Please refer to this page for a discussion about the mechanics of other planes of existence in Pathfinder, as well as for definitions of the planar properties listed within this campaign section.
As mentioned in the world overview section, the Ocean of Panakos resulted from a merging of many different sub-realms, each created by a castaway pantheon of Pangean Gods, who sought a new home for their people in the Astral Plane. Initially, each of these realms were disconnected, floating in the Astral like any number of unrelated Prime Material planes, but as the strength of their deities returned, the oceans spread out from each of them and intermingled, creating the Ocean of Panakos.
The transitive planes of the Astral, Etherial, and Shadow are “Coexistent” in the world of Panakos. All other planes are “Coterminous,” with physical gates between them. Entrance to the transitive planes is gained in the usual way, via spells or items related to them. Some locations (such as the Valley of the Gods in the Pueblan Islands) may have natural ways of interacting with transitive planes, on a case by case basis.
The Ocean of Panakos acts as a buffer, blocking planar travel to any non coterminous planes with the region in which the caster finds himself or herself. As such, many planar travel spells abilities are shunted, as follows:
Ethereal Jaunt: no change.
Astral Projection: as stated in the core rules, with the following additional restrictions: The astral plane is coexistent with the current realm, and travel beyond the current realm is prohibited. Travel to elemental planes is prohibited unless projecting from the Ocean of Panakos itself, via the relevant elemental gate. (see below) Travel to Outer Planes is restricted by region, via the plane’s coterminous entrance. (see below)
Astral Projection, lesser: as above, but travel to other planes is entirely prohibited.
Plane Shift: Only outer planes associated with your current region are valid destinations for this spell. Elemental planes may only be accessed within 100 miles of the elemental gate. Travel to Transitive Planes via Plane Shift is not geographically restricted, but the destination in the transitive plane will be the coexistent location.
Gate: Only outer planes associated with your current region are valid targets for this spell.
Elemental Planes in Panakos
At the corners of the Ocean are entrances to the four elemental planes – coterminous regions where the Ocean of Panakos itself becomes consumed and morphed into the terrain of the given elemental plane. Elemental forces flow from these corners, and affect the climate and weather patterns of Panakos. Travel to and through these gates is dangerous but possible for those properly equipped to deal with the extremes of the gate itself, and of the elemental plane beyond. The descriptions of the elemental planes themselves (see link above) remain unchanged.
The Air Gate –
As ocean going travelers approach the lower right hand corner of the world map, weather gets windier and more fierce, with water spouts and typhoons becoming more common. These often break off from this highly dangerous region of the ocean and cluster in “The Torrentia,” to the north and west. The gate itself is a cluster of endless waterfalls, varying from half a mile to dozens of miles wide, where the ocean spills in fantastic directions into the subjective directional gravity of the Plane of Air.
The Earth Gate –
As travelers approach the upper left corner of the map, negotiating becalmed air, bitter cold water, and icebergs, they begin to see fantastically tall rock spires jet out of the water, extending to heights beyond the clouds. These increase in frequency until they become progressively harder to negotiate. The gate itself is a solid wall of stone that extends to the depths of the ocean and the limits of the sky, with numerous caves riddling its surface both below and above the water line. As one delves deep into these caves, the properties of the elemental plane slowly take over.
The Fire Gate –
As travelers approach the lower left hand corner of the map, pockets of the ocean begin to boil, geysers of steam erupt from small rocky islands, and portions of the ocean itself are covered in fire, as if oil was lit aflame upon it. The gate itself is a wall of super heated steam, which appears as a broiling fog bank from a distance, but is in fact the water from the ocean boiling off before a wall of fire. Those capable of passing through the wall gain access to the elemental plane of fire.
The Water Gate –
As travelers approach the upper right hand corner of the map, ocean swells steadily increase to hurricane proportions, despite relatively ordinary levels of wind. These swells grow to hundreds of feet in height, grow steeper and steeper, and are broken by intermittent whirlpools which catch vessels and drag them to the depths of the ocean. The gate itself is a perpetual standing tidal wave, its surf extending into the limits of the sky.
The Outer Planes
The “default” Pathfinder Outer Planes do not exist in Panakos. Rather, each pantheon of deities has crafted it’s own Outer Plane or set of Outer Planes in which it resides, in keeping with that pantheon’s creation myths, traditions, and teachings. Access to an Outer Plane of a specific pantheon may only be gained from within that pantheon’s region. This means that a cleric of Thor who casts a Gate while in the Olympian Isles may not cast that gate to Asgard, nor may Thor himself influence the prime material plane in the Isles of Olympia, except through granting spells to his clerics.
Some regions have specific locations which are coterminous with the designated Outer Planes of that region. For example, the River Styx in the Olympian Isles forms the boundary between that region and the Underworld of Hades. Anyone within the Olympian Isles may enter the underworld on foot, simply by journeying to, and crossing, the Styx. Likewise, anyone my enter Hades by casting a Gate to it within the boundaries of the Isles of Olympia.
The description of each Outer Plane itself is left to the GM, who should default to historical data sources as much as possible. Wikipedia can be a valuable resource for extraplanar adventures in Panakos, as can the myths, poems, and traditional teachings of each pantheon itself. If you GM a Panakos game, and develop more material (or request a change/correction to this or any page within the Lab) please contact us at panakospublishing at gmail dot com, and we will be happy to include the material here.
Contacting and Summoning Entities of the Outer Planes
Direct contact with “Outer Entities” such as gods, demons, or angels, including summoning, only works for entities originating within the region in which the ritual is performed. For example, if a wizard were to cast Planar Binding while within the Jade Isles, he must summon an outsider from the Jade Isles pantheon, who’s home is in the outer planes of the Jade Isles. Likewise, if a cleric casts commune in a foreign region, he must ask questions of a God local to that region.
This restriction is lifted for non-godlike entities if the caster is in the ocean itself, outside of a region, performing the ritual on a boat or an unaffiliated island. Certain outsiders (such as the anti-paladin’s summoned servant) may be dismissed to their home plane and recalled at will. When dismissed from a region other than their home region, these outsiders enter the approximate Outer Planar equivalent of the current region, which may be dangerous for them, subject to GM’s discretion.