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Ships and the Sea

 
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JasonZavoda
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Joined: May 29, 2018
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 2:45 pm    Post subject: Ships and the Sea Reply with quote

How have DMs handled ships and naval warfare?
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vestcoat
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Location: Dantredun, MN

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jason, welcome to the forums. I don't know the what went down, but I was sad to see you delete much of your content from dragonsfoot. And I'm glad to see you now talking shop here and on the FB group! Your name recently came up in the GH fiction thread and I need to add your short stories to the list (http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=8551). Please let me know if any more stories are unearthed!

Getting on topic, I mostly avoid nautical rules. DM'ing, I focus on the core rules and PC's skills. Stats for units and ships put my nose in the rulebooks more than I like, so I simplify things like sailing, flight, psionics, and mass combat as much as possible. That said, I recently referenced some of the easy sailing rules from Adventures Dark & Deep and assembled the old ship from Dragon Magazine as a prop for a few encounters on a Noteboard. My players liked it.

I was a player in a Greyhawk nautical campaign that lasted a couple years. The DM used rules from Of Ships & Sea and Pirates of the Fallen Stars extensively. We had the "character sheet" from the former with all of our ship stats on it and made many rolls for ship chases, ramming, and maneuvers. We made improvements and tracked damage and repairs. The other players and I were never inspired to learn the rules, we just rolled d6's and 20's as we were told. It was very fun, but definitely changed the dynamic of D&D a bit and added more simulation and board game elements.
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Vulcan
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Joined: Mar 12, 2008
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As someone who's always been interested in seafaring games, I've made a point of reading a lot of related threads on various forums. It seems to be a general agreement that those two books - Of Ships and the Seas, and Pirates of the Fallen Stars - are the best sources for early edition seafaring games.
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LordGosumba
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is extremely difficult to make a conversion with Naval rules from whichever version of AD&D you are playing. Your best bet is to keep whatever ratios you utilize when using figures or tabletop play, and incorporate basic rules (like ship movement, ship damage, etc.) into your playstyle. Books like Of Ships and the Seas are excellent, but do not convert well for very basic gameplay (especially without a lot of room to game!)


BTW, this will be my 3rd week of using some sea/ship based adventuring with my group. Pics and vids can be found here: www.twitch.tv; channel: LordGosumba. Check it out if your interested, and please feel free to provide me some feedback!
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JasonZavoda
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vestcoat wrote:
Hi Jason, welcome to the forums. I don't know the what went down, but I was sad to see you delete much of your content from dragonsfoot. And I'm glad to see you now talking shop here and on the FB group! Your name recently came up in the GH fiction thread and I need to add your short stories to the list (http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=8551). Please let me know if any more stories are unearthed!

Getting on topic, I mostly avoid nautical rules. DM'ing, I focus on the core rules and PC's skills. Stats for units and ships put my nose in the rulebooks more than I like, so I simplify things like sailing, flight, psionics, and mass combat as much as possible. That said, I recently referenced some of the easy sailing rules from Adventures Dark & Deep and assembled the old ship from Dragon Magazine as a prop for a few encounters on a Noteboard. My players liked it.

I was a player in a Greyhawk nautical campaign that lasted a couple years. The DM used rules from Of Ships & Sea and Pirates of the Fallen Stars extensively. We had the "character sheet" from the former with all of our ship stats on it and made many rolls for ship chases, ramming, and maneuvers. We made improvements and tracked damage and repairs. The other players and I were never inspired to learn the rules, we just rolled d6's and 20's as we were told. It was very fun, but definitely changed the dynamic of D&D a bit and added more simulation and board game elements.


Thank you and glad to be here.

I beleve that at the time I left DF it was just before I had to have my left leg amputated and I was in a strange mood. I no doubt over reacted to my frustration with the DF site but it all seems small potatos to me in the scale of life now. It wouldnt be my reaction now..

As for greyhawk fiction I completed a Novel - The Hill Giant Chief Nosnra's Saga, which Im reposting on my blog; and a novella An Unsung Death in Geoff. I have a few incomplete Greyhawk works that I m still thinking of reworking, The Spear That Roars For Blood which will be novel length will most likely be next. Ive posted all these and some of my other Greyhawk stories (The Light of Pelor's Keep, The Bow of Haladn, The Sentinels of Despair, and Red The Sun With Smoke The Oerth With Blood) in various places.

Now my main goal with the questions about ships is a work Im doing on the military forces of the various nations of the Flanaeess. I find that Harnworld's Pilots Almanac very helpful but I definitely need to get my hands on Ships and the Sea and pirates.

