Spelljammer Helm (Spelljammer Supplement)

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Spelljammer helms updated to bring it in line with what is in Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage pg 297

Spelljammer Helms[edit]

Wondrous item, Legendary (requires attunement by spellcaster)

Taking the form of a chair, throne, or other form of seating, a spelljammer helm provides the main source of propulsion for a spelljamming ship, its performance contingent on that of the spellcaster attuned to it (the helmsman). There are 2 types of standard helms, both of which may be bolted to any suitable craft to give it spelljamming capabilities. A Minor helm can move ships weighing up to 50 tons, while a Major one can move ships up to 100 tons. Permanent Helms can only be created by the Arcane, a race of spacefaring giants.

To operate the Helm, the attuned spellcaster must be seated in it, retaining his or her own senses but also gaining a sense of the ship as an extension of the body. Any damage to the ship is experienced with a flash of pain, and the helmsman is aware of the actions of any crewmen on board, being able to view any part of the ship as if standing in a location of their choice upon it.

The helmsman may not cast any spells or leave the helm while operating or the ship will lose all motive force and drift aimlessly until it is manned again.

Passive Properties[edit]

When placed on a vessel of at least 1 ton the helm creates a bubble of fresh air around it. the air bubble extends out from the ship in all directions to a distance equal to that of its beam length.

The ship's air bubble is maintained at a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The ship generates a gravity plane that passes horizontally through a ship, meaning that there are two "up" and two "down" directions on any given spelljammer.

Active Properties[edit]

The attuned helmsman may power a ship at his or her full capabilities for up to 12 hours, with every hour thereafter reducing its max speed as if a spell slot of one level lower is being used. This effect is cumulative, so that a character at the helm for 4 hours longer than the limit maneuvers the ship as if using a spell slot 4 levels lower than their max, with a minimum of 1st level. After 24 consecutive hours at the helm, the helmsman gains 1 level of exhaustion and cannot man the helm again until it is lost.

Speed in MPH
Wildspace 4 million
Tactical 10X helmsman's highest unexpended spell slot level
Phlogiston 4 million
Atmospheric 10X helmsman's highest unexpended spell slot level
Aquatic equal to helmsman's highest unexpended spell slot level
Spelljamming Speed

While in Wildspace or the Phlogiston, the operating speed for spelljammers is greatly increased from its regular capabilities to a standard 4 million miles per hour, considerably reducing the necessary travel time to cross cosmic distances. Unfortunately, there are limitations. Spelljamming speed can only be maintained in a straight line, and the ship drops to tactical speed if it enters the gravity field of any object (Large or larger) that can make one.


Multiple Helms

A vessel can have more than one helm, but only one can be used at a time. Such back-up helms are common on larger ships.

Alternate Spelljammer Helms[edit]

While spelljammer helms that uses unexpended spell slots is the most common form, there are other helm types that are powered by other means. Whatever form they take, they will provide a spell slot equivalent speed that can be used for travel or combat.

Furnace Helm[edit]

These early forms of helm developed by the Arcane are powered by magic items. They can only be used within a Crystal Sphere. If used in the Flow, they will explode. The spell slot equivalent of items fed into the furnace depends on their rarity . A furnace helm functions as a major helm. The propulsion provided lasts for 1 week:

Rarity Spell slot equivalent
Common 2nd level
Uncommon 4th level
Rare 6th level
Very Rare 8th level
Legendary 9th level

Lifejammer Helm[edit]

Favored by evil spacefarers, this helm derives motive power by feeding on the life energy of a creature trapped within it. When a creature is trapped in this way, it is considered restrained and incapacitated until it is released from the helm, a process that takes 1 minute (or 10 actions) and involves unbuckling a plentitude of straps, removing tubes and other arcano-medical apparati from the body, and unlocking several bars. The helmsman of this kind of helm is exempt from any other requirements for a helmsman, including the ability to cast spells, so long as a captive remains within and is used to power the helm. As an action, the helmsman may choose to drain up to 5 Hit Dice from the captive, providing maneuverability to the craft equal to the equivalent level of spell slot. This propulsion lasts for 24 hours. Hit Dice drained by a lifejammer may may be regained at a rate of one per long rest. A lifejammer can be either a minor or major helm.

