A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

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A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by Cromstar » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:46 am

For the last few months I've been a big kick building a lot of information up for my* campaign world, or more accurately, for the multiverse beyond said world. Among the many insane projects I've been working on is an updated and expanded cosmology (other things I decided to do: a list of all 'known' gods and their pantheons and planes, expanding the genies proper to the para- and quasi-elemental planes, starting a quick list of thoughts for spelljamming crystal spheres, etc).

My base cosmology model is built off of the Great Wheel cosmology, especially as detailed in the Planescape campaign setting. As part of this, I'm working up a list of alternative cosmological models and detailing how they actually fit into (or don't, if I end up stumped) the expanded model I've built.

What I'm asking for are other cosmologies or cosmological models from D&D or mythology that people know of, and especially sources for any which I'm not familiar with.

Here's a list of what I already know of and plan to work on:
  • Planescape 'Great Wheel' - I'm using this as my base and expanding on it (and making some minor alterations for coherency as needed IMO)
  • 'Original' Dragonlance - So, way back in the day, if I've read the limited sources I have correctly, if it wasn't on Krynn, it was part of the 'Abyss'. This may be the most wonderfully stupid view of the multiverse there is. If some of the DL products from 1st & 2nd Edition actually have a more consistent view of what lies beyond Krynn, I'd love to know where, b/c what I have seen (...the novels, the MC entries mostly), its all 'the Abyss'. Seriously, the neutral 'Astral Dragon' 2e DL MC entry is worth a read if you want to know what I'm talking about.
  • 'Newer' Dragonlance - Later editions (?) expanded on the Krynnish view of the multiverse, diversifying it somewhat (The Dome of Creation, The Hidden Vale, etc etc)
  • 'The World Tree' model - I'm not sure exactly which edition and products originally detailed this FR-centric model, but it's on my list as I'm confident I have internet sources that at least have the details I need.
  • The 'World Axis' model - Same as the World Tree model, I'm looking at it
  • Dark Sun cosmology - Honestly, my favorite of all the main campaign worlds' cosmologies, and the reason I embarked on this project. When studying up on Dark Sun I found myself thinking 'so...this is just the regular model, but some differences in names and classifications?'
  • Greek model -Gaia, Erebos, Tartaros, etc. This model is easy to map, hard to actually peg down what the model itself is.
  • The REAL world tree of the Norse - The nine worlds. Need I say more?
  • Aztec/Mayan space shenanigans - I don't remember which book it was that made that sly comment about visiting the Aztec gods on a flying ship, but its a mess. An absolute mess. But I have an answer. In addition to this, I think the Aztec's had an actual cosmology I need to look up.
  • Incan - Their cosmology is actually a pretty simple tri-planar view (ie, "heaven" "hell" and "earth").
  • The Celestial Bureaucracy - There's like 4 or 5 'heavens' and like 18 'hells' and all that jazz and its aaaaalll mapped. I think. I'll know when I get there and double-check the details.
Other possible thoughts:
  • Jainism has a cosmological model. I'm...not sure. I've not officially adopted Jainism as a possibility into my multiverse at present, but considering that Hinduism is fair game, I probably will. So I might dig this model up.
  • I think Eberron had a unique cosmology, but I know basically nothing about Eberron. If anyone knows that this is a thing and can point me to one or more good source for the heavy details, I'd appreciate it.
  • North American natives - I'm pretty sure there are a few Native American cultures that had cosmologies. Need to do more research before I do anything here, honestly.
  • Ravenloft, Masque of the Red Death, and Spelljammer are incorporated into the model
  • As far as I know, Greyhawk/Oerth does not have any differences from the Great Wheel
  • I have no idea about Birthright and Mystara cosmologies, or if such even exist.

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:39 am

Cromstar wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:46 am
[*]'Original' Dragonlance - So, way back in the day, if I've read the limited sources I have correctly, if it wasn't on Krynn, it was part of the 'Abyss'. This may be the most wonderfully stupid view of the multiverse there is. If some of the DL products from 1st & 2nd Edition actually have a more consistent view of what lies beyond Krynn, I'd love to know where, b/c what I have seen (...the novels, the MC entries mostly), its all 'the Abyss'. Seriously, the neutral 'Astral Dragon' 2e DL MC entry is worth a read if you want to know what I'm talking about.
[*]'Newer' Dragonlance - Later editions (?) expanded on the Krynnish view of the multiverse, diversifying it somewhat (The Dome of Creation, The Hidden Vale, etc etc)
This is a complicated subject. The proper nouns expanded upon in 3rd edition (Dome of Creation, Hidden Vale, Zhan, etc.) appear in 1987's Dragonlance Adventures, but aren't defined in any formal way. Planescape used these proper nouns as realms within the Great Wheel cosmology, while 3rd edition sources decided that three of the proper nouns (the Abyss, Dome of Creation, and the Hidden Vale) were outer planes in their own right while one of them (Zhan) was part of the Hidden Vale.

