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Month Index: March, 1996

From:     Leroy Van Camp III <van891@??????.edu>
Date:     Sat, 23 Mar 1996 16:53:22 -0800 (PST)
Subject:  Re: Conventional Propulsion

On Thu, 21 Mar 1996, Chip Marshall wrote:

>   I am fairly new to the Spelljamming campaign, but I have a few questions.
> Most notable is the refernces to 'conventional propulsion' in several of
> the Spelljammer books.  What is considered convensional propulsion? And how
> is it supposed to work?  Such as a ship with 30 oars, can it move in space?

    The general concensus on the list, IIRC, was that the whole idea of
conventional propulsion was pretty much unworkable.  I can't imagine any
sort of non-magical propulsion that would be effective at this level of
    If you are looking for a type of propulsion that is much cheaper than
standard helms, good for things like shuttles and such, you might try my
idea, the tactical helm.  The  tactical helm is one that can move at
tactical speed, but not at spelljamming speed.  There are three types:
The major and minor tactical helms have an SR figured the same as normal
major and minor helms.  The third type is the slow helm, which has an SR
of 1, no matter what level the spellcaster.
    Major and minor TH's are good for "fighter" class ships, that are
used in warfare, but dock and travel on a larger ship (like goblin blades
and thorn ships).  And slow helms are good for shuttles, where speed is
unnecessary.  They also make good barge and tow ships around space ports,
such as the Rock of Bral.
    I also made the decision that slow helms can move very heavy loads,
up to 200 tons.  Again, this makes them good for tow ships.  Plus, they
can be used to move freefloating buildings around.
    An example of this is my version of the Rock of Bral.  It is a busy
place, and docking space is a premium.  So there are a lot of businesses
floating on the outer edge of Bral's gravity plane.  These business range
from floating docks (parking lots), inns and taverns, loading platforms,
and even one or two floating dry docks for repairs.
    These places tend not to be quite as nice as some of the places on
Bral.  And during the rare pirate or fleet attack they are low on the
defense priority list.  But, they are usually cheaper (except for water),
and more accessible.
    Most of these places are equpped with slow helms.  The Rock tends to
drift a little, and the helms are used to maintain position.  Plus, in
case of attack, it lets them move in closer, for defense.
    Travelling between these is a regular circuit of ferries equipped
with slow helms.  These are usually large, open platform affairs, but the
price is fairly cheap (5 gp or so).  One can also get private ferries
("taxis").  These are more expensive, but smaller and more private.
    With slow helms the level of the wizard does not matter, so a
business does not have to pay the high fees to have a powerful mage man
the helm.  Most of the people who "drive" the ferries are young 1st level
wizards.  Most stick with the job for a year or so, making relatively
decent wages, then move on, making room for a new batch of neophytes.
   I have never sat down and made up prices for tactical and slow helms,
but they should be considerably cheaper, especially slow helms.

	     		  Leroy Van Camp III
  	  owner-mystara-l@??.com         van891@??????.edu
     "You know, not kneeing you in the groin is a constant struggle."

Previous Message: ISLE OF DEATH!! NEW MUD!
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Month Index: March, 1996

SubjectFromDate (UTC)
Conventional Propulsion    Chip Marshall    21 Mar 1996 16:23:34
Re: Conventional Propulsion    Thoran    21 Mar 1996 19:09:28
Re: Conventional Propulsion    Leroy Van Camp III    24 Mar 1996 00:53:22

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