As the schooner crested the waves, the Lookout, perched atop the highest mast, cried out a word of warning.* *
"Ship ahead!"* *
The officers rushed to the forecastle and peered out into the boiling sea. Not one could make out the vessel they were warned of.* *
"Friend or foe?" The Captain called up. "What flag do they fly?"* *
"Red background, with a white tower! Not one that I know, sir!"* *
The group turned to the Quartermaster, the most traveled of them. His leathery skin made a dry sound as he absentmindedly scratched at his chin.* *
"That would be the flag of the Chalenca Islands" he mused. "They should have no business with us or our... cargo."* *
At that moment, a low "pop" sounded, and a smoking missile was seen climbing through the sky. As the party looked on, it ignited blue, and slowly began falling back toward the waves.* *
"That is, unless, they are Navy" the Quartermaster concluded.* *
"Positions!" The First Mate called. "Men! To your stations!"* *
Catching the eye of his Surgeon, composed himself.* *
"And ladies."* *
As she gathered her pack of salves and bandages, she smiled at him.* *
"You'd best remember that. The way this looks, you'll be thanking me later."* *
The Clairvoyance, her cannons readied, her crew with bated breath, changed course to meet the new challenger.*A half written word document, some index cards, and a lot of improvisation was the first version of my naval rules. More improvisation than usual, I mean. After a fierce couple rounds exchanging cannon fire, my party narrowly escaped their sinking ship onto the enemy captain's own. While the monk took him one on one, the barbarian, bard on her back, literally flew into the fray. The sorcerer found an advantageous position, raining fire across the deck. In that moment, I knew I wanted more. As it turns out, transforming a ruleset made completely for land to the water requires a pretty severe overhaul. This wasn't going to be a patch for a theme, or ideas for a DM to start with - this was going to be the foundation and framework of naval campaigning in Dnd - both for myself and others. I decided, early on, that I wanted to give a potential answer to any question that could be asked. Even if I didn't plan to use it. I would rather include too much and let users slim it down than expecting them to make rules themselves. ### Extras and More Looking for more naval content? The subreddit for Naval rules, questions, companion resources and other discussion is [r/5eNavalCampaigns](https://www.reddit.com/r/5eNavalCampaigns/). Come check us out! Here you can find a collection of resources to help your game, including those specially made for this guide. While you're there, drop me some feedback! It means a lot that you might be interested in helping turn this into best guide it can be. A big thank you to all of those who have helped already! \columnbreak ### Using This Guide #### A Naval Reference I recommend using this guide for the water as you might use the DMG for land - as a reference for when you are unsure on a ruling, and not something to be memorized. At first this may be a lot (same as when you first started!) but after a time you will develop your own rulings and rely on this guide less. While I consider every rule to have its place, you may not, and that's okay! Create the experience you want and let me help you! #### Playing Surfaces Throughout this guide, several different play surfaces (both in and out of game) are referenced. The first of these are "Combat Hexes". Similar to the grid or hex you may use during combat, **Naval Combat takes place on 25ft hexes.** These hexes are what the "Speed" of ships refers to, as well as cannon ranges, etc. IRL, Naval Combat does not have to take place on a hex mat- instead, it can be played on an unmarked surface. The following changes should be made: - Replace any mention of "Hexes" with the Imperial Unit "Inches"
- When moving, ships cannot move backwards. The bow may only move in the fore direction. Each ship may move a number of inches equal to their speed. Each of the Field of Fire templates have a "1 inch" mark, measured from the edge.
- Cannon ranges are also converted to inches (1 inch for every 25 ft). It is recommended to cut a length of string with inches marked for easy measuring. The other measurement mentioned are "Travel Hexes" and are referred to by the "Travel Speed" of ships. These are the sort of hexes are the scale seen in WotC's "Kingdom-Scale" maps. These hexes are roughly 6 miles each and are only used in relation to traveling far distances, such as across seas or island to island. #### Tiers of Rules The Naval Code is a modular ruleset. The rules are designed so that any combination of them should result in a rewarding naval experience. Throughout the document, alternative rules are given in yellow boxes. These rules may simplify the game or add an extra level of complexity. A summary of tiers and a collection of their exact changes can be found in the reference section. The Tiers are as follows: - **Captain Hook:** Which ignores or simplifies many rules, and is best for quickly adding ships to a game. If you think this may be the route you are interested in, I recommend checking out "The Naval Code: Abridged." It made no sense to have to hunt through rules you were unlikely to use, so I compiled the essential ones in this shorter version. - **Pirates of the Caribbean:** The guide in its natural state - **Documentary:** For players who wish for gritty sea life.
1st Rate ships are the powerhouses of the sea. Expensive and grand, a harbor rarely has more than a handful docked at once. Navies only bring these out in dire circumstances due to the enormous costs in maintaining and manning them, but when they do, they get the job done. 1st Rate ships have 3 decks, The Main deck which houses many cannons and the masts, with the wheel atop the aft castle. The Gun deck has many of the living quarters in the forecastle, with officer quarters in the aft. The kitchen and other spaces are also on this level. The Orlop deck acts as storage as well as a brig in many ships. ##### 2nd Rate Ships **80x25 ft. (3x1 hexes)**
The most common vessel on the sea, 2nd Rate ships are as diverse in function as they are effective. From pursuit to smuggling, 2nd Rates are large enough to handle themselves without being the floating fortresses of the 1st. These will be the most common ship for campaigns; affordable enough to customize but with enough weight to throw around. Generally boasting 2 decks, some of the larger styles have 3. The Lower deck has storage in the center, with crew fore and officers aft. Space is limited, and so Officers will likely share 2-3 rooms. The Main deck is like that of 1st rate. ##### Unrated **40x20 ft. (2x1 hexes)**
Unrated ships are simple and fast. While seaworthy, these don't hold a candle to their larger brethren. Able to be manned by a small amount of men, these may be owned by fisherman, small groups, or wealthy aristocrats who wish to spend a day sailing. Don't let their size fool you, however, as their maneuverability and high AC make them a worthy threat. Without space for a battery of cannons, unrated ships are more intent on the boarding of others, and their stats reflect that. While many unrated ships have 2 decks, some do not have a lower deck at all. Small ships all share several additional characteristics, apart from their own unique differences. #### Speed Like characters, ships may move up to their speed on each of their turns. The speed of a ship refers to the number of **25 ft. hexes** it may move on a single turn. Smaller ships are faster than large ones, which is important for maneuvering around their cannons and gaining opportunities for boarding. For more information on how ships move in Naval Combat, see [Movement](#p24). \columnbreak ___ - **Traveling Speed** While the maneuverability of smaller ships allows them to move quickly around a battlefield, they are unable to keep that speed consistently. The raw sailing power of larger ships keeps them consistent, and so are greater over long distances. Ships have a travel speed equal to the number of **6-mile hexes** they are able to travel in a day (assuming 8 hours of travel). These values are what is referenced in the Pilot travel role, and are the basis for the traveling system, where a full day of travel is the full amount. ##### Traveling Speed | Ship |Slow Pace| Normal Pace | Fast Pace| |:---:|:-----------:|:----:|:----:|:----:| | 1st Rate | 4 | 7 | 9 | | 2nd Rate | 4 | 6 | 8 | | Unrated | 4 | 5 | 7 | |Smaller Craft | 1 |2 |3| If a ship is following a current or trade wind, give a +2 to the traveling speed of the ship. If the crew plans to sail for a longer period than 8 hours (but not overnight), than add an additional hex for every 2 hours traveled past 8. #### Damage Threshold Ships are hardy structures which require a considerable attack to take damage. The damage of a single attack must be greater than the damage threshold or have no effect at all on the ship or rigging. This number is not subtracted from damage, it is all or nothing.
**Siege Weapons ignore the Damage Threshold of ships.** #### Storage Capacity This value does not concern cannons, crew, etc. but pertains only to items, rations, and other things being stored. Beyond this value, each ship has room for chests. All officers share access to 2 lock boxes below deck and possess a smaller locker within their living quarters. #### Davit Slots Davits are cranes to hold lifeboats. A ship can hold a number of life boats equal to its davit slots before they begin to take up storage space. By installing Davits (up to the number of slots the ship has), the lifeboat it holds can be lowered as an object interaction instead of an action. (See Davit section in Ship Enhancements.)
(Min/Max)| Skeleton Crew | Max Crew| Storage Capacity| |:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:| | 1st Rate | 35k | 125 x 30ft| 2 | 3 | 10| 8 | 25 | 700 | 50 | 10/26 | 40 | 70 | 6,000 lbs.| | 2nd Rate | 20k | 80 x 25ft | 3 | 2 | 6 | 10 | 20 | 500 | 25 | 4/8 | 15 | 40 | 4,000 lbs.| | Unrated | 10k | 40 x 20ft | 3 | 1 | 2 | 13 | 15 | 400 | 25 | 3/4 | 5 | 15 | 3,200 lbs.|
**Max:** How many cannons a ship can hold **per side** (Port and Starboard)
**Minimum:** An estimate of how few siege weapons any given ship will carry per side - they could of course have fewer. #### Crew Crew are the sailors who work, live, and die on the ship. While this conversationally includes "Officers", the influential positions PC's are able take, "crew" refers to the unskilled laborers that are hired to work the lines and cannons. Skilled crew are also a potential option, persons with proficiencies who are qualified to act as officers. ##### Skeleton Crew The minimum number of workers on a ship needed to make journeys on it without risking exhaustion. This number takes into account the total number of officers, combat units, and the skilled and unskilled crew. More workers are needed to travel around the clock. (See [Night Shift](#p11))
"Alright, then." the Quartermaster said.* *
"We seem to be ready to make sail. 3 light cannons and a Medium to a side should be more than enough"* *
The First mate, standing nearby, looked quizzically at him. "The Clairvoyance" is small by Navy Standards. Shouldn't we focus more on our maneuvers than our guns?* *
The Quartermaster regarded the youth with a practiced eye.* *
"And, what do you suppose we would do with all that maneuvering? I don't pretend these cannons put us at the top of the food chain - but without them we are sitting ducks."* *
"You're not all wrong though. Without our speed, these cannons would be worthless. That's what gives us the edge, what gives us a chance. So, good mind of you.* *
The Captain and Master Gunner were poring over some document near the helm, and the Surgeon, a new member, had found herself a seat by the railing. The Boatswain came above deck, signaling that his repairs were done. Everything was in place, then. It was time to set off.*
The positions and their focus are: ___ - **Captain, First Mate, and Quartermaster:** Leadership and Support - **Helmsman:** Piloting the Ship - **Cannoneer:** Making Attacks with Siege Weapons - **Master Gunner:** The Head Cannonneer - **Surgeon:** Recovering Casualties - **Boatswain:** Repairing the Ship and Weapons - **Arcanist / Militant:** Spell Casters or Martial Fighters All Officers share a position of authority, and as such may give orders to crew (Charisma checks if applicable). Officer Positions are not restrictions, although some may require constant attention. During Naval Combat, ships take initiative, and every member of ship acts as one cohesive unit. Rather than taking full individual turns, Officers may only take a single action each on their ship's turn. For information on how this works, see ["Officer Locations"](#p23). Each Officer Position offers additional actions on top of any other actions you can normally take. These actions are Naval-Combat specific, such as firing cannons or piloting the ship. \columnbreak
Features and Actions granted by officer positions are only available during Naval Combat.
Each Position also comes linked a Travel Role; a responsibility you are trusted with while making journeys on the sea, such as navigating or keeping a lookout. The implementation of these roles are further discussed in "Making A Journey". A quick guide to these roles is available in the "Printable" section.
