Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Plane talking

After all of the teases in yesterday's blogs about the new cosmology, the latest Design & Development article was finally posted. And I like it.

As Griff just said to me, it's simpler and more intuitive. The Feywild reminds me of a series of novels from about 20 years ago, where some teens found a bridge between our world and a faerie land where the Tuatha De Denann traipsed. I can't for the life of me remember the names of the books, and Amazon wasn't much help. Perhaps I'll edit this post when I get home and find them.

When reading the description of the Feywild, it reminded me about the Shadow Plane, and how it mirrored things from the Material Plane, but not quite. And then the Shadowfell was next described, with more of a bent on the dead than just shadow.

The merge of the elemental planes makes things a little easier, cutting down on their number, as well as having a plane on which multiple types of environs can appear. And sticking the demons in this plane of chaos helps remove one of the Outer Planes that we're used to.

The Astral Sea leaves the good old astral plane around, a useful environment for any DM, and absorbs the rest of the Outer Planes, as well as providing a new home for the devils.

But a few things are missing. Where's the ethereal plane? Are we missing all of our ethereal spells? Is the Shadowfell also going to take the place of the Shadow Plane, for all of our darkness spells? Will it also provide the role of the Negative Energy Plane? Regardless, where's the Positive Energy Plane?

And perhaps most importantly: is this new cosmology going to leak over into the Forgotten Realms (and other settings)? Although I just talked about how much I enjoy the Forgotten Realms, I must admit that the names of the planes there never stuck with me, having been used to the "main" ones in the Dungeon Master's Guide. A nice compromise would be to stick all of the Realms planes inside the Astral Sea with the other Outer Planes ones.

The planes have been quite underutilized by me as a DM, not because of a lack of desire, but because the Material Plane can be such a good source of adventure that I forget to expand my scope until I need some heavyweight challenges. The Feywild sounds like it might be a good place where lower-level characters can adventure without having to be decked out with specialized equipment just to survive the weather, not to mention the denizens, of a foreign plane.


Bill Burdick said...

I believe the book you're looking for is called "The House Between the Worlds"

Bill Burdick

Bill Burdick said...

Or else maybe "Faerie Tale"