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Thread: New Skill

  1. #1
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    Seamanship
    The ability to sail a ship on the high seas even through the worst storms. A captain without seamanship is like a warrior with the ability to use his sword.

    DC Condition
    10 Calm waters
    15 Heavy winds
    20 Thunderstorm
    30 Hurricane

    DC Task
    15 Sail up next to another boat for boarding.
    15 Sailing a sea vessel up a river.
    15 Sail against the wind.
    20 Take a sharp turn in a small boat without tipping over the boat.

    Comments?

  2. #2
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    We had basically been using profession (sailor) to accomplish this type of check. While a profession skill doesn't fit exactly it seemed to be as close as we could get at the time. Since normally a profesion check is made once a week while other skills are usually made on a round basis (or few minute) it could pretty easily be used for manuevering a ship. Intuit Direction would be used to find true north and hence for navigation checks.

    A DC of 30 seems awful low for a hurricane. Ships of the Birthright era would generally sink in a hurricane force storm. Maybe to outrace the storm instead.

    You would need to define what a sharp turn is more clearly. Some types of ships just wouldn't ever turn over - Galleon, Xebec, Roundship. They are just basically too big to worry about it. Smaller vessels could reasonably have a need for this though.

    Some sort of DC for taking a river vessel out into the open seas would also be useful.

    There should be some sort of synergy bonus for boarding troops assisting in maneuvering close enough for boarding since they would be expected to use grappling hooks and such to aid in the process.
    Duane Eggert

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    Updated

    A DC of 30 seems awful low for a hurricane. Ships of the Birthright era would generally sink in a hurricane force storm. Maybe to outrace the storm instead.
    You could sail it through a hurricane if you were good enough, hence the high DC.

    There should be some sort of synergy bonus for boarding troops assisting in maneuvering close enough for boarding since they would be expected to use grappling hooks and such to aid in the process.
    That would be under the cooperation rules in the PHB.

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    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 09:52 PM 4/17/2003 +0200, ecliptic wrote:

    >The ability to sail a ship on the high seas even through the worst storms.
    >A captain without seamanship is like a warrior with the ability to use his
    >sword.
    >
    >DC Condition
    >10 Calm waters
    >15 Heavy winds
    >20 Thunderstorm
    >30 Hurricane
    >
    >DC Task
    >15 Sail up next to another boat for boarding.
    >15 Sail against the wind.
    >20 Take a sharp turn without tipping over the boat.
    >
    >Comments?

    I like it. You might also want to consider some modifiers for the quality
    of a vessel. Masterwork and masterpiece modifiers alone might not make a
    lot of sense in that regard since the worthiness of ships can vary so
    much. Also, it might make sense to have a modifier for crew
    quality/training which could be a sort of special ability similar to the
    "scout" or "elite" status of various troop types and cost a similar amount.

    Sailing in calm waters might be DC 5 rather than 10, but I suppose that
    might depend a bit on whether or not the skill is trained or untrained. As
    a trained only skill DC 5 might make more sense, DC 10 for
    untrained. Also, the DCs for the tasks might be better suited as modifiers
    to the DC for the various sailing "conditions". That is, making a sharp
    turn without tipping over (capsizing) the boat might be +10 to a DC 10
    (calm waters) check.

    You might also want to include what happens when one fails a check. Damage
    to the ship, dead/injured crew, loss of cargo, some catastrophic event like
    sinking, grounding, being blown off course, marooned on Gilligan`s Island, etc.

    For additional information on sailing ships and various methods of
    reflecting them in D&D there are some very good rules in the
    Septentrionalis Campaign Setting available at:
    <http://www.catspawcomics.com/sept/sept.html>

    Gary

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    On Thu, 17 Apr 2003, ecliptic wrote:
    > You could sail it through a hurricane if you were good enough, hence
    > the high DC.

    Yeah, but that`s epic-level-handbook stuff, DC 50 or 60+, not a measily 30
    :)
    --
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    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Surving in huricane force winds is not solely based on skill. The ship's would probably not be "tough enough" to withstand the storms. It is not just the skill of the captain, although it might help to mitigate the damage to the ship.
    Duane Eggert

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    Yeah, but that`s epic-level-handbook stuff, DC 50 or 60+, not a measily 30
    Not really, climbing up a slick straight wall is DC 30. Epic level stuff is sailing in the clouds.

    Surving in huricane force winds is not solely based on skill.
    Yes it is. If the captain doesn't know what hes doing, the the whole ship could be lost.

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    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    Actually surviving a hurricane in a sailing vessel is possible, just not very easy. Obviously, you couldn't actually sail in hurricane strength winds, the winds would tear the masts off the ship if you had any sails up, but a vessel could survive if in the hands of a master seaman.

    True it isn't easy, and most vessels of the BR era would be torn apart and sink, but it should be possible, and not something for Epic Level campaigns. Besides it makes for an interesting adventure if the PCs are on a ship and a hurricane hits them.
    Let me claim your Birthright!!

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "ecliptic" <brnetboard@BIRTHRIGHT.NET>
    Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2003 4:10 PM

    >
    Surving in huricane force winds is not solely based on
    skill.
    >
    > Yes it is. If the captain doesn`t know what hes doing, the the whole
    > ship could be lost.

    How about we try this experiment in a galley? I`m betting that
    super-captain loses his ship. Sea worthiness matters.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  10. #10
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    The biggest factor in surviving a storm is technology. Hurricane in a long boat and I dont care who you are and how skilled you are youre dead. The open boat will be swamped by one wave and then its all over. What type of construction and what type of rudder and design are the major factors here. Once you reach the level that its possible for a ship to survive the waves then the skill of the captain becomes paramount. But before then it doesnt matter. What need to happen is to find out what each ship type is compared to its earthly counter part then you can asses which ships + skill can do what manouvers at sea.

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