Officer Positions can be taken or swapped as an action but carry over across non-combat scenarios. There is no need to re-take officer positions.
If initiative is called and you do not have an officer position, or wish for a different one, an action will need to be taken to have it swapped / assigned to you.
**Maximum: 1** ___ The Captain, First Mate, and Quartermaster are generally charismatic officers. While the names may imply authority, remember that all Officers share the top of the hierarchy of a ship. Still, a ship would be amiss without someone calling themselves “Captain” and wearing a funny shaped hat. Without a specific responsibility during combat, these positions focus on supporting others and have the unique ability to take the Boarding Action, in which the entire ship participates. While their Available Actions are the same, differences lie in the Travel Role of each. #### Available Actions: - ***Rally:*** Give a d6 Inspiration Die to an ally. A Charisma Check, DC dependent on the situation, is required. You may use this action only once per battle. - ***Assess:*** An Investigation check to locate any weakness of an opponent’s ship. If successful, you have advantage on your next attack or contest against them for the next minute. - ***Assign Position:*** As an action, you may immediately replace one officer’s position, promote someone to an officer position, etc. The target must accept this change. - You may also use this action to relocate a number of gunners up to double your proficiency bonus to new cannons. - ***Board:*** Free Action. Give the order to Board. See [Boarding](#p32) for more information #### Travel Role ___ - **Navigator** The Navigator helps plan the route for the ship and assists the Helmsman on their journey. Make a Nature / Survival check at each part of the day (5 total), against the same DC as the Helmsman's survival checks. You gain a +1 to Navigation checks if you have access to a map (you must recognize both where you and your destination are on it) - Each success by the Navigator awards the Helmsman +1 bonus to their survival check. - Once the Navigator fails 2 checks, they are unable to give bonuses for the rest of the day.
**Maximum: 1** ___ The Captain, First Mate, and Quartermaster are generally charismatic officers. While the names may imply authority, remember that all Officers share the top of the hierarchy of a ship. Still, a ship would be amiss without a jack - of - all - trades to act as the right hand to the other officers. Without a specific responsibility during combat, these positions focus on supporting others and have the unique ability to take the Boarding Action, in which the entire ship participates. While their Available Actions are the same, differences lie in the Travel Role of each. ___ - ***Rally:*** Give a d6 Inspiration Die to an ally. A Charisma Check, DC dependent on the situation, is required. You may use this action only once per battle. - ***Assess:*** An Investigation check to locate any weakness of an opponent’s ship. If successful, you have advantage on your next attack or contest against them for the next minute. - ***Assign Position:*** As an action, you may immediately replace one officer’s position with another, promote someone to an officer position, etc. The target must accept this change. - You may also use this action to relocate a number of gunners up to double your proficiency bonus to new cannons - ***Board:*** Free Action. Give the order to Board. See [Boarding](#p32) for more information #### Travel Feature ___ - **Shipman.** The first mate is known to be a jack of all trades. As such, you are able to help more than normal. - When you choose to assist another role in their responsibilities, you grant a +2 to their rolls, instead of the usual +1. ### Quartermaster ___ **Honorary: *Master***
**Maximum: 1** ___ The Captain, First Mate, and Quartermaster are generally charismatic officers. While the names may imply authority, remember that all Officers share the top of the hierarchy of a ship. Still, a ship would be amiss without someone to help take care of the crew and their quarters. Without a specific responsibility during combat, these positions focus on supporting others and have the unique ability to take the Boarding Action, in which the entire ship participates. While their Available Actions are the same, differences lie in the Travel Role of each. #### Available Actions: ___ - ***Rally:*** Give a d6 Inspiration Die to an ally. A Charisma Check, DC dependent on the situation, is required. You may use this action only once per battle. - ***Assess:*** An Investigation check to locate any weakness of an opponent’s ship. If successful, you have advantage on your next attack or contest against them for the next minute. \columnbreak ___ - ***Assign Position:*** As an action, you may immediately replace one officer’s position with another, promote someone to an officer position, etc. The target must accept this change. - You may also use this action to relocate a number of gunners up to double your proficiency bonus to new cannons. - ***Board:*** Free Action. Give the order to Board. See [Boarding](#p32) for more information #### Travel Role ___ - **Cook.** A ship's cook is more concerned about preparing and keeping a balanced nutrition for crew than the actual food. Having a dedicated cook results in high quality rations: - Having a cook decreases the chance of disease and promotes higher morale. - After a full day of having a cook, anyone who ate their food may spend one free hit die on their next short rest. Benefit fades at the end of the day following. ### Helmsman ___ **Honorary: *Mr.***
**Recommended: Proficiency in Water Vehicles**
**Restriction:** Cannot also be a Cannoneer or Master Gunner ___ Manning the wheel, the Helmsman is responsible for safely navigating the vessel to its destination. While other Officers should weigh in on the direction of the ship, the Helmsman has the final say and makes the rolls. In combat, the Helmsman might be taking Evasive Maneuvers to avoid the enemy's cannons or ramming the prow directly into another ship. While most officers may only take a single action each turn during Naval Combat, you may also take a Bonus Action, which may only be used for your pilot checks. If you take a non-pilot action, then your pilot checks have disadvantage until the start of your next turn. Remember, don’t drive distracted! #### Available Actions: ___ - ***Evasive Maneuver:*** Dex/Str/Int Pilot Check with disadvantage: If successful, immediately add your proficiency bonus to the ship's AC and gain advantage on the next pilot check to contest a boarding check until the start of your next turn. 1/2 Speed next turn. - ***Come About (Evasive Maneuver Variant):*** Uses full Movement, pilot check to succeed. The aft most section of ship moves to inhabit the hex forward to the one the bow was previously in, and the bow moves in a straight line over so that the ship extends perpendicular to its former orientation. ½ speed next turn. May cause overboard saves, and consecutive attempts are more difficult. See ['Come About'](#p25) in the movement section for the full mechanics. - ***Ram:*** Ram your prow into another ship using your movement. 1d12 damage per hex traveled in straight line (that round, Max 10, Minimum 2), taking 1/2 damage back to your ship. - ***Boarding Check:*** Roll to try and grapple a targeted ship at the end of a turn the [Boarding](#p32) action was taken.
**Maximum: 1** ___ Behold your artillery, Master Gunman. While you roll attacks and damage for the cannons under your control the same as any normal Cannoneer, you have the unique ability to order any side of the ship to fire all their cannons at once in a massive Broadside. This devastating attack will be sure to satiate your appetite for destruction. #### Feature: ___ - Automatically gain the Officer Position “Cannoneer” – together, these two officer positions count as only having 1. Cannons under your control require one less gunner than normal (min. 1). #### Available Actions: ___ - ***Call Broadside:*** (Recharge 5-6) See [Broadside Section](#p28) ### Cannoneer ___ **Honorary: *Mr.***
**Maximum: 4** Cannons require men to man them, and men require other men to lead them. As a cannoneer, you oversee cannons on one side of the ship. Repairing misfires and giving extra guidance to your men, you have the final decision on which of your cannons will be fired at the enemy- and the distinct honor of making the rolls. That’s a lot of dice. ___ #### Feature: Oversee Cannons Select one side of the ship. If there are to be more than 2 canoneers, you should instead select a single deck and side. You may not select cannons that are already under a different cannoneer's jurisdiction. You are in control of all cannons that are assigned to that side, and count as one gunner for the sake of manning them. Firearm proficiency is not required to be a cannoneer. Effects that deal damage when you hit (Hunter’s Mark, Hex) only trigger if you are personally manning a siege weapon - not to cannons you are overseeing. \columnbreak #### Available Actions: ___ - ***Fire!*** Make any number of attacks with cannons under your control. - ***Concentrate:*** Move to assist another Cannoneer. While there, you may help man a siege weapon of your choice. If you have proficiency in Firearms, you may add your proficiency bonus to hit for whichever weapon you are manning. You may return to your position as a free action. - ***Repair:*** Using Tinker's or Smiths’ tools, make a check to repair a misfired cannon (DC= 8+ Misfire Score). The cannon does not need to be one under your control. Failure results in the cannon dropping to 0 hp. Must be proficient in the tools you use. - ***Assess:*** Investigation check to locate any weakness of an opponent’s ship. If successful, you have advantage on your next attack or contest against them for the next minute. ### Surgeon ___ **Honorary: *Dr.***
**Requirement: Medicine Skill or other Healing Means** ___ The Seas are a dangerous place, Doctor, and the burden of life in Naval Combat lies on your shoulders. As crew are injured, you may use your action to attempt to get them on their feet again. Be sure to check out the Casualties section to better understand what your position may require. Remember, everyone on the other side is working as hard as they can to make your life hell. Have fun! #### Available Actions: ___ - ***Treatment*** (Medicine or appropriate tool Check): On a successful check and one use of a Healer’s Kit, you may return one crew casualty back to the fight. If your current crew count is not equal to your total, add one back (up to the original total) This action cannot be taken if you already have crew equal to your total crew. Reference Casualties for more information. - Example: During battle, 3 of your 30 crew fell (27/30 Crew). On a success, you may add 1 crew back, your new crew count being 28/30. Assuming no more casualties, you may take this action 2 more times returning the crew to 30/30, at which point this action cannot be taken. #### Travel Role ___ - **Surgeon.** Spend your day treating the wounded or sick. Requires proficiency in Medicine or an appropriate tool. - On a successful medicine check, 1d4 people may gain the effects of a Lessor Restoration Spell, with the added benefit of decreasing exhaustion levels by 1.
