New Planar Places, Classic Great Wheel

The clack is some barmies think the great circle is about to disappear...
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New Planar Places, Classic Great Wheel

Post by Doc Necrotic » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:52 pm

The Great Wheel has always been inspirational to me somehow. And heck, while I didn't particularly enjoy 4th, the World Axis fit overall with the Points of Light concept. That said, I'm not very keen on the compromised take on the Wheel melding aspects of the Axis. So, rather than complaining, I wanted to dive into a new idea. To put it simply, I want to harvest newer ideas and give them a suitable home within an AD&D-based Great Wheel, via existing planes! I originally brought this idea up on various facebook groups, but they've mostly been unhelpful or just mentioning quick'n'dirty fixes, neither worked for me. So, I've jumped to here. So, why do this in the first place? Honestly, I'm always fond of sampling material for inspiration. While I'm a diehard for older edition setting content, I've been known to mess with newer ideas. For example, I rebranded the Warlock Knights into a cult that reveres an ancient outsider (maybe fiend/maybe not) bound to the land, who vie for more power in the region, rather than the dominant force of Vaasa. So, why not take ideas from the newer planes and retrofit them into the classic ones?

I've already done a few ideas, which I will post below. I might expand on this post as I create more too. In the meantime, please enjoy what I have available. That said, if anyone has ideas on consolidating new concepts into a classic model of the Great Wheel, I'm interested. Please, share your thoughts.
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Re: Bringing New Planar Places into the Old Wheel

Post by Doc Necrotic » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:21 pm

Part 1 - Recycling the Fey Wild
Powers within the fey are either true deities or archfey, a monstrous quasi-power. The latter often see the former as traitors, but many will still cooperate with them. To them, gods aren't needed, as the fey will continue to live, even when "killed", until their spirits give up existence. The deities retort by saying that a divine essence allows the near-immortality of the fey to begin with, which might be true to some degree. The domains of the fey are spread between Arborea, Pandemonium and the Deep Ethereal; most inspired by later edition content.

