Chapter 15: Out of This World

Old School Revival at its best?

Moderator: Blacky the Blackball

Post Reply
User avatar
Blacky the Blackball
White Dragon
Posts: 2037
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:47 am
Gender: male
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Chapter 15: Out of This World

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:50 pm

I've been looking forward to this chapter for a while. It's almost entirely setting information rather than rules, so it's therefore going to be mostly original work.

So here's where I get to rabbit on about Celestial Spheres, Luminiferous Aether, and stuff like that...

I'll be building on the stuff from these three threads:

Creating a Spelljammer Compatible Cosmology
Help me with my cosmology!
What's in a name?

I think I'll start with space and other planets (within a sphere), then move on to the inner planes, then outer planes, then the aether and other spheres.
Last edited by Blacky the Blackball on Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
Check out Gurbintroll Games for my free RPGs (including Dark Dungeons and FASERIP)!

(I'm a moderator for "The Orc's Revenge" and its sub-forums. If I need to post anything officially as a mod, rather than just as a user, I'll post it in green.)

User avatar
Blacky the Blackball
White Dragon
Posts: 2037
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:47 am
Gender: male
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Re: [Dark Dungeons] - Chapter 15: Out of This World

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:02 am

So I've wittered on about space for a bit, and included the rules for travelling through wildspace the Void. I'm now on to the inner planes.

These all mirror the prime plane to a greater or lesser extent. The ethereal mirrors it exactly, down to ethereal facsimiles of people walking around, but the elemental planes only match roughly. They have the same basic geographic features such as seas and mountains, but they don't have the same vegetation or buildings or whatever.

I'm following the RC's convention here for the elemental planes in that each one is composed of only a single element, but that element will be in multiple forms that best simulate the other elements that are on the prime plane.

Plane of Air
The ground is made of solid(ish) cloud. The atmosphere is (very windy) air. The seas are made of dry-ice like smoke. The sun is made of balls of lighting.

Plane of Earth
The ground is made of rock and earth. The atmosphere is fine swirling dust. The seas are made of quicksilver. The sun is a glowing crystal.

Plane of Fire
The ground is made of ash and coals. The atmosphere is made of flames. The seas are made of molten metal. The sun is a white hot ball of fire.

Plane of Water
The ground is made of ice. The atmosphere is made of water vapour. The seas are made of water. The sun is a brightly glowing ball of superheated steam.

So I have two questions...

1) The ethereal touches the prime plane directly. Should the elemental planes also touch the prime plane directly, or only touch the ethereal (making one go through the ethereal to get to them)? Also, should the elemental planes be touching each other or just all independently touch the prime plane?

2) What environmental hazards would each of those elemental planes cause?

Off the top of my head, I'm thinking:

Air: Land based movement is slowed because of the squishy ground (like walking through snow or loose sand).

Earth: You can't breathe at all in the dust.

Fire: It's hot, so you take fire damage each round/turn. The brightness of the "air" will blind you.

Water: You can't breathe unless you're a water breather.
Check out Gurbintroll Games for my free RPGs (including Dark Dungeons and FASERIP)!

(I'm a moderator for "The Orc's Revenge" and its sub-forums. If I need to post anything officially as a mod, rather than just as a user, I'll post it in green.)

User avatar
Ashtagon
Hierarch
Posts: 3745
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 5:45 pm
Gender: female
Location: Hillvale, Isle of Dawn
Contact:

Re: [Dark Dungeons] - Chapter 15: Out of This World

Post by Ashtagon » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:26 am

Fire: I thought the usual convention is the seas to be made of lava. Also, I'd drop the "blinding/dazzling" aspect you proposed. That isn't reflected in any of the other versions of the plane I have seen, and it is quite possible for many things to be burning hot without being so bright as to dazzle.

Air: The "seas" could just be areas where the "solid" cloud level drops, and a flat layer of dense conventional cloud exists. Still breathable, but visibility is effectively cut to almost nothing. Just because it is a "sea" doesn't mean to say it has to comply with Earth-physics.

Earth: It'd make more sense for the seas to be quicksand, rather than quicksilver. Quicksilver being a poetic name for the element mercury, after all. I quite like the idea of making Earth some kind of moonscape-like plane, so "vacuum" for air is the way to go, but without the pressure effects. Roving "clouds" of dust with occasionally reduce visibility down to almost nothing at worst to 60-360 feet (more usually).

