What Units Spelljammer Aside
Beth Rimmels wrote an intensive evaluate of the brand new Spelljammer product ($44.93 together with tax, free delivery, from Amazon; record $69.99). That is my perspective on what’s modified.
What units fantasy adventures in outer area other than different settings? First it’s the ships themselves and ship to ship fight, and second it’s a new set of monsters designed for “area”, such because the Neogi and the photo voltaic dragons. The third ebook of the set is the monster guide for the setting, and it really works advantageous. The ships are a considerable a part of the primary ebook that describes how Spelljammer works (although its title is Astral Adventurer’s Information). The opposite ebook is an journey path.
Similar Setting, New Version
There’s been some dialogue these days that Wizards of the Coast could have adopted a technique of issuing new D&D settings however counting on the DM’s Guild for third-party assist thereafter. Spelljammer reveals indicators of this. Furthermore, it’s only 192 pages regardless of being three pasteboard hardcover books; a lot of that’s occupied by paintings. Paintings doesn’t do a lot for a GM, definitely not when the ensuing product is simply too quick to adequately describe itself.
Maybe due to the restricted area out there, the brand new Spelljammer doesn’t dive very deeply into most subjects. As an alternative of vastly bettering the setting they’ve merely given it a short new paint job. The method feels a bit just like the method to board video games, during which most board video games are performed as much as thrice at most, as a result of gamers have so many different video games to select from. I’m wondering if this has additionally develop into the norm for role-playing sport publishers, with the expectation that the majority prospects gained’t be enjoying within the setting for quite a lot of classes.
To me, the primary curiosity of Spelljammer is the ships and ship fight. (Then once more, I’ve at all times been a fan of the Naval facets of historical past, together with once I wrote my dissertation.). Sadly, there’s a substantial lack of element in how ship fight works. There is no such thing as a maneuverability ranking; so far as I can inform any ship can cease or activate a dime, transfer sideways or backwards at full pace. Within the journey, ships at all times initially seem fairly shut to 1 one other to restrict alternatives for maneuver. The ship determines the tactical pace, not the extent of the helmsman (now referred to as the spelljammer).
The ship diagrams look very very similar to the outdated ones, not a foul factor. Helms are low-cost. There is no such thing as a spell penalty for helming a ship (within the outdated system, the caster misplaced all of their spells). Degree of helmsman does not matter for tactical pace or a lot of the rest.
Ship tonnage is now not specified, simply hit factors (250-450 usually). That helps keep away from a few of the weird inconsistencies in measurement between ship diagrams and the official measurement of ships within the outdated guidelines. Ship diagrams are very harking back to the outdated, could even be the identical in just a few circumstances, and it’s largely the identical ships as within the authentic. There are nonetheless odd allocations of sq. footage, equivalent to a captain’s cabin a lot bigger than your entire crew quarters for 21 crew. Some diagrams present a location for the helm (an essential level in boarding), some don’t.
The usual seems to be only one spelljammer (helmsman) on a ship! The ship can transfer 24/7, however helmsman, who should focus as for a spell, is just not going to final greater than half a day. Why no second or third helmsman?
This model feels as if it treats the ships as mere transportation, a means of getting from one place to a different. I’m unsure that’s a good evaluation however that’s the way it feels to me, the sport is just not ship oriented although the ships are the distinctive function of adventures in outer area.
The whole second ebook is a kind of journey path that takes characters from fifth to ninth degree. Sadly, the target is, but once more, to avoid wasting a world. My impression is that the creators felt that gamers would solely play Spelljammer just a few occasions, in order that they included a giant “save the world” journey sequence so that individuals might be accomplished with the setting after they completed the sequence. I’d as an alternative have most popular some unconnected adventures for lower-level characters who may then stay up for larger issues.
It’s not all one-sided disappointment. One change that is sensible: as an alternative of “the phlogiston” connecting star techniques collectively, the Astral Sea is the connection. Githyanki are current! As if thoughts flayers and beholders weren’t dangerous sufficient.
It’s a disgrace, as a result of Spelljammer is chock stuffed with concepts … and stuffed with inconsistencies. The brand new version was a chance to streamline the setting by taking the perfect of what got here earlier than. As an alternative, we bought some tantalizing ideas and never sufficient content material to do them justice.
Your Flip: Did you create or borrow guidelines from different techniques to play in your Spelljammer marketing campaign?