The Spelljamming Helm

Ships travel through Wildspace by means of the helm – a magical device shaped like a rudder that terminates into a chair or throne.  Anyone who can cast 1st Level Spells may sit upon the throne and act like a living engine, providing the magical power to move the ship through Wildspace and to perform some basic maneuvering as well. 

Spelljamming is the conversion of magical energy directly into motive force for ships in space.  While scrolls and other magical devices can produce the same effect, a spelljamming helm is the most common method to travel known.

The wizard who uses a spelljamming helm deals with two levels of reality: In the first, they are in their own body and aware of the actions around them. They may talk and converse with others normally, though they may not move or cast spells while at the helm without breaking contact with the spelljamming device.

The second level of reality is a larger, expanded consciousness in which the spellcaster feels the ship he is in as an extension of his own body. The ship itself, to the limits of its gravity plane, and the air envelope, feel like a bubble under the control of the spelljamming mage. This concept of linking is important for the spelljammer helm to function.


There are three levels to spellhelms. Lesser, Average, and Greater.  The lesser is a two to one,  2 spell slot levels to 1 Ship power (2:1 ratio). The Average Spellhelm is a one to one ratio. The greater spellhelm is a 1:2 ratio, one spell slot level give 2 Ship power

Ritual casters can use a ritual in place of a 1st level spell slot but only once per maneuver per day. 1 Take off ritual, 1 Landing ritual, 1 ship power for Acceleration, 1 ship power for Deceleration. The rituals are in the spellhelmsman manual. Each take ten minutes to cast and require the full attention of the caster. Not good for times when it is important to leave quickly.

The helmsman provide the ship with power points. The helmsman can choose to use those power points for take off (leaving the world), landing (safely entering a worlds atmosphere), accelerating in space, movement or non-movement within a world’s sky or ocean. These all cost 1 ship power point each.

Leaving a world (take off) is enough to get a ship to a point where they can accelerate in space.

Each ship power point used for Acceleration adds or subtracts 100 ft/ round to the ship’s speed. Unless something like a solar wind break or helmsman slow the craft it will keep going until other things slow it.

The Spelljamming Helm

Praetorian's Spelljammer The_Praetorian The_Praetorian