While endless adventure awaits out in the game—there are other worlds beyond these—other continents, other planets, other galaxies. Yet even beyond this existence of countless planets exist more worlds—entirely different dimensions of reality known as the planes of existence. Except for rare linking points that allow travel between them, each plane is effectively its own universe with its own natural laws. Collectively, the entirety of these other dimensions and planes is known as the Great Beyond.
Although the number of planes is limited only by imagination, they can all be categorized into five general types: the Material Plane, the transitive planes, the Inner Planes, the Outer Planes, and the countless demiplanes.
The planes are collectively known as the Great Beyond, and form a vast, nesting sphere. At the heart of the sphere lie the Material Plane and its twisted reflection, the Shadow Plane, bridged by the mists of the Ethereal Plane. The elemental planes of the Inner Sphere surround this heart. Farther out, beyond the void of the Astral Plane, sits the unimaginably vast Outer Sphere, which is itself surrounded and contained by the innumerable layers of the Abyss.
While endless adventure awaits in the game—there are other worlds beyond these—other continents, other planets, other galaxies. Yet even beyond this existence of countless planets exist more worlds—entirely different dimensions of reality known as the planes of existence. Except for rare linking points that allow travel between them, each plane is effectively its own universe with its own natural laws. Collectively, the entirety of these other dimensions and planes is known as the Great Beyond.
The planes of existence are different realities with interwoven connections. Except for rare linking points, each plane is effectively its own universe, with its own natural laws. The planes break down into a number of general types: the Material Plane, the transitive planes, the Inner Planes, the Outer Planes, and the demiplanes.
Although the number of planes is limited only by imagination, they can all be categorized into five general types: the Material Plane, the transitive planes, the Inner Planes, the Outer Planes, and the countless demiplanes.
The Material Plane is the most Earth-like of all the planes, and operates under the same set of natural laws that our own world does. This is the default plane for most adventures.
The Material Plane tends to be the most Earth-like of all planes and operates under the same set of natural laws that our own real world does. The “size” of the Material Plane depends upon the campaign—it might conform only to the single world on which your game is set, or it might encompass an entire universe of planets, moons, stars, and galaxies. The Material Plane is the default plane for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
These three planes have one important common characteristic: each is used to get from one place to another. The Astral Plane (although technically an Outer Plane) is a conduit to all other planes, while the Ethereal Plane and the Shadow Plane both serve as means of transportation within the Material Plane, which they're connected to. These planes have the strongest regular interaction with the Material Plane and can be accessed using various spells. They have native inhabitants as well.
Transitive planes have one important common characteristic: they “overlap” with other planes, and as such can be used to travel between these overlapping realities. These planes have the strongest regular interaction with the Material Plane and are often accessed by using various spells. They have native inhabitants as well. Example transitive planes include the following.
A silvery void that connects the Material and Inner Planes to the Outer Planes, the astral plane is the medium through which the souls of the departed travel to the afterlife. A traveler in the Astral Plane sees the plane as a vast empty void periodically dotted with tiny motes of physical reality calved off of the countless planes it overlaps. Powerful spellcasters utilize the Astral Plane for a tiny fraction of a second when they teleport, or they can use it to travel between planes with spells like astral projection.
The Ethereal Plane is a ghostly realm that exists as a buffer between the Material Plane and the Shadow Plane, overlapping each. A traveler in the Ethereal plane experiences the real world as if the world were an insubstantial ghost, and can move through solid objects without being seen in the real world. Strange creatures dwell in the Ethereal Plane, as well as ghosts and dreams, many of which can sometimes extend their influence into the real world in mysterious and terrifying ways. Powerful spellcasters utilize the Ethereal Plane with spells like blink, etherealness, and ethereal jaunt.
The eerie and deadly Shadow Plane is a grim, colorless “duplicate” of the Material Plane. It overlaps with the Material Plane but is smaller in size, and is in many ways a warped and mocking “reflection” of the Material Plane, one infused with negative energy (see Inner Planes) and serving as home for strange monsters like undead shadows and worse. Powerful spellcasters utilize the Shadow Plane to swiftly travel immense distances on the Material Plane with shadow walk, or draw upon the mutable essence of the Shadow Plane to create quasi-real effects and creatures with spells like shadow evocation or shades.
These six planes are manifestations of the basic building blocks of the universe. Each is made up of a single type of energy or element that overwhelms all others. The natives of a particular Inner Plane are made of the same energy or element as the plane itself. The Negative Energy Plane, the Positive Energy Plane, the Plane of Air, the Plane of Earth, the Plane of Fire, and the Plane of Water are all Inner Planes.
The Inner Planes contain the building blocks of reality—it's easiest to envision these planes as “containing” the Material Plane, but they do not overlap with the Material Plane as do the transitive planes. Each Inner Plane is made up of a single type of energy or element that overwhelms all others. The natives of a particular Inner Plane are made of the same energy or element as the plane itself. Example Inner Planes include the following.
