Inner Planes

The Inner Planes are places of raw power and pure elements, of ultimate states and extreme conditions. They are the building blocks of the rest of the universe and represent matter and energy in their primal states. As destinations go, the Inner Planes are the most inhospitable to creatures from the Material Plane. Unprepared travelers are at best helpless before such power, and at worst they’re snuffed out like candles in a tornado. The Inner Planes consist of four Elemental Planes (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water) and two Energy Planes (Positive, the moving spirit of all life, and Negative, the force of decay and entropy).

Each of the Inner Planes is a region of roughly similar environment. The Elemental Plane of Earth, for example, is mostly solid matter, while flames overwhelm the Elemental Plane of Fire. On each of the planes are bits of other elements and substances, existing like islands in the otherwise overwhelming element or energy. Outsiders and visitors gravitate toward the comfort these islands provide. The City of Brass, on the Elemental Plane of Fire, is the best-known locale of this type.

Inner Planes Traits

The Inner Planes have a variety of unique qualities described under their individual entries. Even given the general similarities of the Inner Planes, movement, vision, and combat can vary radically from plane to plane. The individual planar descriptions cover such situations. Otherwise, the Inner Planes share the following traits.

• Normal, Heavy, or Subjective Directional Gravity: The Inner Planes have a variety of gravity traits. The Elemental Plane of Fire has the normal gravity trait, the Elemental Plane of Earth has the heavy gravity trait, and the mostly “empty” Elemental Planes of Air and Water have the subjective directional gravity trait, as do the Negative and Positive Energy Planes.
• Normal Time.
• Infinite Size.
• Alterable Morphic. 65
• Elemental and Energy Traits: Each Inner Plane has one of these traits according to its individual nature. The Elemental Plane of Air is air-dominant, for example, while the Negative Energy Plane is negative-dominant. Inner Planes you create yourself should have new elemental or energy traits to match. See the Elemental Plane of Cold and the Elemental Plane of Wood in the Appendix for two examples.
• Mildly Neutral-Aligned: Within the D&D cosmology, the Inner Planes have no affinity to particular alignments, though specific locations may have them. But regardless of alignment, the natives of the plane tend to be hostile to uninvited visitors.
• Enhanced Magic and Impeded Magic: Given the raw nature of the Inner Planes, some spells and spell-like abilities are enhanced while others are impeded. In general, spells that use the element or energy of that plane are enhanced, while those that use materials or energies opposite to the one dominant on that plane are impeded, while. The details of the enhanced magic trait differ from plane to plane (and from cosmology to cosmology). On some planes, spells and spell-like abilities are maximized or empowered, but on others they’re enlarged or extended.

Plane Opposing Element/Energy
Air Earth
Earth Air
Fire Water
Water Fire
Negative Positive
Positive Negative

Inner Planes Links

Within the D&D cosmology, the Inner Planes are unique, separate planes floating like islands on the Astral Plane. They can be accessed by means of gate and similar spells, but the Inner Planes are not coterminous to each other. This limited access keeps the Inner Planes mostly pure, except for islands of other elements. The Astral Plane leads to the Inner Planes, so spells that use the Astral Plane can lead to the Inner Planes as well. Magic portals also reach the Inner Planes, and they normally connect to settled areas on those planes that have some degree of tolerance for travelers from elsewhere. Finally, vortices exist between similar locations on other planes. These natural weak spots in reality allow creatures to move easily from an Inner Plane to the Material Plane. The heart of a volcano often contains a vortex between the Material Plane and the Elemental Plane of Fire, and a similar relationship often exists between the Negative Energy Plane and the darklands within the Plane of Shadow.

Connecting Inner Planes

As noted in Chapter 2, you can create a cosmology that does not adhere to the Great Wheel. One variant is to allow your Inner Planes to meld into each other, so a traveler can physically move between the Elemental Planes of Fire and Earth. These “paraplanes” of mixed elements along the border have the traits of both adjacent planes, and natives of both planes live there. Creatures native to these paraplanes would have immunity protecting them from the basic dangers of both planes, but creatures from the more “pure” regions of the Elemental Planes would not.

Similarly, the Elemental Planes can merge with the Energy Planes in border areas. These “quasi-planes” would have traits of both the Elemental Plane and the Energy Plane. These regions could be especially violent, dangerous, and dramatic due to the nature of the Energy Planes. Regions close to the Positive Energy Plane would be extremely dynamic and active, as the infusion of positive energy makes everything more vibrant.

Border regions close to the Negative Energy Plane tend to be drained of all life and color. These border regions work if the borders between the Inner Planes are indistinct and gradual, with one element slowly giving way to another. There are other approaches that work just as well.

• Set Borders: The planes have hard edges. A cliff marks where the Elemental Plane of Earth ends, and a wall of water marks the boundary of the Elemental Plane of Water.
• Shifting Borders: The planes have edges that move back and forth, creating regions that share the traits of both Inner Planes, but only one set of traits applies at a time. Imagine a scarred landscape wracked by volcanic eruptions and lava flows when it lies on the Elemental Plane of Fire, and constant earthquakes when it lies on the Elemental Plane of Earth.
• Elemental Pockets: Regions of one plane erupt onto another plane. If a pocket of the Elemental Plane of Earth emerges onto the Elemental Plane of Fire, the earth suffers all the normal effects for being there, but a vortex to the Elemental Plane of Earth exists at the heart of the outgrowth. Such elemental pockets usually have a guardian from the original Elemental Plane or Energy Plane at the vortex. In the D&D cosmology, certain planes are considered natural antagonists: Fire and Water, Earth and Air, and Positive and Negative. This does not have to be the case in your cosmology, and indeed there could be connections and borders between planes that might otherwise be thought of as opposites. The border between Earth and Air may be a perpetual dust-storm, between Fire and Water a raging maelstrom of both elements, and between Positive and Negative a continual explosion of these diametrically opposed energies.

Inner Planes Inhabitants

The natives of the Inner Planes tend to be either elemental creatures or outsiders. Elemental creatures are made up of the property of that plane; a magmin is made of elemental fire clear through, while a belker is nothing but smoky air. Elementals can mix two elements together. For instance, the thoqqua, which has both the fire and earth subtypes, is made of both. Cutting a thoqqua open would not reveal organs or living tissue (which is what you’d see with most outsiders), just more of its basic elemental essence. In addition, elemental creatures are spontaneously generated from the material of the plane itself rather than being “born” in a more traditional sense. A whirlpool on the Elemental Plane of Water or a gathering of winds on the Elemental Plane of Air can achieve sentience and become a free-thinking part of its native plane. If slain on its home plane, such an elemental returns to its basic, unthinking elemental nature.

Outsiders are more complex beings and often have more complex societies. This aspect makes them more comprehensible to natives of the Material Plane. Outsiders who call an Inner Plane home are immune to the natural effects of that plane. They are resistant or immune to damage of that type — at least to a degree.

Elemental Plane of Air

Elemental Plane of Earth

Elemental Plane of Fire

Elemental Plane of Water

Negative Energy Plane

Positive Energy Plane

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