It's possible to do a lot of research and still be wrong. Note also that Evermeet is canonically a book WITHIN the Forgotten Realms, written by Danilo. It's entirely possible HE got it wrong, but Elaine didn't want to correct him for our copy of the publication.
According to the author herself, the perspective of Danilo is a part of the whole point
. Which is normal for Realmslore, between these stories narrated by Malik the Seraph of Lies and Mintiper's Chapbook
made of comments on comments.
AuldDragon wrote: Also, I disagree with Static. I think this spell would be used primarily to allow a ship to explore hostile terrain (voidworlds in particular), and would maybe up the spell level to P2 and have it affect either 5 tons/level or 10 tons/level.
To think about it, in order to get the idea better we shall establish what it really said to do and then compare with known spells, right? So...
Assuming it's the same, two uses are to keep air envelope when it's displaced by water for landing purpose and to keep it from mixing with the mothership's on inactive boats, that is to emulate one of active helm's functions on inert vessels.
Also, "how wreckboats keep the air clean if they can't replenish it?" is an interesting question, and it's said that when a wreckboat is used as a shuttle, "A priest usually travels aboard so that the boat's retain air envelope spell can be dropped withing the world's atmohsphere, the air replenished, and then another retain spell cast before the atmosphere is left"
- though this leaves more questions than answers.
To have something comparable, Forgotten Realms Adventures and Pages from the Mages got a closely related (and possibly based on it) spell:
(Wiz Abj 3) stops movement/propagation of gases and vapors in AoE, including gas breath weapons and creatures in gaseous form (on failed saving throw, one try per round), even despite natural or magical winds.
AoE: 20'+10'/lvl radius globe, Range: 10'/lvl, Duration: concentration, up to 1 hour.
Now, this means 70' radius for Wiz 5 (minimum to cast) and 140' for Wiz 12 (default AD&D2 item level), which is way more than enough for either purpose: 70' sphere is 1436755 ft^3, with 100 yd^3/ton it's an envelope of a 532 ton ship (not counting the ship itself), 140' is for 4257 tons!
So, this spell "as is" is sorta overkill, but if it works in the void, it's a good way to safely shuttle lots of fresh air onto mothership or base - so much more than 20' radius created by Airsphere at the same level. I'd say that this much air, as long as it's held right on top of the ship's own envelope, should reliably prevent reaching spelljamming speed like any other excessive mass, however.
Retain Air Envelope
as a variation of Hold Vapor would be: 1 level lower, indiscriminate two-way (air neither enters nor leaves) barrier, gaseous creatures still pass with saving throw, but unlike with Hold Vapor they are not prevented from transformations and strong winds may break through (level check).
Duration: 1 turn (10 min)/level, so in addition to being autonomous in the first place it starts at half Hold Vapor's top duration, but by 12 lvl reaches double.
AoE lowered to 5'+2' per level (L3: 2 t, L5: 5 t, L12: 37 t, L18: 106 t) or even 5 tons per level over 2 (L3: 5 t, L5: 15 t, L12: 50 t, L18: 80 t, L22: 100 t).
Compatible with manipulations such as Permanency, Semipermanency and Persistence.
Big Mac wrote:
Welcome to The Piazza (from an illithid to a beholder
Big Mac wrote: If this spell is actually in the internal materials, there is a small possibility that one of the TSR developers might have a copy somewhere. It would be nice to actually get hold of the unpublished canon version of the spell (if it exists in more than notes).
My reasoning is that specific "retain air envelope spell (see SPELLJAMMER boxed set)"
most likely means the author assumed it was there because he didn't read the release but drafts/his own copies. There was something, otherwise Ed Greenwood
of all people would surely make it himself.
Big Mac wrote: The person working on the spell is Static, who is an expert at Spelljammer (and the webmaster of Beyond the Moons) but this seems to be a draft version, that he posted to try to help someone who needed it before it could be finished.
It was not the first appearance, see the same thread: Static wrote "I posted my version of it, along with some work on Voidscan to the list a long while back"
, then Doubting Eric complained he can't find it in the archives - in 2000 - so it must have been long
while back indeed.