D&D General Is Spelljammer really that bad?


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delericho

Legend
Personally I prefer to compare the current setting books to the original box set.

The current 5E book set has 3 x 64 pgs
The original 2E box set was 2 x 96 pgs + handouts

So it has the exact same page count as the original campaign setting (not counting the handouts).
A couple of things:
  • My understanding is that the new set is fairly art heavy. The older set was a load of tightly-packed text. So while the page count may be the same, the word count most likely isn't.
  • More importantly, those handouts that you're not counting were all the ship deck-plans that eat up a lot of space in the new set. So discounting them almost certainly gives a very false impression of things.
I think the expectation to use the older material as mentioned in your last point is more an understanding that the fans of the original 2E will already have their old books still anyway, but selling some old stuff to new fans would certainly be on the agenda too.
I doubt that either legacy fans or sales of DM's Guild material are particularly on WotC's agenda - the numbers for both are small enough that they're gravy and no more. The product was expected to sell enough units on its own merit to justify producing it. And, apparently, WotC have been well pleased with those sales numbers.
 

Why? What about a setting book requires some minimum number of pages?
Why? If the concept doesn't require 80 pages to convey, why use 80 pages?

Not a minimum, an equivalence. Page count implies effort, and I would expect that similar effort be applied to each setting. I find it hard to believe that one setting is so complex and another so simple that a wildly disparate amount of information is needed. If that is true, then I submit that the second setting is simplistic and requires further development. Previously published settings set the bar.

But saying that for Spelljammer is wrong? Forgotten Realms didn't detail giants explicitly in the SCAG, but that wasn't a problem. But the Spelljammer book relying on the MM for Mind Flayers and Githyanki is?

Seriously? You are misunderstanding the point. There is no issue in using the core three books, it is in the expectation that other resources could or should be used such as Tasha's. I'm not certain if it was you or someone else who raised that point. I think that if there is something beyond the core three is required it should be in the source book. And, since the local environment is presumably quite different than that of Eberron, Forgotten Realms, even Dark Sun, I would expect there to be a number of unique environmental and social situations that would be detailed in the setting book.

The question isn't "could there have been more?" That is obvious, of course there could have been more. The question is, "Is more neccessary, or is what was provided enough?"

A reasonable question; some find it satisfactory and others do not. Those who don't find the paucity of setting lacking.

And I find it very telling that @Older Beholder points out that these three books are almost the exact same amount of material as the original 2e boxed set.

I do too, and rather damning I think.

Note that he compared page count. The current direction is to use vastly more art. The font size is larger. There is less written information per page, and fewer pages with written information. This does make the book easier to read and the art can be quite evocative. Also, it sounds like from others that the content is balanced in a different manner than the original release. It now focuses on areas other than frank setting.

Also, again, the book explicitly calls out referencing an adventure around Moby Dick and side-eyes running a Robinson Crusoe. The idea that people are going to have no idea what to run in a setting that is a mix of sci-fi and age of sail stories is nearly laughable.

You would think so, wouldn't you? Alas, I fear our fellow gamers are rather poorly read. Still, you do mention movies and TV series that should be excellent inspiration. That's adjacent to the point, I believe. As I understand it, the criticism is that with Spelljammer the DMs are having to fill in a nearly blank canvas. Whereas with Eberron the canvas is far more detailed yet still with plenty of whitespace for the DM to fill in with their own vision. I think given the previously published settings, people were expecting the latter rather than the former and see no reason why the former is as useful or even appropriate.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Conversely, the Ravenloft book does quite the exploration of different horror genres and ideas about how to run them, and describes domains and the sort of horror stories they can tell. By your argument, all of that was unnecessary. There's literally tens of thousands of horror movies out there that could be used for inspiration, a body of horror literature reaching back at least a century and a half, and a body of horror myth and legend going way back further than that. You could make the same argument with any conventional campaign setting too, there's entire libraries of fantasy novels out there, quite aside from movies and TV. Does the mere existence and availability of reference or inspirational material in other media make old-style campaign settings largely obsolete to you?

As @Hussar points out, Van Richten's was a second dive, the first being the setting of Barovia, which was only lightly detailed.

But, you also are comparing a second set of issues as though they are the same thing. Ravenloft explores different horror genres. That isn't setting information, that is genre information. They give you ideas on how to run horror games, but again "horror game" isn't a setting. I'll put a pin in the rest, but detour to talk about this bit.

So, why is it we had a lot more exploration of horror genres and how to effectively run horror games than we did for a game of Sails? Well, quite simply horror is far more complicated. Not only is it more difficult to run, it is more difficult to run in regards to DnD (horror often involves dis-empowering people, while DnD and fantasy adventures deal in empowerment), and it is difficult to run in terms of the party, because you have to be hyper-aware of the tolerance levels of your different players. It is a far more difficult subject, while many Age of Sail/Age of Pirate stories are actually very easy to run in comparison. They are the same sort of treasure hunting and exploration stories that ALL DnD stories are... just on boats. Or Spelljammers.

Now, there is one subject I could see being sticky and complex for these types of stories. And it is so radioactive, that I'm actively glad WoTC didn't try to tackle it, because it would have been terrible.

But what about the last part, the Domains? Well, first of all, many many people have complained the Domains lack detail and are insufficient, but there is something else at play. Remember, the Mist of Ravenloft actively prevents people from leaving the domains. Ravenloft isn't a singular setting. It is an umbrella realm containing multiple settings, and each domain is a different setting. You aren't really expecting to easily travel between the domains and have adventurers spanning them.

And that does put a different perspective on it, doesn't it? Because no Domain as Setting gets more than a page, maybe two of detail. Very much UNLIKE Spelljammer.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I've given valid responses. Ignoring them and claiming they weren't is pretty hokey.

Right, this song and dance. Should have known we'd end up here.

Holy hell. Are you really that clueless about what I wrote, or is this deliberate?

Holy hell!! Why don't you explain what you think I missed instead of accusing me of your favorite diatribe of bad traits.

Wait. This is fantastic. You're actually arguing that since I have to make up a few additional locations, that's the same as making up the tons of locations a real setting gives me plus a few additional ones. You're arguing that 5=305.

