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 Introducing spelljamming SUDDENLY back to Toril
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sleyvas
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Posted - 22 Sep 2020 :  18:29:54  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
In another thread, I got sidetracked with some discussion about spelljammer and how to implement... and it occurred to me that I don't want to derail that entirely and maybe its worth its own topic.

What I'd like to consider is HOW we might SUDDENLY implement spelljamming to Toril without breaking the setting. To note here, I'm not adverse to discussing any options, such as making spelljamming ships that have to dock in orbit because they can't enter atmosphere, and then use "wind sailing" type flying vessels similar to Halruaan Skyships within the atmosphere. The big thing I'm seeing though is how might we do it suddenly.

My first thoughts are these and I just want to put them down first

1) Spelljamming helms possibly broke at the outset of the spellplague, and the crystal sphere "locked" not allowing anyone from outside in or out (possible problems: does any 4e lore contradict this?)

2) Possibly, The Arcane at the Dock in the Wu Pi Te Shao Mountains got killed. Maybe this was because of some other faction (for instance, the Nubari of Malatra weren't all dead and they secretly do it). Maybe its because of the spellplague (i.e. the magical defenses they had in place exploded, or their innate mind link went awry and they all went insane, or the servants they had rose up against them). As a result, there is no in crystal sphere source for new helms.

3) Possibly, Existing helms started functioning again as part of the sundering. However, since noone had been using them for a century, many of them haven't even been checked out.

4) Maybe Existing helms don't work exactly like they did previously. Maybe some of them fail within the atmosphere. Maybe the ones that DON'T fail require sails and simply revert to a levitation type ability within atmosphere like a Halruaan skyship. Thus, operating in high winds can be dangerous. Operating with no wind can leave you scuttled.

5) Hovering in place should be impossible without tethering oneself in place (which might also present certain dangers). Perhaps landing a ship in anything but water is a dangerous proposition which presents the possibility of wrecking said vessel, unless its a craft which specifically is ONLY made for landing on land.

6) Possibly the crystal sphere is still "locked", preventing outsiders from entering the sphere or ships leaving. However, there has been possibly another avenue found with "planejammers" of gith pirates and such coming through.

7) Perhaps some other world(s) actually have more spelljammer ships available than Toril, but they lack the population that Toril has so that we don't see "Star Wars" suddenly happen. The worlds I'd think might be possible with would be Coliar and Glyth. Perhaps even the mind flayers of Glyth can develop their own helms that rely on psionics, but they've been using them to explore other planes rather than in crystal sphere. Perhaps there's a whole war going on with mindflayers and gith going on. Maybe the beholders are allied with the gith after finding out mind flayers were taking their children and turning them into mindwitnesses (see Volo's Guide to Monsters). Maybe the war is 3 way, with the beholders limited in their ships by the fact that they must breed new orbus beholders in order to act as their living helms for their ships.

8) Possibly certain Torilian cultures were developing their OWN helms, separate from the arcane. Most of said cultures were human, and thus those doing those studies just might be dead now. Knowledge of their studies may not have been passed down. In addition there may have been certain things that happened in certain cultures that influences how ships were deployed. Going into spelljamming cultures individually below

A) Shou Lung - The emperor was getting lots of shou dragon ships made. Lots of captains were basically up and leaving the world and thinking to themselves "why do I need to listen to this dude". Meanwhile, the country of Wa was actively at war with any Shou ship they came across. The Shou essentially lost a lot of ships because they were either stolen, destroyed, or their captain's went rogue (this is actually canon that they were losing ships in this way, I'm just discussing increasing the percentage over time). Possibly by the time of the spellplague, Shou Lung has less than ten remaining dragonships. The Shou never developed the ability to create helms, and with the arcane on planet dead, they have no ability to renew their fleet.

B) Wa - The people of Wa DID develop their own helm technology, because the Wa Tsunami had its own Ki Helm which was powered not by arcane power, but by Ki (something exclusive to Kara-Tur and certain other cultures or classes). They also developed rudders of propulsion which could fly extremely small "in atmosphere only" locust craft (which were essentially suicide on wings). Knowledge of these items' creation was a state secret, revealing of which was punishable by death. If spelljamming technology quit working after the spellplague, then perhaps Wa's specialists quit passing down their secrets. Then again, what if something more nefarious happened, for instance... maybe the people who knew the secrets of creating their magic had a secret lab for their work. What if the Shou, the Arcane, or the Thayans attacked said lab and killed the inhabitants? What if the facility was destroyed in the spellplague. This might leave Wa with a handful of tsunamis and other ships for the past century, and they've been paranoid about even revealing they still have those. Perhaps they've just recently started trying to rebuild their lab or somesuch as well.

