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Mystaran Multiverse

M ystara lies in a completely different dimension from that of the default Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting.  Where the default campaign setting is located in the Material Plane of a dimension that conforms to the "Great Wheel Cosmology", Mystara is located in the Prime Plane, which is the Material Plane in a dimension known as the Multiverse.

Originally discussed in some details in the Dungeon & Dragons: Set 5: Immortal Rules "Gold Box" [Gold], the planar geography of the Mystaran Multiverse was also covered (with minor updates) in the Dungeons and Dragons Rules Cyclopedia [RC] and further expanded upon in the world-shaking Wrath of the Immortals set [WotI].

The cosmology of the Mystaran Multiverse in this document is intended to conform and integrate with the conventions presented in Dungeons & Dragons: Manual of the Planes and as covered in the section on the planes in the The d20 System Reference Document [d20-SRD]. For ease of reference, content from the SRD, modified slightly to account for differences between the Mystaran Multiverse and the Great Wheel, has been included in the Planar Geography 101 section.

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Planar Geography 101

What is a Plane?

T he planes of existence are different realities with interwoven connections. Except for rare linking points (called proximity nodes) each plane is effectively its own universe with its own natural laws. The planes break down into a number of general types: the Material Plane, the Transitive Planes, the Inner Planes, the Astraline Plane, the Outer Planes, and the demiplanes.

Material Plane

The Material Plane tends to be the most Earthlike of all planes and generally operate under the same set of natural laws that our own real world does.

Although it is believed that the Material Plane containing Mystara is the only Material Plane in the Mystaran Multiverse, scholars claim that it is theoretically possible that a heretofore unknown Outer Plane could exist which exhibits all the planar traits of the Material Plane.  It is also held to be a necessary condition of any alternate dimension that it must have at least one Material Plane. As a result, the Material Plane where Mystara is located, which is also the default plane for most Mystaran adventures, is generally referred to as the Prime Plane, to clearly differentiate it from any such theoretical or alternate Material Plane.

Transitive Planes

The transitive planes have one important common characteristic: Each is used to get from one place to another. The Astral Plane and the Shadow Plane are both conduits to all other planes except each other, while the Ethereal Plane serves as means of transportation within and between the Prime Plane and the Elemental Planes it connects. In general, these planes have the strongest regular interaction with the Material Plane and are often accessed by using various spells. They also have native inhabitants as well.

Inner Planes

These planes are manifestations of the basic elemental building blocks of the universe. Each is made up of a single type of element that overwhelms all others. The natives of a particular Inner Plane are made of the same element as the plane itself.

Astraline Plane

While the Prime Plane and Elemental Planes all float within the encompassing bubble of the Ethereal Plane, the Ethereal Plane itself is completely enclosed by an intermediary plane called the Astraline (so named because early planar travelers from Mystara originally thought it was actually the same plane as the Astral transitive plane).

The Astraline Plane is a very strange universe where everything, including the suns, planets and people appear to natives of Mystara as two-dimensional cardboard cut-outs. Few native creatures live there but it stands between the Prime Plane and Inner Planes and all the Outer Planes in the Mystaran Multiverse. As such the Astraline Plane serves as the key stepping stone that all planar travelers must pass through on their way to more distant planes.

Because of its central position with respect to planar travel in the Mystaran Multiverse the Astraline Plane is the assumed starting point in the planar addressing scheme used by Mystaran characters and Immortals to refer to the, frequently complicated, path of planes that must be taken to reach any other known plane. For example, the planar address for the Prime Plane is "Ethereal-Prime", since one must travel from the Astraline through the Ethereal to reach the Prime.  Similarly, the address to the outer plane known as Old Alphatia is "Draesdan-Old Alphatia", since one must travel from the Astraline through Draesdan to reach Old Alphatia.

Outer Planes

The Outer Planes is the name that refers, collectively, to all planes that exist beyond the Astraline Plane. These planes are often home to the Immortals or other creatures such as celestials, demons, and devils.

Many Outer Planes have an alignment, representing a particular moral or ethical outlook, and also a sphere bias, representing the sphere of power (of which there are five - Energy, Matter, Thought, Time and Entropy) with the greatest influence on that plane and its inhabitants. The natives of each plane tend to behave in agreement with that plane?s alignment and may also favor the dominant sphere of power.

There are countless Outer Planes in the Mystaran Multiverse, all of different shapes and sizes. While many are coexistent or coterminous with the Astraline Plane (and can thus be accessed from it directly), there are infinitely many more which are not even coterminous with the Astraline Plane and, sometimes, a given plane may require passage through a very long sequence of Outer Planes to be reached.  Still others may not even be directly accessible from any other Outer Plane, and only a Gate spell directed to an Immortal already on that plane would be capable of providing someone with access.


