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Spelljammer 5E Spelljammer Mechanics Fix/Advanced Rules (+)


So, lately I've been going through the 5E Spelljammer rules and likewise reading the old 2E rules. I've come across several areas in the new rules I feel are incomplete or have rules that on closer inspection, don't work very well. For the moment, I am going to put placeholders in this post, and expand as I have more time to contemplate the mechanics.

- Wildspace
...+ Celestial Sails, rigging & the like (Helm [warp speed] vs. Celestial Sails [impulse drive]) [Additional content; want to have a reason why a space-borne galleon would want to have sails, and other spaceborne ships have sails, rudders and the like]
...+ Standard ship positions (and skills and tool proficiency)
...+ Wildspace maneuvering & collisions
...+ Detecting objects in Wildspace
...+ Advanced Air concerns (poison clouds, spell effects [freshening, fouling] and other things that can affect the Air Envelope)
...+ Food, Water concerns for traveling
...+ Shuttles, Wildspace Walks and other off-ship activities
...+ Random encounter tables

- Advanced Combat:
...+ Advanced rules for ship-to-ship combat maneuvering (both battlemat and 2E hex-based)
...+ Turning differences (& speeding up and slowing down)
...+ Shipboard combat positions (and associated skill/tool proficiency)
...+ Targeting ships vs. crew
...+ Helm shock/Targeting the Helm
...+ (Optional) Targeting components
...+ Boarding combat (including Mob rules for mass boarding actions)
...+ Overboard effects (mechanics)
...+ Repair: Mending it too good and mundane repairs (1 hp/day, seriously?) are too inefficient.

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Rotten DM
Repair. A ship hold has supplies for repairs and maintenance on the ship. Supplies are wood, rope, nails, metal, duct tape, wd 444, tar etc. Carpentry tools will repair a 5 ft square in an hour. A packed five square will hold 10 HP worth of supplies.


When cruising through Wildspace or in the Astral Sea, spelljamming ships are propelled by magical forces that allow them to move at an unbelievable pace of 100 million miles per day (or about 4.1 million mph or 6,944 miles per round). The ebb and flow of the forces in Wildspace and Astral Sea allow vessels traveling at spelljamming speeds to easily avoid small pockets of "dead" space and objects that would prove fatal if collided with at such speeds.

However, this magical force dissipates near large bodies such as planets, moons or other phenomena - including certain creatures or spelljamming vesssels, such as the whale-like kinori. At the least, any substantial object that has its own air envelope can disrupt the ability to spelljam near it.

A spelljamming pilot can sense the oncoming approach of a "dead" area as far as an hour away and normally avoid it with ease. However, if for some reason the "dead" area is in motion or a small adjustment will not avoid intecepting the "dead" area, a Dexterity (Spelljamming Vessel proficiency) check is required to avoid it. The DC will be based on the speed and size of the object. If it is another spelljamming vessel that is actively attempting to intercept another, an opposed check is made between the two vessels. Even if interception occurs, the two objects will slow from spelljamming speeds at a distance of at least one air envelope (using the larger vessel) between each other's own air envelope. For example, if two space galleons were to intercept, they would drop out of spelljamming speeds no closer than 390 feet from each other (as each of their air envelope is 130 feet).

Near such places of "dead" space, whose area of effect fluctuates just beyond their air envelope, spelljamming movement is greatly disrupted and other means of maneuver and motion are required. The most common method employs harnessing what is known as the celestial winds - an undulating, radiant breeze that emanates from the Astral Sea and permeates almost all of Wildspace. This phantom, starry breeze can fill the sails of a spacefaring ship like an earthbound wind, and many creatures native to Wildspace can glide through it as easily as one might fly or swim. Creatures moving along the celestial winds move at much slower speeds, known as "Tactical Speed".

Generally speaking, once an object has moved so there is at least twice the air envelope's distance (always counting the larger object's air envelope) between the objects, a spelljamming ship may return to spelljamming speeds - though this does not preclude enemy ships from pursuing a fleeing vessel.

Creatures unfamiliar to the slight undulations of spelljamming vessels might experience mild nausea or other ill effects. Beings that are not native to Wildspace or that do not have a background in space travel should make a DC 10 Constitution save after their first hour of travel. On a failure, the target is Nauseated (treat as Poisoned) for the duration of the trip, and 1d4 hours afterward. If the target succeeds the saving throw on a trip, they do not need to make saves on future trips, having gotten their "spacelegs".


While a spelljamming vessel at the minimum requires a pilot to maneuver the vessel, on any sizable ship there are number of positions that characters might fulfill - other than as crew or passengers. The more notable positions are listed below, along with their duties and possible skills they need to perform those duties.

