Saturday, September 15, 2018

Skyship Spells VIII

Welcome to the next 3 D&D BECMI spells:
1. Guile & Treachery 
2. Artificer's Hold Distortion
3. Summon Crew
        Comments and suggestions are helpful to address loopholes and other design clunkers. Click here for the previous three spells.

You'll never guess how many HD they have.
Guile & Treachery
Spell Level: 4 (School of Illusion)
Range: Own vessel
Duration: Permanent until dispelled
Effect: Makes a skyship look like another

                The appearance of a vessel is altered so that it can be mistaken for another that the caster has already seen (no saving throw). The emulated skyship must be of the approximately the same size as the spell’s recipient (+/–25% hull length). The caster’s experience determines how close to the recipient one must sail before discovering the subterfuge. The illusion’s minimum viewing distance is 200 yards minus 5 per experience level. The effect is dismissed at the caster’s discretion, or when observed at less than the minimum viewing distance, or if any attack on affected viewers is initiated from the altered skyship (q.v. invisibility spell). Dispelling magic at any point of the recipient will remove the entire effect. Using a spyglass or some other device may enable a closer look, which will result in the observed crew to appear in the correct uniforms.
                Though immune to the spell’s effect, wildlife and creatures unable to realize the difference between one skyship or another cannot dispel the illusion when approaching. On the other hand, with a score of 1 on a d6 roll, a victim familiar with the emulated vessel may be able to sense something odd and become suspicious, i.e. the caster failed to remember some details correctly (make one single roll if multiple victims are eligible). If absolutely certain the emulated vessel cannot possibly be there (the crew just saw this skyship somewhere else, or it was destroyed sometime after caster had seen it), then the victim should be fully aware that trickery is afoot.

Artificer’s Hold Distortion
Spell Level: 6 (School of Enchantment)
Range: Own vessel
Duration: Permanent until dismissed or dispelled
Effect: Enlarges the hold beyond ship’s physical dimensions

                A skyship’s hold may be enlarged despite the actual size of the vessel’s hull. The effect cannot be observed from outside the skyship. The actual volume of the spell’s recipient increases +10% for every 3 experience level of the caster (rounded down), therefore +30% at 11th level up to +120% at 36th level. A skyship requires reinforced levitating enchantments on its hull in order to carry the additional cargo weight, at the referee’s discretion. For the sake of safety, some wizardly ship artificers intentionally cast multiple spells; although their effects are not cumulative, each must be dismissed or dispelled separately to avoid tragic repercussions (see below). This spell was written specifically so that redundant instances cannot all be dispelled at once (the next one is triggered when the previous one fails).
                Catastrophic consequences will result from dismissing or dispelling the effect while merchandise fills the ship’s hold. A saving throw must be rolled for the skyship (click here for details on saving throws). If the roll succeeds, merchandise is crushed; non-compressible materials, however, will violently erupt through openings, wounding or killing anyone in the way, or destroying anything else obstructing the path. If the roll fails, the ship sustains damage to its hull and decks while excess merchandise falls out through the cracks; subtract the score needed from the score rolled and multiply the remainder by 5. Expressed as a percentage of the undamaged vessels’ total structural points, this result is the amount of damage inflicted to the hull and decks. At the referee’s discretion, lightly built vessels (like Alorean clippers) should save with a –1 penalty; warships with reinforced hulls should command a +1 bonus, while an ironclad could receive a +2 bonus. Critical failure results in the ship sustaining 90% structural damage.

Summon Crew
Spell Level: 6 (Schools of Invocation or Necromancy)
Range: Own vessel
Duration: Until sunset (or dawn)
Effect: Summons a temporary skyship crew

                The invocation brings into being the simulacrum of a live crew, enough to maneuver a vessel. The simulacra look almost exactly like the caster, although in attires appropriate to their stations aboard the caster’s vessel and with minor variations (facial hair, complexion, size, fitness, age, etc.) Though they appear to be sentient, their crew skills are limited to the caster’s own, and if addressed, they respond in the manner the caster would because they are nothing but figments of their creator’s mind. In all other respects, they fight and save as ½ Hit Die creatures; each is dismissed when sustaining any sort of damage. Horrid screams and spectacular death scenes are well within the scope of the invocation. This version of the spell ends at sunset (or after 16 hours in the Great Void). It can freely dismissed by the caster.
                The necromantic version brings into existence a skeleton crew. They behave much in the manner of the simulacra described above, including talking back and acting out with much flourish. Though they possess the same immunities as skeletons and other undead creatures, a cleric can Turn necromantic simulacra as normal skeletons. This version of the spell ends at dawn (or after 16 hours in the Great Void), or when dismissed by the caster.
                Neither version can truly be dispelled, although each simulacrum can be, separately. They can board another vessel, but cannot venture more than 100 yards from their own (they vanish beyond that range). Their armor classes are locked at 7, ability scores at 9, and morale ratings at 8 (skeletons remain immune to fear). Multiple spells aren't cumulative, in terms of increasing crew numbers. This spell was created by a penny-pinching wizardly actor who needed unpaid extras to populate his stage; he later dabbled in necromancy, after which he turned into a phantom and his opera house was burned to the ground.

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