The Truth Behind the Legends
The name Spelljammer is as old as travel in space itself. In the most ancient surviving relics of the past, the Spelljammer is described as it is today, still carrying the same name then as it does now. Despite this seeming connection, there is no direct link between the great ship Spelljammer and the various spelljamming helms used by priests and wizards throughout known space.
The present Spelljammer is a descendant of the original craft, whose own origins are lost in time and mythology. It may be that, like the crystal spheres and the phlogiston, there have always been spelljammers.
Tonnage/Hull points/Keel length/Beam length/Cargo
Tonnage and cargo listings are estimates because no one has accurate numbers on a ship this large. (Also, such a large craft is usually not used as a cargo hauler.) In very real terms, the Spelljammer is immune to any conventional attacks a single opponent can deliver.
The Spelljammer has no living crew in the traditional sense. The ship takes care of its own maneuvering and power, either directly or through the use of servitor constructs called shivaks. These shivaks take care of the detail and grunt work and can be considered "monsters" unique to the Spelljammer.
The ship carries over 5,000 living individuals who, in general, have little effect over the control of the ship. They are more akin to passengers than crew, but they are tied to the ship as well and will fight to defend it. These individuals come from all races and are separated into communities throughout the ship, with the various towers each being dominated by a single racial group. These racial groups fight among themselves, but this is permitted as long as these wars do not interfere with the ship.
The Spelljammer continually releases magical scents and fragrances into its air envelope. These fragrances entrap the will of others and control the races that make the ship their home. Although these scents function in a very subtle fashion, they have the effect of a charm spell. Those living on the Spelljammer are positively disposed toward the ship, will fight to preserve the ship, and will otherwise act in a manner beneficial to the ship. This disposition is the reason why those who join the Spelljammer rarely leave.
When an individual first enters the air envelope of the Spelljammer, he or she must make a saving throw versus spells. All modifications for race and level apply, but magic resistance is ignored. The elves' normal resistance to charm spells and their other immunities are also ignored for the purpose of this roll. Creatures that do not need to breathe (such as golems, the undead, or clockwork horrors) are not subjected to making a saving throw.
If the initial saving throw is successful, additional saving throws must be made for every 12 hours spent on the ship. Each is at -1 to succeed and is cumulative (after two days, the saving throw is made at -4). Failure of any of these saving throws indicates the individual has been ensorcelled by the ship. Those leaving the ship before being so enchanted and then returning begin the saving throws as if approaching the ship for the first time.
Those magically charmed are unaffected in their normal actions. They may move and fight normally, even if they attack the inhabitants of the ship or the shivaks created by the Spelljammer. However, the following rules do apply to ensorcelled characters:
- Charmed individuals will not directly harm the Spelljammer; they will not fire missiles at or use spells against the ship. Nor will they engage in acts known to harm the Spelljammer, such as using fire in the phlogiston.
- Charmed individuals will not seek to leave the Spelljammer. The individual can be carried off or knocked unconscious and dragged off the ship, but he will not leave of his own volition.
- If the individual is charmed by the Spelljammer while still in the ship's air envelope before he has landed on the ship itself, he can be carried away from the envelope without ill effect (the fragrances within the mixed air diminish over time). The exception to this rule occurs when spelljamming mages or priests are charmed by the ship. If such is the case, they will immediately attempt to land to become part of the Spelljammer's crew. The remainder of the other crew must get another, unaffected wizard or cleric into the helm to make good an escape.
The charmed individuals are not otherwise affected. It is not that they are forced to perform or not perform certain actions, it is simply that these actions never even enter the thoughts of those so affected. They will not prevent their friends and allies from harming the Spelljammer, but they will attack their potential foes who try to harm the ship.
These individuals will retain their original drives and goals, provided those goals do not directly harm the Spelljammer. If an individual once desired to control the Spelljammer, he will continue to strive toward that desire, but he will be limited to only nondestructive means. In fact, he will be so wrapped up in attempting to control the great ship that he will never want to leave it.
