Want MrRhexx to talk more about Spelljammer?

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Havard
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Want MrRhexx to talk more about Spelljammer?

Post by Havard »

In the youtube video "What they don't tell you about 11th Level Spells", someone called MrRhexx talks about some basic Spelljammer concepts in order to explain the spell Breach Crystal Sphere.

Is that spell something Spelljammer fans talk about often?

What do you think of the video?

MrRhexx also mentions the possibility of more Spelljammer dedicated videos in the future if there is enough interest. Is that something people here would want to see?

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Re: Want MrRhexx to talk more about Spelljammer?

Post by Big Mac »

Havard wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:32 pm
In the youtube video "What they don't tell you about 11th Level Spells", someone called MrRhexx talks about some basic Spelljammer concepts in order to explain the spell Breach Crystal Sphere.
Thanks for the link. That video is actually the middle part of a three-part video on (now illegal) high level spells: The video is actually a Forgotten Realms video - not a Spelljammer video - and the spells come from the Arcane Age campaign setting (which is set in the past of Forgotten Realms). Specifically, they come from Netheril. That's a magical empire, in the north of Faerûn, that got destroyed long before the 1st and 2nd Edition eras of Forgotten Realms.

There was a time when the Netherese tried to expand into Wildspace. They were pretty aggressive towards spacefarers (and unpopular) and were attacked on sight, by lots of other spacefaring groups.
Havard wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:32 pm
Is that spell something Spelljammer fans talk about often?

What do you think of the video?

MrRhexx also mentions the possibility of more Spelljammer dedicated videos in the future if there is enough interest. Is that something people here would want to see?
There were actually two spells that would be useful in a Spelljammer context:
  • Proctiv's Breach Crystal Sphere (which is reversible) and
  • Valdick's Spheresail
I don't like the way that Proctiv's Breach Crystal Sphere is written, to be honest. The normal version of the spell was designed to force open a crystal sphere that was magically sealed, but the text talks about the spell being used to permanently close a crystal sphere.

I think that Slade should either have called the spell Proctiv's Seal Crystal Sphere, so that the name fitted with permanently closing a crystal sphere, or started off the description with a paragraph that spoke of breaking through any magical effects blocking access to the crystal sphere (to fit with the name that Proctiv gave the spell).

Realmspace was actually sealed, during the Time of Troubles, as the portals into Realmspace are controlled by The Wanderers. So maybe a Proctiv's Breach Crystal Sphere spell could overide the power that is tied into The Wanderers and make the Realmspace shell act more like other crystal spheres.

Sealing a crystal sphere might be a good plot device, but with the spell for removing the seal being an 11th Level spell, it would be a plot device that players couldn't really get past. You would probably need to create a McGuffin that had the effect of a Proctiv's Breach Crystal Sphere spell.

Having said that, you need a 100 ton spelljamming ship (with a Major Helm on it) to use this spell. 100 tons is the maximum displacement for a normal spelljamming ship. And if you are on a 100 ton ship, you need to have crew to man it. When you cast the spell and the ship and helm vanish, you and your crew would be drifting around in the void next to the sphere wall. So the only way to do this, would be to send a pair of ships, with one working as the material component and the other being used to bring back the spellcaster and the crew.

Valdick's Spheresail is interesting as it is an early (2nd Edition) way to move a spelljamming ship without the use of a helmsman. And it allows a ship to travel twice as fast as a ship using a spelljamming helm.

I'm not too in love with the explanation though. The spell says it taps into the power of Mystryl. But Mystryl would not be present in every single crystal sphere. (In Krynnspace, for example, it would need to tap into Solinari, Lunitari or Nuitari instead.)

The wording for travelling through the phlogiston at double speed is fine.

The Thayans might have discovered Valdick's Spheresail as they built the Quad of Thay during the 2nd Edition Era of Realmspace and the Starry Compass during the 4th Edition Era of Realmspace. I suppose a Nererese connection does make that seem a little less unlikely.

Another Proctiv spell worth looking at is Proctiv's Move Mountain which is probably identical or similar to the spell used to chop off the tops of the mountains in the Equitorial Reorx region and send them up into Krynnspace.

There are Flying Citadels in Dragonlance canon and I'd be interested to compare them to Proctiv's Move Mountain to see if they are on a similar power level
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Re: Want MrRhexx to talk more about Spelljammer?

