I heard that in the "standard" setting for D&D, when your character dies, their soul goes travelling through the Astral Plane until they eventually end up in the outer plane they belong in.

In some settings, they also lose all their memories in the process, as they are sucked out by the Astral Plane (no doubt in an effort to prevent players from fighting their way out of the afterlife, I assume).

Now, what happens if said soul encounters a Psychic Wind on the way?

It seems reasonable to assume that it could also sweep up those souls, and one of the effects of that can be falling into a random color pool.

Does that mean that the soul of an unlucky LG Paladin can get swept up and end up in Hades or the Abyss? What happens then? Do they get transformed into maggots / dretches by the plane? Do they regain consciousness and become some kind of ghost? What happens if they are shunted back into their own material plane instead?

Does the multiverse somehow prevent this situation from happening by simply manipulating fate?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You’ve tagged this “dungeons-and-dragons” indicating you want all worlds in every edition. That’s just too broad - there’s probably a Masters level this is in a full analysis. Many don’t involve an Astral journey at all. Can you clarify if you are looking for a particular world across editions, all worlds across a particular edition or a specific world and edition? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 8:19
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM It is not too broad. The planes are shared among all D&D settings (canonically, in 5e, by general assumption, in previous editions), and (4e aside) the setting details for the planes—Astral included—have been very consistent straight back to the ’70s. There is zero point in indicating an edition or setting here. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 10:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan granted. But the afterlife hasn’t been. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 10:59
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM It’s been pretty consistent, outside of specific settings like Eberron that do something non-standard. The point is that there is a standard, which this question is clearly referring to. You wouldn’t ask this question about Eberron because Eberron doesn’t have petitioners and souls don’t go to Hades or the Abyss, and alignment doesn’t matter. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 11:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting question, though it might be helpful to have more focus. I would stick to seeking answers about the Psychic Wind, not the many suppoitions. Maybe you can reframe the other 6 questions into a possible scenario instead as an illustration? \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Commented Aug 8, 2021 at 7:30

1 Answer 1


They're safe from the psychic winds

...though sadly we have to arrive at this conclusion by implicit reading, rather than explicit. Here's the rub, from A Guide to the Astral Plane:

  • Astral structures known as conduits bring souls from the place of their death to their ultimate place of rest. Regardless of apparent "distance" on the plane, the transit is in a practical sense near-instantaneous.

  • There's a great big chapter all about conduits, and a second chapter specifically regarding psychic winds and psychic storms, which at no point mentions any characteristic of either that would impact a conduit in any way. Given that the rest of the book is pretty happy to mention conduits as required, and even provides a spell to disrupt them, we can infer that if the psychic wind could imperil conduits, it would have been explicitly mentioned.

...but not necessarily safe from other things

Between the githyanki having developed a conduit pierce spell, the prospect of conduits aging, and the legendary menace that is the "conduit cutter," souls are still not 100% guaranteed to wind up where they belong. Instances of souls being lost to the Astral or otherwise displaced are vanishingly rare, but it's not outside the realm of possibility.


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