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Bogie
11-18-2013, 02:55 AM
I will be GMing an old school SpellJammer game at TotalCon (February in Massachusets), and I needed some new ships.
This is based on the TSR ship, but is mostly my design.
The space background is by Stratomunchkin at DeviantArt.com

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- Max -
11-18-2013, 03:06 AM
I really like the ships shapes that really gives that SpellJammer feel :) Though I'm not fully convinced by the background.

Bogie
11-18-2013, 11:26 PM
You should have seen the background before I reduced the brightness by 70%! Still it is a bit over the top.
Let's try it with a plain starfield.

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arsheesh
11-19-2013, 02:29 AM
Very nice! I'm sure it will be a hit in your campaign.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Bogie
11-19-2013, 08:51 AM
Thanks, I also need to make a larger Vodani Ship for the PCs to attack.

nyogtha
11-24-2013, 12:09 PM
Thanks, I also need to make a larger Vodani Ship for the PCs to attack.

Very nice Boogie :)
I like it !

jtougas
11-24-2013, 12:47 PM
Oh you HAVE to keep that original background. That is number one old school !! Great looking ships :)

Bogie
03-02-2014, 02:49 PM
Now that TotalCon is over I can post the map of the Vodoni Wolfship. The game went very well considering it was Sunday morning at 8am.
It was a fun weekend. I got to play in old school D&D games DM'd by industry guests Tim Kask, Frank Mentzer, & Michael Curtis.

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I know the background is a little busy, but it's to late to change it now.

Big Mac
04-30-2014, 04:27 PM
I wish I was near to Massachusets, so I could have gone to this. It sounds really great. I've written a thread about your game at the Spelljammer forum at The Piazza (http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=12083), to let other fans know this happened. Did you write the adventure yourself, or was it the start of the standard TSR campaign for Vodoni?


I know the background is a little busy, but it's to late to change it now.

One thing you might want to consider about the background, if you run this again, or if you want to run other SJ adventures, is that, if you can create a more neutral background (maybe a starfield) for multiple ship deckplans, it might be possible for the different deckplans to fit together. Imagine, for example, the PCs in the Lampray Ship ramming the Vodoni Huntship. If you literally placed the Lampray ship map on top of the Vodoni Huntship map, and lined up the ram with part of the Huntship, it would be a great way to show the players the area where the boarding action would take place. :D

A more neutral starfield background might make that easier to do.

You might also want to consider making a transparant background, printing the ships out on acetate and then laying down a starfield on the gaming table with the deckplans on top. If you did that, you could build up a library of ships and have them dock with each other, without any of the background of the "top" ship covering up any of the cool details on the "bottom" ship.

Bogie
04-30-2014, 06:38 PM
That is a cool idea using a transparent acetate sheet for the ship. Never thought of that.

The SJ game I ran at Totalcon was one I created, but calling it an "Adventure" would be a stretch. " Prince Andru's wife and child have been kidnapped and are being held on this ship by a group of Vodoni. Attack the ship with your Lamprey ship, board it and try to rescue them." end of story, the time slot was only 4 hrs, So just a quick hack n Slash. I didn't even write it down just played it off the top of my head with nothing more than the map and a list of monster stats.

madcowchef
04-30-2014, 07:10 PM
Bogie spelljams by the seat of his pant, then plays it down.

Big Mac
05-27-2014, 07:26 PM
That is a cool idea using a transparent acetate sheet for the ship. Never thought of that.

If you ever print out anything like this, I'd love to see picture.


The SJ game I ran at Totalcon was one I created, but calling it an "Adventure" would be a stretch. " Prince Andru's wife and child have been kidnapped and are being held on this ship by a group of Vodoni. Attack the ship with your Lamprey ship, board it and try to rescue them." end of story, the time slot was only 4 hrs, So just a quick hack n Slash. I didn't even write it down just played it off the top of my head with nothing more than the map and a list of monster stats.

I suppose it is more of an encounter than an adventure, but I still would have loved to have played.

I'd love to be able to post your monsters over at the thread I created at The Piazza, so that other people could have a go at running your mini-adventure. Are they standard Vodoni monsters or did you make any specials? Did you give any of the breeders names?

jugabyte
05-27-2014, 08:41 PM
Nice! Spelljammer, man that takes me back to the days...

