Planes In A Pinch

You’re spinning up a new idea (or trying to), and you’re stuck.
Your players just found a way to yeet themselves into a random plane.
You are a player and you want some way out there place to call home.

You can’t think of a new idea for a plane D: Curse that brain block! DX

For all the folks who’d just like a bit of inspiration once in a while — or need a few planar hooks fast — these tables are for you. A little bit of quick theming to hopefully get the ol’ creative juices flowing again.

d20Theme: CompositionTheme: NatureTheme: Modifier
roll on each category as much as you like, really

Organizations in the planes beyond

Oh, there’s uncountable scores of guilds and sects, factions and orders and sworn-kinships and organizations, cults and councils and fate knows what else out across the planes, no doubt about it. Some of them are notably, almost painfully local; some span many of the realms; some make it their goal to spread …

Here and here are two d66 tables of such odd fellowships one might populate the planes with — and presented right here are another eight such, tuned a little more to the afterworlds in particular:

d8Faction NameFaction Details
01Ringwalkers“The worlds are uncountable. So are experiences. Find as many as both as you can,
and share them — with care! — whenever possible.”

Hands-on researchers of planar travel — to the point that no one’s really
sure if they named the process, or took their name from it — and founders of
countless waystops, wanderer’s caches, and guild centres dedicated to
cataloguing and spreading knowledge of the planes and how to travel to them.
– several varieties of particoloured or prismatic spectra; rainbow ring
– hooded cloak or longcoat with lots of pockets, collection of chapbooks or
scrolls, ring-pattern logbook, sturdy knife, pouch of small souvenir samples
from across the planes
02Last Breath“Get them to their final destination, one way or another.”
Self-appointed psychopomps, dedicated to gathering up wayward deceased souls
from the Corerealms (and even, at times, from elsewhere) and ferrying them back
to where they belong before the dead are carved up in a treasury somewhere.
– white, violet, and silver; paired wings (shape may vary)
– directory of common Core afterlives, lantern staff, soul-pyx, pouch of bone
coin, scrollcase of unsigned contracts
03The Eternal“We will unpick the knot of secrecy and claim a forever existence.”
A motley organization with one feature in common — these folk have seen the
existence of unchanging entities, and they have every intention of divining the
source of true immortality for themselves.
– gold and rose; five-petaled blossom
– personal research notes, grimoire of ancient beasts and daemons, flask of
dubious elixir, chirurgeon’s kit, ritual blade
04Squires Of Iron“The judgements of the Iron Court are absolutes — absolute in their
impartiality, absolute in their insight, absolute in banes and blessings both
— and it is well to carry their words and be their hands.”

The Iron Judges may be famed across the worlds, but seldom does one such grim
luminary leave the black iron embrace of the Court; this they leave to lesser
lights who have, for reasons of their own, pledged themselves to Quietus and its decrees.
– black and grey; barbed chain
– courier’s satchel, collection of summons, decrees and judgements, iron token
of the Court, grey shawl or mantle, return-jewel for the Court
05Silver Talons“No greater hunger, no greater desire, no greater delight.”
There’s no beating around the bush with these folks; souleaters through and
through, they relish the shards and fragments — and, sometimes, souls entire
— that they acquire, considering themselves gourmets of the highest order and
always searching for new ‘flavours’. Most are Faded, but not all.
– silver and steel; clutching claw
– papers of admittance to a Soul Market (forged), deathsbone calipers and
scale, personal logbook, tiny pouch of souldust, silverglass dagger
06Fortuna“Each and every one of the myriad worlds resonates with its own rhythm, its
own melody. If you could weave those into one symphony, what wonders might be?”

