D&D 5E Unearthed Arcana: Travelers of the Multiverse

New free content from WotC - the latest 4-page Unearthed Arcana introduces six new races: astral elf, autognome, giff, hadozee, plasmoid, and thri-kreen.


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Looks like Spelljammer and/or Planescape is back on the menu!
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

plisnithus8

Explorer
I had some octopus-like miniatures that I think were Star Frontiers. They had large laser cannons and had a flat/prone posture.

Can anyone help with the name of the species and/or minis?
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Edit: I discovered these were Galacta 25 Octopoids, not Star Frontiers.
 
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Hatmatter

Laws of Mordenkainen, Elminster, & Fistandantilus
I think there are two ways to make the destinations better. The first actually ties into the thing everyone seems to be for. Make the Phlogiston the Astral sea. That makes it a lot easier to go to things floating in "space", because with the environment being less hostile, you don't mind staying "on the seas".

Second, think about who else is living and moving through it. Morkoths, Gith, ect. You can make a lot from encountering other travelers and "floating debris" without needing to have a lot of different ports. Because I think the majority of ports are going to be samey. But you can do a lot with "islands" in the sea, instead of places like ports, and realities.

Thirdly, you could pull an element from Star Frontier, and have a more over-arching villainous group, but that is a bit hard considering the sheer number of "absolute evils" already present.
I won't comment on your other ideas, which are fine, Chaosmancer, but this replace-the-Phlogiston-with-the-Astral-Sea is a bit of a solution in search of a problem from my perspective. The "on the seas" experience is what occurs in wildspace in Spelljammer. The Phlogiston was designed to be dangerous and funnel characters into wildspace where most adventures take place. That being said, events can transpire in the Phlogiston, but it's an unusual, strange space with altered physics.

Yet, it is not a place of thought like how the Astral Plane is described. It is not a transitive plane to the Outer Realms, like the Astral Plane.

For the record, since some people are getting the impression that most people here are for replacing the Phlogiston with the Astral Plane, I would be against it. I said that about thirty pages ago, but this thread is getting long enough that there is a need for repeating some claims. The Phlogiston works just fine as it is. I am for keeping it as is.
Now that the 5th Edition Spelljammer: Adventures in Space has been out for four days and I spent the weekend reading all three books, I thought I would revisit my thoughts from above (and elsewhere over the years in these forums): I was wrong: the Astral Sea works brilliantly. As someone who purchased the 1989 box set the day it came out and ran adventures using Spelljammer for three years or so back in the day and who has occasionally gone back to it, I will say I really like the new set. I think the emphasis is in the right place, the use of the Astral Plane works much better than I thought it would, and any DM who was using the crystal sphere/Phlogiston cosmology could continue to use it with nary an interruption (e.g. that system is bounded by a Crystal sphere and has a Phlogiston barrier between it and other systems and, eventually, the Astral Sea).

I really appreciated how consistent Perkins and the other editors and writers were with the original set (examples: using the same speeds and layouts as the original ships with hardly a change, using the same history of the Rock of Bral with minor changes, keeping the spirit of the set, but streamlining some of the original mechanics all in the name of a better play experience, even using some of the same text as the original set in some places).

A few items I am missing from the new set are the alternative helms/power sources like the dwarven forges powering the Citadels and the orbus powering the beholder ships. I thought those were cool. I also miss the elvish Armada ships...they reminded me of huge star destroyers. Also, I am not sure why they did not offer the Crown of Stars as a magic item. I do not miss the Lizardmen in space. I do not understand why mind flayers are not part of the random encounter table in Boo's Astral Menagerie (and the DM's screen). But, really the set is great. I like the Astral Sea revision. I am happy to have been proven wrong and I am delighted that the new set is available as I always loved Jeff Grubb's approach to space fantasy (which is why I quote him from Concordance of Arcane Space in the quote under my avatar).
 
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Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
(Thank you for this generous second-thought. As someone who did not play Spelljammer, I really appreciate your perspective here.)
 


Hmm, it is a little disappointing to hear that mind flayers aren't prominent even on the random encounters table. I might be playing in a Spelljammer campaign this fall and was considering being a githyanki bladedancer, but if the illithid aren't really prominent in the default setting, that makes the idea a little less fun. (I can always go astral elf instead and still get to be the villainous character exiled from his even more villainous society.)
 

Hatmatter

Laws of Mordenkainen, Elminster, & Fistandantilus
Hmm, it is a little disappointing to hear that mind flayers aren't prominent even on the random encounters table. I might be playing in a Spelljammer campaign this fall and was considering being a githyanki bladedancer, but if the illithid aren't really prominent in the default setting, that makes the idea a little less fun. (I can always go astral elf instead and still get to be the villainous character exiled from his even more villainous society.)
I am sorry to have misrepresented the prominence of mind flayers in the Spelljammer setting as a whole. Mind flayers are still up to their typical schemes. The differences that I noticed are twofold: 1) The aforementioned absence of mind flayers from the random encounter tables (two tables) for both Wildspace and the Astral Sea and 2) The fact that mind flayers are in the Monster Manual they are not in Boo's Astral Menagerie means that there is (naturally) a bit more of an emphasis on new creatures. But, mind flayers are still very much present in Spelljammer and my observations would have little impact on your decision to play a githyanki other than the two random encounter tables. To be fair, there are lots of potential Spelljammer encounters that are not in either of the random encounter tables and, remember, the original 1989 Spelljammer box set does not even include a random encounter table. For the record, githyanki are well represented in the Astral Sea, with three different kinds of githyanki (warrior, knight, or zerth) having a total 16% chance of being encountered from the d100 table.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Hmm, it is a little disappointing to hear that mind flayers aren't prominent even on the random encounters table. I might be playing in a Spelljammer campaign this fall and was considering being a githyanki bladedancer, but if the illithid aren't really prominent in the default setting, that makes the idea a little less fun. (I can always go astral elf instead and still get to be the villainous character exiled from his even more villainous society.)
There are Nautaloid stats in the Adventurer's Guide along with the other ships, but their aren't any Mindflayer expansions in the Bestiary. Plenty of Gith though.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
It's crazy that there's never been an adventure dedicated to mindflayer and gith conflict, being that they are actual dnd IP.
Well, the "Phandelver Campaign" next year is supposed to be "tinged with cosmic horror." And Gith and Mindflayers, and their conflict, have been a recurring side motif across the 5E Adventures. Since Phandelver is the final 5E Adventure, expanding on the first 5E Adventure, maybe theynwillbbring it full circle and close with a bang. Nothing as exciting as a cosmic war for reality.
 

