norse term as "mindforces", and seems identical with D&D "psionics", also plural. These forces manifest forms depending on how a mind is visualizing, and the influence can extend beyond the body when focusing there.

Likewise when one mind telepathically influences an other mind, there is a mutual contact between minds. Telepathic magic (Norse seiðr) strives to "play with a mind" (leika hug), by means of charming, dominating, illuding with illusions, and so on. While telepathy can be an effective weapon (and in the Norse view an unfair fighting style), it can also be for playfulness and sport. Enchantment can be contest of wills between rivals − a kind of flirting. Illusions can be for enjoyment, to make food taste better and to simulate thrilling and entertaining experiences (like a Star Trek holodeck), without any intention to deceive. Note too, the word "illusion" ultimately means "to play in" (Latin in-, ludere). People can use telepathy in a hostile mean-spirited humor. But telepathy is best to bring joy. Especially in the context of nature beings who master telepathy, emphasize how they do it because they want others to have fun!

D&D sometimes distinguishes "phantasms" that are only in a persons mind subjectively versus "illusions" that are quasi-real objectively. An illusion is a kind of ethereal construct made out of telekinetic force (to produce image, sound, taste, even touch). But an illusion differs from other kinds of force constructs, because the illusion is both telekinetic and telepathic. It illusory phenomena impacts a compelling mindful presence that is psychological, as well as sensory. For example, the "elf shine" (Old English aelfscinu) is not merely glowing in the dark, albeit it is that too. Elf shine is an overwhelming beauty so "radiant" that the beauty literally glows. This is the kind of effect that "illusions" are about.

When a psionic mage does magic, the mind visualizes a form, then this form physicalizes a force. A "powerful" mind really means to be able to visualize a form so vividly that it becomes reality. A great psionic mage is called "form-powerful" (hamrammr). The strong visualization can manifest as illusions, telepathic influences, shapeshifts, telekinetic flights, force shields, and other psionic effects.

To shapeshift ones body, one visualizes a self-image and the form of the image telekinetically influences the structure of the body to shift into this form. One first becomes the form mentally, and afterward the form reshapes the body physically. Some mages lose their minds within the self-identity as a beast. Feral mages usually return to their humanoid senses after a while. But some mages prefer to remain beasts indefinitely. These beasts are magically powerful, and can be protective or spooky. Some mages can take the form to impersonate an other humanoid.

Shapeshifting is also the method of healing, to grow a wound back together again, or to reshape an ill body back to a healthy form, to push away any illness. Psychic healing is a culturally important application of shapeshifting.

In Norse shapeshifting, the shift is rarely complete. There is normally some hint of the true form. An animal might have human eyes. A human might have animal features, a bovine tail, wolf ears, hair more like fur, or so on, still lingering from a shapeshift earlier that day. (A long rest restores the original form fully. But a mage who regularly takes on a specific alternate form, might develop subtle characteristics permanently.) A water being (nykr) might manifest as a horse whose color is a watery black or greenish, or foamy white, or manifest as a human whose clothes are damp and wet around the ankles. An observer might notice something off (Investigation check) about the alternate form. The shapeshifter can attempt a complete transformation. (Use an Animal Handling check for a convincing beast or human form, to set the DC versus any Investigation by others. A DC 10 is plainly observable, but tail or ears might hide under clothing. DC 20 is more subtle, like hair like fur, wolf eyes with large irises, or long canines. DC 30 is perfect, a true transformation. Use the resulting DC as a gauge for how obvious the true form or the habitual alternate form is. The player should have fun deciding what this offness looks like, and whatever appearance decided, it might have narrative consequences later in the adventure.) Some nature beings seem to enjoy the obvious medial form.

A shapeshift first occurs mentally, while visualizing ones identity. This virtual body is ethereal, of telekinetic forces. The psionic can instead send ones mind outofbody via this virtual body, to navigate the Material Plane ethereally, in order to manifest spells remotely.

One method of teleportation has the mind etherealize the physical body, visualize somewhere else, be there, then materialize the body. This dematerialization and rematerialization is an aspect of shapeshifting.

An other method of teleportation is more like a modern wormhole, where a mind links two locations, clenches together the distance between them, then steps thru the nothingness between them. This kind of telekinetic distortion of space-time involves the Deep Ethereal.