Musicians, poets, and wanderers all, searching out the intangible jewels that
they call the music of the spheres and hoping to share those wondrous moments
of aural enlightenment with any who open themselves up to hear.
– royal blue and violet; single musical note (shape varies)
– satchel of musical notation and verse, crystal tube-chime, tuning fork,
musical instrument, flask of ambrosia-in-wine
07Incursicates“Show me where worlds collide.”
For some it’s not the realms that fascinate, it’s the times when one plane
reaches out to fuse with and overcome another, with all the chaos and the
clashing that that entails. Whether joining an incursion, throwing in with
defenders, or simply observing the results, it’s the act itself — and what springs from it — that counts.
– amber and brick; ten-armed star
– weapon of choice, warding charm, disruption compass, heavy cloak or
longcoat, baubles from incursion fusions past
08Weavers Of Mirrors“All things dream, though they may know it not. Let us show you what you’ve

There is a world betwixt and between all worlds, the Weavers insist, a place
of dream and nightmare that unites all the Afterworlds as one but can only be
touched briefly by most. The Weavers insist, as well, that the patterns they
weave draw from that very mirrored whirlpool of all that was and is.
– chrome and pearl; unornamented disc
– portable loom, dream-spindle, satchel of strange cloth-bolts, sewing kit, dagger or other tool of unknown substance
and infinite others, of course, the worlds being what they are

Nadir: Manifold Palace

Everything is the maw slashed into existence.

Existence is nothing except the maw, this endless chasm with no terminus; endlessly extending, splintering; endlessly long, endlessly plunging into the darkest depths, reaching endlessly upward with its bleakly striated walls towards the thin wan slit of pale-ghost light scavengers and exiles, bone-wings and darkcrawlers, hermits and exultants call the sky.

Try not to fall.

The darkness below croons a melody in the heart; ripples now and then with motion, dark on dark.

Try not to fall.

Winding up and down the chasm’s fissured faces, like the tiniest ants, look there: thin tracks carved into the cliff-face, splitting and meeting, hugging the wall, at times hemmed in with flimsy fencing, most times open to the air and the maw below, leading to tiny pockets of ruby-green, coiling weedery; or to larger, spiral-carved ledges and rough-hewn uneven cells stacked upon each other, like clinging growths emerging from the dusty sooty stone before burrowing deeper within its face. And within those cells, light flickers and furtive figures flit.

Penitents find their way here, and exiles, and those who know no other way, seeking release. None trust the strangers who seek to mine the maw’s splintered faces, nor the fools seeking the melodious dark.

And here, and there, strange luminous spars — like green-white glass, like smoky ghost-amber — reach fitfully across the maddening gulf. Creeping, inching, a hair at a time, tiny ripples of new growth stretching across the darkness. Sometimes they even meet. More often they shatter, and the denizens of the cells scavenge what they may.

Do not answer the melody.

Try not to fall further.

* isolation * unbalance * loss * bleakness * privation * penitence * abyss *

Makhru: Foundation

Blue-black roiling stormclouds as far as the eye can see.

The thunder that roars in your veins and speeds up your pulse.

The inky billows that hide neighbour, companion, enemy, danger, safety, all from one’s searching gaze.

And the winds that scream unceasingly, bringing savagery to the bruise-dark cloudbanks and lashing all in reach like a hail of unseen knives, flaying, merciless — and carving the paths through the endless thunderheads for the rivers of moon-pale lightning that flash and flow, sometimes left frozen and tangible, in the knife-winds’ wake.

Yet nestled in the shadows of the endless storm, drifting along the surface of frozen lightning and the echoes of thunder, are the cloudbowers; glossy, gently-glowing orbs with life in their bellies, of homesteads of windsilk grasses, meadows of thunderfruit, great cities of gleaming twisting storm-silver and wrought-lightning towers — and these primals claim kinship to the storms without, and always have, and always will. The storms’ bounty they claim for their own purpose, tying themselves and their bowers together with invisible bindings of promises and sharing of ichor, sharp as the wind’s own blades.

And though wild-bannered warlords may soar on black wrathwings through the storms by their uncountable numbers, none have yet brought that stormwar siege inside such refuges.

None, yet.

Some whisper of a change on the knife-winds, and a murmur of alien promises to storm-pearl war machines.

* air * tempestuousness * contrasts * shadow * comfort * honour *

Luminous: Manifold Palace

Welcome to the void, traveller — a void lit by a softly pastel, softly golden, softly bloody numen that never relieves the velvet lack-of-colour of the plane’s black emptiness.

