Sunday, April 5, 2020

'Journey to The Stars' - A 'What If' Science Fantasy Campaign Set Up For Advanced Dungeons & Dragons First Edition Or OSRIC

The year is Nineteen Eighty Six & 'Journey to The Stars' has  premiered!  'Journey to The Stars' is Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition & Gamma World space & science fantasy campaign book. Hi folks we're gonna do another 'What if'  what would have happened if the trail blazing orange spines of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition reprint books had continued with those incredible pieces of cover artwork. James Panarella did some incredible Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition orange spine mock up covers of supplement books that we wish existed. This time the dream writing & design  team of Gary Gygax, Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grub, James Ward,Ed Sullivan, Frank Mentzer,  & a bunch of the TSR illumine have gotten together to publish the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons book that takes your Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign to the stars! 

James Ward & Gary Gygax have published this book to take on the block buster of Mega Traveler the hot new incarnation of the classic Traveler rpg. Gary Gygax & co. are flush with cash after the surprise Saturday morning  hits of 'The Dungeons & Dragons cartoon & 'Greyhawk Adventures' after school cartoon. They want a cut of the science fiction market now & looking back they see that they've got 'S3 Expedition To the Barrier Peaks' By Gary Gygax  in the TSR  archives. 'Journey to The Stars' takes parts of this classic science fantasy module this book  has Gary Gygax & James Ward telling the tale of the recovery mission & expedition  to Greyhawk.

 The 'Journey to The Stars' source book brings a foul wizard from the depths of Greyhawk's Blackmoor  & this source book bridges the gap into Blackmoor's ancient Greyhawk past with the 'City of the Gods'
The PC's have the chance to cross over into Gamma Terra's multi-module metaplot, which involved rebuilding an ancient 'sky chariot':
  • GW6, Alpha Factor by Kim Eastland
  • GW7, Beta Principle by Bruce Nesmith
  • GW8, Gamma Base by Kim Eastland
  • GW9, Delta Fragment by Kim Eastland
  • GW10, Epsilon Cyborgs by Kim Eastland
All of this culminates in the GW11 Omega Project but this time the PC's have the chance to take their own  Space Faring adventures to the stars!

The real version of GW11 Omega Project can be downloaded from Wayne's Books here. 

The 'Journey to The Stars' source book is considered a classic because it gives new space adventuring classes,new Greyhawk ruins & dungeons, tons of adventure hooks, lots of techno magical items, lots of appendixes for science fantasy, & bridges the gap into Jeff Grubb's Manual of the Planes .

The 'Journey to The Stars' source book would lay all of the foundations for the classic Spelljammer setting & Gary Gygax's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons second edition which saw the return of Dave Arneson to TSR in Eighty Nine. This marked Dave Arneson  writing of the 'City of the Gods' adventure source book for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. The epic classic adventure source book that bridged Mystara, Blackmoor, & Greyhawk.

This marked one of the turning points of TSR when TSR first purchased Wizards of Coast & then the assets of Hasbro incorporated. They would go on to make James Ward the head of the Ares division their highly successful science fiction, toy, & much later on in house miniatures gaming vision which saw the release of the Battle System, Gamma Marauders & finally the Chainmail system. All of these are still going strong! 

 'Journey to The Stars' would lay the foundation for the highly successful JS series of modules including JS1 The Long Ladder, SJ2 The Greyhawk Gambit, SJ3 Acererak's Evil, & of course JS4 The Battle of The Company of Seven all of which were written by Gary Gygax & co.

Ten Ways to Incorporate 
 'Journey to The Stars' Into Your Home Campaign.
  1.  The adventure hooks from  'Journey to The Stars' easily means that space craft being the center of a Greyhawk campaign can twist player's expectations  leading to even low level adventures becoming science fantasy focused. 
  2. Doug Niles N1 Cult of the Reptile God could easily be moved ad hoc to a Greyhawk colony and none would be the wiser. 
  3. Many of the Journey To The Stars artifacts are easily incorporated into a regular Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign to give it that science fantasy flare. 
  4. The hints about  'Journey to The Stars' connections to many of the Fiend Folio's monsters & creatures gives a decidedly British connection with many of the TSR U.K.'s adventures. 
  5. The Cat Lord's palace on Greyhawk's moon is rife for all kinds of intrigues and swashbuckling adventure. 
  6. Greyhawk Adventures by James Ward has several adventure threads that can easily be plugged into a  'Journey to The Stars' campaign or even a mini adventure. 
  7. Kim Eastland's articles in Dragon (Issue 125 - Sep 1987) have several elements easily incorporated into a 'Journey to The Stars' campaign. RIP Kim Eastland. 
  8. The evil lurking on Greyhawk's moons will not wait there for ever PC's are going to be needed to clear out the dungeons there perfectly suited for a 'Journey to The Stars' campaign.
  9. The gods of Greyhawk will not wait forever & clerics are going to be needed for the proto Greyhawk colonies that are beset by ancient evil in a 'Journey to The Stars' campaign. 
  10. The massive influx of evil humanoid races in their star ships is a major sticking point for a 'Journey to The Stars' campaign & will have to be dealt with by the DM. 

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