Starships and Space Hippos: The Spelljammer Setting

SpelljammerThe 1990s were a time of terrible business management for TSR, the company behindDungeons & Dragons, but it was also a time of great creativity. Few people argue that the 2nd edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons was a really good system, but just about everybody loves the campaign settings.

Every other edition of D&D has stuck to pseudo-medieval European settings – stuff likeDragonlance, the Forgotten Realms, and Greyhawk. Even in the more modern Eberronsetting, with robot PCs and magic-powered trains, a group of adventurers heading into a dungeon to recover an artifact is pretty much the assumed standard.

2nd edition created settings that broke the normal D&D assumptions. You had a setting where the PCs were dragons, a setting where magic destroyed the environment with every spell, and a setting where a character’s beliefs could literally reshape reality. Then there was the Spelljammer setting, which is what I’m going to talk about today.

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