[PnP] Ships - General Information
longshot at darktech.org
Sat Oct 28 04:26:20 CEST 2006
Powers & Perils Ships Supplement
* Table of Contents
History of Ships and Boats
History of Navigation
Perilous Lands Geography Aspects
Credits and Acknowledgements
This document contains supplemental information for use with the
Powers & Perils RPG system. It can be used for the Perilous Lands
supplement but doesn't have to. In fact this supplement can fit in
with just about any fantasy rpg system. While a lot of this material
is factual based on Earth technology and data some of the information
is made up or conjectured from existing data. In researching this
material I read two books "Ships and Seamanship" which covers many
topics of ancient ships and the whole aspect of seamanship. The
other book was the "Athenian Trireme" which actually used science to
reconstruct an ancient Athenian Trireme and give precise data on it
from construction of its timber deck to the sails and other aspects.
I hope this material is of some benefit for you and your players.
The Referee is free to modify any and all material herein to fit his
or her needs in their campaign. This is only a general outline to
serve as a starting point for your games. If you have questions or
comments you are free to contact me (see the bottom Contact Info
section). Be advised this document only contains miscellaneous info
that could not be covered in other documents. Many topics were
placed into their own files for ease of reading and access.
* History of Ships and Boats
The history of ships on Earth is a complex subject that is beyond
the scope of this document. To get a better idea of how your world
may have developed ships in their past one must study the history
on Earth of ships.
The earliest forms of boats were Rafts from simple logs (single or
tied together logs) to Keleks. A Kelek was a floating raft of air
bladders and leather. Hanibal even used a Kelek for War Elephants
that was 100x50 feet in size. Also there were Pot Rafts which used
ceramic pots rather than bladders. The earliest boats were animal
skin boats, clay tubes, the Dugout, and the Bark Canoe. Then came
the planked boat which included the keel and sides or ribs of planks
which were the first generation of boats. The Egyptians would create
large barges which could then carry the large stones for pyramids.
Babylonians then came up with a oared ship (11 oarsman) which was
around 20 tons as the typical largest size of that time.
Soon came the development of Bireme, Quadreme and finally the era
of the Trireme. For centuries the common warship of any nation
would become the Trireme. Soon ships termed 'threes', 'fours',
'fives' and more would come about. In fact the largest ancient ship
was the 'forty'. These terms determined the amount of oarsman on
the ship based on files or columns.
The ancient world would see sea powers like the Greeks, Romans,
Persians, Babylonians and others come to power and battle on the high
seas. A typical campaign was one like the Salamis Campaign which
included battle with over 3,000 ships each an average of 4 tons with
crew of 80 oarsman and 30 others (soldiers, deck hands). In the
Pelopnesian War over 200 Triremes were involved. So ancient battles
had many number of ships in battle.
As technology improved with navigation, charts and warfare the
ships changed. Soon gunpowder drove ships to form large War Galleons
bristling with cannons. Large ships of hundreds of crews were
typical lasting in trips over thousands of miles.
For Powers & Perils though the history of ships would stop before
gunpowder technology level. The typical ship would be that of the
Trireme for warfare. This of course is up to the Referee and how he
runs the world.
* History of Navigation
The history of ship navigation is brief in terms of game mechanics.
The first ones to use the earliest boats did not navigate but went to
water and hoped they got to their location. In many cases those
people were lost or adrift which caused new lands to be found (like
in the Pacific).
Early sailors learned to use the wind, the sky and animals (like
birds) to navigate. At the invention of higher sciences like
mathematics, geometry, geography and astronomy navigation improved.
Map making was then possible, first local maps from rivers to sea
coasts and then to entire continents.
Navigation aids like the Sextant improved the sailor's chances of
successful navigation. Most early sailors would not leave the safety
of the coastline (always in sight). It took many brave sailors to
venture into deep water to explore nearby regions of the globe.
In the Perilous Lands many of the sea going nations like Fomoria
developed their own sciences for sea travel. The current pioneers in
the sea sciences like navigation, warfare and construction is in the
schools spread out around the globe. One of the current best schools
is in Ticasi where sailors can learn the most advanced science of
sailing and up to date technology. Of course magic plays a vital
role in navigation in the Perilous Lands. Magic helps to increase
range and safety of ships sailing in deep waters.
* Miscellaneous Information
This section contains notes and information that can not be
covered in other sections or documents. This is a catch-all section
that covers facts or notes that may be of interest.
1. Towing Fact: A towing ship was typically 1-22 tons with a crew
of 2-18. The ships that were towed could travel 20 kilometers
per day or 30-35 if going downstream.
2. Merchant Facts: It was common for merchant ships in ancient times
to carry 450 tons of cargo easily. On average most merchants
were 130 tons in ancient times.
3. Ship Timber Fact: Timber was made mainly from Oak, Pine, Poplar,
and Fir. Masts and Oars typically made from Fir.
4. Oarer Fact: Each oarsmen need a minimum of 3 feet of space to
work in. A single Oar was later replaced by a Sweeping oar
which was one giant oar for greater muscle power. Oarers require
1.7 tons of water per 10 hour day. It was common for Triremes
and other ships to have a wooden canopy for protection against
rain/weather for the oarsmen. A ship could row backwards
at 5 knots in 20 seconds away from a rammed ship. Each rower
carried his own personal gear (oar, oar loop (leather) and
sea cushion). While the 1.7 ton figure is for a Trireme ship
of rowers on average it took 1 liter of water per hour per
rower to keep them going.
5. Oars Fact: A Oar was 9-9.5 Cubits in length, 13' 6" to 14'.
The longest was admidships. The porthole where the Oar was
placed was 18 inches with a leather bag to seal in against
water and weather. Oars typically made of fir. A oar
was typically 4-7 kilograms in weight. A ship typically
carried 30 spares due to cracks. Per hour an average of
1-2 oar breaks. This is where the Carpenter fixes them.
Typically on average an oar was 168 cm height. Oars were
typically found on warships only but some other ships like
merchants used them. Oars were typically 18" from waterline
to the oar itself usually.
6. Land transport: Many ships were carried overland by dividing
up pieces of the ship and placed up on rollers for transport
depending on the size. If light enough most were just carried
7. Ship Life Fact: A Trireme only lasted 20 years on average.
8. Horse Transport Facts: Most horse carriers only had 60 rowers
but could carry up to 30 horses.
9. Towers: Ship towers could be collapsed for use by archers.
10. Galley Fact: The galley was where food was prepared. Typically
it was 9x5 feet in size in a 70 feet long boat.
11. Oil on ships (lanterns, etc.) was typically 0.9 kilograms for
1 liter of oil.
12. Formula for burden of ship
(Length of keel x (beam x half of beam ) / 94 tons.
Note: A true formula used by some documents for displacement
among other aspects but not too functional for games. It
is given here as a side note.
12. Ballast Fact: Ballast tended to be sand and/or stone.
13. Bilge: At the bottom of the ship was typically water mixed
with twigs and sticks in which people could walk on.
14. Trireme: The number of rowers equals out Thranite- 62,
Zygite- 54, Thalnite-54 at 170 total. Plus about 30 others
half which were fighting marines. Typically a Trireme weighed
10-25 tons of hull. With half of that being men and gear.
Most Triremes carried 30 soldiers or could carry 30 horses.
A trireme was stable up to winds of 25 knots and was handled
2-10 knots of winds on average. A typical days travel was
60 nautical miles (110 kilometers).
15. Ropes and sails were typically made from papyrus or flax.
16. Gangway Fact: Typically 1.2 meters wide.
17. Markings/Names: Typically warships have markings and their
names up front. While a Merchant has rear markers and the
name is placed on the rear rather than side.
