Sunday 15 April 2012

Scrawling over the classics part 6 Planescape, astral etheral

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Blah blah blah shiny void,
One of them has dead frozen gods lying around. This is good, these are in astral now, and some of them are broken up, so there's like a big floating head or arm or whatever.
Athar setting up camps their drilling into god brains, learning how to kill them etc. Some god bodies are hollow, and githyanki use as citadel's or it's a dungeon or a prison. What ever. Note, gods are normally like whatever size their worshipers are, except when they die their carcass gets giant and turns into black glass and shows up here.  Because. Is very resistant to harm, but Githyanki have like horrible Ian milleresque siege engines that have silversword style magics concentrated on a tiny drill bit or saw blade, and they can painstakingly cut up or hollow out god carcasses. Athar have managed to trade a few of this of githyanki.
Cults of various gods who are now ex-gods camp out on their gods body and still have spells but are losers and their stupid imaginary friend is never coming back.

There's a mysterious bunch of people with holes drilled in their skulls, either 3rd eye still or heaps of little ones like a colander. Their brains glow really bright blue, so there's always light shining out of these holes.
They are called the Cult of All Dead Gods, and draw upon divine magic from all the god parts littering around the place. The believe when the astral plane is entirely full of god bodies, the bodies will rot and form a holy compost and a super tree will grow out of the holy compost and they can climb up the super tree and the true nature of reality can began with them as cosmic tree frogs or something.
They are not sure what the best fungus will be for rotting the gods, and are often busy tended elaborate lichen , fungus and mushroom gardens on top of the dead gods. They are on good terms with the Doomguard and Athar, and worshipers of Jubilex  , often trading various what-have-yous to obtain new molds and slimes to experiment with in god rotting. They are true neutral in alignment and only really give a poop about their spiritual superjob, and so can be quite happily be growing fungus on screaming alive people.
They have various horrible astral oozes contained in glass spheres and weird divine magic eating fungus growing on them sometimes.

Other attractings on the astral plane include Feral spells. Magic is somehow tied to the astral plane , and spells can get stranded and grow wild and sentient. A feral spell looks like an elemental made of things that only exist to people on bad drugs.

What? A random table? but.. this is quick post because I don't wanna speend half the night..
fuck it
Starting elemental:
2 water
5 mineral
6 lightning
8 radiance
9 ooze
10 magma
11 ice
12  smoke
13 salt
14 dust
15 vacuum
16 ash

 but then its all:
1 made up of horrible small people and or animals melted into each other
2 a big floating head that keeps vomit up another face which eats the first face etc
3 like geometric animal
4 acts and has all the visualness of base element but it's made of flesh, so if you rolled fire as the base, it would be flesh that somehow rippled and licked like fire. The flesh is 1 normal meaty colour 2 strobing  black and white 3 a unnatural bright hue 4  rainbows!
5 is tied into a mobias strip
6 flat and 2 dimensional
7 is unmoving, like a snapshot, but somehow physical attacks from it still resolve
8 like a combination of 2 different monster but still made of element

and it:
1. attacks from it use another randomly determined elemental or reverse , so ice elemental that burns, earth elemental forming tornados
2. give one randomly chosen spell which it uses every other round as a free action , usefully or not
3. converts your flesh into more of it's base element, healing from its attacks need SPECIAL MAGICS
4. randomly chosen spell comes into effect everytime it hits something
5. No magic can be used within 4 metres of it
6. Blinks as blink dog /displaced like displacer beast
7: Random chosen person within 100 metres is the only one that can see it. Invisible to everyone else (including truesight spells). Determine new person that can see it every 1d100 rounds
8 can only be hurt by non magic weapons/ weapons of a certain colour/ unarmed attacks
9 roll twice
10 roll thrice

And it's mind?
1. it is blind force, like a storm cloud or a flaming tree stump
2. Like a dumb kitten, is searching for a master
3. Has something of the mind of the original caster. Has one day memory though, so has keeps forgetting that is like an abomination of magic now
4. Has an imprint of the original caster, and also everyone that caster had sex with. The horror salad of personality wage constant mind war on each other
5. Like a bear on meth!
6. Coherent but alien

