D&D is bringing back Spelljammer and Dragonlance

In addition to confirming that Baldur’s Gate 3 has a 2023 release date, this year’s D&D Direct has gathered several other big Dungeons & Dragons announcements. Most interesting was the return of Spelljammer, a niche but beloved campaign setting from the days of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition that combined Age of Sail aesthetics with interplanetary travel and introduced gonzo concepts like the giant space hamster in miniature.

The Spelljammer: Adventures in Space set will contain three hardcover books, a DM screen, and a map of Rock of Bral, an asteroid with a city built on it that will serve as the center stage (as Sigil was for Planescape). The three books are: the Astral Adventurer’s Guide, a rulebook covering everything from flying ships and new races, including mechanical gnomes, humanoid insects, plasmoids (some sort of slime, apparently) and the fucked up hippo known as a giff; a monster manual called Boo’s Astral Menagerie with stats for various cosmic horrors, killer comets and space clowns; and Light of Xaryxis, an adventure for characters from levels 5–8 that will take them across the Astral Sea.

Spelljammer: Adventures in Space will be released on August 16th and has a pre-order page. A free download prequel called Spelljammer Academy will be released in July. It looks like this new version is embracing enough of Spelljammer’s silliness to be a good time, while reducing the scope – letting it be about D&D in space, rather than trying to use it as a bridge between existing setups.

Dragonlance’s slightly more realistic setting is also set for a return, with an adventure called Shadow of the Dragon Queen set at the start of the War of the Lance, and a war game called Warriors of Krynn that will presumably ramp up. D&D 5th edition rules to cover major military conflicts. The legal disagreement between Wizards of the Coast and Dragonlance creators Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman appears to be water under the bridge.

The upcoming Forgotten Realms D&D movie starring Chris Pine, first revealed in 2015, was also mentioned. It now has a subtitle, Honor Among Thieves, and a release date of March 23rd and 23rd. In addition to Pine, it will star Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Sophia Lillis, Justice Smith and Hugh Grant as its villain.

Also covered in D&D Direct was a new starter set released this year called Stormwreck Isle Dragonsand the anthology of adventures Journeys through the Radiant Citadeldue on June 22.

It’s nice to see the older settings come back. Maybe we’ll see Planescape or Dark Sun next. And with renewed interest in Spelljammer, we may have a remake of the 1992 video game Spelljammer: Pirates of Realmspace, which was left out of the most recent re-release of the Golden Box Classics.

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