This catch-all category covers all extra-dimensional spaces that function like planes but have measurable size and limited access. The other kinds of planes are theoretically infinite in size, but a demiplane might be only a few hundred feet across.


Weak spots between two adjoining planes are known variously as proximity nodes, planar nodes or, most often, simply nodes. Travel between planes is usually easier at such nodes and many spells make use of them. All portals occur at nodes but not all nodes are open portals.

A special form of node, called a dimensional node, represents a weak spot through the Shadow Plane that links a plane in the Mystaran Multiverse dimension with a plane in an alternate dimension. Such dimensional nodes are usually only found on the most distant and dangerous Outer Planes. A suitable spell cast in the vicinity of a dimensional node may open up a conduit through the Shadow Plane to the alternate dimension.

Unless a traveler were to stumble across an existing conduit while traveling the Shadow Plane (an almost unheard of occurrence) finding a dimensional node is the only known way to travel from the Mystaran Multiverse to other dimensions.

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Planar Traits

E ach plane of existence has its own properties?the natural laws of its universe. Planar traits are broken down into a number of general areas. All planes have the following kinds of traits.

Physical Traits

The two most important natural laws set by physical traits are how gravity works and how time passes. Other physical traits pertain to the size and shape of a plane and how easily a plane?s nature can be altered.


The direction of gravity?s pull may be unusual, and it might even change directions within the plane itself.

Normal Gravity:
Most planes have gravity similar to that of the Material Plane. The usual rules for ability scores, carrying capacity, and encumbrance apply. Unless otherwise noted in a description, it is assumed every plane has the normal gravity trait.

Heavy Gravity:
The gravity on a plane with this trait is much more intense than on the Material Plane. As a result, Balance, Climb, Jump, Ride, Swim, and Tumble checks incur a ?2 circumstance penalty, as do all attack rolls. All item weights are effectively doubled, which might affect a character?s speed. Weapon ranges are halved. A character?s Strength and Dexterity scores are not affected. Characters who fall on a heavy gravity plane take 1d10 points of damage for each 10 feet fallen, to a maximum of 20d10 points of damage.

Light Gravity:
The gravity on a plane with this trait is less intense than on the Material Plane. As a result, creatures find that they can lift more, but their movements tend to be ungainly. Characters on a plane with the light gravity trait take a ?2 circumstance penalty on attack rolls and Balance, Ride, Swim, and Tumble checks. All items weigh half as much. Weapon ranges double, and characters gain a +2 circumstance bonus on Climb and Jump checks.

Strength and Dexterity don?t change as a result of light gravity, but what you can do with such scores does change. These advantages apply to travelers from other planes as well as natives.

Falling characters on a light gravity plane take 1d4 points of damage for each 10 feet of the fall (maximum 20d4).

No Gravity:
Individuals on a plane with this trait merely float in space, unless other resources are available to provide a direction for gravity?s pull.

Objective Directional Gravity:
The strength of gravity on a plane with this trait is the same as on the Material Plane, but the direction is not the traditional ?down? toward the ground. It may be down toward any solid object, at an angle to the surface of the plane itself, or even upward.

In addition, objective directional gravity may change from place to place. The direction of ?down? may vary.

Subjective Directional Gravity:
The strength of gravity on a plane with this trait is the same as on the Material Plane, but each individual chooses the direction of gravity?s pull. Such a plane has no gravity for unattended objects and nonsentient creatures. This sort of environment can be very disorienting to the newcomer, but is common on ?weightless? planes.

Characters on a plane with subjective directional gravity can move normally along a solid surface by imagining ?down? near their feet. If suspended in midair, a character ?flies? by merely choosing a ?down? direction and ?falling? that way. Under such a procedure, an individual ?falls? 150 feet in the first round and 300 feet in each succeeding round. Movement is straight-line only. In order to stop, one has to slow one?s movement by changing the designated ?down? direction (again, moving 150 feet in the new direction in the first round and 300 feet per round thereafter).

It takes a DC 16 Wisdom check to set a new direction of gravity as a free action; this check can be made once per round. Any character who fails this Wisdom check in successive rounds receives a +6 bonus on subsequent checks until he or she succeeds.


The rate of time?s passage can vary on different planes, though it remains constant within any particular plane. Time is always subjective for the viewer. The same subjectivity applies to various planes. Travelers may discover that they?ll pick up or lose time while moving among the planes, but from their point of view, time always passes naturally.

