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Month Index: December, 1995

From:     Paul Westermeyer <westermeyer.3@???.edu>
Date:     Sat, 23 Dec 1995 12:37:05 -0500
Subject:  Re: (x6)Crystal shells...and Unique ships
>snip-stuff everyone has already read<
Well,  I don't have any major playability problems with the no crystal
sphere's idea.  However,  I can't say I like it very much.  I like the way
Spelljammer retains a hint offantasy about it.  The crystal spheres add to
this and losing them begins to make the whole setting seem _to_ sci-fi. I
like sci-fi,  but when I'm looking for that kind of a game I play the Star
Wars RPG or dig out my old Traveller rules. For me Spelljammer has been one
of many _magical_ ways that all the TSRworlds (as well as other that I use)
are joined together. Of course,  this is IMHO,  if that's what you and your
group thinks is more interesting,  go for it.

Coincidently,  the next of my unique ships deals with the planes...
Let me know what you guys think of them.

The Lacanha (Spirit Flyer)
Built by: The Esh Alakarans (Humans from the lands north of Maztica on Toril)
Used By: Munchausen of Brandobaris
Tonnage: 30
Hull Points: 30
Maneuver Class: C
Landing-land: Yes
Landing-Water: Yes
Armor Rating: 7
Saves As: Thick Wood
Power Type Micha Helm (unique item-see below)
Ship's Rating: 3
        2 piercing rams
Cargo: 15 tons
Keel Length: 110'
Beam Length: 25'

At first glance,  Lacanha appears to be a stockier,  heftier version of a
Dragonfly.  The bow holds two large,  eye-like window,  and a thin tail
juts from the rear.  Other factors mitigate the resemblence,  however.  The
Lacanha (which means Spirit Flyer in Azuposi) has no landing gear,  the
hulls base is flat and watertight which allows the Lacanha to land on
either land or water (though the vessel yaws immensely in the water-x2
chances for seasickness).  Moreover,  jutting threatingly out from the bow
are two massive piercing rams.  These rams cause standard damage and are
rienforced with micha treated copper bands.  This reinforcement grants the
vessel a +2 on all saves involving the rams.  The vessel has two decks,  a
foc'sle and a maindeck.  The foc'sle leans forward over the ram,  so it is
a simple matter for marines from the Lacanha to board rammed ships, to
return they must either pass a climb walls check or climb a rope or ladder.
The maindeck is the center of all the ships rigging,  and a pair of large
hatches in the deck open into the cargo hold below.  Two large wings jut
out from each side like real Dragonfly wings (not like the wings of the
Dragonfly spelljammers).  These can be raised vertically to allow the ship
to berth at a dock,  or to avoid shearing in an emergency (crew prof checks
apply).  The helm is located in the central room on the bow,  with the
eye-like windows on each side.  The helm itself sits in the center of the
room like a throne.  The walls are covered with paintings of Esh Alakaran
warriors in battle (the style is similar to that of the Mayans). Those
interested in the Esh Alakarans and Azuposi should refer to FMQ1 City of
Gold,  which also describes the uses of Micha.

Micha Helm
The Micha helm was developed by the Esh Alakarans (without arcane
assistance!) over 1000 years ago,  no one is sure of the exact date.  Only
one was ever completed (at least, that anyone knows about...),  it was used
extensively in the war that eventually devestated the Esh Alakarans
homeland,  never leaving Toril's atmosphere or even the regions airspace.
This explains the absolute lack of knowledge the other spelljamming races
have of it.  The helm acts like a furncae helm, burning Micha instead of
magic items, providing SR3 and useable by any sentient creature that can
rest upon the throne. One pound of Micha powers the vessel per day (24 hrs)
and this is the only fuel it will accept.  The helm does not explode in the
Phlogiston as a furnace helm, but rather ceases all functions immdiately.
The spirits that are within the helm,  and consume the micha in return for
powering the ship, are cut off from the vessel until it returns to
wildspace. Unlike a furnace helm,  this does not prevent the vessel from
travelling between the spheres.  If the helm's command word (Chuan Muan) is
spoken by the helmsman,  the vessel and all in physical contact with the
vessel are shifted into the astral plane!  The vessel can then traval
through the astral plane to a point that corresponds to the crystal sphere
desired and,  by again speaking the command word,  return to wild space in
the new sphere.  Because the astral plane has no contact with the
pholigston trips are much quicker,  as quickly as one day in some cases. Of
course,  the astral plane is an exceptionally dangereous place to be- all
plannar rules apply.  Navigation within the plane is by helmsman int check
(ability halved),  which must be performed each hour.  Practice quickly
improves this; after two trips to the silver realm the ability returns to
normal. No one on board has a silver cord,  their entire body has been
transported.  Besides the other crystal spheres,  the vessel can traval to
any plane touched by the astral (not that anyone would _want_ to go to some
of these planes!)  Note that the vessel holds no inate protection against
planar effects- if it is taken to the Elemental Plane of Fire somehow,  it
_will_ immediately burst into flames and be destroyed.

Ship's uses:
Currently the vessel is owned by the halfling fighter/priest Munchausen of
Brandobaris.  Munchausen is a known Harper, and is often seen with a large,
savage looking copper elf of Toril.  The vessel has been seen in Waterdeep
and Berdusk,  but not yet in wildspace. The details of other crew are
unknown.  It should be noted that the Githyanki and Githzerai,  as well as
the Gith pirates,  will go out of their way to gain possesion of this
vessel once they know what it is capable of.  The Harpers are likely to try
and keep its abilities secret,  of course.

Any use of Trademarks within this document should not be construed as a
challenge to such trademarks.

"We look on the same stars,  the sky is common,  the same world surrounds
us.  What difference does it make by what pains each seeks the truth?  We
can not attain to so great a secret by one road..."
Symmachus,  "Memorial on the Occasion of the Removal of the Altar of
Victory from the Senate House" (392 AD)

Paul William Westermeyer

Previous Message: Re: Crystal shells...
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Month Index: December, 1995

SubjectFromDate (UTC)
Re: (x6)Crystal shells...and Unique ships    Paul Westermeyer    23 Dec 1995 17:37:05
Re: (x6)Crystal shells...and Unique ships    Paul Westermeyer    28 Dec 1995 17:07:46
Re: (x6)Crystal shells...and Unique ships    Paul Westermeyer    29 Dec 1995 00:11:51

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