Helms are the primary method of powering spelljamming vessels. Simply put, a helm is a magical device which channels magical energy from a some source into motive force for the ship it's attached to. Some helms operate on slightly different principles but these are few and rarely seen in the Known Spheres.
There are several different types of helms of varying types and abilities. I list the types most common within the Known spheres below, and the "standard cost" for such a helm in an active spelljammer port like the Rock of Bral or Refuge. Note that in other places the price quickly becomes what the market will bear and thus can drop or rise considerably.
Spelljamming Helms Spelljamming Helm allows the individual seated upon it to move large mass through space by means of channeling the helm's energies, which enchant ship, directly into a motive force. This energy can move a ship of Huge size up to the listed flight movement, for each size category above the huge the ships movement is reduced 40 feet. Thus there is a limit to size that a ship can move with a spelljamming helm. Maneuvering comes primarily from the ship's sails and oars. Spelljamming Helm movement only takes into account flight movement, but most spelljamming helms have the “Cruising Speed” special ability, which allows it to reach fantastic speeds of 100 million miles per day. Caster Level for Spelljamming Helms: A spelljamming helm with only movement, the caster level is movement in feet divided by 40 then multiplied by four. For example a helm with a movement of 200 feet requires a 20th level caster to create. The caster level of a spelljamming helm with a special ability, then determine the minimum level for helms movement and minimum level for special ability, the higher of the two caster levels requirements must be met.
Table: Spelljamming Helms Helm Movement Base Price1 40 feet 10,000 gp 80 feet 40,000 gp 120 feet 90,000 gp 160 feet 160,000 gp 200 feet 250,000 gp 240 feet1 360,000 gp 280 feet1 490,000 gp 320 feet1 640,000 gp 360 feet1 810,000 gp 400 feet1 1,000,000 gp 1 Non-Epic Spelljamming Helms cannot have movement this high. Use these lines to determine price when special abilities are added in. Example: A Spelljamming Helm is enchanted to 200 feet that also has the cruising speed special ability (+1 modifier) is treated as a 240 feet movement helm for pricing purposes and is priced at 360,000 gp.
Spelljamming Helm Special Ability DescriptionsEdit
While most helms have movement and cruising speed special ability some helms have addition special abilities. These abilities are detailed below. A spelljamming helm with a special ability must have at least 40 feet of movement. Dweomer Boost: This property is the just as common to find enchanted into spelljamming helm as the cruising speed ability. The helmsman when sitting in the helm is able to augment the helm by the spell potential that the spellcaster has still available to him. Add up all the casters spell level (treat 0 level spells as ½ level spells for determining total) he can currently cast and cross reference the chart below to find out how much more speed the helmsman gains.
Total Spell Levels Increase in Speed 10-39 +40 feet 40-89 +80 feet 90-159 +120 feet 160-249 +160 feet 250-359 +200 feet 360-489 +240 feet 490+ +280 feet
Example: A fifth level wizard with 16 intelligence score would have 18 spell levels (this includes bonus spells for high intelligence), giving him a +40 feet of movement to the ship. If latter in the day he cast two 3rd level spells, one 1st level spell and all his cantrips, this would drop him down to 9 total spell levels and he gains no increase in speed for the ship. Moderate transmutation; CL 13th; Craft Spelljamming Helm, Craft Wondrous Items, Limited Wish; Price +1 bonus. Chameleon: This helm modification allows a ship and crew to be disguised by an illusion much like the change self spell, the maximum dimensions of the disguised ship is 140 feet length, width and height. All portion of the ship and it crew must be within 70 feet of the helm to be affected by this effect. Moderate illusion; CL 13th; Craft Spelljamming Helm, Craft Wondrous Items, Limited Wish; Price +3 bonus. Cloaking: Ship with cloaking ability can become completely invisible along with its crew/passengers. The helmsman can invoke this ability five times a day. The helm placement is very important for all of the ship must be within 90 feet of helm; this limits the size of ship that makes use of the cloaking helm. Strong illusion; CL 13th; Craft Spelljamming Helm, Craft Wondrous Items, Mass Invisibility; Price +4 bonus. Cruising Speed: A spelljamming helm with