You seriously need 305 locations for a campaign? I've been in multi-year campaigns that maybe dealt with more than 50. And that's a stretch.

What I'm actually arguing is that you likely only need like... 20 locations, maybe 30, and you were going to make up a few locations anyways. So, is it really that much of a burden to need to make 10 locations compared to 5? You keep gnashing your teeth over this like it is some massive burden, but it isn't.

Both githyanki and dead gods are part of the default setting, not Spelljammer. The Forgotten Realms doesn't cease to exist just because Spelljammer mentions it(Page 7 of the Light of Xaryxis) and turn into the Spelljammer setting. Similarly the astral plane and those things already known to be in it don't suddenly turn into the Spelljammer setting.

Wut?

So, you've literally been arguing with me in another thread that every setting (including Theros, for example) has the Negative Energy Plane because it is default. However, NOW you want to argue that the Astral Sea is different in normal DnD compared to Spelljammer because they are different settings? This is nonsense. Spelljammer takes place in the Astral Sea, so stuff about the Astral Sea would be true. You can't just speak out of both sides of your mouth like this.

Literally nobody said that they needed 1000 pages. :rolleyes:

Literally huh? What is this then?

So yes, the 8 pages of setting material in the Adventures Guide and the 2(and I'm being generous) pages of monster lore that is actual setting in the Boo's Menagerie amounts to about .01 of what I would be using when it comes to Spelljammer.

8 + 2 = 10

10 ÷ 0.01 = 1,000

So concludes our lesson on basic algebra. And our proof that you are either literally nobody, or literally somebody DID say they needed 1,000 pages. Take your pick.

I guess you have players who don't bother to look past the few things you point them at. My players and quite literally every group I've played with in the last 30 years actually talks to normal crew and gets to know them. So I need more than 20 crew members that are all clones of one another.

It's no wonder you think that you don't need more than the 5e Spelljammer setting gives you. You're players aren't going to look for anything outside the tidbits you give.

Normal crew? Oh, were you talking about them getting on someone else's ship? I thought you were talking about them as villains. It is expected the players will have their own spelljamming ship. Heck, if I wanted the players to have a ship with a captain and crew, I'd likely give them broad options and have them interview and hire the people. And of course, if I'm doing that, I'm not doing any different work than if they hired people in any other setting.

Player: "I go into the cabin on the left. What do I see?"
DM: "Cabin #1"
Player: "What else?"
DM: "Nothing. According to Chaosmancer the label is all you need."

Right, you have no idea what is in the book. Actually, looking at the first ship I find, if you descend below the deck and go to the cabin on the left, you'd find the Speljammer's Quarters. So, the room of a mage who pilots a ship. That isn't exactly hard to describe, now is it?

Also, it would be locked unless they were the Spelljammer.

And while I get that you'd love if the book detailed the personal quarters of every single captain and spelljammer in a 20 ship list... I have no patience for that.

Sooooo, the picture is just the beginning of what I need. I already told you a large part of the rest, but you conveniently cut it out of your response. Funny that.

I didn't cut it, I split it to discuss each piece separately. Because "I need to describe the tavern" is different than "I need a menu for the tavern" Something you should know I did, since supposedly you read my post to make this remark.

I've tried random generators. They suck. 🤷‍♂️

Okay, and? Do you realize that WoTC has not released a single setting book (Theros, Eberron, Ravnica, Ravenloft, SCAG) that bothered creating a menu for ANY of the taverns, inns or dives in them? I was simply saying if you don't want to make a menu yourself, there are tools (lots and lots of tools) for doing so, because they are never going to publish that in a setting book like this.

So if you know what I always say, then you know that you've just twisted my words to try and score points, failing badly. I've said that alignment is great for monsters. And I've said alignment is great for random minor NPCs that the players suddenly decide to go visit, like a town baker. You also know that I've said that important NPCs like Large Luigi get a lot more treatment from me on their personality and details.

Why is he an important NPC? He's a minor NPC, he's just one of six or seven bartenders in a single city in the setting. He has no ties or ambitions for anything greater.

Also, you don't just have the alignment, do you? You have a lot of details here. And instead of replying about why it isn't enough to know everything I listed, you obfuscate by focusing on one aspect of what I listed and saying I twisted your words.

Right. A large, busy bar(you looked at the picture) only has one guy to cook, clean and serve everyone. :rolleyes:

Ever hear about this thing called magic? It is really amazing.

Also, cool thing about beholders, they have these eye rays. And each eye can do different things. Like, there is an eye ray for telekinesis, meaning that they can move things just by looking at them. So, combine that with some magic, like a little spell called prestidigitation, and... well, I'm sure I don't have to explain this to you.

After all, I said "maybe he doesn't have staff" not "and he can run the entire business by himself". The implication of not having staff would be that he has other things that he can do or access to run the place.

Because it's a throne. Just because you sit on it doesn't make it a simple chair. When you sit on a rock, does it also become a chair?

I've sat on a chair made of rock before. So a rock can be a chair. And you seem to have no idea why a throne isn't a chair, except to state again that it is a throne. Thrones are subsets of chairs. Not all chairs are thrones, but all thrones are chairs.


Because the entire Gondor Red Herring was just that, a Red Herring. I decided to stop fishing.

So, you decided to stop responding to my point because it wasn't about how you don't need 50+ locations to make a setting. Funny, doesn't seem like a red herring. Seems like a point that you hoped I just wouldn't pursue.

You need to re-read what I said if that's what you got.

You mean this part? "Your False Equivalence where you equate your personal Star Wars setting being bad for using horrible ship combat rules to all Star Wars settings being bad"

My personal Star Wars, so the Star Wars I am using at the table with these rules, being bad, does not equate to all Star Wars Settings being bad.... but there is only one Star Wars setting right? Did Lucas make alternate universe Star Wars settings that I'm unaware of? Is every rule set for Star Wars actually a different setting each time?

So if the rules only affect a setting that uses those rules, then the rules don't make the setting good or bad, because the same setting can be used with different rules. This is really basic stuff here.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Not a minimum, an equivalence. Page count implies effort, and I would expect that similar effort be applied to each setting. I find it hard to believe that one setting is so complex and another so simple that a wildly disparate amount of information is needed. If that is true, then I submit that the second setting is simplistic and requires further development. Previously published settings set the bar.