18. To load or unload Oarers into place it took 10-15 minutes.
it took half with ladders and 2 gangplanks. If there is an
emergency evacuation oarers could go over the side in just
19. Rudder fact: Most rudders on large ships were 5 meters long
with stocks and tillers that can be turned (both by the
helmsman if wish to do so).
20. Ship Ropes: It took typically 280-340 feet of rope from bow
to stern to tie it together for rough sea sailing.
21. While Triremes were less durable, expensive to build and supply
other ships helped out a nation's resources. The Penteconter
was more durable and less expensive. Penteconters also had
more room for supplies, less crew and good for war and trading
both. The Quadrireme used 4 oarsmen but only 1 was skilled.
22. Starvation: While on the water it is important to keep track of
dehydration. The rules on Starvation that Wout has come up
works fine and should be consulted. Magic can help in this area
to prevent starvation.
23. A nation's Gross National Income determines how many ships a
nation can build and maintain yearly. For war this figure can
be used for quick assessment of such figures.
24. Naval Power: The culture power chart shows power ratings for
each country. To maintain a balance of power in times of war
a quick assessment of naval power can be determined. For every
10 Naval Vessels 1 power point is gained and for every 5 Heavy
Vessels (Trireme or better) 1 power point is gained. This data
can be used on a geopolitical analysis of powers.
25. A study of anchors was made. We determined that in the end
an anchor should weigh at least 1% of the ship's overall
weight. The figure ranged from 0.7 to 1.4% for smaller and
larger ships. But to make things uniform and the math to
work out in the end 1% seems fair. The Referee can determine
other percentages if needed. Here are some anchor facts:
A. By 300 BC vessels of the Athenian navy were equipped with
iron anchors weighing up to 440 pounds.
B. There was discovered, after 1800 years submersion, a
wood-sheathed iron anchor weighing about 1000 pounds.
C. The Statutes of Genoa of 1441 AD required a 1500-ton ship
to carry 12 iron anchors of from 1600 to 1800 pounds each.
[19200-21600 pounds - 10 tons of anchors]
D. The "Sovereign of the Seas," 1600 tons, in 1637 carried 12
anchors of 4000 pounds each. In 1690 Sir Wm. Phipps in his
attack on Quebec lost a [24 tons of anchors for 1600 tons]
Anchors were made from stone or iron in the ancient world.
* Perilous Lands Geography Aspects
This section details some geographical aspects of water and some
basic rules and notes for each. It is meant as information Referees
can get a good start from.
A. Lighthouses: Lighthouses were common in the ancient world in
the civilized areas. The Great Lighthouse in Egypt was said to be
over 300 feet tall. Its light could be seen from 70 miles (50
kilometers). During the night a giant bonfire was made for this
light. During the day a mirror was used to reflect the sun. Based
on this and other data the following rules could be applied:
1. For every 4 feet of lighthouse 1 mile of the light source
(fire/sun) can be seen. Thus a 100 foot tower can be seen for 20
miles (100/4=20x1=20 miles).
2. It takes 1-2 people to maintain a constant bonfire all
night. But at day only 1 is needed to fix problems.
3. Some lighthouses have built in elevators for wood to be
raised up to the top for ease rather than taking up the stairs/steps.
4. Most lighthouses only had 1 mirror set and rarely had
spares in case of problems. Some nations could afford spares however.
5. Most lighthouses had 1 or 2 families that stayed on site
on set schedules or year round. Some may have rotation schedules.
6. As a guideline the light source can be diminished by the
Weather Condition Diminished by
Rain - Light 5%
Rain - Medium 10%
Rain - Heavy 30%
Thunderstorm [Intense] 60%
Fog - Light 5%
Fog - Medium 10%
Fog - Heavy [Blanket] 15%
Snow - Light 10%
Snow - Medium 20%
Snow - Heavy [Blizzard] 80%
The decrease is in the range of the light seen.
Most lighthouses were placed in very remote locations in places
where ships are in the worst danger. Reefs and common water hazards
are the main reason for lighthouses. Some of these remote locations
did not have wood resources (barren islands). In those cases large
oil setups were used but were more dangerous to the people and
structure itself. Magical lighthouses can increase the lightsource
range seen, automatic fire and light magics to name a few. Some
magical lighthouses could include different color lights for signals
to friendly forces. The referee will have to determine the exact
effects of the magic for the lighthouse.
The Referee should allocate lighthouses in his or her world
so players will know about them. Some nations that lightly already
have them would include Fomoria, Clima and Lemasa to name a few.
To create the "rotation" effect of the light the bonfire doesn't
need to rotate. During the day a preset style of mechanics, steam
or water powered wheels could be setup to rotate a platform.
B. Foghorn: While the ancient world did not see Foghorns this does
not mean the world you play in doesn't have them. Magic can come
into play here. The effect of a noise can be utilized by magical
means. The distance is generally 1-3 miles that it can be heard
depending on the noise. The referee will have to determine the
details of the foghorn site. As with lighthouses foghorns are placed
in remote places generally where fog or bad weather is a factor.
C. Buoy/Beacons: Buoys came first just before the 13th century
on Earth. For Powers and Perils these devices can be critical for
ship navigation. These tend to warn ships of water dangers. Some
other beacons can display wind data (general speed, direction)
as well. Beacons can alert of reefs, sandbars and fast moving
currents (for swimmers). Most buoys and beacons are set around
coastal towns and their docks. Many are set in rivers while others
can be set along the coastline. The Referee and Dockmaster will
have to determine the type and purpose of each beacon.
All buoys and beacons are placed in the water. They float
above the danger or near the danger in the water. They are weighted
down by anchors in place so even the biggest current and winds do
not shift their position. Most beacons may only be a simple floating
structure. While others may have bells, chimes or other noise
makers. Some may have light sources to show their location at night.
These light sources may be torches (that are lit every night by
people), lanterns (lit every night) or magical (that come up at night
Since the world of magic exists some beacons can even have
magic to defend a location or attack nearby ships that enter a place
they guard. The player and Referee is free to come up with the
These beacons are a lot cheaper to make than lighthouses so
nations may have more of these.
D. Signals/Flags: While buoy and beacons serve a purpose there
may be structures on land and water to display signals, warnings
and flags. These are even cheaper and easier to build than
beacons. These structures can even be mobile. Some nations use
walls with towers as signal posts. For example, towers placed
at every mile can use smoke and fire to signal towers all along
a coastal region quickly like the Great Wall of China or the Roman
Walls in England did. For ships these structures can be setup
to send messages to passing ships or warn them of new dangers.
It takes training for a person to use the signals and flags on
ships and lands effectively.
E. Canals: While Suez and Panama are modern great examples the
ancient world had the work force in place to make canals. In
the ancient world some canals were found in South America 6,700
years ago in the Andes region. Canals do not require technology
other than brute strength to move earth and create dams. In the
Perilous lands canals can create a new balance of power in some
regions for interesting play. For example in Xan a canal could
be made to connect the Sea of Tears with the Western Ocean.
A whole new industry of earth movers can be done by magic
users and the Dwarfs.
F. Dams: Dams require also no technology so can be easily done.
Dams serve many purposes. To help in agriculture, to build up
water sources, to build up height of rivers or lakes or to prevent
water getting to nearby nations. Dams should be considered for
game play to create realism.
