Posts Tagged ‘planes’

No this post is not about your favorite WB show. This is about one of my favorite sections of the fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide. Charms are a special boon that can be tapped a few times to give a creature a an extra ability before wearing off. Mechanically, they’re like potions that are carried and activated internally.

Unlike blessings, charms are not permanent. After a specific number of uses or short period of time they’re used up. Charms are gained by interacting with the magical places, creatures, and items.

Specifically in Exploration Age most charms are gained by spending time in a planar overlap zone. Checkout the excerpt from the upcoming Exploration Age Campaign Guide below to see the charms available in my setting.

Speaking of charms, do you like these charm bracelets? You can buy these and a bunch of other great pieces of jewelry and gaming accessories made of dice from Eclectic Eccentricities by Bella Rose.

Overlap Charms

Any creature native to the Material Plane who takes a long rest in an overlap zone has a chance of gaining a charm at the end of their rest. A creature’s alignment can increase its chance of gaining a charm depending on the overlap zone in which it is resting. Use the table and charm descriptions below when PCs take an extended rest in an overlap zone. Remember any creatures they come across who live in the zone may also have the benefit of a charm.

Plane Charm LG NG CG LN N CN LE NE CE
Acheron Charm of Victorious Armor 20% 10% 5% 30% 20% 10% 30% 20% 10%
Arboria Charm of Plant Talking 20% 30% 40% 10% 20% 30% 0% 5% 10%
Arcadia Charm of Disease Removal 30% 20% 10% 30% 20% 10% 20% 10% 5%
The Abyss Charm of Good Annihilation 0% 5% 10% 10% 20% 30% 20% 30% 40%
The Beastlands Charm of Conjuring Animals 20% 30% 30% 10% 20% 20% 5% 10% 10%
The Blood Fields Charm of Radiant Resistance 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 30%
Bytopia Charm of Extra Attacks 30% 30% 20% 20% 20% 10% 10% 10% 5%
Carceri Charm of Fear 5% 10% 10% 10% 20% 20% 20% 30% 30%
Elysium Charm of Healing 30% 40% 30% 10% 20% 10% 0% 5% 0%
Feywild Charm of Beast Speech 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50%
Gehenna Charm of Deceptive Speech 10% 10% 5% 20% 20% 10% 30% 30% 20%
Hades Charm of Death’s Animation 0% 5% 0% 10% 20% 10% 30% 40% 30%
Limbo Charm of Chaotic Energy 5% 10% 30% 0% 20% 40% 5% 10% 30%
Mechanus Charm of Murderous Efficiency 30% 10% 5% 40% 20% 0% 30% 10% 5%
Mount Celestia Charm of Evil Annihilation 40% 30% 20% 30% 20% 10% 10% 5% 0%
Murderfall Charm of Slaying 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 30%
The Nine Hells Charm of Fiery Resistance 10% 5% 0% 30% 20% 10% 40% 30% 20%
Pandemonium Charm of Madness Infliction 5% 10% 20% 10% 20% 30% 10% 20% 30%
Plane of Air Charm of Flight 40% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40%
Plane of Earth Charm of Meld into Stone 40% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40%
Plane of Fire Charm of Fiery Wrath 40% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40%
Plane of Water Charm of Water Breathing 40% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40%
Savalization Charm of Savagery 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50%
Shadowfell Charm of Death Speech 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50%
Stryfe Charm of Reincarnation 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 30%
Ysgard Charm of Slayer’s Healing 10% 20% 30% 10% 20% 30% 5% 10% 20%

Charm of Animal Conjuring. As an action you can cast conjure animals. Once used 3 times, this charm disappears.

Charm of Beast Speech. You can talk to beasts as if you are effected by the speak with animals spell. This effect lasts 9 days and then the charm disappears.

Charm of Chaotic Energy. This charm has 3 charges. As an action you can expend 1 charge to cast fireball, lightning bolt, sleet storm, or stinking cloud. Once all the charges are expended, this charm disappears.

