Fairly straight forward question but one I've not been able to answer (though I'm in the middle of the session atm). We're in a high / epic (some of us have just hit lvl 21) campaign where large swathes of the planet can be subject to raining acid at a time (an ongoing effect being created by a deity-level creature).

How can I protect a ship from these rains of acid? Ideally I'd like options for both short (10 mins) and long (several hours) time periods. It needs to be able to have a minimum of acid resistance 15.

We already have the ship in question, it's the Starfarer so it's capable of flying over or being submerged, but sometimes that's not an option, such as when we need to dock and berth the ship. It already has Acid Resistance 5, but that's not enough for this rain. Any other ship stats are a mystery to us as we just got the ship.


Spend 40 or 44k on a "living figurehead" (Stormwrack) of a black, green, or copper dragon (depending on the alignment you wish to feign and the nominal mood you want it to express.) It can function once a week for 10 minutes, but gets your ship an adequate breath weapon and complete immunity to acid. Or buy a planar helm for a 2x Planar Navigation on the ship, and just take a vacation in celestia or equivalent while the storm passes (where the spell targets the ship to and from is left as an exercise for the reader.) Or spend 10k using the stronghold builder's guidebook and turn your ship into a "zone of elemental immunity."

With that said, you're epic, so epic spellcasting can trivially have a spell named "protect a ship against acid, or rather 'convert all acid in 100 miles into minty-fresh spring water' or "kill the gentleman making this acid" or "create sufficient oxidizer or base within 1000 miles to bind to floating acid and neutralize it" (call that one the snow of baking powder) "

Presuming the acid storm is indeed acidic, take a bag of holding (of maximal capacity), fill it with baking soda formed by using polymorph any object on bags of chalk dust (mineral -> mineral of same size and class will be permanent), cast energy immunity (or resistance) on yourself, fly to the heart of the storm, start dumping bags of baking soda into the storm. Use gust of wind spells to distribute it. Given the capabilities of epic parties, this process (or the reverse if the acid is a base caustic called "acid" by the natives) will sufficiently annoy the originator of the acid storms that you can have the inevitable fight with it and resolve the problem in the time honoured adventurer fashion.

However, you don't need to use epic spellcasting. Hardening (spell compendium, page 109) provides an increase in an object's hardness by 1 per every other caster level. A ship, (presuming the ship itself is non-magic), has a default hardness of wood, or 5. Presuming that you don't simply coat the ship in glass or, being epic, adamantine, that provides a 5+(21/2) hardness sufficient to deal with 15 acid damage. You can use the normal means of increasing caster level to provide a hardness that you desire.

You'll need better sails than cloth (assuming no tricks with circle magic or other caster-level increases), but again, being epic, having mithral sails is completely reasonable (or you can simply upgrade to suitably epic means of propulsion).

Depending on the nature of the acid (what kinds of substances does it react with?) you should probably polymorph-any-object the wooden planks of your ship to either adamantine, mithral, ironwood, gold, or deep crystal.)

Any kind of "real bases" , berths, or docks, that you expect to suffer from this acid-storm should be protected by permanent prismatic walls. Note that unlike other walls, prismatic walls don't have the (S) shapeable descriptor. you'll need to have the sculpt spell metamagic to make a proper conic roof. Still, it's worthwhile due to the spell/object immunity it provides.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hm...Tiny Huts would be more useful (the Stronghold Builder's Guide has a permanent version of them as Wondrous Architecture; at your level you could easily afford to buy or make enough to cover the entire ship.) This does assume that the DM views the acid rain as rain. As a bonus, everyone will have Total Concealment against creatures outside their hut. \$\endgroup\$ – Arkhaic Aug 6 '14 at 1:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ Please don't argue in comments. If you wish to answer this question with a different acid v. hardness interpretation, I encourage you to do so. If you have confusion over the rules and a real situation to apply them to (as this seems to be firmly qualified by the real) I encourage you to ask a question about that problem. This answer has generated too many bad comments though. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Aug 6 '14 at 4:04

I believe there are a few options depending on how flexible the GM is and the origin of the acid rain (casting detect magic towards the acid rain would be useful for answers to this, btw).

