Rage of Elements lore from today’s panel


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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With the announcement of Rage of Elements yesterday and the addition of the Planes of Metal and Wood, there were some questions of if this was a retcon, an alternate interpretation of the planes, or something else.

Eleanor gave us the answer in today’s panel: Ranginori’s freedom and attempts to free his fellows altered the cosmic balance of the elemental planes, returning them to an older form that predates the imprisonment of the Good elemental lords. Metal and Wood are recently-returned, an ongoing process that elemental scholars on Golarion are still studying.

Liberty's Edge

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Hope we will get new Elemental Lords (both Good and Evil) for Metal and Wood.

Wayfinders

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Apparently there was something about the elemental lords of Metal and Wood wanting to stay out of the conflict that the other four pairs were in, so presumably yes.

We also know there will be genies and elementals for both of these - and I'd assume new primal dragons as well.
Maybe even new geniekin as well (pure speculation but a great selling point potentially), which I'd be delighted about - having a tree-trunk arm or chunks of metal growing on your skin sounds awesome.

The Plane of Wood was broadly described as "the garden" plane, one of creativity and "huge scale" - certainly the concept art had both humongous trees and carefully-sculpted landscapes, so it's quite distinct from the First World's natural elements in that sense.

The Plane of Metal was described as one of decay over time (rust), magnetism, and other such things, though specifically not a plane of machinery.

Dark Archive

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Sounds like a bit handwavy retcon, but I guess they wanted to make cosmology further different from D&D.

But yeah wonder if wood and metal geniekin ancestries are also a thing now huh.

Edit: Chatted about this with one of my players and I agree with them that if panel explanation is the thing, its bit too complicated since it sounds like simpler explanation would be "wood and metal planes always existed, but were inaccessible due to their respective elemental lords locking planes away until Ranginori got freed" rather than it being some natural cosmic balance thing


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RiverMesa wrote:
The Plane of Metal was described as one of decay over time (rust), magnetism, and other such things, though specifically not a plane of machinery.

I'm intrigued about the plane of metal as a place of decay since the buik of the extremely radioactive elements are metals. So you have places in the plane of metal with just so much Plutonium, to say nothing about the higher elements that are created on earth with particle accelerators and exist only for fractions of seconds.

The plane of metal has both very slow and very fast decay!


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I'm reserving judgement since I have been historically sour on the notion of living, or at least organic things being described as 'elements' (where is the elemental plane of bone?), I'm still very interested to see how the question of the elemental planes gets shaken up into something fresh and interesting. Elemental forces are an old love of mine, but so often they fall into palette-swapped sets of each other isolated from anything that would make them feel grounded in the world (or, possibly worse, when they are distinguished from one another it's done unevenly).

... I wonder if this means the old elemental sorcerer is about to get a new set of options. Perhaps piercing/slashing for a metal elemental toss?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
RiverMesa wrote:
The Plane of Metal was described as one of decay over time (rust), magnetism, and other such things, though specifically not a plane of machinery.

I'm intrigued about the plane of metal as a place of decay since the buik of the extremely radioactive elements are metals. So you have places in the plane of metal with just so much Plutonium, to say nothing about the higher elements that are created on earth with particle accelerators and exist only for fractions of seconds.

The plane of metal has both very slow and very fast decay!

I'm also wondering how that will be different from zones like the Blistering Labyrinth on the Plane of Earth, which is also incredibly radioactive.


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I find it interesting that they are going with a major lore change to the elemental planes rather than a generalization that would let them add other elements later on. It would have been easier for them to say that there are the four "major" elements and numerous "minor" ones and provided Metal and Wood as two examples of the latter. Then Paizo (or, for that matter, and 3pp) could add other elements at will without upsetting the lore.

But I am guessing that they are doing something in this book that requires a coherent and complete structure of elements.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm interested to hear about the elemental lords of these new planes. Given that they wanted to stay out of the conflict from the "core" planes it might make sense for their lords to be lawful and chaotic not good and evil.

Liberty's Edge

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Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

I'm reserving judgement since I have been historically sour on the notion of living, or at least organic things being described as 'elements' (where is the elemental plane of bone?), I'm still very interested to see how the question of the elemental planes gets shaken up into something fresh and interesting. Elemental forces are an old love of mine, but so often they fall into palette-swapped sets of each other isolated from anything that would make them feel grounded in the world (or, possibly worse, when they are distinguished from one another it's done unevenly).

