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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spelljamming to Greyhawk

Y is for YOINK
I ran another session of Dungeon Crawl Classics last night. The rundown is here.

I had been up for 24 hours straight when I ran it, which is always a little odd. Honestly I think I DM better in that condition. I'm much looser and off-the-cuff.

Our heroes busted into a dragon's lair which was also formerly the hidden vault of a lost wizard. I was able to work in the weird device depicted in that drawing from the Campagin Guide & Catacomb Sourcebook which we talked about the other day.

I couldn't wait for them to check it out because I wanted to see their reaction to the 6-armed lady with 4 breasts. She was the wizard's cousin, see. She explained that the wizard trapped her in that thing because "he didn't want anyone else to have me." Cue the horrified roars. Ahh I was so amused.

The device had three traps which had to be disabled in succession: darts, spinning blades, and spears. A PC actually was killed by a single dart. Quite an eventful little encounter.
This thing shot darts that killed Jax the Thief.

Now they have this blue/green alien lady with 6 arms who is related to a major NPC with them. I'll have to figure out what weird little powers she has. 

I found a massive, incredible map online. A guy made a map of all the crystal spheres (universes) in all published D&D Spelljammer products. Then, he looked online and found every fan-made sphere that he could and he put them all on one map!

So I was looking it over. I'd always had my crystal sphere, NyrodSpace, in the "Radiant Triangle" where Clusterspace is. There's a few reasons for this:

- When I was 14 years old, I ran a campaign where soldiers from Greyspace flew on winged space wolves to aid our heroes in a war. I had officially declared Greyspace to be close to my sphere in my own continuity.

The connecting lines are river paths
- ClusterSpace is the sphere described in the boxed set "The Astromundi Cluster". It is gigantic. Reading it wuld be a huge undertaking. I never thought I'd use it, so I saw little harm in just saying my sphere was in its' place, nicely close to Greyhawk, Dragonlance, and the Forgotten Realms.

It's been that way for many years of real life time. But when I was looking at this map, I spotted... my sphere. This person who I don't know at all found my sphere online and placed it on this map!

How awesome is that?

So I thought about it and decided that I could explain away how my sphere moved (long, boring-but-plausible campaign story). In my next D&D Next campaign, the heroes will be assembling the rod of seven parts, whose pieces are spread out in many different universes. I want them to go to the city of Greyhawk to get a piece.

Greyhawk is no longer a quick trip across the rainbow river. Now it is months and months of travel time away. To get to greyhawk, our heroes will need to pass through some extremely dangerous places - some from official products, and some from home-brewed settings. I have done my best to dig up the material.

The numbers are the amount of days it takes to travel
The journey begins with a 16 day trip through the rainbow river known as the phlogiston. Then the adventurers will have to pass through Tidespace, a fan-made universe which has quite a bit of material.

Tidespace: The universe is a massive whirlpool with 7 world-sized turtles swimming in it. On each of their backs is an "island" whch constitutes a planet. The "sun" is in the mouth of a giant otter who swims along the perimeter of the whirlpool. How awesome is that? Can you imagine flying a magic ship over that?

GolotSpace: This sphere is detailed in the module Under the Dark Fist. The worlds in it are ruled by Dragon Barons who were humbled by the emporer of the Vodonoi - a massive empire of SPACE WEREWOLVES.

Zalanispace: This sphere is also from Under the Dark Fist. It is inhabited by black, fearsome gargoyles known as the Zalani. They are peaceful. They are shipbuilders for the Vodonoi.

Gimlunspace: I can't find any info on this one. I will probably use the Spelljammer Crystal Sphere Generator, a program that simulates the sphere-making charts from the actual spelljammer books. The one I generated is a universe where "stars are illusory cities on the inside of the crystal shell."

Then our heroes will have to pass through a space-cloud known as THE WEIRD. What does it do? I have no idea. Googling "Spelljammer weird" doesn't exactly produce helpful results.

Falxspace: I believe this sphere is somewhat detailed in Practical Planetology. There's a world called Falx which has "hundreds of tarrasque-like creatures roaming in packs". Uhhh yikes. It's also a place ruled by mindflayers.

Ilsisinespace: This is another mindflayer sphere, I believe created by a fan. Not a lot of info. I will probably use a lot of material from the great Illithiad supplement to flesh this out.

Redeyes: This sphere is mentioned in a sidebar in Ed Greenwood's great Lost Ships supplement. It is a "huge sphere dominated by a pair of large, deep red fire worlds" which look like evil eyes peering at you from the darkness. Awesome. Humans and mindflayers are at war here. How the hell are our heroes going to survive this?

Stormspace: Once gain my google-fu is weak. I assume there's some kind of sphere-wide magic storm or something. A click on the random sphere generator gives me.. "Stars are pools of sun rays along the interior of the crystal shell.

Wildspace Conditions:
- temperatures cool at the outer edge, warmer towards the center
- space storms"

Space storms! Well how do you like that?

From there it is 38 days to Greyhawk. Then our heroes can land, and I am thinking they will have to make an expedition into the legendary Castle Greyhawk to gain the piece of the rod of seven parts.

All in all it will be somewhere around a 230 day journey. Two hundred and thirty days! It should be pretty epic.


Jason R said...

Is info on your created sphere available somewhere?

Sean said...

Yeah, I have this old creaky site that I keep getting worried will shut down. I should really put all this stuff into a file, but it will be a lot of work. It is right here:

Jason R said...

I've been delving into this wonderful depository of gaming history the last couple nights. Wow! The volume of gaming you've done is truly remarkable. I too was playing hard from 1987 to about 1994 or so, but I don't think we even scratched the surface of the game compared to you guys!

My faves are The Rogue Mistress and Under A Red Sun. I'm going to mine some material out of there for sure! Lord Soth... oh yes...

I can see your present style of storycraft was present back in the day also. Do you keep in touch with any of those old players from those days? Does your brother still play?

Anyway, I'm still going through it, but great entertainment. Al Qadim, Spelljammer, Ravenloft-- you've done it all!

Sean said...

Jason R: Wow! I think you're the only person who has read those things. Rogue Mistress is beyond awesome. You have to modify it, but it's full of great ideas. The old players... One moved away, and the rest I kind of parted ways with after The Shackled City in 2008. Me and the other DM just weren't getting along any more.

My older brother... that's a whole story. I wish he would have played with us all of the time, but he had trouble playing with others, so to speak haha. My little brother played a bit too, but there was a big age difference. I was over-protective of him and it got weird with some of the other players.