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Thread: The Planes

  1. #1

    The Planes

    OK. As you probably already know Worlds of Magic is going to boast a number of different planes. These are going to be:

    Prime Material (A normal fantasy planet)
    Paradise (Life)
    Shadow (Death)
    Air
    Earth
    Fire
    Water

    During game creation you'll more than likely be able to pick the number of planes (from 1 to max) and control what planes may be created and whether or not a plane can “repeat”. That is to say, might you get two or three prime material planes or two shadow planes. The planes themselves can almost be considered “planets”. A shadow plane is a realm where Hades (or whatever you want to call the halls of the dead) and the prime materiel plane touch. A paradise plane is where the Heavens and the prime material plane touch. I think you get the idea.

    Now, we have some ideas on what the differences between the planes are going to be, but we want your ideas. What would make the fire plane feel distinct? What is going to give the earth plane flavor?

    There are other questions as well:
    Should all the planes be the same size? (Micro planes excluded. I'll get to them in a sec.)
    Should the gateways connect all planes or just plane A to plane B?
    Should you have to “discover” a plane before you can use magic to reach it?
    Should a non-native race have to do something special to build a city on a foreign plane? (Undead settling in paradise!?!?!?!)

    Touching the micro-planes: they can be almost anything. A few miles of nothing floating in nowhere with some ancient temple to some dead god filled with ancient loot. What would you like to see in micro-planes?

    It's a lot to think about and, as always, we welcome suggestions!

  2. #2
    Mage’s Assistant
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    Fire plane - heat, huge fires, fire damages
    Earth - earthquakes
    Wind - tornadoes
    Water - rains, floods
    Shadow - weakness, disease
    Paradise - healing
    Sorry, signature is under construction.

  3. #3
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    My thoughts:
    Orientation of planes:
    If you think of the universe as a 3D axis with say the X being Fire and Water, the Y being Air and Earth, and the Z being Life and Death, then the Prime material plane is at the origin (intersection of all three axis). Because they are on opposite sides you can't travel directly from life to death, air to earth, or fire to water or vice versa. The Prime material plane has access to all "Outer" planes though so the "easiest" way to get say from life to death is to go through the prime material plane. You can however go around the "outside" so from say life to one of the elemental planes to death but this is a "longer" way (perhaps costing more time or mana or something than the "direct" way through the Prime Material plane.

    Thoughts on what they should be like:
    Earth - Very rocky and mountainous, little water, dwarven paradise rofl. Abundance of metals and stone resources. Maybe even make it caves?
    Air - Floating islands so you need to be able to fly or teleport to get between them. Natives of this plane can all fly.
    The AIR-EARTH axis is generally habitable by humans and similar life.
    Water - underwater, forest are coral and other plant life, maybe a graphical affect on the games camera to make it seem like you're underwater (think Finding Nemo). Most things basically "fly" because the whole plane is underwater so you're really swimming... perhaps heavy things cannot (light armor units "swim", heavy "sink", iron golem sinks, etc.)
    Fire - Volcanoes, rivers/lakes of lava, what water there is has so much sulfur from the eruptions that it's sulfuric acid (think Dante's Peak).
    The Fire-Water axis is NOT habitable by normal humans. Humans would drown in the water plane and burn or at least suffocate in the fire plane. Perhaps starting Wizards who put enough ranks in these sphere's could automatically have special protections for their units that enable them to survive and there could be spells and items available as well.
    It would be REALLY cool to see the Fire-Air planes actually dynamic as well... so the islands in the Air plane actually drift around a bit (maybe have a slight repulsion from each other so they don't collide but kind of drift around the area), On the fire plane new volcanoes erupt, others cool forming new land, etc.
    Life - forest paradise, no deserts or wastelands, but generally temperate forest looking with rivers, lakes, and oceans, and mountains... crank the brightness up so everything looks glowy. Death units here do not heal "naturally", perhaps even take damage without some sort of protection spells/items. If there is an alignment system you could even do it based on that so good units heal faster, neutral units heal normal, and evil units don't heal (besides via spells and items).
    Death - Cold and Dark, turn down the lighting here so everything is dark, no forests or plant life, bones litter the landscape, still have mountains and such but any water (lakes, rivers, seas) is frozen. Living things don't heal here naturally, just via spells and magic, Death units heal faster.
    On any plane spells/effect of the same circle have increased effect while those of the opposing one have reduced effect (maybe the mana cost goes up and down?) So life magic costs more and/or is less effective on the Death plane and vice versa.
    Ok, brain dump done for now... this is already way too long.

