SJA3 Crystal Spheres at DriveThruRPG!

Traveling the space lanes is risky and mysterious, and danger comes in many forms. The rescue of a tiny ship from pirate attackers leads to the discovery of a monumental, supernatural evil. Nothing is ever routine in space.

Crystal Spheres takes player characters through four unique crystal spheres to battle a powerful force of darkness. Player Characters will find themselves fighting not just for their lives, but the fate of an entire solar system and its millions of inhabitants.

“Crystal Spheres” is an adventure for the AD&D Spelljammer campaign setting. The Spelljammer boxed set is required to play. This 64-page adventure will easily adapt to any campaign world.

*****

Product History

SJA3: “Crystal Spheres” (1990), by J. Paul LaFountain, is the third Spelljammer adventure. It was released in October 1990.

Continuing the “SJA” Series. “Crystal Spheres” continues the Spelljammer adventures. It’s an epic adventure, as was found in SJA1: “Wildspace” (1990): a sphere’s sun is on the verge of being snuffed out, and the players must save it.

Adventuring Tropes. “Crystal Spheres” lies on the line between the adventuring tropes of the ’80s and ’90s. It contains lots of random encounters and mapped locations. However, it also features events that drive players along a path to confront the problems of the underlying storyline.

Expanding Wildspace. True to its name, “Crystal Spheres” does a great job of providing good reasons to adventure across Wildspace from one sphere to another. Along the way it details four new crystal spheres: Herospace (which is for heroic adventures only, with 9 planets divided by alignment); Faeriespace (which is one gigantic community); Greatspace (which is an elder sphere focused on nobility and honor); and Darkspace (which is a sunless, shadowy void).

Unfortunately, one of the problems with Spelljammer was that it never brought together its many spheres into a coherent setting. The Spelljammerboxed set (1989) focused on the Radiant Triangle of Greyhawk, Krynn, and the Realms, but then the six Spelljammer adventures barely touched on those areas. Similarly, the worlds of Darkspace, Faeriespace, Greatspace, and Herospace would never be heard from again.

(Though TSR never created a larger Spelljammer setting, some fans have taken the next step, compiling all the spheres of Wildspace into a cohesive whole.)

“Crystal Spheres” also includes a beautiful chart comparing the sizes of the many spelljamming vessels revealed to date — including the Hummingbird from this very adventure.

About the Creators. LaFountain did a scattering of TSR work in the early ’90s. This was his premiere freelance work; he’d later contribute to MC8: “Monstrous Compendium Outer Planes Appendix” (1991), SJR3: “Dungeon Master’s Screen” (1991), and some supplements for the Buck Rogers XXVC RPG.

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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Silverblade’s Sharp Stabby Things

Silverblade The Enchanter is a wizard from the world of Erynavar, but now lives on the Rock of Bral, the famous asteroid city in the Tears of Selune, orbiting Toril, the Forgotten Realms.
His background and style of wizardy has resulted in him using and also enchanting knives and daggers a LOT. His sobriquet comes from the fact he is so experienced in the enchantment of magical objects.
(In 4th ed he uses daggers as an implement and he has the Arcane Trickster path, which lets him do “nasty stabby things”, though mostly he’s about using his magic in non-lethal ways)

This article details two of his favourite and most used weapons and tools.
Though I write it thinking of 4th ed it’s easily changed to other editions of our favourite game.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SILVERBLADE’S SKEIN DHU
Knife (1d3 base damage)
Materials: dwarven steel, brass, rosewood, silver
+3
Owner’s Safeguard (it can never harm its true owner, even if stabbed into him by someone else)
Bane vs wood and paper

Most people think a Skein dhu is a specific design of knife, where as in Silver’s homeland, it is the designation for HOW it is used and applies to any style of knife.
A Skein Dhu, to an Alban, is the knife they use in their workaday tasks.
His is a locknife anout four inches long with a three and a half inch clip point blade of “dwarven steel” (which is stainless steel and thus resists corrosion very well).
The handle has brass fittings with rosewood hanldles which are inlaid on each side with a unicorn’s head, which is a holy and national symbol to his people.

Made by his father, who was a sword and knifesmith in their home town, as a cherished gift and useful tool, he’s had this knife since he was a boy. It was the first he used in combat, and the first he enchanted, and has upgraded it since then.

