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Book of Elements (3.5e Sourcebook)/Sites and Seats of Elemental Power

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Sites and Seats of Elemental PowerEdit

Power on the Elemental Planes is held by a wide variety of creatures in a wide variety of ways. There are plane-spanning empires, of course, but there are also places where living in just the one place gives you power over the plane. Since grabbing elemental power is such a classic part of D&D campaigning, here are some of the ways you might do it: possibilities for the political situation on the inner planes, sites of magical power, creating your own planes, and so on.

Elemental RulersEdit

There are a number of immensely powerful creatures that all rule some kind of lands on the Elemental Planes. There are Primal Elementals and Elemental Monoliths, the Archomentals they serve, Genie monarchs, and so on, right down to immigrant mortal mages and dragons, not to mention the plane-specific native leaders that don't have counterparts on other planes, like the greatest Maliks among the Azers, or the Xixecals that may exist on the Plane of Ice. All of these creatures are incredibly powerful. Ruling a plane takes that. Less has been written on the subject of the creatures of power in the elemental planes than has been written about fiends, so they're at least not as inconsistent as the fiends are. The genie monarchs that rule the listed planar capitals, for instance, are all 20th-level characters; it's probably easiest to make them single-class genies. To make an Archomental quickly, just make an elemental of the appropriate kind with a bunch of levels in Elemental Brute, Weird, or both, although most of them are more unique monsters (which can simply be avatars of the true elemental form, if you want). Elemental Monoliths and Primal Elementals are just straight out of their respective monster books (Complete Arcane and the Joke Book, respectively). They're a bit less important in the overall scheme of things, since they lack the intelligence and motivation to rule much further than they can reach, but when their reach is in your way, that becomes unimportant and you end up needing to stab them anyway. Possibly in the face if they have one.

Models of Elemental RulershipEdit

. . . who was succeeded by the Mad Prince, who was then betrayed by his vizier and bound into a lamp. The vizier was himself killed not three days later, to be succeeded by. . .

Exactly how the genie monarchs and other powerful elementals rule the elemental planes, and how their succession works, is left about as unclear as the way fiend lords work. A few of the possibilities are discussed below. When running a game using them, it's probably best to figure this out or pick one and let your players know.

The Annointed OnesEdit

It's entirely possible for elemental rulers to just be minions of something bigger, like an appropriate deity. Exactly which one isn't clear, since the core D&D pantheon neglects to include a Fire God, or a god for any of the elements, and the odds that such a god would agree with their genies' alignment, if selected at random, is slim. But, regardless, if each genie monarch is the vassal of some god, that gives PCs a reason to go around stabbing the appropriately-aligned genie monarchs, since they're now a way to strike at an unattackable (in some models) god.

Even under this option, though, it's still left to the DM to decide the relation between the ruler's liege and vassals, and how succession actually works. Exactly what happens to the sultanate when the Sultan of all Efreet is indisposed on account of having been repeatedly stabbed in the face becomes quite important if the PCs ever find themselves repeatedly stabbing the Efreet Sultan in the face. The sultan's successor sending the entire might of the efreet after you is a very different adventure than the efreet collapsing into civil war between multiple pretenders to the throne. If the efreet are all loyal subjects of whoever the Sultan works for, the former is more likely, but if the efreet are merely being controlled by the sultan, the latter is.

To the StrongestEdit

Most governments in D&D are simply the strongest character around declaring themself king and making everyone nearby give them stuff. When they get really powerful, they send other adventurers to other places to do the same thing, and go around demanding protection money from them, so that they have fewer people to visit. It's entirely possible that the genies are organized the same way. Under this system, it would merely be a fluke, or perhaps a testament to the genies' own racial abilities, that they are part of a plane-spanning empire ruled by one of their own kind. A sufficiently fast-acting PC who manages to stab the Khan of the Dao can actually sieze control of the Great Dismal Delve and become Khan herself, and she needn't even be a Dao to do it. It's even easier in the Great Dismal Delve than in other planes, since information travels through the Delve so slowly, so the areas outside of the Sevenfold Mazework might not even know that the Khan is dead before the new Khan is well-established. But the open nature of their planes scatter the other genies even further than the Dao are, so it's feasible in any plane.