What a Doctor does for people, you do for boats. Only, your instruments aren’t as dainty, and boats can’t sue. Take your actions patching up holes and repairing sails- whatever you can to keep your feet dry. If you have a spare moment, fix a cannon or two. Everyone will thank you for it. #### Available Actions: ___ ___ ___ ___ - ***Order Repairs:*** As an action, you supervise repairs. Choose to repair either the ship or the rigging. The ship recovers hit points equal to **1d4 + your level**, or the rigging recovers **1d4 + your proficiency bonus**. If you are proficient with carpenters’ tools, you may add your proficiency bonus to the HP gained (even if you already added it once). **You may use this action 3 times per day.** - You may also use this action to attempt to repair a misfired cannon. Using it for this purpose does not count against the total for the day. - ***Assess:*** Investigation check to locate any weakness of an opponent’s ship. If successful, you have advantage on your next attack or contest against them for the next minute. You may add your proficiency modifier to this check, regardless of your proficiency in the skill. #### Travel Role ___ - **Carpenter.** Spend the day repairing the ship - The adventuring day is made up of 5 parts. For each of those in which you did not spend time doing anything else (combat, other actions, adventure, etc.), make a Carpenter's tools check (DC: 15). On 3 passes, you may add **2d6 x your proficiency bonus** HP back to the ship. You may split this between Ship and Rigging HP as you see fit. - Assisting this role gives a +1 to each check that you are present for. ### Arcanist ___ **Honorary: *Magus/Arcan***
**Requirement: Ability to cast at least one spell** Some say cannons were invented only to let the mundane contend with the arcane. Arcanists are a central component of any successful ship- leaving port without one is considered foolhardy. While the other officers spend their time wrestling with the ship, take advantage of your own power to influence the battle. Climb to the crow’s nest and rain down fire or obscure your vessel in a well of fog. **Unlike other Officers, you may take full turns on the ship**- but that does come with restrictions. While others are not constrained to any physical space, you are. You can’t cast a lightning bolt from the crow’s nest if the turn before you were helping below deck. Your turns on the ship act exactly as they do on land. This physical location overrides the lack of location most officers have. \columnbreak #### Feature: ___ - As an Arcanist, you may use ship turns as you own turn, taking full turns of actions, bonus actions, movement, etc. Your responsibilities to the ship include helping others with their roles, casting offensive and defensive spells, or doing whatever you deem appropriate. See the [Magic Section](#p30) for information on how spells interact with Naval and Ship-bound combat. - Unlike normal Naval Combat, your location defines what actions are available to be taken- **To take an action granted by an officer position, you must be in the Associated Location of the position that grants you that action.** - So, as a Pilot/Arcanist, you must move to the helm to take any actions associated with piloting. For information on how to take actions, and how to interact with other officers, see the [Associated Locations](#p24) Table in the Combat Section. #### Available Actions: ___ ___ ___ ___ - ***Arcane Well:*** As an Action, you may begin concentrating on your magic. If by your next turn you have not lost concentration, nor failed a Dexterity save due to the ships movement, you may roll 1d4-1 (minimum result of 1), gaining a spell slot of that level to use **only that turn**. If you do not have access to the level gained, you instead gain the highest level you have access to. You may take this action a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus per long rest. - **Note: As with all officer actions, this action may only be taken during Naval Combat.** #### Travel Role ___ - **Lookout** Responsible for making Perception checks to notice landmarks, obstacles, encounters, etc. If you have a lookout at the start of a Naval Encounter, you gain a +1 to the ship's initiative (even if the lookout missed the threat). ##### Turn - By - Turn A turn-by-turn example of an Arcanist
(With the second officer position of First Mate)
to help illustrate the Arcanist's feature: ___ - **Turn 1:** Begins in the crow’s nest- *Action:* “Firebolt”. *Movement:* move down the ladder to the deck (Full movement) - ___ ___ - ___ - ___ - ___ - **Turn 2:** *Movement:* Moves to the wheel. *Action:* “Guidance” on the pilot. *Movement:* Begin moving back to Mast. - ___ ___ - ___ - ___ ___ - **Turn 3:** *Action:* “Arcane Well”, *Movement:* Begin climbing ladder. Saves on Overboard Save from *About Face*. - ___ ___ - ___ - ___ - ___ - ___ - **Turn 4:** Arcane Well grants a 3rd level spell slot. *Movement:* Reaches the top of the mast. *Action:* Casts “Magic Missile” at 3rd level. - ___ ___ - ___ - ___ - ___ - **Turn 5:** *Movement:* Climbs back down Mast- *Action:* Dash, making it halfway to the lower deck. - ___ ___ - ___ - ___ - ___ - **Turn 6:** *Movement:* Finishes climbing down the deck, *Action:* “Rallies” (First Mate) the Master Gunner. - ___ - ___ - ___ - ___ - **Turn 7:** *Action:* Medicine check to assist Surgeon (Success). *Movement:* Back up to the main deck.
> Militants are Martial Combat Officers who share all the same features and rules as Arcanists, but do not require the ability to cast spells. *Arcane Well* is replaced with *Warrior's Focus*.
> **Variant Action:** ***Warrior's Focus:*** As an action, begin concentrating on an attack, with the same concentration rules as Arcane Well. If, by the start of your next turn, your Concentration has not been broken, your next weapon attack has Advantage on both the Attack and Damage rolls. This bonus does not apply to Siege Weapons. You may use this action a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus per long rest. ### General Actions These actions are available to any Officer during Naval Combat. This list is not exhaustive. - **Any actions or bonus actions a character may normally take** (Bonus Actions may be taken using the officer's action) - Give orders to Crew - Participate in Boarding - **Ready for Combat:** As an action, gain advantage on individual initiative if standard combat begins before the start of your ship's next turn. - Interact with anything on the boat - **Brace Yourself:** Gain Advantage on Overboard or Displacement Effect Saves until start of next turn - Man Cannons: Count as a person, may use specialized shots, etc. - Assist another Officer’s Action: - Help pull lines, handle ropes, etc. (+1 Pilot Check) - Assist Surgeon: Surgeon can make an additional medicine check for +1 crew. This check is made at disadvantage unless you have medicine proficiency, or another means of healing available. - Assist Boatswain: +1 to Check, add your Intelligence Score to the HP gained - Leave the Ship: Whether by Small Craft, Rope Swings, Jumping Overboard, Etc. See [Leaving the Ship](#p.24) for more information. ## Making a Journey In a setting which revolves vehicles, traveling from place to place is a key part of the game. No one buys a ship to let it sit in the harbor! These journeys are exciting and often as fruitful as the goal itself. It is between locations that the joys and discoveries of a naval campaign come to life. ### **Starting** At the onset of a journey, a destination, however tentative, must be decided. A location on a map, following a series of directions, a known location, or a basic direction are all acceptable. \columnbreak Making Ready a ship takes 10 Minutes, decreased by 1 minute for every person proficient in water vehicles involved. Making ready involves untethering from the dock, prepping lines and sails, organizing crew, etc. Remember, a ship must have above its Skeleton Crew to make a journey without risking exhaustion. ### **Travel** Based off the *Darker Dungeons Homebrew*, traveling on ships is based around Travel Roles- the responsibilities each Officer has available to take on. It is recommended to see the source for any questions regarding traveling. At the beginning of the adventuring day, you may choose to fulfill **one** of the roles granted by your officer positions, assist another in their role (granting a +1 to their rolls), or neither. Fulfilling a role is an all day commitment. As a group, you must also decide on the pace of travel - the speeds of each class of ship are given in the [Travel Speed](#p5) Section. Your Officer Position defines what roles are available to you. You may elect to change one of your officer positions to gain a certain role. This can be done easily out of combat. Be wary though - once initiative is called, if you want to switch back, it will require an action to do so. When fulfilling a role, consider it the equivalent of traveling over land – you can’t participate in downtime activities while actively scouting for danger. Over the day, rolls are made by the DM to discover if anything happens- and what that thing may be. You may not rest while fulfilling a traveling role. It is not required for every party member to take a role, but to make a journey at all you must have a Pilot. If you do not take a role, you may spend the day as you please- downtime activities, resting, etc.- but know that others may not look kindly at too many days off. Many of the roles echo the originals outlined in the source material, with some additions due to the necessities of life on the high sea. For more information on how to use this traveling mechanic, please reference the Darker Dungeons PDF @ [r/darkerdungeons5e](https://www.reddit.com/r/darkerdungeons5e/) #### Night Shift While ships traditionally do not travel during the night, the ship still requires at least one person to keep her steady. For each portion of watch, a pilot check is made to keep the ship under control on top of a traditional perception check (Pilot DC: 5). The ship makes very little progress over night, as sails are generally up. If the crew wishes to travel through the night, a number equal to skeleton crew will need to have not worked or fought over the day and will not be able to participate in anything until a potential night shift comes again. Navigation checks are made with disadvantage at night. ### **Arrival** Upon reaching the destination, there are several options on how to proceed. If the water is deep enough, the ship can be pulled right to land. Should there be a dock, the ship could be tied there. If the water is too shallow, or the area unsavory, boats can be taken ashore. When this second option is taken, the ship generally sits around 600 ft. from shore, and one or more capable crew are left aboard to look after it.
Crew High in Naval Ability will be respected for their work, and often complete their job to excess. With training, they may be able to be become a Skilled Hireling and be able to assist the pilot or navigator, and eventually take on those responsibilities themselves. Being low in Naval Ability makes a crew member a ready target by the other crew. They may be used as a scapegoat or given extra duties. They don't have a lot of potential on the sea. #### **Demeanor:** A basic idea of the agreeableness of a crew member. A summary of their social skills, this has a large impact in their role on the ship, and how they respond to orders or conditions on the ship. Crew High in demeanor are well liked among the crew, and likely the officers as well. They may be chosen as a sort of mouthpiece for the crew, communicating to the officers the state of things. They will likely seek out and quell trouble on the ship. They raise general moral and take problems and issues in positive ways. If anything happens to them, morale could take quite a toll. Low Demeanor crew are disliked and unwelcome by many- but not all. They may be sneaky or rude, or simply untrusted. Low demeanor crew may interpret things in the worst way, loath orders, and are quick to resort to extreme measure. Have you ever heard of a mutiny?
Weapons ## Siege Weapon Properties The following rules replace the ones given for siege weapons in the DMG. They introduce slightly modified mechanics to range and damage. #### Gunners Each cannon requires a certain number of gunners in order to load, aim, and fire them. There are no proficiencies required to act as a gunner, but acting as one renders you unable to take other actions. The "Required Gunners" is the minimum number that must be assigned for that cannon to be operable. Remember that this number is not compared to the total number of crew, but that crew is a finite resource assigned to cannons. Cannoneers and the Master Gunner (who doubles as a cannoneer) each count as 1 Gunner. - So, if you have 4 gunners (including your canoneers), and 3 Light Cannons (Required Gunners: 2), only 2 of the cannons may be active at the same time. Out of combat, you may assign people however you like to siege weapons- when initiative is rolled, it is assumed that they take their positions. Once in combat, an “Assign Position” Action is required to change their locations. Be sure to note if you have enough crew assigned to man a cannon “**Efficiently**”. #### Attacks and Damage **Siege Weapons do not add any modifiers to their attacks or damage** with the exception of Carronades, which add the highest dexterity modifier of those manning it to its damage. \columnbreak #### Physical Locations In Naval Combat, the location of siege weapons are not tracked except their side of the ship, port or starboard. If you have more than 2 Cannoneers, you may wish to further track which deck ships are on for the sake of control. It takes 5 minutes to change the side a weapon is positioned on. #### Ammunition The Ammunition property is the same as in 5e.
Efficient, Crew Targeting, Siege, Loud, Mobile | Light Cannon (L)| 1,500 gp | 2 | 120 |2d10| Ammunition (range: 100/400/725), Loading (1),
Misfire 1, Efficient, Siege, Loud | Medium Cannon (M)| 2,500 gp | 2 | 120 |4d10| Ammunition (range: 100/275/550), Loading (2),
Misfire 1, Siege, Loud | Heavy Cannon (H)| 3,500 gp | 3 | 150 | 7d10| Ammunition (range: 50/125/225), Loading (2),
Misfire 1, Siege, Loud | Culverin (Cu)| 4,000 gp | 2 | 120 |5d10| Ammunition (range: 0/700), Loading (3),
Misfire 1, Siege, Loud, Artillery | Flamethrower | Legendary| 4 | 120 | 3d8 | Ammunition (25 ft Cone), Loading (4),
Misfire 1, Fire, Siege, Loud
- **Standard Combat:** Heavily Obscured 15 ft radius
- **Naval Combat:** May only target the deck. On hit, one attack per round for the duration is made at disadvantage. (Multiple cannisters stack up to 3 attacks at disv. per round). Attacks against specific targets on the affected ship made at disadvantage for the duration. May also affect perception checks.
Cannon: 50g| Ballista, L, M Cannons| Special: Harpoon | Pitch - Ammo | 5 gp | Catapults| Special: Ignite
- **Standard Combat:** Heavily obscured 10 ft square. If affected: Con Save (DC: 12) or lose your next action coughing. Creatures that don’t need to breathe or are immune to the poisoned condition automatically succeed on this saving throw. - **Naval Combat:** May only target the deck - on hit, the number of cannons the affected ship may fire next turn is decreased by 2. While the effect lasts, - 1 to all siege weapon attacks from affected ship until dispersed (Multiple cannisters stack up to 3 times). Attacks against specific targets on the affected ship made at disv. for the duration. - ***Upgrade:*** ***Heavy Fumes*** (+25 gp): Dispersing requires a strong wind or moving 3 hexes in one turn (or 6 over 3). #### Explosive Shot ___ - *Light or Medium Cannon Ammunition* - ***Explosive Shrapnel:*** Ignites ships and flammable objects in the area that aren't being worn or carried. This shot has potential to impact multiple targets. See the "Targeting" Section for more details. ___ - **In Naval Combat:** - **Targeting Ship:** Deal an extra 1d10 piercing damage to the ship. Contributes its damage to casualties as normal +1 automatic casualty. ___ - **Targeting Crew:** No damage, automatic 1d4-1 Casualties (Minimum: 0 casualties).