Post by Jaid »

how would a spell that taps into the power of a deity make you go faster in the phlogiston?

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Re: Want MrRhexx to talk more about Spelljammer?

Post by Havard »

Big Mac wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:13 am
Havard wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:32 pm
In the youtube video "What they don't tell you about 11th Level Spells", someone called MrRhexx talks about some basic Spelljammer concepts in order to explain the spell Breach Crystal Sphere.
Thanks for the link. That video is actually the middle part of a three-part video on (now illegal) high level spells: The video is actually a Forgotten Realms video - not a Spelljammer video - and the spells come from the Arcane Age campaign setting (which is set in the past of Forgotten Realms). Specifically, they come from Netheril. That's a magical empire, in the north of Faerûn, that got destroyed long before the 1st and 2nd Edition eras of Forgotten Realms.
True, but the guy spends 5-10 minutes in the video I linked to explaining how Spelljammer works and he promised that he would do a more in depth video on Spelljamming if there was enough interest. Is that something you want to see? :)

I have not watched the video on 12th level spells, but the one on 10th level spells briefly mention Spelljamming.


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Re: Want MrRhexx to talk more about Spelljammer?

Post by Big Mac »

Jaid wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:27 am
how would a spell that taps into the power of a deity make you go faster in the phlogiston?
The spell says it has two different power sources. Here is the relevant part of the spell description:
Valdick's Spheresail wrote:Unlike spelljamming helms, which converted magical energy into motive force, the spheresail gained its power from one of two sources, depending upon where it was being used.

Within a crystal sphere, the spell dipped directly into the magical forces of the goddess Mystryl and converted this raw power into motion‚ giving the spelljamming craft great spell (a maximum Movement Rate of 20 near planets or double-spelljamming speed in the intervening space between celestial bodies). This allowed the user to go from one planet to another quickly or from one city to another at lightning speed.

Outside a crystal sphere, the spheresail spell focused on the gravitational energies of the destination sphere, pulling itself along these lines, gaining speed. By using this spell, a spelljamming vessel could traverse the distance in half the time ordinary spelljamming crafts were able to move.
Two things niggle me about this spell.

The first is that it has two different power sources (the second being some sort of "gravitational energies of crystal spheres" (something I've never seen mentioned elsewhere).

The second is that Mystryl is not worshipped in every single crystal sphere. So it doesn't sound right to have a spell description where a deity from one crystal sphere provides power in every other crystal sphere. Having said that there is the Contact Home Power spell, which allows access to non-native deities. So I suppose a 10th Level Spell could do the same sort of thing and access Mystryl's power.
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Re: Want MrRhexx to talk more about Spelljammer?

Post by Big Mac »

Havard wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:13 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:13 am
Havard wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:32 pm
In the youtube video "What they don't tell you about 11th Level Spells", someone called MrRhexx talks about some basic Spelljammer concepts in order to explain the spell Breach Crystal Sphere.
Thanks for the link. That video is actually the middle part of a three-part video on (now illegal) high level spells: The video is actually a Forgotten Realms video - not a Spelljammer video - and the spells come from the Arcane Age campaign setting (which is set in the past of Forgotten Realms). Specifically, they come from Netheril. That's a magical empire, in the north of Faerûn, that got destroyed long before the 1st and 2nd Edition eras of Forgotten Realms.
True, but the guy spends 5-10 minutes in the video I linked to explaining how Spelljammer works and he promised that he would do a more in depth video on Spelljamming if there was enough interest. Is that something you want to see? :)
You are quite right, of course.

I don't think I explained myself properly, at the start of my post. Sorry for any confusion.

This stuff, that MrRhexx is talking about is Spelljammer canon...

...but it is something I call "secondary Spelljammer canon". That is content from a non-Spelljammer soruce (in this case a Forgotten Realms: Arcane Age source) that contains a percentage of Spelljammer material.

That's relevant to your question: "Is that spell something Spelljammer fans talk about often?" because some people don't seek out secondary sources of Spelljammer material and will therefore have never heard of this spell.

(There are also some fans who don't use the novels or don't use the comics or don't use the content from the Pirates of Realmspace computer game. But I don't really have to worry about them - aside from telling you that they probably wouldn't be interested in non-primary canon - as they do not need to use these two extra Spelljammer spells and the Netherese spelljammer port. They can just ignore it all and not worry about it.)

