Plane Shifting in D&D 5th Edition | Dungeon Con Online Stream
Main Topic: Plane Shifting in D&D 5th Edition | Dungeon Con Online Stream
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What is Plane Shift?
Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering are two different games, but that doesn’t mean their multiverses can’t meet. In fact, Wizards has already started plane shifting with the release of two of its official books. Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica and Mythic Odysseys of Theros campaign books. While we will touch on these lightly, we will be focusing on the free supplements Wizards of the Coast has made available to everyone based on many of their other popular multiverse settings.
From the beginning, some of Magic’s planes, such as Zendikar, were conceived as an “adventure world” where parties of explorers delve into ancient ruins in search of wonders and treasures, fighting the monsters they encounter on the way. Many of the plane’s creative roots lie in D&D, so it should be no surprise that The Art of Magic: The Gathering—Zendikar by James Wyatt feels a lot like a D&D campaign-setting book. It’s littered with adventure hooks and story seeds and lacks only the specific rules references you’d need to adapt the planes, races, monsters, and adventures to a tabletop D&D campaign. And it’s all surrounded by amazing fantasy art that holds boundless inspiration in itself.
You can think of the Plane Shift supplements as a sort of book designed to help you take the different world MTG setting details and story seeds contained in the books and turn them into exciting D&D or other RPG campaigns. The easiest way to approach a D&D campaign set on Zendikar for example is to use the rules that D&D provides mostly as written: A druid on Zendikar for example might call on green mana and cast spells like giant growth, but she’s still just a druid in the D&D rules (perhaps casting giant insect).
Plane Shift was made using the fifth edition of the D&D rules that you can find in these fantastic supplements. D&D is a flexible rules system designed to model any kind of fantasy world. The D&D magic system doesn’t involve five colors of mana or a ramping-up to your most powerful spells, but the goal isn’t to mirror the experience of playing Magic in your roleplaying game. The point is to experience the worlds of Magic in a new way, through the lens of the D&D rules. All
you really need is races for the characters, monsters for them to face, and some ideas to build a campaign.
Finally, The Art of Magic: The Gathering books will help you create a D&D campaign in these different settings, but you don’t actually need the book to make use of this material—you can also refer to the abundance of lore about these settings found on www.magicthegathering.com.
Each supplement includes a variety of player options. While most are simple variants of existing mechanics. Each has their own lore and flavor. This opens a new way to experience your favorite races. From personality traits, culture and flaws.
While each supplement has a variety of monsters, player options and lore, we will only be picking one of these from each area to discuss due to time constraints. But, each of you can head on over to our show notes at www.critacademy.com/episode222 and get links to each of the Magic The Gathering Plane Shift supplement files.
Towering, gold-encrusted monuments break the unending monotony of a horizon formed of sun-blasted sand. Awe-inspiring, animal-headed gods walk among the people, offering them care and protection from the horrors of the desert. A wide, life-giving river offers its abundant bounty, providing for every physical need. Happy, hopeful people offer sacrifices in grand temples dedicated to their benevolent gods, addressing their spiritual needs. For they know that this life, as wonderful as it might be, is just the beginning—a prelude to the perfection that awaits them in the afterlife, promised to them by their God-Pharaoh.
Amonkhet is a plane of dichotomy. Beyond the lush river valley spreads endless scorching desert. Accursed, desiccated mummies roam that desert, while carefully embalmed mummies attend to the needs of the living in the glorious city-state. The people have everything they need. They are protected from the desert heat and wandering mummies by the magical barrier called the Hekma, and they spend their lives in focused training, honing body and mind to perfection.
Yet they eagerly anticipate the time when they will be permitted to die in combat and leave this world behind.
On the surface, Amonkhet seems like a marvelous place to live. But something unsettling and nefarious lurks behind the grand facade. The wise and benevolent God-Pharaoh, said to be busy preparing the wondrous afterlife for the worthy, is actually Nicol Bolas the malevolent dragon Planeswalker whose schemes reach far beyond this plane. And all the preparation and training, all the trials and contests, all the effort to be made worthy—all of this is meant to prepare the people of Amonkhet for transformation into an undead army under Bolas’s command.
Supplement Feature of Note: The Curse of Wandering
The Curse of Wandering is the greatest danger of the desert lands. A creature killed in the desert rises again as a zombie as soon as the moisture has dried from its flesh. As a result, the corpses of every kind of desert creature shamble across the dunes alongside the humanoid zombies of dissenters and would-be explorers.