- **In Standard Combat:** Targets in a 5ft radius around the impact must make a Dex save (DC: 12) or take 1d8 fire plus 1d8 piercing damage, both halved on a successful save. #### Flairs ___ - *Carronade and Light Cannon Ammunition* - ***Signals:*** - **Red:** Danger - **Blue:** Navy - **Yellow-Green:** Distress \columnbreak #### Fire-Bomb Shot ___ - *Light, Medium and Culverin Ammunition* - ***Fire - Bomb*** 1d8 Additional Fire damage on hit. Ignites ships and flammable objects that are not being worn or carried. #### Grapeshot ___ - *Light, Medium, or Heavy Cannon Ammunition* - **In Naval Combat:** Cannot damage ship: when used, there is no disadvantage to target the crew. On hit, automatically causes 1d4-1 casualties. - **In Standard Combat:** 15ft cone from the side of the target ship - dexterity save (DC: 12) or 2d8 bludgeoning damage, halved on a save. #### Harpoon ___ - *Ballista, Light and Medium Cannon Ammunition* - ***Piercing hook:*** A large, barbed hook on a length of rope. Range: 25 ft. Does not deal normal damage from cannon. Instead, deals 1d10 piercing. On hit, adds +3 to Boarding Bonus while attached. Requires a DC: 16 Athletics check to remove. - ***Upgrade: Chain*** (+25g): Uses chain in place of rope. #### Pitch - Ammo ___ - *Catapult Ammunition* - ***Ignite:*** Ignites Ships and flammable objects
that aren’t being worn or carried.
To increase the potential number of firearms for settings in which firearms are common, remove the "Firearm" property. Instead, all weapons with that property are considered Martial Ranged Weapons. This will increase the number of firearms in a game and allow more experimentation.
Max 5 per 50 ft. of ship
## Ship Enhancements
The following section offers customizable options for ships and cannons. Both can have as many upgrades / enhancements as can be afforded, but some upgrades cannot be added to the same unit. Build Time is 1 day for every 2,000-gold value.
#### Arcanist’s Shield
*Price: 500 gp*
- **Characteristics:** *Defense:* A large wooden shield with an open window. Offers 3 / 4 cover. Disadvantage on assess and perception checks when in use. Can be built on deck or crow’s nest. If installed on a crows nest, pick a side of the ship. It is always in effect toward that side.
- **Further Upgrades** *Iron: +100 gp, Fire Resistant: +100 gp, Full Hut: +1000 gp, Hinged: +40 gp*
#### Bow / Stern Cannon Ports
*Price: 2,500 gp ea., plus price of cannons*
- **Characteristics:** Adds port holes for 2 siege weapons facing fore or aft. Can only fit Light Cannons, Carronades or Ballista. Acts as an additional "side" of the ship. See "Cannon Aim" for more detailed information.
- **Further Upgrades:** *Davey Jones’s Triplets:* Replaces Light cannons with 3-barral cannons. *Triplets only available in Bow. Use Light cannon stats, but 1d10 damage and Loading (0)*
#### Crow’s Nest
*Restriction: Only up to # of masts* ___ - **Characteristics:** *High Ground:* Ranged spell and weapon attacks from the crow’s nest have increased range equal to 1 / 2 their original range (100 ft → 150 ft).
While in the Crows nest, when you succeed on an "Assess" action, you may grant the benefit to another person. - **Further Upgrades:** *Fireproof (250 gp): Nonflammable*, *Metal (500 gp)*, *Feather Fall (1000 gp):* Once per day, a person in the crow’s nest may use a reaction to receive the benefits of *Feather Fall* until they stop falling. \columnbreak #### Davit *Price: 500 gp* ___ - **Characteristics:** Cranes by which to suspend Lifeboats on a ship- each Davit can hold 1 boat which can be quickly deployed as an object interaction. Davits/Boats do not provide cover or take space on a battle map. - **Further Upgrades:** *Longboat Ready (+200g):* The Davit is extended, long enough to house a longboat.
*Stacked (+350g):* Davits are double tall, so that each may hold 2 boats. #### Figurehead *Price: 500-2000 gp* ___ - **Characteristics:** Aesthetics - **Further Upgrades:** Can be enchanted, combined with spotlights, or combined with a ram. #### Fireproofing *Prices:
Deck: 2,000 gp
Hull: 2,000 gp
Masts: 1,500 gp* ___ - **Characteristics:** A fireproofed surface is considered “Nonflammable” for the sake of catching on fire. Fireproofing does not make the surface resistant to fire damage. - **Further Upgrades:** May add fire resistance #### Glass Floor *Price: 1000 gp* ___ - **Characteristics:** *Aesthetic/Exploration:* You may see into the ocean below. Damage threshold = 10, the AC is equal to the ships minus 4. - **Further Upgrades:** Add a Hatch. #### Ironsides *Price: 100,000 gp* ___ - **Characteristics:** +2 AC, Resist B/P/S from Nonmagical Weapons, Fire resistance and Inflammable. -1 speed, +1 round at 1/2 speed to stop. +6 Damage Threshold, and denies other ships the bonus of "Raking Fire". Not compatible with Live Oak or Reinforced Walls. It takes much longer to complete the upgrade than average, and is likely unavailable from most docks. It may require additional research and resources to be gathered. #### Live Oak Hull *Prices:
Bow: 2,000 gp x Ship Size (Unranked=1, 2nd = 2, 1st = 3)
Stern: 2,000 gp x Ship Size
Port Side: 2,500 gp x Ship Size
Starboard Side: 2,500 gp x Ship Size.* ___ - **Characteristics:** Making the hull out of solid pieces of trees as opposed to cut pieces. +1 AC and +4 damage threshold from attacks to that location. Enhancing the Bow or Stern denies other ships the "Raking Fire" damage bonus from the respective direction. It takes longer to complete this upgrade than average. - **Further Upgrades:** May be purchased an additional time in each location for the original price x 2, adding an additional +1 AC and +2 to damage threshold.
*Hooked Ram (+1,500 gp):* When the boarding action is taken, the conditions of moving the same direction and being side by side can be ignored if the pilot uses their action that turn to ram the target ship (The mechanics of ramming, including the movement needed and damage dealt by the action, are unchanged). Upon ramming, the hooks engage, giving a +5 boarding bonus. This upgrade may be combined with a gangplank, to allow passage over the hull. #### Rear-Loading Cannons *Price: 2,000 gp (Whole ship)* ___ - **Characteristics:** Increases Broadside recharge range by 1 (to recharge 4-6) #### Reinforced Walls *Price: 3,000 gp X Ship Size (Unranked=1, 2nd=2, 1st=3)* ___ - **Characteristics:** +50 Ship HP. This can be taken multible times, up to 3. #### Rotating Turret *Price: 1,000 gp ea.* ___ - **Characteristics:** *Swivel:* A siege weapon mounted on a rotating turret can fire at targets on either side, as well as ahead of the ship. Uses a Davit Slot. #### Sail-Drop *Price: 2,000 gp* ___ - **Characteristics:** Adds the capability to drop all the sails as an action (Pilot or Captain/First mate/Quartermaster) - Gain double speed for one round but take 50% of your total rigging HP as damage afterwards. #### Ship Haul *Price: 100 gp each* ___ - **Characteristics:** Attach hooks to either the bow or stern of the ship in order to haul / be hauled. Each hook can hold / pull up to a Large sized creature or object. For each size larger, an addition hook is needed. \columnbreak #### Ship in a Bottle *Price: Varying. 700 gp for a lifeboat* ___ - **Characteristics:** *Free:* Upon breaking or unstopping the bottle, the ship rapidly grows to fill its normal space, following rules the same as an Instant Fortress. One Use. #### Spikes *Price: 3,000 gp* ___ - **Characteristics:** *Defensive:* Doubles damage to ships which ram it. Failing boarding risks taking more damage, and standard gangplanks may not work #### Spotlights *Price: 300 gp ea.* ___ - **Characteristics:** *Light:* By placing a torch in these mirrored lanterns, light is focused off deck. Each lantern can illuminate off one side of the ship (4 needed for complete coverage). Using a Spotlight eliminates darkness penalties for anything on that side but offers the same benefit to other ships. - **Further Upgrades:** *Magic (+200g):* Imbued with the “Light” spell, these lanterns do not require a torch and spring up at a codeword. These are too heavy to be removed from railings and carried. #### Thick Walls *Price: 2,000 gp X Ship Size (Unranked=1, 2nd=2, 1st=3)* ___ - **Characteristics:** 25% of damage deal to the ship is considered for casualties (Down from 50%) ### The Wheel #### Improved Mechanism *Price: 1000 gp* ___ - **Characteristics:** +1 to Pilot checks - **Further Upgrades:** *Fine-Tuned* *(1500g)*: +2 to Pilot checks. Requires Improved Mechanism. #### One-handed wheel *Price: 2000 gp* ___ - **Characteristics:** Pilot checks are no longer made at disadvantage if preforming an action on the same time (Only applicable to Dex-based checks). #### Weighted Mechanisms *Price: 200 gp* ___ - **Characteristics:** Pilot checks over watch are made at advantage - **Further Upgrades:** *Arcane Locked* *(1000g)*: Nighttime Pilot checks have a 75% chance of succeeding even if no one takes them. #### Free Spinning *Price: 500 gp* ___ - **Characteristics:** Gain advantage on Pilot Checks to take the About Face action.
___ - **Available Weapons:** L, M, H Cannons - **Characteristics:** Requires 1 less person to man “efficiently” #### Fail-Switch *Price: 50 gp* ___ - **Available Weapons** All - **Characteristics:** An easy trigger to instantly reduce the weapon to 0hp #### Hardy *Price: 100 gp* ___ - **Available Weapons** All - **Characteristics:** Raise HP by 20, Disadvantage on checks to disable #### Precision *Price: 800 gp each time, extra 1k each time past the first (compounding). Culverin Costs x2.* ___ - **Available Weapons** All - **Characteristics:** +1, +2 and +3 to hit each time taken, respectively. Must take previous bonus before a higher one. So the price of "+2" is the price of "+1 and +2", or 2,600 gp, and you must have already had +1) #### Rifling *Price: 600 gp* ___ - **Available Weapons** Ca, S and M Cannons - **Characteristics:** Increases normal range by 50, and maximum by 25. #### Shock Absorbers *Price: 3,000 gp* ___ - **Available Weapons** All- Whole side only - **Characteristics:** The cannons are seated in springs- Decreases DC of pilot roll due to broadsides by 2 and the other side avoids disadvantage on attacks. #### Human Cannonball *Price: 750 gp* ___ - **Available Weapons** H Cannon - **Characteristics:** Widens the Barrel. Can no longer fire normal shots. Range becomes 30ft. Deals 3d10 fire damage to the "ammunition" #### Bronze Cannons *Price: 1,000 gp* ___ - **Available Weapons** All Cannons - **Characteristics:** A prestigious symbol \columnbreak ##
Character Options ##
Backgrounds: Expanded Sailor
The following backgrounds can be added to the normal selection. It is recommended to add these, as they provide skills and abilities that fit a setting the core books do not consider. For example, The RAW Sailor Background (most fitting for a sea faring campaign) wastes its feature if you own a ship. These options look to fill in the gaps left by land centric player options and compliment other aspects of this guide.
