HAPTER 2: CREATING A MULTIVERSE
HEN ADVENTURERS REACH HIGHER LEVELS,
their path extends to other dimensions of
reality: the planes of existence that form the
multiverse. The characters might be called
on to rescue a friend from the horrific depths
of the Abyss or to sail the shining waters of
the River Oceanus. They can hoist a tankard
- lhe friendly giants ofYsgard or face the chaos of
-bo to contact a wizened githzerai sage.
::>Janes of existence define the extremes of strange
- often dangerous environments. The most bizarre
··ons present settings undreamed of in the natural
d. Planar adventures offer unprecedented dangers
-. ·onders. Adventurers walk on streets made of solid
or test their mettle on a battlefield where the fallen
;-e urrected with each dawn.
: :arious planes of existence are realms of myth
mystery. They're not simply other worlds, but
-ensions formed and governed by spiritual and
~ enta l principles.
- e Outer Planes are realms of spirituality and
ght. They are the spheres where celestials, fiends,
- deities exist. The plane of Elysium, for example,
-merely a place where good creatures dwell, and not
imply the place where spirits of good creatures
. hen they die. It is the plane of goodness, a spiritual
where evil can't flourish. It is as much a state of
- a a nd of mind as it is a physical location.
e Inner Planes exemplify the physical essence
- elemental nature of air, earth, fire, and water.
-- Elemental Plane of Fire, for example, embodies
~ e ence of fire. The plane's entire substance is
= ed with the fundamental nature of fire: energy,
--·on, transformation, and destruction. Even objects
: lid brass or basalt seem to dance with flame, in a
ilile a nd palpable manifestation of the vibrancy of
- lhis context, the Material Plane is the nexus where
· ese philosophical and elemental forces collide in
:um bled existence of mortal life and matter. The
- d of D&D exist within the Material Plane, making
e starting point for most campaigns and adventures.
- -e rest of the multiverse is defined in relation to the
.,-eria l Plane.
l: ..... A.NAR CATEGORIES
- -e planes of the default D&D cosmology are grouped
- -:he following categories:
e Material Plane and Its Echoes. The Feywild and
·· e Shadowfell are reflections of the Material Plane.
e Transitive Planes. The Ethereal Plane and the
. · tral Plane are mostly featureless planes that
: rve primarily as pathways to travel from one plane
- -:he following categories:
The Inner Planes. The four El e mental Planes (Air,
Earth, Fire, and Water), plus the Elemental Chaos that
surrounds the m , are the Inne r Planes.
The Outer Planes. Sixteen Outer Planes correspond
to the eight non-neutral alignments and shades of
philosophical difference between them.
The Positive and Negative Planes. These two planes
e nfold the rest of th e cosmology, providing the raw
forces of life and death that underlie the rest of
exi s te nce in the multiverse.
PUTTING THE PLANES TOGETHER
As describe d in the Player's Handbook, the assumed
D&D cosmology includes more than two dozen plane s.
For your campaign, you decide what planes to include,
inspire d by the standard planes, drawn from Earth's
myths, or created by your own imagination.
At minimum, most D&D campaigns require
- A pla ne of origin for fiends
A plane of origin for celestials
A plane of origin for elementals
- A place for deities, which might include any or all of
the previous three
The place where mortal spirits go after death, which
might include any or all of the first three
A way of getting from one plane to anothe r
A way for spells and monsters that use the Astral
Plane and th e Ethere al Plane to function
Once you've decided on the planes you want to use in
your campaign, putting them into a coherent cosmology
is an optional step. Since the primary way of traveling
from plane to plane, even using the Transitive Planes,
is through magical portals that link planes together, the
exact relationship of different planes to one another is
largely a theoretical concern. No being in the multiverse
can look down and see the planes in their arrangement
the same way as we look at a diagram in a book. No
mortal can verify whether Mount Celestia is sandwiched
between Bytopia and Arcadia, but it's a convenient
theoretical construct based on the philosophical
shading among the three planes and the relative
importance they give to law and good.
Sages have constructed a few such theoretical models
to make sense of the jumble of planes, particularly the
Outer Planes. The three most common are the Great
INVENTING YOUR OWN PLANES
Each of the planes described in this chapter has at least
one significant effect on travelers who venture there. When
you design your own planes, it's a good idea to stick to
that model. Create one simple trait that players notice, that
doesn't create too much complication at the gaming table,
and that's easy to remember. Try to reflect the philosophy and
mood of the place, not merely its physical characteristics.
CHAPTER 2 I CREATING A MULT!VERSE