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Vessels Edit

intro

Green Fire Edit

Ship combat in Mystos would probably be a lot less interesting and just consist of ramming and boarding if it weren't for green fire. Green fire is a type of fluorescent seaweed that, when ignited, creates a burst of corrosive gas that is mildly toxic to humanoids, but devastating to wood and metal. Because of green fire, many turret weapons exist to launch ignited bundles of green fire at other ships.

When an ignited bundle of green fire hits a ship, a cloud of gas is released, which eats away at the hull. The damage is comparable to cannonballs.

Most ports have stone buildings to protect against green fire volleys. Some particularly nasty races will haul large quantities of green fire and pour it around a port. They will then set fire to it using a volley from their ship (or send a burning rowboat into the patch of green fire). The result is a massive burning pile of green fire that blockades the port for days or even weeks depending on the quantity of green fire used and wind activity.

Characters caught in a green fire explosion must make a reflex save based on the turret that launches the green fire. If they succeed and have evasion, they must spend a swift or move action on their next turn to stop their wooden and metal equipment from taking damage. If they succeed and do not have evasion, they must spend a move action. If they fail, they must spend a standard action. If they choose not to take an action (or are unable to), their equipment takes half the damage that the turret would normally deal to ships (this is often enough damage to outright destroy most equipment).

Ships Edit

Ships have several special statistics that they use for combat. Ship combat allows players to invest skills into using their ship to its full potential, but does not focus primarily on the actual battle between the ships. Instead, players can utilize their class features to affect combat.

So, in a way, ship combat is really just a secondary minigame that is quite a bit simpler than regular D&D combat, but accomidates the players making the combat descisions. This system tries to simulate the ship combat, but emphasizes the actual gameplay for the players.

HP: Just like any other object, ships have an HP score. The primary HP score represents their hull and each extra component (which would usually be masts and turrets) has its own HP score.

AC: A ship's AC is set against turrets (a ship weapon). Creatures get a +10 bonus to hit a ship.

DR: Although technically hardness, since we are using ships like a creature, we list their hardness as damage reduction.

Size: Ships use a different size category system than creatures. They have a number assigned to their size where 0 is a rowboat and 8 is a dreadnought. See the table below for size ratings:

Size Type of Ship
0 Rowboat
1 Small sailboat (not combat worthy)
2 Corvette
3 Frigate
4 Cruiser
5 Battlecruiser
6 Battleship
7 Capital Ship
8 Dreadnought

Agility: Somewhat like an initative bonus, but it functions a little differently. See the ship combat rules below.

Crew Size: The maximum number of crew members (NPCs that only have levels in NPC classes) this ship can accommodate. This is in addition to 4-6 characters per size category of the ship (be it the PCs, a captain and his officers, fares that are being transported, non-sailor soldiers, etc.).

Turrets: The maximum number of turrets this ship can have.

Ship Combat Rules Edit

Ship combat doesn't use a grid like regular D&D combat. Instead, it uses a system based around the options: persue, hold, and evade.

Agility Edit

Ship agility is determined by the skill of a ship's captain, and the skill of its crew. Each ship has a base agility, but has an agility bonus determined in the following way.

Determine the average ranks in the Sailing skill of the crew members (crew members are NPCs with only NPC class levels). For every 4 ranks in their average Sailing skill, the ship gets a +1 bonus to its agility.

If the ship is between half crew capacity and full capacity, it gets a -1 penalty to its agility.

If the ship is at less than half crew capacity, it gets a -2 penalty to its agility.

For example, a ship with a 10 crew capacity and 8 crew members that have an average 4.2 ranks in the Sailing skill will get a +0 bonus to agility (+1 from ranks, -1 from unmanned crew positions).

If a character (usually a PC or special enemy NPC) spends a full-round action to help sail the ship, they add a +1 bonus to the ship's agility per 5 points above 10 they get on a Sailing check.

For example, Davy Jones, a 5th level Swashbuckler with 8 ranks in Sailing would add a +1 bonus to the ship's agility if he spends his turn working the sails, rowing, or some other ship-related duty and rolled a 18 (10 + 8). If he rolls a 28, he would add a +3 bonus instead.

Initiative Edit

When ships begin combat, they each roll 3d6 and add their agility modifier. This is similar to an initiative roll (and, in fact, is the order in initiative that the ships move).

Each ship takes their turn when their place in initiative comes up just like in normal D&D. Once the last ship or creature has acted for the round, the acting commander of each ship can choose one of the following options for the next round:

  • Continue Sailing Pattern: The ship's initiative roll decreases by 1.
  • Change Sailing Pattern: The ship rerolls its initiative, potentially giving it a higher or lower score.