... I wonder if this means the old elemental sorcerer is about to get a new set of options. Perhaps piercing/slashing for a metal elemental toss?

Wood and Metal are traditional asian elements. So, Tian-Xia in Golarion.

I guess they wanted the elemental planes to be less Avistan-centric.


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Yeah I don't buy the whole "oh its because tian xia and it was too avistan centric".

The reason why I don't buy it is that it doesn't make much sense to have the first world (the plane of pure wilderness) and then say "there was always a secret source plane for all plants that nobody knew about". Not to mention that if we go by the chinese elements there would be no plane of Air.

Then the whole plane of earth being a thing along side the plane of metal now creates the issue of there being two major elemental planes of metal. Most of what we call "earth" is made of metals bundled up with the abundant non-metals.

This is why I agree that making it into subplanes would had made more sense. They already have lore that there are many different kinds of demiplanes and lesser planes. Are they going to add new major planes every single time?

*********************

* P.S. It aould had made more sense if the metal and wood planes were created after the earth plane exploded/got shredded. That way you would have all the metals in the plane of metal and all the non-metals in the wood plane. That would had let them sell the "its for tian xia" thing, without creating a whole bunch of plot holes.

Bonus points because it wouldn't be a retcon.


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I will accept any justification. More cool stuff is cool.

Wayfinders

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The First World is certainly not a "plane of pure wilderness" - it's an earlier draft of reality, civilized or not.

After all Hell is also full of fire (among other things), and Abaddon is full of (un)death (among other things), but they co-exist just fine with the Plane of Fire and the Negative Energy Plane respectively - I'm sure the way they'll present these here will, for the most part, make sense with the whole, though it certainly is a challenge to try to integrate whole new planes into an otherwise well-established cosmology.

Iunno, I'm excited, but we'll have to wait and see for the end result.


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The Raven Black wrote:
Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

I'm reserving judgement since I have been historically sour on the notion of living, or at least organic things being described as 'elements' (where is the elemental plane of bone?), I'm still very interested to see how the question of the elemental planes gets shaken up into something fresh and interesting. Elemental forces are an old love of mine, but so often they fall into palette-swapped sets of each other isolated from anything that would make them feel grounded in the world (or, possibly worse, when they are distinguished from one another it's done unevenly).

... I wonder if this means the old elemental sorcerer is about to get a new set of options. Perhaps piercing/slashing for a metal elemental toss?

Wood and Metal are traditional asian elements. So, Tian-Xia in Golarion.

I guess they wanted the elemental planes to be less Avistan-centric.

I see it more as a push to make the planes more Wuxing-inclusive, not so much to make them less Avistan-focused. Now they fit both the Aristotelian and Wuxing models, which is fun.

Edit: I suppose technically the kineticist wouldn't fit the Arostitelian model at present since aether won't be represented in the upcoming elements options, but still.


The Raven Black wrote:
Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

I'm reserving judgement since I have been historically sour on the notion of living, or at least organic things being described as 'elements' (where is the elemental plane of bone?), I'm still very interested to see how the question of the elemental planes gets shaken up into something fresh and interesting. Elemental forces are an old love of mine, but so often they fall into palette-swapped sets of each other isolated from anything that would make them feel grounded in the world (or, possibly worse, when they are distinguished from one another it's done unevenly).

... I wonder if this means the old elemental sorcerer is about to get a new set of options. Perhaps piercing/slashing for a metal elemental toss?

Wood and Metal are traditional asian elements. So, Tian-Xia in Golarion.

I guess they wanted the elemental planes to be less Avistan-centric.

Temperans wrote:
Yeah I don't buy the whole "oh its because tian xia and it was too avistan centric".

To me, the ethnic is less Golarion's Tian-Xia and more Earth's China. The ancient Chinese elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water have existing lore about them that people thought was intuitive. Intuitive is great in a game.

