Also called Outside, the Far Realm is a plane—or perhaps a space beyond the planes—that is terrifyingly remote from the standard planar geometry. The entities that abide in the Far Realm are too inchoate, too different, and too alien for a normal mind to accept without being damaged. Where stray illuminations from the Far Realm leak onto another plane, matter stirs at the beckoning of inexplicable urges before burning to ash. But in the Far Realm, titanic creatures swim through nothingness, preoccupied with madness. Unspeakable things whisper awful truths to those who dare listen. For mortals, knowledge of the Far Realm is a triumph of mind over the rude boundaries of matter, space, and eventually sanity.
The Far Realm is divided into an unknown number of layers. Each layer is only slightly out of phase with the next, and passing between layers requires only a thought. It's possible to stand on one layer and see dozens of others, all overlapping yet somehow distinct.
Getting there... and BackEdit
There are no known portals to the Far Realm, or at least none that are still viable. Ancient elves once pierced the boundary of eons with a vast portal to the Far Realm, but their civilization imploded in bloody terror and the portal's location is long-forgotten. But other portals might exist. Other methods of reaching the Far Realm include traveling to time's beginning or end or finding the true heart of the Dream Plane. Luckily for the Material Plane, entities of the Far Realm have just as difficult a time finding passage out of their home plane, though rare spells allow them to be summoned.
Survival in the Far RealmEdit
Moving through the Far Realm is to see, hear, and think in a way that mortal brains are not designed for. Travelers might sprout eyes on their palms, relive a hundred childhoods simultaneously wherein their parents were secretly Far Realm wights, or backward speaking begin. Entry into the Far Realm requires nonnatives to succeed at a Will save (DC 20) to stave off insanity (as the insanity spell). Visitors must make Will saves when they first enter the Far Realm and every hour thereafter. This affects even creatures with no intelligence (such as some undead and constructs), and creatures immune to mind-affecting effects. The utter alienness of the Far Realm warps all matter and energy from normal space. A dimensional anchor will prevent a traveller's physical form from beginning to warp and distort, otherwise for every day the traveller remains in the Far Realm he must make a Fortitude save (DC 20 + 1 per previously successful check) or become a pseudonatural creature.
Features & PropertiesEdit
|Weather||-10||No weather whatsoever|
|Divine||-10||Dead divine magic|
|Green||-10||Dead green magic|
|Accessibility||3||Extremely few gates exist|
|... to all planes||8||Planar barrier (DC 45)|
The Far Realm is composed of infinite layers, but unlike many planes, the layers are thin. A Far Realm layer can range from an inch to a mile thick, though on average each layer is separated from the other by about 10 feet. Travelers can see through many layers simultaneously, as if holding a stack of translucent parchment up to the light. Usually up to twenty layers can be seen to one side or the other, though each layer is blurrier than the next. Features and creatures of the Far Realm are multidimensional and may exist on more than one layer simultaneously. If the layers of the Far Realm are like a stack of translucent parchment, multilayer creatures are like a single dot marked upon each parchment. Individually, the marks appear meaningless, but viewed through the stack of parchment, they coalesce into a threedimensional object. Such is the existence of everything from the tentacled vegetation that writhes throughout the Far Realm, to the massive, drifting entities whose existence is too vast to even notice visitors who only occupy a single layer at a time.
Visitors whose minds do not snap upon entering the plane apprehend the translucent layers fading away to either side, pierced with free-floating rivers of milk-white liquid that sometimes run along a layer's edge for a few feet before plunging into the next. Rains of blue globes descend from unseen heights. The globes burst when they strike another object, releasing ticks the size of horses that scuttle off in search of blood. Gelatinous worms wriggle from layer to layer, wending through tentacled vegetation encrusted with orange moss, all suspended above an amoebic sea. Vast multilayered shapes drift at the edge of sight through the layers, blurrily reminiscent of creatures from the deepest trenches of Material Plane seas. But each of the blurry forms is as large as a city—and those are the small shapes.