Most of these former humanoids are mindless marauders with the statistics of the mummy in the Monster Manual, though some tales speak of mummies that have retained a sinister intelligence and even magical ability, becoming mummy lords.
Dominaria is an enormous plane, with numerous landmasses separated by vast oceans. This supplement focuses on the continent of Aerona and its surrounding lands, which are collectively known as the Domains.
Aerona. The continent of Aerona is sharply split between its northern and southern parts, with the division marked by a wide bay and a forbidding mountain range.
The southern part of Aerona is dominated by Benalia, the foremost mercantile and military power on Dominaria. It spreads along the western coast and out to the nearby islands, including the Isle of Avenant to the north and much of the Spice Isles to the west. Though most famous for their fertile fields, the lands of Benalia also include old-growth forests, rolling mountains, and a lengthy coastline.
The skies above Benalia are dotted with the curved, floating spires of the Church of Serra, with a heavy concentration of them above Benalia City. In stark contrast to the beneficence of the church, agents of Belzenlok’s Cabal have been infiltrating Benalia from their stronghold to the east, in Urborg.
South and east of Benalia lie the impassable tangles of the Llanowar forest. Llanowar is populated by diverse elven societies that are threatened by the goblins and orcs of the Ironclaw Mountains.
Land passage through Benalia to the east coast of Aerona is virtually impossible thanks to the peaks of the Ironclaws, but the Benalish are the preeminent naval power in the region. By informal but frequently reiterated agreement, Benalish ships stay out of the Voda Sea, and
the merfolk of Vodalia allows shipping to pass along Aerona’s coastlines largely unhindered.
This command of Aerona’s southern coasts allows the Benalish to maintain a permanent presence in Sursi on the east coast of the continent.
To the northeast of Benalia are the Red Iron Mountains, which divide the more sparsely populated northern half of Aerona from the lands to the south. The mountains’ native
Crookshank kobolds fared poorly during the chaos of the Rift Years, and the mountains
are now dotted with Benalish mining settlements.
To the east, the Red Iron Mountains divide as the continent does, with the Ironcrowns veering off to the south. The northern branch becomes the formidable peaks of the Hurloon Mountains, home of a peaceful but reclusive nation of minotaurs. The occasional Benalish trading mission ventures into Hurloon, but permanent settlements and Serran missionaries are met with open hostility.
Icehaven. The forbidding subcontinent north of Aerona is Icehaven, home to the warrior nation of Keld. Keldon raiders and Benalish colonists now clash regularly along the west coast of northern Aerona, both seeking to control the relatively narrow stretch of land between the Sea of Avenant and the Whispering Woods to the east.
Spice Isles. West of Benalia spreads a vast ocean dotted with islands. The most prominent of the Tolarian Academies, Tolaria West, is situated in the northwestern Spice Isles. (A second Tolarian Academy is situated on Walassa to the east of Aerona, part of the mercantile empire of Orvada.)
Supplement Feature of Note: The Domains
The continent of Aerona is split into domains. This supplement contains very in depth details on each of the domains; the natural and architectural beauty of Benalia, gracefully curved floating towers of the church of serra, or the mages Tolarian Academies of magic and science. Each is given details on the domains overall alignment, suggested races, background and classes that go well with the domain. These even include suggested ideals and bonds to fit with the theme of the setting. Though, characters are restricted to this.
On the plane of Innistrad, horrors stalk the shadows and scratch at doors in the night. Humanity is beset on all sides: vampires thirst for human blood, werewolves live for the thrill of the hunt, the restless spirits of the dead haunt the living, and no corpse is safe from reanimation at the hands of cruel necromancers or cunning scientists. Only their grim determination and their staunch faith in the protection of their patron archangel, Avacyn—has allowed humans to survive in this nightmarish realm.
The people of Innistrad are surrounded by monsters. Almost without exception, anything that is not human, whether it’s a rat or an angel, is a potential enemy. Even the traditional allies of humanity—from angels and griffins to herons and hounds—are unreliable at best, as the madness that grips the angels seems to seep into every living thing. And at the same time, humanity’s age-old enemies grow ever more dangerous.
The specific horrors that the people of Innistrad fear most are all reflections of humanity’s darker Nature. Still, the most dreadful creatures of Innistrad lurk within human towns and cities, pursuing their twisted schemes and unholy desires in the heart of civilization. These are the humans that have been consumed by Innistrad’s darkness. Sinister cultists give themselves over to demons and other dark forces. And even among the common folk on Innistrad as on every plane some simply give in to selfish desires and violent rage, killing with knife and garrote rather than sorcery.
