A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by Cromstar » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:02 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:01 am
On topic, as for the World Axis, I guess that you should threat it as a different multiverse altogether, because the World Axis has a core assumption that makes it different than the "standard" D&D multiverse:

The World Axis cosmology originates from the destruction of the Great Wheel (known as the Lattice of Heaven in 4e core materials) during the Dawn War, and what remains is the current Astral Sea. While the current status of the Elemental Chaos is because it was never separated into the individual Inner Planes, as the being that would one day become Primus was defeated by Mak Thuum Ngatha during the dawn of time.

Likewise, the specific version of the FR's World Axis is a consecuence of the Spellplague destroying the World Tree, as per the Empyrean Odyssey trilogy.
The World Axis is fun, in that I hate it, but I can absolutely justify it's existence as a model based on the specific series of events that takes place on Faerun leading up to it. See below.
There is no explanation for 4e Eberron and 4e Dark Sun's version of the World Axis, tho we know Dark Sun was a deliberate retcon.
Yeah, the porting of the World Axis outside of Toril makes no sense and has no in-universe justification. So I've ignored it.
Weather Report wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:46 am
1) Yeah, but Planescape did it too (retconning, etc). Its very easy to reconcile cosmologies, as they are mostly theory (no one can really see all the planes at once and how they are actually related).
This is rather constant in the various cosmological models, and basically what I'm attempting to do in this project: provide details on why certain views of the greater cosmology are different or odd, but that they are fundamentally compatible. Doing so from an in-universe perspective, not an out-of-universe perspective.

The chain of events and how they justify the World Axis model:

>the knock-off-Yggdrasil shows up on/is discovered on Toril
>many sages and scholars now adopt a tree-like model of the planes based on this specific World Tree (this explains why the World Tree model only details locations in the planes that are of direct import to Faerun, b/c even sages and scholars can be myopic and self-centered people)
>the Spellplague shenanigans happen
>the knock-off-Yggdrasil is destroyed
>magic itself goes to pot
>lots of powerful and knowledgeable people, especially wizards, end up dead, missing, go into hiding, etc
>this goes on for a decade, which would really gut the collective magical knowledge of the Forgotten Realms
>consider this from the view point of a sage learned on the World Tree model: the literal tree is dead, the gods are changing/dying/flailing around like mad, magic doesn't work, and most of the people with first-hand knowledge of the planes are dead or gone
>I imagine the following conversation happens: "So, you *say* that Hell, the Abyss, and the Plane of Fire are different places...but they sound awfully similar to me, and you can't seem to prove otherwise, since you can't go there or do anything else really."
>this enterprising individual then writes the "correct" version of the planes, combining Limbo, most of the Lower Planes, the Elemental Planes, and maybe the Ethereal into one place b/c "they sure sound the same" and then conflates the Upper Planes and Astral together b/c there's really only two planes outside of Faerun (the good and the bad), which creates a nice symmetry!
>some people adopt this model b/c it "totally makes sense" and sticks it to those "uppity wizards who expected the rest of us to just believe them because they could fireball your family to death if you disagreed with them. They got what they deserved."

In other words, the panic and chaos of the Spellplague created a void which could be easily filled by anyone, and there wouldn't be a lot of people to refute the model until well after it gained enough traction to be a "main stream" model of the multiverse.

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by Weather Report » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:11 pm

Cromstar wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:35 pm
1) L&L though goes the extra mile by placing their demiplane actually in the Outer Planes which, and I could be wrong, I don't think is how demplanes have ever worked?

2) Not that anything in Planescape precludes parallel primes (honestly, I'm not sure why they dropped the idea).
1) The Seelie Court is a demiplane that drifts through the Upper Planes (mainly Arborea, the Beastlands, and Ysgard). So, in Planescape, some of the Amerindian mythos reside on a demiplane in and around (coterminous?) the Beastlands, I guess.

2) Planescape seems to be pretty much about the one Material Plane (crystal spheres/phlogiston), no others. 3rd Ed returned to alternate material planes/cosmologies.

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by Weather Report » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:24 pm

Cromstar wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:02 pm
Yeah, the porting of the World Axis outside of Toril makes no sense and has no in-universe justification.
It makes no sense in Toril, either, it's a Nentir Vale deal. FR is Great Wheel, all the way, despite brief forays into a tree (3rd Ed) and the the ersatz Greek mythology that is the World Axis (4th Ed).

