Spelljammer My Five Favorite Things From Spelljammer: Adventures In Space

The latest Dungeons & Dragons setting is upon us. Review copies of Spelljammer: Adventures In Space hit my front door, giving me something to page through during the dog days of August. I wanted to discuss some of the things I really enjoyed in the book(s) while trying to stay spoiler free as possible. If you want to see some things before the general release on August 16th, here are five things that I really loved from this slipcase set.

The Format​

I know some folks are upset at the three book slipcase and claim that it’s a price increase without being officially called a price increase. I’ll leave that discussion for the comments, but I really like the split between player material, monsters and the adventure. It’s the first time in years I’ve felt that sense of discovery of opening up a Dungeons & Dragons boxed set and deciding what parts I want to digest first. I think there’s still space for the one book setup that’s carried this edition through the past few years, but I wouldn’t mind this approach for future settings.

I Am Immortal, I Have Inside Me Blood Of Stars​

There are a lot of player options in this set, from autognomes to the firearm-centric giff, but my favorite one is a background. The astral drifter background makes your character effectively immortal, having spent centuries on the Astral Sea which slows aging to a crawl. There’s a lot of fun to be had playing a character like this, from surprising enemies and allies to having trouble adjusting to “modern” technologies. Both backgrounds also continue a trend that might show one of the revisions in the upcoming core set: they each give out a free feat tied to the background.

The Ships​

The best part of the original boxed set were the cards that detailed the various ships that cruised Wildspace. The Astral Adventurer's Guide details 16 ships of various sizes, giving each a big two-page spread. The first page includes art depicting the ship, its stats and a little bit about any special feature or what crews prefer to sail it. The second page offers the layout in the ship and where the gravity planes are. I know there are going to be a ton of ships out once Spelljammer comes to Dungeon Master’s Guild, but I wouldn’t mind a card collection featuring the art on one side and the deck on the other.

Sail ho!​

Boo’s Astral Menagerie contains a lot of weird creatures, from murder comets to space clowns. You can see those previewed elsewhere but what caught my eye was the entry in the Astral encounters for ships. Each small crew feels like a story waiting to be told by encountering your players. Why does that ship of vampirates have a priest on board? How did that human captain get a cambion daughter? What is a renegade mind flayer arcanist doing with a ship? All of these are tight little story hooks that might get overlooked otherwise.

A Death Star​

This is technically a spoiler for Light of Xaryxis so if you want to stay fresh for your read through, stop reading now.

Last chance…

I mean, technically, it’s a vampire star, but it’s a plot device right out of the Flash Gordon serials that inspired this setting. Not to mention, the players are helping a princess battle an evil empire run by a relative. The adventure wears its inspirations on its sleeve but that’s okay. It makes for a solid selection of movies to watch the night everybody makes characters.

Spelljammer: Adventures In Space released on August 16th in regular and limited edition versions. I highly recommend the limited editions if you can afford them. Hydro74’s art style is the perfect fit for Spelljammer.

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Rob Wieland

Rob Wieland

Dr. Bull

Hamsters on shoulders and hippos on 'jammers
Bright shiny crystals and thri-kreen with hammers
Nasty githyanki with magical rings
These are a few of my Spelljammer things

Astral helm visions and Hadozee in oodles
Firearms and spell bombs and plasmoids like noodles
Spell ships that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my Spelljammer things

Giff in white jackets with blue satin sashes
Gunpowder stains on my nose and eyelashes
Astral grey clouds that appear in the spring
These are a few of my Spelljammer things

When the spell smites
When the dart stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my Spelljammer things
And then I don't feel so bad
Very clever... I am impressed with your lyrical adaptation!

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