  4. #4
    Very good ideas! Envisioning the planes as a 3D cube is interesting. I'm certainly going to keep it in mind as I layout the gateways/planes dynamic.

    We need to keep the ideas flowing! A lot of good information is coming out of this. I plan to start compiling it soon. I'll let you guys know when I've got a repository put together.

  5. #5
    "What would make the fire plane feel distinct? What is going to give the earth plane flavor?"

    Earth: A rocky plane filled with gold, silver, and iron ore. Mountain caves filled with treasure. And at first glance, there is no life here, which means no one to contest your acquisition of these resources! A budding civilization's dream come true. But then, as you begin to literally unearth the treasures of this plane, you find monsters hiding in the deep. Rock spiders and scorpions that blend into the countryside. Giants that live deep within the caves. And buried alongside the mother lode lies a threat only the most daring and capable adventurers should take.

    Air: I second Asmodai's suggestion. A world of atmosphere and clouds, with a few giant chunks of land suspended in the clouds. The world is filled with birds and bird-men, Pegasus, and bats. You won't find a lot of civilization-building material here, and without any flying units, you can't explore any of the other floating islands. But giant towers reside on some of the islands, and if you can successfully reach and explore them, you'll gain research and equipment for your heroes.

    Water: I think it could be really cool if the only portals to the water planes were inside bodies of water on the main plane, like lakes or the ocean. The water plane is submersed in water, making it inhospitable for most units. Units would appear inside a canyon deep on the ocean floor. Unlike the other planes, there isn't a lot of room to explore in the water plane. A winding pathway may break off into two or three different directions, or it may just head in a single direction. The main feature of the water plane is the fact that, unlike most planes which have a single gateway in and out, the water plane has a gateway at each end of the canyon. So while you won't find treasure or knowledge or mana like in the other planes, a skilled tactician may be able to jump into the water plane from a lake on his side of the map, and reappear deep behind enemy lines on the other end.

    Fire: The portal leads to the ruins of a long-lost city built alongside a raging volcano. Streams of magma flow freely through the gates and into the streets, as dilapidated marble structures now house molten rock monsters eager to snuff out your life. Flaming boulders sometimes crash down onto the field from the always-erupting volcano, and thick clouds of ash threaten to poison your troops. But buried within this forlorn city are mana crystals and secrets that, if discovered, may make you the most powerful magician on any plane.

    Life: I second Asmodai's suggestion. The beauty of the material plane, but magnified! The trees glisten, the flowers sparkle, and the pure water springs practically shine blue with the magical energy coursing through it. The most benevolent plane, no creature will attack you on sight here (unless, perhaps, you are undead). The life plane is also very likely to house a powerful independent city, with whom you may negotiate and potentially earn a powerful ally. But if you attempt to conquer the Life plane, you will find that its denizens are more powerful than those on any other plane. It will be a very tough struggle, but if you can successfully take it over, you'll lay claim to a plethora of resources.