Optional Rules: If the captive dies from the draining of the lifejammer it has a 75% chance to rise again as an undead creature. Humanoids with 1-5 hit dice return as zombies, 6-9 hit dice as wights, and 10 or more as vampire spawn. Other creatures return as an appropriate corporeal undead.

Deathjammer Helm[edit]

An improvement on the lifejammer, the death helm functions almost identically to it with the key difference being the death helm's potent charm ability. To aid in this, a Deathjammer helm appears identical to all other sorts of helms (that is, it may be a seat of any design or style). When any intelligent being sits at this helm, they must make a DC 15 Wisdom save or be charmed. A charmed creature will not willingly leave the helm, and will consume its own Hit Dice to power it. The powerful charm prevents the creature from feeling any pain or discomfort as they waste away, and also cause them to intensely enjoy the feeling of spelljamming and regard the helm as a place of comfort and safety. Charmed helmsmen act normally except that they will resist attempts to remove them from the helm. If the creature sitting in the helm succeeds his Wisdom save, all future saves against Deathjammer helms will be at advantage. The only known Deathjammers are major helms.

Each long rest will only restore 1 hit die of damage done by a deathjammer.

Optional Rules: If the captive dies from the draining of the Deathjammer, it may rise again as an undead creature of the DM's choice.

Ki Helm[edit]

Created by the nation of WA and the Arcane to power a type of ship called the tsunami. The Ki helm can seat up to 8 people who power it. A ninth person is the helmsman. The Ki helm is a large circle with the yin-yang symbol within it. In the middle of this circle, a crystalline octagon is used to absorb the Ki powers of those that sit at the helm. For every 5 points of KI given to the helm one spell slot is produced to power the helm for 24 hours. The KI helm can move up to 200 ton ships

Pool Helms[edit]

A recent development of the Illithid and the Arcane the pool helm uses the elder brain's pool of the mindflayers to power the ships, as opposed to Illithids using a series helms. A pool helm gives the ship a propulsion as if a 5th level spell slot was used. An elder brain cam still use his at will powers just not his 1/day powers. an elder brain that wants to regain these powers has to do the following: the pool helm cannot be used and a long rest must be completed. The pool helm is rumored to be able to can move ships with up to 200 tons but no ship of this size has been seen.

Series Helms[edit]

Series helms are the invention of the Arcane and Illithid but have been adapted for a number of races with spell-like abilities. Series helms are like most minor helms, but unlike normal minor helms, series helms can be linked together. For each occupied helm in a series the ship has one level of a spell slot. A creature that uses its spell-like abilities to power a Series helm will be able to power the ship for up to 12 hours, though any amount of time at the helm will exhaust any such abilities until a long rest is completed. A creature that has exhausted any of their limited-use powers for that day cannot power a series helm until they have regained them by completing a long rest. At will powers are unaffected by helm use, and may be used before or after to no detriment.

A Series helm is always created specific to one type of creature. For example, a mind flayer series helm cannot be operated by slaadi.

Grand Spelljamming Helm[edit]

The grand helm, created by the Red Wizards of Thay(secretly helped by the Arcane), allows up to four mages or priests to sit and concentrate their magical energies to move a ship. The helm functions as a major helm. The spell sloteqalent of the ship is calculated by taking the unexpended spell slot each spellcaster would produce and add them together and divide by 2. When the ship enters full spelljamming speeds, the grand helm turns the ship partially ethereal. This allows the ship to travel at double the normal spelljamming speed. The helm also will not be pulled out of spelljamming speed unless it comes near a class A object. Since ships are smaller than Class A objects, they will not pull a ship with this helm from spelljamming speeds to TR speeds. This allows ships to pass near, or even through, one another without their crews’ knowledge. Because of the phasing capabilities of the grand helm, it will not function in the phlogiston. a different helm must be used to travel there. Because of this limitation, the grand helm is extremely rare outside Realmspace. The Quad of Thay, uses the grand helm exclusively due to the fact that unlike other helms which are attached to a ship after it is built, this helm requires it to be part of the ship.

