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Planar Adventures

Source Planar Adventures pg. 8
The Great Beyond is a place of unmatched beauty, boundless opportunity, and overwhelming magic, but those boons are more than matched by the dangers that await travelers and explorers of planes far from their own. Those who seek to adventure in such treacherous realms would do well to prepare in advance, and this chapter presents numerous options for characters to do so through archetypes, feats, spells, and magic items.

The planes are vast, but their themes are also stronger than those on most Material Plane worlds. On a typical Material Plane world, one can expect to encounter a wide range of terrains, societies, civilizations, beliefs, and religions. This diversity is perhaps the Material Plane’s greatest strength, and it is certainly why models of the planes tend to place the Material Plane at the metaphysical center of reality. Here, elements from all of the planes of the Great Beyond mix. In contrast, the other planes of the Great Beyond tend to each exemplify a single specific theme, condition, philosophical conceit, or incarnation of reality. There is little fear of dying of frostbite on the Plane of Fire. One can expect to find plenty of representation of chaotic good faiths in Elysium but relatively little (if any at all) of lawful faiths. Color itself is a rarity in the Shadow Plane, and solid ground likewise in places like the Astral and Ethereal Planes.

As a result, preparation for planar travel is ironically easier in many cases than travel on the Material Plane—but this should not be taken to mean that other planes are safe places to visit. Most planes have dangerous, supernatural predators inimical to mortal life, and several are themselves deadly to merely visit. Arriving on a plane with the proper tools, already protected by the appropriate magic, and equipped with sufficient knowledge makes the difference between potential success and immediate failure.

When you run an adventure or campaign that features planar travel, you’ll want to keep this peril in mind. Further, you should consider the makeup of your player characters. Just as it can be frustrating for a druid’s player to face adventure after adventure set in a city, or for a paladin’s player to endure a campaign that frequently features moral quandaries and forces cooperation with forces of chaos or evil, it can likewise be annoying to play a character whose class features, goals, and necessities require the Material Plane in a campaign mostly set on other planes. You should make sure to alert your players at the start of any campaign that will take place on the other planes of the Great Beyond. You don’t need to completely spoil all your plans for the game, but letting the players know that they will be unlikely to spend much time in the implied “homeland” of most games is important.

A planar campaign is a great chance for your players to create characters of wildly diverse races. A number of suitable planar races are summarized below, including three new races appropriate for player characters that appear in Chapter 4 of this book. One thing to keep in mind when allowing players to play these races is that their powers tend to be a bit more significant than those of the game’s core races. As a result, you should consider using the race builder rules found in Chapter 4 of Pathfinder RPG Advanced Race Guide. Choose a target RP total for all the players, and allow them to purchase new abilities and options for their races so that each player is playing an equivalently powerful character.

Planar Terrains

Source Planar Adventures pg. 9
A staggering array of terrains await exploration in the Great Beyond. Some are akin to the forests, mountains, oceans, and plains of Material Plane worlds, but others are unlike anything found there, such as the ghostly reaches of the Ethereal Plane, the living and horrific reaches of the deep Abyss, the constantly burning inferno of the Plane of Fire, and the life-draining nothingness of the Negative Energy Plane.

Some classes, like the ranger, interact directly with terrain, and class abilities like favored terrain can become complicated in a plane-hopping campaign. In games that are largely limited to the Material Plane, the planes terrain category works fine, but if you intend to run a game set on another plane, you should consider breaking up that category into specific planes (thus, a ranger would choose Heaven or Ethereal Plane, or even a demiplane like Leng as a favored terrain), or simply doing away with the planes category entirely. With this latter solution, you should work with ranger players to help them anticipate the terrains featured in your upcoming campaign, with new categories like crystalline (for realms in the Plane of Earth or under Elysium, where immense crystal formations are common), living (for truly sentient realms like portions of the Abyss), or void (for empty reaches in the Astral Plane or the energy planes) potentially becoming new options for rangers to select from.

Planar Races

Source Planar Adventures pg. 9
The following races all have specific ties to portions of the multiverse beyond the Material Plane (note that not all of these are native outsiders, and in addition to being found on the plane indicated below, all of these races can also be encountered on the Material Plane).

Aasimar: Aasimars carry the blood of good-aligned outsiders in their veins. They can be found in Heaven, Nirvana, or Elysium, depending upon their heritage.

Aphorite: Aphorites were created by axiomites to facilitate their interactions with mortals. They can often be found on Axis.

Duskwalker: Duskwalkers are souls who have incarnated directly into the Material Plane from the Boneyard; as a result, most are now found on Material Plane worlds.

Fetchling: Descended from humans who became trapped on the Shadow Plane, most fetchlings treat that sinister plane as home.

Ganzi: Infused with strange energies and entropic legacies, ganzis are mortal incarnations of the myriad and mutable forces of chaos. They are typically encountered in the Maelstrom, but can also be found in Elysium or the Abyss.

Gathlain: Rarely encountered on the Material Plane, the fey gathlains are most often found in the First World.

Ifrit: Ifrits trace their lineage back to creatures from the Plane of Fire. They can be encountered on the Plane of Fire.

Oread: Oreads boast the influence of shaitans and other earth creatures in their veins. They can be found on the Plane of Earth.

Shabti: Shabtis are broken bits of mortal souls made flesh. They are encountered only on the Material Plane.

Suli: Sulis are descended from the unions of mortals and jaan. They can sometimes be encountered on the Elemental Planes, but the majority dwell on the Material Plane.

Sylph: Sylphs are infused with the blood and power of creatures of elemental air. They can often be found on the Plane of Air.

Tiefling: Tieflings are mortals who have fiends in their ancestry. They can be found in Hell, Abaddon, or the Abyss, depending upon their heritage.

Undine: Undines are the descendants of those who have mingled with creatures of elemental water. They can be found on the Plane of Water.

Wayang: Wayangs originally came from the Shadow Plane, but are rarely found there today— most dwell now on the Material Plane.

Traits of a Plane

Source Planar Adventures pg. 58
Reality is not the constant a rational creature might like to think it is. Even on different worlds of the Material Plane, fundamental aspects of life vary—planets can have lower or higher gravity, atmospheres that are poisonous for most species to breathe, or other deviations from what might be considered normal.

These deviations expand greatly when traveling in the Great Beyond, for as you leave the Material Plane, you leave behind many of the constants of our reality. Each and every plane defines its own reality, and in some cases this reality is far from stable on its own. Aspects like the nature of gravity, the flow of time, and the size and shape of the region can vary wildly. On some planes, not even the gods can effect change, while on others, thoughts spring to truth and reality itself is alive. Even philosophical ideals like good or evil or the underlying nature of magic itself can become warped or physically manifest in such outlandish regions.

There are seven categories of traits that summarize the nature of reality within each realm of existence: gravity, time, realm, structural, essence, alignment, and magic.

Gravity Traits

Source Planar Adventures pg. 58
The direction of gravity’s pull may be unexpected, and it might even change directions on the plane.

Normal Gravity

Most planes have gravity similar to that of the Material Plane, either in that the plane consists of planets with their own gravitational fields or in that the plane consists of a single domain where “down” is always in the same direction: toward the ground. On these planes, the usual rules for physical ability scores, carrying capacity, and encumbrance apply.

Heavy Gravity

The gravity on a plane with this trait is much more intense than on the Material Plane. As a result, Acrobatics, Climb, Ride, and Swim checks incur a –2 penalty, as do all attack rolls. Item weights are effectively doubled, which might affect a character’s encumbrance or speed. Weapon ranges are halved. Characters who fall on a heavy gravity plane take 1d10 points of damage for each 10 feet fallen, to a maximum of 20d10 points of damage.

Light Gravity

The gravity on a plane with this trait is less intense than on the Material Plane. Characters on a plane with the light gravity trait take a +2 circumstance bonus on attack rolls and on Acrobatics and Ride checks. All items weigh half as much, and weapon ranges double. These advantages apply to travelers from other planes as well as natives. Falling characters on a light gravity plane take only 1d4 points of damage for each 10 feet fallen (to a maximum of 20d4).

No Gravity

Individuals on a plane with this trait merely float in space, unless other effects provide a direction for gravity’s pull. Flight is the most common mode of transport here.

Objective Directional Gravity

The strength of gravity on a plane with this trait is the same as on the Material Plane, but the direction is not the traditional “down” toward the ground. It may pull toward any solid object, at an angle to the surface of the plane (creating a plane that appears to consist entirely of an unending mountainside, for example), or even upward.

Subjective Directional Gravity

The strength of gravity on a plane with this trait is the same as on the Material Plane, but each individual chooses the direction of gravity’s pull for herself. Such a plane has no gravity for unattended objects and nonsentient creatures.

Characters on a plane with subjective directional gravity can move normally along a solid surface by imagining “down” below their feet. If suspended in midair, a character “flies” by merely choosing a “down” direction and “falling” that way. An individual falls 150 feet in the first round and 300 feet in each succeeding round. Movement is straight-line only. To stop, a character must change the designated “down” direction to counteract her fall, reducing her falling speed by one step (from 300 feet to 150 feet, or from 150 feet to 0 feet) each round.

Setting a new direction of gravity takes a free action and requires a successful DC 16 Wisdom check; a character can attempt this check once per round. A character who fails this Wisdom check receives a +6 bonus on subsequent checks until she succeeds.

Time Traits

Source Planar Adventures pg. 59
The passage of time is always subjective for the viewer. This subjectivity applies to various planes: travelers may discover that they gain or lose time while moving between planes, but from their point of view, time always passes normally.

Normal Time

This is the baseline for time flow, and describes the passage of time on the Material Plane; 1 hour on a plane with normal time equals 1 hour on the Material Plane.

Erratic Time

Some planes have time that slows down and speeds up, so an individual may lose or gain time as he moves between such planes and any others. To creatures present on such a plane, time flows normally and the shifts are unnoticed. The following is provided as an example of how time on a plane with erratic time might compare to time on the Material Plane.

d%Time on Material PlaneTime on Erratic Time Plane
01-101 day1 round
11-401 day1 hour
41-601 day1 day
61-901 hour1 day
91-1001 round1 day

Flowing Time

On some planes, the flow of time is consistently faster or slower. An individual may spend a year on such a plane and then return to the Material Plane to find that only 6 seconds have elapsed. When indicating how time works on planes with flowing time, the Material Plane’s flow of time is listed first, followed by the flow in the other plane.


On planes with this trait, time still passes but the effects of time are diminished. How the timeless trait affects certain activities or conditions such as hunger, thirst, aging, afflictions, and healing varies from plane to plane. The danger of a timeless plane is that once an individual leaves such a plane for one where time flows normally, conditions such as hunger and aging apply retroactively. If a plane is timeless with respect to magic, any spell cast with a duration other than instantaneous is permanent until dispelled.

Realm Traits

Source Planar Adventures pg. 59
Planes come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Many planes are so large that they may as well be infinite in size, while others (particularly in the case of demiplanes) can be quite small. Regardless of a plane’s size and shape, it conforms to one of three realm traits.


A plane with this trait has defined edges or borders. These borders may adjoin other planes or may be hard, finite borders such as the edge of the world or a great wall. Demiplanes are often finite.