Perhaps a somewhat good fix for these ships would be to allow them to take off and land on world, but ONLY on land ONLY in a perfectly prepared landing field and ONLY very VERY slowly. Perhaps its easier to keep them docked in orbit, ready to deploy where needed. Essentially, these ships become a mobile aircraft carrier (battlestar galactica kind of) meant to protect Wa. They would not be great for commerce.

C) Thay - Many people who love the realms don't know that Thay developed their own spelljamming helm (the Grand Helm for the Quad of Thay). Hell, I didn't know until a few years back. It was an extremely fast ship that basically used its helm to have the ship go temporarily ethereal in spurts to move faster. This also meant that the Quad was ONLY useful within a crystal sphere and would have to be towed through the phlogiston. I propose that perhaps limiting the Quad further makes them more easy to add to the campaign world without destroying them. Like the tsunami above, maybe landing one in atmosphere is a slow and tedious process. Then again, Thay also had Halruaan skyships (as in they knew how to make them in canon), so perhaps Quads literally can't dock anywhere except in wildspace. Maybe they can be made to hover over an area but not land, and then people have to use some other vessel to transport from the ship to the surface. This might be some kind of boat. Then again, it might be brooms of flying or flying carpets. They might, for instance, load up 5 bags of holding with cargo, jump on a broom, fly it to the Quad, empty it, then fly back to refill the bags with more cargo. This flight I'm not picturing mind you being "across the way"... I'm picturing a few miles or so up. Another option might be using a teleportation circle with the ship to fill it, but doing so requires a wizard of significant level to activate the circle and then the ship has to be loaded fast. Either way becomes not something people would do for "everyday transport".

For my homebrew, I'd like it if spelljammers on Abeir worked in atmosphere or within range of the moon, but no further. For my United Tharchs idea, I'd like it if actually the Zulkir Mythrell'aa had been secretly working against both Wa and Shou Lung (fueling the fire of hatred and paranoia between both countries with her illusion using agents). Perhaps she "kidnapped their spelljamming knowledge experts". Perhaps she even got ahold of a tsunami and/or shou dragon ships. Then she and her hidden enclave got sent to Abeir. Now its back. This allows the ability to introduce a reason that spelljamming technology is back suddenly, but also how its kept secret (they are landing on a lost netherese enclave that in canon can turn invisible that's in orbit).

D) The Evermeet portion of the Elven Imperial Fleet - guess what... Evermeet was gone. So, its fleet was also gone. Its back now, and they want to establish contact with the elves who they lost contact with a century ago.

E) This one's also homebrew, but perhaps in the middle of the desert in Anchorome, there's a lost spellweaver spelljamming dock. Maybe all their helms are ruined, but their ships remain, and their ships are lightweight glassteel vessels meant for a crew of less than a dozen. Said ships could get retrofitted with experimental helms that we make "barely functional". Maybe they improve upon the idea of the Wa rudders of propulsion to create an item that can carry a bigger vessel. However, perhaps they give up speed, agility, etc... such that if a dragon or a flight of griffin mounted knights come after them they're in trouble.

That's the thoughts so far spinning in my head. Again, I'm not looking to break the world, but perhaps the fact that technology comes back suddenly and with little ability to quickly "churn out" more helms would help this not happen. Does this spur any thoughts with anyone else?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 22 Sep 2020 18:55:20

sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 22 Sep 2020 :  19:45:33  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Regarding the mind flayers, beholders, and gith ideas.... one thing popped in my head. There is in canon from realmspace (and yes, I know some people don't call that resource canon) a company called the Seed-Beholder Company that takes on beholder spores and basically ... parents them... for the beholders on H'Catha. What if some mind flayers were to get into said company, and they discovered that through ceremorphosis they could change a beholder orbus into a creature that could be linked to like a beholder mindwitness for piloting spelljamming vessels. What if they then hid this information from the beholders and perhaps even captured a hive mother for the purpose of creating their own orbus'. Just a thought on another way to create a story plot that we might be able to use which also limits the number of helms available and also removes the arcane from teh equation.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Seethyr
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Posted - 22 Sep 2020 :  20:17:37  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think that one of the most important things to consider is that helms are cost prohibitive. Each one is essentially an artifact or at least a legendary item. With that being said not everyone has one to cruise with and three in the garage. Spelljamming needs to stay rare no matter what else gets spoken of in the lore.

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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 22 Sep 2020 :  21:23:15  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

I think that one of the most important things to consider is that helms are cost prohibitive. Each one is essentially an artifact or at least a legendary item. With that being said not everyone has one to cruise with and three in the garage. Spelljamming needs to stay rare no matter what else gets spoken of in the lore.



