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Spelljammer


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What if we were to make a Pathfinder version of Spelljammer?
I mean cut out the giant space hamsters and and gun toting hippos. Lets start with the basics.

1) Wooden ships or otherwise propelled by spelljamming helms.
2) Rules of physics that allow the Spelljamming helms to retain an atmosphere and gravity.
3) Rules of combat between ships in spelljamming space.

I think the spelljamming ships should start out conventional looking, they wouldn't necessarily look like giant squids, or manta rays or hammer head sharks, a simple sailing ship in space is a good start.

So lets hear your opinions.


Honestly, I actually like the gun toting hippos. LPJ is working toward his own Spelljammer-Eberron mash-up called Pirates of the Bronze Sky. As well, SGG is conversing about putting up a patronage project for a Pathfinder version of Modern/Future. I wouldn't be surprised if either 3PPs would tackle this specific topics.

But it wouldn't hurt me either way if one wants to stay away from those fantasy content they deem a little silly for their tastes and more toward a hard Sci-Fi direction. In the meantime, I've been collecting OOP books at HPB lately in the hopes of OGL content to throw in my two bits when there looks to be some actual activity to produce a base standardization on this topic.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The good people here have made a 3.0 edition of the game. I'm sure only a few tweaks could generate a PFRPG version.

The major rule I made for my own spelljammer games was that wildspace blocks LoE, so you cannot fireball enely ships unless your air envelopes touch.

And what's wrong with space hamsters and Giff?


Tom_Kalbfus wrote:

What if we were to make a Pathfinder version of Spelljammer?

I mean cut out the giant space hamsters and and gun toting hippos. Lets start with the basics.

1) Wooden ships or otherwise propelled by spelljamming helms.
2) Rules of physics that allow the Spelljamming helms to retain an atmosphere and gravity.
3) Rules of combat between ships in spelljamming space.

I think the spelljamming ships should start out conventional looking, they wouldn't necessarily look like giant squids, or manta rays or hammer head sharks, a simple sailing ship in space is a good start.

So lets hear your opinions.

One thing I changed in my Spelljammer games was that the ships were sealed, not open decked. This stopped a lot of the boarding problems and let my Helms "seal" the ship shut against the vacuum of space.


Legora wrote:

...

One thing I changed in my Spelljammer games was that the ships were sealed, not open decked. This stopped a lot of the boarding problems and let my Helms "seal" the ship shut against the vacuum of space.

Kind of hard to operate a ballista, or a crossbow, or a catapult if the ship is sealed. Basically the only thing you could do with a sealed ship is ram it into another ship. I like the atmospheric envelopes, and boarding action is where its at when your dealing with fantasy medeaval naval warfare in space.

Lets start with some basic ships and discuss how they would convert to Spelljammer.
These are taken from the 2nd Edition product Of Ships and the Sea.
Ship--------- Draft, Length, Beam, Cost, building time, Crew, Pass, Cargo
Barge ------- 5 feet, 20 feet, 10 feet, 500 gp, 1 week, 4/3/2, 2, 8 tons
Canoe ------ 1/2 foot, 10 feet, 5 feet, 30 gp, 3 days, 2/1/1, 0, 500 pounds
Caravel ----- 5 feet, 70 feet, 20 feet, 30,000 gp, 5 months, 40/20/10, 20, 200 tons
Cargo Ship -- 4 feet, 70 feet, 25 feet. 12,000 gp 3 months, 30/10/5, 10, 100 tons
Cog -------- 4 1/2 feet, 90 feet, 20 feet, 20,000 gp 4 months, 20/8/4, 5, 150 tons
Curragh ---- 1 foot, 20 feet, 5 feet, 60 gp, 1 week, 8/6/4, 0, 5 tons
Drakkar ----- 2 feet, 100 feet, 15 feet, 25,000 gp, 2 months, 80/60/20, 160, 0
Dromond ---- 4 feet, 175 feet, 15 feet, 20,000 gp, 4 months, 200/85/31, 0, 100 tons
"Fishing Boat" - 1 foot, 30 feet, 6 feet, 350 gp, 3 weeks, 2/1/1, 5 1,000 pounds
Great Galley -- 4 1/2 feet, 130 feet, 20 feet, 25,000 gp, 4 months, 150/95/41, 0, 150 tons
Keelboat ----- 1 foot, 20 feet, 6 feet, 250 gp, 2 weeks, 1/1/1, 6, 500 lb.
Knarr -------- 2 feet, 75 feet, 15 feet, 6,000 gp, 1 month, 12/8/6, 8, 50 tons
Longship ----- 2 feet, 75 feet, 15 feet, 15,000 gp, 1 month, 50/40/16, 150, 10 tons
Manta -------- 10 feet, 200 feet, 75 feet, 5,000 gp, 2 weeks, 400/200/100, 200, _
Outrigger ----- 1/2 foot, 30 feet, 16 feet, 75 gp, 1 week, 6/3/1, 0, 500 lb.
Pentekonter --- 2 feet, 60 feet, 15 feet, 20,000 gp, 3 months, 85/42/31, 0, 10 tons
Raft --------- 5 feet, 10 feet, 10 feet, 50 feet, 1 week, 1/1/1, 0, 3 tons
Skiff --------- 1 foot, 16 feet, 5 feet, 100 gp, 1 week, 4/1/1, 0, 500 tons
Sohar -------- 4 feet, 90 feet, 25 feet, 17,000 gp, 4 months, 20/8/4, 0 100 tons
Trireme ------ 3 feet, 135 feet, 15 feet, 20,000 gp, 4 months, 170/120/71, 0, 0

