Ramon’s Guide to Realms of Order vs. Anarchy

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“Law and Chaos, two diametrically opposed sides, no one will refute this.  However, what oddities and secrets do they hold?  Why, I’m happy to show you.  While I have covered a little on Pandemonium and Acheron, it’s only fair to look at the other mostly-neutral planes of Law and Chaos… plus a few looks at other related realms, and a few returns to some less than savory burgs and blights.  But, all in the name of granting knowledge to you, fair scholar!” – An introductory speech for Ramon’s Lecture on Planes of Law and Chaos, at the Civic Festhall, in the Clerk’s Ward of Sigil

Planes of Law, rules taken physical form!  While Acheron has shown the order of war at its most harsh, there is far more to explore within the possibilities of Law.  One must account for concepts of atruism, unity, conformity and direction.  While these topics can overlap between planes; they all have their respective places.  Likewise, their inevitable counterpart is the eternal testament to disorder.  The Planes of Chaos are a lack of rules turned physical.  Chaos need not be just madness, like Pandemonium.  Plenty of free thinkers are driven by many other passions.  These don’t have to be completely selfish either.  Some people just want a good time, consequences be damned!  Others just want free reigns to express themselves, judgements be damned.  So, as these two forces butt heads, let’s take a deeper look at some overviews as well as some of my own dug up finds.  Join me as I return to the planes once again!

Author’s Note: More Planes!  This time Law vs. Chaos.  This was a fun chance to revisit my fey post from last Summer!  (Shout out to Brynvalk for partially inspiring this brief revival!) Also, yes, Augmental probably won’t see use in MOST sane campaigns, considering it’s supposed to be a blend of Phyrexia, Hellraiser and H.R. Giger art in a blender.  Though, I can hope some more tongue-in-cheek segments make up for my usual delves into grimdark.

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Ramon’s Guide to more Incredible Planes

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Some planar experiences are weird.

Salutations, friends.  Following my excursion into the depths and chronicling unseen sights of the lower planes, I return once more!  Consider this entry and future presentation and addendum to many previous treks across many realities.  At this point, I have become rather adept to the dangers beyond.  But, for the enterprising primer looking to handle all that the planes can offer, hopefully I can pass plenty of advice and knowledge on.  So please, travel with me (in spirit) as I unravel more mysteries and wonders floating beyond the prime material plane.

Author’s Note: More planes abound!  I wanted to return to my idea of the Hag Countess ascending, what an aftermath would be like.  Also, I recalled that 4th Edition touched on Evard a few times, so it’s worth taking some notes from various later creations (such as a somewhat obscure Dungeon adventure) for inspiration.  Hopefully, I can find myself back in the swing of things as well.  I haven’t been nearly as motivated in the new year, but I’ll see what I can do.

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Ramon’s Guide to Strange Realities and Stranger Planes

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Currently, I find myself researching into the boundless possibilities of parallel universes, alternate realities if you will. Such a pursuit is a headache. But, no matter! An explorer must persevere for the good of all! Throughout all means of realities, little pockets of truly wondrous strangeness hide in their own obscure places. For the time being, let me chronicle some travels to other strange places in the multiverse!  Who knows what there is?

Author’s Note: It’s no secret, I keep coming back to the planes, especially Planescape. As always, many of these ideas are 3rd and 4th Edition concepts retrofitted into AD&D (rather than 5th Edition’s approach).  This time around, a little more Shadowfell and a bit of Elemental Chaos get reshaped to (better) fit the Great Wheel.  However, I wanted to pay homage to some other concepts from settings like Mystara, which takes a much vaguer approach to the planes. Also, H.R. Giger inspired nightmare fuel!  Also, where details on original content were sparse, I twisted things around and added some of my own ideas.

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Ramon’s Guide to The Mists

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Ravenloft!  The Demiplane of Dread!  The Mists!  All names for the same prison dimension for the foulest in the multiverse!  Those within the clutches of the Dark Powers must suffer, whether or not they deserve it.  These Dark Powers overseen all sorts of truly awful Domains of Dread, plots of artificially constructed spaces where the Powers observe the truly damned in the places of their own damnation.  The Darklords are those who have doomed themselves through acts of ultimate evil.  They preside over the aforementioned domains to remind them of their sins.  Usually, they don’t take kindly to visitors like myself.

Author’s Note: The Lovable World Traveling Bard vs. The Demiplane of Dread!  I always love writing bits on Ravenloft and this is a good way of introducing some of my favorite domains to players who might not be as familiar with them.  Of course, there are MANY domains that I wish I could ramble about, but I have only so much space and time to play with, unlike the Dark Powers.  In fact, their ability is limitless!  Plus, this is a good way of building up my own domains, Dawnsveil, Within the Woods and Feuer!  (Yes, the second one is Evil Dead 1 & 2.)  Keep an eye out for those new domains, by the way…  Also I continued a piece cut from my prior post.  The Black Lanterns was part of my Shadow Fell to Planescape conversion concept from before.

