4th ed ship conversions

A project to create a Spelljammer conversion to 4th edition rules.
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Silverblade-T-E
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4th ed ship conversions

Post by Silverblade-T-E » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:46 pm

starting up clean, specific threads to do with 4th ed SJ conversion, so it's easier to collate and debate them, rather than have them ALL in one thread ;)


my suggestions:

1) HULL TYPES GIVE BONUSES
hull types should give specific bonuses, making them worth having for tactical reasons, rather than just sheer size!

I suggest

SQUIDSHIP: sleek fast deadly, so +1 Speed, extra damage with that massive ram.

MAN-O-WAR, fast, manouverable, so +1 speed, +AC/1Ref defence (ship and crew in ship vs ship fights)

TRADESMAN: tough, beefy, extra cargo space, ship has extra hitpoints liek "toughness" feat.

HAMMERSHIP: tough as hell, +1 AC and Fort saves, extra hitpoints for ship.

DRAGONFLY: fast, manourable, small/hard to see (smuggler ship), +1 Speed, +1 Ref, +4 Stealth.


2) SHIPS HAVE DAMAGE REDUCTION against all attacks, except seige weapons and similar big objects and spells.
say DR 10 vs AC attacks.

I'll workout various ship stats another day :)
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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Elvith Jars » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:12 pm

Oh yeah, that definitely works. They do something similar in The Plane Above.

Sample ship from my design guide, the stats are a bit unweildy still. As always, this is just one possible route.

Aundair Dragonhawk Level ## Skirmisher
Gargantuan vehicle (1,100 tons)
HP 3,078/2,560 Space 2 by 3 ship squares (35 squares by 47 squares) Cost ##
AC 18; Fortitude 23; Reflex 3
Speed 0, fly 12 (hover), overland flight 20
Traits
Pilot
The pilot sits at the helm at the front of the ship and must either possess the Mark of Storm feat or succeed in a +Wisdom vs. Willpower (20) check once per hour in order to control the fire elemental. If the elemental cannot be controlled then the ship flies out of control. The check isn’t needed if the elemental is suppressed (not pulling the ship, such as when under sail).
Crew
In addition to the pilot, the ship requires a crew of 5, all of whom use a standard action each round to help control the vessel. Reduce speed by one for each missing crewmember. If the vessel’s speed is 0 or there are no crewmembers able to help control the vessel, then the ship flies out of control.
Spelljamming Speed
In addition to the pilot, to move at spelljamming speed, the ship requires 5 operators, all of whom use a standard action each round to operate the aether drive. The base speed is 200 million miles per day; cruising speed is 200 million miles per day + Spelljamming Skill Challenge Modifier. Reduce speed by 20 million miles per day for each missing crewmember. If there are no crewmembers able to operate the aether drive, then the ship flies out of control.
Out of Control
Air: move forward at half speed; 75% change of descending each round; descend 5 squares each round for first 10 rounds, then 10 squares each round thereafter; if the ship hits the ground after descending 20 squares then it is destroyed.
Space/Astral Sea: move forward at half speed in the direction of the wind; if the ship collides with an object after moving 20 squares then it is destroyed.
Spelljamming Speed: move forward at base spelljamming speed; if the ship collides with an object then the ship is destroyed; if operators cannot regain control of the aether drive after 10 rounds then the ship explodes and is destroyed.
Load
40 medium creatures; 155 tons of cargo
Sails
The dragonhawk is capable of hoisting fan-shaped sails to augment its speed or to propel the ship without using its bound fire elemental. Used with the elemental, the sails boost the ship’s speed by +4 under normal conditions. Used as the ship’s sole propulsion, the sails enable the ship to fly at a speed of 9 (hover).
Standard Actions
Whirlwind Dash ♦ Encounter (Move)
By spurring the fire elemental into action, the pilot may perform a double-move, move and turn, or double-turn for the cost of a single move action. The effects last until the end of the pilot’s turn. This power may not be used if the fire elemental is suppressed.
Light Ballista Salvo ♦ Recharge 456; Firing Arc 360
Requires 10 gunners; reduce damage by 1 die per 2 missing gunners; requires move action to roll for recharge
Attack: Range (one target) 14/28 (28/56); +Int vs. AC or +Dex vs. AC
Hit: 5d4 x 10 damage
Flow Gun ♦ Recharge 6; Firing Arc Fwd
Requires 5 gunners; must wait one round to roll for recharge per missing gunner; requires move action to roll for recharge
Attack: Range (one target) 16/32 (32/64); +Int vs. AC
Hit: 2d12 x 10 damage
Str 17 (+5) Dex 15 (+4) Wis 12 (+3)
Con 10 (+2) Int 11 (+2) Cha 10 (+2) Initiative +6
Senses Perception +8 MR Basic Attack (at-will) * Weapon
+Str/Dex vs. AC; dmg 1d8 + 5; R range 30/60
Equipment Light Ballista (9), Flow Gun

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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Azaghal » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:21 pm

Elvith Jars wrote:Oh yeah, that definitely works. They do something similar in The Plane Above.