Water: Who says there needs to be an "air" at all. Just flood the entire plane like it was in Noah's day, and have vacuum at the top - winged flight will be impossible, and most magical forms of flight get converted by the plane into magical swim effects. This also does away with the idea of what air is made of. "Sea level" is merely the point at which water pressure begins to inflict damage.

Connections: I'd have effectively direct connections between the prime and the planes. I believe certain materials mention the idea of wormholes through the ethereal, which as essentially tunnels to these planes that share elements of the prime, ethereal, and the plane in question. What's the difference between an arbitrary short wormhole and a direct portal any way. Direct links between the elemental planes aren't really needed, although spells could allow for it.
Emma Rome, otherwise known as Ashtagon
Image
Overall site admin for The Piazza. My moderator colour is pink!

User avatar
Blacky the Blackball
White Dragon
Posts: 2037
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:47 am
Gender: male
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Re: [Dark Dungeons] - Chapter 15: Out of This World

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:59 am

Ashtagon wrote:Fire: I thought the usual convention is the seas to be made of lava. Also, I'd drop the "blinding/dazzling" aspect you proposed. That isn't reflected in any of the other versions of the plane I have seen, and it is quite possible for many things to be burning hot without being so bright as to dazzle.
Good idea about the lava - I don't know how that slipped my mind. You may be right about the blinding too. The heat is already enough to put off casual visitors, so the blinding is overkill.
Air: The "seas" could just be areas where the "solid" cloud level drops, and a flat layer of dense conventional cloud exists. Still breathable, but visibility is effectively cut to almost nothing. Just because it is a "sea" doesn't mean to say it has to comply with Earth-physics.
I think we're both talking of the same thing here. I only invoked dry-ice as a way of describing the look of it - I didn't mean it actually was carbon dioxide, and I'm the last person to try to invoke real-world physics in my setting(s).
Earth: It'd make more sense for the seas to be quicksand, rather than quicksilver. Quicksilver being a poetic name for the element mercury, after all. I quite like the idea of making Earth some kind of moonscape-like plane, so "vacuum" for air is the way to go, but without the pressure effects. Roving "clouds" of dust with occasionally reduce visibility down to almost nothing at worst to 60-360 feet (more usually).
I don't like the quicksand idea - I originally thought of mud or quicksand but the problem with those is that they are both inherently wet and the whole idea is that there is no water, only elemental earth acting like water. A fine dry silt might work better than mercury, though.

I'm unsure about the vacuum aspect. There's already lots of vacuum in the system when flying between worlds; and we'd end up with two very different sets of rules for the same thing. I'd rather have a constant dust-storm than a vacuum with an occasional dust-storm.
Water: Who says there needs to be an "air" at all. Just flood the entire plane like it was in Noah's day, and have vacuum at the top - winged flight will be impossible, and most magical forms of flight get converted by the plane into magical swim effects. This also does away with the idea of what air is made of. "Sea level" is merely the point at which water pressure begins to inflict damage.
Actually, the setting says there needs to be an "air". The whole point is that each of the elemental planes is a copy of the prime plane in terms of geography, and that it mirrors the structure of the prime plane as best it can - so each needs to have an air-equivalent, earth-equivalent, fire-equivalent and water-equivalent.
Connections: I'd have effectively direct connections between the prime and the planes.
Yeah, I think I agree. It's just too fiddly trying to squish the ethereal between them - yet making it mirror the prime plane rather than any of the elemental ones.
I believe certain materials mention the idea of wormholes through the ethereal, which as essentially tunnels to these planes that share elements of the prime, ethereal, and the plane in question. What's the difference between an arbitrary short wormhole and a direct portal any way.
There are game-mechanics implications. Any two planes can be connected by one or more Gate spells, but the Travel spell (BECMI and Dark Dungeons' equivalent of Plane Shift) can only take you to a plane that is touching the one you are on.
Check out Gurbintroll Games for my free RPGs (including Dark Dungeons and FASERIP)!

(I'm a moderator for "The Orc's Revenge" and its sub-forums. If I need to post anything officially as a mod, rather than just as a user, I'll post it in green.)

