- The Great Beyond
- What is a Plane?
- How Planes Interact
- Planar Traits
- Physical Planar Traits
- Shape and Size
- Elemental and Energy Traits
- Alignment Traits
- Magic Traits
- List of Planes and Their Traits
- Abaddon (Neutral Evil)
- The Abyss (Chaotic Evil)
- Plane of Agony
- Akashic Record
- Astral Plane
- The Boneyard a.k.a. Purgatory (Neutral)
- Dimension of Dreams
- Elemental Plane of Air
- Elemental Plane of Earth
- Elemental Plane of Fire
- Elemental Plane of Water
- Elysium (Chaotic Good)
- Ethereal Plane
- Heaven (Lawful Good)
- Hell (Lawful Evil)
- The Maelstrom a.k.a. Limbo (Chaotic Neutral)
- Material Plane
- Negative Energy Plane
- Nirvana (Neutral Good)
- Plane of Gravity
- Plane of Molten Skies
- Plane of Time
- Positive Energy Plane
- Quasi-Elemental Plane of Acid
- Quasi-Elemental Plane of Lightning
- Quasi-Elemental Plane of Obsidian
- Shadow Plane
- Utopia (Lawful Neutral)
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.
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.
Note Some additional information from PRG:OA
The planes of the Great Beyond encompass all of existence, from the simple and sublime wonders of the material world to the impossibilities of heavens, hells, and everything in between. Arcane tradition conceptualizes this multiverse of planes as a series of nesting spheres, with each layer and the spaces between representing different vistas of reality. At the center of it all, suspended within the silvery seas of the Astral Plane, lies the Inner Sphere of the Elemental and Material Planes. The Elemental Planes are the raw building blocks of the multiverse, while the planes aligned with positive and negative energy govern the forces of life and death, creation and destruction. The invisible mists and eddies of the Ethereal Plane connect and interpenetrate the worlds of the Inner Sphere, just as the Astral Plane connects these worlds in turn to the infinite realms of the Outer Sphere, the domains of gods and the final destination for the souls of the multiverse.
The esoteric tradition, sometimes referred to as the “ancient wisdom,” acknowledges the many planes, demiplanes, and corners of the Inner and Outer Spheres, but tends to focus more on the Inner Sphere than the realms of the deities. Scholars of occultism believe that their investigations reveal a hidden truth behind the multiverse, and that mastering the implications of this secret can give an adept power over not just her mortal life, but also her life after death. She can then enter a cycle of reincarnation that allows, over successive cycles of existence and reflection, the complete mastery of body, mind, and soul, opening up new vistas of consciousness and immortality.
Consequently, the adept does not concern herself with the courts of petitioners enjoying their final reward or laboring eternally under fiendish masters, nor with the raw building blocks of the material world such as air, earth, fire, and water. Her final personal journey into a more evolved existence is loftier than the base elements, and more self-determined than the proscribed fate of the pious petitioner.
The orthodox view of the planes sees two opposing forces underlying existence in the multiverse: positive and negative energy. Each of these primal forces commands a vast plane of its own at the core of the Inner Sphere.
The Positive Energy Plane is the source of life, and the Negative Energy Plane is the source of death; each exists as antithesis to the other. The great secret of occultism holds that rather than positive and negative energy being conflicting forces, they are in fact two halves of a single whole. Their polarity is not a sign of opposition, but rather two integral aspects of a single dualistic cycle.
The positive aspect of this duality is the Cosmic Fire, the breath of life that grants vital force to living creatures.
The Negative Energy Plane is the intake of that same breath, a return to dust, the recycling of component parts to pave the way for that which comes next.
Delving deeper into the ancient wisdom reveals even more enticing secrets regarding the nature of existence.
Among the oldest creatures in the Great Beyond are the enigmatic outsiders known as aeons, who are said to be the caretakers of reality and the original architects and crafters of the multiverse itself. Befitting the esoteric view of the planes, these primordial beings always manifest a powerful dichotomy sustained in equilibrium: Birth and death. Fate and freedom. Creation and destruction.
The aeons believe they are bound in a supreme oneness with the multiverse known as the “monad,” or the “condition of all,” the transcendental undersoul of all living creatures. They equate this oneness with both the life-giving Cosmic Fire of the Positive Energy Plane and the destructive void of the Negative Energy Plane.
Furthermore, they do not limit this cosmic oneness to themselves, but rather include all of the multiverse’s creatures within their concept of the monad. A human and a pleroma aeon are both emanations of the cosmic flame—the aeon is simply much closer to the source and believes itself to be in communication with it, whereas the monadic soul of a human is esoterically distant from the Fire, being focused primarily on the mortal affairs of the base Material Plane.
