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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Press Release: Starfinder – Pathfinder in Space!

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On behalf of John Reyst of d20pfsrd.com, we are pleased to announce the upcoming product, entitled “Starfinder”, brought to you by myself, and George “Loki” Williams.

“Starfinder” will be a primary guide to plan and play adventures in space. Travel between worlds, fight space pirates, or become one yourself! Discover new alien species and use amazing feats to help you become a great spacefaring vessel captain if you choose! Customize your vessel to create the perfect vehicle to suit your playstyle.

John will be releasing more details as they become available on d20pfsrd.com, so visit the website or d20pfsrd.com’s Facebook page for more information!

Of course, we welcome your questions!

d20pfsrd.com is the 2010 & 2011 recipient of a Silver ENnie award and publisher of several series of products that are on sale now at Paizo.com and DriveThruRPG.

Follow the link below for more information and to ask questions:

 

This Month’s Poll: Diesel LaForce, Spelljammer Cartographer

The following conversations was started in the Spelljammer Image Group:

You have done some excellent cartography over the years. The way that you have made each setting feel that it was mapped by different cartographers is especially clever. It is almost as if you make maps “in character”. smile emoticon

Thanks for everything that you did for the Spelljammer Campaign Setting. Do you remember what sort of things you thought about, when you created the style for them?

And, do you ever sell prints of any of your maps at conventions?

To which he replied recently:

Thanks so much for the praise. When creating different styles I look at other maps and illustrations as Well that might fit the feel of the product. Sometimes the writer or editor would ask for a specific look or feel and give me examples of what they are looking for. So there are a few different ways to come up with a map style.

I have not made prints of any maps. Not sure which ones of the thousands I have done would be desirable for gamers. I do sign a lot of maps at cons though.

Again thanks for the praise.

So the Spelljammer Image Group asked us: would we buy his maps if he made prints?  So I’m asking you in This Month’s Poll:

The Spelljammer Mailing List is to be shut down

The Spelljammer Mailing List (SJML) is going to be shut down, later this month.WotC will terminate SJML

Problems with the Spelljammer Mailing List server rejecting emails were reported back in December last year by Canageek.

A few days ago Michelle Brunes, the Operations Manager for the Wizards Community Team, posted bad news about the SJML (aka Spelljammer-L). The LISTSERV system, on their Oracle server is going to be turned off on the 15th of February.

This really is an end of an era. The Spelljammer Mailing List was set up back in September 1999. It has run for just over 14 years. Hundreds of Spelljammer fans (including myself) have hooked up with other fans on this mailing list, over that time. Continue reading

Review of SJA1 Wildspace

Here is a reprint of a review I wrote about SJA1 Wildspace.

WARNING – MAKE SURE YOU ARE GETTING ALL THE BITS OF SJA1 WILDSPACESJA1 Wildspace

Before I start with the review, a word of warning: SJA1 Wildspace, like many (but not all) TSR adventure modules, was sold with a poster. Once this module comes out of its original srinkwrap, it is very easy for it to get separated from the poster. Not all sellers are D&D experts, so some of them don’t even realise they are selling incomplete D&D products. Check the seller’s description to make sure they have the poster that came with this adventure. If a seller does not specifically mention the poster, I suggest you contact them before handing over any cash.

The poster is numbered 9273XXXX0701 and has the text “The Skyrunner” and “The Hive” on it.

THIS PRODUCT IS DESIGNED TO WORK WITH OTHER D&D BOOKS

SJA1 Wildspace is an adventure module for the Spelljammer Campaign Setting using 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons rules. You will need Spelljammer AD&D Adventures in Space (the boxed set containing the Spelljammer Campaign Setting) to tell you how wildspace and spelljamming is supposed to work in the game. Other Spelljammer products may also be helpful, especially if you want to continue the adventures in space after the end of this story.

To understand the 2nd edition AD&D rules you need the 2nd Edition Players Handbook and Dungeon Master’s Guide. (TSR produced a revised version of the 2nd edition rules, and you could use the revised versions of the Players Handbook and Dungeon Master’s Guide instead.)

If you don’t have all of these books, you may be able to get some limited use out of SJA1 Wildspace. The adventure starts on a normal “groundling” world, so it would be possible to use it as a one-shot trip into space, and bring the adventure back to the ground at the end of the story. This would allow you to work the adventure into any other D&D campaign setting…or any non-D&D campaign setting.

The same applies to the rules. While designed for 2nd edition D&D, it could be converted to other versions of D&D or even different fantasy RPG systems. 1st edition AD&D is fairly similar to 2nd edition, so that should be fairly easy to use. 3rd edition D&D is less similar, but fans have made conversions of some of the older D&D material and if you hunt around the Interwebs, you will find that much of the work is done for you.

WHAT YOU GET

When you get SJA1 Wildspace out of the shrinkwrap it actually splits into three parts:

  • The cover,
  • The poster and
  • The 64 page adventure book.

The cover has a fold out section at the back, with monster stats and has three pages of information about The Hive’s Mural’s.

The poster has deck plans for The Skyrunner and maps of The Hive.

The adventure booklet has everything else.

SJA1 Wildspace is designed to work for four to six players of levels 6 to 8. Continue reading

Monstrous Arcana: The Illithiad (2e) at RPG Now!

Click on the link to get it!

The Illithiad is a visually stunning tome that details important information on mind flayers, their mental powers, and their dire plans to control the multiverse.

This “complete book of illithids” covers:

  • The anatomy and physiology of the mind flayer.
  • The terrible truth about the mind flayer life cycle.
  • Illithid-kin, undead mind flayers, and new’ flayer-kin monsters.
  • A balanced look at illithid psionic powers.
  • a detailed description of a typical mind flayer community
  • Unique mind flayer psionic abilities and items.

The Illitiad is the third volume in the popular Monstrous Arcana game accessory series and is indispensable to DMs who want to add these terrifying creatures to their campaigns. The Illithiad supports the mind flayer adventure trilogy: A Darkness Gathering, Masters of Eternal Night, and Dawn of the Overmind. Continue reading