Waaay back in the 80’s, TSR put out an awesome (and strange) role-playing campaign setting called Spelljammer. Its all about space travel in a fantasy universe. This campaign setting was so far out that most fans of AD&D of the time had a hard time getting into it. This resulted in the mothballing of the setting in favor of more popular lines like Forgotten Realms.
Though I understand the problems people had with the setting, I still had and have a strong affection for the setting. Flying ships, space elves, and cosmic themes all call to my weird heart. And so I am going to be adapting/converting Spelljammer friendly material using Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition game rules. This will be primarily for my home campaign, but I hope to make some solid and fun material for all of those spelljammer fans out there.
Voidjammer 5E Campaign Setting
The Voidjammer setting is to be all about travel to other worlds in a fantasy setting. This is not a new notion mind you. The ancients long dreamed of Astral Travel, flying ships and journeys through the night sky.
The setting will mix both Greek views of Ptolemaic astronomy and Aristotelian physics with Xi, the Chinese notion of spirit and flow. Space will still be a hostile place, but with more leeway for survival by plucky adventurers. But this survivability also includes plenty of dangerous denizens that can be far more deadly for the unwary.
But don’t let this high-falutin talk about philosophy and weird science put you off. The setting will be dominated by the Rule of Cool, with archaic physics only used to make weirdly wonderful settings and all manner of high strangeness. Voidjammer will be chock-full of goofy-fun and themes from my favorite comics, cartoons and cheesy movies. But all will not be silly. The universe is deadly dangerous, especially when things seem the most relaxed.
For starters, I will be getting into deeper details about the setting, but for starters I present a favorite race from the Spelljammer Setting, converted to 5th Edition rules:
THE GIFF (Race)
The Giff are a race of powerfully muscled mercenaries. They are civilized, but love all things relating to combat. Giff regularly hire themselves with various groups as mercenaries, bodyguards, enforcers, and general leg-breakers. The Mercane do a small business in Giff mercenaries, but usually local contractors do the task.
Physical Description: Giff are thick-skinned, hulking humanoids with hippopotami-shaped heads. They have stocky legs, barrel-shaped torsos with broad chests, and podgy fingers. Their skin is black, gray or gold, and often covered with brightly colored tattoos.
History: Giff can no longer remember where their homeworld is, so long have they wandered between the spheres. They tell stories of a jungle planet where weapon caches lie between every tree, and smoke powder billows through the air.
Society: Giff respect a chain of command that encompasses their whole race, and like structure and organization. They form platoons to serve other space-faring races on a mercenary basis. Giff tend to be fighters and rogues. Fighters act as bodyguards, marines and soldiers, while rogues function as military scouts, spies or assassins. They love weapons of any sort, and tend to accumulate a collection of their favorite instruments of war.
Giff like unarmed fighting and will brawl just for fun. They like friendly tests of strength but can be nervous around stronger races such as giants. Drawing a weapon in front of a giff, however, is a serious matter, and they are known to fight to the death after such provocation.
Giff clerics are usually Planar Clerics of the plane of Buxenus (Arcadia), with many focusing on Taweret (closely allied with The Seekers of Ptah), but will sometimes follow other faiths.
Giff Names: Giff names are blunt and uncomplicated, deriving from the Giant tongue.Male: Pomj, Dromb, Lewmur, Hurst, Ularn. Female: Ulyrn, Weelso, Hrusta, Beluarr, Yuralsha.
- Giff have the following racial traits.
- Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2, and your Constitution score increases by 1.
- Age. Giff mature faster than humans, reaching adulthood at 14 and old age at 60. They can live to 90 years.
- Alignment. Giff have a reputation for honoring contracts: many are Lawful. They are less concerned about the ethics of those contracts, so Good giff tend to be less common.
- Size. Giff are bulky and tall, and can be as tall as 9 feet. Your size is Medium.
- Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
- Headbutt. When you make a weapon attack, you can make a powerful headbutt. If you hit with your head, you deal bludgeoning damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier.
- Menacing. You gain proficiency in the Intimidation skill.
- Relentless Endurance. When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.
- Savage Attacks. When you score a critical hit with a melee weapon attack, you can roll one of the weapon’s damage dice one additional time and add it to the extra damage of the critical hit.
- Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Giant.