Magic in the Planes


The Planes are as one would expect magical in nature and are shaped by their nature and the powers that reside inside the Planes. In this document I will cover how the Planes affect Spells, Spell-like abilities and magic items in general and how one circumvents these restrictions.

In the second segment of the document I will go in depth about certain conditions on ones magic in the planes which you can read if it interests you.

Also a note to you players, please don’t look at the information if you play a Prime and if you are a Planar, only look at the information regarding Planes your character had a lot of experience with. You can still look at it if you want if none of the above applies to you but if you do, NEVER use it to metagame outside of common sense situations. I won’t say a thing if you conclude that fireball won’t work on the Plane of Water but if you know very specific things I may rise an eyebrow.

Another thing to mention, spellcasting attained by one’s own power (Wizards, Bards or Druids for example) works differently than the magic granted by Powers (Clerics, some Warlocks). Certain rules will only affect casters of the first type, if this is the case I will state so.

Basic Rules

There are three basic rules a wizard (or priest) got to keep in mind as they will greatly affect his spells depending on the plane.

  1. The effect of magic on creatures in their home planes

  2. The relative position of other planes involved in the spell

  3. The availability of extradimensional space (Astral, Ethereal)

There are some additional general Rules that don’t change which one ought to keep in mind. The most important one is a bodys home plane, where he was born not where he currently resides. The spells most affected by a being's home plane are abjurations and summonings.

Some abjurations will send a body back to their home plane but you can’t just abjure a fire elemental on the Plane of Fire.

For summonings you can’t just summon a succubus in Elysium, you can only pull from the current plane or its surroundings in most cases.

Another thing to look out for are the planar pathways. A unsuspecting prime wizard may attempto conjure some elementals in the outer planes but hold up, he pulls them from the inner planes which are reached through the Ethereal and in the Outer Planes there is no ethereal, meaning your spell won’t work here. There are many different spells that rely on planar pathways like these (Another example would be raise dead which connects to the astral) and they won’t work if there is no direct contact. This however DOES NOT affect spells cast by priests (Clerics and some Warlocks)

Another thing are extra dimensional spaces. Spells like rope trick rely on tiny demi planes which are formed in the ethereal so if you’re in the outer planes you are out of luck as the ethereal doesn’t reach you. As before this DOES NOT concern priests.

Basic Alterations by Plane

The Planes all affect magic in their own unique way and the upcoming table will present the information in an understandable manner. Aside from the basic rules spells as a whole are affected by their respective school and element (if they possess one) on a plane. Before beginning the table I will explain the used symbols and how they work mechanically.

Enhanced (+) indicates that the spells have their effects enhanced on a certain plane. The spell will always work as a spell of one level higher, so a level 5 Fireball will become a level 6 Fireball on the Plane of Fire. Additionally all spell Attack Roll bonuses of spells that are affected will be increased by 1. Saving throws will also be adjusted by 1 in a way that benefits the caster.

Altered (#) spell schools are the most common around the planes, making for a different spell result based on either a philosophical or physical nature of the plane. These alterations are consistent across a school inside a school, so a spell with a fire element will always produce scalding explosions of steam on the plane of Ice.

Diminished (>) spell schools have their effects reduced. Diminished Spells work at one level lower than cast so a diminished level 3 Fireball will be treated as a level 2 Fireball. Additionally Spell Attack Rolls will be adjusted by -1 and Saving throws will be adjusted by 1 in a direction that is detrimental to a caster. Also, all spells above 4th level will fail.

Null (&) indicates that Spells of that school are simply unavailable. Still try to cast it and your spell slot is simply gone.

(-) means no alterations to the spells.

Abbreviations: A Air; Abj Abjuration; Alt Alteration; Con/Sum Conjuration/Summoning; Div Divitation; E Earth; Enc/Cha Enchantment/Charm; F Fire; Ill/Pha Illusion/Phantasm; Inv/Evo Invocation/Evocation; Nec Necromantic; PE Paraelemental Plane; QE Quasielemental Plane; W Water; Wil Wild Magic.

Basic Alterations by Plane

(Had to do this in excel as it would have been unorganized otherwise)

Spell Keys

With all these restrictions and alterations one expects the life of a spellcaster to suck hard. What reason would there be for an elementalist to go to Gehenna if his best spells won’t work.

Luckily there are so called Spell Keys which circumvent some changes and reenable your spells and return them to normal.

