Ships and Sailors
Author: Matthew J. Finch
Website for more DM Resources:http://mythmere.tripod.com/index.html
Copyright July 2002, Matthew J. Finch, all rights reserved. No claim is made to any intellectual property of others, including WOTC.
All content is Open Game Content other than names and non-game specific descriptions.
OGL:Open License Agreement
Boats, ships, and the sailors who ply the mysterious waters of fantasy worlds are an integral part of many adventures. This resource allows the DM to quickly provide information about the ships in port at a city or town. Basic information of the types of ships described here is to be found in the DMG, page 150.
The Blue Gull. Keelboat. Length: 50 ft, width 15 ft. Crew: 10. Occupation: fishing boat. Appearance: Faded blue-painted hull, with dingy gray sails. The ropework looks trim and professional, though many of the ropes have been spliced, and there are patches in the sails. Altogether, the ship appears trim and seaworthy, but very much a veteran of battles with hard weather and salt water. Captain: Dove Kirlen. Kirlen is a short, slightly built fellow with a receding hairline, but with his brown hair worn long and wild. He wears shirt and brown trousers, a black vest and a beret of blue and brown plaid. He has a birthmark on his right palm, and is active in the church of Lugh the Sea God.
The Profitable Codfish. Keelboat. Length: 60 ft, width 20 ft. Crew: 12. Occupation: fishing boat. Appearance: The hull of the Profitable codfish is chocolate brown trimmed with white. The figurehead is a white-painted fish. The ropework is bright and trim, and the vessel has the look of a well-run and well-kept enterprise. Captain: Kane Fathom, a short, squat man with straight blond hair worn in a ponytail. He wears a blue doublet and brown trousers, and is usually barefoot. He walks with a limp.
The Red Wheel. Keelboat. Length: 50 ft, width 15 ft. Crew: 10. Occupation: fishing boat. Appearance: The Red Wheel is painted white with red trim, but years of exposure to the elements have dulled the original colors. The ship’s figurehead is an old ship’s wheel, painted red like the rest of the trim. The sails are a bit worn, and the ropework is dingy, but the ship appears seaworthy. Captain: Lissy O’Keen, a handsome but hard-faced woman in her forties, wearing a yellow eyepatch, with long brown hair tied back in a braid. She wears a yellow tunic and black trousers.
The Cranky Marlin. Keelboat. Length: 75 ft, width 20 ft. Crew: 15. Occupation: fishing boat. Appearance: The Cranky Marlin is painted gray with white trim. It is a beat-up old tub, but it looks as though it could float fairly well in calm seas. All over the rails, the ship is festooned with all kinds of different good-luck charms. Captain: Sash Ninetails. Captain Sash is known not only for his incredible superstitions, but also for his equally astounding good luck. He is a bony fellow with a goatee and curly graying hair worn in a single braid to the small of the back. He wears a brown tunic with a red cloak and brown trousers. He has a magically shifting tattoo of a marlin on his right palm.
Stats for a fishing captain:
Male or female human War2: CR 1; Size M (5 ft., 6 in. tall); HD 2d8+2; hp 18; Init +3 (-1 Dex, +4 Improved initiative); Spd 30 ft.; AC 10 (-1 Dex, +1 padded armor); Attack +2 (+2 Base) melee, or +1 (+2 Base, -1 Dex) ranged; SV Fort +4 (+3 Base, +1 Con), Ref -1 (+0 Base, -1 Dex), Will -1 (+0 Base, -1 Wis); AL N; Str 11, Dex 9, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 9, Cha 15.
Skills: Climb +5 (+5 Rank), Craft (Fishing) +4 (+2 Rank, +2 Int), Escape artist +1 (+2 Rank, -1 Dex), Hide -1 (-1 Dex), Jump +3 (+3 Rank), Intimidate +4 (+1 Rank, +3 Cha), Listen +1 (-1 Wis, +2 Alertness), Move silently -1 (-1 Dex), Spot +1 (-1 Wis, +2 Alertness), Swim +4 (+4 Rank), Use Rope +1 (+2 Rank, -1 Dex);
Feats: Improved initiative, Alertness.
Possessions: In port: Padded Armor, hand axe, sap, throwing axes (2). On boat: Padded Armor, trident, net, heavy crossbow, potion of cure light wounds, potion of cure moderate wounds.
