When it comes to standard helms, there really isn't a whole lot of choice. There's major, then there's minor, and the difference between the two is hardly overwhelming, especially to lower level groups of players. Someone looking to buy a ship doesn't have to think that hard about power, as he doesn't have many options
There also isn't many choices when it comes to flying a ship. There is either a spellcaster on the helm powering it, or the ship is a glorified asteroid. Although tactics is important in ship combat, how you use you helm means little. Power is constant, and you can't do much to boost speed. If two ships have the same helm—major or minor—the only factor is level. And while this is, admittedly, very much keeping with the spirit of AD&D, where level is one of the largest factors in power and skill, it can be less than gratifying for those looking to explore additional options on ship design or combat tactics.
This system is an alternate approach to how helms work. It reworks their approach to power and speed, as well as offering new facets for ship buyers to consider when purchasing a helm, by allowing them to fine tune the helm's abilities.
The New Helm Edit
There are several areas where helms of this system greatly differ from their predecessors:
- Helms retain energy within them. Spellcasters no longer need to sit upon a helm providing constant power. Instead, they can recharge them by linking with the helm and pouring their magic into it.
- The helmsman is not required to be a spellcaster. Anyone can sit upon a helm and link with it to pilot the ship, as long as the helm has power.
- Maximum speed is no longer linked to any person's level. All helms have a now maximum speed they can attain. This rating will vary from one to the another.
New helms are no longer classified as major or minor. Instead they are rated in four different areas:
Type: There are two types of helms, long range and tactical. Tactical helms are only capable of tactical speeds. Long range helms are capable of both tactical and spelljamming speeds.
Capacity: This is a measure of the largest ship the helm can move, in spatial tons. Helms come in Capacities in increments of 10. Any upper limit should be set by the GM for his campaigns. Those wishing to remain true to the old way should cap them at 100 tons. The price charts below go up to 200, and extrapolation beyond that shouldn't be too difficult.
Power: This is how much magical energy a helm can hold. Power is rated in Power Points (PP's). Power ranges from 100 to 1000 (or even beyond, should the GM wish it), in steps of 100.
Speed: This is the maximum speed the helm can move a ship, measured in SR. Acceleration is still figured from Maneuverability Class, as per page 55-56 of the Concordance of Arcance Space. As with the others, the GM should determine a maximum possible Speed. Recommended is 15 (which would have been the maximum speed possible for a major helm in the old system). 15 is probably already too fast for most campaigns.
Note that these ratings are locked in when the helm is enchanted, and cannot be permanently modified later.
Sitting at the Helm Edit
The functions of a helm are controlled by sitting upon the helm and mentally linking with it. Being a spellcaster is not required; the only requirement is that the helmsman be corporeal and have something resembling a soul. Thus a human, elf or vampire could pilot the ship, but a golem or zombie could not. Linking is simply a matter of sitting on a helm and a few seconds of concentration. Once linked the helmsman can use any of the functions of the helm. These functions are:
Power Measurement: The helmsman is always aware of exactly how many Power Points the helm has remaining.
Vision: The helmsman can view the outside of the ship as if standing on the aft deck, as with standard helms in the old system.
Recharge: When this function is activated, the helm will draw all magical energy out of the person linked to the helm. Only spellcasters hold any appreciable quantity of magic within themselves. This draining takes mere seconds, and once started it cannot be stopped; the spellcaster cannot withhold any energy from the helm. The helm is charged Spell slot times 5 [20 Power Points per level of the spellcaster]. If the caster has already used magic that day, before charging the helm, figure their effective level normally. A helm can never hold more than its Power rating in PP's. Anything beyond this dissipates and is lost. Over time power will slowly drain from the helm if it is not used. Every ten days the helm does not get used, it loses 1 PP. This means ships that have been adrift for quite some time are unlikely to hold any power in them.
Control: Helms are controlled in the same manner as helms in the old system, with the exception that tactical speed is based on how many PP's are spent rather than the caster's level. They have complete control over the ship's speed and steering. The rate at which PP's are used depends on the ship's speed:
Long Range: Spelljamming speed, which seems to rely on the manipulation of some unknown cosmic loophole, is very efficient, requiring 2 PP per hour of travel, or fraction thereof. If the ship stops for less than 5 rounds and does not move faster than SR 1, and then resumes spelljamming speeds, that hour is not split into fractional hours. GM's should watch this for abuse; it is designed to allow ships to make course corrections without paying additional PP's, not for ships to make a series of hops.
