D&D General World end ideas


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
So I'm working on a setting about exploring a new material plane looking towards figuring out why the previous civilizations are no more so that it can be a home for people as the material plane the players are from is going to be destroyed. Bit of a custom cosmology and all that to support this, along with the destruction of the world has been known for years and various planes have been found and are being explored, with this as a lately-found one that a bunch of minor powers are banding together as they are getting squeezed out of the others. And the the original plane has a limited time left.

That's all well and good, except that I never came up with the reason how the original material plane is getting destroyed. It needs to be something that can't be stopped by adventuring or Wish spells. That nations and people coming together to do desperate and expensive projects can't reverse. And it needs to be something with a fairly rapid onset, not that people are dying en masse every day in which they would just take any port in the storm.

If this was SF, the sun going supernova at a point in the future, or wandering too close to a black hole, or other cosmic event would work. But I'd rather have one that fits fantasy sensibilities.

Do you have any ideas how I should kill off the world?

log in or register to remove this ad


One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
the keystone god of the material plane was slain some time back and without them it's causing the entire plane(including things like magic and weather and gravity there) to begin decaying at an accelerated rate, this could even tie into the new planes being 'discovered' in that without the keystone god around multiple new fisher-king-esc 'plane gods' have been popping up with their associated planes with their retroactive 'internal histories'.


Maybe magic broke. Magic can no longer be controlled or relied upon, and maybe it is corrupt. Not only does this turn every wizard, apprentice to archmage, into a possible bomb, it means all the fantastical elements of the universe, from rust monsters to flying citadels to places of power, are turning wild. Given enough time, every magical thing in the world will eventually fail, or worse.


Guide of Modos
Is the world or the plane ending? Might make a difference.

A material plane ends when it gets ripped into the elemental planes that comprise it. Thus, the prior plane now exists as several elemental versions of itself.

To see what this looks like, Youtube "Korn coming undone."

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
The plane is dissolving into the component parts that it was originally formed out of. So there are pools of raw elemental planes, shadow, etc growing in many places. One has opened up in the origin city where the players start. But this one is a passage to safety rather than the hellish environment of raw shadow.


Victoria Rules
Maybe magic broke. Magic can no longer be controlled or relied upon, and maybe it is corrupt. Not only does this turn every wizard, apprentice to archmage, into a possible bomb, it means all the fantastical elements of the universe, from rust monsters to flying citadels to places of power, are turning wild. Given enough time, every magical thing in the world will eventually fail, or worse.
This is exactly how I ended my first big campaign. Magic had been corrupted all along but this corruption was increasing; more and more magic was going wild in uncontrollable surges with sometimes very dangerous consequences. Further, this was causing chaotic beings and deities - Llolth in particular - to look at the world as a source of chaos to be spread elsewhere.

Solution: divine intervention through the PCs; their final mission was to perform a task that would make the world completely non-magical (i.e. Earth-like), which saved the planet but in the process killed off all the magic-based (i.e. "fantastical") lifeforms including every PC-playable species other than Human in what amounted to a fairly significant cataclysm.

No reason this concept can't be expanded to include a whole plane, to suit the OP's needs. :)


CR 1/8
Fantasy blackholes:

A wish is a restructuring of reality. For a wish to function "here", it must delete some reality "over there" somewhere else. These little spots where a bit of reality has been cancelled out manifests as a sprinkling of "void dust" - effectively the infinitesimal holes of nothingness that emerge in between bits of reality whenever reality is restructured.

Nowadays (and, sadly, much too late in the arc of history) it is understood that all magic is simply limited variations of wish, and therefore that all magic generates this void dust.

Generally, creating void dust doesn't really matter much in the immediate grand scheme of things, because it's very fine and very sparse. It just drifts on planar currents and along ley lines, more or less inertly. More or less. For every now and then, a mote of void dust bumps into a another such mote to merge into slightly bigger mote of void dust. Also (vexingly), if a mote of void dust bumps into a bit of reality just right, that bit of reality is annihilated and merges into a slightly bigger mote of void dust.

In other words: Magic begets void dust, and void dust begets more void dust, as well!

Obviously then, over many millennia as sorcerers and fey and divinities cast their spells and weave their magics, all these minute smatterings of void dust very gradually increase. The stuff drifts along until they stick in vortices, wrinkles and interstices in the Prime Material plane, to form denser accumulations. There the void dust coalesces into larger and larger void motes, eventually becoming visible to the naked eye, and even bigger still. (In fact, a sphere of annihilation is just a smallish one of these void motes that has been somehow bound by magic.)

The End occurs when enough of these void motes have become big enough that they pass some critical threshold and start growing out of control. Inky blots in the night sky form where celestial voidmotes eat the stars one by one. Immense maelstroms form in the oceans where seawater gets sucked into voidmotes lurking in the deep. Earthquakes happen over subterranean voidmotes that have swallowed the underlying ground. Faster and faster the voidmotes grow and consume reality, until the entire Prime plane is destroyed.

This fate is inevitable. The only way it can be avoided is for no one to use any magic at all, forever. But is such a perversity even imaginable for the fairies, wizards, dragons, and gods who define their very existence by magic?

And so the only solution is to escape, to find a new plane to drain of its reality in order to power magic, and begin the cycle anew.


God-seed: someone found a way to imprint themselves on the essential energy of a plane to become a god. It takes a century or two for them to "incubate" but when they wake they reshape the plane into their personal realm and primary avatar. Which means the disaster already happened and everyone is on borrowed time against the day the god wakes.

Cosmic egg: similar to the God Seed, the plane is, and always has been, an egg. Which is going to hatch. Crack.

Turtles all the way down: the plane is a god....and the god is dying. Maybe from a divine war or because the mortals drained it dry or the god was starved from lack of worship from its tenants who didn't know it was a god. Once it dies the plane will turn to cosmic glitter or maybe as it dies it consumes all the life-energy upon it. Odds are the god has been dying for a looooong time.

Tiny bubbles: this plane isn't a "proper" material plane but a set of demiplanes stitched together. Maybe juvenalia from a greater god, the work of a few demigods or a group of powerful wizards in the long-long-long-long-long ago. The planes grow over time but they grow unevenly so the structure is unstable. Once the stress becomes too great the planes will pop like a series of connected soap bubbles. Even if a few demiplanes survive, the "jiggling" will cause magic & physics to be chaotic for years, killing essentially everyone and even then the ecosystems will probably collapse.

Remove ads


Remove ads

Upcoming Releases