G. Waterfalls: Waterfalls also had realism to a game world. They
can add spice for players or passing ships. The tallest on earth
is the Angel falls over 3,212 feet. As a guideline though you can
make waterfalls only a few feet to thousands. A trickle of water
to a raging wave water wall like Niagara. For ships waterfalls can
be created to force dangerous routes in rivers. According to Richard
in the Perilous Lands the tallest mountains are the Dalya Mountains
in the Cerulean Empire. According to legend, its top is in the
upper world. The tallest mountains on an average height per peak
basis are the Kameran mountains. With this information you can
create tall waterfalls in these regions.
Waterfalls have their own myths and legends in the fantasy
world. Many creatures live behind waterfalls and use it as a lair.
This aspect can also be introduced into your world.
H. Water Rapids: Water rapids are created where rivers become
shallow and rocks create obstructions to waterflow. Rapids tend
to only allow small craft to travel over them. Large ships may
be knocked about and crushed in the rocks. Water Grades or Levels
vary depending on water depth and water flow. A level 1 rapid may
decrease to level 3 if the river swells from storms for example.
The Referee can design rivers with rapids to create realism and
then define the level of difficulty for navigation.
I. Fords: Fords are a shallow place in a body of water where a
person can cross the water by walking or riding an animal. A
Referee can assign fords in certain rivers to create realism.
J. Bridges: Bridges are an important aspect in a water world.
Bridges are natural (trees, logs), man made or temporary. Man
made bridges can be expensive on the width and type of materials.
Metal and wood can change the cost and time for bridge construction.
A temporary bridge can be setup using ships like barges to cross
a river in times of war or emergency situations. These are floating
platforms which can let people and material cross quickly.
Some nations may require tolls to be paid on crossing a bridge.
This will depend on the nation and the bridge. A typical price might
be 5 BB to 1 CC as a toll depending on how often the bridge is used
by people. Some bridges may have guards as well to prevent people
from crossing them.
K. Ferry: Where bridges can't be built or affordable a nation
may use a ferry system. These are generally rafts or boats that
allow people and material to cross a river. Some ferry operators
may be controlled by the nation or by private citizens. Tolls may
be required to be paid to cross. There would be weight and space
limits for the ferry service. Tolls may be a standard rate or paid
per number of feet that need to be crossed (if a ferry has to
go upstream or downstream). As a guideline a Referee could use
the following table as a price chart:
Toll Price Distance Notes
1 BB Per 50 feet Per person (under 200 pounds)
+1 BB Per 50 feet Per person (per 20 pounds over 200)
3 BB Per 50 feet Per horse
5 BB Per 50 feet Per vehicle (wagon, etc.)
+1 BB Per 50 feet Per 30 pounds of equipment
For example a knight and squire needs to cross a river 350 feet
across. Both have horses and have gear under 30 pounds. The ferry
requires a toll of 2 CC for both to cross. A ferryman can charge
more or less based on station.
Finally some notes should be discussed on each of the oceans
of the Perilous Lands. The Northern Sea is quite a dangerous sea
full of cold and storms almost year round. Most ships tend to
avoid this sea. The Eastern Sea and Endless Ocean are areas of
vast distances that ships can easily be lost in. These lead to
lands unexplored or unknown to many nations including the Eastern
Lands. The Southern Sea is more populated by ships than the
Northern Sea. It tends to be warmer but has many storms still.
The Sea of Tears is isolated by land that surround it. It may
not see large storms like Hurricanes but do see fierce storms.
A Referee should giver personality to each region to add realism to
* Ship Cargo
Nations can't last long without trade to help its economy.
Sea Trade is a major aspect of many nations in the Perilous Lands.
If you are creating a merchant that deals in sea trade it may be
a good idea to find my file on Culture Economics. This was posted
to the list and can be requested. Its a chart of all nations and
what they trade in. This tells at a quick glance what is good to
buy and sell.
From my study here are some interesting facts on cargo that may
help you in your setup.
1. Typical grain cargo is 370 tons in average. This is for the
standard merchant ship on average.
2. Typical Wine Cargo is 2,000 to 3,000 jars of 30-35 liters each
of ordinary size.
3. A common freighter cargo tonnage was 90-165 tons.
4. The biggest cargo freighters was the Syracuse which could hold
1,940 tons of cargo. The other ancient equivalent was the Isis
which was 180' in length, 45' beam and 43.5 feet tall. The Isis
couldcarry 1,500-3,500 tons of cargo.
5. The Amphora - This was the multi-purpose containers of the
ancient world. They typically carried 14-25 liters each.
It was common for ships to carry multiple cargo loads. Ships
typically went to more than one port to sell and buy goods.
Many nations setup Sea Treaties for trade. These pacts and
agreements were loose and strict at times. They allowed free trade
or disallowed some trade. The Perilous Lands would have many such
treaties setup by Merchant Houses around the globe. The Referee
will have to determine the local specifics of such pacts.
* Ship Crews
Without a skilled labor pool ships would be useless to maintain.
Skilled officers and oarsmen are often sought out for good ships
and high pay. Based on the study of the ancient world the following
facts and information was found.
A. Crew typical Positions -
1. Commanding Officer aka "Steerer" - He often served as a
captain but also seconded as a steersmen if no other position was
on the ship.
2. Bow Officer aka "orderer" - This crewmen kept the beat going
for rowers if the ship had oarsmen. Some might keep the stroke going
by a drum or by going up and down the row shouting or singing. Also
sometimes called the Rowing Officer. The rowing officer was also
known as a boatswain. Bow Officers were also known as pursers.
3. Prow-man: This position was typically held by any deck hand.
But some large ships had nothing but prow-men. These men would watch
out for dangers day and night. Some might even be in crow's nest
and watching for land or other ships.
4. Piper/whistler: This person, sometimes a deck hand, would
use a pipe or whistle to issue commands to the crew quickly. For
rowers he would typically stand middle of gangplank between rowers
to issue rowing commands or keep the beat.
5. Navigator: Some ships have dedicated navigators that plot
long courses or know the area well enough to guide the ship.
6. Helmsman: This was typically the person who used the ship's
wheel to steer the ship or helped with the steering oars.
7. Cargomaster: Some large merchants would have a dedicated
person to handle cargo and all the accounting services for the ship.
8. Healer: A healer was sometimes needed for long trips. These
healers were skilled in sea going diseases and conditions.
9. Deck hands: The general laborer of a ship. Most did not take
much training beyond a quick set of lessons. Deck hands would
typically serve many functions like stewards among others.
10. Stewards: Some dedicated pleasure ships had people to serve
food and drink to passengers. These stewards may also clean up the
rooms and keep the passengers happy.
11. Marines/Soldiers: Warriors who were either trained specially
for water based combat, boarding actions or land combat. Some would
also include Archers.
12. Oarsmen: Oaremen were typically trained fast. They were
the backbone to warships as they did alot of work in battle compared
to other crewmen.
13. Shipwright: Many ships had shipwrights or carpenters to
repair things from oars to the hull during a typical trip.
B. Sailors typically stayed naked due to the job, lack of supplies
and general hard life aboard a ship until they reached land. This
was a common situation in the ancient world.
C. Sea captains also known as Trierarch.
D. Deck Soldiers typically found on a ship numbered 10 soldiers
and 4 archers on average. These warriors were age 20-30 typically.
E. Archers commonly served as personal bodyguards to commanding
F. Oarsmen typically offered half the normal sailor pay if not
on a active service schedule. Most oarsmen were found in towns
along the way. Most tended to buy their own provisions but had a
G. Supplies for crews were typically from public stores (on a loan
basis) or paid for by the captain's own money.
H. At least 10% of all sailors may be armed at any one time.
I. Climan Ships: A typical ship has 80 on it. The priestess and
captain are character class. The others tend to be slaves.