Tactical Speed: Tactical speed is apparently far less efficient, requiring 1 PP per 1 SR per round. Thus, if someone wanted to move at 3 SR, it would cost them 3 PP for every round they move at this speed. If they did it for ten rounds, it would cost them 30 PP's.
Cruising Speed: Cruising speed is essentially a type of tactical speed, in that speeds are rated in SR, but it operates a bit differently. Sages theorize that it utilizes the tendency of objects in space to stay in motion. It has the same costs as tactical speed, but the PP's are for every hour rather than every round, using the highest SR the ship attains that hour. So, if a ship is cruising along at SR 3, accelerates to SR 5 for a few minutes, then goes back to SR 3, the cost would be 5 PP's. Note that partial hours cost the same as full, so if a ship is at cruising speed for ten minutes, then needs to hit tactical speed for a couple of rounds, then goes back to cruising for another hour, it would count as two hours. DM's willing to do some math can allow for partial hour costs, although fractions are always rounded up.
There are two restrictions to cruising speed. First, maximum speed is one half of maximum tactical speed. Second, cruising speed is primarily suited for straight, forward movement and makes a ship very, very unmaneuverable. Only gradual turns are possible (i.e. one hex face every dozen of hexes). To make more sudden turns requires going to tactical speed, and the ship is unable to pull off any sort of complicated maneuvering, and does not gain any benefits to AR for high Maneuverability Class. In other words, cruising speed is terrible for combat situations.
The Right Helm for the Job Edit
This system provides a multitude of options to helm buyers, and deciding on which is best can be daunting. Realize, though, that for some ships this system does not necessarily eliminate the need for bringing along spellcasters for power. Any ship that travels long distances, travels between spheres, sees a lot of combat or spends a lot of time at tactical speed will want spellcasters. While it would be possible for some such ships to double the Power of their helms to make up for a lack of spellcasters, this becomes prohibitively expensive in most cases. Some ships are going to be travelling to destinations far enough away that even a Power 1000 helm isn't going to get them there (i.e. more than 20 days away) unless they have spellcasters for power or can make frequent stops. Ships that can probably get away with not bringing spellcasters are short range vessels that travel no more than a few days along relatively safe routes.
Here are some examples of ships and their helms:
Rockhopper: This is a ship that makes trips that never go over a day to get there. If the ship travels safe routes and spends little time at tactical speed, it can get away with a Power 100 helm and no wizard, unless the trip is right close to a full day and there is no source of power at the destination, since getting there and back can use up to 94 PP's, leaving little room for error. In such cases, or if the ship expects any trouble or delays at tactical speed, they will want to add another 100 PP's, a helm battery or a spellcaster.
Fighter: Small, fast ships designed for combat, fighters rarely have spelljamming speed capabilities and spend a lot of time in combat, which chews through PP's quickly. They also rarely ever have a spellcaster on board. This means a fighter will want a decent Power helm, lest if find itself adrift and vulnerable. A typical fighter helm will be Tactical/Capacity 10/Power 200/Speed 10.
Short Range Merchant: This is a ship that travels between established ports that are only a few days apart, no more than 4. It will typically power up in ports, and not bother with a spellcaster, unless it expects to see combat. Power 300 should serve it well. If combat or frequent tactical speeds are expected, a spellcaster, helm battery or an extra 100 PP's should suffice.
Short Range Patrol: This is a combat ship that patrols a small area, typically between two ports. It doesn't have to travel all that far, but it will stay out for awhile, and see frequent tactical speeds and occasional combat. If no spellcaster is onboard a Power 400 helm should be fine, or a Power 300 if one or more spellcasters totaling six levels are aboard.
Medium Range Merchant: Medium range is generally considered between 5 and 12 days with no reliable ports in between. Such merchant ships will almost always carry one or more spellcasters, since a helm that can go that far without need of recharging is prohibitively expensive. Such spellcasters will usually total ten levels or more. The standard helm for such ships is Power 400.
Long Range Merchant: Long range is anything beyond 12 days, usually with intersphere travel. These ships cannot function without a spellcaster, and most ships will have several. Typical helm is Power 600, with spellcasters totaling sixteen levels or more.
Guard Ship: These are combat ships designed to accompany merchant ships. They will have the same helm as the ship they are guarding, but with either a 100 PP more powerful helm or several spellcasters aboard. They will also have Speed several points higher.
