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Hit Dice: 6d12 (39 hp)
Initiative: +4 (Improved Initiative)
Speed: 20 ft.
AC: 16 (+6 Natural)
Attacks: Slam +3
Damage: Slam 1d6+1
Face/Reach: 5 ft. x 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Level Drain
Special Qualities: Immunities, Incorporeal,
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +5
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 11, Con -, Int 12, Wis 11,
Skills: Appraise +6, Gather Information +6, Hide
+3, Listen +6, Knowledge (Astronomy) +6,
Profession (Wildspace Navigator) +3, Search +9,
Sense Motive +6, Spot +3
Feats: Expertise, Improved Initiative
Organization: Squad (1-6)
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: Standard, Double magic items
Alignment: Always Chaotic Evil
Advancement: By character class
An ancient mariner is the undead spirit of a member of a long-lost evil race that once sailed the
phlogiston seas. A true ancient mariner is basically humanoid in appearance. Its neck is a little too long
and its torso is somewhat compressed compared to those of a human. The eyes and jaw bulge out from
the face. Its voice is quavery, as if being heard from a great distance.
An ancient mariner is partially transparent. It is seen wearing the bright, garish clothing normally
associated with pirates and buccaneers. It appears as it did on the day it died, causing each to be unique.
This may mean an eye patch, scars, or even a wooden peg leg. While the mariner might carry a weapon
of virtually any type, this is also ghostly and cannot cause damage.
Combat: They can be turned as wights by priests. Like most undead, ancient mariners are immune to
sleep, charm, hold, and cold-based spells. They are immune to any type of mind control spell as well.
Immunities (Ex): Ancient mariners have cold immunity. They're diaphanous and flowing bodies
causes them to take no damage from bludgeoning weapons, be they magical or mundane.
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Incorporeal (Su): Can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, +1 or better magical weapons,
or magic, with a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source. Can pass through solid
objects at will, and own attacks pass through armor. Always move silently.
Level Drain (Su): The chill touch of the ancient mariner inflicts 1d8 points of cold damage and causes
the victim to lose one level. As with other undead that use this attack form, this effect reduces the Hit
Dice, class bonuses, spell abilities, etc.
Spawn (Su): Any creature killed by the energy drain of an ancient mariner becomes an mariner
shadow with most of the abilities of a normal shadow. The newly formed undead obeys the ancient
mariner completely. (Beings killed by these shadows are merely dead, and do not become shadows or
any other form of undead.) A mariner shadow retains its former appearance, though it is now partially
transparent. The power of the ancient mariner is such that all of the victim's equipment stays with it,
becoming ghostly as well, unable to touch or be touched by living hands. The equipment cannot be used
by the mariner shadow.
Undead (Su): Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death
effects, and necromantic effects, and they ignore mind-influencing effects (charms, compulsions,
phantasms, and morale effects). Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage or drain,
energy drain, or death from massive damage. They have no Constitution scores and are therefore immune
to any effect requiring Fortitude save (unless it affects objects).
Habitat/Society: Ancient mariners are found only in phlogiston. They will not enter a crystal sphere
under any circumstances. It is thought that they need the phlogiston to power their ghost ships.
If more than one ancient mariner is encountered, one of them is the recognized leader and called
"Captain" by its crew. This leader has 6 Hit Dice and is turned as a wraith. Ancient mariners are always
encountered with a crew of 1d20 mariner shadows, culled from any mixture of spacefaring races. Some
large ships have been known to have larger crews of mariner shadows. If the captain is turned, he orders
the entire ship to break off combat and flee.
The greatest power of the ancient mariner captain is to make any object become as insubstantial as the
mariner itself. This power requires the captain to "touch" the object and concentrate for a turn. Once the
object is changed, any ancient mariner or mariner shadow can handle it. In this way the treasure hoards
of ancient mariners are increased.
