Domain Holder

"You don't get it. I built this place. Down here I make the rules. Down here I make the threats. Down here... I'm God."
Trainman, The Matrix Revolutions

Those with this kind of power have their own little domain - a Pocket Dimension, a Mental World, a section of Cyber Space, or a ritually established area overlapping the normal world - where they have editing rights over the laws of reality.

Often used in manga/anime context, to give the overpowered main character a challenge they CAN'T solve with their fists, since the first rule such a Domain Holder usually implements is "Violence doesn't work here, sucker!". There seems to be trade-offs involved in this case, since often, one of the rules is that the Domain Holder is required to fully explain the Rules to his "guests".

Subtrope (and most extreme form) of Home Field Advantage. Compare Field Power Effect and Place of Power. For large Pocket Dimensions, this may make the character a Dimension Lord. If the character has this power over dreams, it makes them a Dream Weaver. If the character's health is linked to that of the Pocket Dimension, they are a Fisher King. An already omnipotent being may be Even More Omnipotent in its home Domain.


    open/close all folders 

     Anime & Manga 
  • YuYu Hakusho: Some characters can establish their own rules in a defined volume of space.
  • Hunter Hunter had similar Pocket Dimensions.
  • In Big Order, the protagonist can do this, imposing his rules on any area he has previously walked on.
  • Beelzebub: Chapter 135 introduces a character who can do this in his 'gameroom', causing all damage dished out inside to rebound on the attacker. To get past his gameroom, they need to solve a series of puzzles, including sudoku.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, Babidi's base can simulate various environments and his henchmen use it to their advantage (although it fails spectacularly when a Heavy Worlder henchman tries increased gravity against Vegeta, who regularly trains in increased gravity.)
  • In Bleach, Yukio Hans Vorarlberna could put people inside video games, where he could control everything, including gravity and time.
  • One Piece, This is the essence of Trafalgar Law's Op-Op Devil Fruit ability, as it allows him to create a spherical space called "Room", where he can pretty much manipulate and modify everything inside. The concept of this power is based on the analogy of a surgeon (i.e. Law) having full control of his patients (i.e. everything) inside an operating room (i.e. the spherical space).

     Comic Books 
  • The page image depicts the title character of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman in the Dreaming, exercising this ability over a demon that had just devoured him. The Dreaming is a place where dream-logic rules anyway: any insidious trap or unstoppable attack is subject to Dream's Retcon or may simply not apply to Dream. No matter how little sense it would make.
    • The domains of Destiny, Death, Desire, and Despair are all implied to work this way as well. It's one of the reasons why they're very uncomfortable with setting foot in each others' homes. Delirium's domain is an even less attractive destination, since by her nature even she isn't in control there.
  • In an issue of X-Men set during the events of Avengers vs. X-Men, Colossus is host to both the powers of The Juggernaut and a fraction of the Phoenix Force. He goes to the realm of Cyttorak, the demon that grants the Juggernaut's abilities, and demands that Cyttorak remove the Juggernaut's powers. Cyttorak refuses, since Colossus has the potential to cause more chaos and destruction than any host Cyttorak has ever given his powers to. Colossus tries to force the demon to comply, but Cyttorak is unfazed because the Phoenix Force has no power in his realm. He merely boots Colossus out.

     Fan Fiction 

  • In The Matrix Revolutions, the Train Man has a small Matrix of his own, a train station used to smuggle renegade programs from the machine world into the Matrix. While inside it, he is basically omnipotent and can even curb-stomp Neo.

  • Practitioners in Pact can claim a portion of territory as a demesne, allowing them to be this trope within its boundaries. Johannes Lillegard, a particularly powerful one, has managed, through trickery and great will, to secure one in the commercial area of the large town of Jacob's Bell, allowing him to distort the architecture so that nobody leaves if he does not wish it, and to prey upon those that inadvertently pass through it.

     Live Action TV 
  • In Season 4 of Fringe, William Bell is trying to create his own Domain.

     Tabletop Games 
  • In Nobilis first and second editions, Nobles with the Realm attribute can shape the reality of their Chancel. In 3e, they can get a similar effect by taking "things of the Chancel" as a Domain.
  • It varies by edition and setting, but in general the gods of the various Dungeons & Dragons worlds have this privilege within their Place of Power (which could be of virtually any size.) Whether or not they have 'stats' elsewhere, it's not healthy for your 75th level archmage to decide he can simply kill one and take its place.
    • Several of the darklords of Ravenloft have the power to control weather, wildlife, and other natural forces within their domains, and a few of them (Easan, Davion) can actually manipulate the fabric of their realms' reality.
    • The gods of the Scarred Lands setting each have their own personal plane of existence where they can do pretty much anything. They never travel personally to Scarn, instead sending an avatar to take care of any business.
    • The Planescape setting is dominated by Sigil, a city under the total (though rarely exercised) control of the Lady of Pain. She has very few rules, but violators will suffer the consequences.

    Video Games 
  • In Saints Row: The Third, Matt Miller, emo-goth-cyberpunk master hacker and boss of his own emo-goth-cyberpunk gang, the Deckers, meets the player in a duel which takes place inside the Deckers' usernet, which is actually a TRON-eque cyberspace. While you advance through the virtual reality, Miller is changing laws of physics to slow your advance and mocking you with quotes of how he controls the very fabric of this world.
  • A staple in the Dragon Age series, where the Spirit World of Fade basically responds to any powerful magical being (whether a mortal mage or a demon), allowing them to shape huge domains around them over time and define their rules arbitrarily.
  • Mankar Camoran has one of these in The Elderscrolls IV Oblivion called Paradise. It is anything but.
  • Super Paper Mario has Dimentio, who has his own Pocket Dimension aptly called Dimension D. In it, he can modify anyone's strength (but accidentally empowers the player along with himself the first time around, though he claims I Meant to Do That).
  • The Final Mix version of Kingdom Hearts II gives us Zexion's Absent Silhoutte / Data Replica, who can (and often does) suck the player and their party into his Tome of Eldritch Lore to transport them to a Nintendo Hard Pocket Dimension under his control. He also can't be killed there; he can only be stunned enough to force him to expel them back onto the main battlefield, where he can indeed be defeated.
  • SCP - Containment Breach has SCP-106 (a.k.a. "The Old Man"), a rather sadistic Humanoid Abomination whose Intangibility not only makes him an Implacable Man, but also allows him to enter and/or drag others into his own personal dimension from just about anywhere. Inside, he pretty much dictates everything, including time and space — which allows him to prolong their suffering until he gets bored with them and decides to move on to another victim.

    Visual Novels 

    Western Animation 
  • In Teen Titans, Mumbo the magician has a small Pocket Dimension inside his hat, in which he has total control of reality. He also seems to use it as a source for many of his summoning spells, implying he can "leak" its contents into the real world.
  • Ghosts in GravityFalls seem basically omnipotent in whatever building they haunt.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, King Sombra seems to be able to manipulate the Crystal Empire's physics to his liking. First off, he's able to convert the place into a textbook Mordor, complete with a Lethal Lava Land-style sky. Then, when Celestia and Luna manage to imprison him for a millennium, he causes the whole place to vanish as well until his return, effectively nullifying their victory and giving himself the chance to just pick up from where he left off. Later on, when Twilight and Spike try to find the Crystal Heart — the one thing that can stop him for sure — they discover that he preemptively converted part of the Crystal Castle into a Pocket Dimension Death Course of spiraling staircases and traps to hide it behind.