View Full Version : Zones of control, and other things (mostly 5e, but with a bit of 3e conversion stuff)

2015-05-30, 04:31 AM
So then, in a future campaign setting I'm setting up for slowly (but surely) I have a plane labeled "The Void." In it there are three primal factions simply named Creation, Oblivion and Void that constantly compete for control over territory and the mortals who live within.

I'm hoping for a bit of balancing/ rule of cool suggestions, and also hoping that someone will actually be able to get through the entire thing without falling asleep (there... There's a lot more here than I intended). I have marked the purely fluff stuff as such, so if you want to skip to mechanics then you can ignore the fluff spoilers.

It wasn't always like this. Once, a long, long time ago, the void was unified. Whole. And the singular plane of existence. Nulles, the original lord of Oblivion and the embodiment of that concept, was able to keep the many creations of his sister in check, binding the elements, gods and dimensions together to create stability and an almost lasting (if tenuous) peace. So it is almost ironic that Eo, Nulles' second second and last creation, cousin of Ao, Io and Ro*, would be the one to bring this peace to an end.

In an event that would come to be known as Reality's End, Eo and Asmodeus** coordinated a rebellion against Nulles, turning the majority of Gaia's firstborn, the entirity of their divine progeny and the majority of mortal life against the primal being. The war was chaos, and from it were spawned many countless horrors. The apex, however, came when Eo finally struck down his father, as all of those tightly reigned in energies and possibilities suddenly found no master to bow to, and nothing to keep them in check. The weight and power of this release caused reality to buckle.

And the potential for a multiverse blossomed.

Those of Gaia's firstborn who survived (who came to be known as "Overdeities") and Ro left the shattered and blasted remains of the Void behind, leaving to create their own universes and pantheons. But the void was not dead. Not quite. While the horrors of the war scavenged and squabbled over what remained, the mortals who had been left behind began to rebuild their once-glorious civilizations and worlds...

And Eo survived. Driven mad by the weight if his crimes and the small scrap of the essence of oblivion that he had absorbed, the mortally wounded deity dragged himself from the smoking crater where he had been left to die and lay claim to the throne of oblivion. Gathering all of the surviving horrors and heretics he could to his banner, the Father of Fiends began to wage an eternal crusade to conqueror the entirity of the void, section by section.

Of course, he is not unopposed. Many mortals gather to the banners of Creation and Void, the other two fallen primal forces, and those who just wish to be done with the gods or who have their own agenda (hereby referred to as the "unaligned"). They battle for dominion of the fractures in the void's foundation. Called zones of control, these areas are aligned to the forces who occupy them, and this alignment literally shapes and changes those who reside within it.

Completely unrelated to the zones of control.

*Side note: Ro is also referred to as The Lady of Pain.

**Then whole and in his full glory, the giant serpent who was as great as any overdeity. Attacking Nulles personally is what led to Asmodeus's downfall and the creation of the lower planes.

The death of Nulles, original incarnation of Oblivion, sent ripples and cracks throughout the Void, shattering the plane and scattering divine energies throughout its surface. While these energies are too dilute for an individual to truly lay claim to them (it would be like looking for the ten grains of salt in the desert sand) they still have an influence on the creatures who come in contact with them.

These areas of power are divided into cell-like "zones," and creatures of godly power can attune these areas to themselves if they (or one of their followers) enter a zone, granting them more power and dominion within the plane. Mortals, on the other hand, gain minor boons within a zone under their master's control (at least, usually).

Since the majority of the overdeities and their children have abandoned the Void, there are only three major factions that struggle for dominance over these zones. They are as follows:

Creation: The primal force of all matter and spirit in the multiverse, creation is led (rather passively) by Gaia, the original creator and sister of Nulles. The only faction that can actually create new worlds (and zones of control to go with those worlds), creation is a faction that, for the most part, protects and rebuilds the land that it holds.

Oblivion The servants of the mad god Eo, who seek to butcher and destroy life that does not bow to his will. Their control tortures and corrupts the land, making it a hellish, desolate thing. Acting as conquerors, their faction is the most aggressive and, many would argue, the most powerful.

Void Representing the vast emptiness that came before, that will come after and that will stand eternal, the void is by far the most prolific faction. Led rather actively by the fractured mind of the original being (aptly named Void), the void has one goal: Do not allow the armies of oblivion and creation to meet on the open field. Positioning themselves between the other two superpowers to prevent this eventuality, the void is the faction who's territory fluctuates the most violently. Their almost limitless armies allow them to make valiant defenses and brutal counter attacks.

