Silversteel of Wayspace

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AuldDragon
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Silversteel of Wayspace

Post by AuldDragon » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:58 pm

On page 68 of SJR6 Greyspace in the chapter on The Spectre, there is a mention of a special metal from the sphere of Wayspace:
"Depending on what ships have just landed, it is possible to pick up silk from Shou Lung, bronzewood from the Flanaess, silversteel swords from Wayspace, and gnomish gizmos from Krynn, all at the same place."

Silversteel is not detailed, so I did so for a recent session of my campaign:

"Silversteel is a unique natural alloy found only on the planet Wayfarer(1) in the Wayspace crystal sphere. The metal itself is never exported due to the near monopoly the trade guilds hold over the extraction and production of this alloy. Typical exports are weaponry, although occasionally tools and utensils are also produced. Weapons made of this alloy are just as strong as standard steel weapons, but look like weapons made of silver, and they can be used to strike creatures that can be struck by silver weapons. This alloy creates weapons that are slightly offbalance compared to normal steel weapons, causing them to have a weapon speed of 1 higher than the standard weapon, and arrows and bolts have their range reduced by 25%. In all other ways, they are the same as their steel counterparts."

Figured this might be of interest to those who want a little more flavor for their campaigns.

1 — The name of this world is not from canon. I figure that all the major worlds are prefixed Way-, although I haven't created any others than Wayfarer and the canon Waypoint.

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Re: Silversteel of Wayspace

Post by night_druid » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:06 pm

Interesting find. I've started (barely) on Kraken's Guide to Wayspace, but haven't gotten very far due to cloud-migration at work eating up all my time. :P
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Re: Silversteel of Wayspace

Post by Big Mac » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:24 am

AuldDragon wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:58 pm
On page 68 of SJR6 Greyspace in the chapter on The Spectre, there is a mention of a special metal from the sphere of Wayspace:
"Depending on what ships have just landed, it is possible to pick up silk from Shou Lung, bronzewood from the Flanaess, silversteel swords from Wayspace, and gnomish gizmos from Krynn, all at the same place."
I didn't remember that (before you pointed it out to me). And I am a fan of special materials. It's definitely something I would like to see more of in the Spelljammer universe.
AuldDragon wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:58 pm
Silversteel is not detailed, so I did so for a recent session of my campaign:

"Silversteel is a unique natural alloy found only on the planet Wayfarer(1) in the Wayspace crystal sphere. The metal itself is never exported due to the near monopoly the trade guilds hold over the extraction and production of this alloy. Typical exports are weaponry, although occasionally tools and utensils are also produced. Weapons made of this alloy are just as strong as standard steel weapons, but look like weapons made of silver, and they can be used to strike creatures that can be struck by silver weapons. This alloy creates weapons that are slightly offbalance compared to normal steel weapons, causing them to have a weapon speed of 1 higher than the standard weapon, and arrows and bolts have their range reduced by 25%. In all other ways, they are the same as their steel counterparts."

Figured this might be of interest to those who want a little more flavor for their campaigns.
Tools and utensils, huh? I didn't realise that, otherwise I'd have had Braxon buy something else. Oh, well.
AuldDragon wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:58 pm
1 — The name of this world is not from canon. I figure that all the major worlds are prefixed Way-, although I haven't created any others than Wayfarer and the canon Waypoint.

Jeff
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There are not that many words that start with "Way". But I guess you could invent new compound nouns.

I personally think that the canon name Waypoint suggests that it is a port that people stop at when passing through Wayspace on a route from one more important crystal sphere to a second more important crystal sphere. Obviously I'm reaching there, but it gives me a potential theme of the port (and sphere) being useful mostly for it's strategic position.
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Re: Silversteel of Wayspace

Post by Big Mac » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:26 am

night_druid wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:06 pm
Interesting find. I've started (barely) on Kraken's Guide to Wayspace, but haven't gotten very far due to cloud-migration at work eating up all my time. :P
Sorry to hear that...

