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A few years ago, I wrote a homebrew campaign. For a few levels of the campaign, the players are teleported from a city within the Forgotten Realms setting into another dimension of the multi-verse. I described the dimension as a group of floating planets, islands, and rocks near to the stars and other celestial bodies. I based a lot of it on the Outlands, from World of Warcraft's The Burning Crusade.

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You could fly around from island to island using native giant squid as means of transportation. Fractured planets with unconventional physics could be found, from floating islands, to actual spherical islands (with gravity), to islands with a river that flowed against gravity.

I am currently formatting my campaign for publishing, and I was wondering whether there is already a similar dimension, plane, or setting in the D&D multiverse which I could use as a base and modify from there. I prefer basing things on D&D lore instead of Warcraft because I feel it will be better for readers that want to explore additional lore.

Has there ever been something similar in published D&D settings?

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The problem with recommendation questions is that everyone can put down their favorite candidate and it just becomes a popularity contest.

On the other hand, a comprehensive list doesn’t have those, so here’s an attempt at one:

Planescape

Planescape, or simply “the multiverse” in 5e terminology, is the campaign setting that covers the planes beyond the Material Plane that most campaign settings focus on. As the Material Plane is embedded within the multiverse, it’s a kind of “over-setting” even for other campaign settings. The multiverse consists of

  • the Material Plane,
  • the three or four Transitive Planes
    • Astral, Ethereal, and Shadow,
    • and in 5e, the Feywild,
  • six Inner Planes of elements and energy, plus twelve border regions which may be planes in their own right
    • Elemental Planes of Air, Earth, Fire, and Water,
    • the Positive Energy Plane and the Negative Energy Plane,
    • Paraelemental border regions between pairs of elemental planes: Magma (Fire+Earth), Ooze (Earth+Water), Ice (Water+Air), and Smoke (Air+Fire)
    • Quasielemental border regions between an elemental plane and an energy plane: Radiance, Mineral, Steam, and Lightning for the Positive side, Ash, Dust, Salt, and Vacuum for the Negative side
  • the seventeen Outer Planes of alignment and belief
    • the true-neutral Outlands, plus
    • a ring of sixteen planes around it, eight for the eight non-true-neutral alignments alternating with eight others that are halfway between their neighbors.

This cosmology is often referred to as the Great Wheel, since the emphasis is on the ring of Outer Planes.

Acheron

Acheron is the Lawful-by-Lawful-Evil Outer Plane, between LN Mechanus and LE Baator (the Nine Hells). It’s described as a series of floating cubes, where gravity always points into an edge, and upon which an endless war is waged. The cubes move randomly and even collide at times, and various nasty weather accompanies the misery of the trenches.

Elemental Plane of Air

As you might guess, the elemental plane of Air consists mostly of Air. Gravity is subjective here, and “bubbles” of impurities can be found—vast spheres of water or other liquids, floating chunks of earth, and so on.

Gehenna

Gehenna is the Evil-by-Lawful-Evil Outer Plane, between LE Baator and NE Hades, and it consists of a series of massive mountains floating in an endless void. There are no natural surfaces that are less steep than 45 degrees, and the entire plane basically exists to drag everything down. You can carve out a place for yourself, but it is always precarious.

Paraelemental Plane of Smoke

Smoke, as the paraelemental plane between Fire and Air, is rather inhospitable (though perhaps not as much as Fire’s pure relentless heat), but there are floating chunks of charred land found within the choking gases.

The “other” Multiverse

Wizards of the Coast, of course, also publishes Magic: The Gathering, which has its own “multiverse,” and consists of numerous planes without any particular connection to one another (and, for the most part, only the mighty planeswalkers can travel between them). Recently, they have begun publishing some Magic planes as D&D campaign settings. At least one of them applies here:

Zendikar

Plane Shift: Zendikar describes Zendikar, a plane of incomparable wilds and energy, where the magic infused into the very land has much of it pull itself up out of the crust, and float freely above the world. The energy of the plane has been a substantial draw to planeswalkers and other, even more dangerous interlopers.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ To clarify, Gehenna and Acheron belong to Planescape, and Zendikar to MtG's multiverse? \$\endgroup\$ – BlueMoon93 Apr 19 at 17:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BlueMoon93 Yes, though to be fair Wizards has implied that they are actually one and the same. How that would work in practice is unclear, though—MtG is defined by only planeswalkers being able to, ya know, walk among the planes, while doing the same in D&D isn’t that hard to do, with the appropriate spells being available to mid-level mortal characters. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 19 at 17:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe planeswalkers are just level 11 players :P \$\endgroup\$ – BlueMoon93 Apr 19 at 19:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Davo Yup indeed. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 20 at 3:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Speaking about Planescape, I think you forgot the quasielemental and paraelemental planes (fire+earth=magma, earth+water=ooze, water+air=ice, air+fire=smoke, fire+positive=radiance, fire+negative=ash and so on) \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Apr 27 at 10:34
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I can think of several planar possibilities, but none of them cover all of Outland. Any given zone of Outland, however, would be far easier to find inspiration for. For example, Hellfire Peninsula bears a strong resemblance to Avernus, the first of the Nine Hells. Nagrand is probably more like the Feywild. Zangarmarsh could draw inspiration from Shedaklah, the layer of the Abyss ruled by Zuggtmoy the Fungus Queen.

My advice for what you have in mind would be a deep dive into both the Sword Coast Aventurers' Guide (with its excellent detail on the Great Wheel Cosmology) as well as Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, for his insights into the Abyss and the Nine Hells. Find the 'canonical' planes that resemble Outland's (very) different zones, and make changes according to your needs!

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