**All Sailor backgrounds gain the additional feature *Sea Legs*:**
#### **Feature:** ***Sea Legs*** Gain advantage on Dexterity checks and saving throws which are due to the ship's motion. ### Sailor: Corsair Not all sailors are in it for travel, or for the romance. Some are in it for money and to better their lot in life. Others are in it for power and privilege. Either way, having a strong background can help you make your way on the high seas. ___ - **Skill Proficiencies:** Athletics, Perception - **Tool Proficiencies:** Vehicles (water) - **Weapon Proficiency:** Firearms - **Equipment:** A belaying pin, 50 feet of silk rope, a lucky charm, a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch containing 12 gp. ______ #### Feature: *Jolly Roger* You spent time sailing under an influential symbol or a well known name, and can be associated with a meaningful insignia, for good or for evil. Your association with this symbol or name grants you advantage on intimidation checks if your target recognizes it. ### Sailor: Ship's Surgeon No one wants scurvy, or to find themselves injured several weeks from shore. The most delicate instrument most of the crew has handled is a butcher’s knife. A ship's surgeon is the backbone of the ship- a man of the sea and of the cloth. Or of science. Or maybe of desperate necessity. Whichever gets the job done. ______ - **Skill Proficiencies:** Investigation, Medicine - **Tools:** Herbalism Kit, Vehicles (water) - **Equipment:** A Healers Kit, common clothes, a quill and ink, and a belt pouch containing 5 gp #### Feature: *Medical Intervention* On a successful Medicine Check with a Healers Kit on an unconscious target, you may spend 5 uses of your kit to heal the creature for 1 HP. (1/LR)
How much of a description do you want? ______ - **Skills:** Survival, Perception - **Tools:** Navigator's tools, Vehicles (water) - **Equipment**: Travelers clothes, navigators’ tools, a chart, and a pouch containing 10 gp. ______ #### Feature: *Sense of Direction* Even at sea, you always know which way North is. You have an eye for the tides, and can further discern whether the tides favor you and how the wind blows (and whether it is likely to change). ### Sailor: Explorer Over your journeys, you sought out incredible sights and experiences. Or perhaps they sought out you. Your life puts fisherman's tales to shame - and may be just as exaggerated. ___ - **Skill Proficiencies:** Nature, Perception - **Tool Proficiencies:** Cartographer's tools, Vehicles (water) - **Language:** One of your choice - **Equipment:** 50 feet of silk rope, a souvenir of somewhere you have been, a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch containing 5 gp. ______ #### Feature: *Discovery* You have made a journey to a legendary or secret location. *(PHB 134, limited to a location)*. ## Additional Feats Should you make use of the optional "Feat" Rule, consider the following options to better craft sea-faring characters. ### Deck-Hand Hard work on the deck of a ship has granted you skills and experience, to the following benefits: - You gain one tool proficiency related to seafaring. - You may assist a traveling role while Long Resting (not while sleeping) - You gain advantage on non-spell based Overboard Saving Throws. - You may assist up to 2 officer's roels while traveling (up from 1) ### Firearm Expert Thanks to extensive practice with firearms, you gain the following benefits: - You gain proficiency in firearms, if you don't already have it. - Being within 5 feet of a hostile creature doesn't impose disadvantage on your ranged attack rolls when using a firearm. - When you use the Attack action and attack with a one - handed weapon, you can use a bonus action to attack with a loaded firearm that you are holding in your off hand. Normal Two Weapon fighting rules apply. \columnbreak
### Pilot Manning the wheel
is natural to you, with the following benefits: - If you do not have it already, you gain proficiency in Water Vehicles and Naval Signals (Flairs and Flags) - If you take a non-pilot action, you do not gain disadvantage on Pilot checks. ## Boon: If a player has a sailor background and takes one of the above feats, they gain an additional boon: ### Salty Dog - You may fulfill up to 3 Officer Positions at the same time - When you rally someone, they may add your proficiency bonus to their roll.
- You gain a climb speed equal to your walking speed, but only on ladders or rigging. Additionally, you have advantage on Acrobatic / Athletic checks relating to moving across the ship, up or down rigging, and boarding. >**DM's:** Awarding this boon, as well as the feature *Sea Legs*, should also be considered over the course of a campaign: as a reward, as a result of training, or a passive result of experience on the sea. **Applicable Tool Proficiencies:**
- **Brewer's:** Who doesn’t like ale? Can also purify water.
- **Calligrapher's:** Analyzing contracts, deals, and maps.
- **Carpenter's:** Can build many of the ship enhancements, may repair ship using proficiency bonus.
- **Cartographer's:** If using a map, add +1 to navigation/pilot travel checks.
- **Jeweler's:** Appraise Treasures and identify mundane loot.
- **Navigator’s:** Add proficiency to Navigation checks.
- **Smith’s:** Repair misfired cannons, and broken cannons with access to a forge.
- **Tinker’s:** Repair cannons that misfire (not able to fix broken cannons).
- One side surrenders, or a cease fire is called (these only stop combat if they are accepted).
- A ship is [Boarded](#p32).
- A ship falls below its [Effective HP](#p28). Battle is paused at this point. Similarly to surrender, the winner may choose to drop combat or continue.
- A ship reaches 0 HP [(Sinking)](#p28). Naval Combat may continue here, individual initiative rolled, or something else. It depends on the circumstances, and is up to the DM. \columnbreak ##### Officer Locations **Officers and crew do not have physical locations in Naval Combat**
Naval Combat takes on a collaborative - discovery style of narrative, where every possible option is always available, and the entire ship acts together as a single unit. In Standard Combat, your physical location defines what you can do. You must move to a lever in order to pull it. In Naval Combat, it is the other way around. Your "location" is defined by the things you do or what happens to you. You take an action, or an action happens to you, and you create an explanation for it. You do not stay in a "location" that is defined after such an event, but move back to a neutral space until something else happens to you or you act on something. Examples: - Any officer can assist any other, even if one is a cannoneer and the other is piloting - Any officer could get hit by any cannonball- no matter where you could have been. If casualties are rolled and you receive damage, then you were in the location a cannonball hit. - You do not move to a casualty to make a medicine check- by making the check, the casualty is understood to have been next to you or it is assumed you moved to them. You create a collaborative story from the actions that occur during a turn. Despite not technically being in any location, you can still imagine your character in these places and form a narrative. The exception to this style of play are the Arcanists / Militants, who follow normal rules. See the [Arcanist](#p10) section for more information. ___ ***
Player 1 (Cannoneer / First Mate):** Ok, I'm going to fire the starboard light cannons at the Navy Ship.*
***Player 2 (Boatswain / Helmsman):** Wait, we have 2 movement left this turn. Let me bring us in closer so you can get advantage to hit.*
***Player 3 (Arcanist / Surgeon):** DM, I used my action to recover a casualty, but I want to use guidance on Player 2 next round. Can I use my movement to make it to the side he was repairing?*
***DM:** You can, but since he's just used his pilot action you'll actually need to go to the Helm. You can make it this turn. As you climb to the top of the deck you see the Navy ship getting quickly larger, as your pilot madly turns the wheel toward it. A thunder of cannons erupts, filling the air with smoke. Roll for the attacks, Player 1.*
#### Pilot Checks Pilot checks are made by the Helmsman to successfully maneuver the ship. These Bonus Actions incur disadvantage if the Helmsman has already preformed a non-pilot action on this turn. Pilot checks can use a variety of abilities based on the situation. A table of abilities and examples as to when a DM may call for each is below: | | | |:---:|:-----------:| |Dexterity | Base Skill: Reacting to things, adjusting course | | Strength | Fighting strong waves or current, fighting the forceful displacement of a ship, fighting or keeping a boarding grapple check | | Intelligence |Planning a route through sharp rocks, intercepting another ship| | Wisdom |Riding with the wind, determining tides | The base DC of these checks is 8, with modifiers due to conditions. Failing a check in Naval Combat will generally cause the hex to cost twice the movement, but sometimes causes the ship to enter a hex adjacent to the one you were moving towards (often with the wind / waves). In other scenarios, the ship may take damage from impacting obstacles or you may fail to gain an advantage you were seeking. \pagebreakNum #### Evasive Maneuver: Come About When the Helmsman takes this action, A pilot check (as a part of the action) is made for the success of the maneuver (DC 10 + situational modifiers), and a second bonus action pilot check (DC: 10) is made to avoid invoking Overboard Saves. This maneuver uses the full speed of the ship for this turn, and the ship must move ½ speed next turn after the attempt. On a success, the aft most section of ship moves to inhabit the hex forward to the one the bow was previously in, and the bow moves in a straight line over so that the ship extends perpendicular to its former orientation. Consecutive about faces gain Disadvantage on both pilot checks, and the DC to avoid Overboard Saves is raised by 3 each time. A failure on the initial pilot check causes the maneuver to fail and raises the DC of overboard saves caused by it by 3.
Unrated ships instead rotate 180 degrees when they Come About, so that their stern inhabits the hex directly forward of its starting position, and the bow flips its position in relationship to it. However, attempting the maneuver automatically invokes Overboard Saves on the crew, and the DC for the save gains a +5 (+2 for each consecutive maneuver). ### Wind ___ - **Favorable:** Ships gain a bonus of 1 to their speed when sailing with the wind. - **Unfavorable:** Movement directly into the wind costs twice the Speed (Difficult Terrain) - This penalty is ignored by Unrated and smaller craft
+1 DC of Int. based pilot checks,
Disadvantage on Asses actions| | Heavy Fog |
Disv. On Int and Dex based pilot checks
Disadvantage on assess actions
Disadvantage on attack rolls further than 100ft | Heavy Rain |Disadvantage on Overboard Saves| | Heavy Wind |
+ 2 speed when sailing with wind
Failed Pilot checks cause ship to move downwind
Disadvantage on evasive maneuvers
Pilot checks may use STR. | |Choppy Waves | +1 to Pilot checks | | Large Waves|
Str Pilot checks common
Lair action: Pilot check to avoid Overboard Saves
Disadvantage on Boarding and acrobatics to board.| | Tidal Wave |
Overboard Saving Throws. Ship is immediately moved up to 300ft. in the direction of the wave | Whirlpool |
Pilot check DC is +5, failures or no check cause the ship to drift toward the center. Moving Counter to the whirlpool is Difficult Terrain, while moving with
it gives +3 speed.
- Naval Combat: Failures always result in disadvantage on any action taken next turn
- Crew is assumed to save unless a Natural 1 was the cause of this check, in which case 1 crew member falls overboard.
Make a secondary Dex save (Same DC). On a failure, you fall overboard. On a success, you may choose to stay on by giving another character disadvantage on this check, and you cannot take an action next round. |
That many crew may not be used next round| | Failure by 7 or less | All Skilled Save, and 1d4 unskilled fall prone
That many crew can be used next round.