J. Pilot: A pilot was hired typically to steer a ship to shore in
a area the captain did not know. this is to avoid dangers like reefs.
K. Trireme: Triremes typically had 200 men with 170 just being
oarsmen (1 per oar). The others were officers, deck hands and guards.
L. Rowers rarely fight and are not combat trained.
M. Typical Ship Crews:
Ship Type Small Medium Large Average
[Random Size D10] 1-6 7-9 10
Fishing Boats 1-6 (1D6) 2-12 (2D6) 3-18 (3D6) 9
Merchant 2-12 (2D6) 7-17 (2D6+5) 8-23 (3D6+5) 14-15
Pirate 20 40 100 60
Climan 50 100 350 200
General 40 100 300 170
Light Warship 50 75 100 75
Medium Warship 100 125 150 125
Trireme 250 300 350 300
Quadreme 400 450 500 450
Logboat 1 1 2 1
Barge 1-6 (1D6) 6-11 (1D6+5) 7-23 (2D6+5) 12
Patrol Barges 1-10 (1D10) 7-17 (2D6+5) 8-23 (3D6+5) 12
Cargo Barge 1-6 (1D6) 5-10 (1D6+4) 2-20 (2D10) 10
Animal Barge 1-6 (1D6) 7-12 (1D6+6) 2-20 (2D10) 10
Canoe 1 1 2 1
Catamaran 1-3 (1D3) 2-4 (1D3+1) 2-6 (2D3) 3
Coracle 1 1 2 1
Cutter 1-3 (1D3) 4-7 (1D3+3) 3-8 (1D6+2) 4
Dhow 2-12 (2D6) 3-21 (2D10+1) 21-30 (1D10+20) 16
Dinghy 1 2 3 2
Dory 2 3 4 3
Ferry 1-3 (1D3) 3-8 (1D6+2) 2-12 (2D6) 6
General Junk 20 50 100 60
Treasure 10 30 80 45
Horse Ship 5 25 50 25
Supply Ship 10 30 60 35
Troop Ship 10 25 50 30
Patrol Ship 10 25 50 30
Kayak 1 1 2 1
Ketch 1-2 (1D2) 4-6 (1D3+3) 5-10 (1D6+4) 5
Lifeboat 1 1 2 1
Rafts 1-2 (1D2) 2-5 (1D3+2) 5-10 (1D6+4) 5
Tugs 1-6 (1D6) 6-16 (2D6+4) 4-24 (4D6) 12
Galley 30 45 60 45
Brig 1 2 3 2
N. Crew Breakdown: The actual disposition of each crewmen depends
on the ship and how much the captain can afford. But one could use
the following chart as a quick guide.
Ship Type Rowers Deck hands Officers Warriors (Rowed)
Fishing Boats - 98% 2% - No
Fishing Boats 10% 88% 2% - Yes
Merchant - 96% 3% 1%* No
Merchant 10% 85% 4% 1%* Yes
Pirate - 10% 3% 87% No
Pirate 15% 10% 4% 71% Yes
Climan - 80% 5% 15% No
Climan 19% 60% 6% 15% Yes
General - 15% 5% 80% No
General 40% 15% 5% 40% Yes
Light Warship - 64% 6% 30% No
Light Warship 50% 14% 6% 30% Yes
Medium Size - 72% 8% 20% No
Medium Size 60% 12% 8% 20% Yes
Trireme 85% 5% 10% 15%** Yes
Barge - 98% 1% 1%* No
Barge 10% 88% 1% 1%* Yes
* If ship chooses to have soldiers (if not add to deckhand).
** Trireme includes 30 soldiers typically beyond normal 200
Other ships will have to be up to the Referee or player to
determine. All figures are rounded up to the nearest whole number.
Some warriors serve as dual purpose positions which may do deck hand
duties. Some ships may have more rowers in some cases so they would
take higher percentages than others.
O. Crew Training: The ancient world needed skill and unskilled
crews for successful operations. The following can be used. It
is based on ancient world records (with slight math adjustments)
Small Medium Large Small Medium Large
COs/Captains 30 90 180 180 200 240
Rowing Officer 7 10 12 14 14 14
Prow Officer 2 2 2 3 3 3
Piper/Whistler 14 14 14 21 21 21
Navigator 90 90 90 180 180 180
Helmsman 14 14 14 30 30 30
Carpenter 120 120 120 90 90 90
Shipwright 240 240 240 300 300 300
Healer 360 360 360 540 540 540
Deck Hand 2 3 4 3 4 5
Stewards 1 2 3 1 - -
Marines - - - 180 180 180
Archer 60 60 60 90 90 90
Soldiers 30 30 30 240 240 240
Oarsmen 42 42 42 63 63 63
Cargomaster 3 5 10 5 - -
Pilot 63 63 63 63 63 63
All figures are in Days. If a person is already trained in the
above skills the time is decreased by 50%. But if he does not have
ship experience (being on a moving/swaying ship) its only 30%.
Captains had to learn many details including sailing, navigation,
helmsman, cargo, trade and warfare. The military would put a captain
through a long 8 month course usually with 2 months of trials and
testing. The size of the ship decreased difficulty in tactics and
learning time. Civilian captains tended to be taught by other captains
or by their own. Typically only 6 months for a large ship and only
a month for a small ship to learn all its details. If a captain
does not become jack of all trades time will decrease. If he is only
to issue orders time decreases by 50%. If he does not have to worry
about navigation (30%) and helmsman (10% decrease) duties time decreases.
Rowing Officers were standard and easy to train. Most had to have
slight musical ability to keep a beat but even then it was learnable.
the military put rowing officers in a 2 week course to learn special
combat and chaos techniques during battle. Civilians were more
lenient and only taught a more limited system of orders.
Prow Officer could be done by anyone with good eyes. However,
the military trained them in more ship recognition details so they
could detect enemy ships faster. Civilians would do the same but
with pirate or hostile force recognition.
Piper/Whistler officers needed some musical talent as they also
were common to play for the men songs to entertain. The military
would spend an extra week to teach orders and signals in codes to
be done in battle and other situations.
Navigators need intense training. The military would teach
as much as they could to their navigators including navigation
during battles and best way to handle fleet movements. Civilian
navigators learned the basics of chart and star navigation.
For civilians who only needed to learn local navigation (say a
single river or local coastal region) the time to learn was 50%.
Helmsman duties were simple to learn. Civilians would teach
helmsman to handle ships in storms and in dangerous hazards. But
the military spent a month to teach combat helmsman tactics.
Carpenters were taught one major thing from the military. That
of fixing combat damage to the hull. the time was lengthy since
they had to be taught in storms, rough seas and combat like
conditions. Civilians however had to be jack of all trades in
learning to repair everything on a ship. They learned through
an apprentice program with other masters.
Shipwrights were taught the science of ship building. The military
taught how to build fast or sturdy ships so took almost a year.
This included math, engineering and carpentry. They specialized in
building warships. Civilian shipwrights learned through an apprentice
program from masters. They were typically specialized in one type
of ship (like fishing boats or medium merchants).
Healers need to be trained in the area of water based diseases and
cures. the military train healers to perform specialized combat
techniques to cut and heal fast. Military healers tend to be only
short term so not on many ships long. Civilian healers are taught
for almost a year to learn all the water based problems and cures.
Deck hands require the least amount of true training. The
military taught special deck operations like raising/lowering rigging
during combat. Civilian deck hands learned more stuff but in less
critical time frames.
Stewards were typically not found on military ships other than
as a ceremonial (maybe royal ship). They required little training
aside from the bigger the ship more to learn at times.