Sample ship from my design guide, the stats are a bit unweildy still. As always, this is just one possible route.

Aundair Dragonhawk Level ## Skirmisher
Gargantuan vehicle (1,100 tons)
HP 3,078/2,560 Space 2 by 3 ship squares (35 squares by 47 squares) Cost ##
AC 18; Fortitude 23; Reflex 3
Speed 0, fly 12 (hover), overland flight 20
Traits
Pilot
The pilot sits at the helm at the front of the ship and must either possess the Mark of Storm feat or succeed in a +Wisdom vs. Willpower (20) check once per hour in order to control the fire elemental. If the elemental cannot be controlled then the ship flies out of control. The check isn’t needed if the elemental is suppressed (not pulling the ship, such as when under sail).
Crew
In addition to the pilot, the ship requires a crew of 5, all of whom use a standard action each round to help control the vessel. Reduce speed by one for each missing crewmember. If the vessel’s speed is 0 or there are no crewmembers able to help control the vessel, then the ship flies out of control.
Spelljamming Speed
In addition to the pilot, to move at spelljamming speed, the ship requires 5 operators, all of whom use a standard action each round to operate the aether drive. The base speed is 200 million miles per day; cruising speed is 200 million miles per day + Spelljamming Skill Challenge Modifier. Reduce speed by 20 million miles per day for each missing crewmember. If there are no crewmembers able to operate the aether drive, then the ship flies out of control.
Out of Control
Air: move forward at half speed; 75% change of descending each round; descend 5 squares each round for first 10 rounds, then 10 squares each round thereafter; if the ship hits the ground after descending 20 squares then it is destroyed.
Space/Astral Sea: move forward at half speed in the direction of the wind; if the ship collides with an object after moving 20 squares then it is destroyed.
Spelljamming Speed: move forward at base spelljamming speed; if the ship collides with an object then the ship is destroyed; if operators cannot regain control of the aether drive after 10 rounds then the ship explodes and is destroyed.
Load
40 medium creatures; 155 tons of cargo
Sails
The dragonhawk is capable of hoisting fan-shaped sails to augment its speed or to propel the ship without using its bound fire elemental. Used with the elemental, the sails boost the ship’s speed by +4 under normal conditions. Used as the ship’s sole propulsion, the sails enable the ship to fly at a speed of 9 (hover).
Standard Actions
Whirlwind Dash ♦ Encounter (Move)
By spurring the fire elemental into action, the pilot may perform a double-move, move and turn, or double-turn for the cost of a single move action. The effects last until the end of the pilot’s turn. This power may not be used if the fire elemental is suppressed.
Light Ballista Salvo ♦ Recharge 456; Firing Arc 360
Requires 10 gunners; reduce damage by 1 die per 2 missing gunners; requires move action to roll for recharge
Attack: Range (one target) 14/28 (28/56); +Int vs. AC or +Dex vs. AC
Hit: 5d4 x 10 damage
Flow Gun ♦ Recharge 6; Firing Arc Fwd
Requires 5 gunners; must wait one round to roll for recharge per missing gunner; requires move action to roll for recharge
Attack: Range (one target) 16/32 (32/64); +Int vs. AC
Hit: 2d12 x 10 damage
Str 17 (+5) Dex 15 (+4) Wis 12 (+3)
Con 10 (+2) Int 11 (+2) Cha 10 (+2) Initiative +6
Senses Perception +8 MR Basic Attack (at-will) * Weapon
+Str/Dex vs. AC; dmg 1d8 + 5; R range 30/60
Equipment Light Ballista (9), Flow Gun
1100 tons with a crew of 6, 15 gunners, 40 passengers and 155 tons of cargo. Big ship for 2 weapons and light cargo.
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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Elvith Jars » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:34 pm

technically it has 10 guns; it just has two attacks. :) Also, the tonnage is weight, not volume like it was in 2e.

