I'm working on a planeswalking campaign where the group will be travelling through several different worlds in the Prime Material Plane (i.e. from Toril to Krynn).

I'm using the AD&D Planescape material, although I'm adjusting it to D&D 3.X rules. This assumes that there is just one cosmology, what later would be called the Great Wheel, in which the Prime Material Plane contains all the different worlds -those of the official settings and any it might exist.

Players would travel from one world to another through any of the Transitive Planes (classically the Astral and the Ethereal Planes, although I'm considering using the Shadow Plane as defined in the D&D 3.X Manual of the Planes).

Spelljammer rules might apply, since Planescape considers them.

The question then relates to the influence of the gods to provide spells to priests that travel through different worlds in the Material Plane. So far, I've read the following statements:

  • In Planescape Campaign Setting it is stated that limitations will exist when priests travel through the Inner, Transitive and Outer planes, suffering a level penalty to their spells and abilities for each plane between them and their god.
  • It is also stated that the Powers (a.k.a gods) can provide their priests with spells in the Prime Material Plane without these limitations.
  • In the 'On Hallowed Grounds' book it is stated that powers use to form Pantheons (as defined also in the AD&D Complete Priest Handbook and the D&D 3.X Gods and Demigods) in which each of them will rule over different aspects (their portfolio). In general, gods with the same portfolio will avoid direct conflict among gods from different pantheons.
  • It is also stated there that there are Pantheons that are 'sphere-specific', and use to focus on a single World. There, they will be all-mighty, but they are less powerful in the Planes than their peers with a more general outlook.
  • There is one final point noted in this book stating that sometimes priests might start a cult to their gods in different planes, eventually receiving the ability to cast spells. This suggests that they may have no spellcasting abilities when they reach a new World.

This final point has me confused. I'm sure I've read somewhere that powers who have no cults on a specific Material World have no influence there, but I cannot find the reference.

So, how does all of this work together? Can gods provide spells to their priests in different Prime Material Worlds? How much influence will they have over a world where said priest is their only follower? Can you point me to the book where this is described?

Also, how would this work on a World so self-absorbed and Pantheon-closed as Krynn?

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    \$\begingroup\$ The 1e AD&D book Dragonlance Adventures describes Heathen Clerics (clerics who are on a plane where their god's power does not reach) and the context in which they start to be. I don't have the book so I can't make this an answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 14:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasJacobs I read that, and that is adding up to the confusion since it seems that Krynn is a plane to which no external powers can access directly. It recommends visiting characters to worship deities with a similar portfollio than their original gods, since they will conform to that, but get upset in any other way. Thing is, that book was published in 1987, earlier than the Planescape setting. I'm not sure if both are consistent. I'll have a look at the 1e Manual of the Planes, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erizo
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 16:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is tagged with both 3.5 & 2e; can you clarify which edition you're looking for rules for? \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 16:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ObliviousSage I'm using material from both D&D editions. The planes are described and defined in both of them, and they follow the same paradigm, except for D&D 3.X edition allowing each Material Plane have their own cosmology. Even then, they allow travel from one to another. Thing is, I'd like to know how gods are treated in both systems in regards to my question. If they are treated differently, I'd like to know. I hope this clarifies. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erizo
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 16:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ From memory, the level penalty to clerics due to being on a plane distant from their deity's domain only applies if both the cleric and the power's domain are both on the Outer Planes; If the cleric (or the power) are on the Inner, Prime or Transitive planes, no penalty is suffered. I don't have my books on me to check that, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 3:26

1 Answer 1


As you have said you are willing to consider Spelljammer rules, I can pull a few quotes in for you that might help clear this up.

From Spelljammer Core Rules: Book 2, Concordance of Arcane Space, p. 17

Clerics in Space: A cleric may not regain spells above 2nd level while in the phlogiston. This is because he remains out of direct contact with his deity.