But you are not alone, not at all, here within. You stand — as all things must — on bone dense as ivory, pale and tawny, indigo and maroon, golden and splintered, waxy and sporting strange patterns and ripples beneath it ancient cracked skin, like ripples in sand, like the dapples of a rice pudding, like a spiderweb of maddeningly intricate lace.

The soft faint light registers from that bone. The bony remains of some great unknowable — sage-beast, demon-saint, fell-angel, dead-god — immense, incalculable, spanning from horizon to horizon, as far as senses grant you. Twisted limbs, arms, wings, stranger things yet, arc upwards, downwards, skew-wards, framing the velvet of the void. Shattered fragments drift and return, swaying in place gently. So many limbs. So many ribs, curves of vertebrae, beyond comprehension. So many blank bony visages, looming, crowned with shattered osseus glory.

From these remains spring life-giving rivers, nurtured crops beyond imagining. And carved from the fallen — in wide shallow pits like open sores, in twisting tunnels — are bone-brick complexes, towered and domed, of lacy wonder; cysts of that numinous power, soft osseus jewels pastel and sanguine, murmuring spars of bone-amber thick with ancient faith and archaic enlightenment.

All worthy of the the great bone-ships that fly to war to spill ichor and blood across the remains of deific death. All worthy of the mighty powers that come to prowl and glide and slowly trail along the great bones, from across the realms entire, to seek greater power yet — or to humble themselves, to be humbled, by what they find.

All desire the light of divinity lost.

* revelation * mortality * covetousness * reincarnation * tranquility * parasitism * hubris *

Kharat: Foundation

Motion is life is the heat within is emotion is the heat without.

Near-nonsense, perhaps, but it encapsulates all that Kharat is: its rolling plains of golden grasses, of melt-copper grain; the wild rapids of its rivers of roiling crimson fires, barely tamed by the whirl of flamewheel mills or endless flotillas of bright-sailed ashreed boats, slim and bound in silk like embers; the shifting of each Dancing City’s border pennons, the galloping of bright-burning steeds and roaring chariots, the oriflammes of ten thousand whirling, shifting allegiances fluttering wildly under the flickering flames of the eternal fires above.

None are surprised by a change of mind, in Kharat, nor of a change of taste, of preference, or even of patronage. Only oaths sworn over true flame are held inviolate.

Suspicion comes snapping instead at the heels of those without action, without emotion, without life. Such wretches find themselves cast outside the shifting networks of promises and passions to scavenge for shards of blisstouched obsidian beyond the polychrome walls of the Cities and their dazzling plazas.

Some give themselves to ashes; other swear vengeance unto eternity, and feel Kharat’s hot embrace enfold them once more.

* fire * motion * passion * inconstancy * display * bedazzlement *

Joui: Foundation

Aqua above and aqua below, here in the endless slow flow fluid existence that is Joui; if “above” and “below” are words that mean a thing where the difference between water to drift and water to breathe is its density.

Perhaps true below lies under the drifts of translucently jade greenery — like verdant fluid barely contained within gelatinous skin — and the dense pearly foam that forms rafts, in places, enough to build upon. Above would be where water has become the mists, above the clinging weeds and banks of foam — drifting, eddying, thick enough to part like phantom curtains, a milk-pearl haze lit softly by an unseen light tinged with the aqua ripple of another endless ocean — threaded with the trailing, slowly twisting roots of wandering lilies lighter even than the mists.

Reach above and learn to float upon the mists. Reach below and learn to slip through the gently lapping depths.


Go back.

Return again.

Change to suit yourself, inside and outside.

In the aqua below, in the depths of the deepest of colour, sinuous shapes twist and dance. A flash of silver and a foam-ship disappears.

In the aqua above, the mists fill with winged, whirring barbs and shell-coiled trumpets. The above calls to the below to change, change again, join them, an endless shifting of shape and drifting of purpose.

Yet the Graven Wave and the Last Mist Weaver and a thousand thousand colourless wavekin and more muster with salt and nets and lances of frozen creation — so it is whispered, softly, in bafflement and doubt — to lock all forms forever.

