|A spelljammer is a ship that can travel through the phlogiston. A spelljammer can be as small as a rowboat or as big as your imagination. A spelljammer has two types of movement, local and long distance. With local movement, the pilot simply feed spell energy into the "helm" and then steers his spelljammer just like one would steer a boat or a ship, turning this way and that as desired. With long distance movement (also called "jumps"), an astrogator first "programs" a course into the helm and then the pilot executes the course by feeding spell energy into the helm and telling it to use the plotted course. This type of movement is analogous to hyperspace jumps from science fiction games. The spelljammer disappears from normal space and transits through "Otherspace" for a time, as indicated by the course, and then returns to normal space in a new location which could be anywhere from hundreds, to hundreds of thousands of miles from the starting point. Such jumps" must be made to "Anchor Points" such as an asteroid or planet which are displayed in the helm when as astrogator feeds spells energy into it to plot the course. An astrogator can't (usually) plot a course to a location with nothing there.|
<Note to Self: Come up with a way for an astrogator to create an Anchor Point. It would entail traveling to the location with local movement and then somehow plotting the location via the stars.>
All spelljammers have basic characteristics. The exact parameters of these characteristics may vary wildly from spelljammer to spelljammer but all will have them.
- Maximum Speed - This is the spelljammers maximum speed, in miles per hour, in normal space.
- Astral Limit - This is the maximum distance that can be made with a single plotted course through Otherspace. For example, if the maximum is 10,000 miles, and the pilot wants to go to a location that is 15,000 miles away, it will require 2 "jumps" through Otherspace and there must be some "Anchor Point" in between that is equal to or less than the maximum distance.
- Astral Speed - This represents the vessel's speed, in miles per hour, through Otherspace. For example, if the vessel has an Astral Limit of 50,000 miles and wants to jump to a location 40,000 miles away, and has an Astral Speed of 5,000 MPH, it will take 8 hours to reach the destination (40,000 miles / 5,000 MPH = 8 hours).
- Hit Points - Represents the number of hit points the spelljammer has before it becomes non-functional.
- Protection - Protection is the amount of damage deducted from each hit and reflects the strength of the material used to build the spelljammer.
- Damage Reduction - Spelljammers aren't generally as fragile as monsters and thus have some level of damage reduction in addition to protection and hit points.
- Defense - The base defense of the spell jammer. This can be increased with Spelljammer Pilot skill.
- Size - Size determines how difficult the spelljammer is to hit at range and thus, modifies Defense.
- Gravity - Spelljamming ships generally exert Earth-normal gravity. Going beyond this however, they exert it in a particular orientation. For example, a typical rowboat-sized spelljammer would not only exert gravity that attracts objects of lesser mass, it would specifically attract them to the deck of the ship. Thus, if a small vase suddenly appeared under the keel of the ship, it would "fall" around the hull of the ship and towards the deck. In all other regards gravity works as normal (masses attract with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their mass and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them).
There are two spelljamming skills, Spelljammer Pilot and Spelljammer Astrogator. Both require Spell Energy skill to use.
Spelljammer Pilot - The pilot operates the spelljammer. The skill is used to determine the success of difficult maneuvers. It also determines the speed that the pilot is able to coax out of the helm. A rank 1 pilot may not be able to get his ship to go any faster than a few miles per hour while a highly skilled pilot can get his ship to the maximum of the ship. Spelljammer Pilot skill also determines the Defense of the spelljammer.
Spelljammer Astrogator - The astrogator plots courses to Anchor Points. He generally has knowledge of the phlogistonand can read the stars to determine location. He is able to plot courses in the helm for the pilot to execute. A rank 1 astrogator may only be able to successfully plot a course of a few hundred miles while a highly skilled astrogator can chart courses between distant objects.
Rank will determine the maximum safe jump under which no roll is required. For example, a rank 1 astrogator can make a maximum safe jump of 100 miles. That means if there is an Anchor Point within 100 miles, the astrogator can plot a course and feed it into the helm with no skill roll required. If they want to make a jump of 200 miles, then a skill roll is required. In no case can a jump be plotted that exceeds the Astral Limit for the helm.