The elementals planes strike me as Play-Doh worlds. An entire world is shaped of one substance as if that substance were magical modeling clay that could come to life as real things. Then we add lots of the real things made of that substance, too. The concept is silly. In contrast, Play-Doh summoning spells makes sense, because it makes spell descriptions easy: "I summon a creature made of rock! And other creature made of water!" It is like the classic Fireball spell, "I throw fire." Real flamethrowers shoot burning fuel, not fire itself, but treating fire as an element makes magic simpler.

Erik Mona said about Rage of Elements, "A lot of players out there have fought fire elements and air elements, but you start throwing wood and metal elementals at them, and they are not knowing what to do." A few weeks ago in my PF2-converted Ironfang Invasion campaign, I had to port Forgefiends to PF2 rules, "A massive, fire-filled maw splits the belly of this lumbering iron-skinned fiend, whose short arms end in razor-sharp claws. ... Scanderigs, more commonly known as “forgefiends,” look like large, heavily armored, barrel-shaped giants, with enormous mouths in their bellies in addition to the normal-sized ones in their heads. They are native to the Plane of Earth, ..." These earth elements are made of metal with the fire of a forge in their bellies. And they have an adamantine bite for rending armor. They would make more sense as metal elementals than earth elements.

On the other hand, I thought of the Material Plane as the source of plants and animals. The summoned plants and animals are said to be from afterlife worlds that copy the natural worlds of the Material Plane. A separate plane of wood seems redundant.

On the third hand, we have a loose correspondence between the four main energy types of Pathfinder and the four Pathfinder elements. Acid corresponds to earth, cold corresponds to water, electricity corresponds to air, and fire corresponds to fire, Matching fire to fire is blatantly obvious, and ice, a state of water, represents cold. The other two correspondences are iffy. But metal is a famous conductor of electricity, so the metal elementals would naturally use electricity energy. We could move the link with the air element to sonic energy instead, which makes more sense. Earth is still stuck with acid, unless we create the elemental plane of alchemy. Earth is associated with weight and pressure, so it would match best with force energy.


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I think when you're dealing with purely metaphysical things like "how the planes are organized" Paizo should feel free to retcon anything they want whenever they want and also not explain it.

Tangible things like "Galfrey used to be Queen of Mendev but now she isn't" requires explanation on the page, but "there are more planes than we thought and they're arranged differently than we thought" absolutely does not. In fact it generally annoys me the extent to which Pathfinder books attempt to explain things about the metaphysical universe that should be impossible for mortals to understand.

Like it's fair to have "there are four elemental planes" to be the consensus among magical academics and then suddenly they discover two more, and nobody really knows why (but there are lots of theories.)


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Definitely kineticists should have the ability to fling wood or plants around because that is a cool and common character type which isn't completely represented elsewhere (Druid for the more mystical nature mage, but not so much for the "I punch with trees" vibe) and I relish in the opportunity to make a flower bender.

An elemental plane of wood on the other hand still strikes me as weird. I knew when I saw it that it would be to fit in the missing parts of the wuxing (well, not missing so much as not specifically delineated as a separate element in Avistan when it comes to metal), but one of the things I liked about the Great Beyond cosmology was how logical the inner sphere was organized from in to out. Easily there is room to fit the metal plane between earth and fire at the border where ores melt into metals, but wood remains a question of being a collection of organisms.

There are plenty of other, more setting-consistent ways to bring us wood benders than adding new elemental planes for each. Wuxing often gets translated as an elemental system but it doesn't compare directly 1:1 to Classical elements as a model of the composition of matter. Thisvis partvof why the new wood plane is linked with growth and metal eith decay. Theres plenty of ways to bring wuxing in that dont involve making every substance its own elemental plane.

That said, again I wait to see what they do with it before I complain, "they changed it now it sucks". For all i know when I see it I'll realize how brilliant it actually is.


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For one thing I never really liked that the phytokineticist was linked with the First World. Since the First World really shouldn't be contributing anything to the more finished version of reality- its abandonment by the gods and subsequent isolation from everything else is pretty key to what it is.

Plus it doesn't make sense for the First World to be the place for regular trees, since the First World is also the place for Trees that speak Latin, Trees that grow upside down, Trees that get up and walk around, Trees with human flesh, etc. So if you're doing "tree stuff with planar energy" but it's normal tree stuff and never "this tree is orange, sings when you touch it, and is covered with porcupine quills" (which is absolutely a tree you can find in the First World) then your power source should be something other than the First World.