Planes with this trait might seem to go on forever, and indeed many are so vast that, for all practical purposes, their size is infinite. The Material Plane consists of the entire universe—an expanse so truly vast in scope that it is close enough to being immeasurable to qualify for this trait. Similarly, while the Outer Sphere has a static size, it is so unimaginably vast that it cannot be measured or traversed without powerful magic.


On planes with this trait, the borders wrap in on themselves, depositing a traveler who voyages too far onto the other side of the map. Unbounded planes can be spheres, cubes, tori, or flat expanses with magical edges that teleport the traveler to the opposite edge when she crosses them.

Structural Traits

Source Planar Adventures pg. 60
The underlying rules of reality that govern how the denizens and landscape of a plane function are described by a plane’s structural traits. Regardless of the nature of a plane’s structural traits, all planes can be altered on a whim by a deity’s will to a certain extent; this ability to change reality is greatest within the boundaries of a deity’s planar realm. Demigods have a lesser ability to effect such change and are limited to changing only their own planar realms. See Divine Power for more details.

Lasting Structure

On a plane with this trait, objects remain where they are (and what they are) unless affected by physical force or magic. Anyone can change the immediate environment as a result of tangible effort.

Morphic Structure

A plane with morphic structure behaves similarly to a plane with a lasting structure, but its realities and physicality can be changed with ease even by nondivine beings. When a plane has morphic structure, additional details for how that manifests are provided in the entry.

Sentient Structure

These planes respond to a single entity’s thoughts—those of the plane itself. Travelers might find the plane’s landscape changing as a result of what the plane thinks of the travelers, becoming either more or less hospitable depending on its reaction. The influence of a deity or demigod can sometimes supersede the plane’s whims, but in most cases a sentient plane constantly works to erode and transform such unwanted intrusions into its structure.

Static Structure

Static planes are unchanging, or they reset once change occurs. Visitors cannot affect living residents of the plane or objects that the denizens carry in any lasting way. Spells that would affect the plane or its denizens have no effect unless the plane’s static trait is somehow removed or suppressed. Spells cast before entering a plane with the static trait remain in effect, however. Even moving an unattended object within a static plane requires a successful DC 16 Strength check. Particularly heavy objects may be impossible to move. Often, a plane with the static trait has a duration listed—this is the amount of time that any change can persist before the plane’s reality resets.

Essence Traits

Source Planar Adventures pg. 60
Four basic elements (air, earth, fire, and water) and two types of energy (positive and negative) combine in various ways to make up reality. Note that some planes have no elemental or energy traits; such traits are noted in a plane’s description only when they are present.

Mixed Essence

The Material Plane is the classic example of a mixed essence plane—here, reality is composed of a mixture of all forms of essence. In certain places, one form of essence might be more dominant than others, but overall they appear in this plane in relatively equal measures.

On the Outer Planes, a different form of mixed essence composes reality: quintessence. This material forms the basis for all matter and life on the Outer Planes, and it is tied to the nature of the soul itself. See the River of Souls on pages 64–69 for more information about quintessence. Note that when quintessence duplicates another essence (such as earth or fire), effects that interact with that essence function as expected.


Consisting mostly of open space, planes with this trait have just a few bits of floating stone or other solid matter. They usually have a breathable atmosphere, though such a plane may include regions of acidic or toxic gas.


Planes with this trait are mostly solid. Visitors who need to breathe run the risk of suffocation if they don’t reach a cavern or other pocket of breathable air within the earth. Worse yet, individuals without the ability to burrow are entombed in the earth and must dig their way out (at a rate of 5 feet per full-round action spent digging).


Planes with this trait are composed of flames that continually burn without consuming their fuel source. Fire-dominant planes are extremely hostile to Material Plane creatures, and those without resistance or immunity to fire are soon immolated.

Unprotected flammable materials catch fire almost immediately, and individuals wearing unprotected flammable clothing catch on fire. In addition, all individuals take 3d10 points of fire damage each round while on a fire-dominant plane. Creatures of the water subtype are extremely uncomfortable on fire-dominant planes, while those that are made of water take 6d10 points of fire damage from the plane each round, rather than 3d10.


Planes with this trait are mostly liquid. Visitors who can’t breathe in water or reach a pocket of air likely drown. Creatures of the fire subtype are extremely uncomfortable on water-dominant planes, and those made of fire take 1d10 points of damage each round while on a waterdominant plane.


Planes with this trait drain the life out of travelers who tread upon them. They tend to be lonely, haunted planes, drained of color, devoid of plant and animal life, and filled with winds bearing the soft moans of those who died within them. Death ward provides protection from a negative-dominant plane as long as the effect lasts, regardless of the strength of that plane’s negative dominant trait.

On minor negative-dominant planes, living creatures take 1d6 points of negative energy damage per round. When this damage reduces a creature to 0 hit points or below, the creature crumbles into ash. Undead on a minor negative-dominant plane instead gain fast healing 2 (this does not stack with existing fast healing an undead already has).

Major negative-dominant planes are even more dangerous to the living. Each round, a living creature on such a plane must succeed at a DC 25 Fortitude save or incur a negative level. A creature whose negative levels equal its current levels or Hit Dice is slain and becomes a wraith. Undead on a negative-dominant plane gain fast healing 5 (this does not stack with any existing fast healing an undead already has).


Planes with this trait are characterized by an abundance of life. Like for negative-dominant planes, the strength of the positive-dominant trait can be either minor or major.

A minor positive-dominant plane is a riotous explosion of life in all its forms. Colors are brighter, fires are hotter, noises are louder, and sensations are more intense as a result of the positive energy infusing the plane. All living individuals in a positive-dominant plane gain fast healing 2. Undead instead take 1d6 points of positive energy damage per round, and at 0 hit points they crumble to ash.

A creature on a major positive-dominant plane must succeed at a DC 15 Fortitude save or be blinded for 10 rounds by the brilliance of the surroundings. Simply being on the plane grants living creatures fast healing 5. In addition, living creatures at full hit points gain 5 additional temporary hit points per round that last until 1d20 rounds after the creature leaves the major positive-dominant plane. However, a creature that gains temporary hit points in this way must attempt a DC 20 Fortitude save each round that its temporary hit points exceed its normal maximum hit point total. Failure results in the creature exploding in a riot of energy, which kills it. Undead on a major positive-dominant plane take 3d6 points of positive energy damage per round and are staggered during each round they take this damage.

Alignment Traits

Source Planar Adventures pg. 62
Some planes have a predisposition toward a certain alignment. Alignment traits have multiple components. First are the moral (good or evil) and ethical (lawful or chaotic) components; a plane with alignment traits can have a moral component, an ethical component, or one of each. Second, the specific alignment trait indicates whether each moral or ethical component is mildly or strongly evident. Many planes have no alignment traits; these traits are noted in a plane’s description only when they are present.

No plane can be both good-aligned and evil-aligned, nor can any plane be both law-aligned and chaos-aligned.

Mildly Aligned

Creatures who have an alignment opposite that of a mildly aligned plane take a –2 penalty on all Charisma-based checks. A mildly neutral-aligned plane applies no penalties.

Strongly Aligned

On strongly aligned planes, a –2 penalty applies on the Intelligence-, Wisdom-, and Charisma-based checks of all creatures not of the plane’s alignment. The penalties for the moral and ethical components of the alignment trait stack.

A strongly neutral-aligned plane stands in opposition to or in careful balance between all moral and ethical principles: good, evil, law, and chaos. Such a plane may be more concerned with the balance of the alignments than with accommodating and accepting alternate points of view. In the same fashion as for other strongly aligned planes, strongly neutral-aligned planes impose a –2 penalty on the Intelligence-, Wisdom-, and Charisma-based checks of any creature that isn’t neutral. The penalty is applied separately for neutrality with respect to law and chaos and for neutrality with respect to good and evil; therefore chaotic neutral, lawful neutral, neutral evil, and neutral good creatures take a –2 penalty, and chaotic evil, chaotic good, lawful evil, and lawful good creatures take a –4 penalty.

Magic Traits

Source Planar Adventures pg. 62
A plane’s magic trait describes how magic works on that plane compared to how it works on the Material Plane (which has the normal magic trait). Particular locations on a plane, such as those under the direct control of deities, may be pockets where a different magic trait applies. Natives of a plane are typically aware of which spells and spell-like abilities are affected by the magic traits of their plane, but planar travelers may have to discover this on their own.

Normal Magic

This trait means that all spells and supernatural abilities function as written.

Dead Magic

These planes have no magic at all. A plane with the dead magic trait functions in all respects as if affected by an antimagic field spell. Divination spells cannot detect subjects within a dead magic plane, and a spellcaster cannot cast plane shift or another spell to move in or out. The only exceptions to the “no magic” rule are permanent planar portals, which still function normally.

Enhanced Magic

Particular spells and spell-like abilities are easier to use or more powerful in effect on planes with this trait than they are on the Material Plane. If a spell is enhanced, it functions as if its caster level were 2 higher than normal.

Impeded Magic

Particular spells and spell-like abilities are more difficult to cast on planes with this trait, often because the nature of the plane interferes with the spell. To cast an impeded spell, the caster must attempt a concentration check (DC = 20 + the level of the spell). On a failed check, the spell does not function but is still lost as a prepared spell or spell slot. On a success, the spell functions normally.

Limited Magic

Planes with this trait permit the use of only those spells and spell-like abilities that meet particular qualifications. Magic can be limited to effects from certain schools or subschools, effects with certain descriptors, or effects of a certain level (or any combination of these qualities). Spells and spell-like abilities that don’t meet the qualifications simply fail.

Wild Magic

On a plane with the wild magic trait, spells and spell-like abilities function in radically different and sometimes dangerous ways. Any spell or spell-like ability used on a wild magic plane has a chance to go awry. The caster must attempt a caster level check (DC = 15 + the level of the spell or spell-like ability) for the magic to function normally. Failure means that something strange happens; roll d% and consult Table 2–1: Wild Magic Effects. At the GM’s discretion, other effects than those listed on this table may be possible.

Table :

1-19The spell rebounds on its caster with normal effect. If the spell cannot affect the caster, it simply fails.
20-23A circular pit 15 feet wide opens under the caster’s feet; it is 10 feet deep per caster level.
24-27The spell fails, but the target or targets of the spell are pelted with a rain of small objects (anything from flowers to rotten fruit), which disappear upon striking. The barrage continues for 1 round. During this time, the targets are blinded and must succeed at concentration checks (DC = 15 + spell level) to cast spells.
28-31The spell affects a random target or area. Randomly determine a target from among those in range of the spell or center the spell at a random place within range of the spell. To generate the direction randomly, roll 1d8 and count clockwise around the compass, starting with south. To generate the range randomly, roll 3d6 and multiply the result by 5 feet for close-range spells, 20 feet for medium-range spells, or 80 feet for long-range spells.
32-35The spell functions normally, but no material components are consumed. The spell is not expended from the caster’s mind (the spell slot or prepared spell can be used again). If the spell is cast from an item, the item does not lose charges. The effect does not count against an item’s or spell-like ability’s use limit.
36-39The spell does not function. Instead, everyone (friend or foe) within 30 feet of the caster receives the effect of a heal spell.
40-43The spell does not function. Instead, a deeper darkness effect and a silence effect cover a 30-foot radius around the caster for 2d4 rounds.
44-47The spell does not function. Instead, a reverse gravity effect covers a 30-foot radius around the caster for 1 round.
48-51The spell functions, but shimmering colors swirl around the caster for 1d4 rounds. Treat this as a glitterdust effect with a save DC of 10 + the level of the spell that generated this result.
52-59Nothing happens. The spell does not function. Any material components are used up, the spell or spell slot is used up, an item the spell is cast from loses charges, and the effect counts against an item’s or spell-like ability’s use limit.
60-71Nothing happens. The spell does not function, but no material components are consumed. The spell is not expended from the caster’s mind (the spell slot or prepared spell can be used again). If the spell is cast from an item, the item does not lose charges. The effect does not count against an item’s or spell-like ability’s use limit.
72-98The spell functions normally.
99-100The spell functions strongly. Targets take a –2 penalty on saving throws against the spell. The spell has the maximum possible effect, as if cast with the Maximize Spell feat. If the spell is already maximized with this feat, there is no further effect.