Additionally, 1 who fell prone instead falls overboard | | Failure by 8 or More | 1d4-2 Crew Fall overboard. If the save roll was 1, one of them is a skilled hireling |
The Hull is the target of any attack against the ship. Damage done to the hull must succeed the damage threshold of the ship (per attack). Attacks which target the ship add to the Casualty Damage an amount equal to half of what they dealt to the ship. With the exception "Raking Fire", attacks to the hull always hit the side closest to the attack, either port or starboard. The deck is the same as the hull in all respects, but attacks against the crew or specific targets might damage it specifically. ___ - **The Rigging** describes the sails, masts, and other aspects of the ship related to movement. Attacks against the rigging are made with disadvantage **and** -3 to the attack roll. Damage to the rigging impacts the [Rigging HP](#p29), affecting the movement of the ship as it decreases. There is no damage threshold to attacking the rigging, but no damage done to it is considered in the casualty roll. ___ - **The Crew:** The Crew uses the AC of the ship. Attacks against the crew are made with disadvantage, and the crew cannot be targeted if you already have disadvantage on the attack. With some exceptions, attacks targeting the crew do not deal damage to the Ship’s HP, but add their full damage to the Casualty Damage, which might increase the number of casualties rolled at the end of the turn. ___ - **A Specific Target:** Targeting specific targets incurs disadvantage on the attack roll and may incur cover penalties at DM’s discretion. A specific target is anything not listed above, including specific people or things. In this case, the AC and HP are that of the target, and in most cases does not affect casualty rolls, Ship HP, or Rigging Hp. ### Field of Fire In Naval Combat, the only physical location siege weapons are given is which side they are on- their position forward to aft is not tracked. Siege Weapons installed on ships are large installments which cannot easily be moved and have a limited turning radius. Due to the location of a target, the ship may not be able to fire on a target, or not do it well. The area a ship is able to fire on is known as it's Field of Fire. Ships have two parts to their Field of Fire: A central cone in which all cannons of a side have a clear shot on a target, known as the **Full Field**, and a second field, slightly larger, in which the cannons may not have as clear of a shot. In this area, the **Half Field**, the target has Half-Cover (+2 AC). \columnbreak These cones follow similar rules to magic: if a majority of a hex is in a field, it counts as being within it. And if part of the target also inhabits that hex, it counts as being within it. Having a clear shot on any part of a target removes the bonus it might otherwise receive from the half field. Outside of the Field of Fire, the target has Full Cover and cannot be targeted. ___ - **Examples:** - If a ship is only touching the Half Field on the port side, it has Half Cover from all cannon attacks from port, and full cover from cannons on the starboard side. - If a ship is touching the Half Field on both sides of the ship, then both sides will be able to fire (but target benefits from Half Cover) #### Field Templates Each ship has a slightly different field due to their size. Use the templates provided in the "References" section to determine the range at different orientations. Blue Signifies Full Field, while orange indicates the Half Field. To use a template, align the sides with the bow and stern of the ship (or the edges of the hexes the ship inhabits) and align the origin of the template at the midline of the ship. Below are examples of how the templates work with each class of ship. These Templates are only guidelines! If the DM feels confident with the fields, there is no need to use them. ___ ##### ***Unrated:*** ___ ##### ***2nd Rate:*** Second Rate ships have a similar origin as Unrated with a slightly wider spread, Full field starts at 2 hexes wide. Again, the half field is a single row of hexes beside the full field. ______
## Hit Points Ships possess 2 Hit point pools: **Ship** and **Rigging**. There is also the **Casualty Damage**. Ship HP describes the status of the ship, and act much like the HP of a creature. When it hits 0, the ship begins sinking. One half of the damage dealt to the ship is added to the casualty damage for the turn. Ships also contain a value known as the **Effective HP**. While they aren't sinking, ships below this value have been nearly destroyed, and their functions are limited. Rigging HP describes the masts, sails, and steering units of a ship. Damaging these do not cause the ship to sink, but as the HP drops, sanctions are put on the ship to represent its limited sailing capabilities. Unlike creature HP, Rigging HP has a series of effects based on the amount remaining, besides just hitting 0. ### Ship Hit points #### Going Beneath Effective HP As long as a ship's hit points are below its Effective HP, the following penalties are incurred: - Disadvantage on all rolls related to Officer Actions - Disadvantage on all Siege Weapon Attacks
1/2 Speed, 1/2 Travel Speed| | 10% or Lower |No Bonus or penalty from Wind.
Speed equals 1, Travel Speed equals 1 | ### Casualties At the end of each turn, causalities must be calculated for every ship based on the Casualty Damage they took that turn. You begin every turn with 0 Casualty Damage, which increases after every hit which adds damage to it. Attacks that target the ship add an amount of damage equal to half the damage they dealt to the ship, while attacks which target the crew have their full damage added. The casualty damage is the sum total over a single turn. Some attacks specify that they do not affect this total, and some others cause immediate casualties and are therefore not considered a second time. At the end of the turn, consult the following chart to determine the results: ##### Casualty Chart | Tier| Casualty Damage| Casualties | |:---:|:-----------:|:---:| |0 | <30 | No Casualties | |1 | 30 - 39 | 1 Casualty| |2 | 40 - 69 |1d4-1 (minimum 1)| |3 | 70 - 119 | 1d4 (minimum 1)| |4 | 120 - 159 | 1d4+1 | |5 | 160 - 199 | 1d4+2 | |6 | ≥200 | 1d4+3 |
Example: In a turn, a ship is hit by 3 Light cannon hits (11 dmg each) and a medium cannon (25 dmg) targeting the hull, while a javelin hits targeting the crew (6 dmg). The the ship takes 58 HP damage, and 35 casualty damage, so 1 casualty occurs.\columnbreak For every casualty, a non-skilled crew member becomes unconscious but stable, and is no longer able to be used to man cannons, sail, etc. The DM selects (or randomly determines) who this is, and it should be noted that they cannot be used. After determining casualties for a turn, your casualty damage resets to 0 for the next one. You have a chance to recover casualties during combat through certain actions including the Surgeon's "Medical Intervention" or general healing spells, as well as the Casualty Recovery roll at the end of combat. #### Officer Casualties If an attack that was targeting the ship or crew scores a critical hit, it hits a PC/ Skilled Hireling/ Combat Unit on that ship for damage equal to their level. If they do not have a level, their CR can be used. Who is hit is decided by the DM or rolled randomly. The attack does damage to its intended target as normal, but no damage from the attack, regardless of its target, is considered for casualty damage. #### Crewless Casualty Rolls If you have **6** or fewer people available and no unskilled hirelings available, end of round casualties are replaced with Officer Casualties. If you take casualty damage during a round, roll a 1d6. If the number rolled is lower than the tier of damage the ship took that round (see the Casualty Chart), an officer or combat unit takes damage equal to their level. ### Casualty Recovery Casualties are assumed to remain “stable” until the end of combat. At that point, a medicine check can be made to attempt to save them (must be proficient in Medicine and have a Healer’s kit or another combination of an appropriate skill and kit). Crew who went overboard are not counted in this roll and need to be dealt with on a case by case basis. This check is made at the end of all combats that string together- So if Naval Combat transforms into standard combat, it is to be made at the end of standard. While the roll must be made then, the implications as to time and space (whether you must be on the ship, how long this takes, etc.) are up to the DM. For every Crew you succeed on, remove one use of your Kit. The medicine check DC is equal to **8 + the number of casualties** and is rolled on the degree of success "Casualty Recovery" table. To use the help action on this check, you must have proficiency with Medicine or an Applicable Skill. Each additional helper past the first gives a +1 to the roll. You may take disadvantage on the roll to gain a second check, with advantage, to save a specific casualty. Those who took the help action may choose which roll to help, but can only grant their bonus to one.
They are incapacitated for 2 hours
and suffer no exhaustion.| | Succeed by less than 10 | You save all the casualties: They are incapacitated for 6 hours, and upon
awakening suffer 1 point of exhaustion | | Fail | One crew member is unable to
be saved for every number below the DC you rolled, maximum loss of 5. You decide whom.
Survivors are incapacitated for 18 hours,
and upon waking suffer 2 points of exhaustion.| | Fail with a Nat. 1 |There are no survivors: Shaken, you and anyone who assisted take 1 point of exhaustion.|
With the multitude of interactions and new mechanics introduced when fighting on or between ships, some additional rules needed to be in place to expedite magic and create situations with predictable outcomes.
#### General Rulings:
- **Ground**: Water is **NOT** considered ground. Exceptions can of course be made per DM fiat. The deck of a ship **IS** considered ground, but not “earth", "soil", "stone", etc.
- **Exceptions:** *Erupting Earth* and *Bones of the Earth* cannot target ships.
- A ship, and any part affixed to it permanently like a mast is considered one huge / gargantuan water vehicle, and not an object for most cases.
- For how spells can affect the movement of ships, see [Spell Effects on Movement](#p25)
#### Magic in Naval Combat
Like all other damage, spells follow the targeting and damaging rules outlined in [Targets](#p27). When targeting anything, simply roll damage. Assume no saves for half damage and apply the damage rolled to the targets as instructed in the "Targets" section.
**Area of Effect (AOE) Spells:** (*Wall of Fire, Cloudkill*): When targeting the crew with a spell cast at or above the 3rd level that has at least a 10ft radius (or equivalent coverage), roll the damage and use double that when calculating casualties. If the spell maintains over multiple rounds, this bonus damage is only applied on the first round the spell is active.
If an AOE spell does not meet the requirements above, roll the damage and add that to the casualty damage for the round. AOE spells that are not connected to the ground (*Flaming Sphere, Stinking Cloud*) do not move with a ship. They remain where they are cast unless moved by the caster. They will only cause damage if an appropriate amount remains on the ship. AOE spells that are cast to the ground (*Wall of Fire*) move with a ship, remaining where they were cast in reference with the ship, moving as it moves. #### Magic in Standard Combat AOE spells that are not connected to the ground (*Flaming Sphere, Stinking Cloud, Call Lightning*) do not move with a ship. They remain where they are cast. In standard combat, this means they will “move” across the battlefield as the ship moves beneath them. AOE spells that are cast to the ground (*Wall of Fire*) move as a ship moves, remaining stationary in respect to the battlefield. Even in Standard Combat, Spells (or any attack) may hit the ship and damage it if they beat the damage threshold.
##### Determining Targets ___ - **Naval Combat:** For every 10 x 10 ft area affected on the ship, 2 people are considered “affected” by the displacement effect (Max 8, Minimum of 1). This means a spell that affects a 5x20 area affects 2. - **Standard Combat:** There are no changes to the the normal rules regarding who is affected by a spell or effect. The only change to displacement effects in standard combat is the save being rolled on the "Standard Combat Displacement Save" chart.
turn has disadvantage as you scramble back in place.
This replaces the displacement effects.| | Failure by 5 or More | Make a secondary Dex save, DC equal to the first.
**On a success,** you may choose to stay aboard by giving another
disadvantage on the check, and you may take no action next round.
**On a failure,** you fall overboard.| ### Standard Combat Displacement Save | Result | Effect | |:---:|:-----------:| | Success | You Save| | Failure by 4 or less | Follow the directions of the effect.