Right, you can contend the other setting needs further development, but the point would then be to prove it, or provide evidence. That was part of why I made this initial post. Many people aren't considering or counting all the lore in the Menagerie, or are discounting the lore in the adventure. People are also discounting the art, but art of a Kindori with a hut strapped to the back inspires all sorts of designs and concepts that just telling me about someone living on a Kindori might not have done.

And despite those discounts, I think there is a lot here. It is implied, not stated directly, but it is there. And so... does it need to be explicitly detailed? It would be nice, and perhaps useful, to have an additional 50 pages of randomly generated planets, but those wouldn't really change the setting, because there aren't these massive empires or other political forces that affect the whole of the setting. It is very much a setting that recognizes that for any force the PCs run into "we can just leave" is a solid and undeniably option, because the setting is infinitely big.

Seriously? You are misunderstanding the point. There is no issue in using the core three books, it is in the expectation that other resources could or should be used such as Tasha's. I'm not certain if it was you or someone else who raised that point. I think that if there is something beyond the core three is required it should be in the source book. And, since the local environment is presumably quite different than that of Eberron, Forgotten Realms, even Dark Sun, I would expect there to be a number of unique environmental and social situations that would be detailed in the setting book.

Right, for the MM that's fine. But, there are blessed locations in the Forgotten Realms that aren't detailed in the SCAG... however, can use Tasha's to cover them. A haunted location is certainly in Eberron, but there are no rules for it.... but I can use Tasha's.

And no one has ever claimed that a lack of mechanical things for massive storms, or magical storms, or anything else hurts a setting. But now it is hurting Spelljammer? You can run a mind flayer encounter with just the MM, but if you want a deeper mind flayer encounter, I wouldn't look to spelljammer, I'd look to the monster resources, and those resources also back track into Spelljammer.

This actually came up with Tasha's once, with why they were reprinting the Patron rules when those were in Eberron. It was rightly pointed out that those rules were generally useful, and people who weren't interested in Eberron should have them. But does that inverse? Does the existence of those rules in a generic book not count for them in the setting? They are generically useful, not setting specific.

I do too, and rather damning I think.

Note that he compared page count. The current direction is to use vastly more art. The font size is larger. There is less written information per page, and fewer pages with written information. This does make the book easier to read and the art can be quite evocative. Also, it sounds like from others that the content is balanced in a different manner than the original release. It now focuses on areas other than frank setting.

But having read 2e writing styles, the writing is far more succinct and says far more with far fewer words. Like with the example I discussed with Max a few days ago. Largely the same information was given for Large Luigi in 2e and in 5e, but the 5e version was less verbose and more succinct.

I'm not saying that the 2e boxed set is all like this, but it is worth adding into the mix of considerations. And they mentioned page count, because that has been the obsession of the focus. But, again, I don't think page count is a sign of quality or care put into the setting. It is only a sign of how many pages they needed to get their message across.

You would think so, wouldn't you? Alas, I fear our fellow gamers are rather poorly read. Still, you do mention movies and TV series that should be excellent inspiration. That's adjacent to the point, I believe. As I understand it, the criticism is that with Spelljammer the DMs are having to fill in a nearly blank canvas. Whereas with Eberron the canvas is far more detailed yet still with plenty of whitespace for the DM to fill in with their own vision. I think given the previously published settings, people were expecting the latter rather than the former and see no reason why the former is as useful or even appropriate.

Well, I see it as useful and appropriate because of the difference in scale.

Eberron is a continent. And, in actuality, only a fraction of Eberron is actually covered in the book. There are, for example, entire underwater empires Baker later expanded on, and at least three other continents. There is a lot of detail, but there is also no where else to go. If you travel in Eberron off the continent... there are only a small handful of places you could end up.

If you leave the Rock, there are an infinite number of places you could end up in Spelljammer. You are actually dealing with a real infinity here, because every setting, every plane, every everything is reachable.

In Eberron, if you put a jungle with fire spitting bulls and iron-plated beetles in a location, you have taken up space, and fewer things can now exist in Eberron. I put that place as a planet in Spelljammer... and it takes up no space. It is a drop in the nebula. It is all there, every crazy idea exists in this space, because of the nature of the space.
 

Right, you can contend the other setting needs further development, but the point would then be to prove it, or provide evidence.
I think that's been done in regards to explicit versus implicit lore.

And despite those discounts, I think there is a lot here. It is implied, not stated directly, but it is there. And so... does it need to be explicitly detailed? It would be nice, and perhaps useful, to have an additional 50 pages of randomly generated planets, but those wouldn't really change the setting, because there aren't these massive empires or other political forces that affect the whole of the setting. It is very much a setting that recognizes that for any force the PCs run into "we can just leave" is a solid and undeniably option, because the setting is infinitely big.

I think an additional 12-20 specifically developed sites to guide scope and possibilities would be useful. More than one, anyway. And certainly not random. Part of what supplements and settings do is to spark imagination and save time. It may be that people who are dissatisfied feel that the supplied springboard for their imagination is sadly small.

Right, for the MM that's fine. But, there are blessed locations in the Forgotten Realms that aren't detailed in the SCAG... however, can use Tasha's to cover them. A haunted location is certainly in Eberron, but there are no rules for it.... but I can use Tasha's.
...
Does the existence of those rules in [Tasha's] not count for them in the setting? They are generically useful, not setting specific.

Is Tasha's the DMG2 by another name? Perhaps, but you are evading the main part. Haunted houses and blessed locations aren't strongly tied to Spelljammer. It's Spelljammer specific aspects that apparently aren't mentioned or detailed. Again, this goes to time saved rather than developing and/or extrapolating from sources other than the main ones that are available.

Granted, if the assumption going forward is that the majority of the player / DM base owns specific resources outside the core three that becomes a minor issue. I personally don't see the assumption that selections of the product line are required to bolster the new setting release as valid.

Eberron is a continent. And, in actuality, only a fraction of Eberron is actually covered in the book. There are, for example, entire underwater empires Baker later expanded on, and at least three other continents. There is a lot of detail, but there is also no where else to go. If you travel in Eberron off the continent... there are only a small handful of places you could end up.