The Seelie Court - bolstered and expanded upon through new material, but otherwise at home in Arborea, with travels to other good-aligned (but not lawful-aligned) planes.
  • The Inner Circle - Titania's divine dominion, where other sylvan-related deities and permitted archfey are allowed
  • Citadel Senaliesse - Home to a former Summer Court Sidhe who turned stag and aligned with the Seelie. She doesn't quite fit in, but tries to take part in courtly duties. The citadel and its residents have become a soar spot for the Summer Court and a talking point among the Seelie when the Summer sidhe step out of line.
  • Gilded Gate - A secret portal between the Seelie Courts and the Gilded Hall of Arborea. Several seelie have used it to mingle with traveling Sensates and the celestial Eladrin.
  • The Dream - A "Mirror Plane" that allows the Seelie to observe the Prime Material, by creating a temporary mobile gate. Unless a subject is truly desired, the court won't use the sifting portal to pick up any outsiders.
The Unseelie Court - sampling, like the above, to expand the meager material in Pandemonium. It now has expanded connections into the Abyss and Carceri. Granted, these connections aren't always a boon for the unseelie.
  • The Frozen Tear - Home of a Winter Court exile, who became corrupt in his aggressive obsessions.
  • Labyrinthine - A "failed" experiment that allows all means of caverns and tunnels to connect to other points. It is here where the Fomorians dwell; hideous giants "enslaved" by the Unseelie for often wicked deeds. Fomorians still live here, sometimes using the passages to start raids.
  • Timbergorge - A garden stolen from a Spring Sidhe, gradually corrupted through dark sorcery. Its caretaker, Silvermaw, has long since been driven mad in his lowly state.
  • The Goblin Market - The worst of coin and the best of the black market. It is here that many goblins call their home. The ominous Kingdom of Nachtur lies just beyond the main grounds, surveying all around it. This is the place where goblin kind dwell in secret, also sharing secrets.
  • Abyssal Cysts - An expansion deal with the Lower Planes has created fusion demiplanes of terror. Equally demonic and sylvan, visitors are attacked by truly wicked foes.
The Kingdom of the Good Folk - A little bit Tall Tales of the Wee Folk, a little bit other fae related business. This is the neutral grounds where Archfey revolt against the divinity of the Seelie and Unseelie. Strange permutations and arrangements of the fey exist here, more so than the abominations made by the unseelie.
  • Astrazalian, the Moving City - A teleporting city eager to study the Prime Material for it's worth. A rare exception to much of the fey. While curious, they quake at the thought of being stuck in the realm of mortals. Otherwise, similar to its original form.
  • Vale of the Fading Moon - A cult of werebeasts seeking to commune with this otherworld, effectively quarantined to their own area by the locals. Fey-werebeast hybrids have sparked backlash from the colony.
  • Antorek, the Living Wilderness - A stranger and darker alternative to the Beastlands. Born from a dying dragon, sidhe honored his dying wish of a perfect sanctum for the natural. However, intelligent beings who dare to trespass are made into beastly or plant-like creatures as punishment for the "transgressions of their kind".
  • The Faded Archive - A home to lost lore and legends. Here, Autumn and Winter sidhe preserve information would would otherwise fade into the void. It is as much a library as a place to mourn sites of great knowledge. Unless a lost art or work is introduced into the archive, few are allowed inside.
  • Tinkerhold - Tinker Gnome Heaven (or Hell). Artifice and whimsy rule the day in this steampunk wonderland. A certain madness within this domain of sporadic invention is literally infectious.
  • Tree of Gateways - While no Yggdrasil, it's impressive in its own right. This hollow tree houses countless portals and gateways. However, the gatekeeper is not allowed to use them. In fact, the "strange logic" of these portals horrifies the fey. To outsiders,these portals make almost perfect sense! How they got into the realms of the fey is a complete mystery.
  • Jubilation's Harvest - One of the few places founded by primers with some success. A family made a pact with a Leshy, in order to have a prosperous land to continue their agricultural ways of life. Here, many harvest spirits dwell alongside the leshy. However, it is here where one of the fomorian tunnels lead, so the Leshy and his companions find themselves defending the region.
  • Sunderheart Peak - A winter mountainside controlled by a lovesick hag. By some strange twist of fate and luck, an otherwise heartless creature became enamored by the very sidhe that would fall into The Frozen Tear. Before then, he was confident, poised and considered handsome to many. The hag abandoned her post within her Queen's station, enraging The Queen of Air and Darkness immensely. Her time with her "beloved" was brief, as he had begun to fall from grace until he was plunged into the Unseelie's borders. Trapped within the Winter Court, her land is one of tragic love lost, a sadness that is at times overbearing on visitors.
  • The Seasonal Courts - Home of the Archfey of the Four Seasons. The fiery passions of the Summer, the pastoral leisure and hunts of Spring, the studies and harmony of Autumn and the muted reflection and mourning of Winter. Within these Courts are thematic residences and lands, all reflecting their relevant archfey leader.
  • Serenading Glades of the Hooved Wardens - Founded by centaurs looking to preserve sylvan beauty, they have long since been welcomed into the Good Kingdom. Despite its mild climate, this domain is a part of the Summer Court; a calming respite away from the court's hot-headed tempers and often scorching weather. The glades are shared with often docile insect-like fey.
  • The Wee Lands - Home of the Small Folk; sprites, pixies, etc. They live within trees, toadstools and a wide variety of natural fixtures that they slightly modify. "Big Folk" who come to understand their ways are invited to shrink to their size and fully enjoy their ways of being, sometimes even invited to live within their lands. However, those who return to full size are often disoriented and never the same again.
  • Orb-Holds of the Tethered-Sky - Floating islands encased in orbs are all tied to a massive spire, similar to the outlands. Supposedly, the spire goes on forever. Many spring sidhe and aerial fey call this land theirs, with a hierarchy revolving around flight.
  • Torus, the Shifting Seasons - An ancestral grounds where the seasons bleed into each other and jump sporadically. It is here where many ancient early fey creatures dwell, far too detached and alien for most primers, the primal fey. It's also the gateway for the Beyond Realms, a progenitor realm where the earliest essences of the fey were formed. It is here where proto-archfey beings of life and death dwell to this day.
More on both ideas can be found here and here through the guise of a traveling bard.
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Re: Bringing New Planar Places into the Old Wheel