If this moves you off the ground you are standing on, and not onto
different ground (your ship, another ship, land, etc.) stop moving at
the edge of the furthest point of land and fall prone instead.| | Failure by 5 or More | Follow the full, unchanged directions of the effect
### Crew Displacement Save Chart **Naval Combat Only, Make a Single Roll. For each Skilled Crew affected, add +1 to the roll** | Result | Effect | |:---:|:-----------:| |Success by 5 or More | All Save | | Success | All Skilled save, and half the affected unskilled fall prone
That many fewer crew may be utilized next round| | Failure by 7 or less | All Skilled Save, and 3 out of 4 unskilled fall prone
That many fewer crew may be used next round
Additionally, 1 which fell prone instead falls overboard| | Failure by 8 or More | 2 out of 3 affected unskilled crew fall overboard
Affected Skilled crew must roll on the normal chart at disadvantage.|
The goal of those assisting is to increase the **Boarding Bonus** by using grappling hooks, harpoons or spells. **A bonus of at least +1 is needed or else the boarding automatically fails.**
Here is a collection of what may give a boarding bonus, and a reminder of what offensive boarding bonus they give. The location of the mechanics is also given. | Action | Source | Bonus | |:---:|:---:|:---:| | Grappling Hook| Items | +1 | | Harpoon | Ammunition| +3 | | Hooked Gangplank | Ship Items,
Gangplank Upgrade| +1 | | Hooked Ram| Ship Enhancements| +5 | Below are examples of spells that may increase the boarding bonus. This is not an exhaustive list, and the listed bonuses are suggestions which may differ on a case by case basis. Some spells may not add a direct bonus but influence the check in other ways. | Spell | Bonus | |:---:|:---:| | Grasping Vine| +1 | | Web | +2 | | Bigby’s Hand| +3 | | Arcane Hand | +3 | \columnbreak Instead of helping, you may wish to immediately move onto the targeted ship. The "Boarding Party" should take the "Ready" action to move across using their method of choice with the trigger "when the boarding succeeds". Using them immediately, instead of holding them, could result in being stranded. - Those using rope swings, jumping, etc. will make acrobatics checks. On a success, you choose where to land (must be within 10 feet of the side boarded over) and move onto the boarded ship. On a failure, you may not make it, swing back, or even fall. - If using a gangplank, laying it down is an action- moving across it will requires movement on your turn. ##### The Boarding Check 3. **The "Boarding Check" is made by the Offensive Helmsman, contested with a pilot check from the Defensive Helmsman.** At the end of the ship's turn, the offensive ship needs at least +1 to their boarding bonus. If not, their turn ends. If they do, the Helmsman makes a "Boarding Check" as their action, adding their proficiency bonus and the Boarding Bonus to the roll. This check is contested by a pilot check from the helmsman of the defensive ship, using an ability modifier of their choice.
On a failure, the ships are not grappled. The offensive ship's turn ends, and Naval Combat continues. You may continue to attempt to board on your ship's turns so long as the conditions are met.
On a successful boarding check, the boarding succeeds and both ships are in a modified grapple, detailed in "The Boarding". If an action was held to move onto the ship, it is taken now.
Naval Combat ends and individual initiative is rolled for everyone. Begin Standard Combat. ### The Boarding While in this variant grapple, the speed of both ships drops to 0. Instead, they each move forward one hex at a time in the direction they were heading, potentially listing. The ships stay 10ft away from each other, and neither is able to move freely until the grapple is broken (the boarding bonus reduced to 0), at which point both ships may move freely. As long as the grapple is maintained, neither ship has access to officer actions except the Helmsman. Cannons and other features of the ships are still functional but must be manned or used on an individual basis since unskilled hirelings are not considered present during standard combat. Each round, the offensive helmsman must keep the grapple active using either their Action or Bonus Action. The ships drift apart 5 ft. each round on Initiative count 1 if this bonus action was not taken. This drifting does not occur if the Boarding Bonus is greater than or equal to **+ 5**, as the ships are assumed to stay together. The ships start at 10ft away from each other and move apart from there. Gangplanks are destroyed if the distance between ships is longer then their length. Grappling hooks and harpoons are likewise rendered ineffective if the ships drift apart further than their normal range.
Aboard the defensive ship, the "use object" action can be taken on the wheel of a ship to attempt to immediately break the grapple as an action, or as a bonus action if performed by the Helmsman. This pilot check follows the guidelines in the "Helmsman" section, including being at disadvantage if a non - pilot action was already taken that same turn. If the offensive ship remains piloted, this may be contested the same as the initial check. Otherwise, it is a pilot check with a DC of **10 + the offensive boarding bonus.** On a success, you are able to wrestle the ship out of the range of whatever methods the opponent used to achieve their boarding bonus, breaking ropes and snapping gangplanks, automatically reducing the bonus to 0. Only one check to break the boarding maybe taken per round. The defending or offensive ship may also end the grapple by manually reducing the boarding bonus to 0. This can be done by directly negating the means the offensive ship is using to increase their bonus. Possibilities, depending on what the offensive ship has in place, include removing the grappling hooks, cutting ropes connecting the ships, pushing the ships far enough that these break, etc. These actions may also be held during Naval Combat so they can be done as a reaction as soon as standard combat begins. Many spells hold potential to affect the boarding state, offensive or defensively, such as pushing a ship or controlling the opposing pilot. \columnbreak ### Ending the Grapple As soon as the boarding bonus equals 0, the grapple ends, and the fight on deck either continues or Naval Combat is resumed. In most cases, Naval Combat is resumed with several officers disembarked and aboard another ship - See [Leaving the Ship](#p24) for more information. When reentering Naval Combat, the ships should be next to each other and facing the same way, and pilots should re-roll the ships' initiatives. If there are other ships in the fight or officers still disembarked, keep those initiatives and add the new ship initiatives to the initiative order.
___ > ## Brig >*2nd Rate, 20,000 gp* > ___ > - **Armor Class** 10 > - **Hit Points** 500 > - **Rigging HP** 80 > - **Speed** 3 >___ >|Damage Threshold| Effective HP| Cannon Min/Max| Skeleton Crew| >|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:| >|20|25| 4/8| 15 | >___ > - **Max Crew** 40 > - **Storage** 4,000 lbs. > - **Davit Slots** 6 > - **Damage Immunities:** Psychic, Poison > ___ > > ### Characteristics > - ***Interceptor.*** Daily Travel Speed calculated as if one class up (1st Class) > - **Crow’s Nest.** Has 1 "Crow’s Nest" Enhancement ___ > ## Schooner >*2nd Rate, 20,000 gp* > ___ > - **Armor Class** 10 > - **Hit Points** 500 > - **Rigging HP** 80 > - **Speed** 2 >___ >|Damage Threshold| Effective HP| Cannon Min/Max| Skeleton Crew| >|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:| >|20|25| 4/8| 15 | >___ > - **Max Crew** 40 > - **Storage** 4,000 lbs. > - **Davit Slots** 6 > - **Damage Immunities:** Psychic, Poison > ___ > > ### Characteristics > - ***Low Draft.*** May move in shallow water > - ***Cumbersome.*** -1 Speed > - ***Sleuth*** More difficult to be tracked > - ***Restriction.*** Cannot be outfitted with oars. > - **Crow’s Nest.** Has 1 "Crow’s Nest" Enhancement \columnbreak ___ > ## Frigate >*2nd Rate, 23,000 gp* > ___ > - **Armor Class** 10 > - **Hit Points** 500 > - **Rigging HP** 80 > - **Speed** 2 >___ >|Damage Threshold| Effective HP| Cannon Min/Max| Skeleton Crew| >|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:| >|20|25| 4/8| 15 | >___ > - **Max Crew** 40 > - **Storage** 4,000 lbs. > - **Davit Slots** 6 > - **Damage Immunities:** Psychic, Poison > ___ > > ### Characteristics > - ***Large.*** Largest in Class > - ***Cumbersome.*** -1 Speed > - ***Unyielding*** When being grappled, offensive ship requires +8 Boarding Bonus to avoid drifting when no action is taken (up from 5). > - ***Grappler*** Advantage to maintain boarding (Not initial checks) ___ > ## Carvel >*2nd Rate, 22,000 gp* > ___ > - **Armor Class** 10 > - **Hit Points** 500 > - **Rigging HP** 80 > - **Speed** 3 >___ >|Damage Threshold| Effective HP| Cannon Min/Max| Skeleton Crew| >|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:| >|20|25| 4/8| 15 | >___ > - **Max Crew** 40 > - **Storage** 5,000 lbs. > - **Davit Slots** 6 > - **Damage Immunities:** Psychic, Poison > ___ > > ### Characteristics > - ***Smuggling Hull.*** Secret Storage Room. +1000 lbs carrying capacity, DC 15 Hidden door to locate. > - **Crow’s Nest.** Has 1 "Crow’s Nest" Enhancement
___ > ## Clipper >*2nd Rate, 28,000 gp* > ___ > - **Armor Class** 10 > - **Hit Points** 500 > - **Rigging HP** 80 > - **Speed** 3 >___ >|Damage Threshold| Effective HP| Cannon Min/Max| Skeleton Crew| >|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:| >|20|75| 4/8| 15 | >___ > - **Max Crew** 40 > - **Storage** 4,000 lbs. > - **Davit Slots** 6 > - **Damage Immunities:** Psychic, Poison > ___ > > ### Characteristics > - ***Extra Rigging.*** 3 Masts (+40 Rigging HP) > - ***Increased Speed.*** +1 Speed > - ***Fragile.*** Effective HP: 75 > - **Crow’s Nest.** Has 2 "Crow’s Nest" Enhancement \columnbreak ___ > ## Galley >*2nd Rate, 23,000 gp* > ___ > - **Armor Class** 10 > - **Hit Points** 500 > - **Rigging HP** 80 > - **Speed** 3 >___ >|Damage Threshold| Effective HP| Cannon Min/Max| Skeleton Crew| >|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:| >|20|25| 4/8| 15 | >___ > - **Max Crew** 40 > - **Storage** 4,000 lbs. > - **Davit Slots** 6 > - **Damage Immunities:** Psychic, Poison > ___ > > ### Characteristics > - ***Manual Outfit.*** Includes the Enhancements: "Oars" as well as "Oar Ports" > - **Crow’s Nest.** Has 1 "Crow’s Nest" Enhancement ___ > ## Junk >*2nd Rate, 24,000 gp* > ___ > - **Armor Class** 10 > - **Hit Points** 500 > - **Rigging HP** 100 > - **Speed** 3 >___ >|Damage Threshold| Effective HP| Cannon Min/Max| Skeleton Crew| >|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:| >|20|25| 4/8| 15 | >___ > - **Max Crew** 40 > - **Storage** 4,000 lbs. > - **Davit Slots** 6 > - **Damage Immunities:** Psychic, Poison > ___ > > ### Characteristics > - ***Rudder.*** A Large, Pronounced Rudder (+20 Rigging HP) > - ***Responsive.*** Advantage on evasive maneuvers > - ***Radius.*** When the about face action is taken, the ship does not need to move forward of the prow, and instead lies in the row of hexes the prow inhabited.