    Death: The opposite of the life plane. Here, there are no glistening trees, benevolent creatures, or bountiful resources. Here, there is only barren wasteland and the animated skeletons of the dead, whose only desire is to add you to their ranks. It would seem at first glance that there is no reason to come to this plane. However, mighty heroes have succumbed to death's cold embrace, and hidden within the hordes may be powerful artifacts of ancient legend that you can equip to your own champions. Moreover, as a necromancer, the opportunities for... "recruitment" are greater here than anywhere else. As an undead player, you may even be able to win the inhabitants of a death plane over to your side. And if you're fighting against a death player, it behooves you to clear the plane out before your enemy can take advantage.

  6. #6
    You know, it really makes me feel good to see passion. I've got a lot of it and it's nice to see that others do as well. Good ideas all! Keep em coming. I plan to start compiling these ideas into a "tentative features" list. I may even put together a wiki about it to give the community easy access to this ever increasing number of rather deep ideas.

  7. #7
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    The more I think about it the more I like the idea of the Earth plane being solid stone with large caverns (large enough to hold entire cities!) and a complex network of tunnels.

    That aside I've also confused myself on what the Life plane is supposed to be. I guess Life in opposition to Death has two different meanings to me. One I'll call Holy and the other Nature. Holy is like angels and white and good and pure and I think of more traditional priest and paladins and such. Nature is life as in plants and animals an green and druids and rangers. Holy is good, while Nature is neutral. I'm not sure exactly what the intent is for the Life plane and I see no nature spheres in the spell system so I'm not really sure how the Druid/Ranger/Nature concept functions in the game.

    Also on the Prime Material plane I assume the map is going to be big and it will be the entire planet, like Civ style. My mind up to this point has really just been thinking traditional fantasy setting (kind of a medieval Europe) but it occurred to me that this was WAY too limited of a scope, I mean if we're going between planes I can't imagine we don't even have the planet mapped out. So I assume the map generation works with like frozen poles on the top and bottom, hot equator (jungles, deserts, etc), with the large temperate bands in between. It would be really neat if there were even seasons in the temperate bands so rivers froze and thawed, leaves on trees changed colors and fell off, etc. This would also draw a greater distinction between the life plane as the life plane wouldn't have entire oceans, just lakes and rivers, it wouldn't have deserts, swamps, or jungles. It wouldn't freeze (seasonal or poles), it would just be a paradise of lush forests, lakes, streams, and mountains.

    On a side note the world wrap would be an interesting feature based on plane. Prime Material would have the side to side wrap only with the frozen poles (you don't go instantly from the north pole to the south) but the "outer" planes could wrap both sides and top/bottom because they aren't "planets" per say.

  8. #8
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    What about not to make the life-plane goodie-goodie holy paradise, but something like a nature-plane - lush, wild but also dangerous? Edit: Oh, now I see it was proposed in the post above.

    Darkness could be interesting environment's feature. Come to mind death-plane and earth-plane (caves), and water-plane maybe (underwater). And darkvision skill comes into play.
    Last edited by John Madlock; 02-17-2013 at 05:40 PM.
    Sorry, signature is under construction.

  9. #9
    OK, the life plain is going to be goody goody positive energy plain. The death plain is bad mojo negative energy land. They represent the extremes of positive and negative energy. The prime material plane is actually the “nature” plane. It's where all the planes combine and BAM you get nature. (To simplify things for nature mages they will only need to be skilled in the four classic elements: Air, Earth, Fire and Water. Although life and death could be fit into the picture I think it would complicate things.)

    I'm not sure to what extent we're going to implement things like the equator. In truth, it would be very easy to do. I'll have to give it a think. The prime martial plane will wrap side to side, not top to bottom. That is how I planned to wrap the other planes, but I think I like the “complete wrapping” idea better.

    Darkness would be an interesting feature. It actually touches another topic I plan to start soon. For the moment it goes in the “think” pile.

  10. #10
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    I had suggested returning fog of war in another thread, and the Darkness plane seems like a great place to permanently implement it. Without a unit or city to see, fog of war is permanent and max vision is reduced by 1 square for all units. On top of that, perhaps an option for no map? Not for everyone though, it would bring tears.

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