Helms

Helm CL Save Arcane Price
Minor Helm 15th +18 100,000 gp
Major Helm 17th +20 250,000 gp

Series Helm 14th +17 75,000 gp (per linked helm)
Pool Helm 17th +20 500,000 gp (mind flayers only)
Orbus 14th n/a 300,000 gp (beholders only)

Forge 17th +20 500,000 gp (initially; 100,000 gp per 13 months)
Gnomish Helm 15th +18 50,000 gp

Crown of the Stars 19th +22 a king’s ransom, at least
Furnace 15th +18 100,000 gp
Artifurnace 19th +22 priceless

Lifejammer 15th + 18 80,000 gp
Non-magical Engines n/a n/a varies, but approx. 10,000 gp


CL: Caster Level
Save: Save Bonus
Arcane Price: given here match those that the Arcane charge, and these prices are also given in the text. A different set of prices is also given below, Market Prices, which are the prices that the enchanter of a helm would sell it for, if you can find one. This price is typically double the Arcane one and is included as it is standard to do so for magic items.

Minor Helm: This is the same as the standard version sold by the Arcane, but without access to their secret techniques is considerably more expensive. Creating one costs 100,000 gp, takes 200 days, and costs 8,000 XP. The listed weight is for a heavy hardwood chair; some helms are heavier or lighter than this, and note that they are normally bolted down.

Note that unlike most magic items Helms are very, very, tough. This is probably due to the immense amounts of magical energy needed both to make them, and that flows through them just to operate them. They do not normally have a rated AC, hardness, hit points or break DC, but you could use AC 6, and +18 save bonus.

Caster Level: 15th; Prerequisites: Craft Wonderous Item, Create Minor Helm; Market Price: 200,000 gp; Weight: 50 lb.*

Major Helm: This is the same as the standard version sold by the Arcane, but without access to their secret techniques is considerably more expensive. Creating one costs 350,000 gp and takes 500 days. The listed weight is for a heavy hardwood chair; some helms are heavier or lighter than this, and note that they are normally bolted down.

Note that unlike most magic items Helms are very, very, tough. This is probably due to the immense amounts of magical energy needed both to make them, and that flows through them just to operate them. They do not normally have a rated AC, hardness, hit points or break DC, but you could use AC 6, and +20 save bonus.

Caster Level: 17th; Prerequisites: Craft Wonderous Item, Create Major Helm; Market Price: 500,000 gp; Weight: 50 lb.

Arcane Price:
100,000 gp (minor helm)
250,000 gp (major helm)

Each minor and major spelljamming helm allows the individual seated upon it to move a large mass through space by means of channeling spell energy directly into a motive force. This energy is somewhat useful for maneuvering the ship, but primarily it provides the push that makes the ship move forward (or backward). Maneuvering comes primarily from the ship’s sails or oars.

The power of the force is known as the tactical rating. A minor helm converts such energy at a rate of 1 point of TR for each three spellcaster levels. A major helm converts at a rate of 1 TR for every two spellcaster levels.

At low levels, the difference between using a minor and a major helm is small. A third-level spellcaster will give his ship an TR of 1, regardless of whether a minor or major helm is used. The higher level the spellcaster, however, the more important the difference between using major and minor helms. A tenth-level Wizard, for example, can give his ship an TR of 5 with a major helm, but only an TR of 3 with a minor helm. A quick summary of levels is included below.

Ship’s Ratings using Major and Minor Helms

 
Level of Minor Major
Spellcaster Helm Helm
1 1 1
2 1 1
3 1 1
4 1 2
5 1 2
6 2 3
7 2 3
8 2 4
9 3 4
10 3 5
11 3 5
12 4 6
13 4 6
14 4 7
15 5 7
16 5 8
17 5 8
18 6 9
19 6 9
20 6 10

Using a helm prohibits any spell use by that character while seated on the helm. As soon as a spellcaster sits on the helm and becomes aware of the ship, he can cast no spells of any sort until after he leaves the helm. If a spellcaster leaves the helm he can make a Spellcaraft check with a DC of 20, if successful he will be able to cast again 10 minutes minus one minute for each point of his pertinent ability’s modifier. Once that time has passed the spellcaster will have the full complement of spells available that he had before sitting on the helm.

