# Thread: Two New Classes of Planes: The Chthonic and Welkin Planes [PEACH]

1. ## Two New Classes of Planes: The Chthonic and Welkin Planes [PEACH]

I shouldn't be thinking so much when working... Well, here's the idea I came up with. Don't hurt me too bad on this one. I wonder if it's obvious which one I spent the most time thinking about.

The Welkin and Chthonic Planes
The Welkin and Chthonic planes are two classes of planes that I've thought up based on various random ideas and references. Essentially, they're "above"(Welkin) or "below"(Chthonic) the current planar cosmology. In the following examples, I'm going to be using the Great Wheel cosmology since that's what I'm most familiar with. Welkin and chthonic planes connect to every single plane in the cosmology (chthonic, inner, outer, prime, transitive, and welkin), except for the other class. If there are multiple chthonic planes, they connect to each other and every non-welkin plane, and vise versa for welkin planes.

The biggest differences between the two classes of planes, in order of greatest to least, are:
• Layout
• Accessibility
• Elemental and Gravity traits

The biggest similarities between the two classes of planes, in order of greatest to least, are:
• Morphic Traits
• Connectivity
• Alignment and Shape Traits

Chthonic
Layout: Chthonic planes are laid out as if they were tunnels or caverns deep within the earth, as is their namesake.

Accessibility: Chthonic planes are weirdly easy to access and find, yet happen to never be found or claimed unless actively sought after or stumbled upon accidentally. Ex: A solid wall that, when walked into as though it was an open tunnel, allows access to a small room with an opening where you walked through. Ex: A manhole in an alleyway near the center of a bustling city that, when pulled up, provides a small ladder into a massive hall.

Elemental and Gravity Traits: Chthonic planes tend to be earth-dominant planes with either objective directional gravity or subjective directional gravity gravity while having either the heavy or normal gravity strengths.

Morphic: Chthonic planes usually have the alterable morphic and magically morphic traits, though some areas might have looser rules regarding the amount of effort required to modify the surrounding area.

Connectivity: Chthonic planes connect to all non-welkin, non-demiplane planes though they have more connections within the prime material, elemental plane of earth, and plane of shadow than any other planes.

Alignment and Shape: Mildly neutral-dominant and infinite sized. Though they are typically drab or dreary places, chthonic planes are not inherently evil-aligned, despite what some would have you think.

Examples of Chthonic planes: The Greek Underworld(and the locations therein), Svartalfheim, and Xibalba

Welkin
Layout: Welkin planes are laid out as if they were walkways or constructions far above the surface in the skies, as is their namesake. Often enough, the plane is suffused with an almost celestial light and/or the space beneath the walkway is filled with clouds, stars, etc.

Accessibility: Welkin planes are typically hard to access and the ways to access them are usually kept secret or extremely difficult to attain. Ex: Uttering a password to a statue on top of a mountain far from civilization. Ex: A single doorway kept guarded by the palace guard on orders of their liege with no knowledge of what lies behind it.

Elemental and Gravity Traits: Welkin planes tend to be air-dominant planes with either light gravity or no gravity.

Morphic: Welkin planes usually have the alterable morphic and magically morphic traits, though some areas might have stricter rules regarding the amount of effort required to modify the surrounding area.

Connectivity: Welkin planes connect to all non-chthonic, non-demiplane planes though they have more connections within the prime material, elemental plane of air, and astral plane than any other planes.

Alignment and Shape:Mildly neutral-dominant and infinite sized. Though they are almost always breathtakingly beautiful, welkin planes are not inherently good-aligned, despite what some would have you think.

Examples of Welkin planes: Heaven, Alfheimr, and Mount Penglai

And to cap this exercise off, I give you four planes constructed using these guidelines. Two chthonic and two welkin.

Spoiler: First Chthonic: The Mendicant
The Mendicant
The Mendicant is a maze-like plane that is both coterminous and coexistent with the material plane. It overlaps the material plane in seemingly random spots that function similarly to how secret rooms in video games do and as such a keen eye can spot an entrance if given enough time. This plane was given its moniker due to the fact that a good amount of beggars manage to find themselves shelter within the walls of this extraspacial location.

The Mendicant connects to all non-welkin and non-demiplane planes, and occasionally people have found themselves stepping out into alternate realities and seperate worlds entirely.