Like fiend lords, it's fully possible that genie monarchs and archomentals are simply high-level adventurers after the end of their careers. They're fairly more forgettable than the fiend lords; when was the last time you thwarted the machinations of the Khan of the Dao? Regardless, they're still cooler than most of the clutter characters, since they've carved out their own niche in the game's conceptual space in a way that is both cool and interesting. They can be defeated and even killed by powerful adventurers, but, as the heroes to substantial portions of a race of wish-granting superbeings, can expect to be Wished back into existence in a matter of days after being destroyed.

Places of Elemental Power on the Material PlaneEdit

You fight at their side for years, hold the line when they're gone, and they pay you back for it by sticking you in some temple somewhere to make magic items while they go off and save the world. What I'd give to not be 'Sage of the Elements.'

The world is full of some pretty spectacular things, even if you ignore everything alive on it. On the large scale, there are volcanoes, meteor impacts, ocean trenches, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and a whole mess of other things that are all called natural disasters because of what they do when you try to build a civilization in their way. On a scale that isn't as likely to kill you, there are mountains, rivers, lakes, glaciers, and so on, along with deserts. In the D&D world, all of these are associated with elements that connect to sources of magic power that are actually drawn in arbitrary ways to similar sites on the material plane. So a particularly nice-looking waterfall grotto might actually be linked to the Plane of Water in some way.

There are a few ways these can form into places of power. First, they can form into Touchstones, as described in the Planar Handbook and Sandstorm. For some reason, on the Material Plane, touchstones generally form in deserts, but not all of them. These things gave people who take a feat then visit them a spell-like ability usable a few times per day that eventually runs out of uses and needs a refill. Yes, they really are that weak. Still, some touchstones can give you really nice spells. Rules for Touchstones that don't uniformly suck will be in the Book of the Wilds.

Second, and more commonly, they can form vortices. A vortex is a naturally-occurring portal, usually two-way, between the Material Plane and an elemental plane. Elemental creatures can come out, and material planar creatures can go in. Vortices are often, but not always, guarded on the material end, either because they're prime sites for a base of operations with anything from a built-in garbage disposer to a secret way out to escape or even trade along, or because elemental creatures have decided to make them an outpost on the Material. Some vortices even allow the elemental planar material to seep through and contribute to the composition of the Material Plane, pouring water into the sea or earth into earthquake faults, for instance.

The third common way is to form a Power Site with an affinity for a specific element. A Power Site is a place with intrinsic magic that can be drawn out by the proper kind of soul, and until then runs wild. Regardless, they are powerful monster-creating engines. Power Sites often form the basis of empires and kingdoms, because of the great benefits of controlling one; they also create dangerous wildernesses and dungeons, and a power site suddenly going dormant, or surging, can turn a prosperous city into a ruin in mere months or less, sometimes even overnight.

Power Sites can only be attuned to one person at a time, and grant that person a number of benefits. Attuning to a power site takes a ritual, the details of which depend entirely on the site, but it usually takes anywhere from an hour to a day, and always requires that whoever is currently attuned to it either not be present or be dead. Only specific people can attune to a site. Luckily, if you can attune to it, and you're at the site, you know, intuitively, how to do it, where the current attuned person is, and can tell if someone else can attune by looking at them. Of course, they can tell the same about you. If you attune to a site while its last master isn't home, their connection to it is immediately broken, and they lose all benefits of it. Every Power Site has a number of traits:
Requirement: This is the requirement for the kind of person who can use it. PCs who don't specifically have the goal of "take this/a Power Site" shouldn't be able to meet the requirements of any Power Site, since Power Sites aren't usually very compatible with adventuring. Loyal sidekicks can, if the player is willing to retire them from sidekick to contact. Power sites don't broadcast their requirements, though; well-used power sites might have their requirements known by observing who takes control of it over the centuries, and others that originate in the actions of a sapient creature might have their requirements recorded in old stories, but for the most part some people can use power sites and others can't.
Level: When using a Power Site, the user gets set to this level if lower. The Power Site generally also has rules for what classes these new levels can be gained in.
Empowerment: Specific abilities gained by the user of the Power Site.
Dominion: The Power Site, when active, generally has some effect within its area, which can be as small as a building or as large as a city. This is given here.
Creations: What the Power Site can create. If the user is higher-level than the Power Site, more creations and more powerful creations can be done. Creations generally are limited in cost to create, how many can exist at a time, and how rapidly they can be made. Many power sites have the ability to transform people from mooks with NPC classes into PC-level challenges. Creation powers can only be used by its master and from inside the site. Unless otherwise noted, only one item and one creature can be created at the same time, and creating either requires the presence of its attuned person.
Wild: What the Power Site does if left alone. Usually this is create monsters. Monsters listed here are just the most common kinds; a wild site might create anything else along that same general theme.
Surge: What the Power Site does when it surges, rising in power beyond the control of anyone attuned to it, and how often and regularly it surges.

