|#1ZardnaarApr 15, 2007 2:12:30||Heres some rules I've been working on that I wanted to put in my hopefully soon to be PLayers Guide to Athas thread. I've tried to update the planes in 3.5 format while not contradicting any 2nd ed sources. Essentially I made Atahs have its own cosmology buut the Great Wheel can be reached if you can breach the Gray. Essentially the gray surrounds the planes of Athas cutting off divine conduits and access to the great wheel. Athasian elemental planes are also different than the Great Wheels elemental planes and seem tied to the fate of Athas itself. I'm not sure if I'm happy with the Paraelemental planeshaving 2 dominant elemental traits so I might have to tweak them.|
Athas has its own cosmology and is separate form the Great Wheel cosmology that unifies the traditional D&D universe. The Athasian crystal sphere is cut off from the rest of the universe and Spelljamming ships are unable to reach Athas. The following planes are known to exist.
3. Astral Planes
4. Elemental Plane of Fire
5. Elemental Plane of Earth
6. Elemental Plane of Water
7. Elemental Plane of Air
8. Paraelemental Plane of Magma
9. Paraelemental Plane of Silt
10. Paraelemental Plane of Sun
11. Paraelemental Plane or Rain
14. The Void
Athas has no true outer planes. The Gray surrounds the Athasian cosmology and impedes travel in either direction. To penetrate the Gray a spellcaster or psionic character must find an area where the Gray is weak and the walls between realities are thin. Such a search takes 3d6 days and requires a DC 30 knowledge: planes check. Once such a location is found a spell or power like Planeshift or Gate must be used and a DC 40 spellcraft or psicraft check must be made to breach the Gray. Failure indicates the character is stuck in The Gray. Success will allow a character to appear either in the Astral or Ethereal plane of the Great Wheel cosmology. The positive and negative planes do not exist but sections of other planes are either positive or negative dominant and this energy may be drawn upon by Athasians. In general positive dominant areas are found on the elemental and paraelemental planes while negative dominant areas are found in The Black and The Gray.
The Black is similar to the Plane of Shadow in the regular DnD cosmology. The Black is more or less exactly that- a plane of darkness and shadow. Spells with the shadow descriptor draw their energy from The Black. Parts of The Black are either major or minor negative energy dominant. While very rare small pocket of the plane are positive energy dominant. Plant life although not really recognizable to Athasians does exist here and Athasian wizards can draw on that energy to power their spells. Hidden at the bottom of The Black is the Hollow which is an impenetrable cocoon and it forms Rajaats prison. Another section of The Black is known as The Void and it shares the same traits as the Negative Energy Plane as described on page 157 of the Dungeon Masters Guide.
Subjective directional gravity.
Magically morphic. Certain spells (those with the shadow descriptor, those that draw on the Black) modify the base material of the Black. The utility and power of these spells within the Black make them particularly useful for explorers and natives alike.
Cold aligned: The dark nature of the Black brings numbing cold to all who visit. Without proper protections, creatures within the Black must make a Fortitude check every round (DC 20). Those who fail their save take 1d4 points of Strength damage, 1d6 non-lethal damage, and are numbed for one round. Those that make their save take 1 point of Strength damage, and 1 point of non-lethal damage. Creatures immune to cold, and those that have cold resistance of 10 or greater do not need to make these checks.
Enhanced magic. Spells with the shadow descriptor are enhanced when within the Black. Such spells are cast as though they were prepared with the Maximize Spell feat, though they don’t require the higher spell slots.
Furthermore, specific spells become more powerful on the Black. Shadow conjuration and shadow evocation spells are 30% as powerful as the conjurations and evocations they mimic (as opposed to 20%). Greater shadow conjuration and greater shadow evocation are 70% as powerful (not 60%), and a shades spell conjures at 90% of the power of the original (not 80%).
Impeded magic. Spells that use or generate light or fire may fizzle when cast within the Black. A spellcaster attempting a spell with the light or fire descriptor must succeed on a Spellcraft check (DC 20 + the level of the spell). Spells that produce light are less effective in general, because all light sources have their ranges halved within the Black.