Warship: Ships designed primarily for war will have large Powers, since they will be expected to spend considerable time at tactical speed, and be out on extended patrols. Most will also carry several spellcasters, both for combat and power. The most common is Power 400 or 500, with spellcasters totaling sixteen levels or higher. For extended patrol ships, Power 600 is more common. They will also have better Speed than most ships, often 6 or more.
Capital Ships: Ships above 100 tons are often referred to as capital ships, and are generally designed to be more self-sufficient than most ships, with Power 800+ helms, and at least half a dozen spellcasters totaling thirty levels or more.
Ask ten different Spelljammer GM's the price of helms in their campaigns and you will probably get at least five different answers. It is just one of those things that gets altered often. The prices in this system are designed to roughly match the prices in the Concordance of Arcane Space. GM's are free to adjust them as they please to reflect their own campaign's economy and the rarity levels of helms and spelljamming.
To determine the price of a helm, find the cost for Power on Chart 1 and add this to the cost for Capacity on Chart 2. Multiply this total by the desired Speed. This is the cost for a Long Range helm. Tactical helms cost half of this.
The cost of recharging a ship will vary, depending on several factors. The base cost is typically one gold piece per Power Point. The two largest factors in price variance are availability and immediate quantity per charge.
Where a ship is and how available recharging services are will affect the price. Prices on a very busy port, such as Bral, will probably be the base cost, perhaps even lower, since power tends to be readily available. On backwater planets, where there are few spellcasters (or accumulators), prices rise, sometimes even dramatically, such as double or triple. Those wanting to recharge may also have to wait if the demand is higher than the supply.
Quantity per charge is based on how much energy is supplied in a single charge. A third level spellcaster in Bral is likely to charge only the standard, or 30 gp. A tenth level spellcaster may charge more, possibly as much as a third more, because he can offer more at once, which is quicker and more convenient that rounding up multiple sources. So someone looking to recharge may have the option of speed over price, or vice versa.
These prices should be adjusted to match the campaign's economy. Note that while these may seem somewhat low—only 1000 gp to fill a Power 1000 helm?—realize that it is an additional cost above and beyond the cost of running a ship in the old system, and ships will have to recharge with some frequency. Also realize how much money this is to the person doing the charging. A second level wizard that charges a ship once every three days will make 200 gp per month. That is doing very well for a second level character. A third level wizard that recharges a ship every other day will make 450 gp per month!
Durability of Helms ==
This new approach to helms does not alter the durability of helms. They are still very hard to destroy, as with major and minor helms. There is no reason why this has to be maintained, though. A DM should feel free to make helms as durable or fragile as they please. In game where helms and space travel are relatively rare, helms should probably stay as they are. In games where spelljamming is fairly common, and busy ports such as Bral see hundreds of ships daily they might not be any more durable than a stout wooden chair would otherwise be, perhaps with only a +2 or so to saves. In these kinds of games they are also likely to be cheaper, perhaps costing half as much.
Impact of These Changes Edit
These alternate helm rules are different enough that a GM should carefully consider the impact they might have before using them. Here are a few things to keep in mind before using the system:
This system has the potential to make the setting feel a bit more like sci-fi, since helms now operate more like energy banks or reactors. While Spelljammer already is science fiction seen through the lens of fantasy, some might not want to move even closer. How much more like sci-fi it becomes will depend on how the GM sets up his universe. If there are numerous ports with accumulators for recharging, it becomes very science-fictiony. If ships continue to depend heavily on onboard spellcasters for power, it won't change much.
The role of spellcasters will shift to some degree, from active to passive. Because spellcasters are no longer required for helming a ship, it will become more common to find warriors or others piloting the ship, especially combat ships. Also, since a fair number of ships will no longer require spellcasters aboard, they will be commonly found in space ports offering their charging services, for a price. This is safer, and has the potential to be more lucrative, especially for low level wizards.
Low level spellcasters will be considered more valuable, because speed is no longer linked to level. It might be cheaper to get three third level spellcasters to add their energy to a helm than one ninth level spellcaster, who is likely to have others things to do and would charge too much. Also, low level spellcasters will likely be more common. The life of a low level wizard that uses his magic primarily for recharging ships is rather easy and well to do, and so many pursue it. Of course, they have to reach that point first, which is not that easy, and thus many fail.
