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Old 08-03-2012, 06:03 PM   #11
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Default Re: [DF] Planes vs Dimensions

I've played around with an idea like this, only with a (slight) twist: Planes "overlap" dimensions, and are the way you can travel between dimensions. E.g., the plane of Hell touches the dimensions of Fahr and Nier; therefore, the only way to travel from Nier to Fahr is to go to Hell and back. Naturally, different planes overlap different dimensions...
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: [DF] Planes vs Dimensions

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
are these "creatures from another dimension" three dimensional creatures who can move through more dimensions than the three we exist in, or are they multi-dimensional creatures of whom we can only see cross sections?
They are multi-dimensional and sometimes people can only see cross sections, but other times they have warped reality enough to where people can see all of their dimensions...and that is one reason three space creatures go insane looking at them.

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what's three feet over in the fourth dimension?

and don't use the "its not euclidean" cop-out, because everything is euclidean if you add enough dimensions for it to exist in (and you usually don't need to add very many).
Don't know.

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the other "planes": can they be reached through the other dimensions the "Things" travel through? or is that describing where the things live? If not, is there a dimension that connects them?
The Astral plane connects the three-dimensional dimension of humanity to the other deeper planes. The astral plane is the boundary where reality breaks down in one world and changes into another. For instance the elemental plane of fire burns continually due to the spiritual essence of fire not due to chemical combustion, Hell is powered by the power of evil, punishment and rebellion instead of being powered by some other mechanical energy source. The astral plane is often a weak point for creatures from one dimension to enter into another thus Elder Things can be found here as well. Elder Things can enter other planes but they are at a disadvantage because the order of reality has changed in favor of those living there. Asgard, Heaven and Olympus are strongly ordered and can resist the entry of Elder Things much better than the material world dimension that mortals live in.

In the material world dimension of humanity, Elder Things are moving about all the time but they are out of phase much like a neutrino is and rarely interact with the material world dimension. But when the stars are right they can manifest powerfully...

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just be aware you are using two terms that essentially mean the same thing, as "plane" as used in this context literally refers to another place separated by a dimension we can't travel through.

I love thinking about this stuff, but to be quite honest lovecraft's "other dimensions" have more scientific holes in them than telepathy. He lampshades it, of course by saying "don't think about it or you'll go insane".
I just feel that dimension "feels" more sci-fy and thus more alien and Lovecraftian. The dimensions are part of material world reality and the Elder Things are just as mundane as apples and oranges but they usually do not interact with the material world dimension unless some cult has performed rituals that help them to enter in. Planes sound more fantasy and because AD&D used them I feel it has a nice ring. The planes are just the spirit worlds that humans believed existed in myths, legend and religion. They may be powered by belief and they may break down if the believers perish, but who knows.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:13 PM   #13
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Default Re: [DF] Planes vs Dimensions

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Originally Posted by b-dog View Post
for Elder Things humanity is just a chemical reactions that thinks they are alive.
On the other hand, wouldn't be they just chemical reactions thinking whatever of themselves as well? What would be the reason for allowing Cthuloids to slip away from the limits of the materialistic world view that engendered them in the first place?

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I just feel that dimension "feels" more sci-fy and thus more alien and Lovecraftian. The dimensions are part of material world reality (. . .) Planes sound more fantasy and because AD&D used them I feel it has a nice ring.
Terms like dimensions and planes have been very much used both by modern occultists and by scientists. That can be good for sci-fi, but to my mind, not so much for fantasy.

Albeit I'm aware that you are making your own setup, very distanced of myth —and folklore as well—, allowing a good number of weird elements.

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The planes are just the spirit worlds that humans believed existed in myths, legend and religion. They may be powered by belief and they may break down if the believers perish, but who knows.
Believed? You know, not everybody in the world is a follower of materialistic philosophy. And even materialists actually have difficulties putting all things in the only horizontal ontological place that their philosophy allows them to regard as reality.

In any case, to my mind, if you want to speak of something related to orders of reality according to traditional myth, Realms, Domains or Worlds are more suitable terms than "planes". Think for example about the Otherworld, the Spirit Worlds, the Afterworlds, the Netherworld . . .

Also, the term "plane" so often employed by occultists and scientists conveys a sort of superposition between different ontological realms, obscuring the fact of their limited but mutual interpenetration.
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:54 PM   #14
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Default Re: [DF] Planes vs Dimensions

I understand that the popular conscience has often confused these terms, but words have meanings, and its useful to use the actual meaning of words, rather than half-understood versions of them.

A plane is a flat, two dimensional surface. A dimension is a direction, or rather, a scope of possible directions. Specifically, the number of coordinates needed to define something's location. If we were to design a gaming map, to determine our characters location, we'd need to know his X and his Y (that is, how far "up" he is from a given point, and how far "to the right or left" he is from that given point). If we wanted to make it three dimensional, we'd also define their altitude: Flyers could get "above" our heroes, and diggers could get "below."