Besides this major difference from regular initiative rolls, the initiative order for ships has other implications. A ship gets a +1 bonus to AC and its crew gets a +1 bonus to attack rolls against the other ship for every 2 points ahead on the initiative track their ship is from the other ship. This represents their superior mobility.

For example: The dawntreader, a fast moving frigate is battling a massive but slow battleship, the titan. The dawntreader rolls 3d6+10 and gets 22 for its initiative. The titan rolls 3d6+2 and gets a 10 for its initiative. This means the dawntreader gets +6 AC against the titan and the crew gets +6 to attack rolls against the titan.

On the next turn, the dawntreader decides to continue their sailing progression, so it has a 21 initiative. The titan changes their sailing progression and rolls 3d6+2 and gets an 18! The dawntreader will only get a +1 to AC and its crew a +1 to attack rolls this turn.

Movement Edit

Positioning in ship combat is just a list of relative positions. A ship can be in close range, medium range, or long range (as the spell distances). A fourth range, far range, is used for ship combat to represent ships that are outside of long range. If a ship moves outside of far range, the ship is very far away and is not considered in combat anymore (use regular overland sailing rules instead of these rules to determine pursuit).

A ship moves relative to each other ship. Group each set of ships other than your ship based on whether they are within close range of each other. Against each group, your ship can attempt to maneuver itself in one of the following ways:

  • Pursue: Make an opposed agility check against the lowest agility ship in the group. If you win, you move one distance type closer.
  • Evade: Make an opposed agility check against each ship in the group each ship that you beat is moved one distance type away from you.
  • Hold: You don't make an opposed check against each ship in the group. They remain the same distance away.

Ties go to the ship pursuing or evading.

Here is an example. The dawntreader (agility 3d6+10) is facing 3 pirate ships, 2 at medium range that are beside one another (within close range of each other), 1 at long range. The dawn treader acts first and decides to maneuver in such a way that it draws the two closer ships while keeping a distance from the far away ship. The dawn treader decides to persue the two closer ships and rolls 17 opposed by 12. It succeeds at moving to within close range of the two ships. It also attempts to evade the ship within long range and rolls 20 opposed by 20, which means the other ship is now at far range.

Tracking Position Edit

An easy way to track positioning of ships is to have a table representing each ship like the following:

Dawntreader Pirate 1 Pirate 2
Dawntreader X Close Long
Pirate 1 Close X Medium
Pirate 2 Long Medium X

This way you can quickly reference positioning.

Special Actions Edit

A captain of a ship can, as a full-round action, direct his crew to perform one of the following maneuvers:

Ram: Make an opposed agility check against a ship within Close range. If you succeed, deal 4d6 damage per size category of your ship to the opposing ship. Your ship takes 3d6 damage per size category of the opposing ship. Besides the damage dealt to each ship, ramming causes any creature that has not braced itself to need to make a balance check DC 15 or be knocked prone.

Tacking: Make a single Leadership check opposed by 10 + each enemy captain's leadership bonus. For each captain you succeed against, your ship may make a movement against their ship (pursue, evade, or hold). This movement does not require a successful opposed agility check. You must succeed against the highest leadership bonus for ships that are within close range of each other to make a movement against the group.

Prepare for Boarding: The captain makes a single Leadership check opposed by 10 + an enemy captain's leadership bonus. The enemy captain's ship must be within Close range to initiate this maneuver. If you succeed, your ship is moved beside their ship and you can begin boarding.

Row: Commanding your crew members to row faster allows your ship to get a +2 bonus to its agility until your next turn (which will also adjust the ship's initiative). Rowers can only row quickly for 1 round per constitution bonus before they must make a fortitude save DC 10 + number of rounds spent rowing quickly or else they become fatigued and unable to perform this action until they rest.

Boarding Edit

Whenever a boarding maneuver is initiated, use a combat grid. The round boarding is initiated, the ships are not quite adjacent (unless a ram has occurred) and so to get to the other ship, characters must make a jump/tumble check DC 15 to jump aboard or swing from a rope to the ship. This is a move action, which allows them to make a standard action (probably an attack) aboard the enemy ship during the first round.

The round after boarding is initiated, planks are put between the ships and a character can make a jump/balance/tumble check to get across as a move action, or they can take a full-round to cross without making a check.

Turrets Edit

Turrets are designed to shoot a burst of green fire at ships. They are not very precise and have a -10 to hit a single character (if a character is targeted). Otherwise, the person firing the turret makes an attack roll against the opposing ship (targeting specific locations, such as the mast, if desired). Turrets are considered an exotic weapon, so untrained individuals have a -4 penalty to attack rolls when they use a turret.

