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Chris Goodwin

Dimension travel in your games?

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Do any of you play in or run games with lots of dimension travel, planar travel, or in general, use of Extradimensional Movement?

Not in any of my group's Fantasy campaigns. In those games, we prefer to keep other dimensions mysterious and remote. (Though our Barbarians of Lemuria fill-in campaign might someday involve time travel back to the age of the Sorcerer Kings. The GM has planted hints that this is possible.)

 

We mostly leave EDM stuff to our Champions games. There, it happens quite a lot.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Not often.

 

I think there's good reasons for that though. Other dimensions allow the game to bring in all sorts of weird and wacky stuff. But many (most?) fantasy game settings already have a plethora of weird and wacky right there in the home dimension. Thus strange dimensions don't add a whole lot. At least to my way of thinking.

 

Now if a setting has very clearly spelled out limits that the players are aware of then other dimensions can really take off by breaking these limits and bringing in elements not found in the main setting. But you need a good clear starting point from which to differentiate. Otherwise you run the risk  of the players feeling as if it's just another weird dungeon crawl.

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Setting.

I'm game. What would you like to know, Chris? One setting had an elevator to different planes of existence with natives being unable to use them. I had one game where the heroes kept fighting battles with the kings of hell. Are you having problems with these other dimensions?

CES  

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It comes up a lot in our supers games. In fantasy, not so much. Not really a conscious decision; it just doesn't seem to come up as often.

 

Our current FH game did include a side trip to Faerie for a couple sessions. The PCs had previously rescued a couple of children who turned out to be Fey; the children's mother gave them her thanks/blessing. Several sessions later, the PCs were on the run and being hunted by an enemy army, and the Fey mother's blessing manifested as opening a portal for them to escape to Faerie. They spent a few days resting & recuperating and had an adventure or two with the Fae, and then went back through a different portal. They thought this other portal would get them closer to the city they were heading towards (Baghdad), but Fae geography doesn't line up with our world, so they would up 2000 miles away (vic Kiev). They have speculated that if they went back to Faerie and mapped out where all the portals go, they could effectively have a system of teleport gates to get around Europe, but it remains to be seen if that will happen or not. (And I've yet to decide if the GM will allow it...)

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Its theoretically possible in my fantasy games but never has come up (well, sort of.  one adventure had trips through elemental dimensional pockets and one entire area fae has bled into).  Dimensional travel is a huge pain for GMs who have to create entirely new worlds and adventures because some wisecracker decided they'd create a gate.

 

I did run a long dimension-hopping chain of adventures leaning heavily on Champions in 3D among others.  One I ran in particular because the players (and hence, their characters) were getting really cynical, jaded, sarcastic, and bitter.  So I put them in a fantasy realm where a curse had made everyone incredibly over the top in all those traits, and it kind of made them think about it.

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Faerie has become a feature of my Champions campaign after the characters discovered that people were being kidnapped by the Fae (borrowing a bit from Changeling: The Lost), a thing that has been going on for centuries. In a later adventure, some of them staged a rescue of as many as they could find of those enslaved in Faerie, using a hidden gateway near Millenium City that led to a goblin market. One of the PCs even set up a halfway house with the best therapists his money could buy to treat those suffering from PTSD, the physical changes caused by their time in Faerie and the time dislocation some are dealing with.

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Oh, wait, our Exalted game included one adventure in which the PCs visited Yu-Shan (the very Chinese-inspired bureaucratic "Heaven" of the setting) and another in which the PCs used the Labyrinth within the Underworld of the dead as a dangerous way to travel quickly to a distant part of Creation. But Yu-Shan and the Underworld (as well as the Demon Realm of Malfeas and a few other places) are established and detailed parts of the setting. They interact frequently and strongly with the mortal world. They are a lot less "separate" than is usual for other dimensions in Fantasy settings.

 

Dean Shomshak

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In one setting I've used, the Underworld is a literal, physical place, not separate in any way from the mortal world. The easiest way to get there alive is to hitch a lift on the Sun or the Moon.

 

There's some uncertainty as to whether the Sun and Moon are chariots, boats or big balls of dung pushed by beetles. Even people who have traveled on them are uncertain, although they certainly appear to be boats when they are traveling through the Underworld.

 

The City of the Gods is also a physical place which can be visited if you can manage to climb the mountain at the centre of the world. Unfortunately, that's the world's biggest mountain, really steep, and infested with things intended to discourage busy bodies.

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And so this thread reminds me of a modern fantasy story (House Between Worlds by Marion Zimmer Bradley) in which there are nodes where it's easy (easier) to cross between planes. One of those in San Francisco is a comic book store. :D Anyway the point is that yes, I've run one game where a single instance of EDM would have been allowed. The PC's were eventually going to have to stop Orcus from entering their world with his demon army through the Demon Gate. A way to prevent the latest Demon War though, would be to get through, somehow, and destroy Ocus's mace. All they had to do would be to gain enough support (the campaign was called "Heir Apparent") to get an army to the gate, figure out how to activate it before Orcus did, and then go through, get his mace, and destroy it. Easy. Right? :D

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In my campaign world there are a few extremely rare fixed gates to other planes - usually built for nefarious purposes.  They are created by some complicated magical means, and can be destroyed, closing the gate permanently.  They are not intended for the players to use to get to other "planes" - they most likely don't want to go to Hell.  They are built to bring horrors from other worlds here.  The general population does not know about them (usually), and they usually don't remain secret for long, because when other-worldly monsters start showing up where they didn't exist before, someone's eventually going to wonder where they came from, and try to do something about it (the heroes).

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I do use it in fantasy a lot...however both recent fantasy games I have run have been in Greyhawk and Glorantha.

 

Glorantha has the God Plane etc as a fundamental part of the mythic/magic structure while Greyhawk has a plethora of heavens and hells as well as the astral and ethereal planes to explore...

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