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Source Planar Adventures pg. 52, Lost Treasures pg. 16
Aura moderate divination; CL 8th
Slot none; Price 16,000 gp; Weight 3 lbs.


An astralabe is essentially an extraplanar compass: a device that explorers of the planes can use to orient themselves in realms without shared cardinal directions or physical laws. The device creates an abstraction of north, east, south, and west, as well as up, down, in, out, back, forward, past, future, and a variety of other directions that can prove helpful in navigating the planes. Despite diverse cosmetic differences, astralabes share a uniform internal design and, by and large, give consistent, shared directions. As such, many—if not most— planar cartographers utilize astralabes when creating maps, allowing travelers to navigate lands without magnetic poles or with malleable terrains as though there were one consistent north. The device keeps a constant orientation, but it does not adjust or circumvent hazards or show particular paths. Any creature not on the Material Plane who employs an astralabe while attempting a Knowledge, Survival, or similar skill check to navigate gains a +4 bonus on that check.

Additionally, an astralabe can aid a traveler in preparing to travel to another plane. The device can read emanations from portals, gates, and other connections between the planes and display them upon its surface. These displays can be interpreted with a successful Knowledge (planes) check. A user must typically succeed at a DC 25 Knowledge (planes) check to correctly read an astralabe, though demiplanes and stranger realms might require a higher DC or yield inconclusive results. Those who succeed learn the name of the plane beyond the portal, though not the portal’s exact location upon that plane—it doesn’t reveal tiers, layers, or subrealms, in the case of planes divided into multiple parts. Those who fail the check are unable to tell what plane lies beyond. Those who fail the check by 10 or more incorrectly identify what plane lies beyond, with the details of this misinformation determined by the GM.

Astralabes generally don’t function on the Material Plane, shutting down and emanating an aura of only faint divination. However, should one be brought within 20 feet of a portal or similar passage to another plane, it becomes active for as long as it remains nearby. An astralabe operates continuously while on any plane other than the Material Plane.


Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, know direction, cannot be created on the Material Plane; Cost 8,000 gp