The Helm is what powers Spelljamming ships, or rather the pilot in it does. When a spellcaster sits in the helm it takes 1d4 rounds to synch with the ship. After that time the pilot is able to maneuver the ship as a standard action simply by concentrating.
From the time the pilot synchs with the Helm onwards he or she is unable to cast spells- although domain, bloodline, and school special abilities are still available. This inability to cast spells continues until 1d10 rounds minus the pilots pertinent ability modifier, minimum 1 round, after leaving physical contact with the helm.
Helms are minor artifacts, none know the secret of their construction other than the Merchants Arcane, or Mercane. There are rumors that high level mages of the Elven Imperial Fleet have recently started crafting helms of thier own, but at this point that is still rumor.
The list below includes the "standard cost" for helms in an active space-faring port like the Rock of Bral or Refuge. Note that in other places the price quickly becomes what the market will bear and thus can drop or rise considerably.
Helm Cost Max Tonnage TR Sailjamming 2,000 None 1 Minor Helm 80,000 50 1/3 levels Major Helm 160,000 100 1/2 levels Great Helm 600,000 250 1/3 levels Epic Helm Priceless ??? 1/2 levels Crown of Stars Priceless 120 1/2 levels Furnace, Minor 10,000 or 30,000 20 special Furnace, Major 100,000 100 2 Artifurnace Priceless ??? 1/2 levels Lifejamming 50,000 ??? varies Series Helm (Psionic) 50,000 plus 25,000 per extra Varies, 5-50 1/helm Pool Helm 80,000 (Illithids Only) ??? ???
In ages past, the enigmatic blue giants known as the arcane came forward and offered a seafaring tribe of elves an odd item: a large metal throne to be bolted onto a ship. The arcane claimed it would allow them to make the ship fly. More than that, though, they claimed it would allow them to fly their ship through the heavens, from their own world to the other worlds in the night sky. The called it a helm, and they called using it to fly through the stars “spelljamming.”
Since that fateful day the arcane have been selling their spelljamming helms to most any buyer, and they seem to have a limitless supply of these powerful items. Perhaps more surprising is the strangely low prices they charge. While not affordable to the common man, a helm is cheap enough that an entire society of spacefaring people has arisen.
A spelljamming helm is typically a chair that is bolted onto the ship it is to propel. They are quite sturdily built, and while they are not adorned with gems or rare metals, they look quite
throne-like. They are typically well cushioned and comfortable. A standard helm is designed to fit any medium-size humanoid, and anything smaller can sit in it as well. The arcane build helms to suit other races, though, including up to huge size humanoids. They also build helms for non-humanoid races, such as the dracon or rastipede. Such helms look like low, wide couches.