Dungeon Master Assistance

A place to share thoughts and ideas about Dungeons and Dragons

D&D 5E – Astral Adventuring Revisited


An unofficial suppliant to the 5th edition D&D book Astral Adventurer’s Guide with ship-to-ship combat rules and other enhancements. Download your free copy HERE.

Last month (August 2022) Wizards of the Coast brought Spelljammer into the fifth edition when they published Spelljammer: Adventures in Space. This, for the most part, is very good. However I was disappointed in the lack of information and rules needed for actually conducting a spelljamming campaign. Specifically I was expecting clear descriptions regarding how the spelljamming helm functions and better rules for conducting ship-to-ship combat. The “Ship-to-Ship Combat” section includes boxed text with 3 sentences on “Shipboard Weapons”. Other than that, the entire section on ship-to-ship combat consists of 4 sections; “Starting Distance” (1 paragraph and a table), “Initiative” (1 sentence), “Moving and Steering a Ship” (2 paragraphs), and “Boarding” (2 paragraphs).

This document has two purposes:
1. This is an attempt to make sense out of the Astral Adventurer’s Guide for D&D players that are new to Spelljamming. Some of the terminology and many of the descriptions have been reworded to make it easier for players new to the topic to understand. It also includes a few alternative rules you may want to use in your Spelljamming adventures.
2. To make Spelljamming combat more fun this supplement provides a complete set of spelljamming ship-to-ship combat rules along with new ship statblocks, ship outlines at 1″=20′ scale, and rules that make each of the players active participants in ship-to-ship combat.

5 responses to “D&D 5E – Astral Adventuring Revisited

  1. Jon Bupp September 13, 2022 at 3:43 pm

    Thanks so much for this!
    Added to the Blog Databse.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jon Bupp September 13, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    Thanks so much for this!
    Added to the Blog Database.

    Spelljammer

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dani September 16, 2022 at 4:40 pm

    Hi Ronny! First of all I like a lot your posts and I’ve downloaded many of them to use with my group. Thank you so much for sharing this with everybody. I’ve read this article and I like most of it, although I found something I can’t understand well enough. The problem is with operating the weapons. For example a ballista. It needs 3 people to operate and 3 actions to be fired, assuming that is not loaded yet, 1 action for loading, 1 for aiming, and 1 for shooting. This means that a ballista is able to fire every round? Is it possible for a crew of 3 people to operate the ballista within the same round to fire it every round? Because of in the same round one person may load it, another one may aim it and the last one may fire it. Or is it that the 3 of them must work together for loading it in one round, aiming it in the following round and every third round they can fire it?

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    • Ronny September 19, 2022 at 10:13 am

      It requires a minimum of 3 rounds to fire.
      I thought about including a RoF (Rate of Fire) stat for each of the weapons. If I had included that, the ballista would have a RoF of 3 which would indicate that it could not be fired more often than once every 3 rounds.
      Instead I said “It takes a crew of 3 and 3 full‐round actions to fire a ballista; 1 action to load it, 1 to aim it and 1 to fire it” I was thinking that if I said “3 full‐round actions” instead of just “3 actions” it would be understood that it would take 3 full rounds to fire. You can’t start the second full-round action until the first one has completed. In other words you can’t aim it while it is being loaded and you can’t fire it until it has been aimed. I always keep in min that one round is only 6 seconds so a RoF of 3 is firing the ballista once every 15 seconds (or 4 times a minute) which is about the fastest I would think such a weapon could be fired.
      I’m sorry for the confusion. Perhaps I will post a revised version of this that includes RoF for the weapons.
      By the way, what if you don’t have a crew of 3 people to work the ballista? I think it could still be operated, but I would add one additional round to the RoF for each missing man (RoF=4 for a crew of 2, RoF=5 for a crew of 1). The DM could easily say that if it doesn’t have a crew of 3 for all 3 rounds, it can’t be fired. It may be that for some weapons there may be some other minimum number of crew to load, aim and fire it.

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