Here's something to get the "creative juices going" as it were
8 Ideas on How to Get Your Players Involved In the Planes
Irrespective of protection, traveling the planes is a tricky proposition, an adventure for epic or high level characters. The planes are vast, alien landscapes. In order to get the planes, you have to have the right spell key, and have the proper spell to cast. Researching the spell to traverse the planes can be an adventure in and of itself, and getting the proper spell key can be yet another adventure. But what does one actually DO in the planes? How do you go about incorporating the planes into your game at a low enough level so that the characters have adequate time to prepare for the adventure of a lifetime. Such ideas may be difficult to come by; here are 8 you can use:
Possible Planar adventures:
1) The PCs are asked to retrieve an item from the planes from an extra planar being that holds it hostage. Why is it being held hostage and what can you do to get it back? What other forces are at work here? Should the PCs even comply with the request, provided that they can?
2) Something is going wrong with magic
- Spells of X type are becoming more difficult to cast. If it continues, soon an entire school of magic will be inaccessible OR All magic of X element will be impossible to cast. The PCs find out it’s because the god of magic is having problems. They have to find him/her and discover what’s wrong and if they can do anything to fix it.
- All life will succumb to a extra-planar malady if the extra planar source isn’t discovered and stopped soon
- Summons are wrong; suddenly summoned monsters turn on the caster that summons them OR the wrong monster comes out (either a higher or lower level) OR summon spells are cast, but simply lost for unknown reasons. Find out the cause by traveling to the planes
- Magic users are losing/ gaining/ casting spells at random or spells are going wild. Under further investigation it’s found out that the source is in the planes (or the realm of the god). Investigate to determine why and see if you can stabilize, if possible.
- Familiars are turning on their casters OR they’re disappearing completely and new ones can’t be summoned, and it’s discovered that there’s an extra planar source to it. PCs have to travel to the planes for magic users everywhere.
- Divine magic is weakening or some gods have totally stopped responding to their believers’ cries of help. The PCs must find out what’s going on and why.
- There’s a new god at play or an old one resurfaced. The PCs must visit the planes to find out what is happening and quickly.
- One of the gods is losing or has lost its power and it’s up the PCs to determine why s/he lost it. Is there another god that’s stealing or siphoning off its power? Could the loss of its powers be linked to the growing popularity of another god? Could the god die off completely?
3) Character finds out that s/he has an ancestor (or even parent) from a different plane. They want to go to investigate what it’s like where they come from and what other skills/ abilities they can learn by going there. Will the PCs all join in on the adventure, or will they go off on their own?
4) The PCs discover that the planes are “bleeding” into one another, more so than usual and strange things are happening on the Prime Material Plane.
Moon Based Signs
- The full moon turns blood red and doesn’t turn back to its normal color until after this situation is remedied. During this time undead can freely walk around in the daylight and/ or werewolves are able to change at will. More moons appear in the sky. Are these moons manifestations of the planes’ influence? The moon is “stuck” in a phase – either crescent, quarter, half – waxing or waning
- Magic with the “dark” descriptor, that causes darkness, or that is affected by the phase of the moon is no longer advantageous.
- The moon is in the the sky with the sun for the entire day, but disappears at night. Werewolves can change during the day, when it’s full, but revert back to human at night
Sun based signs
- The sun doesn’t go down. Half of the world is dark. Or a second sun appears in the sky and there is never night.
- The Sun turns an eerie color (other than its usual color) and its exposure drains people of energy. During this time undead can walk the streets freely. The PCs find that someone has opened a massive gate to the Negative Energy Plane and must travel to it, fighting hordes of undead along the way.
- A haze appears that the sun can’t burn off. The fog is so thick that you can’t see your hand at arm’s length. It’s discovered that someone summoned part of the plane of Air on the world. Air elementals kill the unwary for reasons only known to them. The PCs must find out why.
- Temperatures worldwide drop (or increase) by 1d6 degrees every month. Increases (or decreases) continue until stopped by PC intervention. As time goes on the temperature change becomes more frequent and drastic. It’s up to the PCs to go to the planes to investigate and stop it before all life on the Prime Material Plane can no longer survive.
- Storms have been increasing. Their severity has flooded coastal towns, and water continues to rise. Soon the entire world will be covered in water. It’s found out that someone is using the plane of water to affect the weather. It seems that it can’t be stopped from this side. The PCs have to go there and stop it from the other side.
- Storms have been increasing and lightning has struck all the buildings in town in a certain region, burning them to the ground. All attempt at rebuilding are destroyed within a day of being started. The PCs must go to the planes to straighten out what’s happening.
- Drought has taken over, and famine is threatening the entire world. Even the oceans are drying up. Neither weather nor water based magics work. Soon there will be no water and all life will cease. The PCs must go to the planes and figure out the reason for the drought.
- Dust storms rise up for no known reason. It’s determined that a person angered a denizen from the plane of Dust. The PCs must safely escort him/ her to the offended party in order for them to stop
- A fog rises up and allows creatures that are sensitive to light to roam about as if it’s night. Attacks are becoming more frequent. It’s up to the PCs to go to the planes to determine the source of the fog.
- Earthquakes of increasing severity start to happen. At first they’re centered on certain significant sites, but quickly go away. As time goes on the frequency, severity, damage radius and amount of damage done increases.
- Mountains or volcanoes start to rise where none had been previously. An insane earth elemental is at the cause of it, and the PCs must travel to the Plane of Earth to rally other elementals to stop it.
- Vast tracks of land are becoming swamplands, filled with all sorts of unsavory creatures. The Plane of Ooze is trying to take over the Prime Material Plane. People who come in contact with the ooze become incubators of the disease and become monsters to occupy the growing swamp.
- People are unusually aggressive. Tensions are escalating and will increase as people fight a murderous rage. Several people have succumbed to the rage and the death toll is rising daily. The PCs must find the source in the planes
- All monsters are becoming more aggressive as they’re being urged to do so by an extra planar force they don’t understand or specific monster types are becoming more aggressive as a demon that they venerate is ramping up for an invasion. The PCs must stop both the monsters and their extra planer patron.
- People start desiring raw animal flesh, are seen killing and eating livestock with their bare hands. The hands of people so affected start to sharpen into claws and the teeth become sharp needles in order to rend the flesh. The PCs determine
- People become lethargic and barely have the energy to get up in the morning. Most people rise just long enough to eat and go to the bathroom and they go back to bed. The PCs, despite being as drained as everyone else, decide to investigate and find out what’s going on.
5) The PCs have made extra-planar enemies and they must defeat a gauntlet of enemies before facing who they upset. Will they be able to make it through the gauntlet or will they succumb to their enemies? Will the PC’s strength of character cause some of the enemies to join their side?
6) The PCs have gained the favor of an extra-planar entity which personally invites them to help it out. Is this someone good or evil? If it’s something good, what do they want or need? If it’s evil, what are its motives in inviting the PCs and why? Will the PCs be able to catch on to the deception in time or will they inadvertently free an ancient evil?
7) One of the PCs is contacted by a planar entity which informs them that one of their ancestors signed a contract that they are obligated to fulfill. Will the PC do what is asked or will s/he face the wrath of a powerful enemy?
8) The PCs are abducted and taken to the planes. They must fight their way out.