Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Planes in Labyrinth Lord

As I've been working on Advanced Edition Characters for Labyrinth Lord, I've been thinking a bit about the cosmology. I want to stick with the forces of law and chaos as the major axes or philosophical underpinings, with concepts of good and evil being ways in which law or chaos may be executed, but not major spheres of philosophy per se. I think this remains true to the pulp literature origins of gaming. So even though AEC will allow good and evil to be added to alignment, they should be interpreted as more organic than law vs. chaos.

So, all of this is leading to how to organize the planes of existence. I want to get away from the complexity, but also sort of bloated cosmology that was in 1e. If you are familiar with the second issue of the Scribe of Orcus, I outlined the basics of one possible scheme for the planes, which I will probably adopt for AEC. I made a two-dimensional representation of the planes that will likely appear in AEC in some form. Here is the rough draft for those curious:

8 comments:

James Maliszewski said...

I like it. My rough cosmology for my Dwimmermount campaign is similar to this, except that there is no Plane of Balance.

JB said...

Why do any cosmology at all?

At present, my B/X Companion does not include any type of organized planar anything. Why should it? B/X didn't (nor did the LBBs on which it was based). I'm taking that as an opportunity to return to D&D's pulpy roots.

There are still extra-planar/dimensional creatures. There are still "gate" spells. There are still magic items that will open a dimensional rift and suck you (unwillingly) through it.

But let every individual campaign decide what "cosmology" to bring to the table.

Moldvay describes alignment as three basic ways of life that guide how individuals act. It ain't no grand cosmic conflict. Some may decide to put that in their game (or have good versus evil or mundane versus faerie realm or heaven and hell or anything they want!). But why mandate it.

Any kind of planar travel in MY game is going to be fast and loose...more Sailors on the Seas of Fate than astral cords and random wandering githyanki.

John Adams said...

The Grand Master of Complicated Graphs!

Dan of Earth said...

@JB

Different strokes. Advanced Edition Characters is not intended to be my take on what a B/X companion would be. It's meant as a bridge to a pseudo 1e, for a "1e feel" while using the core LL rules. So the answer to why a cosmology is because I'm writing the book and that's something that interests me! ;-) There are various effects or monsters that refer to being ethereal or being on the ethereal plane, for instance, and it just sits better with me to explain what that means.

Phil Bordelon said...

I assume that the Plane of Balance and the Plane of Beasts on both sides of the cosmological wheel are actually the same plane, just drawn non-contiguous?

I'm an unabashed Planescape fan, so I'm actually rather fond of the 1e/2e overcomplexity of the Planes. But this is quite a nice layout too, with plenty of room for adventure without being overwhelming.

Dan of Earth said...

Thanks Phil!

Yeah, the beasts plane is one plane, but this is a 2d model.

JB said...

@Dan: that's cool man...didn't mean to sound harsh.

What I MEANT was...you don't HAVE TO feel obliged. I'm interested in your Advanced Characters withOUT a planar cosmology.

: )

Dan of Earth said...

@JB

No worries. The "cosmology" will be presented as optional, and will be only sketched out. So it won't be anywhere near as detailed as it eventually was in 1e. There will be plenty of room to ignore it entirely or customize it to your taste.