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see
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Posted - 07 Apr 2021 :  22:47:15  Show Profile Send see a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I was just poking around with ideas, and I noticed something. If you take the canon 5e spelljammer helm (from Dungeon of the Mad Mage, and turn down its attributes to one-tenth, you avoid a huge share of the setting-disrupting issues.

Specifically, if the maximum size of the ship is ten tons, and the speed is 1-9 MPH, it's not much bigger a deal than the in-DMG airships.

Apply the same time factor to the 2e numbers for travel between planets and spheres (now 10 million miles a day in wildspace, 100-1,000 days between spheres), and traveling in the inner system is still practical, while travel to (say) Greyspace is a major deal.

Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 07 Apr 2021 :  23:20:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think that turns it down way too much. It makes travel between spheres pretty much impossible, because you'd run out of fresh air long before you got anywhere, and with such a small ship, there's no point in taking a ship, anyway -- magical jaunts of some sort would be better.

But even with that, you still would have in-setting disruptions -- mapping and aerial reconnaissance are now easy, and even with the slower speeds, a suborbital hop is still an option, making it possible to load up on Shou silk on Monday and start selling it in Waterdeep on Tuesday. Even if you take space out of the equation altogether, a flying ship can travel in a straight line and ignore most terrain, which is a huge advantage over land travel.

Spelljammer was my first love of D&D settings; it's where my username comes from. But there's really no way to integrate it without a huge impact to the setting, unless you can keep spelljamming craft off of the campaign worlds (but not other worlds) altogether.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 08 Apr 2021 :  00:58:29  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you're interested in this type of stuff, you might want to look at the version of rules I came up with for my quad recently

https://www.dmsguild.com/product/352561/United-Tharchs-of-Toril--Secret-Cities--Strange-Skyships-of-Anchorome

Its pay what you want, so you can either get it for free and see if you like it, and come back later if you did a drop a few coins, or not. I was more concerned with sharing the ideas than I was making money. I was basically making it so that it took weeks to leave orbit, but once you leave orbit and have no gravity issues your ship can start zooming.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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see
Learned Scribe

229 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2021 :  04:12:27  Show Profile Send see a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I think that turns it down way too much. It makes travel between spheres pretty much impossible, because you'd run out of fresh air long before you got anywhere, and with such a small ship, there's no point in taking a ship, anyway -- magical jaunts of some sort would be better.


The description of the helm in Dungeon of the Mad Mage includes that the helm generates both the gravity and "an envelope of fresh air", instead of gravity being automatic for all objects and the air envelope being dragged along by the gravity. So air issues are zeroed out by default, and would have to be deliberately re-added.

As far as ship size making it pointless, 500 cubic yards of cargo (the capacity of a Dragonfly) is a lot more than any spells let you bring along.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

But even with that, you still would have in-setting disruptions -- mapping and aerial reconnaissance are now easy . . . a flying ship can travel in a straight line and ignore most terrain, which is a huge advantage over land travel.


But not particularly more so than with 5e DMG airships, or with non-helm magics (items or spells) that allow flight. The one-tenth-speed even makes it possible for flying creatures to keep up (the speed of an ancient red dragon in overland flight in 5e is 8 mph, which is half the speed of a standard helm with a 1st-level helmsman).

The major issue left is, yes, the hop where you fly into space to use the interplanetary speed to come back to another location on the planet.
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Posted - 08 Apr 2021 :  05:01:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by see

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I think that turns it down way too much. It makes travel between spheres pretty much impossible, because you'd run out of fresh air long before you got anywhere, and with such a small ship, there's no point in taking a ship, anyway -- magical jaunts of some sort would be better.


The description of the helm in Dungeon of the Mad Mage includes that the helm generates both the gravity and "an envelope of fresh air", instead of gravity being automatic for all objects and the air envelope being dragged along by the gravity. So air issues are zeroed out by default, and would have to be deliberately re-added.

As far as ship size making it pointless, 500 cubic yards of cargo (the capacity of a Dragonfly) is a lot more than any spells let you bring along.


Hmm, didn't realize 5E changed that. You're still talking about as much as 3 years on a one-way trip, though, which is an unlikely prospect when other forms of magical travel can reduce that timeframe to hours or days.