Light and sound in The Mendicant seem partially subdued, but more from the environment absorbing it than any actual alteration of the light or sound by the plane itself. The plane is seemingly infinite, yet composed of randomly sized rooms with grey or blue tiled floors and completely flat walls coloured a dark navy blue colour that seem to absorb vibrations. Some areas glow with a soft blue light while others are blanketed in shadows and require light to be brought in, but in general the entire plane is cloaked in shdowy or dim light. Strangely enough, the air never gets stale within the mendicant, as if there was a source of fresh air in each room.

There are no known natural inhabitants of The Mendicant. Some creatures may have originated here, but none know for sure and the general consensus is that all life within it are emigrants or accidental. It should be noted that it is possible to grow crops and livestock within The Mendicant, but it is both time and resource intensive due to there being no natural soil, water, food, or sunlight within. On rare occasions, some explorers have found store rooms with strange artifacts or treasures such as stuffed toys of ocotpi or squids, or a magic box able to play strange black blocks with squid pictures on them. Even rarely an entire temple complexes to strange beings or gods, possibly even the creator of the plane itself.

It should be noted that, due to the nature of the plane, maps are nearly impossible to make or maintain as a single strongly willed individual can reshape a massive portion of their local area and render maps obsolete.

The Mendicant has the following traits:
• Normal Time
• Alterable and magically morphic. Some spells and tools are able to modify the size and shape of rooms, corridors, hallways, or any other structure within the mendicant. Additionally, strong wills and those with powerful force of personality can make the realm bend to their will.
• No Elemental or Energy Traits (specific locations may have these traits, however)
• Mildly neutral-aligned.
• Subjective directional gravity with neutral strength.
• Impeded magic. Spells that teleport creatures or objects may fizzle when cast in The Mendicant. A spellcaster attempting a spell with the teleportation descriptor must succeed on a Spellcraft check (DC 20 + the level of the spell). The exception to this is Plane Shift, which can be case unimpeded.

Creatures can attempt a Concentration, Autohypnosis, Caster level, or Charisma check in order to modify the surrounding area. The DC to change anything is 15+ any relevant modifiers. Examples include but are not limited to:
Action DC Modifier
Increasing or decreasing the length of a room +5 per 5 ft. cube
Increasing or decreasing the height of a room +5 per 5 ft. cube
Increasing or decreasing the width of a room +5 per 5 ft. cube
Increasing or decreasing the temperature of a room +1 per degree
Increasing or decreasing the temperature level of a room +50 per level
Increasing or decreasing the light level of a room +2 per level
Creating a doorway between rooms +10, +5 if using chalk to mark out doorway
Creating a window between rooms +5, +2 if using chalk to mark out window
Creating a doorway out of The Mendicant +30, +25 if using chalk to mark out the doorway
Creating a window out of The Mendicant +20, +15 if using chalk to mark out the doorway
Fortifying the walls of a room from influence outside of the room +10 per 5ft. section of wall
Creating a wall, floor, or ceiling +5 per 5x5 ft. section

Spoiler: Second Chthonic: The Hive
The Hive
The Hive is a massive, labyrinthine complex of interconnected tunnels, burrows, nests, and structures dug out by a gigantic swarm of evershifting insectile aberrations. It is unknown if they are all part of the same synaptic network or if there are different hives all struggling to survive within the infinite catacombs of this rocky hell. They are uncounted multitudes. Moving in unending, synchronistic waves and burrowing through the rock to find new sources of food. Who knows how many worlds have fallen to their claws. How many worlds they have passed over by accident. How many worlds they are waiting to become plump and ready for their reaping.

The Hive connects to all non-welkin and non-demiplane planes, but most notably people have found themselves stepping out onto other worlds.

Sound echoes throughout tunnels and you can always hear the horrid sounds of scratching, digging, chittering, and the rasping snap of mandibles eager for fresh food. Rarely will you find a source of light that is not part of the seething swarm or worse, one of the leaders.

The only natural inhabitants are the horrific insectoid monstrosities that call the plane home. Some hope that there are different "hives" within the plane that will squabble amongst each other for the best feeding grounds, while others despair and believe that some being at the center holds all of them under the sway of one vast, hungry, malevolent intent.

