Christopher Perkins says Halaster has a spelljamming helm

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Christopher Perkins says Halaster has a spelljamming helm

Post by Big Mac » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:52 pm

Christopher Perkins made this Twitter announcement about Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage earlier today:
@ChrisPerkinsDnD on Twitter wrote:A D&D campaign for levels 1-20. Waterdeep, Skullport, and twenty-three levels of Undermountain, each level more wild than the last. Halaster is waiting for you. #wotcstaff
Mr. Dr. Bricing Wolf said this back to him:
@DoctorBadWolf on Twitter wrote:I don’t get the appeal of Halaster and Undermountain, but I’m excited for Skullport and Waterdeep, and for the insane number of critters, traps, loot, and puzzles, that these books will surely contain!
And then Christopher Perkins said this:
@ChrisPerkinsDnD on Twitter wrote:Halaster has a spelljamming helm now. Does that float your boat? #wotcstaff
Halaster was previously taken into Realmspace, as part of the plot of Undermountain: Stardock, so he could theoretically have a spelljamming helm. But is Christopher Perkins telling the truth or winding us up?
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Re: Christopher Perkins says Halaster has a spelljamming helm

Post by night_druid » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:17 am

Given the number of adventurers who have perished in Undermountain, bringing a lot of treasure along with them, a spelljammer helm is no real surprised. Hell, who knows what he has squirreled down there. He could have the Left Foot of Vecna down there for all we know. :p
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Re: Christopher Perkins says Halaster has a spelljamming helm

Post by RobJN » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:40 am

night_druid wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:17 am
Hell, who knows what he has squirreled down there. He could have the Left Foot of Vecna down there for all we know. :p
Or any other Body Parts....

Hundreds of years, and nobody's had the guts to mention to him that no, that is NOT the Eye of Vecna he's been toting around.... :shock:
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Re: Christopher Perkins says Halaster has a spelljamming helm

Post by Big Mac » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:11 am

night_druid wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:17 am
Given the number of adventurers who have perished in Undermountain, bringing a lot of treasure along with them, a spelljammer helm is no real surprised.
Would adventurers really take a large magical chair down into Undermountain? :o

I suppose there would be spelljamming ships in Skullport, from time to time.

I guess that if someone raided a spelljamming ship, demounted the helm and fled into Undermountain in an attempt to escape, that could explain one getting there. :?
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Re: Christopher Perkins says Halaster has a spelljamming helm

Post by Jaid » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:24 am

Big Mac wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:11 am
night_druid wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:17 am
Given the number of adventurers who have perished in Undermountain, bringing a lot of treasure along with them, a spelljammer helm is no real surprised.
Would adventurers really take a large magical chair down into Undermountain? :o

I suppose there would be spelljamming ships in Skullport, from time to time.

I guess that if someone raided a spelljamming ship, demounted the helm and fled into Undermountain in an attempt to escape, that could explain one getting there. :?
or it is one of the variety of things that are not strictly a helm in the same sense that a cape of protection is not strictly a ring of protection :P

(ie a crown of the stars would not necessarily be a helm, you could pretty much call it a spelljamming helm and it would be a fairly accurate description)

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Re: Christopher Perkins says Halaster has a spelljamming helm

Post by AuldDragon » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:12 am

Halaster doesn't, and hasn't, stayed in Undermountain 24/7. He's been around in a lot of places for a long time.

IIRC, the Skullport accessory mentions Spelljammers dock there, as it is a major black market port. There's even a Giff there that sells firearms and smokepowder. This is all as of early 1370s DR, though.

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Re: Christopher Perkins says Halaster has a spelljamming helm

Post by GMWestermeyer » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:31 pm

I have a vague memory of an SJ ship appearing in one of the levels. Much like a Dragonfly, IIRC, appears in Castle Greyhawk.

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Re: Christopher Perkins says Halaster has a spelljamming helm

Post by night_druid » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:08 pm

Question is, would you *trust* a spelljamming helm that's been in Halastar's possession? I kinda think I'd sell it to the dumbest buyer I could find and just run with the money ;)

That said, unless there's an instruction manual next to the helm, most PCs would probably scratch their heads at the thing. Its a magical throne that appears to do nothing except steal the spellcasters' spells if they sit in it. Obviously cursed! ;)
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Re: Christopher Perkins says Halaster has a spelljamming helm

Post by Sturm » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:52 am

Here http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Spelljamming_helm it says the user feels his/her senses expanding, but what if he/she is not on a skyship?
Here http://spelljammer.wikia.com/wiki/Spelljammer_Helms say nothing about effects when sitting on it.
Does canon mention that somewhere? Has a groundling any mean to identify it? Maybe with an Identify spell?

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Re: Christopher Perkins says Halaster has a spelljamming helm

Post by GMWestermeyer » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:47 pm

Actually, a Spelljamming helm should be pretty damn terrifying for a high level mage! Recall, if you follow the memorization rules, you need a full nights rest (8 hours) plus 10 minutes study per level per spell to rememorize spells. It takes a mere 20th level wizard 27 HOURS to rememorize all of their spells... after getting that full nights rest... they will need to sleep again immediately! That's why I always give higher level wizards apprentices on their vessels to spelljam. Since Spelljamming speed is the same regardless of level, a powerful wizard should only spelljam in dire emergencies.

A groundling mage who puts on a Crown of Stars they find in a dungeon, who are not on a ship, will likely consider it a cursed item since it will immediately drain all of their spells.

