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War Captain's Companion (2e)
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War Captain's Companion (2e)

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COMBAT IN FANTASY SPACE!

The worlds of fantasy space are legion. Not all are friendly. The spider-like Neogi slavers, the cold and calculating Mind Flayers, the savage Scro, and others all build great ships of war to catch the magical currents of space.

Now YOU can face the perils of deadly combat in the depths of the void. This game accessory gives you the chance to storm enemy ships or brave a barrage of wizard spells that could tear your ship apart. This latest boxed set, the War Captain's Companion (sequel to the earlier SPELLJAMMER boxed set, Adventures in Space) contains the following:

Ship-to-Ship game: Tactical ship rules and two 22" x 31" mapsheets with an extra-large hex grid. Three complete books: Over 190 pages of vital information designed to expand your SPELLJAMMER campaign setting. Additional game cards: 6 full-sized 81/2" x 11" cards: player aid cards, game markers, and three new color ship cards.

Colorful playing pieces: 6 sheets of full-color 3-D ship pieces, over 30 ships in all. War Captain's Guide 96 pages

New role-playing rules, including new character skills and magical items.

New section allows creative players to design their own ships.

War fleet and shipyard bases for our major campaign worlds! Ship Recognition Manual 64 pages

Updated and expanded information on all existing ship types. Each ship in this book is accompanied by a detailed line illustration.

Introduces over a dozen ship types for the first time anywhere! Combat Among the Stars 32 pages

Easy-to-learn ship-to-ship rules that will give hours of enjoyment.

Includes ramming, boarding actions, magic use, and much more.

Optional rules feature 3-D movement and advanced weapons and equipment!

Product History

War Captain's Companion (1992), by Dale "Slade" Henson, is a boxed supplement for Spelljammer. It was published in March 1992.

Origins (I): Another Box. War Captain's Companion is the third of four boxed sets for the Spelljammer line. It's the most like the original Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space (1989), since it's another chunky set of rules, these ones largely focused on ships.

Origins (II): A Board Game. However, War Captain's Companion is more than just an AD&D supplement. It also contains a simple tactical ship's combat system that can be used for large-scale battles that would be unmanageable with the core Spelljammer rules. As a RPG-related board game, it closely follows on the heels of Greyhawk Wars (1991), another supplement that linked together roleplaying worlds with wargame rules — though the link between the two is considerably closer in War Captain's Companion.

The inclusion of a board game in War Captain's Companion makes it a hefty supplement; not only did it contain 192 pages worth of boxed booklets, which was pretty common in the '90s, but it also includes almost 300 cardboard counters (plus a few maps). When people speak of the overstuffed TSR boxes of the '90s, which might have contributed to the company's demise due to their high costs, this is a prime example.

Expanding D&D. War Captain's Companion has a variety of minor rules expansions such as new proficiencies, new gear, and new magic items. However the core of the 96-page "War Captain's Guide" is a rule system that allows players to create their own ships!

This sort of simulation system was common in the science-fiction and superhero games, but less known for FRPs. Traveller (1977) really kicked off the idea with its ship-building system, later expanded and supplemented in High Guard (1979). Champions (1980) was one of the top games for creation mechanics of this type in the superhero realm, particularly Champions II, which included vehicle construction rules.

This was actually D&D's second take on more complex simulation systems for ships, the other appearing just one month earlier in FOR3: Pirates of the Fallen Stars (1992) … but that was for planet-bound ships, of course.

Exploring Wild Space. There's very little background material in War Captain's Companion, other than what can be puzzled out from the magic items and proficiencies. The only exception is a focus on the major fleets of Wildspace, including the beholders, the elves, and ships from the Radiant Triangle of Krynn, Oerth, and Toril. As with much of the Spelljammer line, these references to the Radiant Triangle were about as far as the setting material went.

Artifacts of Note. The 64-page "Ship Recognition Manual" contains the best listing of Spelljammer ships in existence, containing all of the ships previously introduced and some new oddities.

About the Creators. Henson started writing for TSR in 1990. By 1992 he'd already made a tour of most of D&D's settings, including the Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Lankhmar, Ravenloft, and Spelljammer, the latter including SJR2: "Realmspace" (1991).

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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Product Information
Copper seller
Pages
192
Edition
1.0
Publisher Stock #
TSR 1072
File Size:
46.06 MB
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File Last Updated:
January 19, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on August 15, 2017.