If you leave the Rock, there are an infinite number of places you could end up in Spelljammer. You are actually dealing with a real infinity here, because every setting, every plane, every everything is reachable.
So, the detail required to describe a setting is inversely proportional to the size of the setting? That's a stance.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Holy hell!! Why don't you explain what you think I missed instead of accusing me of your favorite diatribe of bad traits.
Boiled down it's "People won't pay for substandard amount of product." They aren't going to pay movie prices for a 3 minute movie short. It had nothing to do with japan, the titanic or anything else you want way off track with.
You seriously need 305 locations for a campaign? I've been in multi-year campaigns that maybe dealt with more than 50. And that's a stretch.
I need a hell of a lot more than that. I need to have locations for the majority of places the PCs might go, and I need them in every town and city they go to. 305 locations is nothing.
What I'm actually arguing is that you likely only need like... 20 locations, maybe 30, and you were going to make up a few locations anyways. So, is it really that much of a burden to need to make 10 locations compared to 5? You keep gnashing your teeth over this like it is some massive burden, but it isn't.
So I don't improv 99% of my game like you apparently do. I need to know what the various inns and taverns are in every town, the gem shops, the armorers, the weapon smiths, etc. Then I need the jails, palaces, manors, etc.
So, you've literally been arguing with me in another thread that every setting (including Theros, for example) has the Negative Energy Plane because it is default. However, NOW you want to argue that the Astral Sea is different in normal DnD compared to Spelljammer because they are different settings? This is nonsense. Spelljammer takes place in the Astral Sea, so stuff about the Astral Sea would be true. You can't just speak out of both sides of your mouth like this.
Do you know the difference between IN the setting and IS the setting? Because it doesn't seem that way from that answer. The negative energy plane is part of the cosmology Theros is a part of. The negative energy plane is not the Theros setting. The Astral sea is not the Spelljammer setting. It is a part of the cosmology that Spelljammer uses.
8 + 2 = 10

10 ÷ 0.01 = 1,000

So concludes our lesson on basic algebra. And our proof that you are either literally nobody, or literally somebody DID say they needed 1,000 pages. Take your pick.
It's not your math that was bad. It was your assumption that was bad. I said it provides .01 of what I would be using, not that the book provides 100% of what I would be using.

A 350 page setting since that's around the standard for a good setting book(3e FR, Eberron 3e and 5e, etc.) provides a strong foundation and some lode bearing walls that I build off of. So that's about 25%-30% since not all of those pages are setting, either.

Compare that to 10 pages(and I'm being generous) of setting material in 5e Spelljammer. Spelljammer is providing me quicksand to build off of.
Normal crew? Oh, were you talking about them getting on someone else's ship? I thought you were talking about them as villains. It is expected the players will have their own spelljamming ship. Heck, if I wanted the players to have a ship with a captain and crew, I'd likely give them broad options and have them interview and hire the people. And of course, if I'm doing that, I'm not doing any different work than if they hired people in any other setting.
Villains, allies, neutral parties. People talk to captured sailors as often as ones they are hanging out with. It's not just the captains that get questioned.
Right, you have no idea what is in the book. Actually, looking at the first ship I find, if you descend below the deck and go to the cabin on the left, you'd find the Speljammer's Quarters. So, the room of a mage who pilots a ship. That isn't exactly hard to describe, now is it?
What's in it? The ship information doesn't give you a clue.
Also, it would be locked unless they were the Spelljammer.
This is not relevant since PCs get into locked areas all the time.
And while I get that you'd love if the book detailed the personal quarters of every single captain and spelljammer in a 20 ship list... I have no patience for that.
Nah. I just want them to do locations and more in the way of history and general setting lore. I have to do the details for the entire crew, not just the few officers.
Okay, and? Do you realize that WoTC has not released a single setting book (Theros, Eberron, Ravnica, Ravenloft, SCAG) that bothered creating a menu for ANY of the taverns, inns or dives in them? I was simply saying if you don't want to make a menu yourself, there are tools (lots and lots of tools) for doing so, because they are never going to publish that in a setting book like this.
Still missing the point. I already do a lot of work. As I said above a good, solid setting only gives 20-30% of what I use. I'll pay for that. I'm not going to pay for .01%.
Why is he an important NPC? He's a minor NPC, he's just one of six or seven bartenders in a single city in the setting. He has no ties or ambitions for anything greater.
He's an information resource that they will go to most likely several times over the campaign. Maybe more often. He's a major NPC.
Also, you don't just have the alignment, do you? You have a lot of details here. And instead of replying about why it isn't enough to know everything I listed, you obfuscate by focusing on one aspect of what I listed and saying I twisted your words.
A lot of details?! There isn't enough written to amount to more than a small number of details for him.
Ever hear about this thing called magic? It is really amazing.
Ever hear of this thing called action economy. He can't do 25 things at once, or even 2, unless he's killing people. He has one telekinesis ray. He can do one thing at a time. He needs several people to help him with a tavern of that size and popularity.
Also, cool thing about beholders, they have these eye rays. And each eye can do different things. Like, there is an eye ray for telekinesis, meaning that they can move things just by looking at them. So, combine that with some magic, like a little spell called prestidigitation, and... well, I'm sure I don't have to explain this to you.
He's not a wizard.
You mean this part? "Your False Equivalence where you equate your personal Star Wars setting being bad for using horrible ship combat rules to all Star Wars settings being bad"
You did that, not me. I never said all star wars settings were bad because one has bad rules.
but there is only one Star Wars setting right?
No. There are literally thousands. Every person running a star wars game has one. And there are multiple systems to use.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I think that's been done in regards to explicit versus implicit lore.

So, why is implicit lore insufficient?

I think an additional 12-20 specifically developed sites to guide scope and possibilities would be useful. More than one, anyway. And certainly not random. Part of what supplements and settings do is to spark imagination and save time. It may be that people who are dissatisfied feel that the supplied springboard for their imagination is sadly small.

Useful I agree with. Necessary I disagree with.

And, by their very nature, they would be somewhat random. I mean, you could define Clown Space or the Hadozee homeworld, but no deserted jungle planet full of monsters is any more important than another. You could give a second explicit dead god with a city built on them (The home of the Githyanki is one) but are they any more unique?