Imagine a blazing sphere of brilliant energy blocked by a thick screen. This sphere represents the Cosmic Fire.
Now imagine multitudes of tiny holes in the screen, each allowing some of the light to shine through. From the exoteric viewpoint of the uninitiated, each pinpoint of light appears distinct and unique. The esoteric perspective looks behind the screen and understands that all of the individual lights are but rays from a single source. A creature’s soul is like one glimmering light in that screen’s field of stars, and when mortal scholars speak of “a monad,” they’re usually referring to this individual-seeming expression of the universal undersoul, at once a unique entity and part of the common soul of the multiverse. The greater an adept understands her place in this scheme, the more power she holds over her eternal destiny.
The short summaries below offer an occult viewpoint on the realms generally referred to as the Esoteric Planes.
Many prominent planes in the orthodox scheme, such as the Shadow Plane and Elemental Planes, do not feature prominently in the cosmology of the adept concerned with multiversal truths and the journey of the mortal soul.
Occultism freely acknowledges the existence of these planes, but does not dwell on them, an approach likewise observed here.
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.
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 planar traits:
Note: See the Abaddon page for more information.
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 planar traits:
Note: See the Abyss page for more information.
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Plane of Agony from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Author Scott Greene and Erica Balsley.
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:
Deep within the Astral Plane lies a demiplane called the Akashic Record that forms a critical part of the ancient wisdom at the heart of occult philosophy. The Akashic Record is a visual library of perfect psychic records of every moment in the history of the multiverse. Those who find their way here can observe scenes from any moment from the recent to distant past, going all the way back to the beginning of the multiverse. When a dead creature’s untethered astral body sees its life flash before its eyes as it awaits judgment in the Boneyard, its consciousness ventures to the Akashic Record. When a psychometrist divines a touched object’s past, he really gains impressions from scenes stored in the Akashic Record.
Unlike the history books of mundane existence, the Akashic Record is a perfect recording of events as they actually happened. Two creatures observing the same event in real time might come away with very different subjective understandings of what just occurred, but such confusion is impossible in the Akashic Record, Which occultists speak of as the memory of nature. It is also known as the Book of the Lipika by the mysterious cloaked aeons who act as the Lords of Karma and who record every event in a mortal’s life to measure its rightful place in the afterlife.
A visitor consulting the Akashic Record simply turns her attention to the moment she wishes to observe, and it appears before her, not as a two-dimensional image like an illustration on page, but rather all around her, as if she were actually present witnessing the desired moment in history. The actors before her are unconscious of her presence, as they are but reflections. The observer can’t change or affect their actions in any way.
The observer can set the pace of events. He understands perfectly all communications within the record, even if he would not otherwise understand languages read or spoken, or the importance of cultural norms and signals otherwise foreign to him. If the event in question is from the observer’s own life, he may choose to view it as an outsider, or may inhabit his form and live out the event again, re-experiencing the emotions associated with the event the first time around.
Traveling to the Akashic Record, which abuts the mysterious Dimension of Time, is incredibly difficult.
Spells that allow for planar travel, such as plane shift, cannot take a seeker to the Akashic Record. While occult lore suggests several methods to “enter” the Akashic Record and influence the visions seen there (for example, to rescue a character from some past scene and escape with her to the Astral Plane), those doing so risk becoming lost in the currents of the Dimension of Time, marooned in the real past of the observed event, very likely never to return. Such meddling with the affairs of time risks drawing the ire of the Lords of Karma, unleashing retributive time elementals or inevitables, or attracting the bloodthirsty otherworldly predators known as the hounds of Tindalos.
The Akashic Record has the following planar traits:
Note Some additional information from PRG:OA
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 is the great silvery sky that connects all planes to one another, the realm of pure thought and expanded consciousness. Occasional islands of solid matter float in astral space, but most of the plane is an enormous, seemingly eternal void of silver radiance.
As a gateway between the Inner and Outer Spheres, the Astral Plane teems with travelers, from entities venturing between planes to explorers searching for one of the numerous demiplanes secreted here or looking for the one of the countless marooned spirits that dwell within the expanse. Its nature as a crossroads makes the Astral Plane very dangerous. Although it’s possible to visit the plane bodily via plane shift or by using an item such as a robe of stars, most travelers prefer to play it safe by manifesting their souls in an astral body created by spells such as astral projection.