Role of the Divine

Source Planar Adventures pg. 70
The concept of free will hangs at the fundamental core of all living beings, even the choice to have faith in the gods or not. Whenever deities meddle directly in mortal affairs, they damage this agency and erode the concept of free will—what is the point of being able to make your own choices, after all, if an entity infinitely more powerful than you can simply ignore those choices and alter reality at its whim?

The gods understand the nature of this conundrum far better than any of us mortals can, and their greater understanding of these paradoxes is a large part of what causes them to move in their proverbial “mysterious ways.” Still, mortals are often driven to ask the question, “Why do the gods allow bad things to happen?”

The simplest explanation for this paradox is to equate divine intervention to an arms race. Were there one divinity, there would be none to question its actions or oppose its needs, but this is not the nature of the Great Beyond. Countless gods, demigods, and quasi deities exist, each of which has interests spread throughout the multiverse and across all Material Plane worlds. This means that every god, even the most secluded or nonconfrontational, has competitors at best and enemies at worst. When a god takes direct action in a world, that god’s opposing forces take note and react. The resulting arms race, with opposing deities taking increasingly overwhelming actions to counter each other, can swiftly spiral out of control and destroy entire worlds, at which point all the hard work of creation is, in effect, undone.

And so the gods follow a largely self-imposed ban on direct interaction with the Material Plane. They leave their concerns and agendas in the capable hands of their faithful and allow their churches to represent the deity’s interests and decide their own fates. It should be noted that this element of self-imposed non-intervention does not extend equally to the ranks of demigods. These entities, while powerful, can be defeated by the mortals whose lives they manipulate, and they do well to keep that possible fate, however unlikely, in mind.

Divine Power

Source Planar Adventures pg. 70
There are three levels of power among the divine, although divinities of all levels wield vast power, especially when compared to a lowly mortal.


Source Planar Adventures pg. 70
The most powerful category among the divine are full-fledged deities. These divinities exist beyond the concept of rules, do not have stat blocks, and thus cannot be slain in simple combat. A deity can change reality, undo any mortal magic, restore or snuff out life, or do any other thing required for the story you wish to tell.

Deities grant their clerics access to five domains.


Source Planar Adventures pg. 70
Unlike a deity, a demigod is represented in game with statistics, ranging in power from CR 26 to CR 30. Archdevils, demon lords, empyreal lords, and Great Old Ones are all examples of demigods. A demigod who controls a planar realm can effect physical change in that realm by thought, but such changes are not instantaneous. Beyond the reach of its realm, a demigod must rely upon its own abilities and magic to effect such changes.

Demigods grant their clerics access to four domains.

Quasi Deity

Source Planar Adventures pg. 70
Quasi deities are the least powerful of the divine, and the most eclectic in their nature. A quasi deity has a stat block, and can be of any CR (although the vast majority lie in the CR 21–25 range). Nascent demon lords, the malebranche, and qlippoth lords are all examples of quasi deities, as are creatures like deep one elders, conqueror worms, and green men, who have the ability to grant spells to clerics. Mythic characters who take the divine source path ability are also quasi deities.

Quasi deities have no inborn ability to shape and alter reality by thought alone, even if they somehow gain control of a planar realm, and must rely upon their own abilities and magic to effect changes of this nature.

A quasi deity grants from one to four domains to its clerics.

Divine Intervention

Source Planar Adventures pg. 70
In the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, elements of divine intervention occur when the GM steps in to change the flow of play, be it by arbitrarily assigning die roll results, reversing entire events, or even changing the nature of in-game reality, if only for a split second. The effects of a divine intervention are not bound by rules, and you can justify any sudden reversal of fortune or adjustment to reality you wish by categorizing it as divine intervention.

This is a tool you should use only rarely—if ever—in your game. The best reason to allow divine intervention in your game is when there is no other option for party survival and you and your players wish to continue the campaign. In such cases, divine intervention can not only allow the game to continue but can instill in the characters and players alike a feeling of gratitude for the sudden unexpected salvation.

Take care to not remove the threat of failure from your game, of course—if the players come to expect you to save their characters each and every time they fail, the suspense of the game will fade. As a general rule, divine intervention should only occur once per player per campaign, but of course you can alter this frequency as you wish to suit the preference of your table.

Divine Gifts

Source Planar Adventures pg. 71
The gods do not need to wait for mortals to call upon them for aid to grant boons. At times, when a character performs a particularly devout act or completes a legendary crusade, that character’s deity may choose to reward her with a divine gift.

The timing and frequency in which divine gifts are granted is left strictly to the discretion of the GM. They can be given to a particularly devout worshiper in a time of need. They might be granted upon the completion of a significant quest that furthers the faith. Or they might be rewards given in return for a significant sacrifice made in a deity’s name or dedication shown to the deity. A divine gift can be granted to any creature, even to a follower of a different deity or to a creature who does not worship the divine at all. The only restriction is that a creature must be sapient in order to receive a divine gift, for a creature always has the option to refuse the gift if it so wishes—the freedom to accept or reject such a gift is part of the nature of this boon. However, at the GM’s discretion, rejecting a divine gift from a deity you worship (or accepting a divine gift from a rival deity) may have repercussions.

Divine gifts can be of any power level, but the example gifts presented in the following section focusing upon the core pantheon are all on par with effects that could be granted by a miracle spell—feel free to adjust this power level as you prefer for your home campaign. At your discretion, you can allow divine spellcasters to duplicate the effects of a divine gift (as appropriate for their deity) by casting miracle themselves.

Faith and the Divine

Source Planar Adventures pg. 71
Divinities have immense power and can intervene in the lives of mortal worshipers to grant miraculous boons. They can raise up realms and create life on a whim. What use, therefore, do divinities have for mortal life at all?

One use lies in the nature of the fundamental building block of the Outer Planes—quintessence. As detailed in The River of Souls, when a mortal dies, the soul eventually merges with the material of another plane (usually after spending time as a petitioner or outsider), expanding the plane’s size and counterbalancing its erosion by the Maelstrom. Thus, the very existence of the Outer Planes depends on the constant influx of souls. When a deity’s religion is widespread on the Material Plane, her realm reaps direct benefits in the form of more petitioners, which can, in time, increase the overall size of the planar realm.

But there’s an even more important role that mortals play: they provide faith. When a mortal has faith in a divinity, that power increasingly ties that mortal’s fate and soul to that divinity. The divinity does not directly gain power from this interaction—a deity with only one or even no worshipers can be as powerful as a deity with trillions of worshipers. A religion that is powerful and widespread, however, can expand a divinity’s influence in ways that the divinity cannot, due to the fact that the divine do not directly interfere in the affairs of mortals. A deity who has legions of worshipers will see her religion spread, and that spread of faith will directly translate into an increase of souls into her realm. Deities with few or no worshipers will, over time, see their realms eaten away by the Maelstrom, their armies dwindle, and their standing among the divine fade. Faith can meet a divinity’s emotional needs as well, be it the need for a self-centered deity to feel his ego bolstered, an extroverted deity to feel accepted and popular, a power-hungry deity to feel feared, or a benevolent deity to bask in the love of her children and family.

Some deities have no interest in faith. These divinities may seek widespread destruction (such as Rovagug, whose realm is also his prison, and who would be released into the Multiverse upon its destruction) or exist as a manifestation of the fact that all things must end (such as Azathoth, Shub-Niggurath, and Yog-Sothoth are incalculably ancient, and they exist outside of the boundaries and restrictions of faith, souls, and the concept of quintessence entirely. Mortals still worship them, yet the Outer Gods have little interest in such worship, and in many cases these alien divinities may not even comprehend the concept of faith at all. Among the Outer Gods, only Nyarlathotep’s pursuit of faith provides a singular, ominous, and unnerving exception to this rule.

Deific Realms

Source Planar Adventures pg. 72
A divinity gains authority over a portion of a plane in one of two ways. The first is via simple conquest. Such conflicts may involve vast armies, clever traps, devious espionage, political subterfuge, or any combination thereof. Whatever form it takes, the resulting battles and confrontations are always the stuff of legend.

Conflict-based conquests are only rarely carried out by lawful or good divinities. The planes are vast, and for every realm currently ruled by a divinity, there are thousands, if not millions, more locations spread throughout the plane ripe for the picking. Thus, the most common method by which a divinity claims a realm on the planes is by challenging the plane itself. The divinity selects the realm it wishes to be its own, then exerts its will upon that realm and reshapes it to suit its needs. The more closely aligned a divinity is with the plane and the type of region it has chosen, the more quickly that territory transforms into a realm suited for rule.

While a demigod’s power within its realm is immense, a deity’s is nigh absolute. Yet even in deities’ realms, the concepts of free will and noninterference remain. Just as a divinity leaves its worshipers free to express their faith and set their own fates as they wish, it also does not oversee and police every facet of life in its realm. This means that non-worshipers, or even enemies of a faith, can travel through a deity’s planar realm without fear of immediate reprisal. A paladin among a group of adventurers on a mission into Lamashtu’s realm in the Abyss will likely feel unwelcome and meet strong resistance from that region’s denizens, but would not need to fear direct punishment from Lamashtu herself. Likewise, a devil-worshiping priest who infiltrates an enclave of azatas in Cayden Cailean’s realm in Elysium to chase down an escaped petitioner from the pits of Hell would not be immediately crushed by the offended god. Only in the most significant of incursions or when a divinity is directly called out or confronted will a deity or demigod take note—and even then, the most common response would be to send a powerful minion to handle the situation.

The Core Pantheon

Source Planar Adventures pg. 73
The most significant deities of the Inner Sea region are the 20 presented in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. In a setting of your own design, the most powerful and prominent deities are entirely up to you. Regardless of which deities hold sway in your setting, you should take the time to design and detail your chosen pantheon of gods and goddesses, both as individuals and as a group. The following section summarizes this information for each deity in the core pantheon, to provide players of characters (and GMs of NPCs) who worship one of these deities more information for roleplaying.

Reading a Deity Stat Block

Source Planar Adventures pg. 73
Each of the core pantheon's deities are presented below in stat block format for ease of reference.

Name and Title: The deity's name and its common title.

Alignment, Gender, and Areas of Concern: The gender of a deity is indicated by use of “god” or “goddess” in this entry. A deity's areas of concern represent those aspects of reality in which it has the most interest and influence.

Realm: This entry gives the name of the deity's realm, followed by the plane on which that realm is located.

Allies: This entry lists deities among the core pantheon who have allied with the god or goddess in question.

