Excerpts 03/02/2003

Arms and Equipment Guide

By Eric Cagle, Jesse Decker, Jeff Quick, Rich Redman, and James Wyatt

Heroes need to be prepared for anything, which means having the right weapons and gear on hand at all times. The well-stocked pages of this book hold an impressive inventory of merchandise to get your characters into and out of all manner of trouble: trade goods, alchemical items, poisons, mounts, vehicles -- plus hundreds of magic weapons, armors, and items. Our sneak peek offers ways for your PC to travel in style.

Vehicle Augmentations

Characters tend to tinker with and customize their vehicles. Here are some mundane and magical options for characters who want to give their vehicles a little something extra.

Mundane Augmentations

These improvements on basic vehicle design require no magic, just the relevant Craft skill and appropriate raw materials (or enough cash).

Armor Plating: You can increase the hit points and hardness of any vehicle by adding armor to any 10-foot section (other than rigging). All statistics below are per inch of thickness. You can layer the same material to get thicker armor or combine different materials if you like. Each layer takes damage separately. Damage left over after an outer layer is destroyed is dealt to the next layer inward; hardness is applied a second time if the new layer is a different material.

Table 3-8: Armor Materials

Material HP Hardness Cost per
Weight per Section
Adamantine 40 20 5,000 gp 5,000 lb.
Darkwood 10 5 3,000 gp 500 lb.
Iron 30 10 1,000 gp
Mithral 30 15 3,500 gp
Wood 10 5 200 gp

Ballista:Any vehicle with a 5-foot-by-10-foot section of flat deck or roof can have a ballista mounted on it. Ballistas function as described under Siege Engines in Chapter 5 of the Dungeon Master's Guide. Choose a direction for the ballista when you mount it on your vehicle; it can fire at any target in a 180-degree arc centered on the mounted weapon. Weight: 1,500 lb.; Cost: 500 gp.

Catapult, Heavy: You can add a heavy catapult to any vehicle with at least a 10-foot-by-10-foot section of flat deck or roof. It functions as described under Siege Engines in Chapter 5 of the Dungeon Master's Guide. It can launch ammunition at any target in a 90-degree arc centered on the mounted weapon. Weight: 4,000 lb.; Cost: 800 gp.

Catapult, Light: A light catapult occupies a 5-foot-by-10-foot section of deck. It otherwise follows the rules for a heavy catapult (see above). Weight: 2,000 lb.; Cost: 550 gp.

Firing Castle: A bunker attached to the deck of a vehicle, the firing castle provides protection for defenders and serves as a platform for siege engines. Four Medium-size defenders benefit from nine-tenths cover (arrow slits) in the firing castle itself, which is 10 feet by 10 feet, and another four get one-half cover behind the crenellations on its roof. The firing castle's walls are 1-foot-thick masonry (hp 90, hardness 8). A firing castle can be installed anywhere a heavy catapult would fit, and a heavy catapult or two light catapults or ballistas can subsequently be mounted atop it. Weight: 4 tons; Cost: 1,000 gp.

Masterwork Controls: Whether it's a finely tuned wheel that allows delicate adjustments to the rudder, or a complex harness system that directs the dray creatures with just a flick of the wrist, it's possible to get more performance out of a vehicle by improving its control system. Masterwork controls provide a +2 circumstance bonus on Handle Animal or Profession checks made by the driver. The cost depends on the vehicle's size (its weight does not change). Cost: 300 gp (Medium-size), 600 gp (Large), 1,200 gp (Huge), 2,400 gp (Gargantuan), 4,800 gp (Colossal).

Passenger Spaces: Available cargo space can be converted for passenger use; one ton (2,000 pounds) of cargo space can accommodate two Medium-size or smaller passengers comfortably. Twice as many can squeeze into passenger space for short periods of time, but they are too cramped to fight effectively and are considered fatigued after an hour's travel. Cost: 200 gp per ton.

Passenger Spaces, Fancy: As above, but the passenger quarters are cushioned and decorated. Each ton of cargo space can accommodate one passenger at this level of comfort. Cost: 600 gp per ton.

Passenger Spaces, Luxury: As above, but the passenger quarters are the very definition of opulence. Each luxury passenger space takes up two tons of cargo space. Cost: 1,500 gp per ton.

