"Everything you know about space is wrong."
These were the first words that Jeff Grubb wrote in the foreword of Concordance of Arcane Space. And that book, the first book in the AD&D Adventures in Space boxed set, launched one of the most unusual campaign settings created for the Dungeons & Dragons role playing game.
The Spelljammer RPG was followed up by novels, comics, a computer game and even a "choose your own adventure" book.
Gone but not forgotten
The version of D&D that Spelljammer was created for was the 2nd Edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. This version of the rules, as well as Spelljammer itself, has now been out of print for over a decade. Spelljammer is not directly supported, by its owner (now Wizards of the Coast). But there is a lot of fan support out there. And back in the early days of 3rd Edition Wizards of the Coast appointed the best of the fan websites to be the "official Spelljammer website".
Why I want to locate Spelljammer fans
I think that fans of out of print campaign settings (and out of print role playing rules) need to stick together, pool their resources and share tips. Without the commercial backing that TSR gave Spelljammer, I think that we need to work together to make sure everyone knows what is out there and so that fan-designers know where to look for assistance. Some great fanon content has been created over the years, for both Spelljammer and other out of print parts of D&D, but some people have given up and pulled down their websites. (Some of that stuff has been archived on The Wayback Machine, but it is really hard to find it.)
There was even a time a few years back when Wizards of the Coast deleted their in-house Spelljammer forum (and several other forums for other out of print campaign settings) after their moderators claimed the out of print setting fans were not active enough. The removal of the Spelljammer forum was a dark-time for fandom, but it was also a well needed kick-up-the-bum that motivated one of us to create a new home for the out of print campaign settings.
The "old school revival" is the name being given towards an increase in out of print Dungeons & Dragons rules. And Spelljammer has seen a fan revival in the last few years. In fact some of the old school game designers are so happy to see this revival that they have been talking to fans of long-gone products on some of the forums that are out there.
I am a big fan of Spelljammer and I want to see that revival continue and work towards something that helps keep Spelljammer alive.
Galleryspace Other people see dead people I see Spelljammer!
So I have been looking around the Interwebs for Spelljammer fans and pointing them in the directions of some of the SJ related projects that they might be interested in looking at or even helping out with. On Facebook, I have found 159 people who have been kind enough to "add me as a friend" and some of those people have had some really interesting ideas to bring to the drawing board.
Useful Spelljammer resources
Here are just a few of the websites and projects that are out there:
Beyond the Moons (the "official Spelljammer website"): http://www.spelljammer.org/The Spelljammer forum, at The Piazza (the world's most active Spelljammer discussion): http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewforum.php?f=2Spelljammer Mailing List aka SJML (a Spelljammer mailing list run by Wizards of the Coast): http://sjml.spelljammer.org/Spelljammer Wiki (the encyclopaedia of Spelljammer): http://spelljammer.wikia.com/The Spelljammer Image Group (a Flickr group for sharing fan images): http://www.flickr.com/groups/spelljammer/Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project (a project on The Piazza to support the conversion page on Beyond the Moons): http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewforum.php?f=49Spelljammer group on Facebook (a group, where you can talk to other SJ fans): http://www.facebook.com/groups/37092349448/
To find other Spelljammer resources, please surf over to The Piazza, where myself and others maintain a thread with links to as many SJ websites as possible.
How you can help
If you care about Spelljammer too, please do whatever you feel you can do to help pull everyone together. But if you haven't got any ideas of your own, here are a few suggestions:
Sign up with the SJ communities so you can see what other people are doing,Pass on links (and other interesting information) to any Spelljammer fans you meet,Dig out any old SJ notes you have and put them somewhere (maybe Beyond the Moons) where other SJ fans can use them.
Thanks for taking the time to read this note! Feel free to share it.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Administrator: Spelljammer Wiki
Moderator: Spelljammer forum at The Piazza
Moderator: The Spelljammer Image Group
If you like Spelljamemer too, please send me a friend request.