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D&D 5E Where We've Been and Where We Might Be Going (or, What I Think WotC Is Doing)

Lyxen

Great Old One
Well for one thing, you weren't arguing in good faith by calling me names and by arguing against points I wasn't making... for example, I said I don't like that Beholders/Flayers having such a significant role on a region that is supposedly part of the Material Plane. You countered by saying that they aren't random encounters, which is not what I said at all.

Then please explain what you mean, because I don't understand why you specifically assign these creatures to the phlogiston why there is no justification for it. They are not encountered natively in there, anymore than elsewhere on the prime, for example, and if you encounter them there it will be in spelljamming ships like any other race spelljamming through the multiverse.

I think the most important pieces of the phlogiston is that it is relatively safe routes of travel from sphere to sphere. I think you can take that same concept, there being "safer" routes of travel, and put it in the Astral Sea.

Remember that the Astral sea is only a 4e concept. All other editions including Planescape call it the Astral Plane for a reason.

It is after all called the "sea" makes more sense to sail there eh?

See above, 4e did a lot of things right not only in terms of rules but also by inventing the Feywild and the Shadowfell, but that "compacting" of the multiverse and the radical treatment that they did to the planes of existence was for a lot of people a catastrophy, in particular for people like me who loved Planescape - and there are more fans of that setting than of Spelljammer and probably 4e.

And you can remove the messy bits of why phlogiston being flammable, an awful mechanic as it kind of ruins a lot of the fun of Spelljammer v. Spelljammer combat (no fireballs! No cannons!)

First, combat in the Phlogiston is not the norm, it's only between crystal spheres, but inside the spherew, where actually most of the fighting takes place because this is where you can hold territory (as you pointed out, the phlogiston is mostly long travel routes, a bit like the open sea where your chances of an encounter are very minimal), you have zero problem with fireballs and cannons.

Second, it also makes for variety, and forces people to cater for different environments, which is always fun when you need to adapt, and that with very little cost in terms of game design.

And like I said before, doesn't make a ton of sense that the Githyanki have a huge presence on the Astral Sea and are prolific invaders of other realms, but are not the dominant force on the Phlogiston.

There is no dominant force in the phlogiston, neither do they need to be a dominant force inside the spheres, as they can raid them at will without coming through the intervening space, which is even more scary.

But like I said before, I'm clearly not going to convince you and your not going to convince me, so I'm tiring of this talk.

The problem is that you dropped a post which is full of preconceptions and misinformation, so you should at least be prepared to discuss these assumptions of yours...
 

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Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I mean, why? That at least is established in the DMG: all of the D&D worlds are on the same Prine Material, connected physically.

I actually am unable to find anything in the DMG that says all worlds on the PM are connected physically. I just did a control-F so may have missed it, I'd be curious to see what the actual text on it is.

As far as I can tell, it is not said how to travel from world to world beyond using other planes or spells like plane shift/teleport. Phlogiston is not mentioned at all, or any other connective tissue that I can find.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I actually am unable to find anything in the DMG that says all worlds on the PM are connected physically. I just did a control-F so may have missed it, I'd be curious to see what the actual text on it is.

"The worlds of D&D exist within the Material Plane, making it the starting point for most campaigns and adventures." Singular Material Plane, there is only one for all the worlds of D&D.

As far as I can tell, it is not said how to travel from world to world beyond using other planes or spells like plane shift/teleport. Phlogiston is not mentioned at all, or any other connective tissue that I can find.

There is indeed no such limitation, you could theoretically teleport from one planet to another just as in our universe. The limitation of crystal spheres in that regard are a Spelljammer specific rule.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I actually am unable to find anything in the DMG that says all worlds on the PM are connected physically. I just did a control-F so may have missed it, I'd be curious to see what the actual text on it is.

As far as I can tell, it is not said how to travel from world to world beyond using other planes or spells like plane shift/teleport. Phlogiston is not mentioned at all, or any other connective tissue that I can find.
It's in the section thst discusses the different Settings.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Then please explain what you mean, because I don't understand why you specifically assign these creatures to the phlogiston why there is no justification for it. They are not encountered natively in there, anymore than elsewhere on the prime, for example, and if you encounter them there it will be in spelljamming ships like any other race spelljamming through the multiverse.



Remember that the Astral sea is only a 4e concept. All other editions including Planescape call it the Astral Plane for a reason.