A creature’s astral body looks like a translucent version of its physical form, usually limned with a soft nimbus of blue or violet light. A slim tether of resilient incorporeal energy known as a silver cord connects a creature’s astral body to its unconscious physical body. If the astral body dies, the silver cord retracts into the physical body, returning the soul to its familiar seat (albeit at the cost of two permanent negative levels due to the resultant trauma). A silver cord resists most attempts to damage it, but if it somehow manages to break, the creature immediately dies, and the astral form housing its soul is cast adrift on the astral currents, pulled inexorably toward the enormous spire of the Boneyard, which extends up into the Astral Plane from the surface of the Outer Sphere. As a realm of thought, the Astral Plane is home to entities that represent concepts, myths, and legends spawned from mortal thoughtforms. Mediums open their consciousness to these denizens of the Astral Plane, inviting them to reside in a physical form and spread their influence on the Material Plane.
Travel through the Astral Plane is a strange affair, as the plane’s subjective directional gravity means that each traveler chooses the direction of gravity’s pull. Creatures can move normally in any direction by imagining “down” near their feet and “falling” in that direction. In this way a creature “falls” 150 feet the first round and 300 feet on each successive round. Movement is straight-line only. A character can attempt a DC 16 Wisdom check to set a new direction of gravity or stop as a free action; this check can be attempted once per round. Any character who fails this Wisdom check on successive rounds receives a +6 bonus on subsequent checks until he succeeds. When moving in this manner, the traveler does not have the sensation of physical movement. Rather, the landscape of the Astral Plane (such as it is) seems to come toward, through, and past him. Scintillations of light are thrown off by the astral body as it moves along at great speed.
The untethered astral bodies of the dead flow toward the Boneyard along the River of Souls. During this process, the dross of mortality is shed, leaving behind only the soul’s core self, its memories, and the refined character of its prior life. The gods of the Outer Sphere consider the River of Souls inviolate, often sending celestial and infernal outsiders to help steward wayward souls toward judgment and eventual delivery to their afterlife of reward or punishment. Soul-collecting or soul-devouring predators such as night hags and astradaemons prey on the dead of the Astral Plane, usually limiting themselves to picking off isolated incorporeal undead but all too often raiding parties of disembodied souls as they make their way toward eternity. Pharasma, the goddess of the dead, hates this perversion of the natural order of the multiverse, and the entities known as psychopomps often act as guides to deliver souls safely to their final destinations.
Other inhabitants of the Astral Plane include enormous astral leviathans that float through the silvery seas, sometimes with passengers or even semi-permanent settlements upon their backs; strange caulborn who harvest knowledge and psychic energy from astral travelers; formless nirmanakaya manasaputras who seek to guide Material Plane adepts through telepathy; and the lean humanoid outsiders known as the shulsaga, multiplanar hunters who ride magical disks and view intruders to their astral realm with xenophobic disdain.
The Astral Plane has the following planar traits:
A massive spire stretches deep into the sliver expanse of the Astral Plane from the surface of the Outer Sphere, beckoning unfettered monads on the River of Souls toward their final destinations in the afterlife. At the pinnacle of this spire is the Boneyard, a necropolis of graveyards, mausoleums, and solemn courts dedicated to Pharasma, goddess of death. This gloomy realm, also known as Purgatory, is home to countless souls awaiting final judgment. Clad in the sheaths of their astral forms, these somber sojourners bask in deep reverie, reliving scenes from their mortal lives during a solitary, inward journey of remembrance and catharsis.
This process, sometimes known as the “kama-loka,” allows the soul to revisit key scenes from its mortal life and evaluate the lessons of its previous incarnation on the Material Plane. Only when it has worked through the psychological troubles of its past can it proceed further along the River of Souls. As a soul reflects upon and settles its past affairs, it lets go of its ties to these events and begins to forget them, cleansing its soul for the glorious (or terrible) transformations to come. This is why petitioners in the Outer Sphere seldom remember much of their mortal existence, and why most mortals cannot remember anything of their past incarnations on the Material Plane.
The ancient wisdom sometimes analogizes the soul’s final moments as gazing into the Lake of Mortal Reflections, and seeing the whole of one’s existence flash before one’s eyes. The lessons of the manasaputras who guide the occult development of mortals suggest that the greatest esoteric fate is not to simply glance at the lake, but to step fully into its waters and allow them to subsume you. A soul immersed fully in the waters of the Lake of Mortal Reflections sheds the karma and experiences of its past life and, once again, the cleansed monadic soul descends into a new physical body in a cycle of reincarnation. With each subsequent reincarnation, the monad gains a greater appreciation for the experiences of a multitude of different incarnations, underlying the concept of the universal undersoul represented by the Cosmic Fire. With this understanding comes greater control over the soul’s final incarnation as an outsider. According to esoteric lore, the most learned adepts are able to choose their own fates, becoming powerful outsiders, peerless mortal “ascended masters,” or even living gods.