This is the point I was getting to earlier, where it makes sense that a bound setting has something that states "The Elven Capital is [blank] and it is [blank]" because there is likely only one elven capital and it is in a specific place. But it makes less sense to do this in Spelljammer, because there are thousands of elven capitols in just as many places, some of them non-specific (Generation Ships). And so no place in Spelljammer is any more important than any other place.

Is Tasha's the DMG2 by another name? Perhaps, but you are evading the main part. Haunted houses and blessed locations aren't strongly tied to Spelljammer. It's Spelljammer specific aspects that apparently aren't mentioned or detailed. Again, this goes to time saved rather than developing and/or extrapolating from sources other than the main ones that are available.

Granted, if the assumption going forward is that the majority of the player / DM base owns specific resources outside the core three that becomes a minor issue. I personally don't see the assumption that selections of the product line are required to bolster the new setting release as valid.

But cosmic storms and meteor showers aren't specific aspects. I guess you can't have a "cosmic storm" in a dungeon, but it wouldn't be mechanically different than a flare storm in the plane of fire.

Now, that doesn't mean this wasn't a time saving method, to not go into these details, but I struggle to see how the setting book is bad for not having specific hazards, when we have generic versions of those same hazards easily available. Also, I'm honestly having trouble thinking of what other than a "cosmic storm" could be missing.


So, the detail required to describe a setting is inversely proportional to the size of the setting? That's a stance.

That's not exactly what I'm saying either.

What needs more detail in a real world encyclopedia? The Oceans or the Continents? The Oceans are bigger than the Continents, they take up 70% of the surface while the continents are only 30%. Yet, there is far more sutff worth talking about on the Continents. Antartica is bigger than the United States of America. Is there more to discuss in Antartica or the United States?

Size isn't the contributing factor here.

Additionally, which would you expect to have more detail on? An infinite hotel with infinite rooms and an infinite variety of guests? Or a single hotel with ten guests, twelve rooms, and a murder-mystery plot? The infinite hotel is larger, and has infinite plots in it... but you aren't going to have as much detail as you would get from the murder-mystery hotel with only 10 specific people. Because more detail isn't really needed. A few sparks to give an idea? Sure, but I've been arguing we HAVE the sparks.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Boiled down it's "People won't pay for substandard amount of product." They aren't going to pay movie prices for a 3 minute movie short. It had nothing to do with japan, the titanic or anything else you want way off track with.

Okay, boiled down, people aren't going to pay for a substandard product.

They paid for Spelljammer 5e. Therefore, it is not a substandard product. As long as we are boiling things down.

I need a hell of a lot more than that. I need to have locations for the majority of places the PCs might go, and I need them in every town and city they go to. 305 locations is nothing.

Either you have one of your bizarro definitions of locations (very possible from your earlier posts) or you are doing far too much work. This is an almost obscene level of "content" if you think 305 isn't nearly enough.

So I don't improv 99% of my game like you apparently do. I need to know what the various inns and taverns are in every town, the gem shops, the armorers, the weapon smiths, etc. Then I need the jails, palaces, manors, etc.

Yeah, this is leaning on the obscene amount of content. YOU may need every inn and every tavern and every shop and every jail for every town and every city and every place in-between... but most of us don't. Not even close.

Do you know the difference between IN the setting and IS the setting? Because it doesn't seem that way from that answer. The negative energy plane is part of the cosmology Theros is a part of. The negative energy plane is not the Theros setting. The Astral sea is not the Spelljammer setting. It is a part of the cosmology that Spelljammer uses.


It is literally half the setting. You are either in Wildspace (the area around various planets and such) or you are in the Astral Sea. That's it. You may visit locations in either Wildspace or the Astral Sea, but those are the two places you are. This is like claiming that while Khorvaire is IN the setting of Eberron it isn't THE setting of Eberron.... yes it is! That's where all the stuff is. Heck, wildspace is quite literally just "not the astral sea"

I'm really getting the sense you just don't understand what 5e Spelljammer even is.

It's not your math that was bad. It was your assumption that was bad. I said it provides .01 of what I would be using, not that the book provides 100% of what I would be using.

A 350 page setting since that's around the standard for a good setting book(3e FR, Eberron 3e and 5e, etc.) provides a strong foundation and some lode bearing walls that I build off of. So that's about 25%-30% since not all of those pages are setting, either.

Compare that to 10 pages(and I'm being generous) of setting material in 5e Spelljammer. Spelljammer is providing me quicksand to build off of.

So you are judging the book as only providing 0.01 of what you need... but you only expect ANY setting book to give you .25 to .3 of what you need? When you don't expect a setting book to provide 75% of the content you need, it is really disingenuous to present things as though it is part of a 100% package by itself.

My assumptions aren't bad, your presentation is meant to confuse and obfuscate.

Villains, allies, neutral parties. People talk to captured sailors as often as ones they are hanging out with. It's not just the captains that get questioned.

Assuming they capture anyone. Assuming that you actually kept track of which identical sailor was which (because otherwise, quantum ogre it). Assuming, assuming, assuming.

What's in it? The ship information doesn't give you a clue.

They are a spellcaster and a navigator. So spell materials, likely arcane, and star charts to start with. Incidentally, since the ship isn't racially specific (some are, but most aren't) then the spelljammer could be anything, and I think a Plasmoid Spelljammer is going to have a different room than a Centaur Spelljammer. Oh! And the Spelljamming Helm I do believe.

So, if you want something more detailed than this... you essentially want WoTC to build 20 to 30 specialized encounters that you can just plug and play... into the section where they are giving generic information.

This is not relevant since PCs get into locked areas all the time.

And under the assumption of an allied ship, breaking into a crew mates cabin is going to end poorly more often than not. So most player's won't do it. And in the case of a villain ship, I don't expect the players to go square by square. They'll get the main things, and if they are looking for something more specific... then they are going to ask, and I can generally figure it out from there.

Nah. I just want them to do locations and more in the way of history and general setting lore. I have to do the details for the entire crew, not just the few officers.

So.. none of this is even relevant. You brought it up on your list of complaints of things they don't provide... and never expected them to provide it. More smoke, mirrors and false complaints.

He's an information resource that they will go to most likely several times over the campaign. Maybe more often. He's a major NPC.

