The seas of Gaeleth are ferocious -- not only because it is a moon world orbitting a brown dwarf star, but also because the Goddess of the Seas, Olorin
, demands daily payment for the use of her waters -- or dark consequences follow. The ships that sail the sea are therefore vitally important to national economies, exploration, communication, and even war. Adventurers can spend months on the open sea with not another vessel in sight, or they can put in to land every other week, all depending on the ship they sail on.
General Ship Description
Size: Generally denotes overall hull size and crew requirements. Given in increasing size order - Small (2 crewmen), Medium (3-5 crewmen), Large (6-44 crewmen), Huge (45-59 crewmen), Gargantuan (60-199 crewmen), and Colossal (200+ crewmen). Following this number are the standard dimensions of the vessel, in parentheses, in terms of Length, Width, and Draw.
Propulsion: Self explanatory.
Speed: The typical distance the vessel can cover in one combat round, expressed in feet, followed by the normal 'day range' at that speed for twelve hours, expressed in miles.
Crew: Given as two numbers -- the first being the standard number of crewmen required to safely operate the vessel in a timely manner, and the second being the largest number of crew or personnel the vessel can carry, with all cargo converted to provisions.
Cargo: Given as two numbers -- the first being the normal ferrying cargo, and the second being the requirements for the crew to survive at sea. Normal sailors require 1gallon (8lbs) of water per day, and 5lbs of food per day, translating to 13lbs of provisions per day, per person. Provisions are normally scattered all over the vessel in various nooks and crannies, and it is not unusual for half of the provisions to go bad due to disease, infestation, or disintegration. The provisional cargo determines the range of the vessel at sea.
Hull: Given as three numbers -- Armor Class, Hardness, and Hit Points. These stats are listed for the exterior hull only.
Deck: Given as three numbers -- Armor Class, Hardness, and Hit Points. These stats are listed for damage from above, or to each deck, and between walls inside (if applicable).
Mast: Given as three numbers -- Armor Class, Hardness, and Hit Points. On vessels without masts, these three numbers can apply to towers or defensive fortifications built up on the main deck.
Weapons: Listed as the number of 5x5ft slots available on a vessel for weaponry. Heavy catapults take up 6 slots (10x15ft area), where a light ballista only takes 2 slots (5x10ft area).
Ship Qualities: Feats for the vessel (new ones listed below), and special abilities.
Cost and Construction Time: Listed as a raw gold-piece cost, and general time requirement.
Beachable: The ship can be beached with little or no damage, and can be pulled back off a shelf of land by an experienced crew. Prerequisite: The vessel must be size Large or less, and have a normal crew's compliment available. Benefit: The hull takes no damage from striking shore -- and instead beaches.
Stealthy: The ship is painted black, with black-dyed sails, and possesses other innovations for night time operations. Benefit: The DC for spotting the vessel at night is increased by 8.
Light Ballista: cost 400gp, Hardness 5, 60hp, Slot Cost 2, Damage 2d6, crit20x3, RI120ft, Crew 1, Time 1.5 weeks.
Battles on the Higher Seas
Olorin's Fourth Law is "do no harm to the priests". Priests of Olorin identify themselves in high seas battles with blue and green robes that stand out on a ship's deck. Enemies take careful care not to hit the priests, despite whatever prayers they may be bringing down from above. More often than not, priest battles involve non-violent prayer-casting, such as silence and web. Accidental injuries or harm is forgiven by Olorin, if appropriate prayers of remorse and apology are forth-coming from the individuals doing the harm. Individuals targetting priests in a fight have proven successful, but the Sea Goddess often dispatches krakens and other denizens of the deep to deal with the offending individuals. Krakens, more often than not, cannot target something so small as a 'man', and instead target the vessel itself.
Because of these difficulties in handling priestly battles at sea, certain rules and laws have been codified by sea-going crews. If a priest of Olorin is injured, then the battle stops, reparations are made, and the crews withdraw. The priests of Olorin must be conspicuous, and absent themselves from the main battles -- nor are they allowed to place themselves in harm's way. The First Mate is traditionally responsible for defending the priest, with his life if necessary.
Priests of Olorin that engage in battle, or choose not to wear her colors, are free to act on their own. Attacks against these warrior priests are allowed by the Sea Goddess, so long as the priest fights honorably (i.e. maintains a Lawful Alignment). Such warrior priests cannot invoke Olorin's Wrath after they are injured or harmed by enemy combatants. Priests of Olorin may attack one another with impunity, however, as they can somehow identify one another despite disguises, tricks, illusions, and the like.
Special thanks to Harry "Mac" MacKenzie for his historical knowledge of classic sailing vessels.
Considerable thanks to the Seafarer's Handbook from Fantasy Flight Games for an excellent product.