D&D 5E Spelljammer. How the new edition is set up to avoid what makes the original contentious.

So I was reading the excellent post, D&D General - Spelljammer Collector’s Guide Revisited and got to thinking about what I feel fundamentally hindered Spelljammer from being more popular. Quite simply, classic Spelljammer was a retcon. It radically upended D&D cosmology and history for multiple settings, with really only Dark Sun remaining untouched as far as I can tell. Now, retcons happen. Every new edition of the game recontextualizes the game and it's settings to accommodate new rules and options. Spelljammer came along in 2nd edition, which means that the idea of retcons to basic lore was not yet as reoccurring as it can feel for longtime fans in the current era. The changes it brought were also rather large. You suddenly had interstellar wars between Elves and Orc/Goblinoids that made conflicts on existing gameworld feel very small scale. Now, any DM and gaming group can always take or leave whatever lore that comes along as they see fit, but because these lore elements were so key to Spelljammer as a setting, it would certainly be challenging to use the setting without them. What's more at issue is how official lore is often received by the fanbase. Again, the world is yours to create, but even now, people are very, very keen on how setting are officially constructed, even if they can change them as fits their own game. Spelljammer received a hard press to incorporate it into nearly every existing setting in some capacity. That can really rub people the wrong way.

Changing Spelljammer from Space Travel to Planar Travel, which is a simplification but an accurate one, fixes some key problems. 5th ed setting lore is already primed for Spelljammer to have a place. Numerous races in D&D have extraplanar origins. Ships that can travel the Astral Sea can help facilitate existing lore instead of replacing it wholecloth.

This is mostly speculation on my part until I get the books in hand. But I am hopeful.
 

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AdmundfortGeographer

Getting lost in fantasy maps
I think you might be on to something about how Spelljammer was being crammed on to settings in active production (except Known World/Mystara). The [Blank]space books were, and still are, a sore spot for Krynn and Oerth fans. Excluding the low quality of those accessories, I don’t think the setting work had been done to get the fans of those settings ready to accept travel to planets and moons of their settings. Then suddenly there was a way to float over to the other worlds.
 

bloodtide

Adventurer
Well, you can make the new setting PlaneJammer. And 5E is Lore Lite and just says "oh, um, some monsters come from other planes...but just ignore that fluff and roll some combat".

But the basic set up of the planes, while not overly detailed, does not seem like a massive interconnected all plane wide ship travel type reality. Kinda like er 19th Pirates!, but with, er, 12th century technology, but with, er some magic for a couple random things while utterly ignoring thousands of others.....but now in The Planes.

So all the Plane races now "sail" around in ships. All the "alien" Plane races...oddly use "12th century Earth like sailing ships with a sprinkle of magic"?
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
The new edition also critically was published some 30 years after the fact, so Spelljammer is now the triumphantly returning Old Thing instead of a terrifying n=New Thing that must be hated on principle for being too weird and silly for the magic elf game..
 

Well, you can make the new setting PlaneJammer. And 5E is Lore Lite and just says "oh, um, some monsters come from other planes...but just ignore that fluff and roll some combat".

But the basic set up of the planes, while not overly detailed, does not seem like a massive interconnected all plane wide ship travel type reality. Kinda like er 19th Pirates!, but with, er, 12th century technology, but with, er some magic for a couple random things while utterly ignoring thousands of others.....but now in The Planes.

So all the Plane races now "sail" around in ships. All the "alien" Plane races...oddly use "12th century Earth like sailing ships with a sprinkle of magic"?
If you object to DnD lacking grounding in a proper time period in terms of technology, I have some bad news for you...
 

HaroldTheHobbit

Adventurer
We'll see how the content turns out, but after my anticipated grog shock I'm actually ok with the astral plane instead of phlogiston. Unless they really mess up Wildspace, that is.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
So I was reading the excellent post, D&D General - Spelljammer Collector’s Guide Revisited and got to thinking about what I feel fundamentally hindered Spelljammer from being more popular. Quite simply, classic Spelljammer was a retcon. It radically upended D&D cosmology and history for multiple settings, with really only Dark Sun remaining untouched as far as I can tell. Now, retcons happen. Every new edition of the game recontextualizes the game and it's settings to accommodate new rules and options. Spelljammer came along in 2nd edition, which means that the idea of retcons to basic lore was not yet as reoccurring as it can feel for longtime fans in the current era. The changes it brought were also rather large. You suddenly had interstellar wars between Elves and Orc/Goblinoids that made conflicts on existing gameworld feel very small scale. Now, any DM and gaming group can always take or leave whatever lore that comes along as they see fit, but because these lore elements were so key to Spelljammer as a setting, it would certainly be challenging to use the setting without them. What's more at issue is how official lore is often received by the fanbase. Again, the world is yours to create, but even now, people are very, very keen on how setting are officially constructed, even if they can change them as fits their own game. Spelljammer received a hard press to incorporate it into nearly every existing setting in some capacity. That can really rub people the wrong way.

Changing Spelljammer from Space Travel to Planar Travel, which is a simplification but an accurate one, fixes some key problems. 5th ed setting lore is already primed for Spelljammer to have a place. Numerous races in D&D have extraplanar origins. Ships that can travel the Astral Sea can help facilitate existing lore instead of replacing it wholecloth.

This is mostly speculation on my part until I get the books in hand. But I am hopeful.
There's also the zany, goofy, and weird factor. A lot of people playing D&D wanted very much to be taken very seriously indeed and for their hobby to be serious business and taken very seriously indeed. So Spelljammer was very much derided for embracing the zany, goofy, and weird. Thankfully, the fanbase is way bigger now and far more willing to embrace the zany, goofy, and weird that is Spelljammer.
 

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