Yesterday Wizards of the Coast announced that they’re bringing Spelljammer back for 5th edition. I’ve got a lot of nostalgia for Spelljammer and I’ve posted some stuff before. After the announcement I dug out Adventures In Space and Wildspsace and immediately got the urge to write some random encounters for travelling through wildspace.
Adventures In Space says this about encounters:
Given the nature of space movement, an oppossing craft may appear suddenly in the distance, then slow to combat speed almost immediately. Since it is in the nature of the spelljamming helm to stop when it nears the gravity plance of another body, many encounters will occur without the desire of either side.
The opposing ship(s) will appear 11-20 hexes away (1d10 + 10) in a random direction determined by rolling 1d6:
- Directly Ahead
- Ahead & Right (Starboard)
- Behind & Right
- Directly Behind
- Behind & Left (Port)
- Ahead and Left
Heading is usually toward the player’s ship, though the DM can determine this if he desires.
It goes on to say that there is no surprise roll and that there should be several rounds of maneuver before ships come within effective weapon range. We’re directed to use the standard Encounter Reactions roll. (As an aside, I really like the combination of determined encounter direction alongside distance and I think this can be useful in a dungeon, too. I did this in In The Bluelight as the PCs traverse a dungeon made entirely from ice, allowing them to see shapes through the walls and floor, but I think this has applications in a "normal" dungeon as well. But that’s for another time.)
One thing the core Spelljammer book doesn’t give us are tables of random encounters to go with this system. So I’ve written one for you. Not everything here has stats in the AD&D books. You’ll have to do some work if you want to use them but I also expect that most people aren’t playing 2nd edition and so stats for that system would be next to useless for readers anyway.
Some of these encounters are more specific than a random encounter table generally should be but that’s because I wanted to have fun while I wrote it rather than just writing a list of things you might bump into.
|3||A beholder the size of an asteroid, concocting plans to devour a moon.|
|4||A debris cloud, remnants of a battle. The shards of twisted metal crawl with 4d100 clockwork horrors.|
|5||1d3 Asteroid Spiders|
|6||Solar flares from the nearest fire body.|
|7||A colossus, frozen and drifting.|
|8||A ghost ship, crewed by Ancient Mariners, drifting aimlessly.|
|9||A pod of 1d6 space whales seeking their ancestral mating ground.|
|10||Astral pirates sailing under a red flag.|
|11||A Wasp crewed by 2d6 goblins.|
|12||An astrologer on a golden barge, attempting to birth a new star in a copper crucible.|
|13||Shards of a lost moon.|
|14||A mirror several thousand miles wide and half as tall, drifting between stars.|
|15||1d4+1 jammer leeches.|
|16||Abandoned dyson sphere, the external walls daubed with warnings in all known languages.|
|18||Ship mimic. (Roll for type on Ship Mimic Typetable)|
|2d6||Ship mimic type|
Like this post? Leave a tip at Ko-Fi
Get the PDF or epub version of this post at Detritus.