The true appearance of smalljammers was similar to that of their parent ship. They resembled manta rays with an upswept tail, with the ship's main crew quarters located within an enclosed area in the main body and its command deck located at the ship's bow, along with a small uncovered deck.
Smalljammers had the ability to disguise their true appearance. They could choose to appear like any other ship or celestial body with a size of up to 50 tons. They did not carry any weaponry heavier than a small catapult or a ballista and did not accept any modifications to their design. Any attempt at installing heavy weaponry or smokepowder-based weapons resulted in the ship jettisoning the unwelcome device over its side.
The highly maneuverable ships could safely land on both land and water. They also had the ability to spontaneously open temporary portals on crystal spheres. When disguised, their unusual agility was a trait that could possibly give away their true nature.
A smalljammer only required a helmsman to operate and could hold a maximum of twenty creatures without compromising its air supply. They could be fitted with either major or minor spelljamming helms, but no other type of helm. In particular, installing a lifejammer on the ship caused it to die and break up within a few days.
Smalljammers had no affinity for their siblings or parent ship beyond a basic empathic level. They considered themselves unique in the universe. They had a strong self-preservation instinct and a dislike to being placed near to too many other ships.
Like the Spelljammer, smalljammers psychically bonded with their captains on an empathic level. The bond could be broken in case of the captain's death or abandonment, or if they constantly put the ship in danger. While onboard, the captain and all passengers enjoyed perfect hospitality from the ship, through the creation of doorways and furnishings out of its own material to suit their needs. In other instances, the ship acted much like its captain's pet or animal companion.
Smalljammers were bred by the Spelljammer once in each new captain's lifetime. Around 100 vessels were produced in the ship's gardens over a period of 18 weeks. The new ships then flew out of the Spelljammer's docks in an event known as the "Flight", which usually took place in the phlogiston. The new ships would fly at spelljamming velocities even in the absence of a helm until they reached a crystal sphere, and then slowly drifted within wildspace until found.
In the event of the destruction of the Spelljammer, the dying ship sent a signal that propagated through the Ethereal plane until it reached the nearest smalljammer. The receiving ship then placed its captain and passengers (if any) in a state of temporal stasis, then moved into hiding in the phlogiston, where over the course of a year it grew to become a fully grown Spelljammer under the command of the same captain and crew.
- Card Games
- Comic Books
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Jeff Grubb (1991). “Captains and Ships”. In Dori Watry, Steve Winter eds. The Legend of Spelljammer (TSR, Inc.), pp. 5–7. ISBN 1-56076-083-4.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Dale "slade" Henson (March 1992). “Ship Recognition Manual”. In Jon Pickens ed. War Captain's Companion (TSR, Inc.), p. 43. ISBN 1-56076-343-4.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Jeff Grubb (1991). “Legends and More”. In Dori Watry, Steve Winter eds. The Legend of Spelljammer (TSR, Inc.), pp. 24–26. ISBN 1-56076-083-4.