Oriental Adventures and Spelljammer: A Guide

Paul Westermeyer (aka GMWestermeyer) has given us permission to bring you a Spelljammer netbook he has been working on called Oriental Adventures and Spelljammer: A Guide.

Here is what he told us about his guide:

This summarizes oriental cultures in each of the major D&D settings, as well as in Hackjammer, it also includes an OA only SJ timeline, and my Kara-tur timeline. It includes original material on many of the worlds, especially Forgotten Realms, and a reasonably complete bibliography.

I’ve only quickly skimmed through the 67 page netbook, but there are all sorts of useful information including:

  • 8 sections giving you information on Asian content that can be used in Realmspace,
  • 4 sections giving you information on Asian content that can be used in Greyspace,
  • A section giving you information on Asian content that can be used in Mystaraspace,
  • A section giving you information on Asian content that can be used in the Hackjammer crystal sphere,
  • 3 sections giving you information on Asian content within the Spelljammer product line,
  • A section about the Asian D&D content located on the Mythic Earth,
  • A Spelljammer Oriental Adventures Timeline,
  • A detailed bibliography, with details of 12 different types of sources that can improve your Oriental Adventures/Spelljammer crossover gaming experience and
  • A timeline of Kara-Tur

Being a Paul Westermeyer document, the citations and bibliography are a major part of this, allowing you to follow his research back to all the original sources and formulate opinions based on his research, as well as his conclusions.

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 Oriental Adventures and Spelljammer: A Guide with other fans and the author himself.

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An “official” Spelljammer Guide to the Spheres

http://www.spelljammer.org/worlds/articles/SphereGuide/Guide%20to%20the%20Spheres.pdf


By Paul “GM” Westermeyer

Breaking News: Toy Soldier Saga Mapping Project

The Toy Soldier Saga

Thanks to a talented artist at the Cartographer’s Guild, the worlds of the Toy Soldier Saga are finally getting mapped out!  vtsimz02 has kindly agreed to take on the massive project of mapping relevant crystal spheres, flowcharts, and sub-sections (for instance, he is working on a map of Selune’s Tears.)  He is already almost completed the first flowchart and information will be revealed as it is finalized, and included in links from the Chart Room page (as well as the novels where appropriate).  I can’t wait to share this with you so that you can get a clearer visual of the worlds featured in the novels!

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Escape from Borka (Book Excerpt)

It was over.  The Champion of Clan Bloodfist looked over the flotsam and jetsam that had once been the greatest fleet in the history of the Scro Empire, shattered and broken like so many forgotten toys.  At least, they would be if the blood and body parts weren’t floating serenely between them.  His blood brother Corin, the clan leader, was no longer pouring blood from the wound in his throat where a stray shard of broken metal from their shattered rail had pierced it, but he was still unconscious and whether or not he would live or die remained very much anybody’s guess, especially since the healer was only Sarga’s acolyte.  Sarga was dead, killed when their primary helm was crushed by rough-hewn accelerator shot.  They were adrift in the Void, and all around them the noose tightened as the butterfly-shaped vessels of the Imperial Elven Navy Fleet, easily three times the numbers they had any reason to suspect, swarmed the outer limits of the shattered remains of Borka, prepared to pick them off if they dared to navigate the dangerous, oddly floating rocks and escape their deadly trap.

“Helm’s down, sir!” Thorgir, their Artillery Commander, bellowed too loudly through his ringing ears.  “Shall I get some straws?”

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SJR6 Greyspace (2e) Available on DriveThruRPGs!

Although Oerth is the dominant world in Greyspace, it is definitely not the only cradle of life in this system. Worlds such as Kule, Borka, and Edill have their own civilizations. Each has its own secrets to entice and threaten explorers courageous enough to brave the perils of Wildspace.

This book details the dragons of Edill, the undead of Gnibile, the humanoids of Borka, and many others. It describes their societies, their view of the universe around them, and their relationships to the other inhabitants of the Greyspace system.

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This Month’s Poll: What Are Your Favourite Crystal Spheres?

Orcish Religion Amongst the Stars

Regardless of subrace, orcish (and in fact most goblinkin races) society tends to take one of two distinct forms in wildspace: Independent tribes and organized nations. The independent tribes operate much as their groundling cousins, and in fact most truly are groundling tribes who somehow gained control of spelljamming vessels and migrated into space. These tribes still favor a single orcish deity as their patron, and the priests of that deity will dominate any other priests who reside with the tribe. Such tribes have few long term goals beyond increasing their territory, and subsist primarily on piracy and raiding.

The organized nations are a very different story; they are composed of multiple tribes and have more complex governance. While some are formed due to the might of a single orc warlord, those rarely outlast the life of that individual, breaking up into their disparate tribes upon his death. Those nations with history backing them up are typically governed by a hereditary monarchy or a council of military leaders (the scro being a perfect example of the latter). Only rarely in these nations do the priesthood rise to leadership, although they almost never lack for political power. The tribes that make up these nations rarely have patron deities anymore (although their names may still reflect their former state), and priests of all deities can be found in relatively stable numbers throughout.