The Athasian Astral plane is identical to the Astral pLane described on page 154 of the Dungeon Masters Guide. However it is even more empty than the Great Wheels Astral plane with inhabitants being very rare. A few small outposts of Githyanki have managed to cross the planar barrier of The Gray and are essentially marooned in the Athasian Astral cut off form the Lich Queen and they have no red dragon mounts with them. A few Githyanki have reached Athas and are currently looking for a remote area to establish a fortress so Githyanki young can reach maturity since the Astral is ageless. Defiling and preserving magic does not function on the Astral and plant life is rare. However the planar energies of the plane seem to allow wizards to be able to cast spells here.
The Elemental Planes
The elemental planes of Athas reflect the world of Athas itself. They appear to be in retreat and are threatened by the paraelemental planes. Here and there parts of the planes are positive dominant or very rarely negative dominant. Like Athas itself survival here can be difficult. Plant life adapted to the enviroment does exist in some form on the elemental planes but the DM can rule in particuly harsh conditions plant life may not exist to power arcane magic.
The Elemental Plane of Fire.
The Elemental Plane of Fire shares the same traits as described on page 156 of the Dungeon Masters Guide. However the Athasian Elemental Plane of Fire isn't as vibrant as the normal one. The flames here are a dull red in colour and rivers of liquid magma and flame are sluggish. The terrain is reasonably bleak and featureless although gouts of flame shoot up from the ground. In the distance great fires the size of mountains flare up but burn off in a day or twot. The plane eventually gives way to the Paraelemental Plane of Sun and rivers of surging magma threaten to swamp the plane near the border with the Paraelemental Plane of Magma.
The Basalt Fortress.
The Basalt Fortress is exactly that. It is a series of massive black keeps stretching over five miles in length perched on the side of a range of mountains. A particuly intelligent primal elemental has gathered a huge army of elementals here and is preparing for a metaphysical assault on the Paraelemental Plane of Magma. The elemental has made an alliance with a similar being on the elemental plane of earth. It is only a matter of time before the alliance launches a massive assault on the Paraelemental Plane of Magma. The war should shake up the elemental planes themselves as vast quantities of proto elemental matter are hurled against each other.
Elemental Plane of Earth.
The Elemental Plane of Earth shares the same traits as described on page 155 of the Dungeon Masters Guide. There is no Great Dismal Delve however and visitors have no risk of suffocation. The Elemental Plane of Earth is a vast desert full of massive mountains and jagged outcrops of rock. Strange rock islands some the size of small continents float in the sky and are perhaps home to fortresses of elemental creatures. The ground is riddled with tunnels and it is rumored in the deepest holdings guarded by elemental creatures veins of metal ore may be found. The planar borders are slowly melting from the advances of rivers of magma or the encroaching ocean of silt.
The Iron Pit
The Pit of Iron is a large open cast mine worked by several hundred slave. Iron is rare on Athas and only one known mine near Tyr exists on the planet. With the fall of Kalak several of his former minions fled Tyr and ended up on the Elemental plane of Earth by mistake via a one way portal now buried in the Ringing Mountains. Lead by a Templar who calls himself Steel (LE Dwarven Male Tem 16) they managed to locate a vein of iron ore and have established an iron mine here run by slave labour. The slavers numbering around 100 have finally managed to gain the ability to return to Athas with their first exported cargo from the Pit.
Steel has regained his spellcasting ability and claims to be Kalaks heir as he is the only Templar Kalak grants spells to since his demise. It is unknown if it is actually Kalak granting Steel his powers or if it is another Sorceror King perhaps Dregoth posing as Kalak. Perhap Steel has found a way to channel the remnants of his Kings power. In any even he has struck a deal with the powers that be of the Elemental Plane of Earth and is supplying them with magic for the upcoming offensive againt the Paraelemental Plane of Magma.
