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Month Index: November, 1994

From:     Joseph Delisle <jd@?????.net>
Date:     Tue, 8 Nov 1994 17:31:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject:  Re: new world
	I haven't had a chance to go through hte whole world description,
but I'll post my thoughts later. Until then...

In a previous message, Michael Sandy said...

> The problem of security for the Spelljammer is that you need to land to
> load the cargo.  There are several ways of doing so, each with their own
> problems.

> 1) You openly sail or fly into port.  Information about far off nations
> are likely to be out of date and unreliable to the point of myth.

	This is the best way, especially in friendly territory. Even in
more hostile areas, it might be a good idea to arrive openly -- and

> 2)  Land in the back country.

	There's also the (potential) problem of monsters: either wandering
beasts (bulettes) or organized creatures (like orcs and ogres).

> 3) Land secretly, make secret deal with local ruler, and pretend to
> everybody else that you are from some undiscovered island fairly close
> by.

	This could work, but the disadvantage of secrets is that there are
a lot of cargo handlers who could spill the beans, either deliberately or
not. Also, to make #2 and #3 work, you should land at night (which can
cause other problems).

There are some other options, too:

4) Cloaking helm -- unload the cargo while invisible. Aside from the
obvious disadvantage of cost and availability, there are also logistics
problems while unloading. Still, it's an option.

5) Random landing points. If you can land at any one of three ports
controlled by a friendly kingdom, simply choose them "randomly" (letting
only the highest officals know where and when you'll land).

6) Air drops. I'm pretty sure parachutes are in the Forgotten Realms, so it
is possible that they can exist elsewhere. The spelljammer never need land
to drop off cargo. Disadvantages are that it requires precision flying, a
secure drop zone, and pallets and 'chutes. Not to mention it's not
effective with fragile cargos.

7) Water drops. Similar to 6, except that the spelljammer makes a pass over
a body of water (or even comes to a stop) at low altitude. Cargo is placed
on rafts, and pushed out the back. As soon as all of it is down, the
spelljammer takes off at full speed (or keeps going, if it didn't slow
down). Disadvantages are that you require a large enough body of water,
good weather, and a number of _good_ rafts, not to mention a recovery crew.

8) Magic storage items. A large bag of holding can hold 250 cu feet of
material, or an area 5 feet by five feet by 10 feet. Large amounts of more
valuable cargos (like gems, spices, etc) can be stored inside. These can be
dropped of quickly and easily. This was supposed to be a highly magical
world, yes?

9) Teleportation. There are spells (in the FRA hardcover, possibly
elsewhere) that actually create a fairly long lived portal to another
place.  I can't remember names, but I belive one was 7th level and had good
accuracy for distances under 100 miles. You can move cargo from 10 miles
up, and never land (or slow down). Disadvantages: availability of spell and
mages to cast it.

"You're waking from a very long dream,          | Joe Delisle
your eyes are focused on the fan on the ceiling,|    jd@?????.net
you realize you're a part of the machine.       | quote: "Terminal City",
Just a part of the machine."                    | Machines of Loving Grace

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