See above, 4e did a lot of things right not only in terms of rules but also by inventing the Feywild and the Shadowfell, but that "compacting" of the multiverse and the radical treatment that they did to the planes of existence was for a lot of people a catastrophy, in particular for people like me who loved Planescape - and there are more fans of that setting than of Spelljammer and probably 4e.



First, combat in the Phlogiston is not the norm, it's only between crystal spheres, but inside the spherew, where actually most of the fighting takes place because this is where you can hold territory (as you pointed out, the phlogiston is mostly long travel routes, a bit like the open sea where your chances of an encounter are very minimal), you have zero problem with fireballs and cannons.

Second, it also makes for variety, and forces people to cater for different environments, which is always fun when you need to adapt, and that with very little cost in terms of game design.



There is no dominant force in the phlogiston, neither do they need to be a dominant force inside the spheres, as they can raid them at will without coming through the intervening space, which is even more scary.



The problem is that you dropped a post which is full of preconceptions and misinformation, so you should at least be prepared to discuss these assumptions of yours...

1. Mind flayers are on the cover of the Spelljammer adventure book, and their Nautiloids are arguably the most iconic spelljamming ship. They are at minimum viewed (by us consumers) as having a much larger influence in "space" than on the MP. Which makes sense, because they're horrific monsters from the Far Realm!

2. So? The Astral Sea sounds cool, certainly better than "Phlogiston." New doesn't mean bad!

3. Sorry you don't like the 4E cosmology... but I do! At least parts of it. The Feywild/Shadowfel are great additions and click together more neatly if you need a cosmology to plug-and-play into your homebrew. If you need something more innovative or less structured, I totally get it (and the DMG gives a wide assortment of suggestions if you want that), but for folks you want something more cohesive, some of the 4E changes are great.

4. This is my point! Spelljammer should be swashbuckling space-fantasy... it is CRAZY to me that people would prefer a region of travel where combat is unfeasible, in a game where the rules are primarily combat. I want to run a session where I'm being pursued by spelljammer pirates, the goal being to hold them off until we can make it to a safe port... the Phlogiston won't let me do this, so I find it completely unuseable in my game. See below for the time of combat that the phlogiston can't let happen there.


5. I won't argue too hard here, as I actually don't like how the Githyanki are the dominant force in the Astral either. Though I'll add, this isn't really true, as the Elven Imperial Armada is definitely the dominant force on the Phlogiston. I would like to see them more balanced against the Githyanki in the Astral, and the plhlogiston scrapped.

We can keep going after each other point-by-point, but we are coming at this topic from completely different perspective, so I have no idea how we could reconcile these ideas.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
"The worlds of D&D exist within the Material Plane, making it the starting point for most campaigns and adventures." Singular Material Plane, there is only one for all the worlds of D&D.



There is indeed no such limitation, you could theoretically teleport from one planet to another just as in our universe. The limitation of crystal spheres in that regard are a Spelljammer specific rule.

I've described this before, but having all the Spheres floating in the Astral Sphere doesn't preclude you from calling all spheres part of the singular Material Plane, especially as they are all connected through spells like plane shift and teleport (and presumably planeswalking). Just because they aren't physically connected does not mean they are not a singular plane.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
It's in the section thst discusses the different Settings.

If you could find the text saying they're physically connected I'd appreciate it, as I'm missing it. I am admittedly not good at skimming so I would not be surprised if it is actually there but I can't see it.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
If you could find the text saying they're physically connected I'd appreciate it, as I'm missing it. I am admittedly not good at skimming so I would not be surprised if it is actually there but I can't see it.
@Lyxen quoted it above: There is one Prine Material Plane, th5st is, one connected physical realm which contains Greyhawk, FR, etc.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
1. Mind flayers are on the cover of the Spelljammer adventure book, and their Nautiloids are arguably the most iconic spelljamming ship. They are at minimum viewed (by us consumers) as having a much larger influence in "space" than on the MP. Which makes sense, because they're horrific monsters from the Far Realm!

And that's cool, but once more, it does not mean the phlogiston ! You are aware that there is no phlogiston inside the crystal spheres, right ? And that his cover is actually not from inside the phlogiston, it's visible when you're there !

2. So? The Astral Sea sounds cool, certainly better than "Phlogiston." New doesn't mean bad!

It means bad when it's retconning something that people love like Planescape, for once. And in the 5e, it's officially called Astral Plane, although there are a few words about the Astral Sea in there. But it is still "the realm of thought and dream, where visitors travel as disembodied souls to reach the Outer Planes."

