I was big on the Spelljammer train (ship would be more appropriate, I guess) when it first came out. I avoided Planescape for a while because I felt it was replacing Spelljammer.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.
Yeah, but once it came out, they stopped doing anymore Spelljammer stuff.I still think they're both valid and can coexist: Planescape rarely 'contradicted' Spelljammer as far as I can tell,
Yes! The entire thing was premised on name level murderhobos who don't want to build keeps, so now they can murderhobo their way across the stars.As I review, I feel like PS was a bit more 'gentle' on players and DMs. A lot more advice for new players and such, while Spelljammer seems to almost be aimed more at veterans who enjoy figuring out (or handwaving) crew.
Among other things, it didn't really exist; there's prices for things (which are wildly out of balance, the whole idea that magic items must be super expensive didn't help), but there's no indication of where they're sold. Every once in a while a shipping company is mentioned, but mostly it's mercenaries, wreckers, and adventurers, and we never learn where anything might be shipped to or from.The 'economy' had some issues, even by D&D terms.
That's one reason we see so many kinds of ships with small crew requirements (viz the Vipership from this very catalogue); so PCs can have their own ship without worrying much about crew.Characters were likely either 'crew' with limited autonomy, or in an owner/captain role with minimal oversight.
This is my second biggest issue; dungeon crawls IN SPACE aren't meaningfully different to ones on planets, and it doesn't play to the setting's strengths. Where's the adventures involving 'carry mysterious cargo that a lotta people seem to want' adventures? Where's the secretive passenger paying extra to run the blockade/avoid customs/etc? Where's the battling ships stumbled upon in an out of the way sphere and you have to figure out who, if anyone, to help?They often got boiled down to 'travel devices' with the ships being used as shuttles to/from more traditional dungeons.
Nah, smaller worlds have shallower atmospheres and take less time to leave, even though surface gravity is normal.. I think the mostly unwritten idea is that the moon is a low-gravity moon, which is not the Spelljammer norm
They're fire giants, they're evil.The main thing lacking is any motivation.
Or point. There's literally nothing interesting or valuable here. Frankly, as a player, if I found this place, once the party left I'd stand off and destroy it with artillery.It's basically an excuse for a simple dungeon crawl with no real meaning
Keep in mind I don't think it was any real transition between the two. I feel like Spelljammer wound down, and several years later Planescape arrived.Yeah, but once it came out, they stopped doing anymore Spelljammer stuff.
I have not heard that specifically. I know she didn't like some aspects, but I mostly heard it as more the general frustration between her and the rest of the company. I've also heard they pitched it to Hollywood, which sadly went nowhere.I'd heard once that Spelljammer was partially done as a way to annoy Lorraine Williams.
That seems weirdly specific, and perhaps redundant with laying out the system the PCs are in and perhaps the worlds and ports on those worlds.It is recommended that a DM detail six or seven planetoids before spacefaring play begins, and use them as needed (PC activity will probably require at least two planetoid visits before three weeks of spacefaring game time have elapsed).
You write them, or I did.This is my second biggest issue; dungeon crawls IN SPACE aren't meaningfully different to ones on planets, and it doesn't play to the setting's strengths. Where's the adventures involving 'carry mysterious cargo that a lotta people seem to want' adventures? Where's the secretive passenger paying extra to run the blockade/avoid customs/etc? Where's the battling ships stumbled upon in an out of the way sphere and you have to figure out who, if anyone, to help?
That's something I'm noticing in my recent reviews of the Spelljammer material. It definitely feels like a setting created by veteran players/authors for veteran players, and it shows. The material has some organizational issues (it resembles 1e in some ways!) and as everyone here says, assumes the DM will do a lot. It has the quality of providing perhaps too many options at times. I feel like there was an attempt to add more of a 'structure' with the later adventures, but perhaps that was too little too late.The #1 thing about Spelljammer is that it will absolutely fail as a setting if used by a DM who lacks skill at coming up with interesting scenarios or plots or does not want to spend a lot of time thinking and writing about adventures.
And before people assume I'm saying otherwise: those are perfectly fine ways to be a DM. There are many settings that operate cleanly and effectively as pop-up tents.
It just won't work here, and it can lead to some absurd ways of reading these books in the sort of "Let's Read" format the Internet favors. But, hell, they're pretty funny threads.