A captain can do this to a spelljamming ship as well, which conversion takes a full day of
concentration. They prefer human ships, such as galleons, hammerships, and caravels. Part of the ancient
mariner's undead energy is given to the ship, which makes the vessel insubstantial, partially transparent,
and fuels it. It moves as if powered by a 5th-level spellcaster. The ship becomes immune to all physical
or magical attacks. It has no physical substance, passing right through other objects. It holds no air. The
ghostly deck hands appear to walk normally upon it, even swarming up the rigging occasionally. A
captain can maintain only one ship at a time in this fashion, although he can release a ship from his sway
and convert another.
If the ancient mariners on a ship are all killed, the mariner shadows vanish instantly, becoming truly
dead. The ghost ship becomes solid and can be boarded and searched. There is a 50% chance that the
spelljamming helm is still usable. If only the captain is killed, the ancient mariner with the highest hit
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points becomes the new captain.
Ecology: Unlike most undead, ancient mariners do not seem to be tied to a place or a person. They can
roam freely, at least in phlogiston, and trade ships at will. The original race of the ancient mariners must
be long extinct, since they look like no race in the known crystal spheres.
Convertion by Flits3
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10d8+10 (55 hp)
15 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +4 natural) /
17 with armor (see text)
per weapon +2 Str
per weapon +2 Str
5 ft. by 5 ft. / 10 ft.
Special Qualities:Invisibility, dimension door, SR 18
Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +9
Str 14, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 17,
Wis 13, Cha 17
Appraise +10, Bluff +8,
Concentration +4, Diplomacy +8,
Hide +8, Innuendo +5, Knowledge
Arcana +20, Listen +8, Sense
Motive +8, Speak Language (most
spacefaring races), Spot +8
Armor Proficiency (arcane),
Cleave, Dodge, Iron Will
Standard (minimum 1 item, treat mundane items as minor magic items)
By character class (usually arcane spellcaster)
Notes: An arcane will generally have magical items and weapons. The challenge rating may need to be
modified to take these into account.
The arcane are the merchants of space, found anywhere that there are spaceborne civilizations. They appear as
tall, lanky, blue giants with elongated faces and thin fingers with one more joint than is common in most humanoid
life. The arcane dress in robes though there are agents of the race who are found in heavier armor. This appears
to be a function of personal taste of the various arcane.
The arcane are normally found in those locations where there is an awareness and an interest in spelljamming
equipment, which is their stock in trade. In those groundling backwaters that do not believe in space travel or life
on other worlds, or on those insular worlds that make such travels by dimension-hopping, the arcane are
nonexistent. They speak the common tongue and are believed to have their own language.
Combat: For creatures of their size, the arcane are noticeably weak and non-combative. They can defend
themselves when called upon, but prefer to communicate and/or buy themselves out of dangerous situations. If
entering an area that is potentially dangerous (like most human cities), the arcane hires a group of adventurers
and/or fighters as his entourage.
The arcane may become invisible [as per the spell, at will] in order to avoid combat and can dimension door [as a
level wizard: range 1000 ft] up to three times a day, again with the intention of avoiding combat. An arcane
feels no concern about abandoning his entourage in chancy situations, and for this reason, such entourages often
take half their payment in advance.
The arcane can also use any magical items, regardless of the limitations of those items, including swords, wands,
magical tomes, and similar items restricted to one type of character class. They will use such items if pressed in
combat and they cannot escape, but more often use them as bartering tools with others.
Finally, arcane apparently have a type of racial telepathy, such that harming one arcane is immediately noted by
other arcane throughout space. The arcane will not seek vengeance against the one who killed their fellow
arcane. They will react negatively to such individuals, and dealing with the arcane will be next to impossible until
that individual has done something to get back into their good graces.
Some arcane do wear armor, a combination of chain links with patches of plate that seems to be more for show
than for protection. It improves their AC by an additional +2, and is sometimes worn in dangerous situations and
in negotiations with unreliable adventurers.
Arcane Society: Not much is known about the arcane’s origins; they come and go as they please, and are found
throughout known space. When they travel through space, they can do so on other races’ ships. Finding such
ships with arcane aboard is rare, and it is suspected that the arcane have another way of moving through space.
