Months ago I wrote about the cosmology of Exploration Age in posts cleverly titled The Planes and More Planes. Since reading the Dungeon Master’s Guide, it’s clear that fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons has fully embraced the multiverse once again. Instead of creating a new cosmology for Exploration Age, I’ve decided it’s part of the D&D multiverse. That being said, Exploration Age is my setting. While I’m adding a new material plane to The Great Wheel, I also have a few other planes of my own to add. Take a look at the excerpt from the upcoming Exploration Age Campaign Guide below. Some of you may recognize these planes as updated versions of those seen in the previous posts.
Canus is part of the multiverse. From there one can journey to many other fantastic worlds. While many of these planes of existence are worlds discussed in other books, there are some introduced for the first time in this text. Below are new planes which can be used as part of an Exploration Age campaign.
There is a plane which connects The Nine Hells to The Abyss. Here, many battles of the Blood War between devils and demons play out. Whatever this plane’s natural form, the Blood War’s battles long ago changed the environment. Boiling rivers of blood, acid rain, mountains which spew thunder and lightning, swirling winds of necrotic energy, and more ravage the land.
Because of all the battles fought on the Blood Fields, it is possible to find discarded Abyssal and Infernal weapons of great power… provided a person could survive the harsh environments and the battles between bloodthirsty fiends.
Optional Rule: Power in Slaughter
When one creature kills another with an attack, the attacking creatures gains a +5 bonus to damage rolls until the end of its next turn.
An infinite region of mountains, forests, tunnels, and swamps makeup Murderfall, the land where everything wants to kill everything else. All life native to this plane takes pleasure in murder and the death of others. The creatures who live here are mostly human, but elves, dwarves, halflings, and others can also be found hunting each other in the wilds. These humanoids will occasionally band together for survival and to hunt. Despite sometimes lasting for several years, these small groups always end in violence and death. The individuals know it when the groups form. No one dies of old age in Murderfall.
The animals and many plants here are just as violent as the humanoids. Carnivores kill more than they can eat and prey on each other. Herbivores might eat plants, but they charge, bite, and attack any life they have a chance of killing. Huge Venus flytraps, assassin vines, poison-spore-spewing fungi, razorvine, and more make up the dangerous plant life.
More nefarious individuals will often send their enemies to Murderfall. Doing this almost guarantees a person will disappear never to return.
Optional Rule: Seducing Violence
When outsiders enter Murderfall, they must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw. A failed save allows the murderous magic of the plane to take hold of victims’ mind and creatures who fail attack any other living creature they can sense until it dies. Creatures who fail this saving throw can repeat it again at the end of their next turn, ending the effect on a success. Creatures must make a new saving every 24 hours spent on Murderfall. If they leave Murderfall the effect ends. Creatures native to Murderfall are immune to this effect.
There is a strange plane which overlaps with the Material Plane, like the Shadowfell or the Feywild. In Savalization those who are considered savage humanoids on other planes rule the land, while those who would be considered civilized humanoids live in mountain caves, underground caverns, dank swamps, and dark ruins. This strange world is ruled by cultured, well-dressed ogres, gnolls, and more, who try to keep the humans, elves, and other raiding species at bay. Humanoids from other planes who travel to this world are as misunderstood as they are confused. This confusion usually means that few travel to Savalization and most of its natives do not leave the plane for the same reason. On most other planes an ogre is almost always to met with swords and arrows, even if that ogre is a well-spoken fop.
Those outsiders who dare to venture into Savalization can find very rare art and objects created by these unique civilizations. Some brave merchants are making plans to open trade routes to Savalization since the profits could be enormous. Of course one wrong could ignite a planar war that wouldn’t be good for anyone. Savalization’s armies have some of the greatest warriors in the multiverse.
Optional Rule: Savage Species
Whenever an outsider of a normally civilized race (usually those available as PC races, but the ultimate choice lies with the DM) enters Savalization, that creature must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, that creature’s Intelligence and Wisdom scores are lowered by 2 to a minimum of 3 and its Strength and Constitution scores are raised by 2 to a maximum of 24. If the creature leaves Savalization, this effect ends.
Stryfe is an outer plane locked in perpetual war. The rakshasa and the deva fight in a never-ending battle of opposed dichotomies on an infinite sea of dark sky and islands of stormy clouds which create the plane. In this exhaustive war the participants are constantly reborn – sometimes as the beings which they claim to hate the most.
For when deva are slain on Stryfe they are reborn, but if they have lived a wicked life they come back as rakshasa. If rakshasa are slain, they too are reborn, but if their hearts have been changed from evil to good they are reborn as deva. Each side believes that if they are able to fully convert the other, their almighty God, Zaxa, will live again.
Deva have bards who sing at the top of their voices in battles. These bards focus on songs of selfless heroic deeds and the value of good. It is the hope of the deva forces these songs will change the hearts of the rakshasa before their deaths in battle and bring the evil beings back as one of the deva’s own. This tactic rarely works, but it is only one method the deva use to convert their foes. Many defeated rakshasa are taken as prisoners of the deva, confined to small, anti-magic cells, where they are shackled. The deva then engage the rakshasa in a sort of conditioning to try to make them see the light. This tactic has some success, but the rakshasa actually seem to be slowly winning the war.
The rakshasa tactic is very straight forward. They commit acts of atrocious evil against the deva and try to make the deva retaliate in kind. The eternal war has broken the spirit of many deva and some are pushed over the edge by the horrific acts of the rakshasa.
Optional Rule: Reincarnation
When a creature who is not a rakshasa or a deva dies on Stryfe, that creature is immediately affected by a reincarnate spell.
Do You Like ‘Em?
So what do you think of these new planes? Would you use them in your game? Let me know and sound off in the comments below!
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