Movement in the Far Realm is like swimming. There is no gravity, but the air is syrupy thick, and strong strokes are needed to swim through it. Moving between layers is as easy as willing oneself to do so. Nonnatives exist on only one layer at a time, but large Far Realm entities often exist on several simultaneously. Other than the maddening nature of the plane, combat is normal in the Far Realm. Against the entities that rule this plane, combat is also vanishingly brief.
While the plane doesn't have many individual hazards in the way that other planes do, the Far Realm's primary hazards are in the sanity- and form-shattering properties inherent in it.
Past the edge of reality is a relic from the Material Plane: a stone keep securely lashed to the trunk of a dessicated tree a mile in diameter. This was an outpost of mages too intent on discovering forbidden knowledge to fear for their own sanity. Nor do they fear insanity now, for rational thought has departed those who still live. Amid the wreckage of a laboratory, barracks, kitchen, small library, and specimen cells, some powerful spellcasters and their servants yet wander. Daruth Winterwood, an ancient elven mage, led the expedition, but now his brain is full of spiders. Literally.
Still, he seeks to return Xaxox to the Material Plane in one piece. Every now and then he coaxes open a small portal, allowing the essence of the Far Realm to seep onto some random plane, troubling the dreams of those who reside there. Should Daruth ever attract assistance from those on the far side of his portals, or manage to transfer Xaxox on his own, a permanent portal between the Far Realm and the Material Plane could open. Anticipation of the tidal wave of insanity that would follow is the delight that continues to inspire Daruth's mania.
Entities of the Far Realm defy ordered classification. Certainly, countless types crawl through the infinite layers. Some are like animals, others vaguely insectoid, many are sentient, and some are as powerful as deities (though whether every godlike entity of the Far Realm is sentient is difficult to assess). When confronted with Material Plane beings, or even creatures normally associated with the Inner and Outer Planes, a Far Realm entity often takes the form of a creature familiar to the viewer.
The most powerful of the denizens of the Far Realm are known as the Great Old Ones, and they are said to surpass even the gods themselves in power. Fortunately, it would take an act of truly monumental power and stupidity to summon forth on of these unholy behemoths of madness.
The simplest natives of the Far Realm are the pseudonatural creatures that roam the layers on unguessable errands. They dwell past the eons that lie between the stars, beyond the planes as we know them, nestled in far realms of insanity. When summoned to the Material Plane, they often take the form of and emulate the abilities of familiar creatures, though they are more gruesome in appearance than their earthly counterparts. Alternatively, they may appear in a manner more consistent with their origins: A mass of writhing tentacles is a favorite, although other terrible forms are always possible.
Creating a Pseudonatural CreatureEdit
“Pseudonatural” is a template that can be added to any corporeal creature (referred to hereafter as the “base creature”). The creature's type changes to “outsider.” It uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Special Attacks: A pseudonatural creature retains all the special attacks of the base creature and also gains the following.
True Strike (Su): Once per day, the creature can make a normal attack with a +20 insight bonus on a single attack roll On this attack, the creature is not affected by the miss chance that applies when attacking a concealed target.
Special Qualities: A pseudonatural creature retains all the special qualities of the base creature and also gains the following abilities.
|Hit Dice||Electricity & Acid Resistance||Damage Reduction|
|8-11||15||5/magic and law|
|12+||20||10/magic and law and silver|
Electricity and acid resistance (see the table below).
Damage reduction (see the table below).
Spell resistance equal to double the creature's HD (maximum 25).
If the base creature already has one or more of these special qualities, use the better value.
Alternate Form (Su): At will, a pseudonarural creature can take the form of a grotesque tentacled mass or another appropriately gruesome form determined by the Dungeon Master. But all its abilities remain unchanged despite the alien appearance. Changing shape is a standard action. Other creatures receive a –1 morale penalty on their attack rolls against pseudonatural creatures in this alternate form.
Saves: Same as the base creature.
Abilities: Same as the base creature, but Intelligence is at least 3.
Skills: Same as the base creature.
Feats: Same as the base creature.
Climate/Terrain: Any land and underground.
Organization: Same as the base creature.
Challenge Rating: Up to 3 HD, same as the base creature. 4 HD to 7 HD, as base creature +1. 8+ HD, as base creature +2.
Treasure: Same as the base creature.
Alignment: Same as the base creature.
Advancement: Same as the base creature.