Archives of Nethys

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All Rules in Planar

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Planar Traits

Source GameMastery Guide pg. 184
Each plane of existence has its own properties—the natural laws of its universe. Planar traits are broken down into a number of general areas. All planes have the following kinds of traits.

Physical Traits: These traits determine the laws of physics and nature on the plane, including how gravity and time function.

Elemental and Energy Traits: The dominance of particular elemental or energy forces is determined by these traits.

Alignment Traits: Just as characters may be lawful neutral or chaotic good, many planes are tied to a particular morality or ethos.

Magic Traits: Magic works differently from plane to plane; magic traits set the boundaries for what magic can and can’t do on each plane.

Physical Traits

Source GameMastery Guide pg. 184
The two most important natural laws set by physical traits are how gravity works and how time passes. Other physical traits pertain to the size and shape of a plane and how easily a plane’s nature can be altered.

Elemental and Energy Traits

Source GameMastery Guide pg. 186
Four basic elements and two types of energy combine to make up everything. The elements are earth, air, fire, and water; the types of energy are positive and negative. The Material Plane reflects a balancing of those elements and energies—all are found there. Each of the Inner Planes is dominated by one element or type of energy. Other planes may show off various aspects of these elemental traits. Many planes have no elemental or energy traits; such traits are noted in a plane’s description only when they are present.

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

Earth-Dominant: Planes with this trait are mostly solid. Travelers who arrive run the risk of suffocation if they don’t reach a cavern or other pocket within the earth. Worse yet, individuals without the ability to burrow are entombed in the earth and must dig their way out (5 feet per turn). Creatures of the air subtype are uncomfortable on earth-dominant planes because these planes are tight and claustrophobic to them, but suffer no inconvenience beyond having difficulty moving.

Fire-Dominant: Planes with this trait are composed of flames that continually burn without consuming their fuel source. Fire-dominant planes are extremely hostile to Material Plane creatures, and those without resistance or immunity to fire are soon immolated.

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

Water-Dominant: Planes with this trait are mostly liquid. Visitors who can’t breathe water or reach a pocket of air likely drown. Creatures of the fire subtype are extremely uncomfortable on water-dominant planes. Those made of fire take 1d10 points of damage each round.

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

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

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

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

Alignment Traits

Source GameMastery Guide pg. 187
Some planes have a predisposition to a certain alignment. Most of the inhabitants of these planes also have the plane’s particular alignment, even powerful creatures such as deities. The alignment trait of a plane affects social interactions there. Characters who follow other alignments than most of the inhabitants do may have a tougher time dealing with the plane’s natives and situations.

Alignment traits have multiple components. First are the moral (good or evil) and ethical (lawful or chaotic) components; a plane can have a moral component, an ethical component, or one of each. Second, the specific alignment trait indicates whether each moral or ethical component is mildly or strongly evident. Many planes have no alignment traits; these traits are noted in a plane’s description only when they are present.

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

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

Neutral-Aligned: These planes stand outside the conflicts between good and evil and law and chaos.

Mildly Aligned: Creatures who have an alignment opposite that of a mildly aligned plane take a –2 circumstance penalty on all Charisma-based checks. A mildly neutral-aligned plane does not apply a circumstance penalty to anyone.

Strongly Aligned: On planes that are strongly aligned, a –2 circumstance penalty applies on all Intelligence-, Wisdom-, and Charisma-based checks made by all creatures not of the plane’s alignment. The penalties for the moral and ethical components of the alignment trait stack.

A strongly neutral-aligned plane stands in opposition to all other moral and ethical principles: good, evil, law, and chaos. Such a plane may be more concerned with the balance of the alignments than with accommodating and accepting alternate points of view. In the same fashion as for other strongly aligned planes, strongly neutral-aligned planes apply a –2 circumstance penalty on Intelligence-, Wisdom-, or Charisma-based checks made by any creature that isn’t neutral. The penalty is applied twice (once for law/chaos, and once for good/evil), so neutral good, neutral evil, lawful neutral, and chaotic neutral creatures take a –2 penalty and lawful good, chaotic good, chaotic evil, and lawful evil creatures take a –4 penalty.

Magic Traits

Source GameMastery Guide pg. 187
A plane’s magic trait describes how magic works on that plane compared to how it works on the Material Plane. Particular locations on a plane (such as those under the direct control of deities) may be pockets where a different magic trait applies.

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

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

Enhanced Magic: Particular spells and spell-like abilities are easier to use or more powerful in effect on planes with this trait than they are on the Material Plane. Natives of a plane with the enhanced magic trait are aware of which spells and spell-like abilities are enhanced, but planar travelers may have to discover this on their own. If a spell is enhanced, it functions as if its caster level was 2 higher than normal.

Impeded Magic: Particular spells and spell-like abilities are more difficult to cast on planes with this trait, often because the nature of the plane interferes with the spell. To cast an impeded spell, the caster must make a concentration check (DC 20 + the level of the spell). If the check fails, the spell does not function but is still lost as a prepared spell or spell slot. If the check succeeds, the spell functions normally.

Limited Magic: Planes with this trait permit only the use of spells and spell-like abilities that meet particular qualifications. Magic can be limited to effects from certain schools or subschools, effects with certain descriptors, or effects of a certain level (or any combination of these qualities). Spells and spell-like abilities that don’t meet the qualifications simply don’t work.

Wild Magic: On a plane with the wild magic trait, spells and spell-like abilities function in radically different and sometimes dangerous ways. Any spell or spell-like ability used on a wild magic plane has a chance to go awry. The caster must make a caster level check (DC 15 + the level of the spell or spell-like ability) for the magic to function normally. Failure means that something strange happens; roll d% and consult Table 7–16: Wild Magic Effects.

Table 7-16: Wild Magic Effects

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