Supplement Feature of Note: Emrakul’s Madness
Emrakul’s arrival and the madness that spreads across the plane around the Eldrazi titan. A D&D campaign can take the setting beyond the traditional gothic horror. If you want to add elements of Emrakul’s madness to your campaign, use the Sanity score rules in chapter 9 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Allow characters to make Sanity checks to interpret the effects of Emrakul’s corruption, and Sanity saving throws to resist the effects of the spreading madness.
Mental corruption is not the only effect of Emrakul’s presence on Innistrad, however. Particularly after the Eldrazi titan fully emerges into the plane, the madness she brings is accompanied by physical mutation as well. Rather than unleashing hordes of spawn upon the world as the Eldrazi did on Zendikar, Emrakul causes the living creatures of Innistrad to transform into her spawn, becoming warped and horrible fusions of normal and Eldrazi flesh.
Deep in the heart of Ixalan’s verdant jungle lies a treasure beyond imagining. Secure in the ancient golden city of Orazca, the Immortal Sun is an artifact of mythic power that promises boundless wealth, the strength of the empire, command over nature, and eternal life. For centuries it was only dimly remembered, veiled in legend, but now the legend has become reality, and all the peoples of Ixalan seek the Immortal Sun and the power it promises. They will stop at nothing to claim it for themselves.
The merfolk of the River Heralds and the humans of the Sun Empire has shared the continent of Ixalan for ages, sometimes warring, sometimes in an uneasy peace. But outsiders—first the treasure-hungry pirates of the Brazen Coalition and now the sinister fleets of the Legion of Dusk—have disrupted that delicate balance of power. And as the Legion of Dusk seeks to conquer Ixalan, all four peoples are catapulted into a desperate search for the golden city and the treasure it holds.
A whole world waits to be discovered. Ancient ruins from the Sun Empire’s heyday can now be found, overgrown and half-buried, in the depths of the jungle. Sacred springs infused with magical power well up from high mountainsides. Hidden coves hold pirate treasures stowed by captains long forgotten. Brave explorers from all four peoples uncover such sites as they scour Ixalan in search of the golden city.
Supplement Feature of Note: Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs are the dominant form of animal life in Ixalan the absolute rulers of the coastal lands held by the Sun Empire, and a force to be reckoned with in the interior jungles. A number of dinosaurs appear in the Monster Manual, with even more to be found in Volo’s Guide to Monsters, making that a particularly worthwhile resource for an Ixalan campaign. (Many of the dinosaurs in Volo’s Guide also appear in Tomb of Annihilation.)
The opening of Orazca, the golden city, reveals the existence of six huge and ancient elder dinosaurs, apparently preserved for centuries. Compared to their smaller cousins, they have less brightly-colored
plumage and more grayish scales, but their feathers are a bright gold that matches the city around them. They are strong-willed and ferocious, and thus are hard to control. But the power of the Immortal Sun gives the Sun Empire warriors who wield it the ability to bring these elder dinosaurs under their command. Included are stat blocks for many powerful dinosaurs, the Elder Dinosaurs rocking a Challenge Rating 30.
Kaladesh is a living work of art, a vibrant, beautiful plane where anything is possible. Optimism, innovation, and the spirit of creativity fuel an intoxicating renaissance of invention and artifice across Kaladesh. Its inhabitants frequently assert that “anything can be built,” and brilliant inventors seem to prove that saying every day.
Clockwork automatons walk the streets, acting as servants and bodyguards, soldiers and sentries, mounts, and even pets. Soaring airships provide transport both within and between the cities and villages of the plane, and carry prospectors high into the sky to draw on limitless reserves of magical aether.
Intricate and ornate whirling thopters flit over marketplaces, carrying messages, gathering information, and driving away gremlin infestations. Elegant interlocking gear mechanisms raise and lower bridges over canals. Exquisite tools gleam like jewelry, incorporated into the bright and colorful fashions of artisans, prospectors, and inventors alike. In all these fabulous constructions, intricate design and graceful beauty are prized almost as much as efficient function. The artifice that produces these works is viewed as the ultimate form of creative and intellectual expression.
Kaladesh owes its bright existence to the tangible presence of aether—a raw form of magical energy that fills the space between planes. Aether seeps into Kaladesh and has become a critical part of the environment as well as the foundation of contemporary civilization. The skies are full of it, the plants and trees bend and twist to be closer to it, and flowing waterways trace
patterns beneath it. The ingenious inventor Avaati Vya developed a way to refine volatile aether into a potent and safe fuel, a process that has made all the inventions and contrivances of society possible.