He put the rather obscure “Owner’s Safeguard” enchantment on it to prevent it cutting him when he’s whittling, cutting rope or whatever use he may have it. Also it’s saved his life when an enraged kidnapper stabbed him with it, leaving Silver’ dead as he thought….

The bane vs wood and paper came about by habitual use and other factors, becoming an enchantment all its own! Turned in very handy when he was attacked by a raggomoffyn.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

UNICORN’S TEAR
Dagger
Materials: adamantine, ocean opal, silver
+4
Counts as both silver and adamantine
Holy
Demon bane
Keen

This deadly weapon is a form of side opening flick knife, working by gravity and a flick of the wrist. Seven inch handle, six inch blade, smooth design with no guard (but see after)

The grip sides are made from “ocean opal”, a form of opal from his homeworld, it is very clear and translucent compared to normal opals, but the same flashes of crystal fire can be seen as it is moved around, and has a slight blue colour to the almost transparent,translucent material, hence the name as it resembles the clearest ocean.
Four slight horizontal grooves about an inch wide run down the opal handle to help with a good grip, and opal ocean isn’t like most gemstones, offering a surface that doesn’t feel too smooth and gives good traction.

Though there is no guard normally, note all the metalwork except decoration is adamantine, a bas relief unicorns head is on top of the adamantine each side of the handle where it meets the blade, whixh is also the swivel point.
When the weapon is extended the enhancements cause the adamantine to temporarily fuse into one solid piece, removing a weakness of the design.
Also a hilt grows out, the unicorn’s head forming out into a larger altered form of silver overlaid adamantine, with the unicorn’s muzzle curving down to protect the fingers, the ears and main curve forward to provide a blade trap, and the horn lengthens to link up with the blade.

The blade is not the usual stiletto design of such weapons, instead it has an angled chiselled edge like a tanto but with a straight layout, not curved. The bottom three inches have scallop like spiked serrations, Good for cutting leather, rope etc.
Silver celtic knotwork is engraved and inlaid into it, a style of art common and very much part of his homeland’s tradition, as is the unicorn.

The weapon’s “holy” ability come from.the fact he used a unicorn’s tear to give it the ability to punish evil creatures. Silverblade defeated a necromancer who’d been killing unicorn foals in foul rituals, and later when he enchanted the blade, he asked for their tears to help fight such horrors and they eagerly and sorrowfully did so.

Silverblade has a particular loathing of the undead and also and most especially, demons, hence the “holy” and demon bane enchantments.

Keen ability of course, makes it a more deadly weapon. He didn’t actually put this enchantment in the weapon himself, it has “grown” it through useage and time, perhaps because of the strange creatures and magic it has touched, as well as being adamantine.

Because of the design, inlay and enchantments, it counts as both adamantine and silver.
Hostile golems and wizards protected by “Stoneskin” spells can of course be serious problems, thus adamantine, plus the fact it makes such incredibly deadly sharp blades by its own innate nature. Silver tends to work well on evil creatures.

To cap it all, he wears the Unicorn’s Tear in an enchanted sheath on his right arm.
The sheath acts akin to a Bag of Holding, and is very thin, seemingly too thin to hold the blade but it can thanks to the extra dimensional ability. On top of this, this spells of camouflage and Non-Detection woven into it, meaning it’s almost impossible for anyone to find the sheath and dagger within, making it a handy hideout weapon if captured.


By Silverblade the Enchanter

Crew of the Reverie (Remembrance)

Elven StingerGriim (ogre male): AL N; W5; hp 15; AC 10; #AT 1; DMG 2-9; SZ L; STR 17, INT 17
Notable Possessions: Bo staff, Lens of Speed Reading, Periapt of Wound Closure

Not long ago, Griim was a simple ogre sage and scribe of minor note in Steelspace. He was part of a minor order of scribes based out of a derelict mammoth near Corrukai. Griim was training in the fields of history (Steelspace) and Known Sphere cultures. He was part of a group of about two dozen scribes, serving under one Gistor the Gray, an elderly ogre magi. He was dislodged from his relatively comfortable life about four years ago.

The group was visited by Makamo the Glutton, an ogre bushi who came looking for answers to a burning question of his. Much research would be required, so Makamo was allowed to stay in the guest quarters while Gistor researched his books for the answers Makamo sought. Over the course of the next week, many of Gistor’s scribes and servants disappeared. Griim feared the worse, and his suspicions were realized when spied Makamo hunched over Gistor’s corpse, devouring it greedily. Griim and the remaining scribes fled to the cargo hold, where the Remembrance was being stored (Gistor had purchased it a few years ago as a curiosity). Fearful of Makamo’s wrath should he learn that Griim had escaped his grisly feast, Griim fled Steelspace and made his way to the Known Spheres.

