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:

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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.

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 Reverie (Remembrance,) Part 1

elvenskipperReverie (Remembrance)

Elven Stinger

Built By: Elves

Used Primarily By: Ogres

Tonnage: 7 tons

Hull Points: 7

Crew: 2/7 (5)

Maneuver Class: B

Landing-Land: Yes

Landing-Water: Yes

Armor Rating: 8

Saves As: Ceramic

Power Type: Splendid Sails

Ship’s Rating: 2

Standard Armament:

Light catapult (A; Crew 2)

Cargo: 3 tons

Keel Length: 100’

Beam Length: 20’

 

The Reverie (Common translation: Remembrance) is hardly what many people would consider a ‘ship’; it is more akin to a boat for a larger craft much like a flitter or a mosquito. It indeed looks like an enlarged flitter, big enough to carry multiple crewmen while not being large enough to be considered a true ship.

The Remembrance is an elven stinger, an ancient design from the earliest days of elven exploration. The stinger is rarely seen today, usually confined to elven-dominated spheres such as Darnannon. It is too lightly armed and armored for most captains’ tastes. Some stingers are used by couriers for long-distance message delivery between elven colonies and Armada, but little else.

The Remembrance looks like an oversized flitter, with a black body and wings, with cobalt-blue highlights. There is a single interior deck and a small top deck. There is only one weapon, a light catapult set to fire at pursuing ships. The Remembrance is not designed for battle, and would be easily defeated by anything more powerful than a dragonfly.

Top Deck

  1. Hatch: The hatch to the main deck can be bolted from the inside.
  2. Bowsprit: A small Continual Light Lantern that sheds a soft light down upon the deck is located here. The light shed by the lantern is about as bright as a full moon.
  3. Catapult: The Remembrance’s only armament, a light catapult, is set to fire in a rear-ward arc. It is movable such that it could be fired in any arc, but this requires a good deal of muscle and takes about five minutes.
  4. Ammunition: This crate is bolted to the deck. It holds eighteen round stones that weigh about forty pounds each (ammunition for the catapult). The crate has a simple latch to keep the lid closed, but otherwise is unlocked.

Main Deck

  1. Hatch: The hatch to the top deck can be bolted from here. A ladder leads up to the top deck.
  2. Bridge: The Bridge of the Remembrance is fairly bare. There is a simple mapping table with charts to about half a dozen spheres (none Steelspace) and a Telescope of Planetary Location. The Telescope is a primitive version of the Planetary Locator. When a person gazes through the telescope, it directs the viewer towards the nearest planet of size A or larger, and shows the viewer a fuzzy image of the planet and a general distance in days of travel. Once per day, the viewer can view another planet so long as he knows the generally accepted name of the planet. There is also a pair of chairs in front of the windows for stargazing.
  3. Galley: The Remembrance’s galley is fairly advanced, thanks to an upgrade by Gistor before he died. There is a small, magical stove that can be commanded to become very hot three times per day, enough to prepare a simple meal. There are four barrels in this room (grog, apples, citrus fruit, and salted pork), several sacks of flour, and the usual pots, pans, skillets, and knives to prepare a meal. The Remembrance usually carries enough food to keep the crew fed for four months.
  4. Captain’s Cabin: The captain’s cabin has been claimed by Griim. It has a long bed, specially built to accommodate Griim’s eight-foot tall frame. There is also a writing desk, a trunk of clothes, and a small coffer with 500 gp in various currencies (to pay for docking fees). There is also a bookshelf with more than a dozen books written by Griim on life in the Known Spheres. These books detail the people and cultures he has encountered, with little attention to defenses or battle-readiness of non-ogres. As such they are completely useless to the ogres of Steelspace.
  5. Crew Quarters: The four-man crew shares this room. There are four hammocks and four sea chests for the crews’ belongings. A silk screen decorated with an oriental-style dragon is in one corner, to allow Sakka some privacy when she changes. There is a writing desk and more than two dozen books on a shelf, all detailing life in the Known Spheres. There is a small table with a drawer that contains dozens of colorful ceramic tiles – useful for play Mahjong and Go! Griim and Krosh often play against one another; when sailing in deep space, their games can last hours.
  6. Privy: This tiny cubby of a room has a Chamber Pot of Devouring and Cleanliness (a magically enchanted chamber pot that not only disposes of waste but also cleans the backside with a spray of water and hot air) and an Incense Burner of Neverending Delightful Scents (Jasmine-scented).
  7. Cargo Hold: The cargo hold of the Remembrance is quite small, only capable of holding small amounts of cargo.
  8. Companionway: The companionway is lit by two small glowing globes, both putting off light equal to moonlight. They can be shuttered to show no light at all.