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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:55 pm

Elvith Jars wrote:Also, the tonnage is weight, not volume like it was in 2e.
The way that the English language works, this sentence can be read two ways: "tonnage is weight not volume - this is exactly the same as in 2e" or "tonnage is weight not volume - which was what 2e used to have". Sadly, that means I can't tell what you mean, as the ambiguity of English means your words could be interpreted either way..
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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Azaghal » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:01 am

:lol: :lol: Yeah it's a stupid language.
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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Big Mac » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:37 am

Azaghal wrote::lol: :lol: Yeah it's a stupid language.
The versatility of English, comes back to bite itself on the bum sometimes. And there is a tendency for words to pick up the opposite meaning of their original meaning. Terrific used to be "very bad" but now is taken to be "very good". (Listening to the radio commentary of the Hindenberg disaster, without this explanation makes a modern person wonder if the commentator is happy that German crewmen and passengers are being burned to death.) And I've heard a lot of people say: "he literally hit the roof" in a metaphorical way.

It all means people need to be extra careful for legal stuff...or D&D rules. :?
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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Azaghal » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:43 am

So true, also makes it one of the hardest languages learn as a second language.
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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Elvith Jars » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:18 am

Ok, to clarify:

In the original spelljammer setting, tonnage is a measurement of volume, where one ton equals 100 cubic yards. In my 4e spelljammer reboot, where the stats above originate from, tonnage is a measurement of mass. One ton = 2,000 pounds.
Last edited by Elvith Jars on Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Azaghal » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:07 am

No problem there, I got it. For me it makes more sense that way. I must have missed the 9 light ballistas, I thought 10 crew for one was a bit absurd. :lol: :lol:
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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Big Mac » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:45 pm

Elvith Jars wrote:In the original spelljammer setting, tonnage is a measurement of volume, where one ton equals 100 cubic yards. In my 4e spelljammer reboot, where the stats above originate from, tonnage is a measurement of mass. One ton = 2,000 pounds.
Thanks for the clarification, Elvith. I think that a ton of mass is the type of ton that ordinary people are most familiar with.
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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Chimpman » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:08 pm

First off, i just wanted to say I think these are great threads. Second, I think treating ships as monsters is absolutely the correct way to do things.
Silverblade-T-E wrote:1) HULL TYPES GIVE BONUSES
hull types should give specific bonuses, making them worth having for tactical reasons, rather than just sheer size!

I suggest

SQUIDSHIP: sleek fast deadly, so +1 Speed, extra damage with that massive ram.
...
At some point it might be nice to factor aspects (and the abilities tied to them) out for each ship so we can begin to have a system for determining abilities of other pre-existing ships and for building up new ships of our own. I'm not so familiar with 4E, so unfortunately most of my ideas in this area will just be theoretical in nature.

Also not sure how 4E works, but would stronger/larger ships have more "hit dice" and would they also have more abilities than lower level ships?

Perhaps crew would play some role in ship combat as well. For example maybe a green crew makes a ship into a minion, whereas an elite crew might turn it into a solo creature.
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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Elvith Jars » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:45 pm

Also not sure how 4E works, but would stronger/larger ships have more "hit dice" and would they also have more abilities than lower level ships?
Presently that's undefined. There are no official rules about how to build ships that I know of. For my custom reboot, I solved the problem by letting designers create a ship of whatever size they wanted, by choosing what hull material to use (which affects AC an hit points and some traits), and from that, you compute cost. The cost of the ship is based on the standard magic item table, and from that you get the level of the ship.

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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by night_druid » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:47 pm

So I take it you can identify the level of the crew by the type of ship they fly? :P
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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Elvith Jars » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:19 pm

Not necessarily the level of the crew, but you will know the level of the ship, and in the grand scheme of things, that's the important factor for determining what ships to include in an encounter. For crew all you need to know is how hard they hit and how well they hit. They're all minions...

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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Silverblade-T-E » Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:24 pm

Foudn this onENworld
By Chris Perkins of WOTC
http://community.wizards.com/wiki/Dnd:I ... tion_Guide

A ship's cost does not include shipboard ballistas or catapults, but it does include specialized weapons such as grapplers and water cannons. Each standard ballista or catapult adds 1,000 gp to the ship's cost.