Very much agreed, and that's why I was wanting to try and develop ways to limit how helms can be gotten. The idea that someone posted in another thread that the Zhents might get several just for hauling merchandise and bypassing the desert for instance shouldn't become a reality because it basically ruins campaigns.

That being said, a lot of what helms in theory COULD do could be accomplished with less powerful magics. For instance, the Zhents COULD do exactly what I was just talking about if they got their hands ahold of a few Halruaan Skyships. However, skyships are a lot more susceptible to being destroyed because they can't get the heck out of dodge as easily. Of course, if we also make helms function poorly in atmosphere, they won't be getting away very easily either... its just that you can easily pick up a helm and move it to another ship shell and instantly you have a new ship. Perhaps some kind of ship bonding ritual with attendant costs should be added to the rules.

Which kind of brings me back to another topic... how to limit the buiilding of things like Halruaan skyships in mass as well. One of hte big things that I've noted in their construction is that their hulls are composed of specifically giant turtle shells for some unexplained reason. Perhaps the hunting of giant turtles and recovery of their shells becomes a problem. Also, we don't know what kind of gas is in their blimps, but perhaps collecting that might be a problem.

Still, even if the Zhents were to build a fleet of say 20 skyships, a couple dragons paid to assault said fleet could do them serious damage, so I guess its not near as game breaking.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Gyor
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Posted - 22 Sep 2020 :  21:40:22  Show Profile Send Gyor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
5e realms has already run into Spelljamming vessels.
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Ayrik
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Posted - 22 Sep 2020 :  22:22:42  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There aren't any examples of "locked" spheres in Spelljammer lore.

Spheres are sometimes defended (at least in stories) by heavy military forces - extreme and excessive military forces - fleets and armadas of spelljammers, orbital fortifications, space dragon patrols, space beholder formations, gunpowder and steel and wizards guarding every approach.
It seems like a whole lot of expense and effort to me. Why would anyone install a standing military if there's easier ways to keep intruders away?

I think you can't lock a sphere any more than you can lock a plane. How could you prevent gates and portals from opening? How could you keep planeshifters and teleporters out of an entire world, an entire star system?

A god might be able to do it. Or an overgod. Though it's worth noting that we have examples like Realmspace and Kyrnnspace, the domains of two overgods who are known to be somewhat territorial and intolerant of intruders - and yet their spheres don't seem to be locked.


All that being said ...

Crystal spheres are like bubbles in the Flow. They bob and bounce and drift around, they go with the flow, they're always in motion. That's why navigators are still needed and why travel times are always variable even when jamming well-known trade circiuts in the Triad.

Spelljammer lore indirectly asserts (through lore about the kreen races) that Athas was once accessible from the spacelanes. Maybe the Triad was once the Tetrad (or some other polyad). Athas (the world of Darksun) drifted away ages ago, many millennia ago, but it was once connected the same way the Triad spheres are all caught in the same eddy within the Flow.

So perhaps Realmspace has drifted away. Or is still drifting. It may have become disconnected or entirely lost to spelljamming civilization. Or it may still be accessible but so distant, so awkwardly located in the Flow that travel to it (or travel back from it) isn't practical, profitable, or pleasant enough to bother. (And let's be honest: we know that teleporting and worldwalking and planar transport are all still viable travel methods, nobody would use spelljammers anymore if the journey is now too long, too expensive, too uncertain, or too dangerous.)

[/Ayrik]
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 22 Sep 2020 :  22:39:43  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

I think that one of the most important things to consider is that helms are cost prohibitive. Each one is essentially an artifact or at least a legendary item. With that being said not everyone has one to cruise with and three in the garage. Spelljamming needs to stay rare no matter what else gets spoken of in the lore.



While that is true, even a single spelljammer can have a huge impact -- imagine being able to bring Shou spices into Waterdeep twice a week, or making several trips to airlift a small army into some unexpected locale.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 22 Sep 2020 :  22:43:16  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

I think that one of the most important things to consider is that helms are cost prohibitive. Each one is essentially an artifact or at least a legendary item. With that being said not everyone has one to cruise with and three in the garage. Spelljamming needs to stay rare no matter what else gets spoken of in the lore.



Very much agreed, and that's why I was wanting to try and develop ways to limit how helms can be gotten. The idea that someone posted in another thread that the Zhents might get several just for hauling merchandise and bypassing the desert for instance shouldn't become a reality because it basically ruins campaigns.

