P&P Ships (early draft, incomplete)

Scott Adams longshot at DARKTECH.ORG
Tue Aug 14 04:53:05 CEST 2001

At 09:22 AM 8/13/01 -0400, you wrote:

 09:22 AM 8/13/01 -0400, you wrote:
>Well, like I noted before, it is mostly cribbed from the RuneQuest rules,
>with some enhancements grabbed from Harn sources and some from Traveller
>sources.  It's still in a state of flux.  The biggest area that needs to be
>nailed down is the Structure Points (hits) and Hull Quality (armor) of the
>ships.  In RQ you can have sea creatures doing 10d6 damage, which could get
>through and 18 Hull quality, but creatures rolling Normal hits (Kraken with
>SB+8) doing only 14 at best won't cut it.

True.  Traveller?  Whoa...I'll have to check the Big File Cabinet of Rpg
Doom to find those books...I don't recall ship info in those as far
as water craft :)....Actually now that i think of it..do seem to recall
some small book on them..but vaguely..  The Old Traveller rules...

>This incompatibility problem is troublesome, which I have to spend some time
>on to convert properly.  Since I have the time now, rather then rushing it
>out for a game in a week (plus everyone's comments), the next draft will be

Great.  Look forward..

>Well, that was the text in the RQ document.  On the ship they had in my
>game, a Climan-style merchant 60' long they had 40 tons of available cargo
>displacement.  With 20 used for provisions (they had a large crew and marine
>complement), that leaves 20 tons.  20 tons of cargo is 44,000 pounds, which
>would take 200 mules to carry.

hmmm..but carrying and ....I can see it to a point just nto sure I'd
make that straight line to line connection :)

>||      Sailing more than a few days?
>||        You say at top that's generally not done but below you
>||        say for berths I think crew for a few days travel.
>The Harn rules put a crew berth at 1/2 ton of space, which includes a 1/4
>ton for the sailor and 1/4 ton for personal lockers and such.  By the rules
>used here, 1t of displacement is about 100 cubic feet of hold, so each
>crewman has about 50cf each...If you assume a belowdecks of 5' high, giving
>a crew berth 6' long, 3.3' wide and 2.5' high will take up about
>50cf...that's not a lot of room.

Ok.  Makes sense I prefer the length/width stuff than cubic feet and
tonagge :)

>The 1/4t "top-deck" item I mentioned was a means to allow short-term troop
>transport, not long-term hauling.


>||        I'm assuming you mean on night sea shore jaunts?
>||        Also medival ships sailed for more than days.  Going
>||        as far back as norse and viking ships sailing as far
>||        south as south america some believe without huggin
>||        the coast (course I account that to being lost):)
>||        Polynesians also sailed in longboats for weeks across
>||        the pacfic,,,no coast hugging there..just dead
>||        reckonig...
>I agree.  I probably held too tight to those rules. I'll probably simplify
>to a single rate.  You will automatically be going slower if you follow
>every shore hex rather than just going straight.

Yeah and this brings up a question..I wonder how ancient lighthouses
are...We know some go back to what? 1500s but anythign before that?
I think some cultures like China used Lantern bouys at night
for reefs...I guess that would sorta count..

>||      Seaworthiness (SW)
>||        Interesting figure.  You give basic loses due to battle
>||        and damage but there are other things like how rowdy
>||        a crew is..a pirate ship is bound to lose more of its

>||        ship structure stuff due to rowydness and brawls than
>||        say a merchant ship that is more dignified.  Also there
>||        are coral, and sea creatures that eat the ship though
>||        I guess that's part of your basic lose figure.  I'm
>||        just over detailing it :)
>SW is mostly the overall tightness of the ship and how well it keeps the
>water out.  Unless the pirate crew has dart contests belowdecks using knives
>I don't think they will overly crimp seaworthiness. :)
>Again, I may have to rethink many of the formulas since I think I have to
>convery to a P&P damage rather then try to assign a RQ damage rating to P&P

Never seen a good pirate movie brawl eh? :)..j/k

>||      Losing 1 SW passenger, trader, warships different
>||         I think you gave a generic 1 loss for all ships?  Yet
>||         each ship is unique.  For example a trader tends to
>||         hug coasts and shouldn't lose that much from sea effects
>||         than say a warship on patrol.  So those differences might
>||         be noted...
>A Merchant ship, with a much greater freeboard and wider beam tends to have
>a much greater seaworthiness.
>Granted, the 1 loss is just from overall wear and tear and does not include
>outside events, like storms and forced beachings.

Yeah might have to take it on individual basis ....but I'll wait
for the final draft..