Relations: If the deity is related in some way to another deity of the core pantheon, that information is presented here. Although many deities are related to deities or demigods outside the core pantheon, those relationships are not listed in this book. A special relationship that deserves additional clarification is “ascended sibling.” Three of the core deities (Cayden Cailean, Iomedae, and Norgorber) ascended from mortality via a harrowing quest known as the Test of the Starstone, and while these three deities are often at odds, they share an unshakable bond in that all three became deities in the same way.

Enemies: This entry lists deities among the core pantheon who are active enemies to the god or goddess in question.

Symbol: A description of the deity's symbol.

Temples: This describes typical places of worship.

Sacred Animal: With the exception of Gozreh (whose faith holds all animals as sacred), each of the core deities' faiths holds a specific animal as particularly sacred. A deity's sacred animal often appears with the deity in artistic depictions, and some are kept as pets or guardians on temple grounds.

Sacred Colors: With the exception of Shelyn (whose faith sees beauty and sacred significance in all colors), worshipers of the core pantheon typically associate two colors as sacred for each deity. These colors are typically incorporated into holy raiment or clothing worn by worshipers.

Holy Days: The days listed here are held as particularly sacred by the faith, and reasons for each day's significance to the faith along with the time of year at which the holy day occurs are listed in parentheses. Most faiths maintain several less important or regional holy days as well, but these are not listed here. These dates are listed using real-world days and months to avoid confusion. The names of days and months can vary in your campaign, as they do in the world of Golarion.

Domains, Subdomains: The domains and subdomains the deity grants to its clerics are listed here.

Favored Weapon: This lists the deity's favored weapon.

Worshipers: The worshipers listed here are the most common agents of the deity in question, but this list is not exhaustive. Because all 20 faiths count clerics, inquisitors, oracles, and warpriests among their worshipers, these four classes are not listed so as to avoid repetition.

Minions: As opposed to those that typically worship the deity, minions are the outsider races that often serve the deity. A deity's minions can often be encountered in temples and other places sacred to the deity, but more often they enter play when a worshiper of the deity calls upon one of the minions using magic like summon monster or planar ally.

Herald: This lists the name of the deity's herald. A deity's herald is a unique creature who serves as a messenger and emissary. Heralds are typically CR 15 with 18 or fewer Hit Dice, making them available via greater planar ally (Rovagug's herald, the Tarrasque, is a significant exception to this rule).

Divine Gift: These gifts are thematically appropriate boons the deity might grant, but are certainly not the only types of gifts the deity might hand out. Unless otherwise noted, any abilities granted by a divine gift can be used only once per gift.


Master of the First Vault

LN god of cities, law, merchants, and wealth


Realm Aktun, Axis
Allies Asmodeus, Erastil, Iomedae, Irori, Shelyn, Torag
Enemies Lamashtu, Norgorber, Rovagug


Symbol golden key
Temples banks, cathedrals, courthouses
Sacred Animal monkey
Sacred Colors gold and silver
Holy Days Market's Door (blessing of the fall marketplace and the year's harvest trade, first day markets receive goods from the fall harvest), Taxfest (annual collection of city taxes followed by public feast with civic leaders, date varies by city)

The Faithful

Domains Earth, Law, Nobility, Protection, Travel
Subdomains Defense, Inevitable, Leadership, Martyr, Metal, Trade
Favored Weapon light crossbow
Worshipers architects, bankers, cavaliers, city guards, dwarves, halflings, judges, lawyers, merchants, monks, paladins, samurai, wizards
Minions archons, axiomites, inevitables
Herald Lawgiver (a massive golden golem-like creature)
Divine Gift The character gains the ability to cast word of recall as a spell-like ability (CL 20th). This version of word of recall can transport the caster across planar boundaries, but it still doesn't function in areas that bar teleportation effects. When a character gains this gift, the GM designates as the spell's sanctuary a specific temple of Abadar located in a city of at least 1,000 inhabitants.


Prince of Darkness

LE god of contracts, pride, slavery, and tyranny


Realm Nessus, Hell
Allies Abadar
Enemies Cayden Cailean, Iomedae, Irori, Lamashtu, Rovagug, Sarenrae, Shelyn


Symbol red pentagram
Temples cathedrals, libraries
Sacred Animal serpent
Sacred Colors black and red
Holy Days none (but many worshipers celebrate on holidays sacred to good deities in ways intended to blaspheme)

The Faithful

Domains Evil, Fire, Law, Magic, Trickery
Subdomains Arcane, Ash, Deception, Devil, Divine, Smoke
Favored Weapon heavy mace
Worshipers alchemists, arcanists, bigots, bullies, cavaliers, corrupt nobles, diabolists, magi, mesmerists, occultists, rogues, slavers, slayers, soldiers, sorcerers, summoners, witches, wizards
Minions cerberi, devils (including archdevils), hell hounds
Herald Basileus (a corrupted, angel-like creature)
Divine Gift Asmodeus grants the service of a devil to aid in a specific task (which can last no longer than 9 nights). The type of devil is generally one whose CR is equal to the character's level (or in the case of an NPC, the character's CR).


The Savored Sting

CN goddess of lust, revenge, and trickery


Realm Gardens of Deceit and Delight, Elysium
Allies Cayden Cailean, Desna, Norgorber, Shelyn
Relations Cayden Cailean (intermittent lover)
Enemies Rovagug


Symbol three daggers touching at the pommel with points out
Temples brothels, churches, hideouts, mansions, taverns
Sacred Animal wasp
Sacred Colors black and yellow
Holy Days none (individual temples have their own holidays to commemorate significant acts of revenge or trickery)

The Faithful

Domains Chaos, Charm, Knowledge, Luck, Trickery
Subdomains Azata, Curse, Deception, Lust, Memory, Thievery
Favored Weapon whip
Worshipers antipaladins, avengers, bards, elves, gunslingers, hedonists, investigators, rangers, rogues, slayers, swashbucklers, vigilantes
Minions azatas, chaos beasts, empusas, fey, giant wasps, valkyries
Herald Menotherian (a bear-sized wasp)
Divine Gift The character can cast quickened dominate person (CL 20th). If the target is someone whom the character seeks revenge against for a past humiliation or injury visited on her, she can increase the save DC of this spell-like ability by an amount equal to her Charisma modifier.

Cayden Cailean

The Drunken Hero

CG god of ale, bravery, freedom, and wine


Realm Hero's Heart, Elysium
Allies Calistria, Desna, Sarenrae, Shelyn, Torag
Relations Calistria (intermittent lover), Iomedae (ascended sister), Norgorber (ascended brother)
Enemies Asmodeus, Norgorber


Symbol tankard
Temples alehouses, breweries, taverns
Sacred Animal hound
Sacred Colors silver and tan
Holy Days Ascension Day (drinking celebration of Cayden Cailean's ascension to godhood, December 11), First Brewing (community tasting of the year's brewing, typically 1 month after harvest time), Merrymead (sharing of stories and drinks around a fire or during pub crawls, February 2)

The Faithful

Domains Chaos, Charm, Good, Strength, Travel
Subdomains Azata, Exploration, Ferocity, Love, Lust, Resolve
Favored Weapon rapier
Worshipers adventurers, alchemists, barbarians, bards, bartenders, bloodragers, brawlers, drunkards, fighters, gunslingers, halfelves, rebels, rogues, skalds, swashbucklers, vigilantes
Minions azatas, fey
Herald Thais (a five-winged woman)
Divine Gift When the character is affected by an effect that freedom can prevent, he can immediately avoid that effect. He must choose to use this gift the instant the effect occurs; if he opts not to use the gift to avoid such a fate, he can save it for use against a future immobilization effect, but he cannot use it to escape the ongoing effect he chose not to avoid.


Song of the Spheres

CG goddess of dreams, luck, stars, and travelers


Realm Cynosure and Sevenfold Cynosure, Elysium
Allies Calistria, Cayden Cailean, Gozreh, Sarenrae, Shelyn
Relations Sarenrae (lover), Shelyn (lover)
Enemies Lamashtu, Rovagug, Zon-Kuthon


Symbol butterfly with two stars, a sun, and a moon on its wings
Temples hilltops, observatories, standing stones, towers
Sacred Animal butterfly
Sacred Colors blue and white
Holy Days Ritual of Stardust (night of song, bonfires, and sharing of love and friendship; summer and winter solstices), Swallowtail Festival (day of feasting, storytelling, and public release of a wagonload of butterflies; autumnal equinox)

The Faithful

Domains Chaos, Good, Liberation, Luck, Travel
Subdomains Azata, Curse, Exploration, Fate, Freedom, Revolution
Favored Weapon starknife
Worshipers astronomers, barbarians, bards, dreamers, elves, explorers, gamblers, mediums, psychics, rangers, rogues, shamans, shifters, sorcerers, travelers, witches
Minions aliens, azatas
Herald Night Monarch (a huge mothlike creature)
Divine Gift The character gains 20 luck points that can be spent at any time as a free action to increase the rolled result of a single d20 roll on a one-to-one basis. This ability can be used as many times as the character wishes as long as she retains luck points to spend, but only once per roll. These luck points can be spent after the result of the roll is determined, but must be spent immediately or the opportunity to adjust the luck of that roll is lost.


Old Deadeye

LG god of family, farming, hunting, and trade


Realm Summerlands, Heaven
Allies Abadar, Gozreh, Shelyn, Torag
Enemies Urgathoa


Symbol bow and arrow
Temples barns, fallow fields, hunting lodges, longhouses, town halls, village squares
Sacred Animal stag
Sacred Colors brown and green
Holy Days Archerfeast (a day of feasting and good-natured competitions, July 3rd)

The Faithful

Domains Animal, Community, Good, Law, Plant
Subdomains Archon, Family, Feather, Fur, Growth, Home
Favored Weapon longbow
Worshipers farmers, fighters, halflings, hunters, paladins, rangers, settlers, shifters, skalds, spiritualists, traders, trappers
Minions archons, plant creatures, wild animals
Herald The Grim White Stag (a stag of flesh and plant matter)
Divine Gift The character gains three greater slaying arrows. The designated creatures for each of these three arrows is determined by the GM. The magic of these greater slaying arrows vanishes if they are sold, but they can be given to others in trade for goods or as a gift. If a worshiper of Erastil fires one of these greater slaying arrows and misses, the arrow vanishes and a slaying arrow of the same type appears in the gifted character's quiver. If this regular slaying arrow is then fired, only to miss its target, it has a 50% chance to be lost, as normal.


Our Lord in Iron

CN god of battle, strength, and weapons


Realm Clashing Shore, Elysium
Allies none
Enemies Norgorber, Urgathoa


Symbol sword impaling a mountain
Temples armories, battlefields, fortresses
Sacred Animal rhinoceros
Sacred Colors gray and red
Holy Days none (some worshipers denote impromptu holy days)

The Faithful

Domains Chaos, Destruction, Glory, Strength, War
Subdomains Blood, Ferocity, Protean, Rage, Resolve, Tactics
Favored Weapon greatsword
Worshipers barbarians, bloodragers, brawlers, cavaliers, fighters, half-orcs, mercenaries, skalds, smiths, soldiers
Minions giants, proteans, valkyries
Herald First Blade (a giant, armor-clad creature)
Divine Gift Gorum grants a permanent +1 untyped bonus to Strength.


