D&D Spelljammer: Adventures in Space requires a warning about strange content

The Dungeons & Dragons reboot of the fictional Spelljammer is arguably the most anticipated RPG of the year (Dragonlance follows closely). Fans have been waiting for decades to revisit the place among the stars, and the new three-volume collection titled Spelljammer: Adventures in Space The game will be released on August 16th. But beware: the module contains several items – including enemies – that Dungeon Masters may want to modify or avoid altogether when playing with their regular deck.

[Content warning: This article includes images of clowns and spiders.]

In addition to the hippopotamus Spelljammer (giff) and other stellar anomalies, the setting is also home to a particularly dangerous band of violent clowns. If you choose to look closely at the photo above, you can see their pale faces swinging from the shadows.

“What we’re looking at here is a modified spaceship,” creative director Chris Perkins said during a recent press preview event. “They put a big klaxon horn on the bow and have a pancake catapult on the back castle.”

Photo: Scott Murphy/Wizards of the Coast

Perkins said the addition of nerd space clowns – a nod to the ’80s cult classic Killer clones from outer space It is not intended to frighten anyone. far from it; These “weird” creatures are actually there to provide a bit of comic relief, a “counterpoint to some of the more serious elements of the setting” which includes those of “cosmic horror”. But if you have someone in your group who has a serious clown problem, you’ll want to stay away from that particular confrontation. Of course, a good DM should know players’ hot topics very early on after setting clear boundaries during a pre-game conversation, usually called session zero.

Another exotic ingredient in the original Spelljammer setup is the Neogi, which are tough creatures described as “a cross between a wolf spider and an eel.” Therefore, it is furry at the bottom and slippery at the top. In the new Spelljammer, Neogi will be among the player’s enemies. Aside from their frightening appearance, the sight of their ships can also be unsettling for players with arachnophobia. The massive 175-foot ships are literally shaped like spiders, with their giant zigzag limbs that extend out to catch other ships so the rookie parties can move through them and do their dirty work.

Of course, in your home campaign, DMs can make on-the-fly tweaks to make these enemies and their ships look like anything they want.

A nightpider Niuji traverses an asteroid field near a star cloud.

Photo: Jessica Nguyen/Wizards of the Coast

“We give those ships as kind of an example,” Perkins said, noting that the original Spelljammer contained a massive warfare element, with grate combat maps and icons for enemy and allied ships. “They run the gamut from the expected kind of spaceships to exotic things like this — hammer ships and squid ships. Many of the Spelljammer ships are modeled after creatures. […] This is something we have kept. I think it’s one of the key elements that sort of defines a Spelljammer.”

Statistics on the original spider Niuji, from 1989's Spelljammer: Adventures in Space.  It lists a crew of 11 and a 50-foot beam.

Photo: Jim Holloway/Wizards of the Coast

The new Neogi night fan art appears to be very faithful to the original, called the Deathspiders, with Jessica Newgen’s brightly luminous ship retaining the same lines and coloring as the 1989 version, drawn by Jim Holloway.

Over the past several years, Wizards of the Coast have made a major showing in avoiding issues of racial fundamentalism, expanding influence for example to allow for a variety of lineups other than true evil. Legally the neogi are among the worst of the worst, with an entire social structure based on slavery. “To own or possess” is the Neogi way of life, according to the original books. So, will magicians massage some elements of this and other canonical races to a modern audience? Yes and no, according to Perkins.

Mindflayers will be present in the revised setup, cruising through space in nautiloid ships shaped like slugs. Those who played Baldur Gate 3 Or those who visited the frozen north in Icewind Deal: Frost Frost They have also encountered these evil brain-eating squid in the past. They’re still basically 100% evil, as are some of the seers (giant floating head-shaped monsters) that you’ll also encounter in Spelljammer. But the other races in place will have many more nuances than ever before.

“With the other types of creatures, we just wanted to show that there are layers there [and] This sometimes […] Perkins said, in response to Polygon’s inquiry. “This question brought to my mind one of my favorite questions Star Trek: The Next Generation An episode titled “I, the Borg” where, for the first time, we see a kind of more sympathetic side than what was once a kind of monogamous race in the Borg. I think that’s always a possibility in this place, and many of the creatures you encounter in both the adventure appear in the product and in this art more broadly described in [Boo’s Astral Menagerie]that there is a scope there. […] Vampires can be bad, but sometimes you find a good person. And sometimes you can make deals with them. And sometimes they are your friends, and sometimes they sacrifice their lives to save you.”

Spelljammer: Adventures in Space It will include a 64-page adventure titled Xaryxis light. The boxed set, which includes a DM monitor, is available for pre-order now online and at your local play store – featuring unique Hydro64 cover art.


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