Friday, August 14, 2020

Spelljammer Revisted: Wings Between Worlds

Occasionally I forget I had actually written a post as opposed to just having the idea, but this one I did write in 2018. It is relevant I think as another perspective on my recent Spelljammer considerations.

Because space-faring sailing ships are so 80s, let's have genuine aircraft flying between worlds, perhaps open cockpit, certainly of the bat-winged, Frazetta variety. Space will have to have air, of course. Let's say the system is enclosed in a big Dyson Sphere--a crystal sphere, if you like. With a sphere full of air, the temperature of the worlds at the various orbits will be of less concern, though where the warmth and the light comes from will have to wait.

The technology of the primary society might be what we would call Dieselpunk, except it isn't particularly punk or Diesel, but it's that between the Wars era, sort of art deco stuff filtered through science fiction. Automobiles out of Flash Gordon and that sort of thing. And, of course magic.

Might as well port in a little bit of Planescape and have the worlds be more a more pulp planet version of the Gygaxian planes. The full compliment of D&D races would be necessary for a Star Wars Cantina vibe. Flash Gordon will help there, too.  The worlds might move in very eccentric orbits. Travel between them might mostly be by sight rather than map.


Dick McGee said...

I'll stick with classic Spelljammer designs with a bit of modernization, especially after seeing the modernized takes in Polyhedron in that Under the Spider Moon article. Draw more new designs from the astral sea ships in the 4E Plane Above book too. Those were just plain spiffy even if they weren't intended to be literal spelljammers.

Trey said...

It's your game! I don't really view either of those as appreciably different from the ships in the original Spelljammer. More like say "Batman drawn by a different artist." Not that any of those looks are bad, I just wanted to suggest that's not the only way to go.

JB said...

Isn’t that what Ebberon is supposed to be like?

I love all your Spelljammer musings, but maybe what you’re really longing for is something like Traveller circa Jules Verne. How hard would it be to cobble something like that together? Castle Falkenstein In Spaaaaace....
; )

Trey said...

Similar era, different focus and style by quite a bit.

I don't think so. If I wanted to do something Victorian, I would write Victorian era stuff. In all my Spelljammer riffs, I have done a single Victorian one, possibly because I think Space:1899 and Forgotten Futures have that sewn up pretty well.