View Full Version : Rookie DM needs help with inventive party...

2010-05-18, 06:03 PM
Me and a group of friends started playing D&D a few months ago, and recently I've become the DM in a Forgotten Realms campaign. Now, my party has recently obtained a rather large ship, and have decided to make it sky worthy. I have no problems with them creating an airship, and we've looked into the Haluraan Skyships, and they have been trying to come up with a simple way to make their ship fly for much, much less than the Skyships. Basically, they plan to just use a combination of a Permanenced Levitation, Suspension, and Telepathic Bond (to control altitude) to create a cheap and more effective airship.

While I'm not against them coming up with inventive ways to make an alternate airship, I don't want to give them something like that practically free, and their idea seems too simple to actually work. Can anyone give me a logical reason for why their ship wouldn't work/fly, or why they would still need the massive xp and GP cost for creating an airship like that? In all honesty, I agree with why a Skyship costs 400,000 GP to create, but I don't understand how. The normal Skyship is just Fly and Suspension. How do I justify an exorbitant price from that?

Any help is appreciated.

2010-05-18, 06:05 PM
Because generally you're building a Skyship from scratch, as opposed to simply enchanting a normal, non-sky ship?

2010-05-18, 06:06 PM
I suppose...but even then, none of the ships cost anywhere near 400k. The most expensive that comes to mind is only 30.

An Enemy Spy
2010-05-18, 06:08 PM
Taxes of course! The local government will have their fingers in absolutely everything that goes on! Your characters may defeat a great dragon or a horde of orcs, but one thing they can never overcome is a hopelessly and pointlessly overcomplicated beaurocracy.

2010-05-18, 06:09 PM
Well, seeing as how things like Animate Dead require materials worth a specific ammount of gold, apparently whatever source magic stems from is really greedy.

2010-05-18, 06:11 PM
Hmm...specially prepared wood for the hull maybe? Make it aerodynamic and harder to break...

P.S. Well, the gods tend to be greedy, and the Weave is Mystra, so...

2010-05-18, 06:23 PM
Permanenced Levitation, Suspension, and Telepathic Bond (to control altitude)

Not seeing these two spells on the list for permanency. That alone can give the DM plenty reason to hike up the costs for the sky ship. Also, these spells can be dispelled with a high enough caster level, while a true ship made by magic item rules (400,000k) would only have them surpressed, not ended.

That should hold you over

2010-05-18, 06:26 PM
Sounds like a plot hook to me. Of course it's as simple as that for you to make an air ship but when the wizard casts the permanancied levitation he seems to have some trouble being able to infuse an entire ship with his levitation magic but he/the bard/some random passerby/a rumor/bar man has heard of a special bead that allows him to concentrate a lot easier. Just make it a bead that gives a +15 to concentration checks and gives him an extra level 2 spell slot, thats cool enough I'm sure. Scale it up as you wish. Then off they go to make it possible for the wizard to levitate their ship. If anyone can point to how much a D&D boat weighs than that may squash this idea in the first place. If a viking ship is anything to go off of than the ship will weigh almost 16,000 pounds, which would require a level 160 wizard to cause it to levitate with the spell levitate.

2010-05-18, 06:26 PM
If all else fails, make them take out airship insurance. A sea ship fails, and everyone on board drowns and the cargo is lost. An airship fails and all of the above happens, plus random destruction wherever it lands. Makes people jumpy. So the local politicians charge fees to build, own and operate airships.

2010-05-18, 06:29 PM
I must admit my knowledge on 3.5 meta magic has some what fadded away but cant permancy spells be dispelled?

2010-05-18, 06:32 PM
I'd have to look up some of the spells mentioned, but remember a sea going vessel's structure is built to be held on all sides of the hull by pressure of water. If you're simply lifting the ship straight up and then pushing it places, I'm pretty sure there would be enough wind and momentum issues to tear it to pieces pretty quick.

2010-05-18, 06:34 PM
People mess with the levitate (from levitate, if someone on or touching it doesn't want the ship to levitate, it doesn't )
the ship's too big and heavy for one levitate,
no propulsion (levitate specifically says no horizontal movement).
sails require that you can keep the ship pointing in the same direction to work.
dispel will knock them out of the sky.
levitate isn't permenancyable.
edit:you also need to permanent levitate the cargo because levitate is so weak

how are those for reasons?

for gold and xp, make a high level spell for this purpose (maybe lv.8).
they are trying to use "alter self" to do the job of "polymorph any object"
so far, they almost have a ship shaped hot air balloon

Edit: wow: ninja'd 5 times, what I get for being thorough

2010-05-18, 06:37 PM
How do I justify an exorbitant price from that?Steal a page from military justifications - it's made of lighter and stronger materials, the parts have to meet stringent specifications for enchantment (must be master work - figure the cost of a masterwork ship...), it has to be capable of withstanding the G forces in extreme maneuvering, it's bleeding edge tech (or magi-tech), etc. Each reason adds up to increased cost...

2010-05-18, 07:33 PM
Seriously. When you make a proper skyship, you're enchanting a solid-state magic item with a high break DC, awesome save bonuses due to the price, and relative immunity to being dispelled.

Look at it this way...

If you want to make a zepplin, you want multiple double-walled mylar sacks with redundant valve systems, a durable outer skin, a regulated helium injection system with reserve helium in case of emergency, and a professionally built propulsion system and altimeter.


You could use 300 hefty bags, and a bunch of hair driers on a car battery, held in place with rubber bands and duct tape, and a lawn mower engine on the back of an easy chair with a real big sheet metal blade.

The second is a lot cheaper, but they'll both be hauling your butt 8000 feet into the air. Your choice. :smallbiggrin:

Dairun Cates
2010-05-18, 08:13 PM
The second is a lot cheaper, but they'll both be hauling your butt 8000 feet into the air. Your choice. :smallbiggrin:

Don't forget that one has the extra bonus of making you a Darwin award winner though.