"Greyspace-lite" as a background for the 3e conversion

A project to support the official Spelljammer conversion to 3rd edition rules.

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"Greyspace-lite" as a background for the 3e conversion

Post by Big Mac » Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:03 pm

I've been having some thoughts about using a "Greyspace-lite" approach to any attempt I make to restart the 3e Conversion, to match the "Greyhawk-lite" vibe that the core 3e Dungeons & Dragons products have.

There are a few reasons why I've come to the conclusion that this is the direction I would like to head in and I thought I would share them with you:
  1. An alternative to Spelljammer: Shadow of the Spider Moon - Andy Collins already gave us a workable 3rd Edition setting. The BtM conversion attempt has always been an alternative to this. Andy Collins gave us both rules and a mini-setting and I think that a fan conversion also needs to have a setting.
  2. A sequel to Jeff Grubb's Spelljammer - Jeff Grubb's boxed set, with it's three spheres is what made me like Spelljammer in the first place. So I've always wanted to see a 3rd Edition conversion of his original setting rather than just 3e rules for Spelljammer (otherwise I'd be using Andy Collins's Spelljammer setting and rules). I want to work on 3e conversions that facilitate use of the worlds of the AD&D Adventures in Space boxed set (rather than conversions that build a different SJ campaign setting for 3e). I believe that the "Radiant Triangle" is the core of "Jeff Grubb's Spelljammer" with the other spheres being the outer reaches of the "Known Spheres" or areas outside of the "Known Spheres" (or "unknown spheres"). And I believe that a conversion that operates with that assumption needs to build out from one or more of the "Radiant Triangle" spheres
  3. Tie-ins to core 3rd Edition content - The 3rd Edition D&D product line has Greyhawk-lite references in core D&D products, with Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance each getting their own separate product lines. Treating all core 3rd Edition products as having a potential Greyhawk tie-in, means that a SJ conversion can treat them all as having a potential Greyspace tie-in. That allows for core 3e D&D concepts to be reviewed and possibly raided for use in Greyspace, with 3e Forgotten Realms and 3e Dragonlance concepts being reviewed and considered and possibly raided for use in Realmspace and Krynnspace. (An organised process of looking for inspiration and raiding ideas could help to flesh out the worlds of Greyspace, Realmspace and Krynnspace, making Jeff Grubb's "Radiant Triangle" into a much more vivid and detailed setting than before.)
  4. A simplified version of the "Radiant Triangle" - While I like the idea of "building up the Radiant Triangle", there is a lot of work to be done (and so far I've not made much headway, so need to simplify the problem if I'm ever going to get any of it finished). A "Greyspace-lite" would make it possible to lay the foundation of Greyspace, while giving hints of Realmspace, Krynnspace and other crystal spheres. That would be enough to allow people to "move on" to more detailed work on all three spheres (without making so many tie-ins that people that wanted to avoid the "Radiant Triangle" would have problems using a 3e conversion). It would be a stepping stone for me, but I don't believe it would cause too many problems for people who wanted to "dump the Greyspace-lite elements" and use another crystal sphere (like Clusterspace).
  5. Greyspace tie-ins to core SJ factions and races - Jeff Grubb's original boxed set doesn't "nail down" a lot of the factions. Some of them are given more detail later on. A SJ3e conversion would be a great opportunity to use sidebars to give details on the "Greyspace branch" of these factions, and could come with a small number of plot-hooks that tie those specific branches to other specific locations within the crystal sphere. (This might also make for something that has some value to fans of Greyspace that prefer to stick with 2e, but I'm mostly thinking that it would allow for a game based only on the 3e PHB and SJ3e conversion documents to use every bit of Greyhawk-lite detail as the basis of the "main planet". And anyone who didn't want to use "Greyspace-lite" could ignore the suggested location names and reboot the sidebars to suit how they want to use the core factions in their own sphere.)
  6. Future proofing - In order to make a "space" for the directions I want to go in, with the original SJ campaign setting, I would want to be able to do things like avoid using Bral as a generic location (to facilitate Bralspace having Bral). As some things need to be based outside of Greyspace, in order to make Realmspace, Krynnspace and Bralspace be "as important as Greyspace", I think it would be good to make some of the sidebars that expand on Greyspace-lite organisations explain that the organisation has come into the sphere from another sphere. And I think it would be good to "build a new Bral" for Greyspace-lite that does the same thing as Bral does, but which can be expanded into an asteroid city that has more World of Greyhawk themes to it later.
So, there is where I am coming from. I don't expect everyone else (or indeed anyone else) to want to play the same way as me. And even if someone likes the idea of 3rd Edition Greyspace, I don't expect them to want to build it the same way I want to build it, but that's the direction I want to go in. And if anyone wants to use anything I make for their game, or if they want to help me build Greyspace-lite content or help me expand "Greyspace-lite" into a full blown "Greyspace: The Greyhawk Crystal Sphere" netbook, I'll be very happy to discuss this with you.

I would also like to look at the Greyspace topics on The Piazza (possibly outside the remit of the "Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project") to see how many of the concepts in those topics could be used as Greyspace-lite elements (or at least not rendered impossible by Greyspace-lite elements).
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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