SRD:Plane Descriptions (Rules)

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This material is published under the OGL

PLANE DESCRIPTIONS

THE MATERIAL PLANE

The Material Plane is the center of most cosmologies and defines what is considered normal.

The Material Plane has the following traits:

  • Normal gravity.
  • Normal Time
  • Alterable morphic.
  • No Elemental or Energy Traits (specific locations may have these traits, however)
  • Mildly neutral-aligned.
  • Normal magic.

THE ETHEREAL PLANE

The Ethereal Plane is coexistent with the Material Plane and often other planes as well. The Material Plane itself is visible from the Ethereal Plane, but it appears muted and indistinct, its colors blurring into each other and its edges turning fuzzy.

While it is possible to see into the Material Plane from the Ethereal Plane, the Ethereal Plane is usually invisible to those on the Material Plane. Normally, creatures on the Ethereal Plane cannot attack creatures on the Material Plane, and vice versa. A traveler on the Ethereal Plane is invisible, incorporeal, and utterly silent to someone on the Material Plane.

The Ethereal Plane is mostly empty of structures and impediments. However, the plane has its own inhabitants. Some of these are other ethereal travelers, but the ghosts found here pose a particular peril to those who walk the fog.

It has the following traits.

  • No gravity.
  • Alterable morphic. The plane contains little to alter, however.
  • Mildly neutral-aligned.
  • Normal magic. Spells function normally on the Ethereal Plane, though they do not cross into the Material Plane.
The only exceptions are spells and spell-like abilities that have the force descriptor and abjuration spells that affect ethereal beings. Spellcasters on the Material Plane must have some way to detect foes on the Ethereal Plane before targeting them with force-based spells, of course. While it’s possible to hit ethereal enemies with a force spell cast on the Material Plane, the reverse isn’t possible. No magical attacks cross from the Ethereal Plane to the Material Plane, including force attacks.

PLANE OF SHADOW

The Plane of Shadow is a dimly lit dimension that is both coterminous to and coexistent with the Material Plane. It overlaps the Material Plane much as the Ethereal Plane does, so a planar traveler can use the Plane of Shadow to cover great distances quickly.

The Plane of Shadow is also coterminous to other planes. With the right spell, a character can use the Plane of Shadow to visit other realities.

The Plane of Shadow is a world of black and white; color itself has been bleached from the environment. It is otherwise appears similar to the Material Plane.

Despite the lack of light sources, various plants, animals, and humanoids call the Plane of Shadow home.

The Plane of Shadow is magically morphic, and parts continually flow onto other planes. As a result, creating a precise map of the plane is next to impossible, despite the presence of landmarks.

The Plane of Shadow has the following traits.

  • Magically morphic. Certain spells modify the base material of the Plane of Shadow. The utility and power of these spells within the Plane of Shadow make them particularly useful for explorers and natives alike.
  • Mildly neutral-aligned.
  • Enhanced magic. Spells with the shadow descriptor are enhanced on the Plane of Shadow. Such spells are cast as though they were prepared with the Maximize Spell feat, though they don’t require the higher spell slots.
Furthermore, specific spells become more powerful on the Plane of Shadow. Shadow conjuration and shadow evocation spells are 30% as powerful as the conjurations and evocations they mimic (as opposed to 20%). Greater shadow conjuration and greater shadow evocation are 70% as powerful (not 60%), and a shades spell conjures at 90% of the power of the original (not 80%).
  • Impeded magic. Spells that use or generate light or fire may fizzle when cast on the Plane of Shadow. A spellcaster attempting a spell with the light or fire descriptor must succeed on a Spellcraft check (DC 20 + the level of the spell). Spells that produce light are less effective in general, because all light sources have their ranges halved on the Plane of Shadow.

Despite the dark nature of the Plane of Shadow, spells that produce, use, or manipulate darkness are unaffected by the plane.

