TheAuldGrump

Spelljammer/Starjammer - Background - Megans Allowed!

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I had one of those calendar pad that was just graph paper. I drew out a three level space dock with derelict ships.... no monsters just rotting ships. scared the heck out of my players. If you have ever had a nautical campaign or adventure it is kind of similar to that, visiting new and fantastic lands and robbing them of there loot. 

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We played the setting using the Savage Worlds rules.  I would tell you to account for languages in a setting that vast.  How do all those far flung races communicate with each other?  Does everyone speak English like on Star Trek? 

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We played the setting using the Savage Worlds rules.  I would tell you to account for languages in a setting that vast.  How do all those far flung races communicate with each other?  Does everyone speak English like on Star Trek? 

 

Star Trek has a universal translator technology. So everyone speaks English because of that.

 

Maybe introduce Babelfish into the campaign?

 

Damon.

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We played the setting using the Savage Worlds rules.  I would tell you to account for languages in a setting that vast.  How do all those far flung races communicate with each other?  Does everyone speak English like on Star Trek? 

 

Star Trek has a universal translator technology. So everyone speaks English because of that.

 

Maybe introduce Babelfish into the campaign?

 

Damon.

 

Not really necessary since Tongues spells exist.

 

Because of that and similar magic items a GM can decide whether or not to make languages an issue in games like this.  If you want to use them, use them, if not make translation magic items pretty common.  For example, one might have enchanted conference rooms in interplanetary port cities that allow everyone in the room to understand each other.

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Diversity. There's nothing more delightful than the surprise of the juxtapositions created by having the universe's kitchen sink thrown at one.

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We played the setting using the Savage Worlds rules. I would tell you to account for languages in a setting that vast. How do all those far flung races communicate with each other? Does everyone speak English like on Star Trek?

There was a trade language among the bipedal Spacejammers...don't remember the name...

 

...I don't think the mindflayers bothered with it.

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I never ran Spelljammer, played it, or even really looked at it!

 

So, what does make a good Spelljammer game?

 

The Auld Grump

Arbitrary Gravity Space Castles, e.g:

 

escher1.jpg

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I never ran Spelljammer, played it, or even really looked at it!

 

So, what does make a good Spelljammer game?

 

The Auld Grump

Arbitrary Gravity Space Castles, e.g:

 

escher1.jpg

 

Hmmm.... looks like two tetrahedrons merged together...

 

May D4s be with you?

 

Thanks everyone!

 

I am trying to stay away from pirate themes, at least as the protagonists - my good lady and I have an Airship Pirates game, and I want to get back to it someday. ::):

 

That said... my brain is playing with the idea of undead space pirates in a Sargasso of Space.

 

Cowboy Bebop and Firefly sound like good places to start - and I will need to look for Treasure Planet... a treasure planet might make for a good campaign maguffin, with elements of a race and piracy....

 

Should I also pick up any of the old TSR Spelljammer stuff as PDFs?

 

It was easier when I was picturing Megan as the one running things - she grew up playing in this setting....

 

The Auld Grump

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Hmmm.... looks like two tetrahedrons merged together...

It is. It's a wood engraving by M. C. Escher. If memory serves correctly, it is a meditation on civilization versus wilderness.

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Hmmm.... looks like two tetrahedrons merged together...

It is. It's a wood engraving by M. C. Escher. If memory serves correctly, it is a meditation on civilization versus wilderness.

 

I recognized the image - I just took the opportunity to make a thinly veiled Star Wars joke. ::P:

 

The Auld Grump - under the delusion that it was funny....

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Cowboy Bebop and Firefly sound like good places to start - and I will need to look for Treasure Planet... a treasure planet might make for a good campaign maguffin, with elements of a race and piracy....

 

Should I also pick up any of the old TSR Spelljammer stuff as PDFs?

 

It was easier when I was picturing Megan as the one running things - she grew up playing in this setting....

 

The Auld Grump

 

 

 Although PingosHusband gave a really good in-depth summary of it, Spelljammer really is sort of a Firefly/Stargate crossover set in a Star Wars universe with wizards and magic - It's still basically a high fantasy D&D campaign, but with a heavy space opera influence.

The overall tone of the setting is important as far as making something a "Spelljammer" game, but unless you're doing an old-school Star Trek-style "Wagon Train in Space" sort of thing, the setting doesn't necessarily feature in the foreground of every "episode". As PH mentioned in his post, a "smaller" story within a particular "crystal sphere" (yes, each world is actually a giant hollow marble floating in the ether) might easily be mistaken for any other sort of D&D game. Spelljamming itself is a lot like bouncing around the planes in Planescape - it could be the focus of your campaign or just a stopover/bridge inbetween more important things. In a way, Spelljammer is a lot like the Eberron setting : there are a lot of different styles of campaign you can use it for, depending on what sort of scale you play on and which elements of the setting you choose to emphasize.

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Should I also pick up any of the old TSR Spelljammer stuff as PDFs?

Adventures in Space: The main boxed set, a couple of books with 2E rules and setting fluff.

Legend of Spelljammer: Another boxed set w/ setting material for the Spelljammer itself. Probably not high on the list unless you plan to use the ship in your campaign.  In a box in the basement... somewhere.

War Captain's Companion: Boxed set about ship to ship combat, ship building and such. Again, likely not too useful unless you plan on having those elements in your campaign.

The Astromundi Cluster: Boxed set about a unique sphere with no planets, just thousands of asteroids with a lot of competing factions. Setting and adventure material, but I never played or ran it so I can't say how good it is.

 

There are several settings books, not sure how useful they are if you aren't using the settings.

Realmspace (Forgotten Realms)

Greyspace (Greyhawk)

Krynnspace (Dragonlance)

 

Rock of Bral: A starting-point setting for those that don't like to (or have time to) make their own.

 

IIRC most of the rest of the Spelljammer stuff was adventures.

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Some of it was source books like Lost Ships. There were a lot of adventures. The adventure Under the Dark Fist was a personal favorite. We wrapped up a two year campaign with that one. Good times.

 

Incidentally, I've been working on a few Spelljammer models:

 

Giff

 

Giff%20Officer_zpscdr5dd26.jpg

 

Giant Space Hamster

 

image_zpsmwkipgs5.jpeg

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Heh - by the time I gave Megan the PDF for the PoD book that still has not yet arrived, she had already gathered players.... Including Trang - who has never played an RPG before. (She is rolling up a half-orc retired space pirate.... I think that I will give her some contacts that are still on the account.)

 

First four or five levels, I will be steering clear of having a major plot - episodic, rather than a full campaign - and then the PCs will find the first part of a chart/map....

 

Several other factions will also have portions of the chart - some are willing to work with the PCs, some are willing to work with the PCs until it is in their advantage to betray them, and some... are just plain villains.

 

Keeping this campaign short, I think - aiming at ending around level 10-12. (With the option to pick it up again later - but if I get the ending that I hope for, it should be a climax, with something bad either being stopped, or destroying the PCs in the process.... It seems to me that the Mythos will be a good fit....)

 

The Auld Grump - the main arc, when it begins, is titled 'The Tapestry of Stars'.

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 I think you could probably get some good mileage out of the Great Old One warlock patrons like Hadar and Acamar - dealing with a sentient crystal sphere could be a whole lotta fun... (And how do you fight a Bad Guy when they're a planet? lol)

Edited by Mad Jack

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