Ramming Prow/Plate: Vehicles equipped with a ramming prow take half damage from ramming attacks they initiate. (Normally, rams deal equal damage to both the target and the ramming vehicle.) The warship comes with this augmentation for free. The weight and cost depend on the vehicle's size. Weight: 500 lb. (Large), 1,000 lb (Huge), 2,000 lb. (Gargantuan), 4,000 lb. (Colossal); Cost: 500 gp (Large), 1,000 gp (Huge), 3,000 gp (Gargantuan), 5,000 gp (Colossal).

Rotating Platform: This low platform mounted on rollers doubles the fire arc of a siege engine (so catapults have 180-degree fire arcs, and ballistas can fire in any direction). A rotating platform doubles the crew required to operate the siege engine. Weight: 1,000 lb.; Cost: 500 gp.

Magical Augmentations

These additions to vehicles are constructed like any other magic item, employing the Craft Wondrous Item feat.

Bridle of Burden-Bearing: This bit-and-bridle set increases the Strength score of the harnessed dray creature, enabling it to pull heavier loads. Caster Level: 8th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, bull's strength; Market Price: 4,000 gp (+2), 16,000 gp (+4), 36,000 gp (+6); Weight: --.

Captain's Table: This broad wooden table, usually kept in the officers' mess, duplicates the effects of heroes' feast for up to twelve crew members. Those who spend an hour partaking of the magical fare created by the captain's table are cured of disease, become immune to poison and magical fear and hopelessness, heal 1d4+4 points of damage, and receive the benefits of a bless spell. The effects last for 12 hours. The captain's table serves one such meal a day. Caster Level: 12th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, heroes' feast; Market Price: 72,000 gp; Weight: 16 lb.

Catapult Stone of Becalming: This catapult stone eliminates even the trace of a breeze within a 400-foot radius of whatever it strikes. Prevailing winds don't return for 10 minutes. Caster Level: 11th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, control winds; Market Price: 2,500 gp; Weight: 16 lb.

Charts of Certainty: This blank sheet of parchment is every captain's boon. If unrolled and directly exposed to the sun while aboard a vehicle, it instantly displays a map (as detailed as a commercially available one) of everything within 24 hours' travel at the vehicle's current maximum speed. If the bearer then specifies a destination, it draws the most direct physical route to that destination. Like the find the path spell, the charts of certainty work only with respect to locales, not objects or creatures. If the parchment is rolled up, the map it was displaying disappears. Caster Level: 11th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, find the path; Market Price: 47,520 gp; Weight: 1 lb.

Cloud Keel: An invention of djinn on the Elemental Plane of Air, the cloud keel gives its vessel the ability to fly at a speed of 40 feet (clumsy). If the vessel is wind-powered, it can still use its sails if they provide faster movement than the keel itself. Caster Level: 17th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, fly, wish; Market Price: 200,000 gp; Weight: 1,000 lb.

Earth Keel: This item, often forged on the Elemental Plane of Earth, enables a water vehicle to move across land as if it were on water. The vessel's speed is unaffected, but rough terrain slows the vehicle just as it would a land vehicle. Caster Level: 17th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, transmute rock to mud, wish; Market Price: 150,000 gp; Weight: 1,000 lb.

Eldritch Exhaust: Once per day at the command of the driver, a vehicle equipped with this device expels a billowing mass of vapors from its rear. The three types of vapor available are a fog that obscures the vehicle from pursuers as the fog cloud spell, a cloud of acid as the acid fog spell, or deadly poison as the cloudkill spell. The 20-foot-high cloud has a 30-foot radius. Caster Level: 3rd (fog cloud), 9th (cloudkill), 11th (acid fog); Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, relevant spell; Market Price: 2,160 gp (fog cloud), 16,200 gp (cloudkill), 23,760 gp (acid fog); Weight: 10 lb.

Fharlanghn's Lines: These bowlines and other ropes are magically animated to make sailing a ship easier. The ropes snake forward of their own volition, and pull and release by voice command, enabling sails to be set and changed without breaking the backs of the crew. Each set of Fharlanghn's lines aboard a wind-powered ship reduces the required crew by five, to a minimum of two for Colossal wind-powered ships and one for Gargantuan or smaller ships. Fharlanghn's lines respond only to nautical commands, so they can't be used to entangle foes or tie up captives. Caster Level: 9th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, animate rope, telekinesis;Market Price: 8,100 gp; Weight: 5 lb.