All three of these are intermittent. Vortices are the least stable; a vortex collapses almost immediately if the elemental sympathy breaks. Touchstones are generally the most stable; there are known touchstones whose elemental sympathies haven't held for thousands of years, yet the touchstone still works almost as well as it did at its peak. Power Sites are in between; they can exist without their elemental sympathy, but they also go dormant for centuries at a time even with it.

Example Power SitesEdit

Charcoal GroveEdit

On the slopes of a mighty and grand mountain range lies an ancient forest, once inhabited by all manner of fey. However, a few hundred years back, a great red wyrm burned the forest down to loot the fey's treasures. Much of it recovered, but one grove, formerly home to a half-dozen Dryads, never recovered. Now the Charcoal Grove grants control over the fire, and command over its resistant plants.
Requirement: To attune to the Charcoal Grove, one must have been orphaned by fire. This can be wildfire, arson, or whatever, but it can't be direct magical fire attacks. At some point in their childhood, though, a fire must kill every single immediate family member (or whoever else would raise the prospective master).
Level: 10. New levels can be gained in Fire Mage, Druid, or Elementalist
Empowerment: The Charcoal Grove empowers its master with immunity to Fire, and advanced access to the Fire and Pyre spheres. Further, she can see through smoke perfectly.
Dominion: The entire grove is filled with smoke, that doesn't disperse in the strongest wind. Vision is restricted, granting concealment to all creatures 20' or more away, and total concealment at 40'.
Creations: The master of the Grove can use it to call forth a mephit as a standard action, up to a maximum of 40 of the creatures may be called at any one time. Mephits summoned are the summoner's choice of Fire, Air, and Smoke mephits. A sufficiently large bonfire may be transformed into a Large Fire Elemental, up to a maximum of ten, or a Huge Fire Elemental, which counts for double. Owing to its heritage as a plant site, with a day-long ritual once per month, a tendriculos can be created, up to a maximum of three. It can also transform humanoids with NPC classes into Fire-Infused Satyrs and Dryads (who are not bound to a tree and can roam freely), to a maximum of 120 people. Up to 5 NPC class levels are transformed into Fire Mage levels by the grove for each person transformed. Transforming up to a dozen people takes an hour. The effects last until death. Finally, once per day, a magic item being crafted on the site can be made into a minor fire item. On the summer solstice, a dozen items can be made into medium fire items, instead.
Wild The site spontaneously generates its fire elementals and mephits, fully replenishing their numbers every week; it also generates a few Small and Medium fire elementals every day. Excess above what it can normally create leave to terrorize the rest of the forest. Also, the local animals become fire-infused, but die after about one month per point of Constitution.
Surge Surges generally happen about every year, although exactly when is hard to tell. They include Elder Fire Elementals appearing, people being transformed into fire giants and enraged at everything, and the ghosts of fey creatures, especially Dryads, Satyrs, and Nymphs, appearing and attacking, for a time.

