|Gear, drop line||100 gp||1 lb.|
|Harness, airman’s||50 gp||5 lb.|
|Hooks, cling||75 gp||2 lb.|
|Mirrors, signaling||200 gp||2 lb.|
|Parachute, Canvas||20 gp||40 lbs|
|Parachute, Silk||200 gp||20 lbs|
|Quivers, spring||150 gp||2 lb.|
|Signal plume||15 gp||-|
|Tool tether||50 gp||1 lb.|
|Vial, wrist||5 gp||-|
|Wings, airman||500 gp||2 lb|
Gear, drop line: Used with the airman’s harness, drop line gears are simple tools designed to allow an airman or soldier to quickly and safely slide down a drop line. The gear is actually a set of grooved wheels through which the drop line is threaded. These wheels allow the airman to descend at rates of 50 feet to 5 feet per round and are encased in a steel housing. The housing itself is then attached to the rings of the airman’s harness, allowing the wearer to descend the drop-line without using his hands at all, if he so chooses. The gear can also be locked into place, holding the airman at a certain position along the drop line.
During normal use, the drop line gear can support up to 500 pounds in weight. It can only support 300 pounds if the weight is ‘parked’ at a specific point on the drop line for more than a round, however. After that time, the gear’s safety kicks in and releases the brake, safely lowering the wearer at 5 feet
Harness, airman’s: This simple leather harness fits snugly across the torso of an airman and is fastened around his arms and legs as well. The harness is studded with rings that are used for securing safety lines. The harness is normally worn by airmen who work the rigging of an airship, allowing them to slide along the ropes of the rigging without worrying about plummeting to their dooms.
The harness does restrict movement somewhat, reducing the movement of the airman wearing it by five feet per round, as he has to carefully maneuver his safety lines around the ropes of the rigging while still keeping it attached to his harness. The harness provides a +10 circumstance bonus to any checks made to move along the rigging. If, despite this bonus, the airman still falls, the safety line stops his fall after a mere 5-foot drop. Airmen also wear harnesses during heavy weather, when they might unexpectedly find themselves face down on the deck. Any airman wearing a harness may automatically regain his feet during the next round as a move action, as long as that harness is attached to a safety line. A harnessed airman also cannot fall to his death if knocked out of the ship. Virtually all airships have safety lines running the length of the ship’s deck along their edges, along with other safety lines that can be hooked to a harness from the main mast-these ropes have a 20-foot reach and are only used during combat or the most severe weather.
Hooks, cling: Originally pioneered by rogues for use during jobs that require hanging around for extended periods or a considerable amount of climbing, cling hooks attach to the knees and elbows of the user with several leather straps. While in place, the straps slow climbing movement by one-half, but provide a +10 equipment bonus to any climbing skill checks made while the wearer is attempting to
climb up a wooden surface. By digging the blades into the wood, the wearer is able to slowly crawl up the sides of an airship. By reducing movement speed to a mere 5-feet per round, the wearer can even crawl across the bottom of an airship.
If the wearer chooses he can also cling to the side of the airship or similar structure by digging the blades in and simply relaxing. The wearer can hang indefinitely like this, though the GM may require a saves if the airship begins taking extreme maneuvers or is moving at more than 60 mph.
Mirrors, signaling: Used to communicate between airships, signaling mirrors use a set of rotating louvers to start and stop reflecting light. The length of bursts of reflected sunlight and the spaces between these bursts is a crude code used to convey different signals between two points. When the sky is not overcast and the sun is above the horizon and visible from the signaling mirror’s location, the mirror can be seen up to 5 miles distant. When the sky is overcast, or the during the dawn and dusk hours, this distance is reduced to roughly a mile. It requires a full-round action to transmit a message of up to 20 words, and receiving a message takes a full-round action as well.
Learning the code for the signaling mirrors is just like learning a language, and a new language must be taken for each different code you wish to learn. Those who know how to use the signaling mirrors can almost always get a job aboard an airship, especially working for mercenary units or the military, which make frequent use of signaling mirrors to coordinate their actions.
Parachute: A simple bunch of folded cloth, these devices are common on airships, turning a fall of certain death into a potentially survivable drop. When the cord is pulled, a smaller droug shoot pull the parachute out behind it’s wearer, rapidly slowing their velocity down. The round after the Parachute deploys, the wearer drops at half velocity, about 150 ft per round, if pulled at terminal velocity. The round after that, the speed drops again to about 60 ft per round.
Quivers, spring: Designed by an elven archer after his first trip out on a combat airship, the spring quiver looks like a large, leather tube with a pair of wooden disks capping its ends. A thin flap of treated leather covers a small hole in the bottom disk of the tube, keeping water or other fluids from entering the quiver, while allowing arrows to slide out when disk is rotated by the tip of the wearer’s finger. No matter how the quiver is turned or tossed, or whether the wearer is upright or upside down, no arrows fall out and, with a simple twist of his arm to the bottom of the quiver, the archer can retrieve an arrow just as quickly and easily as with a standard quiver. The spring quiver can hold 20 arrows, and takes one minute to preload.