Bombard
This relatively new class of Dragovar warship is built around a massive magical cannon that fires devastating stone or iron spheres.
•Cost: 100,000 gp
•Standard/Minimum Crew: 40/10
•Statistics: hp 1,000; Bloodied 500; AC 28, Fortitude 25, Reflex 5
•Standard Weapons: 2 ballistas (see also arcane cannon below)
•Arcane Cannon: Ranged 100/200; +15 vs. AC; 5d10 + 100 damage. This weapon requires a crew of eight to operate: six to load the weapon (1 standard action for each crewmember) and two to fire it (1 standard action for each crewmember)



Deathglory
This compact, crowded vessel is basically a mobile weapons platform, ideal for harbor defense. It's also popular as an escort ship for larger trading vessels. A water cannon mounted to the front of the ship is used for clearing enemy decks and putting out fires.
•Cost: 50,000 gp
•Standard/Minimum Crew: 30/3
•Statistics: hp 500; Bloodied 250; AC 25, Fortitude 20, Reflex 10
•Standard Weapons: 4 ballistas, 2 catapults (see also water cannon below)
•Water Cannon: Ranged 10/20; +15 vs. Reflex; if the target is a creature, it is pushed 4 squares and knocked prone. Effect: The target can make a saving throw against ongoing fire damage as a free action. The water cannon requires one crewmember to operate.



Dragonship
The dragonship sees frequent use as a fleet flagship or a noble's floating palace. Although lightly armed, it usually comes with a complement of Dragovar archers as well as various magical protections. The ship includes a temple to Bahamut or Tiamat (owner's preference).
•Cost: 80,000 gp
•Standard/Minimum Crew: 40/8
•Statistics: hp 800; Bloodied 400; AC 25, Fortitude 20, Reflex 5
•Standard Weapons: 2 ballistas



Eel Ship
This sleek craft is designed for patrolling shallow waters, defending harbors, and short excursions, not long-range voyages.
•Cost: 15,000 gp
•Standard/Minimum Crew: 10/3
•Statistics: hp 150; Bloodied 75; AC 25, Fortitude 20, Reflex 10
•Standard Weapons: 1 ballista, 1 catapult



Galleon
The galleon is a ubiquitous sight on the Dragon Sea, appreciated for its speed, versatility, and cargo capacity.
•Cost: 80,000 gp
•Standard/Minimum Crew: 25/10
•Statistics: hp 800; Bloodied 400; AC 25, Fortitude 22, Reflex 5
•Standard Weapons: 2 ballistas, 1 catapult



Hammership
Resembling a hammerhead shark, this large vessel trades maneuverability and speed for resilience and has plenty of space for cargo.
•Cost: 100,000 gp
•Standard/Minimum Crew: 25/8
•Statistics: hp 1,000; Bloodied 500; AC 28, Fortitude 25, Reflex 5
•Standard Weapons: 1 ballista, 2 catapults



Lamprey Ship
The bow of this small, sturdy attack vessel is equipped with a grapple. The lamprey is used to deploy strike teams onto enemy ships and has also achieved popularity among pirates. Its cargo capacity is poor.
•Cost: 25,000 gp
•Standard/Minimum Crew: 12/3
•Statistics: hp 250; Bloodied 125; AC 28, Fortitude 25, Reflex 10
•Standard Weapons: 4 ballistas (see also grappler below)
•Grappler: Melee 1; targets ships only; +17 vs. AC; the target is grabbed until the lamprey ship releases the grappler or is bloodied. Both ships are immobilized for as long as the target is grabbed. The lamprey ship cannot make grappler attacks while bloodied.



Octopus Ship
Designed for people who like to travel in style, this lightly armed vessel provides luxurious accommodations and plenty of space for entertaining guests. The octopus ship is commonly used by dignitaries and diplomatic envoys.
•Cost: 100,000 gp
•Standard/Minimum Crew: 30/10
•Statistics: hp 1,000; Bloodied 500; AC 25, Fortitude 22, Reflex 5
•Standard Weapons: 2 eldritch catapults (see below)
•Eldritch Catapult: Ranged 50/100; +15 vs. AC; 4d10 + 10 damage. An eldritch catapult is controlled from a magic control circle aboard the octopus ship. One crew member is required to operate the weapon. Aiming and firing the weapon requires a move action and standard action, respectively.



