Unique Ships: Buccaneers and Adventurers amid the Stellar Main

Paul Westermeyer (aka GMWestermeyer) has given us permission to bring you a Spelljammer netbook he has been working on called Unique Ships: Buccaneers and Adventurers amid the Stellar Main.

Paul told us this about his netbook:

Here is my latest work, Unique Ships: Buccaneers and Adventurers amid the Stellar Main. It’s roughly 82 pages long and includes descriptions of 18 ships, some drawn from my Beyond the Moons entries and inspired by my old Unique Ship challenges on the SJML mailing list. All with 2e stats but should be easy to convert for anyone using newer rules.

The ships in the netbook are:

  • Albaithorquduump (‘Devouring Doom of the Elves’): a Scro Navy Mantis ship,
  • Ar’theren (‘Golden Autumn Sky’): an Imperial Elven Navy Man-o-War,
  • Black Deliverance: a former Zhentarim river galley,
  • Dragazhar: a House Cartan Shrikeship,
  • Elentári (‘Star-Queen’): an Imperial Elven Navy Man-o-War,
  • Fisher King: a Company of the Chalice Squidship,
  • Flowfish: a House Moune Tradesman,
  • Flow Ghost: a small Galleon,
  • Hanali’s Sword: a modified small Galleon,
  • Ilidthrokata (‘Elfeater’): a Scro Navy Vipership,
  • Lacanha (‘Spirit Flyer’): a unique ship,
  • Night Prowler: a pirate Great Galley,
  • Nucharnut (‘Sky Bug’): a Scro Navy Scorpion ship,
  • Rebuttal: a Wasp ship,
  • Resplendent: a Dragonfly ship,
  • Oathtaker: a Carrack
  • Silent Star I: an Eelship and
  • Windsong: a Waterdahvian Galleon.

This is a must-have PDF for any Spelljammer campaign.

There is a discussion topic over at the Spelljammer forum at The Piazza, where you can discuss Unique Ships: Buccaneers and Adventurers amid the Stellar Main with other fans and the author himself.

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Livestreamed Spelljammer: Adventure 1

Last year I started a Spelljammer campaign with viewers from my channel, livestreamed on Twitch.tv. This first adventure was an introductory set of sessions to get the players used to concepts of Spelljammer and AD&D 2nd Edition.

This first adventure involved a member of the Seekers who had failed to check in with another member of the Seekers, who then recruited the party to investigate what happened. What has happened to The Seeker’s Friend?

The party consists of:
Cadet Higgimus, a Giff Fighter, played by Asher
Braxon Miacc, a Human Fighter, played by Big Mac
Yeldan Sharpeye, an Elven Ranger, played by G_Man
Lafdul Moonblade, an Elven Mischiefmaker/Thief of Erevan Ilesere, played by Zakhad
Xanfyr, a Half-Elf Invoker, played by James
Levalithana Footloose, an Elven Wild Mage, played by Eleve

The campaign adventure can be watched on the YouTube playlist:

Video

Homefront: Toy Soldier Saga Livestreamed Readings!

Livestreamed reading of Chapter 1 of Homefront, my Toy Soldier Saga novella, which appeared in the limited edition On the Horizon book bundle! The Toy Soldier Saga is derived from Spelljammer, though it removes all proprietary content and has now become its own thing.

Want the rest of the story? You can get it here or here, or you could sign up for my Patreon at the $2 a month plus level, which will give you the rest of the livestreams (and the archives.)  And it gives you access to my other livestreams and audiobooks as well!

I’ll be reading one chapter a day until they’re done.

Book Review: At All Costs by David Weber

Diane Morrison

At All Costs (Honor Harrington, #11)At All Costs by David Weber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read for the Military Spec-Fic Reading Challenge, the Read the Sequel Challenge, and the Space Opera Challenge.

This book is a lot of things at once. The first half of it is a romance novel. Which is excellent; after all, fans of the series have been following Honor’s relationship for maybe four or five books now, so it’s nice to see where it might go. Also, gotta give kudos to Weber; obviously United Methodism is a lot less antiquated than some other forms of Protestantism, because this former lay preacher manages to write an amazing, committed polyfidelitous trio that is ethical, honourable, and works (note for the polyamorous people who might be reading this review.)

The second half is concerned mostly with the politics of the war, punctuated with skirmishes as Honor leads Eighth Fleet (a cobbled-together raiding…

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Book Review: Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh

Downbelow Station (The Company Wars #1)Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Read for the 12 in 12 Challenge, the LGBTQ Speculative Fiction Challenge,, the Military Spec-Fic Reading Challenge, the Women of Genre Fiction Challenge, the Grand Mistresses of Genre Fiction Challenge, the Hard Core Sci-Fi Challenge, the Read the Sequel Challenge, and the Space Opera Challenge (2018).

This book won the 1982 Hugo Award.

I have been meaning to read this book ever since I heard Heather Alexander & Leslie Fish’s filks about it. That was back in 1993. So I guess it’s been on my TBR list for 25 years. That’s a bloody long time!