>||      Warships only sail 1 day out at sea?
>||         Ton of examples that break that.  The vikings and such.
>||         Persians once in the indian ocean would circumvent other
>||         fleets and not hug the coast but sail for days to get
>||         to a base to attack..that kinda thing.  I think each
>||         captain's skill could be taken into account even as
>||         simple as say 1/10th of skill in days can go out without
>||         a problem :)...nah too simple..
>Again, another RQ'ism that will go away. Climans hav to do this stuff all
>the time, as do Fomarians.

Yeah ...didn't I read somewhere the Fomorians sailed like north for weeks
with a warfleet outside sight of land?  I can't recall where..heck
could've been a scneerio of mine :).  After almost 20 years doing this
stuff they tend to all merge together :)

I could check the Elric rules they have some minor naval rules I could
check to compare..

>||      Fisherman boats
>||         Notice no mention of these.  These are the backbone of
>||         civlization in terms of their navy.  The crews are
>||         so adapt at being in the water and storms and such
>||         I think they should get bonsues in losing SW as well
>||         as days out since most would spend days out usually
>||         only a days joruney outside of sight of l and before
>||         coming back in.
>I think most fisherman will be pretty close to the coast in any case, and
>the smaller boats are easier to maintain with a small crew (surface area to
>maintain is a power factor to length).  Yes, they would still lose that 1
>per week, but the fishercrew can probably make that up in a single off day,
>for no net loss week to week.

I dunno...fisherman are hearty folk and do wonderous things with
their ships and their ship lifetimes go far beyond most other

>The larger ships will lose faster then the crew can keep up, and need to be
>in port for repairs more often.


>||      Culture Differences
>||         You mention this toward the end.  But each culture should
>||         be given modifiers.  For example a Zenda tribe would
>||         get scared at a boat probably :) but a Marentian culture
>||         would get a bonus for sailing.  A climan shipyard should
>||         get bonuses for build times, crew quality and SW and other
>||         factors since they LIVE for the sea pretty much.

>||         So take the time and note this for all cultures :)
>|| (yeah right)
>Cultural differences are a second phase of this nightmare, once I have a
>foundation to work with.  I fully intend to go through the culture book and
>give the regions their due. :)

Cool...especialy the greats..Fomoria...Clima..Lemasa...
Dwarfs would be too scared of water in most of my universe...
faerry have no use if they can fly...and elf do sail
but pretty rarely I suspect..

>||      Experience builders
>||         Bonuses on construction time and ship quality should be
>||         given for noted ship building creators and designers.
>||         Persians were one of the best naval cultues at the time
>||         and could whip out almost 3 to 1 more ships than say
>||         its neighbors.  Stuff like that...Some minor rule on
>||         that effect could be added..
>Again, a second phase, after I have core rules.

Well get to it! :)

>||      Seaworthiness factor doesn't take into account crew quality/area
>||         Doesn't seem to take this info affect.  A Formorian crew
>||         can tend to keep a ship more worthy than say a Zenda crew
>I think a raw Zen'da crew would have difficulty not hanging themselves on
>the rigging :)

Yeah...people don't realize that simple act of sails and rigging can
be life and death on ships...have friends that come from inland
areas..see sailboats and dream of being a sailor...

(here in florida surrounded by wateR)

>||         with ease.  So those differences could be noted.  Though
>||         overdetailing area could be taken into account as well
>||         since Sea of tears tend to be less erratic for ships since
>||         its a closed space if you will while the open sea SW would
>||         go down a bit faster maybe as much as 10% due to uncharted
>||         reefs and more frequency of storms.  If you get my jist..


>||      Formulas?
>||         Where the heck you get those formulae? :)  I mean square
>||         root this..man good stuff but did you make it up?
>Most of the formulas come from a document I found on the Web, written for
>RQ.  However, I made some changes to the formulas (the square roots) since
>in many cases they had values based on linear functions (Structure Points)
>that in reality are power functions.

Yeah.  RQ is the least experienced game with me as a GM.  I've played
dozesn of games ...but I only hae run maybe 6 games total so my rule
knowledge is lacking..though I do admit RQ is a good system and has
tons of good material...just recalling that info is another story :)

>I need to fine-tune some of them anyways, since I'm not trying to exactly
>model the next America's cup ship, but want something that is in-game

Just good examples and generic building system would be great of
the typicals...rowboat..fisher..merchant..trader..courier..warships..

>||      Wood Quality
>||         Should be mentioned.  For example Climans have to import
>||         wood and thus might be less quality (thus less SW by
>||         a slight bit) than say Donara which has tons of wood
>||         from its forests and thus more diversity in quality.
>In most cases wood quality will have some effect on the overall qualities of
>the ship, but design and construction moreso.
>But it is a good add as an "option".  In the next draft I'll probably work
>it out like the P&P rules, with the standard set, with grey-boxed options.