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Revenge of the Sheens – More Mechanical Horrors!

Revenge of the Sheen

“Metal things, metal things, why do you get in my way?  My favorite ditch, destroyed!  They ate my gold!  One of them stole one of my axes!  Tin can bastards are going in my book, my book of grudges!  Blasting that damned fox into near-dust was entertaining, but I still hate them!  Back to the chained islands with all of you!  A cursed land, of course it’s the place they crawled out of!  I’ll make them crawl back!” – Boron, Unhinged Dwarf Warrior/Rune-Crafter, “Ally” of Geber, survivor of The Massacre of Ignis

Lesser Sheen models have proved to be quite destructive.  However, far worse ones wait for their chance to strike.  Some seek to hack through organic like, while others harvest whatever secrets they have to further help the sheen agenda.  Their mechanical terror knows very few limits, expanding and changing at rapid rates.  In fact, new forms of sheen have emerged from their studies of the prime material plane itself.

Author’s Note: Here are the rest of the Sheens from both articles.  These baddies should prove to be far more formidable than the previous post, especially the massive power tree!  That’s an end campaign boss, more or less!  With the Sheen out of the way, I think I’ll slowly move towards my horror/dark fantasy theme I do every autumn.

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Mage Vs. Machine – The Sheens

Todd Lockwood - Mech Hunter

Rumors tell of impossible machines, constructs built by the bashers of an exceptionally accursed prime space.  Such a place was long buried deep in the dead book by its own hubris and acceleration, despite the warnings of their Powers.  The barmies kept on going, crafting up one of the most heinous things to pollute the multiverse.  I speak of the Sheens.  Baator-fed buggers seem to self-replicate and thrive, despite attempts to wipe them out.  They’re not just constructs either, but true thinking machines!  They lack souls, but have the mind and bone-box alike to surpass most eggheads.  Needless to say, this place burned down hard.  The Land of Blackmoor was no more!  However, their creation escaped far beyond its Crystal Sphere and beyond.  So, go ahead and kill one, multiple will show up out of no where to take you down!  The Metal berks burnt my tail bad too! – Geber Reynardt, Kitsune Alchemist and Sensate, survivor of The Sheen Invasion of Ignis

Who says sci-fi and fantasy don’t mix?  It’s been a thing for decades, eons, at least a century!  Even in D&D, we’ve had all sorts of strange crossovers.  The aforementioned Blackmoor has been around since the beginning.  That setting was a somewhat dirty and gritty medieval world that contended with a crashed alien space ship.  The result was an AWOL officer starting an uprising with a “frog cult”, as well as the ship thrown into other forms of turmoil.  The end result of the mess caused Blackmoor to experience technological leaps before ultimately blowing itself up.

And in the case of the Sheen, one of my favorite articles from Dragon Magazine (complete with a follow-up), they’re very much science-fantasy too.  The articles tell of the sheen, a strange and mysterious menace.  These constructs were made by a society more advanced in technology and probably magic too.  Their genuine origins are a mystery to most, but their desire to consume and conquer makes them a massive threat.  Plus, they have numerous forms that can adapt to different situations.  And while the sheens tear through organic life, they don’t do so out of malice or hatred, but a survival for their own “machine kind”.  Fortunately, countless defenders have learned enough to fend them off and even reverse engineer some of their own contraptions too.  In a sense, think like Horizon Zero Dawn!

Author’s Note: This one has been a long time coming!  The Sheens are by far one of my favorite obscure D&D monsters (or set of monsters).  Beyond two magazine articles, there hasn’t been too much buzz around them.  Hopefully, I can help to change that!  Here’s the first part of that, with a mix of both articles.  Sure, I’ve made robots already, but I really love these ones too!  Plus, should I find the time, I might be interested in converting the Kits and Spells introduced by the article too… eventually… hopefully.

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Planar Mania – Monsters Continued

Wildspace Explorer | Into the Night by sdavis75

“Today, you have entered as cadets, mere trainees with little knowledge of the cast worlds beyond and the infinite stars that surround them.  Through extensive courses and simulations, you exit as readied soldiers.  The vast empty void is your grounds to explore, to understand, to build upon.  Be brave, mighty warriors, mages and more!  Go forth, into wildspace!” – Graduation at the Rock of Bral Spell Flight Academy

To some, a trip into fantastical space is a simple feat.  They’re quite far from the truth.  In reality, it proves to be quite the challenge for those who aren’t initiated.  And even once one travels into space, that’s not to say it’s just a lifeless and black nothingness.  Countless hazards threaten the discerning traveler.  Most poorly calculated move and you sail into a deadly trap!  While not all life beyond a material world is inherently deadly, there is still much to be weary of.

Author’s Note:  More Spelljammer!  This time, I’m sampling a little bit of Star Wars influence too.  Starweirds, Ysalamiri, maybe a few others.  Also, there seems to be an unintentionally recurring theme of racial tension in this post.  I guess the theme for this post is part Star Wars, part “racism is bad”?  I dunno.

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