Sunday, March 6, 2011
Expert Rules: I'd love to crack out this old book to run my seabased stuff. The rules for ships in the expert book (blue book) cover 11 types of ships, and compress movement and combat into 2 easy to references pages. No muss, no fuss.
1e DMG: This has a head-scratching 8 types of ships, and 4 pages of rules. Barely an upgrade from the expert rules, this book in true Gygaxian fashion has rules on how long it takes for a ship to burn and naval terminology. Coupled with the weather rules from the Greyhawk Glossography, this system has served well for many years.
Stormwrack (3.5e): It might be unavoidable that I use this book given all the seabased spells, feats and prestige classes my friends will pick over. The ship based rules themselves cover around 12 pages and have 21 varieties of ships. There are additional entries for new shipboard weapons and gear.
2e DMG: I really don't know what happened to this book but I really can't see it being any different/better than 1st edition. Of Ships and the Sea was this edition's sourcebook for sailing but I've never owned it so I have no idea how good this system is.
Dragon Magazine #116: I have to mention this issue because it rocks. It has an unparalleled article called High Seas written Margaret Foy (was she the wife of Sea Baron ruler Sencho Foy?!). I used to refer to this article once in a while for my Greyhawk games but of all the systems I've seen in D&D it is the most elaborate at 14 pages with a staggering 33 types of vessels. It's one of those articles that took Advanced D&D to a new level of simulation. Each ship entry has enough stats to literally fill out its own character sheet, such as measurements for decks, seam, draft, board, tonnage, number of masts, pumps and lifeboats. It even has a full breakdown of the crew. Combine this with the Greyhawk weather generation rules and you would have the most hyper-realistic sea campaign ever, but do I want to subject everyone to that?
That's all I have access to at the moment. I'd be happy to hear about any other ship rules out there. Having reviewed all these sources I think I'm leaning toward creating a hybrid of all of these systems since as the campaign evolves over time my needs might change. More on this later.