Squidship
Designed for small crews, this sturdy ship resembles a squid in design and has limited cargo capacity. It's a favorite among pirates.
•Cost: 50,000 gp
•Standard/Minimum Crew: 12/4
•Statistics: hp 500; Bloodied 250; AC 27, Fortitude 24, Reflex 5
•Standard Weapons: 2 ballistas, 1 catapult



Starbarge
This heavily armed warship is the mainstay of the Myrthon fleet, and it gets its name from the fact that its bridge doubles as an observatory.
•Cost: 90,000 gp
•Standard/Minimum Crew: 40/10
•Statistics: hp 900; Bloodied 450; AC 25, Fortitude 22, Reflex 5
•Standard Weapons: 6 ballistas, 4 catapults



Stingray
This submersible craft doesn't have much space for cargo, but it's swift and agile. While underwater, the stingray cannot fire its weapons and cannot be targeted by the shipboard weapons of enemy surface vessels. This class of vessel is often used for espionage and deep sea exploration.
•Cost: 30,000 gp
•Standard/Minimum Crew: 10/3
•Statistics: hp 300; Bloodied 150; AC 25, Fortitude 20, Reflex 10
•Standard Weapons: 1 ballista, 1 catapult



Tradesman
Second only to the galleon in popularity, this ship resembles a fish in its design. It boasts impressive cargo space and comfortable living quarters but has limited weapons.
•Cost: 50,000 gp
•Standard/Minimum Crew: 18/6
•Statistics: hp 500; Bloodied 250; AC 25, Fortitude 20, Reflex 10
•Standard Weapons: 1 ballista, 1 catapult



Turtle Ship
This resilient craft is submersible and can hold an impressive amount of cargo. While underwater, the turtle ship cannot fire its weapons and cannot be targeted by the shipboard weapons of enemy surface vessels.
•Cost: 75,000 gp
•Standard/Minimum Crew: 20/8
•Statistics: hp 750; Bloodied 375; AC 28, Fortitude 25, Reflex 5
•Standard Weapons: 3 ballistas, 1 catapult



Watership
After exploring the Elemental Chaos, Sea King Valkroi returned to Iomandra with rituals to bind ancient elementals to vessels. The first ships to employ this arcane knowledge were powered by water elementals and considerably faster and more maneuverable than wind-driven ships of comparable size.
•Cost: 90,000 gp (not available for purchase)
•Standard/Minimum Crew: 16/8
•Statistics: hp 900; Bloodied 450; AC 27, Fortitude 25, Reflex 10
•Standard Weapons: 2 ballistas, 1 catapult

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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Elvith Jars » Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:38 pm

Really cool find! Did you see the variant ship rules?
VARIANT SHIP RULES
The following variant rules are used in the "Iomandra and the Dragon Sea" campaign. Otherwise, use the rules for vehicles as presented in the Adventurer's Vault™ supplement.

SHIP CREWS
A ship requires a minimum crew to operate effectively. A ship operating with less than its specified minimum crew complement is effectively dead in the water.

DAMAGE AND REPAIR
A ship has hit points and defenses like any vehicle. However, a ship can only be damaged by shipboard weapons as well as close and area attacks that damage objects. While a ship is "bloodied," attacks made with the ship's weapons take a –2 penalty, and all creatures aboard the ship take a –2 penalty to skill checks.

A damaged ship can be repaired at a cost of 100 gp per hit point, provided there's equipment and replacement parts available to complete the repairs. Each hit point of damage requires 1 man-hour to repair.

SHIPBOARD WEAPONS
Shipboard weapons can be attacked independently of the ship they're on, and unlike ships they are not immune to melee and ranged attacks from creatures. A shipboard weapon typically has the following statistics: hp 80, AC 25, Fortitude 25, Reflex 0.

A standard shipboard weapon requires a crew of two to operate: one to load and aim the weapon (standard action) and one to fire and reset it (standard action).

Ballista, standard (1,000 gp): Ranged 25/50; +15 vs. AC; 3d10 damage. A shipboard ballista cannot attack targets adjacent to it.

Catapult, standard (1,000 gp): Ranged 50/100; +13 vs. AC; 5d10 damage. A shipboard catapult cannot attack targets within 10 squares of it.


Magical Variants
Magical variants of standard shipboard weapons are also available. Unlike their standard (nonmagical) counterparts, these weapons fire magical effects and do not require ammunition. A few popular varieties are presented below:

Ballista, +1 thunderbolt (4,200 gp): Ranged 25/50; +16 vs. AC; 3d10 + 5 thunder damage, and if the target is a creature, it is dazed (save ends).

Ballista, +2 thunderbolt (21,000 gp): Ranged 25/50; +17 vs. AC; 3d10 + 10 thunder damage, and if the target is a creature, it is dazed (save ends).

Catapult, +1 flameshot (4,200 gp): Ranged 50/100; +14 vs. AC; 5d10 + 5 fire damage. This weapon cannot attack targets within 10 squares of it.