It was awesome! I’ve skimmed some of the other reviews here on Goodreads and I think some people just didn’t get the book, or maybe it wasn’t what they were expecting and so they didn’t like it.

First of all, it’s military sci-fi, but proceed with the understanding that war is the continuation of politics by other means. Cherryh is far more concerned with the people and the politics than the details of the battles. Battles occur when there has been a failure of diplomacy, and they are quick and dirty and ugly. Sometimes she skips over battles entirely, if they’re backgrounding and not immediately important. I found this approach disjointed and a little surreal in the beginning, but by the end of the book I understood what she was trying to do and I am grateful she didn’t waste our time by showing, not telling, things, that were not important to the overall plot (unlike David Weber). Much time, however, is spent on strategy and tactics, and an understanding of strategy and tactics are needed to understand what’s going on.

Second, this is layers and wheel and politics on the level of Game of Thrones, only she did it first, all in one book, and in space. Each side has a fully-realized character that represents its interests and goals, and thus, you grasp their intentions and motivations much more thoroughly than you would if they were described in an abstract way. Even the aliens are fully realized, and while they’re as intelligent as humans, they don’t think like humans do.

Third, there are no good guys, except maybe the Downers, a.k.a. the hisa, who are local aliens with gentle natures caught up in the whole mess. There are only shades of grey. Some are much darker than others, but every group acts according to its own needs and interests, and sometimes these coincide, and sometimes they directly oppose one another.

Fourth, for some reason people on Goodreads seem to think this is the first book in The Company Wars. It’s actually the third (not that I’ve read the other two yet.) Cherryh says so herself on her website.

The action centers around a space station called Pell, which happens to be between Earth and the far beyond territories of a polity called Union. The goal is to possess this station, which is an essential waypoint of trade and in a natural no-man’s-land between the two. The interested parties are: Earth, Union, the Mazianni (which started out as a far-space Earth loyal unit but is now a fleet of privateers,) the hisa, merchanters (who trade in space between the two,) and the stationers themselves.

This is a fantastic novel that holds up every bit as well now as it did in 1982. Classic space opera, classic military fiction, classic hard sci-fi. Highly recommended!

View all my reviews

Posting to Patreon: The Eye of the Storm (Toy Soldier Saga)

Hi all, Sable here!  This is my heads up that tomorrow I will be posting the completed and edited story, “The Eye of the Storm,” as a charged post for my Patrons at Patreon.  This is my Shaundar and Y’Anid elf-orc love story, for my Toy Soldier fans!  This is your one and only chance to get it if you want it without buying the Chasing Fireflies anthology!  Note that there may be some small changes in the story between now and the time it appears in the anthology.  Chasing Fireflies will be released July 1, 2017.  (Rated R for graphic sex.)

Originally posted at Toy Soldier: A Spelljammer Saga.

Adventures in Arcane Space back Saturday – catch up now

Earlier this week we ran a story called Adventures in Arcane Space Spelljammer show launches on Twitch TV and posted a link to the a YouTube video.

But there is a second YouTube video, as episode 1 of the show was split into two parts. So here are both parts so that you can catch up.

Spelljammer: Adventures in Arcane Space: Episode 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spelljammer: Adventures in Arcane Space: Episode 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


You can watch the next show live on Saturday from 12 noon to 4pm EST.

Adventures in Arcane Space Spelljammer show launches on Twitch TV

Adventures In Arcane Space - AD&D 2nd Edition Spelljammer Campaign - Part 1Auld Dragon is one of the regulars over at the Spelljammer forum at The Piazza. He also has a YouTube channel, where he has been uploading Lets Play videos of D&D games for some time.

Last Saturday, at 12.00 noon EST, he broadcast the first episode of a new a live-streamed 2nd Edition AD&D Spelljammer game on his Twitch TV channel.

Called, Adventures in Arcane Space, the show features some of the viewers of Auld Dragon’s channel testing out Roll 20 for the first time.

Catch up on You Tube

The game stars oSpelljammer: Adventures in Arcane Space: Episode 1ff on The Rock of Bral, with the player characters being summoned to a drinking establishment, called The Rampant Lion, to meet with a mysterious stranger who is looking for some people to help him carry out a mission for The Seekers.

Adventures In Arcane Space – AD&D 2nd Edition Spelljammer Campaign – Part 1

Here is Auld Dragon’s description from YouTube:

 

Published on 6 Mar 2017

Welcome to Adventures in Arcane Space campaign, an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Second Edition Spelljammer campaign played on Roll20 with viewers from my channel!

Session 1, streamed live at 12pm EST/5pm UTC on March 4th, 2017 over at Twitch.tv:
http://www.twitch.tv/aulddragon


The Party consists of:
Cadet Higgimus, a giff fighter.
Braxon, a human fighter.
Yeldin, an elf ranger.
Lafdul, an elf mischiefmaker/thief.
Xanfyr, a half-elf invoker.
Levalithana, an elf wild mage.

See Episode 2 on Saturday

Don’t forget that Episode 2 will be broadcasting live this forthcoming Saturday, from 12.00 noon to 4pm EST, on Twitch TV.