Like, I suspect, many other people, I went out and bought the new Spelljammer boxed set for D&D when it was released on Tuesday. Here are my thoughts and questions about the first book.
I should start by saying that I was really excited for this product. Back in junior high and high school two of my friends, my brother and I played in a long-term 2nd Edition campaign that went into space, traveled from world to world, and culminated in the epic adventure Under the Dark Fist. For that reason alone, Spelljammer has a special place in my heart.
These books, and the map and DM screen, are really pretty. It's interesting to compare modern full-color books to the old black-and-white ones.
Life in astral space is Long! I'm not quite sure what to think about allowing characters to be ageless there. How many of them would choose to do that?
The new races presented in this book seem interesting and fun. They are definitely different from the fantasy standards.
Characters' and creatures' air envelopes are cubes now? I guess that makes sense if they're depicted on a Battle Mat.
The minimum complement for a spelljammer ship is now two—the captain and the character on the helm. It makes me a little sad that we don't need to send other characters aloft to handle the rigging, but I still think there should be other characters on watch.
It seems like ships just keep flying until they've lost all their hit points, at which point they break apart. I assume that the spelljamming helm is still functional, though.
A little more explanation of the stats used in the ships' stat blocks would be nice.
I am pleased to see some familiar ship types depicted, albeit with updated deck plans and names.
The deathspider is a neogi ship again! I never cared for having it be a drow vessel, as was the case in 3rd Edition.
There are seven pages dedicated to the Rock of Bral, one of which is a full-page picture. Of course, there's also a whole supplement dedicated to it from 2nd Edition, and one could easily harvest bits and pieces of that.
I miss the quotations that they used in the 2nd Edition books. There are some empty spaces in this book where those would fit nicely.
It looks like catapults have been replaced with mangonels. That seems to make sense. Also, jettisons have been, well, jettisoned.
All in all, this book provides a lot of exciting content. It could certainly have gone into greater detail in some different areas, but I think it provides a solid framework on which to start building adventures and campaigns in Wildspace.