Outpocketing: Sometimes planar borders bulge and stretch, forming an outpocket, a bulge onto another plane. Outpockets are discrete areas, visible as transparent walls or bubbles on the affected plane. In a way, an outpocket is like a portal, though it's often larger. A traveler inside an outpocket can see features beyond, but they are blurred and indistinct, as if viewed through running water. Some outpockets are stable, and others may slowly shrink or grow over time.

Characters can move through an outpocket wall; the wall's resistance is only as strong as a moderate wind. Once through the wall, the conditions on the new plane apply. Outpockets usually only occur between planes that are coterminous or coexistent, although some outpockets are bulges from parallel versions of the original plane. Such outpockets can reveal possible futures, distant pasts, or barely recognizable presents.

Nested Pockets: Sometimes outpockets form in groups, each pocket nested inside another and connected to a different plane. Thus, they are sometimes called nested planes or nested realities. The walls between nested pockets may look like standard outpockets, or may be invisible. Either way, passing through the boundary is as easy as walking into the wind. In this way, a simple copse of trees could hold nested pockets-whole worlds reachable through deeper and deeper outpockets.

-- Manual of the Planes, p. 220

I have been confused about how the outnested pockets at the end of manual of the planes would function, I need some info how the outpockets can nest;

  • Can they be larger on the inside, and is that how they nest?
  • And is it possible to use an outpocket to go to an area outside of the outpocket?

I am looking for interpretation, or any other sources referring to this. If you are uncertain about some of the questions, feel free to answer as many as you can.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I've removed portals as this question doesn't seem to be about portals, but about how planes are within each other. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 26, 2023 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


Outpocketing and nested pockets are described as planar anomalies in the "Appendix: Variant Planes & Cosmologies" chapter of the Manual of Planes. The chapter starts with the disclaimer:

None of the following planes have a place on the Great Wheel, but you can use them in a cosmology you build yourself. This chapter also includes some alternate cosmologies that you can use or adapt for your own games.

While some of these optional variants have later become part of the official D&D cosmology, I have failed to find any other mentions of outpocketing or nested pockets in the lore. As mentioned by Quadratic Wizard in a comment, the Planescape index lists only the 3e Manual of the Planes as reference.

However, a similar phenomenon, called a "planar bleed" is also described as another anomaly and there is something very similar, "Planar Breaches", in the Planar Handbook: A Player's Guide to the Planes:

in a multiverse where magic, psionics, and divine decree daily wrench reality into unnatural configurations, that which separates one space from the next can wear thin. ... a complete breach opens a hole in reality where laws and planar natives mix in the middle. ... Wily planar travelers sometimes use severe and complete planar breaches to get around ...

Feel free to have a look at PH:APGttP for further details, such as the size and various traits of planar breaches.


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