The World(s) of the Warp
There are worlds beyond worlds—cold, hot, light, dark, watery, and earthen. They all share one basic need—a need for heroes. — Elminster Aumar
When thinking of Spellwarp, it may help to imagine the void of outer space. While helpful in some scenarios, it can be misleading in others. As a DM, it’s important to note the differences and have an understanding of the terms, so you can orient your players.
The setting for Spellwarp is massive. Most games take place in a continent or village, maybe expanding to another plane or two. A Spellwarp campaign will have the players visit multiple worlds as a matter of course. As such, this guide could be a thousand pages and not touch a fraction of the worlds, or it can give an overview of the types of locations that can be encountered. We have opted for the latter.
A Spellwarp campaign takes place within a collection of interconnected Crystal Spheres far from Realmspace.
The Crystal Spheres are an integral part of a Spellwarp campaign. In the Forgotten Realms, the planet of Toril and its seven sister planets orbit their sun. Encompassing these orbiting bodies, is a vast space known as Wildspace. At the borders of wildspace are a phenomenon known as a Crystal Sphere. This sphere contains the entirety of what is known as Realmspace. Throughout the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, there is an uncountable number of Crystal Spheres, each containing their own solar system, and celestial bodies. These spheres protect the systems contained within from the ravages of Phlogiston, or the dense multicolored fluid between the spheres. This Phlogiston is known colloquially as the Warp.
Travel Between Spheres: Travel between spheres is theoretically possible for very powerful characters, on par with deities. Openings in the spheres also occasionally form and close, allowing Spelljamming ships passage. These have their own magics to protect against the Phlogiston and allow travel. Spellwarp takes place far from Toril, and the surrounding regions where Spelljammer magic has been discovered. That particular method of travel will be covered in another sourcebook.
Spellwarps: The primary method of travel between Spheres is through the use of Spellwarps. These circular gates work similar to teleportation circles, or gates, for the vessels that cross them. Instead of direct teleportation, they are preconfigured with safe, optimal passage through the Warp to another keyed Spellwarp. Then, once activated, the vessel is launched at impossible speeds along the path, before exiting the Spellwarp on the other side. With this in mind, travel between spheres relies heavily on the Spellwarps, and since each sphere has two or three at most, their control is hotly contested. The origins of the Spellwarp are a mystery, and their construction method is totally unknown.
Wildspace: Within Realmspace, or Kyrnnspace, or any given sphere, there exists something between all the planets. This something is an empty vacuum known as Wildspace. The signature feature of a Voidship is its ability to provide protection from Wildspace to its passengers. Whether through technological advancements, magical wards, or both. Exposure to Wildspace is generally considered a certain doom. There is no air in wildspace, and so creatures must hold their breath. In addition, they run the risk of freezing to death or explosive decompression. They take 1d6 slashing and 1d6 cold damage damage per round, increasing by for each round of exposure (1d6, 2d6, 3d6, 4d6, etc).
In addition to traveling through Crystal Spheres and discovering new planets, it wouldn’t be Dungeons and Dragons without a multiverse of planes.
The Material Plane: The Material Plane is big. Like super big. You don’t even get it, but you think you do. Take however big you think it is, and multiply it by a thousand, and you’re still not even there. It’s big. The material plane includes everything in the Forgotten Realms, sure, but also everything in all of the various Crystal Spheres, and all of the Warp between them.
The Finite Planes: With how big the Material Plane is, the finite planes seem a lot smaller. Bytopia for instance is probably smaller than a single Crystal Sphere. In general, the finite planes have a limited view into the Crystal Spheres. Most of the ones found in the Forgotten Realm campaign setting are limited to within Realmspace. This limitation is not because they are contained within the sphere, but because any access points, magical or otherwise, originate within that sphere. As such, many Spheres have their own finite planes unique to themselves.