An individual can use either type of helm for 12 hours plus one hour for each point of CON modifier without tiring. For each hour afterwards, the TR drops by 1, to a minimum of 1. After 24 hours, the individual using the helm will pass out and not be able to use the helm again until fully rested.

An individual seated upon a helm can talk and act normally. The sensation of using the helm is akin to being immersed in warm water. As a result of the magical nature of the helm, the spelljamming spellcaster using the helm can see things around the ship as if he were standing on the deck. The ship becomes an extension of his body, and responds to his demands in movement and maneuverability. The maneuverability of a craft is a reflection of both the spelljamming spellcaster’s ability and the maneuverability class of the ship.

A minor helm can move a ship of up to 75 tons. A major helm can move one of up to 150 tons. In reality, most ship designers keep their craft under the 50-ton range, though there are larger men-o-war and juggernauts that are larger than 50 tons.

Only one helm may be in service at a time, though often a minor helm is kept as a back-up, should something happen to the major helm.

Helms draw their magical energies directly from the user, and the speeds they can attain are determined by the level (or HD) of the individual. All helm-equipped ships travel at the same rate of speed over long distances, but their differences are apparent at the tactical level. In general, given two similar helms, a ship with the more powerful spelljamming spellcaster is the faster ship.

Helms can be easily installed in any ship, primarily by lugging them aboard and bolting them to the deck. The minimum hull size required for a helm is 1 ton.

If an individual is slain while using the helm, the ship looses all power until a new spelljamming spellcaster takes command. The ship will drift (at tactical speed) in a straight line until someone else takes the helm ot the ship hits something.

Major and minor helms are nearly (but not completely) indestructable; see above. Unfortunately, this protection does not extend to the individual seated in the helm. Diligent and crafty characters may find ways to destroy helms, but the process is not easy or quick.

Series Helm: This is the same as the standard version sold by the Arcane, but without access to their secret techniques is considerably more expensive. Creating one costs 75,000 gp, takes 150 days, and costs 6,000 XP. The listed weight is for a heavy hardwood chair; some helms are heavier or lighter than this, and note that they are normally bolted down.

Note that unlike most magic items Helms are very, very, tough. This is probably due to the immense amounts of magical energy needed both to make them, and that flows through them just to operate them. They do not normally have a rated AC, hardness, hit points or break DC, but you could use AC 6, and +17 save bonus.

Caster Level: 14th; Prerequisites: Craft Wonderous Item, Create Series Helm; Market Price: 150,000 gp; Weight: 50 lb.

Arcane Price: 75,000 gp (per linked helm)

Series helms are the invention of the illithids (mind flayers), but the idea has been adapted for a number of races with spell-like abilities and no spellcaster levels. Series helms look like the gamut of major and minor helms, running from simple-looking to ornate, but unlike the spelljamming helms, the series helms can be linked together, one to another, to increase their power.

For each helm in a series manned by a mind flayer (or whatever creature the helm was designed for), the ship has an TR of 1. If there are three mind flayers in a series, then the ship has an TR of 3. In general, mind flayer ships will have between two and five helms, though they may not all be occupied. Empty helms in a series are ignored in figuring SR.

If a mind flayer in a series helm is slain, then the series is broken for one round and the ship looses all power and movement. Further, all mind flayers in the series must make a FORT save DC 20 or be slain as well.

Series helms vary from species to species, but in general are inferior to spelljamming helms, at best able to move 75 tons, on par with a minor spelljamming helm. Their lower limit is a 5-ton ship; they cannot move items smaller than that.

Spelljamming helms cannot work on the same ship with operating series helms and visa versa, but a spelljamming helm can be installed on a ship that previously used a series helm without problem (as long as the two do not co-exist on the same ship; if they do, neither functions at all).

Series helms were developed either by the illithids or by the Arcane with the illithids in mind (accounts vary according to the situation). There are other series helms for those social creatures with spell-like abilities, except for the beholders, who have found their own solution.

Pool Helm: This is the same as the standard version sold by the Arcane, but without access to their secret techniques is considerably more expensive. Creating one costs 500,000 gp, takes 1,000 days, and costs 40,000 XP (note that this can cause the loss of at least one level). The listed weight is for a heavy hardwood chair; some helms are heavier or lighter than this, and note that they are normally bolted down.

