5E Cosmology

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Glim
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5E Cosmology

Based purely on the diagram, I can't even say that I'm mad. But maybe that's because I was expecting worse :D

Sure, the Outlands are gone, Baator got renamed, and the Positive and Negative planes scooted up a little bit, but otherwise the merger between world axis and great wheel looks largely successful.

Quickleaf
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While I don't have the new

While I don't have the new PHB yet, I have spoken to folks online who do; for everyone who doesn't know yet: The PHB has an Appendix which presents the structure of the planes. It appears as rings withing rings. No picture has been posted yet (so if you have the book, scan the cosmology page and post it!)

At the center is the Prime Material Plane. Here is where your normal D&D world is (or many worlds if using that model!)
It is overlaid by two planes of Shadow and Faerie (I believe they call them Ravenloft & Feywild), each a reflection of the world and the Negative or Positive Energy Planes respectively. The Energy Planes are depicted capping the entire diagram.
Surrounding the Prime is the Ethereal in which rest the Four Elemental Planes, which have border regions that contact elemental sites in the world (much as the Ethereal has border & deep zones). Presumably the Elemental Chaos is a part of this but not sure how it fits.
Then surrounding that is the Astral Plane which is depicted holding the 16 Outer Planes. The Outlands are conspicuously absent.
Presumably the Far Realm is beyond the Outer & Astral, or what would happen if you could peel the page in two, or....really who the BLEEP knows, the Far Realm is weird.

I think the Outlands is practically essential when running a true Planescape campaign, because...

  1. The Outlands serve as the frontier for low-level PC to chip their teeth on after Sigil.
  2. The Outlands embody the Planescape idea of land shifting between planes with its gate-towns, which also serve as adventure springboards & entry points to the planes.
  3. The Outlands provide territory that caravans traverse in which races from across the planes can be encountered. Worth it for the adventuring goodness alone!
  4. The Outlands are a spiritual home for Neutral creatures who can't be pigeonholed to another plane.
  5. The Outlands provide a neutral meeting place for the gods around the Spire where even their magic is annulled.
.
So, with that said, how can we incorporate the Outlands in this new cosmology? I have 2 ideas.
.
1. Outlands as outermost ring: My first thought is what if the Outlands are literally that, the outermost ring around the Outer Planes. This would make the Hinterlands make sense conceptually, bleeding off into the infinite unknown borders of the multiverse. The Great Ring would make more sense. However if its a ring there's the question: What's at the center? Wouldn't that be where the gatetowns and Outer Planes gates lie? Where then is the Spire and its anti-magic rings?

2. Outlands are 3D nexus: If you take the described planar cosmology, then tilt it 3 dimensionally so the Astral Plane appears as a cone, the Outlands would be that focal point in the Astral connecting all the Outer Planes. This would have the gate-towns & Spire make sense in their normal positioning. It does raise the question, what would the rest of the model look like in 3D?

Glim
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Actually I removed 'the

Actually I removed 'the picture' from this thread, because I didn't want any trouble.

We're in agreement about the Outlands. I really think it should be present. I really like your two ideas, especially the 3D one. That idea somehow conjured up that particular image that the 3E Manual of the Planes uses in their description of the the Plane of Shadow. I hope I'm not being too vague here? I mean, what if it wasn't the Plane of Shadow that extended to other cosmologies, but the Hinterlands of the Outlands?

Turning the chart 3D makes sense. The Outlands could exist 'above' the Elemental Planes/Chaos, and be just as connected as always.

I know that Sigil gets mentioned in the new PHB's planar section, and I'm waiting to see how the Wizards spins this. Here's to hoping they don't take the Union approach, and stick it into a demiplane (although I guess technically it could be justified).

One thing that's fortunately lacking is that rumor they were relabeling The Shadowfell to Ravenloft. Thank The Dark Powers for that.

Another 'rumor' that seems to be discredited now is the Inner Planes' 'three rings' that Mearls mentioned in the earlier article concerning the planes. I didn't hate the idea, but I'm glad it wasn't implemented in the diagram.

I'm really curious how they're going to slot in the 4e primordials and 4e asmodeus into all this. Especially in Asmo's case I'm hoping for a retcon, but I'm not holding my breath (given his popularity in PathFinder).

Shemeska the Ma...
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It looks like a lot of the

It looks like a lot of the Great Wheel with some elements of the 4e World Axis put in. It isn't perfect, but I can work with this, and would happily write for it given the opportunity.

I really dig the incorporation of the 2e Planescape symbols for the various outer planes, that's a surprise to see, and it made me smile. While I can appreciate the 3.x simplification of the Astral/Outer and Ethereal/Inner split as regarding transitive planes, 5e going back to that system is again a surprise and something that's kinda cool to see.