Normal Time:
This trait describes the way time passes on the Material Plane. One hour on a plane with normal time equals one hour on the Material Plane. Unless otherwise noted in a description, every plane has the normal time trait.

On planes with this trait, time still passes, but the effects of time are diminished. How the timeless trait can affect certain activities or conditions such as hunger, thirst, aging, the effects of poison, and healing varies from plane to plane.
The danger of a timeless plane is that once one leaves such a plane for one where time flows normally, conditions such as hunger and aging do occur retroactively.

Flowing Time:
On some planes, time can flow faster or slower. One may travel to another plane, spend a year there, then return to the Material Plane to find that only six seconds have elapsed. Everything on the plane returned to is only a few seconds older. But for that traveler and the items, spells, and effects working on him, that year away was entirely real.
When designating how time works on planes with flowing time, put the Material Plane?s flow of time first, followed by the same flow in the other plane.

Erratic Time:
Some planes have time that slows down and speeds up, so an individual may lose or gain time as he moves between the two planes. The following is provided as an example.

Table: Erratic Time
d% Time on Material Plane Time on Erratic Time Plane
01?10 1 day 1 round
11?40 1 day 1 hour
41?60 1 day 1 day
61?90 1 hour 1 day
91?100 1 round 1 day

To the denizens of such a plane, time flows naturally and the shift is unnoticed.
If a plane is timeless with respect to magic, any spell cast with a noninstantaneous duration is permanent until dispelled.

Shape and Size

Planes come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Most planes are infinite, or at least so large that they may as well be infinite.

Planes with this trait go on forever, though they may have finite components within them. Or they may consist of ongoing expanses in two directions, like a map that stretches out infinitely.

Finite Shape:
A plane with this trait has defined edges or borders. These borders may adjoin other planes or hard, finite borders such as the edge of the world or a great wall. Demiplanes are often finite.

Self-Contained Shape:
On planes with this trait, the borders wrap in on themselves, depositing the traveler on the other side of the map. A spherical plane is an example of a self-contained, finite plane, but there can be cubes, toruses, and flat planes with magical edges that teleport the traveler to an opposite edge when he crosses them.

Most demiplanes are self-contained.

Morphic Traits

This trait measures how easily the basic nature of a plane can be changed. Some planes are responsive to sentient thought, while others can be manipulated only by extremely powerful creatures. And some planes respond to physical or magical efforts.

Alterable Morphic:
On a plane with this trait, objects remain where they are (and what they are) unless affected by physical force or magic. You can change the immediate environment as a result of tangible effort.

Highly Morphic:
On a plane with this trait, features of the plane change so frequently that it?s difficult to keep a particular area stable. Such planes may react dramatically to specific spells, sentient thought, or the force of will. Others change for no reason.

Magically Morphic:
Specific spells can alter the basic material of a plane with this trait.

Divinely Morphic:
Specific unique beings (Immortals or similar great powers) have the ability to alter objects, creatures, and the landscape on planes with this trait. Ordinary characters find these planes similar to alterable planes in that they may be affected by spells and physical effort. But the deities may cause these areas to change instantly and dramatically, creating great kingdoms for themselves.

These planes are unchanging. Visitors cannot affect living residents of the plane, nor objects that the denizens possess. Any spells that would affect those on the plane have no effect unless the plane?s static trait is somehow removed or suppressed. Spells cast before entering a plane with the static trait remain in effect, however.

Even moving an unattended object within a static plane requires a DC 16 Strength check. Particularly heavy objects may be impossible to move.

These planes are ones that respond to a single thought? that of the plane itself. Travelers would find the plane?s landscape changing as a result of what the plane thought of the travelers, either becoming more or less hospitable depending on its reaction.

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Elemental and Energy Traits

Four basic elements and two types of energy together make up everything. The elements are earth, air, fire, and water. The types of energy are positive and negative.

The Material Plane reflects a balancing of those elements and energies; all are found there. Each of the Inner Planes is dominated by one element or type of energy. Other planes may show off various aspects of these elemental traits. Many planes have no elemental or energy traits; these traits are noted in a plane?s description only when they are present.

Mostly open space, planes with this trait have just a few bits of floating stone or other elements. They usually have a breathable atmosphere, though such a plane may include clouds of acidic or toxic gas. Creatures of the earth subtype are uncomfortable on air-dominant planes because they have little or no natural earth to connect with. They take no actual damage, however.

