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Tanu Psionic Helms

Eager to equip his people with spelljamming technology, and unwilling to rely on the vagaries of mage-operated or illithid-based series helms, Andraxas has contracted the Arcane to research and construct a spelljamming helm operated by psionic strength. The result is the Psi-helm, and the God of Doom has paid the Arcane handsomely to guarantee that only his race will be sold the new devices. He has since ferreted out the secrets of their construction, and forges them, one at a time, in his hidden Forge within Mount Vormidurth.

Psi-helms are powered by psionic strength points in the same way a normal helm uses spell potential. When a psionically operant being seats himself in it, all his psionic points are drained to provide power. The helm then generates ship rating points based on the character's highest level of mastery divided by two {the equivalent of a major helm}, multiplied by a percentage expressed by the character's psionic strength.

To simplify: {Highest Mastery Level/2} x {Psionic Strength}%

The result is rounded down to the nearest whole number. Please note that this assumes a maximum of points are possessed, and should the PC have used any psionic points before taking the helm, this is figured into the percentage of the formula, with the lowest mode {attack or defense} being used.

Examining as an example, Magnus the cleric, a 13th level Tanu with 84/84 psionic strength. A psionic from birth, he yields 13/2 = 6.5 points, multiplied by 84% = 5.46, which allows him to provide a total of 5 SR for his ship. For him, this is almost as efficient as if he were using a magic-based helm.

However, characters with higher psi-strength yield better results. Vespasian, a 20th level Tanu assassin has a psi-strength of 170/170. In a psijammer helm, he would yield 20/2 = 10 times 170% = 17 SR points, rounded to the stated maximum of SR 10! This is an improvement over his use of a spelljamming helm, which would not operate for him at all. However, if he takes the helm after psionic combat leaves him with 80/68, he provides only 7 SR.

Psijamming helms do have their drawbacks, the most obvious of which is that it strips the helmsman of all his psionic points, leaving him totally defenseless should he cease physical contact with the helm. While seated, the psijammer is protected by a constant Thought Shield generated by the helm, but each time the mode defends against psionic attack directed at the helmsman, points are subtracted from the SR percentage on an defense-for-point basis {minimum SR is always 1}. Also, the helmsman is subject to `spelljammer shock' and all other combat effects exactly as for a spelljammer helmsman. They cannot utilize any disciplines or attack modes while psijamming, though any activated prior to taking the helm will expire after normal duration.

The upper limit for the size of a psijammer ship appears to be in the 300 ton range.

While not a common practice, a perusal of the Player's Handbook shows it is possible for a number of psionically endowed creatures to link minds in order to provide a `boost' to psionic operations. This effect, called meta-concert, can be used to augment a psijammer helm's output. As in combat situations, the psionic individuals link in series, from weakest to strongest, with each individual providing 20% of his strength points to the next person in the chain. The character receiving the final lump-output in the chain {the `executive'} controls the functioning of the ship, and defends for the entire series, i.e. any psionic attacks directed against him affect the whole metaconcert.

The drawbacks of this operation are that all links in the concert are drained of their strength points and will be defenseless once the concert is broken. On the upside, during meta-concert it is possible in this operation to direct any of the psionic attack modes possessed by the executive against enemy individuals all over the vessel, so long as they are in physical contact with the ship. Each such exercise drains one SR from the ship, which will not be regained until a fresh helmsman takes over


Cloaking Psi-helms

Always industrious, Andraxas has begun manufacturing his own psi-helms, with an added bonus: the ability to cover a Tanu ship with an illusion of non-detection similar to the discipline Invisibility. This cloaking ability lacks the possibility of detection before attack {lacking the rainbow distortion effect of elvish helms}, but they subtract 2 SR from the cloaked ship {elvish naval cloaks drain only 1 SR} while in operation.

These cloaking helms are extremely costly and difficult; only one can be produced per month, and cost about 1,000,000 GPs in arcane materials.