The Wind and the Waves

N goddess/god of nature, the sea, and weather


Realm nomadic, Material Plane
Allies Desna, Erastil
Enemies Rovagug, Urgathoa


Symbol dripping leaf
Temples areas of great natural beauty, lighthouses, mills, standing stones, windmills
Sacred Animal all
Sacred Colors blue and green
Holy Days Currentseve (a daylong fast in anticipation of the new year and prayer for safe passage on the water, April 7th), Firstbloom (celebration of the coming spring with dances and fertility rites, vernal equinox)

The Faithful

Domains Air, Animal, Plant, Water, Weather
Subdomains Cloud, Decay, Growth, Oceans, Seasons, Wind
Favored Weapon trident
Worshipers druids, gnomes, hermits, hunters, explorers, kineticists, rangers, shamans, shifters, sorcerers, survivalists, witches
Minions animals, elementals, plant creatures
Herald Personification of Fury (an amalgamation of all four types of elemental)
Divine Gift The recipient gains the ability to call down nature's wrath by casting one of the following spells as a spell-like ability (CL 20th): earthquake, storm of vengeance, tsunami, or whirlwind.


The Inheritor

LG goddess of honor, justice, rulership, and valor


Realm Swordhome, Heaven
Allies Abadar, Sarenrae, Torag
Relations Cayden Cailean (ascended brother), Norgorber (ascended brother)
Enemies Asmodeus, Norgorber, Lamashtu


Symbol sword and sun
Temples castles, cathedrals, churches
Sacred Animal lion
Sacred Colors red and white
Holy Days Armasse (a day devoted to the training of new soldiers and studying history, August 16th), Ascendance Day (a day of singing and forgiving old grievances in honor of Iomedae's divine ascension, October 6th), Remembrance Moon (somber celebration of those who fought in past crusades, first full moon of May)

The Faithful

Domains Glory, Good, Law, Sun, War
Subdomains Archon, Day, Heroism, Honor, Light, Tactics
Favored Weapon longsword
Worshipers aristocrats, cavaliers, crusaders, fighters, knights, judges, mediums, monks, paladins, rulers, soldiers
Minions angels, archons, lammasus
Herald Hand of the Inquisitor (a golden-skinned angel)
Divine Gift By spending 10 minutes in prayer to Iomedae (this may take place during daily preparation of spells), a character can activate a holy aura or shield of law effect on himself (CL 20th) that lasts for the next 12 hours.


Master of Masters

LN god of history, knowledge, and self-perfection


Realm Serene Circle, Axis
Allies Abadar
Enemies Asmodeus, Norgorber


Symbol blue hand
Temples dojos, fighting academies, libraries, monasteries
Sacred Animal snail
Sacred Colors blue and white
Holy Days various regional holidays

The Faithful

Domains Healing, Knowledge, Law, Rune, Strength
Subdomains Inevitable, Language, Memory, Resolve, Restoration, Thought
Favored Weapon unarmed strike
Worshipers arcanists, bards, brawlers, hermits, historians, investigators, kineticists, martial artists, mesmerists, monks, paladins, psychics, samurai, scholars, wizards
Minions aeons, guardian nagas, inevitables
Herald the Old Man (an elderly but spry human)
Divine Gift Irori grants a permanent +1 untyped bonus to Constitution.


The Mother of Monsters

CE goddess of madness, monsters, and nightmares


Realm Kurnugia, the Abyss
Allies none
Enemies Abadar, Asmodeus, Desna, Iomedae, Rovagug, Sarenrae


Symbol three-eyed jackal face
Temples abandoned orphanages, caverns, ruined buildings
Sacred Animal jackal
Sacred Colors red and yellow
Holy Days Night of the Pale (night of grim revelry, December 31)

The Faithful

Domains Chaos, Evil, Madness, Strength, Trickery
Subdomains Deception, Demon, Ferocity, Insanity, Nightmare, Thievery
Favored Weapon falchion
Worshipers alchemists, antipaladins, barbarians, bloodragers, deformed outcasts, demon cultists, hunters, lunatics, occultists, shifters, sorcerers, summoners, witches
Minions barghests, demons, yeth hounds
Herald Yethazmari (a snake-tailed jackal-like fiend)
Divine Gift The recipient can disgorge a servitor monster from her body as a full-round action. The monster views the character as its mother and follows her general commands, although it can't be directly controlled. The exact type of monster spawned is chosen by the GM, but is generally one whose CR is equal to the character's level (or in the case of an NPC, the character's own CR). The monster lives for 9 days, after which it dies in a spectacular shower of gore.


The All-Seeing Eye

N god of magic


Realm Ahkanefti, Maelstrom
Allies none
Enemies none


Symbol two-toned mask
Temples cathedrals, libraries, towers
Sacred Animal zebra
Sacred Colors black and white
Holy Days Abjurant Day (traditional day for the testing of apprentices, November 8), Evoking Day (festival of fireworks and trading of spells, November 18), Transmutatum (day of reflection; November 28)

The Faithful

Domains Destruction, Knowledge, Magic, Protection, Rune
Subdomains Arcane, Catastrophe, Divine, Defense, Thought, Wards
Favored Weapon quarterstaff
Worshipers alchemists, arcanists, bards, kineticists, magi, mediums, mesmerists, occultists, psychics, skalds, spellcasters, scribes, sorcerers, summoners, teachers, witches, wizards
Minions aeons, elementals, sphinxes
Herald Arcanotheign (a feminine cloud of energy)
Divine Gift Nethys grants a permanent +1 untyped bonus to Intelligence.


The Reaper of Reputation

NE god of greed, murder, poison, and secrets


Realm Duskfathom, Axis
Allies Calistria
Relations Cayden Cailean (ascended brother), Iomedae (ascended sister)
Enemies Abadar, Cayden Cailean, Iomedae, Irori, Gorum


Symbol one-eyed mask
Temples hidden complexes, thieves' guilds, warehouses
Sacred Animal spider
Sacred Colors black and gray
Holy Days Ascendance Day (celebration of Norgorber's ascension to divinity, traditionally worshiped on the winter solstice)

The Faithful

Domains Charm, Death, Evil, Knowledge, Trickery
Subdomains Daemon, Deception, Memory, Murder, Thievery, Thought
Favored Weapon short sword
Worshipers alchemists, antipaladins, bards, corrupt merchants and bankers, fighters, investigators, magi, mesmerists, murderers, ninja, occultists, poisoners, rogues, slayers, swashbucklers, thieves, vigilantes, wizards
Minions jorogumos, soul eaters, xills
Herald the Stabbing Beast (a scorpion-like humanoid)
Divine Gift Norgorber grants a permanent +1 untyped bonus to Dexterity.


Lady of Graves

N goddess of birth, death, fate, and prophecy


Realm Boneyard
Allies none
Enemies Urgathoa


Symbol spiraling comet
Temples cathedrals, graveyards, river islands
Sacred Animal whippoorwill
Sacred Colors blue and white
Holy Days Day of Bones (day for displaying the dead and for free interment of the dead, March 5)

The Faithful

Domains Death, Healing, Knowledge, Repose, Water
Subdomains Ancestors, Ice, Memory, Resurrection, Souls, Thought
Favored Weapon dagger
Worshipers gravediggers, mediums, midwives, occultists, philosophers, prophets, psychics, shamans, sorcerers, spiritualists, witches
Minions einherji, norns, psychopomps
Herald Steward of the Skein (an armored, winged, faceless woman)
Divine Gift The recipient is not affected by the next effect, damage, or other event that would otherwise kill him.


The Rough Beast

CE god of destruction, disaster, and wrath


Realm The Dead Vault
Allies none
Enemies Abadar, Asmodeus, Calistria, Desna, Gozreh, Lamashtu, Sarenrae, Shelyn, Torag, Zon-Kuthon


Symbol open maw surrounded by spider legs
Temples caverns, chasms, fortresses, pits
Sacred Animal scorpion
Sacred Colors brown and red
Holy Days Lastday (planetary alignments symbolizing the weakening of Rovagug's prison, typically in early Fall), the Waking (celebration of the destruction wreaked by Earthfall, typically in early Spring)

The Faithful

Domains Chaos, Destruction, Evil, War, Weather
Subdomains Blood, Catastrophe, Demon, Protean, Rage, Storms
Favored Weapon greataxe
Worshipers antipaladins, barbarians, bloodragers, doomsayers, fighters, hate-mongers, hunters, kineticists, maniacs, shamans, shifters, slayers, witches
Minions demons, fiendish vermin, qlippoth
Herald the Tarrasque (towering destructive monster)
Divine Gift The recipient gains the ability to bring destruction by casting one of the following spells as a spell-like ability (CL 20th): implosion, meteor swarm, storm of vengeance, or tsunami.


The Dawnflower

NG goddess of healing, honesty, redemption, and the sun


Realm Everlight, Nirvana
Allies Cayden Cailean, Desna, Iomedae, Shelyn
Relations Desna (lover), Shelyn (lover)
Enemies Asmodeus, Lamashtu, Rovagug, Urgathoa


Symbol ankh-shaped angel with upraised wings
Temples cathedrals, churches, infirmaries, standing stones
Sacred Animal dove
Sacred Colors blue and gold
Holy Days Burning Blades (festival of dancing and fire, June 10), Candlemark (individual celebration of when one first joined the faith, winter solstice), Sunwrought Festival (acts of kindness, dancing, gift giving, and kites; summer solstice)

The Faithful

Domains Fire, Glory, Good, Healing, Sun
Subdomains Agathion, Day, Heroism, Light, Restoration, Resurrection
Favored Weapon scimitar
Worshipers bards, cavaliers, diplomats, druids, healers, paladins, philanthropists, psychics, shamans, sorcerers, spiritualists, witches
Minions angels, peris, phoenixes
Herald Sunlord Thalachos (shining angelic being)
Divine Gift As the sun rises over the recipient's home world, he can perform a 10-minute prayer (this may be part of his daily ritual to prepare spells) to invoke the Dawnflower. For the next 24 hours, all healing effects the character generates heal the maximum amount of damage possible. In addition, during this time he can cast breath of life and heal as spell-like abilities 3 times each (CL 20th).


The Eternal Rose

NG goddess of art, beauty, love, and music


Realm Blossomheart, Nirvana
Allies Abadar, Calistria, Cayden Cailean, Desna, Erastil, Sarenrae
Relations Desna (lover), Sarenrae (lover), Zon-Kuthon (brother)
Enemies Asmodeus, Rovagug, Urgathoa, Zon-Kuthon


Symbol songbird with multicolored tail
Temples art galleries, cathedrals, gardens, museums, opera houses, theaters
Sacred Animal songbird
Sacred Colors all
Holy Days Crystalhue (day of artistic creation and romantic proposals, Winter solstice)

The Faithful

Domains Air, Charm, Good, Luck, Protection
Subdomains Agathion, Cloud, Defense, Fate, Love, Purity
Favored Weapon glaive
Worshipers alchemists, artists, bards, cavaliers, druids, gnomes, lovers, mediums, musicians, paladins, skalds, swashbucklers
Minions agathions, azatas, fey
Herald Spirit of Adoration (armored winged woman)
Divine Gift Shelyn grants a permanent +1 untyped bonus to Charisma.


