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D&D 5E What Would Your Ideal Spelljammer Book Be Like?

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Okay, this is a pretty simple premise, but I'm excited to see what people say.

Based on the recent Travelers of the Multiverse Unearthed Arcana (and the Boo cover art that we saw during the D&D Celebration), it's pretty clear that Spelljammer, or something Spelljammer-adjacent (such as Planejammer) is coming to D&D 5e within the next year (possibly being the new D&D product that's being announced in a few days). And I could not be more excited about it, but how Spelljammer is going to be approached in its modern translation is still uncertain. The recent UA made some fairly major tweaks to the setting, and though none of them are completely solidified yet, they could be a sign of things changing significantly. (Astral Elves are a new concept, and could be a reworked race for the Elven Imperial Navy, Thri-Kreen are more prominent, Giff have no mention of firearms or gunpowder in their whole description, and Scro are nowhere to be seen.)

This leads us to this thread's main topic (and title); What would your idea Spelljammer book be like? What would you include in it? Would it be a complete setting book, like Eberron: Rising from the Last War, Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, and Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft? Or, would it be a hybrid book, like Strixhaven: Curriculum of Chaos (maybe Acquisitions Incorporated would count as this, too), or potentially even an Adventure Compilation book, like Ghosts of Saltmarsh, that has Spelljammer as the setting it takes place in, but has a collection of adventures all across the Multiverse as the main chunk of the book?

Would you include more races than just the 6 provided in this UA? The same amount, but with some dropped/switched out for different races (possibly adding in Dohwar, Scro, etc)? Or would you have less races than the ones presented in this UA?

What about its bestiary? What creatures would you include? Astereaters, Thought Eaters (those Psionic, Ethereal Platypuses), NPC stats for the different races of the world (potentially members of the Astral Elves' Navy, Giff Mercenaries, Scro Warriors, Autognome Servants, Hadozee Swashbucklers, Plasmoid Slime-Soldiers, Thri-Kreen Psions, Vodoni Legionnaires, etc). There's almost definitely going to be reprints of Neogi, and possibly some of the Mind Flayers from Volo's Guide to Monsters (maybe even Gnome Ceremorphs/Squidlings from Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden), and they could also include some of the newer more "alien" monsters, like Star Spawn (Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes), Core Spawn (Explorer's Guide to Wildemount), Kruthiks (Mordenkainen's), etc. (Probably going to reprint the Gnomish Clockworks from Mordenkainen's, now that I think about it.)What of its classic monsters, like Astereaters, The Arcane (Blue/Purple-Skinned Space Giants), Bionoids, Space Mimics, Giant Space Hamsters, Dracons, Infinity Vines, Meteor Spawn, Oortlings, Cosmic Dragons, and similar monsters? Are any of them too silly to be translated to 5e, or should the book lean into it all the way?

And its Vehicles? Maybe reprints of the Vehicle rules from Ghosts of Saltmarsh/Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus, but with Spelljamming rules applied to them, and some Spelljammer specific ones as well (Elven Living Plant Ships, Squid-Ships and Nautiloids, Beholder Ships, etc).

What about Magic Items? Do you think that there will be different types of Spelljamming Helms in 5e, or will they be more or less identical to the one contained in Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage? Would there be any other magic items, like magic items that create air-bubbles so that you can survive in the void, possibly a magic Space Suit (as a type of magical armor that lets you survive in Wildspace), and similar options? Maybe reprinted Symbionts from Eberron?

What do you guys think? How would you do your perfect Spelljammer 5e book?
 

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Scribe

Hero
It begins with "You disembark in Sigil..." ;)

No, I dont know that I really have a preference at all, I'm not attached to the setting (I guess its a setting?) in any capacity and just hope it hits the right notes for folks when it does arrive.

I really liked the UA to be honest, and the 3 more complicated races are interesting.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
What do you guys think? How would you do your perfect Spelljammer 5e book?
I don't think they can do most settings justice with only one book. Ravenloft has two but it still feels incomplete. It's missing a lot, a lot of stuff. Spelljammer is an even bigger setting. The only thing they could really do in one book and do it justice is an adventure path. A primer on the setting, specific races for it, and maybe some subclasses, but the majority of the book as the adventure. Otherwise it'll feel incomplete. Just a book on monsters? No way. Just a setting guide a la Van Richten's? No way. There's just too much there that lots of important things will have to be cut for space. The Monsters of the Multiverse will hopefully fill in the blanks in that regard. So an adventure path and a setting book. That would be a start. Ships. Ship combat. Travel. Air. Phlogiston. Crystal Spheres. Guns. Seige weapons. Wildspace.

