Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Spelljammer: Adventures in Space

Product-Spelljammer: Adventures in Space

System- Dungeons and Dragons

Producer– Wizards of the Coast

Price– $41 here https://www.amazon.com/stores/page/D890997E-DC03-45CB-BABE-5A760E103954?channel=dnd-site-jam&_encoding=UTF8&tag=wotc03-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=5e6ae51a65de0619af85a9a07edec25f&camp=1789&creative=9325 

TL; DR– Spaceships and Sorcerers! 76%

Basics–  TO THE SKY!  Spelljammer: Adventures in Space is the latest setting for DnD that really encompasses all the other settings.  Spelljammers are space ships that can travel between different systems and explore, so really the limits of this setting are the limits that you can steal and borrow from all the other DnD settings and your favorite fanfic of Star Trek.  Let’s get into this one.

Mechanics or Crunch– This is a good book with some new mechanics, but not a ton of information.  Overall space beyond a planet system is just empty and full of “air”, so you don’t need much.  The spelljammers are fun ships, but the DnD isn’t really set up to do ship battles well.  It’s not bad, but it’s simple and the system defaults to basic rules in the DMG for side combat for ship combat.  There are new races, but not a ton beyond that.  So if you want a lot of new crunch for your players, there isn’t that much here.  Ships get a good rundown, which is needed, but  don’t expect much as a player.  There are monsters of the cosmos, which are absolutely needed, but for each system you need to grab that world’s/setting’s books and get monsters from there.  This book adds decent materials for the GM, but not much for players. It doesn’t really expand the rules beyond the basics we’ve seen.  4/5

Theme or Fluff– I don’t hate the story here, but I’m left wanting more in a bad way.  This setting is all about space and boldly going to new worlds.  You do get the basics of that, but you don’t get a ton of new worlds beyond “Go grab your favorite other books and go there!”  Again, it’s not bad, but it feels too loose to be helpful.  I do think the adventure they give is awesome and will help GMs and players who are new to the setting get used to it.  That “fish out of water” adventure that is included is going to be your best introduction to this setting. That said, after reading this book, I need more to really know what this setting is.  4/5

Execution– Can’t buy a PDF, but when there was an update it came out as a PDF.  I can rent the book via DnD Beyond, but other than that, it’s physical only.  What is in the book is a solid ok.  Good spacing and text size and all the things I look for in a book, but it’s only in their proprietary app.  I want to own my book, so you either buy a physical book or rent DnD beyond.  And, while I love the adventure they give you, they don’t give you pregens at fifth level.  Just include the pregens!  I don’t want to make some for my players nor do some groups want to make some when the GM buys that book.  I want to play ASAP and that would massively help those groups.  It’s 2022 and you are behind the times.  I am not pleased.  3.5/5

Summary– Spelljammer is a fun setting and book that just needs more.  The mechanics here are ok, but there is not much for players and just enough for the GM to run a game beyond go to the DMG.  The story is fun, but there isn’t much beyond go look at other stuff.  The execution misses many marks that other companies are doing and it hurts my impression of the book.  If you want some classic space and sorcery, this will be a fun book.  If you don’t have an idea of what Spelljammer is then you still might not after reading this book.  76%

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