Who says they are going to go to him at all? He's no more major than any other sage in any other setting. Unless you are directing them to him, and then you are MAKING him a major recurring piece of the game.

A lot of details?! There isn't enough written to amount to more than a small number of details for him.

Are we talking 1% of a 30% type of not enough, or something else? Tell me what is lacking here, because I can RP this guy right now with no issues, this is more than enough detail.

Ever hear of this thing called action economy. He can't do 25 things at once, or even 2, unless he's killing people. He has one telekinesis ray. He can do one thing at a time. He needs several people to help him with a tavern of that size and popularity.

One thing every six seconds. And since range isn't an issue, that is plenty.

He's not a wizard.

Don't need to be a wizard to have magic in your store.

You did that, not me. I never said all star wars settings were bad because one has bad rules.

Uh huh.

So, tell me, how many Star Wars Settings exist? If I buy the rights to the Star Wars Setting, which one do I get? Not the rights to the products, the rights to the setting.

Because, once you figure out the answer to that question, the reason your statement is dumb becomes obvious.

No. There are literally thousands. Every person running a star wars game has one. And there are multiple systems to use.

Ah, never mind. You think that every single person running Star Wars is getting a different setting.

This is false. There is one Star Wars setting. Just like there is one Middle-Earth. Just like there is one universe 616 in comics. Just like their is one Girl Genius Europa setting.

To claim otherwise is to invite madness and pointlessness, because it would mean nothing is ever true for any setting. And that isn't how settings work.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Okay, boiled down, people aren't going to pay for a substandard product.

They paid for Spelljammer 5e. Therefore, it is not a substandard product. As long as we are boiling things down.
I made the mistake of paying for it, too. People aren't going to continue to pay for 10 pages of setting material for $70.
Either you have one of your bizarro definitions of locations (very possible from your earlier posts) or you are doing far too much work. This is an almost obscene level of "content" if you think 305 isn't nearly enough.

Yeah, this is leaning on the obscene amount of content. YOU may need every inn and every tavern and every shop and every jail for every town and every city and every place in-between... but most of us don't. Not even close.
First, I don't accept your claim that most don't. I will accept that YOU don't. Second, it shows during game play when a DM isn't prepared.
It is literally half the setting. You are either in Wildspace (the area around various planets and such) or you are in the Astral Sea. That's it. You may visit locations in either Wildspace or the Astral Sea, but those are the two places you are. This is like claiming that while Khorvaire is IN the setting of Eberron it isn't THE setting of Eberron.... yes it is! That's where all the stuff is. Heck, wildspace is quite literally just "not the astral sea"
What are you to do when Planescape comes out? The astral, is it Planescape or is it Spelljammer or is it a default plane?
I'm really getting the sense you just don't understand what 5e Spelljammer even is.
This is probably true. I'm going by actual Spelljammer, so I clearly don't know what 5e "Spelljammer" is. 10 pages of setting material isn't nearly enough to tell me or to actually be a setting.
So you are judging the book as only providing 0.01 of what you need... but you only expect ANY setting book to give you .25 to .3 of what you need? When you don't expect a setting book to provide 75% of the content you need, it is really disingenuous to present things as though it is part of a 100% package by itself.
I've never claimed settings had to provide everything. What fun is it to DM a setting like that?
My assumptions aren't bad, your presentation is meant to confuse and obfuscate.
There you go being incredibly wrong again because you're assuming hidden meanings and intent. Stop it.
Assuming they capture anyone. Assuming that you actually kept track of which identical sailor was which (because otherwise, quantum ogre it). Assuming, assuming, assuming.
No assumption at all. I don't assume anything, but I have to be prepared just in case they do any of that.
They are a spellcaster and a navigator. So spell materials, likely arcane, and star charts to start with. Incidentally, since the ship isn't racially specific (some are, but most aren't) then the spelljammer could be anything, and I think a Plasmoid Spelljammer is going to have a different room than a Centaur Spelljammer. Oh! And the Spelljamming Helm I do believe.
What about art? Collections? A pet? Statues? And on and on and on. I don't do cookie cutter spellcasters and navigators.
So, if you want something more detailed than this... you essentially want WoTC to build 20 to 30 specialized encounters that you can just plug and play... into the section where they are giving generic information.
No. I just want more detail than, "It's a bar with a happy and knowledgeable behold running it."
And under the assumption of an allied ship, breaking into a crew mates cabin is going to end poorly more often than not. So most player's won't do it.
How long have you been playing this game? Players do all kinds of odd things like that. Maybe not all the time, but often enough that I have to be prepared.
So.. none of this is even relevant.
Riiiiiight, locations, setting history and setting lore aren't relevant to a setting. :rolleyes:
Who says they are going to go to him at all? He's no more major than any other sage in any other setting. Unless you are directing them to him, and then you are MAKING him a major recurring piece of the game.
This is false. Players ask around for people in the know all the time. Extremely often in fact. I get the feeling that your players don't engage with the settings very much, which explains a lot about why you are okay with such sparse settings.
One thing every six seconds. And since range isn't an issue, that is plenty.
Clearly you don't understand everything that has to be done in a bar setting with a crowd like that.
So, tell me, how many Star Wars Settings exist? If I buy the rights to the Star Wars Setting, which one do I get?
Which game setting did you go out and buy? Did you create your own and attach the ruleset of another game to it? Whatever you do, it's going to become your individual Star Wars setting as soon as you start to play.
Not the rights to the products, the rights to the setting.
IP rights are irrelevant to what I'm saying.
You think that every single person running Star Wars is getting a different setting.
I know for a fact that every one of their settings is different from every other by virtue of people being different and game play developing differently.
There is one Star Wars setting. Just like there is one Middle-Earth.
Apparently you don't understand RPG gameplay. That and you're confusing the IP with setting. They aren't the same. There is one Lord of the Rings written by Tolkien. That's not an RPG setting. There are thousands of Lord of the Rings settings(for RPGs) created by fans.
 

So, why is implicit lore insufficient?
Compare the Creature Collection (2000), Relics and Rituals (2001), and Scarred Lands Gazetteer: Ghelspad (2001), by Sword and Sorcery Studios. There were scattered details of the setting through the previous books. Indications of the influence of titans and gods, their rivalry, had on the impact on the face of the land. How some specific spells were granted by specific gods because it fit their portfolio. The details to tie it together in a cohesive and comprehensive whole came with the Gazetteer. It was fabulous marketing! But, by necessity leaving an incomplete picture of the setting until the setting itself was published.