Removing the charmed individual from the air envelope of the ship negates the effects of this enchantment - in other words, the fragrances must be constantly inhaled in order to cause any effect. If the affected individual spends 2-12 hours away from the ship's air, he will no longer be affected by the ship's control. Additionally, an antimagic or a wall of force spell will hold off the magic-tinged air for the duration of the spell. A dispel magic will also negate the effects, but the ship is considered a 20th level wizard for the purpose of breaking this spell.
The fragrances in the air are invisible, and their odor is faint. Usually they smell like something desirable or peaceful to the target - roses or pines to humans, fresh-baked biscuits to halflings, and rotted flesh to neogi. The air itself is magical, and a detect magic will reveal a swirling cloud of faint magic from the Enchantment/Charm school area of effect, in addition to any other magical effects.
Power type/Ship's rating/Maneuver rating/Landing
The most surprising feature of the Spelljammer is her speed, which is incredibly fast for so massive a ship. Other objects of this size would be reduced to (at best) an SR of 1 - able to move but one hex on the tactical map per turn. The Spelljammer, on the other hand, has an SR of 8 and a surprisingly high MR, making the ship capable of pulling very high speed turns without affecting those on board.
The Spelljammer lacks a command center per se - the ship’s consciousness permeates the entire ship. There is no "brain" to the creature in the usual sense, no location that can be struck or exploited to seize control of the entire body. Much like how the consciousness of the spelljamming mage seems to encompass an entire ship, so too the spirit of the great ship is everywhere through its body, concentrated in no one location.
There is a "command bridge" located in the forward quarters of the ship, but this is usually sealed off and only available when the correct individual bearing the ultimate helm arrives at the ship. These quarters are tailored to match the needs of the individual's race and personal tastes.
It is when the great ship is under the direct control of its captain that the ship is most vulnerable in that the captain is mortal even if the ship seems immortal. No other helms operate to control the Spelljammer, though they will operate on lesser craft that rest on the Spelljammer.
The Spelljammer itself could conceivably land on both ground and water without taking severe damage. (It is known, for instance, that young spelljammers can and do land on both ground and water.) The ship's flattened bottom would seem to be ideal for such landings, but it has never been reported to have landed. This may be due to the personal whims of the Spelljammer itself or to the fact that such a landing could wipe out entire towns unless exact care was taken. Most likely, the great ship avoids landing on larger planetary bodies because its protective charming ability over its inhabitants would be lost. (Such areas negate the fragrances' effects.) The ship's inhabitants would lose their desire to remain with the ship and could seek to harm it.
The Spelljammer can cross between wildspace and the phlogiston at will, though it must still make the travel between the points. The Spelljammer does not need to seek portals through the crystal shell to do this because it forms its own portal when crossing between the Rainbow Ocean to the various solar systems. The portals so created become permanent, and they may be used thereafter by any ship that can reach them. Other forces may also create permanent portals, but only the Spelljammer has been seen creating these long-standing gates.
Armor rating/Saves as/Magic resistance
Whereas most ships - whether the unliving, gnome ship of steel or the polished, living crystal of the elven armada - have a saving throw as per an item, the Spelljammer saves as a 20th level wizard. All forms of attack that do not fit under standard saving throws are determined as a save versus spells.
In addition, the Spelljammer's body has an innate magic resistance of 50%, such that its walls will often not be affected by fireballs or other fell magics. The Spelljammer is also immune to the effects of all enchantment/charm spells directed against it, including the effects of magical items and artifacts.
The Spelljammer's complement of weapons is large and is controlled by the various races that inhabit the ship. The large catapults and ballistas are in the hands of those who live in the major towers, while the smaller weapons are controlled by those in less powerful positions or are used to support the major weapons. Interestingly enough, the chief opponents of these weapons are other towers and races rather than invaders from space. Only in the face of a concentrated raid will the numerous towers combine forces against invaders.