Charm of Death’s Animation. As an action you can cast animate dead. Once used 3 times, this charm disappears.

Charm of Death Speech. As an action you can cast speak with dead. Once used 3 times, this charm disappears.

Charm of Deceptive Speech. You have advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks made while lying. This effect lasts 9 days and then the charm disappears.

Charm of Disease Removal. As an action you touch a creature suffering from a disease and it is cured of its disease. Once used 3 times, this charm disappears.

Charm of Evil Annihilation. When you deal damage to evil-aligned creatures they take an extra 1d6 radiant damage. This charm lasts for 3 days and then disappears.

Charm of Extra Attacks. As a bonus action you can make a melee or ranged attack. Once used 10 times, this charm disappears.

Charm of Fear. As an action you can cast fear. Once used 3 times, this charm disappears.

Charm of Fiery Resistance. You are resistant to fire damage. This charm lasts for 9 days and then disappears.

Charm of Fiery Wrath. As an action you can cast the fireball spell. Once used 3 times, this charm disappears.

Charm of Flight. As an action you cast flight on yourself. Once used 3 times, this charm disappears.

Charm of Good Annihilation. When you deal damage to good-aligned creatures they take an extra 1d6 necrotic damage. This charm lasts for 3 days and then disappears.

Charm of Healing. As an action you regain 3d8 + 5 hit points. Once used 3 times, this charm disappears.

Charm of Madness Infliction. As an action one creature you see must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or gain a random form of short-term madness. Once used 3 times, this charm disappears.

Charm of Meld into Stone. As an action you cast meld into stone on yourself. Once used 3 times, this charm disappears.

Charm of Murderous Efficiency. When you drop a chaotic-aligned creature to 0 hit points with a spell or attack you gain 5 temporary hit points. This effect lasts 9 days and then the charm disappears.

Charm of Plant Talking. This charm has 6 charges. As an action you can expend charges to cast entangle (2 charges) or speak with plants (3 charges). Once all the charges are expended, this charm disappears.

Charm of Radiant Resistance. You are resistant to radiant damage. This charm lasts for 9 days and then disappears.

Charm of Reincarnation. The next time you die this charm casts the reincarnate spell on you. Once used, this charm disappears.

Charm of Savagery. When you hit with an attack you can use this charm to deal an extra 3d8 damage of the attack’s type. Once used 3 times, this charm disappears.

Charm of Slayer’s Healing. Whenever you reduce a creature to 0 hit points, you regain 5 hit points.  This charm lasts for 9 days and then disappears.

Charm of Slaying. When you score a critical hit you roll all of the attack’s damage dice three times and add them together with any modifiers to calculate damage. After scoring three critical hits with this charm, it disappears.

Charm of Victorious Armor. As an action you gain 20 temporary hit points. Once used 3 times, this charm disappears.

Charm of Water Breathing. As an action you cast water breathing on yourself. Once used 3 times, this charm disappears.

PDF! PDF! PDF!

Longtime followers of the blog probably knew this was coming. If you want just the charms to have and hold forever, they’ll live in the link below and on the Free Game Resources section of this site. If you haven’t checked out the offerings there, please do so. Monsters, magic items, mounts, and more await you!

Charms

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

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4e Cosmology

On Tuesday I posted about adding new planes to the cosmology of Exploration Age. In today’s post I’d like to discuss Exploration Age’s overlap zones.

If you’re familiar with this blog you may remember the concept of overlap zones from my entry entitled The Planes months ago. Well, I’ve tweaked/completely changed a few things and now I want to show off the new overlap zones in Exploration Age. Take a look at the excerpt from the upcoming Exploration Age Campaign Guide below.

Overlap Zones

On Canus certain planes overlap with the Material Plane in different places. These areas are known as overlap zones. Within these overlap zones there are strange physical effects on the Material Plane. Perhaps more importantly permanent portals can be created between worlds within overlap zones.