this very popular property is able to propel the ship to a cruising speed of 100 million miles per day as long the ship is not within an empyrean bubble of a planet or another object of huge size or larger. Typically an empyrean bubble is 4,000 feet diameter around objects of huge to titanic in size; celestial bodies, such as planets, have thicker empyrean bubbles. Moderate transmutation; CL 11th; Craft Spelljamming Helm, Craft Wondrous Items, Create Spelljamming Helm; Price +1 bonus. Lifejammer: Lifejammers are helms that enhanced further by feeding off the life energies of its victims. A helm with this modifier to gain a +80 feet movement boost as long as the victim feeds the helm it life force. The victim has no choice … causing 1d4 constitution drain per minute it is in the helm. Neogi are renowned on using this special quality to help their ships overcome its prey. Strong necromancy; CL 13th; Craft Spelljamming Helm, Craft Wondrous Items, Limited Wish; Price +1 bonus. One with the Ship: This helm does more then just moves the ship; it allows the helmsman to see and hear into all rooms of the ship and onto the deck from just sitting in the spelljamming helm. Moderate divination; CL 6th; Craft Spelljamming Helm, Craft Wondrous Items, Clairvoyance/Clairaudience; Price +1 bonus. Ultra Cruising Speed: Most spelljamming helm are not equipped with this property and those that are become legends very quickly as being known as the fastest ships in the sphere where it does business. The ship can cruise at a speed of 200 million miles per day as long the ship is not within an empyrean bubble of a planet or another object of huge size or larger. Typically an empyrean bubble is 4,000 feet diameter around objects of huge to titanic in size; celestial bodies, such as planets, have thicker empyrean bubbles. Strong transmutation; CL 13th; Craft Spelljamming Helm, Craft Wondrous Items, Enchant Helm, Limited Wish; Price +3 bonus
Epic Spelljammer HelmsEdit
Epic Spelljammer Helms have either 240 feet of movement or have so many price “+” bonuses to place the helm to 440 feet of movement for purpose of pricing.
Table: Epic Spelljamming Helms Helm Movement Base Price1 240 feet 3,600,000 gp 280 feet 4,900,000 gp 320 feet 6,400,000 gp 360 feet 8,100,000 gp 400 feet 10,000,000 gp 440 feet 12,100,000 gp 480 feet 14,400,000 gp 520 feet 16,900,000 gp 560 feet 19,600,000 gp 600 feet 22,500,000 gp 640 feet 25,600,000 gp 680 feet 28,900,000 gp 720 feet 32,400,000 gp 760 feet 36,100,000 gp 800 feet 40,000,000 gp
Epic Spelljamming Helm Special Ability DescriptionsEdit
While most standard helms have movement and cruising speed special ability plus some of the more common abilities such as one with the ship, epic helms have some really amazing abilities! Some of those abilities include cloaking and the ability to phase thru an asteroid. These abilities are detailed below. A spelljamming helm with a special ability must have at least 40 feet of movement. Major Cloaking: Ship with ability of major cloaking can become completely invisible along with its crew/passengers much like the standard cloaking helm ability except that it can affect a much larger ship. The helmsman can invoke this ability five times a day. The helm placement is very important for all of the ship must be within 135 feet of helm; this limits the size of ship that makes use of the cloaking helm. Strong illusion; CL 17th; Craft Spelljamming Helm, Craft Wondrous Items, Wish; Price +6 bonus. Phasing: A spelljamming helm with this ability is able to allow ship and crew to phase thru solid objects (such as asteroids). The helm placement is very important for all of the ship must be within 135 feet of helm, least some section of the ship will not be able to phase. Only those crew that are in contact of the ships hull or in room on board the ship that is full encased. Strong transmutation; CL 17th; Craft Spelljamming Helm, Craft Wondrous Items, Wish; Price +6 bonus.
Cost: 100,000 gp
These Helms provide SR 2 and can travel at spelljamming speed for ships up to 100 SJ tons in size. The magical item is placed within the furnace where it is consumed by fire (furnace helms do not function in the phliogiston). Anyone can then pilot the furnace helm. An item with an xp value of 150 provides 1 days worth of power (items of greater xp bring greater duration: duration in days = Item XP/150). If two items are sacrificed at the same time SR is boosted to 3 but the helm might explode (25%). Some goblinoids are rumoured to power their furnaces with an incendiary, magical fuel. Some think this fuel might be related to smokepowder in some way but reliable reports are rare.