The Multitudes' TombEdit

In the darkest, sealed-off corners of an abandoned city only beginning to be reinhabited, the Multitudes Tomb lurks. This ruin seals in the reason for the destruction of the city so long ago: a dead but not destroyed Necromantic Intelligence. It has forgotten the original reason for its creation, and now exists only for mindless vengeance. The entire area is linked closely but intangibly to the negative energy plane. The corpses of the Intelligence's victims are sealed in, to protect the world from a curse put on them, and protected by the magic of the site from being raised (except in surges).
Requirement: The Multitudes' Tomb can only be controlled by someone who is driven to avenge a death, and has killed people who would have willingly helped them.
Level: 12. New levels are given in Dread Necromancer.
Empowerment: The controller of the Multitudes Tomb is considered undead for purposes of all effects as long as that would be more beneficial than being alive. They also gain the ability to cast a variant of Scorching Ray that does negative energy damage instead of fire, Soul Bind to bind souls into the tomb itself, and Harm at will, Animate Dead five times per day, and Create Undead and Create Greater Undead a total of three times per day, at caster level 12. Its user also gains the Devour the Soul and Essence Gourmand feats, and, while in the tomb, can access souls bound into the tomb as though it was holding their vessels.
Dominion: Within the Multitudes' Tomb, all undead gain Fast Healing 2, and the tomb is permanently shrouded in a Darkness effect that can be penetrated by the darkvision of undead creatures, but not of living creatures.
Creations: Whoever is attuned to the Multitudes' Tomb can create any kind of undead with a CR of 10 or less, but may only create a maximum number of creatures of four times their Charisma modifier, with an additional four times confined against leaving the Tomb. Any magic item pertaining to the undead can be created, at a rate of 5,000 GP per day. Items that cost more than 15,000 GP require that their creation cost be paid in souls; the tomb can create one gem per week to extract a soul bound to it (as part of other crafting), and provides Craft of the Soulstealer to its user while in the tomb.
Wild: While wild, the Multitudes' Tomb fills with undead, as though it contains six Forsaken Graveyards, which return every new moon; they must be cleansed before the Tomb can be claimed. It also claims souls of those killed by the undead, and allows undead in the tomb to devour them.
Surge: When the Multitudes' Tomb surges, two things can happen, usually not both at once (although sometimes it does). First, the cursed dead can be animated. They are typically CR 12 undead, often Vampires, although sometimes Ghouls and Swordwraiths arise, and even more rarely other kinds of undead (all are usually around CR 12), even though they were usually trivial NPCs before being killed. Usually about 2d10 of them arise and wreak havoc, trying to kill whoever controls the Tomb and escape into the world.
Secondly, the Necromantic Intelligence may be reanimated into an even more unholy mockery of itself. The reanimated intelligence immediately creates its full complement of undead and usurps control of the tomb automatically. Further, all undead created by the tomb (see Creations) become uncontrolled. The reanimated intelligence immediately begins to attempt to purge any occupiers from its tomb. It usually lasts 1d4+1 hours, although these bursts have been known to last for days; at the end, its former controller, if still present, regains full control. Its focus has never been found. Its goal is to purge the tomb of occupiers (its former controller and all allies, plus any invaders against them), but it is not satisfied with a retreat and will hunt down its former masters. If both happen at once, the intelligence and the cursed undead are telepathically connected and work together to accomplish their similar goals, although neither has control over any other.

Temple of the DunesEdit

Deep in a desert whose days are only ever darkened by sandstorms kicked up by its winds, lies the Temple of the Dunes, an edifice of stone, metal, and glass built into the earth around it built long ago by the jann as a solar observatory. Its builder, a janni emir, is entombed beneath it, and it has a number of shrines to the sprits of the beasts and weather of the desert, and to the gods of the desert and sun. It grants power over light and the elements of the desert to its heirs.
Requirement: The Temple of the Dunes can only be controlled by the rightful heirs of the original sage leader, who gave the observatory to his daughter by a mortal. Only her female-line descendents are able to take control of the Temple.
Level: 9. New levels are given in Elementalist.
Empowerment: The mistress of the Temple of the Dunes gains power over light, and of the desert's hot days and cold nights. She may cast Soften Earth and Stone, Searing Light, Scorching Ray, and Polar Ray at will, Continual Flame twice per hour, and Control Winds three times per day, at caster level 9.
Dominion: The Temple of the Dunes is always brightly lit. No areas inside the temple are ever darker than full torchlight, and windows to the outside are always as bright as full noon, illuminating the room within and allowing them to be seen through to the outside, even in the darkest nights. The windows are not seen to provide this illumination when viewed from the outside, unless the mistress wills it.
Creations: The temple allows command over the desert's beasts, attracting twice as many to it as would be provided by a leadership score of 9 + the mistress's Charisma modifier. It also facilitates the creation of permanent animated objects, creating eight hit dice of them per day, to a maximum of eighty hit dice; such animated objects gain +4 to all ability scores, +2 hit points per hit die, and some minor magic items that work only for them (but only get as many magic item slots): medium gets one, large gets two, huge gets three. It may also create mummies to serve as its guardians, given corpses dried in the desert sands, to a maximum of 10; such mummies have the same alignment as their mistress, and creating as many as desired takes a week. Instead of mummies, two Androsphinxes or Gynosphinxes may be summoned instead; summoning each takes a week (the Temple can instead have one Sphinx and five mummies, too). Also, any mirror crafted within the temple always comes out perfect, as if all craft rolls made were 20s. This does not apply to the other functionality of mirrored items (a mirror-edged sword only gets this benefit on the roll to make it a mirror). Magic items with power over light or reflection, or traps that respond to light, can be made here at a rate of one per week for minor items, and once per equinox for medium items, and the temple provides the ability cast Spell Turning and every spell with the [Light] descriptor to satisfy prerequisites. Also, once per day, the Temple's symbol, a drawing of the sun, can be made into a Glyph triggered by the Discern Lighting Level spell, as long as it is set onto a reasonably immovable stone block.
Wild: When uncontrolled, the Temple continues to draw animals to itself, drawing three times what would be drawn by a leadership score of 13. It also creates its own supply of mummies and sphinxes, up to a maximum of fifteen mummies, an androsphinx, and a gynosphinx.
Surge: The Temple of the Dunes seldom surges. When it does, it has effects like striking everyone in the temple blind with a flash of light, blowing sandstorms through its halls, and summoning animals and creating mummies and sphinxes as rebels.