Post by Doc Necrotic » Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:02 am

Part 2 - Recycling the Shadowfell and Various Others
This is less organized than the fey. After all, the Shadowfell was a mixture of the Demiplane of Shadow, Demiplane of Nightmares (which was probably merged with the Far Realm too), the Negative Energy Plane, Demiplane of Dread, Fugue Plane and then some. So, in this case? Things are broken down by various planes instead. Some have connections somehow, but it's kept more vague. But, a lot of this was from loose concepts in 3rd - 5th edition that either didn't get much attention or were detailed with other cosmological concepts in mind.

Independent Demiplanes - Various strange and dark realms, crafted by powers or just forged out of seemingly nothing.
  • Moil, the Trapped City that Waits - Once, it was a wicked city dedicated to the Demon Lord of Undeath, Orcus. Now, it's stuck in a purgatory of frozen death. More or less, this locale would function as it did in 2E.
  • The Machine Cyst - A hellish realm of alien constructs that have long since taken over their home, turning it into a biomechanical mixture of machinery and flesh. Their prime directive is simple, exterminate all organic races. Few have been able to spot their home dimension without being annihilated in the process. While it's connected somewhere in the deep ethereal, it's unknown where it originally came from.
  • The Feral Wyld - A corruption of the Beastlands, forged by a pact made between the Unseelie Court, the fiendish powers of the Lower Planes and malicious gods of nature. This realm acts similarly to Antorek, but as a far darker reflection. The purpose is returning life to brutal savagery and showcasing the worst that nature has to offer.
  • Gloomwrought - A mysterious hub city that hovers in the Deep Ethereal. Originally built as a city with its tethers to the Demiplane of Shadow, it long since expanded and grew beyond that. Accessible through foot or boat, it's often tracked down through use of elaborate shadow magic and divination rituals. It also has a dark secret of its own, it has a planar portal connection to the Demiplane of Dread through numerous links and establishments. Worse yet, these portals have a habit of randomly traveling, swallowing up passersby often without warning. None of the religious or political powers have been able to do anything about this. Otherwise, it functions much like it does in the Boxed Set. However, references to Shadar-Kai are discarded in favor of vaguer "shadow people". Also, Midwinter Hall has its connections to the Winter Court of the Good Kingdom instead.
Demiplane of Shadow - A murky dimension where Positive and Negative collide and meld into something stuck in a twilight. While some pockets are more bright or more dark than others; there's usually an eerie faint glow to the rest of the realm. Everything is a twisted, hard to see mockery. What's worse is the demiplane's effects over magic, especially illusion. Some fake images transformed before their caster's very eyes, becoming real. It's for this reason and more that these flickering shadows and swirling mix of light and dark has been known to make primers go insane.
  • Evernight - An ambitious project made by the nefarious Shadovar of Toril. It was used as a beacon to spy on the city of Neverwinter. Why? Information was lost after forces from the Elemental Plane of Magma and Negative Energy Plane became more influential in the city. Most of the Shades have since retreated to their enclave of Thultanthar. A Ghoulish Tribunal has taken over as the major political force in the city, letting creatures of the magma rivers, negative energy fueled undead and strange shadow natives wander without consequence. Their opinion of outsiders is negative, unless they can prove themselves to their cause.
  • Thultanthar - A conspiracy among Torilians. Does it exist? Probably not, they say. But, those who babble madly about Shadow People in the night? They're all too correct. The Shades were once part of the ancient Netheril Empire, which would have otherwise been destroyed by the folly of Karsus. To preserve themselves, they used dread magic to bond with the Demiplane of Shadow. Changed, they watched the Material from afar, conducting all sorts of bizarre experiments, such as Evernight. They aren't above abducting modern Torilians to survey how much things have changed. The process mentally and physically scars those taken.
  • Balefire - A colony made by explorers enthralled by shadow. Built on one of the more bright pockets of shadow. Traders and shadow mages flock to this city as a safe haven within otherwise hazy and dusk filled reaches.
  • Nightwyrm Fortress - Originally another colony built within the demiplane, it was violently conquered by a devious shadow dragon who has occupied it ever since. The Dragon has few allies, but hoards the chronicled knowledge of the colony to himself at all costs. Rumor has it that he has been brokering deals with various planars and travelers over time though, extorting them for even a sliver of locked away knowledge. Even the Archivists of the Good Kingdom want their own slice of what he has to offer. Among his top guards are a Worm-that-Walks and a mad hivemind of Shadow-things glommed together by the original colonists.
The Dimension of Death - Many petitioners find themselves going through a quick detour before finding their rightful Great Beyond. Here is a destination for dead souls, sometimes a permanent one. It has vague connection to Limbo (Mystara) and the rest of the Fugue Plane of Toril. Oddly enough, while much of this plane is tethered to the Negative Energy Plane, there are pockets of Positive Energy as well. Plus, many of the spirits within the realm aren't evil.
  • The City of Judgement - Where various deities of Death gather. This can be for debate over the afterlife, their own philosophies or over their worshipers. When contending with spirits and souls themselves, it becomes a grounds for judgement. For a long time, a Wall of Faithless was apparently forged to grab souls of those who denied the gods. Whether or not the wall actually exists is up for debate.
  • Thayan Enclave - Amidst the rising tensions between the forces of Szass Tam and those against him, several Red Wizards of Necromancy defected, starting over within a realm rich in the powers of Death. Many continue with their work in solitude, unsure if they can ever return to their ancestral nation of Thay again, without being labeled as defectors or traitors.
  • The Grand Festival Grounds - A colorful land that is one of the few places hospitable to the living. This is a place built to honor the dead and welcome the living in those ceremonies. Contrasting the gloom of much of the place, this is a place of remembrance and optimism.
  • The Cemetery of the Worlds - An endless graveyard to chronicle and list almost any blood or basher that has ever died. Should the Dustmen in charge of the giant monument in The Hive find out about this, they'd be jealous. Like the Festival Grounds, this place is welcoming to living outsiders.
  • Erasure - A nihilistic "space" (or lack there of) where anything that enters has a habit of vanishing from all of existence, across time. It's a dark secret that's kept away from anything visiting the plane. Whatever may dwell in there isn't just aware, it's intelligent. Rumor has it among the yugoloths that it was a rival contender for Oinoloth that was banished to prevent competition.