Crew members that use turrets act on the ship's turn and do not count towards its agility bonus. This means that it is usually wise to have extra crew members to man the turrets on your ship in order to avoid a penalty for having a not fully manned ship.

Character Roles Edit

Characters can have the following roles to give benefits to the ship.

  • Captain: Make Leadership checks as outlined above to perform special actions with the ship.
  • Engineer: Work on the ship outside of combat to raise its durability and agility (uses Craft: Shipbuilding).
  • Sailor: Make Sailing checks to improve the ship's agility.

Designing a Vessel Edit

Vessel design should be pretty straightforward using the following guidelines:

  • HP is 100 + 50 per size category + 25 per engineer's shipbuilding ranks. One quarter of this HP should be masts. When the masts are destroyed, the ship's base agility should be halved or -2, whichever is lower.
  • Base agility should be +6 + 1/4 engineer's shipbuilding ranks - size of the ship. So a dreadnought with an engineer with 20 shipbuilding ranks would have a +3 agility and a corvette with an engineer with 10 shipbuilding ranks would have a +6 agility.
  • Ships of size 0 or 1 cannot have turrets. Other ships should have room for 2 per size category.
  • The crew for each ship size is as follows:
    • Size 0 - 1
    • Size 1 - 3
    • Size 2 - 6
    • Size 3 - 12
    • Size 4 - 25
    • Size 5 - 50
    • Size 6 - 75
    • Size 7 - 100
    • Size 8 - 150
  • AC should be based on the values in User:Ghostwheel/Grimoire, using the engineer's shipbuilding ranks to determine the level.
  • DR is 5 for wooden parts, 6 for reinforced parts, and 7 for bronze parts.

Example Vessels Edit

Players start with a basic corvette at level 1.

Basic Corvette - Level 1

Size: 2
Crew: 6
Weapon Slots: 4
Agility: +4
Hull
HP: 200
DR: 5
AC: 17
Mast
HP: 50 (part of hull hp)
DR: 5
AC: 18
If Destroyed: Reduce agility by 2
Mounted Harpoon Launcher - Level 1 x2
HP: 25
DR: 5
AC: 17
Attack (full-round): Boarding range, the other ship is bound to this ship via cord. To break free, make an size check (1d20 + ship size category) DC 12 with a -1 penalty per cord attached.
Basic Green Fire Launcher - Level 1 x2
HP: 10
DR: 5
AC: 16
Attack (full-round): Medium range at a -5 penalty, 8d6 damage (ignores DR).
Attack (full-round): Close range, 8d6 damage (ignores DR).

Example Turrets Edit

AC is a relative value based on User:Ghostwheel/Grimoire. So a level 1 turret with a +1 AC would have an 18 AC. Level is based on the engineer's shipbuilding ranks.

Mounted Harpoon Launcher

HP: 15 + 10 per level
DR: 5
AC: +0
Attack (full-round)
  • Range: Boarding
  • Target: Ship (a creature huge sized or larger)
  • Hit: The other ship is bound to this ship via a cord and cannot move out of boarding range. To break free, make a size check (1d20 + ship size category) DC 10 + your ship's size category with a -1 penalty per cord attached. Against creature huge sized or larger, this attack takes the usual -10 penalty, but it deals 1d8 damage per 2 levels of the harpoon launcher (minimum 1d8) if it hits. The creature uses a strength check with a -5 penalty (-1 per cord attached, so a minimum of -6) opposed by the ship's size check to break free or a strength check with a -10 penalty (-1 per cord attached) to submerge the ship (if the creature is able to do so).
    The cords have 4 hp per level with a hardness of 2.
Cost: 100 gp per level
Upgrade: Silk Cords (50 gp per level). The penalty is increased to -2 per silk cord attached.

Harpoon launchers have been used extensively by ships carrying soldiers to solidify the distance between two ships so that boarding is made easier. It has also seen use by many monster hunters to keep them attached to the ship (which is often a dangerous option because some strong sea monsters can capsize ships).

Basic Green Fire Launcher

HP: 10 per level
DR: 5
AC: -1
Attack (full-round)
  • Range: Medium at a -5 penalty, Close at +0
  • Target: Any
  • Hit: 8d6 damage to wooden and metal objects (ignores DR).
Cost: 150 gp per level

The green fire launcher is the main artillery used by most ships. It is usually a small catapult that fires burning oil soaked bundles of cloth filled with green fire. When the bundle strikes an object, the green fire gas bursts outward, corroding any wood and metal it touches.

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