Contrary to previous reports, the Spelljammer packs no jettisons. (Earlier reports had confused a flurry of catapult shots with jettisons in action.)
The previous reports of bombards aboard the Spelljammer are also partially false. In fact, there are never more than 10 bombards on the Spelljammer at any one time. Any additional bombards that fall into the Spelljammer's hands are usually fought over by the giff, who place an ancestral claim on all large guns. These fights most often result in the destruction of the gun or in the giff acquiring the gun (and then firing it until it blows up). It is not known why the giff, who make their home on the Spelljammer, are so excited by this destruction, but it may be a side effect of the charm spell that the ship casts on them. The net result is that there are essentially no bombards on the ship (outside of those briefly under the control of the giff).
The Spelljammer does have an additional weapon stored in its tail. The tail assembly can create a sphere of annihilation and can independently fire the sphere at targets. The sphere appears as utter blackness surrounded by a corona of bright, crystalline-white light, easily visible when fired.
The sphere can move six hexes per round and can follow its intended target. It is 10 feet across and powerful enough to suck in any ship of 100 tons or less. The sphere strikes with the THAC0 of a 20th level wizard to hit against the ship armor rating. If the sphere misses, it will complete its movement for that turn in a straight line, then circle around to strike again until it either hits or the target reaches spelljamming speeds and outruns the sphere.
The sphere can be affected like any other sphere of annihilation, but it cannot be used against the Spelljammer itself - if it reenters the Spelljammer's air envelope, the sphere fizzles into nothing.
If the sphere falls into the gravity plane of an item larger than 100 tons other than that of the Spelljammer, it will fragment into 2-12 smaller spheres of annihilation and scatter across the larger body. Control is lost over these items, and they are treated as normal spheres of annihilation.
The Spelljammer only uses the sting weapon when it has a captain on board; in other words, when operating on its own, the ship will not use the spheres in combat. Only the captain can order the spheres to fire. This is one reason why many of the more recent tales of the Spelljammer neglect to mention this particular feature.
The Great Ship in Combat
Moving the Spelljammer
The Spelljammer is a large ship, represented in the Adventures in Space SPELLJAMMER® boxed set by a multihex figure. The bow of the ship is considered the location from which the ship turns and moves. The bow will face one of the six hexsides of the forward hex it occupies.
The Spelljammer can move a determined number of hexes only if that movement falls within the restrictions for long-range movement. It will not charge a sun, for example, or fly into the maw of a gargantuan spacefaring monster. It will pass through or over other ships, such that a charge at one random ship can carry the Spelljammer through that ship's hex and beyond.
When turning the great ship, the wings and stern hexes will pass through a number of other hexes in making the turn before lining up in their correct position. All hexes that the ship passes through while making such a turn are affected by the wake of the Spelljammer (see the subsection below for further information).
Sudden turns have no effect on the crew because crew members are totally within their own gravity plane. However, to an outside observer, such a huge craft making a 120-degree spin and then charging would be unsettling, to say the least.
If the Spelljammer is under the control of a captain (whether represented by a PC or an NPC under control of the Dungeon Master), its long-range goals are determined by the person controlling the character acting as captain. What spheres and planets to visit; what actions to take; and who to contact, fight, or take on board are all up to the individual. The Spelljammer will respond immediately.
This is not to say that the ship will continually engage in foolish or suicidal actions at the request of its captain. The Spelljammer has a mind and a will of its own, and while it will usually submit that will to its captain, it will protest if necessary.
The nature of this protest will not be an actual command against the action, but rather a "second thought" to the captain himself. If the PC acting as captain suggests that they land the Spelljammer on water (something the ship would not do on its own), the DM should merely say, "You don't think that's a good idea." If the player presses, the Spelljammer will perform the requested action, but the override is nevertheless noted.