Not all of these are adaptable for space, there are no fish in space, so there is nothing for a fishing boat to catch. I've bolded the ones that I think would make good spelljamming ships.

How do these ships propell themselves through space?
Its my idea that they would use special oars and sails that manipulate the border ethereal plane, which exists coterminously in space as well as on the surface of planets. There are ethereal winds that fill the magic sails, and ethereal waters for magic oars to push against, the only difference is that these spelljamming vessels go much faster than their naughtical equivalents. The prices are for ordinary vessels without the helms, the sails, or oars for travel through space. The Helm magically replenishes the air around the ship and keeps the air within an envelope around the ship, that is 10 times the draft, length, and beam in a roughly oval shape. Along the "waterline" of each vessel is the gravity plane.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

For tactical speed rules, I used a variation of the ship rules from Stormwrack. make the Spelljammer Ratings like the different speed multipliers for wind. Ships have a base speed, like in the Spider Moon 3e mini game, but use the TR (Tactical Rating) as a multiplier.


Spelljammer skirmishes were basically like naval skirmishes but in 3D. I like the way they explained space in SJ, and I like the fact that they retained a fantasy medieval feel for the ships, weapons, etc., because that's how space travel SHOULD be in D&D, IMO. If I wanted a more realistic space RPG, I'd go with Star Wars or some other sci-fi game.

As far as spelljamming helms go, would they still be powered by spellcasters giving up spell slots? If psionics were included in the game, perhaps power points could also be used? Or would the magic required to power the ship just be stored in the helm itself, allowing noncasters to pilot the ship? Maybe permanently-bound air elementals power the helm? For purposes of crafting a helm, it seems obvious that they would be wondrous items, but what spells would go into the creation process? Fly? Ethereal jaunt? Resilient sphere for the air envelope?


Michael Johnson 66 wrote:

Spelljammer skirmishes were basically like naval skirmishes but in 3D. I like the way they explained space in SJ, and I like the fact that they retained a fantasy medieval feel for the ships, weapons, etc., because that's how space travel SHOULD be in D&D, IMO. If I wanted a more realistic space RPG, I'd go with Star Wars or some other sci-fi game.

As far as spelljamming helms go, would they still be powered by spellcasters giving up spell slots? If psionics were included in the game, perhaps power points could also be used? Or would the magic required to power the ship just be stored in the helm itself, allowing noncasters to pilot the ship? Maybe permanently-bound air elementals power the helm? For purposes of crafting a helm, it seems obvious that they would be wondrous items, but what spells would go into the creation process? Fly? Ethereal jaunt? Resilient sphere for the air envelope?

The way I would do it is that power would flow from the spell caster into the helm and from the helm to the propulsion and control surfaces.

