Energy Planes

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The Energy Planes are part of the Inner Planes of Dungeons & Dragons, lying adjacent to the Elemental Planes and considered by some to be part of them. Like the Elemental Planes, the Energy Planes represent the fundamental forces of creation; Positive Energy and Negative Energy, or, more simply, Life and Death. This makes them amongst the most featureless and hostile planes in the entire Planescape cosmology, as the former overloads your body with energy until it disintegrates from the strain and the latter flat-out kills you. The Energy Planes meet all four Elemental Planes, creating four Positive Quasielemental Planes and four Negative Quasielemental Planes.

In 5e's altered version of the Great Wheel, the Energy Planes are moved out of the Inner Planes, thus eliminating the Quasielemental Planes in the process. Instead, they lie to the extreme "north" and "south" of the Wheel, enfolding the entire multiverse and providing the raw forces of life and death that allows for existence to be possible. This edition stops trying to pretend that there's any point in going to either plane; it doesn't even bother describing them beyond a single paragraph on page 43 of the 5e Dungeon Master's Guide.

Planar Topography[edit]

Positive
Energy
Plane
Wall of Energy Lightning Subdued Cacophany Air - Vacuum - Negative
Energy
Plane
Dark Land Glistening Crystal Ice - -
The Death Cloud Hoarfrost Stinging Storm Flats
Raging Mists Steam Islands of Water Water Saline Sea Salt Crystal Range
Shard Forest Realm of Cloying Fear Ooze Stagnant Sea Consumption
Misty Caverns Sparklemire Oasis of Filth Consumption
Gemfields Mineral Unnamed Border Earth Tumbling Rock Dust Storm of Annihilation
Brighthome Natural Forge Magma Sands Wasting Place
Brighthome Glowing Dunes Cinder Wells Wasting Place
The Light Radiance Brightflame Fire Sea of Frozen Flames Ash Empty Winter
Bright Land Sea of Stars Smoke Embers Sparking Vast
Bright Land Dark Land - -
Wall of Energy Lightning Subdued Cacophany Air - Vacuum -

Here are listed all the Border Planes between the various Quasielemental Planes and the Elemental, Paraelemental and Energy Planes. The Quasielemental Planes all have six of such borders: one each with their matching Elemental and Energy Plane, one with each of their neighbouring Quasielemental Plane and one for each Paraelemental Plane bordering their Elemental Plane. The more canny of you will notice that some of these names match while others do not: this was likely because the writers (Monte Cook and William W. Connors ran out of interesting ideas to add. Some of these even match the links given with the Paraelemental Planes.

Positive Energy Plane[edit]

The Plane of life itself. You heal at an astonishing rate here, and healing spells heal far more. You gain 2d6 hit dice in extra HP... but once you hit double your normal HP you explode into a cloud of gibblets because your body couldn't handle the energy. The blinding light will burn your eyes out if you're not protected and you can't breathe here, but any suffocation damage will heal as quickly as you suffer it. This is not a nice place to visit.

Negative Energy Plane[edit]

This place will decay and rot in seconds, and it can rip your soul out and turn you into an undead creature in mere seconds. Making your way around here is difficult and dangerous because of its lack of anything that's not soul-draining powers, which is made even more difficult by the hordes of undead in the place and the fact that you can run into goddamn Shiva, who's the only deity who drops by the place now and then. Some spots called "Doldrums" aren't quite as immediately lethal, but still shouldn't be stayed on for very long.

The only friendlies here are a bunch of Dustmen maintaining the Fortress of the Soul, a skull-shaped outpost maintained only barely by their combined effort. If they find a lost non-undead on the plane they'll take them in for a few days: once a week a portal to Sigil opens up inside here and the lucky sod is sent on his way.

Positive Quasielemental Planes[edit]

Lightning[edit]

Stay here long enough and you can say that you've been... THUNDERSTRUCK. IF you carry more metal on you than a dagger you'll get hit by a lightning bolt for 1d8 x 10 damage. Even if you're not, you have a flat 10% chance per round spent here. You can breathe the air (it smells of ozone) here, but it won't do you any good because of the lightning, deafening thunder and the occasional pocket of plasma which can hit you for 20d10 damage if you touch it.

Subdued Cacophany[edit]

The border between Air and Lightning. As the name implies, the endless storms are less intense here, making it a decent place for a traveler to rest.

Glistening Crystal[edit]

Dark Land[edit]

Bright Land[edit]

On the border between Lightning and Radiance is a blinding storm of rainbow colors and plasma. The multicolored storms can toss people around like ragdolls.