My perfect Spelljammer 5E book would be a boxed set / slipcase. At least 2-4 books plus all kinds of accessories. You couldn't do it right with much less than that. Or a full line. All that parsed out in individual chunks. Book here. Box of maps and minis there. Book again. Etc.
 


Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
I'd like a section on the mechanics of Spelljamming (which in fairness are already provided in Dungeons of the Mad Mage, at least for the mechanics of a spelljamming helm), a section on the Rock of Bral as a starter area, a section on the general attitudes the major Spelljamming cultures, and a bestiary.

Sidebars on joining the various settings as well as a disclaimer on why Dark Sun and Eberron aren't reachable by Spelljammer and how the whole concept remains distinct from its own 90s gritty reboot (Planescape) would be fine as well.

Obviously, WotC picking up and reissuing my own book on Giant Space Hamsters, along with sending me a gigantic check, would be desirable as well.

GHfOS Cover.jpg
 
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AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Okay, here's how I would do it. I would format it similarly to Eberron: Rising from the Last War. Let's call it "Minsc and Boo's Guide to Spelljammer".

Here's what I would do for the sections of the book.
  • Welcome to Spelljammer - Introduction into the world, explanation on the basic premise for those that aren't familiar, description of Crystal Spheres, the Phlogiston, Wildspace, and Spelljamming.
  • Chapter 1: Character Options - The races from the UA, reprinted Orcs (named Scro), possibly a few other reprinted races, some backgrounds (Pilot, Wildspace Marine, maybe reprints of the Far Traveler background from the SCAG). Maybe even a few subraces specific to space/spelljamming, like a Vehiculist Artificer, maybe a reprinted Graviturgy Wizard). New spells for creating air, finding portals on Crystal Spheres, finding your location in Wildspace/the Phlogiston, etc. Possibly even a section for Group Patrons that exist in Spelljammer, like the Elven Imperial Navy.
  • Chapter 2: The Rock of Bral Gazetteer - Map and gazetteer for the Rock of Bral, explanation on how to use it in your campaigns, listed NPCs that the party can interact with, plot hooks for adventures and side quests (like how Explorer's Guide to Wildemount does).
  • Chapter 3: Crystal Spheres and the Phlogiston - An explanation of how Crystal Spheres work, an example for inspiration/use (probably Realmspace), rules for creating your own solar systems, with tables to roll for creating planets and their moons, inhabitants, how to connect them with the different factions of the setting. and rules for how Wildspace and the Phlogiston work. Maybe a small section/sidebar about the First World.
  • Chapter 4: Adventures in Spelljammer - Guidelines for how to create adventures and campaigns in Spelljammer, how to develop villains and rivals out of the different monsters and factions, and multiple starting adventures (like Explorer's Guide to Wildemount has 4). Examples could be hijacking/stealing a Spelljamming ship (or rescuing one that was being held hostage by space pirates), an adventure where you try to save a space station of humanoids from an invasion/infestation of aberrations, go bounty hunting for a wanted space-criminal, or steal the secrets of creating Spelljamming Helms from the Arcane Giants that are the sole individuals with the knowledge of how to make them.
  • Chapter 5: Spelljamming Equipment - Stats for spelljamming ships of a variety of different types (Nautiloids, Squid Ships, Elven Plant Ships, Gnomish Clockwork Ships, Dwarven Forge-Strongholds, etc), magic items, space-siege weapons (Laser/Antimatter Cannons and similar concepts), Life Boats/Pods, etc.
  • Chapter 6: Monsters of Spelljammer - A bestiary with monsters and NPCs commonly found in Spelljammer, like Scro Warriors, Giant Space Hamsters, Astereaters, Cosmic Dragons, The Arcane, and Dohwar.
 

A chapter on Sigil
An adventure within the Gith war
A class or two. I would also settle for subclasses.
A playable race or two.
Altered spells of the Astral Plane, in particular movement and teleport spells.
Rituals that involve the planes.
Transportation through the planes.
Monsters - lots of monsters. Maybe an Astral purple worm. ;)
 



Mercurius

Legend
I'm basing this off my prediction in the thread about the impending announcement. I'm not sure if this is exactly what I want, but I think it makes sense, and I'd be very happy if they follow this route.