Think about creatures who might make their home in or seek to control an overlap zone. A red dragon would make great use of its breath weapon and open a permanent portal to bring forth minions in a Plane of Fire overlap zone. A necromancer might build a tower in a portion of a swamp which overlaps with the Shadowfell to create resilient undead. A demon lord might seek to open an portal in an Abyss overlap zone, in order to bring forth a mighty army.

Overlap zones vary in size. An entire forest might be a Feywild or Arborea overlap zone as might a tiny rose garden on a castle estate. The size and frequency of overlap zones is up to the DM.

Each description below gives a plane and its various overlap zone effects. Any overlap zone effects end once outside the overlap zone, unless otherwise noted in the description.

  • Acheron. A creature gains 10 temporary hit points whenever it reduces another creature to 0 hit points.
  • Arborea. Plants in the zone act at the start of the initiative order. Any evil creature within 5 feet of a sizable plant, such as a tree or bush, must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is restrained by the plant. The restrained creature can use its action to break free by making a DC 15 Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check.
  • Arcadia. Creatures are immune to disease and any creature suffering from a disease is instantly cured upon entering the overlap zone.
  • The Abyss. Demons know the exact whereabouts of any non-evil creature within 100 feet of them.
  • The Beastlands. Any beasts gain a +2 bonus to AC and all creatures have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks.
  • The Blood Fields. The protection from evil and good and dispel evil and good have no effect.
  • Bytopia. At the end of a short or long rest, creatures of a lawful good or neutral good alignment gain 20 temporary hit points.
  • Carceri. When entering the overlap zone, all creatures must succeed on a DC 10 Charisma saving throw. Creatures who fail feel a rush of despair which lasts with them as long as they remain in the overlap zone and stays with the creature for a 24-hour period after leaving the overlap zone. This despair imposes disadvantage on all saving throws.
  • Elysium. Creatures in the overlap zone cannot be frightened.
  • Feywild. Spells which deal acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage deal an extra 5 damage per spell level of that damage type.
  • Gehenna. Creatures gain advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks.
  • Hades. It takes twice as long to gain the benefit of a short or long rest.
  • Limbo. Any solid ground in the area is constantly quaking. Once per hour all standing creatures must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone and take 1d6 bludgeoning damage and the ground around them shakes and moves.
  • Mechanus. Any creature who tries to lie must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be compelled to tell the truth.
  • Mount Celestia. The conjure celestial spell has a duration of 8 hours and does not require concentration.
  • Murderfall. When a creature scores a critical hit, it rolls all of the attack’s damage dice three times and adds them together with any modifiers to calculate damage.
  • The Nine Hells. Devils know the exact whereabouts of any non-evil creature within 100 feet of them.
  • Pandemonium. Strong winds in the area prevent creatures from flying higher than 10 feet off the ground.
  • Plane of Air. Creatures without a fly speed gain a fly speed equal to their walking speed. Creatures with a fly speed have their fly speed doubled.
  • Plane of Earth. While in the zone, an effect that would normally kill a creature instead causes it to regain hit points equal to its hit point maximum and become a petrified stone statue.
  • Plane of Fire. Spells and attacks which deal fire damage, deal an extra 10 fire damage.
  • Plane of Water. Creatures can breathe underwater and creatures with a swim speed have their swim speed doubled.
  • Savalization. Civilized (as determined by the DM) humanoids have disadvantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws and ability checks.
  • Shadowfell. Undead creatures resist all damage except bludgeoning and radiant.
  • Stryfe. Creatures who die are targeted by a reincarnate spell.
  • Ysgard. A creature heals 5 hit points whenever it reduces another creature to 0 hit points.

What Do You Think?

Overlap zones can be used in many campaign settings. Let me know if you plan to use them or a similar idea in your world!

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

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.

New Planes

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.

Blood Fields

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.

Murderfall

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.

Savalization

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

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!

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Last week, I wrote about stealing races from other settings and bringing them into your world. Along those lines, I want to give you a peek at my way of bringing one of my favorite races into the game – the aasimar.

I know there are loads of tiefling fans out there. Who could blame you? Tieflings have a very compelling story. I do find it strange, however that tieflings are going to be in the core of fifth edition in the Player’s Handbook, while the aasimar is overlooked. Here’s some proof via Wizards of the Coast tweet.

