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    Canonfire :: View topic - Living Naval Architecture
    Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion
    Living Naval Architecture
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 07, 2004
    Posts: 1830
    From: Mt. Smolderac

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    Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:08 pm  
    Living Naval Architecture

    This might be interesting to some if you live on the West Coast of N. America and are interested in medieval/renaissance ships. A replica of the Nina is touring around through the Summer. It'd be a good chance to see what a caravel looks and feels like. Could be a great opportunity if you ever want to DM anything that might be set on a ship of that or similar type. The schedule is at http://thenina.com/schedule.htm
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 18, 2005
    Posts: 80
    From: Adelaide, South Australia

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    Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:50 am  

    Thanks for that. Love to see it but I'm half a world away. Looks great though.

    I have half drafted an article for Canonfire on naval warfare in Greyhawk. This may inspire me to finish it off. :-)
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 07, 2004
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    From: Mt. Smolderac

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    Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:21 am  

    Cool. I'm always looking forward to any GH article on ships or sailing. I've been thinking of doing an article on the raid on Dorakaa's naval yard in 577 by Furyondy.

    I looked up replica ships and found the Duyfken, which is in Cairns, Queensland for the time being. Sure, other end of Australia from you but maybe it'll tour again sometime soon. It looks like a nice example of a small "race-built" galleon in the English style, and there are some references to galleons in canon.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 127
    From: Charlotte, North Carolina

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    Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:23 am  

    Phalastar wrote:

    I have half drafted an article for Canonfire on naval warfare in Greyhawk. This may inspire me to finish it off. :-)


    Excellent news! Greyhawk Naval News (GNN?) is a topic that is not covered as often as it could be.
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    Count Telemachus, Archmage of the Unicorn Conferderation
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 158
    From: Little Rock, Arkansas

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    Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:40 am  

    smillan_31 wrote:
    It looks like a nice example of a small "race-built" galleon in the English style, and there are some references to galleons in canon.


    Do you have any thoughts on what drives the construction of galleons given that there is neither trans-oceanic sea travel nor cannons in Greyhawk?
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 17, 2004
    Posts: 898
    From: Computer Desk

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    Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:11 pm  

    OleOneEye wrote:
    Quote:
    Do you have any thoughts on what drives the construction of galleons given that there is neither trans-oceanic sea travel nor cannons in Greyhawk?


    But trans-oceanic sea travel does exist; The distant elven colonies and the Scarlet Brotherhood explore distant lands. The Northern Suel and most recently the sea barons are exploring farther then ever before.

    Granted their are no "cannons" but galleons were also built for the vast atlantic and pacific seas far from shore able to withstand the open ocean storms; when their wasn't a known shoreline as within the mediterran.

    I think the southern and eastern oceans of GH are large enough to provide a rationale for galleon design.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
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    From: Charlotte, North Carolina

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    Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:21 am  

    We had galleons in our campaign as well. Mind though that they were rare and very expensive.

    Caravels were the primary top of the line ship that one encountered. Although they might not have been as "comfortable" as galleons, they could definitely make the voyage, and for exploration purposes are probably more desirable as I think they have a shallower draft. They also require a much smaller crew to manage; An adventure group with henchmen/cohorts could run a caravel. They would be in trouble in combat, but otherwise it would not be a problem assuming they all have the sailor profession skill and at least one person has the Knowledge (Geography) skill.
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    Count Telemachus, Archmage of the Unicorn Conferderation
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 07, 2004
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    From: Mt. Smolderac

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    Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:36 pm  

    OleOneEye wrote:
    smillan_31 wrote:
    It looks like a nice example of a small "race-built" galleon in the English style, and there are some references to galleons in canon.


    Do you have any thoughts on what drives the construction of galleons given that there is neither trans-oceanic sea travel nor cannons in Greyhawk?


    A galleon is just a progression in design of the carrack, whose primary initial purpose was carrying more cargo, so in GH a galleon wouldn't necessarily be developed to make it a trans-oceanic vessel or for carrying cannons. True, some features were driven by those considerations but more than anything the galleon is the answer to the problem of the carracks inefficient sailing lines and poor positioning of the superstructures (fore and aft castles). So I wouldn't expect a galleon in GH to look exactly like a galleon from the real world but the basic design would be the same. For trans-oceanic sea-travel purely for exploration if you had to choose between a caravel or a carrack you'd probably want to pick a square-rigged caravel, which is the more sea-worthy of the two.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 18, 2005
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    From: Adelaide, South Australia

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    Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:35 am  

    Ah and so the great naval debates begin!

    My intent of writing a GH naval article was probably to articulate my view of it and how I see it working. I'm other people would have other ideas and opinions.

    Some of the issues are beginning to emerge in this thread, which it is probably okay to explore here briefly:

    1. - what are the main types of ships, and why?

    IMC there is a lot of longship type ships, used for raiding. They can cross oceans sometimes but it takes fearless sailors and a little luck. There are also galley type ships used for commerce and war. They are oar powered, but also have a sail and a ram. Then there are cogs, easily the most common ocean sailing vessel, greatly used for trade. Warships tend to consist of all of these, with the most advanced designs being larger and stronger than cogs and dual masted.

    2. - what are the main shipping routes?

    Shouldn't be too hard to figure out, with some help from Canonfire. Bear in mind that longships and galleys would try to hugs the coasts, where as the ocean going vessels could save time by cutting directly across the ocean.

    3. - the big one, how do they fight?

    Gunpowder doesn't exist IMC. Naval warfare predominately consists of light artillery (hvy artillery is hard to fit on ships and weight of ammo is a problem on a rolling deck), seabourne infantry (all sailors fight) and often spells. I've often thought that a mid-level mage using a wand of fireballs would rule the seas, because of his ability to destroy ships with fire. So do they or dont they?

    This is the sort of questions I would like to answer in an article.
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