So, for those folks who have a good collection of "primary Spelljammer sources", but who are not necessarily aware of the "secondary Spelljammer sources" I was pointing out where to look for these two spells (and the now long vanished Netherese Spelljamming port that MrRhexx didn't mention).

And the fact that the high level spells can not be cast after the Netherese empire was destroyed, means that they are unusable in the standard Spelljammer era (where all the "primary Spelljammer canon" is set).

So it's interesting. And another Spelljammer video by MrRhexx would be great. And Arcane Age play for campaign settings other than Forgotten Realms could also be fun. But it's a niche crossover setting.

The Arcane Age subforum currently has 24 topics and 187 posts vs 808 topics and 6972 posts for the entire Forgotten Realms area (including all the Forgotten Realms subforums).

That's how small a niche I think this is within the wider Spelljammer community (maybe about 5 percent of SJ fans would want to use this). But I do think it's a very interesting niche, as Spelljammer has some fascinating things in it's backstory and the period when Netherese spelljamming ships were going around (annoying the heck out of everyone else in Wildspace) could make for a really awesome Spelljammer campaign.

And, of course, if MrRhexx did other Spelljammer videos, he would not need to contain himself to the Arcane Age era...or even Realmspace.

He did mention Eberron's crystal sphere. We have very little detail on that sphere, aside from knowing that Eberron has a ring, 12 moons and a sun. The Mindflayers of Thoon have travelled between the Far Realm and Eberron in nautiloids, but they were travelling across the planes when they did that.

MrRhexx seems to be mostly assuming that people are 5th Edition fans, so I think he would probably mostly talk about Realmspace in the 5e Era. There were a number of mentions of Spelljammer in Living Forgotten Realms adventures, plus that stuff that Richard Baker made for the novel Corsair, so someone could study all of that and come up with some ideas for how a 4e or 5e Realmspace would change. (A number of Thayan Enclaves accross the sphere would be appropriate.)
Havard wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:13 pm
I have not watched the video on 12th level spells, but the one on 10th level spells briefly mention Spelljamming.
The "What They Don't Tell You About 12th Level Spells - D&D" video is just about the one spell that was only cast once. That spell destroyed the goddess of magic (and the caster and almost every flying Netherese city). Mystryl sacrificed herself to reshape how magic worked and turned a low-level spellcaster into her replacement. So nobody else ever got to try to create a spell as powerful as the one that Karsus cast. And Karsus's original body was consumed by his spell, meaning that Mystryl's sacrifice meant he had nowhere to go and was also destroyed at the same time.

The only way that PCs would ever be able to get to that spell, is for them to go back to the time just before Karsus cast the spell, gain the ability to lean 12th Level spells and then steal Karsus's reseach, and complete it themselves (targeting it on a different deity).

What Karsus did in Realmspace, is pretty much the same sort of thing that the Kingpriest did in Krynnspace. In Krynnspace the attempt to harness the power of one of the gods caused an asteroid to be sucked out of Wildspace and land directly on top of where the Kingpriest was standing.

Raistlin (a charcter in the current era of Dragonlance/Krynnspace) did find a way to absorb the power of Dragonlance deities, but turning a PC into a deity is pretty much something that turns them into an NPC in AD&D.

I think that work would need to be done with rules from the Immortals Set, from BECMI, if a Spelljammer GM wanted to run an Arcane Age era Spelljammer game where 12th level spells were actually on the table. (At least obtaining "the pituitary gland of the tarrasque" would be less problematic when you can travel to the crystal sphere that Falx is in and have multiple tarrasques to hunt down with your 10th and 11th level spells. ;) )

Every Spelljammer planet would also need a reboot, to take it into the era when Karsus was alive (or an earlier time if a GM wanted to avoid using Karsus). I already have a topic about how an Arcane Age Anadia might work.

An Arcane Age Falx might not be the "Planet of the Tarrasques" that it is in the main eras of Spelljammer, Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Greyhawk and Planescape. Maybe there used to only be one of them and someone trying to do the sort of research that Karsus was doing transformed the tarrasque from an asexual immortal creature into a pregnant female tarrasque in order to create an entire population of the creatures. That would have to be a spellcaster willing to allow entire civilisations of people to be eaten by tarrasques, just so they could harvest enough tarrasque pituitary glands to make material components for super-powerful spells.