Oh poopdog , is it going to kill us?
1 no, not unless you speak near it
2. no, it is a gentle being , content with drifting and being made of stuff.
4. Yes, it has mistaken you for someone else
5. Yes, it is cruel and likes to ruin people
6 no, unless alarmed.
7 maybe but only if you come to close and ignore its warning dance
8 Mirrors the intent of the approacher

That's a bare skeleton of table. You get the idea.

Other denizens of the astral include the Norns , weird geometric things of glowing force bands.
They zoom about incredibly fast. The astral seas are totally their home. The current fashion of entertainment in their glowing alien culture is causing feral spells (by interfering with artifacts, sabotaging magical experiments, etc), capturing them (they have extensive force powers like Sue storm richards, so magic missiles , floating blades, lesser force walls .) and making them fight. Like pokemon. This guys are mystery glowing alien that create magical mayhem so their stable of feral spells has something else to fight.
They can't exist anywhere but on the astral plane, and have to use "colour pools" to get their feral spells into a prime material realm for their own amusement. If forced somehow to leave the astral plane, they are instantly destroyed. Here are the norns in descending order of power, starting at equivelent to 3rd level magic user, and progress to a 15th. They cast spells like a sorcerer , and just spells that you could conceivably reskin to being glowing light magic.








And.... what does the astral plane actually look like? The "top" astral looks like a thin sea of hazy polychromatic clouds and weird gross shell horns.
 Like the back ground here
with occasionally this:

The "top" astral leads to the outlands, where it overlaps with, the only outer plane accessible by astral travel. Overlaping means that the plane in question appears as ghostly out line on the astral and certain powers can be used on the people on the plane. Access out of the astral plane is either by leaving your body behind and using an astral body (which remains connected to your body by a silver cord) or accessing a special portal known as an colour pool.

The deep astral is the bit inbetween. It's more like this this this this. That's where you most likely to encounter the githyanki and Norns.
The Sideways astral is where all those bits of god corpse are. Then as going "lower" you reach the fringes where the astral overlaps with the prime plane and the ethereal plane. The ethereal is "down" where the astral is "up", the colour of the astral fades and it's black black ocean with the occasional gleaming dancing scratch thing

 The ethereal plane is black but not always dark. How far you can see is entirely variable, with out anything to reference for scale or distance, it is impossible to know if you a in particular patch of the ethereal where visibility extends for 1000 of miles, or where visibility is only a couple of metres. Meaning that suddenly seeming out of nowhere can appear horrible toothed predators like these happy guys below.

While the astral is connected with consciousness and belief  the ethereal plane is where matter dreams of being matter. Diving deep enough leads you to elemental planes, where the ethereal plane over laps the "top" fringes of the plane.dancing nothing things
Gleaming lines rapidly snaking and arcing, like lightning bolts or retina damage are the denizens (or possibly weather ). It is near impossible to judge how far or how big one is, and they seem to be just out of reach always. It's even complete unclear if they are alive or not. They do seem to be able to lead one into dreams,
 not in the way of unconsciousness but literally encounter something from your slumbers gloaming from the darkness. Further down and farther away are weird folded spaces where it is said you can find anything you have ever dreamed.
Why this is the ethereal and not the astral is unclear to sages. Neither is it clear if one projects oneself to the ethereal when one sleeps, or if the stuff itself of the ethereal molds itself to your hidden nocturnal realms.


  1. This is all awesome. I really like the Feral Spell tables and I'm sorrrrt of tempted to conflate the ones other than appearance with the various Norns.

    HOWEVER: everyone knows the background of the astral plane is a rad blue grid/stars combo:

    1. grids?
      everything is grids with you!
      I tell you smoke machines is what the people really want!

    2. That's Evan's department!

  2. this is really good. you are good