Thursday, January 26, 2012

Encyclopedia Magica: Accelerator

Today we deal with one of the artifacts from the wild and woolly space of Spelljammer. As with most things from the Phlogiston, it's weird, not appropriate to most campaigns, and chock full of information that only makes sense if you know the setting.


The accelerator is a rapid-fire weapon built by the
arcane for use on spelljamming craft of all types.
Much in the same way that spelljamming helms
gain their magical properties from the Spellcasters
who sit in them, the accelerator gains its magical
properties from the activated spelljamming helm.
(Without the helm, the accelerator is nonfunctional.)
When first found or purchased, it does not
possess any dweomer at all. Only when fitted to a
ship with an occupied, functioning spelljamming
helm, does it radiate an aura of magic.
Looking much like a gigantic sextant, the
accelerator's main arm is a 4-foot-long, 6-inchdiameter
hollow tube with a hand-sized cup at
one end. The arm can be elevated and swiveled
once the weapon is bolted in place. Items placed
in the cup are magically seized, accelerated
through the arm's length, and shot out the far end.
The weapon can be fired twice in a single round.
The range of the weapon is six hexes (6,000
yards). It causes 1d2 points of hull damage to
ships and 1d10 points of damage to individuals.
On an attack roll of 19 or greater, it inflicts a critical
When the accelerator is aboard a spelljamming
ship, it decreases the ship's total SR by one
point, even when the accelerator is not mounted
or in use. The penalty occurs even if the accelerator
is merely in the presence of an activated
helm. There is no way to block the penalty or
regain the lost SR. The weapon-handler must
beware. Anything placed in the cup is shot out
the other end, including sleeves, knives, daggers,
fingers, toes, hands, rocks, helmseekers,
etc. Anything living, including any of the vast
number of slimes, jellies, and molds,
dies when shot by the accelerator.
It is not known if the arcane themselves
use this weapon, but apparently only the arcane
can repair or service it, should anything damage
its delicate mechanisms.

So, the short version is that this is a mass driver that runs off the ship's power. It has the potential to be pretty cool in a number of situations. Obviously, it would be highly campaign-dependent, even leaving aside the whole issue with the helm. You aren't going to be carrying this guy around on a dungeon crawl. But, it could be awesome for a pirate crew. Or, it could be mounted on a castle.

The plot hooks for this are relatively straightforward. It is, after all, a big gun. However, the fact that it is a big gun adds a few new possibilities. The PCs could be hired to get it for a king (or a pirate). The PCs could be hired to sabotage it. They could have to figure out how to get up a narrow pass with one of these at the far end (a la the canyon run on the Death Star).

The thing I love most about this item is the open-ended nature of the ammunition. It can fire anything. It opens wide the inner eye of imagination. What wacky things could you fire at people? Is firing acid good? Magic items? Can you trick your enemy into putting his hand (or head) into the cup?

No comments:

Post a Comment