Because our heroes are primarily two dimensional (they're three dimensional, but we don't consider their third dimension much in most gaming situations), you can think of diggers and flyers as on different planes. There's the "ground" plane and the "underground" plane and the "sky" plane. They are "above" and "below," and because above and below work differently (There's very little obstacles "above" but if you stop flying, you'll fall to a lower plane) and in the underground plane, there's stuff everywhere and you need some means to dig through it). Note also that our heroes don't have a real meaningful way of interacting with the sky or underground planes other than, perhaps, some special means (bows and arrows for the sky-plane, shovels for the underground plane).

You'll note, that these "planes" are really just approximations. You can do deeper and deeper and higher and higher. bit the point is, as you travel along a dimensional axis, your geography might change. Go far enough alone a line from Paris, and you might end up in London. Make sense?

So along comes the 1920s or so, and hypercubism and discussion of alternate dimensions (as in a 4th spatial dimension) are all the rage. I've read that picasso's cubism was, in fact, and attempt to describe how three-D objects would look from a 4-d perspective on a 2-d medium, hence its craziness. H.P. Lovecraft was writing around the same time, and used hyperdimensionality among his monsters, this notion that while we can't really perceive or interact with the fourth dimension, they can, and thus much of their weirdness is merely the result of their ability to interact with us in a way we can't really comprehend (a theme common in his works).

If you want an example of this, read Flatland. It carefully describes what life would be like in a 2-dimensional world and how a 3 dimensional being would interact with it. Imagine looking down at a piece of paper (through which you could pass) filled with living circles and squares. You're "above" or "below" them, a concept they simply don't have, and this lets you do weird things. You can extend a finger in there, so it seems, from their perspective, that a circle just came into existence out of nowhere. You can lift your finger and drop it elsewhere, which looks like teleporting. You can extend serveral fingers into this world, and that would make it seem like you were several beings at once, acting by some unified hive-mind. And you can even reach inside things, like poke people in their innards, or look and see what's in a safe. It's easy and perfectly natural for you, but seems terribly mysterious to them.

So this hyperdimensional critter in our world would travel on the usual x (forward and backward), y (left and right) and z (up and down), but it would also travel along another axis, say, "Wibbly and Quibbly." It can move "quibbliwise" and then it seems to have vanished. In a more quibbliward direction, walls and such that were there in our "plane" might not exist, so it can "step around" walls via another direction and teleport through them. It can even take half a step Wibbliwise and have half of its body in our plane.

Sometimes, we call this "going to another dimension," but , in fact, it was always on that dimension, and we're on that dimension too, we just can't interact meanginfully with it (our coordinate in that dimension is always, say, 1). So really, it's just taking advantage of dimensions we cannot, much like a flying bird is taking advantage of a dimension we cannot.

The parallel earth's of Infinite Earths have a sort of alternate dimension, what the game calls "Quantum." The "farther" you are away from your home point, the more your quantum has changed. That's a dimensional coordinate right there. But clearly, each world is a kind of plane, a whole world with different rules, people and things. What people in Infinite Earths have learned to do is move along a different dimensional axis that allows them to access alternate planes, aka alternate earths.

So that's your difference: Planes are "places," alternate worlds that you reach by traveling via a different "dimension" than the usual three we play with. This is neither magical nor sci-fi. A mage who uses portals to travel to other worlds is as much traveling along another dimension as the people in Infinite Earths are with their Parachronic devices. You might have sci-fi planes and fantasy planes, but you reach both via the same dimension (or you might have 5 dimensions to play with, but then you start hurting my head)
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:08 PM   #15
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Default Re: [DF] Planes vs Dimensions

But of course it can't be a true spatial dimension. Or things like shoelaces wouldn't stay tied. They would just flop through eachother through one of the other dimensions.

What's holding these three spatial dimensions apart from the others?
Atomic fear? It keeps all normal matter together at a quantum level like a surface tension?
When that skin is broken, MADNESS!
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:02 PM   #16
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Default Re: [DF] Planes vs Dimensions

:engages "lies to children" mode:

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
But of course it can't be a true spatial dimension. Or things like shoelaces wouldn't stay tied. They would just flop through eachother through one of the other dimensions.
Reality appears to be a four-dimensional structure. We have "up/down", "forward/backward", "right/left" and "future/past".

However! There is nothing that prohibits the existence of additional directions of movement. If they do exist, then we only weakly interact with them (at most) (as far as we can determine at present) and there is no requirement for other stuff to strongly interact with those dimensions either.

