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

Uni-the-Unicorn!

Adventurer
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. ;)
That sounds more like planescape than spelljammer
 

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Uni-the-Unicorn!

Adventurer
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.
What is the fear of combining them? I do t see why you couldn’t combine them and keep them independent. But as a real fan of neither, maybe I don’t see the issues with that approach. Is the fear that they will be combined, or that they will be combined poorly?
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
What is the fear of combining them? I do t see why you couldn’t combine them and keep them independent. But as a real fan of neither, maybe I don’t see the issues with that approach. Is the fear that they will be combined, or that they will be combined poorly?
Spelljammer provided a way to get from world to world without leaving the Material Plane. Planescape provided a way to get from world to world using different planes as a transfer medium.

There is no need to merge them into the same thing, because they already coexist and work together. Combining them, such as making the space between worlds the Astral plane instead of the Material plane, seems both reductionary and redundant. In fact, it eliminates Spelljammer completely and just makes it all Planescape with boats.

If that's what people want, fine. But it's not Spelljammer and it's not for me.
 

Uni-the-Unicorn!

Adventurer
Spelljammer provided a way to get from world to world without leaving the Material Plane. Planescape provided a way to get from world to world using different planes as a transfer medium.

There is no need to merge them into the same thing, because they already coexist and work together. Combining them, such as making the space between worlds the Astral plane instead of the Material plane, seems both reductionary and redundant. In fact, it eliminates Spelljammer completely and just makes it all Planescape with boats.

If that's what people want, fine. But it's not Spelljammer and it's not for me.
But they could be combined into one product, without combine the mode of travel correct?

Couldn’t use planescape portals (Sigil) to get to different planes of reality, and spelljammers to navigate the Prime?
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
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.
That's about what I'd want.
 





delericho

Legend
But they could be combined into one product, without combine the mode of travel correct?

Couldn’t use planescape portals (Sigil) to get to different planes of reality, and spelljammers to navigate the Prime?
Spelljammer and Planescape both had very strong, and very different, flavours. Combining the two is possible, of course (since you can theoretically combine any two topics in any book, if you really want), but it's not a particularly good idea - the consequence is almost certainly that at least one loses its flavour to serve the needs of the other.
 

AdmundfortGeographer

Getting lost in fantasy maps
I’m imagining that the product the UA preview is foreshadowing will be a supplement bringing mashup of the World Axis’ “Astral Sea” and Spelljammer that leaves the Astral Plane wholly in place unchanged.

There will be minimal descriptions of any other setting, maybe a paragraph on fitting the material into existing worlds. There will be explicit language to the DM that it is up to the DM whether this allows travel to any other setting at all. This will be nearly all about travel between worlds and the civilizations and adventures that are found there.

I believe the flavor will lean into a default expectation of the Mos Eisley cantina vibe being the norm.

Mind Flayers and Far Realmsian aberrations will have a strong presence.
 

There are reasons for possible changes. Some paths in the Wildspace are too dangerous by fault of the Vodoni empire and some giths corsairs.

In the Gatetowns next to Sigil there are planar gates, or something like "bridge/river demiplanes" created for interplanar trade.

New intrusions from the Far Realm. If you are lucky only new Lovecraftian cults trying to summon some forgotten deity, or the elemental eye.

The elemental Chaos of Limbo has became the new Miami, with everybody creating their own demiplane, most of them lord dragons and giant clans, and visited by planewalker explores.

Vecna, like the little children, when they don't make noise then you have to worry. If somebody in the D&D multiverse can cause true cosmic troubles, he is the man. Not even the demiplane of the dread could keep him.

Lots of planes are too dangerous for low-level PCs. Faction war isn't allowed in Sigil, but nobody said about the Gatetowns.

Maybe "cheap" spelljammers are possible for 1st level PCs. For example these only can be used by character with a special feat, maybe being descendant or from the same bloodline of a former captain. Or the spelljammer is almost sentient, enough to rebel against slavery and become rogue. Then the crew aren't the true owners but the allies, because the spelljammer need "XPs" to become stronger.

Some enemies of Vodoni empire tried to cause a zombie apocalypse, and this failed because the undead hordes were....eaten by the werebeasts. Now the theriantropes are furious and uncontrollable because now somebody is using moon rocks for effects as a full moon night.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Why is that?
It's bending too many genre elements and tropes and trying to squeeze them into one package: "Here's a book on how to run a Flash Girdan or Heman campaign, along with rules for a Sandman-style campaign."

It just doesn't lend itself to a coherent product. Space travel and dimension hopping aren't the same thing, and zany swashbuckling gonzo is not the same thing as Planescape. There is no compelling reason to mix them, or would it turn out well.

Now, mind you, there is room for them in the same universe, and mixing in game is different, but what I'm talking about is product development: connect them cosmologically, but not in the same book. Agaib, traveling in space is different than traveling to different dimensions, so they don't conflict or directly intersect at all to begin with.
 

Uni-the-Unicorn!

Adventurer
It's bending too many genre elements and tropes and trying to squeeze them into one package: "Here's a book on how to run a Flash Girdan or Heman campaign, along with rules for a Sandman-style campaign."

It just doesn't lend itself to a coherent product. Space travel and dimension hopping aren't the same thing, and zany swashbuckling gonzo is not the same thing as Planescape. There is no compelling reason to mix them, or would it turn out well.

Now, mind you, there is room for them in the same universe, and mixing in game is different, but what I'm talking about is product development: connect them cosmologically, but not in the same book. Agaib, traveling in space is different than traveling to different dimensions, so they don't conflict or directly intersect at all to begin with.
That makes sense, I could see the general concepts being in the same book, but it would likely remove the existing flavor of each, which I agree is not a wise approach
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
That makes sense, I could see the general concepts being in the same book, but it would likely remove the existing flavor of each, which I agree is not a wise approach
I mean, they sort of are already both in the DMG, right? Just both are wide open to being their own thing with zero overlap.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I mean, they sort of are already both in the DMG, right? Just both are wide open to being their own thing with zero overlap.
I don’t see the need to merge them, though it could be fun. I also don’t see the need for there to be zero overlap. You can still have the zany gonzo fun of Spelljammer if the ships can travel the planes as well as the phlogiston and that shouldn’t take anything away from Planescape.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I don’t see the need to merge them, though it could be fun. I also don’t see the need for there to be zero overlap. You can still have the zany gonzo fun of Spelljammer if the ships can travel the planes as well as the phlogiston and that shouldn’t take anything away from Planescape.
Oh, for sure, that is an absolute must. But give them space in the product line.
 



Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I don’t see the need to merge them, though it could be fun. I also don’t see the need for there to be zero overlap. You can still have the zany gonzo fun of Spelljammer if the ships can travel the planes as well as the phlogiston and that shouldn’t take anything away from Planescape.
That is the existing state of Spelljammer anyway - it is possible to shift from the Philostogon to the Ethereal Plane if a particular table really wants too (and Im reminded that Githyanki Pirates have an Astral origin)

I also agree that Spelljammer and Planescape are distinct in flavour and should not be mixed (personally I dont like Planescape so I have no issue if others want to replace it with Spelljamming:))
 

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