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From:     Skreyn@???.com
Date:     Tue, 11 Jul 1995 22:37:10 -0400
Subject:  Re: Several topics
[Some New Spells]

Pardon me, but what does this have to do with SJ?

[taming fantastic creatures]
>Is there a general understanding that using green slime, jellies or puddings
>is against the rules of war or are those things too finicky to maintain
>alive in a shipboard setting?

I'd say no, there is no rule against it, and yes, it's hard to keep them
alive safely on a wooden ship (especially as a couple of those types
are especially vulnerable to fire - it's harder to fight them in the Flow).

[detector web/longer ranges in space]
>I suppose since there isn't that much in space to block or
>distract sensors, the ordinary range of detection spells could be greater,
>but still...

Why not make a new spell, like "Wildspace Divination Range Extension,"
which amplifies the detection range a hundredfold?

>Can the different helm types be identified?

Well, my friend Joe ran a campaign where the ships' sails were actually
magical cloth, which glowed a certain color depending on what kind of
helm was being used (red =  wizard on a major/minor, blue = priest
for same, black = lifejammer, green = pool helm, etc.).  That made the
different kinds highly visible (and was a real pain for my character,
as wizards were being hunted at the time, but I was the highest level
spellcaster we had, so for speed reasons...).

>Quite simply, yes.  Magical helms can be identified through a detect magic
>spell and likewise a psionic helm can be detected through a detect psionics
>spell.

But do you think a helm attached _inside_ a ship (which is where they
usually are) would show up under Detect Magic?

However, I agree that Detect Magic has a chance of detecting the kind
of magic being used, and that might imply what kind of helm (necromantic
magic obviously implies a lifejammer, etc.)

>I'm in favor of simply
>waving my hands and saying a mysterious property of wildspace enables
distant objects to seem a _lot_ closer or obvious, especially if moving
>at spelljamming speeds.

Well, that ought to work, but it's not totally necessary - in a relatively
empty environment like space, where there is no air to blur any light
coming from the object (and especially how an object's air envelope
tends to stand out in any light source), visible is _much_ greater,
and a moving object is only more so.

>How many of your encounters, campaign time, is set around the hazards of
>travelling and how much is on planets?

Well, my players are still groundbound, but I plan on having most of the
tie being spent adventuring, rather than running into weirdos in space
(space is just _so_ big that realistically, encounters shouldn't be
terribly often).  SJ is a travel option for me, with some quirks,
rather than a hazard-filled maelstrom (although I do like having little
planetoids where I can throw some odd rules or creatures about without
destroying the balance of my true worlds).

>In the fantasy tradition a great portion of the skill required to make
>a magical item is in the fashioning of it.

Hmmm, well, actually, in AD&D a high-quality item is needed, but the
skill to make the item doesn't necessisariyl have to be from the
nechanter-to-be.  High craftmanship does _not_ equal magic or potential
magic.

>In Spelljamming terms, how much of the magic of the ships are in their
>construction and design and how much in the spells imbued into their
>fabric?

None and none.  With rare exceptions, the ship is just an aerodynamic
hunk of material with no magical properties.  All the magic comes from
the helm (that's why you can slap a helm on a raft or even a small
building and it will go).

>Can an experienced, 0 level, mundane craftsman do much to
>create such an item?

Sure, as they aren't responsible for the magic.

>Can the level of crafts skill required to build
>skill rather than the mage's skill?

Most of the (non-helm) cost of a ship is because it's not easy to make
a bundle of planks and ropes into an aethetically pleasing, hydro- and
aero-dynamic object that won't sink if you stick it in the water.  Take
a look in the PHB and you'll see that most ships cost 10k-50k gold,
which is about as much as the boat-like Spelljammer ships.  Thus,
the cost is in the materials, skill, and labor, not in any magic
imbued by the craftmanship.

>If magic and psionics can craft the items to be enchanted, who supports the
>high end skilled craftsman?  They just are in the competition with magic
>items around, and who would pay so much extra for 'the best mundane sword'
>when the worst magical sword is better?

I allow nonmagical weapons of exceptional quality to have +1 or (rarely) +2
to damage done, to reflect the excellent workmanship.  As the "worst
magical sword" still has to be exceptionally well built, it is still
going to be more costly that the best mundane sword (and in the case
of a +1 magical sword, might even do less damage than the best mundane
sword).

>How much do the following 'permanent magic items' cost in yours campaigns?

Well, as I don't use the AD&D magic system (I use a flexible system of
my own devising, which makes permanent effects much less common
but wizards more versatile), my answers may seem a little skewed, as
no wizard below 7th level can create a permanent spell very easily (and
normally they are 10th+ level), but here we go:

>Continual Light lamps, (Is the spell enhanced by being cast into a specially
>crafted lantern?)

About 100gp (and no; the spell, as per AD&D, lights up an area uniformly,
rather than originating from a source and diminishing like a nonmagical
light; thus, addings lenses or a lantern would have no effect (it's like
soft indirect lighting that you see in films like THX-1196)).

>Magic Mouth alarm stones

At least 100gp (this sort of thing is actually several complex effects
wrapped into one low-level spell: detection of creatures, identification
of said creatures, an indefinitely-delayed triggering, sounds recognizable
as speech).

>Sepia Snake Scrolls, (Being in stasis is much better than being dead)

Assuming you want somthing that you can activate upon command that will
put you in suspended animation, that would be upward of 500gp - you'd want
something that would a) protect you from harm, and b) prevent you from
aging, and c) would keep you from dying of starvation while you waited;
that's three permanent spells (two of them a little complex), plus
the delayed trigger enchantment.

Well, you get the idea.  My system makes wizard more powerful at middle
levels, while shifting some of the convenient powers (i.e., permanent
effects at lower levels) a little higher.

>Armor is another spell that can last for a long time, and so can be
purchased
>in a highly civilized area and last a long time if the wearer is careful.

Yah, but remember that NPC's and monsters can do this, too.  Imagine
a kobold witch-doctor casting Armor on all 400 members of his tribe;
send THAT against your 1st level party and they'll rethink trying to
walk for months with Armor spells on (and also note that they'd glow
to Detect Magic, which makes them big targets for those that can see
such things).

>It is basically a cannonball (or catapultball for the flow) with a
>fireball rune magically inscribed on it

How is this done?

>I've used a variation of the 4th level spell
>Explosive Runes.

So it goes off on contact, rather than upon reading?
--
Sean K Reynolds   a.k.a. Veggie Boy  skreyn@??????.com  skreyn@???.com
"Later, alone, Belial will curl himself up undere the mountains and
remember Seraphiel, and archangel who fell by his side, who was one of
few Belial had considered a friend."



Previous Message: More on the Priest Magic of Nuren...
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Month Index: July, 1995

SubjectFromDate (UTC)
Several topics    Skreyn@???.com    12 Jul 1995 02:37:10
Re: Several topics    Michael Sandy    12 Jul 1995 16:45:18
Re: Several topics    Skreyn@???.com    13 Jul 1995 02:46:47
Re: Several topics    Michael Sandy    13 Jul 1995 05:27:46
Re: Several topics    Skreyn@???.com    14 Jul 1995 03:48:17

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