DnD 5e Outer Planes Explained
Have you recently started playing the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons and heard mention of the Outer Planes but weren’t sure what they were? Do you want to know more about this strange realm beyond the boundaries of the Material Plane?
The multiverse of Dungeons & Dragons is made up of an infinite number of planes, each with different realms and creatures. Within this multiverse, the Outer Planes are particularly important as they are made up of powerful planes where gods and other entities interact with mortals.
In this article, we will explore all that there is to know about D&D 5e’s Outer Planes. We’ll look at what the planes are, who lives there, and any special rules or circumstances that may apply to each plane. By studying these mysterious places in detail, you may find your faith shifted or discover incredible items or resources that could benefit your party – or drag them into a battle against cosmic forces!
What are the Outer Planes?
The Outer Planes in Dungeons and Dragons 5e are arranged according to their relative alignment. This arrangement can be visualized as the spokes of a bicycle wheel. The Outer Planes are described in detail through conversations with characters.
The Outer Planes provide a unique way for players to explore different aspects of morality and ethics within the game world. The layout of these planes reflects an extended 17-alignment grid that is an expansion of the original nine-alignment grid. This system allows for more nuanced character development and gives players more options when creating their characters. It also allows for greater complexity in storylines and quests as characters traverse different planes based on their alignment choices.
The Astral Plane is a realm of thought and dreams, connecting the Material Plane to the Outer Planes. A silvery void filled with color pools transports travelers to specific Outer Planes. The Githyanki are astral raiders who sail the Astral Sea powered by psychic magic and their capital city Tu’narath rests on the corpse of a six-armed god. This makes Tu’narath an adventure setting with the potential for stolen loot or a vital artifact. Players may seek to do business with the Githyanki or explore the rumored dungeon deep in the labyrinthian tunnels of the dead god’s body.
The Astral Plane also serves as a transition for the souls of the departed to reach their afterlife. Spellcasters can use it for teleportation or astral projection between planes, making it an invaluable tool for those seeking to travel quickly between realms. More information on Tu’narath can be found in MToF on pages 91 and 92. Elysium is a peaceful and pleasant land, said to have restorative effects.
Candrian Illborne has experienced its calming atmosphere firsthand. This plane of benevolent chaos values freedom and self-sufficiency above all else. Its planar traits include the Empyreal Lords, the Giant Pantheon, and outsiders such as angels, azatas, and Elysian titans. Petitioners in Elysium gain resistance to cold and fire, +2 Charisma, a bonus on Reflex saves, Acrobatics checks to avoid provoking attacks of opportunity, and a single type of Performance check.
Denizens of Elysium include celestial versions of Material Plane creatures such as havoc dragons, cynosomas, peris, empusas, and sapphire oozes. Outsiders such as angels, azatas, cynosomas, Elysian titans, and empusas inhabit this realm. Those chosen by the plane gain resistance 10 to cold and fire along with +2 Charisma.
The Beastlands is a three-layered plane representing those of an alignment ranging from neutral good to chaotic good. It is also known as The Happy Hunting Grounds by outsiders, and its inhabitants are creatures from the material world but much more intelligent and capable of speech and magic. This plane is a place of neutrality and goodness, with a slight tinge of chaos. The circle of life is exemplified in the eternal noon and night, where animals are the dominant species.
The Beastlands is home to many different kinds of creatures, including unicorns, pegasi, griffons, satyrs, centaurs, nymphs, and other magical beings. These creatures live in harmony with each other and with nature itself. They have their own laws and customs that they abide by in order to maintain peace within their realm. There is no evil or darkness here; only love and light exist in this plane.
Ysgard is a realm of chaotic good and chaotic neutral alignments, home to the Norse Pantheon and Yggdrasil, the world tree. It is a place where war is fought without the consequence of death, consisting of floating earthbergs and tests of mettle. Notable gods that reside here include Selune and Tyr. Many choose to avoid Ysgard due to its dangerous nature, but it still remains an attractive destination for those seeking adventure or a challenge.
The environment of Ysgard is ever-changing and unpredictable, making it difficult to traverse without proper preparation. The plane consists of nine layers known as the Nine Worlds, each with its own unique terrain and inhabitants. These range from lush forests to icy tundras, all connected by Yggdrasil’s roots. Those brave enough to venture into this realm will find themselves facing powerful foes in order to prove their worthiness.
Limbo is a chaotic neutral-aligned plane of existence that follows no rules and its behavior is unpredictable. It is described as a “swirling morass of Chaos” by Candrian Illborne, and the landscape of Limbo is constantly shifting and rolling over upon itself like liquid, making it difficult to travel or build permanent structures. This realm of absolute chaos is where reality can be shaped by imagination, and it is home to many powerful entities such as the slaadi, githzerai, Tempus, the Red Knight Shaundakul and Fenmarel Mestarine.
Limbo has been compared to John Milton’s Paradise Lost in terms of its chaotic nature. Its inhabitants include the Chaos dragon and various godly realms such as Fenmarel Mestarine’s realm of Fennimar, Indra, Vayu and Agni’s realm of Swarga, Llerg’s realm of Beasthaven and more.
Pandemonium is an Outer Plane that serves as a destination for Chaotic Evil and Chaotic Neutral petitioners after death. It is a vast, complex cavern with no end in sight, filled with howling winds that drive its inhabitants mad. The Far Realm, Demiplanes, and the Divine Gate are all connected to Pandemonium in some way. The Far Realm is a plane of madness situated far from the planes, while Demiplanes are extradimensional spaces with their own unique rules. The Divine Gate is an esoteric structure that separates the Prime Material Plane from other planes, preventing gods from crossing into it. Planerider Ryn’s notes indicate a possible shift in the cosmic tapestry down the road.
The inhabitants of Pandemonium have little choice but to remain there due to its chaotic nature and lack of native creatures. Those who choose to stay must brave the harsh conditions and ever-shifting landscape of this Outer Plane.
The Abyss is a vast and mysterious Outer Plane filled with numerous distinct ecosystems. It is strongly chaos-aligned and evil-aligned, with enhanced magic for spells and spell-like abilities with the chaotic or evil descriptor. Denizens of the Abyss include demons, demodands, flesh-eating vescavors, bebiliths, riftcreepers, and grimslakes. Larvae are the writhing abominations that inhabit the Abyss and have resistance to cold, electricity, and fire, as well as a bite attack instead of a slam attack. The Qlippoth Lords and Rift Dragons are two of the powerful creatures that dwell in the Abyss. Petitioners, Demons, Qlippoth, Demodands, Goblin Hero-Gods, and Nascent Demon Lords are some of the divinities found in the Abyss.
The topic of this post was lesser-used planes. We discussed some of the different types of planes that are not as commonly seen in the skies, such as seaplanes, gliders, and ultralights. It was interesting to learn about these unique aircraft and their capabilities.
In the upcoming posts, we will be focusing on specific planes in more detail. We will look at their history, design features, and how they are used today. This should provide a great opportunity to explore the world of aviation further.
To wrap up this post, I’d like to wish everyone a critical success for the day! May you have an enjoyable time learning about all things related to aviation!