Planes with this trait are mostly solid. Travelers who arrive run the risk of suffocation if they don?t reach a cavern or other pocket within the earth. Worse yet, individuals without the ability to burrow are entombed in the earth and must dig their way out (5 feet per turn). Creatures of the air subtype are uncomfortable on earth dominant planes because these planes are tight and claustrophobic to them. But they suffer no inconvenience beyond having difficulty moving.
Fire-Dominant: Planes with this trait are composed of flames that continually burn without consuming their fuel source. Fire-dominant planes are extremely hostile to Material Plane creatures, and those without resistance or immunity to fire are soon immolated.

Unprotected wood, paper, cloth, and other flammable materials catch fire almost immediately, and those wearing unprotected flammable clothing catch on fire. In addition, individuals take 3d10 points of fire damage every round they are on a fire-dominant plane. Creatures of the water subtype are extremely uncomfortable on fire-dominant planes. Those that are made of water take double damage each round.

Planes with this trait are mostly liquid. Visitors who can?t breathe water or reach a pocket of air will likely drown. Creatures of the fire subtype are extremely uncomfortable on water-dominant planes. Those made of fire take 1d10 points of damage each round.

An abundance of life characterizes planes with this trait. The two kinds of positive-dominant traits are minor positive-dominant and major positive-dominant. A minor positive-dominant plane is a riotous explosion of life in all its forms. Colors are brighter, fires are hotter, noises are louder, and sensations are more intense as a result of the positive energy swirling through the plane. All individuals in a positive-dominant plane gain fast healing 2 as an extraordinary ability.

Major positive-dominant planes go even further. A creature on a major positive-dominant plane must make a DC 15 Fortitude save to avoid being blinded for 10 rounds by the brilliance of the surroundings. Simply being on the plane grants fast healing 5 as an extraordinary ability. In addition, those at full hit points gain 5 additional temporary hit points per round. These temporary hit points fade 1d20 rounds after the creature leaves the major positive- dominant plane. However, a creature must make a DC 20 Fortitude save each round that its temporary hit points exceed its normal hit point total. Failing the saving throw results in the creature exploding in a riot of energy, killing it.

Planes with this trait are vast, empty reaches that suck the life out of travelers who cross them. They tend to be lonely, haunted planes, drained of color and filled with winds bearing the soft moans of those who died within them. As with positive-dominant planes, negative-dominant planes can be either minor or major. On minor negative-dominant planes, living creatures take 1d6 points of damage per round. At 0 hit points or lower, they crumble into ash.

Major negative-dominant planes are even more severe. Each round, those within must make a DC 25 Fortitude save or gain a negative level. A creature whose negative levels equal its current levels or Hit Dice is slain, becoming a wraith. The death ward spell protects a traveler from the damage and energy drain of a negative-dominant plane.

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Alignment Traits

Some planes have a predisposition to a certain alignment. Most of the inhabitants of these planes also have the plane?s particular alignment, even powerful creatures such as deities. In addition, creatures of alignments contrary to the plane have a tougher time dealing with its natives and situations.

The alignment trait of a plane affects social interactions there. Characters who follow other alignments than most of the inhabitants do may find life more difficult.

Alignment traits have multiple components. First are the moral (good or evil) and ethical (lawful or chaotic) components; a plane can have either a moral component, an ethical component, or one of each. Second, the specific alignment trait indicates whether each moral or ethical component is mildly or strongly evident.

These planes have chosen a side in the battle of good versus evil. No plane can be both good-aligned and evil-aligned.

Law versus chaos is the key struggle for these planes and their residents. No plane can be both law-aligned and chaos-aligned.

Each part of the moral/ethical alignment trait has a descriptor, either ?mildly? or ?strongly,? to show how powerful the influence of alignment is on the plane.

Mildly Aligned:
Creatures who have an alignment opposite that of a mildly aligned plane take a ?2 circumstance penalty on all Charisma-based checks.

Strongly Aligned: On planes that are strongly aligned, a ?2 circumstance penalty applies on all Charisma-based checks made by all creatures not of the plane?s alignment. In addition, the ?2 penalty affects all Intelligence-based and Wisdom-based checks, too.

The penalties for the moral and ethical components of the alignment trait do stack.

Neutral-Aligned: A mildly neutral-aligned plane does not apply a circumstance penalty to anyone.

The Material Plane is considered mildly neutral-aligned, though it may contain high concentrations of evil or good, law or chaos in places.

