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Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
 
$18.00 $9.99
Average Rating:4.5 / 5
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Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
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Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Levi A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/08/2014 13:10:51
The classic DnD campaign setting, in a handy digital package. I've been waiting for some time for this set to come back into print, so a review of the contents of the books wouldn't be objective at all. Sure, Spelljammer has some rough edges, and in some places is downright wonky, but the sheer audacity of it is what made it so great. With that said, this review is going to focus on the digitization thereof.

The book scans are very clear, appear to quite high resolution (I didn't check the DPI), and are miles better than another one I'm aware of. The box set is split into two books, and all the extra materials are appended to the end of the first book. This is less than ideal (I'd have preferred a third document), but is not any real hardship. (Although, they'd have probably fit better as part of the Lorebook of the Void, seeing as that's the DM book.) They are formatted at the same page size as the book, so I don't know if they where scanned at a higher resolution or not (for the ship cards and tokens, it probably doesn't matter, but being able to print large format versions of the maps would be nice).

There doesn't appear to be a scan of the box itself. What's a box set with no box? Incomplete, that's what. While it's a minor bobble, as many won't miss it and few will make use of it, it still cost this review about 3/4 of a star. While some manipulation with PDF hacking tools can split the books into as many parts as a savvy user requires (or combine them into one), one can't (easily) replace missing content.

I haven't printed any of the contents, so I can't specifically say how it'd go, but everything I've seen indicates it should be high quality.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Alexander L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/07/2014 08:48:51
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2014/03/07/tabletop-review-spellja-
mmer-adventures-in-space-advanced-dungeons-dragons-second-ed-
ition/

Wow. I can’t express how happy I am to have the Spelljammer: Adventures in Space boxed set once again available to the public. Sure it’s in PDF form instead of in a fun box, but you can’t lose the maps and ship handouts with a digital copy like twelve year old me did with the physical version. Spelljammer is just such a fun and fantastic idea and along with Planescape and Ravenloft, it remains one of my three big campaign settings for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and is a big part of why 2e is my favorite version of D&D.

Spelljammer somehow manages to change everything you know about D&D while still holding true to the mechanics and core ideas of the game. Through it, you can have a wonderful blend of sci-fi filtered through a high fantasy lens along with the ability to travel from say Oerth to Krynn and then on to Toril. It’s really a wonderful idea and in fact, one started by Gary Gygax himself with Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. After all this earlier OD&D adventure had characters entering a sci-fi location with strange aliens and technological marvels a plenty. What Spelljammer did was simply flesh out the sci-fi aspects of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons while still making them work with wizardry and iron age combat. Spelljammer is the setting where Beholders and Mind Flayers were given complete ecologies, histories and homeworld. It’s the setting where the tinker gnomes of Dragonlance were given a serious look. It’s where Lizardmen were first treated as a playable PC race. It’s the setting that gave us Giffs, Neogi, my beloved Rastipedes and of course GIANT SPACE HAMSTERS. I could go on for hours about everything that makes Spelljammer so entertaining, but suffice to say, the fact that you are getting the full boxed set for only $9.99 makes this not only a must buy, but perhaps the biggest bargain on DNDclassics.com

Spelljammer: Adventures in Space gives you two core books. You get The Concordance of Arcane Space and Lorebook of the Void. The original physical boxed set also came with eleven handouts and four maps. These are now included with The Concordance of Arcane Space‘s PDF. Everything looks as crisp, clear and colorful as with the original print copies and it’s easy to read all of these on either computers or e-readers like a Kindle Fire. Now, the maps and handouts are only the size of a regular page now that they are in PDF form, but that’s a minor kibble at best.

The book you should read first is The Concordance of Arcane Space as it gives you the introduction to Spelljammer. Here you get an overview of the setting and what to expect from it. This is where terms like Wildspace, Phlogiston Spheres and other Spelljammer specific jargon gets explained for the very first time. Even if you never play a Spelljammer campaign, the explanation for everything is just so fascinating, fun and imaginative, that you’ll enjoy reading it. I can’t believe how fresh this feels even twenty five years later. Rules for air quality, gravity, temperature and time are all things that you’ll find in The Concordance of Arcane Space – mechanics you’d never need or even think of for other campaign settings.

Although most of the playable new races are found in The Complete Spacefarer’s Handbook, you will find rules for Lizardmen PCs here. You’ll also find some very important rules for playing a Cleric in Spelljammer and how it can be quite hard to gain spells outside of you God’s sphere of influence. Conjuring and Summoning spells also take on different characteristics. Fire however may have the biggest impediment. This means a lot of common spells and especially healing magic take on a new twist, causing players to think different about what kind of a character to make and the tactics they will use.

Of course, what would Spelljammer be without rules for how to buy and/or build your own ship? That’s all in here too. Of course, building a ship is extremely expensive and you have to maintain a crew to boot. This means Spelljammer is an excellent way for long running characters to use that hard gained loot that is just sitting around somewhere. You’ll also find rules for ship on ship combat, saving throws for all sorts of potential hull materials, crew based morale checks and interplanetary travel.

The last thing we’ll look at in The Concordance of Arcane Space is “The Rock of Brawl,” which gives DMs and players alike their first playable Spelljammer location, complete with story seeds, a cast of memorable characters. There is a lot of great stuff here and the map still looks great. The map does have one minor problem with it though. In coverting it from an oversized map from the boxed set into a standard PDF page, the words “The Lesser Market” and “Dungeon” are warped and blurry. There’s also a red dotted line going through the entire map towards the top. A minor quibble, but one purists might grumble over.