Cost: 100,000 gp
These are the most common helms in space, drawing their power from the spell energy of their helmsman (a spellcasters loses all memorized spells when they touch helm). These helms provide an SR of 1 for every 3 levels of the helmsman, rounding down [But always with a min SR of 1] so that at levels 1-5 SR is 1, and then so on. Minor helms can move vessels at spelljamming speeds. They will power vessels up to 50 tons in size.
Cost: 250,000 gp
These function just like minor helms but provide an SR equal to the users level divided by 2 and rounded down [But always with a min SR of 1]. A 3rd level helmsman would have SR 1, for instance, and one of 5th level SR 2. They will power vessels up to 100 tons in size.
Cost: 80,000 gp
Lifejammer helms are evil abominations which power ships by drawing on the lifeforce of their victim. Any living creature can be used, each day the victim is drained of 1d8 hit points and must make a save versus death or die. Lifejammers function otherwise just like minor helms, providing an SR equal to the victims level divided by 3 and rounded down [But always with a min SR of 1]. A 3rd level victim would provide SR 1, for instance, and one of 5th level SR 2. They will power vessels up to 100 tons in size. Aside from the victim, the lifejammer requires a navigator, who may be of any class and who does the actual piloting of the ship. Lifejammers are often used by neogi, mindflayers, and the humanoid races.
Many other types of helms exist, some are very bizarre. This list is just a starting point for "standard" spelljamming cultures, and as always in SJ expect the unexpected.
ships travel through wildspace by means of the helm—a magical device which converts mystical energy into motive force, the push that moves the spelljammer. This allows rapid movement from planet to planet. Some of the specifics vary from race to race. In general, however, most ships are equipped with a magical device known as a spelljamming helm. The pilot sits at the helm which acts as a engine, providing the magical power to move the ship through wildspace and with the aid of controls, to perform maneuvering. The spelljammer helm is a device formed like a great chair. The styles of helms vary from simplistic and functional to ornate and gothic. In all its configurations, the helm is designed to utilize magical energies into full fledged spelljammer power to move and maneuver space ships. There are various types of helms and each pull ‘power’ differently. Either drawing from mystical energy of the pilot themselves or using energy ‘cast’ into the helm’s own internal batteries (spelljamming helm), converting actual ‘life force’ or health of the pilot into power (lifejammer helm), or using a forge or furnace to absorb items for energy (forge/furnace helm). Other helms can also be utilized to act as ‘backup’ engines or work in conjunction with the major helm, adding to it’s power.
Some helms can have another small item ‘keyed’ to them. This item could be a hat, ring, cloak, necklace, etc. but it must be worn or carried on the pilot’s person. This ‘Helm key’ allows the possessor ability to activate and deactivate the helm as well as move about the ship while still being mentally connected to the helm.
When a helm is installed in a craft, control instruments can be set into place. Once in place, the helm ‘connects’ to these controls allowing piloting capability. A second set of controls can also be put into place that allows piloting capability as well however, the first set when utilized will override the second set.
OVERALL: Helms retain energy within them. Spellcasters no longer need to sit upon a helm providing constant power. Instead, they can recharge them by linking with the helm and pouring their magic into it.
The helmsman is not required to be a spellcaster. Anyone can sit upon a helm and link with it to pilot the ship, as long as the helm has power.
Maximum speed is no longer linked to any person’s level. All helms have a now maximum speed they can attain. This rating will vary from one to the another.
New helms are no longer classified as major or minor. Instead they are rated in four different areas:
Class: There are two classes of helms, long range and tactical. Tactical helms are only capable of tactical speeds. Long range helms are capable of both tactical and spelljamming speeds.
Capacity: This is a measure of the largest ship the helm can move, in spatial tons. Helms come in Capacities in increments of 10. Upper limit is set at 100 tons.
Power: This is how much magical energy a helm can hold. Power is rated in Power Points (PP’s). Power ranges from 100 to 1000.
Speed: This is the maximum speed the helm can move a ship, measured in SR. Acceleration is still figured from Maneuverability Class, as per page 55-56 of the Concordance of Arcance Space. As with the others, maximum possible speed is 15.
Sitting at the Helm The functions of a helm are controlled by sitting upon the helm and mentally linking with it. Being a spellcaster is not required; the only requirement is that the helmsman be corporeal and have something resembling a soul. Thus a human, elf or vampire could pilot the ship, but a golem or zombie could not. Linking is simply a matter of eithert utilizing a helm key or sitting on a helm and a few seconds of concentration. Once linked the helmsman can use any of the functions of the helm. These functions are:
Power Measurement: The helmsman is always aware of exactly how many Power Points the helm has remaining.