Father of Creation

LG god of the forge, protection, and strategy


Realm Forgeheart, Heaven
Allies Abadar, Cayden Cailean, Erastil, Iomedae
Enemies Rovagug


Symbol iron hammer
Temples cathedrals, caverns, castles, battlefields, forges, fortresses, warehouses
Sacred Animal badger
Sacred Colors gold and gray
Holy Days Skylost (day of mourning for lost dwarven Sky Citadels, date varies)

The Faithful

Domains Artifice, Earth, Good, Law, Protection
Subdomains Archon, Caves, Construct, Defense, Metal, Toil
Favored Weapon warhammer
Worshipers cavaliers, dwarves, fighters, guards, gunslingers, hunters, miners, monks, occultists, paladins, rangers, shamans, skalds, smiths, soldiers, spiritualists
Minions archons, azers, constructs
Herald Grand Defender (a massive dwarf-shaped golem)
Divine Gift The recipient can perform a 10-minute prayer (this can be part of her daily ritual to prepare spells) to gain divine insight into defense and strategic situations for the next 24 hours. During this time, the character gains a pool of 20 defense points. She can allocate these points among any number of recipients as untyped bonuses to AC or on saving throws, to a maximum of 5 points per target (a single target can receive this bonus only to AC or to saving throws, not both). She can reallocate these points as a standard action any point during these 24 hours, but each time she does so, the total pool of defense points available for the next allocation is reduced by 5.


The Pallid Princess

NE goddess of disease, gluttony, and undeath


Realm Bloodrot, Abaddon
Allies Zon-Kuthon
Enemies Erastil, Gorum, Gozreh, Pharasma, Sarenrae, Shelyn


Symbol skull-decorated fly
Temples cathedrals, feast halls, graveyards
Sacred Animal fly
Sacred Colors green and red
Holy Days Night of the Pale (night of morbid revelry and hauntings, December 31), various regional holidays

The Faithful

Domains Death, Evil, Magic, Strength, War
Subdomains Blood, Daemon, Divine, Ferocity, Murder, Undead
Favored Weapon scythe
Worshipers alchemists, antipaladins, bloodragers, gluttons, mediums, necromancers, occultists, rogues, shamans, slayers, sorcerers, spiritualists, undead, witches, wizards
Minions daemons, disease carriers, undead
Herald Mother's Maw (giant winged vampire skull)
Divine Gift The recipient dies and rises at the next sunset (or after 12 hours have passed, whichever comes first, but never in a situation that would result in the gift being granted during the day) as a vampire. (At the GM's discretion, other vampire templates, such as jiang-shi or nosferatu, can be applied rather than the standard vampire template.) If the character is already a vampire, he does not suffer any of the traditional vampire weaknesses (such as sunlight or running water) for 24 hours.


The Midnight Lord

LE god of darkness, envy, loss, and pain


Realm Xovaikain, the Shadow Plane
Allies Urgathoa
Relations Shelyn (sister)
Enemies Desna, Rovagug, Shelyn


Symbol human skull with chains hanging like streaming tears from its eye sockets
Temples abandoned graveyards, cathedrals, caverns, haunted woodland clearings, laboratories, ruined city squares, torture chambers
Sacred Animal bat
Sacred Colors dark gray, red
Holy Days Joymaking (day of amputations and body modifications applied to willing volunteers and captives alike, date varies), Eternal Kiss (sacrifice of a prisoner who was first pampered for several days, first new moon of the year)

The Faithful

Domains Darkness, Death, Destruction, Evil, Law
Subdomains Catastrophe, Devil, Loss, Murder, Night, Undead
Favored Weapon spiked chain
Worshipers arcanists, cavaliers, the desperate, fighters, mesmerists, monks, ninja, occultists, rogues, sadists, shadow cultists, slayers, sorcerers, spiritualists, summoners, torturers, vigilantes, witches, wizards
Minions kytons, shadow creatures, undead
Herald the Prince in Chains (chain-shrouded wolf)
Divine Gift The recipient can perform a 10-minute prayer (this can be part of her daily ritual to prepare spells) involving self-flagellation or other forms of self-inflicted pain to replace her body with a shadowy duplicate of her true form for 24 hours. During this time, the character exists as a strange, shadowy incarnation of her normal self, and is immune to precision damage and bleed, fear, negative energy, and pain effects, and she treats all piercing and slashing damage as nonlethal damage. The character is treated as undead for the purposes of determining the effects of damage or healing caused by negative or positive energy.

Building a Planar Campaign

Source Planar Adventures pg. 82
The typical adventurer can readily secure fame and fortune within a single dungeon, nation, or continent, and for many campaigns, sticking to an easily grasped fantasy world of goblins, knights, and near-Earth conditions is the right move. After all, traveling the multiverse increases the possibilities and dangers by untold orders of magnitude. In capable hands, a planar campaign can inspire stories unlike any other. But if handled poorly, a romp across the planes can turn into a disjointed series of accidents or sudden endings that could potentially harm a long-term game. So how can you as a GM convey a creative, fun, and memorable experience?

Why the Planes?

Source Planar Adventures pg. 82
Okay, you’ve made the choice to take your game to the planes, but your campaign’s characters already enjoy stabbing bad guys on their home world. So why should your players risk life, limb, and the integrity of their souls to travel the planes when there are perfectly good dungeons in their own corner of the cosmic backyard? The possibilities are limitless, yet most goals fall within four categories: access, acquisition, confrontation, or rescue. Each of these can be the ultimate aim for a campaign or merely a step toward a bigger task, and an effective planar campaign uses several of these goals to create a compelling sequence of events.


Source Planar Adventures pg. 82
Just as adventurers might negotiate to use a rare library, discover a sage’s secrets, or learn a forbidden technique on the Material Plane, so too might they bargain as they seek similar lore, tools, and resources on another plane. Outsiders found commonly on the planes are often ageless immortals, boasting divine connections, forms, and faculties that are far beyond those of mortal humanoids. With their superior capacity and abundant time, these beings create unparalleled workshops for crafting phenomenal artifacts, ironclad vaults that contain unspeakable mistakes, and halls for conveying the perfect nuance of every performance type.

From the PCs’ perspective, these are tools that can enable them to achieve otherwise impossible goals. A lost secret might survive only in an extraplanar library. The conditions of an evil artifact’s destruction might require travel to the heart of a divine realm. Learning an antagonist’s plans might require partaking in an extraplanar intrigue in which the PCs must survive alien politics and interview long-dead souls. Sometimes the goal is to journey to a Transitive Plane with the intention of accessing an obscure demiplane or other realm that conventional magic can’t find.


Source Planar Adventures pg. 82
Even the most geologically varied planet pales in comparison to the unparalleled diversity possible on just one of the nighinfinite planes. Most other planes consist of the distilled essence of an alignment or element, each of which provides an extraordinary substrate to nourish a dazzling array of organisms and propagate realities. Moreover, many planes host realms that are occupied continually by inventive creatures who spend untold eons creating countless tools, structures, and masterpieces that surpass anything a Material Plane world might produce. As the realms of the gods themselves, the planes can be home to utterly unique treasures that represent the very first or purest form of a given object.

Of course, adventurers specialize in studying and acquiring baubles, so to some, a plane’s treasures may simply be awaiting harvest by the right hands. The fabled artifact necessary to slay a demon lord might reside in Heaven— perhaps in the possession of an archon who’s not inclined to share. The reagents needed to brew a powerful potion to end a mythic curse might grow only in Abaddon’s tear-soaked soil or crystallize in the Plane of Earth’s most secluded caverns. Some travelers might seek real estate instead of treasures, skirmishing with the Astral Plane’s shulsagas to claim a newly formed demiplane as their own.


Source Planar Adventures pg. 82
Outsiders are among the oldest and most dangerous creatures in the multiverse, and many interfere with mortal worlds to secure devotion for their divine patrons, favorably aligned souls, more power, or any combination of the three. From their extraplanar bastions, predatory outsiders can plague other realms with near impunity, working through lesser beings and cults dedicated to enacting their patrons’ wills. If adventurers call such a being their nemesis, the only solution may be to track down the creature’s home and destroy it there.

That’s easier said than done, however. These beings often have a host of allies defending a well-fortified abode. Heroes leading the charge are unlikely to share their enemy’s alignment or subtypes, potentially exposing the attackers to hostile planar traits. The strongest outsiders can even wield the power of their home planes as a weapon, much as demon lords wield mythic power within their own realms. If adventurers can destroy such beings, they can end countless plots at once and create a power vacuum felt across the planes.


Source Planar Adventures pg. 82
Two facts bear repeating: the planes are dangerous, and souls are valuable. Unpredictable and titanic weather events can shatter even the mightiest magical vehicles or scatter travelers. Plane-hopping magic can fail and send someone to a random destination, while the death of a spellcasting ally might mean the loss of a group’s only ticket home. Even something so mundane as a cave-in can leave otherwise able explorers stranded on another world. Rescuing allies or loved ones from such a fate may be the only way to save their lives—or failing that, might become the only way to allow their souls to reach the intended afterlife. Some of the most abrupt disappearances are those dealt by the Donjon card found in a deck of many things.

Any number of fiends and villains are all too happy to capture living prey to consume, experiment on, sacrifice, or torture. Among the most infamous abductors are the Ethereal Plane’s xills and the far-ranging devourers that prey upon live hosts and mortals’ souls, respectively. Night hags are practiced soul trappers who might trade a hero’s soul away or consume it, preventing resurrection unless intercepted. Devils’ use of infernal contracts can let them abscond with a PCs’ friend or ally under the wrong circumstances (or insidiously small print).

Presenting the Planes

Source Planar Adventures pg. 83
There’s a significant reason that most campaigns take place on an earthlike world: it’s predictable. Gravity works as expected, there are 24 hours in a day, seasons exist, and weather patterns make sense. That changes rapidly the moment the PCs start jumping to other planes of existence, and conflict between the players’ expectations and each planar reality is often more jarring for you than for them, due to potential challenges managing and presenting those differences in compelling ways. The ways in which you can overcome these difficulties vary as much as the planes themselves, but the basics fall into three broad concepts.

Not Just Another Dungeon

Source Planar Adventures pg. 83
Wherever the PCs go, there will be creatures, dangerous sites, and places to congregate—the dungeons, NPCs, and settlements that are central to nearly every adventure. The temptation might be to just reskin these features to match the plane’s flavor, but that superficiality is insufficient; the plane should be an integral part of the setting and the players’ experiences. That includes everything from the textures of surfaces to the planar traits that rewrite reality to the ways in which the plane’s cultures (or other inhabitants) adapt to meet these odd standards.

This is especially true in the Outer Planes, where powerful alignment traits can shape environments and many inhabitants have gods for neighbors.

As an example, filling a dungeon that is located in Hell with devils is a disservice. Instead, consider what abilities are commonly available to local creatures (e.g., teleportation) and how those abilities might shape the denizens’ behaviors in this infernal citadel. If the site is constructed from evocative materials, with walls made from ever-burning bones or floors composed of tombstones, don’t stop at asking why it’s that way—think about what effect those choices have on the intended inhabitants and the intruding PCs. If there’s a fiend-operated market nearby, consider acceptable currency, how the traditional marketplace interactions might differ from those of the PCs’ home world, what’s being sold, and who the expected customers are (outsiders have fairly limited needs, after all).