The Coral TowerEdit

A coral spire barely breaks the ocean, buried in waves at high tide, the only visible sign of an enormous, thriving coral reef. Once a holy site to the followers of Eadro, in centuries past it was conquered by a sahuagin prince, who built the tower that breaks above the surface. The tower grows seemlessly out of the coral around it, and much of the inside stretches deep into the reef. The Sahuagin reinforced its walls with magical force, and added a pumping system to allow their slaves access to certain chambers.
Requirement: The Coral Tower is a holy site of Eadro, desecrated into service of Sekolah. Its master must have sincerely worshipped Sekolah in the past, and it can only be redeemed to Eadro by converts. Further, its master must have been born under a waxing half-moon, if sincere in Sekolah's service, or a waning half, if apostate. After it has been reconsecrated, any follower of Eadro born under a corner moon (new, half, or full) can master it.
Level: 10. New levels are given in Wizard or Cleric.
Empowerment: The master of the Coral Tower gains damage reduction 10/silver and the ability to control the weather around the tower when present. He also gains the ability to use any pool of water as a focus to cast Scrying at will. This is upgraded to Greater Scrying within the confines of the tower itself. Finally, he can dismiss or return any of the tower's reinforcing Walls of Force as a free action.
Dominion: Within the Coral Tower, all water is perfectly clear and allows visibility as well as through air. This stops at the walls of the tower. When reconsecrated, this power will spread further out.
Creations: The Coral Tower can turn up to three hundred sharks of any size Fiendish at any given time. It can also turn up to eighty ordinary humanoids or monstrous humanoids with Weresharks, granting three levels of Samurai. Finally, the site can be used to craft items at no cost except for time, although items that cannot be made with Wish can only be made once per year, contributing the feats Craft Wondrous Item, Craft Magic Arms & Armor, and Craft Wand, and access to all spells in the Water domain. It can also transform ordinary weapons and armor into mithral, at a rate of one piece per day, instead of crafting. If redeemed, it retains its power to craft items, but replaces its fiendish sharks with celestial manta rays.
Wild: While wild, the Coral Tower continues to produce the same kind of monsters as it does under the Sahuagin, and more; sometimes it produces especially cunning half-fiend sharks, some of which are granted levels in Conduit. If reconsecrated, when wild it instead causes the reef to grow thicker and denser with predators.
Surge: Surges at the Coral Tower occur when one of the two gods who contests it makes a move against its current master. Usually this means it makes monsters that a master from the other deity could make.

Power Sites on the Elemental PlanesEdit

The Elemental Planes have even more touchstones than the Material does, as described in the Planar Handbook. But they also have power sites like these. But, and here's the important thing, power sites on the Elemental Planes don't usually give you any kind of elemental power. There's elemental power all around on those planes, you don't need to go anywhere to get it. There are a few sites on the Plane of Earth that grant power over earth, just like there are sites on the material plane that grant power native to the material plane (most of these sites are druidic in focus), but there are far more that give powers unlike the elements.

