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Now I'm sure plenty of us on here have seen Stranger Things recently (honestly I'm surprised I haven't seen a question like this yet) and it's whole premise about the Vale of Shadows has me intrigued. For those who haven't seen it or don't know, look here!

Based off of an earlier question of mine (here) I'd like to know what we currently know about the Vale of Shadows (or whatever it is actually called, as through some research, people have been calling it various different things). Are there any official sources that describe a plane similar to the Vale of Shadows and a little more specifically, what monsters live on that plane?

Ideally the focus would be on 5th Edition but I'll accept any information available as I'm sure the premise of the plane can easily be converted.

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We know nothing “D&D official” about the Vale of Shadows, because it's not an official D&D place. It was made up for the show. It's normal for real DMs to create unique worlds for their groups to adventure in (the 5th edition DMG even says that the official D&D settings and planes are only suggestions that a DM could use), and that's all that the Vale of Shadows is: a place made up by the DM in the show that's tailor-made for the campaign they want (er, the script writers wanted to portray him wanting) to run.

Yes, the article speculates that if you squint at it you can sorta imagine that it's supposed to be the Shadowfell or something like it, but it's a stretch to start with. The more obvious answer of “it's made up” is far less of a stretch. Even if it's inspired by the Shadowfell, it's going to be different enough to become unrelated, because of inconvenient legal reasons…

The “it's made up” resolution is also supported by a simple practical point: they likely aren't paying Hasbro dumptrucks of money for the right to use D&D Intellectual Property in the show. The concept of Demogorgon, by comparison, is not owned by Hasbro, nor are troglodytes — and notice that the kids' dialogue carefully avoids describing any details about troglodytes or Demogorgon that would uniquely describe the D&D version of those concepts (hence why that Geek and Sundry article explaining what the show implies to D&D players needed to be written). Everything about D&D in the show is going to be implied by common words or un-owned names or new made-up names, and the dialogue carefully tailored to not let any of it uniquely match anything owned by Hasbro.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Huh, so that's why none of kids had to say "THAC0"? I was soooo hoping to hear that word :) \$\endgroup\$ – Jason K Jul 29 '16 at 19:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JasonK I'm not certain, but I think the time in which the show is set might have predated the THAC0 mechanic. \$\endgroup\$ – Dan Henderson Jul 31 '16 at 7:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yup, THAC0 is from AD&D 2nd Edition, published in 1989. \$\endgroup\$ – Polisurgist Aug 3 '16 at 7:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ When Justin checks the binder, the Vale of Shadows document looks to be a photocopy from some other source; just pointing out that though it may be fictional to avoid any copyright issues (the D&D name is never mentioned specifically, either) it looks like it wasn't made up by the kids (or Mike) but seems to have been pulled from another source, such as a magazine or something else. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Aug 3 '16 at 12:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LegendaryDude Or, having some actual budget, someone in the props department made up a document and then photocopied it (or applied effects to look like an 80s photocopy before printing it). Unless the camera gets close enough to read text smaller than headline, the text itself might well be gibberish. \$\endgroup\$ – Zeiss Ikon Aug 9 '16 at 14:57
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No, "Vale of Shadows" is not a dungeons and dragons concept, however it is clearly a reference to both ShadowVale and Plane of Shadow. They mention that the only way to access it is to shadow walk. This is the spell used in dungeons and dragons to access the plane of shadow. Also, the plane of shadow overlaps the material plane, and once you access it you can travel at a very fast rate making it very hard to control long distance travel. A reference to this in the film is that

11 travels to a different country while accessing the shadow plane with her mind. Lastly, the creatures seem to be a re imagining of a Shade, a humanoid creature in the game which lives in the plane of shadow with other shadow based monsters. They are stronger in darkness, can shadow jump and create portals to the plane of shadow while under the cover of darkness.

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From the context it can be deduced that this imaginary place involves two worlds existing in the same location, but in different planes of reality that may be accesed by some kind of portal, artifact, or mediumship. A number of examples can be drawn from LotR's shadow world (when somebody wears the One ring), the one portrayed in H.R. Giger's Dark Seed saga, in is software's Doom game series, or in Buckaroo Banzai's classic movie. There are plenty of examples in films from the 40's and the 50's, when this topic was predominant (and some more recent, such as Pan's Labyrinth), drawing from literature works such as H.P. Lovecraft's, Stephen King's, and other authors'. Assuming that the VoS is D&D based, one would think that this Vale would be in closer resemblance to the shadow world in Tolkien's trilogy. However, the "other side" in the series would not be so much related to sword and sorcery worlds, but, rather on the ones from the literature, more modern and darker. Furthermore, in the very first episode, a scene is shown where two characters intend to watch a Poltergeist movie, which is a direct reference to a second plane of existence populated by some kind of demons or monsters that mimic their counterparts, with deformed shapes and vile conducts.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hello, welcome to Roleplaying Games Stack Exchange! Thank you for posting. It looks like your answer may be a little off-topic for this question. Keep in mind that good answers are going to be primarily experience based, and while it can be helpful to draw comparisons with other fiction, it is generally preferable to include some reference to an official source text when attempting to answer a question, such as a D&D sourcebook or rulebook. \$\endgroup\$ – Kyle Willey Jul 31 '16 at 5:41
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The closest thing I could find is the plane of the Abyss where the Demogorgon abides. 88th layer to be exact. it is said to be a layer consisting of a great sea of briny water broken by tall, sharp, ugly, rocky prominences rising out of the endless murky water into a sky of yellow mist.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So, no Vale and no Shadows? \$\endgroup\$ – user17995 Aug 3 '16 at 6:24

protected by Community Aug 9 '16 at 14:17

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