Vision: The helmsman can view the outside of the ship as if standing on the aft deck, as with standard helms in the old system.
Recharge: When this function is activated, the helm will draw all magical energy out of the person linked to the helm. Only spellcasters hold any appreciable quantity of magic within themselves. This draining takes mere seconds, and once started it cannot be stopped; the spellcaster cannot withhold any energy from the helm. The helm is charged 20 Power Points per level of the spellcaster. If the caster has already used magic that day, before charging the helm, figure their effective level normally. A helm can never hold more than its Power rating in PP’s. Anything beyond this dissipates and is lost. Over time power will slowly drain from the helm if it is not used. This means ships that have been adrift for quite some time are unlikely to hold any power in them.
Control: Helms are controlled in the same manner as helms in the old system, with the exception that tactical speed is based on how many PP’s are spent rather than the caster’s level. They have complete control over the ship’s speed and steering. The rate at which PP’s are used depends on the ship’s speed: Long Range: Spelljamming speed, which seems to rely on the manipulation of some unknown cosmic loophole, is very efficient, requiring 2 PP per hour of travel, or fraction thereof. If the ship stops for less than 5 rounds and does not move faster than SR 1, and then resumes spelljamming speeds, that hour is not split into fractional hours. GM’s should watch this for abuse; it is designed to allow ships to make course corrections without paying additional PP’s, not for ships to make a series of hops. Tactical Speed: Tactical speed is apparently far less efficient, requiring 1 PP per 1 SR per round. Thus, if someone wanted to move at 3 SR, it would cost them 3 PP for every round they move at this speed. If they did it for ten rounds, it would cost them 30 PP’s. Cruising Speed: Cruising speed is essentially a type of tactical speed, in that speeds are rated in SR, but it operates a bit differently. Sages theorize that it utilizes the tendency of objects in space to stay in motion. It has the same costs as tactical speed, but the PP’s are for every hour rather than every round, using the highest SR the ship attains that hour. So, if a ship is cruising along at SR 3, accelerates to SR 5 for a few minutes, then goes back to SR 3, the cost would be 5 PP’s. Note that partial hours cost the same as full, so if a ship is at cruising speed for ten minutes, then needs to hit tactical speed for a couple of rounds, then goes back to cruising for another hour, it would count as two hours. DM’s willing to do some math can allow for partial hour costs, although fractions are always rounded up. There are two restrictions to cruising speed. First, maximum speed is one half of maximum tactical speed. Second, cruising speed is primarily suited for straight, forward movement and makes a ship very, very unmaneuverable. Only gradual turns are possible (i.e. one hex face every dozen of hexes). To make more sudden turns requires going to tactical speed, and the ship is unable to pull off any sort of complicated maneuvering, and does not gain any benefits to AR for high Maneuverability Class. In other words, cruising speed is terrible for combat situations.
This system provides a multitude of options to helm buyers, and deciding on which is best can be daunting. Realize, though, that for some ships this system does not necessarily eliminate the need for bringing along spellcasters for power. Any ship that travels long distances, travels between spheres, sees a lot of combat or spends a lot of time at tactical speed will want spellcasters. While it would be possible for some such ships to double the Power of their helms to make up for a lack of spellcasters, this becomes prohibitively expensive in most cases. Some ships are going to be travelling to destinations far enough away that even a Power 1000 helm isn’t going to get them there (i.e. more than 20 days away) unless they have spellcasters for power or can make frequent stops. Ships that can probably get away with not bringing spellcasters are short range vessels that travel no more than a few days along relatively safe routes.