The Infinite Planes: Infinite planes work differently than a lot of people think. Using the same logic as finite planes, they have connections to the material wherever they need. Being infinite, they have an infinite number of connections. Whereas a finite plane has a bunch, all of which are within the same sphere, an infinite plane has infinite connections across essentially every sphere. In this way, the infinite planes are a shared plane across all spheres. That doesn’t mean they are a guaranteed method of travel between them though. While one could theoretically walk between openings to Realmspace and Krynnspace and travel the spheres, the distances are too vast for anyone to reasonably try. Even with magical assistance. Additionally, just because there are portals to the Abyss, and palaces with mighty Abyssal kings that are known in Toril, it does not mean that they are influential, or even known in other spheres. By its nature, an infinite plane is mostly empty. The civilizations that arise tend to group together towards specific points, usually nearest to connections to the material. In this way, you have scenarios where what is known as the first layer of the Abyss in Toril, is actually the 8,573rd, and the 18.94X10^7th is the first in [Wherever]space. All this to say, that while the Abyss is accessible throughout any Crystal Sphere, it may not be recognizable. While the Torilfolk could theoretically travel through an infinite plane on a return to Toril, most of the infinite planes are too hostile for a mass exodus of civilians. Especially considering that the right path has not yet been discovered among the infinity.
An Introduction to The Warp
Systems, Spheres, Planets, and More
Spellwarp uses Systems, Spheres, and Planets as its major terms when speaking about territory, but that isn’t an exhaustive list of all warp bodies.
Starting at the largest organization level and working downwards, we begin by discussing Systems. A System is the term for a collection of Spheres, controlled by a single empire, nation, or governing body. Since each Sphere contains an entire solar system (as we know them), this means a System is massive. When thinking about a System in game terms, it may be helpful to relate these to kingdoms. There is a leader, and we know broadly the culture and ideas of the people, but each region, state, or town may have a different twist on the theme. Systems are usually connected by Warp Gates, which allow travel between Spheres, but they do not have to be. Management may become challenging, but it is not impossible.
Next in size is the Sphere. A sphere generally contains one or more suns, around which orbit a collection of planets, moons, asteroids, and objects. Although there are rumors of Spheres where a body of moons, suns, and stars orbit a singular planet. Spheres are physical enclosures which protect the space within from the deadly Phlogiston in which all spheres reside. The Sphere itself may have portals that open and close, allowing entrance or exit, but the outpouring of Phlogiston that pours into the sphere when this happens means its generally a bad thing.
As physical objects, one can sail to, look at, and even stand on the spheres if that is a desire, and the party is protected from the effects of The Void. From the inside, the sphere is pitch black and dotted with massive white patterns. Sometimes the patterns are spots, zig-zags, fractals, stripes, or other shapes.
The Torilfolk are from the Sphere known as Realmspace, which contains the entirety of not only the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, but also Anadia, Coliar, Karpri, Chandos, Glyph, Garden, H’Catha, and a variety of other bodies.
Phlogiston: This highly flammable, rainbow colored chaotic material is what all spheres float in. The only safe known method for travel is aboard a spelljammer, which unfortunately for the folks in Spellwarp, they have not discovered.
|Random Sphere Generator|
|Die Roll||# of Habitable Planets||# of Habitable Other Locations||# of Gas Planets||# of Uninhabitable Planets||Sun Color||# of Suns|
|3||2d4||1d8||1d4||1d6||Yellow||1 – Geocentric system|
Planets are the most obvious, but not necessarily the most common object within a sphere. Many planets are solid, but others are gaseous, and a few are even liquid. Most life lives on a planet in some capacity, or began life there in some capacity but not all. The planets are hugely varied, but it’s safe to say most Spheres contain 4-15 of them, and the planets are where the value in a sphere is. One can mine asteroids or moons, sure, but planets are staggeringly huge in comparison, and control of a moon is nothing compared to control of a planet.