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by Zeromaru X » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:00 pm

Weather Report wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:46 am
1) Yeah, but Planescape did it too (retconning, etc). Its very easy to reconcile cosmologies, as they are mostly theory (no one can really see all the planes at once and how they are actually related).
Oh, you can really. But it would take great effort. Planescape lore is already filled, so you cannot carve space to say "You see this hole in the Great Wheel? Well, reality got sundered there during the ancient times". The Great Wheel also doesn't allow to introduce the newer planes 4e introduced. Where you can place Shom or Kalandurren within the Great Wheel while making sense?

And it will be biased. You either have to favore Planescape's approach that all and any stuff regarding the gods is theory, or 4e's approach that all that stuff is actual fact. Your adaptation will change greatly depending on your approach.

Cromstar example is a good... well, example. In his approach, the Great Wheel is a fact, and any other approach is people with a lot of imagination getting things wrong.

But, what if the Great Wheel is not really a fact, but, for instance, the World Tree was really the shape of the multiverse, and all others are just wrong theories made by people just doesn't know and were fooled by some mad sage from those crazy factions on Sigil? Or the World Axis? Or Eberron's Orrery?

Because, I can point you to a time where people believed that earth was flat and the sun orbited it to prove that not because "learned" people says something and the earliest sources support their claims, that something must be true.
Weather Report wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:24 pm
It makes no sense in Toril, either, it's a Nentir Vale deal. FR is Great Wheel, all the way, despite brief forays into a tree (3rd Ed) and the the ersatz Greek mythology that is the World Axis (4th Ed).
In fact, is a Toril thing. The World Axis was created as a replacement for the World Tree, that FR designers felt was inadecuate for their plans with the setting (their metaplot, I guess). By this time in 4e development, the core 4e team wanted to have only one general cosmology for all setings, as they wanted to have only one sourcebook about the planes. Bruce Cordell (from the FR team) approached the 4e core team and showed them this new cosmology, they like it, and that's why the World Axis became the main cosmology in 4e. They talk about this in Dragon 370.

Nentir Vale itself was originally designed to be part of the Forgotten Realms before they decided to make it its own thing (that happened late in 4e development's timeline), according to Chris Perkins.

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by Cromstar » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:31 am

Weather Report wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:11 pm
1) The Seelie Court is a demiplane that drifts through the Upper Planes (mainly Arborea, the Beastlands, and Ysgard). So, in Planescape, some of the Amerindian mythos reside on a demiplane in and around (coterminous?) the Beastlands, I guess.

2) Planescape seems to be pretty much about the one Material Plane (crystal spheres/phlogiston), no others. 3rd Ed returned to alternate material planes/cosmologies.
1) In Planescape, the Seelie Court drifts through the Upper Planes (well, Beastlands to Ysgard), but is actually on them. In 2e Planescape it is *not* a demiplane, just a roving realm (of the sylvan gods listed in Monster Mythology specifically). That's part of why the demiplane thing for the AmerInd is so out of place. The Upper World is literally another name for the Happy Hunting Ground: they just come from different tribes.

2) I mean, they do say there's only 1 PMP, but nothing in any of the products actually precludes the existence of more than 1 PMP. There are no rules or setting details that would be broken by the inclusion of other PMPs, is what I mean. They just discounted the idea for the setting, probably so they didn't have to continually address it in the source books.

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by Weather Report » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:47 am

Zeromaru X wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:00 pm
1) Oh, you can really. But it would take great effort. Planescape lore is already filled, so you cannot carve space to say "You see this hole in the Great Wheel? Well, reality got sundered there during the ancient times". The Great Wheel also doesn't allow to introduce the newer planes 4e introduced. Where you can place Shom or Kalandurren within the Great Wheel while making sense?

2) Cromstar example is a good... well, example. In his approach, the Great Wheel is a fact, and any other approach is people with a lot of imagination getting things wrong.

But, what if the Great Wheel is not really a fact, but, for instance, the World Tree was really the shape of the multiverse, and all others are just wrong theories made by people just doesn't know and were fooled by some mad sage from those crazy factions on Sigil? Or the World Axis? Or Eberron's Orrery?

3) In fact, is a Toril thing. The World Axis was created as a replacement for the World Tree, that FR designers felt was inadecuate for their plans with the setting (their metaplot, I guess). By this time in 4e development, the core 4e team wanted to have only one general cosmology for all setings, as they wanted to have only one sourcebook about the planes. Bruce Cordell (from the FR team) approached the 4e core team and showed them this new cosmology, they like it, and that's why the World Axis became the main cosmology in 4e. They talk about this in Dragon 370.