The Hive has the following traits:
• Normal Time
• Alterable morphic.
• Earth Dominant. Most of the areas that open into The Hive enter tunnels though.
• Mildly neutral-aligned.
• Subjective directional gravity with heavy strength.
• Magic is heavily variable. Roll 1d3 each time an area is entered, even if it is not a newly explored area. On a 1, the area is a dead magic zone. On a 2, the area is a normal magic zone. On a 3, the area is a wild magic zone. Keep in mind that psionics are unaffected by this even if the magic-psionics transparency rule is in effect.

Spoiler: First Welkin: Diamond Skies
Diamond Skies
The Diamond Skies is a strange welkin. It takes the appearance of a semi translucent silver walkway supported by small brightly glowing stars(note, not our stars the orbs of light in certain old models of the firmament) and surrounded by larger glowing orbs scattered throughout the visible expanse. It seems mostly empty, though the pathway branches off and disappears behind some of these stars. Rumors have it that these stars that the pathway leads to are in fact other worlds, sometimes called "crystal spheres".

Diamond Skies connects to all non-chthonic and non-demiplane planes, but most notably people have found themselves stepping out onto other worlds far more than any other type of plane.

Very few creatures call this place home, but those that do are typically those that you'd expect to see in a spelljammer campaign as wildspace encounters without a spelljammer.

Diamond Skies has the following traits:
• Normal Time
• Magically morphic.
• Air Dominant. Most of the areas that open into Diamond Skies enter onto the walkway though.
• Mildly neutral-aligned.
• Light Gravity.
• Normal Magic.

Spoiler: Second Welkin: Cloudwalk
Cloudwalk
Cloudwalk is best described as a wonderful city in the clouds. At first appearance, it seems to rival the size of Sigil itself. However, on closer inspection everything is made of clouds which can be molded into different shapes with enough work put into it. A glorious golden sun sits in the sky and bathes everything in a deep golden hue that pervades every part of the plane.

Cloudwalk connects to all non-chthonic and non-demiplane planes, but the openings to Cloudwalk are often in nigh-unreachable and inhospitable locations or seem to open up at completely random moments.

All non-elemental creatures found in the elemental plane of air are found here. Additionally, all varieties of bird, both magical and mundane, are found here.

Cloudwalk has the following traits:
• Normal Time
• Alterable morphic.
• Air Dominant. All ways into Cloudwalk place you on top of the cloud cover.
• Mildly neutral-aligned.
• Objective Directional Light Gravity. The level of gravity is just slightly beneath the tops of the clouds covering the "floor" of the plane. You can stand beneath the level of gravity just fine.
• Normal Magic.

2. ## Re: Two New Classes of Planes: The Chthonic and Welkin Planes [PEACH]

Bump. Any thoughts or critiques?

3. ## Re: Two New Classes of Planes: The Chthonic and Welkin Planes [PEACH]

The basic idea is fine. I'll give some more critique on the planes you have proposed later. First question that comes to my mind: What do you do with existing planes that are already pretty chtonic? Like all of Pandemonium or the deeper layers of Ysgard? Are they reclassified? Does Pandemonium get a new surface?

4. ## Re: Two New Classes of Planes: The Chthonic and Welkin Planes [PEACH]

I love - to the point where I would consider replacing the existing Upper, Elemental, and Lower planes with such a system. Merging the listed afterlives into each type was an inspired touch.

5. ## Re: Two New Classes of Planes: The Chthonic and Welkin Planes [PEACH]

Originally Posted by Eldan
The basic idea is fine. I'll give some more critique on the planes you have proposed later. First question that comes to my mind: What do you do with existing planes that are already pretty chtonic? Like all of Pandemonium or the deeper layers of Ysgard? Are they reclassified? Does Pandemonium get a new surface?
The planes that are already chthonic don't have to change, though if the GM wishes then they could be changed. Places like Pandemonium and the deeper layers of Ysgard simply gain more entrances to the chthonic planes than they normally would. Pandemonium for example would have a good number of entrances and the deeper layers of Ysgard would have exponentially more the deeper they got.

Originally Posted by rferries
I love - to the point where I would consider replacing the existing Upper, Elemental, and Lower planes with such a system. Merging the listed afterlives into each type was an inspired touch.
Danke, I figured that it would be a better way to explain them since I'm not the best as explanations. Descriptions, on the other hand...

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