"Pandemonium" is universes of dark, lonely, iron-clad, lawless labyrinths full of cold and howling winds. Most sounds do not carry over ten feet, but the sounds of madness, loneliness and hatred are borne by the winds throughout the planes. The winds pass through the gateways between layers. In all known regions, gravity is away from the tunnels' center. The native life is mostly cthulhoid monsters, and they are rare. Most of the inhabitants are transplanted from other planes, and almost all are dangerous lunatics. (Especially, beware of the ones that seem perfectly sane.) Don't expect warmth, love, or kindness from the locals. Upon entering, and during stressful moments when the sound of the wind is present, check vs. wisdom. After the first failure, the character is crabby and abrupt, with a penalty of 1 on wisdom and intelligence. After the second failure, the penalty no longer applies, but the character is despairing, and is always surprised in combat even if others are not, yet gets +1 on all "to hit" and "damage" dice. After the third failure, the character is hysterical for a number of minutes equal to the difference rolled, then returns to normal dice rolling but now has some behavioral aberration based on previous personal traits. Work this out with the referee. The spirits of the dead have no body heat, and are invisible to infrared vision. Evil deeds, or any use of death magic or necromancer's spells invites trouble, including personality deterioration. The Bleak Cabal nihilists have their headquarters here. Primitives will find sinners doing penance for their anti-social deeds. Public portals between the layers and to remote planes appear as rifts in the cave walls, often guarded by dread things.
It is a place of howling, screaming winds.
It is an underground realm of stygian darkness.
It is where sanity is besieged by unending madness.
Pandemonium is a great mass of matter pierced by innumerable tunnels carved by the howling winds of the plane. It is windy, noisy, and dark, having no natural source of light. The wind quickly extinguishes normal fires, and lights that last longer draw attention of wights driven insane by the constant howling wind. Every word, scream, or shout is caught by the wind and flung through all the layers of the plane. Conversation is accomplished by shouting, and even then words are spirited away by the wind beyond 10 feet. The stale wind of Pandemonium is cold, and it steals the heat from travelers unprotected from its endless gale that buffets each inhabitant, blowing sand and dirt into eyes, snuffing torches, and carrying away loose items. In some places, the wind can howl so fiercely that it lifts creatures off their feet and carries them for miles before dashing their forms to lifeless pulp against some dark, unseen cliff face. In a few relatively sheltered places, the wind dies down to just a breeze carrying haunting echoes from distant pans of the plane, though they are so distorted that they sound like cries of torment. Erythnul, the Lord of Slaughter, makes his terrible domain on Pandemonium. Pandemonium has four layers: Pandesmos, Cocytus, Phlegethon, and Agathion.
Pandemonium has the following traits.
�Objective Directional Gravity: In the cavernous tunnels of Pandemonium, gravity is oriented toward whatever wall a creature is nearest. Thus, there is no normal concept of floor, wall and ceiling—any surface is a floor if you're near enough to it. Rare narrow tunnels exactly cancel out gravity, allowing a traveler to shoot through them at incredible speed. The layer of Phlegethon is an exception—there the normal gravity trait applies. � Normal Time.
�Infinite Size: Pandemonium goes on forever, although its well-known realms are bounded.
�Divinely Morphic: Specific powerful beings such as the deity Erythnul can alter Pandemonium. Ordinary creatures find Pandemonium indistinguishable from the Material Plane (the alterable morphic trait, in other words). Spells and physical effort affect Pandemonium normally.
�No Elemental or Energy Traits.
�Mildly Chaos-Aligned: Lawful characters on the plane of Pandemonium suffer a –2 penalty on all Charismabased checks.
Permanent portals exist between various planes and Pandemonium. Several tunnels blow in from or out to the Elemental Plane of Air. Also, the headwaters of the Styx well up from the topmost layer of Pandemonium. PANDEMONIUM INHABITANTS
Pandemonium is probably the least inhabited of all the Outer Planes. It is arguably the least hospitable, even though there are hotter planes, colder ones, and planes with crueler denizens. But no plane is more mindnumbingly exhausting. The constant screeching of the winds eventually brings low both the loftiest celestial and the foulest fiend. Besides the occasional fiendish nest, the only other natives of note are small rag-tag groups of mortal humans, goblinoids, giants, dwarves, drow, and other species, collectively called the Banished. A long forgotten creature, spellcaster, or deity sentenced their distant ancestors to this plane, and the descendants have never found a way to leave. The Banished of various species are responsible for the sad little cities that manage to survive in this terrible realm. Pandemonium Petitioners
Of course, Pandemonium has many petitioners. Most of them are swallowed by the screaming wind immediately upon arrival. But some linger, appearing much as they did in life, though they are bonier, and the winds somehow don't affect them as much. Also, most of them are completely, utterly insane. Pandemonium's petitioners have the following special petitioner traits:
Additional Immunities: Electricity, sonic.
