A planeswalker’s spark is a latent power inborn into a very small number of sentient creatures across the Multiverse. If activated, its bearer turns into a planeswalker. As such, he or she is granted the ability to travel between the planes of the Multiverse. Sparks occur randomly in any sapient population but not through genetics, nor can they be created artificially. A spark can be magically transferred to another, or used up to perform magical works. They can be contained magically, even if it is intangible and a part of a being’s soul.
Sometimes the planeswalker’s spark is defined as a little bit of aether, or the Blind Eternities, which is imprinted on a soul as it becomes embodied in a being: some sort of birthmark on the soul, left by aether. The theory is that the lifeforce of all beings is “tethered” in the aether, and that when a sentient being’s life begins, there is a remote chance that the being’s lifeforce will be infused with the essence of the Blind Eternities themselves. In other words, the spark is an infinitesimally small fragment of the Blind Eternities that resides within a being’s “soul.” That metaphysical connection to the Multiverse is what enables planeswalking for the rare few who come to know how to tap into it.
How is the spark activated, then? The spark’s “ignition” is the process by which a sapient creature activates their latent spark and thus becomes a planeswalker. Usually, the ignition is triggered by a powerful, emotionally-affecting, perspective-altering life event, often a near death experience. As an effect of the ignition, the newly-ignited planeswalker planeswalks away for their first time: they are pulled to the Blind Eternities and then come back appearing to a random plane, and afterwards realizing their new traveling powers.
In Dungeons & Dragons
If you want to play as a planeswalker, you’ll need to work with your DM (as in most cases for the content described in this series). This background is particularly tricky, becasue in order to keep the adventuring party together, they all should have the ability to planeswalk (according to MtG lore, planeswalkers are not able to take anything alive with them through the aether, but of course, in this regard, DM could allow it).
A Planeswalker is a powerful mage who is able to travel across the planes of existence. There are infinite worlds across the Multiverse, and Planeswalkers are unique in their ability to move from one world to the next, expanding their knowledge and power through the experiences they collect there.
After the Planeswalker spark ignites, one has the power to dedicate one’s life to a personal mission, whatever that may be. A Planeswalker’s life is consumed with the exploration of the Multiverse, the discovery of strange secrets and experiences, and the plumbing of the depths of one’s own mystic soul. The life of a Planeswalker is a life of choice and self-determination, unrestricted by the boundaries of world or fate. With the freedom to travel and the power of magic, each Planeswalker has the power to carve his or her name on the face of history.
- Skill proficiencies: Arcana, Survival
- Tool proficiencies: Cartographer’s and Navigator’s tools.
- Languages: choose one from Abyssal, Celestial, Infernal or Primordial, related to the plane you first planeswalked.
- Equipment: a scroll case or diary with notes and memories, a set of common clothes, a token or personal item from your original plane, and 10gp.
It requires prolonged focus to bring two worlds together and create the bridge to cross between them. This process takes about a minute and is similar to casting a ritual with no components but the concentration of the character. Nonetheless, it doesn’t allow for much precision. As a general rule, the exact point on a plane where a Planeswalker arrives is up to the DM, and it’s usually the same location for each visit a character makes to a plane. If the DM allows it, you can take companions with you.
For this article we are using the ideas James Wyatt introduced in the Plane Shift: Amonkhet supplement. Have you seen rules to play as a planeswalker in D&D? How did it go? Hit the comments below and share your ideas!