Using Ships as a mode of transport

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I am a new dm and i want to use a ship to travel my group around a new map area.  any hints on how to do this and how to give the ship stats so that if they take too much damage they have to repair it etc?  I am going to give them pieces of a map with clues scattered on them that they collect in loot after fighting pirates and attackers on some of the islands.
There are plenty of vehicles with stats in a variety of books. For a basic ship, the Adventurer's Vault works good.

Happy Gaming
I'm curious about the kind of ship you want to give them ?
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

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Thank you very much i didn't think of looking there
Just something that will hold a tiefling, 2x goliath's and 2x humans. nothing too fancy just a vessal that can take them throughout a maze of islands
ok so you're looking for a sea vessel, a boat they can use to navigate.  I was asking because there's many kinds of vehicles they could use to move around even at sea.  for example they could use an air ship and such.
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

If it's jsut the party, and they are only island hopping, I would recomend using the "Folding Astral Skiff" wonderous item from 'Manual of the planes. but reflovring it to be a regular sea vessel. It allows them to magically "fold up" the boat each time they land at an island.
This is very useful, so the can trek aross the island, and unfold it on the otherside without having to backtrack, and they never need to leave the boat unatended.

Also be sure to make available the wonderous items:
 "sail of the four winds" from adventurers vault.
"deep farers pouch" from adventurers vault.

Other nice things to include would be custom magic items, such as
A "magic compass" that always points to the nearest safe landing spot.
A magic weather-rod, which has a free charge of the ritual "portend weather" each day.
If you are going to track the health or seaworthiness of the vessel, the important thing is to make sure that it drives interesting consequences, rather than just stranding the PCs. In The Empire Strikes Back, the mechanical problems with the Falcon drove the characters to an interesting set of Plan Bs. Work with your players to make loss of the vessel interesting, and not just random.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

It takes a LOT of damage to beat up a ship. Your typical pirates are going to be more interested in looting the ship, maybe disabling it, or if they can stealing the ship to add to their own fleet. Ramming was usually only done in desparate naval battles. They're not trying to sink the players. Much better to take them captive and sell them in evil slaver cities or make them row your boat, maybe fight with you after a while.

Unless someone is purposely attacking, it won't matter.

I personally use the GP value of the boat as a gauge. Every HP of damage the boat takes does 10 gp worth of damage. Treat the boat like a monster, a really big monster if you want. Specific parts will have specific AC and HP. The sail, the oars, the rudder, the wheel. Each affects the boat in its own way. Resourceful players might be delayed, but they'll get it fixed, even if they have to make an oar out of their cloaks sewn together.

All in all, you're the DM, if you rule that the boat is still afloat, then by gumbo... she floats!


A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
If it's jsut the party, and they are only island hopping, I would recomend using the "Folding Astral Skiff" wonderous item from 'Manual of the planes. but reflovring it to be a regular sea vessel. It allows them to magically "fold up" the boat each time they land at an island.
This is very useful, so the can trek aross the island, and unfold it on the otherside without having to backtrack, and they never need to leave the boat unatended.

Also be sure to make available the wonderous items:
 "sail of the four winds" from adventurers vault.
"deep farers pouch" from adventurers vault.

Other nice things to include would be custom magic items, such as
A "magic compass" that always points to the nearest safe landing spot.
A magic weather-rod, which has a free charge of the ritual "portend weather" each day.

quall's feather tokens are more cool ones.

I have an item in my world called a bag of wind. In a storm, it calms the weather. In dead weather, it releases the storm into a steady wind. It can only hold one storm and can only be recharged in a storm.

Trusty crew members can watch the boat if you want to have a lower magic campaign.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.