Example Power SiteEdit

This is an example of what a power site on an elemental plane is likely to look like:

The Scorched PitEdit

On the Plane of Fire, there is an enormous pit that has, over the centuries, been used as a combat proving ground for nearly every kind of creature, some of them not even native to the Plane of Fire. It is surrounded by the ruins of dozens of fighting academies, fortresses, temples, and structures of every kind dedicated to war; it is a place where warriors are tempered and sharpened, and emerge changed.
Requirement: Every master of the Scorched Pit's first kill of a sapient creature has been out of passion, anger, honor, or a similar motivation, but not for money, bigotry, or other "cold" motivations, achieved through melee combat, and surrounded by fire. Further, after this, the master must be able to control his passions.
Level: 13. New levels are given in Monk or Fighter.
Empowerment: The master of the Scorched Pit gains the Heat ability of an Azer, Rage twice per day as a fourth-level Barbarian, and immunity to fire.
Dominion: Near the Scorched Pit people are less trusting and more violent. Bluff and Diplomacy checks take a -4 penalty.
Creations: The most notable power of the Scorched Pit is that those its masters train there, sparring in the pit itself, develop their skills very quickly or perish in the attempt. Up to sixty people, who must be 1st level Warriors or better (or have racial hit dice), can be trained at the same time; at that capacity, generally about one person dies a day (proportionately less with fewer students). Training is complete after a month, at which point the trainee is 7th level, in whatever class the master of the pit gained, and is immune to fire.
Wild: Left to its own devices, the Pit attracts warriors who can't ever master it, and grants them power at the cost of things like restraint, empathy, ethics, and so on. Such warriors tend to form into small cliques; sometimes there is only one at the pit, sometimes there are several that regularly spar against or duel eachother. For the most part, newcomers are seen as invaders and attacked on sight. A few, though, mostly at random, are seen as recruits, who are expected to live in utter community with the warriors there and be killed if they try to separate. Whenever someone is to be killed (either for being an invader or for trying to leave), one warrior first challenges each person to be killed to a duel to the death. If the warrior wins, he gain a level of barbarian; if the other wins, all of the other barbarians attack. Once all in a group reach 8th level, they leave to rampage.
Surge: Sometimes the pit causes an outburst of violent temperment, killing half of its students in a single day. Other times it strikes people who live there and are neither master nor student with Insanity, as the spell, DC 25 Will save to avoid.

Creating DemiplanesEdit

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

- Carl Sagan

Many characters of great elemental power gain the ability to create demiplanes; under Origins of Creation or Multiversal Fundamental elements, that's quite natural, as everything itself is made out of and by the elements, so creatures with power over the elements naturally have the power to create parts of everything else. They also have the power to destroy parts of everything else, which is handled quite effectively by the combat system, and so need not be addressed here.

When creating a demiplane, a number of choices have to be made. Sometimes, the method used may pre-decide some of these choices, but everything determined by either the creator or by the effect used is listed here as the creator's option.

Planar LinksEdit

The first decision to make when creating a demiplane is how to get to it. There are two major ways, here; the plane can be coterminous or tangent (mostly separate) to the plane it is created on. Some planes can also be created coexistent, so that will also be addressed.


When a coterminous plane is created, a wave of creation sweeps over the plane that it is being created from. A planar boundary comes into existence, which blocks line of effect, but creatures and objects can pass through it with ease. The existing area of the plane it was created from can be destroyed, absorbed, or cast into another plane (usually the astral, although sometimes the ethereal and rarely a plane with a more interesting environment, such as an inner or outer plane, shadow, or material). If it is absorbed, features, creatures, and things from the former plane still exist on the created plane exactly as they were, with the reality they exist in changing around them. Lingering noninstantaneous spell effects are usually absorbed, and creatures are almost always absorbed. If it is cast into another plane, generally the entire chunk of space, including most of the lingering spell effects and creatures on it, travel with it; the lost area can be another demiplane or simply a chunk of environment in another plane. Destroyed areas are destroyed utterly. This never happens to creatures, unattended magic items, or anything else that makes saving throws unless it has less than three hit points per caster level of the creation effect.

Whether something is absorbed or lost depends on the will of the creator (with the above-mentioned exception for things that make saving throws). Whether lost objects are cast away or destroyed is up to the DM. All creatures who would be destroyed by a creation effect may attempt Will saves against the creation effect's save DC to instead cause the area to be cast away instead of destroyed. When an area is cast away, creatures and so on capable of making saving throws may be sucked with it (Will save, DC equal to that of the creation effect, to negate). Except to those lost, an area being cast away and being destroyed are indistinguishable. Being cast away is harmless except for the environment they are cast into. The creator of the plane is never lost, always being absorbed, and may designate a number of creatures equal to the effect's caster level to also be absorbed.

