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Ships and Boats


When a crew is being defined a 'Sailor' is a person who has put at least one skill point into Profession: Sailor or at least two points into Profession:Fisherman. Any character without either of those skills counts as an Unskilled Labourer. If a seamanship roll is required use the highest Profession:Sailor modifier in the crew - if it falls to a fisherman, they may use half of the Profession:Fisherman modifier. A Master Seaman will have a Profession:Sailor total modifier of 10 or more.

Construction Types


Speed are shown in Miles per Hour. Rowed speeds are an average, crews might be able to go faster for a short distance. Sailing speeds are for a Favourable, but Light, Wind - stronger winds mean faster journeys, unfavourable winds mean slower journeys. In the worst case scenario, a ship might not be able to move at all. A rowed ship can travel for 10 hours a day. A sailed ship for 24 hours a day (assuming they have the proper crew)

If you are on a river, you might want to add 2 miles an hour for down stream travel, but then remember to subtract it for upstream travel.

Personally, I tend to use the given values - unless I have a reason not to.

No Boatyard

There are a few very simple vessels that can be built without access to specialized tools and facilities. There is still a small cost to cover ropes, labour an similar expenses.

Coracle 5gp: A light frame made from sticks and covered in leather, that is light enough that it can be picked up and carried easily by one man. It is often used by lone fishermen or marsh dwellers. It is best on quiet waters and needs a lot of maintenance.
DC 5, Crew:1, Passengers:0, Speed Rowed: 0.5mph
Raft 10gp: 10ftx8ft. A light platform, often built from tree trunks or logs. It is best on quiet waters and needs a lot of maintenance. It is generally used as a work platform (Collecting piles of reeds, digging out channels etc) or in emergencies. They are normally poled or towed by other boats. Larger rafts can be built, but are more expensive.
DC 5, Crew:1, Passengers:Varies, Speed Rowed: 1mph

Basic Boatyard

A basic boatyard can build vessels, up to 30feet in length, using a variety of construction techniques. Some are flat bottomed vessels that are normally rowed or paddled and are at their best when used in quiet waters such as lakes, harbours and slow rivers. Other, with the addition of dagger-boards or lee-boards, can be fitted with a sail.