And I don't see how a 10 ton ship that's 20x100 feet can carry that much cargo.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 08 Apr 2021 :  12:48:41  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A big part of the secret to fixing it is to make the ascent take longer, but once you are out of atmosphere (i.e. in a space with little to no friction) your speeds can jump dramatically. The problem as I see it is that the designers were admittedly "starstruck" by the concepts of the space shuttle and other rockets, and they mirrored that into their design WITHOUT mirroring in the other factors (i.e. COST... fuel, replacement gas tanks, booster rockets, etc...). If it takes you a long damn time to break out of atmosphere and you are moving at speeds achievable by say a dragon, griffin, etc... on the way up, it opens up a lot of possibilities to make space trading dangerous. It does kind of remove the concept of people catching people "out in wildspace", but its not impossible.... bearing in mind that planets are always moving, so flight paths will always be varying. However, camping NEAR a world that you know people go to would enable pirates to sit there and wait for targets to show up, occasionally dip down for food and/or grub, and even sell off the fruits of their piracy.

Also, look at the rules for flying ships in 5e (DMG page 119). They may fly fast (again, something like 8 MPH or so), but their cargo capacity is crap (one ton) compared to a sailing ship (speed of 2 MPH, but cargo capacity of 100 tons).

I agree that the ship shown in "dungeon of the mad mage" is a bad design, but its not necessarily "the default helm" either. I think they were going with the standard 5e mantra of "make it simple", which oftentimes means "make it broken". The aforementioned rules for 5e airships works in atmosphere for speeds and what not, the ship in DotMM needs to slow the fudge down. It just needs to have rulesets in there explaining that "when in wildspace it goes MUCH quicker". That being said, there's also no rules in 5e for how far apart planets are, etc... and these are ALL things that need development for a realistic spelljamming endeavour. I may have written a very LONG entry for my quad spelljammer, but in the writing of it, it made me think about what I knew of spelljamming and how it could be reigned in a little bit. I won't say its "perfect", but I think its going down the right path, and it could use someone else with a critical eye to find my own weak spots.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 08 Apr 2021 :  16:31:29  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As much as I love Spelljammer, one of its biggest failings was that it ignored the potential impact of spelljamming on the campaign worlds. I know it was a central premise of Spelljammer, connecting most of the settings together, but acting like having flying ships wouldn't change anything really damaged the verisimilitude of Spelljammer. (The fact that people couldn't get over 'Spelljammer is not our version of outer space!' didn't help, either)

I think Spelljammer would have worked much better as a standalone thing -- it's own sphere, with travel limited just to the many worlds of that sphere (Firefly!).

Or take out the space aspect, and have ships slipping into the Flow directly and coming out near but not necessarily right where they want to be (kinda like hyperspace in Star Wars, but with navigation being less certain). The latter would have had less impact on the campaign worlds, especially if you limited the time in the air and introduced other complications for short hops -- like having greater deviation over distances less than 100,000 miles (a bit less than half the distance from Earth to the moon).

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PattPlays
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Posted - 09 Apr 2021 :  03:07:38  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I say, give parties Junkers or Mobile Spheres (Like a certain Dao uses in Tales from the Infinite Staircase AD&D2e) to explore with. Have autopilots to cross large distances during short and long rests.
Treat the massive spelljammers as Dungeons to engage with. Don't freak out about a party taking control over a full Spelljammer because if the party could take control of a Dungeon of equal merit, they deserve the power and annoyances that claiming and using one gifts unto the captor.

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see
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Posted - 09 Apr 2021 :  04:12:20  Show Profile Send see a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay, so one other thing about the Dungeon of the Mad Mage helm is that it does not include rules for non-tactical helm speeds. With that in mind, for the thing I'm working on, I think I'm going to go with:

1) Most true helms in Realmsapce were destroyed in the Wailing Years.

2) Realmspace's place in the phlogiston changed thanks to the Spellplague, so it's no longer in contact with spheres that have lots of true helms.

3) The arcane/mercane haven't come back to sell true helms in Realmspace.

4) Various people have figured out how to make "tithe helms", which have the one-tenth speed, one-tenth size restrictions. While certainly outclassed by surviving true helms, they're useful enough to be the backbone of current space travel.

5) Helms cannot achieve the high straight-line speeds of 2e Spelljammer in arbitrary directions. Instead, they can follow "gravity lines" to a celestial body. To do so they have to be out of the atmosphere (implicitly the thermopause and defined at 500 miles for Toril) and flying directly at a body at least a half-mile in diameter in line-of-sight. When they do so, then they travel at 100 million miles an hour (no reduction for tithe helms).
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Posted - 09 Apr 2021 :  05:23:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wouldn't it be easier to pretend it doesn't exist, like WotC did during 3E and 4E?

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sleyvas
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Posted - 09 Apr 2021 :  12:38:01  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by see

Okay, so one other thing about the Dungeon of the Mad Mage helm is that it does not include rules for non-tactical helm speeds. With that in mind, for the thing I'm working on, I think I'm going to go with:

1) Most true helms in Realmsapce were destroyed in the Wailing Years.