___ > ## Braque >*Unrated, 10,000gp* > ___ > - **Armor Class** 13 > - **Hit Points** 400 > - **Rigging HP** 40 > - **Speed** 3 >___ >|Damage Threshold| Effective HP| Cannon Min/Max| Skeleton Crew| >|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:| >|15|25| 3/4| 5| >___ > - **Max Crew** 15 > - **Storage** 3,200 lbs. > - **Davit Slots** 2 > - **Damage Immunities:** Psychic, Poison > ___ > - #### Category Characteristics > - ***Aerodynamic*** Ignore penalties from sailing into wind > - ***Lightweight*** Requires only +3 boarding bonus to avoid drifting in the absence of a check > - ***Improved Turning*** The "Come About” maneuver instead rotates the ship 180 degrees. See “Movement” for more information. > ___ > > ### Characteristics > - ***Steady.*** "Come About" does not automatically invoke overboard saves- a pilot check can be made to avoid them as normal. ___ > ## Corvette >*Unrated, 12,000gp* > ___ > - **Armor Class** 13 > - **Hit Points** 400 > - **Rigging HP** 80 > - **Speed** 3 >___ >|Damage Threshold| Effective HP| Cannon Min/Max| Skeleton Crew| >|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:|:---:| >|15|25| 3/4| 5| >___ > - **Max Crew** 15 > - **Storage** 3,200 lbs. > - **Davit Slots** 2 > - **Damage Immunities:** Psychic, Poison > ___ > - #### Category Characteristics > - ***Aerodynamic*** Ignore penalties from sailing into wind > - ***Lightweight*** Requires only +3 boarding bonus to avoid drifting in the absence of a check > - ***Improved Turning*** The "Come About” maneuver instead rotates the ship 180 degrees. See “Movement” for more information. > ___ > > ### Characteristics > - ***Rigging.*** Has 2 masts (+40 Rigging Hp) > - ***Sleek*** Advantage on "About Face" Pilot checks. > - ***Top Heavy*** The pilot gains Disadvantage on Piloting Saves as a result of Broadsides. > - **Crow’s Nest.** Has 1 "Crow’s Nest" Enhancement
I see this section as a chance to speak a bit more informally to you, the DM, to help you use this guide and give you some personal suggestions. ### General Tips: - Give more gold than usual - While most of the rules are based around travel and Naval Combat, that shouldn’t always be the focus; the destinations are. - Keep Unskilled/skilled hirelings differentiated. Letting players promote unskilled hirelings to officer roles could have consequences on the balance of the game, particularly around boarding. - How to get players a ship: - Steal - Inherit - Emergency on the sea (captain dies) - Earn it after capturing it with others - Already own - Cannons are very deadly. Treat them like dangerous monsters. Don’t introduce the best ones too early the same way you wouldn't throw a dragon at the party. - Players will always "trade up", so don’t present anything you don't expect them to take - Consider rolling to see how much of the ship is recoverable or develop a point-based capture system. - Let players feel secure about leaving their ship on a dock, anchored off shore, etc. No one wants to feel like their coolest possession could be stolen while they sleep. A guard presence, dockworkers, or a harbor master to leave a paper trail with all do well in promoting confidence. If it may be a bad idea to leave the ship for extended time, make this clear to players. - At the same time, the ship being stolen can be a powerful hook, but this should be an exception and used with care. - The longer a trip, the less encounter dense it should be. Require fewer perception checks the longer a trip is, down to one a day, weighing random events in a similar fashion. ##### How To build Naval Combat Unfortunately, it is hard to assign levels or CR to ships the way we can monsters. This makes understanding how two ships compare much harder - compounded with unforgiving nature of Naval Combat. An unbalanced battle is harder to make up for, and escape from, than standard combat. Since ships can be understood by the parts that make them, I use gold as my current balancing tool. Gold accounts for the size of the ship, it's potential for weapons, the crew it has hired, the weapons it has purchased and any upgrades it has. Theoretically, I consider a "Functional Gold Value" for both my parties and enemies ships, a value that ignores any non-combat investments. Evenly matched ships have functional values of within 5,000 gp. By the time you reach a difference of around 10,000 gp, one ship has a nearly insurmountable advantage. To determine values of ships, I use a **Ship Calculator** Excel sheet which is linked in the subreddit [r/5eNavalCampaigns](https://old.reddit.com/r/5eNavalCampaigns/). \columnbreak Using the calculator, I build a ship of the gold value I want, and then transfer the stats onto the ["Naval Combat Management"](#p53) sheet I have supplied at the end of this guide. For starters, I would run your party against a ship of roughly -8,000 gp while they learn the ropes. After that, I would continue to keep enemies at a deficit for a time until you become more comfortable with the system - this has the added bonus of not accidentally giving your players a ship or upgrades you didn't intend. Unfortunately, the gold value method is imperfect, especially at the extremes. An unrated ship with fully upgraded weapons will easily defeat a 1st class ship without any weapons. To a finer degree, different upgrades may be more effective in a specific situation despite having similar prices, something that can't always be accounted for. Basically, take time and get comfortable with this yourself. I will continue to try and improve this aspect of play. ##### How to run naval Combat Naval Combat introduces a lot of new rules and interactive aspects. While this is fun for players, this can bog down an already busy DM. Here are my tips for streamlining things on your end. I often run using these shortcuts: - Use the average damage for each cannon instead of rolling - Track how many of each type of cannon you have, and fire either half or all of each type on a turn, not a specific number - For Broadsides, add +1 damage for every hit, instead of the exploding dice. - To simplify casualties rolls on enemy ships, assume 1 casualty for every 2 hits a ship takes. #### Naval Combat Tips: - Fights should usually end before a ship is sinking - Most Naval Battles end in boarding because the players are most confident on land and in standard combat - they excel there so it's okay. - In Naval Combat, Players have less agency, and comebacks are less possible. Introducing too big of a ship will kill the party - If your party wishes to disengage, try to let them. In my experiences, Naval Combat is given to death spirals, and so if one ship takes the lead the outlook can be bleak for the other. - In the same vein, have contingency plans for if the party's ship is sunk or they are taken captive. This is pretty likely, and you don't want to be caught off guard. - Ship battles are long, I wouldn't use evenly matched ones as random encounters, only planned - A multi-ship battle can easily take up an entire session.
x1 Lifeboat| - | 10/1 | - | | 15k | Dhow | x4 Ballista| Crow’s Nest
Reinforced Walls | - | 10/1 | -| | 20k | Braque | x4 Ballista | Crow’s Nest
Fireproof Deck | Ease of Access (x1) | 10/1 | x2 Ballista Harpoons | | 30k | Braque | x4 Light | Crow’s Nest
Ram | - | 10/1 | x1 Cannon Harpoon | | 35k | Schooner | x4 L
x2 M | Crow’s Nest
Ram| Packed (x2 of Med) | 25/3 | -| |38k| Schooner | x4 L
x2 Ballista | Fireproof Deck | Packed (All Light)| 25/5 | x2 Explosive | | 40k | Kelch | x2 L
x2 H |Crow’s Nest
Fireproof Deck| Packed (All M)| 30/2 | x2 Boring
Flares| | 48k | Kelch|x4 L
x2 H | Crow’s Nest
Reinforced Hull| Packed (All M) | 30/4 | x2 Explosive
x1 Smoke| | 60k | Clipper| x4 L
x2 H | Crow’s Nest
Fireproof Hull |Precision (2, H)| 35/5 | -| | 85k | Merchant|x5 L
x4 H |Crow’s
Improved - Mechanism
Fireproof (all)| Precision (2) and Rifling (2)| 80/5 | x2 Chain
**Square:** A rectangular sail hung from a single yard. The simplest and oldest form of rigging which permitted sailing only before the wind.
**Lanteen:** A triangular sail set on a long yard mounted at an angle on the mast. Capable of taking the wind on either side.
**Jib:** A triangular headsail that sets ahead of the foremast of a ship, mainly used to increase performance and overall stability by reducing turbulence. ##### Sinking: ___ - **Overwhelmed:** Sinks because it cannot deal with the force of waves. An overwhelmed ship becomes swamped, or has water coming in over the deck. An overwhelmed ship that sinks deck up has "foundered," while an overwhelmed ship that sinks on its side or with its hull up has "capsized”. - **Break Deep:** Damage occurs to the ship below the water line. Often, a ship that breaks deep sinks when water rushes into the break and fills the ship. When this occurs, the ship is said to "take water." - **Scuttle:** To "scuttle" a ship is to sink the ship deliberately. - **Split Up:** Particularly long ships are vulnerable to "splitting up" when the waves are high. A ship splits up when its bow ends up on the crest of one wave, while the stern ends up on the crest of the wave immediately behind it. The center of the ship is lifted out of the water and, with no support, splits in half, breaking the ship into two pieces. \columnbreak ##### Speed ___ - The base sailing speed in light winds of the ship. ##### Starboard ___ - The right side of a ship when facing forward. ##### Stern ___ - The aft end of a ship. ##### Stern castle (After castle, Aft castle) ___ - The structure on the stern which often houses the captain’s cabin, upon which the poop deck and wheel sits. ##### Tacking ___ - Changing a ship’s course by angling into the wind. ##### Topside ___ - Moving from a lower deck of a boat to an upper deck. ##### Underway ___ - When a boat is moving, either by motor or wind, this is called being "underway." ##### Velocity ___ - The current speed a ship is traveling, measured in feet per round. ##### Waist ___ - Central deck of a ship that is found between the forecastle and the quarterdeck. ##### Yard ___ - A horizontal pole on which a sail is hung. ##### Yardarm ___ - The main arm across the mast which holds up the sail. or enemies
The Expansion Slots of ships are as follows:
**1st Rate:** 3
**2nd Rate:** 2
___ **Carrack:** Includes “War Room” for free (no expansion slot used)
**East Indiaman:** Includes “Lodgings” room for free
**Galleon:** Includes “Barracks” for free
**Guineaman:** Extra Expansion slot available (4 total)
**Galley:** Extra Expansion Slot Available (3 total)
(retrieved from http://teamcolors.blogspot.com/20
11/09/pirate-paintings-for-national.html) - (P. 49)- **Bram Sels** (retrieved from https://www.artstation.com/bramsels) \pagebreak # Changelog #### v0.1 - 0.2 - Ran with minimal rules #### v0.3 - Too much to count - Converted to GM Binder - Cover Cannon aim - Overboard saves and Magic Section #### v0.4 - Added Travel Speeds - Moved and Renamed Individual / Crew spell based overboard saves - Adjusted Naval Combat Speed - Adjusted Shot Pricing - Changed Officer Casualties to on-crit - Added Officer Location section - Added Militant Officer - Expanded Sailor Backgrounds - Adjusted Boon - Added Quick ship builds - Clarifications to Pilot Checks - Redid Ship table as Statblocks #### v0.5 - Clarified Gear Terminology - Added several enhancements - Adjusted cannon-upgrade prices - Added Images throughout - Cleaned "Shot" table - Clarification in Officer Locations - Clarifications in Magic section - General spelling and grammar #### v0.6 - Massive Re-organization - Combined Officer and Travel roles - Separated Captain, First Mate and Quartermaster - Formatted Cannon tables - Cannon Template Aim mechanics - Nerfed Costs again - Fixed Crab walking ships, supported ship drifting - Removed Redundant Feat, Firearm Expert Feat Added - Added Firearm property, rebalanced firearms - Gave Cannons load time (differentiated from reload) - Cast off times - Began DM Tips - Gave Corsair proficiency in firearms - Siege Weapons now deal double damage to shops (As in RAW) - Adjusted Siege Damage and Ship HP to compensate - Added Casualty Damage trackers to ship / encounter sheets - Added travel Role Reference Sheet - Added DM Reference sheets: Includes Casualty rolls, overboard saves, cannon ranges and damage, and more! - Adjusted Bayonet use - Clarified Asses Action - Combined Gear and Items - Included Crow's nests in some ships - Spelling and Grammer \columnbreak
#### v1.0 - Added Raking Fire - Updated Cannon Range Mechanics & Adjusted to compensate - Nerfed Mobility and AC of Unrated Ships - Added Magic + Movement rules - Added restraints to the "Order Repair" Action - Major Boarding Rework - Simpler, more in line with 5e's design philosophy - Distributed rules to proper locations (e.g., Grappling hook benefit and mechanics are now in the item description) - Rules for being Overboard - Small Craft Rules - Pilot check QoL update - No disadvantage if BA is taken before other actions for logistical reasons. - Added "Using this Guide" section and cleaned the introduction - Reworked Travel Speeds - Larger ships now travel faster than their less powerful counterparts - Naval Code: Abridged - Renamed "Effective HP" - Reworked penalty - Added "Rotating Turret" Upgrade, "Reinforced Walls", renamed "Live Oak Hull" - Tuned some others - Nerfed prices again (massively increased ironside price) - Increased DM tips, including: - How to Build Naval Combat - How to run Naval Combat - Updated all printable materials to reflect changes - Reorganization - Removed Playtest Foreword - Codified rope swings, grappling hooks and harpoons - Renamed "Zones" to "Field of Fire" - Small Individual Ship adjustments - Casualty Adjustment, Major Officer and Crewless casualty Revesion - Clarifications to Magic Rules - Spelling & Grammar