Sunday, August 9, 2009

Screaming from the beyond and fading into the void

One of the things I base Piecemeal around is being player driven. That means the mechanics and the world its set in should emphasize adventure, I have talked about this before on a general level. I also have mentioned how anything the NPC's can do, so should the PC's.

I generally try and keep from discussing any kind of "default setting" but I do throw setting information into Piecemeal, in the forms of tidbits of information that just scream "adventure setting".

One such example are the planes. In the system I use when running games, the planes are divided between reality, the inner planes (elemental planes, the plane of the dead, the astral plane, etc) , the outer planes (heavens and hells) and the far planes.

Today as a filler, I'll post some info from Piecemeal on the Far Planes, the wierd zones.

The Far Planes
The far planes consist of two polar opposite regions. The void and the beyond. Either realm will instantly destroy the mind and body of any living being who ventures to them, and even most mystical creatures will become insane and deformed. The beyond is said to be the infinite parts of our universe, not just in scope but that everything that can happen does, immediately. The void is the opposite, it is nothingness. Not emptiness, nothingness. The distance between any two points in the void is zero. It is zero personified.
The very narrowest edges of both "planes" can be explored however. The edge of the beyond (also known as the dreamscape) and the edge of the void (also known as the abyss)

The Dreamscape
The dreamscape is a very disturbing place to visit, and time has a very different meaning here. One could spend years in the dreamscape and return to find mere seconds had passed in reality. Everything in the realm is chaotic and unpredictable, chaotic monstrosities spawned in the beyond wander through the dreamscape and using the damage caused from various wizards throughout time, now find their way into reality, causing random destruction as they go. The ground and air itself is potentially fluidic, dangerous and constantly changing colour, everything a traveler sees will be like a weird acid trip mixed with a lava lamp and a collection of Salvador Dali artwork. Every hour a traveler spends exposed to the dreamscape they must make a resistance check or grow a mutation. Should they become unconscious in the dreamscape they must make an intelligence check or go insane. There is nothing permanent in the dreamscape, but powerful and insane wizards may hide here in temporary fortresses to heal and study. The difficulty of all spells is doubled, but mana is restored instantly. At many points through the dreamscape, it is possible to accidentally pass into the beyond itself.

The Abyss
The abyss is without any heat or light. If characters do not have their own, they will die. Chunks of matter float throughout the abyss, slowly crumbling and fading into nothing over the course of decades for smaller items and millennia for giant rocks and the debris of destroyed cities. There is no mana in the abyss, and any used will never recharge nor can it be channeled. Time does not pass the same in the abyss as in reality, a minute in the abyss is often day or more in reality. Gravity is also very light in the abyss, perhaps a tenth of what one would expect on another plane. There is air, sound can travel, it is even possible to scavenge water and edible matter if one is extremely lucky. Nothing is proven to live in the abyss, but it is strongly held that dark and ancient beings who seek to undo reality slumber in the abyss, waiting for agents who crawl through reality to awaken them. Somewhere deep in the abyss is a path to the void itself.


  1. One complaint I have about 4E D&D is their concept of other planes of existence, primarily the Fey Wild and the Shadowfell. For all the openness of the game, the 'just make it your own' spirit, I get a little bummed they put such a constraint mechanic-wise on other planes.

    I really wish they provided more examples for DMs to run with. This stuff here is some solid ideas for homebrew systems and campaigns. Thanks for posting.