2) Realmspace's place in the phlogiston changed thanks to the Spellplague, so it's no longer in contact with spheres that have lots of true helms.

3) The arcane/mercane haven't come back to sell true helms in Realmspace.

4) Various people have figured out how to make "tithe helms", which have the one-tenth speed, one-tenth size restrictions. While certainly outclassed by surviving true helms, they're useful enough to be the backbone of current space travel.

5) Helms cannot achieve the high straight-line speeds of 2e Spelljammer in arbitrary directions. Instead, they can follow "gravity lines" to a celestial body. To do so they have to be out of the atmosphere (implicitly the thermopause and defined at 500 miles for Toril) and flying directly at a body at least a half-mile in diameter in line-of-sight. When they do so, then they travel at 100 million miles an hour (no reduction for tithe helms).




One thing that might be worth perusing is the concept that they may be able to develop high speed travel between planets while in wildspace. HOWEVER, maybe they are doing it a different way, and MAYBE that way confines their craft to travel within the sphere and they either have to be towed, ferried, or revert to another motive force in the phlogiston. What do I mean by that? Well, the traditional "quad of Thay" used a special means of travel that meant they periodically used the border ethereal to enhance their travel, enabling them to travel at extremely high speeds, but wouldn't work in the phlogiston. That would be one method. However, in my version of the quad, I took into account that fire and the phlogiston doesn't mix, as well as Thayan LOVE of fire, so I also changed the motive force of quadjammers to something that also mirrors their look.

Look at this picture of a quadjammer in flight
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4728884

So, in theory they might develop ships that can't leave the sphere without aid, but can still get between planets relatively fast. For the majority of games, I think they'd be fine with that (I myself could have fun with a realmspace restricted game). Meanwhile, beings like the arcane who have developed ships that work in the phlogiston could make money as a towing/ferry service between spheres.

Some people might develop spells to create a tunnel extending thing crystal sphere of one place to another crystal sphere that's very close to allow travel between spheres or somesuch (essentially creating something akin to a portal, but one that's non-instantaneous travel and requires you going to the edge of your crystal sphere... so maybe this might even be a low level spell since its a lot less powerful than a portal is). Or maybe instead of a tunnel between spheres, it "grows" a temporary shell around your ship out to say half a mile of a bit of the crystal sphere that "slowly" cracks off and flows back to that sphere that lasts X number of days (and you thus have to worry about people damaging said shell, but you can propel the shell somehow such as using energy to push it forward.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 09 Apr 2021 12:44:51
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AuldDragon
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Posted - 09 Apr 2021 :  20:50:27  Show Profile  Visit AuldDragon's Homepage Send AuldDragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Honestly, if players are just using a Spelljammer vessel to hop around Toril rather than *actually explore space* it's like have an extremely sturdy offroad vehicle and just driving three miles to and from work every day and nothing else. You're not using it, from the gameplay perspective, for its intended purpose. At that point, why give it to the players?

DMs need to control player access to stuff that they feel could disrupt gameplay. If I started out playing an FR campaign and had no intention of turning it into a sphere-hopping Spelljammer campaign, then the PCs would never get access to a Spelljammer helm or vessel. Then you never have to worry about whether the SJ vessels "break" a setting any more than you need to worry about the economics of the Moonsea, of Calimshan, etc.

Jeff

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sleyvas
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Posted - 10 Apr 2021 :  14:53:00  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AuldDragon

Honestly, if players are just using a Spelljammer vessel to hop around Toril rather than *actually explore space* it's like have an extremely sturdy offroad vehicle and just driving three miles to and from work every day and nothing else. You're not using it, from the gameplay perspective, for its intended purpose. At that point, why give it to the players?

DMs need to control player access to stuff that they feel could disrupt gameplay. If I started out playing an FR campaign and had no intention of turning it into a sphere-hopping Spelljammer campaign, then the PCs would never get access to a Spelljammer helm or vessel. Then you never have to worry about whether the SJ vessels "break" a setting any more than you need to worry about the economics of the Moonsea, of Calimshan, etc.

Jeff



I kind of both agree and disagree. That being said, its not all about the players. If Kara-tur has fleets of them and it would immensely benefit their in world trade, we'd see the effect on the world if you don't put some controls in place. Granted, they'd be pulling some tricks to hide their nature. Not just the landing offshore and coming in as any other ship thing either. They might land at some other spot (say a small island) and transfer their cargo to several smaller vessels. Even if it slows things by a day, it would protect their spelljamming vessels immensely. They could also put in at multiple spots to sell their stuff at once rather than flood one market. Now granted.... this might be HOW its already happening and Kara-tur is getting rich beyond anyone's dreams and Faerun's none the wiser.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 10 Apr 2021 :  17:18:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AuldDragon

Honestly, if players are just using a Spelljammer vessel to hop around Toril rather than *actually explore space* it's like have an extremely sturdy offroad vehicle and just driving three miles to and from work every day and nothing else. You're not using it, from the gameplay perspective, for its intended purpose. At that point, why give it to the players?