Now let’s talk The Lorebook of the Void. This second book in the “boxed” set is also a lot of fun. The first chapter in the book gives DMs a lot of ideas and suggestions for running a campaign in space as well as one that flitters between worlds. You are also given a glossary of terms and a fun ideas on making alien versions of common D&D creatures. One great example is the Beholder bartender who has a Detect Lie eye instead of the Death Ray one. This lets it be an effective bartender and patrons don’t have to worry about being killed instantly. They do have to worry about disintegration or petrification if they don’t pay their tab however…

Chapter Two is all about Spelljammer vessels. You’re given a whole host of crafts along with their stats. These are common spacefaring vessels and should help DMs running a Spelljammer campaign immensely. The Gnomish Sidewheeler and Neogi Mindspider are amongst my favorites. Chapter Three is entitled “Spacefarers” and it talks about the culture of various D&D races in space. You get a really nice look at all the PC and NPC races common to the game, regardless of setting and how alien versions might be different from established worlds. Goblins, Ogres, Giants, Centaur, Dragons and even Undead have their own listings here. Of note are the entries for Mind Flayers and Beholder, as this is the book and setting that really defined both as a species instead of just creepy looking antagonists. Lycanthropes too have a long and highly detailed section in this chapter – for obvious reasons. The chapter then ends with Monstrous Compendium entries for a lot of creatures, all of which are tremendously entertaining and worth using. Chapter Four is “Known Spheres” and it talks about the core D&D worlds: Krynn, Toril and Oerth, along with important planets or moons within their sphere. That, my friends, is the entire book.

So yes, you’re getting all this plus maps and handouts for under ten bucks. It’s a terrific deal and one any D&D fan can make great use of. Even if you don’t play Second Edition AD&D, the ideas, mechanics and creatures presented here can be applied to any version of the game with a little effort and the end result will be well worth it. Out of everything on DNDclassics.com so far, this is by far my favorite offering (so far) and with a little luck, it will be yours too. Now, let’s see those Ravenloft and Planescape boxed sets on the site as well, am I right?

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Dustin B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/03/2008 15:24:41
This was the first boxed set on one of my favorite settings. Sure it was quirky, but that was part of it’s charm.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Nicholas B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/17/2008 10:46:16
Reasonably good scan (knocks it down a notch, not perfect, alas....that thin paper gets some bleed through the scanner picks up) of one of the best D&D campaign settings ever made.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Richard L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/06/2006 00:00:00
I like this product and I'm planning to use it if my players ever decide to pursue the option of space travel in my Tale of the Comet campaign.

Unfortunately, it's going to require significant retooling to make it work. My campaign is a high technology vs. magic setting and the two take very different approaches to how the universe is organized.

If you like weird stuff, then this one is for you!


LIKED: It's an interesting read. Lots of unique ideas are presented within.

DISLIKED: It presents a completely different cosmology from the one I'm used to in real life. That'll make it difficult to integrate into my Tale of the Comet campaign.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Disappointed


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Nick V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/04/2006 00:00:00
very cool product*****************************************************-
********************************

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Cameron B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/03/2005 00:00:00
While my other book reviews are longer and more detailed, Spelljammer begs a different description.

1. It's D&D in outer space. Your planet is small and meaningless. Really meaningless. Elminster? A Nudnick. Raistlin? Lots of style, but small-minded. Mordenkainen? Big name, but so "planetary"... Why bother?

2. Phlogiston. It burns. Fire is cool. And kinda dangerous.

3. Mind Flayers. Lots and LOTS of Mind Flayers. And all DM's love Mind Flayers. Entire ships, manned entirely by them. Entire star systems ruled by them! Did I mention we have Mind Flayers?

Just get it, and let the players find out that they are REALLY nothing special.


QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by George R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/22/2004 00:00:00
The original release of this book was before my time, so it's nice to see older out of print books being re-offered in pdf format. The product was interesting in I got to see what had already been done with the genre, but overall I found it rather uninspiring.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by David N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/02/2004 00:00:00
This is the best product if brought yet. My brother has the original and its the same. Only in pdf format and easly stored.

LIKED: You dont have to worry about getting the book dog eared.

DISLIKED: nothing.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Benjamin S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/03/2004 00:00:00
Pay no attention to the review that claims this scan is missing a book. While that might have been true at one time, I recieved everything that was in the original box set when I downloaded the file. Both the Lorebook of the Void and the Concordance of Arcane Space are included, but only the Lorebook of the Void is bookmarked so you have to scan through the other book manually. Let me say again: BOTH BOOKS ARE INCLUDED WITH THIS SCAN.

As for the material, it is top notch. Spelljammer is certainly not for everyone, or every player for that matter, but it is an interesting campaign world. I don't think it should be used simply as a mechanic for getting from Krynn to Toril, however, because doing so sells the whole concept of adventuring in space short (and you don't want the whole thing to end up feeling like the movie Krull). In essence, Spelljammer should be similar to a seafaring campaign set upon a fantastic ocean of unexplored and mysterious wonder. Not a setting for everyone, but definately recommended for those with the imagination to pull it off. And for a low price you're getting over 200 pages of material so you're bound to find something worthwhile in it even if you decide against running a Spelljammer campaign.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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