Well, the "Phandelver Campaign" next year is supposed to be "tinged with cosmic horror." And Gith and Mindflayers, and their conflict, have been a recurring side motif across the 5E Adventures. Since Phandelver is the final 5E Adventure, expanding on the first 5E Adventure, maybe theynwillbbring it full circle and close with a bang. Nothing as exciting as a cosmic war for reality.
I would not bet on it myself.
 

It's crazy that there's never been an adventure dedicated to mindflayer and gith conflict, being that they are actual dnd IP.
For what it's worth, there's an Extra Life adventure called Rrakkma that is all about playing a unified gith hunting party going after mind flayers - I think it was made in conjunction with Mord's Tome of Foes. Used to be purchasable on DDB, though doesn't seem to be anymore, but it is available on DMs Guild.


 

Chris Perkins actually talked about why we haven't seen a mind flayer centric adventure in a seminar. He was working on a horror-themed adventure that was based on mind flayers in space controlling people on Faerun. The problem he kept running into is that with a mind flayer you are pretty much two unlucky rolls away from instant death at any time, and that can make running an enjoyable long-term campaign difficult. The proposal was eventually shelved for that reason.

It's crazy that there's never been an adventure dedicated to mindflayer and gith conflict, being that they are actual dnd IP.
 

Well, the "Phandelver Campaign" next year is supposed to be "tinged with cosmic horror." And Gith and Mindflayers, and their conflict, have been a recurring side motif across the 5E Adventures. Since Phandelver is the final 5E Adventure, expanding on the first 5E Adventure, maybe theynwillbbring it full circle and close with a bang. Nothing as exciting as a cosmic war for reality.
I suspect it won't be anything as big as that. WotC, rightly IMO, doesn't want Lost Mines to go out of print (as distinct from the D&D Beyond presence) with the discontinuation of the Starter Set. I imagine the adventure will be extended through level 10 or so and we'll learn more about the origins of the mine and what happened to shut it down originally.

Since there's already a light tie to the Underdark, in the form of the Black Spider (spoiler for a very old adventure), it wouldn't be hard to add some additional Underdark areas beneath it. I do think mindflayers are a good bet -- maybe the Black Spider's actions in Phandelver are a response to mind flayer pressures in the local Underdark -- but bringing in the gith feels like a very major turn from what we've seen before.

I think we're going to see a preservation and expansion of arguably the best low level adventure ever, not a rewriting of it to make it something completely different.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I suspect it won't be anything as big as that. WotC, rightly IMO, doesn't want Lost Mines to go out of print (as distinct from the D&D Beyond presence) with the discontinuation of the Starter Set. I imagine the adventure will be extended through level 10 or so and we'll learn more about the origins of the mine and what happened to shut it down originally.

Since there's already a light tie to the Underdark, in the form of the Black Spider (spoiler for a very old adventure), it wouldn't be hard to add some additional Underdark areas beneath it. I do think mindflayers are a good bet -- maybe the Black Spider's actions in Phandelver are a response to mind flayer pressures in the local Underdark -- but bringing in the gith feels like a very major turn from what we've seen before.

I think we're going to see a preservation and expansion of arguably the best low level adventure ever, not a rewriting of it to make it something completely different.
Well, the original is short enough, that any full campaign will have a lot of room. It will be interesting to see where they go with it.
 

Chris Perkins actually talked about why we haven't seen a mind flayer centric adventure in a seminar. He was working on a horror-themed adventure that was based on mind flayers in space controlling people on Faerun. The problem he kept running into is that with a mind flayer you are pretty much two unlucky rolls away from instant death at any time, and that can make running an enjoyable long-term campaign difficult. The proposal was eventually shelved for that reason.
Ugh, "balanced combat" strikes again. Maybe the mindflayers could be a far off threat like the Borg.
 

For what it's worth, there's an Extra Life adventure called Rrakkma that is all about playing a unified gith hunting party going after mind flayers - I think it was made in conjunction with Mord's Tome of Foes. Used to be purchasable on DDB, though doesn't seem to be anymore, but it is available on DMs Guild.


What a weird and disappointing thing for them to make legacy content.
 



They should associate the file with Monsters of the Multiverse instead.

A gith unification movement going out to hunt mind flayers is too badass to let slip away into the dustbin of history.
I don't necessarily disagree, but while the gith racial statblocks were updated for MotM, the full chapter of gith lore was not - that's presumably the underlying rationale behind the decision.
 

JEB

Legend
I don't necessarily disagree, but while the gith racial statblocks were updated for MotM, the full chapter of gith lore was not - that's presumably the underlying rationale behind the decision.
Huh. Are they also planning to significantly overhaul githyanki/githzerai lore in 2024? Any clues in the statblocks?
 

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