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Planar

Source GameMastery Guide pg. 184
Beyond the mundane world of humans, elves, gnomes, and dwarves lie vast realms known as the planes of existence. Almost limitless in size and potential, the various planes embody the fundamental aspects of reality: alignments, elements, energies, and so on. Each plane is a universe unto itself; it follows its own natural laws and has its own unique inhabitants—the outsiders that occasionally visit or are summoned to the mortal world, be they gods, angels, demons, devils, or even stranger creatures. Literally anything is possible on the planes, making them a perfect location for exotic, terrifying, wondrous, and deadly adventures.

What is a Plane?

Source GameMastery Guide pg. 184
The planes of existence are different realities with interwoven connections. Except for rare linking points, each plane is effectively its own universe, with its own natural laws. The planes break down into a number of general types: the Material Plane, the transitive planes, the Inner Planes, the Outer Planes, and the demiplanes.

Material Plane: The Material Plane is the most Earth-like of all the planes, and operates under the same set of natural laws that our own world does. This is the default plane for most adventures.

Transitive Planes: These three planes have one important common characteristic: each is used to get from one place to another. The Astral Plane (although technically an Outer Plane) is a conduit to all other planes, while the Ethereal Plane and the Shadow Plane both serve as means of transportation within the Material Plane, which they’re connected to. These planes have the strongest regular interaction with the Material Plane and can be accessed using various spells. They have native inhabitants as well.

Inner Planes: These six planes are manifestations of the basic building blocks of the universe. Each is made up of a single type of energy or element that overwhelms all others. The natives of a particular Inner Plane are made of the same energy or element as the plane itself. The Negative Energy Plane, the Positive Energy Plane, the Plane of Air, the Plane of Earth, the Plane of Fire, and the Plane of Water are all Inner Planes.

Outer Planes: The deities live on the Outer Planes, as do creatures such as celestials, fiends, and other outsiders. Each of the Outer Planes has an alignment representing a particular moral or ethical outlook, and the natives of each plane tend to behave in agreement with that plane’s alignment. The Outer Planes are also the final resting place of souls from the Material Plane, whether that final rest takes the form of calm introspection or eternal damnation. Abaddon, the Abyss, Elysium, Heaven, Hell, Limbo, Nirvana, Purgatory, and Utopia are all Outer Planes.

Demiplanes: This catch-all category covers all extradimensional spaces that function like planes but have measurable size and limited access. Other kinds of planes are theoretically infinite in size, but a demiplane might be only a few hundred feet across.

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.

The Great Beyond

Source GameMastery Guide pg. 188
In the cosmology of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, the planes are collectively known as the Great Beyond, and form a vast, nesting sphere. At the heart of the sphere lie the Material Plane and its twisted reflection, the Shadow Plane, bridged by the mists of the Ethereal Plane. The elemental planes of the Inner Sphere surround this heart. Farther out, beyond the void of the Astral Plane, sits the unimaginably vast Outer Sphere, which is itself surrounded and contained by the innumerable layers of the Abyss

The planes that make up the Great Beyond are briefly detailed below.