Astral and Ethereal areas are never cast into more interesting planes, although they may be cast into a region on the same plane. Their objects and creatures may be scattered to random planes (usually arriving in groups, but not all together), instead.


Creating a tangent plane is almost entirely unlike creating a coterminous plane. The center of a tangent plane is coexistent to the place where it was created on its origin, but no other inherent links exist except to transitive planes; the tangent plane is fullly coexistent to a region on one transitive plane, at least. The creator can designate any number of creatures within close range to be drawn in to the plane when created (will save negates), and nothing else is brought over. Likewise, nothing else is destroyed or cast aside on the origin plane. At the creator's option (usually), a portal may be created connecting the two coexistent sites.

If created in a transitive plane, a tangent plane always connects to that transitive plane, only, with a coexistent region created for it. If created on the outer planes, it always connects to the Astral; on the Inner Planes, to the Ethereal and possibly also to the Astral (creator's option). If created on the shadow plane, it gains its own border shadow accessible from where-ever it was created (and an area around that shaped and sized roughly like the plane). On the material plane, it may have any one or two such connections.


A few effects can create a coexistent plane. Doing so is like creating a tangent plane, except that every point on the plane is coexistent to a point on the origin plane the same direction and distance from the point of casting as it is from the center of the new plane.


In some cases, a Demiplane is attached to an item. Such an item always exists on not only its primary plane, but also on planes coexistent to it, and any manipulation on one affects the item on the other, except that reflections cannot be brought to other planes. However, the item can be pulled on from one plane so that its main body enters that plane, where it formerly was becomes a reflection. This requires a DC 16 Strength check, or an opposed Strength check against the strongest person currently holding it on every other plane with a +2 bonus and aid from everyone else holding it, whichever would be harder. The demiplane has coexistent reflections of all planes coexistent to where it actually is. Entering that set of planes requires the item (the item cannot be brought within, of course), and deposits the entering character on the appropriate plane in the set. If a reflected plane is removed (by, for instance, taking an item that contains a demiplane to a place without a coexistent plane), then everyone and everything on that reflected plane is shunted into the main one, taking damage and being shunted out if they arrive inside a solid object, as per the Dimension Door spell. Exiting the bound plane(s) plants the exiting character next to the item. The item usually can transport people in on its own. If it can't, you need your own Plane Shift effect, or similar. Creating an item-bound demiplane is extremely difficult, and they mostly exist as plot devices.

Demiplane TraitsEdit

Generally, the creator of a plane gets to determine its planar traits, with a few exceptions. First, no plane can be in opposition to its creator. This means no plane can have an alignment trait opposed to its creator; a fiend cannot sell you a celestial palace fitting for good, although it can sell you a neutral palace if it can create demiplanes. It also means no plane can have an elemental trait opposed to its creator's elemental subtypes, if any, unless its creator also has the subtype it is being created for. A water weird cannot make a fire palace. Second, under no circumstances can a demiplane plane have the Flowing Time trait, and DMs should consider carefully whether Erratic Time is more headache than it's worth. Beyond that, restrictions are fairly common-sense. Tangent planes can be self-contained, but pretty much all other planes are finite with boundaries. Creating a sentient plane requires simultaneously crafting an intelligent magic item as the plane, and adds the two times to create together.

If an Enhanced Magic metamagic abuse is found that requires creating a plane and doesn't destroy the game, go nuts with it. It doesn't really matter if you can make your Shapechange or Foresight persistent, if you have to create a universe to do it in. Seriously, you're a god at that point, go hog wild. You still can't stack the same metamagic effect multiple times.