Elemental Plane of Water
The Elemental Plane of Water has the same traits as described on the Compared to Athas the Elemental Plane of Water is a paradise. The plane is a vast shallow ocean full of sandbars and small verdant islands. However out of all the elemental planes the water one has been worst effected by its link with Athas. The shallow ocean is all that is left of what should be an entire plane of water. Only in the few remaining underwater trenches does the water reach more than several hundred feet deep. Powerful clerics, druids and preservers are known to have made their homes here seeking a way to restore the plane. Aquatic creatures long extinct on Athas also make their home here and the realm bears a resemblence to the Blue Age of Athas. The planar borders are being choked with silt or give way to the violent storms of the Paraelemental plane of Rain.
Thelasku-Kor is a large town of around 5000 inhabitants on a island in the Elemental PLane of Water. It is a strange looking organic town situated along an atol. Over 3000 years ago Rajaat drew upon the power of the sun to empower his champions for the upcoming cleansing wars. The sun changed colour and became the dark sun familar to modern Athasians today. In Thamasku a powerful cleric of water and prophet named Rimmu-Sal had dreams about the destruction about to be inflicted on Athas. Gathering his followers which included some powerful life shapers he opened a gate to the Elemental Plane of Water he founded Thelasku Kor. In the intervening millenia due to the more benighn enviroment the halflings have managed to rediscover aspects of their lost life shaping arts. While still a pale shadow compared to their blue age powers the halflings of Thelasku-Kor are more advanced than the their kin at Thamasku. In many ways the Halfings of Thelasku-Kor live as their ancestors did in the Blue Age of Athas although they don't have the ancient Halflings power and they lead a simple life.. Lifeshaped boats travel the seas surrounding Thelesku-Kor. Powerful lifeshapers have grown residences for themselves on the reefs. Thelasku-Kor is one of the most serene places in all of the planes.
Elemental Plane of Air
The Elemental Plane of Air has the same traits as described on page 155 of the Dungeon Masters Guide. The elemental plane of air is a vast void of nothingness filled with clouds and gentle breezes. Ever now and then the plane manages to bring the winds up to hurricane levels before slowing down into almost a still torpor. Elemental matter from other planes is rare here but decent size islands of elemental earth float through the infinate sky along with solid cloud islands. The subjective gravity of the plane can let beings fall to another island and land safely. It is believed the Wind Mages managed to hide some lost lore here hidden in a storehouse on a flaoting island somewhere on this plane. The plane gives way to rainclouds and the a vacumn of eternal sunlight.
Azarian was a former apprentice of Rajaats who was dismissed as his master had no further use for him. A powerful preserver he was a mentor for wizards of that type and founded several magic academies during the Age of Magic on Athas. He was also a mutated by the Pristine Tower and while he looked like a normal human he was ageless and looked like a man in his early forties. He was a founding member of the Wind Mages and survived Rajaats preserver purge in the lead up to the Cleansing Wars. During the Cleansing Wars he retired to a fortress known as Azarians Hold on the Elemental Plane of Air. Azarians hold is a duplicate of Dasaraches perched on a floating outcrop of rock. He tried to oppose Rajaats champions form here in a subtle way manipulating events from afar. Towards the end of the wars he realized he had failed and went to confront Rajaat in the Pristine Tower as he believed he knew his former master well enough to defeat him. Azarian never returned but he may have weakened Rajaat enough for the his champions to defeat him when they revolted against him.
Before he left he sealed his hold behind him. It is currently enclosed by a permanent cyclone on the Elemental Plane of Air. The cyclone has several elemental monoliths bound to it to guard Azarians Hold. Even if one manages to reache the Hold it has been warded so that psionics and spells don't work here without a token that negates the wards. Finally Azarian left a guardian here a man called Jorak Kandrell. Jorak is a level 10 Fighter/14 Planar Champion and is a veteran of the Cleansing Wars and wields weapons and armor of that era. Like Azarian he appears to be immortal and he has a token that allows him to use his abilities in the Hold. He guards Azarians revenge on Rajaat and his Champions. Sealed in an extra planar space behind heavy wards in the depths of the fortress lies Azarians greatest secret. His hold contains magically preserves corpes and body parts of all of the cleansed races suitable for cloning or if intact raising or ressurection. Should Athas ever be restored it was his intent to repopulate the world with the cleansed Races.
