Spelljammer Why is the upcoming Spelljammer book worth getting excited about?

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
I know nothing about Spelljammer, but I do like sailing ships and adventure. However when I look at Spelljammer art it seems like it's a bit too sci-fantasy for my more regular fantasy taste, and isn't sailing the Astral Sea kind of a super high level activity? I guess I'm wondering what kind of low/mid-level adventure is to be had in a setting like this?

So, what's up with Spelljammer and why is it cool?
 

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grimslade

Krampus ate my d20s
This version of Spelljammer is leaning a lot more into the sci-fi influences than the previous, but it is still D&D in Space. The biggest draw of Spelljammer is its expansiveness. You can have cohesive adventures that explore many different cultures and styles without seeming a kitchen sink or mish mash. Do you want to run a Master and Commander style wartime exploration? Easy as pie. Pirates of the Caribbean? Got you covered. Indian Jones treasure hunting to a variety of locales to find fortune and glory. Sure thing. All those times you think of a great adventure ideas and stories that wouldn't fit in your current campaign, in Spelljammer they can fit without it being jarring.
There is a lot of gonzo in Spelljammer. Giant Space Hamsters, explosive loving British Hippo people, Space Clowns, weird physics and gravity... but they don't have to be emphasized. You can run tense, horror-filled thrillers or engaging character-driven dramas without using the weird elements like any other setting.
As for running low-level adventures, it is very easy. The PCs may not own their own ship, but they can be guards/crewmen/specialists for someone else. They can be passengers going from one point to another. The foes in Spelljammer come in all Challenge Ratings. The Astral Sea could be super powerful or mostly empty but it is a means of travel, like the open ocean.
Why do I like Spelljammer? I love running an adventure where the party is struggling to fight off a crew of skeletons from a derelict Hammership while trying to salvage the Spelljammer Helm while avoiding an Imperial Elven Navy Man o' War patrol in an asteroid belt. There is swashbuckling, wild west, and Napoleonic wars mixed together with giant sea creature-shaped ships flinging cannon and fireballs at each other. There are mind flayers in nautiloids, beholders trying to assert individual dominance in crazy personal ships, and planet-eating weapons of mass destruction.
 


Jer

Legend
Supporter
So, what's up with Spelljammer and why is it cool?
It's a science fantasy setting that involves ships sailing through outer space and into the Astral Sea. And it's built for all character levels so you don't have to wait to engage with it until you've been playing for months (or years).

It's not going to appeal to everyone - it's definitely for people who are looking for something different than a traditional D&D game I think.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
So, what's up with Spelljammer and why is it cool?
I've always preferred a pretty staid, low-power, core 4/core 4 flavor of D&D; or oddball campaigns with really tight constraints on race/ class/ casting/ items/ etc.

For me, Spelljammer is where I get comfy with gonzo "kitchen sink" D&D. It's my opportunity to let the freak flag fly.
 

MatthewJHanson

Registered Ninja
Publisher
I think one of the main points of Spelljammer (and Planescape) is to make planar travel accessible to lower level characters. You don't need to know planeshift just sign on to a spelljammer crew.

Instead of exploring an uncharted island, you might discover a new planet or the corpse of a dead god.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
spelljammer is gonzo so you have to accept that premise and then run any kind of naval/pirate campaign
I guess D&D in space is either your jam or it isn't. That's OK. There's other D&D!
Yep...this and this. I think the appeal is how different it is: nobody can deny how different it is from all of the other published 5th Edition D&D materials out there. It's about as far from "typical D&D" as I can imagine, and I think that a lot of people are really excited about that burst of new imagination.

It's not really something I'm interested in, but that's fine. I've got plenty of other, non-gonzo, non-science-fiction D&D material to enjoy.
 
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I know nothing about Spelljammer, but I do like sailing ships and adventure. However when I look at Spelljammer art it seems like it's a bit too sci-fantasy for my more regular fantasy taste, and isn't sailing the Astral Sea kind of a super high level activity? I guess I'm wondering what kind of low/mid-level adventure is to be had in a setting like this?

So, what's up with Spelljammer and why is it cool?
I have seen very little Sci fi stuff
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I know nothing about Spelljammer, but I do like sailing ships and adventure. However when I look at Spelljammer art it seems like it's a bit too sci-fantasy for my more regular fantasy taste, and isn't sailing the Astral Sea kind of a super high level activity? I guess I'm wondering what kind of low/mid-level adventure is to be had in a setting like this?

So, what's up with Spelljammer and why is it cool?
It's one of those "if you like, you'll know" things, I imagine. WotC did an intro video when theybanmounced this. If that doesnflost your space-boat, I don't see what could.
 

I know nothing about Spelljammer, but I do like sailing ships and adventure. However when I look at Spelljammer art it seems like it's a bit too sci-fantasy for my more regular fantasy taste, and isn't sailing the Astral Sea kind of a super high level activity? I guess I'm wondering what kind of low/mid-level adventure is to be had in a setting like this?

So, what's up with Spelljammer and why is it cool?
Did you watch the trailer?

 




D1Tremere

Adventurer
Spell Jammer has always been one of my favorite settings, largely because I see it as a tool/mechanic more than a setting. Much like traveling across a continent or ocean can be a great way to introduce new adventures and locals, doing the same thing across the planer multiverse is even cooler in my book. Maybe you like playing in Forgotten Realms but you want your players to visit Eberron. Send them on a ship voyage across the astral sea! Low level? No problem! Experienced crew fly the ship while the party fends off Illithid pirates or negotiates with pushy Giff navy officers.
My Plan is to use Spelljammer academy as the graduate school for my Strixhaven players once they complete that adventure path.
 

I know nothing about Spelljammer, but I do like sailing ships and adventure. However when I look at Spelljammer art it seems like it's a bit too sci-fantasy for my more regular fantasy taste, and isn't sailing the Astral Sea kind of a super high level activity? I guess I'm wondering what kind of low/mid-level adventure is to be had in a setting like this?

So, what's up with Spelljammer and why is it cool?
Pseudo-medieval stuff is very dull for my taste. People are different, and like different stuff. It's good that WotC are catering to different kinds of people. Personally, I shall be giving Dragonlance a huge miss.
 

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