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Thread: Dragonlance Cosmology (that makes sense)

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    Default Dragonlance Cosmology (that makes sense)

    I am cross posting this from the Planescape forum on the Piazza because I think this might get more action here. What I want to do is reconcile the Great Wheel with the Dragonlance separate cosmology in a way that makes sense.
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    The latest version of the Dragonlance cosmology in 3.5e gives us a separate Dragonlance cosmology is that is seemingly difficult to reconcile with Planescape. I have seen some very convoluted work-arounds to make the Dragonlance cosmology work within the Great Wheel or other multiversal cosmologies, but I am going to offer up a solution that keeps the Dragonlance cosmology separate yet part of the greater whole.

    The Dragonlance cosmology has three outer planes: the Dome of Creation, the Hidden Vale, and the Abyss. The good, neutral, and evil deities have realms in these planes respectively. Planescape lore harps on the ignorance of the people of Krynn when they describe Takhisis as having a realm in “the Abyss” when the people of the Planescape setting know well that the realm of Takhisis is in the Nine Hells (Baator). Indeed, if you were in Baator then there would be no physical obstruction to getting in (getting out is another issue altogether).

    There is no real contradiction here – the Dragonlance cosmology is at once part of the greater cosmology, and separate all the same. This is the plan of the High God. Furthermore, any universal laws, pacts, or other such planar arcana (such as the ‘Pact Primeval’ between Asmodeus and ‘the gods’) is suspended as it relates to Krynn. Anyone (or deity, arch devil, or demonlord) that has an objection can take that objection up with the High God. None have dared thus far.

    The Dragonlance cosmology works thus. When a spell or ability is used to take a creature to the planes is used on Krynn, the creature is taken to a realm within the Dragonlance cosmology. Even if the creature attempts to go to a known place in the planes (for example, Dis in Baator), the creature will arrive in a place within the Dragonlance cosmology, generally the closest place (in this case, the realm of Takhisis within “the Abyss”). The same goes for attempts to go to the ethereal or astral planes – the High God of Krynn has ‘reserved’ areas of these planes and encapsulated them within ‘the gray’. Entering the astral plane or ethereal plane brings one to a portion of those planes associated with Krynn, and it is not possible to reach the astral or ethereal planes proper if the starting point is Krynn.

    When a creature from Krynn travels the planes from Krynn, they are traveling within the self-contained Dragonlance cosmology. They have no way of traveling from the realm of Takhisis located within the Nine Hells to the city of Dis. There is no point of exit to do that.

    Such a character could however cross planes within “the Abyss” by simply traveling. All of “the Abyss” is connected despite being on different planes (from the perspective of a resident of Sigil). For example, a creature from Krynn traveling “the Abyss” could go from the realm of Takhisis in the Nine Hells, to the realm of Morgion in the Grey Waste. From the perspective of the traveler they haven’t changed planes, its just all “the Abyss”.

    The same goes for the realms within the Dome of Creation and the Hidden Vale.

    The only way person from Krynn (or even someone from outside Krynn currently in Krynn) can get to a plane within the standard cosmology is to travel the planes from outside of Krynn. If someone in Krynn can get to another Prime Material world outside the purview of the High God, then they may travel to the planes of the Great Wheel outside of the Dragonlance cosmology. Traveling to another Prime Material world is the only way to leave the Dragonlance cosmology. During the Age of Mortals the High God’s plan was suspended, so direct travel to the planes of the Great Wheel was possible at this time (although exceedingly rare as magic was compromised). When the gods returned to Krynn at the end of the War of Souls, the High God’s plan was reestablished.

    Summoning or binding follows the same principle. Summoning or binding spells only summon or bind those creatures that are accessible from within the Dragonlance cosmology. Attempting to summon or bind creatures outside of the Dragonlance cosmology, even with true names, fails.

    The reality of the Dragonlance cosmology explains the cluelessness of the Krynn natives that somehow end up in places like Sigil. Even they do not know how it works, and neither do the people of Sigil.
    Last edited by redking; 11-24-2017 at 06:10 AM.

  2. #2
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    That works. If Im running a DL campaign, I just want the DL planes; if Im running a PS campaign, I want DL to be accessible. Your system strikes a compromise and makes both possible. I have nitpicks (Im not sure its wise ever to make the High God responsible for things; its just as easy to say its the gods*or just explain the workings without stating whos responsible) (it seems unnecessary to reiterate the supposed cluelessness of Krynn natives in the final paragraph; all primes who come to Sigil are clueless to some degree; maybe something could be said to the effect that PS cosmology is especially confusing to Krynnites due simply to contradictory terminology?); but, overall its fine with me.

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    This was pretty much our goal when we laid out how the planes worked in 3.5. The "Beyond" was just that - the rest of the D&D Multiverse was outside of the Krynnish planar bubble.