Unaligned While technically not a faction, this bears mentioning. Though the vast majority of creatures and entities within the void fall into one of the three above categories, there are also those who do their best to just stay out of the war, or who have their own agendas, who fall outside. Their influence on the worlds is varied, and they are scattered throughout the void almost seemingly at random. Some bow to lesser deities (such as the Dragon Queen and the Conqueror), but they are lumped into this category because there are too many lesser factions to list here. I don't want to list all of those man.

Quiet simply, a zone of control is any area on the land or in the sea where a large number of sentient creatures could live/ congregate. That is a very general definition, however, and misses many of the (downright important) nuances and influences that go into determining an area a zone of control can contain.

The vast majority of zones are relatively large, for example; the exterior of a mountain range, a road and the valleys ir runs through between two cities, and a great forest are all examples of these zones. Zones of this size tend to have only sparse populations of sentient creatures, and are only really influenced by armies or a flood of settlers moving through them.

However, such large areas tend to only cover the surfaces of a geographic location. The caves and tunnels within/ beneath the mountain, the towns along the road and the lake within the forest are all potentially their own zones. Sometimes these smaller zones will influence the larger zone they are contained within, and others they will exist in stark contrast.

Areas that are highly populated and semi-permanent (such as a city or town) will have its own zone, and will often influence a larger zone that contains it. Especially large cities sometimes contain multiple zones within them. For example: The port city of Baldur is an absolutely massive city located on the sword coast. By some accounts the city is so large that it takes an entire day to cross. This city is large enough that it would contain multiple zones (2 for the high city (1 for housing and 1 for the political center), 1 for the merchant district, 1-2 for the docks, 1 for the temple district, 2 for the slums and 3-4 for the sewers) and it would have a much more disproportionate influence on the "large zone" of the southern sword coast than, say, a smaller city like Candlekeep.

Finally, particularly powerful items and creatures can generate a personal zone of control. Only creatures with at least three uses of legendary resistance or sentient artifacts generate these special fields. These zones move with the creature/ artifact that creates them, and they override the effects of any stationary zone they enter. Particular construct-like creatures are actually controlled by the faction that can claim its zone, basically a living weapon that switches allegiance with the fickle tides of battle. These zones tend to be small, enough to contain a few individuals or a small squad. Divine beings in particular generate much larger zones, sometimes large enough to envelop entire cities or armies.

Personal zone dimensions The size of the personal zones of control exuded by legendary creatures and artifacts is determines by the size of the creature or artifact generating it. In general, here is the size of zone one might expect to see from each creature:
-Tiny/ small: 5 feet
-Medium: 10-15 feet
-Large: 20-35 feet
-Huge: 40-85 feet
-Gargantuan: 90-200 feet

As well, divinity has its influence on a personal zone's size, increasing it as determined by the being's divine status:

-Demigod/ titan: Multiply the zone's size by 10
-Lesser deity: Multiply the zone's size by 100
-Greater deity: Multiply the zone's size by 500
-Overdeity (and greater): The planet the being is physically manifest on is considered their zone

Zones are quite simply aligned to the faction that has the most sentient creatures in them. The degree to which a faction aligns a particular zone is determined by how much they outnumber their competition. There are three categories of alignment: weak, strong and pure.

Weak A weak alignment is obtained when a faction controls 51% or more of the population within the zone. The most common zones to have this level of alignment are the larger, sweeping ones where a territory battle or uneasy truce have been called, and the ownership of the smaller zones within is still in flux.

Strong A faction that has a strong alignment within a zone if they control 75% or more of the population within it. This alignment is much more common in the smaller zones on the border of war zones (such as cities, forts or army camps) where massive populations of one faction are present, but there is still some influence from traders and spies keeping the influence from being pure.

Pure A zone is of the pure alignment when every single sentient creature (100%) within it is aligned with the same faction. Only truly present on worlds that are completely dominated by one faction, this alignment is the hardest to maintain as even one non-loyal creature present within the zone is enough to break it.

Large and larger creature worth While still only a single creature, large beasts and monsters tend to be more powerful than the typical humanoid, and this translates into slightly more influence within a zone. When determining the makeup and control of a zone, large creatures count as two creatures, huge creatures count as four creatures and gargantuan creatures count as eight.

Legendary creature worth Legendary creatures, along with being much more powerful than the typical being, exert a far greater influence on a zone. For every use of legendary resistance a creature has, multiply its influence on the zone by 10 (to a maximum of x50 at 5 uses of legendary resistance.