And the Githyanki are officially part of it: "Creatures on the Astral Plane don’t age or suffer from hunger or thirst. For this reason, humanoids that live on the Astral Plane (such as the githyanki) establish outposts on other planes, often the Material Plane, so their children can grow to maturity."

3. Sorry you don't like the 4E cosmology... but I do! At least parts of it. The Feywild/Shadowfel are great additions and click together more neatly if you need a cosmology to plug-and-play into your homebrew.

As I've said, I love those and they were great additions.

If you need something more innovative or less structured, I totally get it (and the DMG gives a wide assortment of suggestions if you want that), but for folks you want something more cohesive, some of the 4E changes are great.

And I hope that you will understand that some people love Planescape much more than 4e...

4. This is my point! Spelljammer should be swashbuckling space-fantasy... it is CRAZY to me that people would prefer a region of travel where combat is unfeasible, in a game where the rules are primarily combat.

First, in a lot of game, D&D is not primarily combat. Second, combat is absolutely possible in the Phlogiston, it is just different (different is cool, right ?) just as it is different on the Astral Plane.

I want to run a session where I'm being pursued by spelljammer pirates, the goal being to hold them off until we can make it to a safe port... the Phlogiston won't let me do this, so I find it completely unuseable in my game. See below for the time of combat that the phlogiston can't let happen there.

Imagine the Phlogiston like Hyperspace and it will be better, combat happens a lot in Star Wars, you know, just not in Hyperspace...

I can't access the video in my country, unfortunately...

5. I won't argue too hard here, as I actually don't like how the Githyanki are the dominant force in the Astral either. Though I'll add, this isn't really true, as the Elven Imperial Armada is definitely the dominant force on the Phlogiston.

It's not. It's the dominant force in some crystal spheres, but not in the Phlogiston. I really think that you are making a confusion here.

I would like to see them more balanced against the Githyanki in the Astral, and the plhlogiston scrapped.

We can keep going after each other point-by-point, but we are coming at this topic from completely different perspective, so I have no idea how we could reconcile these ideas.

I think I can start by dispelling some of your misunderstanding of what the phlogiston is, see above. And I think that you have also a very mundane view of the Astral Plane, have a read through that section in the DMG, it's not physical... :)
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
And that's cool, but once more, it does not mean the phlogiston ! You are aware that there is no phlogiston inside the crystal spheres, right ? And that his cover is actually not from inside the phlogiston, it's visible when you're there !



It means bad when it's retconning something that people love like Planescape, for once. And in the 5e, it's officially called Astral Plane, although there are a few words about the Astral Sea in there. But it is still "the realm of thought and dream, where visitors travel as disembodied souls to reach the Outer Planes."

And the Githyanki are officially part of it: "Creatures on the Astral Plane don’t age or suffer from hunger or thirst. For this reason, humanoids that live on the Astral Plane (such as the githyanki) establish outposts on other planes, often the Material Plane, so their children can grow to maturity."



As I've said, I love those and they were great additions.



And I hope that you will understand that some people love Planescape much more than 4e...



First, in a lot of game, D&D is not primarily combat. Second, combat is absolutely possible in the Phlogiston, it is just different (different is cool, right ?) just as it is different on the Astral Plane.



Imagine the Phlogiston like Hyperspace and it will be better, combat happens a lot in Star Wars, you know, just not in Hyperspace...

I can't access the video in my country, unfortunately...



It's not. It's the dominant force in some crystal spheres, but not in the Phlogiston. I really think that you are making a confusion here.



I think I can start by dispelling some of your misunderstanding of what the phlogiston is, see above. And I think that you have also a very mundane view of the Astral Plane, have a read through that section in the DMG, it's not physical... :)

1. Fair, but I believe the phlogiston is a big part of Spelljammer, so Mind Flayers at minimum have a perceived presence there. This has only increased in 5E, as the only Spelljamming craft we've seen in this edition have all been nautiloids (there may be one that actually wasn't, but the captain was still a Mind Flayer).

2. I don't want to retcon Planescape, I think having Phlogiston integrated into the Astral is actually a fairly small change that doesn't really impact the majority of Planescape.

