Alternative Spelljamming Rules

A few weeks ago we ran our first session for the new 5e Spelljammer campaign. This was the first field test of my converted rules and it honestly didn’t go that well. One of the biggest concerns was what many  of  you warned me about; the price for Spelljamming was just too high. The players immediately balked at the idea of losing all of their spells. I can admit when I’m wrong so I am offering an alternative rule for Spelljamming.

My original idea for Spelljamming had the operator channeling all of their magical energy into the helm draining them of all their spells. The new rule will instead utilize a new spell. This spell will allow the caster to choose a slot level to cast it at allowing for higher Spelljammer ratings. The spell will be cast the same way regardless of whether the ship utilizes a major or minor helm. The type of helm will determine any bonuses to SR.

New Spell

Operate Spelljammer Helm

1st-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: Self

Components: V, M (spelljammer helm)

Duration: Concentration, up to 12 hours

A magical connection is formed between you and a Spelljammer helm giving you complete control of a ship. You are able to move the ship at a base Spelljammer Rating of 1. For the duration of the spell the ship feels like an extension of your body. Maneuvering the ship requires no more effort than moving your arm or leg normally would.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you can increase the base SR by one for each slot level above 1st.

Minor and Major Helms

There is one other change that needs to accompany the addition of this spell. In my original conversion a minor helm gave the operator an SR of highest spell slot minus two and a major helm gave highest spell slot plus one. The Operate Spelljammer Helm spell allows me to simplify this more. Casting the spell with a minor helm gives the base SR. Casting it with a major helm gives a +1 bonus to SR. Simple!

July 16th is our next session for the campaign and I will implementing this rule change immediately. Hopefully it will increase the players’ enjoyment of Spelljammer.

2 thoughts on “Alternative Spelljamming Rules”

  1. Thanks for the update!

    That spell seems like a good work around. Do you intend to let the spell be available to all classes with casting ability? For example, will a ranger or paladin of sufficient level be able to cast it? What about an Eldrich Knight or Arcane Trickster?

    I could see an argument for either direction for the semi-casters. Perhaps divide their SR by half or a third respectively like they are treated in other respects.

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