The Paraelemental Planes
The Paraelemental planes are quite hostile to normal life. Normal resources are scarce and the elemental nature of the planes themselves are quite hostile to most material plane life. The DM may rule that defiling and preserving generally don't work due to the absence of plant life except perhaps in rare circumstances.
The Paraelemental Plane of Magma
The Paraelemental Plane of Magma has the following traits. Traits are found on page 147-150 of the Dungeon Masters Guide and have been shortened below.
Earth and Fire dominant.
Enhanced Magic. Earth and Fire.
Impeded Magic. Water and Air
The Paraelemental Plane of Magma fits the classic image of hell although the average Athasian has no concept of hell. The plane is an endless expanse of volcanoes vomiting rivers of magma while poisonous gases fill the air. Vast seas and oceans of liquid magma surge across the landscape Any visitor has to contend with suffocation due to the unbreathable atmosphere assuming one could survie the relentless heat of the plane. Native life is rare and is limited to elemental creatures able to survive here. The only real reason to visit is because the plane is reasonably rich in mineral wealth if someone can somehow extract it or trade for it. Arcane magic using life energy doesn't work here except in rare locations where visitors have been able to create pockets of terrain similar to the prime material.
The Paraelemental Plane of Silt
The Paraelemental plane of Silt has the following traits.
Earth and Water dominant
Enhanced Magic Earth and Water
Impeded Magic Fire and Air
The Paraelemental Plane of Silt looks like the Sea of Silt on Athas although its an unending ocean of silt. The surface of the plane is effectivly an air pocket and only in the silt do you need to worry about the risk of suffocation. The silt however is thicker than on Athas and one can swim in it if you could overcome the problem of suffocation. Thankfully if you're not in the Silt breathing isn't a problem although solid land is rare here. Small outcroppings of rock break up the silt. Scattered through out the silt are rare islands that are often quite fertile and are home to various creatures that would typically live on similar islands on Athas itself.
The Paraelemental Plane of Sun
The Paraelemental Plane of Sun has the following planar traits.
Air and Fire Dominant
Subjective directional gravity
Enhanced Magic Air and Fires
Impeded Magic Earth and Water
The Paraelemental Plane of Sun is a great sky filled with a golden carpet of clouds whose eternal sun is bakes the air. Wind doesn't dare disturb the clouds and the sun shines down on the clouds and you can actually see the golden rays. The plane is quite inhospitable and there only solid surface is the clouds. The intense heat here tends to immolate or drive off visitors without magic protection against fire or a natural immunity to fire. There are no plants here to draw arcane energy from. The rare visitor to this plane has reported sighting of a castle floating in the clouds of ancient design although none have returned who have gone to investigate it.
The Paraelemental Plane of Rain
The Paraelemental Plane of Rain has the following traits.
Air and Water Dominant
Subjective directional gravity
Enhanced Magic: Air and Water
Impeded Magic: Earth and Fire
The Paraelemental Plane of Rain is a plane of eternall strorms. Violent winds lash rain onto the ground below while lightning strikes blow crater sized holes in the mud. Here and there the water has pooled into vast seas with raging hurricanes whipping through them. Athasian planar experts and Cleric of Rain have a theory that the Cerulean Storm is actually planar energy leaking from the Paraelemental plane of rain. If true the Cerulean Storm may be Athas salvation or final destruction if a planar rift engulfs the planet.
The Gray is Athas plane of the dead, here spirits go to linger before finally they merge with the plane itself. Undead are also common on the plane due to the nature of the plane. Necromancers are fond of the plane due to the amount of negative energy here. Visitors here find it impossible to draw upon life energy to cast arcane spells here and either have to have an alternate power source or use magical items. The quick witted may make DC 25 spellcraft checks to learn they can power their spells using their own lifeforce here. Casting magic in this way deals 1 hit point of damage per level of the spell used. Any spell that requires the ethereal plane on Athas taps into the Gray instead although the spell functions normally. The Gray impedes planar travel and it is quite difficult to bypass. Those who make it past generally end up in either the ethereal plane or astral plane of the great wheel cosmology. The Gray impedes travel both ways however and Athas can only be reached from the Great Wheel cosmology by using the relevent spell or Psionic power at certain points in the Astral and Ethereal planes. It is also believed that the Planar Gate beneath Giustenal is also capable of breaching The Gray.