Bogie
05-28-2014, 12:51 AM
Thanks Guys, glad you like the maps.

Since you are interested Big Mac, here is a picture of the two ships (with figurines on them) about to start the battle.

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Here is a rough draft of how the game went:

the party are the strike team on board the lamprey ship. All the PCs are 7th lvl or multiclass 6/6 lvl.

I started by having them on the ship flying back to the Rock of Brall transporting some questionably legal cargo for some merchants.
Unknown to the merchant their cargo contains a couple of Yitsan eggs which hatch, quickly grow and then start feeding on the crew.
They are a lot like the predator on the first Alien movie, and the party gets thrown right into a fight.

When they dock in Brall the harbormaster quickly tells the captain that Prince Andru's wife and child were on a ship that was attacked
by a Vodoni warship. The crew was slaughtered and the wife & son were taken. A lone survivor was able to tell what happened.
All ships have been sent out to try to locate the Vodoni ship and rescue the royal family. A large reward is offered for who ever succeeds.
( not to original, but it is for a 4 hr con game )

The captain remember seeing an unusual shaped Vodoni ship near an asteroid field in the opposite direction that everyone else is searching.
He figures the Vodoni ship would go back there by a longer route to throw off the hunt and he thinks he can get there first.

So the Lamprey ship flies straight to the asteroid field, finds a large asteroid to hide behind and waits. The captain knows that the Vodoni
ship will come out of spelljamming speed due to the asteroids and won't be aware of them as quickly. He hope he can ambush the larger ship
before they know what is happening.

At that point I threw in a random encounter with Scavers, just to keep the players busy.

Of course the captain's plan worked, the Lamprey came up under the Wolf ship, and after some quick strafing with magic and missile fire,
the party boarded the Wolf ship. Big Fight ensues. like I said, pretty much Hack & Slash. I did have the players work out the strategy for the
ambush and the attack.

On the ship were 2 dozen Vodoni sailors, ( normal appearing men that I gave stats as 3rd lvl fighters ), 10 Vodoni Enforcers, and 6 Vodoni Conquerers.
The Captain/Helmsman was a Breeder/Mage, but they never encountered him.

Hope that is the info you were looking for, Big Mac.

jtougas
05-29-2014, 12:55 AM
Just great Bogie !! I wish I had been able to make it to that event. I have always had a interest in spell/planejammer type ships and this one is wonderful. :)

Big Mac
08-02-2014, 08:08 PM
Hope that is the info you were looking for, Big Mac.

This was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks Bogie!

I hope this can help someone who is running a campaign based around Under the Dark Fist.

Bogie
08-03-2014, 12:59 AM
Under the Dark Fist is where most of my campaign ideas originally came from.

xpian
08-03-2014, 01:24 AM
I ran that module in my campaign, as a DM, back in high school in the early 1990s. I loved that adventure. The Boucher brothers were responsible for a number of great modules I used, some of which appeared in Dungeon Magazine. They just had a great sense of building a fun adventure with lots of interesting touches and not much that was pointless and not useful.

Big Mac
08-08-2014, 08:21 PM
The Vodoni Empire almost works like a subsetting of Speljammer. I certainly think you could run an entire campaign there.

It is a shame that the only product set there was SJA4 Under the Dark Fist. With 12 crystal spheres to flesh out, I think that a boxed set could have been devoted to this part of wildspace.

I would love to see more fans talk about SJA4.

xpian
08-08-2014, 08:40 PM
I DMed "Wildspace", the first published SJ module, and many more adventures of my own design. The quality level of those TSR Spelljammer accessories was so hit-or-miss in those days. For every excellent "Under the Dark Fist" there was an abysmal "Astromundi Cluster". I think Spelljammer was just a bridge too far for many players--it was hard enough for them to wrap their heads around magic and fantasy, let alone moving it into space. But I'd have to say that no other setting published by TSR captured my imagination quite as completely as Spelljammer did. Those ships that Holloway designed are just gorgeous.

Dale Norman
08-08-2014, 11:10 PM
I changed the sphere that was ruled by dragons into Eberron's sphere. Then I invaded it with the Vodoni. Nice campaign. I combined SJ4 with ideas for the Incursion scenario from Dungeon & Dragon Mags.