A strongly neutral-aligned plane would stand in opposition to all other moral and ethical principles: good, evil, law, and chaos. Such a plane may be more concerned with the balance of the alignments than with accommodating and accepting alternate points of view. In the same fashion as for other strongly aligned planes, strongly neutral-aligned planes apply a ?2 circumstance penalty to Intelligence-, Wisdom-, or Charisma-based checks by any creature that isn?t neutral. The penalty is applied twice (once for law/chaos, and once for good/evil), so neutral good, neutral evil, lawful neutral, and chaotic neutral creatures take a ?2 penalty and lawful good, chaotic good, chaotic evil, and lawful evil creatures take a ?4 penalty.

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Magic Traits

A plane?s magic trait describes how magic works on the plane compared to how it works on the Material Plane. Particular locations on a plane (such as those under the direct control of deities) may be pockets where a different magic trait applies.

Normal Magic:
This magic trait means that all spells and supernatural abilities function as written. Unless otherwise noted in a description, every plane has the normal magic trait.

Wild Magic:
On a plane with the wild magic trait spells and spell-like abilities function in radically different and sometimes dangerous ways. Any spell or spell-like ability used on a wild magic plane has a chance to go awry. The caster must make a level check (DC 15 + the level of the spell or effect) for the magic to function normally. For spell-like abilities, use the level or HD of the creature employing the ability for the caster level check and the level of the spell-like ability to set the DC for the caster level check. Failure on this check means that something strange happens; roll d% and consult the table provided with the description of the Plane.  If no table is given, use the following table:

Table: Wild Magic Failures
d% Effect
01-19 Spell rebounds on caster with normal effect. If the spell cannot affect the caster, it simply fails.
20-23 A circular pit 15 feet wide opens under the caster?s feet; it is 10 feet deep per level of the caster.
24-27 The spell fails, but the target or targets of the spell are pelted with a rain of small objects (anything from flowers to rotten fruit), which disappear upon striking. The barrage continues for 1 round. During this time the targets are blinded and must make Concentration checks (DC 15 + spell level) to cast spells.
28-31 The spell affects a random target or area. Randomly choose a different target from among those in range of the spell or center the spell at a random place within range of the spell. To generate direction randomly, roll 1d8 and count clockwise around the compass, starting with south. To generate range randomly, roll 3d6. Multiply the result by 5 feet for close range spells, 20 feet for medium range spells, or 80 feet for long range spells.
32-35 The spell functions normally, but any material components are not consumed. The spell is not expended from the caster?s mind (a spell slot or prepared spell can be used again). An item does not lose charges, and the effect does not count against an item?s or spell-like ability?s use limit.
36-39 The spell does not function. Instead, everyone (friend or foe) within 30 feet of the caster receives the effect of a heal spell.
40-43 The spell does not function. Instead, a deeper darkness and a silence effect cover a 30-foot radius around the caster for 2d4 rounds.
44-47 The spell does not function. Instead, a reverse gravity effect covers a 30-foot radius around the caster for 1 round.
48-51 The spell functions, but shimmering colors swirl around the caster for 1d4 rounds. Treat this a glitterdust effect with a save DC of 10 + the level of the spell that generated this result.
52-59 Nothing happens. The spell does not function. Any material components are used up. The spell or spell slot is used up, and charges or uses from an item are used up.
60-71 Nothing happens. The spell does not function. Any material components are not consumed. The spell is not expended from the caster?s mind (a spell slot or prepared spell can be used again). An item does not lose charges, and the effect does not count against an item?s or spell-like ability?s use limit.
72-98 The spell functions normally.
99-100 The spell functions strongly. Saving throws against the spell incur a -2 penalty. The spell has the maximum possible effect, as if it were cast with the Maximize Spell feat. If the spell is already maximized with the feat, there is no further effect.

Impeded Magic:
Particular spells and spell-like abilities are more difficult to cast on planes with this trait, often because the nature of the plane interferes with the spell.

To cast an impeded spell, the caster must make a Spellcraft check (DC 20 + the level of the spell). If the check fails, the spell does not function but is still lost as a prepared spell or spell slot. If the check succeeds, the spell functions normally.

Enhanced Magic:
Particular spells and spell-like abilities are easier to use or more powerful in effect on planes with this trait than they are on the Material Plane.

Natives of a plane with the enhanced magic trait are aware of which spells and spell-like abilities are enhanced, but planar travelers may have to discover this on their own.

If a spell is enhanced, certain metamagic feats can be applied to it without changing the spell slot required or the casting time. Spellcasters on the plane are considered to have that feat or feats for the purpose of applying them to that spell. Spellcasters native to the plane must gain the feat or feats normally if they want to use them on other planes as well.