The four classic Inner Planes are the Plane of Air, the Plane of Earth, the Plane of Fire, and the Plane of Water—it is from these planes that the creatures known as elementals hail, yet they house many other strange denizens as well, such as the genie races, strange metal-eating xorns, unseen invisible stalkers, and mischievous mephits.
Two energy planes exist—the Positive Energy Plane (from which the animating spark of life hails) and the Negative Energy Plane (from which the sinister taint of undeath hails). Energy from both planes infuses reality, the ebb and flow of this energy running through all creatures to bear them along the journey from birth to death. Clerics utilize power from these planes when they channel energy.
Beyond the realm of the mortal world, beyond the building blocks of reality, lie the Outer Planes. Vast beyond imagining, it is to these realms that the souls of the dead travel, and it is upon these realms in which the gods themselves hold court. Each of the Outer Planes has an alignment, representing a particular moral or ethical outlook, and the natives of each plane tend to behave in agreement with that plane's alignment. The Outer Planes are also the final resting place of souls from the Material Plane, whether that final rest takes the form of calm introspection or eternal damnation. The denizens of the Outer Planes form the mythologies of civilization, comprising angels and demons, titans and devils, and countless other incarnations of possibility. Each campaign world should have different Outer Planes to match its themes and needs, but classic Outer Planes include lawful good Heaven, the chaos and evil of the Abyss, the regimented lawful evil of Hell, and the capricious freedom and joys of chaotic good Elysium. Powerful spellcasters can contact the Outer Planes for advice or guidance with spells like commune and contact outer plane, or can conjure allies with spells like planar ally or summon monster.
The deities live on the Outer Planes, as do creatures such as celestials, fiends, and other outsiders. Each of the Outer Planes has an alignment representing a particular moral or ethical outlook, and the natives of each plane tend to behave in agreement with that plane's alignment. The Outer Planes are also the final resting place of souls from the Material Plane, whether that final rest takes the form of calm introspection or eternal damnation. Abaddon, the Abyss, Elysium, Heaven, Hell, Limbo, Nirvana, Purgatory, and Utopia are all Outer Planes.
This catchall category covers all extradimensional spaces that function like planes but have measurable size and limited access. Other kinds of planes are theoretically infinite in size, but a demiplane might be only a few hundred feet across. There are countless demiplanes adrift in reality, and while most are connected to the Astral Plane and Ethereal Plane, some are cut off entirely from the transitive planes and can only be accessed by well-hidden portals or obscure magic spells.
Infinities may be broken into smaller infinities, and planes into smaller, related planes. These layers are effectively separate planes of existence, and each layer can have its own features and qualities. Layers are connected to each other through a variety of planar gates, natural vortices, paths, and shifting borders.
Access to a layered plane from elsewhere usually happens on the first layer of the plane, which can be either the top or bottom layer, depending on the specific plane. Most fixed access points (such as portals and natural vortices) reach this layer, which makes it the gateway for other layers of the plane. The plane shift spell generally deposits the spellcaster on the first layer of the plane.
Two planes that are separate do not overlap or directly connect to each other. They are like planets in different orbits. The only way to get from one separate plane to the other is to go through a third plane, such as a Transitive Plane.
Planes that touch at specific points are coterminous. Where they touch, a connection exists, and travelers can leave one reality behind and enter the other.
If a link between two planes can be created at any point, the two planes are coexistent. These planes overlap each other completely. A coexistent plane can be reached from anywhere on the plane it overlaps. When moving on a coexistent plane, it is often possible to see into or interact with the plane with which it coexists.
Beyond the mundane world of humans, elves, gnomes, and dwarves lie vast realms known as the planes of existence. Almost limitless in size and potential, the various planes embody the fundamental aspects of reality: alignments, elements, energies, and so on. Each plane is a universe unto itself; it follows its own natural laws and has its own unique inhabitants—the outsiders that occasionally visit or are summoned to the mortal world, be they gods, angels, demons, devils, or even stranger creatures. Literally anything is possible on the planes, making them a perfect location for exotic, terrifying, wondrous, and deadly adventures.
Each plane of existence has its own properties—the natural laws of its universe. Planar traits are broken down into a number of general areas. All planes have the following kinds of traits.
The two most important natural laws set by physical traits are how gravity works and how time passes. Other physical traits pertain to the size and shape of a plane and how easily a plane's nature can be altered.
The direction of gravity's pull may be unusual, and it might even change directions within the plane itself.
Most planes have gravity similar to that of the Material Plane. The usual rules for ability scores, carrying capacity, and encumbrance apply. Unless otherwise noted in a plane's description, assume that it has the normal gravity trait.
The gravity on a plane with this trait is much more intense than on the Material Plane. As a result, Acrobatics, Climb, Ride, and Swim checks incur a –2 circumstance penalty, as do all attack rolls. All item weights are effectively doubled, which might affect a character's speed. Weapon ranges are halved. A character's Strength and Dexterity scores are not affected. Characters that fall on a heavy gravity plane take 1d10 points of damage for each 10 feet fallen, to a maximum of 20d10 points of damage.