Row Boat Variants
Punt-Skiff 40gp: 15ft x 5ft. A punt-skiff is a flat-bottomed boat that is intended for use in still or shallow water. It does not come with a sail. It is often used by lone fishermen or marsh dwellers. These vessels are particularly effective on sluggish or shallow rivers and wetlands, and are often poled or paddled, rather than rowed.
DC 10, Crew:1, Passengers:3, Speed Rowed:1.5 mph
Row Boat 45gp: Standard rowing boat, 15ft x 5ft, used as a tender and as a small boat for local work. It does not come with a sail but you can upgrade a Row Boat by fitting a mast and simple sail for 5gp. However, they don't sail particularly well. They are best in quiet waters such as small rivers, harbours or very near the coast.
DC 10, Crew:1, Passengers:3, Speed Rowed: 1.5mph, (Speed Sailed:1.5mph)
Dinghy 50gp: Looking very much like a rowing boat, 15ft x 5ft, a dinghy is designed for sailing and copes better with rough water better. It is fitted with a mast and lugsail sail at purchase. Dinghy's can deal with most waters but should not be taken too far from shore.
DC 15, Crew:1, Passengers:3, Speed Rowed: 1mph, Speed Sailed:2mph
Ship's Boat variants
Swamp Boat 500gp: Sometimes known as a Great Punt, is 20 ft x 10 ft with a very shallow draught, a Great Punt is little more than an extra large punt-skiff, and cannot be fitted with a sail. It needs a minimum crew of three paddlers/polers, but will go faster with a larger crew. They are often uses as work boats in marshes, swamps and bayous. These vessels are particularly effective on shallow rivers, lakes and wetlands. They do not have a cabin and are rarely used for long trips or at night.
DC 10, Crew:7, Passengers:8, Speed Rowed: 3mph
Fishing Boat 500gp: 20ft x 8 ft. Open boats that are fitted with a simple square sail. Used by fishermen and local traders, this versatile vessel requires a three-man crew (One sailor and two labourers). Fishing boats work well on rivers, lakes and close coastal waters. They do not have a cabin and are rarely used for long trips or at night.
DC 15, Crew:3, Passengers:12, Speed Rowed: 0.5mph, Speed Sailed:2mph
Launch 500gp: 20ft x 8 ft. A large clinker built boat with two banks of oars . Often used for water based patrols or to ferry important people around. Every extra pair of oars you add (and reduce the passenger capacity) the launch moves 5 faster. Special racing crews can go even faster. It has a short mast and square sail which give a sailing speed of 10. They do not have a cabin and are rarely used for long trips or at night.
DC 15, Crew:9, Passengers:5, Speed Rowed: 3mph, Speed Sailed:1mph
The Local Patrol Boat is a launch with a military crew. When all the spots are filled by marines, The Local Patrol Boat can achievespeeds of Rowed: 5mph, Sailed:1mph.
Other Vessels
Shallop (Riverboat) 2000gp: 30ftx12ft with a single mast, lee boards, a simple sail and oars. The Riverboat is a large fishing boat with a small cabin, but is mainly used to transport cargo, on rivers, lakes and estuaries. It is commonly known as a Hog as it is said to wallow like a hog when faced with inclement weather. It is slow and has a single low hold, so it doesn't generally take passengers. Note:
DC 15, Crew:4, Speed Rowed: 0.5mph Speed Sailed:2mph
The Area Patrol Boat is a Riverboat (Shallop) that has a lateen sail and lee boards, for a sailing speed of 3mph. It is crewed by marines.
Pinnace 2000gp: 30ft x 8 ft. It can house two people in comfort, four people living in close contact and up to ten at a real push. The Pinnace works well in wide rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal waters.
DC 15, Crew:2, Passengers:1, Speed Rowed: 0.5mph, Speed Sailed:3mph

Large Boatyard

A large boatyard can build vessels, up to 60 feet in length, using a variety of construction techniques. Some are flat bottomed vessels that are normally rowed or paddled but some are designed to be sailed.

Flatboat 500gp: 40ftx15ft. Poor build quality and the most basic materials make this the most fragile of vessels - think very large raft. It cannot sail and can only move at a speed of 10 under poles or sweeps. It is OK for gentle local work, floats down rivers easily, but is difficult to row upstream. However, if you wish to move cargo around a quiet lake or down a gentle river, this is probably your best bet.
DC10, Crew:6, Speed Rowed: 1mph
Keeler 3000gp: 45ftx15ft - Built shallow and narrow (with lee boards), a keeler carries a square sail, has a cabin set midship and open holds at each end. The single cabin is about ten feet wide and fifteen feet long and is fitted with benches along each side This vessel has a shallow draught and is well suited to carrying passengers and cargo along canals, rivers, and lakes, although it can cope with estuaries if it has to. The keeler is the workhorse of the Sellen.
DC20, Crew:8, Speed Rowed: 1.5mph, Speed Sailed:2mph
River Wherry (Gundalow) 3500gp: 55ftx20ft - Built shallow with a gaff rigged sail a cabin aft with a long hold in front of it, this vessel is designed for trading along rivers. The cabin is roughly 15×15 and fitted with bunks to sleep up to 8 people, it is cramped when the vessel is at full capacity, but at least each of the bunks has a privacy curtain. It has a shallow draught and can handle fast flowing waters as well as more sedate flows. It is one of the fastest vessels on rivers and lakes, but doesn't cope with estuaries or open water very well. Often favoured for fast delivery of small and valuable items
DC20, Crew:6, Speed Rowed: 0.5mph, Speed Sailed:2.5mph
Sailing Barge (Scow) 4000gp: 55ft by 25ft. With main and mizzen masts , she has lee boards and a shallow draft. The Sailing Barge is designed for trading along rivers, lakes and estuary systems - and can deal with inshore waters quite well. However, sailing barges are not good in open water. When the lee-boards are down she can handle a lot of sail, and when they are up she can be pulled over a sandbar or beach for the night. She has a shallow cargo hold, a low cabin and can take quite a bit of deck cargo as well. The cabin has bunks for four passengers, but she can accommodate another four who are prepared to sleep in a sitting position (or on the floor). Primarily a cargo vessel, she is queen of the Sellen.
DC20, Crew:6, Speed Rowed: 0.5mph, Speed Sailed:2mph
Lugger 4500gp: 60ft by 25ft with a deep build. She has two masts (Main and Mizzen) both rigged with lug sails, the Lugger is mainly used as a coastal trader and fishing ship. The Lugger generally has a cabin for the crew, but most of the vessel is deck and hold for the cargo/catch. The Lugger is particularly well suited to lakes, estuaries and coastal waters, but she can cope with the open sea if required. They aren't very good on rivers or waterways that are narrow or shallow.
DC20, Crew:6, Speed Rowed: 0.5mph, Speed Sailed:2mph