An other Norse folkbelief notes how the mind magic can even happen unintentionally without realizing it, while a persons mind wanders. Thinking about returning home, a person can without realizing it, project ones mind outofbody to actually manifest in front of the door, thus being seen before the body arrives. Occasionally the unintentional magical effects can be serious. Psionic training includes how not to do magic, as well as how to do magic well. The unintended magic isnt about magic going wrong, but about not realizing that one is doing magic in the first place. In my own games, I have mentioned this possibility as a part of stories, but I dont have helpful mechanics for how to implement such effects. It depends on the what the character is actually thinking about while in a reverie or intense focus. To work well, the manifestation needs player buy-in, to work well in a game. Ideally, the DM and player would need to agree on an effect, inspired by the circumstances. It would be rare and only when the players mind "elsewhere". For now, I have it be an incidental effect that players come across, and later realize they caused it.

The psionic mind manifests ether as various telekinetic and telepathic forms. This Ethereal can be Shallow when moving objects, shifting bodies, or engaging and others mind. This Ethereal can be Deep when conjuring dreamlike illusions or warping space-time.

Different mages have different talents and train to develop different powers. It actually is alot like D&D where mages gain different features, spells, feats, and levels. Even the mind of some vast feature of nature, who takes the form of a humanoid, can often be a moreorless playable psionic and-or primal character.



Nature Beings

It seems "nature beings" are moreorless the same thing as D&D "elementals".

• Earthy: rock formation, landscape
• Watery: wellspring, river, waterfall, lake, sea, aquifer, glacier, snowbank, rain, blizzard, hail storm
• Firey: sun, sunbeam, star, lightning storm, forest wildfire, volcanic lava
• Airy: cloudless upper atmosphere, tumultuous cloudlevel, pattern of wind
• Vegetative: tree, forest, flower, fertile overgrowth in an otherwise rocky land, thicket of trees

Or so on with any significant feature of nature. Some elemental beings seem to embody more than one element. The alfar as sunrays in the upper atmosphere might be both fire and air. The dvergar as rock and mud might be both earth and water. The sith as fertile land might be both earth and plant. Or so on. The difference is, nature beings are these elementals that exist the Material Plane and cohabiting alongside humans.

Just like a living human is both a physical body and a conscious mind, each of these elemental features of nature are a both physical body and a conscious mind. Typically, the desire of the mind of a rock is to be a rock. Humans tend to take rocks being rocks, for granted. Most nature beings are busy being themselves. Trees grow, winds blow.

Moreover, in the same way that some humans have stronger minds than others, more telepathic, more telekinetic, the same is true among the other nature beings. Some natural features have powerfully influential minds. But most natural features are mindfully quite and tend to follow the lead of a nearby powerful being, similar to how children often defer to the desire of a parent.

There is a mountain in Norway, whose powerful mind projected outward to manifest in a virtual human form. His mind decided to become fully human, so materialized to become a mortal creature of flesh and blood, and abandoned his mountain body. As a human, he fathered a human family, and traveled to Iceland. Eventually he became homesick for the immortal life of nature beings. His mountainous mind then dematerialized his human body to become the mind of a certain mountain in Iceland. There, the mountain occasionally manifested a human form to help humans who found themselves in danger on and near the mountain. The mountain maintained his relationship with his human son, but they became somewhat estranged. Perhaps the human son felt abandoned by his mountain father. The son converted to Christianity and because of the general hostility against nature beings, the mountain felt betrayed by his son. The story is somewhat tragic. There is a palpable feeling of Norse animistic culture becoming increasingly alienated from the natural environment, under the new Pan-European cultural influences.

For D&D, a nature being is a physical object, including the body of a human or beast, or the dust and breath of the dead, but the term "nature being" especially refers to some elemental feature in the Material Plane, any of the four elements or plant. Each of these physical beings has a mind. Some of these minds are naturally powerful mages. Generally, the human and beast are psionic, and the elements and plant are primal, but they can learn each others magic.

D&D adventurers normally encounter a nature being as a mind in the Ethereal Plane. The adventurers might be in the Ethereal Plane, or the nature being might be manifesting from there into the Material Plane. Typically, the mind psionically takes the form of a humanoid or a beast. But really any form is possible, such as its own primal form, flowing water, floating wood, an icy blizzard. It depends on the individual nature being, and one can be quite different from an other. Whatever the form, this mind is a psionic or primal power and interacts magically.

