Although it was possible for a single person and a helmsman on the spelljamming helm to pilot a dragonfly, the ship operated best with a minimum crew of three people, not counting the helmsman. They could support a compliment of up to ten creatures without compromising their air supplies. They were capable of landing on solid ground but not on water.
These highly maneuverable and fast ships were very commonly used by groups of adventurers, explorers, and smugglers, thanks also to their ability to land. However, they made poor transport vessels for large amounts of cargo, owing to their small size. They could also be employed as landing craft by larger vessels, in which case they were stripped of their spelljamming helms and fitted with non-magical engines.
Dragonflies were also very easily adapted to serve as laboratories and workshops for wizards. Thanks to their relative autonomy and minimal crew requirements, they were crewed by a wizard's own creations and familiars and placed away from prying eyes and external influences, providing a peaceful environment suitable for arcane experimentation. Numerous derelict dragonflies could be found within different crystal spheres after their previous occupants moved on to different locations or were killed by their own experiments.
A combat modification of the dragonfly, known as a heavy dragonfly, also existed, but but was not popular because of the ship's poor armoring. A more commonly found modification was the firefly, which consisted of a suicide ship loaded with explosives, employed as a bomb aimed at crashing into enemy vessels in desperate military operations.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Jeff Grubb (August 1989). “Lorebook of the Void”. Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space (TSR, Inc.), pp. 18–19. ISBN 0-88038-762-9.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Dale "slade" Henson (March 1992). “Ship Recognition Manual”. In Jon Pickens ed. War Captain's Companion (TSR, Inc.), p. 19. ISBN 1-56076-343-4.