User avatar
Ashtagon
Hierarch
Posts: 3745
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 5:45 pm
Gender: female
Location: Hillvale, Isle of Dawn
Contact:

Re: [Dark Dungeons] - Chapter 15: Out of This World

Post by Ashtagon » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:04 pm

Blacky the Blackball wrote:
Earth: It'd make more sense for the seas to be quicksand, rather than quicksilver. Quicksilver being a poetic name for the element mercury, after all. I quite like the idea of making Earth some kind of moonscape-like plane, so "vacuum" for air is the way to go, but without the pressure effects. Roving "clouds" of dust with occasionally reduce visibility down to almost nothing at worst to 60-360 feet (more usually).
I don't like the quicksand idea - I originally thought of mud or quicksand but the problem with those is that they are both inherently wet and the whole idea is that there is no water, only elemental earth acting like water. A fine dry silt might work better than mercury, though.
I was referring to the semi-fictional dry quicksand here.
Water: Who says there needs to be an "air" at all. Just flood the entire plane like it was in Noah's day, and have vacuum at the top - winged flight will be impossible, and most magical forms of flight get converted by the plane into magical swim effects. This also does away with the idea of what air is made of. "Sea level" is merely the point at which water pressure begins to inflict damage.
Actually, the setting says there needs to be an "air". The whole point is that each of the elemental planes is a copy of the prime plane in terms of geography, and that it mirrors the structure of the prime plane as best it can - so each needs to have an air-equivalent, earth-equivalent, fire-equivalent and water-equivalent.
What I meant here was that what primes think of as water is what water elementals think of as air, and what primes think of as "water under dangerously high pressure" is what water elementals think of as water.
Emma Rome, otherwise known as Ashtagon
Image
Overall site admin for The Piazza. My moderator colour is pink!

User avatar
Blacky the Blackball
White Dragon
Posts: 2037
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:47 am
Gender: male
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Re: [Dark Dungeons] - Chapter 15: Out of This World

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:52 pm

I've finished this chapter now and uploaded it, as usual, to here.

It felt a bit weird writing this one, because there was practically no mechanics for me to port over or copy. I was simply wittering on describing stuff that was totally my own invention. In the end I went for something in-between my original thoughts and Ashtagon's ideas when it came to the elemental planes.
Check out Gurbintroll Games for my free RPGs (including Dark Dungeons and FASERIP)!

(I'm a moderator for "The Orc's Revenge" and its sub-forums. If I need to post anything officially as a mod, rather than just as a user, I'll post it in green.)

User avatar
Ashtagon
Hierarch
Posts: 3745
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 5:45 pm
Gender: female
Location: Hillvale, Isle of Dawn
Contact:

Re: [Dark Dungeons] - Chapter 15: Out of This World

Post by Ashtagon » Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:15 pm

Example: The Game Master has decided that the campaign is primarily set on a planet the size of Earth—a spherical planet of approximately 8,000 miles radius. In theory, the gravity envelope of this planet would therefore also be spherical and stretch 8,000 miles in every direction. However, gravity envelopes cannot be more than 50 miles deep, so instead it spherical and stretches 50 miles in every direction.
I'm pretty sure Earth is about 8000 miles in diameter.
Emma Rome, otherwise known as Ashtagon
Image
Overall site admin for The Piazza. My moderator colour is pink!

User avatar
Blacky the Blackball
White Dragon
Posts: 2037
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:47 am
Gender: male
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Re: [Dark Dungeons] - Chapter 15: Out of This World

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:43 pm

Ashtagon wrote:
Example: The Game Master has decided that the campaign is primarily set on a planet the size of Earth—a spherical planet of approximately 8,000 miles radius. In theory, the gravity envelope of this planet would therefore also be spherical and stretch 8,000 miles in every direction. However, gravity envelopes cannot be more than 50 miles deep, so instead it spherical and stretches 50 miles in every direction.
I'm pretty sure Earth is about 8000 miles in diameter.
Good catch!

It's the word "radius" that's wrong, not the numbers.
Check out Gurbintroll Games for my free RPGs (including Dark Dungeons and FASERIP)!

(I'm a moderator for "The Orc's Revenge" and its sub-forums. If I need to post anything officially as a mod, rather than just as a user, I'll post it in green.)

Post Reply

Return to “Dark Dungeons”