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Thread: Planar Traits (Outer Planes)
- Join Date
- Apr 2017
- Vancouver <-> Dublin
Planar Traits (Outer Planes)The DnD Outer Plane cosmology is very flavourful but I sometimes think it doesn't feel like an "afterlife" - a Hell with a physical river Styx and cities of demons with statblocks feels more like an alternate Material Plane than a dimension of unimaginable evil. Hell and Heaven should reshape themselves into the personal nightmare/dream of each visitor - or even be places where there is no reality, just voids of darkness or light full of unending terror or joy.
Plus the minor/major chaotic/evil/good/lawful planar traits REALLY seem lacking (a penalty on Charisma checks? How epic! :p)
Therefore, I have brewed up new planar alignment traits, and will later be posting a "Returned" template (as an alternative to level loss from being raised or resurrected, you can get an LA+1 template to reflect your experiences while you were dead).
Note that I don't entirely disagree with the current Outer Plane writeups - sometimes it's cool to go have a physical battle with Diablo in Hell haha. At the DM's option, the traits described below might apply only to certain parts of the Outer Planes (e.g. the strongly-aligned evil trait might apply only to the last level of Hell).
Outer Plane Planar Traits
Spoiler: Caster Level/Save DCs, Conflicting Traits, Planar Auras, and Planar ProtectionThe Outer Planes are even further removed from our reality than the Inner Planes, and are suffused with metaphysical forces in the form of the chaos-, evil-, good-, and lawful-aligned traits. Outer Planes may be mildly- or strongly-aligned for each of these traits, and may possess certain other traits as well (Enhanced and Impeded Magic, Hostile, Spiritual, and Timeless).
Caster Level and Saving Throws
Unless otherwise specified, the caster level of a planar trait is 21st and the saving throw DC against its effects is 20. At the DM's option these may be increased (especially for strongly-aligned planes).
Conflicting Planar Traits
It is possible for a plane to have opposing planar alignment traits. For example, the Plane of Purgatory is both mildly good-aligned and mildly evil-aligned - souls there are purified of their past sins over eternity, with the hope of one day ascending to a strongly good-aligned plane.
Divination spells such as detect chaos/evil/good/law register an omnipresent "overwhelming" aura of the appropriate alignment when used on an aligned plane (though it is still possible to discern the individual auras of creatures and objects).
Additionally, any creature or object returning from such a plane has a lingering "dim" aura of that alignment for 1d6 days, as though they were a location touched by an overwhelming aura (see detect evil).
Finally, using such a divination on a strongly-aligned plane stuns the caster for 1 round and ends the spell.
Protection From Planar Alignments
Any spellcaster knows that a magic circle against chaos/evil/good/law can be used to create a protective emanation or to imprison an outsider. However, a third use of a circle allows the spell to protect individuals travelling on other planes. When cast in this way the spell has a target of "creatures touched" and a duration of "2 hours per caster level". The duration is divided evenly amongst all touched creatures and grants them the benefits of protection from chaos/evil/good/law as appropriate while on Outer Planes.
Protected creatures are immune to the harmful effects of planar alignment traits (both mildly- and strongly-aligned), including the stunning effect of strongly-aligned planes described under Planar Auras (above) and the effects of the Hostile trait (see below).
Mind blank, a paladin's aura of courage, and similar spells and class features also protect against appropriate planar alignments. Racial abilities (e.g. the mindless special quality) and types (e.g. construct, undead) do not - a creature must specifically work to protect itself from an aligned plane.
At the DM's option, strongly-aligned planes may not allow saving throws against their effects (and can therefore be endured only with protection).
Outer Plane Alignment Traits
Spoiler: Mildly-Aligned vs. Strongly-AlignedMildly-Aligned
This plane affects all creatures that do not share the plane's alignment.
The plane's alignment overpowers all creatures, save outsiders with the appropriate alignment subtype ([Chaotic], [Evil], [Good], or [Lawful]).
These planes distort the laws of probability and the minds of mortals, sometimes to the breaking point. On mildly chaos-aligned planes everything seems "off" - time and perspective seem distorted, architecture is based on non-Euclidean geometry, one can navigate a labyrinth for years and end up at the place and time they started, and so forth. Major chaos-dominant planes are madness incarnate - colour, time, matter, energy all blur together into an incomprehensible mass of everything and nothing.
Spoiler: Chaos TraitsMildly-Aligned
All non-chaotic creatures entering this plane must make a DC 20 Will save or be confused (caster level 21st). They must save again every hour; the DC and caster level increase by 1 with each subsequent save.
Any creature without the [Chaotic] subtype will inevitably be driven mad by this plane. In addition to the effects of a mildly-aligned chaotic plane, creatures on such a plane take 1d6 points of Wisdom drain on a failed save. Any creature reduced to 0 Wisdom regains all lost Wisdom, becomes chaotic-aligned on the ethical (law vs chaos) axis, and gains the Madness special quality (see below). At the DM's option this Madness may be roleplayed as insanity, insanity where affected creatures need not attack other insane creatures, feeblemindedness, or even some subtler form of madness.
This creature is permanently insane. It uses its Charisma modifier instead of its Wisdom modifier for the purposes of spellcasting and Will saves, and has immunity to confusion and insanity effects. If it is a cleric or similar spellcaster, it gains the benefits of the Madness domain in addition to all its other domains. It gains a +6 bonus to its Charisma score and a -6 penalty to its Wisdom score. It cannot be restored to sanity by any means short of a greater restoration, heal, miracle or wish spell.
