View Full Version : Anyone remeber the Astromundi Cluster? (D&D Spelljammers)

2009-06-24, 10:21 AM
Hey all,

I was looking through my old 2nd edition stuff they other day when I found my old copy of the Astromundi Cluster setting Spelljammers one attempt to make an real stand alone setting.

I have fond memories of this as a disaster of good intentions. It had so much flavor but so much didn't make logical sense or was poorly written to the point of making people who were willing to buy space elves scoff at things as silly.

Still I loved the sun mages, their war with the Mind Flayers and some of the adventure ideas.

Like one where the Sun Mages had a sort of pleasure moon in orbit which was powered by enslaved demons. I thought the idea of those demons getting loose and trapping your PC's on the now powerless artifical moon was a great fantasy twist on the Aliens horror Scenario.

In light of all the hard scifi lately I really wish there was a way to update spelljammer and the Astromundi Cluster so it wasn't quite so darn rediculous. I mean they managed to make Space Cowboys work in Firefly there must be a sane way to do spelljammer.

2009-06-24, 11:42 AM
Spelljammer is a great setting. I think a lot of fantasy gamers have (had) a kneejerk reaction because it mixes outer space and high fantasy, two genres that are usually separate. But really there's nothing about safari hippos in space that is any harder to believe than brain-eating octopus-faces under a mountain or a psychic brain in a jar in a tomb where the walls are maintained by demons. For some reason winged horses in heaven = OK, but winged pigs in a nebula = stoopid. *shrug* Aside from the obligatory Muppets reference, I don't get it.

Google "Spelljammer third edition" and you'll easily find the site that has everything updated for 3.x. (I don't have the URL on hand.) I don't know what edition of D&D you use but you mgith find some of the setting flavour text to be worth mining for ways of updating it.

In general I think a "less ridiculous" Spelljammer is a Do It Yourself project and I would suggest a few starting points:

-Get rid of the "connects to all D&D worlds" background and maybe even the great wheel/planar travel cosmology. Choose a setting and stick with it, and maybe incorporate one or a few hand-selected fantasy settings as worlds within the larger setting. (I would definitely allows Dark Sun as an accessible setting, for instance, but that's just me.) Sounds like you already have this part covered with the Astromundi setting.

-Revise the bestiary. If something strikes you as too bizarre or cartoonish, just nix it. No harm done.

-Devise factions that compete in the world and give them believable motivations.

Depending on how much free time you have, that could all be done and you could have a working awesome setting in 1-4 weeks or so (IMHO).

2009-06-24, 02:39 PM
Thanks! I might just do that! Those are some good suggestions. (Gotta love Dark Sun and yes I'm a 3rd edition hold out.)

I still wish WotC would do a re-release. I can make up my own setting from scratch and just draw on Astromundi for inspiration part of what makes buying a premade setting worth it is all the bonuses like art that help you bring the setting to life as well as the one or two ideas that you would have never thought of yourself.