Certain creatures or artifacts are blessed by their faction patrons with authority over a zone. These individuals are called "Heralds," and their attunement to a particular zone grants them a disproportionate influence over it. For the price of never being able to leave their zone (while they live at the very least), having a herald stationed within a zone ensures that the zone will always be at least weakly aligned to the herald's faction, regardless of the zone's true composition.

Not just any creature or item can be a zone herald. Often times a potential candidate must be stationed within a particular zone for months, or even years, before they can undergo the ritual. This ritual is typically expensive, long and exceedingly complex, and there is a 10% chance that a creature may be transformed into an abberation, elemental, ooze or undead version of themselves in the process (while typically non-lethal, this prevents any future advancement from occurring). Assuming nothing interrupts this ritual, the creature becomes the zone's herald and gains one use of legendary resistance/ day.

Legendary creatures are always considered the heralds of their personal zones. This does not give them an extra use of legendary resistance/ day.

At this point I would like to bring a subject up. The wording that I have been using (and that I will continue to use in this thread) might give a reader the impression that creatures are lumped into a particular faction depending on their race or alignment. This is not the case. All beings are actually born/ created as unaligned. Being part of a true faction is a conscious choice, and actually requires a bit of effort to accomplish. While often a monetary contribution is enough, sometimes a creature must accept or complete a quest for the faction they wish to join before they are allowed to receive that faction's "blessing."

Yes, it's called a blessing. Stop judging me.

For the sake of keeping zones stable, many factions align newborns to themselves the moment they are created. This does not prevent a creature from leaving a particular faction to join another, nor does it mean that the creature will act in the faction's best interests.

Creatures that can bestow blessings are typically the head of the faction, their appointed ambassadors and generals, their children and zone heralds. These creatures are also empowered with the ability to strip a creature of their blessing if the creature acts too contrary to their patron's goals.

Controlling a zone is more than just mere fluff. Each zone is a literal wellspring of power, and controlling one confers a tangible benefit to those who resonate with it. While each faction will benefit from controlling a zone differently, there are some bonuses that all factions share.

Weak alignment Being within a weakly aligned zone grants creatures of the same faction advantage on ability checks. ((In a 3.X style game, this is roughly a +4 untyped bonus to skills))

Strong alignment Being within a strongly aligned zone grants creatures of the same faction advantage on saving throws. ((Again, about a +4 bonus in a 3.X game))

While the general bonuses are useful and highly desirable, they do not capture the essence or uniqueness of each faction. This is where these unique faction bonuses come in.

-Weak: At the beginning of their turn, creatures of creation will gain temporary hit points equal to their level or challenge rating (minimum one). ((Translates 1:1 in a 3.x game))

-Strong: Creatures of creation regain half of their maximum hit dice at the end of a short rest, and all expended hit dice at the end of a long rest. ((Change to "Creatures gain fast healing 2" in 3.x))

-Pure: Creatures of creation gain immunity to bludgeoning, slashing and piercing damage from non-magical weapons, and they heal damage equal to their proficiency bonus at the start of their turn as long as they have more than 0 hp. ((Change to "Creatures gain DR 20/- and their fast healing improves to be equal to their total hit dice" in 3.x))


-Weak: Creatures of oblivion add their proficiency bonus to their weapon damage rolls. ((Change to "Creatures add their BAB to weapon damage rolls" in 3.x))

-Strong: Creatures of oblivion impose disadvantage on saving throws to resist their spells, maneuvers or other abilities. ((Change to "Increase the creature's save DC's by +4 (untyped bonus)" in 3.x))

-Pure: Creatures of oblivion in this zone are always considered to have three-quarters cover, and all of their weapon attacks are considered magical. ((No changes necessary))


-Weak: Creatures of the void are treated as if they had half cover. ((No changes necessary))

-Strong: Creatures of the void may use their bonus action to teleport up to 50 feet in any direction, as long as the end destination is still in the zone. ((Change the term "bonus action" to "swift action" in 3.x))

-Pure: Creatures of the void may not be targeted or otherwise impaired by hostile spells from outside of the zone.


-None, or as determined by the patron (remember, anything not creation, oblivion or void is being lumped into this category for now, just to keep things simple). It should be noted that unaligned creatures are not subject to the potential hazards present within zones controlled by a true faction.