Catapult, +2 flameshot (21,000 gp): Ranged 50/100; +15 vs. AC; 5d10 + 10 fire damage. This weapon cannot attack targets within 10 squares of it.
I like how ships can't be damaged by normal attacks except for area effect powers and shipboard weapons.

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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Elvith Jars » Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:01 pm

One thing I like about those ships is their hit points; there's a lot of them, which is what I'd expect for a ship. The ships are pretty lightly armed. For ship-to-ship fights, it'll take a long time to sink your opponent. I'd expect that warships would have a lot more weapons aboard to deliver salvos with; say you have 10 ballistae for a portside firing arc, each doing 3d10 damage, so your salvo would do 3d10 x 10 damage (just to make rolling dice easier). With an average of 150 damage, it would take about 10 rounds to take out a hammership. To me, 10-12 rounds is about the maximum time that a combat should take.

Your standard action would look like:
(Ranged) Ballista Salvo * Recharge 4,5,6; Firing Arc Port, Stbd
Requires 2 gunners per ballista; for every 2 gunners lost, reduce the damage multiplier by one.
Attack: Range (one target) 25/50; +Int vs. AC; cannot attack adjacent targets
Hit: 3d10 x 10 damage

What you don't see is how the stats were built; why does the hammership have 1,000 hit points? Also, how did he come up with 1,000 gp for the weapons, and the damage. Is that arbitrary?

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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Elvith Jars » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:53 am

Another thing to consider:

How much should ships cost? Should something like a hammership be affordable by one character without breaking the bank? Should it cost the equivalent of 1-2 magic items per character, assuming a party of five? If you look at the spelljammer ship from Manual of the Planes, it costs the equivalent of a level 30 magic item, and it is a small ship, but one PC can afford to buy one. Similarly, an Astral Clipper from The Plane Above costs 21k (a lvl 14 item) and an Astral Schooner costs 85k (a level 18 item). I'm leaning towards making ships on the expensive side, such that a party of five can pool their resources to buy one for the price of one or two level-appropriate magic items each. That would include everything from the hull to the enchantments to the guns and the engines. Government-owned vessels aren't so restricted; their prices can be astronomical. And as I look at the costs for a single magic item for one player versus five times the cost, I notice that a party of five can afford an item that a single character can that is five levels higher. For instance, five level 5 characters can afford 5k, which is what one character of level 10 can afford.

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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Elvith Jars » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:50 am

Here is a table I created: Magic Item Cost By Level. You can see the value of a single magic item versus the value of a treasure parcel for a given level. For a given level, ships should fall between the price of a single magic item and the total value of a parcel.

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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Elvith Jars » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:15 pm

More stuff to consider:

An astral clipper has 350 hit points, while an astral schooner has 550. Based on the pricing, it appears that the clipper is a level 14 item while the schooner is a level 18 item. My question is how should we determine the hit points of a ship? Should we base them on size (which I do for The Thirteenth Planet, hit points are based on hull surface area)? Should we base them on monster level? If based on monster level, primary role, and secondary role, the numbers I get for a level 14 monster and level 18 monster don't add up to the published values for the clipper and schooner. For me, whatever system we end up using, consistency is the key goal.

For reference, the baseline hit points per level is: ((Level + 1) x Role) + Con) x Secondary Role
Role:
Brute: 10
Soldier, Skirmisher: 8
Lurker, Controller: 6

Secondary Role:
Standard: 1
Elite: 2
Solo: 4

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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Elvith Jars » Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:21 pm

I've been chewing on this quite a bit for the past couple of days, and tossed out my old rules for ship design that were based on surface area and the like. Now, ships are like creatures, which I think really speeds up ship design and gameplay. Here's what I"ve got thus far, I'll posed my revised ship design gude later:

Generic Spelljammer Design
For the sake of sanity, ships basically use the monster creation rules. Treat ships like Solo creatures for the purposes of computing hit points and XP. The level of the ship matters for a number of things including basic stats, maximum load, and more.
Ships all have base stats (str, dex, etc) of 10, modified by their level.
Hit points = Round((((Level x Role Hit Points) + (10 + round(level/2)) + Role Hit Points) x 4) x Secondary Role x HP Quality)
HP Quality: Low (0.85), Average (1), High (1.15), Very High (1.3)
Role Hit Points:Artillery (6), Brute (10), Controller (8), Lurker (6), Skirmisher (8), and Soldier (8).
Secondary Role: Cruiserweight (1.1), Heavyweight (1.15), Runabout (0.85)
The level of the ship determines its hull cost: Use the Magic Item Prices table from the PHB, or: (160*MOD(Level,5)+200)*5^INT(Level/5)
Hull Cost includes enchantment rituals required to survive in Wildspace (gravity plane, air envelope, aurora's shield, control climate), but not weapons or extra equipment. Hence the hull is considered to be a magic item.
When you fiddle with things like the AC or hit points (giving them Low, High, or Very High), it will affect your maximum speed and your turn rate.
Max Load refers to the maximum amount of weight that the ship may carry, in tons. Weapons, cargo, and crew all count towards the max load. One crewmember and their belongings takes up 500 pounds.
Max Load (tons): (10 + (Level/2) + Quality Modifier) x Size Multiplier. Weapons, crew, motive power all count against max load.
Size Multiplier: Artillery (5), Brute (5), Controller (2), Lurker (2), Skirmisher (2), Soldier (3)
Quality Modifier: Low (-3), Average (0), High (3), Very High (6)
Turn Rate: Specifies the number of squares that a ship must travel forward before it can make a face change. This replaces the maneuver class from 2e Spelljammer. The lower the number, the better. Turn Rate = Size Multiplier + HP Quality Turn Modifier + AC Quality Turn Modifier + Clumsy
HP/AC Quality Turn Modifier: Low(-2), High(+2), Very High(+4)
Clumsy: If the ship is a Clumsy flier, then add +2 to the Turn Rate.
In combat, if the ship is Bloodied, then add +2 to the Turn Rate.

Ships without flight control surfaces (rudders, ailerons, etc.) are considered Clumsy fliers. Ships with sails require a minimum number of sailors to operate in addition to the pilot in order to avoid going out of control. Operating the sails is a move action.
Maneuver sails: Negates Clumsy flyer status, Level / 2 salors to operate, takes up 5% of max load.
Standard Aerial Sails: Negates Clumsy flyer status, base speed 6 (fly), Level x 1 sailors to operate, takes up 10% of max load.
Oversized Aerial Sails: Negates Clumsy flyer status, base speed 9 (fly), Level x 1.5 sailors to operate, takes up 20% of max load.
Topped Out Aerial Sails: Negates Clumsy flyer status, base speed 12 (fly), Level x 2 sailors to operate, takes up 35% of max load.
Cut the base speed in half if used as secondary propulsion, and half again if used as tertiary propulsion. Sails are useless in Wildspace but they can be used to sail the Astral Sea. Wind conditions may also effect sailing speed: Light (-2), Heavy (+2, all checks are at -1), Storm (+4, all checks are at -2)

Damage and Repair
Only weapons with the Anti-ship keyword as well as close and area attacks that damage objects may damage a ship. At the DM's discretion, certain creature attacks, such as all attacks by an astral dreadnaught, may also damage ships. Like creatures, ships are Bloodied when they reach half of their hitpoints. When Bloodied, all shipboard activities incur a -2 penalty to their attacks and skill checks, and the ship's turn rate increases by 2.

Ships may be repaired at a cost of 100gp per hit point. It takes one crewman-hour of work to repair the damage.

Weapons
Weapons use the Difficulty Class and Damage By Level chart from the DMG to determine damage and have levels just like ships. As a general rule of thumb, the weapon's highest damage by level allowed equals the level of the ship. Ships may have at most half of their maximum load devoted to weapons. Shipboard weapons all have the anti-ship property.
Weapons have four diffent categories: Light, Medium, Heavy, and Superheavy.
Light: Size Medium, Normal High damage, Weapon Level / 4 tons, 2 gunners, base recharge 3, base cost: Item Level / 5, Firing Arc 360.
Medium: Size Large, Limited Low damage, Weapon Level / 2 tons, 3 gunners, base recharge 4, base cost: Item Level / 4.
Heavy: Size Huge, Limited Medium damage Weapon Level tons, 5 gunners, base recharge 5, base cost: Item Level / 3, High Crit.
Superheavy: Size Gargantuan, Limited High damage Weapon, Level x 2 tons, 10 gunners, base recharge 6, base cost: Item Level / 2, Brutal 1, High Crit

Keywords
New keywords for describing shipboard weapon attacks.

Anti-ship: This keyword indicates that the weapon may damage ships.

Ballistic: This is a new damage type, used for projectile weapons.