Spellcasters on ships, especially PC's, are likely to take a more active roll in combat, since they no longer are required to hold spells back to keep the ship powered, or at least, not if the ship has a decent level of PP's. Otherwise they may hold spells in reserve to give the ship a quick boost. With the spellcasters freed up for combat and boarding actions, magic is likely to be more common and play a more critical role.
Finally, with spellcasters no longer being required to power ships at all times, certain types of ships are likely to be more common. Examples include fighters and shuttles, both of which tended to be prohibitively expensive before, plus harder to rationalize due to the need for spellcasters to helm them.
A lifejammer is an insidious version of the normal spelljamming helm that is charged by life force rather than magical energy. It looks like a normal helm, with the addition of a large, coffin shaped metal box mounted to the back, at a 45 degree angle. This box is seven feet long, three feet wide and three feet deep. It has a hinged metal lid with numerous air holes, and a bolt for locking.
To charge the helm a living creature must be placed in the box, and someone must be on the helm. The person on the helm will become aware of the health of the creature (i.e. its hit points). They can then choose to siphon as many of these hit points away as they wish, charging the helm 10 PP's per hit point. Even if using the Death's Door rules (allowing characters to go to -10 before dying), any creature that is dropped to zero hit points while in the box dies, regardless of how much was drained from them. Anyone already at zero or below dies without granting PP's. Even if someone is only partially drained, they must make a save vs. Death Magic or die. Anyone drained to half or less of their full hit points saves at -2.
Lifejammers are slower to recharge, taking one minute per hit point drained. The person being drained of their life force suffers pain of the most intense and severe sort, and few can take it without screaming and trying to claw their way out of the box. Damage taken from charging a lifejammer cannot be healed by magic or first aid; it can only be healed by time, at the normal rate of 1 hit point per day. Although this damage is not actually visible (i.e. no visible wounds or scars), drained characters become rather ashen and sickly looking, with the severity depending on how much they were drained. Someone drained to 1 hit point would look like a walking corpse, with greyish, loose flesh and sunken eyes.
The lifejammer is considered by most to be a truly evil item, and that fact that the arcane seem just as willing to sell them as they are normal helms brings many to question their morality and motivations. The lifejammer is mostly used by pirates and slavers of the most evil sort, such as the neogi, since even typical pirates and slavers find them too grim to use; it is one thing to raid a ship or sell someone into slavery, it is another to murder them by sucking out their soul.
Lifejammers are cheaper than normal helms. How much cheaper will depend on the DM and his campaign, but a good rule of thumb is 80% of the cost of a normal helm of similar abilities. Other than these rules, the lifejammer behaves as a normal helm in all other ways. Psijammers A psijammer is a helm that is charged from the mental power of a psionicist. It works just like a normal helm, with two differences, one pro and one con.
First, on the downside, mental energy doesn't seem to be as efficient as magical energy, and so does not power a helm as well. Psykers charge the helm based on PSP's rather than straight level. It takes 5 PSP's to supply 1 PP. On the upside, a psionicist can choose how much they wish to channel to the helm. They are not automatically drained of all PSP's. It is not known why this is.
New Magic Items ==
Helm Battery This magical device is often carried as a backup in case of losing the ship's spellcaster and getting stranded. It stores magical energy, much like a helm itself, which can be used to recharge a helm. Appearances vary, but the most common is a large stone carved with sigils, often set within complex framework of rune-carved iron or copper.
To charge a Helm Battery simply requires a spellcaster to touch it and mentally form a link with the object. Once linked all of the spellcaster's stored spells are drained into the battery. As with a helm, once the spellcaster forms a link with the battery, all magic is drained, and they cannot choose to hold any back. Unlike helms, batteries do not slowly loose PP's over time.
To transfer the magical energy from the helm battery to the helm simply requires that the battery be sat upon the helm and the command word spoken. This takes but a few seconds.
Helm batteries come in a variety of power capacities, the same as helms. Should the GM desire, bigger batteries could exist, perhaps even in the 1000's. Such batteries would be much larger, and would likely be found in space docks or similar locales. Perhaps the owner pays local wizards to keep it charged, then sells charges to others.
The prices of these should vary, probably best expressed as a fraction of the cost of a similar power capacity helm. A good rule of thumb is half the cost.
Charge Forcer This unpleasant item is popular with pirates and slavers, since it removes the need for cooperation from spellcasters in recharging a helm. Charge forcers typically take the form of torqs and other headgear, rarely with any form of decoration or rare stones.
