Dan Schwent 's Reviews > Wildspace

Wildspace by Allen Varney
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Jul 09, 12

bookshelves: rpgs

Nerd Alert!
Back in the early to mid-nineties, Dungeons and Dragons was a favorite pastime of mine. Hundreds of hours were spent in imaginary worlds, killing monsters and stealing their gear. A few summers ago, I was feeling nostalgic and picked up a few adventures for some light reading. Wildspace was the one that caught my interest the most.

Spelljammer, an AD&D 2e setting in fantasy space, never really caught on despite having an intriguing premise. Wizards flying wooden ships through crystal shells and the phlogiston separating them? Sounds like a license to print money to me. I didn't even have to mention the Giant Space Hamsters.

Wildspace is one of those do or die adventures where if the PCs fail, their world will probably be destroyed. The setting of Wildspace is a massive hollowed out asteroid called The Hive. It's basically a dungeon of mammoth size with rooms miles across, a dungeon big enough to fly a spelljamming ship inside with no problems. Inside the dungeon is a beholder super weapon, the Ravager, a device capable of massive destruction with the power of thousands of beholders.

While I've never run or played this adventure, it looks fairly easy to follow. The maps are detailed and the plot is actually not too bad, a rarity in published adventures from that era. There is a little railroading via NPCs using charm spells but not enough to be a deal breaker. The rewards for completing the adventure won't unbalance things if it's played in an ongoing campaign. In fact, they're a little light if the heroes don't decide to use the Hive for their new base.

That's really all I have to say. Of the Spelljammer adventures I've read or played so far, this one is it.
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Comments (showing 1-20 of 20) (20 new)

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message 1: by Michael (new)

Michael I love the Spelljammer setting. I can say that in the present tense.


message 2: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Me too. Giant Space Hamsters, the Rock of Bral, ships shaped like squids, it's fun stuff. Maybe I'll review one of the boxed sets next.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways I understand the words, taken individually, that you have written above; the gestalt is so completely outside my experience as to be incomprehensible. Spelljammer, an AD&D 2e setting in fantasy space...?

Yes, dear. Uh-huh. Like button pressed. Oh, that's lovely. Really? You don't say.


message 4: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent It's hard to distill a lifetime of relentless geekery into a single book review.


message 5: by Terry (new)

Terry What I loved about the Spelljammer universe (which I never played, but you know I read up on it): Mindflayers as major elements in it! I loved Mindlfayers and the whole psionics stuff that no one ever really figured out, but sounded so cool.

As far as alternate D&D settings go I really dug the Dark Sun universe myself. Mad Max with psychic powers meets D&D? Sign me up. Cannibal halflings didn't hurt either. :)

Also, best conventional D&D module ever? http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26... Classic Moldvay.


message 6: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Mindflayers are like mini-Cthulhus. The whole Spelljammer setting was full of crazy stuff.

I never did any Dark Sun since my group was pretty much into vanilla fantasy but I always thought it looked pretty cool.


message 7: by Megan (new)

Megan Baxter Man, I came to gaming fairly late, and so I've only played one truly old school dungeon crawl, but the old modules are interesting. I'd never want to play them, mind, but interesting. Give me my less-crunchy systems anyday! ;)


message 8: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Rules-lite is the way to go, especially as a working adult that doesn't have time to memorize big honkin' rule books.


message 9: by Megan (new)

Megan Baxter Exactly! I just started running my first game, and have gone with the extremely rules-lite (and diceless) Primetime Adventures. I am a big fan of that system.


message 10: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent I haven't gamed in years but I'd probably give Feng Shui: Action Movie Roleplaying a shot if I was getting back into it.


message 11: by Megan (last edited Jul 09, 2012 08:09AM) (new)

Megan Baxter I think my husband may have a copy of that book kicking around, but we've never played it. The various ways that games are trying to create a cinematic feel these days are really awesome, though. It sounds like that might be another one of that sort.

PTA is supposed to be directly thought of as "creating a TV show" in the way that it sets up character arcs, issues and overall season arcs. It also has a core mechanic for sharing narrative control over the story, which is daunting for a first-time GM, but very fun.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways *reels away from Esperanto-speaking crowd in bewildered haze*


message 13: by Megan (new)

Megan Baxter I'd translate if I could, Richard! It is kind of its own jargon.

Um...roleplaying is really fun?


message 14: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Lewis I never had an offer to dabble in D & D, but your review was informative. This reminds me of a D & D inspired episode of Community from season 2 I believe. I know this is not a book, but quite entertaining nonetheless.


message 15: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Shannon wrote: "I never had an offer to dabble in D & D, but your review was informative. This reminds me of a D & D inspired episode of Community from season 2 I believe. I know this is not a book, but quite ente..."

I forgot about that Community episode. That was a good one.


[Name Redacted By Goodreads Because Irrelevant to Review] I was always a fan of the dark, outer-fringes of D&D. Dark Sun, Ravenloft, Spelljammer, Al-Qadim...

Ahhhh, glory days.


message 17: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Ian wrote: "I was always a fan of the dark, outer-fringes of D&D. Dark Sun, Ravenloft, Spelljammer, Al-Qadim...

Ahhhh, glory days."


I thought Al-Qadim was really well done, as was Planescape. Couldn't get anyone to play either of them.


[Name Redacted By Goodreads Because Irrelevant to Review] I'm actually in a Planescape campaign right now. D&D is, if nothing else, an excellent way of getting to know people in a new city.

It also involves something other than writing and teaching.


message 19: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Ian wrote: "I'm actually in a Planescape campaign right now."

Jealous


message 20: by John (new)

John Awesome review! I never had a chance to play a Spelljammer module, most of the ones I played were the "B", "X" and "CM" modules for the basic boxed game and some of the AD&D ones before they went over to 2nd edition. Brings back some memories.


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