Resistances: Cold 20, acid 20.
Other Special Qualities: None. WINDSTORMS ON PANDEMONIUM
The constant winds on Pandemonium can gust with howls so maddening and speeds so enormous that they become dangerous. Those caught without shelter when one of Pandemonium's windstorms blows up are in trouble; both mind and body are in peril. A windstorm has a 10% chance per day of blowing through a given area. Generally, a windstorm gusts through an area in 1 round.
MOVEMENT AND COMBAT
Locomotion on Pandemonium feels like it does on the Material Plane where tunnels are long and winds are strong. But when the winds gust up, movement can be very difficult (see the Windstorms on Pandemonium sidebar). Pandemonium Combat Combat functions normally on Pandemonium, but in most cases takes place among strong winds. All ranged weapons suffer a –2 penalty on attacks due to the winds, and Tiny or smaller creatures must make a Fortitude save (DC 10) each round or be knocked down. Sometimes the winds of Pandemonium are even more powerful. For the effects of stronger winds on combat, see Table 3–17: Wind Effects in Chapter 3 of the DUNGEON MASTER’s Guide. pandemonium mapFEATURES OF PANDEMONIUM
The name Pandemonium means “uproar and commotion.” As its definition implies, the features of Pandemonium are numerous and tumultuous. There are four layers on Pandemonium, and the terrible windstorms can blow through anyone of them. Vision on Pandemonium is much like any deep underground locations on the Material Plane where there is no natural light. Hearing on Pandemonium The constant screams of the wind make it impossible to hear anything beyond 10 feet. Likewise, spells and effects that rely on sonic energy have their range limited to 10 feet. Travelers are temporarily deafened after 1d10 rounds of exposure to the winds, and permanently deafened after 24 hours of exposure. Temporarily deafened characters regain their hearing after 1 hour spent out of the wind. Ear plugs or similar devices negate the deafening effect. Of course, wearing ear-plugs effectively mimics the normal effects of being deafened. Pandesmos
The first layer of Pandemonium has the largest caverns, with some big enough to hold entire nations. Large or small, most caverns are desolate and abandoned to the winds. Several of Pandesmos's caverns and tunnels possess a feature in common besides the omnipresent wind. Streams of frigid water flow from cavern to cavern, some down the center of the tunnel in midair because the objective gravity exerted by each wall cancels out the others. Many of these streams, but not all, are tributaries of the River Styx.
Madhouse: A group of outsiders known as the Bleak Cabal maintains a citadel in Pandesmos that serves as a way station for travelers. The Madhouse is a sprawling edifice of haphazardly organized buildings divided by several circular stone walls. The citadel is so large it fills an entire cavern, covering every surface. The place is rife with travelers, petitioners, and natives. Available services include lodging and most other services one might expect in i normal city. However, a respectable percentage of the Madhouse's populace is insane, deaf, or both.
Winter's Hall: This region of Pandemonium is snowy and blizzard-ridden. Visibility, even when light can be had, is only a few feet. The snow never rests; the winds constantly whip it up so it coats tunnels and even creatures with a uniform layer of ice. Frost giants and winter wolves prowl the cold waste. These creatures serve a particularly cruel entity called many names but most often venerated as the Trickster. Cocytus
The tunnels of Cocytus tend to be smaller than those of Pandesmos, which means that they funnel the winds more strongly. The resulting wails have earned Cocytus the nickname “layer of lamentation.” Strangely, the tunnels on this layer bear the marks of having been hand-chiseled, but such an undertaking must have occurred so long ago that years do not suffice as a measure.