Supplement Feature of Note: Inventing Feats
If your campaign uses feats, there are some nice options for player characters. They can gain these additional abilities related to aether and invention directly.
You have mastered the art of on-the-fly invention, improvement, and jury-rigging. You can use your talents to create immediate, short-term magical effects similar to spells, given time and an adequate supply of aether.
When you choose this feat, you master two magical effects, each of which recreates the effect of a 1st-level spell that has the ritual tag. These spells can come from any class list, but Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for them.
You are skilled in the creation of servos—tiny constructs that function as personal assistants. You can cast
The find familiar spell as a ritual, creating a servo to serve as your familiar instead of an animal. A servo’s statistics appear in the “Artifact Creatures” section of this document. In every other way, a servo familiar functions as described in the find familiar spell.
You can communicate telepathically with your servo familiar and perceive through its senses as long as you are on the same plane of existence. You can speak through your servo in your own voice. Additionally, when you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of your own attacks to allow your servo familiar to make one attack of its own.
Zendikar is a dangerous world of lethal risks and priceless rewards. From the perspective of its inhabitants, it is a hostile place that seems to be actively trying to kill any creature that has the audacity to live there. The danger is unrelenting. Precarious terrain, cunning predators, and natural disasters on a massive scale all present a constant challenge to survival as do the unpredictable ripples of change that wash through the plane, known to its people as the Roil.
Even the mana that suffuses the land is wild and hard to tame. It feels almost alive to those who wield it, and sometimes causes the land to manifest magical effects much like spells. Zendikar is a plane of deadly peril, but the denizens of that plane grow up strong and resilient, prepared for the dangers of the only world they know.
Ages ago, three alien beings of tremendous power were imprisoned on Zendikar in an effort to prevent them from consuming the entire multiverse, plane by plane. But the presence of these Eldrazi within the plane is like a festering infection within a living body. Zendikar isn’t trying to exterminate all the creatures that inhabit the plane—it’s been trying in vain to destroy the Eldrazi. Its inhabitants just happen to get in the way.
Supplement Feature of Note: Eldrazi
Eldrazi is a creature type describing an ancient race native to the Blind Eternities that have neither physical form nor color alignment. Their nature is ceaseless hunger, so they travel between planes devouring the mana and life energy until the plane's destruction. Three Eldrazi titans were bound on Zendikar in aeons past: Emrakul, Ulamog, and Kozilek. Emrakul warps biology, Ulamog warps physical properties, and Kozilek warps reality.
It is unknown whether more titans exist elsewhere in the multiverse. Each titan lives outside of the planes. When one wants to feed, it extends a part of its "body" into the plane, to create a physical manifestation of itself there, as well as an army of drones that are extensions of its body and will.
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Grumbar Stonechipper, Half-Orc
Description: This short grey-skinned half-orc is perpetually holding a rock of some kind. He wears worn and beaten armor, marred by tears. His hair is chestnut and curly. His ears are large and has a broken tusk.
Personality: He misses his glory days as an athlete. He does not mind his job, but it is boring in comparison. He lacks moral complications. He does what he is told to by employers but not much else. He spends his money on whatever he fancies at the time. Though, he always keeps just enough saved in case of a sudden job change.
History: He is a Lycanthrope in disguise. His childhood dream was to be a miner, but he was a colossal failure. He has accepted his lot in life. Carries on doing odd jobs here and there.
Motivation: He is unsatisfied with his job and as such, is constantly on the lookout for new job opportunities.
Origin Statblock: Deva
Lost Features: D/R Radiant (becomes necrotic) Angelic Weapons Radiant ( becomes necrotic), Spell list
Spell List: Corrupted Gaia is an 11th-level spellcaster
At will: chill touch, resistance
1/day each: bestow curse, commune with nature, contagion
Corrupting Blast (Recharge 5-6). The corrupted gaia releases a burst of enervating energy against a single creature within 60 feet that it can see. The target must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw or take 19 (4d8 + 5) necrotic damage and be incapacitated until the start of the corrupted gaia’s next turn. A humanoid slain by a corrupted gaia’s corrupting blast rises 2d4 hours later as a specter under
the corrupted gaia’s control.
The Corrupted Gaia can take 2 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The Corrupted Gaia regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
Cantrip. The corrupted gaia can cast a cantrip.
Corrupted Spores. A 15-foot cloud of corrupted spores extends out from the corrupted gaia until the end of its next turn. These spores can go around corners and affect only creatures with an intelligence of 5 or higher than’t aren’t undead, constructs, or elementals. Affected creatures have disadvantage on saving throws made against the corrupted gaia’s corrupting blast.
