The Planes in an Oriental Setting

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wiseman's picture
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The Planes in an Oriental Setting

Planescape and D&D in general is geared towards western fantasy. The setup of the planes is mostly based around western mythology and the creatures that dwell within it are as well.
However, I'm currently tossing around an oriental inspired setting that's mostly Japanese influenced. I'm using the standard planescape but I was wondering how to adapt things to an oriental feel. The outer planes are where I need the most advice as the inner are very easy to add stuff to (the emperor of the setting is actually a Noble Dao/earth spirit).

How well would many creatures and planes work if I were to try this (mostly focusing on the Abyss, Baator and Celestia and going from there)?

Last seen: 1 month 1 day ago
Joined: 2010-06-26 14:37
Let's Not Reinvent the Kharmic Wheel

I had a similar question. Since I didn't want to spend years in researching Eastern religious beliefs, I started with the template used for the "Legend of the Five Rings" campaign. [if you want the link]

A lot of their ideas had a lot of parallels to existing Planescape planes. The planes listed for Lot5R are:

Ningen-do: This is their term for the Prime

Chikushudo: A Realm of (Talking) Animals.
This could be tied to the Beastlands without too much difficulty

Gaki-do: The "Realm of the Hungry Dead". This was a realm of punishment for those who lived their life selfishly or dishonorably. Gaki-do was a featureless plain of undulating organic material
You could tie this to Gehenna (my choice), the Grey Wastes or the Abyss depending on how you interpret it

Jigoku: The Realm of Evil, a realm of pure and darkest evil and the source of the oni. Much of Jigoku was nearly formless and shapeless. The realm itself was a maelstrom of pain and suffering, with the yokai spirits being constantly hounded and tortured by oni
I equated this with the Abyss but you could use it for a generic term for any of the Lower Planes

Meido: The Realm of Waiting. This was the domain of Emma-o, the Fortune of Death, as well as the Lords of Death. It was in this Spirit Realm that the deceased await judgement and their eventual fates. Meido was a bleak, grey realm-- colorless, nearly featureless
This could easily be the Grey Wastes (or its outskirts)

Sakkaku: The Realm of Mischief. It was home to many creatures which were often mislabeled as evil but were really just chaotic.
I have more planes than standard in my campaign so I had a perfect match. But you might make this a section of one of the chaotic planes

Tengoku: Also known as the Celestial Heavens was home to virtually all of the Fortunes, as well as the Elemental Dragons and the Sun and Moon. All but two of the Emperors of Rokugan resided there after ascending upon their deaths.
This might equate to the higher levels of Celestia

Toshigoku: The Realm of Slaughter. Souls who died in senseless battle or thinking of revenge were sent here after death. It was a Realm of constant never-ending battle, wherein spirits would slay one another only to rise again and repeat the process endlessly
Fits in nicely with Acheron

Yomi was the Realm of Blessed Ancestors. Those mortals who had fulfilled their destinies and their kharma were allowed to enter this realm upon their deaths
Possibly Arcadia or the lower levels of Celestia or perhaps a term for several of the good planes

Yume-do: The Realm of Dreams. A churning chaotic mess of dreamscapes
Seems to fit in with Limbo

The planes that don't match up to anything may have to be considered "distant" so that not a lot of mortals have seen them and this few/none have recorded them in their tomes. Or you could just say that planes that don't thematically fit (e.g. the Norse-dominated Ysgard) doesn't exist or are inaccessible. Or you will have to overhaul them significantly.

Are you planning to modify Sigil to give it an Asian atmosphere? That might prove more difficult but I always enjoy a challenge

wiseman's picture
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 2014-05-29 20:13
No. This is meant to be along

No. This is meant to be along side other D&D settings. I always figured that different worlds interacted with different areas of the same planes so I wanted an area and outsiders that had an asian feel to them. I could easily refluff many celestials if it's necessary at all.