Like part of the role of the First World as the dress rehearsal for reality was letting the Gods figure out "how much can we mutate a tree before it stops being a tree?"

Liberty's Edge

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The thing is the four classic elemental planes in the DnD / PF cosmology we are so used to that we don't even question it anymore is merely an exclusively European representation that just ignores the fact that there are other cultures that have other different representations of elements which are just as valid.

This is what Paizo is correcting. More power to them I say.


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The Raven Black wrote:

The thing is the four classic elemental planes in the DnD / PF cosmology we are so used to that we don't even question it anymore is merely an exclusively European representation that just ignores the fact that there are other cultures that have other different representations of elements which are just as valid.

This is what Paizo is correcting. More power to them I say.

I don't have time right now for a full comment, but I wanted to poke this notion just briefly. The four elements we are used to are not exclusively European and they lack the aether element as already pointed out, which is.

I'd rather there be a Wood elemental plane than to insist the cosmology be beholden to Greek elements but I'd also rather the introduction of other elemental styles actually be a faithful representation of those styles, too, and I don't yet have a clear picture what that would mean on my limited leash.


Idk I think "wuxiaing" a setting just for the sake of that seems more like wanting to change things for the sake of changing things.

Also yeah the 4 element model is not just an european thing.


Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

Definitely kineticists should have the ability to fling wood or plants around because that is a cool and common character type which isn't completely represented elsewhere (Druid for the more mystical nature mage, but not so much for the "I punch with trees" vibe) and I relish in the opportunity to make a flower bender.

An elemental plane of wood on the other hand still strikes me as weird. I knew when I saw it that it would be to fit in the missing parts of the wuxing (well, not missing so much as not specifically delineated as a separate element in Avistan when it comes to metal), but one of the things I liked about the Great Beyond cosmology was how logical the inner sphere was organized from in to out. Easily there is room to fit the metal plane between earth and fire at the border where ores melt into metals, but wood remains a question of being a collection of organisms.

The Plane of Wood could be at a similar intersection, just between Earth and Water. While that's obviously not all plants and life need to flourish in reality it works well enough as an elemental shorthand.

Liberty's Edge

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Temperans wrote:

Idk I think "wuxiaing" a setting just for the sake of that seems more like wanting to change things for the sake of changing things.

Also yeah the 4 element model is not just an european thing.

I believe the 4 elements model was used in DnD because it was the classic european model.

I guess if DnD had been created by chinese persons, they would have used the 5 elements model.

I am happy that we can have both and on an equal level in Pathfinder.

Liberty's Edge

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Having checked, it seems the 4 elements model originated in India and influenced both european cultures (which have indian roots) and buddhism (ditto).

Of course, this does not make it any more universal.

Now. I just realized that the 4 elements correspond to the 3 states of matter (earth = solid, water = liquid, air = gas) and to energy (= fire). And then we have the quintessence (5th essence / element), which I guess tries to identify with what animates living beings.

But I'm derailing things here.

I will check what is the symbolism behind the 5 elements model.


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If "the reason for this" comes up in a game I'm running the answer is going to be "the inner planes are organized due to the collective unconsciousness of the universe, and when that unconsciousness shifts so does the organization of the planes." Like it's possible that the Akashic Record has a powerful being who is in charge of taking this survey and recommending changes" like they're the entities in charge of the distinction between "rock" and "metal".

I mean, eventually there might be 118 elemental planes (do not go to the Tennessine plane.)

Liberty's Edge

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Compared to PF1 Kineticist elements, I feel they decided to include the 2 new planes so that we would get both planes for the missing elements of the 5-elements model and planes for all the Kineticist elements in PF1 (except Aether : see below). So, Wood for Wood and Metal for Void.

Aether is Telekineticist. That went into Psychic IMO. I don't think it will be in the PF2 Kineticist.


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I think Ranginori’s freeing is an adequate “excuse” for the addition, and I appreciate incorporating non-Western molds of understanding the cosmos. I’m for it.


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To guard against confusion reading unfamiliar terms, wuxing is the Chinese system of Five Phases describing the interactions which underlie cycles of change and natural phenomena. Often translated as Five Elements to draw analogy with classical elemental systems but it's not quite the same.