On the other hand, the 1st edition Manual of the Planes was published the same year as Dragonlance Adventures and it clearly and explicitly places Krynn and its gods within the Great Wheel cosmology (stating that there are kender souls in Acheron and Tiamat is known as Takhisis by her worshipers on Krynn). In addition, the short story "A Stone's Throw Away" by Roger E. Moore (1984) involves Demogorgon being summoned to Krynn.

My conclusion is that the Great Wheel is as much the "original Dragonlance cosmology" as the list of undefined nouns from Dragonlance Adventures, which could easily (and do, according to Planescape) refer to realms within the Great Wheel.

Some Dragonlance sources do refer to planes like the realm of the Astral Dragon and Takhisis's realm as "the Abyss." This has been framed as "the people of Krynn don't know much about the planes" but really it's just semantics. Krynnish sages referring to the Astral Plane and Baator as "the Abyss" doesn't make them wrong, it just means their terminology differs.
[*]'The World Tree' model - I'm not sure exactly which edition and products originally detailed this FR-centric model, but it's on my list as I'm confident I have internet sources that at least have the details I need.
The Forgotten Realms "World Tree" debuted with 3rd edition's Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting and was detailed most fully in the Player's Guide to Faerun.
[*]The 'World Axis' model - Same as the World Tree model, I'm looking at it
This debuted in 4th edition. It's detailed most fully in 4th edition's Manual of the Planes. All 4e campaign settings, including Eberron, the Forgotten Realms, and Dark Sun, use variants of the World Axis model.
[*]Dark Sun cosmology - Honestly, my favorite of all the main campaign worlds' cosmologies, and the reason I embarked on this project. When studying up on Dark Sun I found myself thinking 'so...this is just the regular model, but some differences in names and classifications?'
Arguably. 2e's Dragon Kings hardcover included a cosmology section that was word for word exactly the same as the one in the 1st edition Manual of the Planes, but subsequent products altered this somewhat.

Defilers and Preservers: The Wizards of Athas described two new planes, the Black and the Gray. It defined the Black as "a realm of chill darkness similar to the Demiplane of Shadow" and said the Gray was a realm of the dead that separated Athas from the Astral and Ethereal Planes. Planescape's A Guide to the Ethereal Plane said the Gray was Athas's Border Ethereal.

Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium II mentioned four para-elemental planes: Sun, Silt, Magma, and Rain. These are obviously not the standard para-elemental planes from Planescape's Great Wheel, but Planescape's The Inner Planes sourcebook indicated that the people of Athas simply call the inner planes by different names.

In 3rd edition it was stated explicitly that the Black was the Plane of Shadow and the Gray was the Ethereal Plane.

4th edition used a variation of the World Axis cosmology. The Gray was Dark Sun's Shadowfell and Dark Sun's Feywild had fragmented as the ecology was destroyed, becoming tenuous and scattered realms.
[*]Aztec/Mayan space shenanigans - I don't remember which book it was that made that sly comment about visiting the Aztec gods on a flying ship, but its a mess.
This was 2nd edition's Legends & Lore. In that source, the Aztec and north American Indian gods both believe in upper and lower worlds, though they're both definitely a mess. The Aztec gods live in "the world above" and "the world below" with "the world above" including the stars and planets and upper air. The north American Indian gods dwell in demiplanes known as the Upper World and Lower World, "with direct access to the Happy Hunting Grounds where Indian deities spend much of their time."

1st edition's Deities & Demigods simply gave both pantheons realms in the Great Wheel.
[*]As far as I know, Greyhawk/Oerth does not have any differences from the Great Wheel
It doesn't, but the Great Wheel itself changed slightly between 2nd, 3rd, and 5th edition. The only additions specific to Greyhawk are the Fading Lands detailed in the From the Ashes boxed set, which are demiplanes coexistent with Oerth.
[*]I have no idea about Birthright and Mystara cosmologies, or if such even exist.
Birthright uses the Great Wheel, but it's separated from the other planes by the Shadow World, a coexistent plane that functions as a combination of the Plane of Shadow and Faerie.