Nentir Vale itself was originally designed to be part of the Forgotten Realms before they decided to make it its own thing (that happened late in 4e development's timeline), according to Chris Perkins.
1) I don't agree, that is why it's easy to reconcile and what-have-you. Introducing a new Outer Plane is rough with the Great Wheel, but you can always convert them as a realm or demiplane. Demiplanes are not just in the Deep Ethereal, in 5th Ed, The Isle of Dread is a demiplane in the Elemental Plane of Water.

2) Exactly, it's all perspective. 5th Ed enforces this concept, hence why the World Axis, Orrery, and The Great Wheel have all been reconciled with each other.

3) Ah, if all of that is true, major bummer, poor FR, always having its integrity compromised by some author or new edition upheaval (Time of Troubles was a bunch of unnecessary malarkey, too, IMO). RA Salvatore instantly planned to reverse all the Spellplague nonsense the second he and Ed were informed it was happening (they obviously thought it was an atrocious idea). RA said to Ed something like "I got this..."

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by Weather Report » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:28 am

Cromstar wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:31 am
Weather Report wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:11 pm
1) The Seelie Court is a demiplane that drifts through the Upper Planes (mainly Arborea, the Beastlands, and Ysgard). So, in Planescape, some of the Amerindian mythos reside on a demiplane in and around (coterminous?) the Beastlands, I guess.

2) Planescape seems to be pretty much about the one Material Plane (crystal spheres/phlogiston), no others. 3rd Ed returned to alternate material planes/cosmologies.
1) In Planescape, the Seelie Court drifts through the Upper Planes (well, Beastlands to Ysgard), but is actually on them. In 2e Planescape it is *not* a demiplane, just a roving realm (of the sylvan gods listed in Monster Mythology specifically). That's part of why the demiplane thing for the AmerInd is so out of place. The Upper World is literally another name for the Happy Hunting Ground: they just come from different tribes.

2) I mean, they do say there's only 1 PMP, but nothing in any of the products actually precludes the existence of more than 1 PMP. There are no rules or setting details that would be broken by the inclusion of other PMPs, is what I mean. They just discounted the idea for the setting, probably so they didn't have to continually address it in the source books.
1) Ah, yes, I can see how that doesn't quite jive, because in AD&D/Planescape, Demiplanes are restricted to the Deep Ethereal (like the Demiplane of Dread/Ravenloft and the original Plane of Shadow).
In 3rd and 5th Ed, while still using the Great Wheel, Demiplanes can be found all over (such as The Isle of Dread is a Demiplane in the Elemental Plane of Water), so you could have a Demiplane (one that borders/is coterminous with the Material plane and The Beastlands?) where some of the Amerindian mythos dwells.
I just looked in On Hallowed Ground, and there is no mention of the Amerindian mythos, at all; glaring omission.

2) Yeah, you could easily have other cosmologies/parallel material planes (dimensions), like Gammaworld, Traveller, etc.

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by Zeromaru X » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:44 pm

But those were full planes in 4e (and in 1e, if we're talking about the AmerInd's gods planes), full of inner layers and what not. It feels odd to demote them to simple demiplanes just because the Great Wheel symmetry doesn't allow for nothing more.

That's why I prefer to consider them alternate multiverses. That way you don't need to shoehorn nothing just to accomodate something to the Great Wheel's lore. It makes sense for settings like Eberron, whose main concepts include the fact that gods may not even exist (something that's not possible within the Great Wheel).

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by Weather Report » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:47 am

Zeromaru X wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:44 pm
1) But those were full planes in 4e (and in 1e, if we're talking about the AmerInd's gods planes), full of inner layers and what not. It feels odd to demote them to simple demiplanes just because the Great Wheel symmetry doesn't allow for nothing more.

2) That's why I prefer to consider them alternate multiverses. That way you don't need to shoehorn nothing just to accomodate something to the Great Wheel's lore. It makes sense for settings like Eberron, whose main concepts include the fact that gods may not even exist (something that's not possible within the Great Wheel).
1) I don't recall anything about full planes and inner layers in regards to the Amerindian Mythos, considering they are/were not on the outer planes; Prime Material (American Indian), Parallel Prime Material (Central American), and some Elemental Planes. Again, doesn't feel odd to me, maybe people of Nentir Vale are mistaken about them being actual outer planes, as a lot if it is perspective (such as the folks of Krynn referring to Avernus, as the Abyss).

2) Right on, nothing's stopping you from embracing the alternate cosmologies deal, ala 3rd Ed (connected by the Plane of Shadow), they even show the Orrery as an alternative cosmology (and others) in the 3rd Ed Manual of the Planes.