Lightning Turbine: Often used in conjunction with magic that controls weather, the lightning turbine is a series of antennae connected to a clockwork gearbox that gives the vehicle greater speed during a storm. Lightning strikes the antennae, providing power to double the vehicle's speed or give it a speed of 90 feet, whichever is greater. The vehicle ignores any weather-related penalties to speed. Caster Level: 9th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, call lightning, expeditious retreat;Market Price: 90,000 gp; Weight: 300 lb.

Nondimensional Trunk: Much like a bag of holding, a nondimensional trunk is a cargo box that holds more than it looks capable of. Anything with dimensions of less than 10 feet in all directions will fit inside. Up to two tons of cargo can fit in the nondimensional trunk, which weighs no more than 200 pounds, even if the weight of its contents is much heavier than that. Caster Level: 9th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, Leomund's secret chest;Market Price: 30,000 gp; Weight: 200 lb. (maximum).

Planar Sails: These rainbow-hued sails enable a vehicle to sail to places beyond the Material Plane. It takes 5 minutes and a successful Knowledge (the planes) check (DC 20) to set the sails for a particular plane. While the planar sails provide a means to reach worlds beyond, they don't grant the ability to move or survive on the destination plane. Caster Level: 9th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, plane shift;Market Price: 72,000 gp; Weight: 600 lb.

Self-Propelled Vehicle: By animating the wheels, steering mechanism, and other moving parts on a vehicle, it's possible to build a vehicle that doesn't require dray creatures. Any land vehicle of Large size or smaller can become self-propelled, gaining a speed of 60 feet. It still moves under the direction of the driver and retains its usual maneuverability. Unlike with a normal casting of the animate objects spell, the vehicle does not become a construct and does not gain the ability to fight on its own. Caster Level: 11th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, animate objects; Market Price: 132,000 gp; Weight: --

Skyrider's Platform: This base plate for a single or double chariot enables it to be pulled by flying creatures just as if it were on the ground being pulled by horses. The chariot ascends or descends according to the dray creatures' maneuverability but turns according to the chariot's maneuverability. Note that the dray creatures cannot fly if they're burdened with more than a light load, so chariots equipped with this feature sometimes require more dray creatures than their landbound counterparts. Caster Level: 11th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, air walk; Market Price: 56,000 gp; Weight: 20 lb.

Smuggler's Hold: As the nondimensional trunk above, but the lid and latch of the trunk are magically hidden until a command word reveals them for 1 round. Spellcasters trying to find the smuggler's hold with divination magic must succeed on a caster level check against DC 20. Caster Level: 9th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, Leomund's secret chest, major image, nondetection; Market Price: 90,000 gp; Weight: 200 lb.

Speedy Wheels: This pair of wooden wheels fits most wheeled vehicles, increasing the speed of one so equipped by 10 feet. The wheels must be placed on the same axle to be effective. Regardless of how many speedy wheels a vehicle bears, its speed increases by only 10 feet. Caster Level: 3rd; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, expeditious retreat; Market Price: 100 gp; Weight: 20 lb. each.

Summoner's Bridle: This harness conjures its own dray creature, which serves the bridle's owner for 12 hours. Most summoner's bridles summon light horses, although some rare versions create a phantom steed (as the spell) with 19 hp, speed 240 feet, carrying capacity 250 pounds, and the ability to gallop across a chasm as if it were firm land for 1 round. Because the summoner's bridle is usable only once per day, it takes more than one such item to provide enough dray creatures to pull most land vehicles. Caster Level: 10th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, mount or phantom steed (depending on version); Market Price: 2,160 gp (light horse), 12,960 gp (phantom steed); Weight: --.

Veil of Obscurity: This augmentation disguises a vehicle from curious eyes, making the vehicle appear to be part of the surrounding terrain. The glamer includes audible, visual, tactile, and olfactory elements, though it can't disguise, conceal, or add creatures. Caster Level: 10th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, mirage arcana; Market Price: 25,000 gp; Weight: --.

Wind-Favored Sails: This set of sails comes in two varieties. Raising a set of lesser wind-favored sails ensures that the wind speed is always heavy (21-30 mph, speed multiplier ´ 3), no matter what the prevailing weather conditions. A set of greater wind-favored sails also lets the driver set the wind direction within 600 feet of the vehicle with a command word. Caster Level: 9th (lesser), 15th (greater); Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, control winds;Market Price: 40,500 gp (lesser), 67,500 gp (greater); Weight: 600 lb.

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