Note that unlike most magic items Helms are very, very, tough. This is probably due to the immense amounts of magical energy needed both to make them, and that flows through them just to operate them. They do not normally have a rated AC, hardness, hit points or break DC, but you could use AC 6, and +20 save bonus.

Caster Level: 17th; Prerequisites: Craft Wonderous Item, Create Pool Helm; Market Price: 1,000,000 gp; Weight: 50 lb.

Arcane Price: 500,000 gp (mind flayers only)

A recent development of the illithid collective mind, the pool helm uses the natural life-pool of the mind flayers to power the ships, as opposed to illithids themselves. Such ships have an automatic SR of 5 and are used primarily as transports for illithid Great Old Ones. The pool counts as two crew members. Several nautiloid ships have been equipped with pool helms and there are rumours of larger mind flayer ships, as the pool allows larger ships to be powered. Current rumoured maximum size of such a ship would be 200 tons, but that is hearsay and speculation.

Orbus: This cannot be made by conventional enchantment.

Caster Level: 14th; Weight: as a beholder.
Arcane Price: 300,000 gp (beholders only)

The orbus is a living being that functions much like a series helm on the beholder tyrant ships. For each living orbus (maximum of five for the typical tyrant ship), the ship has a TR of 1.

The orbii are usually found near the center of a beholder ship, surrounding the Great Mother or Hiveleader of the ship. If an orbus is slain, the TR is diminished by 1, and if all orbii are lost, then the ship loses all power.

Orbii appear as blind beholders, with milky skin over all their eyes. They are pale and practically helpless on their own. They have been bred by the spacefaring beholder factions to serve and serve well – they have almost no will of their own.

A single orbus can create spelljamming energy for 20 tons of ship, two to a limit of 40 tons, and three or more to a limit of 60 tons. If insufficient orbii exist, then the TR of the ship is 1.

Given the simplicity of beholder ships, it seems possible that humanoid races could make use of the orbus as well, either as a primary or back-up system. The beholders guard their orbii carefully, and would rather disintegrate them than see them turned over to other races. The above price is what an Arcane or beholder of another faction would pay for an orbus.

Forge: This is the same as the standard version sold by the Arcane, but without access to their secret techniques is considerably more expensive. Creating one costs 700,000 gp, and takes 1,000 days. The listed weight is for a heavy hardwood chair; some helms are heavier or lighter than this, and note that they are normally bolted down.

Note that unlike most magic items Helms are very, very, tough. This is probably due to the immense amounts of magical energy needed both to make them, and that flows through them just to operate them. They do not normally have a rated AC, hardness, hit points or break DC, but you could use AC 6, and +20 save bonus.

Caster Level: 17th; Prerequisites: Craft Wonderous Item, Create Forge Helm; Market Price: 1,000,000 gp; Weight: 50 lb.



Arcane Price:

500,000 gp (initially)

100,000 gp (running cost per 13 months)


Dwarves are, by nature, non-magical, yet they have large asteroid ships greater than those used by humans, elves or gnomes, powered by magical engines they call forges. These forges are huge foundry rooms at the base of the ship where dwarves work around the clock, building, carving, creating, and forging.


The basic idea of the forge is the same as the spelljamming helm: the conversion of energy into movement. In the dwarves’ case, the energy is not magical as much as it is creative. By building items with the forges, the dwarves generate the energy to literally move mountains across the sky.


A forge requires at least 200 cubic yards (2 tons) for every 50 dwarves involved. For every 100 dwarves at work the ship has an SR of 1. The fastest dwarven ships, therefore, are the ones that give up the most space to their forges.


The minimum size of a dwarven ship is 100 tons, with a maximum size of 700 tons (though these are rare). Attempts to transplant forge-based technology to human ships has failed miserably. The best that can be accomplished is that humans can command a dwarven mountain-ship with a full crew of dwarves. Both mountain and hill dwarves can be found in space. Apparently, no other race produces this type of energy.


A side effect of this industry is a large amount of tradable goods, as the dwarves mine their home to produce new energy and items. These range from small metal handcrafts and jewelry to swords, armour, and other weapons. A dwarven ship almost always has an incredibly well-stocked armory and is very well defended. For every month spent in space, the dwarves produce enough goods, metal, coins and swords to bring in 10,000 gp at the next landfall.


