To celebrate the release of Spelljammer: Adventures in Space, Wizards of the Coast has launched that most distinctive of DnD dice, the d20, into outer space. Or close enough, anyhow. Strapping a strapping young orange d20 into a 3D-printed elven ‘Star Moth’ Spacejammer ship, actors and producers Kathy Sue Holtorf and Trenton Kerpsack then took it to the desert, tied it to a gigantic weather balloon with a camera and GPS, and let rip.
The team were doubtless hoping for high rolls with this launch, which took place in the California desert between Mt Whitney and Death Valley, a little way off Highway 395. It was set up with the help of Fonco Studios, an L.A production studio that, according to its founder Fon H. Davis, “specialises in the unusual”. This definitely qualifies, we reckon.
The Spelljammer ship’s flight was recorded, so you can see the craft and d20 sailing serenely through the astral sea, in the moment right before disaster strikes. We’ve attached Wizards’ full ‘making of’ film below for you to check out.
And yes, we said disaster. Wildspace is a dangerous place. It’s unclear from the film whether the Star Moth is boarded by pirates, attacked by whales, or becomes the victim of some other calamity, but eventually the 3D-printed Spelljammer craft detaches from the balloon and is flung off, lost forever. Tragically, that means we’ll never know whether this high altitude DnD dice roll was a 1, a 20, or something in between.
Fortunately, it seems the part of the payload with camera and GPS attached touched down safely, getting tangled with a fallen tree out in the middle of nowhere, so the footage could be recovered.
We’re not sure exactly what height the DnD d20 reached, as that wasn’t revealed in the video. It probably doesn’t technically qualify as ‘space’ space (high-altitude balloons usually travel to ‘near space’, between 11 miles and the 62 miles usually deemed to be the point that outer space ‘begins’). That’s still above the height at which your saliva and tears would boil away at body temperature though, so nothing to sniff at.
As promotional stunts go, we have to admit this one’s a doozy. And it’s not the only interesting bit of Spelljammer marketing this week either – Wizards has also released ‘Spelljams’, an album of Spelljammer inspired tunes to stick on while planning or playing your next spacefaring campaign.
Spelljammer: Adventures in Space released on August 16, 2022. Stay tuned for our review later this week. While you’re waiting, here’s our pick of the classic DnD settings WotC should revive next.