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Month Index: July, 1995

From:     Skreyn@???.com
Date:     Sun, 16 Jul 1995 10:29:19 -0400
Subject:  Re: Arcane helm monopoly...
> What was the purpose in having the Arcane have a monopoly on helm
> Knowing TSR, I always thought it was just an excuse for having a powerful
> magic item available for cash, no questions asked.

     Or possibly to keep the PC's from making them, and making a ton of
money with no adventure/risk involved?

> While a helm is powerful magic,  it seems that some of the Elemental
> staves, rings, braziers, etc... would provide sufficient power to lift and
> move a ship in Wildspace.

     Um, no.  Remember that ships are HUGE.  And that size means a lot of
weight.  Take a caravel, for example (a 10 ton ship).  It is 70' long, 20'
wide and approximately 20 feet high (as far as the decks go, which are most
of the weight).  That works out to 28000 cubic feet of space.  Assuming that
only 20% of that space is actually wood, a 10-ton ship weighs at least 1300
pounds.  A djinn can carry 600 and an efreet can carry 750.  Other
elementals aren't going to be much better.  A helm is a very powerful
device, which is why it is so expensive.

> I never understood the virtual interchangeability of helms as power sources

> for ships

     Why not?  The ship is a hunk of wood.  The helm is the engine.  Does
your car care if you have a gas, diesel, electric, or Fred Flintstone power
source?  No - they all work.  Take the old engine out, put a new one in.  No
big deal.  Different power sources, that's all.

> nor the fact that certain craft can fly at all without a helm,
> Elven Flitters, the Catamaran, a ship's boat, or seemingly, any enchantment

> at all.

     We've theorized here that since the Flitters are made from some
spelljamming plant, they just might be able to fly about at SR 1 without a
helm.  The Catamaran has "power type = non-magical helm" - the sail, used to
catch air when high in a gravity field.  The Ship's Boat?  Do you mean a
Wreckboat?  "power type = minor helm."

> Helms supposedly merge with the ship, or else they'd have to be very
> braced to lift the ship, considering a ship weighs many tons.

     Nope, the helm usually just needs to be bolted to the deck.  The helm
doesn't work like real-world rockets (exerting a push, dragging whatever it
is attached to along with it).  A helm automatically accelerated
_everything_ within its air envelope to spelljamming speed, from the ship
itself, to all the food in the galley, to the topknot of the kender tied to
the mast.  There is no drag on any particular part of the ship because the
force is acts on all of it simultaneously.

> Forward firing ballista with the 'bucket of spikes' option for clearing
> crews from the hull. or bucket of live scorpions

     Hmmm, sounds like ... a jettison!  "A jettison consists of a series of
small catapults loaded with stones, trash, debris, iron spikes, and garbage,
and used as an anti-personnel weapon to clear the enemy's decks"
(Concordance, p.42).

> wrecking ball  ( ship spins as fast as possible, playing wrecking ball line
> out...)

     Most ship's can't spin that fast.  Why not just use a Bolaship?

     Sorry if I seem a little harsh.  I just see no need to reinvent the

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: Arcane helm monopoly...
Next Message: Re: Arcane helm monopoly...
Month Index: July, 1995

SubjectFromDate (UTC)
Arcane helm monopoly...    Michael Sandy    15 Jul 1995 22:04:45
Re: Arcane helm monopoly...    Skreyn@???.com    16 Jul 1995 14:29:19
Re: Arcane helm monopoly...    Thomas O. Magann Jr.    16 Jul 1995 20:01:45
Re: Arcane helm monopoly...    Michael Sandy    16 Jul 1995 23:29:40
Re: Arcane helm monopoly...    Jareth the Bard    17 Jul 1995 02:23:35
Re: Arcane helm monopoly...    Skreyn@???.com    17 Jul 1995 04:52:31

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