The Spelljammer's general restrictions for movement are to:
- Never land on planets. This extends to any solar body larger than itself that may or may not have an atmosphere. Entering such an area causes the magical scents that control the populace to be diminished or eliminated. Passing through the air envelope of a larger body is permissible, provided the contact is no more than two turns (the time it would take some of the enchanted inhabitants to come out of their spell).
- Never act to harm the inhabitants of the ship. This includes trying to bleed off the atmosphere entirely, taking on a hundred beholder ships in a fight, and the like. This restriction also includes attempts to remove one particular life form or another from the ship, with the exception of the undead. Whether the captain likes neogi or not, their establishment will remain on the ship.
In addition to the Spelljammer's particular restrictions, the ship prefers its captains to observe the following ones as well, including to:
- Never use fire in the phlogiston. A commonsense restriction, since the flammable vapors would otherwise combine with those in the Spelljammer's air envelope. Even the giff will not fire in the flow.
- Never try to destroy the Spelljammer. Patently obvious suicidal actions such as plunging the Spelljammer into a fire body will be strongly discouraged.
- Never attempt to leave. Once a captain is installed, the ship will want him or her (or it, for that matter) to remain. This restriction will be invoked instantly. If a captain still attempts to leave, the Spelljammer will try to stop him or her.
- Never let any other inhabitant leave. This regulation is less heavily enforced than the other ones, but the Spelljammer likes to maintain its myth and mystique as a protective shield against others, and thus it doesn't like inhabitants (who will certainly divulge whatever secrets they have learned) to escape. There are those who do succeed in escaping the Spelljammer, but they are few and far between.
If the ship is not under the control of any one individual, its actions become more erratic. The DM can determine the Spelljammer's actions on his or her own, according to the needs of the campaign. (If, for instance, it is necessary for the current adventure's plot to have the Spelljammer stay in orbit around Greyhawk for a few days, then so be it - do not let the dice blindly control your campaign!)
For general movement of the Spelljammer, roll on the table below. Make one roll every six hours.
|01-40||Spelljammer continues last action|
|41-50||Spelljammer moves to a chosen location in wildspace and stops there|
|51-60||Spelljammer moves to the next nearest solar body and orbits|
|61-70||Spelljammer moves toward the central point of the sphere, orbiting any body found there|
|71-80||Spelljammer moves toward the crystal shell of the sphere, but does not leave the sphere|
|81-00||Spelljammer moves toward the crystal shell of the sphere, leaves the sphere, and heads for a random crystal sphere (roll or choose direction and time): upon reaching that crystal sphere, the Spelljammer will enter (no need to roll again until the crystal sphere is reached)|
In addition, there will be situations where survival of the Spelljammer will obviously override any die rolls. The appearance of a large fleet of hostile ships (40 or more - any fewer will be ignored) will cause the Spelljammer to move off in another direction, attaining spelljamming speeds as soon as possible. Further, stellar events such as exploding planets and stars as well as huge monsters (for example, a rogue moon or murderoid) will cause the Spelljammer to leave the area quickly.
Like any other ship in space, the Spelljammer moves at spelljamming speeds as long as it is not in contact with other large bodies (10+ tons). For example, the presence of an elvish flitter can prevent the Spelljammer from attaining its high speeds. When reduced to tactical movement (on the hexgrid provided in the original SPELLJAMMER® set), the Spelljammer's SR of 8 makes it an incredibly fast and dangerous opponent.
Again, ships under the control of a captain (whether a player character or a nonplayer character under the control of the DM) move and fight according to the desires of the captain. The rules regarding the Spelljammer's influence apply to tactical as well as to long-range movement. In other words, the ship will seek to avoid entering large gravity fields or engaging overwhelming enemies.
