Is Spelljammer Coming To D&D 5E?
  • Is Spelljammer Coming To D&D 5E?


    Thanks to Stan Shinn over on Google+ for this scoop! WotC held a presentation at the GAMA trade show today, in which they covered both recent D&D performance (best year ever!), some previews of Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, and a small hint towards... Spelljammer?




    Here's Stan's report, direct from the trade show:

    "Interesting Spelljammer and market news from the GAMA (Game Manufacturers Association) WOTC Seminar on March 13 in Reno (Iím there now).

    Mark Price talked about D&D and showed some pictures from inside the upcoming Mordenkainenís Tome of Foes book. I have a few pictures (attached) prior to the Mordenkainenís slides, but they asked us not to take or share pictures of the Mordenkainenís book interior. They did show us a picture of a ĎGiffí ó a Spelljammer creature, which will be in the book. He looked like a steampunk hippo with a blunderbuss. Regarding why the creature was in the book, he said ďIíll let you speculate wildly about what that may mean.Ē

    There was look of a wink in his eye so Iím pretty sure the hint was that Spelljammer is coming soon!

    Other news from the seminar:

    ó 2017 was the best year for D&D ever in terms of sales
    ó Year 3 of D&D sales is stronger than their first year
    ó Actual play streaming is a key driver of D&Dís success, with 9 million users watching D&D on Twitch
    ó 8.6 million Americans have played D&D in the last 12 months (they did not give stats for overseas)"


    It seems Xanathar's Guide was the fastest selling product in D&D history!

    Wondering what Spelljammer is? Imagine D&D (2nd Edition) in space, except the ships are magic flying sailing galleons, and space is a "phlogiston" they can sail in with magical helms, and each world is in its own "crystal sphere", and all of D&D's settings exist in the same universe, and you can fly between them. Image above is of the AD&D 2E Spelljammer boxed set.

    Of course, it might not be that. It might just be a monster entry Mordenkainen's Tome, and nothing more.











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    Comments 146 Comments
    1. Ath-kethin's Avatar
      Ath-kethin -
      HELL YEAH! I'll take my space hippo guy with a side order of giant space hamster and a topping of space whale, please.

      All day long.
    1. jgsugden's Avatar
      jgsugden -
      As long as it works with the established cosmology for 5E and doesn't intrude unnecessarily into games where we do not want to see it, fine.
    1. Nikosandros's Avatar
      Nikosandros -
      So, D&D is now selling better than in the "golden age" of the early eighties. That's quite an amazing result. Well, so much for a dying market, I guess...
    1. Rygar's Avatar
      Rygar -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nikosandros View Post
      So, D&D is now selling better than in the "golden age" of the early eighties. That's quite an amazing result. Well, so much for a dying market, I guess...
      I need some hard numbers on this. I'm struggling to believe that in the 80's it was so popular that there were cartoons, toys, and the books were everywhere and video games. Today it is selling better with almost no market presence outside of a very small number of books. Then in the 3rd edition era it was popular enough to spawn a movie (Which may be happening now to be fair). I suspect strongly that they're playing fast and loose with their metrics, I suspect that they're comparing non-inflation adjusted revenue to a sub-set of 80's products to get "Best ever!".
    1. Jacob Lewis's Avatar
      Jacob Lewis -
      Those last few images look like they're showing their worth to investors...
    1. FlyingChihuahua's Avatar
      FlyingChihuahua -
      Well hot damn, that's pretty cool.
    1. TerraDave's Avatar
      TerraDave -
      They have hinted many times that the multiverse has some spelljammer in it. This doesn't tell us anything beyond that.

      As for the numbers, they are consistent with what some of us have been reporting from other sources.

      They are big: 9 million watching and 8.6 million playing. Way back when the number you would here for D&D players playing in a year was closer to 1 million.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nikosandros View Post
      So, D&D is now selling better than in the "golden age" of the early eighties. That's quite an amazing result. Well, so much for a dying market, I guess...
      There hasnít been a dying market narrative for years.
    1. neuronphaser's Avatar
      neuronphaser -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rygar View Post
      I need some hard numbers on this. I'm struggling to believe that in the 80's it was so popular that there were cartoons, toys, and the books were everywhere and video games. Today it is selling better with almost no market presence outside of a very small number of books. Then in the 3rd edition era it was popular enough to spawn a movie (Which may be happening now to be fair). I suspect strongly that they're playing fast and loose with their metrics, I suspect that they're comparing non-inflation adjusted revenue to a sub-set of 80's products to get "Best ever!".
      Here are some hard numbers.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/3655627.stm

      So, in 2004 it was about 3 million people playing per month in the US. According to this seminar, "8.6 million Americans have played D&D in the last 12 months" and "9 million users watching D&D on Twitch."