Mystara uses the cosmology detailed in the Immortal Set and modified in Wrath of the Immortals, though in 2nd edition it used the Great Wheel. In the Immortal Set cosmology the Prime Plane is surrounded by the Ethereal Plane, which contains four elemental planes (Earth, Water, Air, and Fire). Beyond the Ethereal Plane is the Astral Plane, which contains an infinite number of Outer Planes aligned with the five Spheres of Existence: Entropy, Time, Thought, Energy, and Matter. Major outer planes include Pyts, Entrem, Mirage, Draesten, and Brynn. The purgatory where souls of the dead travel is called Limbo. The cosmology also has dimensions, which include the Dimension of Nightmares, the Dimension of Myth, and the Land of Mists, where Castle Amber was once banished.

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by Cromstar » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:09 am

ripvanwormer wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:39 am
This is a complicated subject. The proper nouns expanded upon in 3rd edition (Dome of Creation, Hidden Vale, Zhan, etc.) appear in 1987's Dragonlance Adventures, but aren't defined in any formal way. Planescape used these proper nouns as realms within the Great Wheel cosmology, while 3rd edition sources decided that three of the proper nouns (the Abyss, Dome of Creation, and the Hidden Vale) were outer planes in their own right while one of them (Zhan) was part of the Hidden Vale.

On the other hand, the 1st edition Manual of the Planes was published the same year as Dragonlance Adventures and it clearly and explicitly places Krynn and its gods within the Great Wheel cosmology (stating that there are kender souls in Acheron and Tiamat is known as Takhisis by her worshipers on Krynn). In addition, the short story "A Stone's Throw Away" by Roger E. Moore (1984) involves Demogorgon being summoned to Krynn.

My conclusion is that the Great Wheel is as much the "original Dragonlance cosmology" as the list of undefined nouns from Dragonlance Adventures, which could easily (and do, according to Planescape) refer to realms within the Great Wheel.

Some Dragonlance sources do refer to planes like the realm of the Astral Dragon and Takhisis's realm as "the Abyss." This has been framed as "the people of Krynn don't know much about the planes" but really it's just semantics. Krynnish sages referring to the Astral Plane and Baator as "the Abyss" doesn't make them wrong, it just means their terminology differs.
Ah, I did not know they showed up in that work. I don't have that one so I was working off the scattered Dragonlance items I do have, none of which mention anything other than the Abyss. This is good to know.
The Forgotten Realms "World Tree" debuted with 3rd edition's Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting and was detailed most fully in the Player's Guide to Faerun.
Thanks, good to know.
This debuted in 4th edition. It's detailed most fully in 4th edition's Manual of the Planes.
I'll have to check this out.
Arguably. 2e's Dragon Kings hardcover included a cosmology section that was word for word exactly the same as the one in the 1st edition Manual of the Planes, but subsequent products altered this somewhat.

Defilers and Preservers: The Wizards of Athas described two new planes, the Black and the Gray. It defined the Black as "a realm of chill darkness similar to the Demiplane of Shadow" and said the Gray was a realm of the dead that separated Athas from the Astral and Ethereal Planes. Planescape's A Guide to the Ethereal Plane said the Gray was Athas's Border Ethereal.

Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium II mentioned four para-elemental planes: Sun, Silt, Magma, and Rain. These are obviously not the standard para-elemental planes from Planescape's Great Wheel, but Planescape's The Inner Planes sourcebook indicated that the people of Athas simply call the inner planes by different names.
Yeah, I have all the 2nd Ed Dark Sun books. They didn't even try to pretend the Grey was anything other than the Ethereal in the D&P book (There's the Grey and the Deep Grey, like, who are you trying to fool?). I must have missed that note from The Inner Planes, but I'd already come to the same conclusion.
This was 2nd edition's Legends & Lore. In that source, the Aztec and north American Indian gods both believe in upper and lower worlds, though they're both definitely a mess. The Aztec gods live in "the world above" and "the world below" with "the world above" including the stars and planets and upper air. The north American Indian gods dwell in demiplanes known as the Upper World and Lower World, "with direct access to the Happy Hunting Grounds where Indian deities spend much of their time."

