Mon Jan 17, 2022 1:14 pm  
Greyspace Notes

Some comments by David “Big Mac” Shepheard on the CF Discord overnight about Greyspace (and illithids) within Spelljammer looked good enough to note down for posterity.
“One thing I've been wondering is how the stages of Greyhawk development, that I've heard about are mirrored in the published and unpublished material for Spelljammer.
• The *AD&D Adventures in Space* boxed set gives us illithids as a major space race and has a chart for ships trying to get from Greyspace to Krynnspace or Realmspace.
• Later Spelljammer products give us more Greyhawk (*SJR6 Greyspace*, *War Captains Companion* boxed set and *CGR1 The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook* expand Greyspace) - other products (SJR5 Rock of Bral) tell us that Priests of Celestian may tap into power from other space deities, but also give us the idea that the illithids once had a sphere dominating space empire.
• Wildspace (the first SJ sequel that died on the launchpad) doesn't seem to have done much with Greyspace, but it did introduce something called "flayons", that work for an illithid captain.
• Bruce Cordell rebooted illithids, for the stealth "Neverness" campaign setting that is hidden in late 2e products from The Gates of Firestorm Peak to The Illithiad and the Illithiad trilogy of adventures. Elder Brains (which are mentioned on Forgotten Realms Wiki, but not Great Library of Greyhawk) appear there.
• WotC's Spelljammer TV show/movie seems to have not made it into production. So it's probably had zero effect.
• 3e core products gave us Lords of Madness, which is implied to apply to Greyhawk (via Greyhawk-lite logic). However, altough I'd set the adventure Wreck of the Mindspide on Oerth, I don't see SJ being recanonised in 3e Greyhawk or 3e Dragonlance.
• 4e does use Spelljammer but the amount of Greyhawk canon in 4e is very small, as is the amount of Spelljammer canon. I've not heard of any crossover canon. There was a DDI article with Cordell-style illithids on the moon, putting humans into jars.
• 5e has had Greyhawk namechecks and Spelljammer namechecks. I've not heard of SJ mentions in Ghosts of Saltmarsh. Illithids are recanonised as space monsters.
• 5e Forgotten Realms canon, recanonises the portal between Undermountain (a dungeon below Waterdeep) and Stardock (an asteroid in orbit above the planet,
• *Neverewinter* (a computer game) recanonises illithid ships being interested in Stardock and has a githyanki base there, with dragon riders,
• *Baldur's Gate 3* (another computer game from a different publisher) reboots illithid ships and gives them tenticles. 😜
• *Rhyme of the Frostmaiden* canonises the illithid tenticle ships in printed D&D.

So I wonder how much of the illithiid reboots are supposed to apply to Greyhawk. 🤔

Assuming it's all one big happy D&D Multiverse, the tenticle ships could go to Oerth.“

“ I was reading a bit of the 3e *Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting* book earliier, that said there were stories of pirates coming from the Tears of Selϋne, but that most people thought they were tales told to children.

What common people on Oerth, know about any possible connection between illithids and space should be less believed than the notion that there are people up in space.

The story of the drow in the Sundered Empire escaping from the Flanaess also involves illithid, so they know about portals, as well as Wildspace, but the chances of people seeing that and living are remote.

I would say that rumors about illithids, should say that they come from the bowels of Oerth, but that some folks should say they live among the stars. And there might be rumors that the Celestians take an iinterest in illithids that they do not take in other monsters.”

“ Given how Spelljammer canon says that most spacefarers don't actually travel around the D&D Multiverse either (i.e. many farmers would be born and die on asteroid farms in The Grinder, but would meet spacefarers that come to buy crops) I think that PCs could have a series of culture shocks, as they leave Oerth, discover a gigantic sphere of asteroids surrounds their world, discover that Greyhawk deities are worshipped in slightly different ways on other worlds and then ultimately discover that beyond the stars are radically different cultures that do not share their deities.

The PCs would not be discovering the entire D&D Multiverse. They would discover individual worlds and would have to relearn how things work on those worlds.”

“ From what I can tell, the majority of people living on the celestiial bodies of Greyspace, have never left Greyspace.

It's going to be a smaller percentage of people who have been to Krynnspace, Realmspace or other spheres. Folks will have heard about Krynn or Toril or other worlds, but it would be like someone in the real-world learning about countries they have never been to.

Keith Baker once said that Eberron is not a high magic world - it's a wide magic world. As high level magic is still rare.

I would say that spacefares do not have more knowledge than groundlings. They are just aware of a lot of general facts.

Like, in the real-world, I know that people in the US and people in the UK drive on opposite sides of the road. But that does not teach me anything about speed limits, or laws about carrying a spare tire or a warning triangle in the boot/trunk of a car. It's just a surface detail.”