Occasionally, a glacier or a hill of flint rock in the Material Plane can get up and walk, or a fire can step out of a fireplace, or a river can surge over its banks. These animate elements are probably what most players think about when they think of D&D "elementals". They happen but are somewhat rare in the Material Plane. Such animation of an element is something like the telekinesis of its own mind causing the self-shapeshifting. Normally, the encounter with a nature being is with its ethereal disembodied mind.

A human might have a wondrous tree on their land, who the human develops a love for, and viceversa. This mutual friendship can be valuable, as the nature being, in this case a dryad, guards over the human and the rest of the humans family. The human can express the friendship by talking or meditating near the tree, supplying water, and helping the tree stay healthy. The mind of the tree feels and hears everything. The tree can visit the human in dreams, in intuitive mindful presences, and occasionally, the disembodied mind of the tree can even manifest in a human form of a beautiful woman, or a beautiful man. A tree or a mountain or a river, isnt human, and can appear as if any human of any gender. But many individual nature beings seem to like being one gender or an other. It seems a personal choice.



In Sum

It turns out D&D can stat nature beings well with some degree of mythological accuracy.

The essence is:
• The Ethereal Plane is the "spirit world".
• Ethereal includes Feywild and Shadowfell, being Positive Ethereal and Negative Ethereal, respectively.
• The ether itself is the stuff of telekinetic forces and telepathic presences.
• The Ethereal Plane is made out of the entangling influences of the minds that are in the Material Plane.
• Nature beings are the physical features of nature that are in the Material Plane.
• Nature beings include the physical bodies of humans and animals, and the remains and breaths of the dead.
• But nature beings are especially the elemental beings, whose body is a rock, river, wind, skyblue daylight, golden sunlight, tree, or so on.
• A nature being is both a mind and a physical body.
• Some nature beings can project outofbody as disembodied minds, to travel thru the Material Plane as part of the Ethereal Plane.
• The mind forms a virtual body made out of telekinetic forces, namely made out of ether.
• The virtual body of some individual features of nature can shapeshift into the form of a humanoid or beast.
• Every nature "spirit" is more precisely the ethereal disembodied mind of some specific feature of nature, somewhere in the Material Plane.
• Nature beings innately do psionic and-or primal magic.
 
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Yaarel

Mind Mage
The fey are certainly a thing, bound by the Three Laws (Do not speak that which is untrue. Give what you recieve in equal measure. Respect the Laws of Hospitality.)
I am impressed with how effective these three laws are, and how well they cohere to various encounters with nature beings.

The same laws probably apply to the shadow as well as the fey. The mind of a dead person cannot lie, especially cannot lie to oneself. The mind willingly receives equal reciprocity for ones own actions while alive. The laws of hospitality seem to apply in stories when a human encounters the dead, or viceversa.

The three laws a pretty good to describe animistic encounters generally.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I am impressed with how effective these three laws are, and how well they cohere to various encounters with nature beings.

The same laws probably apply to the shadow as well as the fey. The mind of a dead person cannot lie, especially cannot lie to oneself. The mind willingly receives equal reciprocity for ones own actions while alive. The laws of hospitality seem to apply in stories when a human encounters the dead, or viceversa.

The three laws a pretty good to describe animistic encounters generally.

Thank you.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
According to the UA article:

"Hobgoblins trace their origins to the Feywild, where they first appeared with their goblin and bugbear kin."

This seems like an update of the official lineages?

Goblin, Hobgoblin, and Bugbear are now creatures with Fey ancestry, similar to Elf.

This is awesome. The Fey aspect connects the Goblin to the reallife British fairytales about them. Essentially, the Goblin is a disgruntled sprite. They are dangerous, but not quite right in the head, and sometimes appear in humorous stories. The fairytail Goblin wields magic, like turning invisible and making potions, occasionally to trap or punish humans.
So there are 3 different traditional "evil humanoid" mook type.

Goblins, Orcs and Kobolds.

Removing the "evil sub-human killable foes" part, we can get:

Kobolds are connected to Dragons, Goblins to the Feywild and Orcs to the Primal Spirits.

Added to that we have the "underdark" elves/gnome/dwarves and Kuo-Toa, the "underwater" Koalinth, Sahguagin, and the others: Lizardfolk, Bullywugs, Gnoll, and (most) Weres.
 

Tallifer

Hero
In the campaigns which I have run in 4E and 5E, the Feywild usually tends towards a mixture of Oz, Narnia, Wind in the Willows: of course the irruption of the players into the fey woods and crystal caves usually tilts things toward Marvel and Hundred Years War.