The gravity on a plane with this trait is less intense than on the Material Plane. As a result, creatures find that they can lift more. Characters on a plane with the light gravity trait take a +2 circumstance bonus on attack rolls and on Acrobatics and Ride checks. All items weigh half as much, and weapon ranges double. Strength and Dexterity don't change as a result of light gravity, but what you can do with such scores does change. These advantages apply to travelers from other planes as well as natives. Falling characters on a light gravity plane take 1d4 points of damage for each 10 feet fallen (maximum 20d4).
Individuals on a plane with this trait merely float in space, unless other resources are available to provide a direction for gravity's pull.
The strength of gravity on a plane with this trait is the same as on the Material Plane, but the direction is not the traditional “down” toward the ground. It may be down toward any solid object, at an angle to the surface of the plane itself, or even upward. In addition, the direction of “down” may vary from place to place within the plane.
The strength of gravity on a plane with this trait is the same as on the Material Plane, but each individual chooses the direction of gravity's pull. Such a plane has no gravity for unattended objects and nonsentient creatures. This sort of environment can be very disorienting to the newcomer, but it is common on “weightless” planes.
Characters on a plane with subjective directional gravity can move normally along a solid surface by imagining “down” near their feet. If suspended in midair, a character “flies” by merely choosing a “down” direction and “falling” that way. Under such a procedure, an individual “falls” 150 feet in the first round and 300 feet in each succeeding round. Movement is straight-line only. In order to stop, one has to slow one's movement by changing the designated “down” direction (again, moving 150 feet in the new direction in the first round and 300 feet per round thereafter).
It takes a DC 16 Wisdom check to set a new direction of gravity as a free action; this check can be made once per round. Any character who fails this Wisdom check in successive rounds receives a +6 bonus on subsequent checks until he or she succeeds.
The rate at which time passes can vary on different planes, though it remains constant within any particular plane. Time is always subjective for the viewer. The same subjectivity applies to various planes. Travelers may discover that they gain or lose time while moving between planes, but from their point of view, time always passes naturally.
Describes how time passes on the Material Plane. One hour on a plane with normal time equals 1 hour on the Material Plane. Unless otherwise noted in a plane's description, assume it has the normal time trait.
Some planes have time that slows down and speeds up, so an individual may lose or gain time as he moves between such planes and any others. To the denizens of such a plane, time flows naturally and the shift is unnoticed. The following is provided as an example.
On some planes, the flow of time is consistently faster or slower. One may travel to another plane, spend a year there, and then return to the Material Plane to find that only 6 seconds have elapsed. Everything on the plane returned to is only a few seconds older. But for that traveler and the items, spells, and effects working on him, that year away was entirely real. When designating how time works on planes with flowing time, put the Material Plane's flow of time first, followed by the flow in the other plane.
On planes with this trait, time still passes, but the effects of time are diminished. How the timeless trait affects certain activities or conditions such as hunger, thirst, aging, the effects of poison, and healing varies from plane to plane. The danger of a timeless plane is that once an individual leaves such a plane for one where time flows normally, conditions such as hunger and aging occur retroactively. If a plane is timeless with respect to magic, any spell cast with a noninstantaneous duration is permanent until dispelled.
Planes come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Most planes are infinite, or at least so large that they may as well be infinite.
Planes with this trait go on forever, though they may have finite components within them. Alternatively, they may consist of ongoing expanses in two directions, like a map that stretches out infinitely. Unless otherwise noted in its description, assume that a plane is effectively infinite.
A plane with this trait has defined edges or borders. These borders may adjoin other planes or be hard, finite borders such as the edge of the world or a great wall. Demiplanes are often finite.
On planes with this trait, the borders wrap in on themselves, depositing the traveler on the other side of the map. Some spherical planes are examples of self-contained, finite planes, but they can also be cubes, tori, or flat expanses with magical edges that teleport the traveler to the opposite edge when she crosses them. Some demiplanes are self-contained.
This trait measures how easily the basic nature of a plane can be changed. Some planes are responsive to sentient thought, while some respond to physical or magical efforts. Others can only be manipulated by extremely powerful creatures.
On a plane with this trait, objects remain where they are (and what they are) unless affected by physical force or magic. You can change the immediate environment as a result of tangible effort. Unless otherwise noted in a plane's description, assume it has the alterable morphic trait.
Specific unique beings (deities or similar great powers) have the ability to alter objects, creatures, and the landscape on planes with this trait. They may cause these areas to change instantly and dramatically, creating great kingdoms for themselves. Ordinary characters find these planes similar to alterable planes in that they may be affected by spells and physical effort.
On a plane with this trait, features of the plane change so frequently that it's difficult to keep a particular area stable. Some such planes may react dramatically to specific spells, sentient thought, or the force of will. Others change for no reason.
Specific spells can alter the basic material of a plane with this trait.