Howler's Crag: A jagged spike of stone stands in the center of Cocytus. The Crag is a jumbled pile of stones, boulders, and worked stone, as if a giant's palace had collapsed in on itself. The Crag's top is mostly a level platform about eight feet in diameter, with a low wall surrounding it. The platform and those on it glow with an ephemeral blue radiance. The lower reaches of the Crag are riddled with small burrows. Some are merely dead ends, but others connect. The wall of every burrow is covered with lost alphabets that supposedly spell out strange psalms, liturgies, and strings of numerals or formulas. Natives of Pandemonium say that anything yelled aloud from the top of the Crag finds the ears of the intended recipient, no matter where that recipient is on the Great Wheel. The words of the message are borne on a shrieking, frigid wind. Demons of various sorts have learned that visitors constantly trickle to the crag. The visitors are usually archeologists, diviners, and those wishing to send a message to some lost friend or enemy. Most become the prey of the ambushing fiends.
Harmonica: Legend tells of a site in Cocytus called Harmonica. In this place, the winds whip through a cavern with holes and tubes chiseled into gargantuan rock columns, creating a noise worse than anywhere else in the plane. Somewhere within this mazelike realm of tortured cacophony lies the true secret of planewalking: the art of traveling the planes without a portal, spell, or device of any kind. In all likelihood, this secret is a legend with no basis in fact, but that doesn't stop the occasional seeker from finding, then dying among, the columns of Harmonica. Phlegethon
The unrelenting noise of dripping water meshes with the howling winds of Phlegethon's narrow, twisting runnels. The rock itself absorbs light and heat. All light sources, natural and magic, only shine to half their normal distance. Unlike on the other layers, normal gravity applies in Phlegethon's tunnels, giving rise to intricate stalagmite and stalactite formations, which in turn are constantly weathered by the brutal wind.
Windglum: Windglum is a city of Banished in a cavern several miles wide and long, with enormous natural columns that hold up the cavern's ceiling. Hundreds of ever-burning globes provide light for the city, illuminating a disordered sprawl of individual homes. The homes in turn surround a fortification known locally as the Citadel of Loros. Windglum is characterized by an aura of suspicion. The locals are unlikely to trust strangers, and many of Windglum's citizens are mentally unstable. However, one inn in Windglum welcomes strangers. Called the Scaly Dog, it's a place where a planar traveler can meet other wayfarers, hire mercenaries, gather information, or seek employment.
Citadel of Slaughter: Called “The Many,” the intermediate deity Erythnul is lord of envy, malice, panic, ugliness, and slaughter. Erythnul is a brutal deity who makes his home in what appears to be a tumbled ruin of some vast citadel. In fact, its tortuous passages channel cold winds on which can always be heard the sound of terrible battle. Battle-mad petitioners of all races infest the passages, and they desire nothing other than to hunt and slay each other in cold blood. At the center of the pile is Erythnul himself, usually engaged in the slaughter of an endless stream of petitioners, as well as the occasional mortal captive. In battle, the deity's features change between human, gnoll, bugbear, ogre, and troll. If ever Erythnul's blood is spilled, it transforms into an allied creature of whatever form Errilinul currently wears. No one goes to the Citadel of Slaughter on purpose, unless they serve Erythnul and seek to join in the deity's eternal slaughter. Agathion
In the fourth layer, the narrowing tunnels finally constrict down to nothing, leaving behind an infinite number of closed-off spaces filled with stale air or vacuum surrounded by an infinitude of solid stone. The portals that connect Agathion to the rest of Pandemonium open into the otherwise unreachable bubbles, but the act of stepping through a portal always sets off a windstorm. Unless you know where the portal is, the closed-off spaces of Agathion are almost impossible to find. For this reason, forgotten spaces have been used by deities (and other powerful entities that predate the current deities) as vaults where items are hidden away. Such items may include uncontrollable artifacts, precious mementos, lost languages, unborn cosmologies, and monsters of such cataclysmic power that they couldn't be slain or otherwise neutralized. Pandemonium Encounters
Spell alterations in Pandemonium: Alteration spells always produce a result that is a little bit nasty. "Find familiar", "Limited wish", and "Wish" don't work. Divinations require a secret Wisdom check to avoid wrong information; perhaps a spell key can be discovered to prevent this. Necromancy that produces life ("Clone", "Reincarnation") requires an intelligence check. Roll twice for wild magic, and take the more extreme result. All fire-based spells fail, and no spell keys are available to produce fire effects. Clouds of any kind dissipate immediately. Referees must judge the effects of sound-based magic. Wizards using material components must check vs. dexterity or the spell fails. It seems unlikely that any magic will control the winds. Perhaps any magic that affects the mind (even "Remove Fear") would require a check, with failure causing another step toward insanity.