See? There is a tiefling entry and not an aasimar entry.

See? There is a tiefling entry and not an aasimar entry.

Aasimar is the natural opposite of the tiefling – humanoids infused with celestial blood as opposed to the tiefling’s infernal heritage. At first blush, I can see an argument being made for aasimar having a less compelling story than tieflings. They don’t have dark temptations and are just boring goody two-shoes (and that’s ok if that’s what you want to play). But I think aasimar can be different than they are in all of their various incarnations. Just like many of the races in Exploration Age, I’ve tweaked their story to fit the setting.

Quick Aasimar in D&D History

If you don’t know a lot about the previous publication history of aasimar I’ll give you the bullet points here. For more information you check check out Wikipedia. Here’s the basic overview.

  • Aasimar were introduced in the second edition Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II as monsters and then as a PC race in the Planewalker’s Handbook. In this setting they are a race of (usually) good aligned humanoids with celestial heritage.
  • Aasimar were in third edition from the start in the Monster Manual. They became a PC race when the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting was released. Their story and background did not change so much from second edition.
  • In fourth edition there were no aasimar, but we did get devas. Instead of having celestial lineages, devas were immortal beings who lived a series of mortal lives. Devas would be reborn after death. If they lived a cruel and evil life, they might return as a rakshasa rather than a deva. Their story is quite different from the aasimar of previous editions.

Devas vs Aasimar

I really love devas. Their story can create some very intriguing characters who have lived multiple lives. That’s pretty awesome! I also love the aasimar. Their story reminds me of the heroes of Ancient Greece, like Perseus, Aeneas, and Hercules. Those heroes were mortals with a touch of divinity in their blood. I’m not of the mind one needs to go so another can stay. I have room for both devas and aasimar in Exploration Age (and my heart).

This post will be mainly about the aasimar, but if you’re looking for some information as to how the deva fit into Exploration Age, check out this post I wrote about Exploration Age’s multiverse and read all about Biatopia and the eternal war between the rakshasa and deva.

Aasimar in Angelia

That is a huge sword. HUGE.

On the plane of Angelia celestial beings have watched the multiverse for as long as any can remember. Ever vigilant, these angelic beings are unconcerned with all but the greatest of evils. As these beings watched the planes, a few of the celestials, known now as The Yearning Hearts, fell in love from afar with humans on the Material Plane.

While this was not strictly forbidden in Angelia, taking a mortal lover was certainly taboo. However, The Yearning Hearts were too in love to worry about the other celestials might think. They took their mortal lovers away from the Material Plane and brought them to Angelia. It was not long before The Yearning Hearts and humans started families. Their children were the first aasimar.

After a time the mortals died and it seemed that the aasimar too had finite lifespans. The Yearning Hearts cared for the aasimar as their children, but the other celestials would not let the aasimar into their day-to-day lives. Aasimar could not take up the watching and guarding of the multiverse, for while they were usually good-hearted and kind, aasimar were also corruptible, like their mortal parents. So they were confined to a single city in Angelia and told by the celestials never to leave its walls.

For millennia the aasimar lived in an isolated city of crystal atop a cloud. For this reason, they named their city Crystalis. It was ruled by a mayor and six council members, elected for decade-long terms. The aasimar were as prosperous as an isolated city can be. They learned to craft weapons and armor out of rare starmetal, which were sold to the rare visiting celestial being. Other aasimar took to practicing various art forms with all of their free time. They became a race of master craftsmen and performers.

As large and beautiful as Crystalis was, many of its inhabitants saw it as a prison. The aasimar became frustrated, feeling their existence was pointless and some despaired. Others were driven to fits of rage or simply gave into violent impulses as a sick way to entertain themselves. The mayor and council at the time appealed to The Yearning Hearts. The aasimar no longer wished to stay in Angelia for their own health and sanity.