Marines were rarely part of civilian ships. Military ships took
about 6 months to train them. This included fighting in rough
seas, boarding actions and storms. They were more highly trained
than the typical soldier.
Archers took time to learn to fire from a moving and swaying
ship. Archers took an extra month to fight in combat situations.
While civilian archers were taught typically to defend ships only.
Soldiers were guards on civilian ships to protect the ship and
crew. While military soldiers were taught to fight, board and
defend on a swaying and moving ship. These were typically men
who did better though on land rather than sea.
Oarsmen were trained differently for civilian and military ships.
For civilian they only had to be trained to work as a team and
keep steady operations. But for the military they had to be trained
to take fast orders and work in combat situations. A quick course
for a oarsmen only took 9 days to learn if needed. But to get all
the true skills it took 6 weeks to learn everything. By then oarsmen
were in demand based on this training. This was the typical Trireme
Greek training program.
Cargomasters were taught math and accounting mainly. But they
were taught how to trade with other ships and nations. Some were
taught in languages as well. Military did not have space for cargo
but if they did they were taught how to deal (cower) in combat
situations. Civilian versions had to deal more with space efficiency.
They were responsible at times with the cargo and any damages.
Pilots typically took a little over 2 months to learn the basic
rules on navigating and steering all types of ships from civilian
to military ships of all sizes. They were specialized pilots who
learned only the local rivers and harbor.
P. Crew Pay: For details on pay consult the Gear and Equipment
file for the Hirelings Section. Keep in mind that slave deck hands,
rowers and fishermen aren't paid. The chart only details trained
and paid crew. Some nations MAY pay their slaves but at a 30-50%
pay reduction typically.
* New Skills
The following detail new skills that may be employed in the world
A. Skill Chart [Old and New in no particular order]
Skill Type Cost to Buy Next Level Max Formula
Boatmen 40 9 (S+A)+(StBx5) or 80
Watercraft 25 5 (S+St+A)/2 or 80
Waterway Survival 20 15 I+EM/10+StB
Ocean Survival 20 15 I+EM/10+StB
Carrying 10 2 S+St/2
Climbing 25 NEL SQ. S+A/2+StB
Healer 120 20 I+Em/10
Navigation 80 12 (I+W/2)+Em or 80
Seaman 25 5 S+St+A/2 or 80
Carpenter 10 5 (W+D)+StBx5 or 80
*Shipwright 150 8 (I+W+Em)/2 or 80
*Rivermanship 10 5 (S+A)+(StBx5) or 80
*Cartography 100 NELx11 (I + W + Em)/15
*Signaler 10 5 (I + W + Em)/15
*Earth Works 120 10 (I+W+Em)/2 or 80
*Cargomaster 40 5 (I+W+EM)/2 or 80
*Ferryman 10 3 (I+W+EM)/2 or 80
*Fishing 60 NEL SQ. (S+W+D+A)/20
*Naval Tactics 75 NELx10 (I + W)/10
*Naval History 50 7 (I + W)/10
*Leadership 90 NELx6 (I+W+E+EM)/20
*Water Creatures 85 2 (I + W)/10
*Ship Operations 30 3 (I + W)/10
*Rowing 20 2 (S+St+W)/15
*Naval Weapons 50 NELx6 (I + W)/10
*Weather Forecasting 70 NEL SQ. (I + W)/10
*Watercraft 10 2 (I + W)/10
* [NEW Skills]
B. Skill Descriptions
1. Boatmen: This skill is divided into two types. Either the
character is skilled in lakes and open waterways or he is skilled
in Swamps. The advantages that the character will gain varies
depending on the environment that the player chooses, In both
environments, the character can judge currents and distances
traveled by water, with a successful roll against his EL, and has
a memory for landmarks and watercourses similar to the Thief's
memory of maps and passages. Success in both cases equals 100%
accuracy, partial success is 75% accuracy and failure is 50%
The other advantages of this skill are:
Open Waterway Boatman
1. Knowledge of creatures that can be encountered in
2. Waterway Survival, maximum EL currently possible.
3. Starting EL with War Staff.
4. 40% chance of maximum EL currently possible with the
1. Maximum EL currently possible in Swamp Survival.
2. Knowledge of creatures that can be encountered in the
3. Starting EL with the Bow.
4. 40% chance of maximum EL currently possible with War Staff.
2. Watercraft: The character is trained to perform tasks common
in operating small boats. He may fight from these boats without
reduction of his OCV or DCV. (Those without this skill reduce both
values and their weapon EL by 50% when fighting from a small boat.)
Skilled watermen may navigate on inland waterways, handle
swift currents and avoid water obstacles in inland waterways and
lakes. They may use their Watercraft EL at 1/2 value when sailing
in the open sea, i.e. operating as Seamen. (The same applies for
Seamen when they sail on inland waterways and lakes.)
Finally, watermen will have some training in maintaining and
repairing small vessels. Their success chance doing either is equal
to their EL.
3. Waterway Survival: The basic survival skill operating on
waterways and lakes. Use it as specified for all other Survival
4. Ocean Survival: Survival skill that applies for Ocean
environments, sea voyages and other like areas. Its full usefulness
awaits the introduction of Sea Encounter rules. Where a character
is a Navigator or Seaman, he should have the maximum EL currently
possible in this skill without additional cost (as part of buying
either or both of those skills).
5. Carrying: Same as for the Book 1 Skill. But for Sailors
this is good for Deck Hands to learn for carrying cargo from place
to place and heavy ship loads like the rigging.
6. Climbing: Same as for Book 1 skill. For sailors this is
good to learn for climbing the rigging while the ship is in rough
seas or a storm.
7. Healer: Same as for book 1 skill. However, ship's healers
learn more about the diseases and issues around water. They also
learn about plant life found in water that is used in healing herbs.
8. Navigation: Same as for Book 1. The Skill can be used for
specialized training for waterway (river, lakes, etc.) and ocean
9. Seaman: As for the Book 1 skill. it is critical for any
sailor to learn.
10. Carpenter: As for the new Skill by Richard. Ships need
a good carpenter for large ships to fix broken items & hull breaches.
11. Shipwright [NEW]: Shipwrights must specify whether they are
Military or Civilian Shipwrights. This skill allows the person to
design and build ships. Shipwrights for the military can design
warships. Shipwrights can detect structure weak points of many ships.
The cost to learn the other specialty, once the first is known, is
75 expertise points. The starting EL in the second field may not
exceed the Current EL in the first specialty. The Referee can require
Scholar skills in Math and Engineering to help before learning this
skill. Shipwrights can build custom ships and boats but tend to
work on a set of standard designs for the region. A shipwright should
make on success roll per week of ship construction. If it fails there
are problems (breaks in hull, bad wood, etc.). He will have to
start that week over to redo that area. Partial success means the
ship can be quickly fixed (1D3 days) without redoing the entire week.
12. Rivermanship [NEW]: For All intents this is the same skill
as the Boatmen skill. But this skill gives more information to
work with. The person that learns this skill learns it for one
waterway (a lake or a river). This skill requires you learn the
Boatmen skill first. Then you can learn this skill afterwards at
the listed reduced cost. It gives the person precise information
on a river. It includes history of the river (details on recent
floods, water levels, etc.). The person has a working knowledge of
river currents and water flow. It gives the person advantage in
knowing good fishing spots where the fish frequent and where to
avoid the dangerous creatures. People with this skill may be hired
by Farmers to learn where a river tends to flood and irrigation.