"Wuxia-ing" I'd the question of introducing elements of wuxia films to the setting, which imho the boat sailed on long ago when they made Monk a base class. There's no going back now, wuxia has been a part of the game's history for most of my life. What I hope for is to depict it respectfully, which includes asking if creating elemental planes according to the wuxing is the most effective way to adapt the Chinese philosophy when it wasn't conceived as a description of natural substances in the first place.

And the answer could be yes, it is. Paizo has done effective and respecful representation before, and i hope it continues here. That being the case I'd swallow my druthers with regard to living creatures being elemental forces and live with it for the sake of a more inclusive cosmology. The elemental planes have always been a little arbitrary, so if thus change cuts down on that, I may find it ultimately more satisfying than if without the change.

Dark Archive

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I don't think having more elemental planes really makes setting more inclusive in meaningful way though. It makes it more distinct from D&D though, but like... This is more based on rule of cool.

Wuxing and classical elements are different matters. Calling Wuxing five elements IS mistranslation based on western misunderstanding that its analogy to four elements. Wuxing is philosophy about wide array of phenomena, classical elements is also used to explain wide phenomena depending on culture, but if we talk about the western one then that one is about explaining nature and substances.

There is also that air, fire, water, earth and aether/void is also thing in hinduism and buddism and japan too. So like... I don't think devs did this change to make things more inclusive to eastern perspective, I think they made it because five element alternative already existed in game and created weird question of "so what is wood and metal element since they don't have elementals or such to them?" and they realized that making them into actual elemental planes allows them to make setting more unique from its D&D origins with six elemental planes.


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I certainly wouldn't be adverse to adding more elemental planes latter. I want the telekineticist and the chaokineticist back.


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On the surface, it seems like Metal could easily be associated with the Negative Energy Plane, and Wood similarly so with the Positive Energy Plane. Basically elemental representation of energies.

This new lore is easily the most interesting part of the book for me, I cannot wait to learn more about this (though there is definitely some dread there as well).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I would honestly have preferred this to be a straight up retcon. There needs to be a word for when creators are too invested and stubborn to just admit "Yeah, we thought (old thing) was dumb so we're replacing it with (new thing)" and come up with a Rube Goldberg explanation as to why this new thing they like and want to run with came to be.

The storyline of "Oh, this elemental plane ruler is freed after untold years of captivity and now there's new elemental planes!" reads like the kind of concept that World of Warcraft line developers would write to justify their newest expansion.

Also creates a major rift with Starfinder, which doesn't have wood/metal elementals. I know that neither property's developers are obligated (or want to) feel beholden to the other, but cosmology changes seems like a significant thing that could create serious consequences for the other property.

That being said, I'm all in favor of Golarion cosmology favoring a Wuxia-style set of elemental planes instead of the traditional Greek concept.


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Leon Aquilla wrote:
Also creates a major rift with Starfinder, which doesn't have wood/metal elementals. I know that neither property's developers are obligated (or want to) feel beholden to the other, but cosmology changes seems like a significant thing that could create serious consequences for the other property.

I really don't think consequences for the other product line really should inform much of any of the decisions for Pathfinder or Starfinder, personally. We already know they're different universes, or at the very least different timelines, as evidenced by things like Nocticula never being redeemed in SF. Both should tell whatever stories they want, without feeling constrained by the other - they've already diverged.

It's easy enough to just say that the Goodly elemental lords weren't freed in Starfinder's timeline. Alternatively, it gives them a chance to introduce Wood and Metal to that game in a manner that suits it better, though given the holistic approach to magic (no traditions), they might have a similarly universal view of the elemental planes, akin to 4e's Elemental Chaos.

Silver Crusade

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Yeah it's called "time of troubles" and "spellplague".

Not a lot of people liked those.

"Also creates a major rift with Starfinder," not it doesn't, "Starfinder is Pathfinder in the future" was axed long ago, and it would be detrimental to both systems to try and force it.

It would make Pathfinder a secondary consideration that would have to run everything by Starfinder first.

They're separate realities, moving on.

Edit: ninjaed by Keftiu


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Rysky wrote:

Yeah it's called "time of troubles" and "spellplague".