1st edition's Deities & Demigods simply gave both pantheons realms in the Great Wheel.
Yeah, I knew that Spelljammer bit was from somewhere. The source didn't really matter, to be honest. I am also confused to this day why the Native American powers were moved to their own demiplane(s) in some of the sources. I mean, one of the Outer Planes was literally created specifically for them, but let's go ahead and put them somewhere else! And L&L had to go the extra step and make it adjacent to the Happy Hunting Grounds, which is where they were originally. Just why?
The only additions specific to Greyhawk are the Fading Lands detailed in the From the Ashes boxed set, which are demiplanes coexistent with Oerth.
I'll have to check out the Fading Lands.
Birthright uses the Great Wheel, but it's separated from the other planes by the Shadow World, a coexistent plane that functions as a combination of the Plane of Shadow and Faerie.
Hrrrmmm.
Mystara uses the cosmology detailed in the Immortal Set and modified in Wrath of the Immortals, though in 2nd edition it used the Great Wheel. In the Immortal Set cosmology the Prime Plane is surrounded by the Ethereal Plane, which contains four elemental planes (Earth, Water, Air, and Fire). Beyond the Ethereal Plane is the Astral Plane, which contains an infinite number of Outer Planes aligned with the five Spheres of Existence: Entropy, Time, Thought, Energy, and Matter. Major outer planes include Pyts, Entrem, Mirage, Draesten, and Brynn. The purgatory where souls of the dead travel is called Limbo. The cosmology also has dimensions, which include the Dimension of Nightmares, the Dimension of Myth, and the Land of Mists, where Castle Amber was once banished.
I expected this kind of mess. Mystara being built under a completely different rule set and the like was just going to make trouble, and I've none of the sources. Blergh.

Thanks for the help with some of the sources I was not sure of, makes things much easier.

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:07 am

Cromstar wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:09 am
ripvanwormer wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:39 am
Mystara uses the cosmology detailed in the Immortal Set and modified in Wrath of the Immortals, though in 2nd edition it used the Great Wheel. In the Immortal Set cosmology the Prime Plane is surrounded by the Ethereal Plane, which contains four elemental planes (Earth, Water, Air, and Fire). Beyond the Ethereal Plane is the Astral Plane, which contains an infinite number of Outer Planes aligned with the five Spheres of Existence: Entropy, Time, Thought, Energy, and Matter. Major outer planes include Pyts, Entrem, Mirage, Draesten, and Brynn. The purgatory where souls of the dead travel is called Limbo. The cosmology also has dimensions, which include the Dimension of Nightmares, the Dimension of Myth, and the Land of Mists, where Castle Amber was once banished.
I expected this kind of mess. Mystara being built under a completely different rule set and the like was just going to make trouble, and I've none of the sources. Blergh.
The easy way to reconcile the Mystara differences is to redefine one of the concepts from the Gold Box/Immortals Set cosmology. Therein, it is revealed that there is a Dimensional Vortex that blocks Mystaraspace from the rest of creation. In that set, the Dimensional Vortex is a literal barrier between dimensions (specifically the 6th and higher dimensions), but it could easily be changed into a barrier cutting it off from the Great Wheel or other cosmologies.

Otherwise, it is fairly simple to work Mystaraspace into the Great Wheel cosmology by making some minor changes to what is described. As rip notes, the Mystara cosmology has already been altered a bit once (in the changes between the two Immortals boxed sets).
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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by agathokles » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:44 am

In particular, some of the "Outer Planes" of the Mystara cosmology can be fit as Realms of the Planescape Great Wheel (most planes that have the role of an Immortal's domain, altough Pyts could be easily the Abyss), while others fit better as Demiplanes (the Land of Mists is an ancestor of the Demiplane of Dread), regions of the Inner Planes (the four main aligned planes; Pyts could be a region of the Negative, if it is not the Abyss or part of it) or even as other Prime Materials (e.g., Eloysia).
Mystara's Limbo is not Planescape's Limbo, but rather a portion of the Ethereal Plane (the part accessible by Ethereal Undead, in particular).

GP

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by Big Mac » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:03 pm

Cromstar wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:46 am
What I'm asking for are other cosmologies or cosmological models from D&D or mythology that people know of, and especially sources for any which I'm not familiar with.
You may or may not be interested in the D&D cosmologies from:
  • Ghostwalk (3e)
  • Rokugan (3e/Legend of the Five Rings)
  • Kingdoms of Kalamar (3e/2e clone/Hackmaster)
  • Warcraft/World of Warcraft (3e/d20 System)
  • Nentir Vale (aka "Points of Light") (4e)
I'm not sure if you ever followed the development of the OGL and the 3rd Party Publisher movement, but when WotC set up the 3e SRD, they made the Inner Planes Open Game Content, the Transitive Planes Open Game Content and the general idea of Outer Planes Open Game Content...

...however, the actual named Outer Planes in Manual of the Planes/Planescape were kept out of the SRD. That means that 3PP were able to build stuff that could fit in with a Planescape campaign, but they were not actually able to fit it into the Great Wheel. So you will either find that they have not bothered or that they have designed their own cosmology.

I think that Scarred Lands and Freeport both have an element of travel through the planes to them.