The majority of souls do not reincarnate. When they finish the kama-loka process, their astral forms stand ready for final judgment. For some souls, the kama-loka progresses rapidly, while for others it can take years, decades, or even longer. In the unlikely event of deathbed conversions, renouncements of faith, or disputed soulbinding pacts, advocates for the souls’ potential fates argue with one another. The most significant disputes are seen to by Pharasma herself.
The Boneyard has the following planar traits:
As a mortal sleeps, its monadic soul withdraws from the physical body to manifest in the Dimension of Dreams.
This dream avatar is known as the lucid body, and can take a variety of forms based on the dreamer’s subconsciousness.
The minds of the countless dreamers of the Material Plane brush up against the Ethereal Plane, bubbling forth ephemeral demiplanes in which the dreamers’ lucid bodies experience fantastic adventures inspired by their own unconscious minds. A dreamer can alter her surroundings, and one with the Lucid Dreamer feat gains a greater measure of control. Spells cast and items used in a dream are not depleted in the real world.
Wounds and conditions don’t have any effect on the creature’s waking body and mind. Fantastic adventures don’t yield real treasure or experience to the waking being, though knowledge gained in the Dimension of Dreams occasionally aids in solving real challenges faced in the waking world. Even the worst nightmares hold little true danger for the dreamer. Should the lucid body die, the dreamer simply awakens, perhaps a bit shaken but otherwise little worse for the experience. A creature with the Lucid Dreamer feat awakens from such an experience fatigued, as her mind is more invested in perceptions of the dreamscape.
Experience in a dreamscape is usually a private affair.
Rare spells (such as dream council), magic items, and other abilities allow creatures to enter and share another creature’s dream demiplane for a short amount of time.
While these secondary dreamers can interact with the highly morphic qualities of the plane, with the primary dreamer, and with each other, the existence of the demiplane is still contingent on a single primary dreamer.
When the primary dreamer awakens, the demiplane pops out of existence, causing any other dreamers to continue dreaming—shunted into a dreamscape of their own creation—or to wake up.
A lucid body is not the only way to enter a dream, however, and considerable danger faces the explorer who enters the Dimension of Dreams in his physical body.
Regular methods of planar travel like plane shift do not offer transit to the dream world—only specialized means such as the dream travel spell do the trick. When a physical creature enters a dreamscape, he doesn’t have to make the check to determine his initial state, but also can’t attempt impossible feats (see below). Spells cast, magic items used, and other limited abilities expended are lost just as if the creature were adventuring on some other plane. Creatures in their material forms can use items generated within a dreamscape, but these items wink out of existence when the primary dreamer awakens, or when a creature in material form leaves the dreamscape.
Wounds and experiences are real, and remain after the creature leaves the dreamscape. A creature in its physical form that dies within a dream demiplane actually dies.
Material creatures still within a dreamscape when the primary dreamer awakens are pushed into an abutting dreamscape or regions of the Ethereal Plane that border the Dimension of Dreams.
Although each dreamer’s slumbering soul conjures a personal demiplane dreamscape that manifests on the Ethereal Plane, all dreams collectively belong to the greater network of the Dimension of Dreams. When numerous dreamscapes cluster in the ethereal fog, transit between dreams is easier, and moods, emotions, and even creatures from one dream spill more easily into another. Where the individual dreamscapes brush up against the littleunderstood Dimension of Time, dreams often take on prophetic elements.
Figments from the dream world sometimes manage to escape the Dimension of Dreams, usually at the moment when a particularly imaginative sleeper awakens, and the reality of the dream is at its weakest as the demiplane fades away. These weird, shifting creatures stalk the Ethereal Plane as animate dreams, feeding off the minds of mortals, searching for other dreams in which to take refuge and torment a new sleeper.
A class of vile so-called “nightmare creatures” infests the Dimension of Dreams, venturing from dreamscape to dreamscape hunting victims to torment and destroy. A hierarchy of horror known as the Nightmare Lords rules over lesser nightmare creatures in puppet courts staffed by the soul-shriveled husks of insane enslaved dreamers.
Somehow, these creatures have even found a way to manifest on the Material Plane, not content to limit their terrors to the realm of sleep.
Night hags are among the most harrowing threats of the Dimension of Dreams. They walk freely between dreams, searching for chaotic or evil dreamers, on whose backs they ride until morning. Creatures they encounter between dreams or dwelling within the dreamscapes of their prey are simply cut down, regardless of alignment.
Night hags collect the souls of their slain enemies in gemstones they sell to clientele throughout the planes.