13. Cartography [NEW]: This skill is a subset of the Scholar
skill. It tends to be only taught in schools. But some apprentice
programs may teach it. It is the skill in making maps of all
kinds. The Referee can require a form of Math skill to be learned
first. The person learns this skill and draw the maps with good
precision. It will take 20-EL days to draw the map. This map
will have the basic land or sea areas (islands, landmasses). It
will take 1 day to add River Current details and 1 more day to
add dangers like Reefs & Sandbars to the map. If the above
figure is less than 0 then it will only take 1 day. A mapmaker
may add style and art to his maps at more cost. This skill is
good for sailors but is useful for land map making as well.
Success means the map is in perfect detail. Partial means the
scale may be off slightly (up to the Referee or by D100%). Failure
means the map is off completely (off by 80+D100%). The range of
these maps tends to be EL Miles. Making maps larger will require
more knowledge of the area and a success roll per 50 mile increment.
A mapmaker will have to have accurate map data to work with. If
he does not the map will be wrong right away. A mapmaker who
does a survey of the actual terrain will increase his chance of
success. A survey will take 1 day per 20 miles needing to map.
A mapmaker will have to buy his own equipment to make the maps.
14. Signaler [NEW]: This skill is specified for either Civilian
or the Military. It allows the person to use signals of all kinds
to communicate. Techniques include smoke, light, sun signals, flags
or hand signals to name a few. The person who learns it for the
military may learn specific codes and secret signals for fleet and
war operations. For the Civilian Signaler he knows civilian trade
and communication signals. The Signaler can send and understand
seen signals if he knows the signal being used. Success means he
can understand or send the correct signal needed. Partial means
the signal is not understood fully and may be taken wrongly. Failure
means the opposite signal is sent. The Referee may restrict the
type of signal to a region or area. The player should determine the
exact type of signals he wishes to use and learn.
15. Earth Works [NEW]: This skill is knowledge in how to move
earth. Specifically it allows a person to build structures like
dams, land walls, trenches, tunnels, canals and generally move
earth around in the best way. For this section Earth Works are good
for Dams and Canals for those who wish to help ships or hinder ships.
Harbors hire people with this skill to build drydocks and place docks
in the best location. Also they hire them to move sandbars from
place to place if its shallow enough.
16. Cargomaster [NEW]: This skill is like the Merchant skill.
It allows the person to know the business of cargo and freight. It
works for ships and for land operations. The person with this skill
knows how to buy, sell and handle cargo of all types. They handle
the book keeping and the loading/unloading of cargo (by supervision).
They learn the most efficient ways of placing cargoes in warehouses
and ship holds. Merchant houses tend to hire people with this
skill for large merchant fleets.
17. Ferryman [NEW]: This skill is like Boatmen but more
specialized. The person that learns this skill knows how to ferry
people on rafts and boats. They learn the local water currents of
the waters. They know how many people, animals or equipment that
can be handled by the boats/rafts. Ferrymen may also know the
quickest ways to ferry people in adverse weather. Ferrymen may
also know of local fords and natural areas to cross the water if
no boat or raft is handy.
18. Fishing [NEW]: This skill serves many purposes. First the
person learns the basic techniques and tricks of fishing. Where
to fish, how to fish, what bait to use and what not to do in water.
In a larger sense like commercial fishing operations it allows the
person to know the best water areas to fish, how to catch large
amount of fish and then use handle the fish after the catch.
19. Naval Tactics [NEW]: This skill is mainly for military
captains who need to learn strategy and tactics in naval warfare.
It includes fleet operations, shipboard weapons and ship combat.
This skill is learned mainly through class work and books with some
field exercises. Success means the captain can determine the best
tactic to use. Partial means he may get the right tactic but
too late or with some slight drawback. Failure means the wrong
tactic is determined. Civilians who learn this skill tend to be
Pirates who learn through other pirates on how to raid ships.
20. Naval History [NEW]: This skill is learned for a region.
If the person wishes to learn it for the entire history of all
nations it will cost 4 times the listed cost. This person learns
the history of ship construction, ship types and ship evolution.
They also learn history of naval warfare and famous battles.
This is mainly useful for Military sea captains who wish to learn
the enemy to be useful in warfare.
21. Leadership [NEW]: This skill is useful for commanding men
and women in all parts of society. Sea captains learn this skill
to lead men into battle or inspire rowers to do more work. The
Rhetoric skill should be learned first. Success means the leadership
inspires the men. The Referee could add some bonus (like better
combat, speed increases, etc.). Partial means the leadership is
done well but with less degree. Failure means those lead do not
believe or lose faith in the leader (a decrease in ability).
22. Water Creatures [NEW]: This is almost like the modern
oceanography skill. It may give some basic information on the
sea and its aspects. But it mainly gives information on creatures
that are found in the water. How to handle, hunt and avoid them.
23. Ship Operations [NEW]: This skill allows the person to learn
all aspects of ship based operations. Everything from rigging,
sails, bilge, ballast to moving, eating and sleeping on ship among
other things. Deck hands tend to know this skill while other Sailors
tend to know Seaman. Skill includes also how to clean a ship,
land/beach a ship. It also includes training in how to deal with
rough seas and storms.
24. Rowing [NEW]: Oarsmen are taught this skill. While anyone
can row quickly its important for Rowers to work as a team. This
skill teaches that. It also teaches rowers how to quickly maneuver
ships for ramming or speed shifts.
25. Naval Weapons [NEW]: This skill teaches the person how to
use ship based weapons. While most can fire weapons right away
with little training this skill does not give the person any
disadvantages to firing while the ship moves. Those without this
skill will suffer a penalty if the ship is shifting about. This
skill teaches trajectory aspects. The Referee can allow this skill
to build and repair naval weapons.
26. Weather Forecasting [NEW]: This skill allows a person to
learn to read the sky. From this reading he can gleam a simple
forecast of the weather up to EL/2 (RU) hours in advance. Success
means he forecast correctly. Partial means the time and data may
be off. Failure means the opposite is predicted. This skill is
also useful in reading animals (birds, etc.) and clouds in terms
of stories that sailors pass each other. Like some moons and
sunsets can determine future storms. The Referee can determine
if a person gets a bonus in avoiding storms.
27. Watercraft [NEW]: This skill gives specific knowledge on
a specific type of boat or ship. the person knows how to use,
maintain, build (optional) and repair this type of ship. If other
skills do not apply this skill may be useful to learn for civilians.
A person can learn another type (if the same kind) at 50% cost
if this is learned first. For example a Ferrymen learns Watercraft
for Rafts. He could learn bladder boats at 50%. But he would have
to pay full cost to learn rowing or sailing ships. The Referee
will have to determine this effects of this rule.
C. Other Skill notes
1. Diving: An advanced form of Swimming. This optional skill
allows a person to dive by holding one's breath for EL/3 Minutes.
2. Stewards and Deck Hands may need to learn Servant
3. Smugglers may need to learn the Smuggler skill
4. Pilots may need to learn Rivermanship for the river they
* New Guilds
Various professions have professional organizations and guilds
that may restrict membership. The following section details some
of the more popular, secretive and biggest in the Perilous Lands.
A. Wharf Rats: This group started as small groups in smaller
cities. But as time grew and more joined they got larger. Soon
they expanded into other nations. no one knows where this group
first started from exactly. It is a group for all warehouse and
dock workers. They have influence in many cities with local
merchants who try to abuse the workers. The group is populated
by men who tend not to be in normal society circles. Most city
folk would avoid these folks if found on the same street. This
group can be found in any major port with decent warehouse districts.
Most groups charge a hefty fee to join (usually half a months'
pay) to join. With monthly dues which are cheaper.