Who knows. Maybe Karsus travelled to Falx on a Netherese spelljamming ship and gave the planet a plague of tarrasques. :D

I wonder if James Introcaso thought about Karsus's Avatar spell when he wrote Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques for DMs Guild. Did his DMs Guild Adept status give him access to some Forgotten Realms/Spelljammer canon that we do not know about*...or did he just make new stuff up.

* = That is "canon that we do not know about", as in manuscripts showing unpublished 2nd Edition material.
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Re: Want MrRhexx to talk more about Spelljammer?

Post by AuldDragon »

Big Mac wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:03 am
The first is that it has two different power sources (the second being some sort of "gravitational energies of crystal spheres" (something I've never seen mentioned elsewhere).
Maybe no one else has figured out how to tap into them, because it requires magical power outside the normal 9 levels, but there is talk of "paramagnetic gradients" in the novels, and they could be different names for the same thing.
Big Mac wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:03 am
The second is that Mystryl is not worshipped in every single crystal sphere. So it doesn't sound right to have a spell description where a deity from one crystal sphere provides power in every other crystal sphere. Having said that there is the Contact Home Power spell, which allows access to non-native deities. So I suppose a 10th Level Spell could do the same sort of thing and access Mystryl's power.
A spell above 9th level *definitely* could do that.

But to a certain extent, these spells are more about explaining stuff rather than making them available to players.

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Re: Want MrRhexx to talk more about Spelljammer?

Post by Cromstar »

AuldDragon wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:05 am
Big Mac wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:03 am
The second is that Mystryl is not worshipped in every single crystal sphere. So it doesn't sound right to have a spell description where a deity from one crystal sphere provides power in every other crystal sphere. Having said that there is the Contact Home Power spell, which allows access to non-native deities. So I suppose a 10th Level Spell could do the same sort of thing and access Mystryl's power.
A spell above 9th level *definitely* could do that.

But to a certain extent, these spells are more about explaining stuff rather than making them available to players.

Jeff
Yeah, anything above 9th level is pretty OP and can do a lot of things. Wish is 9th level, and we're talking about being more powerful than that.

From my view, though, it doesn't necessarily have to actually mean channeling the power of Mystryl. Since the spell was from Netheril, and they viewed Mystryl as the goddess and source of magic, they'd have a natural bias to assume such is the case everywhere. In my cosmology, there is a plane of magic, which is the source of all such energy; in Faerun, this is manifested and viewed as 'the Weave', but it exists in some form throughout the multiverse. For me, I'd rule this spell directly taps that plane.

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Re: Want MrRhexx to talk more about Spelljammer?

Post by night_druid »

A surprisingly accurate video related to Spelljammer. I often see a lot of minor mistakes, but MrRhexx seems to know his stuff. The only _very_ minor quibble was the bit about the phlogiston not being able to enter the sphere, but there are really only a few somewhat obscure references to it happening.
Big Mac wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:13 am
There was a time when the Netherese tried to expand into Wildspace. They were pretty aggressive towards spacefarers (and unpopular) and were attacked on sight, by lots of other spacefaring groups.

There were actually two spells that would be useful in a Spelljammer context:
  • Proctiv's Breach Crystal Sphere (which is reversible) and
  • Valdick's Spheresail
I can't say I'm really fond of how Netheril treated Spelljammer. It seemed...half-assed? It seemed as if Slade was setting up for some sort of huge Spelljammer war/conflict involving Netheril, but decided against it at the last minute. Probably due to a) lack of space and b) it would require building an entire multi-sphere SJ setting from scratch. So Nethril spent 100 years fiddling around in space, and then said "screw it, this is too expensive!". Always felt there was way more to that story than was told (part of why I created "Netherspace/Mystyrl's Harbor" ;) )
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Re: Want MrRhexx to talk more about Spelljammer?

Post by AuldDragon »

For the cost, I would say the Arcane probably gouged them for helms, charging triple or quadruple price. I'd probably also figure that each wizard wanted a giant over-100 ton ship to fly to show their grandeur and couldn't get it to work (couldn't modify the helms, for example), and generally go for all of the "failed because of arrogance" tropes.

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