That being said, a lot of what helms in theory COULD do could be accomplished with less powerful magics. For instance, the Zhents COULD do exactly what I was just talking about if they got their hands ahold of a few Halruaan Skyships. However, skyships are a lot more susceptible to being destroyed because they can't get the heck out of dodge as easily. Of course, if we also make helms function poorly in atmosphere, they won't be getting away very easily either... its just that you can easily pick up a helm and move it to another ship shell and instantly you have a new ship. Perhaps some kind of ship bonding ritual with attendant costs should be added to the rules.

Which kind of brings me back to another topic... how to limit the buiilding of things like Halruaan skyships in mass as well. One of hte big things that I've noted in their construction is that their hulls are composed of specifically giant turtle shells for some unexplained reason. Perhaps the hunting of giant turtles and recovery of their shells becomes a problem. Also, we don't know what kind of gas is in their blimps, but perhaps collecting that might be a problem.

Still, even if the Zhents were to build a fleet of say 20 skyships, a couple dragons paid to assault said fleet could do them serious damage, so I guess its not near as game breaking.



Halruaan skyships are less game-breaking than spelljammers. Skyships are sailing ships with a broader operational area, and that's it. They're still wind-powered and thus slow, and they can't go above a certain altitude.

Also, it takes more to make a Halruaan skyship than just bolting down a fancy magic chair.

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ElfBane
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Posted - 22 Sep 2020 :  23:18:03  Show Profile Send ElfBane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Why don't we leave Aircraft for atmospheric travel,,,, and Spacecraft (spelljammers) for, well, space travel. They are both expensive, and I would imagine Jamming costs more than skyshipping.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 23 Sep 2020 :  01:07:02  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

I think that one of the most important things to consider is that helms are cost prohibitive. Each one is essentially an artifact or at least a legendary item. With that being said not everyone has one to cruise with and three in the garage. Spelljamming needs to stay rare no matter what else gets spoken of in the lore.



Very much agreed, and that's why I was wanting to try and develop ways to limit how helms can be gotten. The idea that someone posted in another thread that the Zhents might get several just for hauling merchandise and bypassing the desert for instance shouldn't become a reality because it basically ruins campaigns.

That being said, a lot of what helms in theory COULD do could be accomplished with less powerful magics. For instance, the Zhents COULD do exactly what I was just talking about if they got their hands ahold of a few Halruaan Skyships. However, skyships are a lot more susceptible to being destroyed because they can't get the heck out of dodge as easily. Of course, if we also make helms function poorly in atmosphere, they won't be getting away very easily either... its just that you can easily pick up a helm and move it to another ship shell and instantly you have a new ship. Perhaps some kind of ship bonding ritual with attendant costs should be added to the rules.

Which kind of brings me back to another topic... how to limit the buiilding of things like Halruaan skyships in mass as well. One of hte big things that I've noted in their construction is that their hulls are composed of specifically giant turtle shells for some unexplained reason. Perhaps the hunting of giant turtles and recovery of their shells becomes a problem. Also, we don't know what kind of gas is in their blimps, but perhaps collecting that might be a problem.

Still, even if the Zhents were to build a fleet of say 20 skyships, a couple dragons paid to assault said fleet could do them serious damage, so I guess its not near as game breaking.



Halruaan skyships are less game-breaking than spelljammers. Skyships are sailing ships with a broader operational area, and that's it. They're still wind-powered and thus slow, and they can't go above a certain altitude.

Also, it takes more to make a Halruaan skyship than just bolting down a fancy magic chair.



That's exactly what I already said, and I was saying that we would need to redesign the rules to prevent that stuff. That's why I'm bringing this stuff up.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
9658 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2020 :  01:09:44  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

There aren't any examples of "locked" spheres in Spelljammer lore.

Spheres are sometimes defended (at least in stories) by heavy military forces - extreme and excessive military forces - fleets and armadas of spelljammers, orbital fortifications, space dragon patrols, space beholder formations, gunpowder and steel and wizards guarding every approach.
It seems like a whole lot of expense and effort to me. Why would anyone install a standing military if there's easier ways to keep intruders away?

I think you can't lock a sphere any more than you can lock a plane. How could you prevent gates and portals from opening? How could you keep planeshifters and teleporters out of an entire world, an entire star system?

A god might be able to do it. Or an overgod. Though it's worth noting that we have examples like Realmspace and Kyrnnspace, the domains of two overgods who are known to be somewhat territorial and intolerant of intruders - and yet their spheres don't seem to be locked.


All that being said ...

Crystal spheres are like bubbles in the Flow. They bob and bounce and drift around, they go with the flow, they're always in motion. That's why navigators are still needed and why travel times are always variable even when jamming well-known trade circiuts in the Triad.