My recent and ongoing record of my old campaigns ( a sort of D&D webcomic):
Picture Diary of Various Adventures
 

Laurefindel

Legend
In the campaigns which I have run in 4E and 5E, the Feywild usually tends towards a mixture of Oz, Narnia, Wind in the Willows: of course the irruption of the players into the fey woods and crystal caves usually tilts things toward Marvel and Hundred Years War.

My recent and ongoing record of my old campaigns ( a sort of D&D webcomic):
Picture Diary of Various Adventures
At last, some art that isn't pulled from late-19th-early-20th-century-but-without-guns aesthetics!

(I understand the irony that this style is partially influenced by a late 19th / early 20th century depiction of what they thought the middle ages were, but still. Quite refreshing.)
 

So, we have the announcement of two new 5e books, Witchfire and Strixhaven. I am super-excited about these two.

The first one is an adventure in the Plane of Feywild. The second one is from the Magic The Gathering multiverse, likely a setting. As a Potter-esque plane of wizard colleges, Strixhaven is pretty much how I have already been running the Feywild since 4e.

What exactly is Feywild?

4e and 5e have written a number of conflictive descriptions about the Feywild. The concept of the Feywild seems to still be evolving. I emphasize the themes that resonate with me. I make the Feywild my own.

• Feywild and Shadowfell are "echoes" of the Material World.
• Fey and Shadow are polar opposites of the Material. In some sense they are opposites of each other. But exactly how seems unclear.
• The Material Plane is matter.
• Inferably, the Fey and Shadow are both immaterial "spirits".
• Shadow spirits are something like ghosts. Fey spirits are ... this is one of the questions.
• We have a clearer concept of the Shadowfell, more familiar with the concept of ghosts, and maybe with Hel or Hades or Sheol.
• Shadowfell is something like memories about the dead.
• The realm of the dead is a gloomy place of rest. The dead mainly rest, but can be restless.
• The opposite of the dead in Shadowfell, is not the living people of the Material. But rather, the opposite of dead is Fey.

• For me, Shadowfell is about the past, and oppositely, the Feywild is about the future.
• The Shadows are the memories of yesteryear, slowly being forgotten within the oblivion.
• Oppositely, the Fey are oracles about future years to come, the possible timelines that clarify as their time approaches.
• The concept of timelines corresponds to the concept of "Fate".
• The term Fey is a variant of Fay, from Faie, meaning ‘Fate’.
• A Faie is literally a spirit of Fate. Fairie or Fairy is the realm of the tapestry of Fate.
• Because the Fey can foretell the future in prophesies, there is also the sense the Fey can change reality by means of words.
• Thus, the Fey are personifications of magic words.
• The word "Fairie" literally means "magic", and is synonymous with the later term "magic" (from Magi).
• A Fairie creature means a "magical creature".
• I view the Fey as made out of magic itself.
• I view the immaterial Fey spirits as living constructs made out of arcane energy.

• I view both the Feywild and the Shadowfell as different "frequencies" sotospeak of Ether, and the Ethereal Plane as arcane energy.
• The Feywild is the aspect of the Ether that the Plane of Positivity energizes.
• The Shadowfell is the aspect of the Ether that the Plane of Negativity unravels.

• In ancient times, some Fey Eladrin chose to materialize into the Material Plane, magically taking on bodies of flesh and blood, whence Elf.

• Some times D&D describes the Feywild as "arcane", unnatural wizardy − other times as "primal", natural druidry.
• For me, the Feywild is unnatural, and is more about arcane magic.
• The main reason for the unnaturalism of the Feywild is its disconnect from the features of Material nature.
• The Shadowfell closely overlaps the Material, to the extent one can navigate the Material accurately despite the gloomier version of it.
• By contrast, the Feywild overlap warps extremely: time, distance, and even places, often lack a Material counterpart.
• Consequently, there is little or no link between a specific natural feature like a rock or a tree in the Material and a Fey spirit in the Feywild.
• For example, there is little feeling that a tree in this world is actually a specific Dryad in the spirit world.
• Thus, the Feywild works less well for a reallife animistic worldview, where each rock is a mind, and each tree is a mind.

• I personally use Psionic to represent any animistic traditions, in the sense rocks and trees exhibit mental influences forming communities.
• Animism is always about the Material world, and is never about somewhere else.
• The aspect of Psionics that focuses on the minds of the features of nature, rather than the minds of humanoids, is what Primal is.