These planes respond to a single entity's thoughts—those of the plane itself. Travelers might find the plane's landscape changing as a result of what the plane thinks of the travelers, becoming either more or less hospitable depending on its reaction.
These planes are unchanging. Visitors cannot affect living residents of the plane or objects that the denizens possess. Any spells that would affect those on the plane have no effect unless the plane's static trait is somehow removed or suppressed. Spells cast before entering a plane with the static trait remain in effect, however. Even moving an unattended object within a static plane requires a DC 16 Strength check. Particularly heavy objects may be impossible to move.
The dominance of particular elemental or energy forces is determined by these traits.
Four basic elements and two types of energy combine to make up everything. The elements are earth, air, fire, and water; the types of energy are positive and negative. The Material Plane reflects a balancing of those elements and energies—all are found there. Each of the Inner Planes is dominated by one element or type of energy. Other planes may show off various aspects of these elemental traits. Many planes have no elemental or energy traits; such traits are noted in a plane's description only when they are present.
Consisting mostly of open space, planes with this trait have just a few bits of floating stone or other solid matter. They usually have a breathable atmosphere, though such a plane may include clouds of acidic or toxic gas. Creatures of the earth subtype are uncomfortable on air-dominant planes because they have little or no natural earth to connect with. They take no actual damage, however.
Planes with this trait are mostly solid. Travelers who arrive run the risk of suffocation if they don't reach a cavern or other pocket within the earth. Worse yet, individuals without the ability to burrow are entombed in the earth and must dig their way out (5 feet per turn). Creatures of the air subtype are uncomfortable on earth-dominant planes because these planes are tight and claustrophobic to them, but suffer no inconvenience beyond having difficulty moving.
Planes with this trait are composed of flames that continually burn without consuming their fuel source. Fire-dominant planes are extremely hostile to Material Plane creatures, and those without resistance or immunity to fire are soon immolated.
Unprotected wood, paper, cloth, and other flammable materials catch fire almost immediately, and those wearing unprotected flammable clothing catch on fire. In addition, individuals take 3d10 points of fire damage every round they are on a fire-dominant plane. Creatures of the water subtype are extremely uncomfortable on fire-dominant planes. Those that are made of water take double damage each round.
Planes with this trait are mostly liquid. Visitors who can't breathe water or reach a pocket of air likely drown. Creatures of the fire subtype are extremely uncomfortable on water-dominant planes. Those made of fire take 1d10 points of damage each round.
Planes with this trait are vast, empty reaches that suck the life out of travelers who cross them. They tend to be lonely, haunted planes, drained of color and filled with winds bearing the soft moans of those who died within them. There are two kinds of negative-dominant traits: minor negative-dominant and major negative-dominant. On minor negative-dominant planes, living creatures take 1d6 points of damage per round. At 0 hit points or lower, they crumble into ash.
Major negative-dominant planes are even more dangerous. Each round, those within must make a DC 25 Fortitude save or gain a negative level. A creature whose negative levels equal its current levels or Hit Dice is slain, becoming a wraith. The death ward spell protects a traveler from the damage and energy drain of a negative-dominant plane.
An abundance of life characterizes planes with this trait. Like negative-dominant planes, positive-dominant planes can be either minor or major. A minor positive-dominant plane is a riotous explosion of life in all its forms. Colors are brighter, fires are hotter, noises are louder, and sensations are more intense as a result of the positive energy swirling through the plane. All individuals in a positive-dominant plane gain fast healing 2 as an extraordinary ability.
Major positive-dominant planes go even further. A creature on a major positive-dominant plane must make a DC 15 Fortitude save to avoid being blinded for 10 rounds by the brilliance of the surroundings. Simply being on the plane grants fast healing 5 as an extraordinary ability. In addition, those at full hit points gain 5 additional temporary hit points per round. These temporary hit points fade 1d20 rounds after the creature leaves the major positive-dominant plane. However, a creature must make a DC 20 Fortitude save each round that its temporary hit points exceed its normal hit point total. Failing the saving throw results in the creature exploding in a riot of energy, which kills it.
Just as characters may be lawful neutral or chaotic good, many planes are tied to a particular morality or ethos.
Some planes have a predisposition to a certain alignment. Most of the inhabitants of these planes also have the plane's particular alignment, even powerful creatures such as deities. The alignment trait of a plane affects social interactions there. Characters who follow other alignments than most of the inhabitants do may have a tougher time dealing with the plane's natives and situations.
Alignment traits have multiple components. First are the moral (good or evil) and ethical (lawful or chaotic) components; a plane can have a moral component, an ethical component, or one of each. Second, the specific alignment trait indicates whether each moral or ethical component is mildly or strongly evident. Many planes have no alignment traits; these traits are noted in a plane's description only when they are present.
These planes have chosen a side in the battle of good versus evil. No plane can be both good-aligned and evil-aligned.
Law versus chaos is the key struggle for these planes and their residents. No plane can be both law-aligned and chaos-aligned.