Another thing you might want to look at is the idea of the One Prime Plane model (which is popular with some Spelljammer fans as it puts Krynnspace, Realmspace, Greyspace and the Phlogiston onto the same plane) vs the Alternative Material Plane model (where Krynn, Toril and Oerth could be stacked on top of each other as separate Alternative Material Planes.

I prefer the One Prime Material Plane model, but the other way of doing things might well fit in better with what you are trying to do.

It might even be possible to use both models together (with all the 1st and 2nd Edition D&D worlds that TSR invented being on a single Prime Material Plane...in Spelljammer crystal spheres) and more awkward IPs being shunted up or down onto different Prime Material Plane layers that don't necessarily have a Great Wheel surrounding their Material Plane.

This might also be a good way to deal with newer D&D settings like Eberron or Nentir Vale (so that you don't have to reboot their canon to fit the Great Wheel) or Mystara (so that you can give it the BECMI cosmology instead of the Great Wheel).
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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by Cromstar » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:19 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:07 am
The easy way to reconcile the Mystara differences is to redefine one of the concepts from the Gold Box/Immortals Set cosmology. Therein, it is revealed that there is a Dimensional Vortex that blocks Mystaraspace from the rest of creation. In that set, the Dimensional Vortex is a literal barrier between dimensions (specifically the 6th and higher dimensions), but it could easily be changed into a barrier cutting it off from the Great Wheel or other cosmologies.

Otherwise, it is fairly simple to work Mystaraspace into the Great Wheel cosmology by making some minor changes to what is described. As rip notes, the Mystara cosmology has already been altered a bit once (in the changes between the two Immortals boxed sets).
agathokles wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:44 am
In particular, some of the "Outer Planes" of the Mystara cosmology can be fit as Realms of the Planescape Great Wheel (most planes that have the role of an Immortal's domain, altough Pyts could be easily the Abyss), while others fit better as Demiplanes (the Land of Mists is an ancestor of the Demiplane of Dread), regions of the Inner Planes (the four main aligned planes; Pyts could be a region of the Negative, if it is not the Abyss or part of it) or even as other Prime Materials (e.g., Eloysia).
Mystara's Limbo is not Planescape's Limbo, but rather a portion of the Ethereal Plane (the part accessible by Ethereal Undead, in particular).

GP
Yeah, I'll have to look at the stuff to make decisions on what to do. There are definitely options that fit into the model I'm using, I just have to scrounge up the information to work on it. Thanks for some more info, it really helps to know what I'll be looking for/getting into. Time to go raid my father's bookshelves/'filing' piles to see if he ever picked up any relavant materials. I don't think he did, but then again, I've been surprised before.
Big Mac wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:03 pm
You may or may not be interested in the D&D cosmologies from:
  • Ghostwalk (3e)
  • Rokugan (3e/Legend of the Five Rings)
  • Kingdoms of Kalamar (3e/2e clone/Hackmaster)
  • Warcraft/World of Warcraft (3e/d20 System)
  • Nentir Vale (aka "Points of Light") (4e)
Ghostwalk - I'd never even heard of this setting before I came to these forums, but I've since looked at it. I don't know enough about the details to comment right now, but I'll give it a look.

Nentir Vale - Is there anything in Nentir Vale's cosmology that's different from or unique to the World Axis cosmology? I was under the impression that it just used the World Axis.

Rokugan/Kalamar - Oh boy. Rokugan and Kalamar are pretty clearly standard D&D compatible, cosmologically speaking. So I could do them, with the information. I've been hesitant to do settings that aren't owned by WotC or in the public domain (mythological cosmologies) as a personal preference, but honestly, there's no reason I couldn't.

Warcraft - Oh yeah, this is a thing they did. I very definitely won't be doing this one, for two reasons. First, since WC exists as its own major franchise with its own expansive, convoluted lore and setting, its possibly beyond the scope of what I'm doing. Second, seriously, so convoluted, and I'd probably end up boiling it all down to 'The Warcraft universe is its own Prime Material Plane.'
I'm not sure if you ever followed the development of the OGL and the 3rd Party Publisher movement, but when WotC set up the 3e SRD, they made the Inner Planes Open Game Content, the Transitive Planes Open Game Content and the general idea of Outer Planes Open Game Content...