Normal Is Abnormal

Source Planar Adventures pg. 84
The planes often subvert common cultural and physical expectations. Depending on the place, the PCs might have to navigate cities designed entirely for locals who can fly, swim, or spend extensive periods of time in gaseous form. Violent thoughts might physically manifest and harass the thinker, or raw chaos might reshape objects left unattended for too long. To locals, these occurrences might be part of their everyday lives, and this nonchalance can be as alien as the phenomena.

Traveling the planes exposes the PCs to jaw-dropping creatures and traditions, and there’s no reason their presence wouldn’t have a similar effect on the destination’s citizens. Depending on the location, native creatures might find the PCs’ appearances, behaviors, and bodies to be unsettling or appalling. Such inhabitants might demonstrate intentions entirely through pheromones and color displays, have superstitions about blinking eyes, see the world in a wider range of colors, or be unable to experience certain emotions. By contrast, cosmologically cosmopolitan regions might be familiar with travelers from the PCs’ home world, and some planar metropolises boast foreign districts where offworld creatures are more welcome. An introductory encounter set in such a space has the benefit of allowing the PCs to start in a less jarring place and work their way into more bizarre regions at their own pace.

Making the abnormal normal comes with an important warning: be very careful about rewriting the laws of reality. It might seem like a grand idea to assume that physics, down to the atomic level, operates differently on another plane, but that would mean even a 20th-level wizard’s body could discorporate in an instant. For most groups, aim for a middle ground of unsettlingly odd— an exciting destination that doesn’t entirely upend the game’s mechanics. Like running an intense investigation or a horror campaign, striking the right balance for a planar adventure might involve a conversation with your players to understand everyone’s boundaries and expectations.

Traveling the Planes

Source Planar Adventures pg. 84
A manageable planar adventure thrives on direction— especially as the PCs and players start to travel the planes for the first time. The more familiar the players become with all forms of planar exploration and the wider their circle of planar contacts becomes, the more flexibility you can provide.

Second to a compelling story, the best tool you have for steering the action is the difficulty of traveling from one plane to another. Most adventuring groups lack the means to move between planes independently until around 9th to 13th level, so they’re otherwise reliant on extant portals that the you introduce and control, favors from outsiders, and rare magic items. PCs in a planar campaign might receive one or more such tools as treasure above and beyond their expected wealth by level, with the understanding that these are plot-critical rewards that enable future adventures. The following is an overview of well-known tools that the PCs might acquire.

Amulet of the Planes: No item is as unambiguously effective for planar travel as this amulet, which allows an entire group to journey together to a wide range of destinations.

Cubic Gate: With only six possible destinations, a cubic gate is an ideal tool for planar campaigns of limited scope.

Flying Skiff: Few options are as luxurious and expensive as a flying skiff; entire campaigns might be built around this device. The PCs might serve as crew aboard a flying skiff and travel to sundry destinations under their employers’ commands, only to find themselves inheriting the ship when misfortune befalls the previous owner.

Obsidian Steed: This figurine of wondrous power is an excellent escape plan—as long as players account for the fact that it can carry only a single creature. The item’s tendency to deposit good-aligned riders in unpleasant places could also be the basis for a time-critical rescue mission.

Planar Keystones: These items make for a low-cost method to allow travel to and from specific planes. Since their destinations are limited and it takes time to activate them, planar keystones have no real use in combat. But as a method of transporting a group of PCs to or from a plane at any experience level, planar keystones are one of your best options.

Robe of Stars: A robe of stars allows only one creature to travel. However, because the robe physically transports the wearer to the Astral Plane, they’re neither protected by nor limited by the silver cord afforded by the astral projection spell, allowing limitless travel from there to any number of demiplanes and Outer Planes.

Staff of the Planes: When fully charged, this staff can transport a group to another plane and back or transport the group while protecting up to five of its members from dangerous planar traits. In an emergency, the staff is also a way to escape a dangerous or escalating situation. Keep in mind that only a fairly high-level spellcaster can recharge the staff, though for some campaigns, a limited resource like this is exactly what’s needed.

Well of Many Worlds: Particularly useful for sandbox-style campaigns, this portable gateway allows nearly limitless travel. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a well of many worlds can be closed or moved only from the side of its origin, not from the realm into which it opens. That means that if the PCs rely on the well for their return trip, they will be forced to leave it open and hope that no dangerous denizens slip through the gate (or worse, close the well and take it away) before they can return. Alternately, the first stage of a quest might require the PCs to navigate a hostile region to reach a well’s launching point.

Desperate Measures: Several other items facilitate planar travel but in extraordinarily dangerous and unpredictable ways. Even so, circumstances might leave the PCs no choice but to place a bag of holding inside a portable hole or destroy a staff of power in the hopes of going somewhere— anywhere—else.

Planar Tuning Forks

Source Planar Adventures pg. 85
Plane shift requires a specific tuning fork attuned to the destination plane, and while the Core Rulebook lists this as a spell focus with no listed price (implying that each spell component pouch has a full array of tuning forks), that should not be the case for any campaign that features planar travel. Limiting the PCs’ access to specific planes’ focuses can help manage where the PCs can travel to. Finding the right fork—or uncovering an unidentified fork and exploring whatever exists at its attuned destination—could be the basis for an adventure in its own right.

You should strongly consider assigning gold piece values to the tuning forks required for using plane shift to travel the planes. Not only does this give you greater control over which planes the characters can access, but it also creates an interesting and even collectable commodity for planar travelers. By assigning the following values, you also prevent tuning forks from being automatically available with the purchase of a spell component pouch, with a side benefit of easily indicating which might be available for purchase in settlements.

Note that some planes, like the Akashic Record, cannot be traveled to via plane shift at all, while others, like the Dimension of Time, are notoriously difficult to create lasting tuning forks for.

Table 2-2: Plane Shift Tuning Forks

Untuned fork25 gp
Common tuning fork100 gp
Uncommon tuning fork2,000 gp
Rare tuning fork20,000 gp
Unique tuning forkPriceless
Planar tuning forks have no notable weight.

Untuned Fork

Source Planar Adventures pg. 85
An untuned tuning fork appears as a plain iron tuning fork and cannot be used on its own as a focus for plane shift. An untuned tuning fork can be crafted as a mundane item with a successful DC 20 Craft ( jewelry) check, but only if the artisan also has at least 1 rank in Knowledge (planes).

Before an untuned fork can be used as a focus for casting plane shift, it must be physically transported to the plane in question and subjected to a specific condition while on that plane, as detailed for each category of tuning fork. Once a previously untuned fork is attuned to a plane, it changes appearance to reflect that plane’s nature and cannot be attuned to a different one. Regardless of the plane in question, only one untuned fork can be attuned at a time in a 300-foot radius. Untuned forks take time to attune to a plane, and if a second untuned fork is struck within 300 feet of another fork that is in the process of becoming attuned, planar dissonance causes the attuning process for both forks to immediately end, and the procedure must start anew.

Common Tuning Fork

Source Planar Adventures pg. 85
A common tuning fork is one attuned to the major Inner or Outer Planes (Abbadon, Abyss, the Astral Plane, Axis, the Boneyard, Elysium, the Ethereal Plane, the First World, Heaven, Hell, Maelstrom, the Negative Energy Plane, Nirvana, the Plane of Air, the Plane of Earth, the Plane of Fire, the Plane of Water, the Positive Energy Plane, and the Shadow Plane). For layered planes, a common tuning fork can be attuned only to the first layer of the plane (the Threshold in Heaven, Avernus in Hell, or Kurnugia in the Abyss). Attuning a common tuning fork requires striking it against a solid surface somewhere on the plane, after which the tuning fork must be allowed to absorb the plane’s energies for 24 hours. Once this time passes, the untuned fork becomes attuned to that plane.

Uncommon Tuning Fork

Source Planar Adventures pg. 85
An uncommon tuning fork is one attuned to a major demiplane or to a further layer of an Outer Plane. Planes that require uncommon tuning forks include any of the deeper layers of Heaven, Hell, or the Abyss; Cynosure; stable dreamscapes in the Dimension of Dreams, such as Leng (plane shift does not allow travel to most dreamscapes); or Xibalba.

Attuning an uncommon tuning fork is done in much the same way as a common tuning fork, but the tuning fork must be struck against a magic item of CL 11th or higher that was created on that plane, a creature of CR 11 or higher native to the plane, or a unique or specific feature of the plane as determined by the GM—such features are generally protected and should require mid-level play (9th level or above) to access. Once so struck, the tuning fork must be allowed to absorb the plane’s energies for 3 days. After this time passes, the untuned fork becomes attuned to that plane.

Rare Tuning Fork

Source Planar Adventures pg. 86
A rare tuning fork is one attuned to an obscure demiplane, a demiplane that is simply difficult to travel to due to its nature, or a demiplane that is particularly small and insignificant. Planes that require rare tuning forks include the Dead Vault, the Harrowed Realm, and Jandelay.

Attuning a rare tuning fork is done using the same method as an uncommon fork, but the fork must be struck against an artifact created on that plane, a creature of CR 21 or higher native to the plane, or a unique or specific feature of the plane that you determine—such features are generally well guarded and difficult to reach, and thus they should require relatively high-level play (15th level or above) to use. Once so struck, the fork must be allowed to absorb the plane’s energies for 1 week. After this time has passed, the untuned fork is attuned to that plane.

Unique Tuning Fork

Source Planar Adventures pg. 86
For lost or forgotten demiplanes or deliberately difficult-to-reach dimensions, the appropriate tuning forks should be priceless. Their acquisition forces the players either to go on a quest to locate such a tuning fork or to bring an untuned fork to the plane in question, traveling there via other means, to attune the fork for later use. Once the party acquires such a tuning fork, you should use the prices provided on Table 2–2: Plane Shift Tuning Forks as a guide to determine the tuning fork’s value, keeping in mind that if the PCs flood a market, the fork’s value will decrease. Moreover, powerful denizens of such realms might take offense to the availability of keys to their empires and may attempt to deal with the spread of attuned forks. Planes that require unique tuning forks include the Hao Jin Tapestry and the Dimension of Time. As a general rule, if the plot of an adventure (be it a published one or an adventure of your own design) hinges on the PCs’ being trailblazers to a forgotten or obscure demiplane, the demiplane should be counted as a unique one.

Attuning an untuned fork to a unique plane or dimension requires a specific task for that plane. For example, attuning a fork to a legendary vampire’s personal demiplane might require a player to plunge the tuning fork into the heart of a vampire native to that plane and then allow the fork 13 days to absorb the planar energies before it becomes fully attuned.

Alternate Cosmologies

Source Planar Adventures pg. 86
The Pathfinder RPG assumes a cosmology centered on the Great Beyond, a concept that not only contextualizes the alignment system, the functionality of certain spells (such as etherealness and shadow walk), and the nature of the divine, but also helps to define the roles of every outsider in the game. However, the Great Beyond is far from the only possible model for a cosmology in your game. Presented below are several alternate cosmologies you might wish to explore for your own setting. Consider these examples as options and inspirations; as always, you are encouraged to alter the game world to fit your desires and expectations, as well as those held by your players.