As possibly the internet's biggest fan of yugoloths, it makes me so so so so so incredibly happy to see Gehenna, the Waste, and Carceri back rather than the 4e Blood Rift.

I wouldn't have included as many 4e elements (quite possibly none of them to be honest), I would have handled 5e tieflings in a -much- more inclusive way rather than inexplicably making them devil-blooded only and thereby completely excluding 2e/3e style tieflings, and I still don't like the name Shadowfell rather than the Plane of Shadow... but I think that I can live with it.

I'm also rather pleasantly amused to see the 5e Feywild and Shadowfell as Material plane reflections between the Material plane and the Positive and Negative energy planes, which is exactly how Pathfinder's cosmology has handled its own fey realm of the First World and its own Shadow Plane.

More reactions once I get my hands on a copy (and if for instance anyone has a physical copy of the book and finds out more details on anything specific, lemme know).

michel andre
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Quote:. Outlands as outermost

Quote:
. Outlands as outermost ring: My first thought is what if the Outlands are literally that, the outermost ring around the Outer Planes. This would make the Hinterlands make sense conceptually, bleeding off into the infinite unknown borders of the multiverse. The Great Ring would make more sense. However if its a ring there's the question: What's at the center? Wouldn't that be where the gatetowns and Outer Planes gates lie? Where then is the Spire and its anti-magic rings?

I love this idea!

I envision the Outlands as a huge ring of nature with primeval wilderness.

What's in the center? Everything: Outer, Inner, Prime and etcetera.

Where is the Spire? Perhaps as a mountain floating around the Outlands.

The gatetowns would be were the Outer planes touch the Outlands. Perhaps as wilderness lodges for the Outsiders.

Quickleaf
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It is worth clarifying that

It is worth clarifying that folks who have the PHB have reported the Outlands and gate towns are mentioned as existing in the Outer Planes. So the Outlands still exist in 5e. It's just that they're not depicted in the diagram, suggesting perhaps a 3D layout or perhaps a omission for simplicity's sake.

As for my interpretation of the Outlands as being way-out-there like the frontier region of the Outer Planes, well it does match up nicely with the old depiction of the hinterlands...while it clashes with the usual placement of the gate towns at the rim...unless we want to get into non-Eucledian geometries. Also, if the Far Realm is "beyond the known cosmos", then the Outlands could be the front line against incursions from the Far Realms. I'm picturing mind flayers in old western dusters and wide brim hats :)

elderbrain
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Got the book, and the

Got the book, and the Outlands are still there, just not drawn in the picture because they wanted to put the Prime in the middle of the diagram, with the Feywild and Shadowfell alongside and the Elementals planes and the Etheral around all that - pretty much occupying the space they'd need to draw in the Outlands, so they didn't. It's still in the center of the Great Wheel, nonetheless, and the text also mentions the 16 Gate towns around its perimeter, gives a brief description of the Outland's terrain in general and specifically mentions both the Spire and Sigil. So the Outer planes haven't been messed with, other than moving the Energy planes to the "top" and "bottom" of them (Upper planes being near Positive energy, Lower planes being near Negative). And they even used the Planescape symbols associated with each plane (i.e. the Abyss with the down pointing-arrow and the infinity sign.) And "Baator" IS still part of the Nine Hell's name: They called it "The Nine Hells (of Baator)". So IMO it looks pretty good so far. The Elemental Chaos does exist, but I checked the listing of monsters in the upcoming Monster Manual and saw no Primordials, Elemental Archons, etc...

Avenging Kobold
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I just got PHB, they do in

I just got PHB, they do in fact mention border regions of the Elemental Planes that are sort of like the Material Plane. So the Elemental Planes as depicted in Dark Sun are there.

An interesting point is they mention that for the Outer Planes is that all the visitable parts of the Outer Planes are merely just the perceptible parts of the planes. It's there with the explanation we already know on how the planes are infinite, but parts seem finite and why travelling a plane can be as short or as long as a power wants.

Glim
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elderbrain wrote:no

elderbrain wrote:
no Primordials

Dendar the Night Serpent was a primordial in 4e, a pretty important one too IIRC. Now he's classified as a Great Old One (in the warlock pact section). This category contains a couple of other odd-ones-out like Tharizdun and Zargon; making it seem like there's enough room there to lump all the other weirdos in there (and maybe The Lady?).

So I guess the primordials are here to stay, just in another guise. I'm cool with that.