Bogie
08-08-2014, 11:33 PM
My group has been fighting the Vodoni for years, they keep attacking the Rock of Brall where the party lives.

Welcome to the Guild Dale. I lived sort of near you, Clarksville, in 1979.

Big Mac
08-09-2014, 11:29 AM
I DMed "Wildspace", the first published SJ module, and many more adventures of my own design. The quality level of those TSR Spelljammer accessories was so hit-or-miss in those days. For every excellent "Under the Dark Fist" there was an abysmal "Astromundi Cluster".

I actually think that all of the Spelljammer products had some sort of potential, but they just didn't link up well with each other, I think that makes it a bit hard to work certain elements together. And I think it is the inability to link potentially awesome elements from one SJ product with another SJ product (one that you want to use as the main theme of a campaign) that makes it a lot harder to gain the full value out of the other SJ products.

I think it was necessary to do that when Spelljammer came out, because you can't expect gamers to buy every single product in a product line, but I think it would have helped to have had a second "core" Spelljammer boxed set (a revised version of Adventures in Space that expanded upon Jeff Grubb's "Known Spheres" setting concept). A Spelljammer: Known Spheres boxed set could have put all of the earlier SJ products onto a single map and a single timeline and provided plot hooks to get players to one product from any of the other products. If we had had that, it would have been a lot easier for GMs to work out the relative threat of the Vodoni Empire on the various other crystal spheres in the SJ product line.

I think it would have been great to have had some foreshadowing of the SJA4 plot, by sending the PCs to a world or sphere that later gets taken over by the Vodani Empire. The one thing I personally find a bit frustrating about the original AD&D Adventures in Space boxed set is the "put Bral anywhere" thing. The Cloakmaster Cycle novels, SJA2 Skull and Crossbows and Endless Quest: A Wild Ride (http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3341) give us more of a bespoke crystal sphere to go around Bral. And if you use that crystal sphere (Spiralspace/Bralspace (http://www.spelljammer.org/worlds/Bralspace/)) you can have the Vodoni Empire taking over some obscure celestial bodies (maybe even just asteroids) in preparation for an invasion of the rest of the sphere.

I think if you add that sort of structure to the original boxed set, then joining a multi-sphere attack on the Vodoni Empire would seem a lot more logical to players, because their own homeworlds would be at risk (or perhaps already under attack). I think that Bogie's mini-adventure really fits in really well with that sort of context. It does the sort of thing that SJA2's mini-adventures do, in a Bral/Vodoni context.

Having said that, I have always wanted to see the SJA adventures turned into a four-part superadventure. If I can sort that out, I would be starting off SJA1 Wildspace in Spiralspace, have the PCs take up pirate hunting for SJA2 Skull & Crossbows and send them out of Spiralspace to Greatspace for SJA3 Crystal Spheres. I have not quite decided on a natural transition from SJA3 to SJA4, but I guess that returning to Spiralspace and running into the Vodoni would be an option.


I think Spelljammer was just a bridge too far for many players--it was hard enough for them to wrap their heads around magic and fantasy, let alone moving it into space. But I'd have to say that no other setting published by TSR captured my imagination quite as completely as Spelljammer did. Those ships that Holloway designed are just gorgeous.

I've seen that too. For some reason people will buy into someone riding on a flying carpet (and not argue the toss over why they don't fall off of it) but people will ask a lot of questions about the fantasy laws of nature that Jeff Grubb created for the Spelljammer universe.

Personally, I think you just have to buy into it and go along with it, to enjoy the game. But I've seen quite a few people attempt to come up with a "better explanation" and it almost always ends up with someone tying themselves in knots and ending up with something that is no more "realistic" than what Jeff Grubb did.

I think that Jim Holloway's ships are the best thing about Spelljammer. Although my all time favourite official SJ picture is Last Descent, by Jennell Jaquays (the picture that was used on the front of Practical Planetology).

Big Mac
08-09-2014, 12:00 PM
Welcome to the Guild Dale. I lived sort of near you, Clarksville, in 1979.

That is a two year delurk, Dale just did. ;)

Great to see you over here Dale. In case you do not know, there is a Spelljammer group on Cartographer's Guild (http://www.cartographersguild.com/groups/spelljammer.html), that you can join to discuss Spelljammer maps posted here.