Alignment-Free Cosmology

Source Planar Adventures pg. 86
The Great Beyond relies on the presumption of outsiders linked to alignment, but what happens if you remove alignments from the game completely? In this alternative cosmology, the various outsider races might represent not alignments but concepts. Archons represent justice, while angels serve as unique representatives of their divine patrons, agathions as mercy, azatas as freedom, inevitables as rules, proteans as change, devils as punishment, daemons as death, and demons as temptation to sin. You can delve even further, assigning (for example) each individual type of devil a different form of punishment. From such decisions, entire new planes suggest themselves—one for each race of outsider to call home. Regardless of the conceptual assignments used, it’s not likely that large amounts of flavor change heavily, but the mechanical framework requires adjustments in the absence of spells and abilities that rely solely upon alignment, such as those offering protection from evil or good or from chaos or law.

In an alignment-free cosmology, rivalries between outsiders would not be split upon the easy lines of alignment, and unusual alliances might be made. Daemons representing death by execution might collaborate with devils representing lawful punishment and archons devoted to justice. Even stranger alliances might form between outsiders associated with more narrow concepts, such as a type of protean devoted to creative architecture working alongside an axiomite devoted to city planning.

Without alignment to rely on, the gods in this cosmology play a more important role, rallying a multitude of outsiders to the concepts encompassed by their areas of concern and enabling campaigning based on each type of outsider’s role rather than its morality and ethics. Mortal souls still flow to the specific god the owner worshiped above others, but rather than alignment, the owner’s actions serve as the determining factor of her fate if she died without a specific faith. An honest farmer’s soul would migrate toward the realm of the inevitables, perhaps, since the farmer obeyed the laws of the land and dutifully provided for her family and society, whereas another farmer might go to the realm of devils because of his penchant in life for abusing his employees.

In such a world, spells that function based on alignment will work quite differently, or perhaps not at all. In most cases, this puts you in the position of having to make decisions on the spot as to whether detect evil would provide information, or whether or not a holy sword might hurt the creature that attempts to wield it. As a result, the players’ trust in you becomes far more important in an alignmentfree cosmology, since they must respect and trust that you are making decisions for the good of gameplay, not to be merely antagonistic or competitive.

Alternate Realities and Parallel Worlds

Source Planar Adventures pg. 87
The universe is a brilliant and multifaceted jewel, with each angle and cut offering a different reflection of existence. Many of the countless faces may look similar, but each is fundamentally different, containing slightly or significantly changed versions of reality. Each of these alternate realities fills a role vacated by the loss of other planes, follows different metaphysical rules, and has natives comprised of one or more specific outsider races. Alignment serves as a linking factor for outsider species but lacks the implications of a broader cosmic force with effects for mortal souls.

Archons might rule one version of reality and travel to others seeking to spread their creed of organized benevolence, guiding some worlds’ development, defending others from rival forces, and perhaps even conquering those impossible to redeem by subtler methods. Daemons could hail from a reality wherein they have already accomplished their goal of obliterating all mortal life. Now, from a cosmos lurching towards entropic heat death—the stars long ago consumed by ravenous daemon gluttons akin to malevolent black holes—daemons seek to spread outward to obliterate each life-form extant in adjacent facets of reality. Proteans, as beings of chaos, would swim freely between facets of the world, belonging to all and none at once, and defy the rules of the cosmos while remaining true to their nature.

Gods in this cosmology exist in their own alternate realities. Perhaps they are the living result of those worlds’ souls merging into singular beings, or, in a world where belief had the power to alter the fundamental structure of reality, gods could be born out of gestalt mortal belief. In other facets, outsiders and gods might hold no sway at all. Each instance of reality is, in effect, an opportunity for you to create entirely new settings for the players to explore. One intriguing possibility with this cosmology is that there could exist multiple incarnations of each character across multiple worlds. Thus, when a PC dies and is resurrected, the restored body is not so much brought back to life as it is pulled from another reality, so each time a character returns from death, she might change in strange and unexpected ways. This gives a player the opportunity to completely rebuild her character upon resurrection, explaining, for example, that the new incarnation was drawn from a world where the character trained not as a wizard but as a fighter.

Dualistic Cosmology

Source Planar Adventures pg. 87
Not every belief system contains a multitude of gods. Some involve only a pair of diametrically opposed divine rivals, both competing for worshipers’ souls to either reward or punish. In this model, a dualistic cosmology would consist of only two Outer Planes, one for each divine force. The precise nature of those planes would rely entirely upon the nature of the gods in question.

In one example, there is only a Heaven and Hell, with the mortals who lived a good life ascending to Heaven among the archons and the wicked descending to Hell to receive punishment at the hands of devils. The role of law and chaos is less relevant than that of good and evil in this setting, and any pair of the good and evil planes could stand in for Heaven and Hell. With one deity ruling each plane, the role of demigod becomes one of servitude, each demigod being an extension of the deity’s will. A third, intriguing category could exist in the form of demigods who adhere to neither side of this eternal conflict, introducing such a category could erode the draw of a dualistic cosmology.

Rather than good and evil, a dualistic system based on law and chaos might have a single plane of law and a single plane of chaos complete with a variety of lawful and chaotic outsiders. Depending on their actions and beliefs while alive, adherents of a deity of law might ascend to a lawful plane at the moment of their death, only to be punished for transgressions. By contrast, adherents of chaos might find themselves hurled into a realm that combines the whimsies of proteans alongside the destructive horrors of demons and the freedom-loving passions of the azatas. This dichotomy need not adhere to the concept of alignment at all; instead, its deities could embody other dualistic concepts. For example, a deity of day could vie against a deity of night, with both having positive and negative areas of concern in their portfolios. This system might have one divine power enthroned within the First World and its rival dwelling in the Shadow Plane. Life and death. Love and hate. Fire and water. The possibilities are boundless.

Extraterrestrial Planes

Source Planar Adventures pg. 88
Rather than arriving through portals from other planes, outsiders hail from the depths of space, their homes far-flung planets. These outsiders are diverse, strange alien races that are genuinely physical beings that originate from bizarre worlds. Archons manifest as a race of beings devoted to implementing their own vision of benevolent order and structure upon other similarly mortal worlds, while devils oppose their archon creators as a splinter group devoted to conquest—or they could be an entirely different race of aliens from another solar system that has long fought the archons. Proteans could be serpentine beasts that swim the depths of space, delighting in the chaos and anarchy of a cosmos that predated the formation of planets and other races. Demons might be a race of bloodthirsty, starfaring marauders that come from worlds that have been destroyed, while inevitables could be a robotic species devoted to ensuring the lawful progression of the cosmos as given to them by their long-absent original creators.

Souls in such a cosmology may hail not from the Positive Energy Plane but from a vast and distant cosmic phenomenon linked to the birth of the cosmos that still sheds souls into creation. Similar to the cycle of mortal souls in the Great Beyond, souls migrate from this point and filter out to a myriad of worlds around a multitude of stars. The role of the Negative Energy Plane might then be filled by vast black holes that churn at the fringe of the universe, with ghosts, ghouls, and other undead drawing their power from these immense, haunted stars.

Upon death, rather than migrating to the realms of gods or alignment-based planes to receive their final reward or punishment, souls would instead travel to the planet or solar system claimed by their god or roam elsewhere to join those beings who were most metaphysically associated with their actions and beliefs in life. A chaotic neutral woman with no religious beliefs might die only to reopen her eyes and find herself swimming through deep space, reborn as a protean amid a chorus of her kind. By contrast, a penitent man with deep belief in his goddess might die and awaken as a petitioner at her feet, staring up at a sky with alien stars—only to dwell physically there with her for eternity.

In this cosmology, the gods might simply be ultrapowerful aliens who rule planets or entire solar systems reserved for the souls of their followers, who remain protected from the dangers and terrors between the stars for the rest of their eternal existence. Faith in these entities that dwell in a physical location rather than an unreachable plane might prove less fervent, or their proximity could make devotion stronger, even allowing for commonplace divine contact— unless the gods united in forbidding it.

Mundane Cosmology

Source Planar Adventures pg. 88
What if there were no other planes at all, in any form whatsoever? What if the universe was all there was, with nothing beyond the prosaic existence of physical reality? No celestials, no fiends, no elementals, and no gods? In such a setting, life would be followed by death and the oblivion of nonexistence. What sort of world would exist in the absence of the celestial, infernal, and even the divine? Without the ever-present threat of divine justice and an eternal reward or punishment, what would such a world look like? Religion would most certainly still exist, but it would rely on pure faith rather than demonstrable divine intervention and direct contact with divine emissaries. Likewise, divine spellcasters would still exist, but their magic would be fueled solely by their internal beliefs (you may restrict choices to classes like clerics, who must select domains, or give players complete freedom as to which domains they wish to pursue for their own personal religions); they would no longer be direct servants of supernatural beings.

In such a setting, you would need to decide if resurrection is at all possible and whether there is any place in the setting for the undead. Both of these concepts presuppose something akin to a soul; what happens to a soul in a mundane cosmology? Are souls natural by-products of life, or is a soul some sort of stellar energy adrift in the cosmos? Maybe there is no such thing as a soul, and all who die become ghosts unless some other event transforms them into specific undead creatures. Where do these ghosts go? How many would remain behind to haunt the site of their death? Do ghosts simply remain invisible and unseen? Do they drift to the edge of the universe?

Would outsiders exist at all? Certainly not in the normal conceptualization. Outsiders in such a cosmology could represent mortal beliefs rather than being an intrinsic part of reality. Powerful spellcasters likely don’t summon them from somewhere else—such outsiders are instead created out of raw magical energy and infused with a specific alignment or characterizing belief. A wizard seeking bloody, destructive revenge might channel his power to create a balor and set the creature loose upon his enemies. A religious spellcaster might form an angel that embodies her beliefs, rather than believing in the creed of the angel’s divine patron, turning the standard paradigm on its head.

World Tree

Source Planar Adventures pg. 89
The Great Beyond has the River Styx as a planar pathway, whose twisting tributaries weave across the evil-aligned planes and, to a minor extent, beyond. What if there was only one way to travel between planes—not on the Styx, but via a singular transitory plane that touches all other planes known as the World Tree? The World Tree might exist on a Material Plane world, but its trunk extends upward into a sort of haze that connects to the Outer Planes, while its roots burrow unseen into the world below, tapping into the elemental and energy planes.

As the only route between the planes, the World Tree becomes a battleground unlike like any other. Armies of celestials, fiends, inevitables, and proteans seize terrain around the points where the tree’s branches and roots touch other realms in a vast and almost unfathomable war. Scorched-earth tactics abound; armies of demons march en masse to the gates of Heaven as long as they can manage to physically travel there. The Four Horsemen personally lead their armies down the tree toward the Material Plane, promising their daemons the chance to feast upon all mortal life with nothing but physical distance barring the way. Travel is hazardous, more often than not a question of passing through a war zone as noncombatants struggle to weave between the encamped armies.

What, though, if the World Tree hosted a native race—a species that spawned from the flesh of their great mother tree, perhaps existing in the strange overlapping area somewhere between plant and fey, with their own cities and their own societies that were devoted to protecting the World Tree and regulating travel upon it? Wars would still occur, of course, but with the only path of transit controlled by the outsider race that emerged from its very substance, the World Tree would be less of a war zone and more a neutral ground between the planes. Outsiders and even mortals could travel upon the tree’s branches and up and down its trunk—if their journeys were the will of the World Tree and its chosen servitors. Instead of transit aided by spells and magical components, travelers would offer tribute to the living goddess of the World Tree, hoping for an answer to their prayers in the form of either safe passage or escort.