D&D’s Spelljammer: Adventures in Space Requires a Strange Content Warning

Dungeons & Dragons‘ The reboot of the fictional Spelljammer setting is arguably the most anticipated tabletop RPG release of the year (followed closely by dragonlance) Fans have been waiting for decades for Space Between the Stars and the new three-volume set titled Spelljammer: Adventures in Space Will be out on August 16th. But be forewarned: The module contains some items — including enemies — that Dungeon Masters may want to adjust or avoid entirely when playing with their regular group.

[Content warning: This article includes images of clowns and spiders.]

In addition to Spelljammer’s hippo-folk (giff) and other subtle oddities, the setting is also home to a particularly dangerous band of ultra-violent clowns. If you choose to take a closer look at the image above, you can see their yellow faces covered with shadows.

“What we’re seeing here is a modified space galleon,” creative director Chris Perkins said during a recent press preview event. “He’s got a big Klaxon horn on the bow and he’s got a pie-flinging catapult on the aft-castle.”

Three clowns stand side by side, barely a mustache in the middle of their massive shoes.  They appear to be dressed in rags made from useless circus tentacles.  Two have firearms, while the youngest one reads magic.

Image: Scott Murphy / Wizards of the Coast

Perkins said addition to the frantic space clowns—a nod to the cult classic of the 1980s bloody clown from outer space – Not meant to trigger anyone’s phobia. far from it; These “whimsical” critters are actually meant to provide a bit of comic relief, “a counterpoint to some of the more serious elements in the setting” that include elements of “cosmic horror”. But if there is a serious clown issue in your group, you have to stay away from this particular encounter. Of course, a good DM should know his players’ hot-button topics well ahead of time after establishing clear boundaries during pre-game chats, commonly called session zero,

Another oddball element of the original Spelljammer setting are the Neogi, ferocious creatures described as “a cross between a wolf spider and a moray eel”. So, furry on the bottom and slippery on top. Neogi will join the player’s enemies in the new spelljammer. In addition to their own frightening look, the sight of their ships can also be dangerous for arachnophobe players. The gigantic, 175-foot-long ships are literally shaped like spiders, with huge tailed limbs that other ships will reach to catch so that the boarding parties can pass through and do their dirty work.

Of course, in your home campaign, the DM can make adjustments on the fly to make those enemies and their ships look the way they want.

A Neogi nightspider crossing an asteroid field near a stellar cloud.

Image: Jessica Nguyen / Wizards of the Coast

“We offer those ships as examples,” Perkins said, noting that the original spelljammer contained a heavy combat element, with grid battle maps and tokens for enemy and allied starships. “They run the gamut from the kind of space gallons expected for these kinds of bizarre things – and hammerhead ships and squid ships. Many of Spelljammer’s ships are built according to creatures. […] It is something that we have protected. I think it’s one of the key elements that defines Spelljammer.”

Original Neogi Deathspider stats from 1989's Spelljammer: Adventures in Space.  It enlisted a crew of 11 and a beam of 50.

Image: Jim Holloway / Wizards of the Coast

The new art for the Neogi Nightspiders seems very faithful to the original, called Deathspider, in which Jessica Neugen’s brightly lit starship retains the same lines and color as the 1989 version, illustrated by Jim Holloway. .

Over the years, Wizards of the Coast has made a great deal of avoiding issues. racial imperative, extension of the draw For example allowing different types of alignment other than true evil. With an entire social structure reliant on slavery, the Neogi are among the worst of the worst. According to the original books, “ownership or ownership” is the neoclassical way of life. So, will the Wizards massage some elements of this and other canonical races into modern audiences? Yes and no, according to Perkins.

Mindflares will exist in a modified setting, sailing through space in their mollusk-shaped nautiloid ships. who have played Baldur’s Gate 3 or those who have gone to the frozen north Icewind Dale: Rhyme of the Frostmaiden That’s how I’ve encountered these evil, mind-eating squid people in the past. They’re still basically 100% bad guys, as are some of the seers (giant, floating head-sized monsters) that you’ll also encounter in Spelljammer. But the setting will have more nuance than ever in other races.

“With other types of organisms we just wanted to show that there are layers of [and] that sometimes […] Your expectations can be turned on their head,” Perkins said in response to Polygon’s question. “This question came to mind of one of my favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation The episode is called ‘I, the Borg’, where, for the first time, we see a more sympathetic side to the Borg, like a monolithic race before. I think there is always a possibility within this setting, and many of the creatures you meet in the adventure appear in the product and that art is described more broadly. [Boo’s Astral Menagerie]that there is a limit. […] Vampires can be bad, but sometimes you find a good one. And sometimes you can make deals with them. And sometimes they are your friends, and sometimes they even give their lives to save you.”

Spelljammer: Adventures in Space Will include a 64-page adventure titled Light of Xaryxis, The boxed set, which includes a DM screen, is available for pre-order now online and at your local game store — where it features unique cover art from Hydro64.

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