Here are some examples of ships and their helms: Rockhopper: This is a ship that makes trips that never go over a day to get there. If the ship travels safe routes and spends little time at tactical speed, it can get away with a Power 100 helm and no wizard, unless the trip is right close to a full day and there is no source of power at the destination, since getting there and back can use up to 94 PP’s, leaving little room for error. In such cases, or if the ship expects any trouble or delays at tactical speed, they will want to add another 100 PP’s, a helm battery or a spellcaster. Fighter: Small, fast ships designed for combat, fighters rarely have spelljamming speed capabilities and spend a lot of time in combat, which chews through PP’s quickly. They also rarely ever have a spellcaster on board. This means a fighter will want a decent Power helm, lest if find itself adrift and vulnerable. A typical fighter helm will be Tactical/Capacity 10/Power 200/Speed 10. Short Range Merchant: This is a ship that travels between established ports that are only a few days apart, no more than 4. It will typically power up in ports, and not bother with a spellcaster, unless it expects to see combat. Power 300 should serve it well. If combat or frequent tactical speeds are expected, a spellcaster, helm battery or an extra 100 PP’s should suffice. Short Range Patrol: This is a combat ship that patrols a small area, typically between two ports. It doesn’t have to travel all that far, but it will stay out for awhile, and see frequent tactical speeds and occasional combat. If no spellcaster is onboard a Power 400 helm should be fine, or a Power 300 if one or more spellcasters totaling six levels are aboard. Medium Range Merchant: Medium range is generally considered between 5 and 12 days with no reliable ports in between. Such merchant ships will almost always carry one or more spellcasters, since a helm that can go that far without need of recharging is prohibitively expensive. Such spellcasters will usually total ten levels or more. The standard helm for such ships is Power 400. Long Range Merchant: Long range is anything beyond 12 days, usually with intersphere travel. These ships cannot function without a spellcaster, and most ships will have several. Typical helm is Power 600, with spellcasters totaling sixteen levels or more. Guard Ship: These are combat ships designed to accompany merchant ships. They will have the same helm as the ship they are guarding, but with either a 100 PP more powerful helm or several spellcasters aboard. They will also have Speed several points higher. Warship: Ships designed primarily for war will have large Powers, since they will be expected to spend considerable time at tactical speed, and be out on extended patrols. Most will also carry several spellcasters, both for combat and power. The most common is Power 400 or 500, with spellcasters totaling sixteen levels or higher. For extended patrol ships, Power 600 is more common. They will also have better Speed than most ships, often 6 or more. Capital Ships: Ships above 100 tons are often referred to as capital ships, and are generally designed to be more self-sufficient than most ships, with Power 800+ helms, and at least half a dozen spellcasters totaling thirty levels or more.
Prices Ask ten different Spelljammer GM’s the price of helms in their campaigns and you will probably get at least five different answers. It is just one of those things that gets altered often. The prices in this system are designed to roughly match the prices in the Concordance of Arcane Space.
To determine the price of a helm, find the cost for Power on Chart 1 and add this to the cost for Capacity on Chart 2. Multiply this total by the desired Speed. This is the cost for a Long Range helm. Tactical helms cost half of this.
Chart 1 Power Cost 100 4,000 gp 200 6,000 gp 300 8,000 gp 400 10,000 gp 500 20,000 gp 600 30,000 gp 700 40,000 gp 800 50,000 gp 900 75,000 gp 1000 100,000 gp
Chart 2 Capacity Cost 10 1,000 gp 20 3,000 gp 30 5,000 gp 40 7,000 gp 50 10,000 gp 60 12,000 gp 70 14,000 gp 80 16,000 gp 90 18,000 gp 100 20,000 gp 110 23,000 gp 120 26,000 gp 130 30,000 gp 140 35,000 gp 150 40,000 gp 160 45,000 gp 170 50,000 gp 180 60,000 gp 190 80,000 gp 200 100,000 gp
Here are some examples of various helms, some matching the descriptions above, under The Right Helm for the Job.
Sample Helms Class Type Power Capacity Speed Cost Minor (old system equivalent) Long Range 400 50 5 100,000 gp Major (old system equivalent) Long Range 400 100 10 300,000 gp Fighter Tactical 200 10 10 35,000 gp Light War Frigate Long Range 400 50 10 200,000 gp Heavy War Frigate Long Range 400 70 10 240,000 gp Assault Cruiser Long Range 600 100 10 500,000 gp Capital Ship Long Range 800 200 10 1,500,000 gp Shuttle Tactical 100 10 2 5,000 gp Short Range Merchant Frigate Long Range 300 50 5 90,000 gp Medium Range Merchant Frigate Long Range 400 50 5 100,000 gp Long Range Merchant Frigate Long Range 600 50 5 200,000 gp Cargo Cruiser Long Range 500 100 3 120,000 gp
The cost of recharging a ship will vary, depending on several factors. The base cost is typically one gold piece per Power Point. The two largest factors in price variance are availability and immediate quantity per charge.