Pilot (Required). This is the individual responsible for maneuvering the vessel at spelljamming and tactical speeds. Spelljamming ships rarely turn on a dime, thus the pilot generally relies on Wisdom (Spelljammer Vessel) skill checks to deftly maneuver the vessel to a desired position.

Captain (Required). This individual is responsible for the efficient running of the ship, and has the final say in all matters regarding the ship's disposition. The captain's duty is to co-ordinate the actions of everyone else aboard the ship. On some ships, the pilot also acts as the Captain, but in stressful situations such as combat the demands of maneuvering and commanding is difficult, causing such an individual to suffer disadvantage on skill checks for both positions.

Navigator (Required). This individual is responsible for tracking the course of the vessel. They must be able to juggle many facts at once to both know where they've been, where they are going and how long it will take them. They generally use Wisdom (Survival) to plot courses directly, though a dose of Intelligence (History) is often desired to know about the local inhabitants and hazards in an area. Military vessels and ships with valuable cargo generally have a dedicated individual as the navigator - who keeps the route secret from the general crew. Most other vessels regulate the navigator's job to the Pilot, Captain, Master of the Tops or First Mate.

Tops (Required). This individual is responsible for adjusting whatever means the vessel uses for maneuvering at tactical speeds - usually sails. The Master of the Tops generally isn't actually maneuvering the ship, but instead adjusting and trimming the sails to catch the maximum amount of celestial winds to keep the vessel moving. This generally requires a Wisdom (Nature or Survival) skill check to get top speed. In a pinch, the Pilot can also acts as the Master of the Tops, but attempting to do both jobs at once inflicts disadvantage on both checks.

Quartermaster (Required).
This individual is responsible for storing and doling out supplies on the vessel. Generally the quartermaster holds the money purse for the ship, doling out salaries as well as being in charge of purchasing supplies for the next voyage. The quartermaster's duties requires a mix of Intelligence (Investigation) to locate hard-to-find items, Charisma (Persuasion) to barter deals and Intelligence (Survival) to properly plan purchases for upcoming voyages. During a voyage, the quartermaster may also act as the ship's cooks, since its food stores are their responsibility. On very small ships, the Captain or Pilot may act as the quartermaster.

First Mate (Optional). The first mate is generally only a position filled on large ships that have a significant number of crew on board. They are the assistant to the Captain, ensuring the orders given to them are filled out by the crew in an efficient fashion, allowing the Captain to tend to other duties. They should be skilled in Charisma (Persuasion), Wisdom (Insight) and Charisma (Intimidation) when the situation calls for it. On some ships, the First Mate may act as a Navigator, or may even be the spokesperson for the crew, relaying their mood and needs to the Captain.

Weapons Master (Optional). This individual is responsible for the co-ordination of a vessel's weapons and armory. This individual is in charge of training the crew to fight and fight effectively. They also generally are in charge of the keys to the armory - a position not enviable for those on a ship nearing mutiny. A Weapon Master's duties generally come on line in combat, but in-between combats their duties include training others in the use of personal and ship-board weapons, as well as keeping the crew discipline in line - usually through Charisma (Persuasion), but Charisma (Intimidation) if necessary.

Cook (Optional). This individual is responsible for feeding and watering the crew. Many are consummate rumormongers as well, and are charged with keeping up the morale of the crew along long voyages. Cooks need to be proficient with Intelligence (Cooking Utensils), and it never hurts to be good at Charisma (Performance) and Wisdom (Insight). Cooks tend to work hand-in-hand with the Quartermaster, and it may even be a position filled by the Quartermaster themselves.


Rotten DM
weapon systems Upgrades examples . Toril is base line tech. So weapons systems can only have one range and one action upgrade. Insert verbal about high tech high magic.

Ballista Armor Class: 15 Hit Points: 50 Damage Immunities: poison, psychic​

Actions 3
Bolt. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 120/480 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (3d10) piercing damage.
Base Cost 200 GP ?
Action Decrease. 200 GP reduces the actions needed by 1.
Range increase 500 GP range increases to 1,000 FT Which is max.


Rotten DM
Ships Safety Stove 1/2 price of cauldron of Plenty. This combination stove, oven, microwave and coffee pot. Will not catch ship on fire. Has a stove vent to outside of hull. (Yes weak pt).
Cook supplies. 1 gallon of water and 1 Pd per eating humanoid at the very least. 3* to be more real.
Cook magic items Cauldron of Plenty, Decanter of Endless water, Alchemy Jug,
Cook should only be full time job with eating crews over 30 (my Army cook experience here).

Tops sounds like a specialized Bosun.