|Random Planet Generator|
|Die Roll||Planet Type||Habitable||Trait||# of Moons|
|1||Solid||Yes – Life abundant||Dense foliage||0|
|2||Gas||Yes – No life||Hostile fauna||1|
|3||Liquid||No – Strip mined||Volcanic world||1d4|
|4||Station||No – Toxic atmosphere for all but natives||1d12 Rings||1d6|
|5||Asteroid||No – Toxic atmosphere||Ice world||1d8|
|6||Moon||No – No atmosphere||Ultra high gravity||2d6|
|7||Solid||Yes – Sentient inhabitants (first contact)||Ultra low gravity||3d6|
|8||Solid||Yes – Interior only||Earthlike||2d4|
Most planets in The Void have objects circling them in some fashion. Whether moons, habitable or otherwise, void stations devoted to a specific offworld purpose, or asteroid mining colonies.
|Random Moon Generator|
|Die Roll||Moon Type||Habitable||Trait|
|1||Solid||Yes – Life abundant||Dense foliage|
|2||Solid||Yes – No life||Hostile fauna|
|3||Solid||No – Strip mined||Volcanic world|
|4||Plasma||No – Toxic atmosphere for all but natives||Abundant valuable resource|
|5||Cracked||No – Toxic atmosphere||Ice world|
|6||Gas||No – No atmosphere||Ultra high gravity|
|7||Liquid||Yes – Sentient inhabitants (first contact)||Ultra low gravity|
|8||Mini-sun||Yes – Interior only||Necrotic, anything slain arises as undead|
|Random Void Station Generator|
|1||Trade||Run by automatons|
|4||Science Research||Front for illegal/disreputable activity|
|6||Life Colony||On crash course for a (1d4 – 1. Planet, 2. Moon, 3. Void Station, 4. Asteroid.)|
|7||Mining Operation||Actively in revolt|
|8||Prison||With an atmosphere suited for an exotic lifeform|
|Random Asteroid Generator|
|Die Roll||Asteroid Type||Traits|
|1||Solid||Abundant with valuable resource|
|2||Solid||On collision course with planet|
|6||Plasma||Hides a Void Station|
|7||Frozen ice||Contains a monster in stasis|
Known as the Weave on Toril, the Warp is the name for substance connecting the various spheres to one another. Travel is all but impossible outside of a voidship, even with the use of magic. This swirling multicolor space is instantly fatal to any creature exposed to it.
Travel Through the Warp.
Travel through the wap is done by voidships through a series of magical gates with predefined start and end points. Control of these gates is highly controlled, and they serve as natural chokepoints for inter-system travel. Travel between individual gates generally takes 1d6 days, a variable determined seemingly at random.
Also known as Wildspace, more colloquially. The space within a sphere, but not on a planet. This wildspace is highly lethal, but not impossibly so. Warpspace can be traveled through traditional means, by something incredibly resilient, through magical means, by something incredibly magical, or most commonly, by voidships. Magically protected vessels which traverse the void.
From the outside a Trifid looks like a swirling mass of colors. It is in fact a pocket of pure wild magic that could equally aid or hinder any that venture inside. Navigation is difficult at best, but for those skilled enough to understand the Trifid, they will be able to traverse the hazards while imbuing their vessel with any number of beneficial effects. If a ship encounters a Trifid without successfully performing a DC 20 Dexterity (Vehicle [Void]) check, roll 1D20 to determine the effect on the vessel. These checks should be made each hour they remain within the Trifid.
|1d20||Trifid Effect on Vessel|
|1-2||Random and immediate jump to neighboring sphere (randomly determined)|
|3-4||The vessel now moves double speed while in the Trifid|
|5-6||The crew all transform into animals for 1D6 hours (on a 5 they retain their ability to think, on a 6 they do not)|
|7-8||Random weapons system stops functioning requiring a short rest for repairs.|
|9-10||Ship takes 25 damage per round as the Trifid rips them asunder.|
|11-12||The ship now occupies a safe space within the Trifid. Nothing happens.|
|13-14||The ship is stalled, a movement mode is disabled requiring a short rest for repairs.|
|15-16||Damaging spells that hit, are critical hits for the next hour, while within the Trifid|
|17-18||All movement modes and weapon systems fail, requiring a short rest to repair (each).|
|19||The ship’s hull is completely immune to damage for the next hour while in the Trifid|
|20||Roll again twice, and take both results. Disregard further results of 20.|