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Airships and alchemical dragons


Rules Questions


Are there any rules for creating these anywhere?

Creating something like one of Golarion's flying cities (now fallen...) seems epic and out of league for the PFRPG. But, at a cost of 50000gp for the airship, it seems within the realm of higher level characters and the power doesn't seem to be out of bounds as, by upper levels, teleport is available and flight is pretty common.

So, I'm looking for some guidelines, preferably (but not exclusively) from the rules themselves...


For a floating city I would use reverse gravity because that spell does not care about weight just area. (also if you had something real heavy in the in the reversed gravity it might hold everything else up).


fictionfan wrote:
For a floating city I would use reverse gravity because that spell does not care about weight just area. (also if you had something real heavy in the in the reversed gravity it might hold everything else up).

Based upon the parameters given, Reverse gravity affects one 10' cube per level. Or, twenty 10 foot cubes at 20th level. That would put one 10' cube 200 feet off the ground at best.

The object reaches the top of the area in the first round.
Once there, I will assume that it would support an equal weight.

So, a 10' cube of lead would weigh a lot and support a lot of weight to a maximum of 200'. That would cost 728000 gp (magic item cost, continuous spell effect: spell level 7 x caster level 13 x 2000 x 4 for being a spell whose duration is measured in rounds) which is well beyond what most adventurers can come up with and is barely within the wealth value for a 20th level character.

Multiplying through to make a city would be astronomical. Plus, I don't see that it would give control to fly around such as the Shory (correct civilization?) had.


Dm fiat.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Dm fiat.

*confused*

dm fiat on making flying cities (not the purpose of this thread) or on making airships and alchemical dragons (the purpose of this thread)?


There are no rules for making flying ships that I am aware of for Pathfinder.


Alright then use immovable rods they will support 8000 pounds each. You can turn them off and on to move the city like tank treads.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

The floating cities obviously use upsidasium.

As for airships, they can be purely magical (using rules for magical items), a mix of magical and physical, or purely physical, using a hydrogen or helium gasbag for example.

All of this is outside the RAW however so this would be better put into the house rules/homebrew section I believe.

Shadow Lodge

You could use decanters of endless water for streams on the island. In one of my homebrews, an engineer teamed up with bard to create a clockwork castle on a floating island. I think a modified version of overland flight was used on runestones that were embedded in the island. This way it could be piloted as well.


Thanks for the responses.


The Thing from Beyond the Edge wrote:

Are there any rules for creating these anywhere?

Creating something like one of Golarion's flying cities (now fallen...) seems epic and out of league for the PFRPG. But, at a cost of 50000gp for the airship, it seems within the realm of higher level characters and the power doesn't seem to be out of bounds as, by upper levels, teleport is available and flight is pretty common.

So, I'm looking for some guidelines, preferably (but not exclusively) from the rules themselves...

Have you though of linking several airships together to make a massive platform?

Your cloud castle could alternatively exist in a tiny demiplane adrift in the plane of reality.

It seems to me that you could also do something with walls of force, solid fog, and the permanency spells.


Davin Perry wrote:
The Thing from Beyond the Edge wrote:

Are there any rules for creating these anywhere?

Creating something like one of Golarion's flying cities (now fallen...) seems epic and out of league for the PFRPG. But, at a cost of 50000gp for the airship, it seems within the realm of higher level characters and the power doesn't seem to be out of bounds as, by upper levels, teleport is available and flight is pretty common.

So, I'm looking for some guidelines, preferably (but not exclusively) from the rules themselves...

Have you though of linking several airships together to make a massive platform?

Your cloud castle could alternatively exist in a tiny demiplane adrift in the plane of reality.

It seems to me that you could also do something with walls of force, solid fog, and the permanency spells.

Perhaps my op has led to some confusion...

When looking for "rules for creating these anywhere?" I was referring to airships and alchemical dragons (the title which proceeded the question) rather than the these (being flying cities) that followed the question.

:)

With respect to the above, although it could theoretically work to create a city, I don't see it as within the reach of PCs.

1. My goal is to figure how the rules would apply to creating airships. So, using airships as a platform to support a city doesn't help me much.

2. Interesting idea. Basically, it would involve having a demiplane with a portal connecting it to the material plane that was mobile and moving through the air. Making enough demiplanes permanent to make a city would become costly (22500 gp per permanency) if one would have more than 10 feet of up down space. Interesting nonetheless and doable is using the immortal oracle mystery in SGG's The Godling Ascendant.

3. Wall of force: one 10 foot square/level. Twenty ten foot squares at 20th level, to minimize the required number of castings. Or, 2000 sq feet. A "city" one mile on a side isn't much of a city. Rounding, 5000 ft * 5000 ft would give 25000000 sq ft. That is 12500 castings of wall of force and 12500 castings of permanency upon each wall of force at a cost of 12500 per casting for a total of 156,250,000 gp. :O

If each side were limited to 1/4 mile that would make the cost 1/16 or 9,765,625 gp. Still way out of reach of non epic PCs without even making the thing fly.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding how the idea is to be put together and far fewer spells would be required. *shrug*


Unfortunately there are no rules when it comes to constructing airships and the like. i guess paizo doesn't want you to get to that level of customizable yet. though i'm sure they'll put it out in future books if there is enough like of the idea.

I think tho that people are harken back to the days of 3.5 and the silliness that ensues from things like the Stronghold Builder's Guide.

i don't think that they want to put out things that are too far from allowing in PFS, which a supplement build around building your own cities/airships/floating castles is pretty far from allowable.

which is sad, i'd love to see a book on that as well as for creating undead, a nercomancer's guide book if you will. As well for golems.

tho for me anything that gives the PC's the ability to create and perpetuate is pretty fickin cool


Maybe it will be in the ultimate equipment guide.

