Feared by some, hunted by others, the awesome vessel Spelljammer glides through the vastness of space on manta wings. For the first time ever, the myths surrounding the Great Ship are unveiled, allowing you to expand your Spelljammer game campaign.
Is the Spelljammer a legend from the past or a mystery of the present? Is it truly a ship or a living being? Who commands it? What secrets hide in its massive hull and dark towers? The true story of the Spelljammer is revealed in this box.
This accessory is an epic adventure setting for use with the original Spelljammer Adventures in Space boxed set. Within this box you will discover new monsters and races, exciting new ships and characters, plus the fantastic Spelljammer itself.
The Legend of Spellmammer contains:
- A 32-page book of legends and statistics about the Great Ship
- A 64-page guided tour of the citadels, towers, and communities that crowd the back of the Spelljammer
- A 96-page book of new ships and nonplayer characters, plus adventures aboard the Spelljammer
- Two maps revealing the ship's citadels
- Full-color cards showing new ships and their deck plans
The Legend of Spelljammer (1991), by Jeff Grubb, is the first boxed supplement for the Spelljammer line. It was published in August 1991.
Origins (I): Continuing The Spelljammer Line. Following the publication of Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (1989), TSR supported it with a robust line of adventures (SJAs), references (SJRs), and Monstrous Compendiums (MCs). The Legend of Spelljammer marked something new: a boxed supplement for the line. From here on, there would be one box for each year of the line's remaining publication.
The Legend of Spelljammer is also notable because it marked the return of Spelljammer creator, Jeff Grubb, making his final contribution to the setting.
Origins (II): Creating a Spelljammer Setting. So what do you do with a Spelljammer box? The answer, it turns out, is that you start to detail the Spelljammer setting.
Prior to the publication of The Legend of Spelljammer, Spelljammer had primarily existed as a way to connect together TSR's major settings, an idea that was now anchored with the publication of SJR2: "Realmspace" (1991). The actual universe of Spelljammer was in contrast poorly described; though new crystal spheres appeared in every adventure, they hadn't been tied together (and never would be). So The Legend of Spelljammer offered the first look at what a campaign just focused on Spelljammer could look like, and it did so in a more coherent fashion that the previous adventures, because the Spelljammer ship at the heart of this supplement had been referenced previously.
However, The Legend of Spelljammer is only sort of a campaign world for Spelljammer. It's a bit cut off from the rest of the universe since it's hard to leave, and the description of the Spelljammer as a sort-of port city is supplemented by its description as a megadungeon. It would take a few more years for The Astromundi Cluster (1993) to offer a more comprehensive setting for the Spelljammer universe (though it shares some of the issues with The Legend of Spelljammer).
Metaplotting Along. The original Spelljammer box described the Spelljammer as "the Flying Dutchman of the space lanes, the ultimate goal and dream of many a space pirate and adventurer". So the revelation of that ship here in The Legend of Spelljammer is sort of a metaplot event … or at least the closest thing for the Spelljammer line until its very last days.
Adventure Tropes: Trapped! The Spelljammer ship does its best to keep its inhabitants aboard "to maintain its myth and mystique". This effectively traps any characters onboard, keeping them from the rest of the Spelljammer multiverse — a trope shared with The Astromundi Cluster (1993), the other Spelljammer campaign.
Adventure Tropes: Sandboxes The Legend of Spelljammer contains two campaigns. They're event-driven, but they're largely outlines, not full descriptions of everything that will happen. They also take advantage of the extensive details of the Spelljammer found in this box, effectively creating a huge sandbox for the players to explore.
The Media Crossover. The actual Spelljammer setting never came across very strongly in the line's supplements, which were more likely to focus on one-off crystal spheres or the Radiant Triangle. Fans who wanted to really delve into the background of the Spelljammer multiverse probably needed to read the Cloakmaster Cycle (1991-1993) novels. Those books was a great source for additional lore on the Spelljammer ship as well, particularly the last two volumes, The Broken Sphere (1993) and The Ultimate Helm (1993).
Exploring the Crystal Spheres. The Legend of Spelljammer reveals one of the greatest mysteries of the Spelljammer universe and also one of the few known places not associated with the Radiant Triangle. It's sort of a home city, sort of a port, and sort of a dungeon. Of course, the fact that it's a mobile city was yet another factor that kept the Spelljammer setting from really gelling.
About the Creators. Grubb was the author of the original Spelljammer box and the manager of the Spelljammer line for it first year. The Legend of Spelljammer marked the end of his involvement in the setting. After this, his next major project was Al-Qadim: Arabian Adventures (1992).
About the Product Historian
The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.