Although most dreamscapes are ephemeral, fading when the sleeper awakens, particularly potent dreamscapes, bolstered by recurrence or by the shared subconscious of numerous dreamers, sometimes last forever. Among the most formidable and permanent regions of the Dimension of Dreams is the bizarre realm of Leng, where near-human denizens sail ethereal seas in black-hulled ships packed with slaves bound for the dark markets of the multiverse.
The Dimension of Dreams has the following planar 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 planar 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 planar 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 planar 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 planar traits:
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 planar traits:
Note Some additional information from PRG:OA
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 is the seat of emotional forces, the mist-shrouded home of haunts and horrors, and the ever-present doorway between the worlds of the Inner Sphere. The Ethereal Plane coexists with these planes, interpenetrating them and generally mimicking their contours and vistas, albeit with greatly reduced visibility thanks to drifting fog and the slow rise and fall of fading sheets of light like the somber interior of a thunderstorm.
From within the Ethereal Plane, these neighboring worlds appear hazy and indistinct, as if viewed through frosted glass. Inhabitants of neighboring planes can’t perceive the Ethereal Plane at all, though certain mortals blessed or cursed with psychic sensitivity sometimes catch glimpses of its vistas. Since the Ethereal Plane is generally invisible from the other planes of the Inner Sphere, creatures under the effects of spells like ethereal jaunt and etherealness cannot be seen by creatures who are not themselves ethereal. Normally, creatures on the Ethereal Plane cannot attack creatures on the Material Plane, and vice versa.
Within the mists of the Ethereal Plane, warped, indistinct versions of locations overlap their Inner Sphere counterparts. This, coupled with the inherent weightlessness of creatures in the plane, makes it tempting to use the Ethereal Plane as a vantage to scout out unknown locales by passing through incorporeal walls and floating over traps with ease. The natural denizens of the plane make this a frightful prospect, however, and ensure that most forays into the Ethereal Plane are brief endeavors. Among the deadliest of local hazards are the blood-red xill—warlike, plane-shifting outsiders who incubate their eggs in living mortals.
The twisted remnants of mortal souls comprise the vast majority of the Ethereal Plane’s inhabitants. Some souls, freed from their physical bodies by death, remain tethered to the Ethereal Plane by profound emotional distress and cannot proceed along multiversal currents to join the River of Souls flowing inexorably toward the Boneyard until they sever the powerful emotional ties that bind them. Indeed, the longer these souls remain stalled on their afterlife journey, the closer they slide toward the Negative Energy Plane, and the more of their memories and personalities become subsumed by raw emotional distress and psychic damage. These souls eventually manifest as incorporeal undead, frequently in the form of wraiths and spectres.
Spiritualists call out to the spirits of the Ethereal Plane and open their physical minds as refuges for them to inhabit. With practice and the help of a trained spiritualist, a spirit can even take its own physical form on the neighboring planes by cloaking itself in a sheath of ectoplasm, the ghostly substance that acts as a veil between worlds. These spirit guides are known as phantoms, and while they are loyal to the spiritualist to whom they are bound, the emotional connection to the Ethereal Plane remains strong, manifesting in jealousy and fiery outbursts from even the kindest of souls. The ectoplasmic nature of the Ethereal Plane is extraordinarily susceptible to the thoughts and emotions of the plane’s inhabitants. The ethereal version of a physical location is informed not just by its actual dimensions and appearance, but also by the memories and impressions of the spirits that haunt it. For example, on the Ethereal Plane, an old mansion might look as it did in the era of its ghostly inhabitants. If those spirits find final rest, their memories cannot sustain the structure, and it falls into an ethereal ruin. Some incorporeal spirits become so entwined with the emotional nature of the plane that they can manifest these ectoplasmic vistas in an overlapping location on a neighboring plane, temporarily cloaking it in a disturbing reflection of some past incarnation.
In a similar way that locations in the outside world possess overlapping etheric reflections, mortal creatures also have ethereal doppelgangers in the form of etheric doubles that exactly overlie their physical forms. The etheric double is a vessel for the cosmic breath of life that gives a creature animate force, most commonly known as ki. This energy collects in seven blazing vortices of colorful energy known as chakras, which bind the etheric double and the physical body together and distribute vital life energy to both. This energy extends 2 to 3 feet beyond the outlines of the creature’s physical form to create its aura, a nimbus of colorful occult energies that reveals much about a creature’s disposition and emotional state.
A creature’s etheric double, aura, and chakras are not visible except to those with the knowledge or magic to see them. From the Material Plane, this involves esoteric use of the Perception skill by a creature with the Psychic Sensitivity feat or any of a number of spells.
From within the Ethereal Plane, all it takes to observe the interplay of these forces is simple concentration— if you know what to look for, it becomes plainly visible.