1. Variant Group: Some cities and towns have a criminal
version of this group which deals in smuggling, thief of cargo,
bully tactics on ships and merchants, extortion and murder. the
main group tends to work within the law but this sub group does
not. Some of these groups exist in Clima, Porta, Port Doman,
Lemasa and Katai are the largest ones. To join most have to
be invited in and perform a specialized task.
B. Fishermen Groups: These groups go by many names. They are
a collection of fishing companies and workers. Some groups may
only allow workers while others include companies (usually family
owned rather than merchant owned). These groups support each other
in the fishing industry. They share information and fishing tips
on the best locations to group members. This is more a support
group of families and single members. It includes single fishing
people on docks, ship fishing men and those who clean and stock
fish on land. Fees are cheap to join and tend to be affordable
for any dues that are required. These groups tend to have little
influence with local politics. But as a mass group if the fishing
industry were to boycott or close down it can hurt and thus influence
the merchants and local government. The largest groups are in the
nations of Vahear, Ticasi, Bhamotin and Clima.
C. Sailor/Semen Societies: These societies are the largest groups
for water working people. They are numerous and popular. Some
are as small as a half dozen people in a local tavern to as large
as thousands in a city. These groups are support, entertainment and
a formal organization for sailors. Anyone who sails the high seas
professionally is welcome in these groups. Most tend to be social
groups where sailors get together and share stories. Captains use
them to hire the best crews. Military officers use them to hire
the best combat sailors. It is a good information sharing (though
usually at some cost) network across the globe. These groups tend
to be different from pirate groups as they can include entire
families of sailors in social occasions. Most groups aren't as
formal and organized as others so some may not even charge dues.
These groups have very little true influence other than on staffing
good sailors for ship crews.
D. Divers: This is a single exclusive group in Lemasa. The
divers there dive for pearls and other rare plants that are only
found in this area of the globe. Membership requires that a diver
can hold his breath for at least 3.5 minutes. Some members have
been known to dive for 5 minutes. If your not a diver of this
strength then your not welcome. This group tends to be a social
group with influence with merchants. Merchants know they are
needed so work with this group for fair prices and wages. The
group is called Blue Divers for the blue waters found in the western
edge of the island. Dues are not paid but a diver must prove his
worth to the group to join. This group tends to kick out, even
to the point of brutal attacks, others they do not welcome. This
makes the divers exclusive for the area and market.
E. Shipwrights: Shipbuilders have their own Guilds. This is
a formal organization in any major ports (Class A and B). Some
groups may be in smaller ports with less influence and membership.
This group is for shipwrights mainly. Some groups may allow
other workers (carpenters, blacksmiths, etc.) but are rare exceptions.
These groups are a social professional group that tend to have
most shipwright masters. These groups allow apprentices in but
the formal group works in a level system of power and influence.
With the Shipwright Masters being the top rank and other works like
carpenters being the lowest just below the shipwright apprentices.
It is a group most wish to join to become a shipwright. It is
a good way to study under and meet the best. The biggest group
is found in Fomoria named The Hammer Group with over 3,000 members
all over Fomoria island. Dues tend to be steep for membership with
moderate monthly dues. This is to restrict membership to those
who deserve and can afford it. However, a Shipwright Master can
allow an apprentice to join once a year. During that year the
apprentice must complete at least one ship building task with little
or no supervision. Most apprentice tend to work under masters for
up to 3 years before they are ready to complete such a task.
These groups have heavy influence with local port government
and merchants. This group can dictate the number of ships that
can be made. Thus control the prices, workers and materials
that are required. Most shipwrights who do not join these groups
tend to be unwelcome around others. They are not bothered in
their work but may be quietly run out of business through subtle
influences. These groups tend to work with other groups like
the merchant and Wharf Rats for material inventory.
1. Variant: The Military Shipwright guilds are the same but
tend to be more exclusive with only allowing shipwrights who know
how to create warships. Government prefers this so as to keep
trade secrets and construction data more secret to outsiders.
The military groups tend to be the first to be hired for fleet
construction rather than freelancers.
F. Sailor's Edge: This society first started in Ticasi as a formal
group but died shortly after. It was later re-formed in Marentia.
It is now spread to many ports across the globe. This group is
for Navigators, Helmsmen and Ship Weapons Officers. It is a loose
group for the education on the future of the new techniques and
technologies that may come about. Many groups give talks on new
devices that help these professionals. The talks on ship weapons
are especially popular. Governments even have to restrict such
talks due to trade secrets that may be give out. One of the
most popular groups is the Silver Globe Group found in Caldo.
They may not discuss new tricks but they talk frequently of past
battles with giants and give public demonstrations and parades.
Membership dues are affordable for entrance and monthly dues.
1. Variant: Military subgroups of this group are highly
restrictive for membership. They do not share a lot of new
information especially in the areas of ship weapons.
G. Map Makers of the World: This Society is a formal group
found in many cities (in-land and coastal). It is made up of
only map makers. Each group tries to share information with
other groups to improve on maps and mistakes found in maps.
This creates yearly updates on maps that are later created for
the public. Ticasi has been trying for the last few decades
to try to get all the groups to work together to make better
world maps but has failed due to egos and various cultural
differences. This society approves maps for publication to
be official. If a map maker is not a part of this society and
does a map on his own he may find problem selling maps in a
mass market. Yearly conventions that move to a different city
each time discuss new maps, map making techniques and other
topics relating to maps. From this convention some of the best
maps in the world are created for the public. Membership fees
tend to be at least 3 GC to enter and 4 SC per month. This
includes journals that may be sent to members for new events.
To join though a person must have created a map and then been
approved by the society through a sponsor.
1. Pirate Variant: Pirates are famous for making maps. Some
are rich enough to contract Map Makers to make treasure maps.
But most map makers tend to have "accidents" afterwards. Thus
an underground network of this society was formed. It allows
pirates to contract for maps without questions. A trust is formed
between the pirate and map maker. This system seems to work without
creating "accidents" later for the map makers. Usually most
of these underworld map makers are backed by criminal organizations
that will kill them if they disclose any of the treasure locations.
2. Military Variant: The Military may contract certain official
map makers to create maps for secret bases or routes through
some waterways for faster combat. These map makers tend to be
on government payrolls for exclusive work.
3. [Taolisa] "Scribe's Eyes": This secret society is in Taolisa.
They were map makers who mapped the secret Eastern Lands. They only
have about 20 members and tend not to grow larger than 25. Only
the government and some underworld organizations on Taolisa may know
of this group.
H. Earth Works: This Guild comes in many names. It is found on
a dozen nations only. This Guild has members that are skilled in
moving earth. This group or its members are hired to create canals,
dams, earthen walls, ditches, trenches, move mountains, mines,
dig wells and even create earthern forts out of sheer rock. The
bulk of this group comes from members who do general hard labor.
But the top levels are masters in engineering. Some groups are
known to hire Dwarfs for their expertise as members but many do
not due to prejudice. Membership entrance and monthly dues
are cheap and affordable. But the top masters tend to earn the
most fees for large jobs. One such group was in Marentia for
about 12 years. It had 12,000 members which were hired to move
mountains or level them out. One job created a large mine that
went down for 600 feet in just a year's time. But the group
was disbanded due to Duke Caran's fear the group was growing in
power. The group still has members in Marentia but has less
power. They are spread out all over the globe in only about
a dozen nations at this time. Xan has been trying to hire a
group to make a large canal but their funds tend to fail in the end.
I. Harbor Merchants: This guild called Harbor Merchants is
found in small to large port cities. It includes Cargomasters,
Harbormasters, Portmasters and Merchants. It is a group that
works on price controls for cargo and trade. While a public
group some governments do not like it since they do not allow
free trade as best it could be done. While some merchants may
not like the price controls it is a good guild for information
on new markets and trade issues. Larger Merchant Houses that
have large merchant fleets tend to have a back hand in these
groups to help their own interests. Some merchants who are not
members hate this group and tend to fight them as best they can.
