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Old 04-17-2017, 12:16 AM   #1
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Default Planes of existence, How many?

This is a two part inquiry, the first is how many planes of existence are there potentially in fantasy? The second part is how many planes of existence are explicitly referred to by gurps publications or implied by gurps publications? In general gurps shies away from stating specific planes of existence but some are required to support various spells and powers.

In the first catagory
The four Elemental planes
Morcock style infinite realities.
Hyperspace

GURPS
Hell (or where ever demons come from)
Afterlife realms, where spirits of the dead reside.
Extra dimensional space from bigger on the inside spells
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: Planes of existence, How many?

In fantasy

Dreamlands
Fairie Lands (sometimes same as Dreamlands)
Astral Plane (sometimes, the planes of perceptions)
Ethereal Planes, planes of abstraction thought
Spiritual Planes, where dwell the spirits and/or forces of nature
Lands of the Dead
The worlds of the Gods
The many Hells
Heaven (sometimes the Worlds of the Gods)
The Great Beyond - the planes that hold not simply the unkknow - but the unknowable. Usually, planes of the chtonic forces of destruction, utter madness, or even worse, an anti reality or anti existence (that late option is the take of GURPS of it). The tales of the dark Cthulhu would refer from beings from those places
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Planes of existence, How many?

PS: lands of the Dead refer to the restless dead, not the blessed ones who go to the heavens or lands of the Gods, or the souls of the damn who go to hell
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Planes of existence, How many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by (E) View Post
In the first catagory
The four Elemental planes
Morcock style infinite realities.
Hyperspace
AD&D had 9 alignment planes to start with, then however many others.

Quote:
GURPS
Hell (or where ever demons come from)
Afterlife realms, where spirits of the dead reside.
Extra dimensional space from bigger on the inside spells
Psionic Powers details the Inner and Outer Astral Planes.
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Old 04-17-2017, 01:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: Planes of existence, How many?

For my Ranoc fantasy setting, i have:

6 Elemental planes (Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Metal, Wood)
Astral Plane - Inner and Outer
Wandering Mountains - home of the main pantheon
Sylvania - the home of the goddess of the hunt, an infinite disk surrounding the Wandering Mountains
Great Wastes - land of the dead for the desert pantheon; at center is the Great Oasis where the desert pantheon dwell with the faithful dead
Thanatollis - land of the dead for the main pantheon
Ylcor - land of torment for the evil dead
Dyval - land of demons
Gloom Hollow - home of the main pantheon's renegade gods
Whickersnee - home of the plains-dwelling horse pantheon



If operating in D&D-Land:

Material Plane
Ethereal Plane
Shadow Plane
Positive and Negative Energy Planes
Elemental Planes (Earth, Air, Fire, Water)
Upper Planes (Good-aligned deific planes)
Lower Planes (Evil-aligned deific planes)
Astral Plane



For my Marvel Reboot project:

Asgardian Nine Worlds (Asgard, Vanaheim, Alfheim, Nidavallir, Svartalfheim, Nifflheim/Hel, Muspelheim, Jotunheim)
Mount Olympus
Astral Plane (Inner and Outer)
Dark Dimension
Heliopolis (home of the Egyptian gods)
Satan's Hell
Mephisto's Hell
Satannish's Hell
Microverse
Limbo (Immotus's timeless/time-travel realm)
many other possible deific realms and hells
many possible alternate timelines (honestly, the ideas put forth in GURPS Casey and Andy for messing with alternate timelines works nicely for Marvel)
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:26 AM   #6
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Default Re: Planes of existence, How many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by (E) View Post
This is a two part inquiry, the first is how many planes of existence are there potentially in fantasy?
If each person's dream realm is a separate plane of existence, then there are billions of planes right there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (E) View Post
The second part is how many planes of existence are explicitly referred to by gurps publications or implied by gurps publications?
Third edition GURPS In Nomine specifically mentions Earth, Heaven, the Higher Heavens, Hell, the Lower Hells, The Marches, and Limbo.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: Planes of existence, How many?

Question 1:

As many as you need. In Heinlein's Glory Road, there were an infinity of planes. In LotR, there is only the material world, even if some beings have a spiritual presence also. Literally any natural number lies between these extremes.

Question 2:

Depends on the setting. Technically, you only need two - the material plane full of dungeons and whatever plane Demons get sent to with a Banish spell. Even that could be reduced to just the material plane if you reinterpret the Banish spell to mean demons are dissipated or disolved and recoalesce after a period of time.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: Planes of existence, How many?

(1) is setting-dependent, and could be any number you like. Enumerating all the ones mentioned in published fantasy would produce quite a long list, even if we count "infinite realities" as just one per author. Trimming the near-duplicates and close analogs would be its own chore.

You don't need Elemental Planes to support elemental magic. I have no trouble imagining "fire mages" that are adept with fire spells without there being any need for an entire plane of fire, or intelligent personifications of those elements.

(2) Are we excluding 3e, so the question is just "planes mentioned in GURPS settings books published specifically for 4e"?

If "hyperspace" counts, do we separately count "jumpspace" (as for GURPS Traveller ISW)? (I'm using the definition of "hyperspace" as one in which ships can willful maneuver and often interact with each other, like Star Trek "warp" and "subspace", whereas "jumpspace" is a state that's pretty much locked in once you jump.)

Should the planes be "real", in the GM's view of the setting? Roma Arcana, for instance, will entail belief in a number of planes of afterlife according to its inhabitants, but they're not necessarily "real" as far as the GM is concerned -- even if spirit magic like speaking with the dead works, that doesn't mean that any particular view of the afterlife is correct.
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: Planes of existence, How many?

I've considered seven for a fantasy world. The four elemental planes, the above and below, and the dream world. Our world is simply the boundary between them all, which is why we are both material and spirit.
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: Planes of existence, How many?

If I'm divining the purpose of the questions correctly, (E) is wanting some lists of names and types of planes that could be used in a campaign.

So, Esotericism has a few major divisions.

Buddhism lists 31 planes of existence.

D&D has a myriad plethora of planes.

You could also dig into Dante's Inferno, with 9 circles of Hell, where some of the lower circles are subdivided into further realms. Purgatory and Heaven have similar treatments.
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