For ship actions when not under the control of a captain, the DM can determine the ship's movements according to his own needs, or he can roll on the following table, checking every 1-6 rounds or at his preference.
|01-20||Spelljammer moves straight ahead (roll on Table 3)|
|21-30||Spelljammer turns right one hex and moves (roll on Table 3)|
|31-40||Spelljammer turns left one hex and moves (roll on Table 3)|
|41-50||Spelljammer turns right two hexes and moves (roll on Table 3)|
|51-60||Spelljammer turns left two hexes and moves (roll on Table 3)|
|61-70||Spelljammer moves directly toward one random ship, if possible (roll on Table 3); if not possible, no movement|
|71-80||Spelljammer moves directly away from one random ship, if possible (roll on Table 3); if not possible, no movement|
|81-90||Spelljammer does not move|
|91-00||Spelljammer repeats action from the previous turn|
For the distance moved in Table 2, roll a 10-sided die and check the following table.
|9||0 hexes (though still may turn)|
|10||Roll twice on this table; after the first tactical movement and distance rolls are made, roll again for a new direction and speed (remember that regardless of die rolls, the Spelljammer cannot move more than eight hexes in any one turn)|
The DM can override these tables any time (even after the roll), if it suits his or her purpose. These tables are included as guidelines only. Keep in mind that this method of random movement will produce a "drunkard's walk" for the Spelljammer - a series of unrelated movements, but this can be explained as the unpredictable nature of the craft.
Combat with the Spelljammer
The Spelljammer is not by its nature an offensive weapon. Its very size is protection against all but the largest of creatures in wildspace; where its size does not protect it, its speed and dexterity more than make up for its lack of offensive weapons.
However, the Spelljammer does have three main attacks: the wake of its gravity field, its sting, and that of its inhabitants.
The wake attack is usually used to discourage rather than defeat opponents (primarily other ships). The sight of a nearly quarter square mile of real estate moving in at spelljamming speeds tends to turn away all but the most determined attackers. (See below for further information on the wake attack.)
The sting of the Spelljammer (previously described in the armament information given in "The Truth Behind the Legends," above) will only function when it has a captain in residence. It may be that the ship only uses the spheres of annihilation to protect its captain when he or she is on board. The use of the sting is the captain's prerogative, and the captain will know of its existence once he or she communes with the Spelljammer using the ultimate helm.
The sting of the Spelljammer is mounted in the curved tail section of the craft; as such, it can only fire at targets that are initially in the "front" of the ship. Thus, only those who are in front of the forward three hexes of the Spelljammer may be fired at. However, the spheres do track their opponents and, once fired, the Spelljammer may change course and ignore its prey. Any number of spheres may be fired, but only one may be fired per turn.
Lastly, the inhabitants of the Spelljammer have a variety of weapons available to them - catapult, ballista, and the very rare bombard. As stated under the armament information in "The Truth Behind the Legends," above, these weapons are used primarily to attack each other, but they can also be aimed at outside targets.
There is a base 10% chance that any ship that enters the Spelljammer's air envelope will be attacked by a large weapon. In cases where there are numerous ships in the area, the chance of being shot at increases dramatically. The 10% chance is modified by the following:
- A +20% if the ship is one that normally belongs to a racial enemy of one of the races on board.
- A +30% if the ship has previously fired at the Spelljammer.
- A +50% if one to three opposing ships are near the Spelljammer.
- A +70% if more than three opposing ships are in the area.
The percentages are cumulative, with a maximum of +90%. If a ship takes one shot from the Spelljammer, roll again at the same odds to see if it is fired upon again that round; continue to roll until the attack fails when greater than the required percentage is rolled. For cases of large-scale combat with a combined fleet attacking the Spelljammer, the DM may set a maximum number of attacks at 10 shots per round.
Determine the type of attack using the following table. The DM may also use weapons belonging to disparate factions within the Spelljammer.
|10||Bombard (giff only)|
The ships under attack can easily identify which tower launched the assault and thus return fire if they so desire. The DM may identify one of the towers in range for the assault. If the player characters choose to return the Spelljammer's fire, they will likely find the inhabitants of that tower less than friendly once they arrive.