As sleyvas points out, it's not all about the players.

And it's not just on a national level like his example -- it's canon that merchants are always looking for ways to increase their income. Sure, using a spelljamming vessel just for transporting goods across a continent isn't using it for its intended purpose -- but it would still be a huge advantage for a merchant. They wouldn't even have to cross the continent -- sail out from Suzail in the morning, take off as soon as you're out of sight of land, splash down a few hours outside of Waterdeep and sail into harbor. In less than 24 hours, you've transported tons of goods hundreds of miles. Aside from the cost of the ship and its helm, you have to pay for wages and food and such for a day, and that's it. You're not paying tendays' worth of these things, you're not paying for the fodder for the horses, you're not paying for the guards, and whatever your goods, they're arriving fresh.

Even the huge price of a ship and helm can be covered in a year or two, if you make a couple trips a tenday. And once it's paid for, the rest is pure profit.

This also assume you're paying for the ship. If you acquire it via other means, that cost is negated.

quote:
Originally posted by AuldDragon

DMs need to control player access to stuff that they feel could disrupt gameplay. If I started out playing an FR campaign and had no intention of turning it into a sphere-hopping Spelljammer campaign, then the PCs would never get access to a Spelljammer helm or vessel. Then you never have to worry about whether the SJ vessels "break" a setting any more than you need to worry about the economics of the Moonsea, of Calimshan, etc.

Jeff



On this, I fully agree. I myself would not include spelljamming in a campaign unless the players had a compelling reason to take the ship offworld and not come back for a while. I'd not remove spelljamming from existence or anything -- there might even be references to it, here and there. I just wouldn't do anything to expand on those references. And I certainly wouldn't nerf it to remove all potential save for breaking things.

As for the compelling reason, it would have to be something that couldn't be accomplished on Toril. Maybe the BBEG gets away by hopping in a spelljammer. Maybe someone or something the players absolutely need is located offworld... Whatever gets them offworld doesn't even have to be a long-term thing; you just need to get them into space where you can dangle other hooks in front of them.

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AuldDragon
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Posted - 11 Apr 2021 :  01:39:20  Show Profile  Visit AuldDragon's Homepage Send AuldDragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

As sleyvas points out, it's not all about the players.

And it's not just on a national level like his example -- it's canon that merchants are always looking for ways to increase their income. Sure, using a spelljamming vessel just for transporting goods across a continent isn't using it for its intended purpose -- but it would still be a huge advantage for a merchant. They wouldn't even have to cross the continent -- sail out from Suzail in the morning, take off as soon as you're out of sight of land, splash down a few hours outside of Waterdeep and sail into harbor. In less than 24 hours, you've transported tons of goods hundreds of miles. Aside from the cost of the ship and its helm, you have to pay for wages and food and such for a day, and that's it. You're not paying tendays' worth of these things, you're not paying for the fodder for the horses, you're not paying for the guards, and whatever your goods, they're arriving fresh.

Even the huge price of a ship and helm can be covered in a year or two, if you make a couple trips a tenday. And once it's paid for, the rest is pure profit.

This also assume you're paying for the ship. If you acquire it via other means, that cost is negated.


Setting up permanent teleporters would be cheaper (40,000 gp base in 2e) than buying any form of Spelljammer helm and ship (100,000 gp base in 2e), even with extra costs beyond that. Teleporters would be safer en route (no piracy, no dragon/monster attacks, no weather), is instantaneous, and lower maintenance. The only advantage Spelljamming has is flexibility. And if the cost encourages merchants to attack others with Spelljamming helms so much that no one buys them, then they're even more dangerous to own.

However, with the exception of Aurora, no merchants set up permanent teleporters. Aurora's network isn't constantly attacked, and isn't said to have dramatically harmed the economy. The reasons for this aren't addressed in the material and it isn't brought up as a problem every time people talk about magic. It's all just handwaved.

However, if someone asks why teleporters aren't common, it's easy to come up with off-the-cuff answers: Maybe they require maintenance. Maybe long-distance teleporters can be diverted. Maybe owning them requires too large of an expenditure to fortify the end-points. Maybe local authorities ban them on pain of confiscation of all goods and property to prevent invasion. None of these are detailed in the rules, but all are *plausible.*

We can do the same with Spelljamming. Maybe the frequent flights would attract space monsters (radiant dragons, krajen, nay-churr, etc.) int orbit. Maybe there is a weather phenomenon that makes frequent hops impractical. Maybe dragons and other flying creatures present too much of a danger. Maybe the risk from other merchants, pirates, or military forces is too great and too expensive. You don't need to detail any or all of these, they just need to be plausible.