Of course the effects exerted by a controlled zone will not be limited to just the creatures within it. Zones without a master or zones that are weakly aligned to a faction typically will not be too drastically altered from the norm, but beyond these points a zone will begin to be modified by each faction's unique energies to make it into a "utopia" for the factions who dwell there. Such modifications are usually only aesthetic, enough to give clear warning to intruders which faction controls the zone, but sometimes these modifications are a little bit more... Unpleasant.

Creation being the faction that protects and builds up the worlds, their zones are often vibrant and sprawling with life. Children and newborns are common sights as the birth rate in these zones is increased exponentially, to the point where even sterile creatures may give birth within a zone of pure creation. While largely beneficial to creatures of creation, those with other blessings can sometimes find the energies supporting this growth dangerous.

Weak: This zone will seem to be slightly brighter, and plant/ wild life more common than normal. No potential hazards are present within this zone.

Strong: Within this zone everything will definitely seem to be different; colors more vibrant and pure, laughter and sound more cheerful and the light more vibrant. The energies coursing through this place are potentially too abundant for those who do not have creation's blessing to temper them, and certain plants and fungi exude toxins designed to drive off the enemies of creation.

-Potential hazards:

1. While vitalizing, some bodies of water and much of the plant life contain potentially deadly radiant energy within them. If a creature with a blessing other than creation drinks water or eats food raised with this water, then they are dealt 1d8 radiant damage and must make a DC 10 constitution saving throw or be inflicted with the poisoned condition until their next long or short rest. This effect fades from food and water one week after it leaves a zone of creation.

2. Certain fungi are specifically cultivated and grow along roads and the outskirts of towns. Once disturbed these fungi disperse different kinds of toxic clouds that are harmful only to enemies of creation. A toxic cloud disperses in a 10x10x5 cube from each stand of fungi. Every creature in this cloud with a blessing other than one of creation makes a DC 14 constitution saving throw and suffers one of the following effects on a failed save: 1. The creature is under the effects of the spell confusion for the next minute; 2. The creature is under the effects of the spell bane for the next minute; 3. The creature suffers one level of exhaustion; 4. The creature is blinded and cannot smell for the next minute; or 5. The creature is dealt 9 (2d8) poison damage. Each patch of fungi contains only one effect. If a zone changes control, all fungi from this hazard immediately shrivel and die.

Pure: Reality seems to glimmer and shine in absolute radiance. The air is fresh, everything is new, and children are everywhere. At this point, wild life and the elemental forces of the world become stronger... And a bit more dangerous.

1. Elementals, dragons, humanoids and beasts that were born within, or that spend at least one year in, this zone gain the "Perfect creation" template. Creatures with this template increase their proficiency bonus by 1, their natural armor class and strength score by 2 (to a maximum of 30), and their maximum hit points increase by 30. This increases their challenge rating as appropriate for these changes. They keep this template for as long as they live. Finally, creatures with this template are automatically friendly to creatures with the blessing of creation, and hostile to creatures with any other blessing.

Oblivion is the aspect of destruction, and its territory is dark and lethal to reflect this. Constant storms, monumental tempests and natural disasters rip the land apart, while obsidian pillars declaring the dominion of oblivion rise up from the earth in cruel, freakish ways that reject the laws of reality. The only things born here are freakish abberations and abominations, and even the earth becomes baren and dead.

Weak Lightning storms become more common, and the light of day becomes somewhat muted. Creatures living within such a zone feel watched at all times by a very, very patient predator. However, beyond the increased possibility of being struck by lightning and the dangers torrential downpours bring, there aren't any hazards at this level.

Strong At this level the storms become more intense, larger and more common. The light of day never seems to truly break into the world, leaving the cracked and desecrated ground to only the dimmest illumination. There are hazards beyond this darkness and the horrendous storms, including (but by no means limited to); pillars of obsidian that rise from the ground that crackle with oblivion's power, acidic rain that can melt flesh from bone, areas that sap a being's life force and areas where even the weakest of blows cuts deep.

-Potential hazards:

1. Near constant lightning storms and darkness reduce visibility greatly, and have reduced much of the land to mud and rock. Treat daytime as dim light, and all overland terrain as difficult terrain.

2. Some rain is made of highly corrosive acid, which all creatures have to worry about. When in an acid rain storm, a creature or unattended object must make a DC 15 constitution saving throw every minute the rain contacts them directly. On a failed save they are dealt 3d4 acid damage, and are dealt half as much on a successful save. Plant life is made scarce by this phenomena, and the plants that exist are resilient to the damage and regrow within 1d4 hours of the rain stopping. Minerals denser than limestone are immune to this acid.