Adventure book: The PCs find a spelljammer in the Realms somewhere, possibly Lantan. The adventure is made up of loosely connected episodes of locations beyond Toril that the PCs visit while on the spelljammer. How about this premise: They explore the ship and it "turns on," and starts going to random locations outside of Toril. It could even be a kind of random thing, like the Deck of Many Things, but the "Panel of Many Places," with the PCs pressing a button on the spelljammer's dashboard, and off they go, sailing the Astral Sea. Perhaps the spelljammer is sentient and trying to remember what it is, and visiting places it had been to previously. The PCs gradually put together the mystery, and learn how to pilot it over the course of the campaign. The final destination is none other than...the city of Sigil. Which leads me to the second book:

Shemeska's Manual of the Multiverse: This is a combination of Manual of the Planes and Planescape, with flavors of Spelljammer and Magic's planeswalking. It includes a gazetteer of Sigil and the Outlands, and an overview of the planes, along with rules for different approaches to exploring the multiverse--the doors of Sigil, spelljamming on the Astral Sea, and planeswalking. It would also discuss different cosmologies, emphasizing that there is no correct, singular one, just a wide variety of lenses to view and explore the multiverse from.

This opens up the door to as many planar adventures as WotC wants to publish, and the connective paradigmatic tissue for other worlds.
 

What I would ideally want it to be and what I would realistically expect it to be are two quite different things.

Ideally want would be another setting book in the Eberron/Ravenloft mold, with a similar format to those two.

Realistically expect would be a hybrid adventure/setting book, sort of like Saltmarsh on steroids. Granted, the adventure itself will likely have maps and descriptions of Realmspace (perhaps various chapters of the adventure takes place on each of the worlds of Realmspace, ending with the illithid and beholder dominated outer planets as the finale) and the Rock of Bral (which was supposedly left to the DM's discretion on where it was, but it was often placed in Realmspace, in the Tears of Selune, in various products; it would likely be the first stop off Toril for this hypothetical adventure), which would be doing some of the setting portion's heavy lifting. The setting part of the book would describe the basic set-up (hopefully the crystal sphere and phlogistion system, although I'm not opposed for some ships like the githyanki and illithid to also be able to travel to an otherwise definitively separated Astral); how travel works; a description of a few other crystal spheres (maybe some, perhaps including Greyspace, in some detail, most others with a quick description); important races and factions; a few charts and tables for DMs to create their own crystal spheres, planets, and systems; example ships with stats like in Saltmarsh; a quick space combat guide; and of course a bestiary. Let's say it's around a 300 page book, so roughly 150 pages could be given to each of the adventure and settings section. Honestly, because there's no reason for a lengthy gazetteer (there really aren't that many crystal spheres that have been detailed, or need to be more than briefly detailed), the setting section doesn't have to be excessively huge like for other setting guides.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Ideally, I'd want to see all manner of relics, remnants and weird demi-planes suspended in an every widening gyre. I don't really care about the actual elemental planes as adventure locals I want useful Spelljamming rules, ship rules, and whatever else is necessary to play it like Firefly with longswords. Just a of bunch honest Spelljammers hauling cargo and trying to make a living. Surrounded by the weirdest and best fantasy ever, of course.
 


delericho

Legend
Okay, here's how I would do it. I would format it similarly to Eberron: Rising from the Last War. Let's call it "Minsc and Boo's Guide to Spelljammer".