Spelljamming makes use of the border Ethereal Plane. The "Ether" in the Ethereal plane comes in two varieties, a gas and a liquid. The helm of the ship causes the ether to manifest on the prime material plane as a liquid, the liquid ether aligns itself along the gravity plane of the ship, it extends outward from the hull surface about an foot or so, and it provides resistance against the hull of the ship, while the ether winds fill the sails. Oars can also dip into the liquid ether and propell the ship forward, Sails can tack into and out of the ether wind. The ether wind typically originates from the Sun and moves outward towards the crystal sphere, so that upwind is towards the Sun and downwind is away from it. The Helm also opens up access to the elemental plane of air to replenish the oxygen in the ship's atmospheric envelope which extends outwards to ten times the dimensions of the ship above, below, port, starboard, stern and in front of the bow.


I think perhaps the ether around the ship, should be ghostly in appearance, that is only oars in oarlocks attached to the spelljamming ship can push on the ether. Only sails attached to the ships masts are filled with the etheric winds. The rudder at the stern of the ship cuts through the etheric ocean to steer the ship.

Spelljamming ships travel much faster than their naval counterparts, except when encountering another spelljamming ship or a large body such as an asteroid or the atmosphere of a planet. The sailors can't feel the etheric winds on their faces. The helm can open a gate to the elemental planes of air and water to replenish the ships air and water supply. One can go fishing through a gate to the elemental plane of water, but there are hazards as well, as sometimes dangerous denizens from those elemental planes can pay the ship a visit.


Tom_Kalbfus wrote:

I think perhaps the ether around the ship, should be ghostly in appearance, that is only oars in oarlocks attached to the spelljamming ship can push on the ether. Only sails attached to the ships masts are filled with the etheric winds. The rudder at the stern of the ship cuts through the etheric ocean to steer the ship.

Spelljamming ships travel much faster than their naval counterparts, except when encountering another spelljamming ship or a large body such as an asteroid or the atmosphere of a planet. The sailors can't feel the etheric winds on their faces. The helm can open a gate to the elemental planes of air and water to replenish the ships air and water supply. One can go fishing through a gate to the elemental plane of water, but there are hazards as well, as sometimes dangerous denizens from those elemental planes can pay the ship a visit.

Pretty cool, I like how you developed the original idea into something more detailed, and the idea of the helm opening portals to the elemental planes is quite interesting, and provides opportunities for unexpected adventure -- sea serpents poking their heads out of the "fishing holes" to fish for the fishers! LOL!


I have some ideas for a crystal sphere as well, it is based on our own Solar System, but of course is has a fantasy twist.

Third planet from the Sun is Changling Earth, this is an Earth based on the Change Novels written by S.M. Stirling, if there's any copyright problems, then I'll just be sort of vague as say it is somewhat like that Earth, it's history is the same as our own Earth up until 6:15 pm Pacific Time, on March 17th, 1998 when the Change occured, all technological items that relied on the internal combustion, the steam engine, and electricity ceased to operate, what really happened, and this part is my idea, is that mysterious power, removed the Earth from our Universe and inserted it into this Crystal Sphere, which is modeled after our own Solar System, or you can say they reached back in time to the above moment and snatched the Earth from History and inserted it into a Spelljammer Crystal Sphere where high technology doesn't work, so everyone on the planet was forced to revert to medeaval technology, but as a partial compensation magic became operative and the humans on that planet learned how to cast spells over the next century and a half. Needless to say, in that first year after the change, billions of humans died due to their dependence on technology for distributing food, Big Cities were abandoned as people starved and some resorted to cannibalism, while the smaller agricultural communities survived due to their proximity to where food was grown. The United States and many other modern states collapsed, in in their place grew a number of new nations in some places, while wilderness and ruins remained in others. Over time various cults and occultist groups learned to cast spells and also contact some of the powers responsible for the change. Many societies reverted to feudalism and over time spellcasters learned to craft magic items, and visitors from the stars appeared in Spelljamming ships, Elves from Venus and Orcs from Mars, the humans of Changling Earth learned from them how to create their own spelljamming helms, and some brave souls began to colonize the Solar System, settling the asteroids and the planets.