Artifurnaces[edit]

An artifurnace is the ultimate furnace. It is tailored to siphon energy from a specific artifact. An artifurnace provides spell slot equivalent of 5th level for as long as needed. The artifurnace is destroyed if the artifiact is ever removed. Artifurnaces are extremely rare, and when people discover that one is in use it tends to cause massive battle over it. They also have bonus fun of attracting the attention of the powers tied to the Artifact being used. An Artifurnace can power and move any known ship(DM judgement on the tonage limit a specific artifact can move)

Alternate Spelljammer Helms not made by the Arcane[edit]

Orbus[edit]

An orbus is a living being that functions like a series helm on beholder ships. Up to 9 orbi can provide their bonuses to a single ship, with the number of orbi present being equivalent to a spell slot of the same level. Orbi appear as pale blind beholders, with milky skin over all their eyes. A hive queen is required to control the orbus. The orbi function as minor helm for the size of ship it can move.

Immature Orbus

An immature orbus can not accelerate a ship to spelljamming speed, but may contribute to tactical speeds.

Master Orbus

A master orbus unlike other orbus has intelligence and can travel at spelljammer speeds without the need of a hive queen. Master orbus, when discovered, are killed by the other beholders.

Forge Helm[edit]

A forge helm is powered by the creative energy of dwarves. A forge requires 2 or more workshops.

Spellcaster spell slots cannot be expended through a forge helm. Instead, the forge generates a spell slot equivalent as long as a certain number of workshops are fully worked (2 craftspersons per workshop) For travel, workshops must be crewed continuously. It takes 2 fully manned workshops to create 1 spell slot leavel. 2 work shops can move a ship with 300 tons or less. for each additional workshop an additional 450hp can be moved up to 7200hp(a total of 12 workshops) More than 12 workshops will not increase the hp limit but still adds TR.

Forge helms have an advantage in that they can provide constant motive force while craftspeople are working, and useful goods are produced. The disadvantage is that the vessel must devote significant space to workshops (and cargo space for raw materials and goods), and it cannot achieve the maneuverability of a high-level caster at a spelljammer helm.

Generally speaking, one craftsperson uses 2 1/2-gp worth of materials, weighing 25 lbs, to create 5-gp worth of produced goods, per day.

For example, if a ship has 8 workshops being worked (with 16 craftspeople), the helmsman gains 4 TR for use in travel or combat. For one day's travel, this uses up 40 gp of materials (weighing 400 lbs). A four-month journey would require 4,480 gp of materials (44,800 lbs, or about 22 tons).

Q'nidar Helm[edit]

When a Q'nidar is ready to die it dives towards a star, turning into a crystalline mass. If the mass can be recovered, it can be carved into a small chair that functions as a minor helm.

Tinker Gnome Helm[edit]

Rock gnomes, or tinker gnomes, have highly elaborate mechanical helms resembling perpetual motion machines, with cogs, counterweights, bells, whistles and giant hamster wheels. A gnomish helm can function as either a major or minor helm.

A tinker gnome helmsman need not be a spellcaster to operate this kind of helm, but must be able to maintain the flow of energy generated by its gizmos and contraptions. To operate this kind of helm one must have proficiency in both vehicles (Spelljammer) and tinker's tools.

Speed is determined by by the number of complex "gadgets" attached to the helm. More will increase the speed of the vessel at the cost of more frequent breakdowns. Two gadgets are required to produce a speed equivalent to a first level spell slot, with each device added after that increasing the spell slot equivalent by 1. For each gadget added above the first two a cumulative 5% chance of breakdown is added to the base breakdown chance of 20% each day. Bringing the ship back into workable condition requires 7 days of work by a character proficient in tinker's tools. The time needed for repairs may be split between any eligible creatures that work on them.


Gith Helm[edit]

Based on info from Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, page 90. A helm that uses psychic energy to provide propulsion. Available as both minor and major versions; a minor Gith helm can move a ship at 15 mph and a major at 12 mph. These helms also allow the entire ship and all those aboard to plane shift 1/day, at the control of the Gith controlling the helm. This only work with Gith made ships or Elven living ships.

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