...however, the actual named Outer Planes in Manual of the Planes/Planescape were kept out of the SRD. That means that 3PP were able to build stuff that could fit in with a Planescape campaign, but they were not actually able to fit it into the Great Wheel. So you will either find that they have not bothered or that they have designed their own cosmology.
This is a large part of why I've not touched settings not owned by WotC.
Another thing you might want to look at is the idea of the One Prime Plane model (which is popular with some Spelljammer fans as it puts Krynnspace, Realmspace, Greyspace and the Phlogiston onto the same plane) vs the Alternative Material Plane model (where Krynn, Toril and Oerth could be stacked on top of each other as separate Alternative Material Planes.
Its both. The Spelljammer set up is the 'default' D&D PMP, containing at a minimum the spheres for Dragonlance, Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, and Dark Sun (as well as a sphere for my world). But there are the Alternate PMPs. Personally, I place Gothic Earth from the Masque of the Red Death setting in its own PMP, as well as PMPs for at least one other alternate Earth (the one(s) where D&D characters show up in a 'real' Earth, of which there are at least 2 adventures I know of), the real universe, and the Far Realm.
I prefer the One Prime Material Plane model, but the other way of doing things might well fit in better with what you are trying to do.

It might even be possible to use both models together (with all the 1st and 2nd Edition D&D worlds that TSR invented being on a single Prime Material Plane...in Spelljammer crystal spheres) and more awkward IPs being shunted up or down onto different Prime Material Plane layers that don't necessarily have a Great Wheel surrounding their Material Plane.

This might also be a good way to deal with newer D&D settings like Eberron or Nentir Vale (so that you don't have to reboot their canon to fit the Great Wheel) or Mystara (so that you can give it the BECMI cosmology instead of the Great Wheel).
Oh, somehow I did not read these last two paragraphs before starting my reply. Yeah, that is p much what I've done.

Eberron, Mystara, and Birthright I've always placed off to the side without sorting because I never knew enough to evaluate them to determine if they'd fit in the default Prime. I'd need to read the details and determine if crystal spheres can explain their quirks or not, and if not, probably shunt them into their own PMP (which can justify almost anything).

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:47 am

Cromstar wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:19 pm
Ghostwalk - I'd never even heard of this setting before I came to these forums, but I've since looked at it. I don't know enough about the details to comment right now, but I'll give it a look.
The only thing defined about Ghostwalk's cosmology is that there's a "True Afterlife" accessible through the city of Manifest, and definitely an Ethereal Plane. There's probably a set of Outer Planes somewhere where the gods (including Orcus) dwell. It might well be the standard Great Wheel.
Nentir Vale - Is there anything in Nentir Vale's cosmology that's different from or unique to the World Axis cosmology? I was under the impression that it just used the World Axis.
It's the standard World Axis, yes.4e Eberron and 4e Forgotten Realms use the World Axis with different sets of Outer Planes, and 4e Dark Sun has no Outer Planes.
Rokugan/Kalamar - Oh boy. Rokugan and Kalamar are pretty clearly standard D&D compatible, cosmologically speaking. So I could do them, with the information. I've been hesitant to do settings that aren't owned by WotC or in the public domain (mythological cosmologies) as a personal preference, but honestly, there's no reason I couldn't.
Don't know about Kalamar, but Rokugan's cosmology is detailed in this thread.

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by lesh » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:31 pm

I have a list of these smaller mythological cosmologies that are connected within the Multiverse through a river similar to Styx or an Axis Mundi

Greek - Chaos, Hades, Tartarus, Nysa, Olympus, Asphodel, Elysium, Fields of Punishment, Oceanus, Acheron ...
Norse - nine worlds + Ginnungagap
Celtic - Otherworld consists of Low Road, Tir na Og, Mag Mell, Annwn, Hy-brasil, and other smaller realms
Slavic - Nav, Prav, Yav, also the isle of Buyan
Egyptian - Amenti, Aaru, Benben, Iteru, Fields of Blood or Reeds, Nu
Sumerian - Ekur, Hubur, Irkalla, Kurnigia, Aralu, Dilmun, Abzu
Persian - apiri-Daeza, Hamistagan, Druj-Demana, Paristan, Shadukam, Hara Berezaiti, Chinvat
Arabic - Jannah, Barzakh, Kaf, Jahannam, Araf, Alam-i-Nasut
Indian - Vaikuntha, Svarga, Akasha. Prithvi, Meru, Patala, Neraka, Garbhodaka
Aboriginal - Altjeringa (Dreamtime)
Chinese - Tian, Penglai, Kun Lun, Ren, Diyu, Yiang Jian, Wuji
Hebrew - Gehenna, Tehom, Sheol, Abaddon. Nod, Shamayim, Sephirot
Japanese - Ame, Ne no Kuni, Takama no Hara, Horai, Tsuchi, Yomi, Jigoku
Other - Spiritworld, Summerland, Faerie, Pleroma, Purgatory, Cockaigne, Xibalba, Guinee...