      I'm sure you won't find harder numbers than this, given how surveys are done and how "users" are measured.
    1. Kobold Avenger's Avatar
      Kobold Avenger -
      Well there's already Neogi in Volo's Guide...

      But at least they're giving the Giff a chance. Doesn't necessarily mean we'll get the Mercane/Arcane or the Reigar or Dohwar or the SJ creatures that were originally in Star Frontiers.
    1. Sorcerers Apprentice's Avatar
      Sorcerers Apprentice -
      Don't forget that D&D is dying because of WotC mismanagement guys, it's a FACT because I say so!
    1. FitzTheRuke's Avatar
      FitzTheRuke -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rygar View Post
      I need some hard numbers on this. I'm struggling to believe that in the 80's it was so popular that there were cartoons, toys, and the books were everywhere and video games. Today it is selling better with almost no market presence outside of a very small number of books. Then in the 3rd edition era it was popular enough to spawn a movie (Which may be happening now to be fair). I suspect strongly that they're playing fast and loose with their metrics, I suspect that they're comparing non-inflation adjusted revenue to a sub-set of 80's products to get "Best ever!".
      I understand your skepticism, but think of it this way:

      In the 80's, you watched the cartoon and thought "This is cool, I like D&D." What did you do? Look in the Yellow Pages for a hobby store near you. Hope there is one. Hope it has a copy.

      NOW, you watch minor celebrities play D&D on TWITCH. What do you do? You order it on Amazon. Done.

      I think they probably can easily make the "Fastest Selling Product in History" claim. Distribution is not even close to the same animal.
    1. vpuigdoller's Avatar
      vpuigdoller -
      I wasn't expecting Spelljammer at all. To be honest I expected Eberron or Greyhawk even Nentir Vale first. Well heck maybe we are getting all of them/
    1. Erdric Dragin's Avatar
      Erdric Dragin -
      Nothing beats 2nd Edition lore and setting material.

      I sure wish WotC would go back to that one day.
    1. SerHogan's Avatar
      SerHogan -
      Quote Originally Posted by jgsugden View Post
      As long as it works with the established cosmology for 5E and doesn't intrude unnecessarily into games where we do not want to see it, fine.
      But it IS the cosmology of D&D.
    1. FlyingChihuahua's Avatar
      FlyingChihuahua -
      Quote Originally Posted by SerHogan View Post
      But it IS the cosmology of D&D.
      Yeah, Spelljammer is basically the physical universe of D&D.
    1. SerHogan's Avatar
      SerHogan -
      As someone who grew up playing Basic D&D, AD&D 1.5 and 2E and watched the editions wars from afar over the years and who picked up 5E and has been playing it on roll20 for the last several years... well, I'm just shocked and happy to see the game I love find its stride again after it seemed on the verge of extinction so many times since the 1980s and beyond.

      I always thought the barrier to entry was just too damn high for D&D to catch on in the mainstream. That to learn the game as a kid you had to be apprenticed to a DM or in possession of smarts and time. But it seems the internet has really solved it. Need to figure out a rule question? You can do it in seconds or minutes. Want to see how the game works? You can watch people play.

      Can't wait to see where it goes from here. The scale and scope of these sales and exposure reports suggest this isn't just a fad but a growing community.
    1. Umbrathys's Avatar
      Umbrathys -
      As an Aerospace Engineer and someone who has played all versions of D&D since 1979, I can say that Spelljammer is by far the most intriguing setting I have ever played. I very much hope this happens . The geek in me is crying tears of anticipatory joy
    1. FlyingChihuahua's Avatar
      FlyingChihuahua -
      Wait a second, they don't really say whether or not Giff would be playable.

      Hmm...
    1. Mercurius's Avatar
      Mercurius -
      5E seems to be built on the idea of inclusivity of the entire heritage of the game. In other words, every era, edition, and setting has a place within the multiverse, even if only in an implied way. In that sense, it is true the actual experience the multiplicity of game groups and DMs out there: every single game picks and chooses from the entire corpus of ideas. Everything is available, but also optional.

      I love Spelljammer, in a similar way that I love 1970s jazz-fusion or the film Logan's Run or LPs. Spelljammer feels dated and very late 80s/early 90s, but also has a unique quality to it that just exudes pure imaginative fun.

      That said, I've always liked the idea of integrating Spelljammer and Planescape - that the SJ ships actually sail the Astral Sea, not the phlogiston/crystal sphere setup. Come to think of it, didn't 4E go this route?
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