Limited Magic:
Planes with this trait permit only the use of spells and spell-like abilities that meet particular qualifications.

Magic can be limited to effects from certain schools or sub-schools, to effects with certain descriptors, or to effects of a certain level (or any combination of these qualities). Spells and spell-like abilities that don?t meet the qualifications simply don?t work.

Dead Magic:
These planes have no magic at all. A plane with the dead magic trait functions in all respects like an antimagic field spell. Divination spells cannot detect subjects within a dead magic plane, nor can a spellcaster use teleport or another spell to move in or out. The only exception to the ?no magic? rule is permanent planar portals, which still function normally.

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Sphere Bias Traits

The Spheres of Power

All planes in the Mystaran Multiverse are made up of the five Spheres or Power: Energy, Matter, Thought, Time and Entropy.  These are the purest sources of raw power and the most essential ingredients in the Mystaran Multiverse.  Every plane has a composition that includes all five Spheres of Power but the balance between them is different on each plane. Planes with a higher proportion of Energy tend to be more magical than those with a greater proportion of Matter, planes with a large proportion of Time are more orderly than those with a large proportion of Thought. Any area in which Entropy is dominant soon crumbles into decay.

The Immortals of Mystara all serve one of the Sphere of Power and all strive to increase the influence that their own Sphere holds within the Mystaran Multiverse at the expense of all the others. However, if one sphere were actually allowed to gain a significant advantage over the others the resulting imbalance could lead to the destruction of the Mystaran Multiverse as it currently exists.  Thus, most Immortals recognize the need for the continued existence of all the other spheres and will act to ensure that such a critical imbalance never occurs.

Sphere Bias

When the five Spheres of Power are blended in a way such that the essence of a particular plane contains a greater proportion of one Sphere than the others, that plane is said to have a sphere bias trait. A sphere bias may either be mild or strong, depending on how much greater the proportion of the one Sphere is compared to all the others.  The Prime Plane is the only known plane in the Mystaran Multiverse in which all five Spheres are equally balanced and which, therefore, has no sphere bias trait.

There are five possible sphere bias traits, one for each Sphere of Power:

Sphere Interactions

Each Sphere interacts with the other Spheres in accordance with the principles of Dominance and Opposition.

A Dominant Sphere tends to consume the essence of the dominated Sphere, deriving greater power at the expense of the other in the process.  This has the greatest effect on spellcasting and spells with a sphere descriptor may be Enhanced or Impeded.

The Principle of Dominance does not cause any magic effects on a mildly-biased plane..

Spells with a sphere descriptor that is dominated by that of a strongly-biased plane are Impeded.  Spells with a sphere descriptor that dominates that of a strongly-biased plane are Enhanced by the Heighten Spell feat.  Spells with a sphere descriptor that is the same as that of a strongly-biased plane are Enhanced in two or more metamagic feats.  Spells without a sphere descriptor or with a sphere descriptor that does not dominate, is not dominated and is not the same as that of a strongly-biased plane are not affected by the Principle of Dominance

Each of the five Spheres of Power dominates exactly one other sphere, as follows:

The Principle of Dominance is most fully realized on the Elemental and Energy Planes.  On most Outer Planes, however, the magic traits follow the dictates of the Immortal(s) whose Home Plane it is and, as a result, may show only some or even none of these effects.

The Principle of Opposition, on the other hand, implies a philosophical opposition, similar in nature to alignment, and tends to translate to more personal effects:  Creatures with a sphere subtype may find that some of their abilities are affected by a plane's sphere bias.  As each of the Spheres of Power engenders its own philosophy and is also loosely associated with a particular alignment, some of the effects a sphere bias has on creatures with a sphere subtype are similar to the effects associated with alignment traits:

Creatures with a sphere subtype opposed to a mildly-biased plane take a -2 circumstance penalty on all Charisma-based checks.  This circumstance penalty stacks with alignment trait penalties.  Creatures with other sphere subtypes or without a sphere subtype are not affected by the Principle of Opposition.

Creatures with a sphere subtype that is different than that of a strongly-biased plane suffer a -2 circumstance penalty to all Charisma-based checks. Creatures with a sphere subtype opposed to a strongly-biased plane also take a -2 circumstance penalty to all wisdom and intelligence-based checks and must apply natural healing at half the normal rate. Creatures with a sphere subtype that is the same as that of a strongly-biased plane apply natural healing at twice the normal rate.  The circumstance penalties stack with alignment trait penalties.  Creatures without a sphere sub-type are not affected by the Principle of Opposition.