The Wake of the Spelljammer
The greatest danger to other ships' crews when near the Spelljammer is the possibility of falling into the great ship's gravity plane as it passes. The fact that the Spelljammer can turn and maneuver very swiftly makes it all the more dangerous in the far reaches of space.
When the Spelljammer enters a hex occupied by another ship, that ship's spelljamming character must make a Dexterity check to remain on the same gravity plane and to resist any damage. The spelljamming mage or priest receives a bonus or penalty to his die roll according to the maneuver rating of his ship as in the following table.
Failure to succeed on this check results in the same effects as being on a ship without a spelljamming helm. Ships without standard spelljamming helms (including the illithid pools and the beholder orbs) as well as those with helms whose spelljamming wizard has failed the Dexterity check will immediately suffer 1-10 points of hull damage and take a critical hit.
Those on board must make an additional Dexterity check or fall toward the Spelljammer (quite likely from a high of 20-120 feet) unless caught or otherwise restrained. A saving throw against death by the helmsman (regardless of the type of helm) will prevent the ship from crashing onto the deck of the Spelljammer. (Crashes are handled as per page 65 of the Concordance of Arcane Space in the original SPELLJAMMER® boxed set.)
The required checks and saving throws can be eliminated in part by always approaching the Spelljammer (or any large object in space, for that matter) along its gravity plane. This should protect the craft from sudden changes in course. The exception is when the Spelljammer makes a 120-degree (two hexside) turn in one round, in which case a new check must be made for craft affected during that round.
Most veteran captains are aware of this maneuvering procedure, but many new to space are not, and they must learn this procedure through trial and error - and quickly!
There are very few things in the universe that the Spelljammer could actually ram. Most ships are of such small size that they would either be swept aside (in the wake attack) or be forced to land on the Spelljammer itself in order to weather the "storm." Items much larger than the Spelljammer will retain large air envelopes, and the Spelljammer will avoid assaulting them closely.
However, if the captain of the Spelljammer decides to ram a large object or creature, the chitinous lobes at the bow of the Spelljammer are considered blunt rams for ships of less than 100 tons and as piercing rams for those of 100 tons or more (including citadels and armadas).
Furthermore, the Spelljammer will inflict a random number of hull points due to its great size, making an exact strike difficult. Roll d100. The attack will deliver 1-100 hull points of damage times the Spelljammer's current speed, and it will automatically inflict a number of critical hits to the ship equal to the Spelljammer's current speed. At the option of the captain, the ship can deliver only the critical hits and not the hull point damage.
The Spelljammer will not ram unless ordered to by its captain. Its passing through another hex that contains other ships should be considered a wake attack and not ramming.
The Spelljammer is so large that it does not suffer critical hits. Its towers, however, can still be destroyed, and a critical hit directed against a tower can remove a large weapon.
Morale and the Spelljammer
Although the Spelljammer has no real "crew" with which to engage in combat, the races that live in the towers on its deck would be more than happy to fight the ship's opponents. Each of the creatures in the towers has a morale as stated in its entry, which is used for determining both melee combat and the effects of being attacked. When figuring modifiers for combat between ships and the various towers, the tower weapons may be considered as a separate crew of the ship for purposes of determining morale.
Magic Against the Spelljammer
The Spelljammer is a living thing, and it has magic resistance, high saving throws, and outright immunity to a number of spells.
For instance, the Spelljammer is immune to all enchantment/charm magics and cannot be commanded, charmed, or otherwise affected by spells from that school or spells that make use of components from that school. In addition, the Spelljammer cannot be fooled by illusions of any type, for it functions as a gem of true seeing for detecting objects around it. Both of these abilities are passed on to its captain through possession of the ultimate helm. (Note that this makes the captain immune to the Spelljammer's own enchanted air envelope, but the link between captain and ship compensates for this. The Spelljammer prefers its captains to have free wills.)