...but I'll look forward to your write-up of Kraken's Guide to Migrating Clouds. ;)
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Re: Silversteel of Wayspace

Post by GMWestermeyer » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:19 pm

AuldDragon wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:58 pm
On page 68 of SJR6 Greyspace in the chapter on The Spectre, there is a mention of a special metal from the sphere of Wayspace:
"Depending on what ships have just landed, it is possible to pick up silk from Shou Lung, bronzewood from the Flanaess, silversteel swords from Wayspace, and gnomish gizmos from Krynn, all at the same place."
Awesome! Wayspace comes primarily fom the novel Into the Void, by Nigel Findley, who alo wrote SJR6 Greyspace. I wonder if there are any other throw away comments to Wayspace in his other SJ books.

He was a talented and prolific author and designer we lost way to soon. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Findley He wrote the two SJ projects that iI think most set Spelljammer up as its own setting, SJA2 Skull & Crossbows & SJR4 Practical Planetology . If Jeff Grubb is SJ's father, Findley is its mother. :)

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Re: Silversteel of Wayspace

Post by AuldDragon » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:24 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:24 am
Tools and utensils, huh? I didn't realise that, otherwise I'd have had Braxon buy something else. Oh, well.
None were available. They only had weapons, which are the big exports.
Big Mac wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:24 am
I personally think that the canon name Waypoint suggests that it is a port that people stop at when passing through Wayspace on a route from one more important crystal sphere to a second more important crystal sphere. Obviously I'm reaching there, but it gives me a potential theme of the port (and sphere) being useful mostly for it's strategic position.
I assume it's the outermost planet, making it a common stop-off point, even though it is a desert world.

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Re: Silversteel of Wayspace

Post by Jaid » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:23 pm

do you have a house rule (or perhaps something from a non-core book, which i don't have handy atm) that makes regular silver weapons worse or something? apart from a suggestion that using them constantly might lead to them being damaged, my DMG suggests the only drawback to using silver weapons is price. so having a weapon that has additional drawbacks be a major export feels a bit weird to me.

(that would of course be changed considerably if there is some rule in a later book saying that silver weapons are at -1 to hit and damage or something like that, in which case silversteel would be a lot more interesting :P )

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Re: Silversteel of Wayspace

Post by AuldDragon » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:27 pm

Jaid wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:23 pm
do you have a house rule (or perhaps something from a non-core book, which i don't have handy atm) that makes regular silver weapons worse or something? apart from a suggestion that using them constantly might lead to them being damaged, my DMG suggests the only drawback to using silver weapons is price. so having a weapon that has additional drawbacks be a major export feels a bit weird to me.

(that would of course be changed considerably if there is some rule in a later book saying that silver weapons are at -1 to hit and damage or something like that, in which case silversteel would be a lot more interesting :P )
I wouldn't let players continually use silver weapons without penalty. Exactly what penalties I would apply for melee weapons, I don't know, simply because no player in any campaign I've run has ever wanted any other than arrows, which I rule are blunted after 1 attack, and would need to be recast.

I would probably make silver weapons blunt over time, and increase the weight and weapon speed.

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Re: Silversteel of Wayspace

Post by Jaid » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:20 pm

hmmm... i dunno... hard to imagine people getting excited for weapons that can be used indefinitely when they generally need to be used only occasionally. i mean, i guess if there's a ton of werecreatures in a certain area, having weapons that you can afford to use all the time is handy, but if you're only using a given sword once a month anyways, i feel like penalties to extensive use are relatively minimal. it's a small weight penalty (in that you now must carry two swords), but that really isn't all that big of a deal.

as i said, something like a -1 to hit and damage (perhaps only for larger bladed weapons; i feel like a silver mace ought to be perfectly fine, a silver dagger is a much shorter lever and thus has to deal with less mechanical advantage, but something like a longsword could suffer a lot more) would go a lot further towards making silver weapons less appealing... even those arrows, well, it isn't super likely to come up that often; i won't say that i've never shot the same arrow twice in one battle in D&D, but i certainly haven't had to do it frequently. frankly, it might almost be an advantage; shoot them at your enemies, and now your enemies can't shoot them back.

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Re: Silversteel of Wayspace

Post by AuldDragon » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:23 am

If a DM isn't enforcing some sort of rules about silver weapons losing an edge or bending, then yeah; this metal isn't all that great. But to be perfectly honest, the same holds true for most special metals in the game.

