View Full Version : Levels of Etherealness

2009-07-30, 10:10 AM
A few small ideas I've been playing with for the Ethereal Plane:

Shallow - This is the lightest level of the etherealness. Someone here is actually on both the material and ethereal plane simultaneously. They are visible but transparent on both planes, can see both planes, and are fully tangible to objects on both. Most ghost touch weapons are actually just ordinary weapons placed in the shallow ethereal. Things in the shallow ethereal are affected by the gravity of the material plane, but fall slowly for a permanent Feather Fall effect. A manifesting ghost is extending part of its essence into the shallow ethereal from the deep ethereal.

Deep - As the normal ethereal plane rules, with a few additions. The Ethereal Plane is the realm of the soul, and it where all souls reside. By moving to it you essentially are turning your material body into part of your soul. Ghosts are those that tried to recreate a physical body through sheer willpower after death, but an ethereal body was the best they could do.

Living creatures on the material plane seem to emit glowing light on the deep ethereal. This light shines shines through unliving material, allowing a ghost or ethereal jaunter to see a person's outline right through a wall or through thick stone. Many people or animals in one place might make things too bright to see. Although this doesn't let a ghost see invisible people it reveals their outline. It is possible to pass through a living creature, but risky as their force of personality muddles your own mind. As long as you intersect their CHA score is subtracted from your WIS score. If this would drive you to 0 or less you are insane until you stop overlapping. Because of this ghosts usually avoid crowds of people and animals, as its possible to become trapped and insane within the crowd until you wander out.

Undead creatures appear different on the deep ethereal, looking like living versions of themselves but with an expression of endless agony. Intersecting an undead creature is possible but harmful to living creatures, causing 1d6 negative energy damage per round.

Far - The far ethereal is a place created by ghosts unwilling to believe they are not alive. Sometimes a visitor on the material or lesser ethereal planes will be dragged to the far ethereal by a ghost, either physically or in a dream. It does not overlap the material or lesser ethereal planes, instead consisting of countless small demiplanes. These demiplanes replicate a single homes or town, and often have many dozens of ghosts reenacting a charade of their lives. On first glance, the demiplane and its inhabitants appear to be normal residents of the material plane and all the laws of physics of the material plane applies. They can even provide edible food and shelter for a visitor in some cases.

There are a few signals that something is wrong. It is impossible to leave the demiplane. If a person moves past the demiplane's boundary travel becomes confusing and they'll find themselves entering in by another direction. Even Plane Shift cannot free you from the far ethereal, it requires a Wish or Miracle. There is no sun. If the demiplane even has a day the sky appears bright blue without a sun. Any damage done to the plane usually regenerates - killed ghosts will return, damaged objects will mend on their own. Mirrors reveal the alive looking ghosts as rotting corpses and skeletons. Because of this any mirrors in the far ethereal are usually covered.

The ghosts are very resistant to accepting their deaths, but if they ever do they vanish from the demiplane. This usually requires investigating how they died and presenting them with evidence - the demiplane always has clues. If the demiplane is ever unoccupied by ghosts it collapses and any visitors are returned to where they were before they entered the demiplane.

2009-07-30, 10:37 AM
Most ghost touch weapons are actually just ordinary weapons placed in the shallow ethereal.

That would make it impossible for a ghost to walk through a wall with one.

Since the ethereal plane and incorporeality are somewhat related I thought I might quote the following ability of myFree Spirit (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5054063&postcount=7) for cross referencing purposes:
Improved Incorporeality(Su): When entering or passing through a solid object, a free spirit does NOT need to remain adjacent to the objectís exterior, and so CAN pass entirely through an object whose space is larger than its own.