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[5e] First Book of 2019 to have “Nautical Themes”

vitruvian

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#31
Mainly? The sheer unadulterated goofiness of it. Yes, that absolute light-hearted gonzo silliness is what its hardcore fans love about it, but that's also the same reason why it failed to really reach a wide market; instead of an actual space fantasy/sword & planet setting, it came off as this weird mishmash of a parody of the aforementioned and a glorified crossover mechanic for Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance. Which is only logical, because Spelljammer was basically a protest by TSR at being forced to try and sell Lorraine Williams' Buck Rogers RPG, so they just threw together whatever the hell they wanted because they didn't care if it tanked. That's how we wound up with silliness like the Dohwar, Tinker Gnomes everywhere, and the Aperusa, who are literally every single stereotype of the gypsy as a lying cheating cowardly scoundrel, but in space.

If Spelljammer wants to be successful, in my opinion, it needs to shed the baggage of being "that silly setting" and reinvent itself as a legitimate space fantasy setting. But doing that probably means getting rid of many things that, whilst they turned off the wider audience, are still near and dear to the hardcore fans' hearts. Frankly, it'd be easier to just make a space fantasy setting from scratch and be done with the baggage altogether.


Since Hadozee originated as a Spelljammer race back in AD&D, whether this book is either Stormwrack for 5e or a 5e Spelljammer, I think your odds are good.
Depending on how long it takes my current group to get to a certain level of Mad Mage, or for me to get tired of waiting and just throw in an encounter with a spelljamming ship landing or a githyanki raiding party, it's very possible that I'll end up doing my own update before I see what WoTC gets up to. Current thinking is to make space beyond the region of a specific world pretty much the astral sea, or at least have the astral plane be the equivalent of hyperspace for rapid travel. Within a planetary system, you can either deal with an airless void, though the same magic that lets a helm propel the ship also maintains an air and gravity shell (no naturally occurring ones letting nonmagical creatures generate their own air envelopes), or transition to astral/ethereal mode (probably merging the two concepts) for rapid travel, or you can do astral projection and journey between planets without a ship John Carter/Le Petit Prince/C. S. Lewis Space Trilogy style (sure there are birds and/or a celestial taxi service to tow Cyrano, the Prince, and you in the astral, why not?). Outside of the celestial spheres of a planetary system, the astral gets weirder, kind of two parts Kirby space and one part Ditko, with extremely rapid travel and all the githyanki and other fortresses in floating bodies of dead gods.

And at some point a githyanki ruler or fiend or spaceworthy evil dragon is certain to say something like, "Pathetic earthlings. Hurling your bodies out into the void, without the slightest inkling of who or what is out here. If you had known anything about the true nature of the universe, anything at all, you would've hidden from it in terror."
 

vitruvian

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#33
Indeed, there will have to be extraplanar wood elf and barbarian aarakocra allies involved. And the githyanki already have a lich empress who could conceivably be wearing her phylactery as a gaudy ring... perhaps I'll also have to introduce a hidden race of immortals and a mighty bard with a fabulous mustache...
 
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Kettlehelm

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#34
It will be interesting to see where the book is set. My money would be on the Sea of Fallen Stars, with some sort of nautical campaign against Thayan piracy. But I really want a Spelljammer book, if only because the ideas have sat there for 20 years and need a good set of rules to let them fly.
 

KingJosh

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#35
According to ENworld’s summary, they specified that it is NOT Spelljammer, and that it is not an adventure. (Can’t easliy link from my phone right now, but the summary is still on their front page.)
 

vitruvian

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#37
Since it's not Spelljammer, I'm meh.
It could still be pretty cool if it has some good focus on ship-to-ship combat, encounters at sea, whether there is such a thing as whaling in the FR, pirates, privateers, freebooters, and actual navies, and interesting ports of call such as Luskan.
 
#38
I'm kind of hoping they bring back Darfellan. And if we get some sort of Dread Pirate archetype for the Rogue, I'm on board for it. It'd be the most exciting subclass for me since the Sun Soul Monk.
 

junglefowl26

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#39
Since Hadozee originated as a Spelljammer race back in AD&D, whether this book is either Stormwrack for 5e or a 5e Spelljammer, I think your odds are good.
Good point. Thanks.

Also early adopters of democracy!
Indeed!

Also, they had a remarkably fairway of dividing the loot and overall handling the business side of pirate. Actually, I think adventuring parties could really use them as inspiration on that count.

It could still be pretty cool if it has some good focus on ship-to-ship combat, encounters at sea, whether there is such a thing as whaling in the FR, pirates, privateers, freebooters, and actual navies, and interesting ports of call such as Luskan.
Very much so.

And don't forget sea monsters. Sea serpents, coral golems, isonade, callers from the deep, seawolves, ramfish.......there are a lot of cool options

I'm kind of hoping they bring back Darfellan. And if we get some sort of Dread Pirate archetype for the Rogue, I'm on board for it. It'd be the most exciting subclass for me since the Sun Soul Monk.
Indeed.

Sea witch might make a cool archetype as well, maybe a warlock subclass.

And yeah, the Darfallen are a pretty cool race. Though I wonder how they would make different from the other beefy races.
 

vitruvian

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#40
Good point. Thanks.


Indeed!

Also, they had a remarkably fairway of dividing the loot and overall handling the business side of pirate. Actually, I think adventuring parties could really use them as inspiration on that count.


Very much so.

And don't forget sea monsters. Sea serpents, coral golems, isonade, callers from the deep, seawolves, ramfish.......there are a lot of cool options


Indeed.

Sea witch might make a cool archetype as well, maybe a warlock subclass.

And yeah, the Darfallen are a pretty cool race. Though I wonder how they would make different from the other beefy races.
I have to wonder if some of it won't be leveraging a successful recent movie and providing some more background and a culture and place to come from for Triton PCs. And ship vs ship combat must of course also include ship vs sea monster. And ever notice how the most famous (and certainly the best covered in 5e material) cities in Faerun tend to be along the coast and possible targets of summoned/controlled kaiju, I mean tarrasque-level sea monster attacks, whether by sympathetic tritons or evil sahaugin or what have you?
 
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