Griim uses Change Self spells to disguise his true nature. He usually uses the disguise of a half-orc courier wizard to earn enough coin to survive. Despite his self-banishment from his homesphere of Steelspace, Griim is actually having a good time. He sees it all as a grand adventure, a chance to study up close all of the cultures, kingdoms, and races he’s read about in his master’s scrolls and books. He rather enjoys his freedom from his master’s harsh gaze.

Krosh (hobgoblin male): AL N; Scribe 2; hp 7; AC 10; #AT 1; DMG 1-8; SZ M; STR 10, DEX 14, INT 15
Notable Possessions: Bo staff, signet ring, writing equipment, potion of healing

As a young hobgoblin, Krosh was the runt of the family. Considered good for nothing, his clan sold him to Gistor, and Krosh became a simple scribe under his tutelage. Even as an adult, Krosh is very small for a hobgoblin, both shorter than normal at only 5’11” tall, and weaker than typical. He is quite the pacifist, preferring to sit and chat over herbal tea rather than resorting to violence. Much like Griim, he finds the Known Spheres fascinating, despite the inhabitants being uncouth, uncivilized barbarians. Krosh knows how to handle the wing-sails and his duties are to manage them.

Krosh appears much like a peasant in his mid-twenties from Wa, save that his skin color is a shade of light orange, fairly close to the color of a ripe apricot. Krosh wears sandals, a simple peasant tunic and breeches, and a broad straw hat that helps obscure his unusual skin coloration.

Sakka (hobgoblin female): AL N(C); Scribe 3; hp 8; AC 10; #AT 1; DMG 1-4; SZ M; INT 16, WIS 14, CHA 13
Notable Possessions: Dagger, writing equipment, Quill of Neverending Ink, Spectacles of Comprehending Languages

Bookish, quiet, shy, and “wall flower” all described Sakka, one of Gistor’s underling scribes. Getting away from Steelspace’s structured society has liberated Sakka. When the crew pulled into Bral for supplies and work, she walked the streets like a wide-eyed child, taking in the sights. It is perhaps a small miracle she did not get mugged, but it is likely her meager possessions did not attract any attention.

Sakka is short, 5’6” tall, and has dark orange skin and long, black hair. She is not unattractive, all things considered, but certainly no exotic beauty. She has traded in her drab peasant clothes for attire more commonly worn by the aperusa. Her favorite is a colorful dress, but she has more practical clothes as well. Sakka is near-sighted, which she corrects by wearing spectacles.

Sakka is much more aggressive than Krosh, and knows how to load and fire the catapult. It is actually something she takes pride in, since Krosh does not, and often teases him about it.

Brakkdor (bugbear male): AL LN; Bushi 3; hp 31; AC 5; #AT 3/2; DMG 6-11; SZ L; STR 18/22, CON 16
Notable Possessions: Shikomi-zue (double-bladed) +1, leather lamellar, Ring of Protection +1

Brakkdor is the crew’s ‘heavy’, the only one who is actually trained in combat. A bugbear from Korryl, he was hired on as part of Gistor’s security. When Makamo murdered Gistor, he first knocked Brakkdor unconscious in a swift, dishonorable blow from behind. As Griim and the others fled, they discovered the unconscious Brakkdor, and carried him to safety. When he awoke, Brakkdor was enraged, but even he realized how badly outmatched he was against the likes of Makamo, and sullenly accepted the self-imposed banishment the rest of the group agreed upon. Although he would dearly love to extract revenge on Makamo, he knows that ogre is far beyond his skills and does not allow thoughts of revenge to consume his every waking moment.

Since leaving Steelspace, Brakkdor is probably the most uncomfortable of the Remembrance’s crew to their new life in the Known Spheres. Everywhere he sees enemies, people that would do him and the people he protects harm. Of course, being a seven foot tall very hairy humanoid does not help matters, for most people treat him as a scary monster. Ironically, Brakkdor is surprisingly gentle for a bugbear, and Sakka has noted that he has a soft spot in his heart for children, regardless of race.