Interpreting this information, of course, is another matter. An etheric double is outlined in violet-gray or blue-gray luminescence. Unlike an astral body generated by astral projection or a lucid body of the Dimension of Dreams, an etheric double is not normally capable of acting as a separate vehicle of consciousness.
Finally, the sweeping expanse of the Ethereal Plane is home to countless pocket realities known as demiplanes.
Many of these unique realms are the private domains of powerful arcane spellcasters, the playgrounds of minor gods, the experiments of the inscrutable elohim, or the prisons of creatures that pose such danger to the cosmos that they must never be released.
The Ethereal Plane has the following planar 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 is a realm of pure righteousness, where the forces of good gather to aid those on less virtuous planes and help worthy souls find rest.
Though inconceivably large, most viewers perceive the plane as a mountain with a mysteriously floating peak.
Heaven is as much a realm of law as it is one of goodness, and visitors unversed in its regulations may find themselves detained by its guardians. The archons who protect it are compassionate, but they also view any who have not earned their place within Heaven’s borders as lacking sufficient moral grounding to be trusted to wander freely. A visitor invited by a specific deity or other heavenly power might be welcomed and escorted to the proper realm, but told not to venture outside it. Other guests are often confined to Heaven’s Shore—sometimes called “Heathen Shore” by its residents—a city built to allow celestial beings to trade and consult with creatures from other planes without endangering all of Heaven.
Heaven’s residents see law and goodness as largely the same force. Order is the greatest good, and goodness is the greatest order. They recognize the good intentions of the azatas of Elysium, but view them as misguided children.
Similarly, they oppose the lawful evil forces of Hell, but credit them with intelligence and believe that they can at least be reasoned into truces and stalemates—and, perhaps, even redeemed—while chaotic and neutral evil forces must simply be eliminated or neutralized.
Heaven appears to most mortals and recently settled petitioners to be a great mountain. While mortal minds may conceptualize Heaven as a geographic region with familiar hallmarks like trees and buildings, it does not obey the same physical laws as the Material Plane (see the Planar Traits sidebar). Mortals from vastly different worlds may even perceive the same location differently based on the environment in which they lived on the Material Plane.
Distances between areas are based as much on their philosophical affinity as they are on actual locations, and two locations may, paradoxically, be both extremely close and far away from one another at the same time.
The mountain slopes slant downward, yet also host flat plains that seem to go on forever. One glance might reveal a stately city on the other side of a shining lake, while the next shows a lush forest.
From its base, Heaven rises in seven tiers. While each tier technically exists above or below another, higher tiers do not represent greater authority within Heaven’s hierarchy.
Rather, each tier houses souls that fit its particular theme and carries out prescribed functions to ensure Heaven’s continued operations. A number of locations exist within the mountain or are otherwise not considered part of any layer. Six of the levels are governed by one or more powerful entities called stewards—leaders who do not rule in the traditional sense, but rather help organize and serve as the official authority for matters concerning their respective levels. Over time, different beings cycle in and out of terms of service as their tiers’ stewards—while an archon acting as steward might be weaker than some of Heaven’s other residents, even the gods recognize the role of government in lawful society, and thus grant the office proper deference. Though the governors are collectively called stewards, each has a unique honorific related to her tier’s focus (such as High Preceptor or Chief Moderator).
As with all the planes, Heaven’s residents may come from any number of worlds and realms of existence, though most fall into three distinct categories.
Petitioners: Souls assigned to Heaven after their sojourn in the Boneyard arrive at the mountain’s base, where they wait in orderly lines for admission and registration. Once admitted into Heaven, petitioners may travel freely throughout the plane, usually settling on the heavenly tier that most fits their nature.
Deities and Other Powerful Outsiders: Gods, empyreal lords, lawful angels, and other powerful good-aligned outsiders often maintain homes or even entire realms on Heaven’s slopes or inside the mountain. Each deity’s realm is sovereign, and may bear no resemblance to or continuity with the areas around it.
Heaven’s Native Inhabitants: Heaven’s most numerous native creatures are the archons, lawful good outsiders who serve as soldiers and administrators for the plane. Some archons are ascended petitioners, while others are generated spontaneously by the plane in the Garden. Numerous angels also reach their angelic status here, or are formed by the raw energy of the plane, and lawfully aligned celestial creatures roam Heaven’s landscapes.
Heaven has the following planar 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 planar traits:
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Infernus from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Author Scott Greene and Erica Balsley.