Spread Corruption. The corrupted gaia rolls to recharge its corrupting blast.
Ride the Waves
The characters are called to a tropical archipelago. A massive sea-storm is on its way. The local nobles have called for aid from adventurers. Atleryn Mulexath (F triton, scout) has swam ahead of the incoming storm with a warning.
“The storm is a creation of foolishness. A water cult used a powerful summoning ritual conjuring the leviathan (MKToF) Eelodile from the plane of water.”
Atleryn suggests taking a large vessel and meeting the creature at sea, before it makes its way to the highly populated archipelago. It's a dangerous task. The mission will require five vessels, each with a group of adventurers to surround Eelodile and attempt to defeat the elder elemental.
While battle will be tough, the focus will be on the environmental aspect of battle. Each slam attack that Eelodile does smashes into the vessel the characters are on. When this happens, the vessel tilts and creatures on the vessel must succeed on a DC 15 Strength saving throw or be pushed 10 feet away from Eelodile. Any loose objects slide and fly around the deck, becoming hazardous terrain. The high winds of the storm put the entire battlefield under the constant effect of the wind wall spell. The Eelodile is also given the following lair actions.
The leviathan creates strong currents as its body moves through the water. Each creature within 60 feet of the leviathan must succeed on a DC 20 Strength saving throw or be pushed up to 60 feet away from the leviathan.
If a character has the sailor background they have advantage on all saving throws and skill checks related to forced movement of the lair action or slam feature. Additionally, they can use a bonus action to grant advantage to a creature they can see and hear on their next Strength saving throw against the lair action.
Dust of the Fallen
Wondrous item, rare
This ashen black sand can only be found around desecrated lands. A place where blood was spilled during an evil ritual such as a human sacrifice. When you cast a spell of 1st-level or higher from the necromancy school of magic, you can add the dust of the fallen to the material components of the spell. If you do, the spell is cast as if it was 1-level higher, up to a maximum of 9th level. This consumes only the original spell slot. You can apply multiple uses of dust of the fallen to a single spell. If you do, the spell may backfire. Roll a d20. If you roll less than 10 + the number of uses of dust of the fallen. The spell is still successful, but 1d4 hostile ghosts are conjured in the nearest unoccupied spaces around the caster.
An Arcana check of DC 17 is required to gather and store the dust. On a success, the creature gathers enough material for 1d4 uses. On a failed check, the creature gathering the material suffers the effects of the ray of enfeeblement for 24 hours. This effect can only be removed by the remove curse spell or similar magic.
Dungeon Master Tip:
When things veer off in an unexpected direction, first and foremost, don’t panic. Take a breath, consider your options, decide what’s next, and keep things going. If you’re really thrown for a loop, take the opportunity for a “break” to grab a drink, use the bathroom, get a breath or air, or otherwise give you a moment to collect your thoughts.
Resist the impulse to immediately negate whatever it is your players did to bring this situation about. To quote the Marvel comic Runaways, “A good GM always lets his players feel like they’re in control, when they’re really not.” Reversing player decisions is a sure way to make them feel
that they have no control over the direction of the game, which can bring everyone’s fun to a screeching halt. So avoid telling the players, “No, you can’t do that,”.
Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick
Lock the Door
In the life of dungeon crawling adventurers, sometimes there are encounters best left avoided. Or perhaps you don’t want the big bad calling in for reinforcements. There are a number of ways to help avoid these. Using sneaking tactics, creating distractions, or jedi mind tricking their way in. One in particular is often overlooked. Ever just consider locking the door? Now, we know what you’re thinking. Well that’s just dumb. You’re in the enemy's fortress. They all either have keys or can just kick the door in, and in most cases this is true. But what about using the arcane lock spell to stall or slow enemies? Think about it. In many cases the heroes end up in a room with a big bad enemy guy. They walk right through the entrance, half the time not even bothering to shut or lock the door. Arcane Lock only takes an action and lasts 10 minutes. You can then set a password to allow it to open when you’re ready to leave, or ambush any you allow to come in. This makes for a fantastic tactic for isolating a particular enemy. Additionally, if you’re on your way in or out, and are loaded on spell slots. You could just lock rooms as you creep through them. That way nobody can come to challenge you and your party, at least not in most cases. Spellcasters with knock or someone that can roll extremely high to break the +10 bonus to DC still may be an issue. But it's worth the risk.
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