• I am happy to focus on the Feywild as an unnatural realm of magic and a place of magically potential realities.
• The Eberron setting has an excellent version of the Feywild, corresponding to Thelanis.
• Thelanis focuses on the theme of fairytales, where like in a Twilight Zone, the stories that humans tell take on life of all their own.
• Thus the Feywild is literally made out of words and stories. Fey creatures are characters, who repeat a story.
• However, the Eladrin and a few other spirits have some autonomous reality to them, as tellers of tales.

• Eberron Thelanis lacks a sense of future timelines, in the sense of Fate, but it portrays well magic words becoming reality, in the sense of Fairie.

• In terms of adventure encounters, I emphasize magic.
• All Fey creatures are spellcasters, or similar. Fey are especially arcane, but out of curiosity about magic itself, might be divine or psionic.
• There are no Fey who have levels in a martial class, unless they learned them while in the Material Plane.
• I tend to run the Feywild as moreorless the Potterverse Wizard World. Everyone is different kinds of mages.
• The Fey culture revolves around the academic life of the magical schools.
• There are Fairy Courts, including the seasons, where magical power is social power.
• Different courts evolve different governmental structures, some are monarchy, some are democracy, but all are magical meritocracies.
• Plus I add courts for Norse Alfar in the sky, Scottish Sith in the glens, and English Shakespearean Fairy (who are mainly children with some teens).
• When Strixhaven arrives − cant wait! − I will probably add these colleges as courts within the Feywild.



I have other musings about the 5e Feywild. But this is probably plenty for now.

How do you make sense of the Feywild Plane in your campaigns?

What kind of themes do you run for Fey adventures? Do some of you play up the comical aspects of some fairytales, the alien aspects of severe ettiquette of some encounters with the Fair Folk, the things-are-never-quite-what-they-seem of some folktru encounters, or your own thing?
MANY years ago, probably back in the early 80's, maybe even earlier, I developed a concept in my homebrew D&D game (there have been many campaigns, but basically one world) wherein the 'Eldar', hailed from a parallel 'otherworld'. This was always labeled 'Fairy', though honestly not a ton of it was really elaborated much.

It is much as depicted by WotC in 4e, an actual physical realm of intense magic and vibrant, almost uncontrolled, energy. Time, space, and physics are all subtly different there. You can discover for instance that retracing your steps to return to the origin of a journey does not lead back to the original starting point, but somewhere else (not because you got lost, it just does).

While I did once create an eldar city, and some various adventure happenings and whatnot, the place has never been exactly 'fleshed out'. Many of the tropes present in Celtic/Irish/Welsh folklore are familiar. You might enter the land of Fairy through a doorway in a mound, or via a path in the woods, you might return the next day to find 50 years have passed. Its not a place people just go, unless they are foolish or desperate, but you CAN adventure there.

I don't recall doing much in terms of a 'land of shadow', though I always assumed such a thing existed in some form. Eventually on of our games developed some ideas about the ancient history of Erithnoi and that involved another world, which was dying, and subsequently I've always associated that with what 4e calls the Shadowfell, but until 4e decided to give it a name I didn't really do that, just calling it the 'First World' or 'Shadow', or something like that.

Honestly, I thought that WotC's descriptions were mostly pretty good. I always felt like maybe a lot of evil fey might be thought of better as shadow creatures. I think the 4e module Wolfgang Bauer did works well this way, though honestly it is all kind of splitting hairs.

So, I think of these as physical realms, 'worlds' in their own right, with different energies and rules than the material world of normal human experience. They don't follow the logic of our world exactly, but there is some sort of cause and effect, and things which happen there are 'real'. OTOH the 'higher realms' are not physical in nature, but are pure manifestations of cosmic principles. What classic D&D would label 'outer planes' or 4e's realms and such, the Astral and the EC, those are more immaterial and journeying into them is more a form of 'projection' vs actually traveling with the physical body.
 



Moorcrys

Explorer
That show was brilliantly silly!

Yeah I thought I was not going to be into it when I sat down with my nine year old daughter to watch with her but I was really charmed by it. Very clever and sweet and a bunch of the musical numbers were great.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I wrote the following in an other thread, develiping further my thoughts on fey and its opposite, shadow.