Unlike humans, elves, and many other races, orcs do not see their deities as having control over specific aspects of wildspace itself. Instead, they see anything beneficial or to their liking as a gift from Gruumsh and their other gods, whereas those things they don’t like are obstacles sent by their foes. To prove their fitness to Gruumsh, they must overcome them, survive, and expand. Continue reading

A Complete History of the Elven Imperial Navy: Part 2 – Discovery of Krynnspace to Arcane Age

Elven Man-O-War Transparency by Silverblade the EnchanterBy Adam “Night Druid” Miller

Note – Adam has created a very detailed campaign setting. Much of this is based on canon material but much is his own creation. For those who follow the Toy Soldier Saga, I will be using some of this information among my “fanon” but by no means all of it. In particular, my thoughts on the early history of the origins and creation of the Navy are different.

Krynnspace Discovered

In -3,948 OC, world scouts discovered a mid-sized sphere that formed a rough triangle with Realmspace and Greyspace. It quickly became known as Krynnspace, after the primary inhabited planet of the sphere. The term “Radiant Triangle”, a reference to the Phlogiston Rivers that connect the spheres of Greyspace, Krynnspace, and Realmspace, start to come into use at this time.

Investigations revealed Krynnspace to be relatively young, with only two major civilizations. The native elves were busy building their civilization in the forests of Krynn and Zivilyn. Oddly, they worshipped their own deities and not those of the Seldarine. The native elves were soon welcomed into the Council of Elven Worlds. The other major civilization, the Ogres, would soon plague the Elven Fleet, not only in Krynnspace, but across the entire Radiant Triangle, and beyond.

Rise of the Ogres

The Ogres of Krynnspace were a tall, powerful race blessed with intelligence, beauty, and magical abilities. They built mighty kingdoms in the mountains of Krynn and Zivilyn, dominating much of those worlds. The ogres of Zivilyn were particularly skilled with magic, and by -3,901 OC, they had discovered Spelljamming and were already building ships to explore wildspace. They quickly established colonies on every major world of the sphere. Within a century, they dominated the wildspace of much of the Radiant Triangle much like the Elven Fleet does today.

Unlike the Elven Fleet, the ogres were avid slavers. Much of the glory of their empire was built upon the backs of slave labor. Although humans and demi-humans were the ogres’ favored slaves, they were happy to enslave every race they felt they could easily control.

The Elven Fleet skirmished frequently with the ogres, but never engaged them in outright war. For the next thousand years, both sides made use of Letters of Marque and privateers to wage a proxy war against each other’s merchant vessels. Neither desired a true war, as the risks far outweighed any potential gains.

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A Complete History of the Elven Imperial Navy: Part 1 – Foundation and Early History

Elven Man-O-War Transparency by Silverblade the EnchanterBy Adam “Night Druid” Miller

Note – Adam has created a very detailed campaign setting. Much of this is based on canon material but much is his own creation. For those who follow the Toy Soldier Saga, I will be using some of this information among my “fanon” but by no means all of it. In particular, my thoughts on the early history of the origins and creation of the Navy are different.

Origins of the Elves (As told by the Myth-Keepers of Lionheart)

In ages long forgotten, when the countless worlds of the Endless Spheres were new, the Seldarine set about shaping those worlds to their liking. They created the first sentient beings, spirits of nature bound by mortal vessels. They created the Minyaeldar, the First Elves. As they took their first steps on their now-mythical homeworld, they were taught the ways of magic by their creators. In time the Seldarine taught them much, and in gratitude the Minyaeldar dedicated their entire civilization to their divine creators.

The creation of the elves did not go unnoticed. Other gods came to know of the elves, and grew jealous. They rushed to create their own races to worship them. Yet none had the patience of the Seldarine. In their haste, their creations were flawed. Most flawed of all were the creations of Gruumsh the One Eye. He and the gods aligned with him created the Morionello Ash’hen, the Black Sons of the One Eye, the orcs. Where the elves were beautiful, the orcs were ugly. Where the elves devoted and loyal, orcs were treacherous, their loyalty bought by treasure or threats. Only in destruction and murder did the orcs excel. Shamed, Gruumsh angrily accused the Seldarine of tricking him, and vowed war upon them.

In the Heavenly realms, Gruumsh marched to the very gates of Arvandor. There he hurled insults upon the Seldarine, and invoked a challenge for one to meet him in a duel. The Seldarine were afraid, for in those days Gruumsh was unmatched in his strength and fighting ability. Only one of the Seldarine, the bravest and strongest of their number, took up his sword to meet Gruumsh on the battlefield. Corellon Larethian. Their battle became legendary, for the Godswar shook the planes with their battle. How long the war lasted, none could say. By the end, Corellon emerged as the leader of the Seldarine, his mate was cast into the Abyss for her treachery, and many deities had perished.

Most importantly, the Godswar scattered the Minyaeldar. Great portals opened before them with magic now forgotten. A Great Elven Diaspora scattered the elves to countless new worlds. On many worlds, they found waiting for them were the Eldar Serkearda, the Elves of the Blood and Earth. The Serkearda were born when the blood of Corellon had mixed with the tears of the Moon and the soil of the Earth. They had sprung up upon the many worlds the two gods had battled. On some worlds, they greeted their Minyaeldar as brothers, and upon others they were greeted as enemies.

As the elves rebuilt their shattered civilization, many Minyaeldar withdrew into remote mountain fortresses and enclaves. They came to be solemn and wise, and became the Gray Elves. Likewise, many Serkearda decided to forsake civilization and withdrew into their forest homes, and became Sylvan Elves, or Wood Elves. But many Minyaeldar and Serkearda did not withdraw, instead choosing to rebuild and intermarry. These became the High Elves.

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U is for Underdark

Jeff Grubb mentioned the Underdark, including that of the Rock of Bral, in a recent blog entry:

U is for Underdark