The Dimension of Dreams - A vast expanse is loosely tethered thoughts like the Astral Plane. However, this plane is fully tangible and given shape, like much matter beyond the Ethereal Plane. Dream Pockets form, creating small spaces built from the minds of sleeping individuals. Even when they are await, the dream persists for as long as they are able to return to said dream. Failure results in eventual collapse.
  • The Ordial Plane (?) - The Plane of Proof. Supposedly, this nexus of dreams dwells here, as it's proof that dreams themselves are truly real. Likely a quack theory from some barmy.
  • The Mansion's Reflection - The most unusual of dreams, as it was created by the ruins of a house. While most dreams require minds, this one still has awareness. Intrepid explorers will seek out this ruin, with the intent of setting up camp here. Those who successfully do so find themselves in a fully restored property, rise with cursed residents. (Basically Castle Amber, with a hint of dream travel)
  • Dream of the Red Wizard - A Red Wizard gone rogue, Zelakeil, made enemies through backstabbing a little too much within the school of conjuration. Now he bids his time in an artificial magical paradise, that ironically suppresses the magics of those not aligned with him. What should be ideal is his self created prison, while he languishes in paranoia.
  • Order of the Mind Sensor - An order of Psionic Monks congregate against impossible odds. Here they practice in spiritual rituals while sharpening their minds for the dark wastelands of Athas. Some day they will be prepared to help liberate the world.
  • The Unreachable Library - A haunted library watched over by its overprotective dreamer. Everything in this library is sacred and everyone who enters without the blessing of the owner is an enemy. Worse yet, the entirety of this bookish maze is riddled with deadly traps.
  • The Prowler - A meta-dream that travels to others. Originally, this was a spelljammer operated by a mind flayer captain. Thanks to psionic tampering, the whole ship was converted into its own dream space. And worse, he's capable of dragging others into the Dream as well.
  • The Courts of Dream and Nightmare - Another extension of the fey. Long since detached from the evolution of the primal fey, these creatures are more in line with the truly aberrant. These living things of dream and nightmare are shocking, to say the least. Penumbra governs the Nightmare, while Antumbra governs the Dream.
Like before, these are expanded upon on my page, here and here.
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Re: New Planar Places, Classic Great Wheel