Re the concept of "vampiric healing". It is undeath. It should never be actual healing. It is a pale imitation of life. Its mechanics should differ from healing. Vampiric healing is undead and nonliving. It is about animating a dead body, not restoring a living body.

The positive energy is a mystic source of conciousness, life, and success.

The (Deep) Shadowfell is low energy ether. Ghosts rest. A ghost would need to gain energy to enter the neutral (Shallow) ether to manifest lifelike in the material plane.

The (Deep) Feywild is also ether, but high energy, more than the material plane can normally contain.

Undead exist naturally, as aspects of a person resting in the Shadowfell. A restless undead is rare but famous. Often it is said, there is unfinshed business in the Material. Somehow this connection to the Material is literally energizing the ghost, that would normally be resting. In other words, they are utilizing positive energy, without processing it normally the way material living creatures do. Typically, the restless undead are minds, manifesting a virtual body ethereally as a ghost. A powerful mind can "haunt" the material persons or places that remain unfinished, influencing mentally or poltergeisting physically. The restless mind maintains a link to the corpse. Sometimes an exceptionally powerful can even animate ones dead body, whence the concept of a sentient undead. A vampire is such an example of a sapient corpse.

When a vampire sucks life energy from a living creature, there is no healing. The body is dead. There is nothing to heal, or that could heal. There is no cellular metabolism. But like a golem, the corpse moves around anyway.

Instead of the body gaining the positive energy to become whole, the vampire is energizing ethereally. Higher frequency ethereal energy means the vampire can avoid resting. The undead mind stays alert and manifest.

Thus vampiric energy gain is an addiction. The vampire depends on it to maintain material existence. Without it, the undead mind would rest, and the corpse collapse - as corpses normally do.

Vampiric "healing" is no healing. It is a pale imitation of life. It is a mental manifestation of a faint memory of what life was once like. Vampiric energizing is more like a quasi-real illusion of life.

Actually, the body of a vampire has zero hit points, being quite dead already. This animated material avatar of a vampiric ghost is made out of temporary hit points. (It is a bit like Druid Wildshape in the sense that the shapeshifted form comes with its own temporary hit points, But in this case the corpse shapeshifts to imitate the appearance when was omce alive.) To maintain these temporary hit points, the vampire must continually feed on the living, or else suffer one level of exhaustion each night if without feeding. When the temporary body dies of exhaustion or the temporary hit points run out, the body collapses. Then the vampire reverts to a ghost and loses the exceptional influence over the material plane. Nevertheless this ghost might still have unfinished business to attend to, is a powerful mind, and might reanimate ones corpse at some future time to manifest as a vampire once again.

While restless undead are freak occurances, they are natural in the sense that the multiverse functions this way. A necromancer is someone who researches and manipulates the magical processes that are in play during a restless undead manifestation event.
 

Asisreo

Fiendish Attorney
  • My current campaign world has 6 primary elements: fire, water, wind, earth, light, and dark
  • Each element is represented by a plane.
  • The four elements are represented by the elemental chaos
  • The echo planes represent the two others:
    • Shadowfell is dark
    • Feywilds is light
All magic is somehow a compound of each element with different intensities. The same goes for physical objects.

Lightning is fire, light, and wind. Metal is earth, fire, and dark. Force is light, wind, and earth. Psychic is dark and wind.

The echo planes share an important role in the balance of the multiverse, yet each are constantly fighting over each other.

It should also be noted light=/=good and dark=/=bad.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Re Eldritch Blast, it deals force damage. Normally, this force is invisible. But a mage can manifest this force by various methods and appearances. As such, it lends itself to various flavors of visualizations.

For various reasons, I arrive at the following viewpoint.



Force is the fifth element. Where the other elements (earth, water, air, and fire) are states of matter (solid, liquid, gas, and the plasma of sun and lightning), force itself lacks matter and is immaterial. Despite lacking matter, force is physical and affects the elemental matter of the physical world.

Force especially includes gravity. (It also includes magnetism but for thematic reasons I let this be part of plasma and lightning.) Flight and telekinesis are physical manipulations of the force of gravity, pure force.

The fabric of space-time, whence the tapestry of fate, is made out of force. Thus force damage can result from warping fate and making timelines dissonant.

As the fifth element, force and ether are the same thing. The ethereal plane is made out of immaterial forces, normally gentle and sometimes passing thru matter but sometimes a force is strong enough to push, fly, and manipulate material objects. Hence if the mind of a ghost is strong enough, the ethereal ghost can manifest noticeably by means of the force that its mind is made out of. The ethereal plane is actually a normal part of the material plane, but its activities normally go unnoticed by human senses.