Spells directed against the ship can inflict damage, provided they overcome the ship’s magic resistance and the ship fails its saving throw. Parts of the ship protected by this high resistance include all the towers and the hull of the ship. This magical protection continues only as long as the ship is intact - pieces of the ship that are broken off do not retain any magic resistance.
Certain spells that affect only one creature may be used against the Spelljammer. However, the range of these spells must take the entire Spelljammer into account in order to affect it. Therefore, a temporal stasis would function only if the entire ship could fit into the spellcaster's range.
Gates, teleports, dimension doors, and other long distance motion spells do not function inside the air envelope because of a side effect produced by the magic that tinges the air. Crystal balls and scrying spells cannot pierce the ship’s air envelope either, and their attempts reveal only a shining blue fog.
Wishes and limited wishes, as well as related magic obtained from the direct involvement of the gods (including commune and contact other plane), will not function if used directly against the Spelljammer. Characters cannot wish the ship away: the gods will not listen. Characters can use such magics on the Spelljammer for other uses (such as to wish up a magic item to save one's hide in a situation), however, but they cannot use them against the ship.
All spells function normally on the Spelljammer given the restrictions outlined above. For instance, detect magic, in addition to functioning normally will reveal a light blue, shining fog swirling throughout the ship - the magical fragrances that influence the inhabitants of the Spelljammer.
The Spelljammer and Repair
It is unlikely that the Spelljammer will be severely damaged by anyone or anything, but in the world of adventurers and heroes, the unlikely often becomes a sure thing. Thus the Spelljammer is able to heal itself in times of need.
The Spelljammer is made of two types of material, the first being the resilient, leathery material of its main hull and the second being the more brittle, chitinous material of its upper towers and ram. Damage done to the towers and ram is akin to damaging the hair or nails of a living thing - a bother but inflicting no permanent damage. (On an additional note, the inhabitants of the towers often break through the walls in order to put in new doors or to expand their domains, with no harm to the Spelljammer.)
However, the hull itself can be damaged; it has an armor rating of 5. This leathery material can heal naturally at a fairly slow rate of 1-10 points per day. In cases of severe damage (more than 10% or a similar amount delivered to a single location), the shivaks are mobilized. Necromantic spells that heal (or harm) the Spelljammer have no effect on the ship because of its innate magic resistance, but the spells can affect the ship's captain.
The Spelljammer's Awareness
As stated previously, the Spelljammer is a sentient being, but its awareness is completely alien when compared with the myriad races of known space.
The Spelljammer has no "eyes" in the standard sense, but it can nevertheless detect life (as per the spell). This detection ability functions throughout whichever crystal sphere the Spelljammer is at when it is at rest, and the ability is always in operation concerning the ship's internal life.
The Spelljammer's ability to detect life can key on certain particular life-forms, so that it (and its captain) can know where an individual is at all times. The captain must ask the Spelljammer for this information as the Spelljammer will not volunteer it. While the location of an individual can be determined by this ability, the ship cannot detect what that individual is doing without the use of the shivaks. The shivaks, in effect, act as the "eyes" of the Spelljammer.
The detect life ability has a drawback in that it cannot detect undead or other unliving creatures, including clockwork horrors and golems. The shivaks also cannot detect or even fight these creatures. It is believed that this inability is the reason why the Spelljammer maintains a large community of living beings on board, who will fight depredations from such unliving creatures in the ship's stead.
- Jeff Grubb, Lorebook of the Void, 1989, (TSR Inc.), chapter 2 Spelljammers, pages 47-48
- Jeff Grubb, The Legend of Spelljammer Box Set, 1991, (TSR Inc.), ISBN: 1-56076-083-4
- Jeff Grubb, The Legend of Spelljammer, 1991, (TSR Inc.), ISBN: 1-56076-083-4, The Spelljammer poster map
- Dale "Slade" Henson, Ship Recognition Manual, 1992, (TSR Inc.), Ships of the Spelljammer Universe, page 44