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SJR8 Space Lairs (2e)

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"Avast, me hearties, and listen to me tales o' monsters that lair in the vastness of wildspace and the fiery streams o' the phlogiston. Great and terrible beasties they be, just waitin' for a daring band o' adventurers to stumble upon 'em?or seek 'em out! Here's a toast to those brave enough to face the challenge!"

Wildspace the phlogiston are vast. Even when ships travel at spelljamming speed, a journey can take months to complete. Now a Dungeon Master can inject the unexpected into those days when "nothing happens" with the exciting encounters found in Space Lairs.

Like the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Book of Lairs, this collection contains 14 intriguing and innovative mini-adventures that can be inserted into any Spelljammer campaign with little or no preparation by the DM. Featuring Spelljammer monsters from the Monstrous Compendium, these adventures provide challenges suitable for players of all levels.

From puzzle-solving to action and from humor to high adventure, it's all here in this 64-page accessory for the Spelljammer campaign setting. The Spelljammer Adventures in Space boxed set is needed to use this book. So, come aboard, take the helm, and prepare to meet Blackleg Bart and lots of other fantastic adversaries!

Product History

SJR8: "Space Lairs" (1993), by Nicky Rea and Wes Nicholson, is the eighth and final Spelljammer Resource. It was published in May 1993.

Origins (I): Return of the Lair. In the late '80s, TSR published a pair of well-received adventure anthologies. REF3: The Book of Lairs (1986) and REF4: The Book of Lairs II (1987) were books of small-scale encounters, each of them focused on a single monster and easily insertable into any campaign. REF5: Lords of Darkness (1988) used a similar, by somewhat longer format.

Five years later, TSR decided to return to the format for AD&D 2e play, but with a twist: the three new anthologies, like Lords of Darkness before them, would each focus on a specific setting. SJR8: "Space Lairs" (1993) is thus a Spelljammer Book of Lairs; it would be followed by Books of Lairs for the Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms line.

Origins (II): Ending the SJR Series. "Space Lairs" marks the end of the "SJR" series of Spelljammer Resources. Though many of the volumes in the series had been Wildspace reference books, there had also been books with adventure seeds, including SJR4: "Practical Planetology" (1991) and some of the material in SJR1: "Lost Ships" (1990). Of course there had been adventure anthologies in the "SJA" line too … but so it went with TSR's module codes in the '90s.

Besides being the last "SJR" book, "Space Lairs" was also nearly the final Spelljammer book. The Astromundi Cluster (1993) would end the line two months later.

Adventure Tropes. The original Book of Lairs included about 60 lairs in 96 pages. They tended to be 1-2 pages long They were terse encounters. Though they sometimes spanned a few locales, each place got just a few paragraphs of attention, and there were no maps. Details were left to the GMs.

In contrast, the "Space Lairs" have grown much more expansive. There are 14 of them in a 64-page book, with most running 3-4 pages long. The old format of a "Setup" followed by a "Lair" holds, with each lair being related to a specific monster. However, some of those lairs are quite intricate now. They included lovingly described locales, episodic encounters, and a few maps. Some locales such as the clockwork hive and the dwellers in the vortex are huge, some such as the survivor include intricate events. Finally, the Base of Woes is pretty much a mini-delve, clocking in at 13 pages.

Exploring Wildspace. This supplement is clearly set in Wildspace, with its focus on Spelljammer spaceships and races. However, the generic nature of the lairs prevents any notable expansion of the setting itself.

Monsters of Note. So what Spelljammer monsters make the cut? "Space Lairs" includes encounters for the astrosphinx, the clockwork horrors, the colossus, the firelich, the phlog-crawl, pirates of Gith, the radiant golem, the space mimic, the puffers, stellar undead, the syllix, and vampires.

The "colossus lair" shows the over-the-top weirdness of Spelljammer: it actually is the lair; the players have to fight parasites, not the colossus itself.

About the Creators. Nicky Rea was regularly freelancing for both TSR and White Wolf in the early '90s. Nicholson had previously contributed to MC14: "Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix" (1992), but this was his first major work on a D&D supplement.

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

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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Jordy W February 05, 2019 10:07 pm UTC
I found a physical copy of this is a store so I can't leave a review--but I will say--I've read about half of it and found the material to be really great! Good seeds for adventure with fun roleplaying scenarios throughout!
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This title was added to our catalog on July 11, 2017.