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.

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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:

Image

Spelljammer on Pintrest

Ahoy there, spacefarers!  I thought I would share a couple of fantastic Spelljammer-related Pintrest boards with you.

Spelljammer Settings on Pintrest by Bill Dodrill

Spelljammer Races by Bill Dodrill

Spelljammer Shared Board (Sable Aradia, Dale Norman, Silverblade the Enchanter, Deryn Naythas, Adam Miller, W Keith Baldwin IV)

Breaking News: Toy Soldier Saga Mapping Project

Toy Soldier: A Spelljammer 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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