And, by their very nature, they would be somewhat random.
Only as random as the details of the Kingdoms of Thrane, Zilargo, Theocracy of the Pale, Sword Coast, &c.

What needs more detail in a real world encyclopedia? The Oceans or the Continents?
The part I'm going to visit.

Size isn't the contributing factor here.
You are making it a foundational point of your argument.

Additionally, which would you expect to have more detail on? An infinite hotel with infinite rooms and an infinite variety of guests? Or a single hotel with ten guests, twelve rooms, and a murder-mystery plot? The infinite hotel is larger, and has infinite plots in it... but you aren't going to have as much detail as you would get from the murder-mystery hotel with only 10 specific people. Because more detail isn't really needed. A few sparks to give an idea? Sure, but I've been arguing we HAVE the sparks.
If all I want is sparks of ideas, I have 6,000 books on my shelves for sparks.
If I'm buying a setting instead of building my own I expect a certain amount of work to be done for me. I'm interested in saving time and discovering inspiration. Just giving me some inspiration is insufficient- I can find that with a good book, a rainy afternoon, and a cup of hot tea.

Less is not more. It is simply less.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
For those Americans.
IMG_20221210_094540.jpg
$115 NZD. PHB is $65 iirc.

That's about 3-4 steak meals, 11 McDonald's combos, 4 dozen beers plus change, weeks groceries for a single person.

No cheap Amazon options. You can buy from Amazon but international postage rates which essentially negates Amazon's prices.

Lotta money for interior product. I could buy SJ or almost 2 normal D&D books.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I made the mistake of paying for it, too. People aren't going to continue to pay for 10 pages of setting material for $70.

So, if a lot of people bought it. And then another set like it is released, and a lot of people buy it... then you'd be wrong. All you would be correct about is that YOU won't buy it again.

First, I don't accept your claim that most don't. I will accept that YOU don't. Second, it shows during game play when a DM isn't prepared.

Well, let's see here.

You do. I don't. My friend doesn't. My other friend doesn't. Neither does their friend. The person I game with online doesn't. The people I used to play with online didn't. The other group I used to play with had multiple DMs, and they didn't.

So, I'm currently looking at 1 vs 10, in my favor.


And, who says I'm not prepared? I am plenty prepared, I just don't need to prepare hundreds of locations. Also, so what if the players ask something and they realize they asked something I wasn't prepared for?

What are you to do when Planescape comes out? The astral, is it Planescape or is it Spelljammer or is it a default plane?

Well, first I'm going to need to see if Planescape counteracts anything in Spelljammer. Because it is entirely likely they are combining the two concepts. and in which case I'm not going to need to do anything.

This is probably true. I'm going by actual Spelljammer, so I clearly don't know what 5e "Spelljammer" is. 10 pages of setting material isn't nearly enough to tell me or to actually be a setting.

"I'm ignorant of the current version of the setting, because I'm using the REAL version of the setting from decades ago"

Really makes you wonder why you might be having a disconnect between how useful the material is, if you think of the version that hasn't been supported for three editions is the "real" version.

I've never claimed settings had to provide everything. What fun is it to DM a setting like that?

Of course you didn't. You just made a claim that it is a poor setting book, claiming it only provided 0.01 of what you need.... while hiding the fact that 0.75 of what you "need" is never in a setting book to begin with. So, you aren't accurately discussing what you need from a setting book, to make the situation look far worse than it is.

I'm so glad you just say what you mean. Because 1% out of 100% is clearly the same as 1% out of 25%.

No assumption at all. I don't assume anything, but I have to be prepared just in case they do any of that.


What about art? Collections? A pet? Statues? And on and on and on. I don't do cookie cutter spellcasters and navigators.

And yet you want the book to fill in those spaces for you. You want the book to fill in the cabins of every navigator for every ship, in an infinite multiverse. Or, maybe not all of them, maybe just 20 or 30 of them? Eberron is a great setting book right? Do they provide the details of the High Priestess's private chambers in the Church of the Silver Flame? No. No they do not.

No. I just want more detail than, "It's a bar with a happy and knowledgeable behold running it."

You may want more, but that doesn't mean it is a bad setting for not providing more.


Riiiiiight, locations, setting history and setting lore aren't relevant to a setting. :rolleyes:

You always say what you mean. That's why when I said none of the ship's crew, quarters details or captains are relevant you declared that I am saying that locations, setting history and setting lore are not relevant.

Such blinding honesty from you.

This is false. Players ask around for people in the know all the time. Extremely often in fact. I get the feeling that your players don't engage with the settings very much, which explains a lot about why you are okay with such sparse settings.

People in the know =/= this one person.

You realize if they ask about something like a location, I'm not going to recomend the beholder, but I'd recommend the guy famous for Star Charts, right? You have a question about religion, I'm not going to send you to the bar, but to the Temple District. Maybe you want to know about the ships in the docks, then I'm going to send you to the docks. If you are directing them to Luigi for all of those things, then YOU are the one making him vital, not the setting.

Clearly you don't understand everything that has to be done in a bar setting with a crowd like that.

Yes I do.

Which game setting did you go out and buy? Did you create your own and attach the ruleset of another game to it? Whatever you do, it's going to become your individual Star Wars setting as soon as you start to play.

IP rights are irrelevant to what I'm saying.

I know for a fact that every one of their settings is different from every other by virtue of people being different and game play developing differently.

Apparently you don't understand RPG gameplay. That and you're confusing the IP with setting. They aren't the same. There is one Lord of the Rings written by Tolkien. That's not an RPG setting. There are thousands of Lord of the Rings settings(for RPGs) created by fans.

And you clearly don't understand what a setting is. Which might explain why this has been such a useless conversation. And I'm not in the mood to try and educate you on the matter.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Compare the Creature Collection (2000), Relics and Rituals (2001), and Scarred Lands Gazetteer: Ghelspad (2001), by Sword and Sorcery Studios. There were scattered details of the setting through the previous books. Indications of the influence of titans and gods, their rivalry, had on the impact on the face of the land. How some specific spells were granted by specific gods because it fit their portfolio. The details to tie it together in a cohesive and comprehensive whole came with the Gazetteer. It was fabulous marketing! But, by necessity leaving an incomplete picture of the setting until the setting itself was published.