Where a ship is and how available recharging services are will affect the price. Prices on a very busy port, such as Bral, will probably be the base cost, perhaps even lower, since power tends to be readily available. On backwater planets, where there are few spellcasters (or accumulators), prices rise, sometimes even dramatically, such as double or triple. Those wanting to recharge may also have to wait if the demand is higher than the supply.
Quantity per charge is based on how much energy is supplied in a single charge. A third level spellcaster in Bral is likely to charge only the standard, or 30 gp. A tenth level spellcaster may charge more, possibly as much as a third more, because he can offer more at once, which is quicker and more convenient that rounding up multiple sources. So someone looking to recharge may have the option of speed over price, or vice versa.
Durability of Helms This new approach to helms does not alter the durability of helms. They are still very hard to destroy, as with major and minor helms. There is no reason why this has to be maintained, though. A DM should feel free to make helms as durable or fragile as they please. In game where helms and space travel are relatively rare, helms should probably stay as they are. In games where spelljamming is fairly common, and busy ports such as Bral see hundreds of ships daily they might not be any more durable than a stout wooden chair would otherwise be, perhaps with only a +2 or so to saves. In these kinds of games they are also likely to be cheaper, perhaps costing half as much.
Lifejammers A lifejammer is an insidious version of the normal spelljamming helm that is charged by life force rather than magical energy. It looks like a normal helm, with the addition of a large, coffin shaped metal box mounted to the back, at a 45 degree angle. This box is seven feet long, three feet wide and three feet deep. It has a hinged metal lid with numerous air holes, and a bolt for locking.
To charge the helm a living creature must be placed in the box, and someone must be on the helm. The person on the helm will become aware of the health of the creature (i.e. its hit points). They can then choose to siphon as many of these hit points away as they wish, charging the helm 10 PP’s per hit point. Even if using the Death’s Door rules (allowing characters to go to -10 before dying), any creature that is dropped to zero hit points while in the box dies, regardless of how much was drained from them. Anyone already at zero or below dies without granting PP’s. Even if someone is only partially drained, they must make a save vs. Death Magic or die. Anyone drained to half or less of their full hit points saves at -2.
Lifejammers are slower to recharge, taking one minute per hit point drained. The person being drained of their life force suffers pain of the most intense and severe sort, and few can take it without screaming and trying to claw their way out of the box. Damage taken from charging a lifejammer cannot be healed by magic or first aid; it can only be healed by time, at the normal rate of 1 hit point per day. Although this damage is not actually visible (i.e. no visible wounds or scars), drained characters become rather ashen and sickly looking, with the severity depending on how much they were drained. Someone drained to 1 hit point would look like a walking corpse, with greyish, loose flesh and sunken eyes.
The lifejammer is considered by most to be a truly evil item, and that fact that the arcane seem just as willing to sell them as they are normal helms brings many to question their morality and motivations. The lifejammer is mostly used by pirates and slavers of the most evil sort, such as the neogi, since even typical pirates and slavers find them too grim to use; it is one thing to raid a ship or sell someone into slavery, it is another to murder them by sucking out their soul.
Lifejammers are cheaper than normal helms. How much cheaper will depend on the DM and his campaign, but a good rule of thumb is 80% of the cost of a normal helm of similar abilities. Other than these rules, the lifejammer behaves as a normal helm in all other ways.
Helm Battery This magical device is often carried as a backup in case of losing the ship’s spellcaster and getting stranded. It stores magical energy, much like a helm itself, which can be used to recharge a helm. Appearances vary, but the most common is a large stone carved with sigils, often set within complex framework of rune-carved iron or copper.
To charge a Helm Battery simply requires a spellcaster to touch it and mentally form a link with the object. Once linked all of the spellcaster’s stored spells are drained into the battery. As with a helm, once the spellcaster forms a link with the battery, all magic is drained, and they cannot choose to hold any back. Unlike helms, batteries do not slowly loose PP’s over time.
To transfer the magical energy from the helm battery to the helm simply requires that the battery be sat upon the helm and the command word spoken. This takes but a few seconds.
Helm batteries come in a variety of power capacities, the same as helms. Should the GM desire, bigger batteries could exist, perhaps even in the 1000’s. Such batteries would be much larger, and would likely be found in space docks or similar locales. Perhaps the owner pays local wizards to keep it charged, then sells charges to others.
The prices of these should vary, probably best expressed as a fraction of the cost of a similar power capacity helm. A good rule of thumb is half the cost.