The Yearning Hearts were devastated that their children had come to this. In a ritual fueled by The Yearning Heart’s sacrifice they opened an enormous, temporary portal to the Material Plane. Crystalis floated upon its cloud into the world of Canus, just over Aeranore.

History of Crystalis in Canus

At first the folk of Aeranore thought they were being invaded. The aasimar were mostly happy to be in their new world, so they made offerings of peace to the Aeranorians – gifts of celestial weapons and armor for the royal court.

As the Talianans, Bragonians, and Marrialans learned of Crystalis and the love between the Aeranorians and the aasimar, many feared Aeranore had well-equipped allies who might pose a threat. Not wishing to cause trouble for the Aeranorians, the floating city of Crystalis now spends its days doing a slow, but constant loop around Findalay. The city can only float over land, but it cannot not cross over the ocean so it is confined to the continent. Crystalis merchants sell their wares to the various Findalayans whom they see on their circuit. Starmetal is more difficult to come by these days, but the aasimar are still master crafters.

So far, Crystalis has managed to stay neutral during any conflict between the nations of Findalay, though all nations have pressured the aasimar to ally with them at some point during a conflict. All that pressure might just be working…

Crystalis Today

Today, Crystalis continues to do its slow rotation around Findalay. One full rotation takes the city about a year, so the people of Findalay know when the floating city will come to their neck of the woods. Crystalis stops near major cities and airships carry passengers to the gates. The merchants of Crystalis sell their wares to the Findalayans while street performers put on shows. At night, one can find something to eat in one of the city’s many restaurants and then see a show in one of its theaters. After a week or so, Crystalis moves on to the next Findalayan city.

Anyone is welcome within the gates of Crystalis and the city is always accepting new permanent residents. Despite these open policies, most of the population of Crystalis is still aasimar. Many Findalayans do not wish to live a nomadic life of travel. For that matter, some aasimar are tired of it. Aasimar are not required to stay within their city walls, and so many leave and seek adventure out in the world.

Other aasimar want to stay in Crystalis, but wish the city wouldn’t move around between nations. Though they may not all go public with their opinions, most assimar have a desire to ally themselves with one of the Findalayan nations. These desires have led to heated debates amongst the planetouched. The forthcoming council elections may spell big change for Crystalis. On the other hand, there is a faction of aasimar who want nothing to do with any of the Findalayan nations’ petty squabbles and believe Angelia is their one and only home to which they must return with all haste.

With so many factions, the city is almost at a breaking point. Each of these factions has taken a simple name to identify themselves, known as the Friends of . So those aasimar who sympathize with Bragonians are the Friends of Bragonay, those who wish to return to Angelia are the Friends of Angelia, and so on. Each faction has candidates in the upcoming elections.

The Holy Cleansers

There is another, darker faction of aasimar. Those planetouched who believe their existence is born of a tainted celestial bloodline. These aasimar belong to a secret society – The Holy Cleansers. They have one goal – end all aasimar life. It is said that once they have extinguished all aasimar but themselves from the world, members of The Holy Cleansers will then take their own lives. Little else is known about this secret cabal, but they seem to be planning something big.

Aasimar as PCs

What a badass!

Aasimar are good folk who have seen much of the world, but not experienced it. Some might see them as naive and inexperienced, for they are trusting and believe in the good of people, but aasimar do not suffer the wrath and hate of others. They become impassioned about their causes. Often aasimar dedicate themselves to righting the wrongs of others, even when it is not always their place to do so. The gray issues of Canus seem more black and white to them, which means they come down on one side of the issue with almost blind loyalty and fight for it to the end. Some of the most emotional arguments ever witnessed happen when two aasimar disagree.

Aasimars who leave Crystalis might do so for a myriad of reasons. They might have a passionate viewpoint they intend to bring to the world, they may have fallen in love with someone who lives outside the city gates, they might feel more allied with a government other than their own, or perhaps they just have an intense desire to see more of the world. Most Findalayans have seen aasimar before and treat them as a passing curiosity. In Verda and Parian, aasimar are more rare and might be met with stares, probing questions, and even fear. Aasimar do not have a religion of their own, but often invoke spirits of their ancestors and The Yearning Hearts when seeking guidance and in times of trouble.