Spell Keys take up a different form depending on the plane but you usually have to say something and or have to make gestures in the air or involve additional components.

Regardless of the Key used, 

A Spell Key will always increase casting time by 1 Action. (Meaning Spells like Fireball will take 2 Turns)

Different Keys have different ranges of power. Keys are always specific to a plane and will either cover an entire school or will only specify one spell.

For an example you need a specific spell on Mount Celestia to cast Fear properly.

However Spell Keys have their limits and sometimes there exists no key. Wild magic is just never going to happen on mechanus or a fireball in the Elemental Plane of Water.

Spell Keys are often kept secret by Wizards but a faction may sell a member a key, so does maybe a trader or two but be aware, unlike your faction these aren’t necessarily trustworthy.

Priests and their Gods

As stated before the magic of priests is treated way differently than other magic and this section will deal with these differences in more detail.

Priests receive their spellcasting from Powers which can reach all throughout the multiverse, if they couldn’t they wouldn’t be powers. However, other Powers than the Priests God wouldn’t like it if some Clerics just walked into their territory which is why the power of a priest is reduced the further removed he is from his Gods Home Plane.

If the God of a Priest resides in the Outer Planes the Cleric will temporarily lose 1 Preparation slot for each Plane that he is removed if you follow the shortest route on the great ring. So a Cleric with a Power from the Abyss that has 8 Spells won’t have any spells in Mount Celestia, meanwhile in Carceri he will still be able to access 7 spells.

A Priest with a Power from the Inner Planes will lose 3 spells in the Outer Planes (Inner Plane -> Prime -> Astral) as the Power has to reach across three Planes. The same is true in reverse.

Power Keys

Priests can, in addition to spell keys, also use power keys. These do not only restore a spells strength but even enhance it. These power keys however are not just circulating but are instead created by the powers themself as a reward for their devote followers, as a result they are extremely rare.

Priests of evil powers should be careful however as the evil powers love to play a trick by creating detrimental power keys.

Magical Weapons and Armor

The power of a magical Item depends on where the Item was made and where it currently is. The power of a magical Item will be reduced by the shortest distance to the Plane. I will present some calculations which use a +3 Longsword forged in Gehenna as an Example.

Gehenna to Sigil, Longsword +3 (+2). (Gehenna -> Sigil)

Gehenna to Elysium, Longsword + 3 (+1). (Gehenna -> Astral -> Elysium)

Gehenna to Ethereal, Longsword +3 (0). (Gehenna -> Astral -> Prime -> Ethereal)

As you can see you would calculate the amount of Planes required to travel to determine how weakend a magical item becomes. That’s also why most folks want magic items forged in Sigil as it is never more than one plane away. Weapons from the Astral are also liked by many however only few like to take the dangers of the Astral on themselves just to create a weapon.

A Weapon that is rendered a +0 weapon is still considered magical for purposes of overcoming resistances but won’t grant any further benefits. 

Spell School Equivalents of Magic Items

Potions and Oils generally fall in the alteration school, changing the user in some fashion. 

Philters are usually enchantment/charms. 

Protection Scrolls are abjurations. 

Rings fall into several categories, depending on function. Most are either alteration (ring of blinking, ring of fire resistance) or enchantment/charm (ring of human influence, ring of mammal control). Rings that project energy (ring of the ram) are invocation/evocation. Those that call on beings are conjuration/summoning. A ring of protection or a ring of spell-turning uses abjuration magic. Rings with several uses abide by the af fects of the "spell" being cast at the moment. 

Wands are generally of the invocation/evocation school. 

Staves are affected according to the spell being cast. Weaponlike functions use alteration magic. 

Rods either go by the spell-like power used at the moment or use alteration magic for weaponlike abilities. Several rods (the rod of rulership, rod of beguiling, rod of splendor, and the rod of terror) use enchantment/charm magic. 

Miscellaneous Magical Items can use the full range of magic schools. The best approach is to compare the item's effects to existing spells. Bracers of brachiation are alteration magic, Bucknard's everfull purse is conjuration/summoning, and a libram of gainful conjuration is necromantic (since it adds life energy in the form of a new level). 

Artifacts are unaffected by the planes. Unless specifically noted otherwise, an artifact functions normally on all planes, although even the effects of an artifact are subject to the natural laws of the plane. Thus, an artifact that creates a massive fireball cannot overcome the problems facing fireballs within the solid ocean of the plane of Water.

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