These planes stand outside the conflicts between good and evil and law and chaos.
Creatures who have an alignment opposite that of a mildly aligned plane take a –2 circumstance penalty on all Charisma-based checks. A mildly neutral-aligned plane does not apply a circumstance penalty to anyone.
On planes that are strongly aligned, a –2 circumstance penalty applies on all Intelligence-, Wisdom-, and Charisma-based checks made by all creatures not of the plane's alignment. The penalties for the moral and ethical components of the alignment trait stack.
A strongly neutral-aligned plane stands in opposition to all other moral and ethical principles: good, evil, law, and chaos. Such a plane may be more concerned with the balance of the alignments than with accommodating and accepting alternate points of view. In the same fashion as for other strongly aligned planes, strongly neutral-aligned planes apply a –2 circumstance penalty on Intelligence-, Wisdom-, or Charisma-based checks made by any creature that isn't neutral. The penalty is applied twice (once for law/chaos, and once for good/evil), so neutral good, neutral evil, lawful neutral, and chaotic neutral creatures take a –2 penalty and lawful good, chaotic good, chaotic evil, and lawful evil creatures take a –4 penalty.
Magic works differently from plane to plane; magic traits set the boundaries for what magic can and can't do on each plane.
A plane's magic trait describes how magic works on that plane compared to how it works on the Material Plane. Particular locations on a plane (such as those under the direct control of deities) may be pockets where a different magic trait applies.
This magic trait means that all spells and supernatural abilities function as written. Unless otherwise noted in a plane's description, assume that it has the normal magic trait.
These planes have no magic at all. A plane with the dead magic trait functions in all respects like an antimagic field spell. Divination spells cannot detect subjects within a dead magic plane, nor can a spellcaster use teleport or another spell to move in or out. The only exception to the “no magic” rule is permanent planar portals, which still function normally.
Particular spells and spell-like abilities are easier to use or more powerful in effect on planes with this trait than they are on the Material Plane. Natives of a plane with the enhanced magic trait are aware of which spells and spell-like abilities are enhanced, but planar travelers may have to discover this on their own. If a spell is enhanced, it functions as if its caster level was 2 higher than normal.
Particular spells and spell-like abilities are more difficult to cast on planes with this trait, often because the nature of the plane interferes with the spell. To cast an impeded spell, the caster must make a concentration check (DC 20 + the level of the spell). If the check fails, the spell does not function but is still lost as a prepared spell or spell slot. If the check succeeds, the spell functions normally.
Planes with this trait permit only the use of spells and spell-like abilities that meet particular qualifications. Magic can be limited to effects from certain schools or subschools, effects with certain descriptors, or effects of a certain level (or any combination of these qualities). Spells and spell-like abilities that don't meet the qualifications simply don't work.
On a plane with the wild magic trait, spells and spell-like abilities function in radically different and sometimes dangerous ways. Any spell or spell-like ability used on a wild magic plane has a chance to go awry. The caster must make a caster level check (DC 15 + the level of the spell or spell-like ability) for the magic to function normally. Failure means that something strange happens; roll d% and consult Table: Wild Magic Effects.
Table: Wild Magic Effects
The Material Plane is the center of most cosmologies and defines what is considered normal. It is the plane most campaign worlds occupy.
The Material Plane has the following traits:
The Shadow Plane is a dimly lit dimension that is both coterminous to and coexistent with the Material Plane. It overlaps the Material Plane much as the Ethereal Plane does, so a planar traveler can use the Shadow Plane to cover great distances quickly. The Shadow Plane is also coterminous to other planes. With the right spell, a character can use the Shadow Plane to visit other realities. The Shadow Plane is a world of black and white; color itself has been bleached from the environment. It otherwise appears similar to the Material Plane. Despite the lack of light sources, various plants, animals, and humanoids call the Shadow Plane home.
The Shadow Plane has the following traits:
To an observer, there's little to see on the Negative Energy Plane. It is a dark, empty place, an eternal pit where a traveler can fall until the plane itself steals away all light and life. The Negative Energy Plane is the most hostile of the Inner Planes, the most uncaring and intolerant of life. Only creatures immune to its life-draining energies can survive there.
The Negative Energy Plane has the following traits:
The Positive Energy Plane has no surface and is akin to the Plane of Air with its wide-open nature. However, every bit of this plane glows brightly with innate power. This power is dangerous to mortal forms, which are not made to handle it. Despite the beneficial effects of the plane, it is one of the most hostile of the Inner Planes. An unprotected character on this plane swells with power as positive energy is forced upon her. Then, because her mortal frame is unable to contain that power, she is immolated, like a mote of dust caught at the edge of a supernova. Visits to the Positive Energy Plane are brief, and even then travelers must be heavily protected.
The Positive Energy Plane has the following traits:
The Plane of Air is an empty plane, consisting of sky above and sky below. It is the most comfortable and survivable of the Inner Planes and is the home of all manner of airborne creatures. Indeed, flying creatures find themselves at a great advantage on this plane. While travelers without flight can survive easily here, they are at a disadvantage.