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, 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:
When viewed from the edge of another plane, the Maelstrom’s (also known as Limbo) features appear much like that of its adjacent neighbor. The differences grow more profound farther away from the stabilizing anchor of the borderlands, eventually falling back into the mutable freedom of perpetual change in a vast churning sea of possibility called the Cerulean Void. The Maelstrom defies the efforts of mapmakers, as its very character shifts and f lows like the tide of an unseen ocean, to which the borderlands are but shores and calm shallows. Crystalline forests melt like candle wax into shallow brine seas with jewel-like icebergs, and then sublimate to vast parched deserts, all within the stretch of days. Still, islands of stability do exist within the depths of the Maelstrom. Petty gods, exiled fiends, and fallen celestials rule such islands, and even the rare stronghold of a mortal wizard or priest-king can be found here, holding itself against the metaphysical lapping tide. Creatures wandering in from the structured planes, long since grown native, populate the Maelstrom’s borderlands, often possessing characteristics and behaviors at odds with their origins. Deeper still, the mysterious serpentine proteans thrive within an environment of plastic potentiality. Claiming to be the first children of the Outer Planes, the proteans worship alien, godlike beings they refer to as the Speakers of the Depths, whom scholars speculate to be something akin to a pair of conjoined gods or a single dualistic entity.
The Maelstrom has the following planar traits:
Note Some additional information from PRG:OA
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 is the realm of physical sensation and incarnate existence. Souls manifest here in the shell of a physical body, a union so complete that most living creatures do not spend much time contemplating the difference between the gross physical form and the higher monadic soul that guides its movements and destiny. The final destination of a soul is not yet determined during its mortal life, making the Material Plane a magnet for the attentions of gods and outsiders eager to rally mortals to their banners in the afterlife, either willingly or by force. A planar crossroads, the Material Plane is coexistent with the Ethereal and Shadow Planes and coterminous with all of the realms of the Inner Sphere.
Just as little-known forces bind a physical body to its astral and ethereal counterparts, the whole of the universe is bound together by a series of ley lines— spiritual conduits that interpenetrate the many planes of the multiverse. Ley lines are prevalent on the Material Plane, and wise adepts of the occult arts, canny students of the arcane, and even village witches learn to recognize and manipulate these forces to their own ends.
The Material Plane has the following planar traits:
Source Some additional information from PRG:OA
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 orthodox view of the Inner Sphere casts the Negative Energy Plane as the jealous rival of its positive-energy twin, an empty infinite void of entropic darkness antithetical to creation, fit only to consume and destroy.
Negative energy is itself a dark opposite of life-giving positive energy, yet while it is most often a source or tool of destruction, it is also the animating force of the undead. The ancient wisdom of occultism seizes on this seemingly paradoxical association with creation and posits that entropy clears the slate for what’s next as the multiverse inexorably marches along an unimaginably vast evolutionary cycle of its own. Perfection is not a fixed state. It is always growing and changing. To say that there is one “natural” state—for instance, utter oblivion—that constitutes perfection is as impossible as imposing a limit on the infinite. Occultists believe that this destruction allows for and drives change.
Nonetheless, negative energy sustains the undead, who throng to the sterile and desolate gulfs of nothingness that compose the overwhelming expanse of this dark and terrifying realm. The plane offers few solid surfaces, so the undead present here tend to be incorporeal and capable of taking flight on the soul-chilling currents that seem inexorably to guide visitors toward the absolute darkness at the plane’s heart. This inner blackness connects via portals to the black holes scattered about the cosmos of the Material Plane. Records of astral voyages to the Material Plane side of these portals relate tales of the accretion disks of black holes swarming with incorporeal undead trapped within the event horizon.
Within the plane, where the concentration of negative energy reaches an absolute, it begins to manifest a crystalline material that grows into beautiful and deadly structures of absolute entropy. When these crystals form strange angles, the plane gives birth to a sceaduinar.
These vile creatures hate life and unlife alike, and exist only to sow entropy and destruction. Somehow, their manifestation seems to drain a measure of the plane’s entropic energies, ironically making the regions around these haunting snowf lake structures the most stable and survivable regions in the otherwise hostile plane.
While negative energy is less of a concern, the sceaduinar themselves represent a significant threat to visitors.
The ancient wisdom suggests that the jyoti hate the sceaduinar for their knowledge of the role destruction plays in the creation of souls, and the jyoti fear the exposure of that information. The Negative Energy Plane’s most terrible and hateful residents, the undead abominations known as nightshades, care little for this squabbling between the planes. Theirs is a quest to eradicate all life in the cosmos, to cloak the stars of the Material Plane in darkness, and to quench the Cosmic Fire, no matter the consequences.
The Negative Energy Plane has the following planar 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 planar traits:
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Plane of Gravity from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Authors Scott Greene and Erica Balsley.
