View Full Version : Cosmology and the make up of the planets

2006-03-10, 11:11 PM
Seeing all these threads about destroying celestial bodies has set me to thinking.

How do other people envision their worlds being created, and what are they made of? Are they similar to our real Earth, or are they just lumps of rock, do the demons live inside it and the celestials live in orbit (in alternate dimensions, of course, but based in that location), is the moon made of cheese (mmm, cheese...), etc, etc.

Just a curiosity question, because it is never touched on these days seemingly because of a move away from science in high fantasy (it gets in the way of a good story).

I'm not after scientific explanations, but more how you view it all as fitting together for your world.

2006-03-10, 11:19 PM
Large ball of rock/lava/oceans with something called a 'world seed' or similar at the centre. This regenerates any matter destroyed by magic (gems used as components, for instance).

2006-03-10, 11:28 PM
I usually view the prime material plane as a copy of our universe so that I can fall on commonly known stuff most of the time. Other prime materials worlds are very similar and could, for most practical effects, be considered planets elsewhere in the universe. This allows me to keep a consistent picture in tune with people's intuitions with a minimum of effort.

I usually don't alter the relation between planes that the setting I'm using at the time gives.

2006-03-11, 12:06 AM
do the demons live inside it

Yes. Demons called drow and illithid :-X.

2006-03-11, 03:10 AM
I use the Spelljammer approach. Each solar system is in some ways a separate plane with its own natural laws. Some are quite like the mundane universe. Others are more like ancient cosmologies: discworlds, titanic beings holding up the world, ringworlds, air in interplanetary space, or whatever.

2006-03-11, 02:03 PM
I mimic the good old philosophical thinking way. The Material Plane is basically made out of fire, earth, water and air, and it is a flat disc floating in ether. The celestial bodies are all dreams, wishes and fantasies, with the connected planes basically being rifts in the material plane.

Abd al-Azrad
2006-03-11, 02:09 PM
In general, my worlds are very much like the Giant's here: ancient shells built to seal up some terrible, plot-advancing secret. I like games where the PCs realize, eventually, that the Gods that built their world didn't do it for the PCs amusement, but for some sinister purpose. Leads to some great God-fights at later levels.

One of my recent ideas for a world not entirely based on that formula, was one in which the world had been spawned by ancient, powerful elemental beings, which resided on it for aeons, until the predecessors of the humanoid life we know today arrived from another plane which they had stripped bare. We invaded, destroyed or drove away the world's current inhabitants, set up homes, and made up legends about our Gods building the world for us to live. That was a weird flip when the Elements began to return, and explain what our ancestors had done.

2006-03-11, 02:12 PM
I tend to work a lot with homebrew worlds, and I always leave the creation of the world a mystry. Makes it all a little more mysterious to the players (and leads to little quests by powerfull churches/religeous organisation who send to pc's out so search for special things that would "supposedly" prove them right... golden stories :D )

2006-03-11, 02:32 PM
The prime material is a RL-like universe and alternate material planes are like alternate, diverging realities (ie. everything that could have happened did happen on some material plane). The other planes exist in the same space as the prime (which is a sort of intersection of all of them).

Magic/mana is an ever-pervading energy field. Spells are balanced by consuming mana and by transfers between planes. For example creating a block of stone consumes some mana plus some stone from the earth plane to balance the block created on the prime. When you disintegrate something it becomes (mostly) mana which in time reforms into elements if a certain plane is drained too much of it's contents. The whole system is very very massive however and even if all the casters on a planet got together to all create stone blocks it would still be a barely noticeable dent in the earth plane (keep in mind each elemental plane is the size of the prime universe).

2006-03-11, 02:33 PM
All of my planets are made up of the same materials as the homeworld, Earth, Air, Fire, Water. The "Inner Planes" on the homeworld are layers of the planet, the "Prime Material" being the point at which they all meet. To pass from the shell we call home, to an Inner Plane, one must become ethereal in order to breach the barriers.

The "Outer Planes" or planets, are similarly made up of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, in differing ratios to the homeworld, and their "Prime Material" layer is accordingly different. These planets circle the Positive Material Plane, called The Sun, like moths circling a flame. At the opposite end of the Cosmos is the Negative Plane, or the Anti-Sun. Coherent energy escapes the sun every so often and drifts into the Astral Plane, becoming stars.
One may travel from one planet to another by manifesting an Astral Form. When an Astral Form enters the Material world of a planet, it creates a physical body on that planet adapted to the interaction between the Inner Planes within.