Spelljammer was good (Elves in undead bug-suits) and also kind of shit (cheery Space-Gypsies). Instead, here is an LotFP-ised version. lichJammer!
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The rules of lichJammer are:
· The solar system and galaxy are exactly the same size and shape as we currently understand them to be.
· Magic as described in the LotFP rulebook exists.
· Other than that, the rules of physics remain in effect.
· Faster Than Light travel is impossible (other than magic as described above.)
The background of lichJammer is:
Space is full of Undead. That's why earth isn't. High level magic users mummify themselves and take to the stars. There are undead out there from every era of human history. Akkadians, Han Chinese, Pharoh's Sumerians, Maya, Inca, Celts etc.
This is what happened to all those ultra high-level players from ancient games. It’s also the reason earth isn’t ruled by immortal Lich Kings.
The assumed power differential between lichJammer and standard LotFP is about twenty levels. Player Characters are considered to start at about Level twenty, this is the entry level for lichJammer. If an entity is less than roughly ten HD. That is, a group of less than ten skeletons or two 5HD monsters, then you can just affect them without rolling anything.
It's like that samurai game where you don't have to roll to kill peasants, you just declare that you are doing it and it takes effect.
In a sense undeath is the perfect form of man in which to explore space. You don’t need to breathe or eat. You can't be poisoned by radiation. If you need to spend six months moving between planets in the solar system then you just wait. (Arnold K had this idea first.)
The basic lichJammer is a segmented wooden cylinder effectively open to the void (though it will have enclosed spaces they will not be air-tight). A hollow tower of bone and petrified wood. Looks like the spire of a gigantic wooden church, except full of skeletons. The segments counter-rotate to provide the illusion of gravity when that is required. It’s driven by vast Solar Sails. The sails are the skins of fantastic beasts. White AngelSkin, translucent Shoggoth Skin, ribbed Dragon Wing etc.
The crews are skeletons, the officers are mummies.
The main weapons for ship-to-ship combat are massed arrow-fire (surprisingly effective, in the void a flight of arrows can travel hundreds of miles), catapults, magic and boarding actions. The barbs of arrows are made from ice.
Mass is expensive, you only have so much and captains won't expend it without good reason.
Mass is currency, time is also currency. There are nth-level spells that take even a Lich months and months to jam in their dead head. So if you take six months to move between the moons of Jove and Mars then you have to decide what mega-spells you will memorise.
(A huge range of normal spells are just taken as assumed abilities.)
Since most captains are Liches, sending masses of low-level undead to attack an opposing ship wouldn't work, the enemy captain would just take them over and double his or her crew. Instead you need to send independent operators, entities the opposing Lich cannot simply or easily control, this also makes them beings which cannot simply or easily control.
The available classes for lichJammer are:
The Lich is a turbo badass spellcaster and probably the Captain of the lichJammer. They are effectively the ships artillery since spells will be more powerful and have a longer ranger than most weapons in space. Like magic-users of all time they are shit-hot at range but vulnerable at close range. You can choose which earth culture you come from, maybe you were an Egyptian priest-king or a celtic druid mummified in a bog or you ruled an Inca temple-city.
Nazgul is just shorthand for any Wight/Death Knight/Skeleton Warrior/Unusually frisky mummy. Any human based embodied undead that focuses on combat and is not a magic user. This is the Fighter equivalent. You jump between lichJammers and beat things up. You are a hardy motherfucker.
Daemon. You are an actual (low level) Daemon. You are probably a refugee from infernal politics. You have Daemon powers, can shape change, fly, survive in space. You probably can't move as fast or with the reliability as a lichJammer though, but at least you have some manoeuvrability out there. Souls are currency to you. This one doesn’t have a close equivalent in the basic classes but your abilities suggest a mix of Thief and Bard. inherent abilities plus Charisma. You are less tough than a Nazgul but get more bennies or skills. Not being undead you are the only member of the crew that might get bored with the year-long journeys between moons.
Auto-Golem. You are a self-programming Golem. You may be made of different materials. You can upgrade yourself by getting different parts and adding them on. You are kind of a robot. A mixture of Scotty and Commander Data, you can repair the ship and the skeletons. You might be the bosun, in charge of ship defence, or you might launch yourself at the enemy from a dorsal catapult and land on their superstructure, converting it into mini golems. You can learn new skills and abilities by upgrading your glyphware.
Moons are more interesting than worlds. Worlds are hard to get to. You need to put your lichJammer in orbit then Teleport to the surface. If you don't know the target well you need to wait for clear weather so you can see the spot you are teleporting to. Then to get back out you need to Teleport back to your ship and hope nothing has gone wrong there while you were away. Plus you can't take much with you. Plus if you fuck up a Teleport to something in space and end up in the wrong place then you are just floating in the void, maybe undergoing re-entry. Even for a Lich that’s a bad situation. This is why lichJammers exist.
All the moons of Mars, Saturn and Jupiter have individual cultures of either human undead, elementals, extra-dimensional beings, or just weird as shit stuff. Asteroids and comets have their own weird shit going on.
The skies of Jove are home to numerous airborne empires but they can't get their Jovian gigafauna up into the void and you can't get your lichJammer down into atmosphere so the moons is where you meet and trade.
Everything in earths Solar System is exactly as far away from everything else as it is in real life.
To get your lichJammer closer to the sun you have to tack against the solar wind, slingshot yourself using planetary gravity or catch a ride with a comet or asteroid heading the right way. The good slingshot positions and useful comets are much sought-after and lichJammers fight to get effective positions.
This is a little like the age of sail in three dimensions, with the sun the main source of 'wind'. Rounds take a day, you can try all kinds of Patrick O'Brian bullshit like stealing the light from your enemies sails and crap like that.
If you leave the system to go to another star it can take hundreds of years. Relativity is in effect so even if you come back, things will have changed a great deal, so each sun is like a little campaign of its own without much connection to another.
Hyperdrives: I'm not sure if these should exist at all but its possible you could take a detour through the skies of Hell, cast Time Stop on yourself for a century while you travel.