An aasimar adventurer might be a paladin ridding the world of whatever he or she deems to be evil, a cleric recently converted to a different religion, a wise druid hermit who trusts plants and animals more than the fickle people of the world, or anything you dream.

Aasimar Traits

Thanks to a recent tiefling preview tweeted out by Wizards of the Coast and some old SRDs, I was able to create some game stats for aasimar PCs. These are the stats I’ll be offering my players for my fifth edition games until official statistics are released. Feel free to use them in your game as well!

Aasimar share certain traits as a result of their celestial descent.

Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 2, and your Charisma score increases by 1.

Age. Aasimar mature at the same rate as humans, but live a few years longer.

Alignment. Aasimar have an innate tendency toward good, but those who have suffered hardships in life can be steered toward evil. Their hearts tend to stay true to the causes in which they believe and good or not, aasimar often to hold themselves to individual codes so they tend toward lawful alignments.

Size. Aasimar are the same size and build as humans. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision. Thanks to your celestial heritage, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Celestial Resistances. You have resistance to cold, lightning, and radiant damage.

Celestial Legacy. You know the thaumaturgy cantrip. Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast the cure wounds spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell. Once you reach 5th level, you can cast they daylight spell once per day. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Celestial and Common.

You may need this one since it isn't in the Basic D&D pdf.

You may need this one since it isn’t in the Basic D&D pdf.

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcast on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Hey, everyone, I’m on vacation with my lovely girlfriend in Chicago this week, so I’m going to keep this intro brief. About a month ago, I did a post about the cosmology of Exploration Age. This post was by far my most viewed ever (thank you!), so I’m going to share a few more of the world’s planes from the Exploration Age Campaign Guide. So without further adieu, I’ll go back to eating meats and deep dish pizza, and you can get onto the good stuff!

Battleguard

The thrill and excitement of war is alive and well in Battleguard. For reasons unknown, the greatest warriors of Canus first arrive in Battleguard when they die. These warriors here are in one final contest for the thrill of battle. Those who kill 100 others in Battleguard are sent back to Canus, reincarnated. Those who die on this plane are forever dead and cannot be brought back to life through any means. Warriors here are often gleeful, delighting in one last clash before passing into the unknown. The plane itself is an infinite field of tall grass and hills with cool temperatures at night and warm spring temperatures during the day.

Overlap Zone

Anytime a creature is killed by another creature’s attack, the attacker regains 20 hit points.

Blood Plains

The ever-raging Blood War between demons and devils has most of its battles on the Blood Plains – an infinite place of volcanic jungle islands surrounded by seas of lava. These mighty fiends clash on air, land, and sea on a plane which overlaps with both the Abyss and the Hells in many places with permanent portals abound. The Blood Plains are the unfortunate bridge between these two awful worlds.

Overlap Zone

All creatures in the area resist acid, cold, fire, and lightning damage.

Biatopia

The hands never fail to freak me out.

Biatopia is a plane covered in two sides perpetually at war. The rakshasa fight the deva in a never-ending battle of opposed dichotomies on the infinite sea of sky and islands of solid cloud which create Biatopia. No side seems to ever gain the upper hand in this exhaustive war as the participants are constantly reborn – sometimes as the thing which they claim to hate the most.

Overlap Zone

Creatures who die here are reincarnated per the spell.

The Cage

An infinite plane of barren mountains is referred to as the Cage. Initially, when this plane was discovered it was empty. The strange pink mists within the plane serve as sustenance for any living creatures who stay in the barren land. However, the rocky terrain is mind-numbingly boring and there is no natural beauty to the arid wasteland. It has become a place for people to throw prisoners they never wish to see again. Any permanent portals on the Material Plane to the Cage are heavily guarded or have been sealed, since the Cage is full of dangerous criminals and others who the various governments of Canus do not wish to see walking free.

Overlap Zone

Creatures in the area to not need to eat or drink.

