Book Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Spelljammer: Adventures In Space
Thursday, September 1st, 2022 at 1:33 pm
Dungeons & Dragons: Spelljammer: Adventures In Space Hardcover
Wizards Of The Coast
Release Date: August 16, 2022
I must admit, I never expected to ever see a Spelljammer expansion ever again. I believe it was a holiday gift from some friends back when I was nineteen or twenty that I received the original one. We played the crap out of that with a lot of help from Dragon Magazine‘s add-on articles. Being a nerd in late 80s was not always easy but it certainly had it’s benefits. I tried to find my old book, but it is most likely buried with all my AD&D 1E and 2E in my comic book room closet. These are the greatest days for tabletop roleplaying that I have ever experienced, outside of the creation of the original Chainmail in the early ’70s. So, for all of you who might have some vested interest in playing D&D in space, I present to you Dungeons & Dragons: Spelljammer: Adventures In Space.
This is less a source book and more of a massive box set of space-based D&D goodness. Three hardcover books and a four-panel DM resource screen all housed in a kickass box. Each book has its own specific focus to help compartmentalize the data for ease of access. I am going to give you a basic overview of what to expect inside each one. To quote John Oliver: “And now, this.”
The first book is the Astral Adventurer’s Guide, pretty much the spaced-out version of the Player’s Handbook. Six new race options exist here to give players a few more choices. Not gonna lie, those autognomes look like a lot of fun. Moving on to how they survive, the section on air and gravity really nails down the expectations in the game. But my favorite part of this entire book is a little sub-section on astral fishing. Yep, you read that correctly, fishing. But beware what you might catch, dear adventurer. Control of the spacefaring ships is done through a helm which is essentially a captain’s chair. They are far more ornate than you might expect and I just know that Captain Kirk would have been jealous. The largest part of this book details more than a dozen different types of ships that you will encounter. So many options and some spectacular designs, I might add. The Nightspider looks as if it would be crewed by Drow elves. Lastly, there is a small section on Bral, a remote city built on an asteroid and affectionately known as The Rock (sorry, Alcatraz).
The second is essentially a Monster Manual for this setting. Boo’s Astral Menagerie features over three dozen different types of denizens, with several sub-genres within many of them, that exist to create a personalized adventure for your gaming group. My favorite will always be the Githyanki, mainly because of their innate psionics. Ever since the original Fiend Folio, I have tried to incorporate them into as many adventures as possible. Lunar dragons are a close second, though. There are far too many to call out, but sometimes I do take issue with the actual names. Like the Murder Comet, for instance. It leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination and is it exactly what it sounds like. All in all, I was not disappointed in this one, though I wish it was a bit heftier than the mere 64 pages it is.
Last, but not least, the final book is all about giving the DM an adventure to run within this setting. Entitled Light Of Xaryxis, this is a huge module that starts with players around level five and takes them through ninth. Broken into four parts, this adventure features some of my favorite creatures (wink, wink). It’s a multi-faceted escapade that will delight your players and give everyone a taste of what’s to come in the Spelljammer setting. Also, and I cannot stress this enough, it is a perfect time to use that DM screen they included in the box set. I really want to play this but more importantly, I want to run it with the same group that I played with in my youth. I miss those guys and gals so much.
There have been a lot of releases from Wizards Of The Coast for this Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons, but none have literally opened the environment up like this one. Just imagine the possibilities of traipsing across the multiverse and wild adventures that could occur. If I have not yet convinced you to pick up Spelljammer, then I apologize. It is worth every single penny to anyone who loves to play Dungeons & Dragons. It’s three hardcovers and a screen for a great price, and right now, it’s only slightly more than $40 USD. So what are waiting for, folks?
SET SAIL FOR THE STARS!
A thrilling space-based adventure setting for the world’s greatest role-playing game.
Spelljammer: Adventures in Space presents the Astral Plane as a Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting unlike any other. Home of the stars and gateway to the heavens, the Astral Plane teems with excitement and possibility. With the help of magic, spelljammers can cross the oceans of Wildspace, ply the silvery void known as the Astral Sea, and hop between worlds of the D&D multiverse.
This set contains everything a Dungeon Master needs to run adventures and campaigns set in the starlit realms of Wildspace and the Astral Sea, as well as new options for players who want to create characters at home in this fantastic setting.
-Astral Adventurer’s Guide, a 64-page hardcover book for players and Dungeon Masters that presents the Astral Plane as a campaign setting and includes space-based character options, spells and magic items, deck plans and descriptions for spelljamming ships, and more
-Boo’s Astral Menagerie, a 64-page hardcover book for Dungeon Masters that presents game statistics and descriptions for over 60 creatures found in Wildspace and the Astral Sea, including astral elves, cosmic horrors, lunar and solar dragons, murder comets, and space clowns.
-Light of Xaryxis, a 64-page hardcover adventure for Dungeon Masters that is set in the Astral Plane and designed for characters of levels 5–8
-Double-sided poster map of the Rock of Bral, an asteroid-city that can serve as both an adventure location and a campaign hub in the Astral Plane
-Sturdy, four-panel Dungeon Master’s screen designed for use with the books in this set