Nonetheless, different types of demiplanar traits have a different value, which can determine how hard it is to make one. Exactly how making a high-value demiplane is harder depends on how the plane is being created. A demiplane whose traits match the plane it is being created on (except for some cases of gravity, see below) has no cost for its traits. Changes to its traits cost as follows:

  • Each elemental or energy trait added or subtracted adds 5 to the plane's trait value. Traits like the Plane of Ice's Cold Dominance, or a similar trait for sonic damage, use the same rules.
  • Objective or Subjective gravity add 5 to the plane's value, even if they match the origin plane. Origin planes of objective gravity grant normal gravity for free; those of subjective gravity grant no gravity for free. Other gravity traits increase the value by two.
  • Highly morphic, Alterable Morphic, or Static planes have a value increase of 5. Sentient-Morphic planes require that the plane be crafted as an intelligent magical item, regardless of origin plane. Being divinely morphic increases the plane's value by 10, or by five if the origin plane is itself divinely morphic (alterable morphic is free in that case). If the origin plane is sentient or magically morphic, alterable morphic is free. Magically morphic doesn't actually mean anything anyway.
  • Strong alignment traits cost 5, each. Weak alignment traits cost 2, each. A plane may not have contradictory alignment traits.
  • Each level of metamagic feat provided by Enhanced Magic costs 5. Each school or other division impeded costs 2. Each subschool, level, or descriptor limited costs 2. Each school limited costs 5. Wild or Dead magic costs 5.
  • Normal time is free, regardless of the time trait of its originating plane. A demiplane may also have erratic time matching its originating plane if its originating plane does. For a value of 5, the demiplane may be timeless with respect to hunger, thirst, aging, and so on (time still passes relative to other planes).

Demiplanar EnvironmentEdit

Demiplanar environments can be pretty much anything. They can't be created with life or anything similarly complex, at least not on their own without a sufficient amount of time. Most people don't have the patience to wait the billions of years it takes life to evolve, so life is generally imported or absorbed. Demiplanes can't be created with magic items or planar currency of any kind, either, so that has to be brought in.

Most effects can only create simple elemental matter: air, dirt, rock, water in its various forms, and fire, which only shows up for long on planes with the appropriate traits; you could make a demiplane out of shadowstuff, too, if you really wanted to. Despite having an Elemental Plane of Wood, there are very few ways to create demiplanes that allow you to make a wooden demiplane, without first making an empty demiplane and then bringing in wood. The elemental materials you are given, though, come in a very wide variety. Rock is not just your standard granite and basalt, but also includes coal and ores (or other naturally-occuring forms) of pretty much any mineral you could wish for. Some effects start from this and allow you to add a limited amount of complexity. Other effects might allow you to fill your demiplane with anything you might wish for, letting you have a plane of diamonds, or gold, or beer, or plants.

Expanding your DemiplaneEdit

Now that you're the owner of a brand-new demiplane, you can make it grow bigger by using any effect that creates a demiplane from the center. Instead of creating a demiplane, then, you can choose to expand the existing one's primary dimension (if it has no primary dimension, pick two and expand them) by the radius of the demiplane that you would create, or cause the demiplane to grow out from its edges if it has them, or, if self-contained, from either every point in the plane or in a region around the caster, by a length equal to the radius the new plane would be created with. Edge lengths are "worth" half as much as radii, so ddouble all radius numbers before applying them as edge length, and halve all edge lengths before applying them as radii. If the new effect comes with a height, like a cylinder or prism (a polygon stretched into a third dimension, with two arbitrary polygonal faces connected by a bunch of rectangles, for anyone who needs a geometry refresher), you can add that to the height, too, if you want. A demiplane with edges can instead have the edges pushed out in one direction, adding the same volume as would be normally created (if the effect would create a new demiplane), contiguous to some edge of the original demiplane.

List of primary dimensions, by shape:
Spherical: Radius
Cubic or other polyhedral: Edge Length
Circular Cylindrical: Radius or height
Prismatic (regular polygon): Polygon edge length or height

Demiplanes and Plane ShiftEdit

A note has to be made of how Plane Shift interacts with demiplanes, since it's not even possible for a Plane Shift spell targeted on the center of most demiplanes to end up anywhere within the radius of the plane. If you Plane Shift into a demiplane with inaccurate teleportation that makes you arrive outside the plane, you instead arrive at a random point on the plane that can support you. Note that a tuning fork to use Plane Shift to get to any given demiplane without just getting it as a spell-like ability is generally extremely hard to come by (the dedicated can figure out the right one, though, with enough DC 30 Knowledge (the Planes) checks. "Enough" depends on how much they already know), and it's impossible to Plane Shift to a demiplane with neither an item that uniquely identifies it (such as a proper tuning fork) nor a detailed description, nor having been there oneself (even if it's changed since), nor, at least, some unambiguous magical identification like a teleport trail, even with a spell-like ability.

Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewSourcebooksBook of Elements
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