Angelia

The rolling, clean mountains of Angelia are the homes of the angels. In Exploration Age the angels do not claim to serve specific gods, but rather serve as a force for good within the multiverse. They make their homes amongst enormous palaces and castles high atop the cloud-covered peaks of Angelia. Rarely do they insert themselves into the affairs of mortals and the Material Plane. It is but one world amongst many in the multiverse which the forces of evil might consume. The angels look at the multiverse as a whole, and they focus their energies mostly on disrupting activity within the Hells and the Abyss.

Overlap Zone

Spells and rituals which summon angels have their durations doubled.

Swirling Chaos of Mispuria

An infinite maze which constantly rearranges itself via floating walls, floors, ceilings, staircases, doorways, and more. This place is home to the slaadi and other creatures of chaos. It is difficult to find a way from one area to the next with the world constantly rebuilding itself. One must be careful, since the Swirling Chaos of Mispuria’s maze is suspended in an infinite sea of swirling colors and elemental madness. Falling into this strange sea is not advised, since none have ever returned. Since the world is constantly rearranging at anytime a pathway into this sea could open beneath a creature with little warning.

Overlap Zone

The landforms in the area are constantly changing. There is a 30% chance every round of a random landform being created or destroyed. The GM may roll on the table below for a random landform, which can appear or disappear from the area.

1 tree
2 lake
3 hill
4 valley
5 river
6 volcano
7 swamp
8 mountain
9 glacier
10 desert
11 thorn bush
12 cave
13 marsh
14 hot spring
15 cold spring
16 canyon
17 sinkhole
18 lava lake
19 lava river
20 roll twice on this table

Stringent Lands of Mechanique

In Mechanique, rules and order are king. The lava filled plane is home to fire-resistant metal cities built inside inactive volcanoes. Everything within these cities is clockwork, mechanical, and orderly. The world is full of living constructs who abhor chaos and go about their predictable daily routines. Any who break the strict laws are punished harshly. Even outsiders must know the laws for Mechanique, for no exceptions can be made if order is to stay.

Overlap Zone

Any creature who tries to lie must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be compelled to tell the truth.

Poll Time

So those are some more planes for you! Let me know what you think. Also, if you have a moment, please let me know what your favorite plane is and if you think I should include it in Exploration Age.

Speaking of letting me know stuff, if you’ve been following the blog, but haven’t filled out the poll below yet, please do. I want to know if your interested in Exploration Age and if you’d buy the PDF of the campaign guide I’m putting together. Thanks!

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcast on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Is there anything tougher to crack than cosmology? For me the answer is no. Throughout its history, Dungeons and Dragons has handled various planes of existence in all sorts of ways. There is The Great Wheel, Spelljammer, the oft-malign and easily understood Fourth Edition cosmology, World Axis (I got your back, James Wyatt), and so on. What’s a designer to do when in creating one world he realizes now he needs to create a whole multiverse to go with that world?

How I felt when I discovered I had to create worlds beyond Canus to make Exploration Age feel complete.

Personal Likes and Dislikes

My biggest problem with multiverses is that they always seemed overly complicated. I know I’m going to get some flack for saying that, but that’s my personal opinion. Don’t get me wrong, as a DM I love delving into the more complicated minutia between various planes. There are connections and pathways and Demiplanes, Outer Planes, Inner Planes, coterminous planes, coexistent planes, and on and on. Yet for players these complications are dull and slow down gameplay. For the most part they don’t care which plane borders which and how the map of multiverse is drawn.

The thing I love most about the planes are the little details which affect gameplay for the players – the silvery chord tethering a creature back to its body on the Material Plane when traveling through the Astral Plane, or the ability to travel more quickly in the Plane of Shadow are good examples. These concepts are more easily understood by players because they have tangible and immediate effects. They remember the Elemental Plane of Air because they have personal directional gravity in a huge, open, infinite expanse of sky, not because it’s one of the inner planes. These are the details which make planar travel in an RPG interesting.