The Plane of Air has the following traits:
The Plane of Earth is a solid place made of soil and stone. An unwary traveler might find himself entombed within this vast solidity of material and crushed into nothingness, with his powdered remains left as a warning to any foolish enough to follow. Despite its solid, unyielding nature, the Plane of Earth is varied in its consistency, ranging from soft soil to veins of heavier and more valuable metal.
The Plane of Earth has the following traits:
Everything is alight on the Plane of Fire. The ground is nothing more than great, ever-shifting plates of compressed flame. The air ripples with the heat of continual firestorms and the most common liquid is magma. The oceans are made of liquid flame, and the mountains ooze with molten lava. Fire survives here without needing fuel or air, but flammables brought onto the plane are consumed readily.
The Plane of Fire has the following traits:
The Plane of Water is a sea without a floor or a surface, an entirely fluid environment lit by a diffuse glow. It is one of the more hospitable of the Inner Planes once a traveler gets past the problem of breathing the local medium.
The eternal oceans of this plane vary between ice cold and boiling hot, and between saline and fresh. They are perpetually in motion, wracked by currents and tides. The plane's permanent settlements form around bits of flotsam suspended within this endless liquid, drifting on the tides.
The Plane of Water has the following traits:
The Ethereal Plane is coexistent with the Material Plane and often other planes as well. The Material Plane itself is visible from the Ethereal Plane, but it appears muted and indistinct; colors blur into each other and edges are fuzzy.
While it is possible to see into the Material Plane from the Ethereal Plane, the latter is usually invisible to those on the Material Plane. Normally, creatures on the Ethereal Plane cannot attack creatures on the Material Plane, and vice versa. A traveler on the Ethereal Plane is invisible, insubstantial, and utterly silent to someone on the Material Plane.
The Ethereal Plane has the following traits:
The Astral Plane is the space between the Inner and Outer Planes, and coterminous with all of the planes. When a character moves through a portal or projects her spirit to a different plane of existence, she travels through the Astral Plane. Even spells that allow instantaneous movement across a plane briefly touch the Astral Plane. The Astral Plane is a great, endless expanse of clear silvery sky, both above and below. Occasional bits of solid matter can be found here, but most of the Astral Plane is an endless, open domain.
The Astral Plane has the following traits:
A realm of vast wastelands under a rotten sky, Abaddon is perpetually cloaked in a cloying black mist and the oppressive twilight of an endless solar eclipse. The poisoned River Styx has its source in Abaddon, before it meanders like a twisted serpent onto other planes. Abaddon may be the most hostile of the Outer Planes; it is the home of the daemons, fiends of pure evil untouched by the struggle between law and chaos, who personify oblivion and destruction. Daemons, which are ruled by four godlike archdaemons, are feared throughout the Great Beyond as devourers of souls.
Abaddon has the following traits:
Note: Much more detail on Abaddon can be found on the complete Abaddon page.
Surrounding the Outer Sphere like the impossibly deep skin of an onion, the layered plane of the Abyss begins as gargantuan canyons and yawning chasms in the fabric of the other Outer Planes, bordered by the foul waters of the River Styx. Coterminous with all of the Outer Planes, the infinite layers of the Abyss connect to one another in constantly shifting pathways. There are no rules in the Abyss, nor laws, order, or hope. The Abyss is a perversion of freedom, a nightmare realm of unmitigated horror where desire and suffering are given demonic form, for the Abyss is the spawning ground of the innumerable races of demons, among the oldest beings in all the Great Beyond.
The Abyss has the following traits:
Note: Much more detail on the Abyss can be found on the complete The Abyss page.
A vast land of untamed wilderness and wild passions, Elysium is the plane of benevolent chaos. Freedom and self-sufficiency abound here, personified in the azatas native to the plane. In Elysium, selfless cooperation and fierce competition clash with the violence of a raging thunderstorm, but such conflicts never overshadow the lofty concepts of bravery, creativity, and good unhindered by rules or laws.
Elysium has the following traits:
The soaring mountain of Heaven towers high above the Outer Sphere. This ordered realm of honor and compassion is divided into seven layers. Heaven's slopes are filled with planned, orderly cities and tidy, cultivated gardens and orchards. Though they began their existences as mortals, Heaven's native archons see law and good as indivisible halves of the same exalted concept, and array themselves against the cosmic perversions of chaos and evil.
Heaven has the following traits:
The nine layers of Hell form a structured labyrinth of calculated evil where torment goes hand in hand with purification. A plane of iron cities, burning wastelands, frozen glaciers, and endless volcanic peaks, Hell is divided into nine nesting layers, each under the malevolent rule of an archdevil. Torture, anguish, and agony are inevitable in Hell, but they are methodical, not spiteful or capricious, and serve a deliberate master plan under the watchful eyes of the disciplined ranks of Hells' lesser devils. The nine layers of Hell, from first to last, are Avernus, Dis, Erebus, Phlegethon, Stygia, Malebolge, Cocytus, Caina, and Nessus.