My main thoughts about Greyhaw appropriate naval forces are how to deal with Magic, Airborne and Subsurface creatures. I have some ideas but have never really tried to spell things out for a reference work before. Alreadyyou've pointed me i a good direction, thank you.
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JasonZavoda
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vulcan wrote:
As someone who's always been interested in seafaring games, I've made a point of reading a lot of related threads on various forums. It seems to be a general agreement that those two books - Of Ships and the Seas, and Pirates of the Fallen Stars - are the best sources for early edition seafaring games.


Excellent. I will trck them down. Hopefully theyhave them on pdf.
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JasonZavoda
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LordGosumba wrote:
It is extremely difficult to make a conversion with Naval rules from whichever version of AD&D you are playing. Your best bet is to keep whatever ratios you utilize when using figures or tabletop play, and incorporate basic rules (like ship movement, ship damage, etc.) into your playstyle. Books like Of Ships and the Seas are excellent, but do not convert well for very basic gameplay (especially without a lot of room to game!)


BTW, this will be my 3rd week of using some sea/ship based adventuring with my group. Pics and vids can be found here: www.twitch.tv; channel: LordGosumba. Check it out if your interested, and please feel free to provide me some feedback!


I will check out your groups adventures.

While Im a 1st edition player most of the information and ideas im looking for and the reference work I want to create will be system neutral.I will be dealing with the types of ships and numbers but need to work o altering medieval and renaissance ships so that theyy would make sense in the Greyhawk setting.
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LordGosumba
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are 1st/2nd edition hybrid with customized rules.
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SirXaris
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dungeon Magazine #34 has an adventure entitled, La Dama Rosa. It features a ship with some interesting mundane and magical upgrades which may be useful when considering how mariners in the Flanaess deal with sea-going threats.

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JasonZavoda
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Joined: May 29, 2018
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SirXaris wrote:
Dungeon Magazine #34 has an adventure entitled, La Dama Rosa. It features a ship with some interesting mundane and magical upgrades which may be useful when considering how mariners in the Flanaess deal with sea-going threats.

SirXaris


Thanks. I will have to see if I have that issue. I heard that dungeon mags are available on pdf but not sure if thats true.
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Raymond
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:59 am    Post subject: Expert? Reply with quote

1981 Expert rules seem simple to follow. There is a section called "COMBAT AT SEA" on page X64.
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mortellan
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've dealt with seafaring rules many times in my Sea Princes campaigns. Sometimes I leaned toward crunchy rules (used to have 3.5/1E/Expert) hybrid rules. Then other times I went mostly narrative for sake of speed and story, thus focusing on individuals geographic or seafaring skill sets. In combat, often the goal was to get to melee (I do use black powder weapons in Greyhawk) ASAP by boarding or going ashore. I've only entertained mass naval combat once and after planning the whole thing (I believe Pathfinder has good rules for naval battles) I scrapped it halfway thru for a more narrative climax aboard the enemy flagship.
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Cyrusalthantas
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 3e book Stormwrack may be of some use. Its been awhile since I've looked at it since the last naval campaign I was in was 10 years ago.
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JasonZavoda
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mortellan wrote:
I've dealt with seafaring rules many times in my Sea Princes campaigns. Sometimes I leaned toward crunchy rules (used to have 3.5/1E/Expert) hybrid rules. Then other times I went mostly narrative for sake of speed and story, thus focusing on individuals geographic or seafaring skill sets. In combat, often the goal was to get to melee (I do use black powder weapons in Greyhawk) ASAP by boarding or going ashore. I've only entertained mass naval combat once and after planning the whole thing (I believe Pathfinder has good rules for naval battles) I scrapped it halfway thru for a more narrative climax aboard the enemy flagship.


In 1e I always winged naval combat and normally had a galley ormedieval sailing ship without cannon. Any extraordinary cricumstances were just part of the storyline.

The difficulty with working o a sourcebook is formalizing very sketchy material. Until I get my hands on the suggessted sourcebooks I'm putting the naaval aspect of the military sourcebook on the back burner.
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JasonZavoda
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cyrusalthantas wrote:
The 3e book Stormwrack may be of some use. Its been awhile since I've looked at it since the last naval campaign I was in was 10 years ago.


I will keep my eye out for it. Thanks!
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heychadwick
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would think that a lot of details depends on how high/low fantasy the setting is. If there are tons of flying monsters and magic used then I could see at least one wizard per ship on board, as well as all sorts of anti fire magic. There can be something to watch out for underneath. Maybe a warning.

I tend to be a bit more low fantasy, though, and let the fantastical be more exceptional. So, I tend to have ships more like ships were historically on earth.
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xo42
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like many others have mentioned, Of Ships and the Seas, and Pirates of the Fallen Stars have some great rules/info on ship to ship warfare. I really like to use the rules of ship combat from the Spelljammer setting (with some modifications as needed if not in space). I also enjoyed the short naval combat section in the 2d ed. module, Slavers (which had slight alterations from Of Ships and the Seas). Your best bet is probably to look at all three sets of rules and make your own hybrid version from those sources.
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