A negative side effect is that dwarven ships often become “finished”, with no new things to mine, chip, form or shape. At this point the colony abandons the mountain-ship and sets up home in a new asteroid, stripping the forge in the process. Such abandoned mountain-ships become the lairs of monsters.



Gnomish Helm: This cannot be made by conventional enchantment.


They do not normally have a rated AC, hardness, hit points or break DC, but if the important bit is a minor helm then, once you locate it, you could use AC 6, and 18 save bonus.


Caster Level: 15th; Weight: 2200 lb.



Arcane Price: 50,000 gp


Gnomish helms should not function. That is, their very construction seems to defy the nature of thaumaturgical law. They are impossible. Of course, being gnomish, they work anyway. Like most products from gnome ideas, they include a large number of bells and whistles and very little substance. Those that do work usually have a minor helm contained within, always hidden away so as to appear innocuous and unessential.


Gnomish helms are large, gaudy, ornate and overblown. They occupy at least 1 ton of space, and their SR (for those that work) is determined solely by the spellcaster at the helm.


Only about 60 percent of Gnomish helms work (because they’ve had a real spelljammer helm built into them somewhere). The remaining 40 percent are so much bunk and hokum. Let the buyer beware.


Those foolish enough to purchase a Gnomish helm that works should also hire two to eight gnomes to serve as repairmen. There is a 20 percent chance at any time (usually when you need it most badly) that the helm will malfunction and become inoperative for 2d4 minutes.


Gnomish helms are treated with a well-deserved derision among the space-dwelling community, and are often unloaded on the unsuspecting newcomer.



Crown of the Stars This cannot be made by conventional enchantment.


They do not normally have a rated AC, hardness, hit points or break DC, but you could use an AC based on its size, and +22 save bonus.


Caster Level: 19th; Weight: -.



Arcane Price: a king’s ransom, at least


This magical item distills the abilities of a minor helm into a portable item that can be worn, allowing the helmsman to move normally in addition to commanding his ship. Despite its name, a Crown of the Stars is not necessarily a crown; it may be a torc, or a necklace, or a girdle, or any other item which can be worn. It cannot be a ring, however. The only known Crowns of the Stars are significantly larger than rings, and all contain at least some silver.


If the crown is used to power a ship for one week or more, it becomes bonded to that ship. It cannot be used to power a different ship unless it has been away from its bonded ship for at least one week, thereby severing the bond.


The Crown of the Stars is effective up to one mile away from the ship it is bonded to, so a helmsman can operate the vessel even if he is not on board.


A Crown of the Stars will not affect a ship with an active helm (or equivalent) on board. It can provide spelljamming ability to ships that would otherwise lack it (such as a viking longship). Often a crown is discovered on the ground where they befuddle the local sages, who do not know of the worlds spinning above their heads.



Furnace: This is the same as the standard version sold by the Arcane, but without access to their secret techniques is considerably more expensive. Creating one costs 100,000 gp, takes 200 days, and costs 8,000 XP. The listed weight is for a heavy hardwood chair and attached furnace; some helms are heavier or lighter than this, and note that they are normally bolted down.


Note that unlike most magic items Helms are very, very, tough. This is probably due to the immense amounts of magical energy needed both to make them, and that flows through them just to operate them. They do not normally have a rated AC, hardness, hit points or break DC, but you could use AC 5, and +18 save bonus.


Caster Level: 15th; Prerequisites: Craft Wonderous Item, Create Furnace Helm; Market Price: 200,000 gp; Weight: 100 lb.



Arcane Price: 100,000 gp


An early and primitive form of (major) spelljamming helm still used in some areas, furnaces take their power not from living spell energy but from magical items. The items are fed into the furnace (and destroyed) to power the ship. Items which cannot be destroyed by fire are unaffected and retain their spells and spell-like abilities.


As a rule of thumb, for every 1,000 GP an item is worth, the furnace will function for one week at SR 2. On long voyages this becomes an expensive proposition. The SR can be boosted to 3 by sacrificing more than one item simultaneously but there is a 25% chance that the furnace will explode and cause 10d10 points of damage in a 30-foot radius.


Furnaces are old devices, found mostly on ghost ships and crashed hulks. They are thought to be an early version developed by the Arcane, then abandoned. They are limited solely to travel within a crystal sphere, as exposure to phlogiston causes an immediate explosion (20d10 points of damage, 45-foot radius). A Chill Fire spell will reduce this to normal devestation.