Hell has the following traits:
Cast out of Hell, Lucifer sought revenge against his persecutors. But revenge required power, and he was tired, injured, and weakened from the time spent battling in Hell. He needed a place to rest, a place to grow in power, and a place to plan. Thus he created Infernus, a plane of eternal and everlasting fire and suffering: one plane, one ruler; created by his own hands, his own blood, and a portion of his very essence. Lucifer is said to be one with the plane. As the gods of law are to the planes of good, so is Lucifer to Infernus. Nothing goes unnoticed by him on Infernus. All movements are seen, all whispers are heard. A plan is not hatched or contrived in this place without Lucifer’s knowledge. When people speak of Infernus, they speak of Lucifer and vice versa. No creature, it is thought, stands a chance against Lucifer on Infernus, not even the archdevils that stood against him a millennia ago.
Infernus is a plane wrought of blood and fire. The entire plane is hot (though not as hot as the Elemental Plane of Fire) and the horizon, landscape, and glow with an orange light. Outposts dot the landscape, though no permanent settlements are likely to be found. These outposts are maintained by the devils that still serve Lucifer. There is one permanent settlement known to exist on this plane—Malefacta, the palace of Lucifer. This large, black, basalt palace stretches for miles (or so it appears). At various points large towers rise and disappear into the orange-glowed sky. Within the walls of Malefacta, Lucifer and his servants hold court, dine, and dwell. Near center of the citadel, and thought to be underground in the lower levels, are the furnaces that provide the fires that keep Infernus burning. These furnaces are maintained by the hellstoker devils.
Planar features of Infernus include rivers of fire and flame, heat storms, geysers of flame, and flame-cones (tornadoes composed of fire).
Infernus has the following planar traits:
A vast ocean of unrestrained chaos and untapped potential surrounds and is coterminous with each of the Outer Planes. This is Limbo—beautiful, deadly, and truly endless. From its unplumbed depths were born all the other planes, and to its anarchic deeps will all creation eventually return. Where the formless sea of Limbo laps against the shores of other planes, its substance takes on some measure of stability, and it is within these borderlands that travel is safest, though it is still fraught with danger from Limbo's chaos-warped inhabitants. Deeper into the plane, Limbo's native proteans cavort in the Primal Chaos, creating and destroying the raw stuff of chaos with unfathomable abandon.
Limbo has the following traits:
Nirvana is an unbiased paradise existing between the two extremes of Elysium and Heaven. Its stunning mountains, rolling hills, and deep forests all match a visitor's expectations of a pastoral paradise, but Nirvana also contains mysteries that lead to enlightenment. Nirvana is a sanctuary and a place of respite for all who seek redemption or illumination. Nirvana's native agathions have willingly postponed their own transcendence to guard Nirvana's enigmas, while celestial beings fight the forces of evil across the planes.
Nirvana has the following traits:
Every soul passes through Purgatory to be judged before being sent on to its final destination in the Great Beyond. Vast graveyards and wastelands fill its gloomy expanses, along with dusty, echoing courts for the judgment of the dead. Purgatory is home to the aeons, a race who embody the dualistic nature of existence and who are constantly both at war and at peace with each other and themselves.
Purgatory has the following traits:
Utopia is a bastion of order against the chaos of Limbo and the countless demonic hordes of the Abyss. A great city of eternal perfection, Utopia's streets and buildings are paragons of architecture and aesthetics; everything is ordered and nothing happens by chance. While no one race rules Utopia, axiomites and inevitables make their homes here, forever striving to expand their perfect city.
Utopia has the following traits:
Somewhere within the great configuration lies a desolate and windswept plane of stone and steel; a plane of darkness and the macabre. An everlasting cyclone of despair and hopelessness; a place most would soon forget ever existed. It has been referred to as “Hell for outsiders”. Its name among sages is the Plane of Agony. To its inhabitants, the n’gathau, it is home.
This plane appears as a windswept and desolate place. The ground is formed of cracked brown rock that pumps and spews blood in certain areas. The sky is a swirling morass of grays, blues, and reds with no clear or discernible features. A constant wind blows across the plane carrying the screams of those kindred souls that have arrived here. There are purportedly thirteen known structures on this plane. Each is a fortress constructed of stone and earth and each belongs to one of the Twelve; the last one, known as the Great Vault, belongs to the Quorum. Each fortress has but one road leading from it and that road leads toward the center of the plane where the Great Vault stands. With the Great Vault resides the supreme and god-like ruler of the n’gathau—the Quorum. Think of a great wheel; the Great Vault is the hub and each road leading away is a spoke. Planar features of the Plane of Agony include razor storms, needleshard cyclones, dying winds (supposedly the screams of tortured souls before their final death), blood torrents, and rivers of pain.