THE ASTRAL PLANE

The Astral Plane is the space between the planes. When a character moves through an interplanar portal or projects her spirit to a different plane of existence, she travels through the Astral Plane. Even spells that allow instantaneous movement across a plane briefly touch the Astral Plane.

The Astral Plane is a great, endless sphere of clear silvery sky, both above and below. Occasional bits of solid matter can be found here, but most of the Astral Plane is an endless, open domain.

Both planar travelers and refugees from other planes call the Astral Plane home.

The Astral Plane has the following traits.

  • Subjective directional gravity.
  • Timeless. Age, hunger, thirst, poison, and natural healing don’t function in the Astral Plane, though they resume functioning when the traveler leaves the Astral Plane.
  • Mildly neutral-aligned.
  • Enhanced magic. All spells and spell-like abilities used within the Astral Plane may be employed as if they were improved by the Quicken Spell feat. Already quickened spells and spell-like abilities are unaffected, as are spells from magic items. Spells so quickened are still prepared and cast at their unmodified level. As with the Quicken Spell feat, only one quickened spell can be cast per round.

ELEMENTAL PLANE OF AIR

The Elemental Plane of Air is an empty plane, consisting of sky above and sky below.

The Elemental Plane of Air is the most comfortable and survivable of the Inner Planes, and it is the home of all manner of airborne creatures. Indeed, flying creatures find themselves at a great advantage on this plane. While travelers without flight can survive easily here, they are at a disadvantage.

The Elemental Plane of Air has the following traits.

  • Subjective directional gravity. Inhabitants of the plane determine their own “down” direction. Objects not under the motive force of others do not move.
  • Air-dominant.
  • Enhanced magic. Spells and spell-like abilities that use, manipulate, or create air (including spells of the Air domain) are both empowered and enlarged (as if the Empower Spell and Enlarge Spell metamagic feats had been used on them, but the spells don’t require higher-level slots).
  • Impeded magic. Spells and spell-like abilities that use or create earth (including spells of the Earth domain and spells that summon earth elementals or outsiders with the earth subtype) are impeded.

ELEMENTAL PLANE OF EARTH

The Elemental Plane of Earth is a solid place made of rock, soil, and stone. An unwary and unprepared traveler may find himself entombed within this vast solidity of material and have his life crushed into nothingness, his powdered remains a warning to any foolish enough to follow.

Despite its solid, unyielding nature, the Elemental Plane of Earth is varied in its consistency, ranging from relatively soft soil to veins of heavier and more valuable metal.

The Elemental Plane of Earth has the following traits.

  • Earth-dominant.
  • Enhanced magic. Spells and spell-like abilities that use, manipulate, or create earth or stone (including those of the Earth domain) are both empowered and extended (as if the Empower Spell and Extend Spell metamagic feats had been used on them, but the spells don’t require higher-level slots). Spells and spell-like abilities that are already empowered or extended are unaffected by this benefit.
  • Impeded magic. Spells and spell-like abilities that use or create air (including spells of the Air domain and spells that summon air elementals or outsiders with the air subtype) are impeded.

ELEMENTAL PLANE OF FIRE

Everything is alight on the Elemental Plane of Fire. The ground is nothing more than great, evershifting plates of compressed flame. The air ripples with the heat of continual firestorms, and the most common liquid is magma, not water. The oceans are made of liquid flame, and the mountains ooze with molten lava. Fire survives here without need for fuel or air, but flammables brought onto the plane are consumed readily.

The Elemental Plane of Fire has the following traits.

  • Fire-dominant.
  • Enhanced magic. Spells and spell-like abilities with the fire descriptor are both maximized and enlarged (as if the Maximize Spell and Enlarge Spell had been used on them, but the spells don’t require higher-level slots). Spells and spell-like abilities that are already maximized or enlarged are unaffected by this benefit.
  • Impeded magic. Spells and spell-like abilities that use or create water (including spells of the Water domain and spells that summon water elementals or outsiders with the water subtype) are impeded.

