[Planes] Plane of Shadows

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[Planes] Plane of Shadows

Postby Havard » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:29 pm

I found a reference to the Plane of Shadows in the Player's Guide to Blackmoor under the entrance for the Ordo Elementarum. It is one of the planes explored by the Ordo.

Does anyone know of any other references to this plane in Blackmoor lore?

How would you use this plane in a Blackmoor specific campaign?

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Re: [Planes] Plane of Shadows

Postby Big Mac » Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:48 pm

Havard wrote:I found a reference to the Plane of Shadows in the Player's Guide to Blackmoor under the entrance for the Ordo Elementarum. It is one of the planes explored by the Ordo.


Nice! Do you have a page number for that?

Havard wrote:Does anyone know of any other references to this plane in Blackmoor lore?


I had a quick flip thorugh my copies of Dave Arneson's Blackmoor (the paperback) and Player's Guide to Blackmoor and I can't find any sort of sections for cosmology.

Most campaign settings published during the 3rd Edition era seem to use the Manual of the Planes rules, but create a bespoke cosmology, rather than using the Great Wheel cosmology. None of the Outer Planes, from the Great Wheel, were put into the SRD, and I think that the campaign settings that built bespoke cosmologies partly did what they did for legal reasons.

The fact that I couldn't find much for Blackmoor could be that they wanted to use the BECMI cosmology, but could not. Or, it could just as easily be that they didn't want to use the BECMI cosmology...or the Great Wheel...but didn't want to put off customers that wanted to use one or the other, so just avoided the issue.

One thing I did find was two Elementals (Metal and Wood) on page 187 of Dave Arneson's Blackmoor. Perhaps that means that the person who created those monsters thinks that Blackmoor has a Plane of Metal and a Plane of Wood (in it's Elemental Planes). But were they created by Dave Arneson, or by someone else?

Havard wrote:How would you use this plane in a Blackmoor specific campaign?


Rich Baker's Blade's of the Moonsea trilogy actually had some interesting sections showing Shadowfell duplicates of locations on the Prime Material Plane. I had never thought of the Plane of Shadow in that way before, but I think it was really interesting.

A Shadow Dungeon, below Blackmoor itself, that is very similar to, but not identical to, the original dungeon, could be fun. And a Shadow version City of Blackmoor could also be fun. For a "Shadowmoor" you could find (or invent) old buildings that are gone from the real city and bring them back (in shadow form). A Shadow version of The Comeback Inn could be the way between the two cities. In the normal city the dungeons are normally sealed, but in a "Shadowmoor" duplicate of the city, those gates might not be closed.

Another thing you could look at is the lands of Egg of Coot. What could they be like in the Plane of Shadow? Could they still be an echo of what that land was before the Egg of Coot took over? Could people move to the Plane of Shadow and try to pass through the territory of the Egg of Coot? Or would the Egg of Coot have agents on the Plane of Shadow that were sneaking outside of The Realm of the Egg and working on plots to expand the Realm? I think you could go either way with it.
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Re: [Planes] Plane of Shadows

Postby ripvanwormer » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:03 am

Big Mac wrote:Nice! Do you have a page number for that?


Page 175: "It was Mithgilivyr, in fact, who first proposed the planar model largely accepted today—six elemental planes (Air, Earth, Fire, Metal, Wood, and Water) plus the Ethereal Plane, Astral Plane, Shadow Plane, and the Plane of Time."

I think there are a number of different ways you could use the Plane of Shadow in the Blackmoor setting:

1. The 3rd edition Manual of the Planes interpretation: "Landmarks from the Material Plane are recognizable on the Plane of Shadow, but they are twisted, warped things—diminished reflections of what can be found on the Material Plane."

2. It's the Dimension of Nightmare, the source of illusion magic.

3. It's Limbo, the realm of the dead.

4. Some sort of connection to the god Pathmeer? "It is a church of well-kept secrets and knowledge whose worshipers hail from the ranks of thieves and spies more often than not... Many dwarves look down upon the clergy because they often lurk in the shadows..." Perhaps worshipers of Pathmeer can guide travelers across the wilds of the Shadow Plane. Dave Arneson's Blackmoor supports this: "His followers walk the roads of darkness and intrigue, looking for mysteries to keep their kin safe from evil. It is rumored that Pathmeer’s highest priests can walk between worlds as easily as a man can walk between rooms."

5. Some sort of connection to the Eldritch Underground? "According to these tales, agents of the Underground can transform themselves into mere shadows..." Maybe they have a hidden stronghold there. Maybe T’vadan of the Many Eyes is a native of the Plane of Shadow (and/or the Dimension of Nightmare).

6. There's a Westryn elf called Egeran Shadowhunter. Is his surname literal?

7. There's a spell called armor of darkness that might draw from this plane.
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Re: [Planes] Plane of Shadows

Postby Zeromaru X » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:44 am

For what is worth, the "Shadow Realm" is mentioned in 4e Blackmoor. The Elderkin is a unique Blackmoorian class (at leasts, unique in 4e) focused in drawing its power from this realm. By the description of powers, its pretty much like the 3e plane of Shadow, a "corridor between dimensions".
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Re: [Planes] Plane of Shadows

Postby RobJN » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:42 am

One of the features hinted at, but not yet fully explored in Thorn's World That Was is the notion of the Reflected World: the Place Seen But Not Touched. Reflections in glass, polished stone, and water are believed to be the closest the Prime Material comes to the Border Aetheric.

In the wake of the destruction wrought in the Great Rain of Fire, at least one entire city had its reflection -- and nearly all the citizenry -- burned into the glasslike sides of the crater left by one of the explosions. It is thought that the rock involved was Andahar Onyx, and it is known that reflections cast there take on a slightly-warped, smoky look.

Perhaps Andahar Onyx is one of the material gateways to this Plane of Shadow, rather than the deeper reaches of the Aetheric, as was previously thought? Or maybe those two things are one in the same....?
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