Brakkdor’s Shikomi-zue appears as an iron staff with a length of about six feet. With a simple twist of the handle, it can produce foot-long blades from either end of the shaft. This special weapon normally causes 1d6+1 points of damage, either bludgeoning (as a staff) or piercing (the spear tips). Brakkdor is specialized in its use. He also knows martial arts, so he is never completely disarmed.

Tarn Rabbittoe (kender male): AL NG; Handler 6; hp 28; AC 8; #AT 1; DMG 1-6; SZ S; DEX 16; CHA 12
Notable Possessions: Hoopak, lock picks

Tarn stands out with the rest of the crew, as he is neither a native of Steelspace, nor is he a humanoid. He is a kender, which in some peoples’ minds, make him by far the most dangerous member of the crew. This, in some ways, is a very true statement.

Tarn met up with the crew while they were docked at the Rock of Bral. He encountered Sakka while she was wandering the streets, and after some small talk, the two became fast friends. Both share a fascination with wildspace and the myriad of cultures of the Known Spheres. Tarn, of course, hails from Kendermore, and managed to stow away on an odd ship while it was docked in Balifor. He had been wandering the docks of wildspace for almost a decade before he met the crew of the Remembrance, and has become a guide of sorts to them. His knowledge of wildspace and its dangers has kept the crew out of the worst danger, although he still loves a little mischief every now and again to keep things interesting. He genuinely cares for the crew, and would never knowingly endanger them, although he is a bit scatter-brained and often oblivious to danger.


By Adam “Night Druid” Miller

Les Aventures éthériques – Les corsaires de l’Espace distordu

Les voyages de Deryn Naythas

Ekzem Nirda est le Capitaine du Getemmesh, un vaisseau corsaire ancien et redouté à travers les Confins de la Sphère du Faucon gris. Corsaire Zerth toujours à la recherche de Pirates Gith à traquer, il s’est récemment lancé à la poursuite d’un étrange vaisseau des ennemis de son peuple, le G’nakai, qui pour échapper à son poursuivant, glissa vers l’Astral. Utilisant une gemme magique récemment obtenue d’un mystérieux mage d’Oerth, Ekzem Nirda décida de suivre sa proie dans le domaine planaire des Githyanki. Mais il se retrouva dans une dimension toute autre…

Hélène incarnera Vestale, une Erenienne Paladine de Luminaar en quête d’une lame sacrée perdue durant une attaque de son monde natal par les forces du Nautonier.

Romuald incarnera Mogoc, un Grommam Négociant des Sphères disposant de son propre navire, un Négociant nommé le Gzigzig, et d’un stock conséquent de soieries tissées dans les Sphères de…

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Taur’saan {Ceux qui ouvrent les Voies}

Les voyages de Deryn Naythas

Taur'saan by derynnaythas

Durant le troisième Empire Chi’tan, les Taur’saan s’affranchissent de leur statut de Peuple-client des Syllix pour devenir des mercenaires et principalement des éclaireurs pour les nombreuses flottilles qui cherchent alors à redécouvrir les Sphères déjà en train d’être oubliées depuis le Grand Soulèvement.

Bien qu’ils ne disposent pas de vaisseaux de leur propre conception, les Taur’saan embarquent à bord de bâtiments d’autres peuples. Ils se lient par contrats aux Proonal, qui sont déjà affiliés aux Vestiges Ruhnat. Ces derniers encouragent des actions guerrières en promettant des mondes à leurs alliés, mais n’hésitent pas à sacrifier les puissants Taur’saan, qui en quelques décades finissent par s’éteindre.

Il subsiste encore quelques communautés disséminées à travers les Sphères Oubliées et conservant encore de bonnes connaissances sur leur Histoire. Peu enclins à retourner au sein de l’Espace sauvage, les Taur’saan peuvent se montrer brutaux envers les descendants des peuples des Vestiges, mais se sont…

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NPCs of Bral: Mordant the Lifter

Mordant is a near nine foot tall golem of burnished blued steel and bright phosphor bronze.  His helm has shimmering, reflective blue “eyes” and he weighs over 800 lbs. When he wishes, the helm can magically fold apart to reveal his human head inside, that of a huge, scarred, busted up looking warrior with a bald head. The truth is, he’s some strange blend of golem and man with no memory of how he came to be like this. He can do without air, food or water for up to two weeks, though he likes to eat and drink as much as any large man might, and he doesn’t produce any wastes.

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