Here's what I would do for the sections of the book.
  • Welcome to Spelljammer - Introduction into the world, explanation on the basic premise for those that aren't familiar, description of Crystal Spheres, the Phlogiston, Wildspace, and Spelljamming.
  • Chapter 1: Character Options - The races from the UA, reprinted Orcs (named Scro), possibly a few other reprinted races, some backgrounds (Pilot, Wildspace Marine, maybe reprints of the Far Traveler background from the SCAG). Maybe even a few subraces specific to space/spelljamming, like a Vehiculist Artificer, maybe a reprinted Graviturgy Wizard). New spells for creating air, finding portals on Crystal Spheres, finding your location in Wildspace/the Phlogiston, etc. Possibly even a section for Group Patrons that exist in Spelljammer, like the Elven Imperial Navy.
  • Chapter 2: The Rock of Bral Gazetteer - Map and gazetteer for the Rock of Bral, explanation on how to use it in your campaigns, listed NPCs that the party can interact with, plot hooks for adventures and side quests (like how Explorer's Guide to Wildemount does).
  • Chapter 3: Crystal Spheres and the Phlogiston - An explanation of how Crystal Spheres work, an example for inspiration/use (probably Realmspace), rules for creating your own solar systems, with tables to roll for creating planets and their moons, inhabitants, how to connect them with the different factions of the setting. and rules for how Wildspace and the Phlogiston work. Maybe a small section/sidebar about the First World.
  • Chapter 4: Adventures in Spelljammer - Guidelines for how to create adventures and campaigns in Spelljammer, how to develop villains and rivals out of the different monsters and factions, and multiple starting adventures (like Explorer's Guide to Wildemount has 4). Examples could be hijacking/stealing a Spelljamming ship (or rescuing one that was being held hostage by space pirates), an adventure where you try to save a space station of humanoids from an invasion/infestation of aberrations, go bounty hunting for a wanted space-criminal, or steal the secrets of creating Spelljamming Helms from the Arcane Giants that are the sole individuals with the knowledge of how to make them.
  • Chapter 5: Spelljamming Equipment - Stats for spelljamming ships of a variety of different types (Nautiloids, Squid Ships, Elven Plant Ships, Gnomish Clockwork Ships, Dwarven Forge-Strongholds, etc), magic items, space-siege weapons (Laser/Antimatter Cannons and similar concepts), Life Boats/Pods, etc.
  • Chapter 6: Monsters of Spelljammer - A bestiary with monsters and NPCs commonly found in Spelljammer, like Scro Warriors, Giant Space Hamsters, Astereaters, Cosmic Dragons, The Arcane, and Dohwar.
Yep, this is pretty much exactly what I would like to see. The only thing that seems to be missing is rules for ship-to-ship combat.

The one thing I emphatically don't want to see is some sort of Spelljammer/Planescape hybrid. Unfortunately, that's also the very thing I expect we will see. :(
 


Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
Yep, this is pretty much exactly what I would like to see. The only thing that seems to be missing is rules for ship-to-ship combat.

The one thing I emphatically don't want to see is some sort of Spelljammer/Planescape hybrid. Unfortunately, that's also the very thing I expect we will see. :(
I 100% share both your expectation and your sadness about it. Spelljammer and Planescape.were about two different ways to get from world to world. There's no reason or need to combine them.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
I think WoTC will take what they learned from Ravenloft when introducing Spelljammer, starting with an adventure to introduce new players to the setting. I imagine it will start players on the Sword Coast, and they either are hired or stow away on a ship, becoming crew members and getting introduced to the world, mechanics and possibilities of spell jamming. By the end of the adventure, the party may be in control of the ship. Then, if it proves popular, a follow up book will expand the setting.
 

A new name for the scros, it sounds horrible, at least ridiculous for Spanish-speakers.

I hope the return of the insectare as PC race, and the outer dragons (moon, solar, stellar..).

Insectare.JPG


There is a great potential for the bionoids as hooks for new stories.

1633879947733.png
 

see

Pedantic Grognard
1) Spelljammers are not ships on the Astral. They are ships above the atmosphere. It is entirely possible to put ships on the Astral without trashing Spelljammer and stripping it for parts, and a publisher wanting to put ships on the Astral should just do that rather than gratuitously destroying Spelljammer. People who want to do their own mash-ups can, just as they can stick Waterdeep and the Free City of Greyhawk into their Eberron campaigns if they like.

2) Spelljammers either need to be largely kept away from the Forgotten Realms and other established settings, or nerfed. If you put enough spelljammers in Realmspace (for example) that Tier 2 characters can reasonably own one, they need to be bad enough at shipping things in point-to-point planetary travel that they don't completely dominate all forms of overland, water, and airship travel. Which, at published speeds, both 2e and Dungeon of the Mad Mage spelljammers utterly do.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I’d do something like use the Astromundi Cluster as a core setting for the game and replace races with Faction write ups. Then of course you need the Ship and World building rules,
I’d also add the Rock of Bral and a selection of Space Lairs

Book 1 Astrogators Guide
1 Campaigns in the Rainbow Sea
2 Spacefaring Life (Character Options)
3 Factions and Empires
  • Known Races (and how to tweak them)
  • New Races
5 Building a Ship
6 The Crew - Roles on a Ship
7 Ship Movement and Combat
8 Gravity, Air, Adrift in the Rainbow Sea <could be side bars>
9 Spells, Prayer and Patrons

Book 2 Celestial Mechanics
10 The Rock of Bral (Adventure Seeds)
11 Many Worlds
12 Building a Universe (Systems, Spheres, Planes)
13 Maps and Displays
14 Space Lairs (Adventure Seeds)

Book 3 The Astromundi Trade Almanac
The Astromundi Campaign - Planets, Factions and Trade
PCs as Merchants, Diplomats, Explorers and PiratesFreebooters
 
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