Venus is a steamy hot jungle planet, some elves at the higher latitudes and altitudes make their home here, in the valleys and lower elevations live lizardfolk, merfolk in the oceans, and dinosaurs roam the landscape of this planet, as is traditional for fantasy Venus, the sky is always overcast with 100% cloud cover, a certain goddess of love and beauty keeps her second home here in some secret location, rumored to be a palace of crystal on some remote island, or on a mountain top burning like a silver flame.

Mars is the red planet, and also a very bloody one as well, a certain war deity has made his presence felt here, on the ruins of lost cities and abandoned canals live various tribes of orcs, and some savage semi-civilized/barbarous humans, various cold loving desert creatures including dragons of various sorts also dwell on this planet.

The Moon is a land of faeries and various fae types, who have cast an illusion on this would making it appear barren and cratered, because they don't like being disturbed, the Moon actually has an atmosphere and is covered with forests and lake filled craters, The faeries on the Moon can see the Earth just fine from the surface as the illusion is only one way.

Mercury is a world of fiery dragons and heat loving creatures such as magmen, but their are communities of halflings in the cooler polar regions.

The Asteroid Belt is an archpelago of rocky islands covered with varying amounts of vegitation and life, inside the asteroids, dwarves labor in their mines extracting valuable ores and forging various items out of those metals, some of those asteroids have been turned into spelljamming ships.

Jupiter is an aerial abode, kind of like an extension of the elemental plane of air onto the prime material plane here, but in this case there is a definite direction of down that points to the center of the planet, the gravity field here is the same as on Earth and all the other planets and asteroids, there is a certain altitude on Jupiter that is optimal for life, descend further and the temperature and pressure grow intollerable, most of the multi-colored cloud bands are below the life zone, above it the sky is mostly clear and blue with multiple moons in view at most times, there are a few water clouds, and things at times can get quite stormy on occasion, a mighty god keeps his abode here, it is rumored to be a castle in the clouds, or a palace, and this fellow is of giant stature when he appears and has been known to cast thunderbolts when he gets angry, but there are many other storm giants living on this planet, and cloud giants as well, most of them aren't gods.

Saturn is a smoggy place and is home to various Titans who were overthrown by the gods, and it is here that they are plotting their revenge. It is otherwise anothe aerial place filled with cloud and storm giants, chromatic dragons, and various other not so nice things.

Uranus and Neptune are water worlds and hence their bluish color, a sea god inhabits Neptune, this god is also a Titan, and it was he who turned on his fellow Titans and helped bring on the ascendency of the current crop of gods, both planets are host to various aquatic life, one can set their spelljamming ship down on the surface of these ocean worlds, but there is no land, it is all ocean, and most of the life on these planets live below the surface.

Pluto is a cold extention of the Hells on the Prime Material Plane and certain god of wealth and the underworld has an abode here and has been seen here on numerous occasions, various demons, devils, and other extraplanar monsters have made their appearance here including Tiamat - a five headed multi-colored chromatic dragon.


At the risk of sounding boring, you're passing some astronomical interest by ignoring the fact that Pluto and Charon are in a paired orbit of each other. That has certainly got to be worth some mileage, with maybe Pluto being inhabited by shadow and death related deities and Charon by fiends.


Arakhor wrote:
At the risk of sounding boring, you're passing some astronomical interest by ignoring the fact that Pluto and Charon are in a paired orbit of each other. That has certainly got to be worth some mileage, with maybe Pluto being inhabited by shadow and death related deities and Charon by fiends.

Makes sense.

I could use some help, I never intended this to be a one man project, there is just too much to do. What I listed up there is just the basics. I guess the gods in this Pantheon are Greek/Roman, they reside on the outer planes 50% of the time, and their planets are basically like their "summer homes" or "vacation spots". Each of the major deities of the same name as the planets has a sacred spot on each planet, typically guarded by celestials, or infernals depending on the nature of the deity that resides there. The Roman Pantheon is rather Neutral in outlook, mortals (that is humans and other races) are largely their chess pieces, which they maneuver around the board, when pursuing their own interests often against those of other deities, the god Jupiter is the most powerful of the bunch, but he is a rather self-absorbed and somewhat negligent ruler, the other gods and goddesses pretty much do whatever they please.