|#2brun01Apr 15, 2007 8:12:33||I would suggest contacting cnahumck, he is also working with the Athasian planes conversion and has some good ideas about it.|
|#3GrummoreApr 15, 2007 10:46:30||On my web site, I have a document about athasian cosmology.|
I didnt do it, but here it is :
|#4monastyrskiApr 15, 2007 11:15:12|
|#5KamelionApr 15, 2007 12:04:16||I see no problem with mentioning the Great Wheel cosmology. After all, previous DS material has done so (City by the Silt Sea explicitly mentions Baator and the Blood War, for example, along with a number of other references elsewhere) and there's no need to change the established DS setting just because the Forgotten Realms or Dragonlance changed. The status of Dark Sun is not dependent upon the status of the Forgotten Realms and it should stand on its own merits and established precedence. To my thinking, a product needs to cater to the baseline to have broad appeal. Individual DMs can change whatever they want, but the core product should be true to the setting as it exists.|
|#6ZardnaarApr 15, 2007 14:23:40||Well I tried not to contradict already published material. I could replae reference to the great wheel with references to different planes and worlds or something to that effect.|
|#7ZardnaarApr 18, 2007 5:48:21||Aw c'mon it took me a few hours to do this. Feedback please eve negative is fine.|
"You suck Z"
See not that hard.
|#8cnahumckApr 18, 2007 7:33:00||you don't suck. more feedback to come.|
|#9elonarcApr 18, 2007 8:34:28|
"You suck Z"
Distinctive lack of Pokémons. Not approved.
|#10brun01Apr 18, 2007 8:51:21||The Athasian pikachu could be an outsider native to the paraelemental plane of Rain! :D|
|#11kalthandrixApr 18, 2007 10:07:09|
Athas has no true outer planes. The Gray surrounds the Athasian cosmology and impedes travel in either direction. To penetrate the Gray a spellcaster or psionic character must make a DC 35 + level of spell/power used spellcraft or psicraft check to pass through. Failure indicates the character is stuck in The Gray. Success will allow a character to appear either in the Astral or Ethereal plane of the Great Wheel cosmology. The positive and negative planes do not exist but sections of other planes are either positive or negative dominant and this energy may be drawn upon by Athasians. In general positive dominant areas are found on the elemental and paraelemental planes while negative dominant areas are found in The Black and The Gray.
See comment below about negative energy.
Also - I would make the check higher and have it be a caster/manifester check - it would have to do with the persons power vs. their knowledge IMO. The reason I would make the check higher is because the only known way to travel past the barrier cutting Athas off is the Planar Gate - which is a major artifact. I think a minumum of a caster/manifester check of 60 would be approperate - it could be easier from the outside, but people on Athas would not know that.
The only problem I have with this is the negative energy - now I do not recall what the P&D book says - but I am pretty sure that Negative energy is a produce of the Gray for Athas - so stating that necromancers draw their power from the Black is wrong - the necro wizard PrC in the APX1 specifically states that their power for spells comes from the Gray and 99% of the undead creatures I have seen also have the connection to the Gray.
The Paraelemental Plane of Sun
A golden carpet of clouds - really? In reading the EAFW material about sun clerics - their mandate is to kind of destroy everything that hinders the rays of the sun - and isn't that what clouds do. I would almost want to make this plane as being an endless, perfectly flat landscape of rock-hard, baked earth - without the silghtest bit of plant life or shelter from the unrelenting rays of an enormous sun that never moves.
I do not think it should be a check that includes spell level to find out if you realize a wizard can use the spirit energy to power their spells - a straight spellcraft check DC 20 seems fine to me.
Aside from my comments above and a few spelling/grammer errors - I think it is good stuff. :D
|#12j0ltApr 18, 2007 10:58:42||Sorry Z, you know more about this than I do. I'd like to get a deeper understanding of the Grey/undead relationship though. Which book should I be looking in for that?|
|#13brun01Apr 18, 2007 12:48:24||Don't forget to add sample sites for each plane, like DMG does.|
|#14xlorepdarkhelm_dupApr 18, 2007 14:04:14|
Not quite correct. Necromancers don't get their power from the Black, but rather from the Grey. There's a whole other alternative branch of arcane magic energy usage that deals with the Black.
|#15ZardnaarApr 18, 2007 16:18:22|
Don't forget to add sample sites for each plane, like DMG does.