3. Glad to see we agree on this bit.

4. See above, I don't want to retcon Planescape.

5. I don't really want it to be like Hyperspace. I want it to be more like a ship pursuing another, like on a real ocean, like Pirates of the Caribean. The video is from the Tintin film, where they have a big ship v. ship fight against Red Rackham. Great scene in an ok movie.

6. Well even if it's not (I believe it is, but I digress), I would argue that the Githyanki and Elven Armada should be the biggest forces in Spelljamming routes, whatever form they take. They are arguably the equivalents of the British Trading Company and Spanish Armada, as great large enemies or allies. They make great employers or BBEGs.

7. Ok, no need to call my thinking "mundane." I personally feel like you have a more esoteric view of the Astral than it has, since it has so many very physical locations there. Back to the Githyanki, they have their whole city of Tu'Narath there, built on a god's corpse. As gonzo as that is, it's very much a real physical place you can go to, and the center of Githyanki activity.

To conclude, I think integrating the good ideas of phlogiston would increase the Astral's diversity, make it more important to overall cosmology and to the factions on the MP, and increase the playability of Spelljammer overall.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
@Lyxen quoted it above: There is one Prine Material Plane, th5st is, one connected physical realm which contains Greyhawk, FR, etc.

See my response to that then; doesn't actually say that they are physically connected, or preclude them from being a single MP (I don't believe these contradict either).
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
See my response to that then; doesn't actually say that they are physically connected, or preclude them from being a single MP (I don't believe these contradict either).
I mean, maybe. To understand Fluff as Intended, though, I would refer to when Crawford or Perkins have discussed these matters, which do reference one continuous physical world divided by crystal spheres.

We'll know soon enough what they are doing, I reckon.
 



Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I mean, maybe. To understand Fluff as Intended, though, I would refer to when Crawford or Perkins have discussed these matters, which do reference one continuous physical world divided by crystal spheres.

We'll know soon enough what they are doing, I reckon.

I'd have to listen to it again (and as you know, I've listened to it a few times), to see if they do say there's a continuous physical connection. I'd be surprised if they do as they usually avoid saying such details, but my memory is not so good.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I'd have to listen to it again (and as you know, I've listened to it a few times), to see if they do say there's a continuous physical connection. I'd be surprised if they do as they usually avoid saying such details, but my memory is not so good.
Pretty sure he does, or at least implies it. I may be wrong, but considering that is the traditional D&D setup assuming it to be so is reasonable.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Pretty sure he does, or at least implies it. I may be wrong, but considering that is the traditional D&D setup assuming it to be so is reasonable.

To be clear, I have no idea what they're actually going to go with, I just hope they'll go with a more merged concept.

Not really Planejammer either, but integrating Phlogiston/Astral.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Pretty sure he does, or at least implies it. I may be wrong, but considering that is the traditional D&D setup assuming it to be so is reasonable.

So listening to it now... although they do specifically mention Spelljammer quite a lot, Crawford is actually very carefully avoiding how travel between spheres actually works. He does say you can take your Spelljammer from your sphere to another, but doesn't really say what the space between spheres actually is, or what happens there.

I don't actually know what they're going to actually implement, but re-listening has made me think they will be changing how Spelljamming works between spheres. Not at all sure how, but I feel that if they were sticking entirely to the OG Spelljammer philosophy, Crawford would have just described how it works, with the phlogiston etc. Instead, he pretty much avoids that entirely (he does not say phlogiston, Astral, or anything else really "between spheres"). I don't see why he would do that unless they were considering some changes.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
So listening to it now... although they do specifically mention Spelljammer quite a lot, Crawford is actually very carefully avoiding how travel between spheres actually works. He does say you can take your Spelljammer from your sphere to another, but doesn't really say what the space between spheres actually is, or what happens there.

I don't actually know what they're going to actually implement, but re-listening has made me think they will be changing how Spelljamming works between spheres. Not at all sure how, but I feel that if they were sticking entirely to the OG Spelljammer philosophy, Crawford would have just described how it works, with the phlogiston etc. Instead, he pretty much avoids that entirely (he does not say phlogiston, Astral, or anything else really "between spheres"). I don't see why he would do that unless they were considering some changes.
Let me know what he actually says about it.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Let me know what he actually says about it.

That's the thing... he doesn't say much at all about what is "between-the-spheres."

Timestamp starts at about 19:20 where he talks Spelljammer. He does say Spelljammer is specifically about the Material Plane (while Planescape is not) which one could assume means the space between spheres is also part of the MP... but what is actually there is not said.
 

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