Mars is rather evil in outlook, he doesn't seek to rule the universe, he just enjoys a good fight, he is rather chaotic as well, he may side with good factions or evil at any given moment, based on their entertainment value.

Venus is vain and petty, though largely good in outlook, she is the patron deity of many elves who live on her world, the climate is rather hot humid and damp, it rains everywhere just about every day, so various creatures that enjoy that climate also live here, including species of dinosaurs, lizard folk, the planet is 80% ocean and many merfolk and other creatures of the deep live here as well.

I suspect the Moon is the world of the huntress, no dinosaurs live here, but gnomes and faeries make this place their home. Other gnomes live out in the asteroid belt along with the dwarves. The gnomes in the asteroid belt tend to be of the "tinker" variety, that had its origins on the planet Krynn, but have now spread all over wildspace, the more traditional kind of gnome lives on the Moon under the illusion of the barren Moonscape that it shows towards Earth, gnomes are accomplished illusionists after all, and some time ago they created an artifact, with the help of their patron deity Diana, to cloak the nature of the moon. The Moon is largely sylvan forest, other occupants include centaurs, and Amazons. the Goddess of the Moon is Diana the Huntress or Luna or Selene, as she is also known by.

Not all gods get a planet or a celestial body, but the major ones typically have them. the Last Goddess is that of the Earth herself. The fall of technological civilization 152 years ago has produced some encroachments of nature into the cities and the abandoned highways, a lot of species that were previously threatened are now flourishing, the population of humans is down to a tenth of what is was before the fall, though no one knows the exact figure as no censuses have been taken since, but as a rule of thumb, there is estimated to be 500-600 million humans living on the planet. Most of the creatures here are the normal natural variety, the exotic stuff, like Unicorns, orcs, trolls, and dragons usually originate from off planet, though some of these creatures have since made Changeling Earth their home as well. Most of the interesting stuff is out in wildspace, though their are still ruins to sift through in the ancient dead cities, that go by such names as New York and Los Angeles.


Here is a starting selection of spelljamming ships. Some of these designs are of the 17th, 18th, and 19th century, the Clipper ships are the fastest spelljammers of wildspace as they were designed to compete against steamships, but the physics of ship and sail work the same in the ethereal winds and ocean of wildspace as they do in more naughtical settings. The more advanced designs come from Changeling Earth, as those naval plans were dusted off when internal combustion engines, steamships, and electricity failed to operate after the Change.
Naturally the Elves, Dwarves, and other races would build their ships based on other designs than these.

Ship--------- Length, Cost, Hull Points
Caravel -----70 feet, 30,000 gp, 54 hull points
Cargo Ship -- 70 feet, 12,000 gp, 36 hull points
Cog -------- 90 feet, 20,000 gp, 51 hull points
"Fishing Boat" - 30 feet, 350 gp, 21 hull points
Great Galley -- 130 feet, 25,000 gp, 36 hull points
Galleon ------ 140 feet, 50,000 gp, 108 hull points
Frigate ------ 175 feet, 62,500 gp, 135 hull points
Slaver Ship -- 120 feet, 42,800 gp, 92 hull points
Merchantman -- 100 feet, 35,700 gp, 77 hull points
Two-masted Schooner -- 72 ft, 25,700 gp, 55 hull points
Three-masted Schooner -- 90 feet, 32,100 gp, 70 hull points
Four-masted Schooner -- 225 feet, 80,300 gp, 173 hull points
Five-masted Schooner -- 275 feet, 98,200 gp, 212 hull points
Seven-masted Schooner -- 375 feet, 134,000 gp, 290 hull points
Fast Clipper -- 212 feet, 75,700 gp, 163 hull points
McKay Clipper -- 265 feet, 94,600 gp, 204 hull points

A hull point is equivalent to 4.5 hit points, so a weapon which did 1d8 points of damage on a creature would inflict 1 hull point of damage on a ship. Weapons and attack forms which average less than 4.5 hit points will do no significant damage to a ship, so unmodified 1d6s and 1d4s do no damage.