Charge Forcer This unpleasant item is popular with pirates and slavers, since it removes the need for cooperation from spellcasters in recharging a helm. Charge forcers typically take the form of torqs and other headgear, rarely with any form of decoration or rare stones.
The function of charge forcers is simple: it forces the mind of the wearer to constantly be in the state used to form a link with a helm for recharging. Thus any spellcaster wearing one that sits upon a helm will be drained of magic, charging the helm, whether they want to or not. The forcer also prevents the wearer from issuing any other commands to the helm.
Life Forcer This item is similar to both lifejammers and charge forcers, looking much like the latter. It converts life force energy into magical energy, allowing a person to sit upon a standard helm and recharge it with their own life force. The person using it has complete control, and must be conscious to use it. It will not work for anyone at less than one hit point, nor will it drop anyone below zero. The conversion ratio isn’t quite as good as a lifejammer, 5 PP’s per hit point spent. It takes one minute per hit point to recharge.
As with the lifejammer, any hit points used in recharging can only be recovered through natural healing over time, not any sort of magic. On the upside, the life forcer prevents people who use it from dying or feeling anything other than slight discomfort. Those who use it still have their appearance temporarily affected.
Despite similarities, the life forcer is designed to server a different purpose than either the lifejammer or the charge forcer. Where those items are primarily used by pirates and slavers to draw out as much free energy as they can from their victims, the life forcer is used primarily as a backup in case of emergencies. They tend to be relatively cheap and common, countered by the price for using one, and are sometimes thrown in as a package deal on helms, similar to planetary locators.
Ship features: Sails and Masts are not necessary in wildspace but can add to maneuver class on ships. Rudders of propulsion can also add to maneuver class as well as allow propulsion without a helm.
New Spells Here are some new spells that work with these new helms.
Lifecharge 4th Level Priest Spell (Necromancy) Range: Touch Components: V, S Duration: 2 rounds per level Casting Time: 1 Area of Affect: one person Saving Throw: None
This spell, which the life charger item is derived from, allows someone to recharge a helm with their own life force, as if the helm were a lifejammer. The subject has complete control, and must be conscious to recharge. It will not work for anyone at less than one hit point, nor will it drop anyone below zero. The conversion ratio isn’t quite as good as a lifejammer, 5 PP’s per hit point spent. It takes one minute per hit point to recharge.
As with the lifejammer, any hit points used in recharging can only be recovered through natural healing over time, not any sort of magic. On the upside, the lifecharge spell prevents people who use it from dying or feeling anything other than slight discomfort. Those who use it still have their appearance temporarily affected.
Fleeting Battery 5th Level Wizard Spell Range: Touch Components: V, S Duration: One day per level Casting Time: 1 turn Area of Affect: one object Saving Throw: None
Batteries are a luxury not all can afford, but with this spell a temporary solution is possible. Fleeting battery will turn an object into a battery for a limited time, allowing it to hold magical energy in the same manner as a normal battery. The Power of the battery is 10 PP’s per level of the caster. The object must be from one-half to four cubic feet in size, and must be a whole, solid object; it could be cast on a sword or a chest, but not an egg or a suit of armour.
Because of their nature, fleeting batteries lose power over time relatively quickly: 1 PP per day. They otherwise behave the same as normal batteries.
Arcane Ghost 4th Level Wizard Spell Range: Self Components: V, S Duration: 1 minute per level Casting Time: 1 turn Area of Affect: the caster Saving Throw: None
A spell with a misleading name, arcane ghost is used by spellcasters to allow them to charge a helm with only a portion of their magical energy, letting them keep some for spellcasting later. It does this by drawing a portion of the spellcasters energy out of him. This energy takes the form of a vague outline of the spellcaster that shimmers slightly, thus the spell’s name. Once this “ghost” has formed, the spellcaster need only touch it to draw back in the energy. Thus, a wizard can store a portion of energy in the ghost, sit at a helm and recharge it with what he carries, then touch the ghost and draw back in its energy. No one else can draw the energy from the ghost; it is attuned to the aura of the wizard that created it. Despite the name and appearance the ghost is not really a spirit; it simply takes the shape of the mage due to its attunement to him.
When the wizard casts the spell they must decide how many spell points they wish to put into the ghost. Their remaining spell points will determine their effective level for recharging helms. If the wizard does not touch the ghost before the duration ends, the energy dissipates.