Artifurnace: This cannot be made by conventional enchantment.


They do not normally have a rated AC, hardness, hit points or break DC, but you could use an AC 5, and +22 save bonus.


Caster Level: 19th; Weight: 100 lb.



Arcane Price: priceless


An artifurnace is the ultimate stage of the development of the furnace – a magically-powered spelljamming device which draws its power from a magical artifact. Each is a custom-made device tailored to contain and siphon energy from a specific artifact. Because an artifact is practically eternal, the power derived from it is equally so.


Once installed, an artifurnace provides SR 5 for as long as needed. Both artifurnace and artifact are undamagable as long as they remain together (though the ship they are in is not). The artifurnace is destroyed if the artifact is ever removed, however.


Artifurnaces are extremely rare, on the level with artifacts themselves. They also have the difficulty of attracting the attention of those powers tied to the Artifact being used. Should an artifurnace be hooked up to the Eye of Vecna, Greyhawk’s immortal liche will likely come looking for it (or send friends to the various spheres where the ship visits in order to recover it). No more than a double handful of artifurnaces are recorded as having existed, and almost all of them are destroyed or hidden. Where they appeared they have created insurrection as every captain in the area attempts to seize it for himself.



Lifejammer: This is the same as the standard version sold by the Arcane, but without access to their secret techniques is considerably more expensive. Creating one costs 80,000 gp, takes 160 days, and costs 6,400 XP. The listed weight is for a heavy hardwood chair plus victim restraint; some helms are heavier or lighter than this, and note that they are normally bolted down.


Note that unlike most magic items Helms are very, very, tough. This is probably due to the immense amounts of magical energy needed both to make them, and that flows through them just to operate them. They do not normally have a rated AC, hardness, hit points or break DC, but you could use AC 5, and +18 save bonus.


Caster Level: 15th; Prerequisites: Craft Wonderous Item, Create Lifejammer Helm; Market Price: 160,000 gp; Weight: 75 lb.



Arcane Price: 80,000 gp


The lifejammer is a very specialised and evil type of spelljamming helm which feeds off the life energy of an individual placed inside (usually against his will). The lifejammer can function on any creature with hit points, but drains the life out of the creature placed within.


For every day of operation, the lifejammer sucks 1d8 hit points from the target. These hit points cannot be regained by healing while the individual is within the lifejammer. In addition, for every day of operation (or fraction thereof) the lifejammer’s victim must make a Fortitude saving throw DC 13 or perish. An individual with good hit points and saving throws is preferred, but a ready supply of weak characters can be just as useful.


A lifejammer engine gives the ship an SR as if the creature placed within was a spellcaster using a minor helm. A lifejammer drawing energy from an 8th level Fighter, for example, will operate as if an 8th level spellcaster was at the helm. Two lifejammer helms may be used in parallel to be able to spelljam a 100 ton ship.


Lifejammers are believed to be an invention of the neogi, who use multiple lifejammers in powering their deathspider ships. Other evil races, including undead, have been known to use lefejammers as well. Good races and characters are very reluctant to use a lifejammer except in emergencies, and then are careful to remove the character from the device before his life is endangered.



Non-magical Engines: Because these are non-magical they cannot be made by conventional enchantment.

Caster Level: not applicable; Market Price: ~10,000 gp; Weight: varies. Arcane Price: varies, but approx. 10,000 gp

There are a number of ways of moving through space – gnomish engines, chemical propellants, even explosive mixtures ignited in a closed space. These are sometimes used in space to travel through magic-dead areas (called “Sargassos”) as well as for lifeboats and shuttles that are too insignificant to merit a full-blown minor helm. Non-magical movement is used as a back-up system for larger ships when all other options fail.

All non-magical engines share one feature – they are slow compared to helms. Their movement is never more than 17 mph and their SR is 1. At such rates, it would take years to reach even a nearby planet.

Further, they cannot be used to lift-off from celestial bodies larger than size class A due to their limited power. Little research has been done in expanding this “weak sister” to the spelljamming helms (because the helms provide such a good alternative), but there are situations where they are useful.

-By Dreamer, rebooted to Pathfinder by Loki_

Helms

The Spelljoined DungeonMasterLoki DungeonMasterLoki