The Inner Planes provides a host of habitats, sites and niches; all teaming with all means of elemental lifeforms… and not-so-lifeforms. These creatures exist to feed, fight and survive in their respect realms; some on a level more intelligent than others. Among these more intelligent organisms, alien parallels to society exist within their respective home planes; drawn from the motifs and energies of the equally respective plane. Some thrive from mixtures of the elements; some are new creations, while emerge from calamities that clear the way for something new. From what I understand, natural scholars refer to this as a “secondary succession” of sorts.
Author’s Note: I wanted to do a fair number of things, since it’s been a while. I haven’t done much in terms of mechanics, even beyond D&D 5th Edition and onto other games. I’ve been rereading Cyberpunk 2020, in part because it somehow feels more relevant in some ways than it did all those years ago. Granted, there’s enough 3rd party and custom stuff from a 25 Yr.+ range to never warrant me making my own things. Anyway, I’d rather keep these little blips pertaining to the page itself rather than personal gripes and issues.
The search for all that the elements have to offer continues. To put things simply, the elemental planes converge into their own realms of sorts. These fusions act as elemental planes in their own rights, the para-elemental as they are known. In addition, I can’t help but research some hypothetical planar fusions that come up in various lectures and notes across the planes. Someone’s idea of a practical joke? A sinister piece of the chant? Who knows? Either way, there is knowledge to find!
Author’s Note: The Inner Planes. Yeah, you gotta stretch the imagination a bit. All the same, I hope this thought exercise proves you can mold something out of a tough template. Hopefully, you’ll find some inspiration too. Though, not necessarily references to say /tg/ classic lore, DOOM or Warhammer or many other things either. Also, shout out to The Pathology Guy, whose take on the Inner Planes has been a large inspiration for me.
Circling the prime are realms where natural life is abundant, even the opposite is present too! This is the circle of the Inner Planes. Looping forms of elements dancing endlessly, the fabric of natural matter locked in a glorious display. So, why not explore them? A novel idea, and what better host for such an adventure? If I do say so, myself. Follow my mad scribblings and even madder musings as we quest to see the workings of the Inner Planes, uncovering many secrets and hidden goodies along the way.
A word of warning, many of the inner planes are truly primal. You feared the forces of the Outer Planes, but many of these are broken into base primordial essences. And no, I don’t mean like Primordium; such a strange place is still rather dangerous in its own right. I talk of the place that gave the inspiration to build Primordium in the first place! It’s amazing how something so simple can be so awe inducing. To me, those are the Elemental Planes. Let us not dally. Admittedly, my venture to the Upper Planes lasted quite a while, the better part of many primer yearly calendars. So, do stay close and protect yourself against the correct force, one of many elemental vortexes are just a jump away!
Author’s Note: Before we continue, because I don’t say it enough, a big thanks to Todd Stewart for being a huge inspiration. His work in pathfinder’s planar content gets a nod from me partially because of it! While I doubt I’ll ever really jump back to Paizo, I can appreciate the work the some of the people over there are doing. Besides, I’m more so feeling Cyberpunk 2020 or one of many other seemingly relevant dystopian games for this day and age… Anyway, jokes and other topics aside, the Inner Planes always felt like they needed more to them. The Inner Planes book itself jokes about this while giving some neat suggestions, but I want to add my own touch. Hell, it calls out the people who aren’t imaginative enough to make those planes work. I’ve seen too many silly complaints about the Inner Planes too, in part because it puts your mind in a challenge… Anyway, here are the results of my own elemental plane challenge. Well, part of them. I have much more where this came from!
I’ve been quite busy, especially with an expo. However, here’s my means of catching up on things. In fact, two critters popped out to me when I was combing through the Monstrous Compendiums for Planescape. Here are my takes on the Rast and the Bloodthorn. Enjoy!
Author’s Note: In which the author covers up his posterior by posting two new creatures.
So, the theme for this blog for the past couple of months has been planar creatures and dimensional weirdness. Nothing embodies both better in my opinion within the realms of D&D than the Planescape Campaign Setting. While I’ve enjoyed other AD&D settings like Greyhawk, the Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance; Planescape has remained special to me. It’s a strange and cosmic fantasy where imagination is truly the limit! You want to fight insane mechanical cubes with ray guns? You can! You wanna gamble with a Devil with an Angel by your side? It’s possible! You wanna get flayed by a giant lady for treating her like a God? PLEASE DON’T DO THAT! But I digress, Planescape is a high concept setting with endless amounts of play and content to explore. For the reasons above and the many reasons below, I hope the full flavor of Planescape returns to D&D 5th Edition. So far, it’s my favorite incarnation of the rule set (and I loooove AD&D 2e, albeit mostly for the vast library of settings.) While they more or less have the Great Wheel, it feels much of the shadow of its former self like in the 3rd Edition of the game. I want the vibrancy, the absurdity and the wonder of those wonderful weird planes. Digressing from that, I’m here to address another question… How does one do a Planar game in this setting? Why, I’m glad you asked! Here’s a few humble suggestions from yours truly!
Now, I know what you’re thinking… “Doc! Didn’t you write about the planes on your other blog?” Yes, I did. However, I think now is a good time to revisit that post, especially now that I’ve been creating content revolving around planar travel and alternate dimensions. Plus, cosmological models and jumping between worlds has been one of my favorite aspects of D&D as a whole! With that, let’s chat about campaigns within the planes.
For starters, you might also ask me something; “Hey Doc! Aren’t there more cosmological models than The Great Wheel a la AD&D?” And you would be right! Especially since 3rd edition, new models have popped up. The Portals and Planes D20 Book (a rare title, if I may add) had heavily versatile options for truly forging your own planar realms. Pathfinder modifies the Great Wheel and adds to it in simply awesome ways (with help of Todd Stewart himself!) Eberron has an orrery based system where some planes overlap at the material plane at points in time. The World Axis is a duality between the Gods above and the Primordials below. That said, the Great Wheel remains my personal favorite of mine. To be fair, it’s where I had the most adventures within the planes themselves.