To be honest I enjoy the variety of planes within The Great Wheel. I want that level of variety in the multiverse of Exploration Age. However I want the simplicity of a Fourth Edition World Axis layout for my players who don’t care that the Elemental Planes are Inner Planes and Celestia is an Outer Plane and all the details which go along with those distinctions.

If your planar map looks like this something has gone wrong.

Sweet, sweet, easy to understand World Axis cosmology.

Cosmology in Exploration Age

So first things, first. Let me be clear here – if you choose to run an Exploration Age campaign you can use any cosmology you want. If you don’t like what I’ve laid out here, that’s totally, 100% fine. Bring The Great Wheel, Fourth Edition’s World Axis cosmology, or any system you want into Exploration Age and play with that. That’s what tabletop RPGs are all about and 95% of Exploration Age’s content deals with the Material Plane anyway.

That being said, here’s what I’d like to present as the default cosmology for Exploration Age is this – certain planes, such as the Ethereal Plane and Plane of Shadow are Coterminous. They overlap completely and in all areas with the Material Plane, like they always have been. This allows for use of spells like shadow walk and blink to be used and to get some of D&D’s most classic planes into the Exploration Age multiverse. Many other planes, not just The Material Plane, have an Ethereal Plane and Plane of Shadow which are coterminous.

Then there are the Reflections – worlds of the same size and with similar natural landforms as the Material Plane. This includes Fourth Edition’s Shadowfell and Feywild and allows for the freaky fun looks-like-our-world-but-totally-isn’t-our-world effect that one gets while adventuring in a plane which reflects our own world.

Other planes are not Conterminous nor Reflections, but they do overlap with The Material Plane in certain places. These areas of overlap are where one might find a standing portal on Canus to a particular plane. One must be careful when using these gateways for sometimes they only work one way. So an adventurer might be able to leave Canus through a portal, but not return, or a monster could wander through a portal in an Overlap Zone and be stuck on the Material Plane.

This overlap also creates Overlap Zones – small areas where the barrier between worlds is thin creating strange environmental effects. It is even possible, in rare places, to have overlap between Overlap Zones. These planes do not just overlap with Canus’ Material Plane. They can overlap with one another (so it is possible to be travel through the Elemental Plane of Fire and encounter an Overlap Zone with The Abyss).

Of course it is possible to travel from one plane to another without being in an Overlap Zone. Spells, rituals, magic objects, and more can take a person from one plane to the next. Overlap zones just make extra-planar travel much easier.

The Astral Plane, which is technically the space between the other planes and the Far Realm are exceptional planes and do not fall into any of the above categories.

In Exploration Age when people die, their souls eventually pass onto the unknown, beyond the multiverse and if there are any gods, they too are beyond the multiverse. This changes things a bit for a few of the classic D&D planes, since the gods and the dead will be spending their time elsewhere.

Let me know what you think about the proposed layout above. For the most part Exploration Age’s planes will be familiar. I’ve already made an entire world with tons of adventure hooks and I didn’t feel the need to remake the wheel when it came to the multiverse (pun intended).

Additions

I couldn’t resist adding a few planes of my own design. Take a look at the two below and let me know what you think!

 Savilization

There is a strange Reflection plane where what are considered monsters in Canus rule the land, while what would be considered civilized humanoids live in caves, swamps, and dank, dark ruins. This strange world is ruled by well-dressed ogres, gnolls, and more, who try to keep the humans, elves, and other savage species at bay. Humanoids from the Material Plane who travel to this world are as misunderstood as they are confused.

Murderfall

An infinite region of mountains, forests, tunnels, and swamp makeup Murderfall, the land where everyone wants to kill everyone else. When outsiders enter the plane, they must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or attack any living creature they can sense until it dies. They make a new saving throw after 24 hours to try and end the effect. If they leave Murderfall the effect ends. Creatures native to Murderfall are immune to this effect, but they are all vicious, territorial loners, so it may seem they are under this effect anyway. Essentially everything in this plane is stalking or being stalked.

Overlap Zone All critical hits deal twice the maximum amount of damage.

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcast on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!