Quickleaf
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Glim wrote:Dendar the Night

Glim wrote:
Dendar the Night Serpent was a primordial in 4e, a pretty important one too IIRC. Now he's classified as a Great Old One (in the warlock pact section). This category contains a couple of other odd-ones-out like Tharizdun and Zargon; making it seem like there's enough room there to lump all the other weirdos in there (and maybe The Lady?).

So I guess the primordials are here to stay, just in another guise. I'm cool with that.


I noticed (Titan) is a keyword for Empyreans and Krakens, so it's feasible that can absorb some of the Primordial concepts.

I'm curious how primal spirits like the World Serpent, Primal Beast, and others from the Primal Power mythology will be worked in...or if they'll be worked in.

Also considering whether using Great Old One for githzerai/githyanki warlocks packed to the Great Githzerai Warlock King or the Githyanki Lich Queen would work.

Glim
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I read that to mean like the

I read that to mean like the Titan keyword is some kind of encounter descriptor, like Minion/Solo/Elite/Skirmisher/Brute were in 4e, not a 'creature type'? But then again, I don't know anything about 5e encounter building or monster statblocks (yet).

Can you clarify/confirm that I'm wrong? :)

Quickleaf
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Nope, I'm just going off of

Nope, I'm just going off of impressions/conversations about monsters we are having over at ENWorld and Ari's 5e Monster Sorter. As points against your assumption, however...

Legendary monsters (the equivalent of 4e solos) get no special sub-type or keyword in their stat blocks. So why would elites or their equivalent?

All other sub-types / keywords are narrative descriptors not metagame ones, according to Ari's 5e Monster Sorter.

Mike Mearls explicitly compared lower level monsters in 5e to minions in 4e in one of his articles (which seem to be down from Wizard's site now), due to bounded accuracy and damage/HP as the main leveling tool for monster design.

Glim
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Thanks for the clarification,

Thanks for the clarification, Quickleaf :)


Quickleaf wrote:
Also considering whether using Great Old One for githzerai/githyanki warlocks packed to the Great Githzerai Warlock King or the Githyanki Lich Queen would work.

It doesn't really feel like they 'deserve' to sponsor warlocks. They're powerful beings, sure, but they still draw from mundane sources; their powers can be explained. They're not really beyond comprehension like what I feel is proper for a Great Old One. Also, despite being old, they're not really that ancient in the grand scheme of things.

I guess, if anything, Gith or Zertimon themselves could work, but frankly I don't think even they qualify. And even if they did, if they were powering warlock all along, that would take away much of the magic from their potential second coming. Maybe I'm just being strict :/



Glim wrote:
This category contains a couple of other odd-ones-out like Tharizdun and Zargon;

I just went over the deity lists again, and Tharizdun shows up there as well. So I guess he's both Deity and Great Old One. Not sure how that works...

elderbrain
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Re: the "(Titan)" descriptor

According to the complete listing of 5e monsters in the new MM, only three creatures are assigned the "(Titan)" tag: The Tarrasque, the Kraken, and the Empyrean (who of course are the re-named, ORIGINAL Titans.) Since the Empyrean DO receive the "(Titan)" tag, it is still technically correct to calls them "Titans" in 5e, for those of you who don't like the name "Empyrean". So Zadara can still can herself Zadara the Titan, for instance... Seems kinda pointless to change the name to create a tag that only applies to three creatures, but maybe more "(Titan)"s will appear in later products.

Avenging Kobold
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I think the Titan subtype

I think the Titan subtype refers to direct creations/tools of the Gods or things with divine essence, as I remember that the Tarrasque was once of the Abomination subtype. So I think we'll eventually see things like Atropals, Anaxims and Hecatoncheires with the Titan subtype.

elderbrain
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Primordials

The existence of Great Old Ones in 5E does not necessarily rule out or exclude Primordials from the game. Given that the Elementals share a common language called Primordial (with individual elemental languages like Aquan being classed as dialects), it's likely that at least a few Elemental beings will be defined as Primordials in the new game, i.e. Kossuth, Grumbar, etc. but the whole "war again the gods" business being dropped or downplayed.

(P.S. LOVE the fact that they mentioned Great Cthulhu BY NAME in the PHB as a Warlock patron!)

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Hm Elderbrain, when you say

Hm Elderbrain, when you say "original Titans" which edition or campaign setting do you refer to? Haven't there been, at various times, both outsiders and minor deities referred to as Titans in different versions of D&D? I seem to recall a 2e monster that was just "a Titan" but also Titans/deities named after the Greek Titans imprisoned in Carceri.

elderbrain
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I was referring to the

I was referring to the Chaotic Good lesser Titans as depicted in the 2nd Ed. Monster Manual, although I am aware of the Greater Titans imprisoned on Carceri.