Dungeons & Dragons doesn't need to be focused on fantasy. With the release of Spelljammer, you can now have epic science fiction adventures too. Your players can take on the role of space adventurers, and they'll venture through wildspace and the Astral Sea to visit faraway planets. With such a vast setting with so many possibilities, there will be plenty of opportunities for adventure.
There is a pre-written module available to play for Spelljammer. But if you want more content to enjoy, or are creating a homebrew Spelljammer campaign, here are some excellent side quest ideas for you to incorporate into your next session.
10/10 The Space Race
Many crews have been preparing for an epic race, eager to win the grand prize. The reward could be a new top-of-the-range spelljamming ship or an invitation to a luxurious planet. The race will venture all over the astral sea, visiting multiple worlds.
The party will want a fully upgraded ship to handle this unpredictable race. There are minimal rules. So they best be prepared for sabotage attempts and hostile tactics from their rival racers. Be sure to include many obstacles for the party to deal with as they fly as fast as they can toward the finish line.
9/10 Incoming Asteroid
A giant asteroid is heading right toward a planet! The inhabitants do not have enough ships to evacuate everyone, and need someone to either knock the asteroid off course or destroy it entirely. There is only a limited amount of time before impact, so the party best act fast.
The party will need far more than a few cantrips to handle a potential planet-destroying threat like this. Perhaps a scientist has an untested rocketship that is strong enough to drill into the asteroid. You could add some interesting twists to this frantic quest. For example, the asteroid could be a sentient creature the party needs to battle or negotiate with.
8/10 Wormhole To Another Universe
The party discovers a mysterious wormhole and ventures through it. They find themselves in an alternate universe, but the wormhole closes behind them. They now need to track down another wormhole to get back home.
This new reality might have minor or even drastic changes to the world your players once knew. The party could encounter alternate versions of characters from their backstories or even evil versions of themselves. These evil counterparts are attempting to reach the other wormhole first. If they succeed, they'll return to the original universe and pretend to be the party. It is up to your players to navigate this alternate universe and close the wormhole before anyone else gets stranded here.
7/10 Area 51
An old friend of the party has let out an urgent distress signal. They were off exploring wildspace when they crashed down onto a planet. This planet does not have space travel yet, so it is alarmed upon seeing an alien. The party's friend has been locked up in the planet's version of Area 51 and is being experimented on. The party must sneak into the facility and save their friend.
This scientific facility is full of deadly traps, cunning puzzles, and strict security to bypass. There will even be failed experiments to fight. This quest is a hectic rescue mission full of M.I.B-themed shenanigans.
6/10 The Miniature Universe
The party has been trusted to deliver a small orb from one planet to another. This is no simple delivery job. This orb contains an entire miniature universe. Many threats are out there, eager to get their hands upon this miniature world. Perhaps some enemies have already infiltrated this smaller world and are sabotaging from within.
If the party ventures into the miniature universe, they are shrunk to a tiny size. There will be plenty of unique NPCs to encounter, including a few eager to escape their universe into the bigger one. There will be dangers both within the orb and out of it, so the party must ensure they are ready for anything, protecting the miniature universe at all costs.
5/10 A Noble's First Adventure
A snobby noble is set on exploring the universe and has requested assistance in this adventure. This noble will be quite a quirky character to interact with. They have lived a very sheltered life and are unprepared for space's dangers. The party will do everything they can to get the noble out of sticky situations as they attempt to go on their first-ever quest into space.
Alternatively, perhaps the noble is unaware of the party babysitting them. The noble's parents have asked the party to keep an eye on them from afar. They must keep the royal snob alive without alerting them to their presence. If they are successful, the noble will believe they have had a successful adventure all on their own and hopefully will be content to stay home from now on.
4/10 The Tavern At The End Of The Universe
Spelljammer is the perfect setting to have references to Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. So, why not have a tavern at the end of the universe for your party to visit? The quest could be to reach this far-off destination that is difficult to pinpoint. Their reward for finding it is enjoying the best food and drink in the universe.
This tavern could be part of a small town on an asteroid, floating around in unpredictable ways. It could also be quite a sleazy location, the home of many of the astral plane's most notorious criminals. The party could be tasked with getting information on one of these criminals. Alternatively, the party might also be criminals, attempting to find a long-retired heist professional at the tavern to help them with a future heist.
3/10 Abandoned Planet
During their travels, the party notices a planet that is not on any map of the astral plane. Any information about a planet in this area seems to be redacted. This mystery is too intriguing to ignore, so your players land on the planet to investigate.
They might soon learn to regret this decision. This planet could be full of deadly monsters to encounter. The entire planet has long been abandoned, leaving behind the ruins of an ancient civilization. Your players could investigate key locations, trying to determine the fate of those that used to live here. Of course, there are people who do not want the truth about this planet to get out. They'll now be relentlessly hunting down the party to silence them before they can report what they found to anyone else.
2/10 Multiplying Aliens
While visiting a planet, your players accidentally awaken a dormant swarm of creatures. These creatures multiply at an alarming rate, spreading out of the cave the party found them in. They seem pretty vicious, attacking all other species on the planet. It is down to the party to track down every last one and either defeat them or find a way to pull them all back into their dormant slumber.
Perhaps one alien remains undetected after the players complete this quest, sneaking onboard their spelljamming ship. It is ready to spread from planet to planet without the adventurers realizing it. If things get too out of hand, this dangerous swarm of aliens could even become an end-of-the-campaign threat to deal with too.
1/10 Space Pirate Treasure Hunt
After a dangerous encounter with some space pirates, your adventures manage to get themselves ahold of a holographic treasure map. Who knows what the treasure is? But it's time to head off on an epic quest to find it. The map is perhaps incomplete too. So, they must also track down other pirates to grab their piece of the map.
An adventure like this will likely involve intense ship combat as the group fights against other pirates. If they managed to decipher the map and make it to the planet, they would more than likely be leading a lot of other pirates to this destination too. This quest ends in an all-out war between multiple pirate factions, all eager to discover what this treasure is. Will it be worth it?
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