Questions on customizing the cosmology

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Karsus
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Questions on customizing the cosmology

Hey all. I've having a bit of an issue customizing the cosmology for my campaigns, and was hoping some of you cutters could offer any suggestions, or someplace to look for inspiration.
I'm essentially using the Great Wheel cosmology, to the best of my understanding of it. I'm including the Spirit World variant plane from Manual of the Planes (3E), and expanding the relevance of the Region of Dreams. After giving some thought to the location of these planes in relation to the rest of the multiverse, I decided to make the Spirit World coexistent with the Material Plane, with links to the Astral Plane and Border Ethereal. Such a position also seemed a good place to put the Faerie Realm (which may have been inspired by the seemingly similar placement of 4E's Feywild), also coexistent with the Material Plane, and connecting to the Positive Energy Plane, the Beastlands, Arborea, and Pandemonium.
I would like to keep with the Rule of Threes, and have a third such plane overlapping the Material, but I'm coming up short on ideas. I've looked through the Manual of the Planes' variant chapter, and took a look at a couple of published campaign settings' (Forgotten Realms and Pathfinder's Golarion) cosmologies, but nothing is inspiring me yet.

Similarly, I've given thought to the placement of the Region of Dreams. I had originally thought to use it for my third plane overlapping the Material, but those planars that sleep still dream, right? So it seems to me that the Region of Dreams would be further-reaching than just the Material Plane and a few points on some other planes. So I'm currently thinking to make it coexistent with the entire multiverse.
But it doesn't seem quite right to me to have only one plane with such scope, so I'm trying to round it out to three again. I'm considering the Plane of Shadow as a second. I don't know if that one quite fits though. I'm still not entirely certain if the Plane of Shadow is supposed to just be close to the Material Plane, or if it reaches the rest of the multiverse.
The Temporal Energy Plane was another I'd considered, but given the inconsistency of the passage of time on various planes, I don't think I would want to put it on the same scope as I'm placing the Region of Dreams. The name makes me want to set it at the center of the Inner Planes, between the Positive and Negative Energy Planes...

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Kaelyn
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Quote: I decided to make the

Quote:
I decided to make the Spirit World coexistent with the Material Plane, with links to the Astral Plane and Border Ethereal. Such a position also seemed a good place to put the Faerie Realm

Maybe the Spirit World and Faerie are the same place. They seem similar enough that I think you could combine the two.

Quote:
I would like to keep with the Rule of Threes, and have a third such plane overlapping the Material, but I'm coming up short on ideas.

The Plane of Shadow would be the obvious choice. The Rule of Threes says that the three coexistent planes are the Material, Shadow, and Faerie.

Quote:
I had originally thought to use it for my third plane overlapping the Material, but those planars that sleep still dream, right?

What if they don't? Maybe that's why the gods want Prime worshipers so badly: Primes are the only ones in the multiverse who can dream. People physically within the Plane of Dream don't dream, because their waking lives are dreams. People in the Outer Planes have visions of local gods or other prominent local features when they sleep; in the Beastlands, sleepers see through the eyes of local animals, while in the Outlands sleepers see visions of the Spire all night long. But no one truly dreams. The visions aren't personalized. They aren't fragments of memories and they say nothing about one's hopes or desires. It's simply powerful archetypes penetrating a sleeping mind. Everyone sees the same things. Only by attracting worshipers from the Material Plane, and perhaps Faerie and Shadow, can the inhabitants of the Outer Planes harness the power of dreaming.

Rolro
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I tried also to include some

I also tried to include some of these planes before. The Spirit World is a transitive demiplane within the Ethereal similar to Shadow, it connects to outer planar realms that are based on animistic beliefs, this would include lesser known spirits, but also for example the Japanese kami. Faerie is a different demiplane, it connects to other realms.

The Region of Dreams is just a part of the Ethereal where dreamscapes clump together. They can merge, and form planar bridges, turn nightmarish under lower planar influences. And Shadow reaches to some outer planar realms, not all, for example the Grey Waste.

The Temporal between the Positive and Negative is a good placement. I've considered it a part of the plane of fate (loom), but I don't have a such large difference between the inner and outer planes.

Palomides
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Dreams

This may not be to your liking, but I made the border between the Prime and the Astral (the realm of thought) into the plane/region of dreams. I liked this as it seemed appropriate for how the dreams of people in the Prime are somewhat more "concrete" or carry more importance than just a waking idea in one's head; but aren't as permanent as a full plane

I envisioned the border as a two-dimensional plane that formed "bubbles" that contained the dreamscapes created by sleeping Primes (or planars). Most "pop" when the dreamer awakens but a few have been become somewhat more permanent and can be visited. I also came up with a parasite that breaks into these bubble dreamscapes and feeds on them and/or corrupts them into nightmare realms.

As a border for the Prime and the Outer Planes, it worked for me - as my preference, elemental creatures from the Inner Planes wouldn't be dreaming

Karsus
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Whoops, sorry for not replying sooner...

Well, it would seem my planar lore has become a bit rusty. It'd been a few years since I'd read the description of the Spirit World variant. Upon review, you're right Kaelyn, it does appear practically identical to the Faerie realm. Rereading the entry on the Ethereal Plane, I found that best fit the image in my head. So, since the idea I had is already in the regular cosmology, and I had already been planning to use Faerie, I don't think distinguishing a separate Spirit World is necessary anymore.

Wow, it never occurred to me that the Material Plane could be the third in that triad... I'm not quite sure why, but I tend to overlook it when thinking on matters relating to the planes.

That's an interesting idea, that only Primes dream. Under that assumption, why would you think the gods want dreaming worshipers so much? What power is there to be harnessed in dreams?

@ Palomides: That's an interesting placement. I might have to think on that for a bit.
Your idea on that Dream parasite reminds me of Quickleaf's thoughts on the role of slaadi over in this thread.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, guys. I appreciate your input.

Kaelyn
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I imagine that dreams

I imagine that dreams represent a creative force, the raw material of imagination which gods can reshape to enhance their power and their realms.

Githyankee
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Couple of my random ideas on

Couple of my random ideas on the subject:
I always toyed around with the idea that places like the Feywild that aren't Inner or Outer planes, but are still different from the usual Prime, are perhaps similar to "layers" for the Prime.

Regarding the Regions of Dreams, I decided it wouldn't be a convention plane, but something else altogether... something dreaming minds can access anywhere in the multiverse, but not connected in the way portals connect planes, or the astral/ethereal connect planes, and so forth.