Firing Arc: This keyword indicates what direction the weapon fires in: Forward (Fwd), Port, Starboard (Stb), Aft, or 360. All weapons except Light have one fixed firing arc that must be decided upon when mounting the weapon to the ship, though weapon effects may improve the firing arc.

Salvo: This keyword indicates that there are multiple weapons of the same type in the attack. All weapons in the salvo must have the same firing arc. When rolling for salvo damage, roll damage for one weapon, and then multiply by the number of weapons in the salvo. Reduce the damage multiplier by one for weapon that is destroyed or rendered inoperable due to loss of crew.

Weapon Properties and Effects
All weapons gain one damage type for free, which defaults to Ballistic. Heavy weapons get High Crit for free, while Superheavy weapons get Brutal 1 and High Crit for free. Additionally, weapons get a base recharge rate for free. Finally, weapons all have a base range of 10/20. Improved range and additional effects will add to the effective level of the weapon and ultimately affect its price. Changing the attack rate will lower the effective level. The weapon's effective level does NOT increase its damage by level.

Recharge Rate: Increasing the base recharge target value by one reduces the weapon's effective level by 1, while reducing the target value increases the effective level by 1. The maximum base recharge is 6, and the minimum is 2.

At-Will: Increasing the weapon's attack to At-Will increases the effective level by Recharge Rate + 1.

Encounter: Decreasing the weapon's attack rate to Encounter reduces the effective level by (6 - base recharge rate) + 1.

Daily: Decreasing the weapon's attack rate to Daily reduces the effective level by (6 - base recharge rate) + 3.

Brutal: Each increase in Brutal increases the effective level by 1. The maximum value for brutal is half the damage die's maximum value.

High Crit: Icrease the effective level by 2.

Improved Firing Arc: Increase the effective level by 1 for each additional firing arc. If the weapon has all four firing arcs, then simply list 360 for its firing arc.

Improved Range: Each +5/+10 range improvement increases the effective level by 1.

Area Effect: Each Burst or Blast size effect increases the effective level by 1. For a wall effect, treat as a blast effect to determine the effective level increase, and count the number of squares in the blast. The area effect is considered Close unless you increase the range. Each 4-square range improvement increases the effective level by 1.

Damage Type: Each additional damage type increases the effective level by 1

New Secondary Roles
Strictly in terms of calculating hit points and XP, ships are Solo creatures. Don't use Elite when calculating hit points. In fact, ships don't use Solo or Elite or Minion for secondary roles. To avoid confusion with existing secondary roles, however, below are new secondary roles exclusive to airships and spelljammers.

Cruiserweight: These ships are like “mini-bosses” that are tougher than standard ships of the same type. Cruiserweights have 10% more hit points that standard ships. Additionally, their weapons can be one level-tier higher than the ship’s level. Thus, if the ship is 12th level, then the cruiserweight’s weapons can be in the 13-15 level range on the Difficulty Class and Damage by Level table.

Heavyweight: These ships are the heavy hitters. They’re much tougher than standard ships of the type, they have better stats, and their weapons do more damage. Heavyweights automatically gain a ballistic resistance equal to half their level. When rolling ballistic salvo damage, subtract the ballistic resistance before multiplying by the number of weapons in the salvo. Heavyweights gain 15% more hit points that standard ships. Additionally, their weapons can be two level-tiers higher than the ship’s level. Thus, if the ship is 12th level, then the cruiserweight’s weapons can be in the 16-18 level range on the Difficulty Class and Damage by Level table.

Runabout: Runabouts are small ships like flitters and lifeboats. In combat, they arrive in droves, deliver a nasty sting to the target with one or two weapons, and then scurry away, but they are easily destroyed in one hit by a ship’s armaments; any weapon with the anti-ship keyword will destroy a runabout in one hit regardless of the number of hit points it has. When a PC or important NPC villain is aboard, runabouts are immune to one-shot kills from anti-ship weapons. For ease of play, runabouts attack in squadrons of 5 ships and roll for damage as if firing a salvo. Each hit to the squadron destroys one runabout.

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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Elvith Jars » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:12 am

Not sure if anybody visits here anymore, but here is the ship design guide I've been working on in its latest revision, and here is an Excel 97-2003 spreadsheet to help with the basic stats.

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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Dave L » Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:09 am

Still lurking, but as my knowledge of 4e is very sparse, and all my SJ stuff is 2e, there's nothing I can add to the work you're doing. :)

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Re: 4th ed ship conversions

Post by Azaghal » Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:15 am

Elvith, I really like the Cruiserweight and Heavyweight ship modifications.
Sean "Azaghal" Pennington

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