The Plane of Sound, alternatively called “The Plane of Cacophony” or “The Plane of Reverberations” is a “Super Plane,” which exists everywhere on top of, concurrent with all planes simultaneously, anywhere there is sound. Except in areas of magical (and perhaps mechanically induced) silence, sound is everywhere, in every dimension. Because the plane of sound is a “Super Plane,” it’s nigh impossible to access directly.
But that’s not to say that that its power is not easily accessible. Any time that a person speaks, a sound is caused, the plane of sound is activated at a basic level. At another level the plane of sound is accessed by moving musical pieces, rousing political speeches, and the sounds of nature itself. A third level that the Plane of Sound is accessed is through clerics who have the “song” domain, as well as bards using their musical abilities, anyone using “sonic” abilities, and spellcasters of every stripe that use “verbal” components tap into the plane unwittingly, whether they know it or recognize it or not. Characters that specialize in sonic abilities as well as those that use music to cast their spells (as in some alternate versions of the bard which use chords, spell notes and spell song). If you want to see spell songs in fiction, check out the following books:
- “The Spellsinger” Series by Alan Dean Foster
- “A Wizard in Rhyme” series by Christopher Stasheff
- “The Spellsong Cycle Series “ by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
Sound is a very morphic “substance” in that it is able to be amplified, muffled, and shaped through both mundane means and magical means. Anything with the sound quality is automatically counted as being “sonic” energy damage.
If you could go faster than the speed of sound – Mach speeds creating a “sonic boom” and could access the sonic boom itself and while in it cast several sound based spells, doing so might be a good way to access it. Arranging to do so would be an adventure in and of itself. Theoretically if one could take all the sound that ever existed, presently exists, and would ever exist and condense it into a single point of time and space, the cacophony that would result would be the plane of sound. If one did access the plane of sound, what would they find?
- Without Planar Energy Protection Spell – The plane of sound targets the character and every item on the character, as if s/he was exposed to the Shatter spell every round. Unattended objects are automatically subjected to the damage.
- Without proper protection characters become affected as if the Insanity spell had been cast on them.
- Travel would be much the same as the plane of air: you fall (or fly) in whatever direction you want to. Because it is a super plane, you might find pockets of literally every dimension that exists, each which comes with their own dangers.
- Vision would be nonexistent without magical aid, as you would be looking through all dimensions at once. All unaided Spot checks are made at a +20 DC
- Listening to normal noise would become nigh impossible, imposing a +20 DC check on all Listen rolls.
- Even with Planar Energy Protection, there could be bursts of sound that could break through the protection
- Sonic Elemental (take an Air Elemental and substitute the energy “sound”)
- Gibbering mothers
- Knell Beetles
- Howling Dragons
Note that none of these creates (except the Sonic Elemental) are *native* to The Plane of Sound, they can be found there because the environment wouldn’t hurt them!
Why would someone want to gain access to a place that is so difficult to access and inhospitable? Here are some ideas why:
- For power: if you could access (and make sense out of the audio information), by knowing the possible conversations around you, you could add one of the following (only ability one can be activated at a given time)
- By rolling a wisdom check DC 20 + level once a day, you can gain +4 to any skill, ability, die roll, or damage. You can change what you want to have amplified each round.
- Choose any one skill, ability, die roll, or method of damage and add +8 to it (you can’t change this once chosen)
- By altering The Plane of Sound, one could make it sound as if someone was saying anything they wished, and there’s nothing the person “saying” these things could do to stop them.
- By obliterating The Plane of Sound, it would make everyone and everything effectively deaf. Sonic damage would no longer be possible.
- For the love of music. Get a boost of a character’s level to Perform checks
- For blackmail: By hearing every conversation ever spoken. If one were able to access the plane of sound, no secret that was spoken could be kept secret. A person with access could blackmail literally every public official, unless they’re willing to come clean with their secrets.
- For control of magic itself. If all magic is viewed as an extension of The Plane of Sound, by controlling it one could make verbal components of magic do odd things. It could cause them to be useless, go wild, or more or less powerful at the whim of the person who had control of it.
- With enough time and effort, you could find the sounds that shape the universe itself and recreate it any way you want to. The “ending boss” of a game could seek to do just that- reshape the entire realm of magic in their own image.
- For access to other planes without the proper spell key, as it lays over all the other planes simultaneously.
Plane of Sound Adventures
- A magic user has opened a rift in the Prime material plane and somehow has accessed the Plane of Sound. The result is the top floor of the tower the mage was in was completely decimated and the animals in a large area around it have fled the area. It’s up to the PCs to figure out how to safely approach the tower and close the rift.
- A mage has put something in the Plane of Sound to protect it. It’s made of something that is immune to the plane’s effects, but not immune to being moved around in the plane. When the mage went to retrieve it, it wasn’t there. It’s up to the PCs to get it back safely.
- The PCs have somehow been transported to the Plane of Sound, safely encapsulated in a zone of silence. However, while they look on, their zone of safely is shrinking. It’s up to the PCs to figure out how to survive long enough to get back to the Prime Material Plane
- A Sound elemental is on the loose, and it’s up to the PCs to stop it. But how do you fight something that moves at Mach speeds and is immune to weapons?
- The PCs have discovered the Plane of sound and want to create spells based on its powers.
- A magic user has opened a microscopic tear in the plane of sound in his vocal chords. Every word is a shout that does damage to nearby people and monsters.
- A magic user has developed a way of harnessing the plane of sound to create music boxes (think something akin to a radio… but without the commercials). Unfortunately, if the magic goes wrong, it can cause mass destruction. And if one box has a problem, there’s more of a chance that others in the area may have the same problem. It’s up to the PCs to help recall the boxes before a disaster occurs.
- The PCs find a magic seashell that’s connected to the Plane of Sound. It allows the user to hear whatever he wants to hear. Unfortunately, it’s also very temperamental, in that it seems to work only when it wants to. The PCs need to find an expert in the Plane of Sound to help them to get the shell to work properly.
- A sound elemental is trying to enter the Prime Material plane, and in doing so is causing havoc. It switches sounds randomly, For instance it might cause a flute to sound like a harp or a bullfrog to sound like an opera singer. It’s up to the PCs to track down what’s happening and get everything sounding normal again, while simultaneously trying to prevent further mischief from the elemental. The arc ends with them convincing the Sound elemental to leave the Prime alone – either by persuasion or by force.
- A no-talent bard has somehow captured a sound elemental in his instrument, allowing him to create virtuoso performances. The downside of having done so is that it’s made him a target to the other bards in the area. It’s up to the PCs to protect him.
As you can see, there are a variety of uses for the Plane of Sound in your game. It can be used as a new way of getting abilities, a source for enemies, or magic items. As always, thanks for reading. Feel free to comment, like, and re-share!