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by JoeNotCharles » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:12 pm

This thread on another forum has a detailed look at the changes through the AD&D cosmology over the years until it became the Great Wheel, some of which are bigger than I'd realized, and finishes up with a look at the wackiness that is the BECMI cosmology:

https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?83 ... ter-Planes

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by Cromstar » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:54 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:47 am
The only thing defined about Ghostwalk's cosmology is that there's a "True Afterlife" accessible through the city of Manifest, and definitely an Ethereal Plane. There's probably a set of Outer Planes somewhere where the gods (including Orcus) dwell. It might well be the standard Great Wheel.
What, Orcus? No, I'm sure he's dead. For like, real this time. It's not like he's a power of undeath or anything. (Joking aside, without knowing details, I'm kind of guessing this 'True Afterlife" could just be the Outer Planes in total?)
It's the standard World Axis, yes.4e Eberron and 4e Forgotten Realms use the World Axis with different sets of Outer Planes, and 4e Dark Sun has no Outer Planes.
That should not be an issue then. From what little I recall, most of those planes were more akin to realms or group realms, but I may be confusing that with the World Tree.
Don't know about Kalamar, but Rokugan's cosmology is detailed in this thread.
Thanks, that's a helpful link! Also reminded me I need to do some Asian versions of the elements, which I knew but forgot to put in my OP.
JoeNotCharles wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:12 pm
This thread on another forum has a detailed look at the changes through the AD&D cosmology over the years until it became the Great Wheel, some of which are bigger than I'd realized, and finishes up with a look at the wackiness that is the BECMI cosmology:

https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?83 ... ter-Planes
Another very nice link. The BECMI sounds like a mess but probably isn't fundamentally incompatible because it is a bit vague.
lesh wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:31 pm
I have a list of these smaller mythological cosmologies that are connected within the Multiverse through a river similar to Styx or an Axis Mundi

Greek - Chaos, Hades, Tartarus, Nysa, Olympus, Asphodel, Elysium, Fields of Punishment, Oceanus, Acheron ...
Norse - nine worlds + Ginnungagap
Celtic - Otherworld consists of Low Road, Tir na Og, Mag Mell, Annwn, Hy-brasil, and other smaller realms
Slavic - Nav, Prav, Yav, also the isle of Buyan
Egyptian - Amenti, Aaru, Benben, Iteru, Fields of Blood or Reeds, Nu
Sumerian - Ekur, Hubur, Irkalla, Kurnigia, Aralu, Dilmun, Abzu
Persian - apiri-Daeza, Hamistagan, Druj-Demana, Paristan, Shadukam, Hara Berezaiti, Chinvat
Arabic - Jannah, Barzakh, Kaf, Jahannam, Araf, Alam-i-Nasut
Indian - Vaikuntha, Svarga, Akasha. Prithvi, Meru, Patala, Neraka, Garbhodaka
Aboriginal - Altjeringa (Dreamtime)
Chinese - Tian, Penglai, Kun Lun, Ren, Diyu, Yiang Jian, Wuji
Hebrew - Gehenna, Tehom, Sheol, Abaddon. Nod, Shamayim, Sephirot
Japanese - Ame, Ne no Kuni, Takama no Hara, Horai, Tsuchi, Yomi, Jigoku
Other - Spiritworld, Summerland, Faerie, Pleroma, Purgatory, Cockaigne, Xibalba, Guinee...
Mmm, yep, some of these I've got, the rest I had mythos but not actual names yet. A very nice, comprehensive list here, thanks a bunch! Luckily, most of these seem pretty simple as they are alternate names for existing planes or are just realms/domains/other planar site, but there's a few that are going to be tricky (looking at you, Pontus).

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by Coronoides » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:55 am

lesh wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:31 pm
I have a list of these smaller mythological cosmologies that are connected within the Multiverse through a river similar to Styx or an Axis Mundi