Firstly, Control Weather seems to be the go-to spell for your problem, but depending on the speed of your ship you might sail out of it quite quickly.

Failing that, as with most rain, the clouds can be blown away with wind. Whirlwind could be used to push the clouds in front of the ship out of the way, and Wind Walls could be set up along the sides of the route to inhibit the clouds moving over the top of the ship. Gust of Wind could also be used to remove clouds, but potentially be used to speed the ship up by pointing it through the ship's sails.

Blocking the rain is limited, as most shields only affect the caster or their creature target, and most of the walls can only be placed vertically; Wall of Force appears to be the best bet, assuming you're high enough level to cover the required area.

Unfortunately, most of these options won't last too long, by the nature of their rules; they would need to be recast on a regular basis, and will be highly situational, meaning you'll soon sail out of the spells' area of effect, but will be useful when you're docked/berthed/deliberately not moving.

The best method for travel, which will unfortunately make your trip longer, would be to cast a spell like Prying Eyes, scout the surrounding area and plot a course that avoids acid clouds. A command similar to "go straight ahead [in this direction] for thirty minutes or until you see acid rainclouds, then return to the ship [this location should be plotted out to ensure retrieval]" could provide the necessary information.

From all this, You'll need either a lot of spell-casters, or - probably more easily available - a lot of spell scrolls.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Wall of Force + Permanency? \$\endgroup\$ – Tim B Aug 4 '14 at 10:09

Permanent Protection from Acid

This answer specifically covers preventing areas such as docks and the like from acid rain, though it is also applicable to a single boat. The rest of this post assumes the following conditions:

  • The party does not regularly encounter winds of 75 miles per hour or higher
  • Acid Rain counts as rain for the purposes of Tiny Hut, and not as a spell effect

The Stronghold Builder's Guide contains an item known as Leomund's Temperate Hut. It creates a permanent version of the Tiny Hut spell, costs 7500 GP and can move around with the ship. As a bonus, it also provides lighting within the area.

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    \$\begingroup\$ That second bullet point is rather unlikely to be true, just as "rain of fire" is unlikely to count as unqualified "rain" for any purpose. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Aug 6 '14 at 3:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, a rain of acid seems in this case to be an actual rain of acid, as a result of some really weird weather. A rain of (nonmagical) fire might fall under the heat clause, though. (It was phrased as protection against the elements if you want to be really picky, though it would definitely be out of line for it to block a fireball or something of that sort...) \$\endgroup\$ – Arkhaic Aug 6 '14 at 3:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ That doesn't follow, and isn't how that English construction decomposes. Compare rain of frogs with rain of acid. That's why this isn't acid rain (rain [n.] that is acidic), but rain of acid (a pouring of acid from the sky). See senses 2 and 3, not 1. "Protection from the elements" is a standard phrase meaning protection from normal wind, rain, heat, etc. A non-magical hurricane doesn't qualify as merely "the elements", nor a magic rain of acid. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Aug 6 '14 at 4:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, I didn't read the edit you put in yesterday. The question still sounds more like sense 1, especially considering answers regarding the use of control weather. In fact, every other answer (save for CursedOgre's nonanswer) refers to it as though the acid rain of acid is coming from a storm or is otherwise actual precipitation, and the question does not lead me to believe otherwise. \$\endgroup\$ – Arkhaic Aug 6 '14 at 4:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSideDie There's no real difference between 'rain of acid' and 'acid rain'. Acid necessarily contains water (otherwise it is inert), acidic rain necessarily is water that contains acid, so either way you wind up with exactly the same thing: acid with water in some ratio, which is falling from the sky. The only difference between regular acid rain and this magical rain of acid would be the strength of the acidity and the fact one's magic, but they're still both correctly described as a rain of acid and as acid rain. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Aug 6 '14 at 11:10

Activation runes, have them all over the ship and when needed just activate. If you only need certain ones then those are the ones that you use so the rest of the ship and the people/creatures on it can work accordingly.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Activation runes containing what spell(s)? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Aug 3 '14 at 19:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ This might be a good answer if it wasn't incomplete. Any desire to fix it? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Aug 5 '14 at 23:49

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