Here is a chart to give you an idea.
Hit Point Damage --- Hull Point Damage.
1d8 ---------------- 1 Hull point
2d6 ---------------- 1 Hull point
3d6 ---------------- 2 Hull points
2d4 ---------------- 1 Hull point
3d4 ---------------- 1 Hull point
1d10 --------------- 1 Hull point
1d12 --------------- 1 Hull point
2d8 ---------------- 2 Hull points
2d10 --------------- 2 Hull points
2d12 --------------- 2 Hull points
2d12+1 ------------- 3 Hull points


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

DOT!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I really liked Spelljammer, even though I don't care for SciFi--Spelljammer was just High Fantasy in Space--no science about it.

I liked the deal about the atmospheric envelope and the open decks. Very creative, IMO.

I'd be jazzed for Pathfinder to offer something like that. Obviously, they'd have to call it something else.


As much as I normally dislike mixing firearms and cannons with my fantasy roleplaying games, in the Spelljammer universe I am willing to make an exception. One thing that I would recommend is to the use ship format Wizards made for Stormwrack. It keeps the feel of requiring a decent sized crew, but is much more playable (in scope) than some of the more exotic Spelljammer ships.

Toss out all those different manuverability classes, and the strange ways SJ had of calculating ship armor, and just use the Stormwrack system across the board. Like several posters above, I like the idea of using the 'ethereal winds' as a motive force. This would also let the designers convert the Helm into a magic item, one semi-permanently fixed to the ship that allows it's oars and sails and rudder to sail the skies. This would have a secondary effect of not requiring each and every spelljammer to have one-to-three mid-to-high level spellcasters/psions, because now the tactical speed would be generated by the basic hull and the skill of the crew.

For ship-to-ship weapons, I hate the idea of catapults on sailing (or flying ships). And ballista are barely much better. Both have serious problems (ballista bolts can't really damage a ship's hull; catapults can't be fired if sails, rigging, and booms are in the way). Let's go all Pirate of the Caribbean here, with gunpower cannons. Ships in the size range of most of those shown in Stormwrack would have 8-16 (20 at the absolute most). Greatships and ironclads are much bigger, more expensive, and could easily handle 36-54 guns.

Some ships would be designed with rams, but most would simply get close enough to snare the enemy with grapples (i.e. grappling hooks on ropes, twenty-thirty thrown at a time) in order to board. The reason? A ship that makes a ram always damages it's own hull points.

Anyway, these changes would reduce some parts of SJ that I absolutely hated (party's ship, a well-found maneuverable vessel with a minor helm and 7th level caster vs. a cumbersone converted galleon with a major helm and 12th level caster; the smaller, better ship could never evade--never!).

Oh, and keep the Giff. I don't care one way or the other about the Giant Space Hamsters, though.

Master Arminas


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Urizen wrote:

Honestly, I actually like the gun toting hippos. LPJ is working toward his own Spelljammer-Eberron mash-up called Pirates of the Bronze Sky. As well, SGG is conversing about putting up a patronage project for a Pathfinder version of Modern/Future. I wouldn't be surprised if either 3PPs would tackle this specific topics.

But it wouldn't hurt me either way if one wants to stay away from those fantasy content they deem a little silly for their tastes and more toward a hard Sci-Fi direction. In the meantime, I've been collecting OOP books at HPB lately in the hopes of OGL content to throw in my two bits when there looks to be some actual activity to produce a base standardization on this topic.

Actually, Louis turned the project over to the guy who wrote the core of the setting, Chris Fields.


xorial wrote:
Urizen wrote:

Honestly, I actually like the gun toting hippos. LPJ is working toward his own Spelljammer-Eberron mash-up called Pirates of the Bronze Sky. As well, SGG is conversing about putting up a patronage project for a Pathfinder version of Modern/Future. I wouldn't be surprised if either 3PPs would tackle this specific topics.

But it wouldn't hurt me either way if one wants to stay away from those fantasy content they deem a little silly for their tastes and more toward a hard Sci-Fi direction. In the meantime, I've been collecting OOP books at HPB lately in the hopes of OGL content to throw in my two bits when there looks to be some actual activity to produce a base standardization on this topic.

Actually, Louis turned the project over to the guy who wrote the core of the setting, Chris Fields.