Each of the five Spheres of Power opposes one or more of the other spheres, as follows:

Sphere Subtype and Descriptors

The following table provides information on how sphere subtypes and sphere descriptors are assigned:

Table: Assigning Sphere Subtypes and Sphere Descriptors
Creatures with a Sphere Subtype Spells with a Sphere Descriptor
  • Natives of a strongly-biased plane
    (as the sphere bias of their native plane)
  • Immortals and Exalted beings
    (as the Sphere of Power they follow).
  • Matter:  Any spell that uses, manipulates or creates earth, gems, stone, metal or wood.
  • Time:  Any spell that speeds up, slows down, or otherwise modifies the passage of time for its target; Any spell with a water descriptor; any spell that uses, manipulates or creates water.
  • Energy: Any spell with an electricity, fire or sonic descriptor.
  • Thought: Any spell with a mind-affecting or language- dependent descriptor; Any spell with an air descriptor; Any spell that uses, manipulates or creates air or gas.
  • Entropy: Any spell that uses negative energy; Any spell that causes disintegration or darkness.

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Planar Interactions

Separate Planes:
Two planes that are separate do not overlap or directly connect to each other. They are like planets in different orbits. The only way to get from one separate plane to the other is to go through a third plane.

Coterminous Planes:
Planes that touch at specific points are coterminous. Where they touch, a connection exists, and travelers can leave one reality behind and enter the other.

Coexistent Planes:
If a link between two planes can be created at any point, the two planes are coexistent. These planes overlap each other completely. A coexistent plane can be reached from anywhere on the plane it overlaps. When moving on a coexistent plane, it is often possible to see into or interact with the plane it coexists with.

Layered Planes:
Infinities may be broken into smaller infinities, and planes into smaller, related planes. These layers are effectively separate planes of existence, and each layer can have its own planar traits. Layers are connected to each other through a variety of planar gates, natural vortices, paths, and shifting borders.

Access to a layered plane from elsewhere usually happens on a specific layer: the first layer of the plane, which can be either the top layer or the bottom layer, depending on the specific plane. Most fixed access points (such as portals and natural vortices) reach this layer, which makes it the gateway for other layers of the plane. The plane shift spell also deposits the spellcaster on the first layer of the plane.

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Cosmology of the Mystaran Multiverse

M ystara is  a single planet in a universe of suns and planets. That universe is the Prime Plane (a Material Plane) and the Prime Plane is just one of the numerous planes that, together make up the Mystaran Multiverse dimension.  This section contains descriptions of the most important, known planes in the Mystaran Multiverse and also discusses the Planar addressing scheme that is used by the characters and Immortals of Mystara.

Planar Addressing

Scholars of the Mystaran Multiverse, as do most scholars, strive to classify their area of study in ways that make it easier for them to compile and compare information.  Something that Mystaran Planar Geographers have adopted is a planar addressing scheme that identifies the shortest known path of planes that one must travel in order to reach a known plane. 

Because of its central position with respect to planar travel in the Mystaran Multiverse the Astraline Plane is the assumed starting point in this planar addressing scheme. For example, the planar address for the Prime Plane is "Ethereal-Prime" since, starting from the Astraline, one must travel from through the Ethereal to reach the Prime.  Similarly, the address to the outer plane known as Old Alphatia is "Draesdan-Old Alphatia" since one must travel through Draesdan first in order to reach Old Alphatia.

This Planar Address is included with the list of planar traits for each plane that is described in the following section

Plane Descriptions


The names of planes that are not in found in The d20 System Reference Document [d20-SRD], and the descriptive text for all planes included herein are Product Identity belonging to Wizards of the Coast

The Prime Plane

The Prime Plane is the Material Plane of the Mystaran Multiverse and, as with most cosmologies, defines what is considered normal. It is much like our own universe, consisting of an infinite vacuum with billions of stars forming galaxies and orbited by planets, many of which are inhabited.  The standard

Prime Plane Traits

The Prime Plane is a typical Material Plane possessing all of the standard traits as described in The d20 System Reference Document [d20-SRD]:

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The Ethereal Plane

In the Mystaran Multiverse the Ethereal Plane, also called the "Ether", entirely surrounds the Prime Plane and the four Elemental Planes. The Ethereal is 'coexistent' and 'coterminous' with these planes, meaning that every point on the Prime Plane and on the Elemental Planes touches a point on the Ethereal, although there are areas of the Ethereal that do not border the Prime or the Elemental Planes. These coexistent regions of other planes are 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 Prime Plane and the Elemental Planes from the coexistent regions of the Ethereal Plane, the Ethereal Plane is usually invisible to those on the other planes. Normally, creatures on the Ethereal Plane cannot attack creatures on a coexistent plane, and vice versa. A traveler on the Ethereal Plane is invisible, incorporeal, and utterly silent to someone on a coexistent 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.