The arcane tend to be solitary, such that some primitive (and groudling) societies assume them to be avatars of a
single greater power. Cults invoking the power of the arcane are found on half a hundred worlds lacking
spelljammer capabilities. It is presumed that the arcane visited such worlds briefly to ascertain their usefulness as
potential markets, and left when the inhabitants proved uncultured, savage, or backward.
The arcane will gather together in larger groups for large-scale deals, such as opening trade relationships with a
groundling nation, or the discovery of a new spacegoing race that is interested in the arcane’s magical helms.
Contacting the arcane is no trouble in most civilized areas: a few words spread through the local grapevine,
through taverns, guilds, and barracks, are enough to bring one of these creatures to the surface. In game terms,
there is a base 10% chance per day of such an encounter if the player characters are actively looking for an
arcane, with the chance increasing or decreasing depending on location.
The arcane usually do not contact the seeking party directly, instead operating through middlemen, subordinates,
or members of their temporary entourage. They are not violent, but not particularly stupid either, and the fact that
they deal with anyone has made them suspicious of all newcomers.
The arcane’s stock in trade is providing spelljamming helms and other spacefaring equipment. They sell them at
the prices listed for the various helms and equipment in the Concordance of arcane Space. Their continual
presence, high quality, and uniform prices make them the trusted retailers in space. Cheaper prices can be found
in certain areas for goods of questionable quality (such as gnome helms).
The down side of this free enterprise system is that the arcane will deal with almost anyone. They have provided
helms for humans, elves, and mind flayers. They may or many not have developed the orbi for the beholder
nations, but definitely provide the wide variety of hulls tyrant ships use, and maintain a registry to make sure that
no warring factions have the same ship design.
Those who have a problem with their methods quickly find themselves without a supplier, and other attempts to
provide such material have been second-rate or quickly put out of business. The arcane have no dealings with
negoi who apparently have their own methods of building and acquiring spelljamming helms.
It is unknown whether the arcane create the wide variety of spelljamming helms themselves, or secure them from
an unknown dealer. Their shipping methods are questionable as well, as the have been able to secure helms in
locations where there have previously been no helms to acquire. In some cases, a short journey (to a nearby
base or depot) is necessary to provide the helm, and in these cases an arcane might be found on another ship.
As far as the politics and rivalries of the various factions in space goes, the arcane have no concern. All that exist
for them are customers for their goods.
Those dealing with the arcane find them cool, efficient, and most importantly, uncaring. Trying to haggle with an
arcane is a chancy operation. Sometimes they will engage in haggling with a bemused smile, but just as often
leave the buyer hanging and walk out on the negotiations. They do not appreciate being threatened, insulted, or
blackmailed. Those who do so will find it very difficult to purchase reliable equipment. An arcane will not raise his
hand in vengeance or anger… there are more enjoyable and subtle ways to wreak revenge.
Other races view the arcane with a combination of irritation and recognition of them as a necessary evil. The
various gods are silent or misdirecting as far as their origins go, and a number of rumors abound, including their
possible links with the Spelljammer itself. One tale claims that the arcane traded their homeworld to an elder god
for the Spelljammer, only to find that could not control it, plunging the ship into a nearby sun and destroying their
former planet. As a result they are doomed to wander as cosmic traders. The fact that the Spelljammer is still
sighted indicates that this is only a tale, but the arcane have let the story pass from world to world without
correction or comment.
Ecology: The arcane as a race need to eat and breathe as all normal creatures: they cannot breathe the void or
survive for long periods without food. They will often make deals with both sides in a conflict, fully aware that the
amount of firepower they provide will annihilate all of their potential customers in a sphere. Their market is large
enough that such small losses as an entire planet and race do not have a serious impact on their trade.
The arcane seem sexless, or rather members at times seem to act in female or male roles, depending on the
situation. No young arcane have been seen, though whether this is due to their reproductive cycle or their society
is not known.
It is not known what the arcane do with the gold, gems, and magic they collect. One theory says that it is needed
in their reproductive cycle (the basis for a large number of bawdy arcane jokes), while another links it to
production of the helms themselves. As in most things, the arcane keep their own counsel on the matter.
Conversion by Troy Gomm (email@example.com)
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