Spelljammer What is important to you about Spelljammer


I'm curious what elements of Spelljammer are important to people. Flying ships? Phlogiston and a 'Material Plane Only' focus? The Arcane? Crystal Spheres? Wildspace? Giff? Spelljamming Helms? The Spelljammer? Neogi?

For example, Spelljammer became a part of my home setting when it was first released, but I tossed about half of it out the door. You can Spelljam to planets in the Material Plane, and there are a decent number of flying ships in the material plane, but the majority of Spelljamming takes place in my Astral Plane / Astral Sea. Creatures use Spelljamming to travel between portals in the Astral Sea. The Arcane, Giff, Neogi, Scro, etc... all sail the Astral Sea (and my Sigil equivalent is there, too).

However, there is no Phlogiston and there are no Crystal Spheres. I have concepts that evoke different Prime Material Planes, but that design is based more upon Comic Book Multiverse concepts (and, to an extent, Time Travel).

I feel like my version captures the heart of the Spelljammer setting, but does so in a way that is a little less alien to the origial Great Wheel design (although my setting varies from that greatly in other ways). Other experienced Spellhjammer fans that have joined my campaigns have been a little disappointed that I don't have all the features of the original setting, but they generally adapt and appreciate my setting.

I'm curious - what would need to be included in an actual Spelljammer product for you to decide "This is truly Spalljammer".

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Morkus from Orkus
I'm curious what elements of Spelljammer are important to people. Flying ships? Phlogiston and a 'Material Plane Only' focus? The Arcane? Crystal Spheres? Wildspace? Giff? Spelljamming Helms? The Spelljammer? Neogi?
This. :p

I want Spelljammer, not some bastardization of it. The one exception is that I wouldn't mind the addition of ships that travel the planes as well as all the rest. That would be an expansion of Spelljammer to me. Spelljammer+ is okay. Spelljammer- is not.


Moderator Emeritus
I really liked Spelljammer, but since it seemed designed to allow for almost anything to be included, I am not married to any one vision (which is the opposite of how I feel about Dragonlance). If the phlogiston were replaced by the Astral Sea, I'd be fine with it (might even prefer it). Crystal spheres could bob in that sea, holding one or more worlds. Since I don't care about the layout of the planes (they are the planes and beyond mortal understanding, they can be organized completely differently every time the PCs interact with them and that'd still be okay to me), I am not concerned if a "Planejammer" version was not consistent with how the planes were described in any previous book.

As for things like giant space hamsters, I prefer avoiding that goofy stuff as "standard" - but again, it is easy enough to just ignore some choices. My guess is that spelljamming helms might be modified to not only rely on spell power to be run - allowing multiple classes to do it.

James Gasik

Falling Dawizard
As much as I loved the "gee whiz!' factor of Spelljammer, there are a few things I could live without. The Elves having a vast space navy across the setting for one.

Dwarven Fortress ships are kind of silly. Tinker Gnome ships even more so.

I want a ton of playable races, to really showcase all the different worlds and cultures you can encounter. Yes, even the ones from other games, like the Hadozee. Sure, some things will be lost, I'm sure Xichil body modifications will be something 5e will balk at.

But exploring strange worlds? Encountering ancient mysteries, or relics of past conflicts? Absolutely.

None of these being greater than The Spelljammer itself.


The number one thing that's absolutely necessary: open-decked ships that fly through space in a variety of fantastical designs.

I also like each solar system being separated into its own bubble where things can be Different. I like the idea of leaving "solar space" through some form of portal and entering another form of space where you can travel to another solar system in a relatively brief time, but the old implementation had issues, mainly how long it took. A journey through the Phlogiston would take 10-100 days, plus the time it would take to get to and from the crystal sphere which is twice as far out as the farthest planetary orbit. Realmspace in the original rules is supposed to be average-sized, and going from the sun to the outermost orbit takes 16 days, so 32 days to get to the edge. That'll get you a travel time of about four months: one month to the sphere, two months in the Flow, and one month to the next planet. That's a lot of travel time.

What if you instead had "jump points" at various places inside the sphere? You could both have naturally occuring ones that move about semi-randomly (so you could have some form of navigation check to see how long it will take you to get one, and so it's not feasible to set up defenses around them), and artificial ones that are usually connected to some sort of installation (like the Rock of Bral). These jump points, properly activated, would send you into a parallel space where you could reach other worlds fairly quickly – I'm thinking something like the slow zone from the Expanse, but perhaps taking a little longer to traverse, and having some more interesting features.

That is, do that if you want the Star Trek or Star Wars experience, of a vast sprawling setting filled with new and interesting places to visit and explore. The old version is fine if you want a more Expanse-like (at least the early books) experience, where the action is focused on one solar system and the variety of places within it (like the Astromundi Cluster). Both are fine, really – the difference between "We traveled two weeks from Earth to Mars where we had an exciting adventure" and "We traveled two weeks from Toril to Oerth where we had an interesting adventure" is minimal.

Anyhow, another thing I'd like to see rethought is the actual spelljamming helms. The idea of drawing on a caster's spells to power the ship is neat, but "Sorry, you're stuck sitting on this chair and can't contribute to anything" is not. I'd rather have spelljamming helms provide a base speed/maneuverability (perhaps with different models having different levels), and then the user could expend spell slots to boost it, or possibly do other neat things.


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