Post by Doc Necrotic » Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:27 pm

Part 3 - Recycling the Elemental Chaos.
This one is a little bit shorter, but I'll probably expand upon it, when I have a moment. But, for the time being, that's pretty much it for my take on "newer ideas within the Classic Great Wheel cosmology". As always, I'm hoping someone is interest in my mad attempts to rearrange WOTC's 5E Wheel, in an effort to make it palatable for both me and the folks at my table.

Primordium - A conspiracy among even The Powers. Long lost tales tell of Elemental Deities who grew jealous of the Prime Material and the life that sprang from there. The Elemental Planes weren't enough for them, so they devised their own answer in the form of a demiplane. Primordium was an elemental version of a prime world. It is here that all sorts of elements freely mix in bizarre ways. However, it's far from chaotic, and these mixtures often have a purpose to them. The hybrids are absolute and often form as needed for whatever alien purpose that may be. However, several other powers saw this creation as a mockery of the Prime and retaliated accordingly. A schism caused several to intervene, but not before countless beings went into hiding and some even died. It's for this reason that the demiplane is well hidden. Many of the forces that be regard it as a moment of old shame in the multiverse. Most creatures are not welcome within Primordium, causing reactions that range from distrust to outright violence. Even Elementals from the Inner Planes are disliked for some reason.
  • Cultist Outposts - Several planars who know about this well kept secret sympathize greatly for the Powers that were attacked. They wish to gain revenge against a reality that has long since moved on. Even most of the elemental denizens find these worshipers to be barmy. A newer power has arisen from the dimension as the cult's primary patron, Ger’la-Khn, the Reality Unraveled. It's just as warped as its followers. But, the truth about the multiverse will ultimately prove unsatisfactory for both the deity and the cult. They desire to expand Primordium, take the Elemental Planes and still find those responsible for their ancient crimes. Such lofty goals are likely impossible. Their presence alone has ironically made enemies of the great Princes of Elemental Evil themselves.
  • Primordial Pockets - Small quasi-divine realms upheld by demigod protectors of the realm. Their duty is to ensure that Primordium continues onward. Ger'la-Khn was once one of these demigods, but was cast out for being too radical. Many of these Primordials have grown stagnant though.
  • Fusion Spaces - Fiery clouds that shoot magma, orbs of fire cascading through the air, river currents darting between points of earth, lightning acting like its own river, motes of land that act as flying islands, pockets of air raining down into a haze of acidic vapor, riving streams that travel through the skies! All of these are but examples of these fusions. This is the result of the Elements having a space to play and dabble with the nature of their being, mixing together to create new forms. However, these hybrids are either temporary discoveries or permanent fixtures to further study and grow from. A mixture of free spirited chaos and orderly absolutes and studies proves that the elemental is ultimately a neutral force.
  • Starting Point - A metropolitan planar hub, akin to Sigil in some respects. It's one of the few openly welcoming places in the demiplane. Due to its presence boosting morale and allowing outsiders to communicate and understand their ways of life, it's well tolerated. Outside influence has made its own impact on the city though. Much of the architecture makes an elemental take on many styles and visions found on other planes. Part of the city alone literally resembles an elemental version of Sigil. The aesthetics of the plane mix with others to create something that still feels raw and unabashed of its elemental ways. Rough and rigid stones garnishing buildings of still warm magma walls, currents of lightning traveling crystalline lines, currents of water swishing amidst the sky itself and into various funnel points. If people can’t handle this city, there is no hope for the plane beyond.
