"Ye know there are an unlimited ways of travelling the spheres, the way we do it is just one way. It's said that there are way of travelling in the planes itself, and it should be just as substantial as you and me and the earth we walk upon" The Old Sage continues: "There are rumors about that there are races out there in the Phlog or further away, that hold items that surpasses ours in lethalness and style, and they can travel great distance within just the blink of an eye" He nods knowingly. "So my lad, Welcome the light of Dawn, as it shows you that you have lived yet another day, and the next awaits ye".
The Old sage finds a few pieces of parchment, hands them to you and says: "These are some theories of mine, they are just some thing I been wondering about lately".
What is the secret of the Arcane, what are their gain and do they have a secret agenda? How is it exactly that those ships are able to "sail" through wildspace? Have you ever seen a so called Jammer Rock, maybe. Have you ever held a Jammer Rock, nope. In fact it is only the Arcane that can find these rocks or even pick them up. The Arcane have an exceptional affinity for magic, that should be common knowledge. What is Jammer Rocks then, it is what is left back when The Great Wanderer itself passes through wildspace, tiny pieces of semi-dead tissue breaks of and in time gets caught in some gravity field. How do the Arcane fit-in, in all this. Well, the Arcane are the ones that are capable of finding and handling these rocks safely. They quickly found out that there was a tremendous market attached to this ability, and being who there were (and still are) they set out with the goal to become a major force of wildspace. Some say they have succeeded, others think we haven't even seen the beginning of this, others again think the Arcane have burned out and their time has passed. No-one knows or wants to tell.
Game effects: Only the the Arcane can find and hold these rock, without inducing any penalties. Where as when any other persons, man or woman, human or nonhuman will there be penalties to deal with. Magical exposed individual (i.e wizards and priests) will "overload", loosing all memorised spells and spellcasting abilities for the next 1d2+1days. Nonmagical individuals may gain spellcasting abilities, but not being trained to handle the energies will these "castings" only result in wild surges at a random.intervals.
Other games effects: Like how many rocks are needed til SJ a ship, how long will it last (infinitively or...) and other things have not yet been set.
How should I explain how the Phlogiston work in my campaign, when I also want to implement high-tech stuff like Star Trek and Star Wars. What is it that differentiate them from a roleplay point of view. Answer: It is the magic or lack of same. So why not keep'em separated. Star Trek has Warp Speed, where they calculated where they wanna go, and by some semi-magical effect* they wind up where they want to go. Star Wars has HyperSpeed where they accelerate to unbelievable speeds. Star Wars sensors zoom into their point of destination. Poor berk that crosses that path at the wrong time. Spelljammer has the Phlogiston. To make this work I have to ...well "bend" the rules a bit, see Theory of how to perceive Spheres.
*Sorry: but I have a real hard time believing / conceiving the technology "folding" space, as we fold a piece of paper. So for easy reference lets just say its semi-magical.
We are now moving into my campaign (IMC), it might not be true in
your campaign (IYC). But as I have a few more notes I would like to include I have to
reroute some of TSR's rules, to include High-Tech (like WarpSpeed and HyperSpeed).
Why is that a helmsman looses all spellcasting abilities after sitting on the helm. What is it that makes highlevel spellcaster so attractive for spacemerchants, and why are they not eager to take these job opportunities. Their spell-powers are actually expended already when the spellcaster sit in the helm, as he has to adjust himself and the ship to each other, he charges the helm with his magical abilities (that be wizardly or priestly). If he could take the helm with him and walk around the ship, and still maintain that level of concentration required to perform his duties, then a helm would look very different from what is does. We say its a helm but it's actually a chair and its very stationary. What is the difference between the low-level and the highlevel spellcaster then? We already know the SR speed difference (tactical speed) between the two. Why not incorporate this in Spelljamming speed. Listen tight when I explain.
We take an 8th level wizard on a Minorhelm. He has a tactical speed of SR2. This also means his can put a ship in spelljammer speed 2 times in his shift. Now if we take the same wizard (8th level) on a Majorhelm, SR4, does it means that he can put the ship into Spelljamming speed 4 times in his shift. Most helms can maintain this 'charge' the spell-caster puts into it for 4-7hours, after this period will the helm if still crewed by the original caster start to drain his personal stamina. That is also why most spell-casters are exhausted when they get of the helm after their normal 8hours shift. What happens then if one mage get on the helm, charges it - but only sits there for 3 hours, and after this period have to leave his post, and another mage (priest) takes over? In that case will a fraction of the first mage's charge still be in the chair/helm. That also means that a mage (priest) can actually put the ship into Jammer speed more times that his level actually allows him to.