The function of charge forcers is simple: it forces the mind of the wearer to constantly be in the state used to form a link with a helm for recharging. Thus any spellcaster wearing one that sits upon a helm will be drained of magic, charging the helm, whether they want to or not. The forcer also prevents the wearer from issuing any other commands to the helm.
Life Forcer This item is similar to both lifejammers and charge forcers, looking much like the latter. It converts life force energy into magical energy, allowing a person to sit upon a standard helm and recharge it with their own life force. The person using it has complete control, and must be conscious to use it. It will not work for anyone at less than one hit point, nor will it drop anyone below zero. The conversion ratio isn't quite as good as a lifejammer, 5 PP's per hit point spent. It takes one minute per hit point to recharge.
As with the lifejammer, any hit points used in recharging can only be recovered through natural healing over time, not any sort of magic. On the upside, the life forcer prevents people who use it from dying or feeling anything other than slight discomfort. Those who use it still have their appearance temporarily affected.
Despite similarities, the life forcer is designed to server a different purpose than either the lifejammer or the charge forcer. Where those items are primarily used by pirates and slavers to draw out as much free energy as they can from their victims, the life forcer is used primarily as a backup in case of emergencies. They tend to be relatively cheap and common, countered by the price for using one, and are sometimes thrown in as a package deal on helms, similar to planetary locators.
Accumulator This is less a specific device than a concept for the GM to explore and design, since there are various ways to approach it that should be specific to the campaign, if it is to be used at all. An accumulator is similar to a Helm Battery, in that it stores energy and can be charged by spellcasters. The difference is that an accumulator can also recharge itself by drawing in ambient magical energy.
There are various factors that can vary from one accumulator to another:
Environment: This is the kind of environment the accumulator must be in to recharge. For some this can be any environment; it can draw ambient magical energy from any place that is not a dead magic zone. Others might be based on specific forms of magical energy, such as a Magma Para-Elemental accumulator, that must be in a large quantity of magma to recharge. If the GM uses the concept of ley lines, perhaps the accumulator only works at a nexus of lines.
This is something that might not vary from one to the other. Perhaps all accumulators require ley lines, or can recharge from any environment. Or the GM might have accumulators that run the whole gamut of environments.
Power: This is the same as for helms, the maximum number of PP's it can hold. The range is up to the GM. From 10 to 1000 or from 100 to 100,000, or any other range desired. It will depend on the kind of role the GM wants accumulators to play. If they are to be rare but useful backups for the helm, 100 to 1000 would work best. If they are to play the role of reactors for recharging large numbers of ships, 10,000 to 100,000 would work. Or, perhaps both. Maybe the small ones work anywhere, but the big ones require ley lines for recharging.
Rate: This is the rate at which the accumulator recharges. Like power, it will depend upon the role it is to play. 1 per hour, per day, per week. 5 per day, 10 per day, 100 per day, 1000 per day. There are unlimited numbers of options here. This can be combined with Environment, too. Perhaps an accumulator that regains 10 PP per hour in a ley line nexus, but 1 PP per hour elsewhere. Or an accumulator that recharges 10 per day when buried in the ground, but loses 1 PP per minute it is exposed to air.
Size and Appearance: The size of an accumulator can have an effect on how it is used. Size can be based on Power, on materials, or on the GM's desired effect. If all accumulators are large, such as a spatial ton or more, they will be something an adventuring party can't just pick it up and take on their ship; special considerations and alterations will have to be made, and are much more practical as recharging stations at docks. Another option is that all accumulators are natural, not enchanted, and might not function if removed from it's environment, such as a huge, millennium old tree, or an oddly shaped rocky outcropping on a mountain or asteroid.
Here are some examples of some specific accumulators:
The Pinnacle of Oogloth-Soryid: Oogloth-Soryid was the founder of the Church of Divine Flame, on a remote world, that felt that the church should spread its faith throughout the stars. The Pinnacle looks like an obsidian obelisk standing twenty feet high, and was found by Oogloth, apparently a gift from their god. It currently resides in the central chambers of the faith's primary temple, deep in the heart of an active volcano. This chamber is filled with lava and is over a 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Pinnacle has a Power of 5,000, and is used to recharge the fifteen ships that the church owns. The rate at which it recharges depends on the temperature: 1 per minute per 100 degrees. It loses 1 per minute per 10 degrees beneath 50. In the 1100 degree central chamber, it regains 11 PP's per minute, allowing it fully recharge in a little under eight hours. This is one of the reasons the church is a force to be reckoned with in its home sphere.
