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[Let's Read] SJR1 - Lost Ships

MacBalance

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Sleep and Charm are universal undead immunities in 2e, i think there's something else too. Lomion seems to be down and I can't be arsed leafing through hardcopy.
They're common, but I have no idea where they're stated. It's probably buried somewhere, though.

And the Death Tyrant has some special control rules to make it extra complicated. Something I didn't mention is there's no real mention of how the Thagar can control the Death Tyrants, but it does. It's not really mentioned as far as I can tell. The Thagar is of Exceptional (15-16) intelligence, which I believe is 'slightly dim' by Spelljammer standards. It's certainly not a spellcaster, and the description makes it out as more of a cunning hunter that can go long periods between massive gluttonous rampages. They do mention they will "cooperate with servant creatures that they can control completely" however that goes.
 

Ultimatecalibur

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Of note, I feel like we've seen at least three Crowns of the Void in these adventures. I think the Crown (which is a minor helm that allows the wearer to move and act mostly normally) is meant to be a pretty rare item, but they seem common in these rules. Maybe Ed Greenwood didn't like helmsmen being locked down inside the ship.
I think you are confusing the Crown of the Void (item new to this book) and the Crown of the Stars (wearable Major Helm introduced in the original box set). The Crown of the Void generates a 10' to 90' sphere of pure air that can't be fouled or stolen. I think Ed hated the breathable air rules.
 

MacBalance

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Isn't that a Rod of Orbs thing?
Ah, that makes sense.

I kind of feel like the adventures should be at the back of the book, after all the New Stuff has been introduced. I wonder if it was written assuming it would be, at least.

I think you are confusing the Crown of the Void (item new to this book) and the Crown of the Stars (wearable Major Helm introduced in the original box set). The Crown of the Void generates a 10' to 90' sphere of pure air that can't be fouled or stolen. I think Ed hated the breathable air rules.
Ah, OK. I looked it up and thought I had it wrong, but that makes sense. One problem with PDFs, especially since I don't keep the (for example) Spelljammer Box Set on my tablet when I'm doing one of these, since I need the space for other stuff. I actually try to avoid going too heavy on what I'm looking into, so don't read Spelljammer material as lunchtime fodder while reading a Spelljammer book in a 'formal' way like this, if that makes sense.
 

MacBalance

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Next up: Hurricane Halvor's Real-Cheap Spacedock which is kind of a combination between a sleazy used car dealership/junkyard and a Discworld-ish incarnation of a Mystery Shop. It's a pile of ship pieces run by Halvor (a dwarf armorer).

it is missing the level requirements and XP notes. It's a place, not an adventure.

The movement is explained by the Asteroif having a Major Helm and a nursery for 'Saphardin" a new monster. The Saphardin is a Supra-Genius (20) space-naga that is a natural spelljammer. They can carry ships with them, with a limit of 100 tons for combined work, and each Saphardin can only handle 20 tons by themselves. They're otherwise kind of boring monsters with no real 'role.'

They explicitly cannot combine their hauling ability with that of a Helm, which the adventure description contradicts. The asteroid base also has not one but three crowns of the void for air because "plants" is too easy of a solution.

The spacedock is actually quite expensive for work and sells a lot of stolen goods. There is an option to swap damaged ships for patched-up older hulls if owners can't afford repairs. The Arcane occasionally demand items, but they offer to buy them so Halvor goes along with them. He's otherwise outside their 'ecosystem.' He's also described as a normally slow and meticulous worker.

(I know we've discussed it before, but if you have captured a couple Helms you're likely set for a while to afford ship repairs as long as the market can afford to buy them.)

His associates include six gnome repairmen (I think they're meant to be non-tinker gnomes) and an adventuring band known as "the Shields" which includes a flesh golem as well as two fighters of 9th and 10th level in plate armor +1, 6 half-elf fighter/mages. It's a weird adventuring band. Also at the dock is Halvor's wife, a human cleric of Ptah of 7th level who provides free healing.

The best (in my mind) plot hook for the Stardock is food is a big limiting factor. There's some mushroom farms, but that's bland and limited. The two 'sub ideas' both mention the mushrooms: One suggestion is a scavver attack, while the other is that the mushrooms spontaneously grow into harmful types and threaten the Saphardin nursery.

This isn't an adventure, but more of a place. It's not a bad place, but needs to be fleshed out so much: Give the NPCs names and motivations, add some interesting stuff in the junkyard, etc. Maybe make some notes on other visitors whom the PCs might want to interact with or steer clear from.

Next up are more adventure ideas... And even less developed ones, I believe.
 

MacBalance

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I'm starting to think this book is a compilation of Ed's Spelljammer campaign notes.
Some of this might have been good as Dragon articles perhaps... A lot of the ideas feel like the brainstorming you might get if someone gave you a list of goofy spaceship ideas and asked for an idea or two for an adventure based around each. It's not even complete with that assumption, though.

I still the ship catalog is the 'good part' of this book (which I really wish we were at) and the adventures are, so far, the low point. The monsters have a few flaws (common to much of the Spelljammer product line) but they're salvagable.

The book contributes to my overall theory that Planescape was Spelljammer done better in so many ways, and that includes the box set feeling 'complete' and being designed more realistically around actual play, whereas this book seems to assume large groups of high level characters. Planescape had a goal of making the planes accessible for new players and low-level PCs; Spelljammer seems to be aimed at the experienced and perhaps jaded players with high-level and well-off PCs.

(I'm also reading the Revised Dark Sun material, which takes the cake for late 2e bloat and/or material for experienced players and DMs. Stat blocks that try to encompass multiple psionics rulesets and similar seem like a setup for failure.)

Halvor's could have been fun if it had a couple more pages and a couple less logic faults. Map out the asteroid (at least a rough map, plus maybe a detailed 'dungeon map' for a main office facility) and give the NPCs some adequate detailing. It's not as big a deal as the Rock of Bral, but it's a fun idea.
 

Dalillama

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The book contributes to my overall theory that Planescape was Spelljammer done better in so many ways,
Except that it wasn't Spelljammer. It didn't have any of the things that I liked most in Spelljammer. Which is why I hated it then and hate it now: it got all the attention and budget that Spelljammer should've had. Also that dialect it's all written in gets on my nerves to no end.
 
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