Spelljammer lore indirectly asserts (through lore about the kreen races) that Athas was once accessible from the spacelanes. Maybe the Triad was once the Tetrad (or some other polyad). Athas (the world of Darksun) drifted away ages ago, many millennia ago, but it was once connected the same way the Triad spheres are all caught in the same eddy within the Flow.

So perhaps Realmspace has drifted away. Or is still drifting. It may have become disconnected or entirely lost to spelljamming civilization. Or it may still be accessible but so distant, so awkwardly located in the Flow that travel to it (or travel back from it) isn't practical, profitable, or pleasant enough to bother. (And let's be honest: we know that teleporting and worldwalking and planar transport are all still viable travel methods, nobody would use spelljammers anymore if the journey is now too long, too expensive, too uncertain, or too dangerous.)



Actually, I believe that originally Dark Sun was in a locked crystal sphere. Traversing to there via spelljamming in 2e was supposed to be a serious problem. Its been almost 30 years, so I may be a little fuzzy on the exact nature of it, but there was something along those lines. We could use that as an example of "its not all the same". Ah, which I see you got to later on in the thread. I think we're moving along the same line here. This "locking" mind you I'm thinking doesn't need to be permanent. Maybe it might even go away in 10, 20, or 100 years. The only reason I even bring it up is to not "flood" realmspace with spelljamming to allow the sphere to adapt. There can be a reason with it like "Abeir is forming its own crystal sphere shell and becoming its own crystal sphere" if we wanted a reason.

By the way, not of huge interest to me, but don't both Oerth and Mystara share some common settings (like blackmoor is in both?). Perhaps the same "trick" could be use with greyhawk to kind of slowly integrate knowledge of spelljamming into the setting without breaking the environment.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 23 Sep 2020 02:47:23
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Lord Karsus
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Posted - 23 Sep 2020 :  02:14:10  Show Profile Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-"The Spellplague" is such a stock answer for literally everything (as intended, I guess), but yeah, I think it works best here.

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Seethyr
Senior Scribe

USA
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Posted - 23 Sep 2020 :  02:55:18  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

I think that one of the most important things to consider is that helms are cost prohibitive. Each one is essentially an artifact or at least a legendary item. With that being said not everyone has one to cruise with and three in the garage. Spelljamming needs to stay rare no matter what else gets spoken of in the lore.



While that is true, even a single spelljammer can have a huge impact -- imagine being able to bring Shou spices into Waterdeep twice a week, or making several trips to airlift a small army into some unexpected locale.



Don’t spelljammers automatically fall into tactical speeds the moment they come within certain range of a large body like a planet? Effectively, wouldn’t that make them just as useful or useless as a skyship non withholding the ability to get cargo from other worlds.?

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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 23 Sep 2020 :  03:27:49  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

I think that one of the most important things to consider is that helms are cost prohibitive. Each one is essentially an artifact or at least a legendary item. With that being said not everyone has one to cruise with and three in the garage. Spelljamming needs to stay rare no matter what else gets spoken of in the lore.



While that is true, even a single spelljammer can have a huge impact -- imagine being able to bring Shou spices into Waterdeep twice a week, or making several trips to airlift a small army into some unexpected locale.



Don’t spelljammers automatically fall into tactical speeds the moment they come within certain range of a large body like a planet? Effectively, wouldn’t that make them just as useful or useless as a skyship non withholding the ability to get cargo from other worlds.?



Good point Seethyr, and even if that's NOT how the rules worked under the 2e spelljamming rules as written 30 years ago, the point is, we can rewrite them. We can learn from the past if we come forward with the problems and the solutions. The altitude difference issue does become a big difference between skyships and spelljammers though (i.e. skyships can't make it over some mountains).

That being said, maybe the idea of spelljamming ships only being able to handle atmosphere to a point makes things better, and then you have to "shift gears" to an "atmospheric system" if you don't dock at some kind of floating dock or mountainside dock or somesuch (are there any other kind of docks that come to mind?)?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 23 Sep 2020 :  04:20:29  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

I think that one of the most important things to consider is that helms are cost prohibitive. Each one is essentially an artifact or at least a legendary item. With that being said not everyone has one to cruise with and three in the garage. Spelljamming needs to stay rare no matter what else gets spoken of in the lore.



While that is true, even a single spelljammer can have a huge impact -- imagine being able to bring Shou spices into Waterdeep twice a week, or making several trips to airlift a small army into some unexpected locale.



Don’t spelljammers automatically fall into tactical speeds the moment they come within certain range of a large body like a planet? Effectively, wouldn’t that make them just as useful or useless as a skyship non withholding the ability to get cargo from other worlds.?



