Altered spelljammer concepts

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Altered spelljammer concepts

Postby redking » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:45 pm

Do you dislike the idea of crystal spheres and phlogiston? Of fantasy space that just can't hold up against suspension of disbelief, even when you are able to accept wizards tossing fireballs around? Me too. Lets change some things.

What I am going to do is keep some concepts and words, but alter their meanings and function.

Crystal Sphere: A shimmering belt of trapped energy, somewhat resembling crystal, but is translucent and not solid. The crystal sphere is visible only when past the last planet of the system. Every crystal sphere is at the edge of a planetary system. The crystal sphere keeps out the flow and phlogiston. Once past a crystal sphere, there is the flow or the phlogiston, depending on where one exits a crystal sphere. Experienced space travelers know where to enter the flow.

The Flow: The flow is a safe stream of space, like a river, that propels objects within it at incredible speeds towards other crystal spheres. Some crystal spheres have flow that go to several other crystal spheres, some have two way flows from one crystal sphere and back again, some spheres only have one exit out of the sphere into the flow, which means a return trip may require a circuitous route. When in the flow, space trips that would others take years or centuries may only take a matter of days. The flow has an unusal property that prevents collision of ships or objects within the flow. A ship, creature, or object entering the flow become incorpeal. Because all is incorpeal in the flow, no collisions are possible. Furthermore, teleporation or planar travel do not work in the flow. Outside the safety of the flow is the phlogiston.

The Phlogiston: The phlogiston is comprised of deadly cosmic rays, and is located just outside the flow. The phlogiston is prevented from entering planetary systems by the crystal spheres that trap and neutralize their energy. The phlogiston is deliterious to living creatures and corporeal undead alike. For most, travel into the phlogiston is a one way trip. Teleporation or planar travel do not work in the phlogiston.
Last edited by redking on Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Altered spelljammer concepts

Postby Sturm » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:59 pm

Good ideas, indeed I always wanted to use Spelljammer this way too.
Aristotelic space it's just too different from the real one to work for me.
However I would make the Phlogiston only certain areas of space outside the Flow, not all of it.
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Re: Altered spelljammer concepts

Postby redking » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:14 pm

Sturm wrote:Good ideas, indeed I always wanted to use Spelljammer this way too.


Glad you think so too.

Sturm wrote:Aristotelic space it's just too different from the real one to work for me.


Same. Actually my version of the crystal sphere is based on hard science - the Van Allen Belts surrounding the earth. For all we know there might be something similar catching cosmic rays at the edge of the solar system.

Sturm wrote:However I would make the Phlogiston only certain areas of space outside the Flow, not all of it.


Easily implemented. Although what I am describing as "the phlogiston" really just is empty space filled with deadly cosmic rays (like our outer space). While the flow is safe and protected from those cosmic rays.
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Re: Altered spelljammer concepts

Postby Sturm » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:19 pm

Ok, I would just like to leave the possibility to explore outer space instead of just going from one solar system to another... maybe isolated asteroids or planets, comets, nebula and such things that could be reached through their own flows..
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Re: Altered spelljammer concepts

Postby Gawain_VIII » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:20 pm

So, in short, using RW science terminology:
Crystal Sphere - heliosphere
The Flow = solar winds
The Phlogiston = interstellar medium/interstellar radiation field

:mrgreen:

Edit: This also makes it easier to reconcile differences & resolve issues created by placing the solar system (Mystara) described in the Immortal's books into the Spelljammer universe.
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Re: Altered spelljammer concepts

Postby Lord Sheriff Takari » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:27 am

the ideas have merit in each aspect

the river like pattern of the Flow can be visualized by watching the TV Series Babylon 5 <the flow is found in the Hyperspace Realm where currents and eddies can be seen>
it is this aspect which I use in my Home brew Games

the Phlogiston's assorted dangerous aspects are known, but I wouldn't call them imminently Deadly like Cosmic Rays are
space is hazardous and can kill the unwary or unskilled traveler.
limiting the ability to travel defeats the effect of the game itself and exploring new and unknown Crystal Spheres can make for some epic and fun games

Crystal Spheres <at least how I interpret them>
this is the outer limit of the local Planetary system's influence beyond which local effects no longer apply
<the power and influence of lessor Gods or local laws of physics>
accessing it still follows the book's listed means

the way I use the Crystal Sphere is just a tad different
from the outside, it is a solid interface that can be seen from considerable distance as described in the book, although the points to access it may or may not be known or marked.
an established entry point will have Markers <Buoys> leading to it and maybe an Outpost where arriving ships can acquire local information.

from the inside
the Crystal Sphere is not visible to the naked eye but the ship's Helmsman will know where it is as the ship nears the interface
if the ship is intending to leave and enter the Phlogiston
the transition to Spelljamming speed will cause a portion of the sphere to become visible forming a doughnut like portal opening ahead of the departing vessel and is large enough to comfortably fit it's passage
the inner edge is solid and will cause considerable damage to a ship that hits it.
<treat as a Ramming attack against a vessel 10x larger than the vessel that just collided with it
for a moment, the gravity plane of the ship will align with the plane of the ring before reverting back to normal resulting in an automatic "Ship Shaken" Critical Hit
the outer edge fades into the blackness of the surrounding space.
the Crystal Sphere itself is made of an ancient Greater Divine Energy beyond the comprehension of mortal folk.
therefore the Crystal Sphere cannot be damaged by any such Mortal means or Magic
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