Stats for a Sailor
Male or female human Com2: CR 1; Size M (5 ft., 7 in. tall); HD 2d4+2+3; hp 10; Init +2 (+2 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 12 (+2 Dex); Attack +2 (+1 Base, +1 Str) melee, or +3 (+1 Base, +2 Dex) ranged; SV Fort +1 (+0 Base, +1 Con), Ref +2 (+0 Base, +2 Dex), Will +2 (+0 Base, +2 Iron will); AL N; Str 13, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 9, Wis 10, Cha 11.
Skills: Climb +2 (+1 Rank, +1 Str), Profession (Sailor) +0 (+1 Rank, -1 Int), Spot +1 (+1 Rank), Swim +2 (+1 Rank, +1 Str), Use Rope +3 (+1 Rank, +2 Dex).
Feats: Toughness, Dodge.
Possessions: 10 gp in gear. Club. On board, sailors will also have javelins.
River Trading Vessels
The Dancing Shark. Keelboat. Length: 50 ft, width 15 ft. Crew: 10. Occupation: River Trader. Appearance: The Dancing Shark looks as if it has recently weathered a storm. The ropework has stray ends dangling down over the deck like jungle vines, the woodwork is cracked and blistered, and it is impossible to tell what color the ship was once painted, for its color is now uniformly the dingy gray of weathered wood. A few sailors are lounging about on the deck, and the figure lying draped over the rail at the front of the boat seems to be the captain. Captain: Drunken Farley.
The Blue Albatross. Keelboat. Length: 50 ft, width 15 ft. Crew: 10. Occupation: River Trader. Appearance: The Blue Albatross is a small but trim river trader, a keelboat with a single mast and a square sail. The hull is painted a bright green, and the trim is yellow. Quantities of bales and barrels are piled up on the deck, lashed down with rope. Captain: Mendiko Highriver. Mendiko Highriver is a friendly, outgoing person with red hair down to his shoulders and a copper band worn around his head like a coronet to keep his hair out of his eyes.
The Shining Gull. Keelboat. Length: 50 ft, width 15 ft. Crew: 10. Occupation: River Trader. Appearance: The Shining Gull’s single square sail is painted with a picture of a seagull flying in front of the sun. The ship’s hull is painted yellow, and the trimwork is painted blue. Captain: Bartholomew Squall. Bartholomew Squall is short and slightly pudgy, with black hair and a couple of days’ growth of beard.
The Green Marlin. Keelboat. Length: 50 ft, width 15 ft. Crew: 10. Occupation: River Trader. Appearance: The green marlin is a fifty-foot keelboat with a single square sail. The ship is painted green, and has ugly orange trim. She looks quite seaworthy, though. Captain: Fineas Flanagan. Fineas is a fat fellow with a bushy beard and curly blond hair worn in a single braid to the small of the back. He wears a brown doublet with a black cloak trimmed in orange, brown trousers and sandals. He has a birthmark on his left cheek, and collects mirrors.
The Fearless Rider. Sailing Ship. Length: 75 ft. Width: 20 ft. Crew: 20. Occupation: merchant trader. Appearance: the hull of the Fearless Rider is painted a bright red, and the rails and trim are a jaunty yellow. The sails appear to be in good condition, and the ropework is taut and clean. Captain: Bous Greythorn.
The Silvery Lass. Sailing Ship. Length: 75 ft. Width: 20 ft. Crew: 20. Occupation: merchant trader. Appearance: The Silvery Lass is painted dark green, with white trim. The figurehead is a white-painted carving of an amply-endowed woman. The sails and ropework seem well maintained. Captain: Jerris Keelthow. Captain Keelthow is a muscular man with wavy graying hair worn long to the shoulder. He wears a brown leather doublet with a red cloak, brown trousers and sandals. He has a birthmark on his left temple, and is an amateur poet.
Some other ship names: The Red Albatross, The Crooked Wench, The Leaping Bird, The Wavegoose, The Prancing Rider, The Leaping Codfish, The Sealion, The Shining Catch, The Stormspear, the Jolly Jibe, the Queensail, the Sprayleaper, the Saltseal, the Shell, the Coastfinder, the Quickbeam, the Gallant, the Ocean Dream, the Wender, Fairwind, the Leeclaw, the Crabwitch, the Sprayfisher, the Sprat, the Eelfriend.