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Re: Christopher Perkins says Halaster has a spelljamming helm

Post by AuldDragon » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:12 pm

Sturm wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:52 am
Here http://spelljammer.wikia.com/wiki/Spelljammer_Helms say nothing about effects when sitting on it.
Does canon mention that somewhere? Has a groundling any mean to identify it? Maybe with an Identify spell?
In 2nd Edition, a successful Identify spell would indicate it is an item that turns magical energy into locomotive force (or something along those lines). Assuming they believe the results and they believe it is not actually cursed (cursed items return false results with Identify), PCs shouldn't mistake it for something designed to disable spellcasters.
GMWestermeyer wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:47 pm
Actually, a Spelljamming helm should be pretty damn terrifying for a high level mage! Recall, if you follow the memorization rules, you need a full nights rest (8 hours) plus 10 minutes study per level per spell to rememorize spells. It takes a mere 20th level wizard 27 HOURS to rememorize all of their spells... after getting that full nights rest... they will need to sleep again immediately! That's why I always give higher level wizards apprentices on their vessels to spelljam. Since Spelljamming speed is the same regardless of level, a powerful wizard should only spelljam in dire emergencies.

A groundling mage who puts on a Crown of Stars they find in a dungeon, who are not on a ship, will likely consider it a cursed item since it will immediately drain all of their spells.
The helm doesn't drain spells, it just drains the ability to cast them. A spellcaster who hasn't cast any spells will keep them after being on a helm:
"Using a major or minor helm even for a short period removes all spellcasting ability from the spell-user until the individual rests long enough to recover spells." (Concordance of Arcane Space, p.19)

You don't need to sleep for 20+ hours as a high level wizard or priest; most of that is studying or praying.

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Re: Christopher Perkins says Halaster has a spelljamming helm

Post by GMWestermeyer » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:24 pm

AuldDragon wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:12 pm
The helm doesn't drain spells, it just drains the ability to cast them. A spellcaster who hasn't cast any spells will keep them after being on a helm:
"Using a major or minor helm even for a short period removes all spellcasting ability from the spell-user until the individual rests long enough to recover spells." (Concordance of Arcane Space, p.19)

You don't need to sleep for 20+ hours as a high level wizard or priest; most of that is studying or praying.
I wonder if that was ever officially ruled on, it's one interpretation, I suppose. It doesn't match the way helm use was portrayed in most modules and novels, IIRC.

Personally, I prefer my take.

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Re: Christopher Perkins says Halaster has a spelljamming helm

Post by Jaid » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:08 pm

hmmm... i could've swore it said somewhere explicitly that you don't have to rememorize, that the spells are not consumed, merely inaccessible.

of course, i still don't have my books, so even if it is somewhere, i'm not going to track it down any time soon... hmmm... unless it's in the encyclopedia magica...

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Re: Christopher Perkins says Halaster has a spelljamming helm

Post by AuldDragon » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:06 am

It's certainly muddled, and I think it is due to poor descriptions, but I think the *intent* is pretty clear that the casting ability is supposed to be disabled, not that spells are actually completely drained. The first paragraph here seems to indicate spells are drained, but the second paragraph only works if the spells are not drained, meaning the first part is poorly worded:

"Using a helm prohibits any spell use by the helmsman within the 24-hour period. As soon as a wizard or priest sits in the helm and becomes aware of the ship, no spells of any kind may be cast until after the wizard has had a chance to rest and regain spells. In effect, the helm "drains" the helmsman of all spells the moment it is activated.

(In fact, this is not precisely what happens. The helm attunes itself to the brain patterns of the wizard who activated it. Once in synch, the helm siphons away any magical energy the moment it begins taking shape, not all at once. But until the character can rest, thereby breaking the link, the energy invested in any spell he or she tries to cast is immediately drawn away by the spelljamming helm. This effect occurs regardless of range. Oddly, the helm can use the energy only if the character is seated in the helm. Why the helm can draw power from any range, yet gains benefit only from a helmsman actually in contact with it, is one of the foremost unsolved mysteries of spelljamming magic.)"

(From Encyclopedia Magica Vol.2, p.581.)

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Re: Christopher Perkins says Halaster has a spelljamming helm

Post by night_druid » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:37 am

I used the whole "touch the part of the mind that casts spells" as the basis of the One True Helm :)
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Re: Christopher Perkins says Halaster has a spelljamming helm

Post by GMWestermeyer » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:47 pm

AuldDragon wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:06 am
It's certainly muddled, and I think it is due to poor descriptions, but I think the *intent* is pretty clear that the casting ability is supposed to be disabled, not that spells are actually completely drained. The first paragraph here seems to indicate spells are drained, but the second paragraph only works if the spells are not drained, meaning the first part is poorly worded:

"Using a helm prohibits any spell use by the helmsman within the 24-hour period. As soon as a wizard or priest sits in the helm and becomes aware of the ship, no spells of any kind may be cast until after the wizard has had a chance to rest and regain spells. In effect, the helm "drains" the helmsman of all spells the moment it is activated.

(In fact, this is not precisely what happens. The helm attunes itself to the brain patterns of the wizard who activated it. Once in synch, the helm siphons away any magical energy the moment it begins taking shape, not all at once. But until the character can rest, thereby breaking the link, the energy invested in any spell he or she tries to cast is immediately drawn away by the spelljamming helm. This effect occurs regardless of range. Oddly, the helm can use the energy only if the character is seated in the helm. Why the helm can draw power from any range, yet gains benefit only from a helmsman actually in contact with it, is one of the foremost unsolved mysteries of spelljamming magic.)"

(From Encyclopedia Magica Vol.2, p.581.)

Jeff
I think Dragon is the most likely place for an answer, in Sage Advice... let me check...

I was wrong, dammit. Sage Advice specifically states the spells are not lost. Dragon #171 page 92.

Bummer. I feel like that was a real game balance opportunity missed...

I always played the other way, because most of the published adventures don't give the helmsman of opponent ships any memorized spells because they were jamming.

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