Not at all. Tactical speed is still faster than sailing, and they can go higher than Halruaan skyships -- so the obstacles that block Halruaan ships, like the mountains around Halruaa, are not a factor.

But it's a moot point, anyway -- spelljammers are spacecraft. They don't need to stay in the atmosphere and stay at tactical speeds. They can make suborbital flights very easily, and literally go any place in the world in a matter of hours.

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bloodtide_the_red
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Posted - 23 Sep 2020 :  05:31:18  Show Profile  Visit bloodtide_the_red's Homepage Send bloodtide_the_red a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm sure "locked" crystal spheres are cannon, as they are mentioned a few times. Just like there are dead flow areas.

Is there any reason you need Spelljamming to be "suddenly" back? If your doing a 5E game and your trying to attach that game to the Classic Realms before 4E, then it does not need to make sense right? After all if you are doing the history of the Realms from a 5E stand point.....you will have a crazy 4E chapter that says "all sorts of crazy, childish, video gamey, changes full of FR hate happened: lands moved or were gone, gods were gone, dogs and cats lived together". Then you'd have a 5E chapter that said "Er, well sort of everything came mostly back like it was before 4E like a cool video game reset button". So....the history will never make sense.

But really, why not just say Spelljammers have been there all along?
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Demzer
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Posted - 23 Sep 2020 :  09:30:25  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not an expert but wasn't there a problem with Toril (well, at least Faerun) having a s***ton of dragons still around? And a lot of factions willing to butcher the entire crew of spelljamming vessels to get one (think it was in Finder's Bane)?

Unless you come down with some kind of "overwhelming force", the groundlings of Toril will stomp you and make your life miserable and in return spelljammers will shut down most efforts to produce spelljammers on the planet by hunting down anything flying up from there.

That's my layman understanding regarding Faerun. Kara-Tur is clearly another matter and so might be the other continents.
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Ayrik
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Posted - 23 Sep 2020 :  10:57:22  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bloodtide_the_red

I'm sure "locked" crystal spheres are cannon, as they are mentioned a few times. Just like there are dead flow areas.
Ignoring the dubious status of Athas suggested above, what other "locked" spheres are mentioned?

I recall a shattered sphere (or two).
I recall a few spheres which were apparently dissolving or dissipating into the Phlogiston.
I recall some spheres which were inaccessible because their belligerent spacefaring inhabitants actively ejected trespassers.

But I don't recall any "locked" spheres which would deny entry (or escape) with standard Spelljammer magics. I also don't recall much variation in Spelljammer magics - they have a spell which opens a portal through a sphere's surface, they don't any sophistications designed to install, secure, or circumvent restricted access. In short, they all have a sort of "knock" spell but they don't have any wards or locks or lockpicks whatsoever ... why not?

There's plenty of reasons to lock a sphere - plenty of spacefaring predators/hostiles like illithids and neogi and elven armadas and giant hamsters which a sphere's creator/owner might want to keep away. So if spheres can be locked then why aren't any clear examples of locked spheres provided?

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 23 Sep 2020 11:04:32
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sleyvas
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Posted - 23 Sep 2020 :  12:58:23  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bloodtide_the_red

I'm sure "locked" crystal spheres are cannon, as they are mentioned a few times. Just like there are dead flow areas.

Is there any reason you need Spelljamming to be "suddenly" back? If your doing a 5E game and your trying to attach that game to the Classic Realms before 4E, then it does not need to make sense right? After all if you are doing the history of the Realms from a 5E stand point.....you will have a crazy 4E chapter that says "all sorts of crazy, childish, video gamey, changes full of FR hate happened: lands moved or were gone, gods were gone, dogs and cats lived together". Then you'd have a 5E chapter that said "Er, well sort of everything came mostly back like it was before 4E like a cool video game reset button". So....the history will never make sense.

But really, why not just say Spelljammers have been there all along?



Because of the exact reasons that folk have pointed out over the years. If spelljammers were available, they'd dominate trade. People would be buying them left and right from the arcane. The point about "suddenly" would be to have a small group of them somehow "suddenly" become available again, but no resource be available to quickly make new ones. The people that have them will want to use them, but at the same time, they'll be careful about it. After all, if they're using them to transport goods on a daily basis, what's the likelihood that someone decides to steal this precious thing? In that event, do the gains beat out the other uses.

It should also be that they're not all in a single group's hands, but rather multiple groups. If the party gets ahold of one how do we make it not game breaking, but still allow them to go offworld and explore.