These planes are suffused with corruption, ruthlessness, despair, terror, and suffering. Most visitors are appalled by the gruesome excesses of such planes, and resolve to do whatever necessary to avoid spending an eternity there after death... but there are some truly evil individuals who feel a fierce, dark freedom upon seeing the endless strife awaiting them. Eternal suffering is still a form of immortality, after all... and perhaps even an opportunity for advancement and conquest.
Spoiler: Evil TraitsMildly-Aligned
All non-evil creatures entering this plane must make a DC 20 Will save or suffer crushing despair (caster level 21st) for as long as they remain on the plane. They must save again every hour; the DC increases by 1 with each subsequent save.
This plane reshapes itself into the personal nightmare of each visitor - whether a torture chamber, being forced to relive the worst moments of their life, or something even more unspeakable. Any creature without the [Evil] subtype must save as described above for a mildly-aligned plane, save that they are also shaken on each failed save (stacking as normal for fear effects up to the panicked condition). A creature that is already panicked becomes corrupted by the plane's evil - it is no longer panicked, becomes evil-aligned on the moral (good vs evil) axis and gains a geas (caster level 21st) to do evil. The geas is at the behest of powerful evil outsiders native to the plane, and the creature will go to any lengths to appease them.
These planes radiate serenity, joy, and compassion. On these planes it is possible to set aside all worries, reunite with lost loved ones, and achieve perfect tranquility. Strongly-aligned good planes often bear no resemblance to the mortal realm - they are simply dimensions of endless light and life.
Spoiler: Good TraitsMildly-Aligned
All non-evil creatures on this plane gain the benefit of good hope (caster level 21st) for as long as they remain. Evil-aligned creatures entering this plane find themselves contemplating the error of their ways - they must make a DC 20 Will save every hour or become charmed (as charm monster, caster level 21st) by all good-aligned creatures they encounter on the plane. They must save again every hour; the DC increases by 1 with each subsequent save.
Any visitor instinctively knows that this plane will do him nothing but Good - even if it destroys him doing it. All creatures on this plane gain the benefits of greater heroism (caster level 21st; the temporary hit points are refreshed at the end of each encounter). However, non-[Good] creatures must make a Will save upon arrival and each hour thereafter as described above as though they were evil creatures. A creature that fails a save is enthralled by the plane and takes 1d6 points of Charisma drain. A creature reduced to 0 Charisma in this way regains all lost Charisma, becomes good-aligned on the moral (good vs evil) axis and loses all desire to ever leave the plane - in fact they often become embittered if forced to return to the Material Plane.
Order reigns supreme on these planes. Societies obey strict hierarchies, physical laws never deviate, and all things can be calculated and predicted with absolute precision. Colours, scents, and all other vibrancies and variables are muted, to the point where strongly-aligned planes are complex geometric labyrinths of black and white light without so much as a shade of grey.
Spoiler: Law TraitsMildly-Aligned
All non-lawful creatures entering this plane must make a DC 20 Will save or be slowed (caster level 21st). They must save again every hour; the DC and caster level increase by 1 with each subsequent save.
Any creature without the [Lawful] subtype will inevitably be preserved and catalogued by this plane. In addition to the effects of a mildly-aligned lawful plane, creatures on such a plane take 1d6 points of Dexterity and Strength drain on a failed save. Any creature reduced to 0 Dexterity or Strength is permanently frozen in time as if by temporal stasis (caster level 21st), and is shuffled off to an appropriate extradimensional place on the plane to be quarantined for the rest of eternity.
Other Outer Plane Traits
Spoiler: Enhanced/Impeded Magic, Hostile, Spiritual, Timeless TraitsEnhanced And Impeded Magic
All spells and spell-like abilities with an alignment matching that of a mildly-aligned plane gain a +1 bonus to their caster level, and those with an opposing alignment are impeded (Spellcraft DC 20 + spell level to cast successfully).
All spells and spell-like abilities with an alignment matching that of a strongly-aligned plane gain a +5 bonus to their caster level, and those with an opposing alignment automatically fail.
At the DM's option, a chaotic-aligned plane (especially strongly-aligned) instead has the wild magic trait for all non-chaotic spells and spell-like abilities.
At the DM's option, a strongly-aligned plane also delivers a chaos hammer, holy smite, order's wrath, or unholy blight as appropriate each round to all creatures in the plane, and wards all creatures of the appropriate alignment with cloak of chaos, holy aura, shield of law, or unholy aura each round. Caster level 21st for all effects.
Furthermore, any saves against an aligned plane's effects might occur every 10 minutes, every minute, or even every round, at the DM's option.
The Outer Planes are realms of the soul. Planes with the Spiritual planar trait are accessible through astral projection and similar means, but not through spells of physical teleportation (e.g. plane shift). Particularly powerful magic (e.g. gate) may circumvent this.
All Outer Planes possess the Timeless trait. An eternity spent on an Outer Plane corresponds to only an instant on the Material Plane; raised and resurrected creatures return with vague memories of limitless wonder or horror (see the Returned template).
Last edited by rferries; 2021-01-21 at 05:25 AM.