Greek - Chaos, Hades, Tartarus, Nysa, Olympus, Asphodel, Elysium, Fields of Punishment, Oceanus, Acheron ...
Norse - nine worlds + Ginnungagap
Celtic - Otherworld consists of Low Road, Tir na Og, Mag Mell, Annwn, Hy-brasil, and other smaller realms
Slavic - Nav, Prav, Yav, also the isle of Buyan
Egyptian - Amenti, Aaru, Benben, Iteru, Fields of Blood or Reeds, Nu
Sumerian - Ekur, Hubur, Irkalla, Kurnigia, Aralu, Dilmun, Abzu
Persian - apiri-Daeza, Hamistagan, Druj-Demana, Paristan, Shadukam, Hara Berezaiti, Chinvat
Arabic - Jannah, Barzakh, Kaf, Jahannam, Araf, Alam-i-Nasut
Indian - Vaikuntha, Svarga, Akasha. Prithvi, Meru, Patala, Neraka, Garbhodaka
Aboriginal - Altjeringa (Dreamtime)
Chinese - Tian, Penglai, Kun Lun, Ren, Diyu, Yiang Jian, Wuji
Hebrew - Gehenna, Tehom, Sheol, Abaddon. Nod, Shamayim, Sephirot
Japanese - Ame, Ne no Kuni, Takama no Hara, Horai, Tsuchi, Yomi, Jigoku
Other - Spiritworld, Summerland, Faerie, Pleroma, Purgatory, Cockaigne, Xibalba, Guinee...
Many of these including the Celts were at least summarised in the 2e HREF green sourcebook. THe ones for Celts, and Vikings
At least discussed the cosmology briefly. Vikings page 88 about a third of a page on the creation myth and page 94-95 has imaginary lands.
Celts. Page 35-39 discusses magical places which could be links to other planes or roving demiplanes in D&D terms. Page 90-92 discusses imaginary lands most of which are ‘parallel worlds’ (p90), i.e. other planes of existence.
Need to convert races to D&D 5e? mathematical analysis of canon races and design rules: http://www.dmsguild.com/product/232813/ ... rs-Toolkit

Conversion & Review of Council of Wryms with dragon PCs compatible with other 5e settings (at level 5+). DRAFT: Book 1 https://www.dropbox.com/s/fz4zql2yhlyut ... 8.pdf?dl=0 and Book 2 https://www.dropbox.com/s/0n3i5bki6svae ... 0.pdf?dl=0

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Re: A list of Cosmologies (request for help)

Post by MPA » Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:58 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:39 am
Cromstar wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:46 am

Mystara uses the cosmology detailed in the Immortal Set and modified in Wrath of the Immortals, though in 2nd edition it used the Great Wheel. In the Immortal Set cosmology the Prime Plane is surrounded by the Ethereal Plane, which contains four elemental planes (Earth, Water, Air, and Fire). Beyond the Ethereal Plane is the Astral Plane, which contains an infinite number of Outer Planes aligned with the five Spheres of Existence: Entropy, Time, Thought, Energy, and Matter. Major outer planes include Pyts, Entrem, Mirage, Draesten, and Brynn. The purgatory where souls of the dead travel is called Limbo. The cosmology also has dimensions, which include the Dimension of Nightmares, the Dimension of Myth, and the Land of Mists, where Castle Amber was once banished.
I think it is great that you people try to create complicated worlds and dimensions. I've never heard of a Great Wheel, except in the context of Hinduism and Buddhism's idea of birth, death and rebirth and possibly Nirvana/enlightment which can be considered an ascension to godlike status.

From a scientific POV, that talk of how the earth and the planes are categorized in games are not literal. Just a Scientific Model, much how schools show atoms and how protons and electrons revolve around the nucleus.

That said, as mentioned above those planes are often portrayed in a way that is easy for us to digest.The Prime Plane most likely isn't "surrounded" by the Ethereal plane at all, because there is nothing to surround, however, all manner of travel requires traveling through it before you get to any other planes. As does the Astral plane requires traveling through it to get to the Outer Planes or vica versa. This is further complicated because traveling to some Outer Planes means not just going through the Astral Plane, but one or more Outer Planes to get to the Outer Plane you desire! Some Hierarchs have planes that they own that are many hundreds Outer Planes apart.

Not saying that you may confuse any of this, but the OP may not know any of this.

Furthermore, the Spheres of Power, as mentioned above, are not places, planes or dimensions, rather think of them as the various primordial ingredients that make up what constitutes the Multiverse. In many ways, they are similar to Marvel's Six Infinity Gems. Not the ones in the movies, but the ones that were depicted in the comics before the movies changed things to fit the Cinema universe.

Which brings me to the final point: The Immortals. What are Immortals? They are godlike beings of incredible magical might, although technically Immortal, they can be permanently killed under the right conditions. For DM's who may or may not have reservations of ever running adventures for such mighty beings, should look to Marvel Comics for direction.

In Marvel, almost all cosmically powerful creatures tend to travel in outerspace having conflict with or making new alliances with other cosmic beings or technologically advanced races. This could also be the case for super high level characters, who can defeat the strongest monsters in less than two or three rounds.

For suggestive reading, look at some older issues (ie 2000 and earlier) of Silver Surfer and Quasar. Some beings to research: The Stranger, Galactus, Terrax, The Elders of the Universe and series such as The Infinity Gauntlet and The Infinity War.
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