3. Literal dead zones dot the land, and these zones slowly sap away a creature's luck, life force and energy until they decay into nothing. These places are barren, with no wild life or plant matter in them at all, and creatures without oblivion's blessing cannot long remain within. Every minute a creature without a blessing of oblivion remains within this dead zone they lose one of their unspent hit-dice. If the creature has no hit dice remaining, then they must make a DC 14 constitution saving throw every hour. Their maximum hit points are lowered by 7 (2d6) on a failure, and half as much on a success. If a creature is reduced to 0 maximum hit points by this effect, then their body crumbles to ash and they become a shadow (MM pg 269) if they were a humanoid or a shadowed version of themselves (make it up/ apply the shadow dragon template (MM pg 85) if they were a different creature. Maximum hit points and hit dice lost in this manner may only be recovered by either leaving the dead area for a week, or by leaving the area and benefiting from a spell like greater restoration. A dead area disappears When oblivion loses control of the zone, and life can return to it after a year has passed.

4. Spires dedicated to Oblivion's power rise up from the earth, raining the wrath of oblivion upon any enemy that comes too close. These spires are typically found as isolated and avoidable hazards, or in small, clustered stands. Their size ranges from a modest 2 foot radius and 7 foot tall cylinder, to a much more substantial 10 foot radius and 39 foot tall cylinder. Regardless of size, blackish-purple lightning crackles and hums constantly along their length and it is dangerous for creatures with a blessing other than oblivion's to draw close. The spire acts on initiative count 15 (automatically losing ties). On its turn it launches a whip of its destructive lightning at a random valid target within 60 feet and the target makes a DC 14 dexterity saving throw. On a failure the target is dealt 11 (2d10) lightning damage and 11 (2d10) necrotic damage, and half as much damage on a success. These spires are embedded in the foundations of the earth, and as such they do not disappear if oblivion loses control over a zone. However, if a spire is in a zone controlled by a different faction then it becomes inert and harmless within 24 hours and remains harmless until oblivion reclaims the zone.

Pure: A zone of pure oblivion is so covered in storms that it might as well be perpetual night. Violet and crimson lightning constantly strike, illuminating this darkness for mere moments, and acid rains down in torrents from the sky. The monsters of oblivion crawl from this deep darkness, spawned into the world to ravage and slaughter the enemies of their faction.

-Every month that a zone of oblivion remains pure, creatures of darkness, death, undeath or destruction will be spawned within it. How many and of what power is determined by the size of the zone and the creatures that inhabit it (read, up to the DM, with a suggestion for dramatic and flavor fitting to the campaign's current theme). These creatures are loyal to oblivion, and automatically aligned with the faction. Their loyalty cannot be swayed for at least one month.

Eternal, stable, unchanging, washed out. These are the qualities of the void, and it exerts this influence rather forcefully over any zone they control. In these zones, color becomes muted and eventually fades away, the will to fight bleeds out of hostile creatures, magic does not always work properly and the grasp of the void is almost unbreakable.

Weak: A weak zone of void is one that has very little difference from your typical grassland, mountain range or forest on the mortal plane. The only major difference is that the colors are slightly muted, and closer to the grey/ black/ white sides of the scale than normal.

Strong: Now the zone has actually gained a good bit of the void's essence, and its influence becomes much more noticeable. Almost everything is cast in a grey scale, with only the most vibrant of colors managing to break through as dull, lackluster versions of themselves. Creatures who live within this zone slowly take on a calm, dispassionate air that sometimes causes them to seem almost heartless, which is true to an extent. Void's influence eventually makes a creature more rational and less emotional, less prone to making rash decisions or sudden changes. Hazards at this level tend to follow this trend, negating magic and hostile emotions, while also preserving creatures and objects in temporary stasis.

-Potential hazards:

1. Multiple areas within the zone of the void exist which negate hostile intent for those without void's blessing. A creature within such an area must make a DC 13 charisma saving throw, or have disadvantage on all of their attack rolls and saving throws against spells and abilities that inflict the frightened condition until they leave the peaceful area. This saving throw may be remade every hour, and on a success the creature no longer has disadvantage on saving throws against fear effects. These areas of peace disappear immediately once the Void loses control of the zone.

2. Magic itself seems to become less able to change the world within a zone of strong void. When cast within this zone, all spells and magical abilities with a duration longer than "instant" require concentration to maintain. In addition, a creature concentrating on a spell while within this zone must make a DC 10 concentration check every round they maintain their spell, or it will end prematurely. This effect disappears immediately once the Void no longer controls the zone.