So, no, shoe laces would not necessarily come undone if additional dimensions exist simply because additional dimensions exist even if said dimensions were "true spacial dimensions".

Quote:
What's holding these three spatial dimensions apart from the others?
What is holding "up/down" apart from "right/left"? Or from "forward/backward"? Or from "future/past"?

Its' all a coordinate grid measured in planck units.

Quote:
Atomic fear?
I'm not parsing this.

Quote:
It keeps all normal matter together at a quantum level like a surface tension?
Also not parsing this.

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When that skin is broken, MADNESS!
You can't "break" a direction of movement. :)

:disengages "lies to children" mode:
------

On-Thread-Topic: Sounds neat. Needlessly complex, but still neat and it has a good bit of precedent in various other fictional settings. If I may make a suggestion? Change it so that the various psi users in setting can interact with the Elder Thing spaces without as many difficulties as non-psi have; with the more powerful psi being able to do so without any difficulty at all.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:51 AM   #17
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Default Re: [DF] Planes vs Dimensions

If true extra spatial dimensions exist, then they only interact with matter at the quantum level or gravity alone.

I was trying to imagine ones that allow a material being to exist and freely travel among at the macroscopic scale. That is something that definitely is not our reality.

I postulated a kind of "stickiness" to keep our reality in existence but only as a localized phenomenon that has a feature that by always existing we don't notice. Like a deep sea fish doesn't know it's wet without anything to compare it to.

It would also allow a more literal meaning to the phrase, "All hell breaking loose."

A breakable "brane" to misquote Hawking.
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:28 AM   #18
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Default Re: [DF] Planes vs Dimensions

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Originally Posted by Sunrunners_Fire View Post
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On-Thread-Topic: Sounds neat. Needlessly complex, but still neat and it has a good bit of precedent in various other fictional settings. If I may make a suggestion? Change it so that the various psi users in setting can interact with the Elder Thing spaces without as many difficulties as non-psi have; with the more powerful psi being able to do so without any difficulty at all.
Maybe allow them to get a Dimension Shift power? I have already allowed psi powers to be able to detect extradimensional architecture which are doorways and passages that are higher dimensional and are hidden to all but the most observant PCs. Often Elder Things build extradimensional doorways in dungeons to keep themselves hidden from other monsters but those with psi powers have a reasonable chance to notice them. Psi powers can allow access to the Astral Plane but do not help to open doors to other planes (or realms or whatever they are called) like Hell, Asgard, Arcadia etc. as these planes are spiritual in nature and would require spiritual powers like mana or sanctity.
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:55 AM   #19
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Default Re: [DF] Planes vs Dimensions

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(. . .) Psi powers can allow access to the Astral Plane but do not help to open doors to other planes (or realms or whatever they are called) like Hell, Asgard, Arcadia etc. as these planes are spiritual in nature and would require spiritual powers like mana or sanctity.
This point would fit with real world cosmologies of the kind "Worlds Within Worlds" (Basic Set Campaigns, p. 521): the occultists' "astral plane" (terms also inherited by many gamers) is, roughly, what traditionally has been the psychic domain or subtle world —which is an intermediate ontological order "placed" between the corporeal and the spiritual, and sometimes also a lower, subcorporeal order, partly related to what quantum physics tries to comprehend—, and such subtle world, being psychic in nature, has no access to the spiritual or pneumatic realm, since only what is spiritual can access to the spiritual order —mixed natures, partly pneuma, and partly psyche, or even soma (body), aren't allowed there.

That is one of the reasons for the "treshold guardian" (monster, spiritual master, god, angel, etc) being so strict enforcing "purification" measures and hard requirements —involving "leaving behind" any sort of identification with whatever corporeal or psychic elements regarding the self, for instance by means of unattachment, by attaining "the initiatory death of the very soul/psyche/former self/devil in oneself", by achieving the understanding or discernment about their ultimate lack of reality, etc. Often, when the passage from the corporeal or psychic to the spiritual domain seems to involve a sort of "sacrifice", like a mutilation (the lost tail of the rabbit, Frodo lacking one of his fingers), it can have the meaning of these non-spiritual elements that are necessarily left behind with such travel or passage.

The only nictpick here is that Hell is not, by no means, spiritual in nature, but subcorporeal and psychic —I already mentioned the lower meaning of the psychic realm. Hence, Psi (psychic) abilities can be very well related with it —or them.

Now, from this point of view, there is no difference between psionic or psychic abilities and 'magic' in its profane sense, which is deemed as well as entirely psychic in nature.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:09 AM   #20
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Default Re: [DF] Planes vs Dimensions

The maddening effect of these extra-dimensional creatures and architecture works well with the Gurps background as a form of mental Oz radiation.

Psychics aren't really unusual. The just have innate Oz resistance so can interact without going bonkers.... immediately at least.
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