Don't get me wrong... I'm starting this thread because I know people are interested in this... but at the same time, I'm not sure exactly how it should get implemented myself in order to solve the problems... and honestly, I don't think anyone else here or at WotC knows that either (call me an ass for saying that, but I think its true)... but I think if we actually put our heads together, we COULD come up with some ground rules that might fix a lot of old issues. I've made some stabs in the original post that I think go some way towards doing it, but I know it needs work and not just complaining.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
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Posted - 23 Sep 2020 :  13:15:39  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

quote:
Originally posted by bloodtide_the_red

I'm sure "locked" crystal spheres are cannon, as they are mentioned a few times. Just like there are dead flow areas.
Ignoring the dubious status of Athas suggested above, what other "locked" spheres are mentioned?

I recall a shattered sphere (or two).
I recall a few spheres which were apparently dissolving or dissipating into the Phlogiston.
I recall some spheres which were inaccessible because their belligerent spacefaring inhabitants actively ejected trespassers.

But I don't recall any "locked" spheres which would deny entry (or escape) with standard Spelljammer magics. I also don't recall much variation in Spelljammer magics - they have a spell which opens a portal through a sphere's surface, they don't any sophistications designed to install, secure, or circumvent restricted access. In short, they all have a sort of "knock" spell but they don't have any wards or locks or lockpicks whatsoever ... why not?

There's plenty of reasons to lock a sphere - plenty of spacefaring predators/hostiles like illithids and neogi and elven armadas and giant hamsters which a sphere's creator/owner might want to keep away. So if spheres can be locked then why aren't any clear examples of locked spheres provided?



For that matter, there's the concept of a "godwall" getting thrown up to prevent gods getting to a world. There's also a concept of a "primordial" barrier of some sort separating gods and primordials between Toril and Abeir (granted that one's got issues, but you get where I'm driving). We also have planes that are all inviting (to the point of "copying" portions of other planes to themselves) but they block leaving (i.e. Ravenloft). So, just because the people in the 2e era didn't write up something explicitly, it doesn't mean it didn't exist or can't exist.... and we even have some kind of example of one in the case of Dark Sun. The question becomes more, if we did lock the sphere of realmspace, could the place "survive" a limited ability to begin wildspace travel and open some interworld travel more in canon. To note, because I know some people are literalists sometimes, by "survive" I don't mean everyone's going to die.... I mean the setting will change so much so rapidly that it no longer resembles the old setting.

Also, would we really NEED to lock it (because I'm not entirely sure we would need to, but that's damn sure one way to make it harder for arcane coming in and selling new helms)? Note, I won't say it PREVENTS arcane coming in to sell helms, because they could bring them in via the astral.... but its kind of like locking your car door at the mall... a criminal will move onto the next car if its easier to get into and they have limited time.

Does locking it make spelljamming no longer fun for folks? I mean, I think it could be fun to explore realmspace alone, and if you WANT to travel instead to Greyhawk, maybe you get some other type of magical item that you attach to the ship for planar travel to bypass "this weird "temporary, hopefully it goes away in 20 years" issue".

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 23 Sep 2020 13:17:41
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Ayrik
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Posted - 23 Sep 2020 :  14:53:34  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Locked spheres can indeed be "no longer fun" for spelljamming folks. They often plan their provisions (and air) to last just long enough for the voyage. Unplanned extensions of the voyage can be extremely unpleasant or even fatal.

I agree that not describing a thing's existence doesn't necessarily exclude the possibility of it existing. Especially since ancient edition lore has changed several times over subsequent decades. And we are told that the "Spellplague" has imposed dramatic changes across the entire D&D cosmos.

I'm just saying that such lockouts could have been tremendously useful in 2E settings. Yet they also seemed entirely absent.

Ravenloft actively controls who can enter and who can leave because the plane itself seems to be (malignly) aware and intelligent.

I've never heard of a quasi-sentient crystal sphere. But in all fairness, I have heard of a quasi-sentient eponymous spelljammer ship. And we do know that crystal spheres are constructs, like any other magical item or artifact, albeit they're superscalar projects of gods or overgods.

I haven't seen any evidence of Realmspace being "locked". I'm not convinced that sudden lack (and sudden reappearance) of spelljamming traffic would necessarily indicate such a lock.

[/Ayrik]
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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 23 Sep 2020 :  15:17:08  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One thing that no one has mentioned and should have been a reality from when Spelljamming was first introduced to the Realms: a reasonably accurate map of the entire world. Imagine how valuable that would be to know where all the continents are with their mountains, rivers, and large settlements shown. Imagine what would have happened during our Age of Exploration if the location of China was known and what route you would need to get there.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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sleyvas
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Posted - 23 Sep 2020 :  16:50:53  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Locked spheres can indeed be "no longer fun" for spelljamming folks. They often plan their provisions (and air) to last just long enough for the voyage. Unplanned extensions of the voyage can be extremely unpleasant or even fatal.