I suppose my saying "over time" makes it sound like this is a fairly long term effect; it shouldn't be. I meant it more as an effect taking place over the course of a few battles, if not just one. I make that pretty clear to PCs considering buying an actual silver weapon. It won't last long. Even a mace would loose effectiveness as it becomes misshapen. The arrowhead bit is related to that, because I have a player who collects the arrowheads so he can make new arrows even if he can't recover the arrow itself (I make players roll an item saving throw for arrows to find out if it is recoverable).

Within Spelljammer, silversteel would be popular with moneyed elite, since it looks like silver, but is also rarer. It would be an extra status symbol, even if unused.

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Re: Silversteel of Wayspace

Post by Jaid » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:24 am

heh, well, if it's just a status symbol, silver does the job just as well if it's never going to be used :P

but even over the course of 2-3 battles feels like not much of a problem most of the time. you're not really going to be needing silver very often anyways.

that said, i guess it works better as a sort of background kinda thing... the city watch of a large city isn't likely to find a +1 sword that bypasses the need for silver weapons entirely, but might want to have a handful of these weapons available in case of emergency. it just feels really quite rubbish for an adventurer, but then i guess not everything needs to be based around how an adventurer would use it.

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Re: Silversteel of Wayspace

Post by Dalillama » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:44 am

it just feels really quite rubbish for an adventurer, but then i guess not everything needs to be based around how an adventurer would use it.
Indeed, one of the biggest issues with the published material IMO is that absolutely everything in it is about murderhobos, things that will be directly useful to murderhoboing, and places to murder things, to the exclusion of places to engage in trade, political intrigue, establish a home base, or any other style of play than murderhoboing. (also, if the Vodani are a thing in your 'verse, having a convenient way to equip your crew to fight them isn't to be sneezed at).


I swear there were rules somewhere in 2e about silver weapons not being as good, but I can't be arsed sifting through to find out.

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Re: Silversteel of Wayspace

Post by AuldDragon » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:06 pm

Dalillama wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:44 am
Indeed, one of the biggest issues with the published material IMO is that absolutely everything in it is about murderhobos, things that will be directly useful to murderhoboing, and places to murder things, to the exclusion of places to engage in trade, political intrigue, establish a home base, or any other style of play than murderhoboing. (also, if the Vodani are a thing in your 'verse, having a convenient way to equip your crew to fight them isn't to be sneezed at).
I actually forgot about the Vodoni entirely, but that's an excellent point. But yeah, just because something doesn't appeal to the adventurer-class, it shouldn't be dismissed. Campaigns need a LOT more stuff like that. In addition, not everything needs to have special effects; mostly fluff-y differences should be played up, especially in a setting like Spelljammer.
Dalillama wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:44 am
I swear there were rules somewhere in 2e about silver weapons not being as good, but I can't be arsed sifting through to find out.
Thanks for the reminder; I went to look it up. Page 68 of the original 2e DMG covers silver weapons, but it doesn't have explicit rules:
When confronting a creature immune to all but silver weapons, players will learn (probably the hard way) that just any old silver weapon won't do. Ordinary weapons plated with a thin layer of silver are not effective. The weapon, or at least the blade, must be made of pure silver. Such weapons must be custom-made. In addition, silver is a poor choice of metal for a weapon and so cannot be used for every-day purposes.

To retain its cutting power and shape, a silver weapon should be used only when absolutely needed. While there are no rules to prevent its constant use (since there are too many variables for type of weapon, amount of use, etc.), be ready to surprise characters who constantly use silver weapons in place of normal ones. "Oh, dear, you hit that orc's plate mail with your silver sword and the blade bent!" or "You know, you've been using your silver-headed spear so much that the point is no longer good. It's kind of like hitting that werewolf with a clumsy club except it doesn't work as well!"
So even if the silver weapon doesn't have the weight/speed issues of the Silversteel I wrote up, the silversteel is still better because they won't dull that way.

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Re: Silversteel of Wayspace

Post by Jaid » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:38 pm

by the time you know the vodoni are a problem, you've probably dealt with one of their ships, and have an entire crew's supply of magical weapons because the people who wrote those modules think magic items grow on trees :P

and i've been hinting at that passage since my first post... and i'm still not inclined to consider it a major drawback that you can't fight with them over and over and over, at least, not for adventurers (you'll probably find a magic weapon somewhere along the way).

as i said, i can see it making sense for a city watch, because they're probably not going to be getting a +1 sword any time soon. for adventurers, i don't see it being super valuable :P

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