  • Ral’a’ula - A Githzerai outpost. It's commonly a place of reflection and learning, as well as a place to converse and commune with natives willing to accept or understand them. A mixture of primordium ideology and githzerai monk philosophy operates this place. Those who can't respect it are ejected into the elemental wastes.
  • Gloamnull, The City of Rain and Snow - An earthly mote supports a freezing city with a constant drizzling. A mixture of all elements, except fire, build up this place. This is due to many of the founders being former slaves from the City of Brass. To them, Gloamnull symbolizes breaking free from the searing oppression of flames. Their primary religious establishment further embellishes this with all means of anti-fire propaganda as well as celebration of their liberation. Beyond a strong anti-fire ruling, other elemental faiths are welcome. Non-elemental beliefs are often subject to scrutiny. None have exploited these rulings quite like a hidden cult of Father Dagon, a Great Old One. Those who have been captured deny being one of the Revenge Cults of Primordium, even if they might be. Far more insidious is a dark truth about the city. The vents that produce a warm vapor throughout the city? Warmed by captured and mentally destroyed fire elementals, bound to various constructs and devices. Only the hypocritical leaders and elite of the city know this damning truth.
  • The Bastion of Sinking - Ages ago, this floating citadel had another name and purpose. It served to guard one of the few chaotic maelstroms of mixed elements in the plane. While stabilized to that area, anything that dares to enter the raging energy is torn apart and converted into usable elements. The Maelstrom Guard upheld their watch over the massive mindless beast of power. However, a particularly enterprising band of Doomguard from Sigil came across it by happenstance. To them, this was a great hidden outpost to utilizing for Entropy across the Multiverse. Forces were gathered and the guards were slain. The Doomguard have commanded this establishment ever since, giving it the name it has today. Most of the Faction itself isn't aware of this place.
Part 4 - Other Weird Places/Connections
The Obsidian Cave Citadel - A secret society of dwarves that were banished for dabbling in shadow craft. Feared and loathed, they fled to start anew. However, their blend of runes, dark sorcery and native energy of the plane changed them. Like the Shades, they became something different. Many are petty and vindictive, some even utilize their knowledge to create counterfeit items to flood Prime markets with.
  • Obsidian Cave Gateways - Somewhat stable portals upheld by the shadowy dwarves of the citadel. They have proven to lead to all sorts of potentially improbable places. Through this gate is one of the possible ways into the Primordium, as portals and jumps there are uncommon.
  • Castle Amber - A cursed castle that hovers beyond a locked off part of the Prime. The mad Amber family haunts the halls, as the place tethers the World of Mystara to the Homeland of Averoigne. Somehow, the Obsidian Cave Gateway created a one-way entrance.
  • Myoshima - An empire of catfolk, hidden in the Moon of Patera. Access to this moon was made easier through existence dimensional magics that allowed the Rakasta to jump to there in the first place.
  • Augmental - A nightmarish technological hell that was originally an off-shoot of Mechanus. The Modron Hierarchy studied making artificial life akin to the humanoids. Something went wrong and the place became quickly corrupted, any Modrons not immediately brought back went rogue or perished. Augmental is a biomechanical domain of steel-like flesh and bone-like wiring, all weaved in awful ways. The monsters that populate Augmental are pure madness. Feral desires clash with mechanical rationale to create something truly wicked and destructive, especially to outsiders. Any connection to the Obsidian Cave Gateway was brief and accidental.
The source of these ideas mostly comes from here.

But yeah, that's basically it for now. So, does my recycling fit the concepts of Planescape? Do these ideas have a proper home within the classic style Great Wheel? Please, let me know.
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