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When someone is sleeping what planes of existence do they visit according to the Great Wheel cosmology in D&D 5e?

I have not found exact information in the rule books about this. Perhaps there are options (good dreams on one plane, nightmares on the other)?

As far as I remember, in one of the previous editions there was a separate plane you went to while dreaming, but what about for D&D 5e?

Is there a mechanic, for example, describing a transition during sleep, a possible death during sleep, or a transition to another person’s sleep that would shed light on this issue?

Maybe there is information compatible with D&D 5th edition in the books about Planescape (since we are dealing with the Great Wheel)?

Please provide references to the sources.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You seem to be asking multiple questions here. Do you want to focus on the one in the title, or the others? Please can you edit your post to remove the extra question? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 24 '20 at 14:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure I see multiple questions here. I see one overarching question "what plane of existence do you go to when you sleep" and then some suggestions on angles of attacking that question "are there places where sleep is described? maybe death during sleep?" and a suggestion for a potential source for an answer about the plane question (in Planescape). Am I missing something? (I've also edited this question to try to make this a bit clearer) \$\endgroup\$
    – Rubiksmoose
    Jun 24 '20 at 14:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ If I can comment this, yes. \$\endgroup\$
    – ben-ben
    Jun 24 '20 at 15:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose I took those angles as having different answers, but that may also not be the case \$\endgroup\$ Jun 24 '20 at 15:16
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It’s entirely possible that dreamers simply don’t go anywhere.

Dream has never been a major part of the Great Wheel cosmology—it’s only been mentioned in five publications:

  • 2e:
    • Guide to the Ethereal Plane where it is very little more than a mention.
    • Ravenloft adventure The Nightmare Lands which includes rules for adventuring in dreamscapes. Guide to the Ethereal Plane explicitly directs you here if you want to actually go to Dream.
  • 3e:
    • Manual of the Planes, by far the most detailed version. It still isn’t very.
    • Dragon vol. 287, “Dreamlands: Variant Planes of Dream” which doesn’t actually discuss Dream per se, but rather other ways you could implement different kinds of planes for dreaming: inner plane, outer plane, transitive plane, individualized demiplanes for each dreamer, etc.
  • 4e:
    • Manual of the Planes, which has a few paragraphs on it.

There is no 5th-edition Manual of the Planes (yet?), so the most likely place to expect to find information on Dream doesn’t exist. Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes has been the only real source we have so far on planar matters, but it’s devoted pretty heavily to, ya know, “foes,” and Dream doesn’t provide a lot of those, particularly not many that are easily included in a regular campaign.

Notably, 1e and for a good while 2e had the Great Wheel (even if it wasn’t named that yet for 1e) without any mention of Dream, and the 3.5e “revision” of Manual of the Planes, Planar Handbook, didn’t bother to mention it either. Outside of those five publications, the entire concept never got used in any way, and even if it was supposed to officially exist somehow, it was ignored.

Thus, for the most part, the Great Wheel doesn’t bother with Dream. You can use the write-ups from 2e or 3e or even 4e (though that was the “World Axis” nonsense, not the Great Wheel) if you want, but even those editions themselves mostly elected to simply not, and it’s quite likely that 5e is going to follow that pattern—even if it does get mentioned in an eventual Manual of the Planes or similar, it’s quite likely to be something that never gets mentioned or leveraged again after that.

Dal Quor, Eberron’s Moon/Plane of Dreams

The exception to all this is Eberron, where Dal Quor is a major part of the setting. That said, if Eberron is connected to the Great Wheel—which is itself debatable—how is completely unknown and a matter of guesswork and speculation. Dal Quor is extremely important to Eberron, but almost certainly irrelevant everywhere else. It is extremely unlikely that dreamers from other worlds go to Dal Quor, unless Dal Quor somehow is Dream (at least in previous editions, the descriptions of the two would have made that quite difficult to reconcile, however).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The question arose due to the mention in DMG 5e "The Astral Plane is the realm of thought and dream, where visitors travel as disembodied souls to reach the Outer Planes." and the comment "it is believed that intelligent creatures travel to portions of the Astral Plane as they sleep" in the question What's the difference between the Astral Plane and the Ethereal Plane? \$\endgroup\$
    – ben-ben
    Jun 24 '20 at 14:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ben-ben Right, the Astral Plane is the conduit for thoughts, belief, fear, worries, and so on—including the stuff one dreams about—but dreamers don’t go there, it’s just the echoes of their dreams and the thoughts and emotions found in them that ripple across the Astral Plane. The reference to disembodied souls traveling through it to reach the Outer Planes is talking about astral projection. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jun 24 '20 at 14:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 Yes, in Eberron, dreamers go to Dal Quor. This doesn't necessarily happen anywhere else (and even if it does, it’s almost-certainly not to Dal Quor). \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jun 24 '20 at 18:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Dreaming got a lot more than a mention in GEP; there's an entire section about the Dreamscape on pages 55-57, including rules for adventuring there. There's also a long section about (and a segment set within) the Dreamscape in the adventure Something Wild. That adventure is probably the biggest focus on dreaming that Planescape had, and should probably be included in your summary; it also brings in the Dream Hunters, an organization in the Beastlands capable of entering the dreams of others to protect their psyches. \$\endgroup\$
    – Idran
    Jun 25 '20 at 1:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Idran Good stuff, I’ll double-check those when I get home. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jun 25 '20 at 13:25

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