The Plane of Agony has the following planar traits:
The Plane of Gravity is an empty plane, resembling the vastness of space itself with points of light like distant stars, swirling gasses, and dark matter. The Plane of Gravity touches on all other planes, for gravity is a factor in all parts of the multiverse.
The Plane of Gravity is the least survivable of the Inner Planes, as it consists of the vacuum of space itself. It contains large, dark almost planet-like bodies that exert strong forces on other nearby bodies. Planar travelers to the Plane of Gravity that require air to breathe must somehow bring their own supply or be subject to suffocation.
The Plane of Gravity is the home of all manner of strange creatures that need no air, light, or food on which to survive. The only places where there is a noticeable pull of gravity here are near the planetary bodies or near natives to the plane itself. Using the principles of action/reaction, non-native travelers must somehow push off from a solid surface in order to move (attaining a speed equal to 10 feet + 5 feet per point of Strength bonus) or use magical means of locomotion.
The Plane of Gravity has the following planar traits:
A nexus connecting three planes formed of elemental air, earth, and fire, the Plane of Molten Skies is a legendary waypoint for planar races who wish to do business with one another without the confines and consequences of visiting a hostile elemental plane. It is also the “road” to the fabled City of Brass.
The skies are ablaze on this plane; the entire upper atmosphere consumed in a gigantic ball of flame and liquid fire. The air is stuffy and warm, breathable, but uncomfortable to those not used to it. The ground is formed of cracked obsidian and basalt, warm to the touch, but comfortable enough to walk upon without inflicting harm on those not resistant to heat or fire. Mountains and hills formed of basalt and small pools of lava dot the landscape. Volcanoes scattered throughout the planar landscape belch forth blasts of molten elemental fire and rock at random intervals. Rivers and streams of liquid flame wind through the landscape, emptying into a raging sea of liquid elemental fire.
Planar features of the Plane of Molten Skies include rivers of fire and flame, magma storms, heat storms, geysers of flame, and lava pools.
The Plane of Molten Skies has the following planar traits:
The Plane of Time is blanketed in eternal fog and vapor. Creatures traveling this plane can see a few feet in front of their position and that’s about it. Even darkvision and magical forms of seeing have difficulty here. The ground is formed of dust and sand and appears as a vast, windswept desert. For the most part, the plane is relatively flat, though dust and sand dunes dot the landscape.
The Plane of Time is hospitable to plane jumpers for the most part. The air is breathable and the temperate is always comfortable. Dangers presented by this plane include areas where a person can age rapidly, withering away into nothing, or regress in age to the point of becoming an infant again. Thankfully such areas are rare.
Planar features of the Plane of Time are paradox cyclones, infinity regions, time storms, vapor pockets, and sand or dust storms.
The Plane of Time has the following planar traits:
The Quasi-Plane of Acid is a roiling, bubbling sea of deadly acid—an entirely fluid plane, similar to the Elemental Plane of Water, but composed of acid. It is one of the deadliest, if not the deadliest, of all elemental-based planes. For while a traveler can drown on this plane just like it can on the Plane of Water, it usually dissolves in the corrosive acid long before that happens.
The acids making up this plane maintain a constant and comfortable temperature (forgetting about the acidic nature of the plane for a moment). The plane itself is constantly in motion. There are a few islands floating throughout the acid, constructed of an alien material that seems to be impervious to the corrosiveness of this plane. Still elsewhere, they are thought to be air pockets where air-breathers can survive, though locating such a pocket isn’t easy.
Planar features of the Quasi-Plane of Acid are whirlpools, tidal waves, fume clouds (only in air pockets), and dilution zones.
The Quasi-Plane of Acid has the following traits.
Bits of air, smoke, and ice swirl throughout an eternal lightning storm. Grayish clouds (thunderclouds it appears) litter the area and lightning streaks away from them and into the void of this plane. A thick smell of sulfur and ammonia permeates the air here. There is no solid surface, but there is an atmosphere and air-breathers function fine on this plane.
Flying creatures find themselves at a great advantage on this plane. While travelers without flight can survive easily here, they are at a disadvantage. Creatures carrying metal objects or weapons, or creatures wearing metal armor are at an even bigger disadvantage.
Planar features of the Quasi-Plane of Lightning are lightning storms, lightning bursts, electromagnetic eruptions, and thunderstorms.
The Quasi-Plane of Lightning has the following planar traits:
The Quasi-Plane of Obsidian exists where elemental earth and fire conjoin. It is a plane of barren wastes and blackened rock, of razor-sharp obelisks and fields of sharpened glass.
The Quasi-Plane of Obsidian is survivable and comfortable with varying temperatures and the occasional rainstorm or breeze. There are pockets on this plane considered earth-dominant where a traveler could become entombed in the plane and crushed into nothingness. Such areas are rare, but dangerous nonetheless.
Planar features of the Quasi-Plane of Obsidian are shard storms, earthquakes, and glass storms.
The Quasi-Plane of Obsidian has the following traits.