The Alphastream Game Design Blog

How Travel Works in 5E’s Spelljammer

The second of my Roll20 blogs is now up: Spelljammer Dispatch: Adventuring in the Astral Sea!

This time, we look at the ways the 5E team chose to enable Spelljammers and their crews to interact, both in combat and in longer travel sequences. On the Roll20 blog we cover:

  • How to move through the Astral (with your mind!)
  • How quickly a Spelljammer soars through Wildspace (ludicrous speed)
  • How a Spelljammer moves in combat scenes
  • Air Envelopes and Gravity Planes
  • Ship-to-ship (or creature) Combat
  • Spelljammer Helms… and more!

Of the above topics, one that fascinates me is how ships are represented across 5E products. The DMG has very simple rules that almost completely ignore how two or more ships would fight, beyond having siege weapons. Ghosts of Saltmarsh introduces ship stat blocks, clarifying how ships work and providing options for damaging various ship systems (such as a ship’s sails).

Spelljammer steps back from the stat block approach, using a simpler table for each ship, with emphasis on the siege weapons. And the understanding is that you fire siege weapons and close to board. But the rules still don’t address what happens when ships don’t want to board and how that plays. I would have liked to see 5E tackle this, and Spelljammer would have been a good setting with which to do that.

I hope you are enjoying the blog series on Roll20. The team has been great to work with!

If you missed part 1, check out Spelljammer Dispatch: New Character Options.

Finally, the “Christmas in July” sale is on, with huge savings on all of my DriveThru and DMsGuild adventures and supplements.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This entry was posted on July 27, 2022 by .


Follow me on

Mastodon logo Mastodon


Follow me on

BlueSky logo BlueSky

Privacy Policy