Redoing Alignment/Metaphysics for 4E

   
Redoing Alignment/Metaphysics for 4E

So I have been giving it some thought, and I think we can and should redo the following for 4E:

1. The origin of Nurion story.

2. The metaphysics/planes

3. The alignments

I don't think it will be too hard. The origin story and alignments will be fairly easy, once we have the new planar system hammered out. I have been a bit disatisfied with the Farland planar system for 3.5; the names and description of the planes are unoriginal. This will be a good opportunity to redo them.

Let's start with a list. What are the planes in standard 4E (my DMG is at home and I'm at work)?

The key planes are the Shadowfell , The Feywild, The Elemental Chaos and the Astral Sea. There is also Sigil -- we could keep it, rename it, etc. One thought on Sigil is that it could be where Salystra is from, she could replace the Lady of Pain as the leader of it (in addition to the worship she receives from drow).

There are optional rules for as many as 6 'inner planes' and 17 'outer planes' -- but that seems overly complex to me.

One thought would be to make the Shadowfell 'evil', the Feywild 'good', Elemental Chaos 'chaos' and the Astral Sea 'law' -- or optionally, the Astral Sea could replace the astral plane/penumbra and the ethereal barrier could go away.

Actually, I like the idea of lawful -- and miss that from 3.5e. If we want to use a more unique system, maybe we could call it honor instead of law? Maybe a poll on the 4e thread would be in order?

We also need to update the creation story for other newer races - Tieflings, Eladrin, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeak View Post
The key planes are the Shadowfell , The Feywild, The Elemental Chaos and the Astral Sea. There is also Sigil -- we could keep it, rename it, etc. One thought on Sigil is that it could be where Salystra is from, she could replace the Lady of Pain as the leader of it (in addition to the worship she receives from drow).

There are optional rules for as many as 6 'inner planes' and 17 'outer planes' -- but that seems overly complex to me.
I totally agree. I am thinking we should try to keep the basic alignment system, but also try to keep as much of our
Remember that night?
so-frickin'-carefully-worked-out metaphysics as possible. So for that reason, I think we should just reduce the number of the planes and create original planes which map roughly to their four planes but have Farland flavor.

I'll sketch something up soon.

Quote:
We also need to update the creation story for other newer races - Tieflings, Eladrin, etc.
Actually Tiefling and Eladrin are easy. I already accounted for them. The only updating of races from the origin story will be the Dragonborn.

However, we will want to discuss which PHB 2 races to include in Farland.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farland View Post
Actually Tiefling and Eladrin are easy. I already accounted for them. The only updating of races from the origin story will be the Dragonborn.
You added the details/background, but they were not added to the creation story. We don't have to put all of the races in there, but may want to add some.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farland View Post
So for that reason, I think we should just reduce the number of the planes and create original planes which map roughly to their four planes but have Farland flavor.

I'll sketch something up soon.
Don't forget we need to explain WHY he is called the Walker in the Darkness -- that would necessitate that he is at least somehow connected to the Shadowfell. Also, if possible, I think we should keep the group of gods that started out, which explains the Book of Seven.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeak View Post
You added the details/background, but they were not added to the creation story. We don't have to put all of the races in there, but may want to add some.
Sure, although Eladrin and Tiefling, being subsets of existing races, probably don't merit their own discussion.

Quote:
Don't forget we need to explain WHY he is called the Walker in the Darkness -- that would necessitate that he is at least somehow connected to the Shadowfell. Also, if possible, I think we should keep the group of gods that started out, which explains the Book of Seven.
Good points, and I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farland View Post
Sure, although Eladrin and Tiefling, being subsets of existing races, probably don't merit their own discussion.
Then we should take the gnomes out, because we have gnomes as a subset of dwarves... Just to be consistent.

What feeling/purpose do you have for the planes? Classic D&D it is basically more places to adventure, echos of the material plane. It was just "more" and did not really have good reasons to be there. 4e is a little better then that, and with the discussion on Primal powers and how they interact adds to that as well.

From the looks of the Metaphysics page, it felt like you wanted something more substantive. Something to tie into a worship system, and give a world-level conflict between good and evil. Am I reading it right?

I agree about the names and the large number of planes. What would happen if separated it from alignment. Reduces the planes to Good/Neutral/Evil, or Light/Neutral/Dark. It would still have the compression and conflict, the need of an ethereal plane for protection. But it allows you to add and remove realms from the planes as needed. Gods and their Demi-gods could compete not only with their counterparts, but also compete with their contemporaries for planar influence. (Realms could rise and fall with the followers who worship the diety.)

I do realize that it is not very unique in many respects, but it makes a very small, stable framework to build the rest of the planes from. I would suggest not using the names of the standard planes. Because people are always going to associate them with the material in the book. (Feywilds and shadowfell will always be light/dark echos of the primary material plane for example.)

I'll let Farland respond to the above... But here are a few of my thoughts.

Deva - Natives to the Feywild. (We'd need to invent a direct descendant of the Shadowfell)
Eladrin - Half-Elf, Half-Deva
Goliath - Either Half-Dwarf, Half-Hill Giant -- or somehow an aftereffect of the creation of the first dwarves.
Shifters - Descendants of Lycanthropes
Tieflings How would you feel about changing it so that Tieflings were Half-Elf, Half-descendant of the Shadowfell? I would see Tieflings and Eladrin as being mortal enemies.


Primal Energy is energy tapped directly from Tanaraus and Sulis. We could either keep them together, or a particular primal class can be related to one/both of them.

Another metaphysics thought is that the power behind the worship mechanism comes directly from the proximity to Tanarus and Sulis (hence the desire for control of Nurion). Gods get this power through worship and in turn give a portion back in the form of divine power to encourage more worship. Primal classes take it directly from Tanarus and Sulis themselves. Arcane can still come from the Malestrom.

The big ? is going to be how to handle the elemental planes, since Farlandworld specifically noted that they did not exist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeak View Post
The big ? is going to be how to handle the elemental planes, since Farlandworld specifically noted that they did not exist.
Maybe make the elemental planes set in the Astral Sea? Consider them really big islands found on the Sea and you almost solve the problem.

Are they needed? Are Elemental planes still reasoned to exist so that wizards have a place to summon elementals from, or were they given more connection to the world in general. Perhaps the material plane is made up of the
and thus Captain Nurion was born
elemental planes, and elements are collected from the elemental energy of the world itself?




 

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