Since most members tend to be rich enough membership fees are
moderate to steep.
J. Naval Historians Society: This Society was formed in Ticasi
over 300 years ago. It is a formal group of scholars who wish
to learn more about past naval events of importance. This includes
battles, major storms, ship technology and evolution. It tends to
be restricted to older Scholars but is open to anyone who can afford
the fees. The group even publishes journals of their papers they
work on for public use. The work of this group is found in
libraries all over the globe. Military especially studies the
group books on battles to learn from them. Fees are steep since
most scholars tend to afford them. The public can afford a
reduced price but can only get the journals and not participate
in the lectures and write their own papers. To become a full
member rather than an associate member one must write at least
one peer reviewed paper a year. The biggest group is found in
Ticasi but is now found in many cities across the globe.
K. Pirate Groups: These groups are more social and not formal
organizations. These groups are small and tend to be a group
of pirates in a tavern sharing stories and telling high tales.
These groups are more gangs that are exclusive for membership.
Pirate gangs find new crews for their ships from these groups.
The groups also form a loose information network that shares info
on booty or goods to be gained. It is a underworld society most
do not wish to enter as its a dangerous one. These largest pirate
group is found in Dechat city. It is a ruthless group that
has major influence in the city and bullies everyone. Porta
has criminal gangs that are pirate groups as well.
L. Sailmakers Guild: This is a subset of the Cloth Makers guild.
This group is the industry behind making ship sails. It is small
group that is used by merchants for materials. Membership is
free. These are found in just about any city. They have no
influence on local government or society. It is a place for those
families who bring their sons or daughters up in the industry
to find work as well.
M. Captain's Bell: This group is named the Captain's Bell after
the bell found on a ship which is rung by captains for orders. It
is a social club for captains and first officers only. Some may
allow families or guests (other sailors) to visit social functions
like parties. The group works together to support each other in
times of trouble. It is found in most coastal towns and cities.
Some of the elite groups are yacht clubs. One such group became
famous one year. That group was found in Aredan. When pirates
raids merchant ships and killed captains and crews the club banded
together and formed convoys. this group soon drove the pirates
away for some years.
N. Smugglers Guild: This is a offshoot of the Thieve's Guild.
It is a group of smugglers and their underworld helpers. It
includes contacts for fences and authorities that can be bribed.
Smugglers are contacted to smuggle cargo at high cost through this
guild. It is a dangerous Guild where capture can lead to prison
or death. Membership is exclusive usually by word of mouth and
fees are moderate. The biggest group the Coasa Smuggler's Alliance
is found in and around Coasa. These are known to be some of the
best smugglers. The Gomese Smugglers are the second best.
Even the Ghazai are known to be wise smugglers. Free lance smugglers
tend not to be tolerated by the guild and can be killed.
O. Gem Traders Alliance: Four nations formed their own Gem Trade
guilds (Ashudan, Marentia, Teos and Valheim). About 50 years ago
it was decided the four groups could join into a major Alliance.
They have a building in Sivas, Marentia. While bickering and
fights may occur the group works together to handle the large
aspects of the Gem Trade including price control, inventory and
new mine deployments. They have major influence with the government
of their home nations in terms of price controls. Other nations
have tried to join the alliance but find they have less influence
with the four primary members having 80% of any votes. The
Merchant Houses in Marentia have been working to try and break
this voting issue.
1. Variant: Ashudan has formed a organized soldier force that
tracks down those who steal large amounts of gems. This force
has been known to kill its victims outright. This has created
a fear in the area for gem thieves. This force works as a private
army for the rich gem trade houses.
P. Oarsmen Groups: While many oarsmen are slaves some are paid
professionals. These form social groups that share stories and
tell tall tales. most oarsmen tend to stick together so this
is a purely social group with no membership or formal organization.
However, ship captains use these groups to hire the best oarsmen
for their ships. They have no influence other than on hiring
the best and qualified.
* Ship Operations
The life of a sailor may be tedious, long and boring. But
all ships tend to have common ship operations. The following
detail some of those operations.
A. Rigging Operations include furling and unfurling sails. Raisng
and lowering rigging for battle or storms. Repairing rigging pieces.
Repairing cloth of the sails. This tends to be the sole duty of
B. Observation: At least 1-3 people at any one time may be in
constant observation duties. Some may be in the Crow's Nest or
in the foredeck or sides. They will look for fish, land, enemy
or ally ships, storms and water hazards. Without such observation
the ship could fall into danger.
C. Beaching/Anchorage: At night some ships may anchor in the
water or land on the beach. Anchorage only requires lowering
or raising the anchors. But beaching takes more delicate work
by all crew members.
D. Overland: This event is when a ship is taken overland rather
than by the water. Many Triremes have been known to be taken
overland. Some ships are taken apart for this purpose or carried
whole. Some are carried by hand (taken many people) or pushed
or pulled by rollers.
E. Rowing: Without good wind or sails Rowing is required to move
a ship. Thus rowing is a common operation. It requires synchronized
techniques to keep the ship at a good pace. Oarsmen take up to
6 weeks to train for combat rowing operations.
F. Storm preparation: All crew members will have to prepare a
ship for storms. This includes batten down hatches and tie down
anything that can move or be damaged by rain or waves.
G. Fishing: This operation may be done by one crewmen or the
entire ship (if fishing boat).
H. Combat Operations: When a ship must go into combat some
crew may prepare the ship. Rigging tends to be lowered. Rowers
prepare for ramming speed. Soldiers get ready for boarding action.
Archers prepare to fire.
While this is not all of a ship's operations it is a glimpse into
some of the most common ones.
* Credits and Acknowledgements
I would like to thank several people for helping in this project.
Thanks to Alexander Fennell for a 7 meg PDF files of Deck Plans.
These plans were fantasy based deck plans. The source of this
material is not known but he sent them to me via the mailing list.
These plans helped to create notes for the ship deck plans document.
Hopefully, these plans might give some insight on ship design layout.
A big thanks for Richard Snider for creating such a excellent game
system to enjoy for over 20 years. He also helped in direct support
and editing of various files in this project. He helped in special
ships, monsters and notable pirates to name a few of many files he
helped with. The Notable Pirate document is untouched by me. This
file on pirates is his and not my material.
Thanks for folks on the P&P mailing list who helped and gave tips
and pointers. Burton was a good help in this area to give me some
direction on where to start. Alex Koponen was a nightly help in ICQ
to give direct immediate help, edits and suggestions. It was good
to toss ideas to him and get fast replies.
I read 2 books in order to get official expert material on ships.
The first was "Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World" by Lionel
Casson. This book helped in generic terms for ship material. It
included info everything from types of ships, history, crews, gear
and many other topics. The second book was "The Athenian Trireme:
The History and Reconstruction of an Ancient Greek Warship" by
J. S. Morrison. This book told of teams that rebuilt a actual
Trireme from a shipwreck site. It supplied many statistics that
are printed in this supplement. These 2 books gave most of the
facts used in this supplement.
Finally, in researching this material I spent hours and weeks
on various websites. Hundreds of them were good sources of info.
Too many to list for reference unfournately. Many websites also
gave good hints, suggestions and facts used in this supplement.
* Contact Information
I can be found in various areas.
E-mail: longshot at cybermax.net
longshot at darktech.org
http://powersandperils.org [various info/links]
List: The Powers and Perils Mailing List [see P&P Website]
More information about the pnp