I agree that not describing a thing's existence doesn't necessarily exclude the possibility of it existing. Especially since ancient edition lore has changed several times over subsequent decades. And we are told that the "Spellplague" has imposed dramatic changes across the entire D&D cosmos.

I'm just saying that such lockouts could have been tremendously useful in 2E settings. Yet they also seemed entirely absent.

Ravenloft actively controls who can enter and who can leave because the plane itself seems to be (malignly) aware and intelligent.

I've never heard of a quasi-sentient crystal sphere. But in all fairness, I have heard of a quasi-sentient eponymous spelljammer ship. And we do know that crystal spheres are constructs, like any other magical item or artifact, albeit they're superscalar projects of gods or overgods.

I haven't seen any evidence of Realmspace being "locked". I'm not convinced that sudden lack (and sudden reappearance) of spelljamming traffic would necessarily indicate such a lock.



Ok, then there's always more than one way to skin a cat, and perhaps a look at why I was thinking about doing that. Like I said, the main reason I was thinking to "lock" the sphere is to kind of help limit the influx of helms coming into the sphere via "salesmen". Obviously, there's no way for people to prevent reselling helms, but generally people won't have huge amounts of them that they can pull from. I also don't see the arcane being so desperate to sell them in realmspace that they start letting other folks act as their intermediaries (they've got a tight stranglehold as is, so why risk a good thing).

So, what if instead something were done to prevent the arcane coming to realmspace? Maybe as a result of the spellplague, the psychic link of the arcane that spans spheres just goes nuts when they enter the sphere and the individual goes insane? Maybe its enough of a threat that it almost expands back to the other arcane? As a result, maybe the arcane are afraid to come here? Does that work? Do we think that having the arcane afraid to come here would be enough to at least slow the expansion of use of spelljammers? Are there any other problems that crop of as a result of leaving the sphere open?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 23 Sep 2020 :  16:55:33  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

One thing that no one has mentioned and should have been a reality from when Spelljamming was first introduced to the Realms: a reasonably accurate map of the entire world. Imagine how valuable that would be to know where all the continents are with their mountains, rivers, and large settlements shown. Imagine what would have happened during our Age of Exploration if the location of China was known and what route you would need to get there.



I've mentioned that in other recent discussions. It absolutely does not make sense to have entirely unknown continents in a setting where spelljamming is known.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 23 Sep 2020 :  17:03:19  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

One thing that no one has mentioned and should have been a reality from when Spelljamming was first introduced to the Realms: a reasonably accurate map of the entire world. Imagine how valuable that would be to know where all the continents are with their mountains, rivers, and large settlements shown. Imagine what would have happened during our Age of Exploration if the location of China was known and what route you would need to get there.



Yeah, I've very much said that in the past, and I think its stupid that we don't have a map from AT LEAST the time that the Netherese were flying (though they may have had them and it was lost in the crashes).

That being said, one thing that I've been working on is a map of Anchorome, Maztica, Lopango, and Katashaka (Katashaka my ideas, the other 3 Seethyr's ideas with some additions by me here and there, like some stuff in Lopango and northeastern adusgee forest). I have it filled out in Campaign Cartographer 3. If I could easily get the damn program to make a PNG file that didn't look like cr@p without having to make a bajillion snips and put them together, it would already be up on dms guild as a pay what you want. Which reminds me, I may go look into that today. I know it wouldn't be canon, but let's face it.... WotC isn't going to develop any of this for us I don't think. We can sit around and debate who was the leader over X group way back when, or we can maybe have some fun and try our own hands at filling out the world together as a shared group (and those that want to just complain, I can ignore... and when I'm in a mood and just complaining they can tell me I'm stupid and to shut up... btw, that's not aimed at you.. unless you want to tell me I'm stupid and to shut up, in which "have at me").

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 23 Sep 2020 17:20:49
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bloodtide_the_red
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Posted - 23 Sep 2020 :  17:24:15  Show Profile  Visit bloodtide_the_red's Homepage Send bloodtide_the_red a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I can point out that with both magic and powerful beings it could very well be possible that there are "unknown" continents. First you have 'unknown' natural magical effects like illusions, including invisibility and enchantment effects like erasing memories(like the Gap from the Xanth novels) or even transmutation like 'endless cloud cover'. But you also have powerful beings, gods and wizards and god wizards and more. So a being or group of beings could have hid a land under an illusion or never ending cloud cover. And finally you could have a group(s) that are anti-map for some reason. Now yes, you can not open a Realms book and point to page 33 and dance around all happy and say "the almighty book says".....but still any of the above are possible.
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