Spelljammer Why Play Spelljammer Over a Regular Pirate Campaign?

JiffyPopTart

Bree-Yark
me either. SOmetimes I have super fantasy and sometimes I go lower fantasy.

however you can't not see that spelljammer can have a built in feel, and that feel CAN be duplicated with other settings, but it comes backed into spelljammer.

having said that, I will again say I can take all the planets in the original starwars movies, make them 'sections' of a world, even add in some from the prequals... have an evil empire that has outlawed magic, have the main servant of the new emperor be a death knight... and have the PCs start out as a paladin, rogue, and sorcerer and pretty much run star wars... depending on how on the nose I name things I bet I could even pull it off without most people figureing it out right away. Maybe when they find the weakness to the city destroying flying fortress it would give it away... that doesn'tmean that there is no reason to have a star wars game.
As I stated before, your singular planet with hundreds of world emulating kingdoms still is a singular planet which a spelljamming campaign explicitly allows for leaving and never returning to.
 

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TheSword

Legend
To give this another go...

The sense of wonder. That's it. Nautical stories are awesome. But they don't generally have the same sense of wonder you find in sci-fi stories. Spelljammer takes the nautical and adds that sense of wonder...by putting it out there. Both literally and figuratively. Anyone read Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama? Niven's Ringworld? Pohl's Gateway? Banks' Culture series? Perry Rhodan? You can't do any of that with a planet-bound pirate game.

Why not just run a planet-bound pirate game? Because doing it in space and/or the Astral Sea opens up all the myriad possibilities you can't do with a planet-bound pirate game. Sure, you could mangle and kludge some of those elements into a pirate game, reduce them, make them smaller to fit the smaller sandbox, but what you lose in that process is exactly why you'd not do so. What you lose is the point. What you gain by going out there is the point.

At a certain point this feels like explaining why you love chocolate to someone who doesn't like chocolate.

For those who might not know the term:

I totally get what you mention about the sense of wonder, and I agree with you. There are fundamental differences between sci-fi and fantasy. The best sci-fi is exceptional stuff. The lazy stuff is worse than magic… sonic disrupters in space, sub-atomic bacteria, and thinking that individual creatures can evolve. To name some Star Trek wonder destroyers.

Spelljammer just seems to be Fantasy in space though. The the sci-fi elements are pretty low grade. Laser beams is probably the most exciting, and not much at that. I refer you to the the DMs screen thread. It all could apply to a normal sea vessel. You could read it, and without the name drop monsters you’d think it was.

Now give me 5eModern or 5eFuture, I’m sold. Simply transplanting sailing ships into space and putting a bubble round them though? A sense of wonder does not make.
 
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TheSword

Legend
Well, maybe there isn't. Maybe @TheSword plays in a game that is so full of trippy high magic gonzo weirdness that they are already in Spelljammer-land without knowing it, and their idea of a "regular" pirate campaign is very different to what the rest of us think of.
Well it’s all relative. I’m saying, “D&D but weirder and sillier” isn’t really a compelling USP for a setting, those dials are generally controlled by the DM anyway.

I’m all for a bit of silliness in games, usually juxtaposed to serious, grimdark elements. Like how comedy naming conventions are used in WFRP next to some pretty dark things.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I totally get what you mention about the sense of wonder, and I agree with you. There are fundamental differences between sci-fi and fantasy. The best sci-fi is exceptional stuff. The lazy stuff is worse than magic… sonic disrupters in space, sub-atomic bacteria, and thinking that individual creatures can evolve. To name some Star Trek wonder destroyers.

Spelljammer just seems to be Fantasy in space though. The the sci-fi elements are pretty low grade. Laser beams is probably the most exciting, and not much at that. I refer you to the the DMs screen thread. It all could apply to a normal sea vessel. You could read it, and without the name drop monsters you’d think it was.

Now give me 5eModern or 5eFuture, I’m sold. Simply transplanting sailing ships into space and putting a bubble round them though? A sense of wonder does not make.
Chocolate is awesome. Sorry you hate chocolate.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
Spelljammer just seems to be Fantasy in space though.

I’m saying, “D&D but weirder and sillier” isn’t really a compelling USP for a setting, those dials are generally controlled by the DM anyway.
So, you keep saying thwt you don't get the appeal, but then you state what the appeal is...?

Spelljammer are tools for DMs to crank up the weird and silly dials, and be fantasy IIIIIIIIN SPAAAAAAAAAAAACEEEEE
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
And why would they not ? The necklace has special rules because it's magic, and note that these rules are specific because if you have two casters cast fireballs at the same instant (but still in sequence because that's the way the system works) using readied actions, the damage cumulates.
There's still no reason to assume that the explosions add the way you are arguing. The necklace addition of only 1 extra die of damage per extra 7d8 fireball thrown might have nothing to do with magic. That specific rule could apply for all explosives. We don't know.

The DM is creating the problem by ruling that barrels of black powder add all damage together, rather than using the necklace of fireball rules or coming up with another ruling.
Well, the rules, for once, there are rules about magic items, and there are no rules in the DMG about buying smoke powder when it's available.
So if DMs have to make up the rules, why make them problematic?
 

Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
Mostly? For the LOLs
the muppets have you seen my childhood GIF
 



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