Wall of Energy[edit]

Basically a wall of continuous electrical energy capable of frying you to dust the second you planeshift over. Only use that can yet be found for this might be as some sort of Death Star-style magic superlaser. All that electrical energy might be useful in many applications, if it were easier to harness.

Steam[edit]

A bit of an odd duck, Steam is not as hot as you'd think. It's actually quite cool, unless you walk into one of the pockets of hot vapor. This is by far the most accommodating (as in: least lethal) of the Quasielemental Planes: being here puts someone under the effect of a Slow spell because breathing is difficult, and with a simple casting of Water Breathing that problem's fixed. Moving around can be done by either falling or swimming, but the latter is more advised because the steam prevents you from seeing something you're falling towards. As such, moving around with an air ship or a local flying creature called a Fabere is advised.

Islands of Water[edit]

Realm of Cloying Fear[edit]

Hoarfrost[edit]

On the borders of Ice and Lightning, this place is quite strange. Ice and snowstorms would be punctuated by flashes of lightning, but little in the way of thunder as the ice and snow block the sound. The combination of lightning damage and freezing to death means people would likely find freeze-fried corpses of past travelers.

Shard Forest[edit]

The Death Cloud[edit]

Raging Mists[edit]

Mineral[edit]

A lot of valuable rocks in this place, but the creatures living here don't like to share (nor do they like intruders). Aside from requiring the same digging as on the Plane of Earth, the big issue here is the fossilization. Once per day you'll have to save against petrification: if you fail you turn into a mineral shape of yourself, and will likely end up either being mined or eaten by some thing or another. Another problem is that all the sharp crystaline formations here can cut you up real bad if you move fast and carelessly, so do be careful.

Unnamed Border[edit]

Natural Forge[edit]

Sparklemire[edit]

Brighthome[edit]

The border of Mineral and Radiance. It's a big cave full of glowing crystals and is home to a bunch of mining communities.

Misty Caverns[edit]

Gemfields[edit]

Radiance[edit]

What do you get when you take fire and remove the fire, but keep the warmth and light? You get Radiance. This place will light you up good in more ways than one. Aside from being able to set you on fire like the Plane of Fire. On top of that, the brilliant light of this place is beautiful but it can also blind you in seconds. Moving around here is like navigating the Plane of Air, except you'll need a blindfold and a way to protect yourself from the heat.

Brightflame[edit]

Sea of Stars[edit]

Glowing Dunes[edit]

Basically an endless volcanic desert, save for the fact that every grain of sand is so radioactive it makes Chernobyl Reactor 4 look like a sauna! Visiting is generally a terrible idea, though for the more intrepid weapons makers or Dr. Evil-style villains, think of all the nukes you can make!

Bright Land[edit]

On the border between Lightning and Radiance is a blinding storm of rainbow colors and plasma. The multicolored storms can toss people around like ragdolls.

Brighthome[edit]

The border of Mineral and Radiance. It's a big cave full of glowing crystals and is home to a bunch of mining communities.

The Light[edit]

Basically the inside of a star, hot and bright and not much else. Right at the edge of the Positive Energy plane is The Heart of Light a.k.a. the Tower of Healing. Basically the ultimate place for healing injuries of the physical body.

Negative Quasielemental Planes[edit]

Vacuum[edit]

The Plane of Vacuum is the plane of nothing. There is nothing here. Well, not entirely. Like outer space the Vacuum is dark and empty, but unlike space it does have temperature and pressure. Sure, they're both low, but it's not going to outright kill you. As long as you have access to air to breathe (gaseous creatures will suffer 1 HD of damage per round) and a light source that doesn't need air (like fire) you're good to go like you were in a dark version of the Plane of Air. What does carry over from regular space is vacuum welding. To keep it simple: the lack of air to get between moving metal parts means that said parts will get stuck together and can't be moved while on the Plane of Vacuum. There's a few creatures out here who can survive in the vast nothing, but those are all rare and exceedingly tough. Oh, and watch out for the naturally occurring Spheres of Annihilation.

Frigid Void[edit]

The border of Ice and Vacuum. Cold is the only thing that exists in this place, with ice and snow replacing the blackness as you get closer to the Ice side.

Salt[edit]

The plane of those who are still waiting for a 5e supplement for Planescape, the Plane of Salt is what happens when you remove all the water and life from the ocean: you'll end up with nothing but salt. An endless block of alkaline matter, the Plane of Salt thirsts for your fluids. Merely being here without magical protection deals 2d6 damage per round, and aquatic creatures suffer 1 Hit Die of damage instead. This'll leave even the toughest of planeswalkers mummified corpses in seconds. As a large body of matter one has to dig to make their way through and bring their own light and air. The second lethal feature of the Plane of Salt is the sharp crystal veins: if you fall into an area that has them you have to save VS breath weapon. Even if you make the save you can suffer up to 2d8 damage, and if you fail you'll either lose a limb or get bisected or even beheaded. So watch your step around here!