Great Boatyard

A great boatyard builds large vessels that aren't suitable for river use or, in some cases, aren't good for long distance travel. All of these ships can be sailed on lakes, sea' oceans - or any other body of open water. Unless they can be rowed, they cannot be used on rivers.

Hoy - Gargantuan ship - Squares 2 (20 ft. by 55 ft.) Cost 6,500 gp
DEFENSE: AC 6; Hardness 5 hp 800 (sails 200) Base Save +4
OFFENSE: Maximum Speed 60 ft. (wind), Acceleration 30 ft. CMB +4; CMD 14 Ramming Damage 4d8
STATISTICS: Propulsion Wind
Means of Propulsion 30 squares of sails (one masts, square sail); Crew 15
Cargo/Passengers 80 tons / up to 80 passengers
The Hoy is a lake or coastal trader, and doesn’t travel on inland rivers. When the lee-boards are down she can handle a lot of sail, and when they are up she can be beached for the night. One Large direct-fire or indirect-fire siege engine positioned on the forward or aft side of the ship.
Cog - Gargantuan ship - Squares 2 (20 ft. by 60 ft.) Cost 7,000 gp
DEFENSE: AC 6; Hardness 5 hp 800 (sails 200) Base Save +4
OFFENSE: Maximum Speed 60 ft. (wind), Acceleration 30 ft. CMB +4; CMD 14 Ramming Damage 4d8
STATISTICS: Propulsion wind
Means of Propulsion 30 squares of sails (one mast, square sail); Crew 15
Cargo/Passengers 90 tons / up to 90 passengers
The Cog is the only vessel built at a Large Boatyard, capable of ocean travel, although it is at its best in coastal waters. It is not suitable for use on rivers. It is the ‘go to’ vessels for many merchants when they first start in the business.
Light Galley - Colossal ship - Squares 2 (15 ft. by 75 ft.) Cost 12,000 gp
DEFENSE: AC 2 Hardness 5 hp 675 (oars 400, sails 120) Base Save +4
OFFENSE: Maximum Speed 30 ft. (muscle), 60 ft. (wind), or 90 ft. (muscle and wind); Acceleration 30 ft. CMB +8; CMD 16 Ramming Damage 8d8
STATISTICS: Propulsion muscle, wind, or current
Means of Propulsion 40 oars, 30 squares of sails (one mast); Cargo/Passengers 40 tons / up to 40 passengers
This long and relatively narrow boat has a single mast with a square sail and 18, double staffed, oars. It can traverse lakes, Coastal waters, and deep rivers. It can cross oceans, but it normally stays close to shore, as it has minimal accommodation for its crew.
Complement: Crew 50 (18 Sailors+32 Medium rowers) 20 marines. 1x Lt Cdr 2x Naval Lt, 5x Petty Officers. 1x Marine Lt, 2x Marine Sgt.
Weapons: It carries two Light Ballistae, positioned one each on the forward and aft sides of the ship. These siege engines can be swivelled to fire out either side of the ship, or either forward or aft, depending on their position. They are crewed by the Marines.