Ultimately, the material presents both of these as not a problem. Ergo, the solution isn't to say they didn't think of the problem and then try to "fix" it, but instead come up with the reasons they aren't a problem that fits the campaign and the world.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

On this, I fully agree. I myself would not include spelljamming in a campaign unless the players had a compelling reason to take the ship offworld and not come back for a while. I'd not remove spelljamming from existence or anything -- there might even be references to it, here and there. I just wouldn't do anything to expand on those references. And I certainly wouldn't nerf it to remove all potential save for breaking things.


Right, I didn't mean pretend Spelljamming doesn't exist. Just treat it like anything else in the campaign world that doesn't touch on what the players are doing. Adventuring around Calimshan? Well, the Zhentarim and the Cult of the Dragon exist, and are doing things, but you don't need to detail any of it if the players will never encounter that stuff. But if an adventure you're running includes a Spelljamming vessel, and you don't have the desire to go off-world for an extended period, and you don't want them to use it essentially as heavily armed and powerful flying carpet, find some way for them to not keep it, or swap it out for something less powerful like an actual flying carpet or whatever.

But just like you don't need to worry about the price of goods shipped from Calimshan to Waterdeep, how much they cost, and what the profit margins are on those goods, you don't have to worry about Spelljamming disrupting the background fabric of the setting. If you don't want it to, then it just *doesn't.*

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

I kind of both agree and disagree. That being said, its not all about the players. If Kara-tur has fleets of them and it would immensely benefit their in world trade, we'd see the effect on the world if you don't put some controls in place. Granted, they'd be pulling some tricks to hide their nature. Not just the landing offshore and coming in as any other ship thing either. They might land at some other spot (say a small island) and transfer their cargo to several smaller vessels. Even if it slows things by a day, it would protect their spelljamming vessels immensely. They could also put in at multiple spots to sell their stuff at once rather than flood one market. Now granted.... this might be HOW its already happening and Kara-tur is getting rich beyond anyone's dreams and Faerun's none the wiser.



This is, IMO, a decent start of some hand-waving. Maybe Kara-tur does this, and maybe it is one of the reasons they're wealthy! But there's no need to detail how it all works unless you are running a campaign where that matters, at which point you can describe it working however you want or need. Maybe they're funneling this money into exploration of the known spheres (the Emperor is canonically looking for something beyond Toril to gain immortality). There's also canonical attrition from this exploration as ship captains go rogue or get attcked by pirates. All we need to do is come up with quick plausible explanations for why Spelljammer doesn't breaak things, because canonically it doesn't, just as is the case with priestly magic, wizardly magic, psionics, magic items, etc.

Jeff

My 2nd Edition blog: http://blog.aulddragon.com/
My streamed AD&D Spelljamer sessions: https://www.youtube.com/user/aulddragon/playlists?flow=grid&shelf_id=18&view=50
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Apr 2021 :  03:35:17  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AuldDragon

All we need to do is come up with quick plausible explanations for why Spelljammer doesn't breaak things, because canonically it doesn't, just as is the case with priestly magic, wizardly magic, psionics, magic items, etc.

Jeff



Well, part of the reason why it doesn't canonically break things is that it was bolted on to canon after the fact and then mostly ignored by all involved. The references to spelljamming in Realmslore are few, and aside from three supplements of questionable quality, Spelljammer didn't worry about the other campaign settings. I'm not familiar enough with Greyhawk to say how well Greyspace matched Greyhawk canon, but I know Krynnspace had some bad ideas, some really bad ideas, and direct contradictions of Dragonlance canon, and Realmspace lore concerning Toril and Selūne is questionable at best and should be, in my personal opinion, flat-out ignored from a Realmslore standpoint.

Spelljammer, as a setting, pretty much went off and did its own thing, with only token nods to the published settings it was meant to connect. And those three published settings did pretty much the same thing: a nod here and there and then ignoring it while staying focused on their own thing.

Since it was never really integrated in Realms canon, I don't think we can say that spelljamming wouldn't break it.

Also, we can't really think of plausible ways for it to not break it without changing what spelljamming is -- because if there were issues preventing such things, they'd have already been mentioned in either the brief bits of setting material that referenced spelljamming or in the Spelljammer material itself.