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:
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Plane of Molten Skies from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Authors Scott Greene and Erica Balsley.
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:
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Plane of Time from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Authors Scott Greene and Erica Balsley.
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:
Note Some additional information from PRG:OA
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 is the source of all life, the Cosmic Fire at the heart of the multiverse that gives birth to mortal souls. The plane has no surface and exists as an emanation of life-giving energy radiating from an incandescent interior that resembles the molten heart of an active star. Ironically for a plane associated with life, the Positive Energy Plane can be extremely deadly to mortal visitors, as its ambient energies are so powerful that a mortal shell cannot absorb them without bursting. At certain vertices, the refraction of the Cosmic Fire’s rays create islands of solidity where the plane’s energies are not so extreme, and some manner of life as mortals understand it becomes possible. Here, upon vast shimmering fields, phoenix-feathered creatures known as the jyoti tend to orchards of glowing, anemone-like trees as tall as mountains, sprouting immature souls like glossy, liquid fruit. The xenophobic jyoti dwell in complex cities of crystal specially designed to reflect the weird luminescence of the Cosmic Fire. Jyoti seldom venture from these structures, focusing all of their energies on their sacred charge of tending and defending the nascent souls of the multiverse. At the center of each jyoti city is an imposing gate to a star in the cosmos of the Material Plane. New souls pass through these gates and ride waves of light to find incarnation in mortal vessels.
If the jyoti dedicate themselves to the protection of incubating immature souls, the other primary inhabitants of the Positive Energy Plane, the manasaputras, dedicate their existence to assisting the spiritual development of mortals. These “sons of mind” are the powerful psychic incarnations of mortals who have endured scores of mortal reincarnations, with each step becoming more attuned to the universal undersoul. The greatest and most powerful of the manasaputras—the glory-clad solar— dwell within the heart of the Cosmic Fire, and claim to be in communication with it. Lesser manasaputras like agnishvattas, barhisads, and manus spread through the Inner Sphere to initiate mortal adepts in the occult nature of the multiverse, so that they too might step once again into the light that birthed them.
For reasons unknown even to the eldest natives, divine beings cannot enter the Positive Energy Plane. Refugees from the vengeance of the gods or those hoping to hide important relics from certain divinities sometimes venture to the Positive Energy Plane to negotiate with the jyoti, who over the centuries have amassed an astounding trove of world-shattering artifacts, illegitimate halfmortal bastards, heretics, and other dangers.
The Positive Energy Plane has the following planar traits:
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Quasi-Elemental Plane of Acid from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Authors Scott Greene and Erica Balsley.
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 planar traits:
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Quasi-Elemental Plane of Lightning from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Authors Scott Greene and Erica Balsley.
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:
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Quasi-Elemental Plane of Obsidian from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Authors Scott Greene and Erica Balsley.
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 planar 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 planar 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 planar traits:
Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide. © 2010, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Cam Banks, Wolfgang Baur, Jason Bulmahn, Jim Butler, Eric Cagle, Graeme Davis, Adam Daigle, Joshua J. Frost, James Jacobs, Kenneth Hite, Steven Kenson, Robin Laws, Tito Leati, Rob McCreary, Hal Maclean, Colin McComb, Jason Nelson, David Noonan, Richard Pett, Rich Redman, Sean K Reynolds, F. Wesley Schneider, Amber Scott, Doug Seacat, Mike Selinker, Lisa Stevens, James L. Sutter, Russ Taylor, Penny Williams, Skip Williams, Teeuwynn Woodruff.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: The Inner Sea World Guide. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Keith Baker, Wolfgang Baur, Clinton J. Boomer, Jason Bulmahn, Joshua J. Frost, Ed Greenwood, Stephen S. Greer, Jeff Grubb, James Jacobs, Michael Kortes, Tito Leati, Mike McArtor, Rob McCreary, Erik Mona, Jason Eric Nelson, Jeff Quick, Sean K Reynolds, F. Wesley Schneider, Leandra Christine Schneider, David Schwartz, Amber E. Scott, Stan!, Owen K.C. Stephens, Todd Stewart, James L. Sutter, Greg A. Vaughan, Jeremy Walker, and JD Wiker.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Occult Adventures © 2015, Paizo Inc.; Authors: John Bennett, Logan Bonner, Robert Brookes, Jason Bulmahn, Ross Byers, John Compton, Adam Daigle, Jim Groves, Thurston Hillman, Eric Hindley, Brandon Hodge, Ben McFarland, Erik Mona, Jason Nelson, Tom Phillips, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Thomas M. Reid, Alex Riggs, Robert Schwalb, Mark Seifter, Russ Taylor, and Steve Townshend.