Monday, August 15, 2022

Review of Spelljammer Academy

A month ago now, Wizards of the Coast released this four-part scenario on their D&D Beyond platform. Here are my thoughts after reading through it.

  • First off, I cut and pasted the content into an Open Office document, exported it into a PDF, printed it, and then read it. I imagine the hyperlinks in it are quite handy.

  • This whole scenario reminds me a lot of Star Trek, with cadets being trained for service at the Academy. I wonder if the adventure that comes with the boxed set, Light of Xaryxis, will have the same kind of feel to it.

  • Advancement in this scenario is quick. Really quick. Each of the first three parts “takes approximately two hours to play” and advances the characters by a level. That's four levels that could be earned in a long day of gaming!

  • I appreciate that, while the scenario takes place in the Forgotten Realms, the island Nimbral is isolated from the rest of it. That is such a big campaign setting, with so much history behind it, that I would find it intimidating to run a scenario in the Realms.

  • These scenarios are approved for use with the D&D Adventurers League. I think it would be fun to run them for various groups and see how they play out in different ways for each.

  • On the one hand, it feels like this scenario is written for new DMs; the text talks the DM through encounters. It is written for “three to seven 1st-level characters,” however, and does not provide suggestions for modifying the number of opponents that the characters face in combat situations.

  • Part 3 of the adventure sends the heroes, as 3rd-level characters, to the planet H'Catha in Realmspace. That seems like a perilous assignment for a group of cadets.

  • That voyage includes a level increase in the middle of the journey, since it is divided between parts 3 and 4 of the scenario.

  • Finally, I wonder how the Academy leaders even know to send the heroes on that assignment, which involves recovering a meteorite from that planet. How do they know that it is there?

  • All in all, this seems like a fun scenario; I wonder if the published adventure, Light of Xaryxis, will have the same kind of tone.

I am really looking forward to the release of the new books tomorrow. 


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