Saline Sea[edit]

Imagine the Dead Sea in Israel and you get the start of the idea. Water so amazingly salty that you can nearly wade through it, in spite of being hundreds of feet deep. Few people travel here, but there is one town built atop the briny water. The residents are shifty though, and may well try to eat you to suck the moisture from your blood.

Stagnant Sea[edit]

Stinging Storm[edit]

The border of Salt and Ice. Acrid, metal-dissolving blizzards of dry ice, desiccating salty winds, and snowdrifts that will dissolve your boots make this a thoroughly unpleasant place to be.

Consumption[edit]

On the border of Salt and Dust, this hellhole combines the worst aspects of both. Staying here for any length of times risks disintegration. The desiccating ground must be waded through, though at times it's deep enough to be submerged in.

Flats[edit]

The border of Salt and Vacuum. It's just a giant sheet of reflective salt beneath an airless void.

Crystal Range[edit]

On the edge of the Negative Energy plane, for some weird reason there are mountains of salt, which eventually crumble off at a place called Precipice (not the icy one) where they join the Negative.

Dust[edit]

When rock is ground down to its smallest possible particles you'll get dust. This is a place of darkness and the decay of things. This can also include you: every hour spent on the Plane of Dust will have you roll a save VS breath weapon. Failure is a 2d6 damage hit. And if you hit 0, you disintegrate. Healing spells don't work here, unless you also cast something like Restoration or Negative Plane Protection. Vision is all but impossible because of all the dust. The lack of oxygen means that breathing is impossible and fire will peter out in moments. Sometimes the dust will cling together into strands that can capture a creature and start to drain their attributes, levels or even a decade of their life. The only way to deal with these strands is via a Disintegration spell. On top of that, the dust will frequently kick up into dust devils that can disintegrate matter in the blink of an eye and the nigh-invisible pockets of negative energy can drain you of your Hit Dice. Overall, the Plane of Dust is not a very nice place.

Tumbling Rock[edit]

Sands[edit]

Oasis of Filth[edit]

Wasting Place[edit]

Consumption[edit]

On the border of Salt and Dust, this hellhole combines the worst aspects of both. Staying here for any length of times risks disintegration. The desiccating ground must be waded through, though at times it's deep enough to be submerged in.

Storm of Annihilation[edit]

Ash[edit]

You know how at the end of Dark Souls 1 and 3 you wade through those blasted ashen hellscapes? The Plane of Ash is kinda like that, except this time it sucks the heat right out of you. 2d6 damage per turn, and 1 HD of damage if you're from the Plane of Fire, Magma, Smoke or are otherwise used to extreme heat. Magic can prevent this, but mundane sources of heat cannot. The clouds of ash make seeing and breathing difficult, and sometimes the ash eats magic. If you're dumb enough to get large patches of ash wet you end up with a mix of quicksand and quick-dry cement. Step into a puddle of ashen sludge and it hardes immediately, getting your ass stuck for good unless someone can save you. And that's discounting the pockets of negative energy that'll drain your Hit Dice if you step into them. Moving around is rather easy: you'll have to dig but the digging is light work. The Plane of Ash is the former site of Cavitius, the citadel of the lich Vecna. Crashing his place is a bad idea, and not just because of all the incorporeal undead roaming the place.

Sea of Frozen Flames[edit]

Embers[edit]

Cinder Wells[edit]

Sparking Vast[edit]

Wasting Place[edit]

Empty Winter[edit]

Inhabitants[edit]

Despite their inhospitality the Energy and Quasielemental Planes hold quite a bit of life. A fair number of them can also be found on the Elemental Planes, like the omnipresent Mephit and Elementals. Another kind of creature that can be found everywhere on the Inner Planes (but rarely in larger numbers) are the Ruvkova, a series of tall and skinny but fiercely powerful humanoids who live in tribes. They made them their homes, and are rumored to be the descendents of a large group of powerful druids from the Prime Material (especially Athas).

The Cosmology of Planescape
Inner Planes Ethereal Plane Prime Material Astral Plane Outer Planes
Elemental Planes Energy Planes Demiplane of Dread Plane of Shadow Plane of Mirrors
World Serpent Inn Tu'narath Sigil Demiplanes Ordial Plane?
Far Realm