The Astral Plane is the space between the planes. When a character moves through an interplanar portal or projects her spirit to a different plane of existence, she travels through the Astral Plane. Even spells that allow instantaneous movement across a plane, such as dimension door, briefly touch the Astral Plane.
The Astral Plane is a great, endless sphere of clear silvery sky, both above and below. Large, tube-shaped clouds slowly coil into the distance, some appearing like thunderheads and others looking like immobile tornadoes of gray wind. Erratic whirlpools of color flicker in midair like spinning coins. Occasional bits of solid matter can be found here, but most of the Astral Plane is an endless, open domain.
Both planar travelers and refugees from other planes call the Astral Plane home. The most prominent denizens of the Astral Plane are the githyanki, an outcast race that preys on travelers throughout the plane.
The Astral Plane has the following traits
- Subjective directional gravity
- Timeless. Age, hunger, thirst, poison, and natural healing don't function in the Astral Plane, though they resume functioning when the traveler leaves the Astral Plane.
- Mildly neutral aligned.
- Enhanced magic. All spells and spell-like abilities used within the Astral Plane may be employed as if they were proved by the Quicken Spell feat. Already quickened spells and spell-like abilities are unaffected, as are spells from magic items. Spells so quickened are still prepared and cast at their unmodified level. As with the Quicken Spell feat, only one quickened spell can be cast per round.
Example Astral Site: Silver Sky
The characters are surrounded by a silver-gray haze that stretches endlessly in all directions. The map's only feature is a colorful 10-foot-diameter pool that provides a natural portal to another plane (determined randomly). Some 70% of color pools are one-way portals.
If characters explore this part of the Astral Plane, they'll discover more color pools that lead elsewhere. It takes 1d4x10 hours to find a color pool that leads to a particular plane.
But the PCs aren't alone in the serene hare of the Astral Plane. Githyanki pirates cruise the color pools, looking for well-heeled travelers from other planes. A typical githyanki pirate ship is a longship that flies under its own power at a speed of 90 feet. The pirate captain (githyanki Ftr11 or Ftr6/Rog5) leads his crew into battle, with a war-wizard (githyanki Wiz9) or mercenary cleric (tiefling Clr9) providing support to the rank-and-file pirates. (Githyanki are never clerics themselves, so they must hire mercenary clerics because natural healing doesn't work on the Astral Plane.)
The githyankis use the enhanced magic of the Astral Plane to good effect, taking full attacks, then using their dimension door spell-like ability as a free action to confound their enemies.
|Astral Plane Encounters (EL 11)|
|01-15||1 astral deva (angel)||14|
|16-25||1 young adult red dragon||13|
|26-40||10th-level human cleric NPC and 10th-level goblin rogue NPC||12|
|66-75||1 cauchemar (nightmare)||11|
|76-90||1d3 mind flayers||10|
|91-100||1d3 noble djinn (genie)||8|