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AuldDragon
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Posted - 11 Apr 2021 :  06:12:54  Show Profile  Visit AuldDragon's Homepage Send AuldDragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Well, part of the reason why it doesn't canonically break things is that it was bolted on to canon after the fact and then mostly ignored by all involved. The references to spelljamming in Realmslore are few, and aside from three supplements of questionable quality, Spelljammer didn't worry about the other campaign settings. I'm not familiar enough with Greyhawk to say how well Greyspace matched Greyhawk canon, but I know Krynnspace had some bad ideas, some really bad ideas, and direct contradictions of Dragonlance canon, and Realmspace lore concerning Toril and Selūne is questionable at best and should be, in my personal opinion, flat-out ignored from a Realmslore standpoint.


While I agree Spelljammer was mostly ignored after 2e, it was still fully canon in 2e. And no where did any product give any indication that Spelljammer "broke" the setting. Thus, it did not, just as magic does not "break" the setting as I described. The question is then to describe how it does not, which I listed just a handful of off-the-cuff ways to do that.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Spelljammer, as a setting, pretty much went off and did its own thing, with only token nods to the published settings it was meant to connect. And those three published settings did pretty much the same thing: a nod here and there and then ignoring it while staying focused on their own thing.

Since it was never really integrated in Realms canon, I don't think we can say that spelljamming wouldn't break it.


Whether or not the supplements are good, or feel well connected is completely different from "breaking" the settings. Every argument about Spelljammer "breaking" settings are premised on what you can do with a fast flying ship, and nothing to do with the specifics of a setting, so that's all immaterial.

Whether the products are well written or feel like their connected settings is a completely separate issue.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Also, we can't really think of plausible ways for it to not break it without changing what spelljamming is -- because if there were issues preventing such things, they'd have already been mentioned in either the brief bits of setting material that referenced spelljamming or in the Spelljammer material itself.



Weather is discussed. Monsters are discussed. Piracy is discussed. Plenty of other things are discussed. The rarity of helms is discussed. All of those things can plausibly make the "breaking" complaints about Spelljammer moot, unless someone *wants* Spelljammer to break a setting.

The actual effects of magic and psionics on the settings (economic, political, military, etc.) aren't actually detailed, even though their effects would be far more significant than portrayed. But we don't *want* them to "break" settings, so we handwave the specifics away. We can do that with Spelljammer, and hold it to the same not-at-all-rigorous standard as everything else. If we want to. And it need not change the setting or the rules one iota.

Jeff

My 2nd Edition blog: http://blog.aulddragon.com/
My streamed AD&D Spelljamer sessions: https://www.youtube.com/user/aulddragon/playlists?flow=grid&shelf_id=18&view=50
"That sums it up in a nutshell, AuldDragon. You make a more convincing argument. But he's right and you're not."
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see
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Posted - 11 Apr 2021 :  06:29:32  Show Profile Send see a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

And I don't see how a 10 ton ship that's 20x100 feet can carry that much cargo.


Well, a Spelljammer "ton" is a unit of volume of 100 cubic yards, so a 10 ton ship is 1,000 cubic yards. Use half that for cargo (5 tons, or 500 cubic yards).

Alternatively, from the listed beam and length values, assume that a Dragonfly is a cylinder 20 feet in diameter and 100 feet long. In that case, a Dragonfly is 31,416 cubic feet, or 1,164 cubic yards. Of course, 20 feet beam is the maximum, so the real volume of a Dragonfly would be lower, but you can probably still fit in roughly 500 cubic yards of cargo.

Same cargo volume as 11 or so twenty-foot ISO standard shipping containers.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 11 Apr 2021 :  15:04:59  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by see

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

And I don't see how a 10 ton ship that's 20x100 feet can carry that much cargo.


Well, a Spelljammer "ton" is a unit of volume of 100 cubic yards, so a 10 ton ship is 1,000 cubic yards. Use half that for cargo (5 tons, or 500 cubic yards).

Alternatively, from the listed beam and length values, assume that a Dragonfly is a cylinder 20 feet in diameter and 100 feet long. In that case, a Dragonfly is 31,416 cubic feet, or 1,164 cubic yards. Of course, 20 feet beam is the maximum, so the real volume of a Dragonfly would be lower, but you can probably still fit in roughly 500 cubic yards of cargo.

Same cargo volume as 11 or so twenty-foot ISO standard shipping containers.



Thank you for this. I never knew it, and they should publish something akin to it in 5e.