3. Areas within this zone have time that does not flow properly. These areas are constantly slowed as if by the spell slow (PHB pg 277), and creatures within them suffer from the same effect. As well, every hour there is a 10% chance that the flow of time within this area will stop entirely, freezing all creatures, spell durations and attack rolls for 1d4 hours. After this effect has passed, creatures and spells within the zone resume from where they left off, and all attack rolls resolve at disadvantage.

Pure: The ultimate incarnation of the unchanging, unbreakable void. A zone of pure void has absolutely no color beyond varying shades of grey, black and white, and even magical light (such as that cast from a prismatic ray or prismatic wall) loses its luster and color. The zone itself is almost impossible to wrest from the void's control, and everything within is... stable.

-The zone at this point is treated as if it were purely under the control of the void, even if this is not true. The only way to change the zone's alignment from this state is for a different faction to control 51% or more of the population within the zone.

Unaligned zones typically look like the worlds on the material, basically mirroring it in every way. It does not become somehow more standard when the influence of the unaligned becomes stronger.

Rapidly shifting control Warfare over control of the zones is much more chaotic and extreme than normal planar or mortal combat. As each faction struggles and vies for control, the often rapid shifts caused by hundreds or thousands of deaths will lead to small parts of the zone being in constant flux. This flux can lead to violent, hellish bursts of divine essence that ravage all factions equally, potentially swaying the course of battle. These areas of flux are called rifts, and they have their own special use in army battle.

When to use Rapidly shifting control (and the rifts that come from it) should only be used in larger, more climatic battles. The assault of a large, walled city (think Minas Tirath or Waterdeep) or two massive armies meeting on the field of battle would be examples of the scale called for here. Smaller skirmishes, such as those a typical adventuring party would find themselves in, usually will not be cause to draw on rifts.

Rifts A rift is created in the heat of combat when many mortal creatures suddenly lose their lives. Small scale battles are often not enough to trigger this destructive force, and it will typically take a clash between true armies to rip open a rift, even if it is only temporary.

For a rift to open, a few prerequisites must first be met. First and foremost, no other rift may exist within 500 feet. If one does, then the energy that would have gone to creating this rift will instead feed and grow the other rift. Second, for a rift to open at least 200 creatures in a 500 foot cube must be violently and lethally reduced to 0 hit points in the same round. Legendary and larger than medium creatures have their values multiplied if they are slain as if they were influencing a zone instead (so if a legendary creature would normally count as 200 creatures influencing a zone, its death will count as 200 creatures dying for purposes of a rift opening.) Third and finally, a zone requires that at least 50 creatures (or their equivalent in legendary creatures) be slain each round within 1000 feet of where it currently resides. If at least 50 creatures do not die, then the rift shrinks by one category.

Next, when a rift first opens it is treated as a rift of a certain category and size (as determined by how many creatures have died to feed it). A rift may shrink or grow depending on how many creatures are slain around it (within 1000 feet) on a round-to-round basis, as shown on the table below. Note, a rift may start higher than category 1, or may grow more than one category if enough creatures are slain. To determine how large a rift starts or how much it grows, add the total number of creatures that have died in a particular round, and then add the required deaths for each category together until they exceed how many creatures have died, or until you reach category 5 (the technical maximum).

Rift categoryRift sizeDeaths required
110 foot radius200
215 foot radius70
325 foot radius100
550 foot radius170
4 85 foot radius280
5150 foot radius450

A rift moves 50 feet in a random direction each round, and whatever effect it projects takes affect on initiative count 20 (losing ties). The higher a rift's category becomes, the more powerful its effects will be.

Rifts have multiple varieties, and which kind is summoned is often unpredictable, almost as if it were determined at random. In the larger battlefields, it is not uncommon to have multiple different types of rift open up, leading to areas being under a great variety of effects. As well, certain rifts seem to be more common when certain factions are involved in the battle, likely as a side effect of their particular influences extending into (and partially guiding) the chaos of a rift's passing.

If you want to leave which kind of rift opens up to chance, you may assign each kind of rift a range of numbers on a d20. If a rift opens, then roll a d20 and if the result falls in the range of a rift's numbers (for example, let's say that the Calling rift is on numbers 1-4, and a 4 is rolled), then a rift of that variety will be opened. Each rift should start with an equal range of numbers (so if all example rifts are being used, then they should all have a 4 number range, while if only two are used then they should both have a 10 point range), though the influences of a faction may change the ranges of which rift will be opened.

