Posts Tagged ‘portal’

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!

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!


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.


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.


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!