The more and more I look into flying ships and making them less likely to break a world (whether it be spelljammers or halruaan type ships or simply blimp type vehicles or really small ships), the quickest fix to a lot of them is to slow them down to make them not so far exceed wagons and regular ships. In the case of spelljammers, reducing their speed to leave atmosphere makes them immensely more viable. Now, there may be some people who create "single use" methods to get out of the atmosphere fast (i.e. the equivalent of booster rockets). However, if the ships aren't zooming so fast that they actually have to worry about other flying creatures, it makes them still a lot more valuable than a regular ship for their versatility.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Apr 2021 :  16:12:46  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AuldDragon

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Well, part of the reason why it doesn't canonically break things is that it was bolted on to canon after the fact and then mostly ignored by all involved. The references to spelljamming in Realmslore are few, and aside from three supplements of questionable quality, Spelljammer didn't worry about the other campaign settings. I'm not familiar enough with Greyhawk to say how well Greyspace matched Greyhawk canon, but I know Krynnspace had some bad ideas, some really bad ideas, and direct contradictions of Dragonlance canon, and Realmspace lore concerning Toril and Selūne is questionable at best and should be, in my personal opinion, flat-out ignored from a Realmslore standpoint.


While I agree Spelljammer was mostly ignored after 2e, it was still fully canon in 2e. And no where did any product give any indication that Spelljammer "broke" the setting. Thus, it did not, just as magic does not "break" the setting as I described. The question is then to describe how it does not, which I listed just a handful of off-the-cuff ways to do that.


Again, there was no indication that Spelljammer broke settings because it was ignored by those settings. They said "yeah, okay, it exists, but we're not paying any attention to it or attempting to integrate it in any way."

It never broke anything because it was never used. Spelljammer was never really a part of the settings it touched.

quote:
Originally posted by AuldDragon

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Also, we can't really think of plausible ways for it to not break it without changing what spelljamming is -- because if there were issues preventing such things, they'd have already been mentioned in either the brief bits of setting material that referenced spelljamming or in the Spelljammer material itself.



Weather is discussed. Monsters are discussed. Piracy is discussed. Plenty of other things are discussed. The rarity of helms is discussed. All of those things can plausibly make the "breaking" complaints about Spelljammer moot, unless someone *wants* Spelljammer to break a setting.

The actual effects of magic and psionics on the settings (economic, political, military, etc.) aren't actually detailed, even though their effects would be far more significant than portrayed. But we don't *want* them to "break" settings, so we handwave the specifics away. We can do that with Spelljammer, and hold it to the same not-at-all-rigorous standard as everything else. If we want to. And it need not change the setting or the rules one iota.

Jeff



Since none of those things have a significant impact on planetary trade in Spelljammer, then they are obviously not a large enough factor to prevent such trade. Nothing in the land-based settings or Spelljammer indicates such things are recurring issues. Multiple sources in Spelljammer even speak of regular trade between spelljammers and groundlings being a thing.

The ONLY reason we don't see spelljammers causing huge economic and military impacts is because spelljamming was ignored, aside from a token reference here and there.

The only ways to not have spelljamming have a huge impact are to either remove it or dramatically weaken it, either through changing how it operates or by retconning things to prevent it.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 11 Apr 2021 :  18:08:18  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
thinking more on my idea of Kara-tur landing ships and unloading to other ships.... would it be interesting if some of the pirate isles of the inner sea are actually managed by Kara-tur paid captains who bring to various cities "captured goods to pawn" who are literally just unloading ships from Kara-tur and bringing them to local ports to trade, all the while pretending to be pirates. Maybe actual piracy is much less rampant than people are led to believe.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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bloodtide_the_red
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Posted - 11 Apr 2021 :  18:48:14  Show Profile  Visit bloodtide_the_red's Homepage Send bloodtide_the_red a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You can't fit spelljamming into the Realms....but then you also can't fit magic and fantasy either. Even the tiniest bit of magic and fantasy utterly ruins the whole idea of the Realms as a "14th century Earth like world".

You can jump through a million hoops to "fix" things so people in the Realms farm, trade and live "just like 14th century Earth", but it's a bit silly when you just say over and over and over again "Um, X does not happen as it would ruin the Realms".

All you can really do is ignore it.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Apr 2021 :  19:23:47  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bloodtide_the_red

You can't fit spelljamming into the Realms....but then you also can't fit magic and fantasy either. Even the tiniest bit of magic and fantasy utterly ruins the whole idea of the Realms as a "14th century Earth like world".

You can jump through a million hoops to "fix" things so people in the Realms farm, trade and live "just like 14th century Earth", but it's a bit silly when you just say over and over and over again "Um, X does not happen as it would ruin the Realms".

All you can really do is ignore it.



I'm not saying spelljamming would ruin the Realms. I'm saying it would have a dramatic impact on trade and warfare.

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AuldDragon
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Posted - 12 Apr 2021 :  04:19:47  Show Profile  Visit AuldDragon's Homepage Send AuldDragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I'm not saying spelljamming would ruin the Realms. I'm saying it would have a dramatic impact on trade and warfare.



