Does Kara-Tur have fighting ship rules?

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Does Kara-Tur have fighting ship rules?

Postby Big Mac » Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:12 pm

I found something in Birthright, called a tower ship and asked about tower ships on the Birthright forum. Agathokles told me that tower ships are a real thing that they have in China!

I had a look on Wikipedia, and found something called a Louchuan:
Louchuan article on Wikipedia wrote:Louchuan (楼船, lit. tower ships) were a type of naval vessel, primarily a floating fortress, which has seen use in China since the Han Dynasty. Meant to be a central vessel in the fleet, the louchuan was equipped for boarding and attacking enemy vessels, as well as with siege weapons including traction trebuchets for ranged combat.

Image


Then XstarkillerX found a great page called: The Tang Dynasty`s Transportation and Weaponry

There is a great picture there. The page had a citation for the picture, and it was a deadlink. But I fed it into the Wayback Machine and found an amazing forum topic, called Ancient Chinese Arsenal. There are some great pictures there and they are actually scans of a book by Stephen Turnbull, called Fighting Ships of the Far East, Vol. 1: China and Southeast Asia, 202 BC-AD 1419:
Amazon wrote:Image

Fighting Ships of the Far East (1) adds enormously to the hitherto small corpus of knowledge about a fascinating and little known subject. Using detailed descriptions, accurate cutaway plates and reliable historical examples, this book covers the history of Chinese ship design and naval warfare from the beginning of the Han dynasty to the first few years of the Ming dynasty. The epic battle of Lake Poyang in in 1363, won by the man who was to become the first Ming Emperor, is also detailed.


Stephen Turnbull also wrote two other books: Fighting Ships of the Far East, Vol. 2: Japan and Korea, AD 612-1639:
Amazon wrote:Image

Over the centuries, naval relations between Japan and Korea appear to have alternated between peaceful trade and outright hostility. However, this impression can be misleading, as much of what passed for mercantile activity was in fact conducted by Japanese pirate fleets, who pillaged the coasts of Korea and China in a long-lasting tradition that culminated in the greatest pirate raid of all: Hideyoshi's invasion of Korea in 1592. This was the conflict that involved Ming China and almost dragged in Siam. It also led to Korea developing East Asia's most famous warship: the legendary turtle ship, which is described for the first time in full technical detail in this book.


The third book is called: Pirate of the Far East: 811-1639:
Amazon wrote:Image

Osprey's survey of pirates of the Far East, from 811 to 1639. For many centuries, international relations between Medieval Japan, Korea and China were carried out by means of the 'inseparable trinity' of war, trade and piracy. Much has been written about the first two means of interaction. The third element, which combined the other two in a violent blend of free enterprise, is the subject of this original and exciting book. It is written by Stephen Turnbull, who has visited all three countries in search of the elusive pirates of the Far East.


It looks like these books are fairly small, but have some great cut-away pictures that show you how these ships work.

I've never seen most of the Asian ships in the pictures from that forum topic. And, as I said back in the Birthright topic, I had never heard of a tower ship before.

Do any of these ships appear in any of the products for the Kara-Tur Campaign Setting? Are there any books that feature Far East style pirates? Are there any deckplans for any of these ships?
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Re: Does Kara-Tur have fighting ship rules?

Postby GMWestermeyer » Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:24 am

I don't think so. I was familiar with all of this from my work as a military history, Turnbull's stuff is excellent, you seldom go wrong with Osprey publishing.

Several of these ship designs would make excellent additions to the SJ ship roster. My deckplan design and artistic skills are poor, otherwise I would have created some of these ships as counterparts to the galleon and clipper. :)

I tried to put some of this into the OA stuff I wrote for Spelljammer, especially in the way I designed the Tsunami.
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Re: Does Kara-Tur have fighting ship rules?

Postby Big Mac » Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:59 am

GMWestermeyer wrote:I don't think so. I was familiar with all of this from my work as a military history, Turnbull's stuff is excellent, you seldom go wrong with Osprey publishing.


He seems to have done quite a few other books about the Far East too. I'm not sure if all of the books feature cut-away diagrams. Osprey has done some very interesting stuff. Most of it seems to be most useful for wargamers, but they have started to do stuff that is more targeted at roleplayers, like the Warfare books that Chris Pramas has been creating for them.

GMWestermeyer wrote:Several of these ship designs would make excellent additions to the SJ ship roster. My deckplan design and artistic skills are poor, otherwise I would have created some of these ships as counterparts to the galleon and clipper. :)


That was exactly what I was thinking. :lol:

Michael Tumey has been putting out maps of various things. He has also been working on an Asian campaign setting, called Kaidan. Perhaps he might create some of these ships for one of his books.

GMWestermeyer wrote:I tried to put some of this into the OA stuff I wrote for Spelljammer, especially in the way I designed the Tsunami.


I like the way that these Osprey books offer a large range of ships, to complement the ones that already exist in SJ and OA/KT canon.
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Re: Does Kara-Tur have fighting ship rules?

Postby Nate Christen » Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:23 pm

There were articles in Dragon magazine, one about ships and sailing in general and one about eastern vessels in particular. I'll find the issue numbers and dates when I'm home and have access to the CD-ROMs.

I've put together a couple of deck plans for vessels based on drawings that I've found.

http://d20pirates.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-junk.html

http://d20pirates.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-sampan.html

This has all been brewing in my head recently because I reread the Oriental Adventures hardcover and Kara-Tur campaign setting softcovers this summer.

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Re: Does Kara-Tur have fighting ship rules?

Postby The Dark » Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:47 am

The Dragon magazine articles were "The High Seas" in issue #116 and "The Oriental Sea" in issue #130, both by Margaret Foy.
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