Remixing Planescape

9 posts / 0 new
Last post
Bootravsky
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 2020-05-20 10:32
Remixing Planescape

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
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 2010-06-26 14:37
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
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 2020-05-20 10:32
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
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 2020-05-20 10:32
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
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 2020-05-20 10:32
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.

Bootravsky
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 2020-05-20 10:32
Acheron

Amongst some nice aspects of Pathfinder, their use of Kytons was ingenious. So, instead of Kytons being "Chain Devils" or independent outsiders in the Nine Hells, they are now a broad range of Outsiders that rule Acheron from their ministries of Pain and Pleasure (in Forgotten Realms, they are the servants of Loviatar). The Bladelings are their semimortal offspring a la Cambions and Alu Fiends. Acheron is all about conquest and control, where the Hells are about oppression and Mechanus about adherence to law, and the Kytons enforce their control through the use of pain, either through use or by withholding it. I see them as being particularly fond of the lowers levels of Acheron, with its focus on blades.

Rakshasas, meanwhile... I'm thinking they get moved to Pandemonium or Limbo. They are motivated to break the cycle of life-death-reincarnation-oneness to which the Vedics offer their followers. Eberron's use of Rakshasas is awesome, and could be ported over to Planescape with little modification.

Palomides
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 2010-06-26 14:37
Moving Day

I can completely back "relocating" certain fiends to other planes as I think several of the Lower Planes are underpopulated and moving/creating a unique type of fiend into these places give the location and the fiends more character.

Personally, I moved the kytons to Carceri since the chains seemed themeatically to tie in well with the themes of imprisonment; making the kytons the sadistic jailors torturing the vindictive gehereleths who plot their come-uppance.

I personally have an Asian-themed lower plane centered around the themes of illusion and deception that the rakshasa control. But if you stick with the standard planes, I think Pandemonium would be the closest to matching these themes.
Aside from having a caste system, the rakshasas never seemed to really fit on the lawful side of the Wheel to me.

Bootravsky
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 2020-05-20 10:32
Gate Towns

More on the Gate Towns:
To a certain extent, the Gate Towns felt slightly half-baked originally, like little slices of the Prime that were slightly aligned with the adjacent planes. I see them as being the first place where players really interact with Outsiders. The mortals inhabiting and nominally running the Gate Towns know that they do so only at the sufferance of the Outsiders on their doorstep, and the Outsiders' touch can be felt everywhere: Quasits freely wander Plague-Mort, Monodrones are constantly working to ensure that Automata is on-time, etc.
They are also a great incubator for integrating fiction with the Planes. These are just a few ideas I've come up with for the Gate Towns over the years:

  • Automata: The Alchemy Wars series by Ian Tregilis presents a fantasic way to have Warforged in the Planes. Perhaps they are the perfect servants of Automata: mortal, but with no free will. What if that is presented? It also present a position for aXos, as a nation of mad scientists. Finally, a reason to go to that madhouse! Similarly, The Half Made World by Felix Gilman presents a society of gears and law opposed by demon-possessed guns. What if Abyssal forces possessed firearms in this clockwork City, and they engaged in a guerilla war nearby in the Outlands?
  • Plague Mort: The City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff Vandermeer, and its sequels, presents a thoroughly chaotic community, with mushroom dwellers (think Zuggtmoy worshipping halflings) in the margins, and the community ready to break into riots at a moment's notice. The Festival of the Freshwater Squid is taylor made to becoming the Parade of Demogorgon. Maybe, the community suffers from frequent festivals or parades fostered by the Abyssal Lords. The Carnivale a Pazrael?
  • Ribcage: Luthadel in Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson is basically Ribcage. Have petitioners marched to the center of town to be judged for punishment in the Hells or enslavement in the town, nobles having galas in the peaks of the ribs, and an army of Advanced Nupperibo surrounding the City, waiting for a moment to squash a rebellion and drag the community into Avernus...
  • Hopeless: Elantris and Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson present cities where life is currency. In Hopeless, people are stricken by a disease of immortality, where they are forced to experience all of their pains and injuries for all eternity unless they find purpose. The town does everything it can to take away purpose, and the inhabitants cannot just flee, due to guardian yugoloths sealed into its walls. Others give up their life for riches or for influence: the night hags are present to take it from them.
  • Torch: This town is made out of the worst of capitalism: everything has a price. Within the City, Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett is a good reference. The great houses occupy the flanks of the three volcanos, selling everything from mercenaries to hope itself. Everything can be leveraged: labor, youth, offspring, etc. The outskirts are an industrial/agricultural hellhole, with weird experiments running rampant a la Borne by Jeff Vandermeer.
  • Curst: Not terribly thought through, but I like the idea of the Mercykillers really holing up in Curst and punishing people for the most minor transgressions. the Trial by Franz Kafka is a great reference, with juries housed in almost any room in any place. Probation hearing? Come through this secret door in the kitchen of this tenement into the back alley and into the meeting hall.
  • Bedlam: Dark City feels so relevant to Bedlam to me. What if the city were run by Keepers, led by a special caste called the Sandmen who put people to sleep and modify the city around them? Only those that choose to ignore their modified paradigm are called madmen and subjected to the Asylum at the City's center. And throughout the City howl the endless winds...
Bootravsky
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 2020-05-20 10:32
Re: Moving Day

The comic series Lucifer presented a prison presided over by Izanami, in which souls were held in cages and tortured by the sins of the present for all eternity. Basically, they were stone cells with constantly screaming winds blowing into them. Very Pandemonium: might be up your alley!