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I have recently been studying D&D Cosmology and was impressed by the level of detail in the descriptions of Baator and The Abyss found in Fiendish Codex I & II.

Are there any source books that explore the good aligned outer planes to the same detail? Specifically I want to learn more about Celestia, Elysium or Arborea.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Is official licensed and third-party material or material from previous editions acceptable? (Otherwise, a complete list of official Third Edition texts—inclusive—is available in answer to this question.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 14 '19 at 18:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Third-party material is acceptable, as long as it largely matches up with what can be found in official sources. for instance Dragon magazines likely work. \$\endgroup\$ – Connor Clarke Jun 14 '19 at 21:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are excellent descriptions in 2e Planescape sources. Would you be interested? \$\endgroup\$ – ZwiQ Jun 15 '19 at 13:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ZwiQ those would certainly help give context, as there appears to be no reliable 3.5e resources \$\endgroup\$ – Connor Clarke Jun 16 '19 at 21:25
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No, there is not. The Upper Planes have always gotten short shrift in D&D, and 3.5e is no exception. Since most campaigns feature Good, mortal protagonists against Evil antagonists, there isn’t a lot of call for details on Good immortals and their residences. Fiend Folio and Fiendish Codex are marketed to DMs who want to use the fiends as foes in a campaign, which is a lot of DMs because most DMs have a Good party and fiends are the ultimate Evil to put in front of them. A book on the flip-side wouldn’t have nearly as large an audience, because evil campaigns are unusual and DM-focused books already sell relatively less-well.

As a result, the only real source we have on the Upper Planes is the Book of Exalted Deeds, which has material for both players and DMs. But even there, the details on the Upper Planes are limited to a few pages each; the bulk of the book is devoted to what it means to be a Good or better-than-Good player character, and what it means to DM for such characters.

In short, campaigns go into Hell or the Abyss and do things there. When campaigns go to the heavens, it’s usually because the campaign is ending and the characters are being rewarded. At best, it’s a quick stop to confer with some force for Good, a deity perhaps. The call for the details just isn’t there.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ And even then the BoED book fails miserably. \$\endgroup\$ – nijineko Jun 15 '19 at 15:54

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