Not a lot of people liked those.

I liked those :')


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I mean, I'm willing to accept that whatever caused the Gap was also able to change literally any other details about history or the universe or the planes. That's sort of the nature of the Gap- it's a discontinuity in causality!

"There were six elemental planes, now there's a different number" isn't really weirder than "Torag's missing" as a consequence of the Gap.


Leon Aquilla wrote:
That being said, I'm all in favor of Golarion cosmology favoring a Wuxia-style set of elemental planes instead of the traditional Greek concept.

Do you mean Wuxing?


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The Raven Black wrote:

...

Now. I just realized that the 4 elements correspond to the 3 states of matter (earth = solid, water = liquid, air = gas) and to energy (= fire). ...

The comparison probably holds up better if you consider fire to represent plasma, the 4th common state of matter, rather than energy.

Bose-Einstein condensates represent a fifth of matter, but those don't seem to occur without human intervention.

(There are a couple of other possible states of matter like 'liquid glass' and maybe some things formed in neutron stars.)

Silver Crusade

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keftiu wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Yeah it's called "time of troubles" and "spellplague".

Not a lot of people liked those.

I liked those :')

*unfriends Keftiu*

Kidding *hugs* I'm kinda indifferent to both since I wasn't really invested in FR that much, but everything I've seen ever heard/seen since those occurred was not the most favorable, moreso the latter since it's "newer" but that may have more to do with the changes that came along with it more than anything *scratches head*


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Rysky wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Yeah it's called "time of troubles" and "spellplague".

Not a lot of people liked those.

I liked those :')

*unfriends Keftiu*

Kidding *hugs* I'm kinda indifferent to both since I wasn't really invested in FR that much, but everything I've seen ever heard/seen since those occurred was not the most favorable, moreso the latter since it's "newer" but that may have more to do with the changes that came along with it more than anything *scratches head*

To make a very brief defense of the Spellplague: the 3e-era Realms were relatively quiet for a setting meant to host sword-slinging adventurers, with lots of peaceful diplomacy and trade going on. While the heaps or history and detail were a lot of fun to pore over… they didn’t make for the greatest dynamic backdrop. Faerun was largely mapped and known - and more than that, it was home to dozens of high-level NPCs in positions of power, drawn from the decades of prior canon.

The Spellplague was a radical attempt to remedy these things, to bring the Realms into the mold of a world in need of heroes. Magic went wild. Large swathes of the land were remade; islands launched into and hanging in the air, great chasms opening on the surface into the Underdark, familiar terrain made shifting - or else swapped for portions of another planet. Instead of a continent full of stable kingdoms and known landmarks, it became a place of fragile shelters amid strange, fantastical wildernesses, full of grave threats that needed to be stopped.

The Forgotten Realms is a fine setting. The 4e Realms was a setting designed from the ground up to host d20 gaming. While I *completely* get why many established fans were hurt by the move, I’m an ardent defender of doing your worldbuilding as intentionally as you do your game design, and that the former should in fact help the latter! It’s why I love Eberron, it’s why I love Golarion, and it’s why I’m such a fan of the least-popular iteration of the Realms.


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I think it would be fair to say that for a lot of people the reason why the Spellplague (or a similarly tremendous world shake-up) was so unpopular is because the mass changes effectively invalidated their understanding of the lore, returning what for some might have been a considerable investment in learning about the way the world works back to square one.

Of course, this is not to say the setting created by the Spellplague was bad by virtue of the fact that it upset the lore-fiends. I may not have liked the changes when they came about, but there's a lot of excellent ideas put into place there--especially a lot of good ideas made to be explored or in need of a team of plucky heroes to look after it. Rather, I think the reason why it gets such a bad rep due in significant part to bitterness of those who had their lore-mastery discarded. It's a bit unfair to the new setting to judge it by the change from the old, but the backlash is also understandable.

(To an extent, the same goes for 4e itself. I played 4e for a bit--I enjoyed it, but I never stuck with it and a big part of that is because of how much the world became something I couldn't recognise, possibly as much as my dissatisfaction at the time with the perceived drop in 'realism' (probably simulationism is more accurate) if not more.)