Is this something that will be posted on the net for all to see or something slated to be released?


Well, if you're going to change the helm and make it a magic item, why not make fixed weapons that are magic items as well? For instance, instead of a canon, you have a "fireball caster". A sort of over-sized fireball wand that can only be fired every so many rounds (to simulate loading a breach-loading canon). You could use magic missile, and any number of other bolt type magic. You could also go with small pistols that do the same. It has more versatility than a wand. Once you fire it, you have to wait for it to recharge x number of hours. Or you could go with something that has refill cartridges, where the cartridge and the pistol work in tandem to produce the magic bolt.

As for movement, you are in Spelljammer's version of space. The Ether itself moves the ship. The sails are there just for show, and to propel the ship should it actually touch down on water. It don't matter what the design of the ship is, the Ether moves the ship based on the way the helm designs the envelope around the ship. That would still require the mage to navigate the ship, but it could be added as a cantrip or something that allows the mage to adjust the trim of the envelope for speed.

You could even go all intricate and create another magic item that acts kind of like the Ether Screw in Space 1889. In that case, the helm would be the magic engine that powers the "Ether Screw" (the name might have to be changed). That would work to add a sort of steampunk element if one wanted to. But it would keep it all magic-based, which, I think, is the point.

It would make fitting out a Spelljammer ship pretty expensive, but I think that's the idea anyway.


Hurray, old thread! :D Combine this stuff with this:

http://paizo.com/products/btpy8qib

Man, I LOVE this book!

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Michael Johnson 66 wrote:

Spelljammer skirmishes were basically like naval skirmishes but in 3D. I like the way they explained space in SJ, and I like the fact that they retained a fantasy medieval feel for the ships, weapons, etc., because that's how space travel SHOULD be in D&D, IMO. If I wanted a more realistic space RPG, I'd go with Star Wars or some other sci-fi game.

I wouldn't knock out Dragonstar's approach before trying it. It did not last for long as it came out right at the 3.0/3.5 conversion, but it made for an interesting setting for those who wanted a bit more of a hard SF feel. Dragonstar would be more like Eberron taken to space.

I loved Spelljammer, but I loved Dragonstar just as much.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Michael Johnson 66 wrote:
Spelljammer skirmishes were basically like naval skirmishes but in 3D. I like the way they explained space in SJ, and I like the fact that they retained a fantasy medieval feel for the ships, weapons, etc., because that's how space travel SHOULD be in D&D, IMO. If I wanted a more realistic space RPG, I'd go with Star Wars or some other sci-fi game.

I wouldn't knock out Dragonstar's approach before trying it. It did not last for long as it came out right at the 3.0/3.5 conversion, but it made for an interesting setting for those who wanted a bit more of a hard SF feel. Dragonstar would be more like Eberron taken to space.

I loved Spelljammer, but I loved Dragonstar just as much.

I am the same way. I am running an Eberron/Spelljammer campaign right now. Vodoni invasion. My next campaign will be Dragonstar. Using the free Star Wars Saga campaign arc, Dawn of Defiance as the basis. The concept of Dawn fits in great with the whole nascent rebellion type thing brewing in the Dragon Empire.


The Thing from Beyond the Edge wrote:
xorial wrote:
Urizen wrote:

Honestly, I actually like the gun toting hippos. LPJ is working toward his own Spelljammer-Eberron mash-up called Pirates of the Bronze Sky. As well, SGG is conversing about putting up a patronage project for a Pathfinder version of Modern/Future. I wouldn't be surprised if either 3PPs would tackle this specific topics.

But it wouldn't hurt me either way if one wants to stay away from those fantasy content they deem a little silly for their tastes and more toward a hard Sci-Fi direction. In the meantime, I've been collecting OOP books at HPB lately in the hopes of OGL content to throw in my two bits when there looks to be some actual activity to produce a base standardization on this topic.

Actually, Louis turned the project over to the guy who wrote the core of the setting, Chris Fields.
Is this something that will be posted on the net for all to see or something slated to be released?

I recently purchased the setting back from Chris, so there is a possibility of it coming out. Just might have to spend some time to come up with some new ideas for the setting.

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