Commercial Ship Yard

This yard makes sailing vessels that merchants and shipping companies use for trade. They can, however, be armed or used as troop transports - so many National Navies, buy these vessels and arm them, particularly for carrying important people and fighting longer distance wars. Some merchants use armed vessels on 'difficult' trade routes - although these are often only lightly armed, when compared to military use. Most merchant crews are made up of (about) 50% commoners (basic Sailors), 25% Warriors (Topsmen/defence) and 25% experts (Captain, Navigator, Senior Sailors in skilled roles)

Coaster - Larger than a lugger, the standard coaster is also known as a Round Ship. It has a single mast with a square sail, and enclosed cabin areas at each end of the vessel. The small fore-cabin is used by the crew, while the larger rear cabin is used by officers and passengers and forms a simple 'quarterdeck' that is used for controlling the vessel. It is the main vessel used for, short distance coastal work.
Light Ship - This is the smallest vessel that is really seaworthy, although she is mainly used for longer distance coastal work. Equipped with two masts, and square sails, a light ship often has a small gaff sail attached to the aft mast. She has better lines and sails faster than the coaster, carries more cargo and has better passenger accommodation.
Heavy Ship - Similar in design to a light ship, a heavy ship carries three masts, two with square sails and the last with a great gaff sail to help with steerage. She carries more cargo and more passengers but needs more crew to sail her, however, she is good for long distance trade.
Great Ship

This yard makes galleys for the navies of the Hann Empire. They aren't good for trade as their cargo capacity is limited, and their running costs are high, because of their large crews. Nor do they work well on the high seas, and are generally only used in shallow and coastal waters. Galleys in The Hann Empire are generally rowed by free people, although a few financial convicts may be required to work their debts off by serving in a galley. A normal galley might have a crew of 50% warriors (Soldier/Sailors), 25% Commoners (basic Sailors), and the rest as Experts. Both the commoners and Experts will have some militasry training.

Light Galley
Heavy Galley


These vessels are not, generally, available in The Stolen lands or the Hann Empire or Stolen Lands game.

Small Cutter 750gp: 25ft x 10ft with a centre-board keel, a carvel hull and fitted with a Cutter sail plan. Mainly used by the Harbour Patrol, rowed in harbour (max 0.5mph), sailed on the sea (Speed: 3.5mph), it is one of the fastest boats around and needs a crew or at least five (with one Master Seaman and two other sailors) sailors) to handle the oars or sails. It can take seven passengers or marines but is not generally used for cargo. Cutters need deep water to be really effective, and aren't at their best on rivers or lakes.
Coastal Cutter 5000gp: 60ft by 20 ft and the full cutter rig, this small ship is as fast as anything else on the water and is used primarily by the local coastguard and revenue. It needs a crew of seven (with one master Seaman and four other sailors)) to achieve its sailing speed of 4mph, and can carry up to forty marines. With little need for cargo space, the large cutter has a cabin for its master, another for the crew (up to ten people) and a third for the marines (up to ten marines) - although space in each of the cabins is very tight. Although, the Cutter is primarily a coastal vessel, it works well in deeper coastal waters, and can handle the open sea effectively. It is not well suited to rivers or lakes.
Karvi 7500gp: 65ft x 15ft, the Karvi is powered by a bank of twenty oars (10 per side) and is fitted with a square sail. Many have a ram fitted to the bow, just above the water line, which is intended to hold the rammed vessel close, ready for boarding, rather than sink it. Favoured by pirates, this open vessel doesn't have a lot of cargo space, nor cabins for the crew. Think Viking Longboat crossed with an early Greek Galley.
DC25, Crew:21, Speed Rowed: 2.5mph, Speed Sailed:2mph, Speed Rowed & Sailed:4.5mph
pathfinder/off-the-shelf/ships_boats/ships_and_boats_old.txt · Last modified: 2022/07/24 07:27 by johnb