4e is actually a really good game, and if I wasn't so salty about my network of headcanons regarding the Elemental Planes being smashed up into the Elemental Chaos, I think I might have appreciated it more. Or not, lore was far from my only gripe back then, but those say more about what I wanted at the time than the game itself.

Dark Archive

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4e in general did actually have some good status quo changes that they reverted for 5e unfortunately, but yeah I don't think I would be fan of "let's blow up setting and kill several major characters and entire countries at whim" thing.

I do however also agree that I don't think Faerun works as tabletop rpg setting due to reasons such as "there isn't really much events going besides non canonical attacks by iconic villains"

Radiant Oath

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I confess, the reason The Spellplague upset me so much was there was a part of the setting I was really, REALLY attached to: Neverwinter and its surrounding environs, because of the Neverwinter Nights series, which I'd played through MULTIPLE times. Because of the way the Spellplague worked (spellcasters going mad or simply exploding in blue flames unless they were already very powerful/experienced like Elminster and his pals), for Neverwinter, a city with a lot of permanent magic woven into its very foundations, the Spellplague probably would have been like a nuke going off, and characters from the series itself I cared about, like Sand from NWN2 or Safiya the Red Wizard from Mask of the Betrayer were most likely casualties of the disaster because given how the Spellplague messed up characters IMPORTANT to the setting's lore, what chance did some companion NPCs from the tie-in computer games who didn't have the name-recognition of Baldur's Gate characters like Minsc and Boo, or Viconia DeVir have? And that's just the actual mages, the non-mage NPCs probably died in the disaster too just by statistics alone. Even though Neverwinter does apparently get rebuilt throughout 4e and into 5e, almost everything and everyone I liked in the place is gone for the sake of early 2000's EDGE.

Only ONE single NPC from the Neverwinter Nights series is confirmed to be present in post-Spellplague Faerun, and that's because she was already dead when it hit: Aribeth DeTylmarande. And then 5e ruined things for her too by declaring her canon ending from Hordes of the Underdark was that she didn't get redeemed and now works for Mephistopheles as some sort of unholy mashup of Marvel's Ghost Rider, DC's Two-Face and Elric of Melniboné!


If you can approach it with an open mind, I think the 4e Neverwinter Campaign Setting is in the running for the best D&D book ever written. It’s well worth checking out.

- - -

Back on topic: Do you think the Plane of Wood has massive sections of rot? I feel like decay and the new growth that comes from it might be a really cool angle on areas of the plane.


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Gisher wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

...

Now. I just realized that the 4 elements correspond to the 3 states of matter (earth = solid, water = liquid, air = gas) and to energy (= fire). ...

The comparison probably holds up better if you consider fire to represent plasma, the 4th common state of matter, rather than energy.

Bose-Einstein condensates represent a fifth of matter, but those don't seem to occur without human intervention.

(There are a couple of other possible states of matter like 'liquid glass' and maybe some things formed in neutron stars.)

Now I'm thinking of portals to the Plane of Metal that appear on or in the cores of gas giants.


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keftiu wrote:
Back on topic: Do you think the Plane of Wood has massive sections of rot? I feel like decay and the new growth that comes from it might be a really cool angle on areas of the plane.

I would laugh if we finally delineated Fungus and Plant as separate creatures types and then in the Elemental Plane of Plants we have... fungi.... Like, I would laugh but I think it would also be legitimately appropriate if we're going to run with this elemental plane of organisms thing. After all, an elemental plane should probably include a whole diversity of forms that the element appears in. If there were no minerals in the Plane of Earth or no ice in the Plane of Water I would find it weird, so having large sections of rot growth makes sense if they're following their logical conclusions.

Dark Archive

I mean I've seen fungi wood in games before ;D

(yeah not sure using fungi "tree" as wood building material actually counts xP )


My guess is we will have patches of fungi on the Plane of Wood just for the greater variety. PF2E is the first game I can remember that has made a taxonomic distinction between plants and fungi as creatures though.


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The visual of redwoods stretching up beyond sight, and an ocean of leaf litter below... is a striking one. I'm warming up to the Plane of Wood.

I'd be fonder if it was the Plane of Wyrwoods, though :p

Radiant Oath

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Me too! I bet there's SO MANY LESHIES there! <3

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