I'm getting there. Ok I'll change the necromancer descriptions fromthe Black to the Gray. Kalthandrix the description for the Paraelemental PLane of Sun was based on the description in Earth, Air, Fire, Water from 2nd edition. I'm happ to rewrite it though if the consensus wants a different description. Also the void of the plane of sun reflects its air half as well. I've made it a DC 40 check to breach the Gray. While high it allows the Githyanki access to Athas and most PCs would have to be evel 15+ to make that check. Most Athasians wouldn't have much concept of another cosmology existing and I would imagine planeswalking Athasians don't really exist that much anyway. Divine spellcasters are going to visit the elemental planes while the hostility of most of the planes makes plant based arcane spellcasting difficult if not impossable for defilers/preservers giving them little incentive to leave Athas. Finally as the rules are written you would still require a rod tuned to another plane to planeshift there so a gate spell or effect is really your best hope to leave Athas.
I'm not to sure about making the paraelemental planes dominant in elemental trait as the DMG rules state. The Athasian planes are different than the Great Wheel and look like extreme parts of Athas rather than an infinate amount of elemental matter.
|#16elonarcApr 18, 2007 16:54:05|
The Athasian planes are different than the Great Wheel and look like extreme parts of Athas rather than an infinate amount of elemental matter.
Now you're talking. No Pokémons detected (yet!), but still (miraculously) approved.
|#17ravengraygemApr 18, 2007 21:31:47||I like it quite a bit. Seems very well thought out, with pretty good attention to detail. The only thing I'm curious about is whether or not there's a definitive answer to Athas and travel between other planes and worlds.|
I mean, as written and seemingly intended, there isn't and that's a hard rule. But the few Dark Sun materials I own, and what I've read here and there seem to indicate that
1) Such connections do exist;
2) They're exceedingly rare;
3) They're hard to find and harder to open.
So which exactly is it?
|#18ZardnaarApr 19, 2007 0:29:00|
I like it quite a bit. Seems very well thought out, with pretty good attention to detail. The only thing I'm curious about is whether or not there's a definitive answer to Athas and travel between other planes and worlds.
3. DGo to the relevent plane DC 30 knowledge planes check, DC 40 spellcraft/psicraft check to force a breach.
Of course its only a "house rule" but my material here will eventually be incorporated into my Players Guide to Athas thread I'm starting soon.
|#19urial_angel_of_deathApr 24, 2007 16:43:25||One kit-pick is that according to "Defilers and Perservers" it is the Black that cuts off planar travel no the Grey.|
Also the wizards that draw off of the black are call Shadow Wizards. They draw energy from the plane's energy itself not its plant life.
|#20xlorepdarkhelm_dupApr 24, 2007 17:08:35|
One kit-pick is that according to "Defilers and Perservers" it is the Black that cuts off planar travel no the Grey.
That's one of the multitude of inconsistencies in the old materials. Other books claim the Grey. In fact, if memory serves, even D&P states both cases -- in some parts it claims the Black, in other parts, it claims the Grey.
Also the wizards that draw off of the black are call Shadow Wizards. They draw energy from the plane's energy itself not its plant life.
|#21cnahumckApr 24, 2007 18:30:09||Zardnaar, PM me so I can get your email. I am working on this stuff myself.|
|#22ZardnaarApr 24, 2007 18:32:38|
Zardnaar, PM me so I can get your email. I am working on this stuff myself.
|#23cnahumckApr 24, 2007 19:20:26||check your email, then, buddy.|
|#24ZardnaarApr 24, 2007 21:44:02|
check your email, then, buddy.
Sent you a reply. Added some locations to the elemental planes.
|#25cnahumckApr 24, 2007 21:49:30||got it.|
|#26brun01Apr 25, 2007 7:21:28||Keep me on the loop as well, please :D|