View Full Version : Spelljammer adventures

2010-04-14, 10:16 AM
Title sucks, but here goes.

A little while ago, I decided to run a 3.5 spelljammer game using modified rules from the Polyhedron article. I had intended to have the campaign start in Eberron, and then let it expand outward pretty much imediatly from there. (Admitedly, this was so that I could shamlessly include the races from there, Shifters, Changelings, and Warforged)

But now I'm having trouble trying to think up of adventures for the setting. More specifically, I'm having trouble deciding on what the balance should be for how much of the game is actually spent on the ship. In theory I know that the party could go the entire time without setting foot on the ground once, but most of my really good adventure ideas involve leaving the ship behind for weeks or days at a time. This is really jarring when one considers that most of the flavor for the setting borrows from shows like B5, Farscape, and Andromeda, with strong influence from Adventure at Sea type stories.

It's almost getting to the point where I feel like I should drop the spelljammer ellement all together.

What are you guys' thoughts?

2010-04-14, 10:25 AM
I think most adventures at sea actually take place in ports. Aside from infrequent naval battles and boarding maneuvers, there's actually not much happening while you're under sail.
If you have a good idea for ground based adventures, they will probably include a number of different places, even if it's just visiting a merchant or nobleman at the other end of town.

In a spelljammer game, there's no reason why said person couldn't be living on an entirely different world, and the treasure map he shows the characters is for a tomb that is located in yet another world.
If the characters are the only ones who have a spelljammer ship, this will probably be rather boring. But if there are hundreds of other adventurers and merchants sailing the stars, there will also be an entire infrastructure with space ports where sailors from all kinds of worlds come together.

I never played spelljammer or read much about it, but I think it sounds like an awsome idea to run it side by side with planescape, with Sigil one of the greatest ports for spelljammer sailors.

2010-04-14, 10:37 AM
sounds cool, are they starting in eberonspace or on the planet itself? The thing about Spelljammers you need to know about the planets surounding the core world or else it seems odd. Realmspace(FR) and Pathspace(PF) are ferfect examples due to the fact both explore the other planets in their solar system.

Look though the spelljammers 3.X site for some idea's if you need too. I've done it once or twice to..have space/air drifting krakens for air kraken day.

2010-04-14, 10:42 AM
Yeah, their starting on Eberron itself.

The setting actually lends itself rather nicely to Spelljammer, just have the Astral Plane in Eberron be a parallel/overlapping plane with the space, then have the other planes partially exist on the moons.

2010-04-14, 10:51 AM
Yeah, their starting on Eberron itself.

The setting actually lends itself rather nicely to Spelljammer, just have the Astral Plane in Eberron be a parallel/overlapping plane with the space, then have the other planes partially exist on the moons.

ummm..by what i've read about Eberron the Neogi are mutanted dwarves? how would a Spelljammer from Eberron react to a Neogi Mindspider, even better a Ilithid? Actually any abberation that you might cross in wildpace.

I've never played in Eberron but I have a few source books for fun.Also shifters can exist on any world that contains were-beast of any sort, Warforged would probally be assulted by tinker gnomes to see how he works, changelings I dont know how they would be affected.

You have to think some times about the crossing of settings. How would a priest of the Host react to a feral world where Lycanthropes are nearly worshipped as gods? Whatt happens when a Ilithid walks into a tavern? What if a Neogi mindspider attacks you?

What type of jammer and helm are you thinking of using?

2010-04-14, 10:57 AM
I'm going with a homebrewing of the Helm system.

The Helms have been replaced with the Spelljammer Sail, a method of transportation that draws it's streangth from the Ethereal Winds of Space (I'm kindof throwing out the crystal sphere's, I see them as somewhat unnecessary).

Speed is determined by the ship speedx wind factor (So, for the Sloop the party will start with, 60x 2 if winds are mildly favorable and going with he wind).

2010-04-14, 11:22 AM
The point of crystal spheres was to have a way of discretely dividing up campaign settings into fixed spaces. And to keep the unprepared/less powerful from jumping about between them.

Removing the helm takes away the "Netrunner Problem" the setting had if there was a PC Helmsman. Namely that while they're doing cool stuff flying the ship, everyone else is twiddling their thumbs, or at best doing skirmish scale stuff in shipboard combat.

Even so, unless the whole party can be involved in maneuver, keep the shipboard stuff to boarding actions and the like.

Can't go wrong with a milk run to begin with. Nice simple-seeming job to get a cargo or passenger to some other place. Someone else wants it, hijinks along the way ensue.

2010-04-14, 11:26 AM
Mostly its because my parties tend to have Spellcasters who kick more ass personally than the Fighters do, with the traditional up close fighters becoming Skill Whores of the highest quality.

Nothing normal ever happens in my games.

2010-04-14, 01:08 PM
I've been looking for some good online 3.x resources for spell jammer and saw this thread and thought I'd jump in and ask. I'm doing a homebrew planet that my PCs will start out on and it is mostly aberrant inhabited and having some spell jammer resources would help especially with my use of Neogi and Ilithid.

Eventually the party may get access to a spell jammer :smallbiggrin:

2010-04-14, 01:15 PM
There's a PDF of the Polyhedron Magazine article floating around, and I strongly recomend it. The ship stats are wonky as hell and should be modified somewhat (for one thing their too damn SMALL) But they present some good stuff.

What I'm doing personally is Marrying those rules with the Stormwracked rules. This fixes alot of the strange ship mechanics that they present.

2010-04-14, 01:21 PM
How have we gotten this far without Spelljammer: Beyond the Moons (http://www.spelljammer.org/)? It's THE 3.5 update for Spelljammer!! Click it, read it, love it, live it. :smallamused:

2010-04-14, 01:23 PM

I personally think they make some of the rules a bit too complex, like the air thing.

2010-04-14, 01:26 PM
Well, it's the Spelljammer update man. No need to reinvent the wheel if you're going to be doing Spelljammer. They at least do many monsters, spells, races, and classes for you, so you don't have to. Might as well link it for others.

Though... removing the Crystal Spheres, and simplifying the air limitations, and probably getting rid of the phlogiston (nowhere for it to be with no Crystal Spheres)... your game sounds more like D&D with spaceships than it does like more standard Spelljammer. I personally love the Crystal Spheres though, so, I'm just like that. :smallamused:

2010-04-14, 01:51 PM
I recommend on catching up with some old Original Series Star Trek episodes - there's some good ones that take place in space instead of on planet.

Steal cleverly.

2010-04-14, 01:53 PM
Oh, believe me. I have a few friends who might join who are big fans of Star Trek. And one of them is well known for prefering Diplomacy and Bluff over an actual fight.

I'm hoping for more than a few Picard Speaches and Corbomite Meneuvers in this campaing.