The Game Universe
… is a complicated thing.
However, there is an advantage to this well worth the initial learning curve. The layout of the Game Universe allows the players access to a variety of settings and may be expanded upon easily if, for example, several years’ worth of play were to explore all that Celwyn has to offer. In order to explain the Universe layout, let us first define our terms:
A world is any area which occupies space in an Ecliptic. Worlds may be divided into different planes, all connected by lower portals. Common examples of planes are the ‘material’, ‘abyssal’, or ‘astral’ planes. Therefore each world may have its own version of, for example, the abyssal plane. Or, a world may consist of a single plane (e.g. Fire Plains of Timoria).
A plane is any field of existence which has an internally-consistent reality. In game terms, an ‘internally-consistent reality’ means ‘a particular set of game mechanics’. For example, it is possible that in a particular plane everyone is colorblind; this will be a property of the plane, and not of the world which the plane is but a part of – unless every plane in that world causes colorblindness in PCs.
An Ecliptic is an area which is comprised of Worlds. Inter-world travel is possible within an Ecliptic, but this requires a ship (of some sort) and is dangerous. Such travel is also slower than traveling by portals.
A portal is an established teleportation circle. Portals exist in an exclusive hierarchy: there are lower portals, higher portals, and central portals. Each type of portal only permits travel to another portal of the same type: lower portals may only teleport PCs to other lower portals, higher portals only permit travel to other higher portals, and central portals provide access only to other central portals. Lower portals exist within worlds, and are confined by such worlds; they offer access within the plane(s) of that world only. Higher portals allow inter-world travel, and central portals permit inter-Ecliptic travel. Lastly, the frequency of such portals should be noted: each Ecliptic has but one central portal, and each World has but one higher portal. A world may have any number of lower portals, distributed in any fashion amongst its planes.
If portals seem confusing to you, or you spy a logical error I have embraced unintentionally, please feel free to ask me about portals – or for that matter, about anything in the game – and I will explain things as best I am able.