A cleric who enters a foreign crystal shell is similarly restricted. The only exceptions to this occur when a cleric's deity (or a similar power) is recognized in the foreign shell or the cleric casts a successful gate spell, affording his deity access to the foreign shell.

Any god or power is considered "recognized" within a sphere if he has worshipers and/or an organized church anywhere within that system. This does not mean that a PC cleric can move into a shell and automatically establish a base of worship for his god. For a deity to be a recognized power in any shell, he has to have an established base of worshipers somewhere in the system.

Additionally, the same rulebook adds the following spells on page 22

Contact Home Power (2nd level Conjuration)

The user of this spell establishes a tenuous link through the Astral Plane between his present location and that of the power he venerates. This link permits the priest to regain his spells as if the god is recognized and venerated within the sphere.

The duration of the spell is one week, as long as the cleric remains in the same crystal sphere in which he cast the spell. Passage into another plane (even the ethereal) will break the spell.


Detect Powers (2nd level Divination)

[This spell] allows a cleric to determine if there are friendly gods and/or other powers within a crystal sphere so that he may recharge his higher-level spells within its borders. It also reveals if the god(s) revered by the cleric are worshiped within that sphere.

In this case 'friendly' is defined as 'same basic attributes and portfolio' or possibly 'same god by a different name.' As two examples...

-Paladine and Bahamut are the same god, but known by different names and roles in two different spheres.

-Reorx and Moradin are two distinct gods (from Krynn and FR respectively), but they are sufficiently similar that a cleric of one could receive spells from the other.

So, if you take these pieces of information into account, it gives you the following answer:

When you are on a different world within the Prime Material Plane, you may only regain spells up to 2nd Level unless

1: Your god has an established base of worshipers on that world, or on another world within the same Sphere. This implies that the other gods in the system don't actually get a direct say in the matter...though they could certainly stamp out 'heretical religions' if necessary.

2: You use Detect Powers to locate a friendly deity (or your own) and refresh your spells via them.

3: You use Contact Home Power on a weekly basis to 'phone home' and keep that connection open so you may reload your spells.

4: You use Gate to connect directly to your deity's domain and refresh your spells from them directly.

Now, I do not have access to the Planescape books, so I am not 100% certain that this isn't contradicted somewhere in those books...but if you are willing to abide by Spelljammer rules, that's how it works.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I just wanted to mention that Spelljammer actually has a set of dedicated supplement in 2nd edition for each of Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, and Greyhawk. (Krynnspace, Realmspace, and Greyspace, respectively.) But, strictly speaking Spelljammer has no official 3.5e (or even 3e) incarnation so I'm wasting my time even commenting because a team of grogs will be along shortly to remove your answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 19:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ True, but the OP said he was making use of AD&D materials to help determine how things work across the planes. Therefore it makes sense to give him more AD&D materials to help supplement that. Heck, he mentioned that "Spelljammer rules might apply, since Planescape considers them." So yes...if this was strictly 3.5E, I'd have not posted about the Spelljammer mechanics, but he is already using some 2E Material... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 19:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ You're right, of course. I'd already forgotten the full content of the question and was going based on the "dnd 3.5e" leading the topic line. Knowing that OP is willing to consider it, I'd say embrace the 2e planes/spheres metaphysic entirely. It's way more coherent than anything in 3.x. 3e is ruined by the non-planescape planes mythology in core. It's a real mess. Shadow ruins everything. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 19:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your answer @guildsbounty! It is exactly what I needed to know from an AD&D 2e perspective! It is consistent with what I've been reading in the Planescape setting. I still wonder if there might be something written about it in 3.X. I'm starting to suspect there is nothing in the official rulebooks. Again, thank you! \$\endgroup\$
    – Erizo
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 6:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Erizo there was a 3.5 Spelljammer ruleset and adventure in Dungeon #92 which helped me greatly when running a modified 3.5 Spelljammer game about eight years ago. That's not a complete answer, but might supplement this one. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 23:52

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