D&D is bringing back Spelljammer and Dragonlance

As well as confirming that Baldur's Gate 3 has a 2023 release date, this year's D&D Direct rolled together several other big Dungeons & Dragons announcements. The most interesting was the return of Spelljammer, a niche but beloved campaign setting from the days of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition that combined the aesthetics of the Age of Sail with interplanetary travel, and introduced such gonzo concepts as the miniature giant space hamster.

The Spelljammer: Adventures in Space set will contain three hardcover books, a DM's screen, and a map of the Rock of Bral, an asteroid with a city built on it that will serve as the setting's hub (kind of like Sigil was to Planescape). The three books are: the Astral Adventurer's Guide, a rulebook covering everything from flying ships and to new races including mechanical gnomes, humanoid insects, plasmoids (some kind of ooze, apparently), and the kickass gunwielding hippo-folk known as giff; a monster manual called Boo's Astral Menagerie with stats for assorted cosmic horrors, murder comets, and space clowns; and Light of Xaryxis, an adventure for characters of levels 5–8 that will take them across the Astral Sea.

Spelljammer: Adventures in Space will be out on August 16, and has a preorder page. A free downloadable prequel called Spelljammer Academy will be out in July. It sounds like this new version is embracing enough of the pulp silliness of Spelljammer to be a good time, while dialing back the scope—letting it be about D&D in space rather than trying to use it as a bridge between existing settings.

The somewhat more down-to-earth Dragonlance setting is also marked for a comeback, with an adventure called Shadow of the Dragon Queen, set at the start of the War of the Lance, and a wargame called Warriors of Krynn that will presumably scale up the D&D 5th edition rules to cover larger military conflicts. The legal disagreement between Wizards of the Coast and Dragonlance's creators, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, seems to be water under the bridge.

The upcoming D&D movie set in the Forgotten Realms starring Chris Pine, first revealed back in 2015, was also mentioned. It's now got a subtitle, Honor Among Thieves, and a release date of March 23, 23. As well as Pine, it'll star Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Sophia Lillis, Justice Smith, and Hugh Grant as its villain.

Also covered in D&D Direct were a new starter set coming out this year called Dragons of Stormwreck Isle, and the adventure anthology Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel, due on June 22. 

It's nice to see the older settings return. Maybe we'll see Planescape or Dark Sun next. And with renewed interest in Spelljammer, perhaps we'll get a remake of the 1992 videogame, Spelljammer: Pirates of Realmspace, which was left out of the most recent rerelease of the Gold Box classics

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.