Making a Spelljammer, Orca Edition
The Orcannon, A DSC Exclusive!

Spelljammer vessels are a bit of a mystery. One spell turns one chair into a magical artifact that can turn any ship over one ton. What constitutes a ship? Why are some faster than others? Does making one with an integrated Treant cost more or less? There aren’t a lot of easy answers here, but I did some digging and I think I found a few.

I spent a lot longer than is reasonable crunching the numbers. I tried to take the dimensions of the vessel into account; that was a dead end. After running the numbers a few different ways, and filtering to the vessels that were most comparable, I found a relationship between the sum of a given ship’s Hit Points, and cargo carrying capacity. I then went back and applied modifiers to the other ships based upon traits listed in their descriptions that bring their speed in line with other ships.

Here in the first table, you can see the values I used to compare the various spelljamming vessels.


ShipHit PointsSpeed (ft)CargoHP+CargoNoteModSJ WeightCost
Damselfly200705205Metal Hull-1019520000
Shrike2507020270Advanced SJH-2025020000
Star Moth4005030430Ceramic Hull, Adv. SJH-17026040000
Flying Fish250401326326320000
Living Ship2504010260Druidcraft1027025000
Nightspider3004050350Metal Hull-1034050000
Tyrant3004020320Stone Hull80400
Nautiloid4004017417 41750000
Space Galleon400352042042030000
Bombard30035150450Advanced SJH, Gith Reinforced Hull-2043050000
Turtle Ship3002530330Submersible19052040000
Astral Adventurers Guide, pp. 26-57

Making a Spelljammer: Traits

Next, we look at the traits assigned to a vessel and a modifier alter the sum of HP and Cargo.

Trait NameEffectModifier
Advanced Spelljammer HelmAdvanced enchantment that increases speed of spelljamming vessel.-20
ArchaicVessel has a less-advanced spelljammer helm, causing the ship to move more slowly.190
Ceramic HullShip is made primarily from ultra-light ceramics, offering increased durability and reduced weight.-170
DruidcraftAn integrated treant heals a wooden ship, at the cost of increased weight.10
Gith Reinforced HullGiff engineering creates wood vessels with a 20 damage threshold
Metal HullShips made from metal are lighter for the same given volume than wooden ships.-10
Stone HullShips made from stone are significantly heavier for the same volume than wooden ships.80
SubmersibleIn order to be submersible, a ship requires structural reinforcement. As a result, they weigh more and are significantly slower.190

So, with an HP, cargo weight, a few modifiers, and a little math, you can determine the speed of a novel spelljamming vessel.


I’ll be back with more on creating your own spelljamming ships soon. Until then, take a look at these map/tokens I made for your ships on the tabletop, virtual or actual!

Categories: Spelljammer


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