ELEMENTAL PLANE OF WATER

The Elemental Plane of Water is a sea without a floor or a surface, an entirely fluid environment lit by a diffuse glow. It is one of the more hospitable of the Inner Planes once a traveler gets past the problem of breathing the local medium.

The eternal oceans of this plane vary between ice cold and boiling hot, between saline and fresh. They are perpetually in motion, wracked by currents and tides. The plane’s permanent settlements form around bits of flotsam and jetsam suspended within this endless liquid. These settlements drift on the tides of the Elemental Plane of Water.

The Elemental Plane of Water has the following traits.

  • Subjective directional gravity. The gravity here works similar to that of the Elemental Plane of Air. But sinking or rising on the Elemental Plane of Water is slower (and less dangerous) than on the Elemental Plane of Air.
  • Water-dominant.
  • Enhanced magic. Spells and spell-like abilities that use or create water are both extended and enlarged (as if the Extend Spell and Enlarge Spell metamagic feats had been used on them, but the spells don’t require higher-level slots). Spells and spell-like abilities that are already extended or enlarged are unaffected by this benefit.
  • Impeded magic. Spells and spell-like abilities with the fire descriptor (including spells of the Fire domain) are impeded.

NEGATIVE ENERGY PLANE

To an observer, there’s little to see on the Negative Energy Plane. It is a dark, empty place, an eternal pit where a traveler can fall until the plane itself steals away all light and life. The Negative Energy Plane is the most hostile of the Inner Planes, and the most uncaring and intolerant of life. Only creatures immune to its life-draining energies can survive there.

The Negative Energy Plane has the following traits.

  • Subjective directional gravity.
  • Major negative-dominant. Some areas within the plane have only the minor negative-dominant trait, and these islands tend to be inhabited.
  • Enhanced magic. Spells and spell-like abilities that use negative energy are maximized (as if the Maximize Spell metamagic feat had been used on them, but the spells don’t require higher-level slots). Spells and spell-like abilities that are already maximized are unaffected by this benefit. Class abilities that use negative energy, such as rebuking and controlling undead, gain a +10 bonus on the roll to determine Hit Dice affected.
  • Impeded magic. Spells and spell-like abilities that use positive energy, including cure spells, are impeded. Characters on this plane take a –10 penalty on Fortitude saving throws made to remove negative levels bestowed by an energy drain attack.

Random Encounters: Because the Negative Energy Plane is virtually devoid of creatures, random encounters on the plane are exceedingly rare.

POSITIVE ENERGY PLANE

The Positive Energy Plane has no surface and is akin to the Elemental Plane of Air with its wide-open nature. However, every bit of this plane glows brightly with innate power. This power is dangerous to mortal forms, which are not made to handle it. Despite the beneficial effects of the plane, it is one of the most hostile of the Inner Planes. An unprotected character on this plane swells with power as positive energy is force-fed into her. Then, her mortal frame unable to contain that power, she immolates as if she were a small planet caught at the edge of a supernova. Visits to the Positive Energy Plane are brief, and even then travelers must be heavily protected.

The Positive Energy Plane has the following traits.

  • Subjective directional gravity.
  • Major positive-dominant. Some regions of the plane have the minor positive-dominant trait instead, and those islands tend to be inhabited.
  • Enhanced magic. Spells and spell-like abilities that use positive energy, including cure spells, are maximized (as if the Maximize Spell metamagic feat had been used on them, but the spells don’t require higher-level slots). Spells and spell-like abilities that are already maximized are unaffected by this benefit. Class abilities that use positive energy, such as turning and destroying undead, gain a +10 bonus on the roll to determine Hit Dice affected. (Undead are almost impossible to find on this plane, however.)
  • Impeded magic. Spells and spell-like abilities that use negative energy (including inflict spells) are impeded.

Random Encounters: Because the Positive Energy Plane is virtually devoid of creatures, random encounters on the plane are exceedingly rare.


System Reference Document

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