Wizardly spell keys are musical instruments or noisemakers, made from the rock of the plane.
Third edition "Manual of the Planes" focuses primarily on simplifying and encouraging individual campaign creativity. Ideas include:
The suggested color for pools from the astral is magenta. Ethereal curtains might be crimson.
The dead are immune to electricity and sonic damage.
The plane is "mildly chaos-aligned". Lawful creatures have -2 on charisma checks.
I respectfully suggest that Pandemonium be regarded evil-tending and thoroughly chaotic. These effects are additive
-1 on all charimsa checks for all good creatures -1 on all intelligence, wisdom, and charisma checks for all non-lawful, non-chaotic creatures -2 on all intelligence, wisdom, and charisma checks for all lawful creatures Good-based spells (non-lawful) require a Spellcraft check (DC 15) for success. Evil-based spells (non-lawful) work as if caster were 2 levels higher. Law-based spells simply fail. Chaos-based spells work as if caster were 4 levels higher.
The Fourth Edition retains Pandemonium as an astral realm behind "roiling magenta purple clouds". The Bleak Cabal (with its "insane masters" but without its philosophy being explicated) has moved here, as have the frost giants formerly located in the abyss. The prison realm of Agathion is still here as well. Perhaps visitors would get bonuses or penalties to intelligence, wisdom, and charisma-based skill checks depending on how much their behavior has been in keeping with the ideals of the locals.
In keeping with the flexibility of the third and fourth editions and the backgrounds of many players, perhaps Pandemonium is essentially a world where like-minded spirits meet. It looks and works like our own world, except that noise and wind mirroring the insanity of the locals. NPC attitudes are typically "unfriendly", and may respond best if visitors seem to share their craziness. If there is a spiritual race native to Pandemonium, it is devoted to promoting the community's ideals among the living by encouragement and subtlety, rather than by force. The dead find communities matching their own ideals and interests, and continue to live much as they did on earth, though no longer able to visit the Prime Plane.
Instead of the "gods" of polytheism, each living evil-tending chaotic divine spellcaster is sponsored (and monitored) by a prayer fellowship with similar interests based on Pandemonium. For the fourth edition, I suggest no penalties for divine spellcasters from elsewhere. For earlier editions, I respectfully suggest that the only penalty for such a cleric on a differently-aligned outer plane is the loss of one spell of the highest available level for each plane removed, with the Outlands two planes from Mechanus, Elysium, Limbo, and the Gray Waste. When one level is depleted, spells of the next highest level are lost. Thus a cleric sponsored from Pandemonium would lose one spell on Limbo or in the Abyss, six spells on Arcadia or Bytopia, and seven spells on Mt. Celstia. Moving to the Outlands loses three spells.
A world where the locals glory in sheer madness would be as wild and disturbing as any rules-intensive world ever visited by adventurers.
This is the second installment of my 4E mechanics for the Great Wheel, dealing with the chaotic planes: the Abyss, Pandemonium, Limbo, Ysgard, and Arborea. As one would expect, the basic inspiration comes from the original 2E Planes of Chaos product.
I think the mechanics for Pandemonium turned out quite interesting – the 4E disease track is perfect for the discrete stages in wind madness as presented in Planes of Chaos. Strangely, though, I didn’t feel too inspired about the less chaotic planes – the Abyss and Arborea - so I would really appreciate some suggestions for those.
As Arvandor (p90), though with original layer-structure and environment.
Inveiglement: Attacks with the charm or illusion keyword gain a +1 bonus to the attack roll. This trait is directly from 4E MotP.
Emotions run Wild: Saves against effects with the fear or charm keyword take a -1 penalty.
Reckless Moods: In social Skill Challenges, Charisma-based checks grant 2 successes when passed and 2 failures when failed.
Surge of the Heart: Once per day, upon using an attack power, any creature can add the Invigorating keyword to the power as a Free Action.
Gravity: Elemental buoyancy with regards to earthbergs (Motp p10), otherwise normal.