Signal Plume: Few things are more frightening than getting knocked overboard while serving on an airship. While there are many ways to stay in the air after being knocked off the deck, after a heated battle your airship might drift off without you. The signal plume is a self-igniting bundle of powder that, when broken open, creates a brilliant red cloud of smoke. This smoke is not thick (it does not obscure vision) but can automatically be seen by any airship within 1500 feed of your present location, and provides a +4 circumstance bonus to any attempts to spot you at greater distances. Officers always wear signal plumes and most crewmen save their silver pieces up to purchase one. If used on the ground, the plume is not nearly as impressive as when in the air, and simply provides a +2 circumstance bonus to spot the character if within 500 yards of his current location. The smoke is not designed to float upward, but to hover in the air.
Tool Tether: These lengths of lightweight chain are designed to prevent tools from flying overboard if an airman loses his balance or his grip on an item in his hand. The tether is a small spool, upon which five lightweight chains are wound. Each chain is from five to seven feet long, allowing it to stretch across the user’s body easily, without restricting his movements. A tool or weapon is attached to the end of each of these tethers, preventing it from falling away if the airman drops it. No tool attached to a tether can weigh more than five pounds.
As a move action, the airman can use a small crank on the side of the tool tether to wind up all the chains on the spool, bringing all the tools up to the spool where they can be easily grabbed. A simple locking mechanism keeps the spool from unwinding, and the chains can be locked down all together or individually, allowing the airman to pull out the one tool he needs while keeping the others secure on his belt. Most airman carry a tool tether on each belt and would not go on duty without their tethers to keep their tools safe.
The tool tether may also be used as a whip (without reach, though it can still trip and otherwise operates the same as a whip), provided the wielder has the proper exotic weapon proficiency. Stealthy wearers can also use the tether as a garrote, provided they’re skilled in the use of that exotic weapon,
Vial, wrist: This simple device is a spring-loaded vial with a clay cap on one end, and two straps to secure it to the wrist. The vial is pre-filled with a liquid, typically a potion of feather fall. When the potion is needed, the wearer bites off the cap, and the potion is propelled into his mouth. Many airmen wear these vials in case of emergencies.
Wings, airman: For military airships, it is not sufficient to harness a soldier to a safety line and keep him secure aboard his airship. When boarding actions are needed, it is necessary to move soldiers from the safety of their own airship, across the open air, and onto the deck of the enemy. This can be very dangerous and, should a gangplank fall or a boarding ramp be destroyed, might end the lives of dozens of soldiers.
This problem has been alleviated, to some extent, by the invention of airman wings. These extremely light ‘wings’ are actually flaps of woven spider silk that are strung between the wrists and ankles of the airmen who wear them. While they are useless on the ground, they provide a perfect means for gliding men from one location to another, provided they don’t have to cover a great distance. For every 10 feet a soldier wearing these wings moves through the air, he also descends by five feet. Gliding soldiers have a flying speed of 50 feet per round and must use all of that movement each round as they glide through the air, but are treated as if they were flying creatures with average maneuverability. Note that anyone wearing these wings may take no other actions during the round save staying aloft and steering the wings-a character may not attack, cast spells, use psionics, or undertake any other action while airborne.
Though soldiers see the wings as disposable items, other airmen value their wings and keep them in good repair for years on end.
Landing a wingsuit is rather difficult without a parachute or similar device. Landing require a successful Fly Check at DC 20. If the fail, the lander take 5d6 of damage as they crash. If they succeed, they still take 2d6 non lethal damage from the impact.
Particularly daring sailors may even choose to go ‘thermal gliding’, taking advantage of the thermals in the area the same as an airship can. If an airman attempts to enter a thermal while wearing these wings, he must immediately make a Fly check (DC 15 + 1 per altitude band at which he is entering the thermal). If this check succeeds, he is able to brave the turbulence at the edge of the thermal and begins gliding on the heated winds swirling around him. An airman who exits an airship that is currently in a thermal does not have to make this check, provided he is on the portion of the airship that is currently inside the thermal and out of reach of the ring of turbulence.
Airmen who fail to successfully enter the thermal are simply rebuffed by the power of the turbulence, the airman loses one band of altitude immediately and must move at least 50 feet away from the thermal before they can attempt to reenter the thermal from a different direction.
While inside a thermal, the airman is not as strongly affected by the lift of the thermal because his wings are not able to capture as much of the air as an airship’s hull and sails. Regardless of the lift capacity of the thermal, the airman may circle inside the thermal and gain one altitude band for each round during which he remains within the thermal. This requires no skill check.
If the airman attempts to leave the thermal, he must make a Fly skill check (DC 15 +1 per altitude band from which he is leaving the thermal). If this skill check succeeds, the airman is now out of the thermal and drifting along at the rates listed above. If the check fails, however, the airman loses a band of altitude immediately and must fly in a straight line for at least 50 feet before he is able to change course again. Note that airman wings are very fragile and are destroyed if they suffer even a single hit point of damage from fire. Other forms of damage must cause at least 6 hit points of damage before the wings are destroyed.