Coruse a text version :)
Yeah..I always wonder when I see stories of the polynesians crossing
the pacfic how they did it..I mean their wood was very limited
and wasn't the best quality..

>||      Wood prices? 20gc?
>||        Wow..a bit steep..Again this is per culture I think.
>||        climans have to import thus spend more money than say
>||        Donara does in a single day.  Whereas say a culture
>||        with the Great Forests..where lumber is cheap would
>||        not have to pay that much thus can build more.
>Lumber may be cheap, labor is not.

Unless you have good slave sources :)

>And you complain about a 60' merchant ship capable of travelling 8 hexes on
>a good day of sailing while carrying 30+ tons of cargo costing 250GC, but a
>single suit of stinking AV6 plate for the same price is ok? :}

Well I wouldn't say complain..its one of those things you have
to do when you need it and decide if its needed/worth it...:)

>Many of the prices in the P&P rules are really wacked.  A while back I tried
>to go with Harn or RQ prices, which seam a bit more reasonable, but have
>dropped that and am just trying to work within 'P&P physics and economics'.
>I did tweak my armor costs a bit in a revised equipment document I wrote
>(might as well attach it for comments are well not quite done :), but most
>of the standard gear is as listed.

Yeah I've adapted some Elric prices seem to be good even for armor...
since that's a major magic system they don't depend on armor and
the 'gear' as much as other systems..

>||      Construction time quality of yard yes..but crew and culture
>||        AGain going to Clima they are ship builders from Eons.
>||        So they would tend to get a bonus over a small fishing
>||        village say on a Zenda border (if they have such).  So
>||        they would get bonus for build times I would think.
>||        Then princs want war fleets fast so they can pay more for
>||        the labor so I think time should be a factor of pay.
>||        As pay is increased crews work harder then of course
>||        theres slave labor where time increases but pay decreases.
>Again, the place for optional rules.  Once I get the basic requirements,
>each culture can have it's tweaks up and down for things.


>||      Crew requirements - Diff ship types
>||        What about passenger liners and other ships.  Its a bit
>||        generic on the requirements.  But is doable.  hmm..
>||        forgot what I was going to ask here..oh well
>||        what about resources?  food and such.  I think using the
>||        FP system based on average weights would work better.
>Harn assumed 100cf=1 ton of displacement.  If 1 ton of food is 100 man-days
>of provisions, then 1cf = 22 pounds of food and water.  Granted, of this a
>good chunk of the weight is container and protective weight to keep out
>vermine, and a gallon of fresh water weighs about 8 pounds.  I think the
>remainder of space is enough to feen "the average man" within a range of
>2-4FP per day.  I would grant extended range if it were a crew of faerry
>nibbling 1FP per day. :}

Ack..I'm too tired..I can't reason in tonnage figures FP an dlen/width
is more my style...but I think I could when I'm more rested :)

>||      Deck space: 0.5t? t=
>||        T is ton? I figured y ou mean say half a foot square area
>||        for each man..makes more sense than a weight figure.
>||        or do you mean resources/gear?
>0.5t = 0.5 tons
>It includes themselves and their gear, as well as some allowance for
>"personal space".

Must be 10 plate armors :)

>If you wanted to be literal about it, half a ton could hold _5_ people, but
>they would be packed in like sardines.

Alot of navies did that..spanish fleets of most periods were known
to be...english had the most wide spread areas...
course we won't even touch the slave holds..

>|| ----
>|| ? Anchors: One anchor is included in the basic time/cost of the ship,
>|| but many large craft will carry two or even three as a spare. Each
>|| anchor takes up "displacement x .01t" and costs 1GC per ton.
>|| ----
>||         Your anchors are Awfully light I thik...I'd have
>||         to run some average figures but my guess isits a bit
>||         underweight from first glance..
>Again, taken from the Harn rules.  Frankly, I can just as easily toss out
>this item of trivia and assime that the ship has sufficient anchors.  It may
                         ^^^^^^ :) Take that a part at a time
>be in the realm of too much detail.

Up to you...but anchors are vital in some games..there are tricks players
can do with them...I've seen one powerful mage turn a anchor into
brittle ice and with a ax it be destroyed in one swing...not
good :)

>I think the key items we need are capacity (how much is can carry), crew and
>structure (resistance to sinking and damage).  All other is fluff that may
>be nice to know but we drown in detail if we need it for every ship.

Yep...I'm sure the coast guard has typical figures even on their
website if it was searched well enough..like a typical crewmen
'eats this X amount' and such...I've seen stats before somewhere
but don't recall..

>|| All in all very nice..
>Well, it is a start.  Has a long way to go, though.

yep...still good stuff..

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