Mutability: Divinely mutable (deities control their own environs). Earthbergs also move of their own accord and the fires beneath them burn endlessly.
Eternal Rebirth: If a petitioner of Ysgard is killed on the plane it is reborn the next morning.
Seize the Moment: When an Action Point is spent to take another action, the character gains +1 to any one roll used during the action.
Earthberg Collision: Earthberg’s occasionally drift into each other, though the impact is usually mild. Treat as a heroic tier blaster hazard that targets Fortitude, deals low normal damage (DMG p42) and knocks targets prone.
Spirit of Heroes: Once per day, a bloodied creature can regain the use of its Second Wind.
Flames of Muspelheim: The earthbergs of Muspelheim have flames on the upper rather than lower side. Treat most open environment as a level 13 field of everflame (DMG p92): +16 vs. Fortitude, 1d10+5 fire damage and ongoing 10 fire (save ends), and half damage on miss.
Gravity: Subjective (MotP p10).
Mutability: Unstable (MotP p10). [Mechanics for influencing unstable planes at the end of this excerpt]
Primal Soup: Though Limbo features an abundance of ever-changing elemental pockets, most of the environment has a viscous consistency that is unbreathable and cuts visibility in half, but can be swum (though subjective gravity usually makes this option moot). The Soup is readily changeable, however, so the DC for a creature to alter the area it occupies is lowered by 10 (as per the Alter Area mechanic described under the Influence Unstable Plane section), and such a “personal bubble” can be sustained as a Minor Action while moving through unmodified Soup.
Elemental Hazards: Travelers in Limbo are frequently threatened by dangerous elemental terrain that suddenly moves, grows, or forms close by. Use the hazards described in the MotP p66-67 and 22.
Unpredictability: The DM rolls a d20 at the start of an encounter. Whenever any d20 roll unmodified comes up that number during the encounter, reroll and use the second result.
Pure Xaos: When an Action Point is spend to make an attack or skill check, add 1d12-6 to the roll.
Gravity: Normal on Phlegethon, on other layers towards nearest earthen surface.
Mutability: Divinely mutable (deities control their own environs). The winds blow endlessly and changes strength and direction all the time. Their intensity is unconnected to the size of tunnels they blow through.
Winds of Pandemonium: Outside of the shelter of a sturdy structure, all of these detrimental effects are imposed by the howling winds: All creatures take a -5 penalty to Perception checks in Pandemonium. Flying creatures treat all squares as difficult terrain. Attacks with the thunder keyword deal half damage (ongoing thunder damage is not affected). Zones of any kind cannot be sustained. This trait is directly from 4E MotP.
Maddening Howls: The howling winds drive most residents mad to some extent if they live or travel frequently without considerate sheltering. For every 4 hours so exposed, the creature is subject to being stricken with Pandemonium Madness (see Planar Dangers).
Forceful Gales: The winds are often powerful enough to force creatures around if not completely blow them off their feet. Treat as a current as per DMG p45 (but also on land), adding 1d6 to the number of slided squares if the creature has jumped, flied, or been forced into the air. For even more intense winds, use a hazard that targets Fortitude, damages, pushes, and/or knocks targets prone (see Kinetic Wave on DMG p92 for a likely model).
Tunnel Ride: Since gravity at the center of a tunnel pulls equally towards the nearby surfaces, objects and brave/foolish creatures can ride the winds for a while before they are knocked towards a surface. When near such a center, creatures can attempt an Acrobatics check vs. DC 25 + speed of current to adjust accordingly. For each point by which they beat the DC they can slide a number of squares along the wind equal to the speed of the current and land in the direction they choose. For every 5 points they fail they take 1d10 damage and are knocked prone to a random surface.
The Styx: The Styx flows through Pandemonium, occasionally flowing in midair through the center of tunnels. It is less severe on this plane, however – the DM may want to delevel the hazard and lower the roll correspondingly (see Planar Dangers).
Slaughter: All damage dealt to and by a bloodied creature is increased by 2.
Death Comes Quickly: Death saving throws take a -1 penalty and creatures die after only two such failed saves.
Rule through Force: Intimidate checks gain a +1 bonus while Diplomacy checks take a -1 penalty.
Blood and Gore: Critical hits also deal ongoing damage 5 (save ends).