Ethereal Plane Traits

The Mystaran Ethereal Plane is very similar to the standard Ethereal Plane as described in The d20 System Reference Document [d20-SRD]. It has the following traits:

Regarding magic, spells and spell-like abilities that have the force descriptor and abjuration spells that affect ethereal beings can cross into the Ethereal from a coexistent plane. Spellcasters on a coexistent plane must have some way to detect foes on the Ethereal Plane before targeting them with force-based spells, of course. While it is possible to hit ethereal enemies with a force spell cast on a coexistent plane, the reverse still isn't possible. As stated above, no magical attacks cross from the Ethereal Plane to a coexistent plane, including force attacks.

Ethereal Curtains

Ethereal Curtains, as described in the Manual of the Planes [MotP] exist in the Ethereal Plane of the Mystaran Multiverse but an Outer Plane must allow access from the Astral for it to have a corresponding curtain since curtains usually create conduits through the Astral.

Very rarely a curtain may be found that leads to the Shadow Plane and 5% of these curtains actually form a conduit through the Deep Shadow and to the Negative Energy Plane:

Table: Random Ethereal Curtains for the Mystaran Multiverse
d% Plane Color
01-15 Elemental Plane of Fire Flickering red
16-30 Elemental Plane of Earth Flickering brown
31-45 Elemental Plane of Water Flickering green
46-60 Elemental Plane of Air Flickering blue
61-77 Prime Plane Swirl of red, brown, green & blue
78-87 Astraline Silvery blue
88-89 Astral Plane Swirling silvery blue
90-99 Outer Plane Varies according to Sphere bias*
Shadow curtain; make a second d% roll:
d% Plane Color
01-80 Shadow Plane Swirling dark gray
81-95 Shadow Plane, Darklands Dark gray
96-100 Negative Energy Plane Solid Black

*Curtains tend to have a color based on the Sphere Bias of the plane to which they lead: pink for Energy, tan for Matter, light blue for Thought, light Green for Time and gray for Entropy. Strong biases lead to deeper colors but there are always variations in texture and appearance which help to distinguish between different planes with the same bias.

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The Plane of Shadow

The Plane of Shadow is a transitive plane made up of sub-regions that are each coexistent with another plane in the Mystaran Multiverse. It is a world of black and white that looks like a photographic negative of the terrain from the coexistent plane. Each region connects to a deeper part of the Shadow Plane called the Deep Shadow and beyond the Deep Shadow lies an infinite number of alternate dimensions.  In theory, with the right spell cast in the right location, a character could use the Plane of Shadow to visit other realities.

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 is coexistent with every plane in the Mystaran Multiverse except the Astral Plane. Knowledgeable planar travelers can use the Plane of Shadow to cover great distances on a coexistent plane very quickly.  Spells like Plane Shift and Travel use the Shadow Plane to form conduits between the planes, however these spells can not access the Deep Shadow and thus restrict planar travelers to movement between coterminous regions only. For this reason, most planar travel in Mystara is accomplished one plane at a time, in accordance with the Mystaran planar addressing scheme.

Plane of Shadow Traits

The Mystaran Plane of Shadow is very similar to the standard Plane of Shadow as described in The d20 System Reference Documentt [d20-SRD]. It has the following traits:

Shadow Portals

Portals from the Plane of Shadow to other planes are mainly found along the border regions where the Plane of Shadow region coexistent with one plane is coterminous with the Plane of Shadow region coexistent with another plane.  However, these portals only go to the planes along that border.

The only other portals on the Plane of Shadow are found in the Darklands regions of the Deep Shadow and lead to the Negative Energy Plane. There are no portals leading from the Plane of Shadow to the Astral Plane as these two planes are neither coexistent nor coterminous in the Mystaran Multiverse.

For these reasons, travelers on the Shadow Plane are forced to access planes one plane at a time, in accordance with the Mystaran planar addressing scheme. It takes 1d4 hours of constant travel to find a random portal.

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The Astral Plane

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The Elemental Plane of Air

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The Elemental Plane of Earth

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The Elemental Plane of Fire

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The Elemental Plane of Water

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The Negative Energy Plane

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The Astraline

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Magic on the Planes

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