SJR5: Rock of Bral (2e) at RPG Now!

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Welcome to the city of twilight, the city of thieves, the city among the stars. Founded by pirates, Bral is now a prosperous city of rogues and merchants, adrift in the vast realms of Wildspace. Its docks are crowded with graceful ships, its streets are teeming with intrigue and adventure, and its population includes shining heroes and dark villains. The Rock of Bral is a haven for any adventurer with a quick wit and a dash of greed – oppurtunity only awaits the hand bold enough to seize it!

Rock of Bral is an accessory to the SPELLJAMMER campaign setting and is intended to provide a ready guide to this most fascinating of cities. Your character will find the Rock to be the perfect base from which to explore the magical reaches of Wildspace. 

Product History

SJR5: “Rock of Bral” (1992), by Richard Baker, is the fifth of the Spelljammer Reference books. It was released in August 1992.

Continuing the “SJR” Series. The “SJR” series was a somewhat motley group of references that includes everything from a GM screen to extensive geographical references like SJR2: “Realmspace” (1991) and SJR4: “Practical Planetology” (1991). “Rock of Bral” was sort of a geography book, but rather than detailing a crystal sphere or a planet, it detailed just a single city; granted, it was the central city to the entire Spelljammer setting.

A City in Space. TSR had been publishing occasional city books since the release of Lankhmar: City of Adventure (1985). However, “Rock of Bral” marked a new civic renaissance. It would soon be followed by DSS1: “City-State of Tyr” (1993) and Al-Qadim’s City of Delights (1993).

Detailing cities is always a challenge because of their size, and the Rock of Bral was larger than most. This module managed its potentially large size by focusing on just the “places of interest” in the city, leaving most of the other buildings blank. It also provided individual building maps of some of those important locales.

Expanding Wildspace. The Rock of Bral was one of the most important locations in Wildspace, and one of the few to appear in more than one publication. As a result, this supplement probably marked the most important expansion of the Spelljammer setting ever.

Despite its importance, the Rock of Bral was never given a set location during the Spelljammer years. Instead, TSR preferred to leave it vague so that each GM could make the Rock central to their own camaign. If you were in Realmspace, you could locate it in the Tears of Selune, if you were in Greyspace you could place it in the Grinder, and if you were in Krynnspace, you could put it among the moons of Zivilyn. Meanwhile, The Maelstrom’s Eye (1992), one of the Clockmaster Cycle novels (1991-1993) for Spelljammer, gave enough details of the Rock’s locale to suggest that it lay in its own crystal sphere.

In more recent years, the Rock of Bral seems to have settled in the Realms’ Tears of Selune as its “official” location, thanks to canon references inFaiths & Avatars (1996) and a few other articles and comics.

About the Creators. Baker did most of his early writing for the Dark Sun line, but before he got there, he produced this one book for the waning Spelljammer series. It was soon followed by his premiere Athasian publication, DSR4: “Valley of Dust and Fire” (1992).

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons – a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

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