How often do Spelljammers visit your campaign world?

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Havard
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How often do Spelljammers visit your campaign world?

Post by Havard » Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:15 pm

Here's something I have thought about.

Some worlds have very busy spelljamming ports with several Spelljamming vessels visiting every day. Other worlds are lucky if they see a single Spelljamming vessel in a season. Or even a year?

I think both types of worlds could make interesting starting points for what might later evolve into a Spelljammer campaign.

Worlds where Spelljammers are rare can be pretty interesting too, while still retaining parts of the Spelljammer flavour.

How do you see your campaign world? Assuming you have a default one in additon to Spelljammer?

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Re: How often do Spelljammers visit your campaign world?

Post by lesh » Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:15 pm

My campaign world is always Sigil, and they visit more often than it's mentioned in official books. I've changed the city to be bigger, with huge, long-lasting portals.

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Re: How often do Spelljammers visit your campaign world?

Post by TBeholder » Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:04 pm

Sigil? Well, there was a story about one enterprising fellow who was told to buy "a squid" and... all this turned a somewhat weird way. ;)
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Re: How often do Spelljammers visit your campaign world?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:04 am

Havard wrote:Some worlds have very busy spelljamming ports with several Spelljamming vessels visiting every day. Other worlds are lucky if they see a single Spelljamming vessel in a season. Or even a year?

I think both types of worlds could make interesting starting points for what might later evolve into a Spelljammer campaign.

Worlds where Spelljammers are rare can be pretty interesting too, while still retaining parts of the Spelljammer flavour.
I would personally want to go by the canon for Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk. I'm still learning more about the "secondary Spelljammer canon" in all three worlds, but it seems that SJ traffic on "groundling worlds" is mostly based around seafaring ports and is mostly low profile.

However, if you extrapolated that "low profile" stuff out, to all the other ports that have never been mentioned, you would probably get quite a lot of low profile traffic. So the individual parts of the world might not see much spelljamming traffic, but the world, as a whole, might see a much higher amount of traffic than groundlings expect. So I'm not entirely sure what level of spelljamming traffic you can actually infer from Krynn, Toril and Oerth. But, if you can do some maths to estimate the number of seafaring ports on each of those "groundling worlds" and multiply that by the low amount of spacefaring activity we know about, you should be able to make a guess at how many ships might be visiting each of those three worlds.

And with those three worlds defined as "groundling worlds" we could obviously infer that spacefaring planets have more activity. How much more, I don't know, but we could make a few educated guesses.

I believe that SJ canon says something about most ships being system ships (ones that always remain within the same crystal sphere) so if we set up imaginary trade routes we would need to have visits to worlds like Krynn, Toril and Oerth balancing out with visits to and from other celestial bodies. There are probably some ships (fishing ships, patrol ships, pirates, etc) that fly out into wildspace, but return to their own port without having visited another celestial body. So that might need to be taken into account. Whatever numbers we come up with, they will need to add up to 100 percent of the spacefaring traffic (within each sphere).

I suppose that if we looked at Krynnspace, Realmspace and Greyspace and made a guess at how many ports each world could support, we might be able to come up with very very rough guesses for the amount of spacefaring traffic in those three spheres. And I thought they were supposed to be more busy than most other spheres.
Havard wrote:How do you see your campaign world? Assuming you have a default one in additon to Spelljammer?
I would be inclined to try to get the numbers right for space travel, rather than try to get them right for port activity. Spelljammer is supposed to be fantasy ships in space, with an Age of Sail feel, so you probably need to try to reproduce the chances of meeting pirates that seafarers have. So I would be wanting to shoot for those sorts of probabilities.

Of course, a lot of that depends on how easy it is for pirates to estimate the incoming courses of ships approaching celestial bodies, so that they can attempt to plot courses that intercept the courses of ships that have treasure worth stealing.

I guess what I am saying is that the answer to your question: "How often do Spelljammers visit your campaign world?" is 42. And that the question that needs to be asked, by a Spelljamming fan superior to me (aka Jaid) who can compute the question that gives us 42. ;)
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Re: How often do Spelljammers visit your campaign world?

Post by lesh » Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:06 am

TBeholder wrote:Sigil? Well, there was a story about one enterprising fellow who was told to buy "a squid" and... all this turned a somewhat weird way. ;)
I love that story

I have also a technological faction-sect that imports ship parts from Thuldanin

and there's the Portal Jammer inn constructed from an arcane vessel

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Re: How often do Spelljammers visit your campaign world?

Post by Jaid » Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:56 am

Big Mac wrote:I guess what I am saying is that the answer to your question: "How often do Spelljammers visit your campaign world?" is 42. And that the question that needs to be asked, by a Spelljamming fan superior to me (aka Jaid) who can compute the question that gives us 42. ;)
heh, i'm better with number-crunching.

in this case, you're pretty much looking at "as much or as little as you want" being the correct answer. it's not "how much traffic is there", it's "how much do you have in your games", and there is no one "correct answer" for that (whereas, in contrast, i can mathematically demonstrate that the light catapult is the best ship weapon in most ways, with the medium catapult being *slightly* more efficient in some ways, and that all ballistas are just downright awful for pretty much any purpose you care to name).

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Re: How often do Spelljammers visit your campaign world?

Post by ghendar » Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:50 pm

Havard wrote:
How do you see your campaign world? Assuming you have a default one in additon to Spelljammer?

-Havard
The following is probably going to be heresy to many here :lol: but I was never a fan of Spelljammer (thought it was silly back when it came out) and my opinion really hasn't changed much. Thus, Spelljamming has no place in my worlds.
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Re: How often do Spelljammers visit your campaign world?

Post by DirtSkull » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:53 pm

The Princess Ark and other floating ships(X5 Master's)have made appearances in our Known World. The term 'SpellJammer' is not used.

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Re: How often do Spelljammers visit your campaign world?

Post by TBeholder » Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:29 am

Because, uh, floating ships aren't spelljammers?

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Re: How often do Spelljammers visit your campaign world?

Post by night_druid » Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:45 am

On a planetary scale, frequency of spelljammer visits probably doesn't matter. Even daily visits, when spread out across a planet, could mean very little local activity (to the point of whole regions would never see a spelljammer). But in general, I go with "common in some areas, unknown in others". Spelljammer is about as well known as the planes. Lots of rumors, false information, and so forth. :)
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Re: How often do Spelljammers visit your campaign world?

Post by dulsi » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:56 pm

Well the world my players started on has very little spelljammer traffic. The dragonborn gave up spelljammer in a peace treaty with the oozes. The jellyfish people and their masters still have ships coming in and out of the Starfire Lakes. The players recently got a spelljammer. The local EIN intercepted their ship and brought them to a moon base to discuss the situation. Since then they have returned to the surface and picked a fight with the jellyfish people and their masters. I suspect spelljammers may become more common as everything goes to hell.
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Re: How often do Spelljammers visit your campaign world?

Post by Angel Tarragon » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:29 pm

For Sarunia, spelljammers don't make landfall on the world, as there is some undefined element the prevents them from piercing the atmosphere. I'm thinking that there is some sort of divine barrier that has cut off the world from being visited by spelljammers directly. However, the planetoid in geosynchronous orbit around Sarunia doesn't have the same phenomena, so a Spelljammer could make waterfall/landfall on it and than use any of the various geographical gates linking access between the two worlds, thereby allowing the ship to access the world from that means.

The elven empire on Sarunia does have a gate in their control that links to the air body and earth body satellites and both have ports for their ships. There are no open faced ships that are designed by any of the races, so natives create spelljammers that are completely enclosed.
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