The fey and shadow are frequencies of ether, namely positive and negative repectively, and like the rest of the ether, are also aspects of the material plane that largely go unnoticed. The fey and shadow ethers can view the material world that they are part of, but their frequencies distort the perception of it.

Within the ether, ethereal creatures perceive and interact with each other normally. Their virtual bodies made out of force often look and behave similarly to material bodies.



The seat of consciousness is an aspect of force, not matter. Thus in a sense, the "soul" or the presence of a mind is made out of force. This mindful ether is often called "spirit" in the sense of the stuff that souls are made out of. A ghost is the etheral presence of a mind, made out of force, thus some times called a spirit. In other words, the ethereal plane is the spiritual world, and is part of the material plane.

The body made out of matter is somehow able to entangle the ethereal forces of consciousness, thus able to become a conscious material creature, such as a human. Some humans whose force of mind is strong enough can project their mind outofbody. Normally this disembodied mind manifests a virtual body made out of force, to travel ethereally, and is defacto like a ghost except typically neither the fey nor shadow frequencies.

The mind can telekinese material objects because its seat is itself made out of force. A strong mind can influence and manipulate heavy objects, distort space-time, and telepathically engage other minds.

Because of this nexus between consciousness and matter via force - a mind willing reality into existence - the force, ether, mind, spirit, existence, are also the same thing as the "Weave" of magic. Magical energy, force, telekinesis, ether, and so on, are all them same thing and a construct can be made out of it. A constuct made out of magical energy and a construct made out of force are the same thing. Creatures that are summoned physicalize as temporary constructs made out of force that serve as a kind of avatar for them.

Force is the GUT (Grand Unification Theory) of all D&D traditions!



Because force is itself a mysterious and wondrous aspect of D&D tradition, there are many different flavors available to describe force damage narratively, including:

fate warp, curse, temporal dissonance, telekinesis, spiritual attack, conjured apparition, planar warp, teleportative disruption, magic missiles, etcetera.

All can deal "force damage".
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
  • My current campaign world has 6 primary elements: fire, water, wind, earth, light, and dark
  • Each element is represented by a plane.
  • The four elements are represented by the elemental chaos
  • The echo planes represent the two others:
    • Shadowfell is dark
    • Feywilds is light
All magic is somehow a compound of each element with different intensities. The same goes for physical objects.

Lightning is fire, light, and wind. Metal is earth, fire, and dark. Force is light, wind, and earth. Psychic is dark and wind.

The echo planes share an important role in the balance of the multiverse, yet each are constantly fighting over each other.

It should also be noted light=/=good and dark=/=bad.

I ended up with same six too.

In some reallife elemental traditions, the fifth element is more like light, a luminous conscious spirit out of which all elements are made. But in others, it is more like darkness, the emptiness of space within which all elements can find place to happen.

It felt like two separate elements - light and dark - even tho the are aspects of the same thing. I view infinite light as primordial, and then the darkness being a kind of quasi-real illusion being unable to perceive light, so that finite things can become able to exist. People often think the big bang was the first moment of the creation of space-time. But actually, no. Rather, the first moment of the creation of space-time is the darkness of empty space, within which a big bang could happen. Darkness makes the universe possible. The big bang itself is like a pinhole of light, glimpsing the rest of the infinite energy that is screened out by the darkness. This tiny point of light radiated thru darkness, separating into tiny globules of finite amounts of energy that form the elements that all things are made out of.

There is also a tradition that the fifth element is force, especially gravity. It is the first element. Force is invisible and immaterial like darkness, but is physical and energetic like light.

So I end up with seven primordial elements! Happily, these same seven also happen to be part of the D&D tradition.

Light. Plane of Positive Energy.
Darkness. Plane of Negative Energy (Void, the absence of energy).
Force. Ethereal Plane.
Gas. Plane of Air.
Liquid. Plane of Water.
Plasma. Plane of Fire (Sun, fiery but electrical, can be invisible).
Solid. Plane of Earth.

The last four are states of matter. The first three are immaterial.

Light is mainly about healing and the ideal self across space-time. Darkness is mainly about teleportation thru space-time and stepping thru nothingness between things. Force is mainly about telekinesis and the spirit world of ether, including fey and shadow.
 

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