    Cheers,
    Cam
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cam Banks View Post
    This was pretty much our goal when we laid out how the planes worked in 3.5. The "Beyond" was just that - the rest of the D&D Multiverse was outside of the Krynnish planar bubble.

    Cheers,
    Cam
    Thanks. I guess that is as official as it gets.

    While you are here, I have another cosmological question. In Dragons of the Hourglass Mage, the 3 gods of magic believe (wrongly, it turns out) that Takhisis is planning to bring 3 gods from the beyond to replace the gods of magic. There have also been other gods that were invited to Krynn from the beyond.

    My question: Is getting a gig as a god on Krynn considered lucrative? It seems that a lot of gods in "the beyond" (presumably the Planescape setting or other misc worlds) have a tenuous existence, perhaps entirely reliant on mortal worship (like in the Forgotten Realms setting). It occurs to me that gods on Krynn aren't entirely reliant on mortal worship (or perhaps not even at all), so these gods from the beyond are champing at the bit for an opportunity to be a god of Krynn, because such a position is a secure sinecure backed by the power of the High God.

    Does that sound right to you?

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    I'm posting here to follow this thread. Don't mind me. Just lurking.

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    I've long believed that the gods of Krynn don't actually have any free will, they exist entirely within their own natures as cosmic forces. The more they create covenants with their followers, the more power they have in the mortal realm because those followers grant them power over them. The more people you have to do your work, the more of your work gets done. A god without any followers (or only a few) is still a powerful cosmic force, but aside from creating a mortal body to house some of their power in briefly (an avatar or aspect), they can't actually do much outside of their own nature.

    So I don't really think that the gods do a whole lot of soul-searching about whether it's a good gig to be a Krynnish god or not. I think they just _are_. Of course the more they manifest in the mortal realm the more they acquire petty mortal things like personalities and desires and urges that, when combined with their cosmic natures, can lead them to doing some pretty ridiculous things. But such is the nature of free will, really.

    Cheers,
    Cam
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    Visit Atlas Games for information about Gloom, Once Upon a Time, Ars Magica, Over the Edge, Feng Shui, and many other card games & RPGs!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cam Banks View Post
    I've long believed that the gods of Krynn don't actually have any free will, they exist entirely within their own natures as cosmic forces. The more they create covenants with their followers, the more power they have in the mortal realm because those followers grant them power over them. The more people you have to do your work, the more of your work gets done. A god without any followers (or only a few) is still a powerful cosmic force, but aside from creating a mortal body to house some of their power in briefly (an avatar or aspect), they can't actually do much outside of their own nature.

    So I don't really think that the gods do a whole lot of soul-searching about whether it's a good gig to be a Krynnish god or not. I think they just _are_. Of course the more they manifest in the mortal realm the more they acquire petty mortal things like personalities and desires and urges that, when combined with their cosmic natures, can lead them to doing some pretty ridiculous things. But such is the nature of free will, really.

    Cheers,
    Cam
    Funny, I have a different perspective. I believe the gods definitely have free will. But when they exercise that free will, they can do great damage to Krynn. Full power is not as effective as a lighter touch such as making covenants with followers who will do the god's bidding. I would cite TotL on the potentially destructive power , where the All-Saint's War (or all-Dragon's war) effectively decimated Krynn, turned the planet into an ice age, and Chislev started teaching lizardfolk the way of fur. In my mind, the gods are really more like level 1000+ PCs (as they would be as immortals in D&D1e). They have such great powers, they can move entire stars in the sky, form avatars/aspects all over the world, heck, even steal a planet. So, that will is self-constrained *by choice* rather defining them as a cosmic force that can't do anything beyond their "natures". Also, I would site Paladine and Takhisis themselves. When Tas went to the Abyss, he showed Takhisis her future. That change caused Takhisis to change her plans. It seems to me the ability to analyze new data, reach a conclusion, and the choice to change actions based on that new data is the hallmarks of free will. That change in Legends lead to the Chaos War, where Takhisis stole Krynn. Now, in Paladine, we see him make the ultimate sacrificial choice, that being turning mortal to finally stop Takhisis. He could have done that much earlier. He could have done that just after the All-Saint's War. He could have done it so that Huma didn't have to stab her with a Dragonlance and remove her for a mere one-thousand years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weldon Chen View Post
    When Tas went to the Abyss, he showed Takhisis her future. That change caused Takhisis to change her plans. It seems to me the ability to analyze new data, reach a conclusion, and the choice to change actions based on that new data is the hallmarks of free will. That change in Legends lead to the Chaos War, where Takhisis stole Krynn.
    Hmm, and/or it led to some of the alternate ways the Classics play out.

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