If, after the faction influences are tallied, you have numbers that go above 20 or you have a range of numbers that does not reach 20 (say, you only chose to use 3 different types of rifts or only rifts that factions involved in the battle give penalties to their appearance rate), then add or subtract from select rift opening ranges as you as a DM feel fits the particular battle until all possibilities fit on a 1-20 range.

The following are a collection of example rifts (and the rifts that I will personally be using if my players manage to create one). They hopefully give a sense of the scale and power each rift should bring to a battle.

-Calling: This rift draws creatures of a randomly determined CR to the battlefield. Creatures in a calling rift are summoned whenever the rift takes its action, summoning creatures permanently to the battlefield until the surface area of the rift is completely filled with living (or undead) creatures of varying sizes. These creatures are unaligned with any faction, and hostile to all other factions on the battlefield, regardless of their typical alignment or allegiances. These creatures are called from realities beyond the void, and are often called from the same place (so it's common to have a full squad, or even an army, pulled from one reality to another, but it is also possible for a group of adventurers and the dragon they had been fighting to be called through as well). This rift does not summon new creatures while its original summons live.

Controlling this variety of rift allows a creature to determine which direction the rift moves, and makes all creatures that come from it friendly to their particular faction.

To determine which creatures are called through, roll a d12 and add the rift's category to it. This determines what the maximum CR of creatures called through the rift can be. For this rift in particular the DM should make thematic charts of creatures that can be called through for a variety of CR's (at least one of each CR 2-17). Remember, not all creatures called have to be of the CR rolled, but none of them can be above that CR. For example:

On a roll of 9, you could have the rift summon a young blue dragon and its human cultists and kobold servants, or you can have a drow priestess, a few drow mages and multiple drow warriors that are part of the same raiding party called through.

This rift has +1 to its creation range if the Creation faction is present on the battlefield and -1 if Oblivion is present on the battlefield

-Negating: A negating rift radiates a aura three times as large as its base size that negates all magical effects, ends all spells and suppresses the blessings of any faction a creature may possess as long as an effect or creature enters its radius. The effects and hazards of a zone are suspended where a negating rift rests, and spells or other magical effects with an area of effect that extends into a negating rift's aura have no effect on creatures and objects within the rift.

Controlling this rift allows a creature to choose which direction the rift moves, and allows them to suppress its effects for one round. After suppressing a negating rift a creature must wait for 1d6 rounds before they can suppress it again.

A negating rift has +1 to its creation range if Oblivion or Void are present on the battlefield (+2 if both are), and a -1 to its range if Creation is present on the battlefield.

-Shielded: A shielded rift creates a wall of crackling translucent energy around itself that acts as an impenetrable barrier. This barrier traps the creatures within inside of itself, and prevents all creatures and objects from entering it. While it is possible to see through a shielded rift, magic cannot be used by creatures outside of the rift to affect those within or to enter the rift, and it may not be used by those within to affect those outside of the rift or teleport out.

Controlling this rift allows creatures of the faction to move through the shield freely, though they still cannot take attacks or cast spells that target creatures or areas outside of the shield.

A shielded rift has a +1 to its creation range if Creation is present on the battlefield.

-Storm: A storm rift is a balled mass of chaotic energy that rips through living foes. At the beginning of each round creatures within this rift must make a DC 12+The rift's category dexterity saving throw. Creatures who fail this saving throw are dealt 1d6+2d6 damage of the type that is most effective against them per rift category, while creatures that succeed on this saving throw are dealt half as much damage.

Controlling this rift gives the creature controlling it immunity to all damage it would deal, causes creatures of the same faction to automatically succeed on their saving throws against the rift's damage, and allows the creature to control which damage type the rift deals each round.

The storm rift has a +1 to its creation range if Oblivion is present on the battlefield, and -1 to its creation range if Creation is present on the battlefield.

-Repelling: A repelling rift does exactly what it says on the can. Creatures in its radius must make a DC 12+Rift's category strength saving throw or be immediately pushed out of the rift's radius. Flying creatures that fail this saving throw are knocked prone, falling if they are not immune to the condition. Creatures that succeed on the saving throw treat the terrain in the rift as difficult terrain instead. Ranged weapon attacks made through the rift are made at disadvantage.

A repelling rift cannot be controlled, no faction contributes to its creation chance, and it is stationary.

