Remixing the Planes

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Bootravsky
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Remixing the Planes

These are my half-assed suggestions for altering the arrangements of the planes to make more sense:

  1. The ethereal is the plane of souls, the Astral the plane of thoughts and dreams, and both intersect with the outer planes and material. Souls travel from the Outer Planes come through the deep Ethereal, gaining materiality from the elemental planes, and then cross back over at the moment of death. Some get stuck: ghosts! Belief flows through the Etheral, hence why gods end up in the Astral when they die.
  2. the Astral is where thoughts, ideas and dreams flow to the Prime. When a god does, they become untethered from their source of belief, anchoring in the Astral. Dreams inhabit the Astral.
  3. The Prime Material is a plane in balance between the Ethereal, Astral, and Elemental Planes. The First World or Feywild drifted too close to the Astral and Positive Plane, making it very story-based and vibrant but soulless, the Shadow Plane lies too close to the Negative Plane, and Ravenloft is more deeply enmeshed in the Ethereal, near the Shadow Plane.
  4. Illithids come from an early are cut off from the Astral plane.
Palomides
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I Missed the Point

Not to be a contrarian, but if you consider the Ethereal to be the plane of souls; then why do dead spirits go to the respective heavens and hells of the Outer Planes? Are you considering souls to be separate from beliefs of good and evil? Do you consider "souls" to be neutral material that wear moral alignments like suits that get removed when the person dies?

I don't mean to be flippant, I'm just throwing out one possible interpretation I could think of based on the bullet-points you wrote. So could you explain more what you have in mind, please?

BTW - I also placed the Plane of Dreams on the Astral as this made more sense to me. I personally described it as the thin border between the Prime and the Astral with individual dreamscapes forming bubbles on the surface of this border - bubbles which pop into non-existence when the dreamer awakens

Bootravsky
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No worries! I think of the

No worries! I think of the Ethereal as the “misty border” between life and death, so souls cross back and forth. They go to the land of the living in a nascent form, and return to the realm of the gods in their final soul form when they die. Maybe the presort are shadows in the Deep Ethereal waiting to be given form.

Bootravsky
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To expound more in #4:

To expound more in #4: Illithids come from an early empire that dominated the Astral from their dwellings in lost Carcosa on the Plane of Leng, a landmass in the realm of nightmares, cut off from the realms of the gods. The Githyanki cast them out of both the Astral and their inroads to the Outer Planes; the Githzerai separatists claimed the next best place to a realm of pure thought by dwelling in Limbo, where their very thoughts define reality.
But the Illithids seek to return, Ilsenine hovering like a blot on the edge of the realms of dreams and nightmares. And Maansecorian seeks to worm his way into the multiverse’s thoughts thru his Psurlon minions.

Bootravsky
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Petitioners and Gate Towns

The Gate Towns are the perfect place to really center the players. I see the Peritioners as being the fundamental rabble of each town: the becursed slaves outside the Hells, the shocked bystanders of Bedlam, etc. it’s only when the Petitioner forgoes that role - and the opposite role (e.g. slave to revolutionary)!- that they leave behind that background role and become an exemplar Neutrality: a Rilmani.