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Outer Plane

From Academic Kids

The Outer Planes are the outermost planes of existence in the standard cosmology of the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game. They are physical manifestations of moral and ethical alignment, of belief, and of the will of the gods. The native inhabitants of each plane have the same alignment as their plane. There are a total of seventeen different outer planes.

Most of the Outer Planes are subdivided into layers, which are essentially sub-planes that represent one particular facet or theme of the plane. (For example, Baator's geography is reminiscent of Hell as depicted in Dante's The Divine Comedy.)

The Outer Planes are typically represented in a ring, with the Upper Planes (the planes of Good alignment) at the top, the Lower Planes, or Underworld (the Evil planes) at the bottom, the Lawful planes at the left, and the Chaotic planes at the right.

At the center of the ring is The Outlands. At the center of the Outlands is a Spire of infinite height. In the Planescape campaign setting, the city of Sigil floats above the Spire's pinnacle.

Clockwise from "top", the planes are:

Name Alternative Name(s) Alignment Description Notable native inhabitants
Elysium Blessed Fields Neutral good The plane of peace.
  • Guardinals - noble immortal humanoids with bestial features
The Beastlands Happy Hunting Grounds Neutral good / Chaotic good The plane of idealized nature.
Arborea Arvandor, Olympus, Olympian Glades Chaotic good  
Ysgard Asgard, Gladsheim, Heroic Domains Chaotic neutral / Chaotic good  
Limbo Plane of Ever-Changing Chaos Chaotic neutral An alien, anarchistic and unpredictable plane.
Pandemonium Plane of Windswept Depths Chaotic evil / Chaotic neutral An infinite network of pitch-black catacombs, with winds that drive men mad.  
The Abyss Plane of Infinite Layers Chaotic evil  
Carceri Tarterus, Tartarus Neutral evil / Chaotic evil Liars, cheats and traitors are imprisoned here by their own deceptions.  
The Gray Waste Hades Neutral evil Here, all emotion and compassion is drained away, until only hopelessnes, selfishness and apathy remain.  
Gehenna Plane of Bleak Eternity Neutral evil / Lawful evil  
Baator The Nine Hells Lawful evil  
  • Devils - mortal enemies of the Demons
Acheron The Infernal Battlefield Lawful neutral / Lawful evil A plane of constant, pointless war, where identity is forever lost.
Mechanus Nirvana Lawful neutral This clockwork plane is the ultimate in order; scholars and constructs live here.
Arcadia The Land of Perfect Order, Plane of Peaceable Kingdoms Lawful neutral / Lawful good A peaceful place where all live in harmony; consequently, it is quite dull.  
Mount Celestia The Seven Heavens Lawful good Countless paladins and saints have ascended here.
Bytopia Twin Paradises Neutral good / Lawful good Gnomes and other industrious folk dwell here.  
The Outlands Plane of Concordant Opposition True Neutral The plane between all other outer planes.  

The Outer Planes are central to the Planescape campaign setting.

Alternative theories

Theories of organisation of the Outer Planes vary according to culture. Nordic lands see the plane of Ysgard as dominant over all others, in accordance with the importance they ascribe the powers there. Some Oriental lands see the planes not as separate regions, but as a single mass throughout which are scattered different agencies of the Celestial Bureaucracy, with the Celestial Emperor residing on one plane, and his Minister of State on another.

See also Alternative interpretations of the planes.

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