By Spelljammer being a canon element of the multiverse and thus the Realms, and there being no explicit statement that it causes a problem, we can safely and reasonably assume it does not. If it *DID* have a "dramatic impact" they would have had to describe what that impact was. Saying the FR material makes little mention it isn't proof of the opposite; if anything it is proof that it causes no problems.

It's basically the same thing as the common anti-Realms complaint about there being too many high-level characters. We know they're not a problem because the campaign material doesn't indicate it is. Alternately, the same holds true for magic, monsters, the inflationary aspects of adventuring, etc. They don't cause the problems people may say they *would* because no where does the material indicate they do.

Jeff

My 2nd Edition blog: http://blog.aulddragon.com/
My streamed AD&D Spelljamer sessions: https://www.youtube.com/user/aulddragon/playlists?flow=grid&shelf_id=18&view=50
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 12 Apr 2021 :  04:47:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AuldDragon

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I'm not saying spelljamming would ruin the Realms. I'm saying it would have a dramatic impact on trade and warfare.



By Spelljammer being a canon element of the multiverse and thus the Realms, and there being no explicit statement that it causes a problem, we can safely and reasonably assume it does not. If it *DID* have a "dramatic impact" they would have had to describe what that impact was. Saying the FR material makes little mention it isn't proof of the opposite; if anything it is proof that it causes no problems.

It's basically the same thing as the common anti-Realms complaint about there being too many high-level characters. We know they're not a problem because the campaign material doesn't indicate it is. Alternately, the same holds true for magic, monsters, the inflationary aspects of adventuring, etc. They don't cause the problems people may say they *would* because no where does the material indicate they do.

Jeff



It's not the same thing at all. We see those high-level characters in the Realms. They're there. They're active. They're in every single book and sourcebook.

Spelljamming, on the other hand, is not there. It's not active. It's barely mentioned in maybe a dozen places, and in almost every one of those, it's either a footnote or past reference.

It doesn't cause disruptions because it wasn't there to cause them. Spelljammer was ignored by damn near everyone who worked on the Realms.

The only reason it doesn't have an impact on the setting is because it basically doesn't exist in the setting. It's not that "oh, this happens to keep spelljamming from being a factor" -- it's that it never entered into the equation.

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AuldDragon
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Posted - 12 Apr 2021 :  06:34:49  Show Profile  Visit AuldDragon's Homepage Send AuldDragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

It's not the same thing at all. We see those high-level characters in the Realms. They're there. They're active. They're in every single book and sourcebook.

Spelljamming, on the other hand, is not there. It's not active. It's barely mentioned in maybe a dozen places, and in almost every one of those, it's either a footnote or past reference.

It doesn't cause disruptions because it wasn't there to cause them. Spelljammer was ignored by damn near everyone who worked on the Realms.

The only reason it doesn't have an impact on the setting is because it basically doesn't exist in the setting. It's not that "oh, this happens to keep spelljamming from being a factor" -- it's that it never entered into the equation.



It absolutely is the same. All of these elements don't disrupt things because the authors didn't want them to. No one is sitting down and figuring out how magic and a plethora of powerful humanoids would disrupt the economies, militaries, and societies in the ways they should because they just don't want to. It doesn't matter if the things are mentioned frequently or not.

Powerful mages should grow extremely wealthy by setting up permanent teleporters and the like, but they don't, just because. Manshoon could solve many of the Zhentarim's trade desires with a few weeks of spellcasting. But he doesn't, and it is barely questioned. Elminster, Vangherdahast, Khelben, etc., could all set up safe trade routes for the Dales, for Cormyr, for Waterdeep to anywhere in the world, but they don't, just because. By the exact same token, Spelljamming isn't disruptive, just because. Spelljammer is barely mentioned because it is secret, just because.

If a DM feels that a reason is important for their campaign, they can come up with all kinds of plausible reasons that work just as well as so many of the other things we take for granted regularly in D&D settings. I truly believe the only reason to get hung up on why *Spelljamming* is disruptive, but all the other fantasy elements aren't is just because someone *wants* it to be disruptive. All you need to do is not want it to be disruptive and it works just fine. It has for me for 30 years.

Anyway, I've said my piece, and doubt I'll change your mind, so I'll stop now.

Jeff

My 2nd Edition blog: http://blog.aulddragon.com/
My streamed AD&D Spelljamer sessions: https://www.youtube.com/user/aulddragon/playlists?flow=grid&shelf_id=18&view=50
"That sums it up in a nutshell, AuldDragon. You make a more convincing argument. But he's right and you're not."
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