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D&D: An Adventurer’s Guide to the Astral Plane

3 Minute Read
Jul 7 2024

The Astral Plane is a timeless, starry void that connects the rest of D&D’s multiverse. Here’s what you need to know.

With Spelljammer: Adventures in Space taking players adrift into the astral plane, and Planescape looming large on next year’s horizon, it’s time to get your bearings on D&D’s multiverse. And it all starts with the Astral Plane.

The Astral Plane could be summed up as follows:

It is the space between everything. The road that goes everywhere. It is where you are when you aren’t anywhere else.

It is a starry sea that connects all shores.

The Astral Plane, a Realm of Thought

In the Astral Plane, thought and reality are as close as they get. The Astral Sea is a heavenly realm, like most others. Travel beyond the airless void of your Wildspace system, and you’ll find that you emerge into a silvery realm of breathable air and gravity.

But neither is necessarily real. They could be because creatures inhabiting this space think they’re breathing or have weight.


Spend any amount of time there, and you’ll discover that you can travel by thought alone. Inhabitants can use nothing more than their minds to fly through the Astral Sea. And the more intelligent the creature, the faster it can fly.

The Astral Plane reacts to thought in more ways than motion though. In the Astral Sea, all creatures have directional awareness. You can get where you want to go, merely by thinking of the destination. After doing so, you become aware of the most direct route to that location. It can even be a direction to something you don’t know, like “the nearest Githyanki outpost” or “a safe place to shelter from the rampaging Astral Dreadnought.”


The Astral Plane is a realm of thought and stars, yes. But it is also packed full of all manner of denizens, native and visiting. Perhaps the most infamous is the Githyanki. This branch of the Gith raided through the Astral Plane from hidden redoubts. While their kin, the Githzerai sculpt fortresses and realities out of thoughts.

Dead gods drift through this realm, lifeless and vast.


But far more dangerous than either are the Astral Dreadnoughts, who hunger for all, and whose terrifying countenance might be the last thing you see if you’re not careful.

A curious thing about the Astral Sea (and Wildspace) is that both realms are full of fish. You might catch a space eel or a scavver, or find other astral fish in this starry realm.

But one thing any who lives there learn is that the Astral Plane is timeless.

Timeless But Not Spaceless

Time passes in the Astral Plane, but its effects do not. That is, a creature in the Astral Plane might experience the long roll of millennia (as will the worlds they are from), but they won’t age. And there are other effects besides, but only those who dwell in the Astral Plane for millennia truly know what that’s like.

The other thing to be aware of is that it’s not just a space that touches all shores. It connects, sometimes without needing space. One can frequently come across color pools that lead you to another plane of existence. You might travel to the Elemental Plane of Fire or Water by stumbling through a portal unaware.

It is a dangerous realm but can be richly rewarding for wary travelers.


Author: J.R. Zambrano
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