Controlling a rift It is possible for a creature to take command of a rift, though it is a difficult prospect for many. To begin the attempt, a creature must make their way to the center of the rift itself, making a DC 15 strength, constitution or wisdom check as an action to force their way into the hypothetical "eye of the storm" where the rift emanates from.

From there they can attempt to take control. There are many ways for an individual to command a rift, ranging from momentarily understanding its weave and make to using pure strength of arm to reign in its core and bend it to their will. The creature may make a DC 15+The rift's category ability check of their choosing, being violently ejected from the core on a failure and taking control of the rift on a success. Legendary creatures have advantage on this check. A creature can control the rift for a minute, gains immunity to all damage except damage from magic weapons, and cannot be affected by hostile spells spells level 7 or lower. A creature controlling a rift may not take legendary actions or reactions.

A creature may direct the rift as an action, commanding the direction it should move, or keeping it in place if they choose. If a creature uses its action for anything else, the rift will move randomly of its own accord as normal. Each particular rift that can be controlled confers further benefits, as detailed in the rift's statistic block.

At the end of the minute of control, a creature must make a new ability check to maintain control. If they fail this new check, they are expelled and dealt 27 (5d8) force damage.

Closing a rift A rift in a volatile thing, constantly hungering for life force. If enough is not sacrificed to it, the rift will collapse and its effects will end. If a category 1 rift does not have its maintenance cost of 50 creatures paid, it will disappear at the start of the round.

Alternately, a creature that is controlling a rift may attempt to close it one per round as a bonus action. A creature attempting to do so must make a DC 25 ability check and is dealt 27 (5d8) force damage on a failure or a success.

2015-05-30, 04:45 AM
... Wow, all of that fit in one post. I am... Slightly shocked.

I'm also so, so sordy for people coming in that think to themselves that this will be a quick read, and will be more that happy to peach any 5 things you happen to need peaching for to repay you for reading through this.

2015-05-30, 05:10 PM
This is a very cool idea, and I may borrow it for interplanar conflicts in my own setting. Fluff-wise, I had a question about the Oblivion and Void factions. The crunch is very different, but I'm not really sure about the fluff difference. If Eo is trying to be the master of Oblivion (which was Nulles), and the Void is also trying to be Nulles, what's the difference? Also, the Void is described as the largest armies, but who fights for them? If fiends are Oblivion and the "normal" races are creation, who is aligned with the Void?

2015-05-31, 01:57 AM
This is a very cool idea, and I may borrow it for interplanar conflicts in my own setting. Fluff-wise, I had a question about the Oblivion and Void factions. The crunch is very different, but I'm not really sure about the fluff difference. If Eo is trying to be the master of Oblivion (which was Nulles), and the Void is also trying to be Nulles, what's the difference? Also, the Void is described as the largest armies, but who fights for them? If fiends are Oblivion and the "normal" races are creation, who is aligned with the Void?

Ah, easy mistake to make. Eo is in nearly uncontested command of oblivion, with only a few of Nulles's original cultists attempting to resurrect their god. Void doesn't have any designs for the throne of oblivion itself, Void just wishes to see Eo's downfall and only wants that to restore stability to reality before oblivion causes it to crumble into nothing.

As for what might be in the armies;

-Oblivion is about power and endings. So undead, fiends, certain abberations and many evil beings find themselves aligned with at least a few of its goals. However, there are also some neutrals and goods who might just be using the faction for their own goals, or who might still be there out of loyalty to Nulles's memory. Not many, but still a few.

-Creation is all about preservation, expansion and protection, so celestials, good dragons and abberations and humanoids, and most fey are strongly aligned with this faction's goals. However, neutral beings, green dragons in particular and evil beings who seek to rule instead of serve can also find themselves in this faction. Not exactly working towards the faction's goals, but also not working directly against them.

-Vois is all about balance, constancy, and the maintenance of reality and its balance with nothingness. These ideals can appeal to almost any sane thing, so when asked what creatures would be present in this faction, the answer is... everything. You can see angels, devils, liches and ithillid working together in a tenuous alliance against a greater foe (Eo and his madness), but for the most part these creatures are captains and generals, spies or other such critters, while the majority of their armies are made up of humanoids (particularly voidwalkers, which are yet to be homebrewed), which function as basically fodder in their attempt to keep oblivion and creation as far away from each other as possible. If Eo (or a creature like him) did not command oblivion, then this faction probably wouldn't exist (nothing would be threatening the fabric of reality, after all).

Does that help make the factions seem a little more distinct to you? Or do I have some work to do?