* water * hidden * metamorphosis * idleness * wandering * ambush *


The realms that make up the great expanse of the afterworlds are not independent of each other, as much as some might hope for it. They are singular, yes, but they don’t exist in adamantine bubbles (or, at least, most of them do not); planes can, and do, reach out and touch each other.

This touch – an incursion – is very seldom passive and very rarely benign. A “lance” of realmstuff pierces the veil between worlds to plant itself into another plane, and wherever that tendril reaches, however it did so – called through great workings, willed into existence by a being of enough power, generated by fearsome machinery, dragged along by the metaphysical weight of the worlds themselves – wherever the incursion touches, any who desire to may cross over from the invading realm to the other.

(Travel in the other direction is more difficult, but also possible, in theory.)

More insidiously, the environment surrounding the incursion begins to slowly take on traits of the invading realm, living beings not excepted.

Incursions are not looked upon fondly. They are, after all, beachheads of invasion as often as not. Which means that those who can end them, or at least halt their influence, are often hailed as heroes (or villains, depending on who you ask).

Wilusa is an exception to these shiftings of realms; there are no recorded incursions into, or out of, the City Of Chains.

Hundred Crimson Garden Duchies: Manifold Palace

Behold, a place unfolding before one that could near-belong within the Corerealms: snowy mountains, rolling plains, deep forests of mystery and ancient growth, stony badlands and foam-lashed coasts.

Here countless freeholds and kingdoms, petty baronies and free cities — and, yes, many proud duchies — wheel and strive, bicker and war and trade and draw up great binding oaths between them, sealed by the acknowledgement and kiss of one or more of the Great Elder Suzerains who speak with commoners and kings alike between their deep and unpierceable slumbers, deep within their puzzle-box domains high in the peaks and far below the soil.

Oh, they farm and joust, craft and ornament and dedicate and trade — trade in such lovely things as silvery moon-lace and a dizzying array of blossoms of all hues and patterns, tastes and scents, prized enough to send wise rulers to war and worse.

But then, but then: there is the sky, as dark as gore; and the sun, like an orb the colour of a dragon’s-blood ruby. And the ivory claws, the moon-shine eyes, of the Suzerains. And, above all, the great rivers and delicate springs and blessed pools alike, that run not crystal clear — though there do be those — but with a sweet-salt live-giving liquid far thicker, and more ruddy, than water or wine.

Those who come to the Duchies are often shocked to their marrow.

Those who leave the Duchies behind find themselves shocked to require more lively sources to quench their thirst.

* cultivation * bonds * sanguinity * courtliness * beauty * genealogy * the great game *

Gebul: Foundation

The soothing susurrus of sand; sand that drifts through knotted labyrinths of chambers strung like gemstones on tangled passages through dense and layered strata, and whirls across the smooth-swelling rolling plains and rising peaks of weathered stone like a murmur of dust beneath the million million glittering facets, the uncountable colours, of the jeweled dome glowing softly overhead.

Gebul is a place of soothing sounds, of patience, of implacability. A place where the murmuring sand weathers away time, memories, concerns as it does the features of uncountable statues that slowly thrust through the surface of the stone, collecting all in placers of preciousness that collect in the cracks where stone lilies and pale tubers feed from them. Where veins of soft and colourless crystal pebbles are valued; swallowed, they refresh as water refreshes.

And it is also a place of eternal ending, whether ending comes in the form of dissolution or the engulfing embrace of stone.

The spires of Gebul hold jeweled cathedrals, they say; geodic amphitheatres and gleaming pillared halls that twist and coil deep down into the rock. Softly moving, slowly moving artisans craft coffers and sarcophagi of delicately etched slate, murmuring stones-of-poems in a gentle, unending rhythm.

And they say, as well, that Kevoken, the Velvet Shard, massive of stature and dark of patience, gathers the shale-scaled and mica-dusted clans who offer praise and worship together beneath a new banner …

* earth * waiting * dissolution * quietude * erosion * release *