That wouldn't be new "rules" but rather the requirements for creating them using the existing rules.


Vehicle construction rules is something I worked out with my friends. If you want a copy check out "Pure Steam": http://tinyurl.com/puresteam1


Davin Perry wrote:
Vehicle construction rules is something I worked out with my friends. If you want a copy check out "Pure Steam": http://tinyurl.com/puresteam1

Thanks.

Scarab Sages

I thought the way to go to make a flying ship was to use Levitate. Multiple enchantments could take the weight of a suspended object. A 20th level casting can take up to 2000 pounds. Using the item creation rules, this would cost (2 x 20 x 2000) 80,000 gp each. So, one casting per ton of weight. The enchanted levitating objects can be attached to the hull of the ship in various locations to evenly support the structure, or the timbers themselves can be the objects that are enchanted.

Some of the heavier objects can be enchanted even further with Lighten Object, if needed. Permanent Ironwood can also make the wood of the hull stronger and therefore reduce the weight by using lighter pieces. Other magic could come into play as well, if you care to scour the spell lists.

I recall back in 2nd edition there was a spell used for this very purpose in Forgotten Realms - in Halruaa, in fact, where flying ships were the norm. It was a 6th level spell called Suspension. It had the same effects as Levitate but carried 1000 pounds per level. If the GM allows you to create the 6th level version yourself, the item creation rules result in a cost of 240,000 gp for 20,000 pounds of lift. This is a much more efficient spell for the purposes of creating a floating ship, as it was intended to be. The sails of the ship are still needed to control the lateral movement, of course, though the enchanter controls the lift. Gust of Wind or air elementals come in handy when you need some driving power or control.

While not cheap, this method is probably just within the reach of very high level characters. It all depends on the size of the ship, of course.


The spell level x caster level x 2000 is modified by spell duration as explained in the note to the table for Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values. For levitate, duration in minutes per level, there is a multiplier of x2. That would give a cost of 480000 gp.

Needless to say, I am hoping for a cost of 50000 (30000 or so to create) instead of 240000 or 480000. But, that does appear to be a reasonable method to create such a vessel. Thinking appears sound to me.

Scarab Sages

Ah, well, I must really be off today. That's the second post where I screwed something up. Could be that I'm up all night and not sleeping much... Sorry for the incorrect numbers. Anyway, I hope that despite the extra cost it provides a starting point for a useable method of creating the flying ship.


If you're willing to use 3.5 material, Eberron had rules for creating an airship. Though, the process involved enslaving an elemental so it's more difficult and morally questionable than normal item creation. Plus, it requires a totally different item creation feat.


OldManAlexi wrote:
If you're willing to use 3.5 material, Eberron had rules for creating an airship. Though, the process involved enslaving an elemental so it's more difficult and morally questionable than normal item creation. Plus, it requires a totally different item creation feat.

I am (somewhat) familiar with eberron. I have skimmed the section in the setting book on materials (like soarwood) and a section on various creations of certain houses but don't remember specific rules for doing such.

Would you happen to know specifically which book it is in? Page would help but I can find it, sooner or later, if given the book.

With respect to the PFRPG version in UC, I don't expect there to necessarily be an enslaved elemental. I think the best way for PF to explain this would be as a discovery (for both alchemists and wizards) available from 13th or perhaps 15th level on. That would severely limit the number of individuals capable of learning it. Golarion only has a handful of characters of levels from 11 to 15 in any given region. Even fewer individuals of those handfuls would be alchemists and wizards. Still fewer would be levels 13 to 15. Then reduce the number to those out of that set who would not have their development hinge upon other discoveries and I think the numbers would be about right.

To go a little farther...
A 14th level alchemist with greater alchemical simulacrum gained as a discovery could make one of a great wyrm bronze dragon that would be the equivalent to a young adult bronze dragon for 1400 gp. :O Twenty could be created for 28000 gp, roughly the cost of creating an airship. For this I was assuming that the ship was a sailing ship (cost 10000gp) and that the magical creation cost would be half of the remaining (40000 gp) to give a cost of 30000 gp. So, twenty young adult bronze dragons unerringly at your command v one airship.

Note: I have dreamed about going on military conquest with an alchemist...


The airship was in the Eberron Campaign Setting page 267. Again, it's entirely based on the elemental binding so it can't be converted without it. Rules for the binding are on page 51.

On the topic of the alchemical simulcrum dragons, why don't you just build a normal ship and have the dragons carry it through the air. Instant airship.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As a thought...
A colossal animated object costs at least 13k to make. Book suggests 30k to make, but I think that is supposed to include the cost of the item.
If you can justify it to the GM as part of its constructin points you could easily pick up clumsy flight - but you'd never make a flight check with the colossal penalty.
A permanent air walk item would cost 4*7*1.5*2k = 84k, so about 42k to make.
Combine this to create a 64 ft tall/long (or more) item weighing about 125 tons (or more), and that can carry about 176 tons. Slightly better than a 747 according to google.
If you think of it as a 64ft tall x 20ft x20ft tower, and about half livable space, that could be 12800 cubic ft. Further the rules are a little vague as to how big colossal is; 64ft or bigger height/length for example.

So 72k to make a quite nice flying tower that can also attack your enemies.

A city could just be a bunch of these towers strapped together. The cost does start to climb towards the astronomical, but the defensive and trade ability would be incredible.


You could approach a king or merchant guild to float you a loan based on a profit share of your new airborne trade city. "Bankers & Barbarians" anyone?


B&B, I like that.

Regarding OldManAlexi's mentioning of Eberron rules, dragonshards are required and that removes all campaigns not in Eberron. But, I like the idea.

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