The Iambus is a specialized ship which is built by the arcane on a custom basis for human bards. Each Iambus is powered by a bardic helm, and is linked to that specific bardic helm. If an Imabus is ever powered by a helm other than the particular bardic helm to which it is linked, it will suffer a -1 SR penalty, and have none of the magical effects given below. An Iambus can appear in any shape, but all are about the same size in terms of tonnage, and all somewhat resemble the musical instrument linked to their helms.
As the bardic helmsman of an Iambus plays the instrument linked to the helm, not only does the ship move as per the normal effects of a bardic helm, but the ship also reverberates with the music, such that it can be clearly heard throughout the ship's air envelope. This music has a soothing effect on the crew of the ship, who gain a +2 bonus to morale, and heal damage twice as fast as normal. Unfortunately, this soothing effect also means that while the helm is being played the crew and helmsman will always be surprised when attacked, and will only be able to attack on the second round of combat after a normal initiative roll.
An Iambus is typically crewed by a single master bard who is the owner, captain, and helmsman of the ship. The rest of the crew will be made up of his personal retinue, which will can consist of apprentices, fellow performers, or simple servants, depending on the individual bard. An Iambus will usually have a total crew of about a dozen men, but again this varies based on the individual bard owner.
Ship Uses Edit
Entertainment: Virtually all of these ships are used by travelling bards who fly their ships from one city to another, entertaining thepopulations that they visit. When a bard arrives at an asteroid city in an Iambus, the distinctive appearance of the ship means that the entire city takes notice, guaranteeing a good audience for the bard. In fact, since each Iambus appears distinctively different from each other, at the first sighting of an Iambus operated by a famous bard, the news will quickly travel throughout the population about which specific bard has arrived. These bards can often make a very good living as their reputations grow. Usually such bards limit their travels to one or two spheres, in order to ensure that their ships become recognizable sights. While an Iambus of a successful bard may make a rich and poorly-defended target for pirates, in practice these ships are rarely attacked. This is because most pirate crews appreciate the entertainment value of the bards too much to molest them (although they may demand a performance). This does not apply to goblinkin reavers, neogi slavers, or illithid pirates, however, and as a result many of the most famous bardic owners of these ships demand an armed escort from their destination city.
Other Configurations Edit
Each Iambus is unique, but all tend to have roughly the same performance characteristics. The modifications which bards perform on their vessels tend to be intended to impress potential audiences rather than to change the performance of their ships.