Vast streams of colorful astral material wafts into Wildspace from the Astral Sea, creating rivers and lakes of starry material. The motion of planets in a realm prevent these streamers from forming in planetary paths, so they tend to create veins that stretch above and below the planetary plane of a Wildspace realm. The larger rivers produce their own air envelope and centrally-pulling gravity well. They are usually filled with an assortment of space guppies, feeding kindori, scavvers and other spacesea creatures. In some places, these confluences gather into great lakes, usually bobbing with asteroids or other terran objects caught in the grip of the streamer's gravity.

Because these rivers and lakes produce both an air envelope and gravity well, spelljamming ships are slowed to tactical speed when they are approached. These areas are easily avoided by ships at spelljamming speeds as their currents are languid and predictable, and are out of most major travel lanes. However, ships needing to restore their food stores, or which ply in astral sea food trade need only take a short divergence to reach these areas and conduct themselves in a wide range of fishing activities - from singular pole fishing to using nets to sweep the rivers and in some unsavory cases, hunting kindori and the other vast beasts of the astral rivers and lakes like the seaborne hunters of old.

The rules for rod-based fishing can be found in the Astral Adventurer's Guide. Net fishing in an Astral River or lake requires a fishing net and a DC 15 Wisdom (Survival) check per net. A successful check gathers 5 lbs. of fish (5 meals worth), plus an additional 5 lbs. per point the check was succeeded by. A failure with a natural roll of 2 indicates the net is tangled or otherwise damaged and must be repaired (at least 1 hour's work) before use. A failure with a natural roll of 1 indicates an encounter with a predatory fish of some sort (usually a scavver) that attacks the crew or vessel.

Harpoon hunting for Kindori and other colossal creatures - such as Astral Krakens, Dreadnoughts or the like, use the normal ship-based and personal combat rules; hunting down such colossal beasts is not a task for the weak of heart!

A wide variety of space debris tumbles through Wildspace, ranging in size from small pebbles to moon-sized asteroids and other objects. Free-floating rocky debris, for the purposes of this game are termed Asteroids, and they are relatively unmoving from their position, allowing them to be revisited over and over. An asteroid must be a minimum of at least 50 feet across to produce an air envelope and gravity plane that can interfere with spelljamming. Over the many years floating in Wildspace, asteroids surprisingly fill their air envelope with fresh air. Ships sometimes take advantage of this to replenish fouled air by merging with the asteroid's air envelope. It takes approximately a week for an asteroid to clean its own fouled air envelope if otherwise left alone.

Comets and other moving objects are an occasional hazard in Wildspace. Luckily, these objects generally not moving at Spelljamming speeds and are easily detected by vessels and avoided. In rare occassions though, these fast-moving objects may either be undetectable, masked or actually alter course to seek out collision with spelljamming vessels, such as Murder Comets (see Boo's Astral Menagerie). Generally speaking, known obstacles can be automatically avoided. In some cases, a ship may be forced to pass through such an obstacle (such as the Rain of Tears, a meteor shower near Selune's moon port in Realmspace), which forces the ship to tactical speed to manuever through the area. Other unexpected obstacles can generally be avoided with a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Spelljamming Vessel) skill check. In rare cases, dangerous obstacles may seek out nearby spelljamming ships, drawn to such ships by magic or sentience. In such cases, an opposed Wisdom (Spelljamming Vessel) skill check may be required to avoid the obstacle, with failure indicating interception, which slows the vessel to tactical speed.

Beyond asteroids, astermines, comets, meteor showers and other objects in Wildspace, two additional space phenomena are worth pointing out.

The first are celestial temples, generally dedicated to gods of the sky, sun, stars or moon. In spelljamming realms, temples to these gods may exist, either as part of a larger port or possibly as a freestanding edifice. Most are open and welcome to peaceful travellers, offering services, spells, berthing and/or places of worship for those travelling through Wildspace. Modrons, oddly, have scattered outposts throughout wildspace, where they observe celestial mechanics and in rare cases may act as drydocks for spelljamming ship repairs - though usually at the cost of a mandatory attendance of one of the Modron's conferences on celestial mechanics.

The second phenomena are the smattering of infernal realms sometimes found in remote and forbidding places of Wildspace. Whether a foul temple to a fiendish power, prison for such beings or the touchstone for an infernal incursion, these realms are generally found in obscure areas and reek of their infernal inhabitants. In one exceptional case, there is a known temple to Asmodeus in a realm replete with corsairs and pirates, a great floating city colloquially known as Hellsport, in which all manner of pleasures and items can be found - many of which are highly illegal in other realms.

Conversely, there are cautionary tales of a forgotten realm whose planets were overrun in a demonic incursion brought on by own inhabitants foul practices, its planets now hellish realms and its sun devoured by an apocalyptic entity that still hungers for all that draw near it. Likewise, spacer tales speak of other realms in an enternal war between celestial and fiendish forces, with the very planets in contention by rival forces.
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