Mystaran Skyships in Spelljammer, Part VIII: Striking Hawk

This ship, the Light Heldanic Warbird, fits the best out of all the Mystaran Skyships into a Spelljammer campaign. It has a very evocative appearance, combining both elements of a seagoing vessel and a natural animal. Of all the ships that were in Champions of Mystara, this one (and the Schooner) are the ones I’d most likely add to the list of relatively common ships in wildspace. Continue reading

Mystaran Skyships in Spelljammer, Part IV: Gnomish Dirigible

The Oostdock Airship offered a number of challenges. As an airship, it is quite large, but with very limited usable space, and relatively fragile. This required some unusual statistics and features on the ship, although that should make this vessel a very interesting addition to a game. Continue reading

Mystaran Skyships in Spelljammer, Part II: Geodesic Ship

This vessel, Azlum Swith’s Geodome Airship, is an enormous icosahedron (d20). Calculating the tonnage straightforward once I was able to determine the size of the faces, and it just happened to come out to just about 100 tons. Like the ship in Champions of Mystara, this is an ideal vessel for a wizard who desires isolation, and as such, I made it capable of being handled by just the helmsman. Continue reading

Mystaran Skyships in Spelljammer, Part I: Ship of the Line

Champions of Mystara, released in 1993 for BECMI D&D, collected the Voyages of the Princess Ark from Dragon Magazine into a boxed set that also detailed the skyships of Mystara, and included ship cards, much like Spelljammer did. While the ship statistics are reminiscent of Spelljammer, there are a variety of key differences. In a number of ways, they are more powerful than Spelljammers, being primarily enchanted vessels, but they are also incapable of the high-speed flight that spelljammers are capable of. In addition, due to their enchanted nature, the Mystaran skyships are often vastly more expensive and labor intensive than even a standard spelljamming vessel and a major helm. Tonnage for skyships are weight rather than displacement, and hull points are essentially the equivalent to hit points (ship-based weapons do not deal different damage to creatures and ships). As such, conversion of these vessels allows (and sometimes requires) a lot of leeway. In general, I jettisoned magical defenses and abilities that these ships have, and went for close-matches on hull sizes rather than calculating out the tonnage to precision; as I feel making the ships work within the extant vessels is preferable. In addition, each vessel has been converted to be “generic”; available for any Spelljammer campaign, without requiring ties to Mystaraspace. Of course, those incorporating Mystaraspace into their campaigns can use them as Spelljammer versions of the skyships.

The first vessel up for conversion is the Alphatian Man-of-War, which I’ve named the Ship of the Line, due to the primary way the ship would be used in battle. This sailing vessel is of similar size to the Clipper, but wider. As such, I made it 100 tons; while it should probably be considerably larger (heck, the Clipper should be too), it seemed a good compromise which also allowed it to not need a special helm. At the bottom of the post are ship cards; the front is an altered card using the original art designed exactly as the Spelljammer cards are, while the back contains the original deck plans. I hope to eventually redraw them so they incorporate gravity planes and specialized Spelljammer terminology. Continue reading