Monday Map – Spelljammer Anglership


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One of the weirder things to come out of AD&D was Spelljammer, Jeff Grubb’s idea of what space would look like in a universe powered by magic rather than science. I won’t get into all the details – I could go on for days about it, and you’d probably be better served by reading the Wikipedia entry on Spelljammer if you aren’t familiar with it – but trust me when I say that it was weird as hell. Oh, and fun as hell, too.

I always enjoyed the fact that so many of the ships were designed to resemble animals – particularly fish and birds. If you can get hold of a copy of it, Lost Ships by the one and only Ed Greenwood has some really cool designs in it, and a lot of cool information that fuelled a lot of my early D&D games. Today’s map is an homage to Spelljammer, and in particular that book.

[Click to embiggen]

The Anglership is a fighting vessel designed to play the long game. It lies in wait, its crew sustained on the supplies stored in two cargo bays, until its prey draws near. Once the lure has drawn in the fatally curious it lashes out, crippling the prey with lightning. With that done the lure can be whipped up and out of the way, both to protect the rear of the ship and to allow the jutting ‘jaws’ of the Anglership to ram their new conquest and crush any hope of escape.


You may have noticed I’ve been enjoying going through my old D&D books recently. Drawing up this ship was a lot of fun and I’m keen to spend more time in that universe, so let me know on Twitter if you’d like to see more Spelljammer-related content on Wednesday’s Stat Boost.

  1. I’m directing my ground-based campaign into spelljammer eventually, and I might use this. Crew it with goblinoids, and have them hunting in the outer darkness of the sphere, using the angler’s light to lure in prey. I’d add big dark “eye” windows to the bridge and make the outside of the hull super black (with maybe a darkness spell) to help it hide in plain sight.

    • That sounds really cool. In my head I imagined it with big ‘eye’ windows but that didn’t really come across in the drawing (although they’re sort of there in the Uppder Deck part).

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