By Adam “Night Druid” Miller

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

The Huntsman

Scorpion Ship
Built By: See below
Used Primarily By: See below
Tonnage: 60 tons
Hull Points: 60
Crew: 7
Maneuver Class: C
Landing-Land: Yes
Landing-Water: No
Armor Rating: 5
Saves As: Metal
Power Type: Special
Ship’s Rating: 4
Standard Armament:
2 Ram Claws (Crew: None)
1 Heavy Ballista (Crew: None)
1 Heavy Catapult (Crew 5)
Cargo: 12 ton
Keel Length: 75’
Beam Length: 20’The Huntsman is a spelljammer built in a fashion similar to the scorpion ships favored by ancient orcs. The overall layout is unchanged, although it has many enchantments that make it unique from other scorpion ships. It was probably built twelve hundred years ago on a backwater orc world or moon, and saw action during the First Unhuman Wars. It was defeated in battle sometime after the Battle of Kule and left a drifting wreck until it was claimed five years ago by its current owner, the Dizantar Xinnix.

Continue reading

Captain Sable’s Logbook: First-Month, 2015 SD

sablepiratequeenHappy New Year, me hearties!  I hope ye can still walk after all the carousing!  If yer not too drunk or hung over to read, perhaps ye can skim over these dispatches and take note of the news in the Known Spheres.

This Month’s Theme: A Tall Ship & a Star to Steer Her By

I’m pleased to say that our ezine is now rolling along with some of its own momentum as more and more of you contribute articles and ideas; so I thank you for your support!  This month we seemed to end up with a lot of articles on ships, spelljamming, and navigation.  If you would still like to contribute yours, see our Submission Guidelines.

A Shout-Out to THAC0’s Hammer Podcast!

We would like to thank the good folks at acclaimed 2nd edition podcast THAC0’s Hammer for having our very-own AuldDragon on the show and talking about Spelljammer and about the Wildspace Fanzine!  The link above will take you to their Twitter account and you can listen to the episode HERE, in which the guys (eventually; 39 minutes in) chat about the Spelljammer setting, the boxed set, the War Captain’s Companion, the Astromundi Cluster set, and review the Goblin’s Return module.

The Voyages of Deryn Naythas

We’ll continue to share posts from Deryn’s vastly creative blog for our French-speaking (and determined die-hard translators) to enjoy.

Knightfall’s Blogs

Our very own Knightfall has been a busy man.  He’s started up a new blog about his world Almagra, and another new one about his homebrewed Spelljammer variant Kulan World Journal, and he continues his work on his steampunk Spelljammer setting at Spelljammer Gone Wild.  We’ll keep you up to date on the latest!

Silverblade the Enchanter

Silverblade’s character profiles continue; along with some new art!

Cartographer’s Guild

We will continue to share some of the great new work that’s coming out of the Cartographer’s Guild, including some great space maps and star charts!

Spelljammer PDFs

Many of the classic Spelljammer books are being released on PDF; also, there are some blasts from the past that we will be sharing.

Toy Soldier Saga

The Toy Soldier Saga is back online and I’ve been working on worldbuilding; maps, characters, and such.  I’ll be sharing some of that with you.

From the Vaults of Beyond the Moons

In the interests of the theme, we’ll continue to re-release some stuff out of the vaults of the Beyond the Moons website, much of it by Paul “GM” Westermeyer and Adam “Night Druid” Miller.

Join us in our voyage through the stars!


By Sable Aradia, Managing Editor