The Accumulators of Bral: Bral lies at one of the rare ley line nexi found in deep space, and uses this to recharge its accumulators. Bral has three of them, one of which is used for the Rock's military ships, while the other two are used to recharge incoming ships, at a price of course. They look similar to batteries, though much larger, being ten foot diameter spheres of some unknown grey stone of great resilience, set with a framework of rune-carved mithral and adamantine struts.
Bral's Accumulators have a Power of 20,000 PP's each. In normal circumstances they recharge only 1 PP per minute, but while in a ley line nexus, they recharge at ten times this rate, 10 PP's per minute. This rate of charge normally allows Bral to keep up with the demand for power, but occasionally they will run out, at which point they stop selling power until both accumulators are at half power.
Bral charges the standard rate of 1 gp per 1 Power Point. Considering they typically recharge a total of 20,000 PP's a day, this brings in a tidy profit for the city. If a ship does not have a helm battery to bring to the accumulators, they will have to pay a 10 gp surcharge per 500 PP's to be recharged, rounded up, as a battery, well protected by guards, will have to be brought to the ship.
Dwarven Forges: This example is an alternative version of the dwarven forge. Forges are crafted by priests and blessed by the gods themselves. Their shape will vary, but is often a large, solid metal shape, often in the form of a tool or device. There have been forges shaped like anvils, warhammers and stout columns.
The typical forge has a Power of 1000. Forges will only recharge while within the vicinity of dwarves engaged in the classic dwarven crafts of mining and stone or metalworking. For every full hour a single dwarf is engaged in such activity within roughly 500 yards of the forge, it can recharge 1 PP. Thus, twenty dwarves working 24 hours would generate 480 PP's.
New Spells ==
Here are some new spells that work with these new helms.
Lifecharge 4th Level Priest Spell (Necromancy) Range: Touch Components: V, S Duration: 2 rounds per level Casting Time: 1 Area of Effect: one person Saving Throw: None
This spell, which the life charger item is derived from, allows someone to recharge a helm with their own life force, as if the helm were a lifejammer. The subject has complete control, and must be conscious to recharge. It will not work for anyone at less than one hit point, nor will it drop anyone below zero. The conversion ratio isn't quite as good as a lifejammer, 5 PP's per hit point spent. It takes one minute per hit point to recharge.
As with the lifejammer, any hit points used in recharging can only be recovered through natural healing over time, not any sort of magic. On the upside, the lifecharge spell prevents people who use it from dying or feeling anything other than slight discomfort. Those who use it still have their appearance temporarily affected.
Fleeting Battery 5th Level Wizard Spell Range: Touch Components: V, S Duration: One day per level Casting Time: 1 turn Area of Effect: one object Saving Throw: None
Batteries are a luxury not all can afford, but with this spell a temporary solution is possible. Fleeting battery will turn an object into a battery for a limited time, allowing it to hold magical energy in the same manner as a normal battery. The Power of the battery is 10 PP's per level of the caster. The object must be from one-half to four cubic feet in size, and must be a whole, solid object; it could be cast on a sword or a chest, but not an egg or a suit of armour.
Because of their nature, fleeting batteries lose power over time relatively quickly: 1 PP per day. They otherwise behave the same as normal batteries.
Arcane Ghost 4th Level Wizard Spell Range: Self Components: V, S Duration: 1 minute per level Casting Time: 1 turn Area of Effect: the caster Saving Throw: None
A spell with a misleading name, arcane ghost is used by spellcasters to allow them to charge a helm with only a portion of their magical energy, letting them keep some for spellcasting later. It does this by drawing a portion of the spellcasters energy out of him. This energy takes the form of a vague outline of the spellcaster that shimmers slightly, thus the spell's name. Once this "ghost" has formed, the spellcaster need only touch it to draw back in the energy. Thus, a wizard can store a portion of energy in the ghost, sit at a helm and recharge it with what he carries, then touch the ghost and draw back in its energy. No one else can draw the energy from the ghost; it is attuned to the aura of the wizard that created it. Despite the name and appearance the ghost is not really a spirit; it simply takes the shape of the mage due to its attunement to him.
When the wizard casts the spell they must decide how many spell points they wish to put into the ghost. Their remaining spell points will determine their effective level for recharging helms. If the wizard does not touch the ghost before the duration ends, the energy dissipates.