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by ripvanwormer » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:10 pm

Weather Report wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:20 am
2) Also, In 3rd Ed (Dragon 327/Dragon Magazine Annual), the Nightmare Dimension is the Demiplane of Nightmares, which borders coterminously with the Region of Dreams and the Ethereal Plane.
The Demiplane of Nightmares was also mentioned in the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix and described in Planescape's A Guide to the Ethereal Plane. Dragon #327 says "Diaboli hail from a demiplane just out of phase with the rest of the multiverse. Called by humanoids the Demiplane of Nightmares, this realm borders coterminously with the Region of Dreams and the Ethereal Plane." Note that all ethereal demiplanes are coterminous with the [Border] Ethereal. "Unfortunately for the diaboli and the creatures that share their frightening home, the borders between their reality and those of the Far Realm—a place that exists outside of reality from which pseudonatural creatures originate—seem particularly thin."

This is very much like the Demiplane of Leng (borrowed from Lovecraft) in the Pathfinder cosmology, which is connected to the plane of dreams but has its own Lovecraftian theme separate from merely being a bad or unpleasant dream.

In the Mystara setting, the Nightmare Dimension did seem somewhat Lovecraftian, but it was also said (in Gaz 3 The Principalities of Glantri) to be the source of illusion magic and its main thing was that it tended toward Chaos where the normal "Multiverse Dimension" tended toward Law, and most humanoids were chaotic good but everything was poisonous for standard D&D creatures, and vice versa. It wasn't really connected to dreams, but it could sometimes be glimpsed in dreams and it was horrific enough by our standards that it was misinterpreted as a nightmare.

The Dimension of Nightmares originated in module X5, Temple of Death, as the origin of the malfera, a hostile chaotic creature with an elephant's face, horns, and a mass of tentacles in its torso. The original source didn't describe the Dimension of Nightmares except to say that it was poisonous and deadly to humans. The D&D Immortal Rules later expanded on the concept, saying that the Dimension of Nightmares was actually the third, fourth, and fifth dimensions of space. Wrath of the Immortals eliminated discussion of higher dimensional mathematics and used the word "dimension" more loosely to refer to alternate universes.

For what it's worth, the 1st edition American Indian Mythos was placed thusly:

Raven - Elemental Plane of Air
Coyote - Prime Material Plane
Hastseltsi - Prime Material Plane
Hastsezini - Elemental Plane of Fire
Heng - Elemental Plane of Air
Hotoru - Elemental Plane of Air
Shakak - Prime Material Plane
Snake-Man - Prime Material Plane
Tobadzistsini - Prime Material Plane

I remember one fan created a shared realm shaped like a giant raven for the Elemental Plane of Air deities to dwell on together.

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by Weather Report » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:55 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:10 pm
Weather Report wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:20 am
2) Also, In 3rd Ed (Dragon 327/Dragon Magazine Annual), the Nightmare Dimension is the Demiplane of Nightmares, which borders coterminously with the Region of Dreams and the Ethereal Plane.
The Demiplane of Nightmares was also mentioned in the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix and described in Planescape's A Guide to the Ethereal Plane. Dragon #327 says "Diaboli hail from a demiplane just out of phase with the rest of the multiverse. Called by humanoids the Demiplane of Nightmares, this realm borders coterminously with the Region of Dreams and the Ethereal Plane." Note that all ethereal demiplanes are coterminous with the [Border] Ethereal. "Unfortunately for the diaboli and the creatures that share their frightening home, the borders between their reality and those of the Far Realm—a place that exists outside of reality from which pseudonatural creatures originate—seem particularly thin."

This is very much like the Demiplane of Leng (borrowed from Lovecraft) in the Pathfinder cosmology, which is connected to the plane of dreams but has its own Lovecraftian theme separate from merely being a bad or unpleasant dream.
Right on, also, in Dragon magazine 201, there is an Al-Qadim article by Steve Kurtz, detailing Iram, The City of Lofty Pillars; also very Dreamlands/Lovecraftian; inscriptions are found on the pillars in the dead language of Chun.

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by Weather Report » Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:03 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:10 pm
For what it's worth, the 1st edition American Indian Mythos was placed thusly:

Raven - Elemental Plane of Air
Coyote - Prime Material Plane
Hastseltsi - Prime Material Plane
Hastsezini - Elemental Plane of Fire
Heng - Elemental Plane of Air
Hotoru - Elemental Plane of Air
Shakak - Prime Material Plane
Snake-Man - Prime Material Plane
Tobadzistsini - Prime Material Plane
Cool, and for what it's worth, the entire 1st Ed Central American mythos is placed thusly:

"A parallel Prime Material Plane"

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