Never seen or owned any of these. But how did you have books set in a setting without having the setting?

Only as random as the details of the Kingdoms of Thrane, Zilargo, Theocracy of the Pale, Sword Coast, &c.

Actually, no.

See, the Kingdom of Thrane effects all the other countries in Khorvaire. Same with Zilargo. You can be in Breland and feel the effects of these countries and their policies, because everything is tied together.

However, if you are on the Planet of Hadir, are you affected at all by the stuff going on on the planet of Toril? Do these two places even have contact with each other? THIS is the thing I don't think people are realizing about the Spelljammer setting in comparison. All of these locations are disparate. All of them are disconnected. Even if they are connected by spelljammers, they don't have shipping lanes or the like.

And if they do... then that is something you are adding and building. If you want to build a collection of "island nations" that are affecting each other, that's fine, but that isn't how this Spelljammer is organized.

The part I'm going to visit.

And you are going to visit the continents.

If all I want is sparks of ideas, I have 6,000 books on my shelves for sparks.
If I'm buying a setting instead of building my own I expect a certain amount of work to be done for me. I'm interested in saving time and discovering inspiration. Just giving me some inspiration is insufficient- I can find that with a good book, a rainy afternoon, and a cup of hot tea.

Less is not more. It is simply less.

Sure, less is less and more is more.

I can give you 2,000 lbs of food, and that is less than 10,000 lbs, but that doesn't mean it is an insufficient amount of food to make dinner with.

They made specific decisions with how they made this setting. All I am trying to do is point out that the setting book seems to me to be working as intended, and most of the responses telling me I am wrong start from the premise that we should have the same or very similar amounts of content as 2e had. Which seems to me to be a bad assumption. I can make a setting in less than a paragraph that would be plenty for people to run a game in that setting. They would need to come up with NPCs and such, but it would still work as a setting. And these books seem to provide plenty for the setting to work.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
For those Americans.
View attachment 269273
$115 NZD. PHB is $65 iirc.

That's about 3-4 steak meals, 11 McDonald's combos, 4 dozen beers plus change, weeks groceries for a single person.

No cheap Amazon options. You can buy from Amazon but international postage rates which essentially negates Amazon's prices.

Lotta money for interior product. I could buy SJ or almost 2 normal D&D books.

And?

I could provide you a link that would give you a setting that is completely free. And I can show you a setting worth millions of dollars. Why are we judging the quality of a setting based on how much money people spent?
 

Zardnaar

Legend
And?

I could provide you a link that would give you a setting that is completely free. And I can show you a setting worth millions of dollars. Why are we judging the quality of a setting based on how much money people spent?

Comparatively it costs more for inferior product.

Why pay more money for a watered down echo?
 

So, if a lot of people bought it. And then another set like it is released, and a lot of people buy it... then you'd be wrong. All you would be correct about is that YOU won't buy it again.

We'll see, I guess. I'm only one data point, but I pre-ordered Spelljammer and got it on release day. Given planescape is going to also use the three-book format, I've learnt from my experience with Spelljammer and I'm definitely not going to be buying that one before the reviews (and page counts...) come through.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
We'll see, I guess. I'm only one data point, but I pre-ordered Spelljammer and got it on release day. Given planescape is going to also use the three-book format, I've learnt from my experience with Spelljammer and I'm definitely not going to be buying that one before the reviews (and page counts...) come through.

Ordered mine and managed to cancel it based on what everyones saying.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
So, if a lot of people bought it. And then another set like it is released, and a lot of people buy it... then you'd be wrong. All you would be correct about is that YOU won't buy it again.
Well, no. It takes a while for production style to shift. They'll likely release one or two more crappy settings before they shift gears.
You do. I don't. My friend doesn't. My other friend doesn't. Neither does their friend. The person I game with online doesn't. The people I used to play with online didn't. The other group I used to play with had multiple DMs, and they didn't.

So, I'm currently looking at 1 vs 10, in my favor.
I just talked to 1000 guys at the beach and they all agree with me. Now it's 1001 vs. 10. Where does that leave us now? Making up numbers I imagine. Just admit that it's something you don't need that much and leave others to speak for themselves. They don't need you to be putting words in their mouths.
Really makes you wonder why you might be having a disconnect between how useful the material is, if you think of the version that hasn't been supported for three editions is the "real" version.
It's the only version. What they gave us in 5e is 10 pages of setting stuff. That's not enough to be a Spelljammer setting.
I'm so glad you just say what you mean. Because 1% out of 100% is clearly the same as 1% out of 25%.
You assumed that I wanted 100% to be included in a released setting. I said it provided .01% of what I need and that's all I said and meant. I'm not responsible for your assumptions.
You want the book to fill in the cabins of every navigator for every ship, in an infinite multiverse. Or, maybe not all of them, maybe just 20 or 30 of them? Eberron is a great setting book right? Do they provide the details of the High Priestess's private chambers in the Church of the Silver Flame? No. No they do not.
Never said or implied that. Go back and re-read.
You always say what you mean. That's why when I said none of the ship's crew, quarters details or captains are relevant you declared that I am saying that locations, setting history and setting lore are not relevant.
What?
People in the know =/= this one person.
Sure. They're going to ignore the guy who knows just about everything and go ask some other barkeep. :rolleyes:
You realize if they ask about something like a location, I'm not going to recomend the beholder, but I'd recommend the guy famous for Star Charts, right? You have a question about religion, I'm not going to send you to the bar, but to the Temple District. Maybe you want to know about the ships in the docks, then I'm going to send you to the docks. If you are directing them to Luigi for all of those things, then YOU are the one making him vital, not the setting.
Sure. Send them to a temple that knows less about their religion than the beholder. Makes me wonder, though, why you're sending them anywhere at all. It's their job to tell you where they go, not for you to send them places.
Yes I do.
Not according to the response you gave, because that response is wrong. If you truly did understand, then you'd have known that one Beholder with one eye ray couldn't possibly do it alone.
 

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